Sharks impact rookies, Chelios' last chance, more notes
Coming into the season, the message of coach
Holding the coach to his word,
In a high-energy debut in San Jose's 5-2 loss to Colorado -- a night in which he was recognized as the best player wearing teal by McLellan -- Ferriero illustrated why he could become a valuable part of the mix.
"He's the sort of player who makes an impression," GM
The Sharks spotted Ferriero (another one of hockey's "you have to hear it to believe it" pronunciations:
"He came [to camp] kind of unheralded," Wilson said, "but he was one of the best guys on the ice from the beginning. There's a surprising maturity to his game. He earned his spot."
Though he was sent down to Worcester among the team's final cuts, Ferriero was recalled in time for the season opener against the Avs. When the team lost Pavelski -- he injured his leg while blocking a shot in the Oct. 3 game against Anaheim -- Ferriero's real value became apparent.
"We like his versatility," Wilson said. "He's smart enough to play with really good players and conscientious enough to play on the third or fourth line. He pays attention to detail and he knows what his responsibilities are. Those are qualities that don't come as part of the package with every rookie. It's still early in his development, but we're really think he's going to be a good player for us."
Ferriero's seen action on the top line with
"At this point, he's making our scouts look pretty good," Wilson said.
Ferriero's not the only rookie that San Jose's bird dogs ought to highlight on their resumes. Wilson says it was the expectation of
"Best way to describe him? I'd say he's just hockey rat," Wilson said of the 2008 seventh-rounder. "He came in with the attitude of 'I know I can play.' In that sense he's a lot like Ferriero. They don't say much but they both go out and play with a lot of confidence. He's a kid we trust in all situations. He'll kill penalties. He's on the power play with
Though he's playing a depth role at even strength, Demers has made an instant impact on the power play. He's soaking up big minutes with the extra man, averaging more than four per game. When opposing penalty killers key on him as a potential weak link, as the Blue Jackets did Thursday night, he's shown poise beyond his years, finding seams for his passes and creating lanes with his positioning.
Wilson understands that Demers will be challenged to improve his game over the course of the season. With expectations for the Sharks running so high, the learning curve will be steep. But the GM is convinced he's up to the task.
"We've got a pretty veteran defense right now, but we have a rotation of four young D that we're high on with Demers, Petrecki, [
It's unlikely that the cash-strapped Atlanta Thrashers have any interest in
That explains why bringing in Chelios makes sense for the Wolves. How does this work for Chelly? Simple. This is his best chance to play the game he still loves at a competitive level. At this point, he probably recognizes the silent phone for what it is -- an indication that his NHL career is finished. Sure, there's always the chance that a rash of injuries may decimate some roster and this activity will allow him to stay primed for a quick return. But the truth is, he's done. He was pointless in 34 games last season and averaged less than eight minutes in just six playoff appearances. "He's still got the heart," one scout told SI.com early last season, "but guys' eyes are lighting up when they see him out there."
All things considered, it's not a bad option. Dropping a level keeps him on the ice and Chicago gives him a chance to play near his family. His parents are still in the area and his son, Jake, skates for the Chicago Steel of the USHL. Might not seem to some like the most dignified way to run out the clock on a Hall of Fame career, but you have to respect Chelios for his drive to compete at an age when most of us consider half an hour on the recumbent bike to be a decent workout.
The Bruins are taking some heat for the three-year, $12.25 million extension they gave to
The value of Lucic, though, extends far beyond offensive stats. He is, after all, that rare player who demonstrably puts butts in seats. To paraphrase the philosopher
A longer term might have seasoned the cap hit enough to make it more palatable to some fans, but by limiting it to three years, the Bruins guarantee that Lucic will be handcuffed by restricted free agency when the next deal is negotiated. Doesn't mean the choice to pay that price was pain-free -- GM
There's going to be plenty of discussion this weekend about
The most remarkable stat line of the season thus far:
The Bruins were bested just six times on home ice last season. This year, they've already dropped two of three. No shame in losing to Washington and Anaheim, but there's plenty of it to be shared when a team shows so little interest in competing. After both games, coach
Nice to hear that a massively discounted ticket program will allow the Coyotes to fill Jobing.com Arena on Saturday night for what should be a rollicking home opener. The team, besieged by a turbulent summer, deserves a feel-good moment after an impressive 2-1 road trip to start the season. But the Coyotes won't stop the flow of red ink by selling $25 lower bowl and $15 upper bowl seats every night, so the ticket sales from the next 40 home dates will say a lot more about whether Phoenix is a viable option moving forward. As of this morning, still plenty of good seats available for next Thursday's game against the Blues...
Telling stat from the Rangers' 4-3 win over the Caps on Thursday night: Veteran defender