2010 NHL free agency: Three goalies sign on for two-way deals with three teams

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Slow summer days are ideal days to find fun ways to bring stories together and find a unifying bond between them. Ahem, or it just means that it makes more sense to put stories about two different goalies bound for the AHL signing on with their respective parent clubs.

First up, the Carolina Hurricanes signed Justin Pogge to a one-year, two-way deal.

The Carolina Hurricanes signed goalie prospect Justin Pogge to a one-year, two-way contract on Thursday. Pogge was obtained from the Anaheim Ducks in the Aaron Ward trade at the deadline last season.

The goalie will earn $500,000 at the NHL level and $85,000 at the AHL, with a guaranteed minimum of $105,000.

Pogge will spend most, if not all, of next season in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers. Should anything happen with Cam Ward, Pogge would likely be the next man up to the NHL.

The Calgary Flames got their goaltending depth squared away a bit more today by signing Matt Keetley to a one-year, two-way deal.

Keetley played 23 games with the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League during the 2009-10 season posting a 10-7-1 record, a 2.59% GAA and a .912 save percentage.

Decent numbers in just a handful of games for Keetley. Expect him to spend more time at AHL Abbotsford than anywhere else.

The Minnesota Wild avoided the possibility of having Anton Khudobin going to Russia to play by signing him to a one-year, two-way deal that will have him bound for AHL Houston once again.

Sometimes known as “Borat,” due to his birthplace being Kazakhstan, Khudobin went 14-19-4 with a 2.43 GAA, a .907 SV% and four shutouts in 40 games with Houston of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2009-10.

Yes, that’s very nice. I think we could all use some more hilarious Kazakhs on our favorite AHL or NHL teams to keep things lively and to horrify beat writers with threats of naked wrestling in the locker room. On second thought… Maybe not.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).