When Does NHL Training Camp Start?
The NHL needs Sidney Crosby healthy and playing for the start of the season. Somethings not right when the best player in the game, is not in the game. After two big hits from big boys Dave Steckle and Victor Hedman in early January, Crosby continues to feel post concussion symptoms. The league has finally taken a tougher stance on headshots (#Lafontaine #Lindros) and with new judge Brendan Shannahan taking the reign it's on the right path. The speed and physical play is part of the game and is why people love it but the players must be protected and there must be a consistency at the NHL offices.
Must be a nice feeling going from rags to riches as a fan. So when Terry Pegula natural gas tycoon took over the Buffalo Sabres, Sabres fans started seeing immediate dividends. Christian Erhoff, cha ching (40 million), Ville Leino, cha ching (26 million) trade for quality defenseman wha-lah (#Robyn Regeher). Mixed with a world class goalie and plenty of scoring power up front (#Vanek, #Roy, #Pomminville) lock for the playoffs.
The big fish free agent goes to the New York Rangers in Brad Richards. The 2004 Conn Smyth trophy winner with the Tampa Bay Lightning signed a 9 yr deal for 60 million to play in the Big apple and reunite with former coach John Tortarella. It fills a big need for the Rangers as they've been lacking that first line center (#Prospal) to ignite sniper Marian Gaborik. With the big lights comes pressure and Brad Richards will have to stay healthy to justify a 9 yr deal.
It's been a rough summer for New York Islanders fans as always. First Christian Erhoff follows the trend of No Thanks Long Island ( Kirk Muller, Ryan Smyth, Paul Martin , entire league). Then a proposal for a new arena to replace the ancient Nassau Coliseum gets crushed down by nassau county residents ( #politics as usual) followed by a potential horrific new looking third jersey. (#fishsticks) Can we start training camp NOW?
With an arbitrator awarding Shea Weber 7.5 million for one season, Drew Doughty market price has just been set. Will see if tough guy GM Dean Lombardi (#Dirty Harry) can lock up boy wonder before training camp, or if it will be a fight to the death of the season. Remember both these studs were on the ice in key situations in the Olympics in 2010 when Canada won the gold medal on it's home ice in Vancouver.