Yesterday at thn.com:
Brian Duff, NHL Network host, writes about Barry Melrose’s comments from Prague and why it’s good for broadcasters.
In From the Point, Sam McCaig writes about Saturday’s nostalgia when he got back into Maple Leaf Gardens.
In his blog, Rory Boylen says Ryan Hollweg needs to smarten up before he seriously injures somebody.
The Hot List, a rundown of players we can’t wait to see in the NHL one day, profiles Steven Shipley of the Owen Sound Attack.
Patrick O’Sullivan, W/C, Los Angeles Kings
2008/10/08: According to TSN.ca, the Kings have inked forward Patrick O’Sullivan to a three-year, $8.8 million contract. INTEL: With the dollars and cents out of the way, now it’s time for O’Sullivan to concentrate on hockey. If he can get back on the team’s top line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, he could greatly improve on the 53 points (22-31-53) he posted in 2007-08.
Nikolai Khabibulin, G, Chicago Blackhawks
2008/10/08: It looks like goalie Nikolai Khabibulin will start the season on the Blackhawks’ roster after the team’s other reserve goalie, Antti Niemi, was sent to the AHL on Tuesday, reports TSN.ca. INTEL: Khabibulin cleared waivers last week and has been actively searching for a job in Russia’s upstart KHL. However, in the interim, he remains a solid NHL backstop and could help Chicago in the season’s early going. The ‘Hawks had just better hope they haven’t ignited a distracting goaltender controversy.
Josh Bailey, C, New York Islanders
2008/10/08: Islanders rookie Josh Bailey will open the regular season on the team’s roster, reports the Associated Press. INTEL: Despite not picking up any points in two preseason contests, the ninth-overall pick in the 2008 draft beat out AHL-bound forwards Jeremy Colliton, Mitch Fritz, Tim Jackman, Kurtis McLean and Trevor Smith. Goalie Yann Danis and defenseman Chris Lee were also sent down to Bridgeport.
Scottie Upshall, LW/RW, Philadelphia Flyers
2008/10/08: Flyers forward Scottie Upshall notched a goal in a 4-2 loss to the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms on Tuesday. INTEL: The 24-year-old played a career-high 61 NHL games in 2007-08. If he can stay healthy and put in a full season in 2008-09, he should improve dramatically on the 30 points (14-16-30) he posted a year ago.
Chris Lee, D, New York Islanders
2008/10/08: The Associated Press reports that Islanders defenseman Chris Lee was able to fly back to New York on Tuesday, a day after being carried off the ice on a stretcher after Panthers forward Rostislav Olesz drove him into the boards from behind in a 6-0 Florida win. INTEL: Unfortunately for Lee, once he returned to the Big Apple he learned that he had been shipped down to the Isles’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.
Simon Gagne, LW, Philadelphia Flyers
2008/10/07: Philadelphia winger Simon Gagne scored his first goal of the preseason in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. INTEL: The 28-year-old sniper is looking to get his career back on track after concussion-related symptoms limited him to just 25 games in 2007-08. Assuming he’s back at 100 per cent, Gagne should do some serious damage this year skating on the Flyers’ top line with Daniel Briere and Mike Richards.
Martin Gerber, G, Ottawa Senators
2008/10/07: Ray Emery may no longer be with the Senators, but just days after the opening of the 2008-09 season, it looks like a goaltender controversy could be brewing in Ottawa once again. On Saturday, the starter, Martin Gerber, played poorly in his season debut. A day later, backup Alex Auld was on top of his game in leading the Senators to their first win of the season. INTEL: However, as far as coach Craig Hartsburg is concerned, Gerber is the unquestioned starter. Speaking to TSN.ca, Hartsburg said, “It’s not a controversy… We brought Alex in here to be a real good goaltender and in that game he was. He’s here to support and be that guy behind Martin and he’ll give us quality games.”
Alex Pietrangelo, D, St. Louis Blues
2008/10/07: Rookie rearguard Alex Pietrangelo will open the season on the Blues’ roster, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. INTEL: The fourth-overall pick in the 2008 draft has looked very sharp in his first NHL training camp, notching five helpers in five exhibition tilts. If the 18-year-old plays 10 games this year, he’ll burn the first year of his entry-level contract, so look for the team’s brain trust to be forced to make another big decision in several weeks.
Boyd Devereaux, W/C, Toronto Maple Leafs
2008/10/07: Toronto forward Boyd Devereaux has been placed on waivers, reports TSN.ca. INTEL: The Maple Leafs have an excess of speedy, checking forwards who don’t score often, making the 30-year-old a non-factor during training camp. He’ll likely get an opportunity to try and resurrect his career in the AHL.
Aaron Downey, RW, Detroit Red Wings
2008/10/07: According to the Detroit News, the Red Wings have placed veteran Aaron Downey on waivers. INTEL: The Wings needed to trim roster space and the part-time enforcer did not have enough to offer. He’s probably headed for the AHL, but could be recalled if Detroit needs to add some toughness at a later date.
Jason Krog, C, Vancouver Canucks
2008/10/07: Former Hobey Baker winner Jason Krog has been placed on waivers by the Canucks, reports TSN.ca. INTEL: Despite posting 112 points (39-73-112) for Chicago in the AHL in 2007-08, Krog did not dazzle during training camp in Vancouver. He had a goal and an assist in five exhibition games and is likely headed back to the AHL if he clears waivers.
Quintin Laing, LW, Washington Capitals
2008/10/07: Capitals forward Quintin Laing cleared waivers on Tuesday, reports the Canadian Press. He was then sent to the team’s AHL affiliate in Hershey. INTEL: The 29-year-old minor league journeyman came close to earning a spot on the team, but he ended up being one of the final cuts.
Taylor Chorney, D, Edmonton Oilers
2008/10/07: Edmonton demoted defenseman Taylor Chorney to the AHL’s Springfield Falcons on Tuesday, reports TSN.ca. INTEL: The 21-year-old will get his first taste of AHL action in 2008-09. If he’s up to the challenge, he may be able to realistically compete for an NHL job in another year or two.
Alexander Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals
2008/10/08: An undisclosed “nagging injury” forced Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin from practice on Tuesday after just 15 minutes, reports the Canadian Press. INTEL: Later, at the team’s annual media day event, coach Bruce Boudreau was quick to calm the assembled scribes, saying, “”He’ll be OK. He’ll be playing Friday.” It’s a long season, so giving players some time off when they’re a bit banged up is always a smart call, particularly during the preseason. The Capitals face the Thrashers on Friday.
Sergei Zubov, D, Dallas Stars
2008/10/08: The Stars officially placed defenseman Sergei Zubov on injured reserve on Tuesday, reports TSN.ca. He has been sidelined since undergoing hip surgery in mid-September. INTEL: The original prognosis had the 38-year-old rearguard missing four to eight weeks. If that’s still accurate, he should be back between mid-October and mid-November. In the interim, Philippe Boucher should take over as Dallas’ powerplay quarterback.
Alexander Semin, LW/RW, Washington Capitals
2008/10/07: The Canadian Press reports that Washington forward Alexander Semin missed some practice time on Tuesday. INTEL: While the tight-lipped coaching staff was careful not to reveal any details pertaining to Semin’s exit, they did say he remains in the plans for the club’s season opener against Atlanta on Friday.
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