Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We're Confused.

1) As we alluded to briefly on other blogs earlier this week, we felt that the suspension and out rage shown Flyers defender Randy Jones was a bit overblown, or at least it was when its compared to the virtual silence we are hearing/reading about the hit Sergei Gonchar put on Montreal defensemen Francis Bouillon. If "Intent" is the key to a suspension and not the outcome of the offense (as it appears to be) then Gonchar should have received MORE than what Jones got.

2) To refresh memories, Gonchar 'boarded' the Habs player in the waning seconds of their OT tilt Saturday night. Sergei received a 2 minute minor and thats it. If one were to see the replay you can see Gonchar came across the ice with his arms raised apparently intending to unleash a high hit. It resulted in a nice headshot into the boards. Bouillon didn't immediately go down like Bergeron so little attention was drawn to the play. However, not only did Francis suffer a shoulder injury that could sideline him for a while, it could have been worse than that. To add insult to injury(literally) Gonchar was allowed to partake in the shootout a mere minutes after his offense. ( That's an issue for another day/post)

3) What kind(if any) message is the NHL sending if it doles out its punishment in such a manner? We ask, is the disparity of enforcement here due to the player (Bouillon) not getting seriously hurt, or is it because Gonchar is a star player and Jones is not? Either answer is unacceptable. It simply illustrates some of the concerns we raised recently with our Crime and punishment post. Until we see sweeping changes in the manner which the league distributes its suspensions there will be no real reduction in these kind of plays, and fans and players will be left confused as to what IS and what isn't a suspendable offense.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why Damien Cox is a Douche Bag!

1) For the uninitiated with Canadian hockey writers, Damian Cox (his last name is quite appropriate, but we digress) is a writer for Toronto Star. He seems to enjoy creating controversy. Most likely to sell papers, which we have no problem with. However his latest rant he went a bit over the line in our opinion. (Story linked). The gist of the story was to denigrate the incoming NHLPA leader, Paul Kelly .

2) He had several notes in these few paragraphs that we take issue with. In no particular order.

  • Another gratuitous jab at fighting. The new NHLPA head stated (and about 90+% of hockey fans agree) that fighting should continue. Mr Cox states that this view makes Kelley "...a bit of closet Neanderthal...". We guess that Mr. Cocks also believes that any fan who enjoys that aspect of the game is also not a fully developed human? Screw You Damien! How about this doozy:"...In the background the two pugilists, were about a dozen fans, one of whom was clapping and the rest of whom were sitting impassively, as engaged as if they were watching somebody execute a three-point turn." Not sure where Cox was watching this fight, but we can never recall fans being 'impassive' while a fight was on going. Perhaps Damien should go to a game outside of press box now and then!

  • Making subtle Anti-American innuendo: We know quite a few folks across the border so we know the Cox anti-American view is not rare, but thankfully not a majority opinion. He somehow ties the nationality of the commissioner, NHLPA head, and their assts as somehow a reason that the league is in its current predicaments,and why Canada won't get an expansion team. Hey Damien, the last 2 Canadian heads of the NHLPA are felons! Yeah, lets have more of that. While we agree a replacement of Gary Bettman would be welcomed, its not his nationality that makes him incompetent. What, miss John Ziegler's amazing leadership??

3) We on the other hand unlike the likes of Mr. Cox and Stan Fischler, etc will allow Mr. Kelley time in his new role before passing judgement. So far though we like what we hear from him. He appears to be neither confrontational, nor submissive to the NHL either. As he is supposed to be; The players advocate.

Today's Docket

1) Firstly Congrats to Antz for getting 2 of 3 of his games picked last evening. Tonight there are 5 games on the docket.

2)FAUXRUMORS 2 tells us that they are working on their Divisional Power Rankings. Rating who they feel are the best/strongest and who is the worst/weakest divisions, and why. Look for it!

Pittsburgh vs Minnesota: Wild

Phoenix vs-St. Louis: Blues

Detroit vs-Edmonton: Red Wings

Atlanta vs-Montreal : Canadians

Nashville vs-Calgary Flames (Tonight's Lock!)

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Cop A Wanted Man?

1) The Cop ofcourse is former NHL head coach Pat Burns. Our sources tell us that the former bench boss and former Hull, Quebec detective is taking/receiving inquiries already from several teams that may want/need his services. Among these are his current employer The NJ Devils.

2) Apparently Lou is not at all happy with the job his new coach Brent Sutter appears to be doing. The Devils are off to a horrid start,(3-6-1) after 10 games. Admitedly they started 9 of those on the road, but in their inaugural game at their new facility in Newark they "looked dead", as one NHL scout told us yesterday. They were embarrassed in front of their home crowd. That kind of thing does not sit well with Lamarello.

3) However we have been told that the Devils are NOT the only team that has sent out some initial 'feelers' to the Burns camp. Here are a list of teams that have contacted Burns' agent since the summer:

  • Toronto- The Leafs tried to lure their former boss out of retirement this summer only to be politely rebuffed

  • Boston- Another of Pat's former teams where he won his last of 3 Jack Adams awards as best coach. Apparently Claude Julian was not Peter Chirelli's first choice to lead the B's. However much like the Leafs, they were quickly turned down.

  • NY Rangers- A reliable source within the MSG hierarchy has informed FAUXRUMORS that Glen Sather met with the former NJ coach last week "to discuss his health". We can only assume Sather would want such a meeting if he was contemplating replacing his current coach Tom Renney with Burns. Our source did NOT want to reveal the nature of the meeting or if the job was offered.

  • LA- Dean Lombardi we're told has Pat Burns on a short list of potential replacements for his beleaguered current bench boss, Crawford who apparently has 'lost his team'. No word if Burns has officially been contacted.

4) From the sounds of things Pat is a wanted man. The great unknown as of this writing is he able to/want to get back into coaching? We are fairly sure he wants to get back in there, but from what he has stated publicly in the past, it would require a clean bill of health from his Dr. and the OK from his family. We believe, if healthy, the Rangers, Devils, Kings, or a few more teams would significantly benefit from the firm hand that "The Cop" brings to his teams. He is a winner, and those teams are in need of one right about now before their seasons are lost.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Antz Will Post First on this Monday

I am posting at this time as a way to relieve my boredom from watching this absolutely horrid World Series - a Fall Classic between an above average AL squad and a sub-par Triple-A team... Colorado is a joke! Nevertheless, here are my Monday NHL predictions (I am 10-5 this year, Faux):

1. San Jose v. Dallas - Sharks
2. Tampa Bay v. New York - Rangers
3. Washington v. Toronto - Leafs

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Today's Picks

1) Here is tonight's list of games and our picks. We hope to rebound from our last 2 nights of mediocrity.

