Blake may leave, Nabby may return... the SEL MVP comes to Broadway... some prospect signing news... a great commercial from the NHL
It's starting to sounds like Rob Blake won't be coming back next year. According to a 'source familar with the situation' the 40-year-old Blake has made his mind to hang 'em up but hasn't made an official announcement yet. If you were depending on Blake for next year you might want to start thinking of a Plan B.
Sticking with the Sharks, sounds like Evgeni Nabokov wants to c
ome back. Nabby said "Let’s face it, the mission is not accomplished yet." We would say there's a 50-50 chance that he'll be back next year. It's looking like the ball will be in the Sharks court and but it's not like the Sharks can easily replace him. On the Sharks he's one of the better goalies to own out there.
Alex Frolov days with the Kings appear to be numbered since GM Dean Lombardi didn't sound too positive on his chances of retaining the winger. This could be a good thing as the Kings are loaded with young talent so Frolov's departure could open up a spot for somebody like Brayden Schenn. Frolov is also rumoured to have an offer from an un-named KHL team... so there isn't even a guarentee he will be in the NHL next year.
The Islanders signed Brandon Wheat King Travis Hamonic to an entry level deal yesterday. He was one of the stars of Brandon's team and looks like he'll be a solid NHLer one day. He is ranked as the 3rd best prospect in the Isles system and is very solid in his own zone... ask Taylor Hall. His defensive skills could get him to the big show fairly quickly but it should take a few years for his offense to come around.
The Rangers signed Mats Zuccarello Aasen from Modo in the SEL to a two year deal. He was the MVP of the SEL last year and was one of Norway's stars at the Olympics. He picked up an impressive 23+41=64 last year but the question with him will be if he can handle the NHL game... he tips the scales at 5-foot-9 & 170 pounds. A name to keep in mind, but he's a long shot to produce at the NHL level.
Pittsburgh signed 2009 4th rounder Nick Petersen to a 3 year entry level deal. He had some decent seasons in the Q and he even compared his own game to Corey Perry's. Ummm, just for the record Perry scored 113 points in 66 games his third year of junior... Petersen had 79 in 59. He's no Corey Perry and he's got a long way to go before fantasy leaguers will need to know his name.
The Red Wings also signed one of their prospects as they inked defender Brendan Smith to a three year entry level deal. He was their 1st rounder (27th overall) in 2007. He has had some good to great seasons in the NCAA and projects as a offensive defenseman. He'll need to get stronger to make it to the NHL but he could be a staple on the Detroit PP one day.
The Habs signed unrestriced free agent Kyle Klubertanz from the SEL. He was a former Ducks draft pick (3rd round in 2004) who was released but revivied his career with a breakthrough campaign in the SEL last year. He finished the year second on Djurgarden in points with 31 in 55 games. Even though he's a late bloomer he's only 24 so there's plenty of time left. He'll begin next season in the AHL.
Like the Flyers or Hawks would be saying anything if their players are banged up.
What's distracting us today?
- The Hockey News with a story about Alex Galchenyuk... the top pick in the OHL draft last month.
- Carey Price is a good guy again... who knew? The Habs are going to have some tough decisions with their goaltending this summer.
- According to Bob McKenzie the Winter Classic (and Ovie) are coming to Heinz Field.
- Jesus Saves Souls, Niemi Saves Goals... further proof Chicago has Blackhawk fever.
- Banging Panger with a tongue-in-cheek look at the stupidest NTC's from each team.
- Great commercial from the NHL to get us pumped up for Saturday night: