NHL Headlines for Early Birds – August 25, 2011.

Updates on the health of Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, and Peter Mueller. Washington’s Brooks Laich is compared to a Hall of Famer. A former Flames prospect is found not guilty of robbery. A notable Hurricanes fan passes away. The CBC denies “anti-Western” bias in their hockey coverage. Get the details below the fold.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Shelly Anderson reports Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been visiting leading concussion specialists around the country and is expected to make a full recovery, though there remains  timetable for his return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins obviously released this report in response to a rising tide of “What’s wrong with Sidney?” questions in recent days. While the news of a full recovery should stifle talk of retirement, but the lack of a date for his return will unfortunately keep the speculation over his recovery alive.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Kuc reported Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane’s recovery from off-season wrist surgery could take longer than anticipated, as it’s possible he could miss the start of training camp. He’s targeted the ‘Hawks season opener on October 7th as his return date.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Better he takes as much time as needed to make a full recovery, rather than risk complications which could take him out of the lineup later in the season, when they’ll really need him.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports Avalanche forward Peter Mueller is excited to have his concussion issues (which sidelined him for the entire 2010-11 season) behind him and is excited about returning to action. Mueller said he’ll be wearing a new one-piece made by Easton Sports will help him stay healthy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Let’s hope so. Mueller’s career was considered in jeopardy after missing as much time as he did last season. Another concussion raises the possibility of prematurely ending his NHL career.

WASHINGTON POST: Lindsay Applebaum reported Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau singled out Capitals forward Brooks Laich as “the consummate hockey player”, comparing him favorably to Montreal Canadiens hall of fame forward Bob Gainey, who also earned that title during his playing days

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I would hesitate to compare Laich to Gainey (who won four Selke trophies, a Conn Smythe trophy, and was captain of the legendary Canadiens for nearly a decade), there’s no denying he is one of the most complete players in the game, and certainly the most complete one on the Capitals.

CALGARY HERALD: reported former Flames prospect Daniel Ryder (brother of NHL veteran winger Michael Ryder) was found not guilty of robbery in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The robbery, which occurred in Bonavista, occurred last January, but the judge ruled there was no conclusive evidence linking Ryder to the crime. He was originally deemed unfit to stand trial but improved following treatment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Ryder continues to receives the treatment he needs and there’ll no longer be any incidents like this. His professional playing career is likely over.

NEWS &OBSERVER.COM: Luke Decock reports the death of David Martin, aka radio DJ “Chopper Harrison”, who was renowned for his relentless support of the Carolina Hurricanes. He was 59.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Condolences to his family, friends and the Hurricanes organization.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Bruce Dowbiggin reports Hockey Night in Canada executive producer Trevor Pilling dismissed allegations from some bloggers claiming the show’s schedule for the upcoming season carries a disproportionate number of games from the Eastern and Central based Canadian teams. The problem is due instead to Western Canadian teams not having as many games slated for Saturday nights as the Eastern teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, it’s a scheduling problem, not bias against Western Canadian teams. 

4 Comments

  1. Bruce Dowbiggen is a tool, he’s biased because he can’t get a job in the east.

  2. If Mueller can be healthy and regain some o his form before the injury, he will gie the Avs a lot of offensive depth up front.

  3. Please let me put on my tinfoil cowboy hat for a moment…
    There absolutely is a bias against western teams. Whether or not it is controlled by HNIC or the league or, likely, both is the question. You can justify it any way you want (viewership, fanbase, advertising revenue) but it is still a bias. If it is not then explain to me why, out west, we are required to watch the Leafs (nearly) every single Saturday night. Are you really going to convince me that the Leafs just randomly get that time slot?

    HNIC Games:
    Montreal – 27
    Toronto – 24
    Ottawa – 20
    Winnipeg – 19

    Vancouver – 16
    Calgary – 13
    Edmonton – 10

    No bias? Yeah, right… just a scheduling issue…

  4. It could be a scheduling issue one year. So let’s look at last year

    montreal 25
    toronto 23
    ottawa 19
    vancouver 14
    calgary 13
    edmonton 11

    The same trend year to year indicates bias.