Philadelphia vs- Boston: Flyers

Ottawa vs- New Jersey: Senators

Torontovs-NY Rangers: Rangers

Buffalo vs-Tampa Bay: Lightning

Atlanta vs-Chicago: Black Hawks

San Jose vs-Columbus : Sharks

Carolina vs-NY Islanders: Islanders

Montreal vs-Pittsburgh: Penguins

Florida vs-Nashville: Panthers

Washington vs- St. Louis: Blues (Tonight's Lock)

Dallas vs-Phoenix: Stars

Friday, October 26, 2007

NHL: Crime and Punishment?

1) When discussing this topic with the other members of the FAUXRUMORS Group, it dawned on us that the argument/discussion wasn't unlike the discussion of civil/criminal penal law and punishment. The question remains: Are sentences/suspension levied as punishment or as a deterrent?

2) We can understand both sides, but we believe that when it comes to NHL suspensions the goal/reason that they should be doled out is to punish the offender, NOT to try to prevent future offenses. Case in point last week, Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Jesse Boulerice brutally cross checked a Vancouver player in the chops. He deservedly received 25 games. Many pointed out that since another Flyer Steve Downie received a long suspension (20 games) for a head shot that Boulerice should have know better. They are mistaken if they believe players are thinking in the heat of battle about who got suspended for what.

3) If the NHL wants to crack down on head shots, or intents to injure we at FAUXRUMORS have no issue with that. We feel there is NO place for the kind of goonery that Boulerice displayed. To us incidents like that one make our avocation for more fighting more difficult, since the anti-fighting pansies usually lump stick incidents with fighting as if they are the same. We could even make a successful argument that the fighting restrictions, and more specifically the instigator penalty, make stick work MORE not less prevalent than it would otherwise be. The players are less able to police themselves, and on ice officials clearly are not up to the task of doing so, so retaliatory stick incidents are a natural reaction. Instead of the pre-1990's reaction of dropping the gloves and settling things one on one with bare hands, not a wooden weapon

4) Additionally, there has to be a way to make suspensions non-arbitrary. By that we mean the punishments through the years have NEVER been consistent. Last season in the playoffs TWICE Chris Pronger received 1 game suspensions. If he were a 4th liner/goon and/or if it were the regular season would the punishment been 1 game? No way! Some kind of quantitative measure should be legistlated. Here are just a few ideas we have:

  • Perhaps, as some have postulated in the past, suspending a player as long as the person he injures is out.

  • Automatic fining of not only players, but teams.

  • Not allowing a team to replace the suspended player's roster spot

  • Set/Specify the amount of games a player will be suspended based upon the offense. Say for example, all incidents that result in concussion get a minimum of 10 games, etc.

5) We're open to additional suggestions, as should the NHL, but the current system is broken.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Swami is Back

1) We take our .607 winning percentage into tonight NHL games. 9 on the docket:

Chicago vs- Boston: Bruins

St. Louis vs-Columbus: Blue Jackets

Philadelphia vs-Tampa Bay: Lightning

Toronto vs-Pittsburgh Penguins

Atlanta vs-Nashville : Predators

Phoenix vs- Anaheim Ducks- ( Tonight's Lock )

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Discontent on Broadway

1) Word from our sources within the Ranger organization have told FAUXRUMORS this morning that things are NOT going particularly well with in the team locker room. Apparently superstar Jaromir Jagr is not at all happy with the way the team is being coached and how the roster was/is constructed.

2) Evidently JJ does not like the direction the team seems to be moving. Specifically away from their European dominated roster of the recent past and more towards a North American dominated roster. One may recall how well Jagr performed the first year after the lockout when the team had a very heavily Euro-laden team with JJ as its center piece. Those were very happy days for the former cap/Penguin. However things began to change last season with the addition of Shanahan, and then escalated with the bringing in of Avery, then over the summer the additions of American free agents Scott Gomez and Chris Drury

3) With the slow start things have been especially magnified in NY, and as team captain eyes will be focused even more on Jagr. As we mentioned in a post last year he was made team captain more to placate him than for his leadership qualities. As fans of the penguins and Caps can attest, when Jagr isn't content and happy he pouts and plays at 1/2 speed. Is this the case now? Well, some ranger fans we talked with say he hasn't looked the same since his near MVP year 2 years ago. He did have a decent year last year pairing up with Nylander, especially on the PP, but so far this year he hasn't taken to playing with either of the 2 big free agent centers.

4) So what are the options?
  • Allow the players like Jagr additional time to develop their chemistry. These guys have proven track records of being able to score in this league. It'll come with time
  • Make a deal. Trading Jagr is a huge long shot. For one, the Rangers have a big discount on him.(The caps still pay almost 1/2 his 8 mil/year salary) He's signed to a (player option) additonal year after this. Most GM's would be wary of acquiring him anyway. Seeing how that backfired on the Capitals 5 years ago. Jagr didn't want to play in DC and it showed. Its also unlikely that the rangers would get equivalent value back for him, leaving a hole on their already starving offense.

5) With the Blueshits already up against the cap a move of any significance is unlikely. If the current trend continues the easier move to make would be one to change coaches. Hoping that would ignite the team back to where most, including us at FAUXRUMORS believe they should/can be. Someone who can unite the factions in the locker room and have them play as a team. If he doesn't already, perhaps Glen Sather should put Pat Burns' phone number on speed dial! He may be needed sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tonight's Roll of the Dice

1) We take our early impressive .682 batting average into tonight's action. (Team background provided by ESPN)

NY Rangers vs Pittsburgh : Penguins

Columbus vs Chicago BlackHawk

Atlanta vs Toronto : Maple Leaf (Our lock of the night)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Shopping For Goalies

1) The title part of this post should come as no surprise to most who follow the NHL regularly. Several teams are already searching for someone to be their starter (LA) or looking for a competent backup (Pitt, Calgary, Phoenix, SJ, Edmonton, etc) As one can see that's a pretty long list and the number of available goalies is too small to satisfy this. In fact currently we can only see a couple of goalies, as a possible trade upgrade as a starter. Here is that short list.

