Bergfors signs... Skinner & Niederreiter make good impressions... Kabanov, not so much... Souray un-invited... Rivet recovered... nothing says hockey like rollerblading chicks in bikinis
The Thrashers re-signed RFA winger Niclas Bergfors... he had a fine rookie season with 21+23=44 in 81 games last year & led all rookies with 217 shots. He'll be on the Thrashers 1st or 2nd line this year but there's not a ton of talent to play with so we wouldn't expect much more than 50-55 points.
Carolina GM Jim Rutherford sounds pretty confident that his 1st round pick from this summer, Jeff Skinner, is ready to play in the NHL... "We have some spots open on our roster. If he plays the way we expect him to, he'll probably get one of those spots. ... I would suspect, with his determination and the way he plays the game, he's going to figure out how to make it right in his first year." Very encouraging if you own Skinner but we'd still be worried that he's only with the team for a nine game audition before being sent back to the OHL... the kid can score though and the Canes need guys like that.
Ditto for 5th overall pick, Nino Niederreiter, as the Islanders sound like they're going to keep him around for nine games and likely the whole season based on their recent history (with Bailey & Tavares) and what coach Scott Gordon had to say. [more]
At the other end of the Islanders prospect spectrum is Kirill Kabanov as they Islanders aren't too pleased with their 3rd round pick from this summer's draft after he showed up late for rookie camp yesterday... so it seems like he hasn't gotten his act together over the summer. I guess the plan is for him to go back to Jr. but we're not sure he'll last the whole season there. [more]
The Oilers have said, "Thanks, but no thanks" to Sheldon Souray and his offer to put in the past all the foul things he said about the organization this spring and they've told him not to bother showing up for training camp. This could get real interesting as it's going to be real difficult to find a team that will take him (they've been trying) so he could be in limbo for a while and could be looking at the prospect of starting out in the AHL this year.
Billy Guerin has accepted a training camp invite from the Flyers, so he'll try to make a team that is already loaded with forwards and barely has any cap space remaining... not likely but stranger things have happened.
Good news if you're a big Craig Rivet fan as his offseason shoulder surgery was expected to keep him out at the start of the season but the word is that he's ready to begin training camp and should be good to go for opening night. The bad news is that he's not much of a fantasy option unless you get off on his 100+ PIMs.
What's distracting us today?
- Get your laffs in... A hockey fan's guide to the NFL by DownGoesBrown.
- And now we bring the sexy... classic commercial for the FLA Panthers that we've never seen before (for the sake of your long-term hearing, please HIT THE MUTE BUTTON before you play the video... there's no audio anyway)