(Note: I apologize for the late post this morning. My internet quit in my apartment right before I intended on posting this article around 8:50am CST. For new readers, the Morning Musings are generally posted between 8am and 9am CST.)
With all the talk about the outdoor game in Buffalo on New Years Day, I have to be honest, I really don’t care. Didn’t this type of game already happen? In fact, the idea has been done a couple times now. The Oilers/Canadiens played in Edmonton earlier this decade and Michigan State/Michigan played outdoors a few years back as well. Most likely, the game will result in a cash cow for the City of Buffalo, which is terrific, however, playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium during a winter day isn’t exactly going to raise publicity about the game of hockey for more than a day or two. Moreover, who wants to sit outside and watch a game in early January? Never mind the fact that most fans will be too far away in the football stadium seats to actually enjoy the game.
I think it is fair to say that this game is being played because the NHL sees a one time shot where they can sell 60,000+ seats and make a boatload of cash off the event. The publicity is secondary in this instance, for the NHL the all mighty dollar is number one.
On to the morning papers:
- Damien Cox wonders how much failure Wayne Gretzky will be able to take this season in this morning’s Toronto Star.
- Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail examines Todd Bertuzzi’s attempt to reclaim his status as one of the best forwards in the NHL this season in Anaheim.
- Coach Lindy Ruff has an idea of how he wants his lines to look heading into the start of the season writes Tim Graham of the Buffalo News.
- Still wondering why Maxim Afinogenov missed the third game of round one of the playoffs last season? If so, the story has finally been revealed.
- The Flames played with more spark in their exhibition game in Saskatoon on Tuesday night.
- Ryan Bayda is attempting to stick with the Hurricanes this training camp and not have to move back and forth between the NHL and the AHL; Lorenzo Perez has the story in this morning’s News Observer.
- More notes from Canes’ training camp.
- Jonathan Toews impressed his head coach in the Hawks’ exhibition debut on Tuesday. Speaking of debuts, Patrick Kane is expected to make his debut on Wednesday night when the Hawks host Columbus.
- Terry Frei of the Denver Post has an interesting piece on the relationship between Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth in this morning’s Denver Post.
- The Stars are hoping they have the next Mattias Norstrom in rookie defenseman Nicklas Grossman.
- To say that youngster Kris Russell has impressed coach Ken Hitchcock in Columbus would be a significant understatement.
- Coming off an intense off-season of fitness training, Jiri Hudler is looking to play regular minutes this season on one of the team’s top two lines.
- Arriving to the arena only an hour before the game didn’t seem to have an affect on the Red Wings as they dominated the Wild 6-1.
- The Oilers‘ players were getting injured left right, and center last night versus the Maple Leafs.
- Robert Nilsson looks comfortable playing on a line with Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres writes Robert Tychkowski in this morning’s Edmonton Sun.
- According to Michael Russon of the Star Tribune, Sean Hill claims he never took steroids and, in fact, took a lie detector test to prove just that.
- Jacques Lemaire is having a hard time finding someone to play on the team’s top line alongside Gaborik and Demitra.
- Rookie goalie Jonathan Bernier is making the Kings’ decision on their two goalies more difficult than they imagined writes Lonnie White of the L.A. Times.
- Tomas Vokoun is not going to allow one poor pre-season performance to affect his confidence; Steve Gorton of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has the details.
- According to Bob Hartley, youngster Brett Sterling was born to score goals.
- Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette predicts the Habs will make the playoffs but provides a small caveat.
- The Ducks assigned 14 players to Portland of the AHL on Tuesday.
- The Bruins are hoping Shawn Thornton can provide the team with a necessary physical component that they were missing last season.
- Dennis Wideman is looking forward to being able to begin the season with the Bruins and expects to contribute, especially on the powerplay.
- Even though he gave up three goals, Carey Price didn’t think he played that poorly on Tuesday night.
- Alexander Radulov is trying his best to avoid suffering the sopohomore slump writes Jessica Hopp in this morning’s Tennessean.
- Larry Brooks of the New York Post wonders how much better the Rangers would be if they had actually drafted well in the first rounds of 2003 and 2004. As Brooks notes, don’t expect Hugh Jessiman to start the season up with the big club.
- As John Dellapina writes in this morning’s New York Daily News, Henrik Lundqvist would play all 82 games if he could.
- Rookie coach Brent Sutter was happy to see his team stick up for one another and stick together during a meaningless pre-season game versus Philadelphia.
- While he was disappointed to lose Ryan Smyth as a teammate, Islanders’ forward Mike Sillinger was happy with the team’s off-season acquisitions.
- The Senators received terrific performances from Martin Gerber and Nick Foligno as the defeated the Flyers in exhibition action on Tuesday.
- Jesse Boulerice knows his role and is hoping to bring a physical presence, along with an upbeat tempo to the Flyers this season.
- Martin Rucinsky is looking to rebound from a difficult year in St. Louis writes Jeremy Rutherford in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Wayne Gretzky is going to give all his goaltenders in camp a chance to earn the number one spot writes Jim Gintonio in the Arizona Republic.
- Mathieu Darche is attempting to make the Lightning roster as a 30 year old career minor leaguer. If any organization will give him a chance, the Lightning are his best bet.
- Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News is excited that Ron Wilson is back as the Sharks’ coach and is talking as per usual (a.k.a. a writer’s delight).
- Diminutive defenseman Mike Weaver has been doubted all his career because of his 5’9 frame; however, he has become a threat to make the Pens’ defense and nudge youngster Kris Letang to the minors for some seasoning.
- Tarik El-Bashir details Ben Clymer and his battle for a checking job at Capitals camp.
- Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province has a great story on Ryan Kesler who was so disappointed that he got injured during game one of the playoffs last year that he actually told the trainers to cut off his injured finger so he could play.
- Justin Pogge impressed during his first NHL exhibition action versus the Oilers on Tuesday night.
- Paul Maurice would prefer his team not initiate any fights in any of the eight game pre-season writes Lance Hornby in the Toronto Sun.
- Coach Maurice didn’t pull any punches when describing the play of the team’s top line on Tuesday night; Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star has the details.
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