News And Notes From Around the NHL, 9-7-11

In an extremely poignant post, Bettman's Nightmare asks why teams continue to employ enforcers:

Mr. Koci Goes to Winnipeg - Arctic Ice Hockey
"Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Koci, Gillies, Orr, or Boulton as people - as I stated explicitly in the Gillies article and I'll state here again: I place blame directly on the teams that employ them.  They make this path a viable one for a shot at the NHL.  They are the ones who expect Koci, and Gillies, and Orr, and Boulton to go out and risk their health and well-being as well as those of their opponents.  It's a price for admission, a perversion of the dream these guys no doubt had when they were kids.

It's a stance I hold as well.  There's no need to sign a completely unskilled player to waste a roster spot and lose games.  Goons don't even fight the opponents typically responsible for injuries.  No evidence exists that goons reduce injuries to their teammates through intimidation or enforcement.  They provide no deterrent and the antiquated notion that a goon is a necessity on a roster must be flushed from the minds of NHL management 

The rest of your must-read news after the jump.

An Argument against Young NHL Captains: Why Rush? - Lighthouse Hockey
As Steve Tambellini purges everyone over the age of 25, the Oilers are going to have a baby-faced Captain sooner rather than later.  It makes Dominik's article relevant:  "When people talk about the New York Islanders captaincy (we touched on this in the morning post, where Frans Nielsen's name also got a good mulling from readers), a few camps campaign for a young player who will "be a fixture" for years to come, rather than another veteran whose time left is less assured. I get that sentiment, but I'm not convinced it's the way to go."

Doug Wilson Is Slowly Changing The Core Of The Roster - Fear The Fin
There's a reason that Wilson is one of the top General Managers in the league.  He's slowly and surely positioning the Sharks for long-term success, but some Sharks fans are concerned:  "However, when you look at the Sharks roster, you begin to see that these players aren't as young as they once were. And while they still have some serviceable years ahead of them, the elite "core" may not be as exclusive as it once was."

Where will the goals come from this season? - Silver Seven
The biggest reason I've got Ottawa as my preseason #30:  "So while analysts keep saying that the Senators have to do better than their 190 goals last season, perhaps the biggest concern is if they can even reach that mark. Honestly, can the incoming players fill the gap of production left by those four?"

A Theory of Ice: On Clutch and Choking
E comes up with some amazing words in this one.  I can't wait to hear Pierre talk about "Clutchitude":  "Is clutchness real? I pose the question honestly, because I don’t entirely know. Like most people, I have a feeling that it is real. I have a subjective experience of clutchness. I know there are certain gamestates, not precisely defined but tending to occur at the end of close games and mostly in the playoffs, when a player makes a perfect use of a vanishing opportunity, and whether or not I will it, my first thought is, holy shit, that was so clutch."

Adam Larsson & The Rarity of the Under-20 NHL Defenseman - In Lou We Trust
Can Adam Larsson make an impact?  "The defenseman position requires skill at positioning, decision making, and awareness for success. That comes with experience and it's quite rare that a player who's not even 20 has enough of that to stick around and be successful."

Education Petition: UAH Charger Hockey should soldier on and thrive! - Change.org
The University of Alabama-Huntsville can't find a conference and is struggling financially.  They're in the midst of a fundraising effort and fans don't want to see a long tradition dumped to the wayside by a new administration.  Take a minute and sign the petition to support a group of passionate fans:  "We're not saying that changes don't need to be made with how the program is supported financially.  We've finally gotten within the last month a $500k yearly figure of the support needed to keep the program.  We're ready to charge forward to get that support lined up, but Portera is telling people all over town that he'll end the program by October.  Tell him NO!  We deserve the chance to make this work.  This is the Hockey Capital of the South, and Mack Portera just doesn't understand that."

Can you name the CHL Memorial Cup winners since 1972-73? - Sporcle
32/39. I hate missing the obvious ones.

Vancouver blasts NHL for lacking anti-riot strategy - The Globe and Mail
Vancouver sloughing off responsibility?  I'm stunned the city didn't include the language "not true Canucks fans" in their report.  "The city’s own review of the June 15 Stanley Cup riot rips into the National Hockey League for its alleged hands-off attitude to potentially rowdy playoff celebrations."

Habs Top 25 Under 25: #2 P.K. Subban - Habs Eyes On The Prize
Looking over the Canadiens Top 25 Under 25, it strikes me that they have a very nice collection of young talent, especially their #2:  "P.K. Subban is #2 on our top 25 Habs under 25. After an explosive and controversial rookie season, Subban is looking to take the NHL by storm again in 2011-12."

So Alexandre Giroux, You Want To Be A Blue Jacket? - The Cannon
It seems like a conversation Oilers' fans had just last year.  "But wait, not so fast. Giroux is a crafty veteran of 10 pro seasons, with over 700 games played at the AHL level. Yes, Giroux was signed with the intent of playing in Springfield. However, I'm inclined to think if he earns a spot with the Jackets that he'll gladly accept it."

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