Tag:Sidney Crosby
Posted on: August 23, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: August 23, 2011 11:03 am

Daily Skate: Should Sid retire? Blues tough sell

By Brian Stubits

ADVICE TO SID: Yesterday brought about another round of Penguins star Sidney Crosby retirement banter with a station in Halifax reporting he won't be ready for the season only to have it denied by his agent. The uncertainty of the report didn't stop Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star from writing a column on why Crosby should retire. The man has already left an indelible mark on the NHL and won a Stanley Cup, so why risk it? Here's the crux: "There are no goals left for him in the game. At best, all he achieves from now on is more of the same. He still has an entire life to lead after hockey, whether it ends tomorrow or in a decade. What’s in the balance is how capable he will be of leading it fully."

TOUGH SELL: The St. Louis Blues are still on the market and have been a while. Owner Dave Checketts had asked for proposals to be submitted to buy the organization and only one bid came through, that of current minority owner Tom Stillman. The problem is the offer is the same as his previous one (via Andy Strickland), below even the team's current debt, so there's hope another offer can come up. That could still come from Matthew Hulsizer, who didn't submit an offer but that doesn't mean he's done. Either way, the hockey market is hardly favorable (via Globe and Mail).

MIKITA'S BATTLE: It was in May that Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita announced he had Stage 1 oral cancer. Well, the good news is that Mikita says he is "coming along real well" (via Daily Herald) and he'll have a better idea next week when he visits his doctor.

HAWAII HOCKEY: You've heard the relocation cities -- Quebec City, Hamilton, Ont., Seattle, Houston, Las Vegas -- but here's a new one: Honolulu. Seriously. The On Goal Analysis blog makes the argument why Hawaii should be considered for a hockey franchise down the line. If you don't believe me, you can read it for yourself here.

JERSEY TALK: The Winnipeg Jets still haven't revealed their new jersey, but that's not stopping "leaks" from coming out. Check out the latest one down below. Of course, True North Sports and Entertainment has denied it, saying the leaked look is "not even close" (via Slam Sports). Considering that was the case with the logo, I'll imagine he's telling the truth. But time will tell.

Photo: Slam Sports

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 22, 2011 7:29 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 7:42 pm

More Sidney Crosby reports, denials


By: Adam Gretz

Are you ready for some more reports on Sidney Crosby's status for the start of the regular season (and yet more denials of those reports)?

If so, you're in luck, because CTV out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, reported on Monday that Crosby has suffered another setback in his recovery, stopped his workouts, and may not be ready for the start of the regular season. As expected, Crosby's agent quickly denied the report.

If you've heard this song before, it's because it's been playing on a non-stop loop for the past six months (or more).

From CTV:
Sources say Crosby's concussion symptoms returned last week and he cancelled all of his scheduled on-ice workouts at a Halifax-area rink.

Penguins players are expected to appear at training camp in mid-September and it appears Crosby will not be one of them.
Think back to last week when a nearly identical report surfaced from Josh Rimer of SiriusXM Radio, only to have the Penguins quickly address it, with general manager Ray Shero saying, "Training camp is a month away, so there's no expectation for me that he won't be ready or will be ready. He's doing his usual routine. He'll probably be in a week before camp starts. We'll evaluate him then."

This time it's Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, doing the talking. Brisson said, via the Associated Press, that Crosby "hasn't been shut down by anyone and has instead adjusted his summer program to address the different needs for his recovery."

And 'round and 'round we go.

The fact this is still an issue at this point, with no clear idea of whether or not he will be ready for the season or how his recovery is really going, is a definite concern -- especially on the same day a former NHL player announced his retirement because doctors told him his concussion history made it unsafe for him to continue playing. But, as has been the case throughout this entire process, the only person that seems to have any definitive idea as to what's going on is Crosby himself, and he's not talking.

It's Aug. 22, and we don't know whether Crosby will be on the ice for the Penguins when training camp opens (let alone the regular season), and it's obvious that we won't know that for sure until he is or isn't on the ice when the Penguins open camp.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 22, 2011 6:12 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 6:21 pm

Dave Scatchard retires due to concussions

By: Adam Gretz

Dave Scatchard, an 11-year NHL veteran, announced his retirement with a series of Tweets on Monday and informed his followers that he was calling it a career due to ongoing issues with concussions. Scatchard explained that after a few days of testing at the Mayo Clinic the doctors advised the 35-year-old forward that it would be unsafe for him to continue playing.

Originally a second-round draft pick by the Vancouver Canucks in 1994, Scatchard scored 128 goals in 659 regular season games as a member of the Canucks, Islanders, Bruins, Coyotes, Predators and Blues, playing most recently with St. Louis this past season, appearing in just eight games. He played in just 24 games since the end of the 2006-07 season.

Concussions and head injuries are a hot topic in professional sports right now, especially in the NHL where players like Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Boston's Marc Savard have had longer than expected recoveries from their injuries, while in years past players like Pat LaFontaine and Eric Lindros had their careers end prematurely as a result of concussions they had suffered.

