Wednesday, July 8, 2009

All Things Considered A Fair Amount of Hockey News Today....

If you've followed the blogsphere and wires already today there's nothing of real note here except two pieces of original content - the first item and my closing item....

First item - profuse apologies to any Carolina Hurricanes fans who read this blog - I don't know why I screwed up my post but I certainly did know that the Hurricanes made it to the THIRD round of the playoffs before bowing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion - those d%m# flightless birds from Steeltown.

Second item - After over 1,200 NHL games Claude Lemieux has decided to end his comeback attempt and I guess really hang up his skates again.

Third item - the next stops in the careers of several more unrestricted free agents was settled today.

A) The now former Montreal Canadiens Captain Saku Koivu is an Anaheim Duck after spending the last 14 years in Montreal and signing a one-year, $3.25 million deal .

B) It appears Detroit's Jiri Hrdler is off to Russia and the KHL with the Moscow Dynamo.

C) Rumors are that the Flyers' Antero Nittymaki is also off to the KHL as well.

Fourth item - The Chicago Blackhawks Restricted Free Agent "faux paux"/"controversy" is totally behind them now.

Fifth item - After loosing out on the "Monster" sweepstakes to Toronto, the Dallas Stars made a trade with the Senators, acquiring veteran netminder Alex Auld for a sixth-round pick next year. In Dallas, Auld will back up Marty Turco. At times last season, Auld was the No. 1 guy in Ottawa, going 16-18-1 with a .911 save percentage and 2.48 goals-against average. The Sens acquired Pascal Leclaire to be their #1 guy this past March.

Sixth item - The Caps will be having a "Convention" at National Harbor's Gaylord Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland on September 26th - I know I'll be there - will you?

Last item - okay so I'm updating my thoughts and forecast for next season's Caps lineup once again and here it is:

Mark's Crystal Ball Projected 2009/2010 Caps Lineup (7/8/2009)

1) Ovechkin - Backstrom - Knuble
2) Semin - Laich - Fehr****
3) Fleischmann - Nylander - Clark
4) Gordon - Steckel - Bradley
Reserves: Bourque, Osala, Beagle

Green - Morrisonn
Poti - Schultz
Pothier - Erskine
Reserves: Alzner, Carlson, Jurcina ****

Theodore, Varlamov
Reserve: Neuvirth


**** Eric Fehr will not likely be ready at the start of the season so look for Chris Clark and Matt Bradley to move up a line while Chris Bourque, Oskar Osala and Jay Beagle all get some NHL playing time and try on Caps sweaters.

**** Milan Jurcina is the only Capital who requested arbitration, given he was second on the team in hits (behind Ovechkin) and was a defensive leader in blocked shots I believe he'll return this coming season. I also recently was watching a replay of Game 2 against the Rangers and had to note how well he played when paired with Tom Poti, also both he and Alzner can prtty much play with anybody when they adjust their styles appropriately so I look for both them to get a fair amount of playing time this coming season. I look for Carlson to get a try or two up in DC when somebody is hurt.

Well it won't be long now before Development Camp starts and the season opener is just something like 14 weeks away ... I don't know about you but I'm starting to think more and more about hockey and I can't wait till we all get to cheer ---

LETS GO CAPS!! for the start of the 2009/2010 regular season.

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