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NHL NEWS FOR FRIDAY

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Avalanche forward Steve Konowalchuk will undergo tests after pre training camp exams detected a heart abnormality. The severity of the problem is unknown. The last thing the Avs need this year is a key injury. Konowalchuk had 15 points in 21 games last season before missing a large amount of time due to a broken wrist. It was the best start to a season for him in his career. Colorado needs him to be healthy all year and contribute offensively.


Saku Koivu said that his eye felt fine after a practice today. Saku, who was wearing a protective lens, had this to say:
"It will be a different scenario when we play against another team, but this was a first step and we have a couple of days before the first pre-season games. I hope that every day I feel a little more comfortable out there."
Koivu still isn't being overly confident.
"If I don't face any setbacks and the vision is the way it is now, I don't see a problem for the season opener. But the first couple of exhibition games will tell a lot more."
Know what I think? As it is with every pool season, I will not pick Koivu once again. He just can't stay healthy for a whole season. It's almost like a curse for him.

If Leaf captain Mats Sundin had a choice he says he will finish his career as a Maple Leaf. Good on him. He does have honor doesn't he? He also stated:
"I don't have a desire to go anywhere else to be part of a championship team," he said. "We have just as good a chance to be a championship team right here as anyone else.
I can't see myself trying to go to a contender at the end of the season just to be part of a championship. Any of the 16 teams that makes the playoffs has as good a chance as anyone else.
We had almost as many points as Edmonton had when they started their playoff run, and they went to the final. It was encouraging to see a lot of the younger players come in during the last 20 games and play well. That gave a brighter outlook to the start of this season."

I think that if this wasn't the new NHL, Mats may have bailed to go to say Colorado, for example, to win the Cup at the latter stages of his career. Especially if the LEafs were floundering. But he is absolutely right. Anyone can win the Cup once they get to the playoffs in the kickass new NHL. So why would he go anywhere else? The Leafs will negotiate a contract extension with him during the season, I have no doubt about it, as this is Sundin's final year.
I want to add that yes, they did have the same amount of points last year as Edmonton, as Sundin stated, but they did not have a proven goalie in net like the Oilers had.
As a Leaf fan, my only real concern will be the play of Andrew Raycroft. Raycroft is excited to be in hockey mad Toronto, but if he fails, us Leaf fans will lynch him, oh yes we shall!

Keith Tkachuk did not report to training camp out of shape this year. I guess he excluded beer and potato chips from his diet this summer. Gad, slow news day or what??!! Who gives a rat crap about Tkachuk's weight (no pun intended!)