News Updates: August 11, 2008

11 Aug

Lets get right to it.

This passed me by yesterday, but I felt it was still important enough to note. Brayden Schenn and the Under-18 Team Canada squad beat the Czech Republic in another exhibition to prepare for the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament (NHL.com). Schenn scored two goals in the victory just days after teammate Taylor Hall netted a hat trick.

Team Canada will open tournament play Tuesday against Switzerland.

Gordon

Gordon

As noted in the news updates from the weekend, the New York Islanders have narrowed their coaching search down to three men. E.J. Hradek of ESPN.com wrote on his blog that he believes Scott Gordon will get the offer.

“Yeah, I know Gordon doesn’t have any previous NHL head-coaching experience. He has spent the last five seasons working behind the bench in Providence. In that role, Gordon has been dealing with young players, trying to get them ready for the next step.”

He continues:

“On Long Island, where Snow (wisely) seems committed to rebuilding with youth, Gordon would be a good fit. Plus, he wouldn’t command a salary commensurate with previous NHL experience. That’s important to a franchise that continues to lose money. Also, the Isles still have to pay recently departed coach Ted Nolan for one more year.”

Makes sense. Although, who can ever tell how a coach will do with that kind of a transition. It worked for the Penguins and Michel Therrien, but he inherited a lot more talent than will the new Islander coach.

Faceoff-Factor tipped me off to the NHL’s release of the entire pre-season schedule for the 2008-2009 season.

Design Sanford's Mask

Design Sanford's Mask

While passing by Jame Mirtle’s blog I heard the coolest news in a long time. The Vancouver Canucks are giving fans the opportunity to design goaltender Curtis Sanford’s mask. I have a feeling we are about to see a frenzy of posts in the hockey blogosphere with design ideas.

I’ll do my best to update with new designs.

This one really got me fired up.

TBO.com’s ran a piece listing the ‘Top 10 Hockey Cities’. However, he went on to say that the list actually has nothing to do with hockey.

“The criteria doesn’t have anything to do with hockey, it’s more about the city and what it has to offer, whether its nightlife, scenery or otherwise.”

So then why is he calling it the ‘Top 10 Hockey Cities’? This should be a piece in the entertainment section of a paper, and not be related to hockey what-so-ever. It’s stupid, but please waste time reading it so you can feel my anger – most of which is because if it were a real top 10 Pittsburgh better be in it.

What’s the top 10, you ask? Enjoy:

10. Toronto
9. Chicago
8. Philadelphia
7. Washington
6. Calgary
5. Boston
4. Nashville
3. Vancouver
2. Montreal
1. Detroit

Haha yea, Nashville is one of the top five hockey cities in the NHL. And lets throw Washington in there, because they are outnumbered by Pens fans every year when I go to the away games. And Chicago, who just realized they have a team.

I’m done.

Sakic

Sakic

Joe Sakic says he is close to deciding whether or not he will retire from the game of hockey (Denver Post).

“When I talked to Francois in June, we both understood that the team was going to go forward, regardless of what my decision was going to be, and that enabled me to take as much time as I could,” Sakic said. “Right now, I know training camp’s approaching rapidly. Summer’s gone by pretty fast. I’m going to make my decision here pretty shortly.”

He continues:

“It’s just how I feel,” he said. “At the end of the year, to be honest with you, I didn’t know if I was going to come back. I needed that time to really think about my future. It was a tougher decision than I thought it was going to be at the end of the year. . . It’s all about whether I feel I’m ready to go another year. That’s the biggest thing for me: Am I prepared to do what it takes to be successful for another year. I know how much time you have to put in off the ice because playing hockey is the easy part.”

It sounds like he is done. If that is the case it’s a shame. The NHL will lose another one of its greats.

The OC Register reports that Teemu Selanne’s run with the Anaheim Ducks is likely over.

With their salary-cap issues, the Ducks simply can’t sign Selanne right now. Handcuffing the Ducks further is a bizarre wrinkle in the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players union.

The piece notes that teams used to be able to offer bonuses to veterans, and if their expenses exceeded the salary cap the bonuses could be pushed over to the next season. This is no longer the case, and Selanne’s asking price would undoubtedly push the Ducks over the cap.

The Nashville Predators, home to the fourth best hockey city in the NHL, signed first round selection Chet Pickard (Predators.com). The goaltender had 46 wins in the WHL last season, and has a career WHL record of 72-31-6.

Forbes released a listing of the 10 most lucrative sporting venues in the United States. Nine of the 10 listed are those that share hockey and basketball. The only one that isn’t a split venue is Fenway Park, which came in at No. 10.

The list:

10. Fenway Park
9. Verizon Center (Washington Capitals)
8. Pepsi Center (Colorado Avalanche)
7. Wachovia Center (Philadelphia Flyers)
6. TD Banknorth Garden
5. United Center (Chicago Blackhawks)
4. American Airlines Center (Dallas Stars)
3. Air Canada Centre (Toronto Maple Leafs)
2. Madison Square Garden
1. Staples Center (LA Kings)

Today sure was a day for top 10s.

Finally, check out the newest link to our site: Hitting the Post. It is a Minnesota Wild blog and there’s a lot of good stuff going on over there.

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