Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley will have a lot of decisions to make this year. One of them centers around how to best replace recently retired Miikka Kiprusoff in goal.
As of now, he hasn’t made any decisions about anything.
“We’re not set yet on our 23 (man roster). We are not set on our No. 1 goalie or our No. 2 goalie,” he told reporters.
“We want to make sure that we watch those guys. We watch those guys in meetings. We watch them on the ice. We watch them in the gym. We do video with them and then we go back on the ice the next day with a certain drill that will tell us if they get it or not.”
His choices in goal aren’t exactly going to wow anyone.
Journeyman Joey MacDonald, recent KHL exile Karri Ramo, and young Swiss goalie Reto Berra are still in the hunt for the top job. Ramo and Berra have gotten the bulk of the starts in the preseason which could point at who will back MacDonald up or it just tells us the Flames want to know what they’ve got in them.
While other teams have a defined No. 1 goalie or are set to split things up, any one of those three could wind up being the top guy in Calgary. Unless someone seizes the job and comes out of nowhere, it could (will?) be a long year for the Flames.
It sounds like Sam Gagner may determine his destination for 2015-16 in the near future.
The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets are close to signing Gagner to a one-year, one-way deal. Such an agreement might not be made official until Monday, according to Portzline.
After a bumpy season with the Philadelphia Flyers in which he spent some time in the AHL, Gagner must especially appreciate the one-way nature of his next contract.
The Blue Jackets aren’t the only team interested in the 26-year-old, as his name was also connected to the Vancouver Canucks:
It looks like the still-quite-young scorer will get a clean slate after bouncing around and being defined by a bloated contract originally signed with the Edmonton Oilers.
(Remember when he broke one of Wayne Gretzky’s records?)
Gagner’s presence could make life easier for the likes of Boone Jenner:
It’s conceivable that Gagner could enjoy a nice rebound season if used in a specialized, protected role. The Blue Jackets may very well be the right fit.
… And on the other hand, the deficits in Gagner’s all-around game could at least provide some John Tortorella rage and entertainment.
The Mannheim Eagles announced that German forward Jochen Hecht is retiring from hockey.
(It’s OK to be a little bewildered that he was still playing, just don’t be too mean about it.)
Hecht played 833 regular season games and 59 playoff contests at the NHL level, making his greatest mark as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
His last bit of NHL action came in 2012-13, when he scored 14 points in 47 games for Buffalo.
Since then, he wrapped up his career with the Mannheim Eagles, a team he’s sporadically played for since 1994-95.
Honestly, it’s weird to see Hecht in any sweater not related to German’s national teams, the Eagles or Sabres, even though the Blues actually drafted him:
Then again, he could also look odd in a certain Sabres sweater.
Apparently he got the NHL 16 Hockey Ultimate Card treatment:
Plenty of Sabres fans and reporters fondly remember Hecht, so here’s to a nice career.
Sometimes you just need a reminder that a remarkable thing actually is happening.
Saturday presented the latest evidence that the NHL coming to Las Vegas isn’t just a collective fever dream, as the still-nameless franchise noted that they’ve begun the process to install ice at T-Mobile Arena for the first time.
It’s not the prettiest picture, but it means a lot:
While setting up the first sheet of ice is a physical sign that things are coming together, the front office side will dictate the sort of team that eventually plays on it.
For more insight into that process, Puck Daddy takes a look at Murray Craven, who appears to be a key part of bringing things together … even if it’s difficult to nail down a specific title.
From the Department of Sights You Can’t Un-see: the Milwaukee Admirals are going to unleash hockey-playing bobbleheads for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton “this fall.”
The Nashville Predators’ AHL affiliate continues the fine tradition of headline-grabbing and all-around-odd promotions from the league.
/Pours one out for the Bakersfield Condors and their Seinfeld “puffy” shirts.
Feast your eyes on the rather disturbing duo:
(The replies to that tweet aren’t too weird yet, but it would probably be wise to stay away nonetheless.)
Naturally, there are other bobblehead options available for the two Presidential front-runners, with the Trump ones being especially entertaining.