  • Ilya Bryzgalov- Has proven to be a more than adequate back up to Giguere. Filling in as the starter on several occasions with very good results. The question would be what would the Ducks ask for him. Would they trade him to a team in their division or conference? If we were Burke we'd hold on to him to at least the deadline as insurance. He's an UFA after this year.

  • Andrew Raycroft- Unlike Bryzgalov, Raycroft has another year on his contract after this. Some would see that as a positive if he were to be used as a starter, but at 2 mil he'd be an expensive back up. Since his Calder season a few years ago he's been less than reliable. We're certain for the right price that Toronto would unload him to anyone in the East or elsewhere

  • Jaroslav Halak- Hardly has proven much yet, but the Montreal prospect's name always seems to come up when the discussion of goalies is mentioned. He didn't make the team out of training camp. Losing the backup job to the Habs top goalie prospect Carey Price. Fueling trade rumours. From what we've heard he didn't take the demotion well and it has showed in his few starts in the AHL. Not enhancing his trade value!

2) From there the list gets quite uneven. There are a few goalies playing over in Europe, but its not known if any could be freed from their deals(or even if they'd want to be) to come back to North America. (Or if they'd be wanted!)

  • Ed Belfour Would anyone want to take a chance on him ? Sure he had a very good season for Florida last year , but he's no spring chicken at 42. Add to that his checkered past Currently he's playing with Leksand, a second-division club in Sweden. He might not be a bad option for a team like LA, who currently have NO legit goalie on their roster

  • Curtis Joseph- Another aging former star. Unlike Belfour he is not currently playing in Europe. Its unknown how well he is staying in game shape. Though we hear he is still in the southwest working out regularly. He had decent numbers for a bad Coyotes last year. The 40 year old has not been involved in any Belfour-like legal mishaps though. We believe he'd make a nice back up for a team like Pittsburgh

3) Thats quite a short list. Therefore the vast majority of teams may to continue to play with their rosters as is, and hope that either their current tenders step up or like the Canadians they develop their own goalies and have them be ready immediately.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Todays Slate/Predictions

1) As per requests, we will dispense with scores, but just give the projected winner of each game.

2) Chicago @ Toronto: Maple Leafs

Buffalo @ Montreal: Canadiens

Florida @ Ottawa: Senators (Our lock of the night!)

Edmonton @ Calgary: Flame

NYR @ Boston @ Rangers

New Jersey @ NYI: Devils

Carolina @ Philly: Philly

Pittsburgh @ Washington: Caps

Atlanta @ TB: Tampa Bay

Anaheim @ Dal: Dallas

Minnesota @ St. Louis: Wild

Detroit @ Phoenix: RedWings

Nashville @ SJ: Sharks

Friday, October 19, 2007

Latest Nashville News

1) Seems this story just doesn't want to go away. Just when we thought things were stabilizing in Music City 2 more significant bumps in the road to franchise stability occur. One is probably little more than a blip/insignificant, the other potentially serious.

2) Jim Balsille makes another bid:We don't know why Blackberry Jim decided to once again throw himself into the Nashville mess.

  • Perhaps he was bored and wanted to screw with the process. He offered to accept the current lease arrangement and not ask for any additional concessions(unlike the potential new-local group which is trying to extort additional tax dollars)

  • Also offering to give the city $75 million (not the required $25 million) if he has to move the team . Anyone left believe he wouldn't? Many have speculated he is doing this to simply embarrass the NHL and the local Nashville purchase group and create some mischief with Nashville City Council.

  • To review: There is an escape clause in the current lease with the city that allows ownership to leave if average paid attendance drops below 14,000 for two full seasons in a row. Current owner, Leipold exercised that escape clause this summer. In short, if the Preds average less than 14,000 paid attendance this season; and we believe its assured this will happen(See below) - it would appear William (Boots) Del Biaggio or Balsillie could have to wait to introduce the escape clause until after the current season and the team would not be able to move the team until after the 2008-09 season at the earliest.

  • We are still trying to find out Jim's real motivation here. On the surface it makes little sense, and could endanger his expansion chances. As always, there is more to most stories than what is in the papers. We at FAUXRUMORS will continue to dig to get at the truth for our readers!

3) Attendance in the crapper: Going from bad to worse!

  • They didn't sell out their home opener against Colorado on October 4, but did manage to attract: 16,363, which equates to 95.6% capacity. Most teams sell out their home opener, but still not a terrible beginning.

  • There after is where the big problems seem to be beginning. In their second home game October 6, 2007 verses Dallas attendance dropped precipitously to 13,079 or a mere 76.4% of capacity.

  • It gets worse. For the third home game October 11 against Phoenix the home 'crowd' was already down to 12,155 or 71.0% of capacity. This has to be an alarming trend, but not one who is a regular reader of this blog should find surprising

  • Their latest home game against Calgary showed a slight rebound of 13,152 in attendance. Still FAR from capcity and LESS than the required 14,000.

  • Additionally those numbers are folks in attendance NOT paid/tickets sold. Those numbers are likely even worse. As mentioned above when the Preds fail to achieve the necessary attendance of 14K/game they will be as good as gone.

4) Here is what we believe is going on/will happen:

  • Balsille's bid isn't serious. We believe he will be awarded an expansion franchise when those are announced in a year or so.

  • The real charactar to watch here is William (Boots) Del Biaggio. As we have mentined all along, his presence within the 'group of local investors signals the teams ultimate destination, KC. We believe in time he will 'buy out' the other investors or at least gain a controlling interest. This will be the next move to look for.

  • The team has about a zero % chance of staying in Nashville. The only questions that remain are when and to whom the team will be sold. Our money is on Boots and the team gonzo within 2 years!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Deal Here!

1) We figured that picture would get some attention. LOL Anyway, after much discussion among the members of the FAUXRUMORS Group, LLC we have decided to add yet another feature to the blog. A a semi-nightly basis we will run down that nights slate of games from around the league and give our best/unbiased opinion of who will win and what the score will be.

2) Of course we will invite you, our loyal readers, to participate; Whether that be in blasting our picks,or making your own, or both. Its all in good fun (No gambling! LOL) We plan on keeping track on how well/poorly we and others do. Play along!
3) Tonight's games/Predicted Results:(Home listed second:
a) TB-Boston: 4-3 Boston (shootout)
b)NJ-Phi: 5-2 Philly
c) Isles-Caps: 3-1 Caps
d) Mont-Ottawa: 5-2 Sens
e) Fla-Tor: 4-2 Leafs
f) NY-Atlanta: 5-4 Rangers
g) LA-Calgary: 6-3 Flames
h) Edmonton-Phoenix: 4-3 Oilers (OT)
i) Detroit-SJ: 2-1 Sharks
4) NOTE: Here's a bonus for those who hate Alex Yashin. A u-tube video of him getting his butt beat. (Carol cover your eyes!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Axe falls!

