News Updates: August 25, 2008

Well, it’s been quite some time, but I’ve finally moved in to my new house and have cable and internet once again. Since I left Pittsburgh Saturday morning I have been totally cut off from the sports world, including hockey.

There’s no way I can cover everything that has happened in the last week. Therefore, I’m just going to pick up where like I never left.

On that note, there has been some news today. This is what I found. Sorry if I missed anything. I feel like I’m brand new to this again.

Columbus
Columbus

James Mirtle found a piece from the Columbus Dispatch concerning the Columbus Blue Jackets and their ownership situation.

It’s apparent that the Jackets are in a rough situation financially. This makes a playoff berth even more important this season. There is no way this team can continue their losing ways and stay afloat.

I made a post earlier in the year about the Florida Panthers and the horrendous attendance figures they have put up. Bad news Blue Jackets fans…you’re even worse.

The Jackets ranked a lowly 28th in the league of 30 NHL teams. Columbus operated at an average of 14,823 tickets sold per game, rounding out to filling only 81.7% of the arena.

These are terribly detrimental to the ownership.

Kevin Allen at the USA Today ranked the entire NHL. Guess who is on top?

1. Detroit

…big surprise…

The rest of the standings? Here is the rest of the top 10:

2. Montreal Canadiens
3. Pittsburgh Penguins
4. San Jose Sharks
5. Dallas Stars
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Washington Capitals
9. Calgary Flames
10. New York Rangers

While we are coming off of Olympic fever, here’s some info for you hockey fans dying for international hockey: Tickets for hockey at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver are slated at roughly $350-$750 Canadien (Seattle Times).

That’s a pretty penny, but might be worth it if you are a huge hockey fan and have spare cash to spend. If I did, I’d be there.

However, I’ll likely be somewhere no one has heard of reporting on something no one has heard of (A+ to me for confidence!).

Filatov
Filatov

Here’s something you don’t hear every day. The Columbus Blue Jackets are asking their young prospect not to play (Columbus Dispatch).

The franchise has asked first-round draft pick Nikita Filatov to stop playing exhibition games with the junior club of his former Russian hockey team. The Jackets made the request to ensure that the 18-year-old forward does not get injured before arriving for rookie training camp, which starts Sept. 12, general manager Scott Howson said.

It makes sense honestly. No one wants to see a player go down before the season starts. And as I just pointed out, Columbus needs all the good luck they can get.

This is really not even news. If Vincent Lecavalier was not the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, something would be very wrong.

But he is. So read this.

The part of this article that interests me the most is that Mark Popovich is leaving for the KHL. As I have already posted about, this is becoming a serious issue.

Not that he is a Jaromir Jagr or Alexander Radulov, but it is another relevant player choosing money over competition.

Shortly, the KHL could be where the greatest competition is.

There has always been a strong racial gap in the NHL, which makes this news promising. Nigerian born Akim Aliu was signed by Chicago.

He finished third on the London Knights with 61 points (28 G – 33 A).

Finally, another ranking list for ya!

Scott Cullen ranked the top 25 players with the highest trade value in the NHL. The tope 5? I’m so glad you asked!

1. Alexander Ovechkin
2. Sidney Crosby
3. Evgeni Malkin
4. Ryan Getzlaf
5. Pavel Datsyuk

In an effort to ease my struggle to balance 17 credit hours of school, two part-time jobs back in Pittsburgh, reporting for the Stater, reporting for BSR and taking part of the most time-consuming class for journalism at Kent State, I am going to say I will not be posting every day.

However, I do plan to get news updates up as often as possible. Also, I am going to halt my division previews. Instead of going team by team, I will just preview the rest of the divisions as a whole and predict the way they will finish.

Once I get to the final division, the Atlantic Division, I will preview each team again separately.

Also, The Hockey News has asked me to cover the Penguins as a blogger this coming season! I’m very excited for this, and you can check me out under the blogs section of THN’s website.

Here is the link:

http://www.thehockeynews.com/blogs_list/3-Team_League_blogs.html

There have been a lot of people commenting on my first piece over there, criticizing my infatuation with Jeff Taffe.  It’s really not an infatuation.  To find out why I was so excited he got signed, read my earlier posts.

Compared to my first installment of Just Call Me Coach Therrien, Taffe allows me to move Stall to the second line since Taffe is a legitimate fourth line center.  I’m not confident in Kris Beech and if you are, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

Here are the links to my earlier JCMCT posts:

#1 – https://christophergates.wordpress.com/2008/07/14/just-call-me-coach-therrien/

#2 – https://christophergates.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=139

#3 – https://christophergates.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/just-call-me-coach-therrien-part-deux/

I did have a hard time taking Kennedy out.  It’s either he or Pesonen.  We’ll see how it all pans out!

Lets Go Pens

~Chris @ Pittsburgh Puck Talk

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