Archive

Archive for September, 2010

Sep
30

Today, The Toronto Sun and other news outlets report that the Edmonton Oilers have placed both Sheldon Souray and backup goalie Martin Gerber on waivers. This marks the second time the Oilers have placed the disgruntled Souray on waivers in hopes that another NHL team will acquire him. If not, the team may send him down to Oklahoma City of the AHL as they did last season. Likewise, if Gerber also clears waivers, the Oilers could send him to Oklahoma City where he’d share the net with Jeff Deslauriers or Devan Dubnyk.  

Meanwhile, the Oilers’ No. 1 goaltender, Nikolai Khabibulin, is expected to resume his duties between the nets this season. As you may recall, early this month Khabibulin was sentenced to 30 days in jail for a DUI conviction in Scottsdale, AZ back in February. In addition to jail time, the judge also required Khabibulin to pay a fine of $1,500 and attend an alcohol education program. However, Khabibulin’s attorney said he planned to appeal the sentence, which could take months or years to get underway.

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Sep
28

Early in the third period Saturday night following a go-ahead goal by the Carolina Hurricanes Jeff Skinner, teammate Sergei Samsonov was tripped by Chicago Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien and sent crashing head-first into the dasher boards. Samsonov lay motionless on the ice for a few minutes and then was taken off by stretcher and transported to a nearby hospital. Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said that Samsonov could feel his extremities when he left the ice and should be fine.

In other Hurricanes news, Saturday also saw the debut of Jared Staal playing for the first time with his eldest brother and team captain Eric Staal. Although during the summers the Staal brothers see each other at home in Thunder Bay, Ontario, it isn’t often that they get to see one another during hockey season. “Finally getting to play with my older brother should be a cool experience,” Jared said Saturday morning.

With Eric and Jared both playing for Carolina, Jordan playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Mark playing for the New York Rangers, hockey fans can expect to see a lot of the talented Staal brothers this season.

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Sep
28

The Chicago Blackhawks announced Monday that goaltender Cristobal Huet has been assigned to HC Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss National League A. Huet began last season as Chicago’s starting net minder but lost the spot to Antti Niemi who led the team to the Stanley Cup championship.

As we reported earlier this summer, Niemi was not re-signed by the Blackhawks due to salary cap issues, so it was doubtful that the team would retain the services of Huet who earned approximately $2 million more per season than did Niemi. Deciding to go in a different direction, the team signed veteran Marty Turco this summer to be the team’s No. 1 in goal.

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Sep
27

It looks as though we have our first suspension of the season. On Friday, Sept. 24, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Nick Boynton was slapped with a one-game suspension for making a throat slashing gesture at Blair Jones of the Tampa Bay Lightning during a pre-season game on Wednesday, Sept. 22. Boynton received a game misconduct for the incident which happened at 13:04 of the second period. As stipulated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Boynton will forfeit $2,688.17 based on his annual salary and will miss the Blackhawks’ October 7 game opener.

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Sep
23

Just when you thought you’d had enough of the Crosby vs. Ovechkin “rivalry,” it’s being turned into a TV show and coming to a cable network near you. That’s right. HBO will air a four-episode series as part of its “24/7″ reality show documenting the lead-up to the 2011 Bridgestone Winter Classic on Jan. 1 featuring the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins (surprise). The show will, of course, focus on league darling Sidney Crosby and fan favorite Alex Ovechkin. The series will debut on Dec. 15 at 10 p.m. ET with an encore at 11. Subsequent episodes will air at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesdays on Dec. 22, 29 and Jan. 5 with encores at 11.

While I’m sure neither Crosby nor Ovechkin would admit to giving each other a thought, there may be times during the season where they take note of where the other is in the run for the Richard Trophy or placement of their respective teams in the Eastern Conference standings. However, it seems the NHL’s front office feels the league gets mileage out of fueling a fire that may or may not be burning.

Let me go on record as saying that Alex Ovechkin is not only the best all-around player in the NHL, but he’s also the most exciting to watch.  No other player can match him for showmanship and enthusiasm for the sport. He’s hands down one of the best ambassadors of the game. Fans throughout the league will admit that regardless of whom their favorite teams may be.

In contrast to Ovechkin, there’s Sidney Crosby. The fans of 29 teams in the league are tired of having the pouty-lipped, overly-hyped, overly-indulged spoiled brat shoved down their throats (there, I said it).  ”The face of the league” is not the example of sportsmanship that we are led to believe. Anyone who’s ever watched a Penguins game can tell you that he always spears opponents after the whistle has blown to end play. When he doesn’t get his way, he throws and on-ice tantrum. Crosby is the Golden Child who can do no wrong no matter how he transgresses and like Gretzsky before him, he has a league-sanctioned goon (namely, Matt Cooke) to protect him. I can say without a doubt that Crosby is hated as much if not more than Sean Avery just on GP, so what’s the likelihood that most hockey fans are looking forward to “The Ovi and Sid Show”? I can’t answer that, but I can tell you that this fan sure won’t be watching.

– CeeCee

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