1) In a move that comes to no ones surprise, especially those who read this blog, Bob Hartley was let go today. In the interim GM Don Waddell will take over the coaching duties. In truth BOTH the coach AND GM should have been given their walking papers today. Waddell has done a horrendous job with this team.

2) With their 0-6 start coupled with their sweep last season in the first round of the playoffs the Thrashers have lost their last 10 games under this regime. Waddell has made significant recurring mistakes that have resulted in this team being in its current predicament. We will have more on this later today!

New Labour War?

1) Caution, we are using Stan (The Maven) Fischler as the linked article that spurred this post. He has been shown in the past to be a mouth piece/Puppet for the NHL owners/Gary Bettman. All through out and after the lockout Stan has never wavered in his anti-player/pro-owners stance. Taking frequent jabs at the players such as Chris Chelios who had the audacity to question their union's corrupt leadership. Never once questioning anything Bettman does, but always quick to slam any player who speaks out of turn about the CBA/the NHL head honchos

2) So when Stan makes any statement about the union or the CBA negotiations we listen. Why? Because we believe he is used as a puppet for the owners to get their position out to the public. To periodically throw up trial balloons without the owners or Gary Bettman himself having their own finger prints on it.

3) The folks in NHL headquarters are probably a bit uneasy this morning reading that the union is finally hiring Saskin's replacement. The story going around is that Boston lawyer Paul V. Kelly has the position locked up. Why would they be nervous? Well apparently Kelly, unlike Saskin, wouldn't be an easy pawn to manipulate. Apparently he was involved with the litigation against another former(corrupt) NHLPA head, Alan Eagleson. As a person with impeccable credentials it will be much more difficult to demonize Kelly as they did successfully did with Goodenow, but take it to the bank they will try.(Using their media sycophants/Puppets like Fischler) to do the dirty work

4) Just to review for folks who may be new to the game or forgot; Both the past two work stoppages were initiated by the owners. It was NOT the players who wanted a work stoppage. Therefore when Stan writes that its 'up to the players if there will be any future work stoppages' he is being less than forthright(lying).

5) We agree with some who believe that it would be fool hearty for the players to try to re-open negotiations next year (as is their right under the CBA) Like the last CBA in 1995 when almost everyone believed the players lost big time, only to have salaries escalate significantly, the same seems to be happening once again. Almost universally the media proclaimed the new CBA to be an owners victory. Only 2 years later salaries are averaging the same as they were BEFORE the latest owners lockout. So who won? Judging from some of Stan's and others rhetoric the owners may already be readying their next war against the players.

6) The owners probably felt until this Kelly hiring that they could get away with/try to get significantly more concessions from the players. We at FAUXRUMORS have postulated that the next item the owners may ask for is the elimination of guarenteed contracts(Think NFL) As such, we predict now that Stan will very shortly put out a new blog post blasting the union or warning it for sure to not try to screw with the new faux NHL-NHLPA partnership. Like any good puppet, Stan will do what asked.

7) Update: Even before we had a chance to publish this post Stan did exactly as (asked) planned; he came out swinging in his first discussion about Mr. Kelly. Even before the new NHLPA head has said a single word, Stan already has him pegged as a hardliner: "Since Chris Chelios and Eric Lindros were on the selection committee we can expect the new union's new Executive Director to share Bob Goodenow's militancy. Evidently Gary Bettman manipulated one of his favourite marionettes. You can be sure that this is only the beginning of many more 'performances' to come!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Power Rankings- 10/15

1) We're baaaack!!! We at FAUXRUMORS2 has been quite silent this off season. After our blog vacation, we were very happy to host in Italy, we layed low for the most part. Taking a few additional non-blog vacations in the Islands. Anyway, enough of "what we did this summer". Its time to get back to NHL hockey!

2) Again, thanks for having us back here to contribute. . We were again asked to formulate our Power Rankings for the blog. It seems it has become super popular to do this that almost every other hockey blog now employs some sort of Power rankings. This of course is fine. The more opinion the better we always say.

3) Unlike others we will only do this monthly. Any sooner in our opinion wouldn't give a full view of any possible trends. To that end we will admit that this first edition is a combination of early results with preseason predictions/rankings. Anyway here it is:

  • 1 Ottawa Senators- No real surprise to see the Senators at the top of the Power rankings. They were a preseason favourite for most to win the East. Despite missing starting goalie ray Emery, Gerber has filled in and looked every bit as good as Puce suit Ray.

  • 2 Minnesota Wild- A bit of a surprise to see the Wild this high. Undefeated after 5 games. Winning an impressive shut out in the pond last evening. If they can stay healthy for once, they might perhaps combine their traditional strangling defense with good offensive numbers to remain a top West team. So far, so good! Stay tuned.

  • 3 Carolina Hurricanes- Expected by many to be better this season, so far the canes have gotten off to a good start. Winning 3 of 4 on a tough road trip to start the season. Many have forgotten already that this is basically the same team that won it all only 16 months ago.

  • 4 Philadelphia Flyers- Despite 2 lengthy suspensions to the team resume, they did well in their western Canada foray to start the year and won the home opener. Too early to say for sure yet if they are 'back in a vengeance', but they are already off to a much better start than this time last year!

  • 5 Detroit Red Wing- Team Red Wing as expected is off to a good start. Their PP is looking awesome in the early going. As always the key to team geriatric will be their health.

  • 6 Boston Bruins- - Most would not have predicted a placement of the B's this high at any point in the season. Its early, but the Bruins have looked fairly good. All this despite having yet to play a home game. Their PP has especially looked lethal. Good thing as their PK hasn't been too efficient yet. All in all, they have to be satisfied thus far

  • 7 Washington Capitals- The boys from the Beltway got off to a fast start only to lose their last 2 road games to teams expected to be in the playoff race. If they want to finally get back to the post season they will have to beat those teams. Still, they have shown they are a team to be reckoned with and not taken lightly

  • 8 Montreal Canadians- So far in their mere 4 games the Habs have looked fairly good. They won with their prized goalie prospect Price, and could use another goalie prospect, Harlock as a trade chip later this season.

