We had you vote on who you thought the winners and losers of realignment last night but there’s one loser worthy of more attention. With how the teams are shuffled about into four new conferences, the one team that loses out especially hard are the Carolina Hurricanes.
Look at what the Hurricanes have now. They’re in a division with Tampa Bay, Florida, Washington, and Winnipeg. That would at least give them a punchers chance of battling through the dregs of the Southeast to make a run at a playoff spot.
Now they’re tossed into the remaking of the old Patrick Division. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, New Jersey, Rangers, and Islanders. Sure the Islanders seem weak now, but they’ve been building for the future ever since Garth Snow took over as GM. They’ll be good in short order. Then they’ll have to deal with both Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby along with the Rangers and Flyers as well? Forget about it.
Perhaps this is why Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford told CBC’s Elliotte Friedman about his 20-team playoff proposal. Carolina might need the postseason to involve 20 teams to get a shot at it in the future. If Devils GM Lou Lamoriello says it’s going to be hard, you’d better believe it.
It was reported last night that the final vote on realignment had 26 teams vote in support of it and four against it. If the Hurricanes and owner Peter Karmanos weren’t one of the “no” votes on this arrangement, we’d be stunned.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.