Mac T on Robert Nilsson: "We have him pencilled in right now," said MacTavish. "It's up to him what he does with it, but we do have a spot for him. We saw him play last year in the playoffs in Wilkes-Barre. We need some power play help and he has the ability to do that. He needs a chance at the NHL level. He has to be deserving of that chance ... We feel like it's his spot to lose, for sure."
"Looking Ahead", a new feature on DobberHockey, is now up and running. You can find it via the menu on the left-hand side. Have a look - comments are welcome in the forum.
Derick Brassard had a big game in the Jacket's 6-4 loss to the Blues in their rookie game yesterday. He had a goal and two assists, while Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist. The official boxscore says Brassard had just two assists and Voracek two goals...but GM Scott Howson said the last goal should have went to Brassard. It is possible that Brassard will make this team...but don't count on it this year. Meanwhile, Kris Russell had a disappointing game, registering just one shot on goal.
The Thrashers have signed Riley Holzapfel to an entry level deal fully eight months before they needed to. They wanted it done before he had another huge season in junior - they even think he has an outside shot at a roster spot, but would likely need to beat out Brett Sterling for the job. I had Holzapfel ranked 244th on my Fantasy Prospects List because I felt he was a good five years away. I have slightly revised that number with this news and he will likely be in the top 150 when I update the list on Monday.
Keith Seabrook (shoulder injury) and Semen Varlamov (will stay in Russia) are not and will not be in camp for the Caps this month.
Radek Smolenak had a goal and two assists in Tampa's 6-4 loss to the Rangers in the prospects game. Smolenak, who had fallen all the way to 224 on my Fantasy Prospects List, has struggled these last couple of seasons and he was demoted to the ECHL last year. Riku Helenius gave up the six goals in that prospect game.
The Montreal media - all media, for that matter - seems to insist that Carey Price will make the Habs this season. Guy Carbonneau doesn't seem as optimistic - and I'm in that camp as well. Carbonneau will not allow him to be a backup, because he needs to play. Halak and Huet are a great 1-2 punch and they will be the 1-2 punch this year. If you recall, Price stumbled when he began his WHL season last year and it took a few games to smooth things out and start dominating. He needs, and will get, one more full year in the AHL.
The Red Wings have invited a pair of UFA veterans to camp, one of whom is Brent Sopel. His presence would pretty much put the final nail in the coffin of Jakub Kindl's hopes of cracking the roster this season.
Jiri Tlusty is bigger and stronger than a year ago, and his mastery over the English language is much improved. He feels that he is ready for NHL duty and he may be right, however the Leafs are too deep up front to rush him for this season. Despite being of junior age, he will play for the Marlies this season - I think it may have something to do with the fact that he is European that he is allowed to play in the AHL at 19. Feel free to email me with a correction to that assumption and I'll clarify the ramblings later if I'm wrong.
Anton Stralman had a goal and an assist yesterday in Toronto's 6-5 loss versus Pittsburgh in a battle of the prospects. The rearguard will have to hope for a trade or an injury to make room for him on the Leaf roster. Kris Letang scored the for the Pens and a prospect to keep an eye on - Tyler Kennedy - scored the shootout winner. Kennedy was the Baby Pens' rookie of the year last season.