Yesterday at thn.com:
In his Top Shelf column, Ryan Dixon writes about the classy Canadiens organization and their knack for tying generations of fans together.
In his blog, Ken Campbell writes that the Devils’ fourth line will be a daunting one to line up against.
Ryan Kennedy writes that the Islanders are doing a good thing for their youth movement by allowing 2008 first round pick Josh Bailey stay with the big club to start the season, in his blog.
In the Fantasy Mailbag, Dobber answers your questions on Luongo, Marleau, under-the radar blueliners and more.
The THN.com Top 10 runs down some pre-season performances, good or bad.
James Neal, LW/C, Dallas Stars
2008/10/09: Promising Dallas Stars winger James Neal has been assigned to the Central Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Blazers. INTEL: Since Dallas doesn’t have an AHL affiliate at present time, their prospects will be scattered everywhere this year. Neal figures to see time in Dallas at some point this season.
Dustin Boyd, C/W, Calgary Flames
2008/10/09: In a surprising move, the Calgary Flames have assigned center/winger Dustin Boyd back to the American League’s Quad City Flames. INTEL: Boyd was one of the best Flames in training camp but was a victim of his two-way contract. Also, he didn’t have to clear waivers in order to be sent down. Somebody had to go, since veteran defenseman Rhett Warrener was placed on IR instead of being assigned to the ‘A.’
David LeNeveu, G, Anaheim Ducks
2008/10/09: The Anaheim Ducks have recalled third-string netminder David LeNeveu from the AHL’s Iowa Chops. INTEL: This move was strictly motivated by the salary cap. By adding LeNeveu’s salary to begin the season, the Ducks have more money to spend after placing winger Brad Larsen on long term injured reserve. Confused? Ducks GM Brian Burke is a lawyer for good reason.
Nikita Filatov, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
2008/10/09: The Columbus Blue Jackets have assigned Russian rookie winger Nikita Filatov to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. INTEL: Filatov was probably a victim of too many rookies up front at the same time in C-Bus, since Jakub Voracek and Derick Brassard will start the regular season with the Jackets. Filatov may reach the NHL at some point later this year.
Ben Eager, LW/RW, Chicago Blackhawks
2008/10/09: Blackhawks tough guy Ben Eager has been suspended three games by the NHL, reports the Associated Press. The 24-year-old is paying the price for his extremely ill-advised attempt to hit Dallas agitator Sean Avery with a swinging stick while seated on the Chicago bench last week. INTEL: With 340 penalty minutes in 120-career NHL games, Eager does have value for league’s that reward the PIM category.
Aaron Voros, LW/RW, New York Rangers
2008/10/09: Rangers coach Tom Renney has told the New York Post that he was impressed with the play of fourth-liner Aaron Voros during New York’s two wins over Tampa in Prague last weekend. INTEL: Those positive vibes could result in a bigger role for the 27-year-old winger. The comments could also have been meant as a wake-up call to struggling second-line winger Nigel Dawes.
Vladimir Sobotka, C, Boston Bruins
2008/10/09: According to the Boston Herald, the Bruins have sent young forward Vladimir Sobotka to their AHL affiliate in Providence. INTEL: The 21-year-old had a solid camp, scoring two goals with one assist in four preseason contests. Has the skill to be a top-six forward at some point, but needs to add a little more muscle to withstand the rigors of a tough NHL schedule.
Cam Barker, D, Chicago Blackhawks
2008/10/09: The Blackhawks’ decision to hold onto pricey goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin to open the season was apparently a big factor in the team’s decision to send defenseman Cam Barker down to the AHL. INTEL: Barker had been paired with All-Star Brian Campbell earlier in camp and looked like a lock to make the team. However, with Khabibulin’s big salary on the books, some tough choices had to be made.
Craig Rivet, D, Buffalo Sabres
2008/10/08: Newly acquired defenseman Craig Rivet obviously made his mark in Buffalo’s training camp over the past month. On Wednesday, the 34-year-old was named the Sabres’ captain for 2008-09. INTEL: The move should be a stabilizing measure for a young Buffalo team that went with a rotating captaincy last year. Rivet won’t notch many points on the score sheet, but he will score points with his teammates for his tenacious work along the boards and in front of the goaltender.
Antti Pihlstrom, LW/RW, Nashville Predators
2008/10/08: Winger Antti Pihlstrom was the Predators’ final cut on Wednesday and is headed back to Milwaukee in the AHL. INTEL: The versatile 23-year-old has the ability to play both wings, making him a player who could be back in Nashville at some point this season.
Aaron Downey, RW, Detroit Red Wings
2008/10/08: Red Wings forward Aaron Downey cleared waivers on Wednesday and will accept his assignment to Grand Rapids of the AHL, reports the Detroit News. INTEL: Downey’s physical approach to the game could earn him a promotion later in the season if Detroit’s skilled players begin getting pushed around too much.
Tomas Plihal, LW, San Jose Sharks
2008/10/08: The Sharks reportedly re-signed forward Tomas Plihal to a one-year deal on Wednesday. INTEL: The 25-year-old had a goal and an assist in four preseason games, almost matching his 3-point output (2-1-3) from 22 contests in 2007-08. He won’t see a lot of ice time skating on the fourth line, or even worse, watching from the press box.
Janne Pesonen, LW, Pittsburgh Penguins
2008/10/08: Pittsburgh has reportedly sent forward Janne Pesonen down to the AHL. INTEL: The 26-year-old Finnish winger, along with goaltender John Curry, were the Penguins’ final two cuts. Pesonen was a big time scorer in Finland, but he’ll need to bulk up a little bit if he hopes to get a shot in the much more physical NHL.
Ryan Parent, D, Philadelphia Flyers
2008/10/09: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Flyers defenseman Ryan Parent has a shoulder injury that will knock him out of action for between 12 and 14 weeks. INTEL: With the 21-year-old sidelined, Swiss rookie Luca Sbisa–the 19th pick in the 2008 draft–suddenly looks like he could start the season with the team.
Mike Fisher, C, Ottawa Senators
2008/10/08: Senators forward Mike Fisher continues to battle a sore groin and is questionable for Saturday’s tilt against the Red Wings, reports the Ottawa Sun. INTEL: The veteran forward will skate at practice on Thursday to get a better idea of his injury status. After Saturday’s contest, the Sens don’t play again until the following Friday so resting him this weekend be the prudent choice.
Paul Gaustad, C/LW, Buffalo Sabres
2008/10/08: As expected, the Sabres placed injured forward Paul Gaustad (thumb) on injured reserve on Wednesday, reports TSN.ca. INTEL: An intense competitor, Gaustad will likely miss the next three to four weeks. The move was made to get Buffalo down to the 23-man limit for the regular season.
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