Devils sale to 76ers ownership approved and officially announced, the projected worst teams of 2013-14, seven candidates for a breakout season, players who could slump, plus the latest on Claude Giroux, Mike Green, Jason Pominville and Jacob Markstrom.
NJ.COM: The sale of the New Jersey Devils to Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris was approved by the NHL Board of Governors and officially announced yesterday. The sale price was not disclosed. Reports in recent days suggested it could be more than $320 million, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman dismissed speculation about it, claiming most of it was inaccurate.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: The Devils new ownership intend to shake up the business side of the team, but intend to leave hockey operations to GM Lou Lamoriello.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A wise decision, in my opinion. Lamoriello’s one of the savviest GMs in the league, but in recent years was hampered by the financial woes of former owner Jeff Vanderbeek.
ESPN.COM: Oddsmakers are putting the the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, Phoenix Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets among the least likely to win the Stanley Cup in 2014.
NHL.COM: John Kreiser listed Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov, St. Louis’ Vladimir Tarasenko, Montreal’s Alexander Galchenyuk, Boston’s Dougie Hamilton, Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg, LA’s Slava Voynov and Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop as seven candidates for a breakout season in 2013-14.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, Voynov had his “breakout season” last season, but I’m just quibbling.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Rory Boylen listed Kris Letang, Nazem Kadri, Sergei Bobrovsky and Andrew Ladd among ten players expected to “return to Earth” this coming season following stellar performances last season.
NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux will be sidelined five-six weeks after injuring his right index finger when his golf club shattered in his hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for golf not being a dangerous sport! Seriously, though, this was obviously a fluke accident, which could force Giroux to miss the opening of training camp next month.
CSN WASHINGTON: Oft-injured Capitals blueliner Mike Green could be poised for a big season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s no coincidence the Capitals struggle whenever Green is sidelined. He’s a key part of their offensive attack, and if he can stay healthy this coming season, will play a big role in their improvement.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has had a preliminary conversation with Jason Pominville regarding a contract extension. Pominville, acquired last season from the Buffalo Sabres, is eligible next July for unrestricted free agency. Fletcher noted there’s no rush to get a deal done, and would be willing to talk contract during the season if Pominville isn’t re-signed before the season begins.
THE SCORE: Florida Panthers goaltender Jacob Markstrom prevented a robbery in Sweden.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jacob Markstrom: crimefighter. No, wait, he’s a superhero! I can see the movie poster now: “Crime gets shut out. Jacob Markstrom is…The Goalie!”