Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lots of hockey stuff today

Well, today has certainly been a hockey-news-riffic day, especially considering it's before the draft and free agency.

To begin with, the NHL released the 2010-2011 schedule today, which holds some irregularities for the Canes. First, the Canes are opening the season in Helsinki, Finland against the Wild. Before this they will play six preseason games, one of which includes the KHL St. Peterburg team. Because of this overseas start, which is followed by a brief Western Conference road trip, the Canes' home opener is not until the 27th of October, which is really abnormally late.

Second, the Canes do not have a New Year's Eve home game for the first time in... forever? I honestly can't remember the last year in which this did not occur. However, the Canes do play on New Year's Day, which will make a nice doubleheader of sorts after watching the C[r]apitals-Pens Winter Classic earlier in the day.

Third, of course, is the All-Star Game, which isn't technically on the Canes schedule, but will be totally awesome nonetheless, and is possibly the thing I am looking forward to the most about this upcoming season.

To finish up with the Canes-specific news, they signed Jerome Samson today to a two-way contract. Which I think is good, as he played well when he had his brief stint with the Canes, and had the fourth most points in the AHL this past season. Not to mention, his name sounds awesome when spoken aloud.

A big move in the Southeast today - the Panthers traded Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell to Boston for Dennis Wideman. I think Boston gets the better talent in Horton - us Caniacs can vouch for his offensive ability - but the move also puts themselves in a tough position under the salary cap. Or rather, doesn't relieve their cap issues at all.

Scott Niedermayer retired today, ending an era on the blueline.

And, finally, the Hockey Hall of Fame class was announced today, consisting of people that I don't recognize because I'm not old enough or because I don't follow women's hockey. Definitely not that Francis/Messier/MacInnis/Stevens class of a few years ago.

The NHL Awards banquet is tomorrow. I'm not canceling my plans for it.

The NHL Draft is this Friday and Saturday. Canes draft 7th overall - could've been higher, but noooooo, they had to decide to win halfway through the season. (How dare they!) I'm hoping for a pick that's not a dud!

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