Justin Faulk is just 21 years-old and has all of two NHL seasons under his belt, but don’t count him out of making the U.S. Olympic team.
Team USA GM David Poile is a big fan of Faulk’s game and as Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer hears it, the Carolina youngster has a great chance to go to Sochi.
“He certainly has his star rising,” Poile said. “There will be some tough decisions,” Poile said. “But we like Justin’s game.”
Faulk’s competition on the blue line will be tough. With guys like Ryan Suter and Ryan McDonagh likely already locking down a couple of starting spots, things open up a bit more for the other six openings on the team.
As long as you ignore Faulk’s plus-minus rating from his rookie season (and you should do that anyway) he’s played big, tough minutes for them and has been productive offensively. Seems like the kind of guy Team USA would want to have in the mix.
This year’s U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class is a doozy.
Headlining this year’s group to be honored are former NHL stars Bill Guerin and Doug Weight. Both are Stanley Cup winners (Guerin twice, Weight once) and each played in three Olympics for Team USA. Overall, Weight represented America at nine international events while Guerin did so at seven.
Both players were also college hockey stars as well with Guerin playing at Boston College and Weight for Lake Superior State.
This year’s other inductees are nothing to sneeze at either. Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr., legendary college hockey coach Ron Mason, and women’s hockey pioneer Cindy Curley round out the class.
Karmanos’ legacy as an owner isn’t one that’s well-remembered in Hartford after uprooting the Whalers, but after 50+ years of building hockey at all levels in the United States he’s more than earned the honor.
Mason finished his coaching career with 924 wins, a mark that was tops in college hockey until BC’s Jerry York surpassed that mark this past season. His legacy as a coach at Michigan State, Bowling Green, and Lake Superior State makes him a legend amongst coaches.
Curley’s work to establish women’s hockey in the United States cannot be stated enough. She was a member of the first IIHF Women’s World Championship team in 1990 and represented the U.S. in numerous tournaments to follow that. As a pioneer of the game for women in America, it’s about time she was recognized for her work.
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.
Good news Islanders fans, your ESPN 30 for 30 documentary is due to premiere on October 22. The bad news? It’s about criminal former owner John Spano. It’s all right though, it’s directed by big Isles fan, Entourage star Kevin Connolly (pictured with Bryan Berard). (Islanders Point Blank)
Vancouver re-signed defenseman Yann Sauve to a new deal. Hooray depth! (Canucks)
Is Wayne Gretzky that much closer to joining MLSE? A former Maple Leafs beat guy thinks so. (Howard Berger via Twitter)
A surprising upside to Detroit signing Daniel Alfredsson? Him being a right-handed shot. (Detroit Free Press)
Heads up stat nerds: Check out these zone entry numbers from last season. Know who’s pretty good? Anze Kopitar. (Shutdown Line)
It was rumored a few weeks ago that Mike Sullivan and Glen Gulutzan would join John Tortorella in Vancouver, and now that has been confirmed by the coach himself.
While speaking at the Canucks Summer Summit, Tortorella confirmed that both men will be joining him as assistants behind the bench. He also noted that video coach Darryl Williams and goalie coach Rollie Melanson would be staying on board.
Sullivan was Tortorella’s assistant while with the New York Rangers and the two have five seasons of experience together there. Sullivan is also a former head coach of the Boston Bruins.
Gulutzan, who was fired by the Stars after this past season, wound up not being out of work very long. Tortorella says he’s looking forward to working with him in Vancouver.
Vancouver GM Mike Gillis spoke at the Canucks Summer Summit, a town hall Q&A with season ticket holders, and talked about how his meeting with Roberto Luongo went. Turns out things are going just fine.
“Roberto is great,” Gillis said with a smile. “Ironically we spent about half the conversation going through his Twitter account. He thinks he’s so witty.”
Gillis says one thing they could’ve worked better on with Luongo was his emotions. He said Luongo often felt guarded and the way he conducts himself on Twitter shows there’s a funny, approachable guy.
“We all could’ve worked harder at helping him but he’s really enthused about the next steps… We’re pleased he’s going to be our No. 1 goalie.”
All right, but seriously: How does he feel about moving on with Luongo after two summers of not trading him? After all, dealing Cory Schneider to New Jersey during the draft was perhaps the last thing Luongo expected to happen.
“I was comfortable there. We have a really good relationship. It isn’t strained or adversarial at all. I think he’s going to be fine. He’s a consummate professional. I think he’ll wind up being Canada’s No. 1 goalie and Roberto will be our No. 1 goalie. I feel very optimistic about it.”