Clipped Wings

After the Habs decided to move forward with Plan B with Robert Lang, it was expected the dominoes would fall. And they did, but not like this. It was announced today that veteran Mathieu Schneider was placed on waivers by the Ducks, after months of speculation that Schneider would be dealt after Sundin makes his decision. It was heavily rumoured that Schneider would be heading to an Eastern Conference team, or perhaps cross town and join the Kings, who are still trying to get to the cap floor. There were as many as 5 teams interested in Schneider’s services, but

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Colorado Avalanche

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Once a perennial Cup contender, the Avalanche are close to a year away from missing the playoffs. The glory days of Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Patrick Roy, and Adam Foote are over, although two of those four remain. A string of strong regular season finishes and a couple of trades left the Avs with either a low first round pick or no first rounder at all. It’ll be a changing of the guard for the Avs, either this season or the next. Everyone knows it’s coming, it’s just a question of who’s going to

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Chicago Blackhawks

Just 4 years ago, ESPN voted the Blackhawks as the worst franchise in professional sports. Today, Rocky Wirtz is the one laughing. For the first time in memory, the young and exciting Blackhawks squad will have all 82 games televised on local TV, but more importantly, for the first time since the early 2000’s, the Hawks will be in the playoff hunt. There’s really just no other word to describe this team than “youth.” The team’s top point-getter, Patrick Kane, is only 19, while captain Jonathan Toews, who pundits are expecting to follow in the footsteps of Steve Yzerman and

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Carolina Hurricanes

There’s always no shortage of players who can put the puck in the net in Carolina. But as the old adage goes, “defense wins championships.” The Canes’ offense was one of the best in the league, ranked 5th with just over 3 goals per game, led by the ever-improving Eric Staal. However, the Canes’ defense was one of the league’s worst at 25th, and to no surprise a horrendous sub-80% efficient PK as well. Given their great offense it’s no doubt that the Canes would contend for a playoff spot, but without a premier shut-down defenseman, they aren’t going anywhere

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Habs Move On

The Habs’ acquisition of Robert Lang from Chicago means a couple things: 1. Mats Sundin will not be a Hab. That is with utmost certainty after Bob Gainey made that clear in his press conference. Lang will be slotted into the third line, which means that Kyle Chipchura, who is expected to make the squad, may start the season in the AHL unless he has a good camp. 2. Chicago will still be looking to dump salary, but it looks like they may actually start the season with a Cristobal Huet–Nikolai Khabibulin tandem as Dale Tallon had suggested they would.

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NHL Europe

So Bill Daly thinks that 10 years down the road, we could be seeing franchises pop up in Europe. This is not the same thing as two North America-based teams playing exhibition or season (god forbid) games in Europe. Daly is directly stating that it is not completely out of the question that places in Sweden, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Russia could have NHL teams. While Europe does have a fantastic fan base, and I have no doubt that should a NHL team suddenly pop up overseas that it’ll do moderately well financially, you have to not think about the

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Calgary Flames

I apologize for the lack of updates, as school has just gotten underway and I’m still trying to sort things out. But without further ado, let’s continue our countdown. The Flames are one of the toughest teams to play against in the league. Like previous versions of Darryl Sutter‘s Flames, this year’s version will continue to play the wear-and-tear type of hockey. For the Flames, despite the fact that they aren’t the league’s most talented team, they’re successful in part because of their playing style. Any hockey system or strategy is only as good as the players on the ice,

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Buffalo Sabres

Things just haven’t been the same since Daniel Briere and Chris Drury left. While the Sabres’ scoring depth remains 9 deep, the continuing rotating captaincy means that no one has quite stepped it up in the batter’s box in terms of leadership. Brian Campbell was expected to fill that role in some sort of capacity but after failing to re-sign him he was dealt to San Jose at the deadline. Ownership and management have built a somewhat rocky reputation around the league, after failing to show full commitment to its players and they paid a heavy price. The Sabres aren’t

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Tortorella's Choice Words

If there’s anything John Tortorella knows how to do, it’s to speak his mind. The former Tampa Bay coach had choice words for his former employers: “You got a couple of cowboys in there as owners. You finish 30th in the National Hockey League, I was there for seven years, I know it’s coming as a coach, and it probably should come to a coach if you finish 30th. But how it all goes about and how you treat your people and run your business is very important in this league. I look at the club and how some things

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Quick Hit News

– Asides from Florida, Bryan McCabe‘s other preferred destination was Manhattan. When the Rangers landed Wade Redden, Florida remained the only city McCabe was willing to waive his no-movement clause for. – With Dan Boyle and Rob Blake stepping in, and San Jose’s talented young blueline a year older, Kyle McLaren may be the odd man out, and he knows it too. McLaren has made it known that he would like to remain in San Jose, but understands if he is traded. – Jarret Stoll‘s extension has not been formally announced yet because there are still a few kinks to

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