As the hockey world swirls with rumors of Sidney Crosby being shut down for the season — or perhaps forever — agent Pat Brisson nixed the scuttlebutt today in emphatic fashion.
“Sidney is doing very well, he’s training, he’s going in the right direction,” Brisson told ESPN. “The idea of retiring or shutting him down is not even in our vocabulary. Far from that.”
Brisson was likely responding to a report from Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos in which the former NHLer boldly stated that Crosby’s season was over. (There are “shutdown-for-year” rumors floating around Twitter too, like this.) Crosby, of course, hasn’t played since Dec. 5 — a 3-1 loss to Boston — in which he played a season-high 21:03, but also suffered a series of hits which triggered concussion symptoms.
Brisson wasn’t the only one refuting shutdown/retirement claims today. Pens GM Ray Shero also addressed the Crosby situation, telling ESPN there’s “absolutely zero truth to these rumors.”
Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.
Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.
Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.
This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.
With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.
During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.
“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.
“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”
The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.
Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.