  • 9 San Jose Shark- Have looked a bit uneven at times, but had a decent enough 4 game west Canadian road swing to start the year. They have all the horses to be the team to beat, and we fully expect they'll rise to the occasion.

  • 10 St. Louis Blue- Despite their anemic PP the Blues have started fairly well. 19-year-old blue liner Erik Johnson has so far looked poised and every bit the player the Blues anticipated, though one must remember he is still a teen and prone to rookie mistakes.

  • 11 TB Lightning- Reeled off 3 nice home wins before losing their first road game in Florida 2 nights ago. The key will be if their goalies can stay consistent. Tortorella will be sure to let them know if they aren't!

  • 12 Chicago Black Hawk- The Boys from the Windy City would be best to enjoy this lofty placement. Its unlikely they'll stay here long. So far they have been doing a better job than many expected keeping the goals against down. Their fans at this point would welcome a season hovering near .500!

  • 13 Anaheim Duck- Very tough start for the champs. After their European adventure they stayed on the road and lost a couple more there before returning to the Pond. Another loss tonight plummets them into the double digits of our rankings. We don't see them staying here long.

  • 14 Vancouver Canuck- Just about where we'd have expected to find the Vancouver sextant. Playing better on the road than in front of the home folks so far.

  • 15 Colorado Avalanche- Just the opposite of the Canucks, the Avs have been lights out at home, but have dropped their first 2 on the road. Paul Stastny is asking 'what sophomore slump?'

  • 16 NY Islanders- Got off to a nice/unexpected start beating the reigning Presidents trophy winner Sabres back to back to start the year. Since, they have gone 1-3. Which team is the real isles? Probably more of the ladder, but one shouldn't overlook them.
  • 17 Buffalo Sabres- (See above) Very poor start. Since then have won their last 2 in convincing fashion. They still have considerable fire power/depth at forward. They will likely climb this list quickly

  • 18 Pittsburgh Penguins- Only 4 games, but with the expectations fans are already getting a bit worried. Fleury has not looked solid so far. For anyone else not named Crosby a point a game would be just fine, but so far the kid hasn't been on fire. Its unlikely that'll continue. The key to success will be to get M-A Fleury to bring his A-game nightly.

  • 19 Dallas Star- As we suspected in our preseason picks, the Stars are neither awful nor exceptional. If they don't win regularly and get/stay in playoff contention Mr. Tippet will be looking for work.

  • 20 Calgary Flame- Too early to make a firm assessment. Te Flames have played well early on on the road. A possible good harbinger for the season. We expect them to move up on this poll as the season progresses

  • 21 Toronto Maple Leafs- The Jekyll and Hyde team thus far. have looked horrendous one night, and like world beaters the next. Will be interesting how the Blake-cancer situation affects the team. To make the playoffs they'll have to be more consistent

  • 22 NJ Devils- Due to the new arena being completed the fellas from Jersey start the season with a LONG road trip until the end of the month. If they survive this intact(at or above .500) they will be in good shape going forward. So far the significant concern is Marty has not played to his capability yet

  • 23 Florida Panthers- Much like the Leafs, the Panthers have looked bad at times, but their recent win at home against their cross state rival Lightning impressed. Still waiting for Vokoun to shine

  • 24 Columbus Blue Jackets- Another team that has only played 4 games. Won at home, lost on the road. A continuation of this trend actually would be a welcome improvement for the long struggling franchise

  • 25 NY Rangers- We never would have expected the Blueshirts to be this far down in our poll, but after dropping another game at home(albetit to the Senators) the rangers fell to 2-3 with a very unimpressive PP. May be taking the new acquisitions a bit longer than expected to gel together. Lundqvist looking to be in mid season form though. We expect them to rebound

  • 26 Phoenix Coyote- This is the likely year long placement for the dessert dogs. haven't looked terrible, but at 2-3, their preseason placement makes it difficult to climb up far. If TGO would keep them near .500 he'd deserve Adams consideration. We don't anticipate that

  • 27 Nashville Predator- No longer the power house team we have seen in recent seasons. We can foresee the early trend to continue, and as attendance also drops the rumours of a move to intensify

  • 28 Edmonton Oiler- Have played decent at Rexall, but can't get untracked on the road(0-3). We didn't see them as a playoff team, but not as an awful team either. The Mctavish watch may begin very soon if this continues

  • 29 Los Angeles King- We can see teams declining an invitation to play in Europe next year as the Kings and Ducks are a combined 3-9 thus far. The Kings biggest issue was the one we were concerned about; keeping the puck out of their own net. Taylor may have to address this issue sooner rather than later if they want to make the post season. They should be better than this. Crawford's job is on the line.

  • 30 Atlanta Thrashers- No team has looked worse thus far. Losing 3 at home and 2 more on the road. Amazingly until this weekend they had trouble scoring. Perhaps the Bob Hartley watch should commence! Their GM, Waddell SHOULD be the one axed if anyone goes!

  • 4) Admittedly the sample size(games played) is insufficient to make a huge distinction between many teams. Undoubtedly with our next instalment(in about a month) a more clear separation will begin and the numbers will have significantly more meaning. Consider this a combo of preseason and early games rankings.
  • Friday, October 12, 2007

    NHL to Roll the Dice on Expansion?

    1) The intelligence of whether the NHL should expand or not aside, (its almost a done deal they will!) one has to wonder how they could possibly entertain the possible location of a new/moved NHL franchise in Las Vegas? Do the owners and Gary Bettman not learn?? Its not like they have to go back in time long to recall how gambling affected the league! Add to that the very recent problems Mr. Bettman's old employer, the NBA had with a gambling referee

    2) Yeah, having a team in Las Vegas would draw major headlines. Expansion would also help the league realignment, possibly allowing Detroit and Columbus to switch to the Eastern Conference. This switch/expansion might easier allow the new owner(s) of Nashville a chance to move the team to KC. That said: Vegas is a terrible place to expand. The people are as deserving of a franchise as many other cities, but does the league want an organized gambling presence right in a franchise's face 24/7/365?

    3) It also isn't all that long ago that MLB had its own Problem: To place a franchise within the city limits where almost anything goes is beyond inane. We can say with total confidence that what would take place in Vegas would NOT stay in Las Vegas!!

