Want to know how not to start a season? Look at the Montreal Canadiens for a perfect example. Booing your starting goaltender 15 minutes into his first preseason game? Classy. While letting in 4 goals in 8 shots isn't great you can't exactly blame him for 3 of them. Does Montreal want another Patrick Roy situation on there hands because that is where things are headed if they don't let up. How hard would it be to be Price in this situation? On one hand you have people saying you are the next coming of Patrick Roy and then on the next hand they turn on you after one mistake and start saying that trading Halak was the wrong choice.
I'm sure most of you have heard but if not, the Rangers sent Redden down through waivers to the AHL. He wasn't claimed (surprise, surprise) but has been given permission to go seek a European team to play for should he not want to play in the AHL according to the New York post. According to reports he now has a choice. Either he reports to the team and plays for Hartford Wolfpack getting paid 6.5 million dollars to do so, or not report and not get paid that much. Not as easy a choice as you think. 6.5 million is a lot of money for anyone but playing in the minors is not a particularly appealing option for a guy who has played in the NHL for 13 years now. Now don't believe reports that if he doesn't show up the contract is voided. The NHL does not clauses like that in the CBA. The Rangers just don't have to pay him then and he becomes a player who cannot sign with any other teams and does not get paid. My guess is that he plays for the Wolfpack earning his money (which the Rangers did willingly give him, and really why would you turn that down) and playing for a chance to be called up and picked up by another team or traded to a team willing to take a chance on him. He isn't a bad player and is quiet good defensively but his cap hit just can't be justified in New York.
What about those Oiler rookies? Oiler fans be happy. Be very happy. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paarjavi and Linus Omark are special players. They are going to be very exciting to watch. Paarjarvi is still my pick to win the Calder but really any of those 4 could have chances (even outside chances). The Oilers have a step up on everyone in that race. On another hand, how does the Hall-Horcoff-Eberle line look? If those two can get Horcoff to play up to his talent level the Oilers could have 3 pretty good scoring lines. Penner-Gagner-Hemsky and Paarjavi-Cogliano-Brule could make the team really fun to watch. If the 8-2 shellacking of a thin Vancouver preseason squad is any indication, watch out.
A surprise out of the preseason so far, albeit one that has gone under the radar, has been Zach Kassian of the Sabres. The sky is the limit for him and he could turn out to anther mid-round steal for the Sabres. He is the perfect player for the Sabres and has many drawing comparison to a first season Milan Lucic. One Buffalo blogger even made the far out comparison to Wendel Clark. The thing is, Kassian has the skills to actually fulfill that. I'm betting he reaches the 20 goal, 200 PIM mark this season and quickly becomes a Buffalo fan favorite and the player every North East team wants but hates to play against.
Some teams are really pushing the limits on being cap compliant. According to my limited knowledge of the CBA, teams must be cap compliant by October 1st of the upcoming season or suffer the consequences (consequences that are not set out under the CBA so they become arbitrarily decided by the NHL if such a situation comes up, which I'm willing to bet they never expected and as such just skipped any clear guidelines). Teams such as New Jersey (over by almost 3 million), Vancouver (over by 3.1 million), Calgary (over by 2.35 million), Toronto (over by 275 thousand), Boston (over by 3.1 million) or Colorado (under by 200 thousand, or more with the Mueller injury) all need to be compliant.Teams like Vancouver, Boston and Calgary should be safe with injuries to current big salaried players and Toronto is only over because of assumed max bonuses (which don't actually get calculated to the end of the season, which is why Toronto, Chicago and other teams were punished for going over because of bonuses last season). New Jersey still needs to clear space and Colorado needs to add to it. It will be interesting to see what happens.
That is all for this week. Hope you enjoyed. Please comment.
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