Nikolai Khabibulin has been put on waivers, so seems that GM Dale Tallon finally clued in to what we were telling him back on July 28th, that it just wasn't going to work having a $6.75M backup goalie. Apparently Chicago's been impressed with Antti Niemi in training camp and so that helped them make the decision that Khaby is expendable. They'll surely be looking to trade him but can't imagine there are many interested parties so he'll probably go to the minors and then they'll see if anyone is interested on re-entry waivers when the cap hit is a little more manageable. An interesting sub-plot here is whether Niemi or Corey Crawford will win the backup role, which we think is a pretty good spot to be given that Huet has never been a workhorse goalie who plays 65+ games... so there should be an opportunity for the either Niemi or Crawford to see some decent action this year.
Speaking of goalies... LA has sent Jonathan Bernier down to Manchester of the AHL, sorry if you thought he might steal the #1 job in camp.... looks like they'll go with Jason LaBarbera and Erik Ersberg for now (we think Ersberg is better and will take over the #1 job eventually) but Bernier could be back later in the year if there's an injury or he proves that he's ready.
Sergei Gonchar will have surgery on his shoulder and will be out 4 to 6 months... double ouch for Pittsburgh... good news for Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski who should be given the keys to a pretty sweet hot-rod PP. If you're a Gonchar owner then you'll have to decide if you want to hold on or there's a chance he doesn't play at all this year so you might want to consider dumping him.
Tampa Bay has started the monumental task that is getting their roster down to 13 forwards by trading Nick Tarnasky to Nashville for a draft pick and placing Michel Ouellet on waivers.
Peter Mueller had a hat trick and rookie Mikkel Boedker had a brace for Phoenix last night in exhibition action.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page which will give you a consolidated list of injury status):
- Pavel Datsyuk is out with a groin injury and has not played since the first game of the pre-season, its not considered serious but he could miss a few regular season games.
Raffi Torres is out for six weeks with a separated shoulder.
Distraction of the Day
What's distracting us today... the US economy is going into the shitter... good thing we've got all our assets tied up in safe investments like the Breakout Bible (so keep the sales coming) and numerous hockey pools... yeah, we know, there's huge counter-party risk in hockey pools cause you just never know if that friend-of-a-friend of yours, the GM of a team named Sofa King Awesome, is going to pay up when you win but hey, he looks infinitely more reliable and stable than a lot of banks or insurance companies right now, so we'll take our chances.... oh and I guess there's the risk that you won't win but that risk is de minimis.