While Scatchard wasn't quite the offensive force those players were, he was still a solid NHL player that still feels like he has something to offer a team and is no longer able to do that.

What the NHL can do to help prevent these injuries is an ongoing topic of debate with no easy solution that would please everybody or completely fix the problem. The game will always carry some amount of risk with injuries being a part of that. And while the league has recently banned blindside hits that target the head (like the one Savard received from Matt Cooke two years ago, starting his string of concussion problems) with Rule 48, there have been some calls -- met with plenty of resistence, of course -- for the league to ban all contact to the head. That doesn't seem to be close to happening, but as long as concussions continue to be a problem -- and as more is learned about them and the effects they have on long-term health -- the debate will continue to rage on.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:10 am
Edited on: August 15, 2011 4:54 pm

Shero addresses Sidney Crosby status

CrosbyBy: Adam Gretz

Following another series of conflicting reports on Sidney Crosby's status for the start of the upcoming season, Penguins general manager Ray Shero addressed the status of his captain late Sunday night.

Said Shero, via Rob Rossi of the Tribune Review, Crosby has still had symptoms as a result of the concussion that prematurely ended his 2010-11 season, but nothing that's forced him to shut down his offseason workouts. He also pointed out that he's yet to have a situation this offseason where he's needed to be cleared to play.

Shero later addressed the media on Monday, expounding on what Rossi wrote.

"Training camp is a month away, so there's no expectation for me that he won't be ready or will be ready," Shero said. "He's doing his usual routine. He'll probably be in a week before camp starts. We'll evaluate him then.

"I think [Sid] has had some symptoms on and off depending on how hard he's pushed himself. Sid has pushed himself pretty hard this summer, which is the good news. Sid has never had to get to the point where he’s had to shut himself down or anything. That's the good news.

"The thing for me and for the organization is the bigger picture with Sidney Crosby. We want to make sure Sid is 100 percent cleared & ready to play when he does come back. He's not going to be pushed."

It had been a quite a while since the Penguins made any statement regarding Crosby, but after Josh Rimer, the NHL Home Ice Producer for Sirius XM Radio, reported that he heard from three different sources that the Penguins captain may not be ready for the start of the season, the conversation picked back up.

It's certainly nothing to downplay that Crosby is still apparently having some symptoms, but it's also worth noting that, at this point, it has little to do with his availability for the start of the regular season which is still nearly two months away. A lot can change in that time period (good and bad).

Without Crosby (and Evgeni Malkin, who was out with a knee injury) for half of the season the Penguins offense dropped significantly last season from years past, and ended up costing them in the postseason where they were eliminated in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games after jumping out to a 3-1 series lead. Malkin's rehab seems to be on track, but Crosby's remains a mystery surrounded with plenty of uncertainty.

At this point I'll believe he'll be back for the start of the season when he's on the ice and cleared for contact, and actually suited up on October 6th. On the other hand, I'll believe he won't be back when he's not on the ice on October 6th. Anything else is hard to believe at this point.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 14, 2011 2:35 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 6:34 am

Reports conflict on Sidney Crosby's camp status

By Brian Stubits

Sidney Crosby could be out even longer, three separate sources told Josh Rimer of NHL Home Ice on SiriusXM Radio. According to Rimer's report, the only information is that Crosby might not be ready to start the season.

But then there was this from Kevin Allen at USA Today on Saturday:

[Crosby} has not talked to the media about his injury this summer, but the word is that he is training and planning as if he will be ready for the start of training camp. The NHL brings its Stars to New York for media interviews every September, and Crosby is planning to be there.

Earlier this summer there were even rumors that Crosby was mulling a very early retirement. Those were clearly way too premature and were taken with the biggest grains of salt you can find.

The conflicting reports are tough on the ol' sanity section of the brain. It's like a tug of war that makes this whole situation maddening. The silence from Crosby and the Penguins, while completely understandable, contributes to the angst and speculation. Silence might be golden, but in cases like this it's rotten.

While these reports should cause some alarm, it's certainly not panic time. I'll wait until the team comes out or Sid himself saying it will be a longer wait before fretting too much. But the idea of the NHL being without arguably its top star for longer is not good news. Even if you dislike Crosby -- and I know a vast number do -- you can't honestly think it's anything but bad for hockey, let alone Pittsburgh. We'll know for sure when camps start up next month.

Until then, we'll wait and wade through the rubbish.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 14, 2011 1:54 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 9:06 am

Daily Skate: Leighton odd man out for Flyers?

By: Adam Gretz

LEIGHTON THE ODD MAN OUT? Two years ago Michael Leighton was the unlikely goaltender that played between the pipes as the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup Finals, falling just two games short of winning their first title since 1976. Today he's potentially the odd man out in Philadelphia's goaltending situation with the presence of youngster Sergei Bobrovsky as well as this summer's high-profile acquisition of former Phoenix Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post takes a look at the Flyers goaltending situation on Sunday.

CANADA WINS IVAN HLINKA TOURNAMENT: Canada's Under-18 team captured its fourth straight gold at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament on Saturday by defeating Sweden, 4-1. Coach Steve Spott accused the Swedish team of filming their practices and said that Sweden acted like it had already won the Gold Medal after beating Canada earlier in the tournament.

