2011 Hockey Hall Of Fame Induction

Stars GM Nieuwendyk talks about the new owner, preaches patience

How good is it to be Joe Nieuwendyk today? His team has surprised most people around the league with their quick start and is tied for the second most wins in the NHL. His new coach has the team looking good and the offseason acquisitions have thrived with the Stars. Oh, and there’s that Hall of Fame ring he has to shine every morning.

With news of a new owner in Dallas today, now Joe Nieuwendyk should have the assets to make his job easier as well. If he was able to put together a competitive team on a shoestring budget, what will he be able to do now that he has the resources to help the team succeed?

But for those who expect Nieuwendyk and the Stars to start spending like a 16-year-old with their very first paycheck, you may be in for a surprise. It sounds like the GM will continue to exercise patience.

“I like our roster and I think we need to let it be for a bit,” Nieuwendyk told Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. “I don’t foresee any immediate moves that are necessary. But, in the long term, having an owner and possibly a higher budget could open the door for opportunities that we’re not able to study right now. It also will probably change the way other teams look at us, and maybe they will be more open to picking up the phone and making a call.”

Yeah, getting other GMs to answer the phone sounds like a good first step towards actually making a deal. For anyone interested in the Stars future, you should check out Heika’s article. The Stars are going to continue to preach patience—and winning will go a long way towards getting the fans to jump onboard with the plan.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.