News Updates: August 8-10, 2008

News was rather slow over the weekend. However, there were some things to note.

Friday

James Mirtle reported Friday that goalie pads could have a few more alterations in the near future. It appears that the pad sizes will be based upon each different goalie’s size and weight.

“The big changes are expected next year when the league is expected to go to proportionate sizing for the first time, meaning equipment will be based on goalie’s size and weight.

“It will have a significant impact on smaller goalies. Consider that currently Curtis Sanford, at five-foot-10, wears the same size pads as Luongo, who is 6-3.”

If you think about it, this makes a lot more sense than having general limitations. With each goalie receiving a different size, you eliminate the unfair advantage smaller goalies had. However, as Mirtle points out, the smaller goalie is nearing extinction in the NHL.

Numminen
Numminen

The Buffalo Sabres announced the free agent signing of Teppo Numminen. Numminen played only one game last season, missing the first 81 games because of recovery from his heart surgery in September 2007.

At 40-years old, it’s nice to see him still playing. His story makes the signing even better news.

A lot of progress has been made in the Islanders’ search for a new head coach. First, on Friday, Newsday.com reported the Islanders announced that former Tampa Bay head coach John Tortorella was no longer being considered for the vacancy. Then on Sunday, GM Garth Snow revealed the ‘Final 3’ that are still in the running.

After a painstaking interview process in which he spoke with eight known candidates and contacted a few others, an NHL source indicated Snow has narrowed his list to three finalists. Former Atlanta coach Bob Hartley, former Toronto coach Paul Maurice and current AHL Providence coach Scott Gordon still are in the running, and Snow is expected to name one as the Isles’ next coach early this week.

Tortorella’s old team, the Lightning, was also in the news Friday. Unfortunately for him, business is good in Tampa Bay. Bolts Report noted that tickets sales in Tampa Bay are quickly becoming a scarcity.

“I didn’t think much about this when it was announced last week, but apparatley the $6.20 per game season ticket package is flying off the racks, so to speak. As of Wednesday, the 300-level season-ticket deal, offered here had sold over 650 tickets. I’m not sure how many are left, but I would have to think that there’s not many left.”

They continue:

“So, expect to hear another deal coming soon that offers a full-season package for $1,599 to sit in the lower level south end zone. That averages out to $39 per game for lower bowl tickets. At this rate, getting into the building the hockey season might be a bit difficult to pull off if you are hoping to pick and choose single-game seats.”

I can’t complain with any news reporting the growing popularity of the NHL. Especially when it deals with a team’s inconsistent fan base growing stronger.

McCabe
McCabe

The NationalPost.com reported Bryan McCabe is likely ‘on the outs’ in Toronto. The Maple Leafs and GM Cliff Fletcher have been trying to move McCabe for some time, but a no-trade clause has allowed him to prevent such a move. However, McCabe has opened up to being traded and will provide the Leafs with a list of teams he’d be willing to be traded to.

At a $5.75 million salary cap hit, I’d have to doubt that any team would be too anxious to acquire his price tag.

Friday ended with information regarding the Minnesota Wild and their attempts to tie in Marian Gaborik to a long-term extension. Gaborik is the all-time leading scorer in franchise history, and GM Doug Risebrough is hoping he will want to stay a while and set that mark a little bit higher.

But the Wild has held off commencing negotiations until Risebrough can sit down with Gaborik, “look him in the eye,” and make sure Gaborik wants to commit long-term to Minnesota.

I get the feeling that Minnesota is worried Gaborik has no interest in re-signing. It’s hard to say, though, as I’m not a big follower of the Wild. I think my GM coming all the way out to visit me at home and talk face-to-face with me would be a plus.

Saturday

After the workweek ended, little information of importance surfaced.

Soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick, Taylor Hall, scored a hat trick in Canada’s 6-5 win over the United States in an under-18 friendly (NHL.com). The game was played in preparation for the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament next week.

Team Canada initially led 3-1, but found themselves tied with Team USA at 4-4 in the third period. Hall scored the game winner with 1:09 left to play.

And finally, just a piece of interest. The Sporting News‘ Craig Custance listed his five rebound players to expect in 2008-2009.

1. Simon Gagne, LW, Philadelphia Flyers

2. Michael Nylander, C, Capitals

3. Martin Havlat, RW, Chicago Blackhawks

4. Jon Sim, LW, New York Islanders

5. Slava Kozlov, LW, Thrasher

And that’s all she wrote. Keep it here this week for more NHL news updates, as well as Northwest Division previews and more of Dan’s work.

~Chris @ Pittsburgh Puck Talk

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