One more shot: Players trying to come back (S. Burnside, NHL.com)
Every year at this time, the air in NHL cities is full of shimmering dust mites.
The mites are called hope. Those glittering specks of expectation shine for the likely and the unlikely all the same. They also shine for those players who hope for one last shot at glory or redemption or, heck, just another paycheck.
No rush for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (K. Campbell, thehockeynews.com)
The way Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was stroking his face, it’s a good thing the Edmonton Oilers don’t figure on an extended playoff run anytime soon. “I don’t shave around here,” he said, rubbing his cheeks and his chin. Then moving to the upper lip, he said, “I have to shave here a couple of days a week, but not much more than that.”
Dropping the gloves on ‘respect’(J. Marek, sportsnet.ca)
In Thursday’s Puck Daddy series, “Hockey Guilty Pleasures,” I listed this ‘91 Ryan Vandenbussche/Tom Sullivan fight my favourite of all time and stand by it. One thing I’m planning on doing in The Sheet blog is highlight some of the best fights I’ve come across in hockey at every level and also do a series blowing up this idea that respect ever existed in the game of hockey. Not sure about you but one of my pet peeves is hearing people talk about how once upon a time, players had respect for one another when they played hockey unlike the punks of today’s game.
Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Spooner among talented youngsters earning spots on preseason top 10 Bruins prospects list (Douglas Flynn, NESN.com)
The Bruins built much of the foundation for their Stanley Cup championship by drafting and developing key contributors to that title run. Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand were among the standout playoff performers who came up through the Bruins’ system.
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Ten candidates for a bounce-back season (John Kreiser, NHL.com)
Disappointing seasons happen to almost everyone. Sometimes they’re because of injuries, sometimes they’re just bad luck, and other times they are a combination of circumstances.
Sabres re-sign defenseman Gragnani to one-year contract (AP, TSN.ca)
The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed defenceman Marc-Andre Gragnani to a one-year contract. Gragnani was a restricted free agent, whose rights were retained by the Sabres in June. He’s an offensive-minded player who had a goal and six assists in seven games to lead Buffalo in a first-round, seven-game playoff series loss to Philadelphia in
NHL teams need to have an image (Adam Proteau, thehockeynews.com)
If you cultivate an appearance that resonates negatively with people, there will not necessarily be blood, but there will be a backlash making your path less pleasant to traverse. But at a time in history where entertainment options are myriad and serve to splinter off segments of society into tiny target groups, there is a sin worse than being stuck with a bad image: having no image at all.
Oilers hope youth is ready to lead run at playoffs (S. Feldman, NHL.com)
Through it all, the Oilers have positioned themselves nicely for the future by developing a crop of young talent, highlighted by Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the No. 1 selections in the 2010 and 2011 Entry Drafts, respectively, and complemented with other high first-round picks such as Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi and Sam Gagner.
Wisconsin’s Craig Smith could be Predators next star (K. Allen, USAToday.com)
Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz has given rookie center Craig Smith a promise and a challenge regarding his expectations to play in the NHL this season. “I do believe he will play games for us this season,” Trotz said. “I just don’t know whether it will be two, 22, 42, 62 or 82.”
Rules of engagement (J. Marek, Sportsnet.ca)
Next week, the NHL will hold its second annual research and development camp in Toronto as the league looks to continually “massage” the sport. Some would say “improve” but considering how the taste of every single hockey fan differs, we all know this is impossible. So the sport that is constantly in a state of change will once again try out some new concepts using elite-level junior players.
Alexei Kovalev to play in Russia (Scott Burnside, ESPN.com)
Veteran winger Alexei Kovalev has signed a two-year deal to play with Atlant Mytischi of the Kontinental Hockey League. Kovalev last played with the Pittsburgh Penguins after being dealt by the Ottawa Senators at the trade deadline last season.
Coyotes Re-Sign Tikhonov to One-Year Contract (TSN.ca Staff, TSN.ca)
The Phoenix Coyotes have re-signed forward Viktor Tikhonov to a one-year, two-way contract. The 23-year-old native of Riga, Lativa, set career highs with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage last season, posting 23 assists, 33 points and 26 penalty minutes in 60 games. He appeared in 61 games for the Coyotes during the 2008-09 season, registering eight goals, eight assists and 20 penalty minutes.
Still play in Mr. Grey (Mike Brophy, Sportsnet.ca)
The NHL is a young man’s game but there are some older players keeping up with the kids.
Ducks extend Carlyle through 2013-14 season (D. Rosen, NHL.com)
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle has presided over a winning atmosphere in Anaheim since 2005. It doesn’t appear his reign will end any time soon. The Ducks announced Monday that Carlyle has signed a new three-year contract that will take him through the 2013-14 NHL season.
New Blackhawks Carcillo, Brunette eager to help team rebound from disappointing season (Canadian Press)
Daniel Carcillo is ready to stir it up in Chicago. The Blackhawks signed Carcillo, one of the NHL’s best-known agitators, to a one-year US$775,000 free-agent contract July 1. The 26-year-old forward was introduced to media Monday, along with fellow free-agent acquisition Andrew Brunette.
Report: Selanne to Make Decision on Return in September (TSN.ca)
As the Anaheim Ducks begin to prepare for the upcoming season, the future of Teemu Selanne will remain up in the air until September. According to Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, Selanne will make his decision to play this season no sooner than next month as he continues to recuperate from knee problems that he experienced last season.
Red Wings put Coyotes on the brink with 4-2 win (NHL.com)
The Red Wings went into Monday’s Game 3 feeling if they could survive the first 10 minutes against the Coyotes and their hyped-up, white-clad crowd, they would be in great shape to take total command of this Western Conference Quarterfinal series.
Downie, Kunitz to have NHL disciplinary hearings on Tuesday (TSN.ca)
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz has a 10 a.m. ET disciplinary hearing with the NHL on Tuesday for his elbow on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Simon Gagne, while Gagne’s teammate Steve Downie will speak with the league right after to address his charge on Ben Lovejoy.
Raffi Torres in clear for hit (NHL.com)
Despite anger from the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks forward Raffi Torres will not face further discipline for his hit on Brent Seabrook Sunday night. Torres, who had just returned from a four-game suspension for a similar hit on Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle, laid out Seabrook with a shoulder-to-head hit midway through the second period. The Canucks won 3-2 to take a 3-0 series lead.
Briere’s hot streak leads Flyers to top in the east(NHL.com)
The littlest Flyer is making a huge impact in Philadelphia again. After a disappointing regular season Danny Briere led all scorers in last spring’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, helping the Flyers get to Game 6 of the Final after barely qualifying for the postseason. Briere has built on that performance to become one of the big guns on the top team in the Eastern Conference.
Wild rebound on Anton Khudobin’s first career shutout (ESPN.com)
The Minnesota Wild are the only blemish on the Vancouver Canucks’ division record. Anton Khudobin stopped 32 shots for his first career shutout and Minnesota beat Vancouver again, 4-0 Sunday night.
Capitals score three in third, come back to beat Senators (TSN.ca)
The Ottawa Senators limited Washington’s scoring chances in the first two periods. The Capitals, who’ve been struggling on offence, didn’t panic and finally broke through in the third. John Carlson and Brooks Laich scored in a 45-second span in the third period to help the Washington Capitals rally for a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.
Today in Bruins History…
2003 - The Tampa Bay Lightning score three shorthanded goals in a 4-2 win over Boston in Tampa Bay.
Your late edition Morning Reading and Around the League (Buffalo centric). JB
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