Angelo Esposito was, by all accounts, very impressive in his first day of prospect camp for the Penguins.
The latest strategy for NHL GMs is to not qualify their borderline players. The thinking is, in some cases, that if they are taken to arbitration they will be forced to pay them far too much. Whereas not qualifying them will mean they could actually sign them for less, while not going to arbitration. Granted, they could also lose the player, but if everybody does it...then they can always scoop up a guy of equal value. The net impact of this latest fad is that the rich get richer and the spread between top players and bottom players will widen. Eventually, teams will have four stars making $4 million per season or more, and 16 players making $800,000 or less.
TSN is reporting that Georges Laraques has injured his shoulder in the weight room and it could be fairly serious. More info as it comes.
Jaroslav Balastik, who has already signed to play another year in Europe, was not given a qualifying offer from the Blue Jackets and is a UFA as far as the NHL is concerned. In a bit of a surprise move, defenseman Aaron Johnson was not given a qualifying offer. Hitchcock really liked him.
Add Jamie Lundmark to the list of players who did not receive a qualifying offer. He will be a UFA. Of all his teams, he actually did fairly well in Los Angeles. The Kings also did not qualify goaltenders Barry Brust or Yutaka Fukufuji.
Brad Winchester of the Oilers was not given a qualifying offer and will become a UFA.
For info on the Keith Tkachuk trade, have a look at yesterday's ramblings - you'll be surprised by what you see, as nobody else is reporting it.
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