In today’s medley of notable posts from the NHL blogosphere: Five NHL free agents off to poor starts…Why the Blue Jackets shouldn’t trade Derrick Brassard…Injuries caused by hockey skates…Demise of the “superteams”…Rivalries to bring back…The “Shanabans”.
PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski looks at five of this past summer’s notable free agents off to stumbling starts, including Buffalo’s Ville Leino and Montreal’s Erik Cole.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s early yet, of course, and these players, especially Leino and Cole, could recover, but I must admit I’m surprised by these two. I realize Cole’s detractors will point out that he only ever played well in Carolina, but I really believed, and still do, that he could be a good fit with the Habs. We’ll see what transpires. I’m not surprised, however, that Jamie Langenbrunner, Marco Sturm and Scottie Upshall aren’t playing well. Injuries and age are catching up to Langenbrunner and Sturm, while Upshall has a history of consistency problems, plus he never seemed the same after blowing out a knee a couple of years ago.
THE CANNON: Mike MacLean provides reasons why the Blue Jackets shouldn’t trade Derrick Brassard.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, the main reason is, given how banged up their lineup currently is, it would be pointless to move him now.
THE GOOD POINT: Matt Horner reports former NHL star Claude Lemieux is warning of the dangers of current modern skates giving rise to serious foot injuries for players, and is working with a skate company to develop safer alternatives.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s surprising that, with today’s technology, there are problems arising for hockey players, especially professionals, having foot problems because of their skates.
THE PRODUCTION LINE: Rob Discher suggests the era of “superteams” is over, at least for a year or two, as it’ll be the team which placed between third and sixth in their conference, with just enough talent that peaks at the right time, which could skate off the Cup champion this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It very well may be for this season. The last three Cup champions – Detroit, Pittsburgh and Chicago – were predictable, and last season the Vancouver Canucks were picked by many observers to win the 2011 Cup. The Boston Bruins weren’t on any experts’ list to win it all last season. Granted, as Discher noted, a lot can still happen over the course of a season, and there are several teams, like the Canucks, LA Kings, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals, considered the Cup contenders this season who could go all the way. Still, there seems a vibe heading into this season that there isn’t any real certainty that these clubs will win it all.
BACKHAND SHELF: Rob Pizzo is pining for the return of some favorite rivalries, like Crosby vs Ovechkin, Red Wings vs Avalanche, and provincial rivalries like Edmonton-Calgary and Toronto-Ottawa.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once Sidney Crosby finally returns from post-concussion symptoms, that rivalry with Alexander Ovechkin could crank up again. If the Avalanche continue to improve, perhaps their once-heated rivalry with the Red Wings will flame on again. As for the others, well, as long as one or both teams in those rivalries suck, we won’t see them return with the same element of excitement as they once had.
THE SHANABANS: An update list of the latest suspensions handed down by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.