The Dump and Chase – 06/03/2011

Keith Ballard loosens up his hips.

The Vancouver Canucks are calling Dan Hamhuis ‘day-to-day’ with some undisclosed injury. That means that Keith Ballard could see some action in Game 2 if Hamhuis can’t go. Hamhuis left Game 1 after flipping Milan Lucic with a hip check and did not return. Ballard figures to be his replacement, and he’s a guy that knows a thing or two about hip checks.

Via the Vancouver Province:

“Dan throws them a lot and is very good at it, but Lucic is not a real small guy and that’s a lot of weight,” said Ballard. “They don’t happen very often because it takes a lot of timing. Ninety-nine per cent of the time, they [forwards] have their heads up and if they see that [hip check], they just step aside and you miss.

“It’s a lot easier for me to be a little bit lower with how I skate rather than going shoulder-to-shoulder. I’m usually the one that gets knocked down there.”

Over 4,000 tickets sold in Winnipeg

True North Sports and Entertainment says they have sold 4,170 season tickets as of Thursday afternoon. The drive to 13,000 is off to a good start…

Life after Richards

Great stuff from Brandon Worely at Defending Big D on preparing for life after Brad Richards:

The Stars are now officially in a bit of a “start over” mode, and it’s all going to start with the new coach and the attitude the new owner brings to this franchise. The Stars will hopefully be involved in contract talks with some of the top free agents this summer, or at least someone better than average, and while losing Richards hurts like hell the Stars would still be able to move forward and start to build the roster up again.

Today in terrible Boston Bruins fan songs

St. John’s closer to getting an AHL franchise

St. John’s City Council approved a lease agreement, in principle, that could allow St. John’s Sports and Entertainment Ltd. to bring AHL hockey back to The Rock. There’s still no official word on whether the Manitoba Moose are heading east, but the news out of St. John’s lends itself pretty well to the Moose making Newfoundland their new home.

Blues announce 5-year $13.75 million deal for Roman Polak

Doug Armstrong and the St. Louis Blues moved quickly to get Patrik Berglund locked up earlier this week, and now the club has signed 23-year old defenceman Roman Polak to a new deal in advance of offer sheet season.

More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The five-year deal for Polak, a strong commitment from an ownership group in limbo, illustrates the Blues’ desire to keep Polak off the unrestricted free-agent market down the road. He’s 25 years old and, assuming the CBA language remains the same in two years, he would have been eligible for UFA status after the 2012-13 season.

“It reflects Roman’s true value moving forward,” Armstrong said. “You just have to look at the free-agent defensemen that have signed over the last three or four years. We think Roman was going to be a very attractive player if he got to free agency and we didn’t really want to find out what that value was exactly. We wanted to peg that value today, and we were able to do that.”

Hockey robot has heavy slapshot, personality of Phil Kessel

Stick tap Forbes