Archive for August, 2008

Shirokov Staying Put

A rumor – which was apparently first mentioned in The Hockey News 2008/2009 Yearbook – surfaced yesterday that Vancouver Canucks’ prospect Sergei Shirokov would be heading to the AHL and joining the Manitoba Moose next season. Well, I can tell you that this rumor is false.

I just talked to a representative from the CSKA Moscow HC, and he confirmed that Shirokov will be with the club this season. This isn’t surprising at all seeing as though the Canucks prospect is still under contract with CSKA Moscow, coupled with the new Kontinental Hockey League, which seems to be luring NHL players to Russia, not the opposite.

On a side note, I’ve also put in a request with CSKA Moscow to interview Shirokov, and the request is now being relayed to him. Hopefully that will pan out and we’ll get to hear what he has to say about the possibility of playing in North America, among other things.

Scott Gomez to Vancouver?

Before I even write anything, let it be known that none of this information is coming from me directly. I tracked down the writer who broke the original rumor (not Eklund), and asked him to elaborate. Pretty much an identical situation to that of the Sundin to Vancouver rumors earlier this summer. I never once stated that Sundin was Vancouver bound, only relayed the sentiments of Dusan Umicevic – the Swedish journalist who broke the story.

Two days ago, Greg Caggiano – writer for Bleacher Report, co-host of NHL 2Day, and host of Rangers Radio – suggested that the Rangers are actively shopping Scott Gomez and Vancouver is the likely destination. However, Caggiano also suggested that one of the Sedin brothers would be headed back to New York, which seemed a little fishy to me. Everyone in Vancouver knows that the Sedins are attached by the hip – I don’t see them ever being split up. So, I contacted Greg Caggiano, and here’s what he had to say:

“I have an inside source with the organization that says the Rangers are actively shopping Scott Gomez and the Canucks long with the Kings and Wild are the three most probable destinations. I was informed that the Rangers would recieve one Sedin in exchange for Gomez and two Sedins if the Rangers included Petr Prucha in the deal. But now, the deal looks to be flat out; Scott Gomez for Ryan Kesler. I’m surprised by this as everyone else and a rumor is a rumor but I’m telling you it’s valid. It may not come to fruition, but something is in the works.

Another thing, I have an online radio show and Rangers’ goaltender Steve Valiquette will be on today. When I was talking to him on the phone the other day, I asked him about the Gomez to Vancouver rumor and he just got very serious and said, ‘If it happens I’ll be heartbroken’ when I was expecting him to just blow it off as crazy.”

How credible is this Greg Caggiano and his source, unfortunately I just don’t know. I guess we’ll find out soon.

That’s all for now.

Bieksa’s Agent Addresses Rumors

Earlier today, I had a short chat with Kurt Overhardt – NHL player agent who represents Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler, and Brendan Morrison, among several others. Overhardt, who also represents Matt Carle and his younger brother David, believes that several teams including the Tampa Bay Lightning will be interested in acquiring David Carle in a management capacity after he finishes his degree at the University of Denver. For more information on the unfortunate Carle story, check out my article at Inside Hockey.

Overhardt also confirmed that the Vancouver Canucks did in fact have interest in Brendan Morrison earlier this summer. The Canucks made more than one offer to the Morrison party. Lastly, I asked Overhardt about all the recent Kevin Bieksa rumors and while his response wasn’t exactly telling, he did address the rumors.

“You know what, it’s all speculation until something happens so I think you just have to wait and see. The Canucks have a job to do to make their club better. Kevin, like with several players, they can trade. I think it’s a situation where the all the rumors have been out because he’s one of the key assets and he’s one of the younger players on the team that clubs would be interested in getting in a trade. As a consequence, he’s talked about quite a bit, I mean you just have to look at the age of the other defensemen. He’s obviously a key asset that teams would be interested in so I think that’s where all the rumors come from.”

Luca Sbisa on the life of a "Hockey Farmer"

Luca Sbisa, Philadelphia’s 1st round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, recently weighed in on the life of a “hockey farmer.” Check out what he had to say:

“I think some of them want to make it so they can go live the big life and get away from home, while others really like it at home and on the farm because it’s calm and relaxing for them. But unless they told me, I couldn’t tell the difference between a city boy and a farmer boy.”

Luca Sbisa played in Lethbridge, Alberta last season with the Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League. Over the course of the season, the Lethbridge Hurricanes had 21 players from the Prairies on their roster.

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