24/7 Winter Classic Video: Brooks Laich

In yet another captivating teaser that hypes HBO’s upcoming 24/7 series leading up to the 2011 Winter Classic (airing on NBC on January 1, 2011 by the way …), Brooks Laich provides some entertaining banter.

After discussing the stuff you’ll be hearing about from almost every player (“It’s like we’re kids again” type commentary), Laich also discusses the budding rivalry between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.

But perhaps it’s the similarities between the two teams that might make this best outdoor NHL game yet. They both feature high-octane offenses, talented goalies, attacking defensemen and high spots in the standings, so the game has a chance to be wide open and competitive.

The only other rivalry game of note in the U.S. outdoor games so far was the Chicago-Detroit Winter Classic from 2009, so the 2011 game has that going for it too.

Anyway, the HBO 24/7 series premieres on December 15, so expect some more tastes of their expert coverage as the next few days come along. We hope you’re as excited as we are.

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
AP Photo
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.