1. 4.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Over The Boards With The OGA Blogs

Anaheim Ducks

15 July 2009: James Wisniewski was re-signed on Monday, 13 July. His return to the team adds proven veteran blue line stability with Scott Niedermayer and Ryan Whitney. These three will mix with Luca Sbisa, Steve McCarthy, Nick Boynton and a host of popular, young defenders to overcome the loss of both Chris Pronger and Francois Beauchemin. This roster position will require further evaluation in Training Camp and the Pre-Season to see how they compare to the well-respected Ducks of past seasons…

Several notes were posted when the Ducks acquired Saku Koivu on 8 July:

Bob Murray – “…I think it’s a good fit for both Saku and us. He’s been a No. 1 or No. 2 center for years and a captain in Montreal. I think it puts us in a position where we have two good scoring lines and I prefer to think of it that way rather than a 1 or a 2….”

Saku Koivu: “…I kind of felt Minnesota was Mikko’s place in a way, and I wanted him to have his privacy and make his own name there for his career… Obviously I’m hoping and I’m confident that things will work out and I’ll play many years in Anaheim. But I thought it was an easier decision to take one year at a time at this point and see how everything works out. We’ll see how we like it there, and if everything works out well, we can spend many years there to come… (And) I like the chemistry and the core guys they have on this team. If I can come in and help the team and hopefully take some pressure off on them at the same time, I think at this point of my career it’s the perfect fit and something that I wanted….”

Atlanta Thrashers

15 July 2009: The Thrashers are into the quickly advancing internet technology scene. They invited several of the more prolific Thrashers’ bloggers to their prospect camp media availability day on Saturday, 11 July. Read the blogs and get a good perspective on the camp… What would be the impact of a Kovalchuk – Antropov – Little line? Based on a repeat of last year’s scoring, that would be 102 Goals and 99 Assists. Add to that over 30 points each for Kubina, Hainsey, Entstrom, and Bogosian (projected if he was healthy all 82 games) and you have the makings of an improved Thrashers’ team for 2009/10.

Buffalo Sabres

15 July 2009: Day 1 quote from Coach Ruff at the Sabres’ Development Camp: “…(Nathan) Gerbe… (is) more of a goal scorer and (Tim)Kennedy more of a playmaker… Both players are going to be NHL players… (But) it’s a situation where you’re gonna end up battling for spots….” Additional notes indicate special mention of Brayden McNabb’s (the 2009 #3 draft pick) stamina where he was #1 on the Combine Fatigue Index, and Tyler Myers (the 2008 #1 draft pick) looks HUGE compared to other players in camp…

The Sabres are going to arbitration with Clarke MacArthur. Hopefully, this text is old when printed and a Buffalo team which has not brought in much from the free agent market will have already settled with this talented winger. While he only had 31 points in 71 games, he was strong down the stretch with five goals in his last eight games. Either way you slice it from simply repeating last season’s average Points Per Game to projecting what he did in his last eight games over a full, 82-game season, he looks to contribute anywhere from 36 – 52 points this season.

Edmonton Oilers

15 July 2009: Assistant Coach Tom Renny’s comments about the Oilers Development Camp are that he likes the players’ size, speed, skill and toughness. His interview on “Oilers On Demand” (web) TV shows enthusiasm for the youngsters in the Oilers’ system… That Heatley Thing: From Edmonton’s perspective, they want the guy. You can sense the frustration in Danny’s hesitancy to waive his no-trade clause and sign, particularly when everyone thought his movement may be a done deal. This is not about money, however, as that is already set for the next six years. What is the issue is strictly where Heatley wants to play that brings a palatable (trade) return for Ottawa. If Heatley is coming this summer, he comes to the sound of a lot of critics for the hesitancy shown. But if he does come, he likely knows all he has to do to silence them is to score goals, something he can certainly do.

Minnesota Wild

15 July 2009: Tyler Cuma has recovered nicely from knee surgery as evidenced by his performance at Development Camp. He has done well enough to sign an entry level contract out of development camp… Colton Gillies looked good in Development Camp scrimmage scoring a couple of nice goals. A look at Minnesota Wild TV from their web site Prospects Highlights reel shows a great 1-on-3 move through the middle of the defense by Erik Haula for a goal… The Wild opened up their final scrimmage to the public which drew an estimated 1,650 fans to the Excel Center.

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