Early Runners: An EIHL summary

By Ed Kimberley
Coventry, England

But first, a small digression.

Most people in the world of hockey are hotly anticipating the beginning of a new NHL season and so they should; it’s looking to be an exciting year. Stories already are circulating around the newly announced hybrid icing to try and minimize injuries on icing plays, the helmet removal rule pre fight and the restructuring of the divisions.

Nichushkin. (Photo: IffyBear. flickr.)
Nichushkin. (Photo: IffyBear. flickr.)

Talent-wise, we saw an interesting offseason and it will be interesting to see which of the many rookies will be named the Calder Trophy winner. My 10 cents are that it is likely to go to, Russian forward Valeri Nichushkin. Nobody pre-draft was denying Nichushkin’s talent; comparisons were being made to Malkin and Ovechkin, BIG comparisons. Seeing him skate in pre-season, his composure on the puck is sublime. or a big guy (6ft3 – 200lbs) the comparison to Ovechkin and they way they both use speed to drive the net is proving accurate. I might be wrong, but a top 5 talent fell to 10 when the Stars picked him up because teams seemed un-easy to take a gamble on if he would (or even could) leave a KHL contract.

The deal that was struck with Jim Nill was that if Nichushkin was to not make the Stars roster/or besent down; he would be loaned back to Russia. This is another reason I think Nichushkin will step take the Calder accolade. He has everything to lose. He has made it quite clear the NHL is where he wants to be, and he’s got to prove it. The lure of the KHL has been tempting for many a Russian never to return and for the likes of MacKinnon, Jones and even Finnish centre Barkov who can mature their game close to home in the junior leagues, they can afford to play the NHL waiting game.

Back to the EIHL … Continue reading “Early Runners: An EIHL summary”

Advertisements

Foot In The Crease: Brett Hull And The Dallas Stars Cup

Thought I’d take a minute to direct you guys to an article I did for Blackout Dallas. BD is an entirely fan written site associated with Sports Illustrated.

In honour of the Stanley Cup Finals, I took a look back at one of the most controversial games in NHL history. Go take a read for yourself, just click the logo.

Dallas-Stars-New-Logo-2014-590x325a

Dallas Is Liking It Ruff

The Dallas Stars announced former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff has signed on as  their new coach this Friday.

First off, this is historical irony.

crease

BOOM, apologies..but it had to be done! Anyway continuing on…

I don’t think this signing needs to be analyzed too much, Lindy Ruff has proven himself as a coach. He has his doubters; which I have read online, that he hasn’t won the Stanley Cup, and was very hit and miss in Buffalo over the years.

My argument to these type of comments is this: The ownership and management structure in Buffalo over the years as been little to be desired. I respect the man for working with what he had, under the constraints he was under.

Ruff is a no nonsense old school coach.

swanson

Arguably the Stars need to improve their toughness, and almost definitely need a culture shake up in the locker room and system changes.

Dump and chase hockey is just not going to do it anymore. Many Games in Texas over the last 4 or 5 years have failed to draw fans and hopefully all these changes are going to bring hockey back to some kind of forefront.

All in all its a win for the Dallas Stars. They are a team that are willing to splash the cash and intent on being an elite competitive team. The future is seeming much brighter in Texas. Apart from….. in this writers opinion just awful new jerseys!

Follow me on Twitter! @pattenMH