This, That and The Other Thing
It’s Friday and we’re another day closer to the start of camps around the NHL. Unless you’re in the made-up-rumors business, there’s not much going on around the league. But there are a few things worth noting. So I will note them. And when I’m finished noting them, I’ll be a few more minutes closer to the start of camps around the NHL. I’m clever like that.
The Florida Panthers failed to come to terms with defenseman and 2007 Hobey Baker finalist Drew Bagnall, and the blueliner is now in the enviable position of being an unrestricted free agent. The Cats got Bagnall — a sixth-rounder in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft — from Dallas in a long-ago swap that sent Valeri Bure to the Stars. Bagnall’s agent figures his client will sign with another club within a matter of days.
New Jersey inked defenseman Paul Martin to a deal worth $11.5 million over the next three seasons. Nearby, Michael Peca is still in limbo as he waits to learn whether he joins the likes of Pat Lafontaine and Jason Dawe on the short list of players who have toiled for all three New York clubs (Sabres, Rangers, Islanders). The Blueshirts have also named former Rangers star Anders Hedberg as their head professional European scout.
Tampa Bay will place the alternate captain’s “A” on the sweater of winger Marty St. Louis while team captain Tim Taylor is rehabbing from hip surgery that could cost him the entire 2007-08 season. And St. Pete Times columnist Gary Shelton shares some sage advice for incoming owner Doug MacLean.
Sounds like the way has been paved for ex-Cap Trevor Linden to return to the Vancouver Canucks for a 19th NHL season in 2007-08.
Congrats to my friend Mike Kelly, who was named the radio play-by-play voice of the AHL’s Springfield Falcons yesterday. Proof that good things do happen to good people. Mike had been serving in the same capacity with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays. Speaking of Stingrays and good guys, you should read this piece that some clown wrote about Rays captain Cail MacLean. I’m not one to toot my own horn, but MacLean is one of those great stories that you happen across from time to time in this game.
Finally, ex-NHL player and assistant coach Rick Tocchet was sentenced to two years of probation for his part in an illegal sports gambling ring.
That’s all I’ve got. Happy weekend to you all.