News Updates: August 7, 2008

Today was another rather interesting news day. There’s lots to talk about so let’s get started.

Goebel
Goebel

First off, we’ll serve Penguins fans in announcing that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have signed right wing Tommy Goebel out of Ohio State (WBS). Goebel spent his four years in college at both Ohio State and Michigan, which I didn’t know was allowed. I’m surprised he survived that switch.

Nevertheless he put up 115 points (54 G – 61 A) in 147 career NCAA games. As an alternate captain for the buckeye last year, Goebel hit career highs in both goals and points with 21 and 36.

Goebel played five games in Rochester in the AHL last season. He averaged a point per game with two goals and three assists.

The next few I found thank to Kuklas Korner.

Cliff Fletcher said that, if Mats Sundin signs elsewhere or decides not to return, Pavel Kubina is a leading candidate for the captain’s ‘C’ next season (Toronto Sun).

“He could be a serious candidate to be our captain,” said Fletcher, who could be without Sundin and two of three alternates in McCabe and the traded Darcy Tucker. “It’s Aug. 6 and we have to start thinking about these things.”

However, Fletcher goes on to say that there are other guys who might get it as well. He also suggested switching captains from month-to-month. Apparently Minnesota does this, which I never knew. I think it’s actually a pretty good idea though.

In other national NHL news, the Lester B. Pearson award winners were announced this afternoon (NHL.com). Four were chosen: former defenseman Phil Housley, Anaheim Ducks GM Brian Burke, former Minnesota Wild majority owner Bob Naegele and hall of famer Ted Lindsay.

The Lester B. Pearson award is given to those who make outstanding contributions to the game of hockey in the United States.

The Hockey News‘ Brian Costello picked his ‘Top 10’ contenders for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. They are as follows:

10. Minnesota Wild. They’re due for a big fall from defending division champions.

9. Columbus Blue Jackets. It’ll be eight years and no NHL playoffs in Ohio.

8. Florida Panthers. Can’t wait for the first Panthers versus Predators game.

7. Colorado Avalanche. If Joe Sakic comes back, the Avalanche are off this list.

6. Nashville Predators. No scoring depth, middling goaltenders. Watch for a big fall.

5. Atlanta Thrashers. One of these days, Don Waddell will run out of chances as Thrashers’ GM.

4. St. Louis Blues. Not enough depth and talent to make a playoff run over 82 games.

3. New York Islanders. Recent moves make it look as though they’re taking a run at Tavares.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs. If the Leafs prove me wrong and make the playoffs, I’ll eat a printed copy of this top 10 list, shredded and doused in Tabasco.

1. Los Angeles Kings. Great young talent is a couple years away from blossoming.

I’ve got to agree with most of this list. However, I think Columbus is going to surprise people this season. They have too much young talent to not contend for a playoff spot.

If your team is on there, I feel your pain. We Penguins fans suffered through much of the same.

Costello’s co-worker, Ryan Kennedy, wrote his own piece on the best players all-time from each country to play in the NHL (THN). Today was definitely a day for interesting pieces from The Hockey News. It brightened my day up a little bit.

The next stuff I found was courtesy of James Mirtle.

Radulov
Radulov

First off, Alexander Radulov was introduced with his new team in the KHL in Russia (Mirtle).

Radulov says he tries not to read the newspapers or negative press, and that the leaders of the Salavat team have assured him things will be fine given he signed the contract when there wasn’t an agreement between the NHL and KHL.

There’s something very sneaky and backstabbing about what he did. The NHL doesn’t need that kind of player. However, it does scare me, still, that the KHL may slowly-but-surely drain talent out of the NHL.

And the final two pieces deal with players overseas.

The OHL is looking at banning the drafting of import players (Mirtle). I’m not sure I’m too happy about this. I hope that it doesn’t take effect because there would be less talent within reach of the NHL. That, combined with the growing KHL may combine to speed up that ‘draining’ process.

Coincidentally, the QMJHL is on the same page as the OHL (National Post).

“My personal opinion is that 10 years ago – or maybe longer now – the decision to bring import players to the CHL was something very good. Now it’s getting tougher to bring those players. Second, we must look at the calibre of players we are bringing over now. Third, we must look and see if we can improve the situation we have with them.”

What this piece goes in to makes sense. If a European player is drafted to play on a first or second line, then good. but if he is on a lower line, he is just taking the place of a young player. This was the gist of Benoit Groulx, coach of the Canadian World Junior squad.

Well, that’s it. Keep posted here for more tomorrow. Northwest Division analysis starts tomorrow – I promise.

Lets Go Pens.

~Chris @ Pittsburgh Puck Talk

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