Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Morning Coffee

  • The Detroit Red Wing's Mike Commodore will be looking to claim the team's sixth defenseman spot down the stretch.
  • Matt Smaby, who has missed the majority of the season recovering from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament, is in Syracuse (AHL) working his way back into game condition in the hope of making his Anaheim debut as soon as possible. In personal news, Smaby and his wife had their first child last week.
  • In what seems like the daily Zach Parise update, the New Jersey star says his contract negotiations will not be affected by the Devils' financial situation, but he does admit that the entire process has been harder than he had anticipated. On the ice Parise continues to play well, picking up two goals (including the game-winner) in last night's 5-3 win over Montreal. After a slow start statistically, he has put up 32 points over his last 29 games to help keep New Jersey in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
  • Jason Blake has missed the first two games coming out of the All-Star break due to a lingering foot injury, but he appears close to returning to the Anaheim lineup. The Ottawa Senators' Brian Lee has also been on the shelf due to injury, having missed the last eight games due to a lower body ailment. He resumed practicing this week and could be in the lineup this weekend.
  • While every other team has returned to action since the NHL resumed play following All-Star Weekend, TJ Oshie, Chris Porter, and the St. Louis Blues finally get back at it tonight against Los Angeles. After a strong run that saw them climb towards the top of the Western Conference, head coach Ken Hitchcock says they have to take it up another level to become an elite team.
  • Ed Belfour and Jonathan Toews each have one of the 15 Best Individual Seasons in the history of the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the NHL's Original Six.
  • A few weeks ago Fighting Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol had some comments on the CHL vs. NCAA debate, and The Hockey News says the rivalry will only intensify. Expect recruit Nick Schmaltz to be a player that the CHL pursues very hard. He is one of the top 1996 birth year players in North America and is a highly-coveted prospect by the Ontario Hockey League. In related news, the WHL's Everett Silvertips fired their longtime general manager yesterday. Everett holds the CHL rights to USNTDP U-18 star defenseman Seth Jones, who reportedly has narrowed down next year's playing options to Everett or North Dakota. What this means in the grand scheme of Jones' decision is anyone's guess, but it certainly adds another level of intrigue.
  • This morning the Vernon Morning Star published a very nice feature on UND's newest recruit, Adam Tambellini. One teammate says about the UND commit, “It’s not that often you see guys his age doing what he does. The poise he plays with is pretty awesome for the age he is right now." Tambellini also states that after his campus visit, the decision to commit to UND was "kind of a no-brainer."
  • Keaton Thompson and the USNTDP Under-17 team will be off this weekend as they prepare for the Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament in Slovakia. The tournament will run from February 9-11 as Team USA looks to defend its title. Miles Koules and the Under-18ers return to play tonight against Lake Superior State after having last weekend off. The Under-18 team is a respectable 5-7-2 against collegiate teams this season.
  • Recruit Drake Caggiula returned to the Stouffville Spirit (OJHL) lineup last night after missing a couple weeks due to injury. He notched an assist on the only Spirit goal of the night in a 2-1 OT loss. 
  • After their performances against Wisconsin, North Dakota's Danny Kristo was named first star of the week among Montreal Canadien prospects, while Brock Nelson earned second star status among New York Islanders prospects. 
  • Here is Through These Doors, Episode 13:


  1. Hard to believe another UND star didn't make the Blackhawks list for greatest seasons? Troy Murray had 45 goals and 54 assists, was a +32 and won the Selke for them in 1985-86.

  2. As I was flipping through the slideshow, I was expecting to see Murray's season as well.