Posts Tagged ‘Ilya Kovalchuk’

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Sites like Ebay help fuel the collectible market.  One can find just about anything on those sites, and sometimes for dirt cheap.  Surely every hockey fan has a random collectible that they scored for a bargain, whether it’s a jersey, action figure, or autograph.  The Whalers logo is one of the most sought after, thanks to their demise in 1997.  Likewise for Quebec and (the old) Winnipeg Jets.  Those three teams’ relocation in the mid-’90s, along with kids of that era being the most proficient with the internet, years later created a certain yearning.  If the internet was around in the ’80s, hockey fans would definitely be buying Atlanta Flames, Colorado Rockies, and California Golden Seals merchandise.

Anyone willing to pay for these monstrosities?

With the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg to become the (new) Jets, Thrashers gear is considered out of date.  NHL Shop is selling Thrashers premier jerseys for $80, which originally sold for $120.   (Authentics are on sale for $200, by the way.)  Only a $40 discount for a defunct team? Not only just for a defunct team, but Atlanta’s unis are downright ugly, consistently ranked near the bottom of the league.  But the league is trying to dump their stock of Thrashers apparel.  (Word to the wise: If you really want Thrashers gear, it might be better off to wait to see if NHL Shop slashes their prices.)

Will the Thrashers join the Whalers and Nordiques in ten years, in terms of collectibility?   (more…)

All summer, we heard about Ilya Kovalchuk and his contract status with the New Jersey Devils.  No need to rehash, but the $100 million contract he signed ($6,666,666 cap hit by the way) forced the Devils into a precarious position.  Over the summer they had to shed some salary to make it under the cap.  They tried to make it work, but unfortunately for them, many of their expensive players have No Trade or No Movement Clauses.  So Lou Lamiorello thought, okay, let’s just play with a short roster to make it work.  The team went with 18 skaters (plus two goalies), including only 11 forwards.
 

Lou thought he was being slick.


 
It seemed like the plan might actually work until the team took the ice for their second game on Saturday night against the Capitals.  After a 7-2 shellacking, the team learned defenseman Anton Volchenkov has a broken nose, and forward Brian Rolston would be out with a lower back injury.  This of course, came after fireworks in the game, when tough guy Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond instigated a fight in the final five minutes and got an automatic one game suspension.  This forced the Devils to play Pittsburgh Monday with only 15 skaters, 3 short than a team usually ices.  Teams have played with less than 18 skaters before, most noteably Calgary, who was ravaged with injuries late in 2008-09 and played with 15 skaters for their final games. (more…)

And another hockey season is upon us, which means…..*drumroll*..prediction time! Just to explain the below picture, I make my division picks on my basement fridge every year.  Last season, in addition to four of six division winners, I had two of the final four teams correct (Chicago, Philadelphia, with the Flyers making the finals).  However, I’d rather not say who I had winning last year.  Without further ado, here are the picks, with playoff picks.

The Fridge of Destiny

Starting with the Atlantic Division, the Flyers would be the team to beat coming off a Stanley Cup run, but questions in goal could derail division title hopes.  Pittsburgh will edge the Flyers, but lack of winger scoring could hurt them in the long run.  Both teams will keep a distance between them and New Jersey.  Jersey will hope for one more run from Marty Brodeur, but it won’t be this year.  The signing of Ilya Kovalchuk drained payroll, and the Devils will have to play with a short roster, or will have to waive some veterans.  The Islanders will be improved, but without Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo for a large chunk of time, playoffs won’t be on the radar this year, but they’ll give the rival Rangers a tough time, who’ll miss the playoffs a second straight year, and fans will still demand Glen Sather be fired.  At least Wade Redden won’t be the scapegoat this season for the Blueshirts.

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All summer, we sat through the draft and free agency; we’ve suffered through the Kovalchuk debacle and it’s finally time to kick off some real hockey.  Yes, it’s preseason, but the preseason is just a sign that the real thing is right around the corner.

9 games kick off the NHL preseason schedule tonight, including two split squad games between Calgary & Vancouver.  The Eastern Conference Champion Philadelphia Flyers take on the rival New Jersey Devils tonight in a rematch from last year’s first round (live on the NHL Network). Flyers fans get to see their first look at hyped goalie prospect Sergei Bobrovsky in his first NHL action since being signed by the club in March.  The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks (or what’s left of them) open their preseason tomorrow night in Winnipeg against the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Yesterday, the NHL announced that the NHL Network will show 35 preseason games, most of them in HD and half will be live.

Last week, teams started training camps, both for the rookies and veterans.  One may find it odd that teams just started camp recently and are already playing games.  In today’s NHL, players prepare during the summer and don’t need much time to get ready for the start of the season.  Most guys come into camp in shape and ready to go.

For fans who didn’t get a chance to see their teams in training camp, they will be able to see new players and some prospects during preseason.  Also, it gives veterans looking for jobs by a tryout an opportunity to make a roster.  One of those guys is Bill Guerin, trying out with the Flyers.  It looks like the Flyers are doing everything in their power to make sure that Guerin makes the team, giving him #9 (which was previously promised to Nik Zherdev) and moving his locker into the middle of the room.  However, if Guerin makes the team, the Flyers will have to move someone, so training camp may decide who the odd man out is.

The road to the Stanley Cup begins tonight. Will your team be the last one standing?