–Former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Justin Pogge went from being a top prospect to being an after thought. After fizzing out in North America, Pogge played in Italy, in Sweden’s first and second divisions and he’s currently in the KHL. He’s a much more confident goaltender, and he and his wife are hoping he’ll be able to latch on in North America, again. (The Hockey News)
–Pierre LeBrun sat down for a Q & A with Sharks defenseman Brent Burns. They discussed a number of different things including Burns’ parents, they spoke about how the Sharks defenseman has been able to step up his game over the last few season and they also touched on how he’s learned to take care of his body. “I remember my first NHL game, I was sitting in the room after the game and I said, ‘That’s just the first one? That was unbelievable. I gotta do that again?’ It was like, ‘Holy s—, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that. This is insane.'” (ESPN)
–We’re a quarter of a way through the 2016-17 season and even though it’s still early, the playoff picture is starting to take shape. Sports Illustrated takes a deeper look at important advanced stats and each team’s probability of making the postseason. (Sports Illustrated)
–Former NHL goalie Mikka Kiprusoff was inducted into Finland’s hockey hall of fame, which is a pretty nice honor. But instead of giving some heartwarming acceptance speech, the former Calgary Flame gave a 13-word speech. Yup, 13 words and that includes making fun of some people. (BarDown)
–The Philadelphia Flyers are currently riding a 10-game winning streak, but it’s not the first time the franchise has had that kind of success. This current run is tied for the third-longest in team history. Here’s a look back at the other three streaks the organization went on, starting with their franchise record 13 consecutive wins in 1985. (NHL)
—Shane Doan‘s 14-year-old son is a huge Auston Matthews fan, according to his father. That makes sense considering Matthews is from Arizona:
The preseason is well underway and Josh Anderson is still without a contract.
Anderson, who scored 17 goals and 29 points last season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, is one of two remaining restricted free agents without a new deal. The other is Andreas Athanasiou of the Detroit Red Wings.
While there were reports this summer about Athanasiou potentially going to the KHL for this season, John Shannon of Sportsnet reported on Thursday that Anderson’s representatives have reached out to Hockey Canada’s staff about the 2018 Olympics.
Anderson’s entry-level contract, with an AAV of just over $894,000, expired at the end of last season.
Meanwhile, here is the latest on this ongoing contract situation.
Mikhail Sergachev has, over the summer, stated his belief he can play in the NHL this season.
He had a small taste of NHL action last season, appearing in four games for Montreal — the team that selected him ninth overall in 2016 — before getting sent back to junior and then being traded in June to Tampa Bay, as part of a blockbuster involving Jonathan Drouin to the Habs.
Well, Sergachev made a statement Wednesday in his preseason debut for the Lightning.
He scored once. He also played more than 22 minutes, which led all Lightning players on the night. That included time on the power play and penalty kill. If he was looking to make a favorable impression, to show that he belongs at the NHL level when the regular season begins, this seems to be another step in that direction.
“You watch this kid skate, shoot, stickhandle, he’s got NHL written all over him,” Tampa Bay’s associate coach Rick Bowness told the Tampa Bay Times. “Now we’ve got to give him experience. How much can he handle?”
There is competition on the blue line, with eight defensemen under contract in Tampa Bay for this season. That includes Sergachev, who is still only 19 years old. After getting sent back to junior last season, he recorded 43 points in 50 games with Windsor and then won the Memorial Cup that spring. That said, he’s made it a point of saying going back to junior “is not an option” for him.
Looking to make the leap: Mikhail Sergachev
Joffrey Lupul issued a statement Wednesday, saying he wouldn’t seek a second medical opinion after the Maple Leafs announced he didn’t pass his training camp physical.
A day later, reports have surfaced that the 33-year-old forward will, in fact, undergo another, independent medical test.
That is according to James Mirtle of The Athletic:
Earlier this week, Lupul made accusations against the Maple Leafs on Instagram.
“I’m ready … just awaiting the call,” Lupul wrote in the comments section of the Instagram post, per a screen grab. “haha failed physical? They cheat. Everyone lets them.”
Lupul, who didn’t pass his physical for a second year in a row, issued an apology yesterday. But those comments — which have since been deleted — seem to have grabbed the attention of the league.
Darren Dreger of TSN added to that, saying it’s the NHL pursuing a second medical opinion on this matter.
“The National Hockey League has that right to pursue the second opinion. That’s exactly what they’re engaging in right now,” Dreger reported Thursday.
“The reasoning behind it is because of the comment that Lupul made on social media. I’ll go back a year ago. The league didn’t step in a year ago but Lupul stayed quiet at that point. So they want to make sure — ‘They’ being the National Hockey League — that the medical evaluation from the Toronto Maple Leafs is 100 per cent above the board.”
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) General manager Jim Johannson has ruled out the possibility of the U.S. men’s hockey team having NHL draft-eligible prospects competing at the Winter Olympics in February.
Johannson tells The Associated Press he doesn’t view anyone from the 18-and-younger pool of prospects capable of cracking the projected lineup of non-NHL players, many of whom are opening this season playing in Europe.
USA Hockey’s assistant executive director says he’s also targeting a number of established college players, and would not rule out keeping a spot or two open for members of the U.S. team competing at the World Junior Championships this winter.
Johansson spoke in Buffalo, New York, on Thursday, where he is attending USA Hockey’s sixth annual All-American Prospects game. The game features the top 42 U.S.-born players eligible to be selected in the NHL draft in June.