James O'Brien


Stamkos’ latest thoughts on Lightning’s cap, contract talks


Steven Stamkos gets it.

He knows the Tampa Bay Lightning’s cap situation is tricky, and he knows that people will speculate about his future … a lot.

The Tampa Bay Tribune’s Joe Smith managed to get a relatively hefty amount of insights from Stamkos, though the high-scorer only really leaves us with nuggets.

The full article, as meaty as it is, is worth a read, but let’s fry it down to the basics:

On the Lightning’s cap situation: Stamkos says he “understands it” and “that’s why it’s a process.”


On Tampa Bay itself: Stamkos opines that the area started out as “a great place to live, not necessarily a great place to be an NHL hockey player,” but now it’s a “top-five” place by both measures.

(One can just imagine Maple Leafs fans yelling, “But Toronto is No. 1, right?”)

Real estate speculation: Apparently he’s been staying in the same spot for the last seven years:

“Still in the same place,” Stamkos said. “Obviously have to see what’s going to happen with the negotiations. But the same place.”

He has a 100-lb. dog named Trigger: Crucial stuff.

Even Stamkos knows that people are going to make mountains out of molehills, so have at it.

Just note: the speculation isn’t likely to die down soon, something Stamkos probably realizes.

Two first-rounders among Stars’ latest cuts

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Round One

As much as the Dallas Stars are about their young legs, not every fresh-faced player is ready to make the big jump.

The team loaned three prominent prospects to the AHL on Friday: Jason Dickinson, Remi Elie and Radek Faksa.

The Stars are down to 25 players, which means two more cuts are coming. If you want to forecast that final group yourself, check out their updated training camp roster.

GM Jim Nill is leaning toward going into the 2015-16 season with eight blueliners, implying that Mattias Janmark and Curtis McKenzie will slug it out for one of the final spots.

Defending Big D sees it that way, although Nill at least denied it on the record.

Semantics, maybe?

Dickinson (29th in 2013) and Faksa (13th in 2012) were the two-first rounders; Elie wasn’t that far behind as the 40th pick in 2013.

Their progression is reasonable enough – though maybe management wanted more from Faksa (pictured) – but the bigger concern might come from Jack Campbell’s struggles. The goalie who went 11th overall in 2010 may start the season on the shelf:

As promising as the Stars are, they need some prospects to pan out, but obviously a few of them need to marinate for a little more time.

Don’t expect Datsyuk back before November

Pavel Datsyuk, Drew Miller

Windows of recovery can change — especially when it comes to hockey players — but for now, it sounds like Pavel Datsyuk will miss at least the first month of the 2015-16 season.

Datsyuk was seen “doing high-intensity foot/leg work” outside the Red Wings locker room on Wednesday, but he’s not expected back until November nonetheless, according to the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James.

Considering Datsyuk’s age (37), mileage (887 regular season games, 152 postseason contests, plenty of international experience) and recent bouts with injuries, the Red Wings should discourage him from rushing back too soon.

Of course, gauging a player’s health isn’t an exact science, especially when those guys often want to go back even if they’re really not quite ready.

The longer Datsyuk is out, the tougher it will likely be for the Red Wings to keep their playoff streak alive. On the other hand, a healthier Datsyuk could help them put together their first deep run in years (if they make the playoffs, that is).

PHT Morning Skate: List designed to make people mad makes people mad

Jonathan Toews

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Sometimes, it seems like “Top X” lists are meant to make people mad. It’s unclear if TSN’s Top 50 player rankings set out to do so, but it accomplished that task anyway.

First, here’s the list itself.

Now, a few reactions:

Mission accomplished?

Looking at the Edmonton Oilers’ options with Jordan Eberle on the shelf. (The Hockey News)

Gauging the odds of some other rookie usurping Connor McDavid for the Calder. (Sportsnet)

Stunning news: a hockey coach makes a grammatical error. (TSN Bardown)

Capitals pose with puppies, smiles for all. (Puck Daddy)

Washington Capitals’ X-factors: centers and defense. (NHL.com)

The Dallas Stars are leaving lingering questions. (Dallas Morning News)

Pens make cuts, including Sestito from PTO

Kyle Chipchura, Tom Sestito

The Pittsburgh Penguins still have quite a lot of cuts to make, yet Tom Sestito already must mull over other options.

Pittsburgh narrowed its training camp roster down to 35 players on Wednesday, and that meant releasing Sestito (pictured) from his professional tryout contract.

Here is a full breakdown of the cuts:

Down to the AHL: Tristan Jarry, Barry Goers, Niclas Andersen, Tyler Biggs, Anton Zlobin, Josh Archibald, Dominik Simon and Matia Marcantuoni.

Placed on waivers (will go to AHL if not claimed): Dominik Uher, Kael Mouillierat, Will O’Neill, Reid McNeill and Steve Oleksy.

Again, Sestito stands out as someone who’s now without the organization entirely, although there’s a chance that could change.

Want to check out the Penguins’ updated roster? Click here.