Jeff Skinner tweeted this out with "Growing the person at a time." That's Taylor Swift, by the way.

Jeff Skinner tweeted this out with “Growing the game…one person at a time.” That’s Taylor Swift, by the way.

As we push a little deeper into training camps right now, we’re starting to see more and more legit NHL talent take to the ice for their big clubs, which is a lot of fun. It also means it’s just about time to bring back all the Backhand Shelf features from previous seasons like Systems Analyst and The Whiteboard. If you recall, “Thoughts on Thoughts” made its return last week.

In the meantime, let’s see what’s up in the world of hockey since yesterday afternoon!


Jordan Nolan didn’t get suspended for his hit on Rostislav Klesla, nor should he have

The NHL Department of Player Safety released a video, so if you haven’t seen the Nolan-on-Klesla hit that saw the latter leave the ice on a stretcher, here it is, along with the league’s explanation for the lack of supplemental discipline:

There are certain things you can’t do when delivering a check in the NHL, and Jordan Nolan avoided them all. No elbow, shoulder first, got low and didn’t jump, got in front of his opponent’s body…as awful as it ever is to see someone hurt, at some point in a contact game you’re somewhat responsible for your own safety (if the check thrown on you is clean).

It’s a shame Klesla’s head took some of the blow (the ice seemed to exacerbate that problem), but this is a good ruling by the league.

Paul Bissonnette left the bench to fight, however, and he did receive the league’s automatic suspension of ten games for doing so. It’s kind of a shame, because it’s not like he did anything too scary, but hey, rules iz rules.

Here’s Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter on the Bissonnette suspension:

“(Bissonnette’s) changing. If that was a regular season game, nothing’s going on. Quite honest, the referees called minors after the play…And there were no minors, either. They didn’t have to call it. Basically, it’s just like both teams had a lot of inexperienced players. There was one inexperienced referee, too, last night.”


Dallas Rookie Valeri Nichushkin looks legit

It’s not the world’s greatest GIF or anything, but at least it provides you with some look at the goal this kid scored in his first NHL exhibition game (via Reddit Hockey user DFWTrojanTuba):

Big, fast, slick little move… guy looks like he could be a player.

Those jerseys look pretty cool too.


Solid debuts

A lot of players have been suiting up in new jerseys for the first time over the past couple days (ala Nichushkin), and there’s been a few stand out performances. Among them:

Corey Schneider pitched a shut out for the Devils. I mean, this is happening. I’ve talked about it before, but it’s going to be really awkward (even for Brodeur) when it becomes obvious that, even if Marty can still play in the NHL, the other tender is better. Schneider’s debut included this gem:

Jarome Iginla scored twice for the Bruins. Iginla is a lot like Patrick Marleau in that I don’t care how old they are, if they get looks, they can finish thanks to their killer shots. And in a preseason game that doesn’t necessarily involve the greatest opponents in the world, you’re going to get looks.

Vincent Lecavalier scored for the Flyers. Always nice to get that first one out of the way with a new team.


Damien Brunner is going to the Devils on a PTO

Weird. Damien signed with the Devil(s).

The Devils have actually salvaged a roster this year, and this addition is a particularly bright spot for them.

It was rumored that early last season the Red Wings offered Brunner a contract extension worth a couple years and about seven million, but he passed that up hoping for something better. Welllll things didn’t exactly go as planned, and now I’m guessing the Devils can get him on a risk-free deal (maybe a single season) for a couple million bucks.


Claude Noel thinks his goaltending is, I dunno, pretty “meh”

There was an ESPN ranking that came out in the last couple days that put the League’s top 25 goalies in order, and well, the Jets starter Ondrej Pavelec wasn’t too high up it. More specifically, he wasn’t on it at all.

You’d think when asked about it that his coach would rush to his defense, but Claude Noel is more about taking the honest approach. He said the ranking of Pavelec is “probably fair” considering his numbers (.907 last year), adding:

“Yes, I am confident in our goaltending. I think it’s good enough to help us get in the playoffs. But that’s part of the solution. Our players have to check better. We have to do some things better from the previous two years to get in the playoffs, and goaltending is going to have to also pick up.”

I love coach motivation that comes through newspaper quotes. So subtle.


Design a low attendance game

If you had to do your very best to design an NHL game that people wouldn’t watch, you couldn’t do much better than: Monday, September 16th, 2:00 PM, In Florida, pre-season, against Nashville, with another game coming later that night.

As such, this game was simply not attended (pic by Erin Brown):

Panthers game

People made a fuss about it, because let’s face it, that’s kind of funny, but it’s obviously not fair to lambaste Florida fans for not being there for that particular game. As such, their team President Michael Yormark had this to say:

“ … However, in no way does today’s attendance reflect our expectation for the upcoming season. In fact, we fully expect an opening night sellout, our new full season equivalent ticket sales are up 41-percent over last year and we also expect the 2013-14 season to be the fourth consecutive year in which we see an average home attendance increase at the BB&T Center.”

We’ll give them a pass on this one and see how the season goes, methinks.