July 31, 2010

Jeff Angus

2010-07-31

 

Niemi’s award is for $2.75 million and one year. Unless Chicago finds a suitor for Campbell, Niemi won’t be back. Marty Turco, anybody?

 

San Jose re-signed Devin Setoguchi – one year, $1.8 million. Very cheap, but he will be looking for a payday next summer. This frees up a bit more space for a defenseman… or perhaps another goalie to play with Niittymaki?

 

I am going to be on the TEAM 1040 around 9:30 am PST (12:30 for those of you out East) on Sunday. You can listen to me on the radio or on the station’s website.

 

One day and counting… I got a sneak peak of the 2010-11 Pool Guide last night.

 

Unsurprisingly, Mikael Backlund is dominating at Calgary's prospects camp. Backlund's versatility will help him out this season, as Jokinen and Stajan project as the top two centers for the Flames. Langkow is in the mix as well but he is still recovering from a very serious neck injury.

 

Backlund could slide in on the left side on either of the top two lines, or potentially force Stajan or Jokinen down the lineup if he surpasses expectations. He isn't in my top 10 of rookies to own in 2010-11 (I don't think Sutter will play him enough), but he could force his way into the top six with a strong training camp, combined with a bad camp from a few of the veterans.

 

The Oilers hired Canadian-born Swiss coach Ralph Krueger to serve on Tom Renney's staff. Kruger was the coach of the Men's Olympic team in Vancouver this past February. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact he has on the Oilers – Renney is known as a patient, calculating coach who believes in his system (much like Dave Tippett).

 

Montreal has convinced Louis Leblanc to forego his Harvard education for a major junior hockey career. He’ll be joining the Montreal Juniors (Jake Allen’s former club).

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He’ll be playing in Montreal in the fall, so Habs fans will get a chance to watch him develop in person.

 

I’m not sure this changes Leblanc’s time of arrival in the NHL. He is still a project and will probably need another two or three years in junior/AHL before making the jump.

 

Rumors are swirling that Chicago has a contract in place with Marty Turco (one year, $1.5 million) ready to be signed if Antti Niemi's arbitration award is (as most expect it to be) too rich for their blood. Turco suddenly becomes very, very fantasy relevant if this is indeed true.

 

Ottawa re-signed Chris Campoli yesterday. Campoli played most of last season with a hernia, so that may explain some of his poor play.

 

The blueline is a bit clogged up right now in Canada’s Capital – Gonchar, Karlsson, Kuba, Lee, Carkner, Phillips, and now Campoli as well. Prospects Jared Cowen and Patrick Wiercioch are also in the mix.