Well we're nearly there folks. Regular season hockey is back this week! Our Vancouver Canucks start the 2016/17 season with a nice, gentle home game against the Calgary Flames this Saturday. Will the Flames have Johnny Gaudreau in their line-up? Let's hope not.
So with just five days now until puck drop, let's take a look at the myriad of hockey news around the league:
- Only one NHL player outscored Alex Edler in pre-season: Nathan Beaulieu. Just let that sink in. Anton Rodin and Markus Granlund led all forwards on the team with 5pts. Although if Rodin is out until after Christmas, that may not help us much. [CBS]
- Another great piece on Manny Malhotra's return to the Canucks. I'll never tire of hearing good things about him. [Province]
- The Sedins feature in NHL.com's piece on the upcoming season's likely milestones - 1,000pts for each of them is rapidly approaching. [NHL]
- I'm no fan of Puck Daddy, but their Canucks season preview was posted today. Make up your own minds. [Puck Daddy]
- In absolutely bizarre news, the Florida Panthers named Derek MacKenzie - the 4th line, limited offense guy - as the 9th captain in franchise history. Aaron Ekblad is an assistant but seriously? Give the kid the team already. [Sun Sentinel]
- In what can only be termed as 'even more bizarre' news, the Edmonton Oilers traded Nail Yakupov for scraps, then signed Kris '$5m man' Russell to a one year, $3.1m contract. Kris Russell. No longer is Luca Sbisa the poster boy for overpaid D in the Western Conference. [Edmonton Journal]
- In sad news, Jonathan Huberdeau is out 3-4 months with a leg injury, after taking a skate to the achilles. Remember when Chris Pronger tried that with Ryan Kesler? [Miami Herald]
- Other players on waivers over the last few days: Richard Bachman, Linden Vey, Brooks Laich and Colin Greening. Nothing to see here people.
- Sadly, it appears Nikita Kucherov will sign a deal so he doesn't miss the season opener:
Negotiations intensifying between TB and Nikita Kucherov. Not yet a "done deal," but it's likely Kucherov will be in TB opener on Thurs.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) 10 October 2016
- Don't look now, but it appears Jared McCann may start the new season on the Panthers' top line due to the Bjugstad / Huberdeau injuries. [The Score]
- Dallas didn't stop at signing Jiri Hudler, now they've nabbed Lauri Korpikoski to replace Valeri Nichushkin's mediocre offensive output:
Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) 10 October 2016
Question of the day: How much is Kris Russell worth?