ALBANY — Brian Lashoff had one of the more up-and-down seasons a young player can have. When the lockout ended there wasn’t much expectation he’d see time in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings.
While he was doing his part to hone his game in Grand Rapids of the AHL during the work stoppage, the call came early on in the NHL season when injuries hit in Detroit. In just the second game of the season, Lashoff was making his NHL debut against Columbus and scoring his first career goal.
After 31 games with Detroit, he closed his year out winning a Calder Cup with the Griffins. With a roller coaster season like that, Lashoff says the experience was huge for him and the rest of the young guys (Gustav Nyqvist, Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson, Danny DeKeyser) who split time between the two leagues.
“We went through a lot of adversity in the playoffs in Grand Rapids,” he said. “Whether it was a tornado in the middle of the Oklahoma City series or dropping a game or two, we always found a way to come back and it was good. It was fun to watch and be a part of. I think it’s going to be fun more than anything to go into next season with these guys.”
The only subtraction from last year’s defensive group is Carlo Colaiacovo due to a buyout and Lashoff knows competition to get a top-six spot will be tough. With seven guys going for it in a mostly young group, he’s got all the motivation he needs.
“I think you bring those guys in and it’s been really nice to be able to have that kind of confidence to go into training camp just the same way I’ve gone into training camp since I was 18. I’ve got something to prove and it doesn’t matter if I’m 18 or 23.
“I’ve got something to prove and I’ve got to go in with a chip on my shoulder and make that top six and that’s my only priority right now.”
You can scratch another potential arbitration case off the docket.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Nashville has re-signed forward Nick Spaling to a one-year, $1.5 million deal. The two sides were set to head to arbitration on Thursday, but get to avoid that potential unpleasantness now.
Last season, Spaling had nine goals and four assists in the lockout shortened season. His goal total was one shy of his career-high set the season previous.
As a third line type of player, he’s turned into a valuable performer for the Predators. If that offensive production can continue to improve, he can count on seeing another raise next summer.
Things are set to be a lot different in Vancouver with John Tortorella coaching the team and forward Ryan Kesler found out first-hand what that’ll be like.
Kesler tells Ben Kuzma of The Province that Tortorella has expectations for the veteran club that they’re going to need to live up to or face Torts’ wrath.
“He’s going to expect more from everybody, and we’re going to need more,” he said. “The way things ended last year, I don’t think anybody looks at themselves as a top dog anymore. We’ve got to find our way and battle every night.”
Good thing for the Canucks is Tortorella seems like the kind of coach that will make sure no one acts like a top dog regardless. Rest assured, “battling every night” won’t be a problem with Torts there.
Related: Rangers, Vigneault to face Canucks, Tortorella in preseason
Predators forward Rich Clune recently signed a new two-year deal with Nashville worth $1.7 million. What you don’t know is that he had other demands as well.
Clune shared his other desires from the Predators on Twitter and ensured that he’s a player you’re going to want to follow if you enjoy funny stuff.
I don’t know about you guys, but if I were the Preds GM I would’ve OK’d the “Dicky” request.
Looks like we’ve got a challenger for Paul Bissonnette’s throne as “Most Popular Fourth Liner on Twitter.”
JagrWatch 2013 rolls on and the smoke surrounding the possibility of him signing with the New Jersey Devils grows ever stronger.
Czech broadcaster Roman Jedlicka tweeted saying it was “99 percent Jagr is gonna sign” with the Devils.
This follows on the heels of news reports of the 41 year-old future Hall of Famer being in New Jersey to “inspect” the Prudential Center and to see what’s going on there.
Of course, the Devils aren’t commenting on the situation and everything else coming out of the Czech Republic regarding Jagr is speculative, at best. The Devils make a lot of sense for Jagr as they need help now that Ilya Kovalchuk has fled to the KHL and they lost David Clarkson to free agency.
At this point the situation feels like episode of “Seinfeld” with Jerry negotiating to get Puddy and Elaine back together. “What’s it going to take to get you two in a relationship?”