Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Around the Rink 09.05.06

It took a while, but the Pittsburgh Penguins finally signed Evgeni Malkin to a entry level contract. So pretty much, we just wait to see if Metallurg or the Russian Federation will do anything about it. However, it seems they have been less and less vocal about it.

Is it good that this saga is over?? Sure, due to the allowance of everyone in the NHL to get on with their lives and start focusing on hockey. However, it's almost too quiet from overseas and that could be the calm before the storm. We'll keep an eye on this, but for some crazy reason-- this isn't over; not by a long shot. There's still something up the Russians' sleeves.

Another Russian is coming over from the Motherland, as the Calgary Flames announced that Andrei Taratukhin has signed on with the Flames after spending last season with Lokomotiv of the Russian Elite League.

The former second round pick in the 2001 entry draft put up nine goals and 15 assists last season with 85 PIMs. Taratukhin should be used in a depth role, but could possibly bust out if given the right chance.

The man with the worst luck in the world, Peter Forsberg, was back out on the ice today. Forsberg was testing out his surgically repaired ankle. Of course, Forsberg was slated to have surgery on both ankles, but only needed to have it on one. Though he was out there earlier than he expected, he still could tell if it made a difference or not.

Though he was limited to 60 games, Forsberg helped Simon Gagne get his scoring touch and helped the Flyers to a 35-16-9 record when he was in the line-up. Forsberg is a very valuable asset to the team, but if he is rushed into playing before he's ready-- it could be a bad start to the Flyers season.

The Montreal Canadiens are still concerned when it comes to Saku Koivu and his eye injury. Yesterday, at an annual charity golf event, Koivu showed up with his eye still partial shut from the high stick from Justin Williams in the playoffs last season.

Koivu is heading back into the doctor's to see how much his vision has been effected, but it seems Koivu is chomping at the bit to get back onto the ice and test it out during real action. Koivu has also said that he will switch his visor to a bigger size in order to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. Koivu has been skating for two weeks in Finland to help his conditioning.

Once Koivu gets into the game situations, the Habs can see how far along he is. If he is unable to be effective on the ice, then there could be an issue of what to do next with him. The upside to all of this was the ability to get someone like Sergei Samsonov in the line-up to help out on the scoring if Koivu is out for a period of time.

That's all for today, but be sure to listen tomorrow night (Wednesday for those who forgot what day it is) at 9 PM ET for all the fun and excitement that is Face Off Hockey Show. Can't make it live?? Well, check out our Podcast for all the things you missed out on.

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