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Peter "Clemens" Still in Limbo

    While I haven't been very active creating new posts lately, I am very curious as to where Peter Forsberg will end up this year. So therefore, I have decided to chime in on this topic. I have heard grumblings involving both Colorado and Los Angeles. The Kings is definitely a franchise that I feel would benefit immeasurably. But, is Forsberg the hockey equivalent of Roger Clemens, who seems to care only about himself these days? Ya know, screw the team concept! Consider the impact Peter's presence would have in the LA locker room. The bright young stars of the Kings would certainly have a great deal to learn from the motivated "winner" Forsberg still has the potential to be. But, Peter has never thrived on the limelight or craved the attention of the big city - at least that is what he has proclaimed for years. Maybe he uses that as a negotiating tool. Who knows?

    Colorado is a more obvious choice, and a place where Forsberg has a chance to win another Cup before he calls it quits. This option is much less interesting, though, as we have seen this act already. Moreover, I tend not to pay too close attention to cap room, but I am sure I will be corrected if these teams are not feasible. Nevertheless, if Peter truly is the next Rocket, then I suspect this discussion will be moot until after the new year. Let me hear some feedback, folks. The readers here on the Faux blog are as informed and knowledgable as any I have seen. Also, I hope this satisfies those who have called for me to "get busy" and post something. Cheers. Antz, signing off

    Is Burke Correct?

    1) Firstly we want to say that we at FAUXRUMORS are big Burke fans. Not only has he been a fairly successful hockey executive(The GM of the Cup champs), etc, but we like the manner in which he constructs his teams. Pushing a style of hockey(old time hockey some would call it) that most real hockey fans prefer. We also like the fact that he isn't evasive with the media. Unlike GM's such as former Flyers boss Bobby Clark, who many times would say one thing and the next day do the exact opposite/treat the media/fans as if they were his mortal enemy, Burke tells it like it is. Folks in the media know if he says something, they can take it to the bank.

    2) So we listened to his interview last week with a significant degree of interest. (The link for the entire interview is provided) In the 3 minute or so segment he was asked about his (former-?) friend Kevin Lowe, who successfully signed away Dustin Penner from the Ducks this summer, he didn't hold back any punches (and we wonder if given a chance he would literally hold back punches?!) what he felt about Lowe. Calling his move "colossal stupidity" and stating that he felt Lowe had 'run his own team into the ground', and "threw a grenade at the other 29 teams" in response to his own bad moves

    3) This is our take:

    • Yes, the Lowe move to try to sign Vanek, then successfully get Penner WERE moves of desperation. At the time, we at FAUXRUMORS said just that-

    • We also mention here how we feel this move(s) may have long term implication to the league.

    • That said, we disagree with the public/personal manner in which Burke has made this. Lowe did NOTHING against the rules as outlined in the new CBA. He merely used these rules to try to improve his club. Its not his job to worry about the other 29 teams, and what ramifications his club's moves will have on others.

    • He may have broken the unwritten code of screwing a fellow GM, and making the mistake of not informing Burke prior to screwing him, but that was Lowe's prerogative to do. It may have been a bad move, and it may have been a crappy thing to do to a buddy, but this is not a friendly hockey pool, this is a multi-billion dollar business, and Lowe very well may be trying to save his own buttocks. He needs to do what he feels is best for HIS team. In this instance Brian Burke should button/bite his lips and get over it and move on.

    Monday, October 8, 2007

    European Expansion?

    1) With the completed opening of the NHL season in London recently, we at FAUXRUMORS decided we'd look into the possibility of European expansion and its feasibility. Our friend at Jibblescibbits recently did their own story on this matter. ttp://

    2) He believes it IS a possibility, albeit a distant one. We set forth in response to that post a series of reasons which we believe would most likely preclude a possible European expansion:

    • The time differential. Getting folks to tune into NHL games is difficult enough down in the states now. Imagine if a good % of games started at 1-2 or 3:00 a.m. EST? Even worse for the folks out west.

    • Differences in currency. It was a nightmare(until recently) to have 2 currencies dominate the league. Imagine if they throw the Euro, and other European currencies into the mix?

    • The "Big countries" over the pond in Western Europe(England, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany) are not known as hockey hot beds. Certainly hockey is huge in Sweden, Czech and Slovak republics, Russia, and to a lesser extent Switzerland. Is that where the NHL wants to expand?

    • Those aforementioned countries all have well established "Elite leagues". Would/could they find a series of folks willing to shell out big expansion fees in these smaller countries?

    • How many North Americans would want to play 9 months of the year so far from home if they could stay closer at the same salary? You'd have a dichotomy of talent. The Euros staying over there and NA's staying over here. Unlike now where there is a mix on each team

    • As a result the potential exists that one could see a top draft pick(s) refusing to report to a European city alla Eric Lindros refusing to go to Quebec in 1991 for language reasons. Only now it would occur on both sides and MUCH more frequently. Most Europeans speak English and its taught in almost all schools. The same is NOT true over here. How many North American hockey players speak Swedish, Russian, etc?

    • The travel for teams here going to Europe and vise versa would be horrendous. Teams in the 2 western time zones would have it even worse than the East. Its hard enough leveling the playing field in 3-4 time zones. Adding 6-7 more would be a nightmare!

    3) No, we simply can not see a legitimate scenario where a series of European NHL teams could be established. Way too many hurdles. Perhaps in the VERY distant future when the Earth has ONE currency, the transport of folks to and from can be accomplished in minutes not hours, the idea may have some potential. Until then, the best possible scenario that could have a legitimate shot at working would be to have a European champion play the NHL champion for the Stanley Cup. Even that would face tremendous challenges from North American hockey traditionalists, but would have the potential to really open up the NHL into Europen consciousness

    Friday, October 5, 2007

    Trend or Aberration?

    1) Certainly one could not look at one night's games in the NHL as a trend, but tonight's results certainly must of had many of the so-called experts scratching their heads. The Stanley Cup Champs AND the president's Trophy winners both lost to team that most prognosticators(including us at FAUXRUMORS) had as bottom feeders. Here are some examples of tonight's surprising results:

    • NY Islanders 6 Buffalo 4. This was Buffalo's home opener. They presented the President's trophy. They were playing the 'lowly Islanders', the team many figured to be at the bottom of the conference. The Isles hadn't won in Buffalo since February 27, 2004. The Sabres lost Briere and Drury, but were penciled in for a playoff spot. Most figured the Isles would struggle for goals. Not so tonight, with their free agents leading the way Mike Comrie had 4 points. Buffalo didn't miss their lost free agents offense, but they could use someone to help kill penalties as the Isles scored 3 times with the man advantage!

