Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday evening linkorama

  • Paul Capobianco indicates that the Badger Men's roster will be released soon, probably Friday. In addition to freshman additions, he says we can also expect one number change for a returning player.

    In the same post, Capobianco reminds us that we can follow the Badger Men on twitter, and he also rounds-up a number of items that he had previously posted on twitter. Most of them we've already posted here, but one of the exceptions is this 2001 USA Today article about the UM-MSU Cold War game which fortells a Badger Hockey game @ Camp Randall.
  • The Badgers high school development camp, which is "open to all and any participants", is taking place this week, and the top players in the state are there. DPlaya reports he is hearing that there may be some unhappy campers, saying that 'the camp may be trying to be "all things to all people" and not finding the mark with some campers.' That's unfortunate for players on both ends of the spectrum.
  • UNO's new head coach, Dean Blais, reportedly has an "out" in his contract that allows him to apply for the Gophers head coach position should it become available. Thanks to Goon for pointing out the brief mention in the News-Chronicle. As Goon says, it's interesting, but nothing that Mavericks or gophers fans should worry about yet.
  • Schlossman tells us that the WCHA's agreement with the Xcel Energy Center to host the Final Five runs out after this season but will likely be renewed. Talking about moving the Final Five to different sites is like beating a dead horse, it's not going anywhere. Fwiw, I don't really have a problem with it being at the X each year.
  • The Blackhawks Confidential blog has a post that speculates Hossa's injury may open up a spot in Chicago for Jack Skille. (Thanks to the anonymouse who pointed it out.)

    Without Hossa's 71 points (40 goals) for Detroit last season, and with Martin Havlat's 77 points departed for the wilds of Minnesota, the Blackhawks are missing a big bopper that leads the orchestra.

    Jack Skille isn't that big bopper, but read on to see why I think this slow developer might be Hossa's early replacement and come riding to the rescue out of nowhere. Rockford is nowhere, isn't it?


    That could open a chance for 2005 first-round draftee Skille to break into the NHL and see what he has to give after the 22-year-old scored 20 goals and 45 points in 58 games for Rockford last season. He comes at the right price for this squeezed salary cap and some think he can be an offensive force.

    Skille has rated uneven evaluations for his play in Rockford. He has been inconsistent, but with a strong training camp, he could turn around the way he is viewed and put all that behind him.

    The Hawks have to find out about Skille sooner or later after taking him as the seventh player chosen overall in the '05 draft. It might as well be sooner with Hossa's absence lighting the way for coach Joel Quenneville to tutor Skille in the first couple months while Hossa heals.

    The Madison-born Skille, who played for the University of Wisconsin, has appeared to some observers to be maturing slow step by slow step into a NHL-ready player. As long as he delivers a strong effort in camp, he should be in line for a promotion. But he has to rise to the moment.

  • Guy Flaming implies that the blogger who started a rumor about an Oilers/Panthers trade might have been inhaling/drinking too much ether. (Ok, Guy didn't really imply anything about ether abuse; that's more an inference on my part.) The likely bogus rumor includes a number of players, including Tom Gilbert.
  • The Edmonton Journal and the Ottawa Sun are both now indicating that (gasp) the Oilers haven't really given up hope or run out of patience regarding the Dany Heatley deal. Their trade offer is reportedly still on the table.
  • The above Ottawa Sun article also has the following blurb about Brian Elliott:
    The indication on Monday was that the Senators and 24-year-old goalie Brian Elliott are close to an agreement on a multi-year deal. It could be announced any time soon.

    Elliott, who made $757,700 U.S. last season, will serve as a backup to Pascal Leclaire next season. Leclaire has two years left on his contract. He'll be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2010-11.

    By then, if not sooner, Elliott is expected to be ready to be the No. 1 goalie.

    If he's not, then the hope will rest on 6-3, 220-pound Swedish goalie Robin Lehner, who was selected in this year's entry draft.
  • Jonathan @ the Copper and Blue has a post about the best goaltenders since the lockout. As part of his discussion of "youngish goaltenders who have had good results but don't have a long track record", he says the following about Els:
    Brian Elliott has had a very nice run the last few years; his college numbers and AHL numbers are very good and would seem to indicate that his performance this past season isn't an aberration. Ottawa brought in Pascal Leclaire as insurance but I would be very surprised if Elliott doesn't win out over the next few seasons (particularly given Leclaire's injury woes).