CH: Pretty slow news day in the NHL today, so this is our substitution for the top 5 countdown. Regarding this move by the Sabres, this is exactly what they needed. In recent years, Buffalo has suffered somewhat of an exodus of players leaving from players such as Chris Drury and Danny Briere to lesser "name" players such as Toni Lydman and Henrik Tallinder. Stafford is clearly a member of the Sabres core at this point and deserves every cent of this contract. Keep in mind that from an Islanders perspective, Michael Grabner is two years younger, scored more points, and is earning one million less per year (on the cap) than Stafford. That doesn't imply the Stafford deal is a bad one, but actually shows how great the Grabner deal could be for the Islanders.
AT: Great move by the Sabres. Stafford is going to be a continuous goalscorer in this league. He was very impressive in the times I saw him play the Isles.
In other news, TSN is also reporting the new Winnipeg team has sold 55% of it's season ticket quota of 13,000 as of yesterday.
AT: Update as of 4:30 PM - Done. Congrats to Winnipeg... you guys showed you're definitely involved and ready to support the new team.
CH: With sales opening to the general public tomorrow, the team will have no problem getting the remaining 45%. The only question will be how fast the rest of the tickets go. This is exactly what needed to happen with the recent announcement of the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg. With this step over halfway completed, it will be interesting to see how True North responds from a hockey operations standpoint. Who will they keep? Who will they let go? Can they sign Andrew Ladd to a contract extension? Are free agents going to sign there? It will be very interesting to see what direction the new Winnipeg team goes in.
Finally, Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals is tonight at 8 PM (EST) on NBC. It should be another great battle.
AT: Do we get more biting?! Tell me we get more biting!