Elliotte Friedman's update on the current state of affairs - sounds like a long way to go if and when a deal is to be made.
Dallas Stars prospect Cristopher Nihlstorp has been lights out over the past few weeks and seems to have unseated Jack Campbell for the startging gig with the Texas Stars.
Nihlstorp could play his way into a backup role behind Kari Lehtonen in the near future (Richard Bachman currently holds the position).
He stopped 24 of 25 shots against the Admirals last night, and has won six of his last eight starts. In his last nine appearances, he has a stellar .933 save % to go along with a 1.84 GAA.
Cody Eakin leads Texas in scoring with 13 points in 20 games - the team has struggled a bit out of the gate, but they are playing much better of late.
I am curious to see what comes out of Edmonton regarding Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ shoulder. They wouldn’t have brought him in to Edmonton if it was nothing. I have a hunch it is more serious than they are letting on.
Alternatively, this could be there way of delaying his World Junior decision to see what transpires at the NHL meetings this week. If the NHL resumes in late January, the Oilers won’t want their top line center playing in Ufa, Russia along with the rest of team Canada.
Speaking of shoulders, Derek Roy is right on track for a return in a few weeks. He is going to begin practicing with the AHL’s Texas Stars very soon. I am curious to see how he does – he hasn’t been fully healthy in almost two years (he played with the shoulder issue last year, and didn’t have his usual speed after tearing a quad muscle the season before).
“I think it depends on his four days of practice there. I think he’s getting real close,” said Nieuwendyk. “We’ve been skating with him in Frisco and he’s partaking a little bit in our alumni skates. He’s getting stronger every day.”
Is Malcolm Subban Canada’s next great goaltender?
You have to go back to probably 2007 and Carey Price as the last true #1 goalie who went the distance for Canada. Everyone remembers the tournament he put on, especially in defeating the USA in a shootout en route to a gold medal and tournament MVP honours.
Subban has certainly made a good case to assume that role going into the selection camp. He was the best goalie in the summer Canada-Russia Challenge, winning all of his starts and was also impressive in his play in the recent Subway Super Series.
Claude Giroux remains in North America, but he is doing well recovering from a neck injury. He has recently returned to the gym and started skating lightly, too. I’m not really sure if the injury is that serious, or if Giroux/Flyers are being extra cautious because of the concussion he suffered last season.
Portland Winterhawks rookie Oliver Bjorkstrand has made a quick adjustment to the WHL.
A 5-foot-10.5, 167-pound right wing, Bjorkstrand leads all first-year Western Hockey League players with 14 goals, and is tied for the top spot in points with 27. His four power-play goals are tied for second on the Winterhawks, and he has a plus-20 rating in 28 games.
It always impresses me when 16 and 17-year-old kids make such a quick adjustment to not only a new league, but a new country and culture after coming over from Europe. Really speaks volumes to their maturity.
Minnesota Wild prospect Mikael Granlund is ready to return to the Houston Aeros lineup after missing 12 games with an ankle injury. The Aeros next game is on Friday night.
My latest fitness posts:
Looking for Christmas present ideas? Here is a comprehensive list of the best hockey books out there. My favorite hockey book is ‘Tropic of Hockey.’
This book, better than any other I have read, shows why the sport of hockey has captivated so many people. Fans fall in love with the game without knowing the slightest rule or fact about it, and players all around the world (literally everywhere) are united by one thing – their love of a fresh sheet of ice, a puck, and a stick.
It is going to be really interesting to re-do projections for players if we do indeed end up with a 40-60 game season. Who does this favor? Do players who have been resting/working out have the edge because they are less fatigued, or will their rust be noticeable for a lengthy period of time?
Congrats (again) to Bowlercoaster, who captured his second straight DobberHockey contest with a fantastic poem submissionn. Here is what he wrote on “the greatest goaltender of all time.”
Drafted very late, as legends often are,
Chicago had no clue, they had a future star.
Maybe that is why, they traded him away,
For one Stephan Beauregard, and one Eric Daze.
He quickly became the starter, replacing coked out Fuhr.
It was obvious to all, a franchise goalie was here.
Up front there was Peca, Lafontaine and the nameless rest;
But in goal is where the Sabres shone, it's where they had the best.
Ted Nolan came in to coach the team, he won at the awards show,
But the goalie couldn't stand him, so Nolan had to go.
In ninety-nine the Sabres went deep, so close to the cup.
But cheating Hull scored in the crease and the window to win was shut.
Tired of doing everything, all on his own,
The goalie went to Detroit, and made it his home.
Stevie Y and Nick Lidstrom, truly an all star team!
Assembled with a budget Darcy Regier would never see.
Finally the cup was his, carried over his head,
Later he'd steal Cujo's job, and his career would soon be dead.
Six Vezinas and two Harts, just some window dressing,
The reason he is the best can be a bit depressing.
The year was ninety-eight, NHLers in Nagano,
Team Canada the favourite, all ready to go.
Staying up to watch the game, who could possibly sleep?
Hasek is our bogeyman, he made the nation (and Wayne) weep.