Report: Sabres to be awarded 2015 NHL combine
Ted Nolan | BUF
(August 17, 2014 9:29 PM EDT)
The Sabres are planning a "major announcement" for Monday at 1 p.m. where they are expected to be awarded hosting duties for the NHL Combine.
The combine is normally held in suburban Toronto, but Buffalo has placed a multi-year bid to host it at the new HarborCenter complex that is set to open in October. The Sabres are also in pursuit of hosting the 2016 NHL Draft, but it is not clear at this point whether that announcement will come on Monday. Senior NHL official Colin Campbell is set to speak t the conference, as well as Sabres and HarborCenter executives.
Buffalo News
Lubomir Visnovsky set for bounce back year
Lubomir Visnovsky | NYI
(August 17, 2014 8:02 PM EDT)
Lubomir Visnovsky could be a nice sleeper pick for the coming season, as the former 68-point blueliner will be off the radar after a concussion riddled 2013-14 season.
Visnovsky played in just 24 games last year accumulating 11 points. The 38 year-old will still be relied on for heavy minutes and to quarterback the power play for the Isles if he can stay healthy. The fiery Slovakian will also help usher in the new guard on the Isles blueline, including top prospects Griffin Reinhart and Calvin de Haan.
Ty Rattie has a shot at making Blues' roster
Ty Rattie | STL
(August 17, 2014 6:44 PM EDT)
Ty Rattie has the potential to wage a real competitive battle to join the Blues out of training camp, as the 21 year-old sniper has made strides in his development lately.
The Blues are pretty deep at forward but that might not stop Rattie, who had a solid rookie season in the AHL. The fast, crafty, and lethally offensive forward is nearly ready to be unleashed in the NHL.
Adam Clendening could challenge for D spot
Adam Clendening | CHI
(August 17, 2014 5:38 PM EDT)
It seems like a big factor keeping Adam Clendening from the NHL is the solid depth the Blackhawks have on their blueline.
The 21 year-old offensive-minded defenseman lit up the AHL last season with 59 points in 74 games in his sophomore year. Clendening’s defensive capabilities have been a work in progress, and they will be tested at training camp. Nonetheless, the future appears bright for the puckmoving defenseman.
Nail Yakupov has the tools to bounce back
Nail Yakupov | EDM
(August 17, 2014 4:34 PM EDT)
Nail Yakupov will look to put last year's troubles behind him and find a way to help the Oilers this season after a sophomore slump of major proportions.
A promising rookie season in 2012 brought on high hopes for the teenage Russian star, but Yakupov failed to find the net often last year and was a major liability on defense. To go with his meagre 24 points and -33 rating, a cold war raged throughout the year with his coach Dallas Eakins. Trade rumors, negative comments in the media and visits from Yakupov’s agent to Edmonton created an off-ice circus to go along with Yakupov's on-ice troubles. But considering the elite, breathtaking skill level of the 5'11, 184 pound forward, a bounce back season is more likely than not.
Teams reap benefits of boosted NHL revenue
Gary Bettman | CLG
(August 17, 2014 2:58 PM EDT)
Each of the league's 30 teams received a $5-million payment this summer thanks to a considerable surge in league revenue over the 2013-14 season.
It's pocket change for teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, but for struggling franchises like Arizona and Florida, the NHL's prosperity and revenue sharing plan is very important. The revenue boost comes from financially successful league initiatives such as the six massive outdoor games last season, and the lucrative TV rights deal signed with Rogers Communications for $5.2 billion. The 12 year agreement gave the Canadian cable giant exclusive rights over Canadian national hockey broadcasts starting this fall.
The Globe and Mail
Petter Granberg poised to win a job at camp
Petter Granberg | TOR
(August 17, 2014 1:28 PM EDT)
Petter Granberg is a solid candidate to win a job on the Leafs' blueline this season after taking strides in his development last year and some new openings on the Toronto defense.
The 22 year-old Swede is a stingy defender with great size and force to keep attacking forwards at bay. He performed very well in his first season as a pro with the AHL Marlies in 2013-14, and with the departures of defensive minded veterans Paul Ranger and TIm Gleason during the off-season, the Leafs would love for Granberg to answer the call.
Location for 2015 Winter Classic still TBD
Alex Ovechkin | WAS
(August 17, 2014 12:26 PM EDT)
FedEx Field has reportedly been ruled out as a possible destination for the 2015 Winter Classic, as the Washington Redskins will host the Dallas Cowboys there on Dec. 28 and officials will not have enough time to flip the field into an ice rink.
That leaves Nationals Park, the city's baseball field, as the leading candidate to host the event on Jan 1, 2015. RFK Stadium, home of the D.C. United MLS team is also in the mix, as well as a few far-fetched ideas of holding the game at the National Mall, Camden Yards or M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. The Caps will host the Blackhawks in the annual spectacle, wherever it may be held.
CSN Washington
No action on the Kevin Hayes front yet
Kevin Hayes | CHI
(August 17, 2014 11:00 AM EDT)
All was quiet on the Kevin Hayes front during the first two days of his UFA eligibility as rumours continue to swirl where the NCAA standout forward might end up after he turned down the Blackhawks' contract offer.
Hayes was runner up for the college hockey MVP last year after lighting it up for Boston College with 27 goals and 65 points in 40 games. After finishing his college career, the 22 year-old preferred to become a free agent rather than sign with Chicago and work his way up their loaded depth chart. Reports have linked a handful of teams to the pursuit of the versatile forward who can play both center and right wing. Hayes will apparently narrow down his options early next week. It's worth noting that the Calgary Flames own the rights to Hayes' two linemates at Boston College, John Gaudreau and Bill Arnold.
Mark Divver on Twitter
Reflecting on Alexander Steen's great year
Alexander Steen | STL
(August 17, 2014 10:34 AM EDT)
Alex Steen put together a career year in 2013-14, compiling career highs in goals (33) and points (62), raising the question of whether he can maintain those fine fantasy stats in the future.
Steen's solid production occurred in just 68 games during a season where the veteran celebrated his 30th birthday. After posting under 30 points in three of the five seasons prior to his productive 2013-14, the magnitude of the Swede's success was definitely a surprise. The first key to Steen maintaining his scoring touch is staying healthy. The left winger has played over 80 games just twice in his 10 year career, and has played in under 70 games in seven of the past eight seasons. Steen had never produced at such a consistent pace over the course of his career, thus we expect a tough road for him to repeat as a 30 goal scorer.