The good news for 2005 sixth overall pick Gilbert Brule is that he’s going to play professional hockey this season. The only question now is: Where?
The Phoenix Coyotes announced they signed Brule to a one-year, two-way contract on Saturday. While that would normally clear the path for him to either play in Arizona or in the AHL with the Portland Pirates, there’s an apparent conflict.
KHL franchise Metallurg Magnitogorsk announced five days ago that they, too, had signed Brule. If it’s true that Brule committed to Metallurg first and they wish to keep him, he would likely have to play there as there’s generally a mutual respect for each league’s contracts.
Of course, this could just all be one huge clerical error and he will wind up in Phoenix in no time. The last time he was in the NHL, he suited up for the Coyotes during the 2011-12 season scoring five goals with 14 points in 33 games.
Brule has been playing in the AHL with Portland this season. He spent last year in the Swiss league playing just 12 games for Zurich.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.