The first moves of the post-Brian Burke era in Toronto will … probably be easily forgotten.
OK, re-signing Cody Franson is noteworthy enough, but another likely transaction is quite minor. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports that Mike Mottau is expected to receive a one-year, two-way offer once the new CBA is in gear.
Mottau will probably fight for a depth roster spot, possibly settling in the AHL if things go poorly.
The 34-year-old defenseman played 29 games for the New York Islanders and six more for the Boston Bruins last season, earning two assists and a -11 rating in about 14 minutes per game.
Much like Kurtis Foster, one cannot expect him to be a big difference-maker. (If he is, then the Maple Leafs might have another rough season on their hands.) Considering the frightening eye injury Mottau recovered from, it would be a nice story if he made it back into the NHL mix, though.
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…