Only Jagr could take a 2013 photoshoot and make it seem fresh out of the '80s.

Only Jagr could take a 2013 photoshoot and make it seem fresh out of the ’80s.

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.

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Top 5 Tidbits

Teemu Selanne wants mad minutes, yo

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.

Alex Galchenyuk will play wing next year

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.

Alexei Morozov said an accurate thing

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.

Jaroslav Halak is gonna be The Dude in St. Louis, apparently

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.

Comments (4)

  1. All of these topics would be great in podcast form. Mostly because in podcast form i can put on headphones and then not hear my co-workers. Which i believe is one of everyones greatest dreams in life.

  2. Love the Jagr pic, but looking into the pervy face he is making, I caught a glimpse into his future: He has finally retired at age 56 because professional teams no longer trust him with the keys to the arena due to all of the missing office supplies. He’s loitering around a nightclub wearing a vintage Reebok tracksuit and the very same sneakers that he is modeling in the picture. He is chain-smoking Basic 100s and running his fingers through his greying mullet while trying to get 21 year-old girls to dance with him by showing off his muscles and saying “56 years. Look good, no?”

    I also have a chilling interpretation of what Alexei Kovalev’s life is like, but another time perhaps.

    • I always assumed Kovalev would spend his retirement stickhandling around people in phone booths just because he can.

      • Picture a large yacht, cruising at a leisurely pace on the Adriatic Sea. On the lower deck, about a dozen women are sunbathing. Some topless, some not. On the upper deck, there is a captain’s wheel that does not actually control the boat. Behind this wheel, the “captain” is preoccupied with getting a signal on his iPhone so he can listen to David Guetta on Spotify. The “captain” is Alexei Kovalev. He is clad in nothing but a leopard print banana hammock, a captain’s hat, and Euro-aviator sunglasses. In the hand opposite his iPhone, he grips a rocks glass with straight vodka and a smoldering Du Marier cigarette between his index and middle fingers. This cruise has no charted course because AK has already reached his destination: party time.

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