    • Columbus 4 Anaheim 0. The Cup champs are shut out by a team many thought might be at the bottom of the entire league this year. A team many said had the worst defense in the NHL. To be fair the Ducks have already had a brutal schedule. Going over to Europe to play those two silly games with the Kings this past weekend, then playing their second game in North America when many teams didn't even start their seasons until tonight. Fatigue was evident, but the result was still not what most would have expected.

    • Washington 3- Atlanta 1. Not as a huge of an upset as the other two, but the reigning division champs, at home for their opener. Raising the banner, the Thrashers would presumably be sky high and ready to put on a good performance for the home fans. Not so, as the Caps out worked and out scored the home Thrashers. Perhaps a harbinger of things to come?

    • Carolina 4- Pittsburgh 1 Perhaps the result isn't a shock, but the ease in which the Canes handled the highly touted Pens was surprising. The elder Staal was again, 'The good Staal', with Eric getting his 2nd and third tallies of the young season. Already Fleury appears shaky. getting yanked in favour of Danny Sabourin in the third. The Pens only managed 1 goal late on a 5-3 PP. Sid was held pointless.

    2) Certainly it would be silly/premature to make any conclusions based upon tonight's results, but it certainly shows why only an idiot would bet on hockey!

    Thursday, October 4, 2007

    Who gets The Axe First?

      1) With the season (underway) about to start the inevitable discussions will commence as to what coaches are on the proverbial 'hot seat'. With that in mind we figured we'd go through the 30 current coaches and discuss who is pretty secure (as NHL coaches go), who is teetering on the brink, and the rest in between.

      2) We'll simply go alphabetically from East then West: To simplify/quantify this we will use a scale 0-10. 0-being very safe, and 10-being half way out the door. At this stage there are no 10's(yet).

      • Bob Hartley (Atlanta Thrashers)- (8) He is on the hot seat! If this team gets off to a horrendous start he could be the first coach to get the axe. One of our least favourite GM's Don Wadell who is also on the hot seat, will not hesitate to find another coach if he sees the season slipping away

      • Claude Julien (Boston Bruins)- (3) Got screwed by Lou i Jersey last year. Deserved a better fate than to be replaced with 2 weeks left in the season where arguably he was an Adams candidate. Fortunately for Claude after a year on the inept Dave Lewis anyone else will seem like an improvement. Unless the B's fall part, he should survive the year.

      • Lindy Ruff (Buffalo Sabres)-(2) The Adams-runner up(He won the award 2 years ago) is as safe as any East head coach. The team has fallen short of the Finals the last 2 seasons, but management is happy with his job performance. Unless they fal apart and fail to make the post season, Lindy's job is secure

      • Peter Laviolette (Carolina Hurricanes)(3) Peter, unless the Canes are among the leagues worst, is pretty secure in Carolina. Having won a Cup a couple of seasons ago, and playing in the less than hockey crazed section of North America, he is under little pressure other than making the post season.

      • Jacques Martin (Florida Panthers)(6) Time may be running out on the former Senator coach. Another non-playoff season may be the final straw. Even in South Florida they notice when their team sucks perennially. The problem is he is also the team GM, so he either will be 'persuaded' to leave the coaching to someone else, or they will clean house entirely. All presupposing the big cats are again runner ups to the playoff dance in April.

      • Guy Carbonneau (Montreal Canadians) (5) The folks in Montreal, much like Toronto are not the most patient. Amazingly its been a long drought(for Montreal standards). Missing the playoffs like last year will not be tolerated. The pressure will be on Guy to get back to the post season. If they get off to a horrendous start he may find himself in need of work

      • Brent Sutter (NJ Devils)(4)- Normally a new coach would be an automatic 1-3, but with Lou, no one is safe, even if they seem to be doing well. That said, unless Brent surprisingly looks like a rookie coach, and has players talking behind his back negatively, he should be secure for a season (as much as a Devil coach can be) Any team with Brodeur in goal won't ever be far from playoff contention

      • Ted Nolan (NY Islanders)- (1) Got a raw deal last season by his Adams snub. Got more than most anyone expected from last years team. Lost key personnel this year so expectations are not high. Even a bottom in the conference finish wouldn't cause Wang to remove the native Canadian from the head job.

      • Tom Renney (NY Rangers)-(4) Two years ago he may have been a 6-7, but the Rangers put together an impressive recovery to respectability. Expectations are now high though, and a significant fall would make him very vulnerable.

      • John Paddock (Ottawa Senators)(4) A team that fired its GM after getting to the Finals is apparently not a place for a coach to feel safe. Expectations in Ottawa are sky high. Anything less than a division title and another finals appearance would make Paddock fodder for replacement rumours.

      • John Stevens (Philadelphia Flyers)(5) Stevens did a decent job replacing Hitchcock, but with the high payroll there will now be expectations to win. If they are out of it early on Stevens will be job hunting early.

      • Michel Therrien (Pittsburgh Penguins) (3) We aren't big fans of Therrian, and believe the team succeeded despite him. Now that expectations are higher in Steel-town, if they falter he may be replaced, especially if he loses the respect of his resident superstar, Sindey Crosby. Its not likely. Michel's biggest issue this year may be how he handles his goalies.

      • John Tortorella (TB Lightning) (6) His act seems to wearing thin. Their Cup championship seems like its a LONG time ago. He has been prone to rip his goalies and with their current tenders, its again likely. He got the team's support last year when the squad was underachieving. Don't look for Feaster to give John the same amount of rope this year if things don't go well

      • Paul Maurice (Toronto Maple Leafs) (5)- Another non-playoff year for the Leafs, especially after their roster upgrades could spell the end of Mr. Maurice's latest coaching position in Hockey's capital

      • Glen Hanlon (Washington Capitals)- (5) After 2 seasons of 'rebuilding' there are now expectations to win in DC. Glen could survive a near miss, but if they fall out of it like last season, his days may be numbered.


      • Randy Carlyle (Anaheim Duck)(1) Probably has the safest job in the league. As the reigning cup champ's coach. Expectations are to repeat, but its extremely doubtful he'd lose his job if they fail. He and Burke have similar Burke have similar philosophies which should help cement his position

      • Mike Keenan (Calgary Flame)(4) As we mention in our preseason predictions, Iron Mike usually in the short term, gets the most from his players, but his tactics wear thin, especially with a veteran club. Mike especially has been known to screw/play mind games with his goalies. That won't go over well with the veteran Kipper. This team is ready to compete for a Cup, so if they falter Mike may have a short stay in Cow-town.

