Winnipeg is busy taking care of business of late. They’ve picked a new general manager in Kevin Cheveldayoff, they’re in the process of picking out a new coach now that they’ve decided to move away from Craig Ramsay, and they’re still trying to figure out just what in the world they’re going to call the new team.
True North ownership is still deciding whether or not they’re going to go in their own direction to call the team the Moose, Polar Bears, Falcons, or some other team name or if they’ll adopt the moniker that helped put Winnipeg on the map and call the team the Jets. With that one decision still up in the air and the NHL Draft set to start on Friday night, things could get a little awkward when Winnipeg makes their first draft pick at seventh overall.
When it comes time for Kevin Cheveldayoff to make their pick, even he’s not sure just what kind of jersey and draft cap he’ll give to their first round pick.
A name and logo have yet to be unveiled for the team and it won’t necessarily happen before the weekend.
“Certainly there’ll be a sweater — whether it’s a team sweater or not, I guess that remains to be seen,” Cheveldayoff said Monday during a conference call with a handful of reporters. “There has been different discussions about what to do in the case of a sweater not being available.”
That might just be a bit awkward for whoever ends up being picked to go up to the stage, shake hands with the executives of the team, have the host of Winnipeg fans sure to crash the party in St. Paul, Minnesota going wild for him and… Wear a sweater with an NHL logo on it or a True North logo and feel at home.
While the guys at True North continue to sort through what they’re going to do, Tuesday shapes up to be a big day for them as the NHL Board of Governors will vote to approve the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers to True North and officially seal the deal for Winnipeg. After the fans met their goal of selling 13,000 tickets with flying colors, it’s expected that there won’t be any problems at all and the Board will approve everything.
This summer looks like it could be one of changes for the Detroit Red Wings, even beyond the most obvious storyline of Pavel Datsyuk‘s future.
One area where the Red Wings would like to make some tweaks is in net, namely in trading Jimmy Howard. The Detroit Free-Press points out that GM Ken Holland admitted that moving the former franchise netminder “might be good for the organization.”
It’s reasonable to wonder what kind of market there will be for Howard, whose deal ($5.29 million cap hit through 2018-19) looks pretty tough to stomach on paper.
Maybe it’s best to consider the Red Wings’ options if Howard starts the 2016-17 season off on a strong note, or something of that nature. Perhaps an expansion draft could “solve” that problem if Detroit cannot find any takers?
The Red Wings remain forward-thinking and patient, which likely explains why the Free-Press focuses on their confidence with prospect Jared Coreau.
“In the big scheme of things, he’ll play in Grand Rapids for another year, but now we know he can play a lot of minutes if needed,” Goalie coach Jeff Salajko said. “Jimmy Howard played four years in the minors. We’re not rushing Jared, but he is going to be an NHL goalie, there is no doubt in my mind about that.”
In other words, a pairing of Petr Mrazek and Coreau wouldn’t just be a cost-effective duo … it might just be the Red Wings’ ideal scenario in the not-too-distant future.
From the NHL:
Pretty veteran crew, including three returnees from last year’s final.
Per the NHL, O’Halloran and O’Rourke will call tonight’s series opener from Consol.
PITTSBURGH — When Pete DeBoer was hired to coach the San Jose Sharks, he wasn’t totally cognizant of how much heartbreak the fan base had experienced throughout the years.
Now he knows.
“First year in the community, I didn’t realize kind of the baggage that was carried around,” DeBoer said this morning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. “Twenty-five-year season-ticket holders coming up to you with tears in their eyes and crying.”
The Sharks, of course, have never been this far in the playoffs. Prior to this year, they’d made it three times to the Western Conference Final, losing each time.
More painful were the first-round exits. Like in 2009 when they won the Presidents’ Trophy and got knocked out by the Ducks, and two years ago when they led the Kings 3-0 before dropping four straight.
It was only after the Sharks beat the Blues that DeBoer fully realized the “gravity of what they’ve been through” as fans in San Jose, and “how important this is to them.”
Not that he’s satisfied with getting this far.
“The business at hand now is to get off on the right foot, plant the right seeds for this series, impose our game,” he said. “Every series is the same — it’s whatever team can impose their game on the other team the quickest and for the longest. That’s our goal here tonight.”
Related: For Pete DeBoer, San Jose was the perfect landing spot
Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar will spend part of his offseason trying to help Slovenia qualify for the Olympics.
RTV Slovenia has the story here.
The qualification games will be played September 1-4 in Minsk. Slovenia is in a group with Belarus, Denmark and Poland. The winner of the group will qualify for the Olympics.
The NHL reportedly has no issue with Kopitar’s participation, even though the league has yet to commit to sending its players to Pyeongchang.
Slovenia made its Olympic debut in ice hockey at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
Kopitar will also represent Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup later in September.
Related: Slovenia beats Slovakia for historic win