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When everyone returns to their desks after the upcoming weekend, it will be September. A sportsplosion is on the horizon.

That means the puck is about to drop on NHL camps, the NFL season is about to kick off, and the NBA isn’t too far off either. The pressure to “go enjoy this beautiful day” is almost gone, finally. Ugh, sun and grass, enough already.

theScore launched our new app yesterday just in time for it all, so if you’re someone who periodically uses your mobile device to check sports scores, I sincerely recommend it. And I say “sincerely” because they haven’t asked me to write this, I’ve just seen what it can do and I use and love it. Also, my career depends on it, so y’know, check it out.

  • Get full details on this update from theScore.com here
  • Check out the demo video here
  • Read The Globe and Mail’s report here

Anyway, on to why you’re here: hockey!


Top 5 Tidbits

Ryan Miller to get dealt to Colorado?

Josh Rimer (Sportsnet) busted out this tweet yesterday:

Mind: blown. Let’s pounce on this.

Rimer’s follow-up tweet was something to the effect that Avalanche fans were responding saying they need more than just Miller for Stastny, and Sabres fans were saying the same (but in reverse), so you know it looks like a pretty square deal on the surface.

This makes some sense: Ryan Miller is in the final year of his deal and doesn’t seem like a guy who’d be stoked to re-sign in Buffalo. They can turn him a valuable player making comparable dollars who they might be able to keep. Not to mention that Stastny’s a younger dude who’s likely due for a bit of a pay cut (24 points in 40 games last season) if he doesn’t come out hot.

Miller, on the other hand, solves a major problem for the Avalanche, which is “having bad goaltending.” Miller is coming off an average year, but he’s had success in the past, he’s going to be motivated this season with the Olympics on the horizon and his contract expiring, and he may see the chance to be a part of a team headed in the right direction in Colorado.

Oh, and you should know: Ryan Miller is apparently Patrick Roy’s favourite current goalie (1:23 of this clip, stick-tap to Adrian Dater). This really could happen, methinks.

The only question then becomes “Who starts in Buffalo?” All Enroth, all the time? Not happening.


Nazem Kadri is done talking until he signs a new deal

From the Toronto Sun:

Asked on Thursday for an update on talks on Thursday at the practice rink where 15 Leafs and Marlies have been working out, the usually glib Kadri sent out a club intermediary who politely said the young Leafs centre was taking a vow of silence on the topic “until the deal gets done.”

Kadri did relay that “negotiations are continuing and the lines of communication are open”. Discussions seemed to stagnate in August, amid word the Kadri camp wanted multi-year elite-player money with the Leafs having less than $5 million to sign him along with restricted free agent defenceman Cody Franson.

At this point, all talking about a potential deal could do is get Kadri in trouble. What’s he gonna say that could help the process?

“Well guys, I think we’ve got them where we want them, we’re really close to getting more than I think I’m really worth, it should get done just after they trade Franson later tonight.”

Yeah no. That’s not how this stuff works.


Peter Chiarelli was extended by the Bruins through 2017-18

I can’t imagine anyone seeing this news and thinking “Boy, big mistake.” The Bruins’ GM has seen his squad go to the Stanley Cup Final twice in the last three years, and has neatly worked some youth into a talented roster that never seems to get stagnant.

The biggest year of his GM career is the one coming though, given the drastic, dramatic changes to the Bruins roster: Tyler Seguin out, Rich Peverly out, Jaromir Jagr out, Andrew Ference out… Jarome Iginla in, Loui Eriksson in, Chad Johnson in… things are going to look a little different in Beantown.

If you’re Chiarelli, you’re happy to put pen to paper before seeing how those moves play out, because who the hell knows what to expect? The B’s still have their key pieces in place (Bergeron, Chara, Rask) so they should still be a top team, it’s just going to be interesting to see which direction they move.


Tomas Kaberle’s NHL career appears to be over

But his KHL one is about to start! The rumour has him signing in Dinamo Minsk.

I guess I thought of Kaberle as a skilled guy who had a distinguished NHL career that would call it good entirely when his NHL days were done, but the rise of the KHL has changed things. For guys at the end of their careers, particularly European players, the K seems like a way to parlay your name into one more year of quality paychecks to go along with a neat experience (Minsk!).

Multiple lockouts over the past decade have made it so more players are generally aware of other leagues and their quality of play, so we seem to be seeing more players (ala Lombardi to the Swiss League) tacking a bonus year outside the NHL onto their careers.


Mike Babcock often disagrees with Ken Holland about players, and that’s healthy

Mike Babcock is probably my favourite NHL coach, for a number of reasons (I love Darryl Sutter too, but for other reasons). He’s smart, savvy, serious, and my favourite thing of all: blunt.

He gave an interesting interview to Greg Brady the other day, which you can find transcribed here, in which he talks about how often he and Ken Holland aren’t on the same page about their personnel. When asked about them disagreeing:

Oh, for sure, you know, I was laughing the other day, I hadn’t looked at a Hockey News in forever, and I was at my dad’s place in Saskatoon, and I flip it open, and it goes to the Red Wings, and it says, “Lots of disagreement over players last year between Ken Holland and Mike Babcock,” and my dad looks at me, “Isn’t that every year?” and I said, “Every year, every day.”

That’s the process. Everybody’s got your own opinion. And that’s what makes you better; if you’re the same, why would you hire someone the same as you?

Yup. And if you don’t tell people what you think honestly, people end up being resentful and making preventable mistakes.

Babcock become head coach of the Detroit Red Wings in 2005, and hasn’t missed playoffs yet. There are reasons for that.