Jun 3, 2011

Around The NHL: June 2, 2011

5. Sidney Crosby Cleared For Off-Ice Workouts

CH: This is very encouraging to hear. Like him or hate him, Crosby is the best player in the world and it is extremely disadvantageous for all parties for him to be sidelined with this type of injury. Considering the NHL is trying to cut down on head injuries, having Crosby as the lead example would be a disaster. Most importantly, however, it's important Crosby is able to continue his career as one of the top players of the generation.

AT: The NHL is roaring back, and Crosby and his magnificent skills on ice are a huge part of it. To lose him would be catastrophic for the sport. He may very well lead the Penguins to several more Stanley Cups (much to my dismay), and will continue to lead the league in points and goals scored. The NHL needs you back, Sid. Get well soon.

4. New Winnipeg Team Has Sold Over 4,000 Season Tickets In Two Days

CH: When Commissioner Bettman stated that for the Winnipeg project to work, the team must sell 13,000 tickets, he wasn't kidding. So far, the city has responded to this demand as 4,000 Manitoba Moose season ticket holders have already signed on as season ticket holders for the new Winnipeg team. When tickets open to the general public in a few days, there should be no problems whatsoever getting to that 13,000 number.

AT: This is very encouraging news. I'd like nothing more than to see Winnipeg succeed. Hopefully with new ownership and a Canadian location, they'll be able to bring in higher end FAs as well. I'm very excited for the first Winnipeg-Islanders game.

Photo Credit: Ric Ernst
3. Dan Hamhuis Questionable For Game 2 With "Middle-Body" Injury
TSN     Vancouver Sun     ESPN

CH: Hamhuis is without question a big part of the Vancouver defense, which has been outstanding in these playoffs. The Canucks have set themselves up very nicely with their defensive depth. Keith Ballard should be able to step right in and do a solid job if Hamhuis is unable to go. Speaking of Ballard, he is a possible trade candidate in the offseason and potentially someone the Islanders may want to look into if they are interested in another Wisniewski-type deal.

AT: Vancouver's D is absolutely stacked. While losing a top 2 D-Man is always scary, I don't see it being a gigantic problem for Vancouver. I certainly hope not. If I have to see another Boston team win a championship, I may just quit the 4 major sports and pick up competitive chinese checkers.

2. Alex Burrows Faces No Suspension For Biting Patrice Bergeron
Photo Credit: Reuters

CH: There is no excusing what Burrows did to Bergeron (though some may argue what Bergeron was doing putting his hand there to begin with). The fact of the matter is the NHL is not going to hand out suspensions in the Stanley Cup Final to a top line player unless he practically decapitates someone on the ice. During the regular season, Burrows probably gets a game or two, but it's not the regular season. The only irony I see here is that the day Gary Bettman asks for harsher supplemental discipline, something like this goes unpunished. Both teams are ready to move on, which is what they should do. Game 2 is Saturday night at 8 PM on NBC.

AT: As Carey said, it's the Cup finals. It was the right thing to do. They'll get over it. 

1. Dallas Stars Trying To Trade Brad Richards Before July 1

CH: Richards is the top pending unrestricted free agent on the market, which makes the Stars' inability to sign him a big, intriguing story. Logic will dictate big market teams like the Rangers, Maple Leafs, and Kings being in on trading for Richards' rights. However, the Stars are going to do what's best for them and if a smaller market team (such as Tampa Bay) comes along and offers them the best deal, they'll probably take it. That said, I would not expect the Islanders to even make an offer to Dallas. We will continue to keep tabs on this story as it continues to unfold during the Stanley Cup Finals and beyond.

AT: I question whether the Rangers can afford him with some major RFAs needing new deals. I can see him fitting in perfectly in Toronto, and they're certainly the kind of team to make a silly trade... calling Phil Kessel!

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