Here's to a New Year Without Head Shots

01/02/2010
New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Five

I am certain that an opinion piece of this nature will upset each team’s fans but these head shots have got to stop.  Of course, we are all hockey fans and love the big hit, some live for it but there needs to be a line drawn with the increasing speed to the game.  These hits need to stop or else hockey becomes a survival of the fittest in which young players stand little chance of establishing a career due to playing scared due to footage from the last gruesome head shot.

While the League’s general managers mull over a rule change, I would like to propose a rule change of my own.  Repeat dirty hits will lead to a permanent suspension from the League.  The OHL instilled a similar rule when they banned Michael Liambas, a notoriously dirty player, from playing in their League following a career ending hit against Ben Fanelli.  This instance marked just another time Liambas made a questionable hit, you cam see another one on first overall pick John Tavares here.  The NHL made a similar move with former NHL pugilist Ryan Hollweg, essentially calling any hit remotely borderline until he played his way out of the league.

The moral of my rant will be that these types of players simply do not deserve a paycheck in the National Hockey League.  A League where the rest of the world comes to play and play for the sport’s greatest trophies.  What kind of message does it send when careers start to end due to these injuries? Do we need Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin seriously injured before we start to see lifetime bans?

My nominees for a lifetime ban…

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Injury Updates 01/02/2010

01/02/2010
Carolina Hurricanes v Nashville Predators

This thread will be updated all day, so keep refreshing it as the day goes along. Just a quick note, if I omitted a source it is due to a previous report with no recent updates. Here are your injury updates for tonight:

Injuries Tonight

Carolina Hurricanes

  • Scott Walker and Sergei Samsonov out for today’s match. They will be replaced by Zach Boychuk and Jiri Tlusty.
  • Eric Cole, Joe Corvo and Chad LaRose remain out.

New York Rangers

  • Vaclav Prospal expected out another couple of weeks.

Vancouver Canucks

  • Kevin Bieksa, Pavol Demitra and Ryan Johnson out.

Dallas Stars

  • Everybody healthy!

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Matt Walker, Todd Fedoruk and Jeff Halpern still out.

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Restoring the Rosters: Buffalo Sabres

12/14/2009
Florida Panthers v Buffalo Sabres

I previously skipped over the Sabres, so here they are.

Based on Matthew Pouliot’s series on Circling the Bases, I have decided restore the rosters for every NHL team. Like Pouliot, I have established some ground rules for my selections.

  1. Each team contains players they originally drafted or signed before any other NHL team. This includes players drafted and not signed, as well as European free agents coming over at an older age.
  2. I have chosen to leave retired players off the list, and lean toward players in the AHL rather than those deported (KHL, SEL, DEL, etc.).

Essentially I am choosing the best available players for a team to succeed in the current NHL season. All 30 teams will be covered, with grades assigned to forwards, defense and goaltending. After all 30 articles are written, they will be ranked in order. This series’ intent is to reward or shame NHL scouts.

The Sabres rely heavily on their drafting and development of young players in order to keep their payroll down. Due to their restrictions monetarily, the team has succeeded in producing a vast amount of NHL regulars as well as some well regarded players.  Overall, there really is no weaknesses to their lineup from the net on out.  A mostly young core, this team greatly resembles the team currently constructed but with more depth and much improved blueline.

The lineup for the Buffalo Sabres is as follows.

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Goalie Starters 11/19/2009

11/18/2009
Atlanta Thrashers v New York Islanders

Here are the expected starters for tonight:

UPDATED 11/18/2009 @ 10:30 PM

UPDATED 11/19/2009 @ 1:08 PM

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