Most training camps will be opening today, so hockey season and more importantly, fantasy hockey season, are officially open!...
Rumours (from trustworthy sources) that Mathieu Schneider will likely be traded to LA soon with possibly Derek Armstrong going the other way... not sure that this will give Anaheim enough room to sign Selanne but it should be close.
So if there's one thing that Martin Havlat should be proficient at by this point in his career... its rehab (he's missed an average of 46 games a season over the past 3 years) but apparently he can't even get that right... GM Dale Tallon says that, "He's almost 100 percent, he said it's the best he has felt in a long time." Encouraging? Sure. But are we convinced? No way. Tallon went on to say that Havlat wouldn't play in the first four or five exhibition games. Let someone else pick this guy in your fantasy hockey draft, its not worth the headaches.
The Dallas d-core, which had major injury problems last year, is already banged up and training camp hasn't even started yet...
- Sergei Zubov had hip surgery yesterday and will be out for at least four weeks, maybe longer. Zubie had been a very durable player throughout his career but this combined with the 36 games he missed last year has to make you wonder if his body is starting to act its age (38). Don't downgrade him too much on your cheatsheet as he'll probably only miss a few regular season games due to this injury but you might want to have a solid plan B if you draft Zubie this year.
- Phillipe Boucher has been listed as day-to-day with a sore foot... doesn't appear to be too serious so don't worry too much about this.
Philadelphia's prayers were answered yesterday when they signed goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin to fill in as their backup goalie while Antero Niittymaki recovers.... seriously, we jest... but Aubin should be able to open the door on the bench for about 10 games and that should do the trick.
Jason Pominville signed a big-money extension with Buffalo yesterday... good for him, we love Pommer... in terms of fantasy hockey contributions, he'll give you everything except PIMs. His 2nd half last year was electric as the only players to put up more points post all-star break were Ovechkin, Malkin and Derek Roy. Draft this kid, most people don't think he's elite but his numbers say he is.... check out our free 2008-09 projected stats and rankings where we've pegged Pommer for 83 points, 18th amongst forwards.
Dilemma of the Day
Erik Johnson suffered a knee injury as a result of a freak golf accident while getting out of the golf cart. He had an MRI but they couldn't tell much due to the swelling. As of right now, St. Louis is saying that he'll miss the first 3 days of camp since that's when he'll probably have his next MRI. If your fantasy hockey draft is this weekend then this is the classic situation that every GM hates... a potentially serious injury that is not fully known on draft day. We're big on EJ, we have him as one of our top 20 dmen but its going to take a little more guts to make that pick on draft day. Best strategy is probably to knock him down a few pegs on your cheatsheet and wait an extra round before picking him and maybe someone else will jump in and take on that risk for you... if it turns out next week that he's fine then you can try to trade for him then but you don't want to be wasting a high pick on him and then find out on Monday that he's out 4-6 months.
Distraction of the Day
What's distracting us today... Absolutely outstanding story out of Egypt where a donkey was arrested and put in jail for stealing corn on the cob...
CAIRO (AFP) - An Egyptian donkey has been jailed for stealing corn on the cob from a field belonging to an agricultural research institute in the Nile Delta, local media reported on Thursday.
The ass and its owner were apprehended at a police checkpoint that had been set up after the institute's director complained that someone was stealing his crops, the state-owned Al-Ahram daily said.
The unnamed ungulate was found in possession of the institute's corn and a local judge sentenced him to 24 hours in prison. The man who had his ass thrown in jail got off with a fine of 50 Egyptian pounds (nine dollars).
How is it that the guy gets off with just a fine and the donkey goes to the big house? So what, in Egypt you can get off on a crime just by bringing an animal along and blaming it all on them... "ahhh, I swear officer my cat Mr. Bigglesworth made me do it".
How much do you want to bet that this was all just one Three's Company-esque misunderstanding... we can totally see it... dude and his donkey get caught stealing corn, they get arrested and go before a judge, the judge says... "Throw his ass in jail" & voila, we have an Egyptian jackass making headlines worldwide.
Still trying to confirm if this is actual police surveillance footage of the ass in question but if it is, who knows what else he's got under there... call the CIA, we think we know where Osama Bin Laden's been hiding.