As much as things have changed for the Carolina Hurricanes, one rather simple hope remains: the team is crossing its fingers for better injury luck.
Alexander Semin knows that well, and with offseason wrist surgery in mind, he remains a health question mark heading into next season. The latest update is positive and in line with that earlier prognosis: it appears that the 30-year-old sniper should be good to go for Hurricanes training camp.
It was an up-and-down season for the Russian winger, as he managed a respectable 20 goals and 42 points in 65 games, which was admittedly a step down from his point-per-game debut season with Carolina.
The Hurricanes likely hope for Semin to regain that elite scoring touch from his best years with the Washington Capitals, although it stands to mention that he hasn’t passed the 30-goal mark in some time (he hit 40 in 2009-10 but hasn’t topped the 28 he scored in 2010-11 since).
Time isn’t kind to most NHL snipers, yet Semin hasn’t ever played in more than 77 regular season games in a single season. If he can get a few more health-related breaks, the Hurricanes would see some very nice benefits, especially if that vaunted shot isn’t limited by a wonky wrist.
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.