NHL Pre Season News and Notes

NHL Pre Season News and Notes

Blackhawks put Khabibulin on waivers
September 29, 2008

CHICAGO (AP) -Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has been put on waivers.
   
Khabibulin is entering the final season of a four-year, $27 million contract. He joined the Blackhawks from Tampa Bay as a free agent after leading the Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup.

The Blackhawks signed free agent goalie Cristobal Huet to a four-year, $22.5 million deal in July, giving them two top goaltenders.

Khabibulin was the Blackhawks' highest-paid player until defenseman Brian Campbell signed an eight-year, $56.8 million free-agent contract with the team on July 1.

But Khabibulin has been inconsistent and injured over the past three seasons. In 2007-08, he appeared in 50 games, posting a 23-20-6 record with a 2.63 goals against average and .909 save percentage.

``We're going to do what's best for the Chicago Blackhawks,'' general manager Dale Tallon said in August about the two No. 1 goalies. ``If that means keeping Nick, we'll do that. If not, we'll move on.''

The Blackhawks finished 40-34-8 last season.

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Penguins' Gonchar out 4 to 6 months
September 30, 2008

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar will have arthroscopic surgery on his dislocated left shoulder Thursday and miss four to six months of the upcoming season.

Gonchar has cartilage and ligament damage, the team said Tuesday. He was hurt during Pittsburgh's preseason opener against Tampa Bay Sept. 20 and had hoped to avoid surgery.

``It is always difficult to lose a very talented player and leader for an extended period of time, but we all believe this is the best decision for Sergei,'' general manager Ray Shero said in a statement.

The 34-year-old Gonchar had 12 goals and 53 assists last season for 65 points, second among NHL defensemen, after tying a career-high 67 points in 2006-07 (13 goals, 54 assists).

Gonchar has 37 goals and 153 assists in three seasons with the Penguins, after spending all or part of 11 seasons with the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins.

The Penguins also expect to be without their other top offensive defenseman, Ryan Whitney, until at least January. Whitney had surgery in August to correct a chronic bone problem in his left foot.

Gonchar plays an important role on a developing team filled with young stars, including Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin.

Malkin, in particular, has been helped by him. Gonchar often served as an interpreter for the Russian-speaking Malkin, who has lived with Gonchar and his wife, much like Crosby lives with team owner Mario Lemieux. While Malkin confesses to being unsure of his English, he has spoken to the media on his own this preseason.

Shero said the Penguins are confident Gonchar will ``come back strong after this surgery. In the meantime, we'll look to our other defensemen to step up in his absence.''

That most likely means an expanded role for 21-year-old Kris Letang, who failed to make the team out of training camp last season but grew into a major role when he was called up later in the year. Letang had six goals, 11 assists in 63 games with the Penguins last season.

It likely also turns up the heat on 23-year-old Alex Goligoski, who was already being viewed as an option to replace Whitney before Gonchar was hurt. Goligoski played just three games with the Penguins last season, scoring two assists, but management hopes he'll play well enough to remain in Pittsburgh and not at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL.

The loss of Whitney and Gonchar figures to thrust Brooks Orpik into more of a leadership role on the team, especially given the six-year, $22.5 million contract he signed in the offseason.

The Penguins also may rely heavily on Mark Eaton, returning from season-ending knee surgery in January; Hal Gill, obtained for draft picks from Toronto in February; and Darryl Sydor and Rob Scuderi.

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Sabres C Gaustad out after having thumb surgery
September 30, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Sabres center Paul Gaustad will miss up to the first three weeks of the regular season after he had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb Tuesday.

Gaustad, entering his fourth NHL season, was hurt during a fight in Buffalo's 2-1 shootout loss to Minnesota on Sunday. He had one goal in two games in the preseason and was expected to provide a physical presence on the Sabres' second or third line.

Also on Tuesday, the Sabres assigned 10 players to the minors and loaned forward Philip Gogulla to Kolner Haie of the German Elite League.

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O'Neill ends comeback bid with Hurricanes
September 30, 2008

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Jeff O'Neill has ended his NHL comeback bid with the Carolina Hurricanes.

He notified the team of his decision after Sunday's exhibition win over Philadelphia. Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford said it's difficult for a player who sat out for a season to return to the league, but that O'Neill looked fine in training camp.

O'Neill was a key scorer on the Hurricanes team that reached the 2002 Stanley Cup finals.

The two sides reached an agreement to release him from the training camp roster.

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The Hilton Contest has the Packers at -9 while the Stations Challenge has the line at 7.5.

I have a good source that told me that Aaron Rodgers shoulder is DEFINITELY SEPARATED!

Take it for what it's worth!

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BAGIANT wrote:


The Hilton Contest has the Packers at -9 while the Stations Challenge has the line at 7.5.

I have a good source that told me that Aaron Rodgers shoulder is DEFINITELY SEPARATED!

Take it for what it's worth!

Good info  wink

The forum is all screwed up right now because they are doing a data swap so thats why your post ended up here.  ;D

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And I couldn't have been in a nicer place Blade! ???

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BAGIANT wrote:


And I couldn't have been in a nicer place Blade! ???

I ment in this thread lol

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Didn't you notice the thread you started ended up in a Hockey thread ?

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