Looking around the NHL, there's a little bitterness going on out there. First of all, Aaron Ward mouthed off a bit about The Hockey New's prediction that his current team, the Boston Bruins, will end up in last place in the East. His exact quote was "Thereâ€™s a reason why (those writers) are not putting skates on". Ward has never been shy about talking to the press, but that quote didn't set well with THN reporter Adam Proteau who had this response. "Hey Aaron â€" thereâ€™s also a reason why the Bruins finished with the second-worst defense in the NHL last year. And with no alterations to your defense corps, thereâ€™s a perfectly understandable reason why pundits arenâ€™t expecting the world from you and your teammates this season." Ouch! This isn't exactly the way to endear yourself to the press Aaron. The entire article can be found here.
In other news, everyone has probably heard by now that the Buffalo Sabres cut Teppo Numminen after finding out about his heart condition and impending surgery. This has to be a bitter pill for Teppo to swallow, but he has reacted with much more class than his "former" employers ever have. Fellow Canes blogger David, at Red and Black Hockey has also written about this, and I agree with him. This is just another goof up in a long list of classless mistakes by Sabres management. They jerked Chris Drury around while negotiating with him in mid-season last year. They completely botched both negotiations with Drury and Briere after the season was over. They didn't sign Thomas Vanek until they were forced to match an Oiler's offer sheet which greatly inflated what they could have paid for his services only week's earlier. They let Jay McKee and Mike Grier leave the team the previous year, allowing the two grittiest and most playoff tested vets to walk away without even a counter offer. While the Buffalo front office certainly knows how to recognize hockey talent and can draft and develop players well, the list goes on and on and on how they have mis-managed their personnel. Last year's moves cost them a legitimate chance at the Cup. This year's decisions are costing them the respect of the entire NHL community.
Jim Rutherford and company have taken a little heat concerning the way they have managed the Bret Hedican situation this off-season. Here is a direct comparison though, where I prefer the way the Canes are handling things. In July, Bret didn't exactly get a clean bill of health during his physical in Colorado. The physician reportedly said that he couldn't rule out the possibility of Hedican playing, but he couldn't say that Bret was injury free either. The Canes could have easily said, sorry that's not good enough. You are either 100%, or we cut you. But they have consistently taken the high road, and have given Bret every opportunity to test the waters. This could come back to bite them this year, but in the long run other players will see this type of fair treatment and want to play here in Carolina. I'm a firm believer in karma. What comes around usually goes around, and there are good reasons (other than their boorish, crude, and impudent fanbase), that the Sabres have never won a Cup. Golisano and company really screwed the pooch this time.
Tonight is the first of two red/white scrimmages to be held in the RBC at 6PM. The next one will be at the same time tomorrow night. For some reason, I really enjoy watching these. I'll have a report sometime tomorrow about tonight's matchup. By the way, recently Luke has been updating Lord Stanley's Blog two or three times a day! He's been providing very good content, so make sure to keep a close eye on the CC newsfeeder on the right side bar for continual updates on his blog, as well as the rest of the NHL news.