Updates on Claude Giroux and Cam Ward, reaction to the Capitals signing Mikhail Grabovski, the Blues emulate the Predators “Keep The Red Out” campaign, and more.
PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux has decided to skip Team Canada’s orientation camp next week to continue rehabbing his surgically repaired hand. Girioux recently severed four tendons on his right index finger when a gold club shattered in his hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even though there won’t be any on-ice training at the orientation camp, Giroux is better off rehabbing his hand for the upcoming season.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward has recovered from a season-ending knee injury and is determined to prove he’s still an elite NHL goaltender. Ward, who was not invited to Team Canada’s training camp, also hopes his play this coming season could earn him a selection to the official roster.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ward is only 29 but remains burdened by pressure to regain his championship form from earlier in his career (Conn Smythe Trophy winner in the Hurricanes 2006 Stanley Cup championship). When he’s on his game he’s certainly among the NHL’s best, with five 30-plus win seasons under his belt. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes since that championship season have also been mired in mediocrity, overshadowing Ward’s efforts.
WASHINGTON POST: A meeting with Capitals head coach Adam Oates helped convince Mikhail Grabovski to sign a one-year, $3 million contract with the club. Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom and Troy Brouwer approved of Grabovski’s signing, believing he’ll be a good fit to center the second line.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This should be “win-win” for the Capitals and Grabovski. They get an experienced two-way center who should ably fill that second-line center role, and Grabovski gets a chance to prove his critics wrong.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues are emulating the Nashville Predators “Keep The Red Out” campaign by insisting fans who wish to attend home games against the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings by purchasing single game tickets must buy a larger ticket package.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The goal here is to prevent those home games being overwhelmed by Blackhawks and Red Wings fans. On the one hand, it’s a bit of a gamble, as fans could balk at purchasing a multi-ticket package just to attend those games. On the other hand, if it pays off, it could become a popular marketing strategy.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: Former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke slammed Russia’s new anti-gay laws. Burke’s late son Brendan came out as gay in November 2009, and his other son Patrick was among the founders of the “You Can Play” project. Burke is the director of player personnel for Team USA at the upcoming Sochi Olympics.
OTTAWA SUN: A recent International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) study found more people world-wide are playing hockey, but numbers are down in Canada this year compared to a year ago.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One reason for the decline in Canada is the expense. It’s become more costly for Canadians to play hockey. Another is the rise in popularity of more affordable sports like baseball, basketball and soccer (or as I call it, football).
DETROIT NEWS: Interested in renting a home in Malibu, California? Why not give NHL Hall of Famer Chris Chelios a call.