Thomas Vanek was the first player to reach the 20-goal mark this year. Only one other Sabre in history can boast the same feat. Name him. Post your answer in the NHL section of the forum and the first correct response will receive a free copy of "Hockey Now ". Only ONE response per person is allowed and any extra "guesses" will get penalized a Karma! Hockey Now! profiles 74 of today's most prolific players on sale now for $24.95 at most book stores.
Rick DiPietro is on target to return to game action at the end of this month. Joey McDonald will start every game in the meantime.
Khabibulin should be back tomorrow. The team has returned Crawford to to Rockford of the AHL.
MA Fleury is back practicing, but is looking to be very careful. Don't expect him this week. but early next week is feasible IMO.
Keeping with the goalie news – Roberto Luongo is hoping to return on Saturday against the Oilers according to the Province. My opinion is that he is still risky, and this could be nagging him all season long.
The NHL has suspended Kris Versteeg for one game for instigating a fight in the final five minutes. As I have been saying since the preseason – he is an underrated PIM asset. He now has 22 points and 35 PIMs in 25 contests, which is on pace for 71 points and 113 PIMs. Not bad.
In the first NHL game of his career, Michael Repik scored while playing just 7:27 and seeing no power play time. He leads Rochester in scoring, although he has just 14 points in 24 AHL games. He is ranked 83rd on my prospects list, but will move up a little with this news.
Speaking of the Fantasy Prospects List, I will have it up later today (early this time!).
Also check back in this afternoon for a trivia question, where the winner will receive a free copy of "Hockey Now", from Firefly publishing.
Something to keep an eye on – Joakim Lindstrom has been recalled by Phoenix, as they want to have a look at him at the NHL level. He is ranked 89th on my prospects list, but will move up in today's update because of last week's deal that sent him to Phoenix.
Jeremy Williams picked up a goal and an assist in his season debut for the Leafs. He replaced Hagman in the lineup.
As you by now have heard, Mats Sundin hopes to have a decision on a team before Christmas and playing by the New Year. Finalists are thought to be the Rangers, Blackhawks, Canucks and Habs.
Alexander Radulov has 29 points in 32 KHL games. There is still no word on an arbitration date and my guess is that it won't happen until the summer, at which point it will be moot because he will probably come back on his own volition. Outscoring him on UFA Salavat is Alexander Perezhogin, who at 25 is still young enough to reconsider the NHL (but it is unlikely). Perezhogin has 20 goals in 32 games for UFA.
Paul Szczechura scored in his fourth NHL game last night for TB. The 23-year-old undrafted prospect has been a prolific AHL scorer since the Lightning acquired him late last season, with 50 points in 47 games since the transaction. With the team shedding themselves of Vrbata and Gratton, Szczczczczczczechura has a real opportunity here. He played over 13 minutes last night and saw some PP time. He is ranked 185, but again that will improve later today.
Things are really tightening up in the DobberHockey expert league. As of this morning, first (Ryan Ma and Ian Fergusson tied) is separated from fifth (yours truly) by 5.5 points. In between are Russ Miller and Eric Maltais, with Angus and Status also very much in the picture at sixth and seventh. Miller's article today is on this league as of the end of November.
From Jeff Angus late last night:
Mats Sundin and his agent have set a "soft" deadline