Milan Lucic

Milan Lucic expects Sabres to come after him


Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe spoke with Bruins winger Milan Lucic today in advance of Wednesday’s highly-anticipated Bruins-Sabres tilt.

Not beating around the bush, Dupont asked Lucic if he expected one of the Buffalo players to drop the mitts.

His response?

“Yes. I’m not going to lie…yes.”

Not a surprise, but definitely interesting given Brendan Shanahan has spoken with both GMs — Buffalo’s Darcy Regier and Boston’s Peter Chiarelli — informing them that “awareness will be heightened” for the game. Lucic’s honesty is admirable, even though a “no comment” might’ve been the smarter play.

That said, we’re now left with the following questions for tomorrow night:

— Who takes on Lucic? Buffalo’s most active pugilist this year is Cody McCormick, but he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury and hasn’t played since Nov. 14. Paul Gaustad, one of the most outspoken Sabres following the Lucic-Miller collision (and one of Miller’s best friends), has fought twice already this year and certainly has the size at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds.

— What will Patrick Kaleta do? If there’s one wildcard in the Buffalo lineup, it’s Kaleta — he’s already been suspended for headbutting and fined $2,500 for a hatchet job on Phoenix’s Derek Morris.

— Will Boston start Tim Thomas in goal? It might not be the worst idea ever to rest your franchise goalie (you know, the guy with a penchant for playing outside the blue ice.) Tuukka Rask only has one start in Boston’s last five games, but Thomas does have a two-game shutout streak going.

— Who will work the game? The officiating crew of referees Ghislain Hebert/Marc Joannette and linesmen Derek Nansen/Mark Shewchyk called the last Bruins-Sabres affair. Hebert was fairly inexperienced as far as referees went (he called his first regular-season game in 2009) and it’s likely a more veteran crew will be assigned to this potentially explosive affair.

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Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith