Today, the National Hockey League and their fans witnessed a myriad of action, including a major trade, signing, hall-of-fame inductions, and the retirement of a marquee, veteran defenseman. Last week, TSN’s Bob Mackenzie said this coming week leading up to the draft would be busy, and boy was he right!
Early in the day the Bruins and Panthers swapped cornerstones when Florida traded center Nathan Horton for defenseman Dennis Wideman. This is a very even trade as the Bruins can use the offensive help, and the Panthers have always been in search of defense.
Then the NHL released all team schedules for the 2010-11 season, something that has been expected for the last few days. The Rangers will open up the season in Buffalo on October 9 and play one more road game against the Islanders before heading home for a Friday opening night against the Maple Leafs.
A few hours after that, it was then announced that the Montreal Canadiens re-signed center Tomas Plekanec to a six year/$30 million deal. He may be valuable to Canadiens fans, but I still think he is just a flash-in-the-pan and I thank them for making it so the Rangers would not seek to acquire him.
The Hockey Hall of Fame also announced their inductions for 2010, including two women, for the first time in the Hall’s history. Cammi Granato and Angela James will lead the way followed by the long-awaited induction of superstar Dino Ciccarelli. In the builder category, Jimmy Devellano and Darryl Seaman will be headed there.
For Dino, it is about time and the long delay was most likely because of problems he had with reporters and his personal life during his playing career. Although that should never be a factor, it was glaringly obvious when a player with more than 600 goals would have to wait 11 years.
The most recent piece of news, though, is actually kind of sad. Long-time Cup winning defenseman Scott Niedermayer will be hanging them up, as he announced his retirement today, following that of Rob Blake from the other day.
I do not remember a day in the offseason that wasn't Draft Day or July 1 that was as busy as this for the sport of hockey. We still have tonight left, and it will be interesting to see if any other moves are made. But for now, that’s my wrap-up.
Enjoy the rest of your evening.
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