The expectations Carolina has for Elias Lindholm are high.
On Monday, ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford said he’d be “shocked” if Lindholm — Carolina’s first-round pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, fifth overall — didn’t make the club to start the 2013-14 season.
“The biggest thing I see is that he plays the game at a high tempo,” Rutherford told the Raleigh News & Observer. “To come into the National Hockey League and play at the pace these guys play at, that’s very important and makes it that much easier.
“The opportunity is there to start with the Hurricanes. I would be shocked if he doesn’t based on all the reports and what I’ve seen.”
Lindholm, 18, prefers to play center but can play either wing. That versatility will serve him well in trying to make the team, as Carolina currently only has 10 forwards (Lindholm is No. 11) under contract for next season.
RFA Jared Staal is still unsigned, and it looks like veterans Chad LaRose and Tim Brent won’t be back.
Surely, some of the expectations for Lindholm come from being the highest forward Carolina has drafted since Jeff Skinner in 2010.
The ‘Canes went defense in the first round of 2011 (with Ryan Murphy) and gave up their first-round pick in 2012 in the Jordan Staal trade with Pittsburgh.
As for other prospects up front?
Outside of Lindholm, the club does have fellow Swedish forward Victor Rask in the mix — he appeared in 10 games with AHL Charlotte last season — and forward Brock McGinn, the younger brother of Colorado’s Jamie McGinn and Philadelphia’s Tye McGinn.
Alumni rosters announced for Bruins-Habs at Gillette Stadium
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)
The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.
The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.
Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.
“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”
The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.
The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.
Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.
The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.
According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.
“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”
In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.