Some interesting news out of Pittsburgh, as John LeClair was placed on waivers today. LeClair has seven points in 21 games, has been demoted to the fourth line, and has since his minutes shrink. Whether or not a team will pick him up with his $1.5M contract remains to be seen.
However, you almost wondered when something like this would happen. Unlike Mark Recchi, LeClair doesn't have a dynamic upside as an older player. Especially considering the work done to his back, the fact he has lasted this long is amazing. Though he can bring veteran leadership to the team, right now his salary and place on the roster is just clogging it up for one of the young guns to come up and take their hack with a very young and fairly good hockey club.
The NHL announced that during the All-Star weekend in January, the NHL will would roll out their new uniform designs. The league said that the uniforms would be streamlined and had the players in mind. The uniforms have been designed over the past two years and will be used starting next season. The uniforms will supposedly allow the players joints to move more freely.
As long as they aren't like the "all-in-one" jersey that rolled out for the GMs, then this could be a good idea. If it's anything like the Olympic Nike Swift jerseys; then it could be better for everyone involved once people get used to it. If it is anything drastically different...it could be a horrible disaster.
So, we had issues with Alexei Kaigorodov a few weeks back not reporting to Binghamton of the AHL when Ottawa sent him there; now we have Enver Lisin not reporting to San Antonio after Phoenix assigned him there. In both cases, the players have returned to Russia.
You have to think that something isn't right when they get hear they are getting sent down. Obviously, they could make more money in Russia then they could in the AHL; but they can't get the call up and the PT in the NHL...if they are in Russia. The AHL, for all it's worth, is the best developmental tool for these types of players. I'm not saying that their decision wasn't driven by one thing or another; I'm suggesting that they should have given the AHL a try, just for a little bit, then decide from there.
TSN will make some kind of history by doing a whole broadcast from ice level. Last season, NBC and TSN tried out having their analyst in the little space, between the benches that is usually reserved for photographers. Now, TSN will do a whole broadcast with the play-by-play man and analyst in that little space on the ice.
Personally, I don't know if this is a good idea or disaster waiting to happen. The fact that it's Chris Cuthbert and Glenn Healy, I feel a little safer, yet I'm still skeptical. Not only will they have to deal with cursing hockey players, but I'm sure the players will have side bets to see who hits them first. Unless they get a plexiglass front, I don't see this being the innovative thing TSN is hoping for.
The Calgary Flames will be retiring Mike Vernon's #30 in February. Vernon helped lead the Flames to the 1989 Stanley Cup, as Vernon had 16 wins, including three shutouts on way to a Stanley Cup championship. In 1997, Vernon won another Cup with the Detroit Red Wings and won the Conn Smythe Award for Playoff MVP.
The thing is not Vernon getting his number retired, he derserved it. The issue I have is why Al MacInnis' #2 is not retired before Vernon. MacInnis was the Smythe winner in 1989 and was a big part of why the Flames were there in the first place. I'm sure he'll get his day, but Big Al should be up in the Saddledome rafters.
That's it for now. My little post about the AHL will be out soon. Until then, check out the FOHS main site, the FOHS Podcast, and FOHS Message Board.