Tag:Brian Stubits
Posted on: July 15, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: July 15, 2011 1:54 pm
 

Daily Skate: Crosby hits ice, Pronger delayed

By Brian Stubits

CROSBY HITS THE ICE: For the first time since April, Sidney Crosby has taken to the ice (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) for workouts as he continues toward his return from the concussion he sustained midway through last season. In April, as the Penguins were in playoff mode, Crosby was working out with the team, leading to speculation he might come back for the playoffs. He was soon shut down because of headaches, which were blamed on a sinus infection, not concussion symptoms. It's still just another small step in his recovery and doesn't guarantee he'll be ready for camp, but at this point it can only be taken as a positive for Pittsburgh.

PRONGER PROBLEMS: Speaking of rehabbing players and camp, Chris Pronger could miss the Flyers' training camp for the second consecutive year. Recovering from the removal of a herniated disc in his back, Pronger is still not able to up his own personal training beyond treadmill walking as he was directed to give his back 12 weeks to scar up and heal. Hopefully it's not an omen for a repeat of last year, when Pronger played just 50 games, his lowest total since 2002-03.

MR. POPULAR'S PENGUINS: Pennsylvania is Steelers country, right? Well yes, it still is, but not among the youth. While the Steelers remain the state's most popular team, including the teams across the state in Philly. But the Penguins lead all teams in the coveted demographic of fans between 18 and 29 years old. Among that demographic, the Penguins received 27 percent of the vote, with the Steelers second at 22 percent. Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out that the Penguins were on the brain at the time of the survey as it was in the middle of Jagr Watch. No matter, it's quite a feather in the Pens' cap to beat out the Steelers, Phillies and Eagles in the young demographic.

THEY COULD BE CONTENDERS: At the Florida Panthers' developmental camp, the team received a visit and motivational speech from Micky Ward (Sun-Sentinel) or the man the movie The Fighter was based on. His story certainly stuck with some of the young Panthers prospects like 2011 draft pick Logan Shaw: "Everyone's going to have low points in their career like he did, retiring for two-and-a-half years. He did it for himself, that's why he came back. That's how we all made it here, believing in ourselves and that's going make us have a successful career."

LET YOUR WINGS FLY: Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader is going to get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take to the air with the famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels (Detroit Free Press). The former Mr. Hockey in Michigan will join the Blue Angels in a special showing in Ypsilanti where he will experience the tumbles, twirls, rolls and near-Mach 1 speeds of the Jets. The Blue Angels are in town for an air show next weekend.

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

Posted on: July 14, 2011 4:22 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Devils still without a coach: what's the holdup?

By Brian Stubits

What the devil is going on in New Jersey?

Here we are, more than three months after their season finished and the New Jersey Devils still haven't named a coach? General Manager Lou Lamoriello says a decision is coming. Some time soon, even.

"We will have a coach in the very near future, but not this week," Lamoriello said earlier this week.

Feels like that has been the standard response for a few weeks now. He is starting to sound like Chicago Cubs fans: Wait till next year.

The more time that passes, the more questions that are raised: Why is nobody taking what was not long ago a very good job? Why are the Devils going through coaches like kids through Halloween candy? Is Lamoriello tough to work under? Is there a dearth of desirable candidates? Is Lamoriello just being lazy? How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop? (That's the only one I really know the answer to -- three.)

The list of names that have popped into the search at one point or another seems to be longer than Martin Brodeur's career. There have been retreads (two-time Devils coach Larry Robinson), coaching vets (Craig MacTavish, Ken Hitchcock), college coaches (Wisconsin's Mike Eaves) and everybody in between (hello, Guy Carbonneau and Michael Therrien). But naturally these names are just on a speculative list.

"I'm not going to get into discussions with reference to the coaching staff or anything of that nature," Lamoriello said. "There's [no coach] that has been named, so you can interpret it any way you want."

Then there's the ultimate retread: Jacques Lemaire. He has had three stints coaching the Devils, including the Stanley Cup champions in 1994-95 and last year's underachieving team that he made very competitive in his interim stretch.

Apparently his is one name you can safely cross off the list.

“I’m waiting for Lou to make his decision,” Lemaire told Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. “I’m excited like the fans, I guess, to find out who it’s going to be. It’s not going to be me."

That has to be a bummer for Devils fans. Lemaire seems like he'd be a good stopgap for another season as he brought out the best in what was an awful Devils team. But it is probably for the good to move on to a new era. Preferably a long-term stay in Jersey, considering the Devils have had 12 coaches since Lemaire first left after the 1997-98 season (counting each visit for Robinson, Lemaire and Lamoriello's own stints separately).

So maybe it's worth it to take your sweet time to hire the right coach. It's just hard for me to imagine it takes this long to find said coach. All the other vacancies in the NHL have been filled and it's been that way for a while.

For more Devils news, click here.

Photo: Getty Images

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