Training camp starts tomorrow. Finally. 22 days until puck drop.
For starters, happy NHL14 day everyone. Anyone picking it up today? If so, give us a review. [The Province]
Another sign that hockey is back in business: some very lucky season ticket holders got their tickets specially delivered by Sid, Geno, Flower, Duper, Tanger... I always feel like a jealous harpy when these lucky souls get Duper to come to their door only because they happen to live in the Pittsburgh area. Why not me? Sid knocking on a door of a townhouse in south Philadelphia that's known for creepy Halloween decor and a huge Pens banner every playoff season would be a nice sign that Pens fans live everywhere, including deep behind enemy lines. He could deliver all our road tickets and Amtrak tickets, and play a round of pool, foosball and air hockey with the kids in their playroom.
The rookie tournament is over and the Pens went 0-3. Evaluation of the defensemen can be found here. The team has invited 54 players to training camp, and the only player from the rookie tournament roster who scored a camp invite was the 19-year-old undrafted forward Jean-Sebastien Dea from Lavalle, Quebec. Let's hope he turns out to be a late bloomer just like another undrafted forward from that same Quebec town.
After talking to multiple teams including Pittsburgh, Dan Cleary signed with the Philadelphia Flyers. His deal is for 3 years, AAV of $2.75M. NTC. This is a great deal for Cleary, no doubt about that. It's a horrible move for the Flyers. It will be official at the end of the month because they have do some maneuvering to get under the cap.
If you only read one article today, here's a great one on the Sidney Crosby syndrome in Nova Scotia. Hilarious and sad at the same time. Canada hockey parents give a new meaning to helicopter parenting.
Another sign that hockey is almost back? Elliotte Friedman is back in the saddle with his 30 Thoughts column again. Only one Penguin-centric note about a comment from Sidney Crosby on attention to detail defensively, but the biggest issue Friedman talks about is the hybrid icing they're going to test. [CBC - 30 Thoughts]
1. Reminder: once exhibition games start, the NHL will be testing a form of hybrid icing. The defender and the chaser will race to the faceoff dot. If the defenceman [sic] is first, the play is blown dead. If the attacking player is ahead, the chase continues. At the end of the pre-season, the players will vote on it. "Yes" puts hybrid icing in place for 2013-14.
2. The hockey operations department debated two things. First, what happens if the linesman judges the race to be even? The baseball rule is that the tie goes to the offence (runner), but in the NHL, defencemen [sic] get the benefit to minimize injury risk. Second, the possibility exists the play is blown dead but the puck doesn't actually reach the goal-line. In that case, the faceoff will take place at centre [sic] ice.
Miikka Kiprusoff is officially retiring. For his career against Pittsburgh he finishes 2-4-1 with a 2.41 GAA and a .919 save percentage. [Puck Daddy]
A reason to be thankful for Alex Ovechkin? The Sochi Olympic committee wants the Caps winger to participate in torch-lighting activities right before or during the start of the NHL season. Better he to log those miles and time away from his NHL team than Geno. [SBN Hockey]