And after you watch Kevin Weekes’ latest video, part of the Edward Jones Face Time initiative, you can read my take on how the Canucks have struggled under John Tortorella. (Specifically, about the problems Vancouver’s had moving the puck out of its own end.)
Patrick Bordeleau is on his way to play for the Devils — of the Elite Ice Hockey League in the United Kingdom.
The Cardiff Devils announced that they have agreed to terms on a contract with Bordeleau, who played 129 games in the National Hockey League with the Colorado Avalanche.
In his time with the Avs, from 2013 to 2015, the 30-year-old forward — who stands an imposing six-foot-six-inches tall and 225 pounds — scored eight goals and 16 points with 185 penalty minutes.
As you can see from the clip below, he was known more for fisticuffs than finesse.
That has the club in Cardiff all kinds of excited about this signing.
Aside from his reputation as an enforcer, the level of skill and ability of Patrick Bordeleau arose the attention of Devils player coach Andrew Lord who is delighted to add him to the roster.
“Patrick Bordeleau brings an awesome dynamic of size, energy and physical play. He skates well and will add a great presence to our forward unit while also playing quality minutes. He played multiple seasons in the NHL and his experience and character will be huge for our group.”
Last month, another former NHL tough guy, Jay Rosehill, signed in the EIHL with the Braehead Clan, which continued a trend that has seen a number of pugilists continue their careers in the UK.
Shortly after the Blues’ PR department unveiled a “major announcement” scheduled for Thursday, the Post-Dispatch broke news that Alex Pietrangelo will become the team’s new captain.
It’s a big honor for the talented defenseman, who joins the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, Chris Pronger, Scott Stevens, Brian Sutter, Bernie Federko and Al Arbour as those that have captained the Blues.
Pietrangelo, 26, was taken fourth overall by St. Louis in 2008 and has spent his entire professional career within the organization.
A staple of the Team Canada blueline and a two-time NHL 2nd team All-Star, Pietrangelo inherits the captaincy from David Backes, who wore the “C” for five years before signing with Boston in free agency.
Pietrangelo had previously served as one of Backes’ alternates — first earning his “A” in 2013 — along with forward Alex Steen, who’s served as an alternate since 2011. It’s logical to assume Steen will retain his role in the leadership group, but it will be interesting to see who gets the other alternate captaincy.
This post is part of Detroit Red Wings day at PHT…
Now, only the latter remains.
Larkin, who bucked tradition by making the Red Wings as a 19-year-old last year, enjoyed a banner freshman campaign, scoring 45 points in 80 games to finish fifth in Calder voting.
But a large chunk of that success came playing wing on a line centered by Zetterberg, who “took a lot of the responsibility off Dylan,” according to Holland.
The for/against debate here is pretty straightforward.
Holland said the “long-term” plan is to have Larkin be a center in Detroit, so why not get that process underway now? That move, combined with the addition of Frans Nielsen, would allow Zetterberg to return to the wing (and potentially play alongside Nielsen.) The more options head coach Jeff Blashill has at his disposal, the more creative he can get at forward.
But would it be too much, too soon for Larkin?
There’s already the looming specter of a sophomore slump, and it’s important to remember he faded down the stretch last season, as the rigors of a full NHL campaign took their toll. He was largely shielded from faceoff duty (and still finished at just 41 percent), only turned 20 just over three weeks ago, and Blashill could go Zetterberg-Nielsen-Luke Glendening–Riley Sheahan down the middle quite easily.
As per usual, we now turn it over to you. Vote away:
This post is part of Detroit Red Wings day at PHT…
There’s no denying Ken Holland’s been feeling the heat in Detroit for a while now.
But this season, the temperature could become unbearable.
There are three pressing concerns as the Red Wings look to make the playoffs for a 26th consecutive campaign, all of which fall directly into Holland’s lap:
1) Can the Wings survive without Pavel Datsyuk?
2) What will they do in goal?
3) How will they fix their defense?
To address the first issue, Holland went out and spent $31.5 million in free agency on Frans Nielsen, a good-but-not-great center that turns 33 next season. Nielsen is defensively responsible and a fairly consistent scorer — a perennial 45-to-55 point guy — but lacks Datsyuk’s playmaking ability and deft skill set.
(Though to be fair to Nielsen, most do.)
Still, a solution’s a solution. Nielsen comes to Detroit in relative high regard, earning a handful of Selke votes every season, and was one of the best options available to replace Datsyuk, which was never going to be an easy task.
So onto the goaltending.
The situation at hand — with Petr Mrazek (presumably) the club’s No. 1, and Jimmy Howard now in a backup role — is tough for everybody involved. It’s tough for Howard, who is 32 and pulls in $5.29 million annually, an albatrossian combination with regards to potential trades.
It’s tough for Mrazek, who now faces the added pressure of making good money himself ($4M annually), but is still coming off a year in which he lost the starting gig to Howard, only to regain it halfway through the playoffs.
The situation is tough for Holland, too.
Sinking nearly $10 million into the position was all his doing, and he doesn’t seem to know how to get out of it. He’s flip-flopped on Howard — first saying he’s thought “lots” about trading him, only to later envision a scenario in which Howard sticks around.
Then, there’s the defense.
Holland’s made no secret of the fact he’d “love to get a top-three defenseman” in the door, and was reportedly in talks with Anaheim about a potential Cam Fowler trade. But as we saw with Edmonton trading Taylor Hall to get Adam Larsson, the acquisition price for good blueliners is sky high.
Which could be why Holland hasn’t addressed the position yet.
It’s a good group, but one with warts. There’s not an elite level guy, and it’s not especially young. Green is 30, Ericsson is 32 and Kronwall’s 35… and was just dropped from Sweden’s World Cup team due to a knee injury.
Add it all up, and you’ve got a team with more questions than answers.
And a GM who sounds like he knows the pressure is on.
“I don’t know that there are more than five or six legitimate Stanley Cup contenders; we’re probably not in that group,” he said, per NHL.com. “After that five or six, there are 20 teams without much difference between them. We’re in that group of 20.
“Certainly there are lots of questions about our team.”