Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Random hockey news...

Welcome to the 2007-08 NHL season. The NHL would lead you to believe that the season actually begins in late September when Anaheim takes on LA in London, but who cares. I officially declare today to be the beginning of the season. I am just that important that I can make such a decision. (Okay, so I just arbitrarily decided to make today the day since training camps are kicking off this week)

The onslaught of hockey news is undeniable. Everywhere you look, there are stories about players hoping to bounce back from a poor season, teams dreaming of playoff games, and rookies hoping to show everyone up and earn a spot in the big club. Oooo the excitement is almost unbearable...

Here are some of the hockey headlines today:

Scott Niedermayer has been suspended by the Anaheim Ducks for failing to show up for training camp. This decision is not surprising or unexpected - it is merely a formality. Scotty is still trying to decide whether he should suit up or hang up the skates, so Brian Burke had to suspend him so that Niedermayer's US$6.75M salary won't count against the cap.

I'm a little conflicted over this story. On the one hand, Niedermayer is a phenomenal player, a future Hall of Famer, and he deserves to have time to mull over his future in hockey. That being said, Scotty's indecision is not good for the team, and it ties Burke's hands. He has a huge salary that could be spent on another player if he retired, and should he stay and bring Selanne with him, Burke will have to juggle the roster to make everyone fit under the cap. The longer they hold out, the more difficult it will become.

Carey Price, future superstar Habs goalie, is looking to crack the Canadiens lineup this season, and I think that he just may do it. Sure, it's unlikely, but if anyone can do it, Price is the guy. He was spectacular at the 2007 World Juniors (which included a shiny gold medal and serious MVP honours), had a great season with the Tri-City Americans in the WHL, then started in goal for the Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL playoffs, leading the team to the Calder Cup and capturing MVP honours.

Guy Carbonneau, head coach of the Canadiens, said that Carey will only make the big team if he proves worthy to be the starting goalie. Should Huet remain the team's starting goaltender, Price will begin the season in Hamilton so that he can play tons of games and develop his skills.

Peter Forsberg is not even close to being NHL ready, but that hasn't stopped several teams from inquiring about his services. Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports that five of the six Canadian teams are hoping to lure Forsberg to their fine cities, but the chance of that materializing is slim to none. I have to concur with Dreger in that Forsberg will most likely land in Colorado or Detroit or Philly - if he returns to North America.

This is non-hockey related, but congrats to Perdita Felicien, who won the GOLD medal at the Intersport Gugl-Meeting today in Austria.

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