Andrew Ladd #16 is congratulated after assisting on the goal by Kyle Wellwood #13 (not pictured) of the Winnipeg Jets during the first period against the Florida Panthers on October 31, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Jets defeated the Panthers 4-3 in a shoot out.
(October 30, 2011 - Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images North America)

Ladd to Hamrlik, Neuvirth: Get your facts right


Roman Hamrlik put himself in the center of a controversy when he spoke out against NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and suggested that the union should vote on the owner’s latest proposal. He later expanded on his remarks, but didn’t offer a retraction.

As a result, Hamrlik has been criticized by a lot of players, including Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd, who thinks Hamrlik needs to do more research on the subject.

“I disagree with his opinion, for sure,” said Ladd in a Winnipeg Sun report. “Everyone is allowed to state their own opinion, but if you’re going to do that, I would make sure that your facts are straight too.

“(Hamrlik) said the deal (in 2005) didn’t get better after that (lockout ended) and it did. It was a hard cap when they cancelled the year and it ended up being tied to revenue, which bumped it up to where it is right now. It’s inaccurate in that sense.”

Washington Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth also made headlines with his support of Roman Hamrlik. However, Neuvirth took it a step further by suggesting that this lockout is about “several superstars with big contracts.”

“That’s completely false,” said Ladd. He argued that superstars are going to get paid handsomely regardless of what happens, but issues like contracting rights would impact everyone.

“I would encourage them to check into it a little more,” said Ladd, “be on some calls and get a little more information.”

If these are the kinds of comments that are getting exchanged in public, imagine how a private conference call would go when/if Hamrlik and Neuvirth speak up.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”