Welcome to the second installment of the Monday Rat Pack. My thoughts, comments, and some links from last weeks NHL news. As we know it’s been a terribly slow summer as July seems to be taking months instead of days to pass. That said, here’s what I have, and I actually had to go outside our wonderful sport for my first thought.
* Congratulations to ”The Hawk” Andre Dawson, former Montreal Expo, Chicago Cub, Boston Red Sox, and Florida Marlins player on his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Why do we care? An athlete that is the perfect example of how you should play the game you love. No excuses, no trouble, and all character.
* Speaking of Hall of Fame, congratulations to my favourite player Jeremy Roenick on getting inducted into the U.S. Hockey Players Hall Of Fame. Another player that played the game all out, no excuses and left everything on the ice. Tell me you didn’t get a little choked up during his comments on NBC after the Blackhawks won the Cup?
* Big news in Florida as the Panthers ownership group makes another adjustment in the front office. Cliff Viner will now be the lone man in charge of the team with Stu Siegel concentrating on other business ventures, the Florida Panthers Foundation and be the alternate governor for the team.
* In other Panther news a bigsmall trade was made as the Panthers sent journeyman center Jeff Taffe to the Chicago Blackhawks for journeyman center Marty Reasoner. Reasoner was traded earlier this summer from Atlanta to Chicago, and now finds himself back in the cellar of the Southeast Division. Welcome to South Beach Marty!
* Ilya Kovalchuk. If there’s been 100 blogs posts about this story, then there’s easily been a thousand. I’m not going to write another one. Only thing I say is that the NHL got it right by stepping in. This contract was stupid, and the fact that Lou Lamoriello actually thought it would get through surprises me even more.
* The Atlanta Thrashers and Tampa Bay Lightning seem to have improved their rosters quite a bit, with Tampa recently getting Simon Gagne in a “steal” from the Philadelphia Flyers for defenceman Matt Walker and a fourth round pick. Damaged goods? Maybe, but what the heck, I think he’s worth a try for one year. Panthers?
* Poor Sami Salo. I mean just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse for this guy. In last year’s playoffs he suffers a ruptured testicle, only to not miss a game because of it, and now he has a torn achillies tendon which pretty much puts him out for the season.
* Since I am originally from Chicago and still remain quite the Blackhawks fan, even though I cheer for the Florida Panthers, I have to say that even though the Hawks roster is being dismantled as it seems to be put around the NHL, I’m not worried. The players that have left were not the core part of the team, and there still are seven solid forwards and four top defencemen remaining. While I’m not predicting another Stanley Cup, I am predicting that things will work out just fine.
* September 15th and Septenber 16th the Florida Panthers will hold two Rookie Camp games against the Nashville Predators. The games will be played at the Panthers practice facility Incredible IceThe Savology.com Iceplex. I’ll post more on that later.
* There’s a list of seven players on NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk that are out to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke. I’d actually like to see the 20 players that dress for the Panthers this year to have their season actually become a fluke!
Here’s some links to stories that you may have missed:
As it stands right now, the Florida Panthers seem to be set at the center position. Barring any trade of free agent signing, what we have is it! Litter Box Cats gives the assessment.
The gang at Four Habs Fans discusses the Ilya Kovlachuk contract like no one else can. Enjoy the photos too!
How do we six the NHL? Take a look at Cowhide and Rubber for their insight.
It’s a long summer, and it’s been a quiet summer. Here’s how Brad over at The Hockey Program dealt with his most recent week and Saturday night.
There have been hundreds of reactions around the NHL to the Kovalchuk deal. Stay Classy has been able to compile some of those thoughts.
Thanks for reading.
Check out our NHL main page: Too ManyMen On The Site, where today I recap the week at the NHL from FanSided.
You can follow me on Twitter @TheRatTrick
Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.