They held a presser yesterday in Chicago where GM Dale Tallon unveiled his new prized possession, goalie Cristobal Huet. And again he's still trying to throw everyone off the scent by saying that he's fine keeping both Khabibulin and Huet on the team this year and he doesn't see any issues. He said, "We're going to do what's best for the Chicago Blackhawks." Oh really, well some people would probably dispute that statement since the team hasn't made the playoffs the last 5 years. He followed with, "If it's keeping Khabibulin, we'll do that." Once again, we'll call your bluff Dale, as we wrote back on July 28. Another funny quote from Dale, "I would think the first day after the signing he (Khabibulin) was probably taken aback by it, and rightfully so. No one saw this coming except our staff." Oh so you mean you didn't ask Khaby if it was OK if you signed another #1 goalie? well blow me over, that's a shock.
In addition to Chicago, there's going to be some interesting goalie battles in training camp and into the early part of the season:
Boston - Tim Thomas or Manny Fernandez... how bout neither & go with Tuukka Rask? Probably too early for him but not really big fans of either of the first two options.
Colorado - The yo-yo that is the career of Andrew Raycroft will have to be on a major upswing for him to challenge Peter Budaj. Wouldn't be surprised if they make an early deal for a veteran guy.
Edmonton - Will be a 3 headed battle between Garon, Roloson and Drouin-Deslauriers. Look for Roloson to be dealt early in the season.
LA - Take your pick, could be Labarbera, could be Ersberg, could be Bernier, won't be Cloutier (thank god).
St.Louis - Probably will end up in a platoon situation splitting time between Chris Mason and Manny Legace.
Tampa Bay - Should be an all out fight to the death battle between Olaf Kolzig and Mike Smith for the #1 job... and to the winner, you get the punishment of playing in front of this defense.
For those of you that care about PIMs (or just like the scraps) then rotoworld is reporting that Columbus tough guy Jared Boll broke his hand recently. He thinks it will be recovered by September when training camp starts but we'd think bashing your hand into someones helmet is the last thing you'd want to do when rehabbing a broken hand. Something to keep in mind for the guy who was second in the league last year in PIMs with 226.
We wrote back on July 13th about Atlanta possibly bringing dman Ilya Nikulin over from Russia this season but he's apparently back playing for Ak Bars Kazan in Russia, so its unclear whether they get him over here this year.
Distraction of the Day
What's distracting us today... so it was brought to our attention that ESPN is doing their own version of the Coach Rankings... well all we can say is, "Welcome to the party, so nice of you to show up. Oh and how lovely, you brought a 6-pack of watered-down PBR, that's fabulous." Well at Fantasy Hockey Scouts we have the Mega-Keg of Coach Rankings, & its so robust and full-bodied with notes of fantasy hockey superiority on the nose... we think the choice is obvious.