You’d never expect for there to be a rivalry of sorts building between the Vancouver Canucks and the Chicago Blackhawks, but an emotion-filled playoff series can do that as well as the possibility the two teams will face off in the postseason against this year.
One part of the bad blood between the two teams is the head to head battle between Ryan Kesler and Andrew Ladd. Kesler called Ladd a coward during last year’s playoff series after Kesler’s nose was broken as the result of a big hit.
Yet despite the animosity among the players and the teams, Kesler says he’s not focused on Ladd this time around. From The Province:
“[Ladd] is probably going to hit me a couple of times tonight,”
Kesler said. “I’ll be ready for it.
“I’m not going to chirp at
all, I’m going to play my game.”
I’m sure there’s going to be some big hits tonight, but don’t expect any hair-pulling shenanigans. Hopefully though, we’ll see a hard-fought precursor to what should be a spirited playoff series if they do meet in a few months.
Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.
Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.
While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.
A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.