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Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday News - Part 3, The rest of the news

So, what more could there be?  How about a training camp update?  More analysis on Niedermayer's retirement?  Maybe some analysis of the Ducks by  I have that and more so enjoy!

The OC Register has a look at player attendance of this years training camp:

Conflicted captain Scott Niedermayer and unrestricted free-agent right wing Teemu Selanne, each of whom continues to contemplate retirement, won't be the only standout players absent when the Ducks hold their first training-camp skating session Tuesday at Anaheim Ice.

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere said Thursday he expects to miss perhaps the first week of on-ice team drills while he completes recovery from Aug. 6 sports-hernia surgery. Iron-man center Samuel Pahlsson's immediate future is even more uncertain after he underwent a similar procedure Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Giguere anticipates being ready for the club's Sept. 29 NHL opener against the Kings in London, but Pahlsson's club-record streak of 275 consecutive regular-season games played, the league's seventh-longest current run, is in jeopardy.

"I'm coming along really well," Giguere said. "The first three weeks, I couldn't do much, but since then, I've been working out pretty hard, riding the bike and doing everything I need to do to get ready.

"I may start skating during the (next) week, but it's going to be very easy skating. At worst, I'll probably be a week behind everybody. We'll just have to see how it goes."

Just as Giguere experienced problems when he stepped up summer workouts, prescribed offseason rest was not enough to alleviate the abdominal pain that cost Pahlsson considerable practice time during last season's Stanley Cup playoffs.

"He could have played through this, but it would have been a nagging injury," general manager Brian Burke said. "The recovery time is 3-5 weeks. We anticipate that if he misses any regular-season time, it will be minimal."

Read the rest here - Link

James Mirtle has a look at Scott's retirement/non-retirement

Surely he informed Brian Burke of his intentions long ago, which could very well revolve around him saving his body -- not to mention team salary-cap money -- by returning to the game late in the season.
Otherwise, what he's doing withholding his services and delaying an announcement on his playing future is disruptive and distracting a franchise that deserves better.

— Eric Francis, Calgary Sun

I can't say that I blame the players but if that is the plan I wish Scott Niedermayer was upfront about it. There is something distasteful about it, but I'm not sure exactly what. As Matt Fenwick notes, fans aren't particularly happy about it.

— Tom Benjamin

That certainly seems like a reasonable request in this situation: If Niedermayer wants to sit for 30 or 40 games, simply come out and say so, and allow the Ducks to plan accordingly.
Except the CBA doesn't allow that arrangement. Or, by extension, Niedermayer to give the Ducks any indication of his intentions.
Why, that would be cap circumvention!

26.3 Circumventions.
(a) No Club or Club Actor, directly or indirectly, may: (i) enter into any agreements, promises, undertakings, representations, commitments, inducements, assurances of intent, or understandings of any kind, whether express, implied, oral or written, including without limitation, any SPC, Qualifying Offer, Offer Sheet or other transaction, or (ii) take or fail to take any action whatsoever, if either (i) or (ii) is intended to or has the effect of defeating or Circumventing the provisions of this Agreement or the intention of the parties as reflected by the provisions of this Agreement, including without limitation, provisions with respect to the financial and other reporting obligations of the Clubs and the League, Team Payroll Range, Player Compensation Cost Redistribution System, the Entry Level System and/or Free Agency.

There's nothing in the collective bargaining agreement that explicitly refers to potential retirements or quasi-retirements, but Brian Burke has referenced the fact they cannot agree upon a midseason date for a return due to circumvention concerns, and I'm betting this is something he's checked with the league.
As for Niedermayer, well, I think it is a problem that he signed a long-term deal and is now, unexpectedly, deciding to sit for what will likely be a half season to recharge the batteries.
He's certainly earned an awful lot over his NHL career, and I can understand that he may want a break, but coming off a season away already in 2004-05 and keeping in mind that he's only 34, I don't think it's unreasonable that he honour the contract he signed with the Ducks.
It's just one more CBA snag that puts the player, his team and the league in a tough spot, and something the NHL and Players' Association should really rework to allow for player burnout.

Read the rest here - Link has an analysis of the Anaheim Ducks prospects to repeat this year.

When they give out the Stanley Cup every year, when they have all those pretty rings made up, they should also pass out targets for the winning team to thread on their jerseys.

Because from the drop of the puck in their first game, to the final buzzer of their last, the defending champions will be marked men. Everyone wants to knock off the champs and the Stanley Cup winners are no different.

The Anaheim Ducks, therefore, might want to include a crosshair on their new uniform systems for the 2007-08 season.

“When you’re the champion, there’s a target on your back,” Anaheim General Manager Brian Burke says. “And your front. And your head. And your leg. Everyone wants to beat you. So you have to bring your A-game with much more consistency and frequency.”

There is no greater challenge in the NHL than repeating a championship run. That’s why nobody has done it since the Detroit Red Wings won two in a row in 1997 and 1998. How hard it is to repeat?

Well, the 2006 champion Carolina Hurricanes failed to make the next season’s playoff tournament. Some teams get too fat with confidence after winning, others may take their foot off the gas too quickly, while others simply cannot withstand the punishment defending champions are guaranteed to face the season after winning a Cup.

Since the New York Islanders won four in a row in the early 1980’s, only Edmonton (twice), Pittsburgh, and Detroit have successfully defended their titles. The Ducks will have the Cup on hand for their home opener Oct. 10, and after that, Burke says it’s up for grabs again.

“When it’s here for our home opener, guys will see it with their names on it for the first time,” Burke said. “That’s part of the lore and the rhythm of the thing. It’ll be here for the home opener. We have three banners going up -- a divisional title, our first ever; a conference championship; and the Stanley Cup. And I told the Stanley Cup guys, after the 10th, which is our home opener, I don’t want to see it again.

Read the rest here - Link

The new Ducks jersey's to be unveiled on Thursday?  Well the Anaheim Ducks board members think so - Link

You can buy yours here now or when you can actually see them - Link

The Anaheim Ducks and Honda are giving away a Honda Ridgeline.  Find out more here - Link

That is it.  Have a great night and see you at city hall tomorrow!