      • Denis Savard (Chicago Blackhawk)(2) Low expectations coupled with the fact that the Witch is dead(William Wirtz) and that Savard is a BlackHawk fan favourite mean that Denis's job is probably safe despite an anticipated non-playoff year in The Windy City.

      • Joel Quenneville (Colorado Avalanche) (5) Entering his 3rd full season behind the Av's bench the pressure will be elevated this season coming off the franchises first non-playoff year since their move from Quebec. The addition of Smyth and Hannan have folks expecting a playoff spot, if not more.

      • KEN HITCHCOCK (Columbus Blue Jackets) (2) No one expects much from the Jackets this season. With a new GM and coach they will merely have to show improvement/development of their youngsters. The pressure will mount next season.

      • Dave Tippett (Dallas Star) (8) Amazingly this will be Tippets 6th season behind the Stars bench. The Stars have done exceptionally well under Tippett's tenure during the regular season, but have won only one playoff round under his guidance. Given how two of those playoff losses were in a measly five games, one could conclude that Tippett doesn't have the right stuff to win in the playoffs. The pressure is on!

      • Mike Babcock (Detroit Red Wing) (3) Expectations are always high in Hockey town. So far Mike hasn't won it all in Mo-town, but has still had good regular season, and some playoff success. Enough to ensure stability for this season unless the wheels fall off.

      • Craig MacTavish (Edmonton Oiler) (8) Coming into his 7th season as the Oliers coach their Finals appearance of 2 years ago must seem like a century ago to he and Oiler fans alike. Few expect the Oil to repeat that feat, but another dismal season could spell the end of Craig's tenure with Edmonton

      • Marc Crawford (Los Angeles King) (5) His second year in Tinsel town. The first was forgettable. He can't afford a repeat of that else he'll be gone. Any improvement will probably mean he'll survive for another season. All he needs to do is make sure they stay in contention most of the way.

      • Jacques Lemaire (Minnesota Wild) (2) The "Gum Chewer" as we at FAUXRUMORS affectionately call him has brought his defense-first style to the Wild and given the young franchise a modicum of success in their short time. It has caused some consternation among his forwards, but as long as they stay on board, and the team is a playoff contender, Jacques's job is safe.

      • Barry Trotz (Nashville Predator) (4) The only coach the franchise has ever had. We are not fans of his, but somehow he's managed to endure. With lowered expectations and ownership in flux he'll probably survive yet another season in The Music City.

      • Wayne Gretzky (Phoenix Coyote) (3)This figures to be another bad season in the desert for TGO. As part owner its not known if he can be fired. It certainly wouldn't be good for PR to fire the greatest player in league history. More likely he'd step down voluntarily("To spend more time with his family") That may be a good thing as we're not fans of Wayne as a coach

      • Andy Murray (St. Louis Blue)(2) Seemed to turn things around when he took over mid way last year. Should be fairly secure with the rebuilding Blues

      • Ron Wilson (San Jose Shark) (8) The pressure is clearly on Wilson this year. Anything less than a trip to the finals will be considered failure in SJ. A first or second round playoff loss almost certainly will cost him his job

      • Alain Vigneault (Vancouver Canuck) (2) The reigning coach of the Year winner, his job is probably quite secure. Only a miserable regular season and or player(Luongo/Sedin) discontent would be a problem for the affable Quebecer

      Wednesday, October 3, 2007

      Anyone Surprised??

      1) Today we read with partial amusement that the 'deal' that the 'local investors' in Nashville had with the team is apparently about to fall through. Regular readers of this blog of course will NOT be surprised by this bit of news. As we recently reported Just 2 weeks ago we mention this very possibility/likelyhood. We didn't think we'd see cracks this soon. We figured they'd go through the motions a bit more. Looks like the local city government isn't going to play along with this obvious charade?

      2) If/When the sale falls through it will probably grease the skids toward a move to KC. We wouldn't at all be surprised to see 'minority investor', William (Boots) Del Biaggio step forward to become a majority investor, sealing the deal for the eventual move to Missouri. As we mentioned last time, the fix appears to be in! Meet the new boss!.............

      Tuesday, October 2, 2007

      Suspension Circumvention?

      1) The merits of the length of the Downie suspension aside(For the record we believe it was far too steep) the Flyers attempt to circumvent the suspension by sending Downey down to the minors should NOT be allowed/permitted and this 'loophole' needs to be closed.

      2) As the linked article mentions the NHL/AHL have affiliation BUT are NOT directly linked. One league does not have to uphold the suspensions of the other. Not only will the Flyers potentially get some salary cap relief (Downie's salary won't count against the cap while he is in the AHL), they can 'call him up' on game days to "serve his suspension". So they would get the duel 'benefit of him serving his suspension and NOT having to have his salary count with their cap, the majority of the 6 or so weeks that the 20 games takes to expire.

      3) We find this loophole far more egregious than the Simon loophole allowing suspended players to play in the preseason. In addition to the Flyer benefits, Downie also gets duel benefits in that he will be getting paid for his AHL work, and also stays in game shape while doing so. We would imagine that's not what suspensions were intended to do.

      4)While sources tell FAUXRUMORS that this scenario is NOT a lock, the very fact that it could happen should make the NHL set forth a rule that would prohibit teams from demoting suspended players at any time until the suspension has been lifted. Loophole closed.

      Monday, October 1, 2007

      D-Day In The NHL

      1) Today is traditionally the busiest day of the year as far as number of transactions is concerned. Today, by 3:00 p.m. Eastern, teams have to have their rosters trimmed to 23 players. 21 skaters and 2 goalies maximum.(Some teams carry 21 players)

      2) Though we're not hearing about any potential blockbuster trades as of this writing, there can be some minor deals as teams pare rosters.

      • Certainly quite a number of players who are on 2 way deals will be sent to the minors this afternoon.

      • Some players on 'try out deals, will either be signed(Berard with the Islanders) or released(Muir with the Maple Leafs), etc.

      • Many players will have to go through wavers to be sent down. This is where the majority of transactions will occur, as many players are 'waved', and picked up by other clubs.

      3) Very few of these transactions will have huge impacts on the teams overall, but some teams have some very tough decisions to make with several players on the bubble. Many younger deserving players will be sent down only because they may not have to first clear wavers. For others this may be their last chance at an NHL job. We can imagine quite a few jittery folks right now dreading the phone call they will get later today. As always, keep it here for the latest!

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