So I gotta admit I was a little surprised by this. It’s not like he had a huge drop in production and his off-ice distractions finally surpassed his ability on the ice. Avery is what he is –– a 3rd/4th line agitator who can give you 12-13 minutes a game and score a point every once in a while. Yes he is a Public Relations nightmare, but who cares? Those people are paid too much money to begin with. Hockey (in the U.S.) needs players like Sean Avery. I for one believe that any publicity is good publicity and Avery creates headlines. In a strictly hockey sense though, he’s making too much money ($4MM) for anyone to claim him. And word is now he’s accepted his AHL assignment and will ride the bus and collect $300k every other week. I just can’t see that lasting so stay tuned because there will be some verbal fireworks when Avery eventually finds his way out of New York. I can’t wait. Now let’s look at some other headlines making waves in the NHL:
Brayden Schenn – C (Phi): In the eyes of most pundits Schenn is the odds on favorite to take home the Calder trophy this year. So why is Philly demoting him to the AHL? “Because he does not yet have the warrior mindset required to compete in the Association!” No Vic the Brick that’s not it. And this is the NHL it’s not an Association… The reason is simple: Salary Cap. Apparently keeping Schenn in the AHL for just a single game will save the Flyer’s over a million dollars against the cap. Ilya Bryzgalov your thoughts? “Thanks Brayden now I can buy that yacht I wanted!” Bottom line he’ll only miss the Flyer’s first game so don’t panic you B.S. owners.
Ray Emery – G (Chi): So the hip Ray Emery (pun intended) makes the Blackhawks as Crawford’s backup. I figured he would since he put up more than solid numbers for the Ducks last year (7-2, 2.28GAA, .926SV%) and Salak could easily be sent to the AHL… And on an unrelated/related note, am I the only one who wonders how elite athletes seem to be able to overcome incurable diseases? I mean this is what Emery’s ball joint in his hip looked like less than 3 years ago. It’s an extremely rare disease called avascular necrosis and most people who get it never walk again let alone play professional hockey. Remember when Magic Johnson had HIV? Yeah I don’t either…
Jonathan Huberdeau – C (Fla): Getting sent back down to Junior’s. I thought this would happen which is why I didn’t have him in any of my prospect posts. Long term I like him, but Panther Brass thinks he needs to get a little stronger. And they might be right, here’s what happened last week when he encountered an Ant.
Mark Scheifele – C (Wpg): I already talked about him 2 days ago so just scroll down a couple pages and he’ll be there… And since you’re too lazy to do that I’ll summarize: I like Scheifefelelele. He should see Top 6 minutes and major minutes on the Power Play. Keep him on your watch list.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – C (Edm): Another newborn draft baby gets to start the year with the big club. I gave him a shout out in my 1st prospects post. If you’ve already drafted and he’s on your Waiver Wire pick him up now. For you draft-dodgers, take him late he will still be there and he’s got much more upside than that 14th Round stiff you’re considering… And of course in keeper leagues he’s a must own.
Sidney Crosby – C (Pit): Can’t have a News hit and not mention Crosby. He will start the season on IR but word is it’s only a technicality because he ended last year on the IR. Whatever. Bottom line he will be in the lineup for the Penguin’s home opener on October 11… Now just cross your fingers he doesn’t suffer another concussion…