One small point I missed reporting in yesterday's ramblings: Scott Niedermayer will also miss the first two games of the regular season for sure – he will not be travelling to England with the team. It's looking as if he will miss all of October at the very least, so best-case scenario for Niedermayer owners is 70 games.
It turns out Jamie McLennan left Metallurg because the team was reportedly unhappy with his preseason performance.
Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Martin Erat and Jordin Tootoo will be RFA's next season. They are prime candidates to receive offer sheets – Weber in particular. Just something to keep in the back of your mind if you own any of these players.
Buffalo is in the same boat with Brian Campbell, Dimitri Kalinin and Jochen Hecht. Apparently having learned lessons from Briere and Drury, the Sabres are trying to work out extensions with these players right now.
Mike Keenan "loves Cinderella stories", which bodes well for the likes of Eric Nystrom and Dustin Boyd (and even Daniel Ryder, to a small extent). He fondly recalls how he had four rookies make the team in Philadelphia – Rick Tocchet, Murray Craven, Peter Zezel and Derrick Smith – and the team went on to great things. He will not hesitate to make a surprise cut and bring a youngster on board, according to the Calgary Herald.
The Avs have extended the contract of Ian Laperriere through the 2008-09 season. With the arrival of Scott Parker, look for Lappy's PIM's to go down. He got into 17 fights last year – second most in the NHL. Now that Parker is in town, he won't need to fight anymore.
For Jakub Voracek to make the Jackets, he will have to extraordinary. The team intends to send him back to junior, because GM Howson's strategy – and it's a good one – is to let the kids mature before bringing them into the NHL.
Nik Kronwall is 100 per cent recovered from his back injury in the playoffs last spring.
Coach Mike Babcock intends to play Tomas Kopecky at center. If so, he will compete with Filpulla for the second-line job and should not be underrated.
Ahhh…it seems that the slow news days are finally over…
With Fernando Pisani battling ulcerative colitis, Robert Nilsson is virtually a lock to make this team now.
AJ Thelan, who became an unrestricted free agent when the Wild chose not to sign him, has signed with Houston of the AHL – Minnesota's farm team – and he hopes to eventually catch on with the Wild. What a weird turn of events.
Jim O'Brien, the Senators' top draft pick in June won't be able to play in the team's four-day rookie tournament that gets under way today in Kitchener as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery.
From the Ottawa Sun: Martin