Tag:Brian Elliott
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:35 am

Daily Skate: Preds, Weber prepare for arbitration

By Brian Stubits

ALWAYS BE PREPARED: Even though all other arbitration hearings haven't come to fruition so far (not counting Chris Campoli, who the Blackhawks decided to walk away from well before), Shea Weber and the Predators are both preparing for their battle (the Tennesseean). The chances still are good that a deal will be reached in time, but the sides maintain they aren't close right now. The arbitration meeting is set for Tuesday, Aug. 2, so expect things to stay at a stalemate until Monday. If they still go to arbitration, then Nashville has to take whatever award Weber gets since it filed for arbitration and it will only be a one- or two-year deal. You can see why the Preds would love to handle this on their own.

PITTSBURGH IS ON THE CLOCK? No site has been selected for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft yet, but Pittsburgh has stepped to the front of the table as the leader (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). The city's main foe appears to be the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last year the draft was held in Minnesota. But that's not all the Penguins are up to in the middle of the summer. The team is also going to unveil a Mario Lemieux statue outside of the arena at some point before then. Certainly a worthy gesture.

GETTING WITH THE TIMES FORUM: Steven Stamkos got the most money from Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, but a close second is the St. Pete Times Forum. The team's new owner Jeff Vinik is serious about rebuilding the franchise, and one of those steps is rebuilding the arena. The Forum is in the process of receiving a $35 million facelift (St. Petersburg Times) to the arena which will feature a whole bunch of new and interesting aspects. You know the pirate ship at Tampa's football stadium? Well the Lightning are looking for something similar as far as a recognizable destination goes. The way team CEO Tod Leiweke put it: "we felt the building in some ways needed a soul."

BACKUP BLUE: When free agency began, the Blues got in the action by signing former Senators goaltender Brian Elliott. It wasn't long after that they re-signed massive (literally) prospect Ben Bishop to the same exact two-way contract as Elliott. Now the two are primed for a camp battle for the same spot. Pro Hockey Talk takes a look at the backup battle and notes its importance considering Jaroslav Halak played a career high in games last season and it was just 57. The backup will certainly be relied upon.

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

Posted on: July 24, 2011 9:16 am
Edited on: July 24, 2011 9:45 am

Daily Skate: Coyotes ticket sales up

By Adam Gretz

TICKET SALES ON THE RISE IN PHOENIX: It may not be quite as impressive as the Buffalo Sabresrecord renewal rate, but the Phoenix Coyotes have set their own franchise record for season-ticket renewals. According to the Arizona Republic, the team has sold over 1,000 new season ticket packages this summer and has had a 90-percent renewal rate, the highest mark in the history of the team. All of this despite continued uncertainty in ownership and with the long-term future of the franchise. The Coyotes averaged 12,188 fans per game last season, 29th in the NHL (only the Islanders averaged less). Any improvement is a positive sign at this point.

SURGERY FOR MALONE: The Tampa Bay Lightning reported on their Twitter feed that forward Ryan Malone underwent shoulder surgery this offseason, and he should be ready for the start of training camp. The team claims any reports of him being out four-to-six months are "inaccurate."

BISHOP COMPETING FOR BACKUP ROLE: Ben Bishop and Brian Elliott are set to compete for the backup goaltender spot in St. Louis, and it should simply come down to which player plays the best. Contracts or the salary cap shouldn't play a factor, because as general manager Doug Armstrong said, via Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Dispatch, "Two guys, both making the same amount of money, looking for the same job."

STAMKOS HAPPY TO STAY IN TAMPA BAY: After weeks of offer-sheet speculation, the Lightning were finally able to sign restricted free agent Steven Stamkos to a five-year contract last week. Stamkos, as well as general manager Steve Yzerman, talked about the process of finally working out a deal, and the 21-year-old superstar seems happy to stay with the Lightning.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl 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