By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo had a question about his player rating in NHL 14. Wyatt Arndt managed to get the answer while interviewing the game’s creators ahead of its highly anticipated September release.
• The Capitals see Mikhail Grabovski as a possible replacement for Mike Ribeiro on their second line. But after signing the high-profile UFA to a one-year deal, it’s clear they’re not entirely sure he’s up to the task.
• You think you know who should be on the roster when Team Canada attempts to defend its gold in Sochi? You might want to give Steve Yzerman call. Team Canada’s GM says he has about half the team set in his mind. “I’d say there are probably, conservatively, maybe 10 locks,” he said. “We’re taking 25 players. Ten may be a conservative number, sure, but half of this team is available for guys to make. At least half.”
• Team Canada won’t be on the ice this weekend in Calgary, but there’s still plenty to accomplish at the Olympic orientation camp.
• Pavel Datsyuk’s statement on Russia’s anti-gay law forces George Malik to struggle with defending, and being disappointed by, a favorite player.
• In case you were wondering how Jaromir Jagr would look in a Devils replica sweater, here he is!
• Sabres blueliner Tyler Myers has added a new kind of training to his summer workouts in order to help him get past a frustrating 2013 season. It’s good to hear that he’s willing to take a new approach — clearly the old one wasn’t working — but he already has an ace in the hole with the return of former partner Henrik Tallinder. I’m expecting a return to form, or something close to it, for Myers.
• Buffalo first-rounder Nikita Zadorov, who’s from Russia, can’t get back into Canada for training camp. And he’s not the only player with that problem.
• It’s not just you. Lyle Richardson also thinks that this was the worst offseason ever.
• Hey, wait! Did you hear that RFA defender Chris Tanev has re-signed with Vancouver? Oh yeah, I see what you mean, Lyle.
• The Canadiens added UFA defender Douglas Murray yesterday. Camp begins in three weeks, so he better start moving toward Montreal now. Because, you know, he’s slow.
• Step away from the phone, Guy Hebert. There won’t be an alumni game to go along with the Kings vs. Ducks Stadium Series contest after all.
• With defenseman Dalton Proult out for an extended period following abdominal surgery, the Blue Jackets are considering bringing in a veteran or two on a training camp invite. Probably not a bad idea to have insurance around, but my guess is the open spot goes to 2012 second overall pick Ryan Murray.
• Rob Blake must have been doing one heck of a job with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. The league announced yesterday it was hiring two men, Hall of Famer Brian Leetch and former Flyers scout Patrick Burke, to fill the spot he vacated when he signed on as assistant general manager in Los Angeles.
• Yeah, he’s small, but it still was surprising, to me at least, when no one took a chance on flashy winger Sergei Tolchinsky in the draft. The Hurricanes finally pulled him off the market yesterday, signing him to a three-year, entry-level deal. Keep his name in the back of your mind — this could be a very nice acquisition for Carolina.
• Chris Nichols continues his preseason fantasy preview, this time taking a look at the top goalie options in the Western Conference.
• Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist played ping-pong yesterday. That counts as cross-training, right?