Author: Jason Brough

Chris DeSousa, Chicago Blackhawks

‘Hawks cut Kopecky and Visnovsky

The Blackhawks have released forward Tomas Kopecky and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Both veterans were with the club on a tryout basis.

Kopecky, 33, had two goals and six assists in 64 games last season for the Florida Panthers.

Visnovsky, 39, played 53 games for the Islanders, scoring five times with 15 assists.

With injuries to Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in Boston, many are now wondering if the Bruins might consider adding Visnovsky at a low cap hit.

Chicago still has cuts to make. The roster now includes 20 forwards, 11 d-men and three goalies.


Kyle Cumiskey remains with the ‘Hawks on a tryout basis.

The ‘Hawks recently signed Michal Rozsival to a one-year contract.

Related: Chicago releases Jan Hejda from tryout

Injuries to Chara and Seidenberg present opportunity for Miller

Boston Bruins v Carolina Hurricanes

Injuries to Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg may have opened a roster spot for Colin Miller, the 22-year-old defenseman who came to the Bruins as part of the Milan Lucic trade with the Kings.

“He’s been good,” coach Claude Julien told CSN New England. “At times I think I’ve seen a guy that wants to show he belongs, and is maybe trying to do a little too much. But that’s our job to get him to tone down his game, or relax. But I like his mobility. He’s a good skater. We talk about breaking the puck out of our own end, and that’s an element that a guy like that can bring to our team since he’s such a good skater.”

Miller had 52 points in 70 games last season with AHL Manchester. His offensive abilities aren’t in question. It’s the defensive part of the game he needs to keep improving. Certainly not unusual for a young defenseman.

Chara, meanwhile, skated this morning and is apparently making progress. However, he remains day-to-day, his return date unknown.

The Bruins open the regular season Oct. 8 versus the Jets. According to CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, “it would appear Miller, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Zach Trotman, Matt Irwin and Joe Morrow could potentially be the seven healthy D-men entering the season.”

Of those seven, only Miller is exempt from waivers.

Related: Bruins lose another: Seidenberg (back) out eight weeks

Quebec City goes under the microscope

Calgary Flames v Ottawa Senators

Quebec City’s brand new arena, the Videotron Centre, will host its first NHL game tonight when the Montreal Canadiens meet the Pittsburgh Penguins in preseason action.

The game, expected to be a sellout, will be played the night before representatives from both Quebec City and Las Vegas are to pitch the NHL’s executive committee as part of ongoing efforts to be awarded expansion teams.

What happens after that?

“We’ll then report to the board later on in the day in respect to the nature and the content of these presentations and where we are in the process,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Toronto Sun.

Many are eyeing December’s BOG meetings for an official announcement on expansion.

Unlike Las Vegas, Quebec City’s status as a hockey city is not in question. What does have the potential to hinder the return of the Nordiques is the Canadian dollar, which has plunged to around $0.75 U.S.

The latest on the loonie, from Reuters:

The Canadian dollar flirted with 11-year lows against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as volatile crude oil prices took a negative turn, at one point falling more than 2 percent on worries over weak global demand.

The price of crude, a major Canadian export, has plunged by more than half in the last year, ragging the loonie along some 20 percent in that time.

From the Globe and Mail:

The Canadian dollar has slid more than 25 per cent since Quebecor began assembling its bid, adding at least $165-million to the minimum $500-million (U.S.) price tag for an expansion team. A 75-cent loonie means a similar inflationary impact on player salaries.

The Nordiques, of course, left Quebec City for Colorado in 1995, due in large part to a weak Canadian dollar.

Related: Foley not expecting Vegas expansion approval at next week’s BOG