ZYUZIN MAKING A RETURN? Genadi Boguslavski of Sovetsky Sport reports that defenseman Andrei Zyuzin is close to making a return to the NHL after spending the past three years in Russia. He last played in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2007-08 season, and in 496 career games with Chicago, Minnesota, Calgary, New Jersey and Tampa Bay the defenseman scored 38 goals.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 12, 2011 10:14 am

Daily Skate: Lucic Cup day muted; injury updates

By Brian Stubits

LOUSY FOR LUCIC: The Stanley Cup continues to make the rounds among the Bruins, and now it's Milan Lucic's turn. He was the player that had the honor of raising the Cup in his hometown, being met with a mixture of cheers and boos. As we have seen already this summer, a lot of players like to bring the Cup home and share it with the public, but Lucic won't be doing that seeing as how rough some in Vancouver took the Canucks' Finals loss. There was even a party slated for a beach that was scrapped due to fear of hooligans ruining the day. Instead he will have a low-key affair (The Bruins Blog) at his Vancouver home with some family and friends. It's the smart move, but that doesn't make it any less sad to hear.

INJURY ISSUES: When the Maple Leafs traded for Cody Franson and Matthew Lombardi, there was some trepidation considering Lombardi missed almost the entirety of last season after suffering the second concussion of his career. Kevin Allen at USA Today says the Leafs and Lombardi are expecting him to be present when camp begins. Allen also goes on to offer updates on a bunch of other injured players such as David Perron, Sidney Crosby and Jonas Hiller.

REWRITING HISTORY: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is doing a summer series on a bunch of what-if scenarios in Minnesota sports, the latest being on if the North Stars never left the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Sure, the city would have a championship to boast about in the last 20 years, but it wouldn't have the Wild and the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Worth the robbing of the team?

DOUGHTY SPECULATION: The negotiations go on and on and on in the Drew Doughty talks with the Kings, the possibility growing that they will continue well into September. So while we all wait, Red Light District decided to take a gander at what Doughty's contract should be worth, which should put him at the top of the Kings payroll.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:46 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 3:22 pm

Recent No. 1 picks going straight to NHL

By: Adam Gretz

Fans in Edmonton were able to get an up close look at their most recent No. 1 overall pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, at team Canada's prospect development camp this past week, and the early returns are very promising. He helped cap off a come-from-behind win for the White team during their Red-White scrimmage on Saturday, tying the game in the third period and then winning it with 20 seconds to play.

Donna Spencer of the Canadian Press wrote about the skills he displayed on Friday, while Oilers forward Ryan Smyth, and potentially a teammate of Nugent-Hopkins this upcoming season, called him a "nifty little player" after sitting behind the bench for the Red team during the scrimmage.

It's still not known whether or not he's going to play in the NHL this season, but if recent history is any indicator, it would seem to be a mild upset if he didn't. Going back to 1997 there have been 11 forwards taken with the top pick in the NHL draft, and 10 of them made their debut the same year they were drafted. The only player that didn't, technically speaking, was Washington's Alex Ovechkin, and that was due to circumstances beyond his and his team's control: the NHL lockout. Had it not been for the work stoppage he would have been a lock to make his debut.

What can be reasonably expected of Nugent-Hopkins should he play for the Oilers this upcoming season? Here's a look at what the recent straight-to-the-NHL top picks have done during their rookie seasons:

Top Picks NHL Draft Rookie Season
Player Games Goals Assists Points Avg. Mins. Per Game
Taylor Hall (2010) 65 22 20 42 18:12
John Tavares (2009) 82 24 30 54 18:00
Steven Stamkos (2008) 79 23 23 46 14:56
Patrick Kane (2007) 82 21 51 72 18:21
Sidney Crosby (2005) 81 39 63 102 20:07
Alex Ovechkin (2005)* 81 52 54 106 21:37
Rick Nash (2002) 74 17 22 39 13:06
Ilya Kovalchuk (2001) 65 29 22 61 18:34
Patrik Stefan (1999) 72 5 20 25 14:48
Vincent Lecavalier (1998) 82 13 15 28 13:39
Joe Thornton (1997) 55 3 4 7 8:05

*Ovechkin's first season came after the lockout, which was a year after his draft year.

With the exception of Patrik Stefan, every one of these players has gone on to be a productive player or a star player in the NHL (the jury is still out on Taylor Hall at this point after just one season, but we like his chances).

What's a reasonable expectation for Nugent-Hopkins should he play for the Oilers this season? Well, nobody should expect Crosby/Ovechkin levels because those guys are from a different planet. But 20 goals seems like it would be a solid goal based on recent performances by other top picks, assuming he's able to withstand the physical toll of the NHL. And that seems to be the chief concern for Nugent-Hopkins; it's not his skill or ability, but simply whether or not he has the strength to do it at this point. He currently weighs in at 175 pounds according to Spencer's Canadian Press report from over the weekend. That would make him one of the smallest players in the league

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com