Mike Halford

Travis Ewanyk Curtis Glencross

Glencross: ‘Kind of a shock’ to get cut by Leafs

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To hear Curtis Glencross explain it, getting axed from Toronto’s training camp came as a surprise.

“It was kind of a shock,” Glencross explained, per the Calgary Sun. “They told me Sunday they had too many guys filling the same roles in the same spots.

“Instead of stringing me along, they let me go, so there was a chance someone else could get me.”

Now in Avs camp on a PTO, Glencross isn’t spending much time trying to figure out what went wrong in Toronto. It could be argued he never got a legitimate shot — playing just two exhibition games, never skating on anything higher than the third line — and that might raise some questions, given what transpired in Toronto on Monday.

Following a listless 4-0 loss to Buffalo, new head coach Mike Babcock criticized his veteran forward group.

“We’ve got to get our veterans playing the right way,” Babcock said, per TSN. “That’s the bottom line. We’ve got to get them playing. We can talk about kids; that’s a nice sideline story in exhibition but you’ve got to get your players to play.”

It’s fair to say Glencross, a 32-year-old veteran with over 500 games of NHL experience, did things the right way in his brief cameo.

In Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Montreal, he led all Leafs forwards with 5:03 of shorthanded ice time, and the team went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.

Now with that said, it’s worth noting Babcock’s biggest criticism was with Toronto’s top veteran forwards, saying “our good players were good enough, not even close.”

Glencross wasn’t ever in that group.

Kings ‘really want to control’ Quick’s weight this season

Los Angeles Kings v Calgary Flames
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Interesting note here from Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford, per LA Kings Insider:

Ranford, on whether losing weight could potentially affect Jonathan Quick’s mechanics:

No, I think it’s just kind of an injury-prevention thing. We really want to control his weight, and as the season goes on, his weight tends to climb a little bit and it’s more about just maintaining it this year and keeping an eye on it.

A lot of it has to do with diet – once you get on the road and making sure that you’re eating smart.

Huh.

Per LA Kings Insider, a “slimmer” Quick came into camp at 218 pounds, down from his usual playing weight of 220. For what it’s worth, last year only 10 NHL goalies were in the 220-and-over category and two of them, Tom McCollum and Martin Brodeur, barely played.

Quick, of course, stands at 6-foot-1, which is a considerably smaller frame than some of his counterparts in that weight class, like Scott Darling (6-foot-6) and Robin Lehner (6-foot-5).

It’s not surprising the Kings are monitoring this situation, especially with regard to Quick’s health. He turns 30 in January, has appeared in over 400 career contests and is a real workhorse — last year, he matched a career-high with 72 games played, the second-most in the NHL.

If the Kings want to get back into the playoffs, they’ll need Quick to stay injury-free and off the operating table; he’s had two surgeries in the last three years, one for a herniated disc in his back and one to correct a wrist ligament issue.

New Habs captain Pacioretty (knee) to make preseason debut

Max Pacioretty

Tomorrow night’s tilt between Montreal and Ottawa won’t be a typical preseason affair.

The Bell Centre will have a little extra buzz because, on Wednesday, the Habs announced that newly-minted captain Max Pacioretty will play for the first time this season after suffering a knee injury this summer.

The injury — tibial plateau fractures, not unlike what L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant suffered in 2013 — was severe enough to keep Pacioretty from putting a timetable on his return for most of September.

Despite that uncertainty, Montreal pushed ahead and named Pacioretty captain two weeks ago, making him the 29th captain in franchise history and just the third American-born player to wear the “C” (joining Brian Gionta and Chris Chelios.)

Per the Habs, Pacioretty will face the Sens on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher.

Guy Lafleur loses $2M lawsuit stemming from arrest

2010 NHL Awards

MONTREAL (AP) A Quebec Superior Court justice has ruled against Montreal Canadiens great Guy Lafleur in his $2.16 million civil suit against police and the Crown over a 2008 arrest.

Lafleur was seeking damages stemming from an arrest for giving contradictory testimony at his son’s bail hearing.

He claimed the Crown and police were cavalier in issuing the arrest warrant and that his reputation was tarnished by the heavily reported event. Lafleur alleged he consequently suffered financial losses and health problems.

Justice Andre Wery wrote that the theory of a conspiracy advanced by Lafleur’s lawyers was not based on fact, but rather on speculation on the work of justice officials who were just doing their jobs.

The police and Crown maintained they were justified in proceeding with the warrant given the seriousness of the rare Criminal Code offense.

Lafleur was arrested in 2008 and found guilty in 2009, but the conviction was overturned on appeal in 2010.

Oilers send top d-man prospect Nurse to AHL

Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse
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On Wednesday, the Oilers sent Darnell Nurse — the blueliner taken seventh overall in ’13 — to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

The move won’t come as a huge surprise to anyone that followed training camp.

New head coach Todd McLellan, taking a page from his days in San Jose, wasted little time splitting Oilers camp into “NHL” and “AHL” groups, with Nurse occupying the latter.

Though he did eventually get looks with the NHL group, the 20-year-old always seemed destined to start the year in the American League.

And it’s probably the smart decision.

Nurse doesn’t have a ton of professional hockey experience. He’s played two games at the NHL level, four at the AHL level, and another seven Calder Cup playoff games (in which, it has to be mentioned, he scored five points.)

What’s more, Edmonton made some defensive reinforcements this summer, picking up the likes of Andrej Sekera, Eric Gryba and former Isles first-rounder Griffin Reinhart, who now looks likely to crack the opening-night roster.