Without getting too much into Backhand Shelf’s plans for the upcoming season, I thought you should know: morning regroup posts are going to be a thing now, and I’m pretty excited about them. I’ll explain more down the road.
Until hockey starts we’ll keep them nice and simple – I’ll weigh in on a few of the more interesting puck stories from when you left work yesterday until you arrived this morning. I know you don’t want to sit at your desk and get right to work on the Penske file, after all.
And once there’s highlights and controversy to mix in, uh-ho-ho. We’ll have ourselves a blast.
Top 5 Tidbits
Teemu Selanne has said that he’ll decide in the next week whether he intends to return to the Ducks or not, and yes, the decision was always Ducks or bust, with “another team” never being considered.
His quote that kicked up a modicum of dust this morning ”I need to play top minutes. That’s what I’m looking for.” But the follow-up line is a lot less threatening: ”If (my teammates) are better than I am, I am expecting and accepting a smaller role.” …Oh.
He did add that he’s not sure if he’s ready to accept 10-12 minutes a night, so here’s what happens next: the Ducks tell him what every human, regardless of their name is - if you’re playing well you’ll play – Teemu believe he can still play well because aging stars just do that sort of thing, and he returns and gets the minutes he earns. Neat.
The Red Wings re-sign Gustav Nyqvist
I happen to think Gustav Nyqvist is really good at hockey, which is why I’m surprised he was only able to get George Parros money from the Red Wings (incidentally, I’m surprised George Parros was able to get George Parros money). I’d love to say he should’ve played hard ball and held out for more money – that was my initial instinct upon seeing his cap hit – but it’s probably not so bad long-term if he’s legit. The Red Wings are tight financially, this guarantees he’s going to be a part of their group, he should have success playing with good teammates…so yeah. I suppose it’s pretty fair.
#RedWings have come to terms on two-year deal with forward Gustav Nyquist, average salary cap hit of $950,000.
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) August 20, 2013
In his rookie season, he played some center for the Montreal Canadiens, scoring nine times and adding 18 assists for 27 points. However, Marc Bergevin had this to say to The Hockey News today:
We used him at centre (in the 2013 season) on a few occasions and he did a good job, but we feel that, for the time being, he’s better off on the wing.
My guess is they want to free him up offensively to really encourage his development as a point-getter. Scoring centers are valuable because there’s a lot of additional responsibility that comes with the position aside from stacking up numbers, but it sounds like the Canadiens think like I do: it’s a lot easier to be taught defensive play than it is to score, so feed the scoring beast first and work on filling in the holes down the road.
After a seven year NHL career, Alexei Morozov took his talents to the KHL in 2005, where’s been ever since. In speaking to the KHL’s official website, he had this to say:
I’m satisfied with my time in America and I learned a lot there, but it’s still a foreign country where the way they treat you is completely different to Russia. They do try to get the best out of you, but then again, you always get the blame if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
Anyone familiar with how Russians are treated (and just generally perceived) in the NHL knows this to be true. Hell, if you only read media opinion pieces, you’d hardly know anyone else on the Washington Capitals made a difference past Ovechkin.
Ken Hitchcock says this is because he essentially lost his starting job due to injury, not poor play. Also, he kind of lost it to Brian Elliot playing incredible in his absence.
It was because of that I figured Elliot was going to Colin Kaepernick Alex Smith here, but it appears the Slovakian tender is gonna get another chance to be the guy. With Jake Allen waiting in the wings for his shot, it’s going to be interesting to see what the duo looks like after the trade deadline.