J.Staal out 5-6 weeks... O'Sullivan & Morrison with nice opportunities at camp... Neal & Niskanen get deals done... still spots for Sbisa & Fowler in Anaheim
Bad news for Jordan Staal fans as he had more surgery on his foot the other day and will miss the next 5-6 weeks rehabbing it. Not sure if this throws a wrench into the plans of moving him up to the 2nd line with Malkin as they'll have to go with plan B for the time being but this definitely hurts Staal's breakout chances as he'll probably miss the first few weeks of the regular season. We're not that high on his offensive potential anyway, so this just gives us another reason to pass on him and let some other GM be the one who's disappointed.
Carolina has given Patty O'Sullivan a two-way contract... he'll come to training camp with a legit shot to make the team as the Canes only have about nine forwards that have spots locked down right now. Let's see how he does in training camp before we get too excited about this, and the two-way deal doesn't help, but he's got a lot of talent and could surprise in the right situation so keep your eye on him.The Canucks will have Brendan Morrison in training camp on a tryout... he could make the team as they could use a guy like him in the fourth line role that Kyle Wellwood occupied last year and BMo can still be effective if given a chance to fill in on a scoring line due to an injury... but he has to make the team first, so let's not get ahead of ourselves.
The Stars got deals done with RFA's James Neal & Matt Niskanen on the brink of training camp. Neal's a great looking young player who was a breakout last year with 27+28=55 and has great potential to be a six-category stud. He should line up with Brad Richards again but even sliding down to the second line with Mike Ribeiro is not a bad spot. Niskanen was a disappointment last year with only 15 points after breaking out with 35 points in 2008/09. The Stars didn't add any offensive blueliners in the offseason so it will be up to Robidas & Niskanen to supply that again... it would be hard for this kid to be as bad as he was last year so look for him to bounce back this year.
The Ducks signed UFA dman Paul Mara to a one-year deal... he has some offensive upside but seems to be more of a depth dman these days so we wouldn't be expecting much. His signing makes it a little bit more difficult for Luca Sbisa or Cam Fowler to crack the roster out of training camp but the Ducks still only have five dmen on one-way deals so there's definitely openings.
Anaheim also said yesterday that dman Toni Lydman is suffering from double-vision and is out indefinitely... this could potentially be serious but don't go expecting the worst right away, chances are he'll be back soon.
What's distracting us today?
- A very odd post from Hockey or Die featuring get-well-soon cards to Jordan Staal's foot... from other player's body parts. We couldn't make this stuff up if we tried folks.
- Just yesterday we posted a commercial of Jon Hamm talking all things St. Louis Blues. Then right after we see Mr. Hamm did an interview with the NHL Network where he picked his all-time Blues squad. Some odd picks (in his defense it looked like he was kind of put on the spot) but we're just pumped Don Draper knows who Craig Janney and Harold Snepsts are.