Friday, 12 February 2010

Before The Torch Is Lit

As the torch is carried closer to the Vancouver Olympic Games, the NHL has started to shut itself down as the players and executives not going to the Left Coast start a two-week holiday. However, HBIC is staying on hockey's trail, covering the Olympics as much as I can, but also keeping an eye on the AHL, ECHL, and various other leagues across the globe. But because this is a big day for Canada, I'm just going to post a few stories for today. They aren't any sort of breaking news stories, but they are stories that I found interesting from the hockey world.

  • A very interesting story about a man I personally know and have the utmost respect for was published on the NHL website on Wednesday. Ryan Galloway, a linesman who plied his trade in Winnipeg for a long time, finally achieved a life-long dream by officiating in all 30 NHL arenas after suiting up in the stripes at Madison Square Garden. Congratulations on all your success, Ryan, and here's hoping you have nothing but good luck and success for as long as you're wearing the stripes!
  • The Chicago Blackhawks opened up some cap room today when they dealt defenceman Cam Barker to the Minnesota Wild for defenceman Kim Johnsson and prospect Nick Leddy. Barker's salary hit wasn't good for Chicago's bottom line, so dealing the blueliner was almost inevitable. In Minnesota, Barker will get a lot of playing time, and the Wild can use his booming shot. The Hawks, meanwhile, get a solid prospect, and Johnsson's salary comes off the books at the end of the season - two perfect scenarios for Chicago.
  • The Carolina Hurricanes made a move today, dealing Matt Cullen to the Ottawa Senators for defenceman Alexandre Picard and a second-round draft pick. Cullen goes to a team that has been searching for a solid two-way centerman that can play in any situation, and Cullen fits that bill. Picard will get a chance to eat up the minutes that Niclas Wallin left behind after he was traded, so it appears this is a deal that will work for both players as much as it will for both teams.
  • Just a day after putting tough guy Donald Brashear on waivers, the New York Rangers went out and acquired Jody Shelley from the San Jose Sharks for a sixth-round draft pick. Why the Rangers went for a tough guy when they are already paying a tough guy not to play is beyond me, but Shelley should bring an element of toughness to the ice every time he hops over the boards. But again, this move seems inexplicable to me.
  • The Montreal Canadiens added another player in the hopes that his effort and energy will help the club. Montreal shipped a second-round pick in 2011 to the Florida Panthers to get Dominic Moore. Moore should be a solid addition for the Canadiens as Moore can kill penalties and should be a useful addition to the Canadiens' second or third lines.
  • According to Flyers' GM Paul Holmgren, goaltender Ray Emery will get three weeks off to rest his ailing hip. Holmgren also nipped the Turco-to-Philly rumours in the bud when asked about the possibility of the Dallas goalie being a target by the Flyers. Holmgren denied that the Flyers had any interest in the Stars' netminder.
With the trade freeze on now, there will be no deals made by NHL clubs until the Olympics are over. In knowing that, it's time to kick back and watch the best players in the world play for a gold medal. It all starts this weekend, so let's get ready for some Olympic hockey action! Tune in tomorrow when Uni Watch Blog's Phil Hecken and I look at all twelve men's teams' jerseys in the Olympic men's hockey tournament. It should spark some debate!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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