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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.

Comments (14)

  1. Despite Rimer’s warning not to be surprised if the deal happens, I would be very surprised if the Avs traded Stastny for Miller. That would leave the Avs with Miller, Varlamov, and Giguere but still no actual defense. Maybe if the Avs threw in Giguere to backup Enroth and got a depth d-man in return? Even then, they already have too many depth D-men playing as though they were top-4. Varlamov’s trade value has to be about as low as it has ever been, so I can’t imagine he would bring much return.

    Trading for Miller also seems like a mistake in a more general sense. He’s now 33, so whatever team trades for him hoping to re-sign him for too much money this summer is going to get three or four years of good-but-declining quality from him. If you look at Miller’s save percentages from the past few seasons, he’s been good (~.915%) but hasn’t been able to recapture whatever it was that happened during the 2009-2010 season (.929%) that gave him such a sterling reputation. I know Miller fans and Buffalo fans blame his decline on the defense, but Enroth has put up similar and sometimes better stats behind the same defense. Is Enroth really that good?

    • Miller’s been overrated for a long time. He’s a good goalie, but he’s no superstar. I think that by the time the Avs get their act together, Miller would be too old to be very effective. If you’ve watched the Avs at all in the last few years, their defense is like watching 6 year olds play soccer (Look, there’s the puck, let’s all go over there!).

      • I definitely agree about Miller being overrated based on the 2009-2010 season and the Olympics that year as well. He’s a good goalie, but not stellar and he is on the wrong side of his career. The funny thing is that whenever I point out say Miller hasn’t been so great (in a quantifiable sense, at least), his fans bag on Buffalo’s defense; never mind that non-superstar goalie Enroth is just about as successful. I know we agree, but I guess another way of putting it is by asking if Miller is only pretty good behind a bad Buffalo defense, why would he be great behind a terrible Avalanche defense?

  2. Count me as one of the Buffalo fans not liking that deal. I want to acquire assets that won’t leave after the season ends.

    • Seems like Millers I’m gonna sign in Cali attitude is going to prevent Buff from getting anything of value. Why would a team give up anything more than that for an older goalie with a big contract who can walk at the end of the year? Either get something or lose the asset.

      • is there an expansion team coming to cali? kings have quick, sharks got niemi and ducks got hiller / fasth

  3. I’m a Blackhawks fan. And as much as I hate the Redwings, I have nothing but respect for Mike Babcock. That guy seems like he could coach an AHL team to the NHL playoffs. Oh wait, he pretty much did that the year the Wings lost just about every regular roster player to injury.

    He also seems to just be a respectable and classy human being. I remember the season opener (after the Blackhawks cup win) that he came out to watch the banner raising. His reason? Because he knew how important it was for the city, the organization, and fans. The guy is top notch.

  4. “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.”

    I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on Darryl Sutter sometime. I’m a Kings fan and absolutely love Darryl Sutter as a coach (not so much as a GM).

  5. Another daily reminder on Nonis’s botch job of the off-season.

  6. I’ve been using a Score.com app for like, the past year? This new one better be much better, because the last one was… no bueno.

  7. Come on now, if youre gonna parrot bullshit trade idea from the internet, at least come up with something that might help both teams.

    Fucking August is the worse. I come here for actual hockey related stuff, reporting or personal experiences or something else of actual intellectual value, not for trash rumors.

  8. anyone remember the constant barrage of ryan miller for patrick kane rumors from the last two years? also nonis thought clarkson and mark fraser would make better leafs than kadri and CF4

  9. It seems like most people think of Babcock as the best coach (or at least top 3) in the league today. He has won a Stanley Cup, gold medal, and world junior. But not the Jack Adams… WTF???

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