When the NHL locked out the players back in 2004, New Jersey’s rising star Adam Henrique was just 14 years old and a huge hockey fan as well as a player.
Last night he returned to Albany, New York — where he was a star for the Albany Devils back in 2010-11 — but not by choice as the league’s current lockout forced him back to the minors.
If you think he’s lost perspective on what it’s like being a fan versus being a player as the labor battle rages on, you’d be wrong.
“It’s a little different being on different sides of the situation,” Henrique said. “Back then I really didn’t understand what was going on. Now, having the chance over the last couple years to learn the business side of things and, you know, as a young kid you don’t know that stuff.”
The economic X’s and O’s don’t do much for the fans to make them stay interested in the NHL, but Henrique is confident things will work out for the best.
“There’s a lot to it and right now we have a lot of the right people in the right place for us that are doing great things,” Henrique said. “Everyone is coming together and doing what they have to do to make things work and hopefully we get things settled at some point.”
On a more lighthearted note, Henrique earned a few more fans by rocking a killer mustache throughout last year’s playoffs. Will it make an early return thanks to the lockout?
“If we make the playoffs it might make a comeback,” he said with a smile.
Fans in New Jersey hope they get to see it at The Rock come April.
There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.
The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.
That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.
In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.
Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.