Some believe that the lockout will pay dividends for players who were injured or even just experiencing the grind of NHL careers. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Seth Rorabaugh singles out rugged Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik as one of those beneficiaries.
Orpik needed the 2011 offseason to rehab from surgeries instead of building up strength, admitting “I didn’t feel like I had any power last year.”
“The way we’re set up now (with the schedule), you make all your gains in the summer and you just try to maintain that during the season,” Orpik said. “Once you get going in the season, you’re not really making any gains strength-wise or conditioning-wise … You dig yourself a hole.”
Orpik explains the areas where that lost strength hurts, including obvious ones like battling for pucks. It’s also a big part of skating; the hard-hitting blueliner is known to many as a surprisingly swift skater when healthy.
Oddly enough, his 2011-12 season wasn’t all that bad, though – at least on paper.
He averaged 22:33 minutes per game, more than a minute higher than his previous high of 20:53 in 2010-11. His simple stats were fine, too; he scored two goals and 18 points in 73 games with a career-high +19 rating.
Yet Orpik is bringing up his struggles, so they likely surfaced in the “little things” that make him an asset in his own zone.
(Well, that and hitting people really hard.)
The San Jose Sharks have assigned forwards Nikolay Goldobin and Melker Karlsson and defenseman Mirco Mueller to AHL San Jose.
Goldobin and Mueller are both first-round picks — the former in 2014, the latter in 2013.
Goldobin had one goal and two assists in five preseason games. It’s possible he could be called back up when the NHL suspends Raffi Torres.
Torres remains part of the 23-man roster (see below) but is facing a lengthy ban for his hit on Anaheim’s Jakub Silfverberg. Torres has a hearing today.
Rookie defenseman Dylan DeMelo is also on the roster. The 22-year-old had one goal and two assists in four preseason games.
Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.
Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.
While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.
A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.