Archive for October, 2011

Vancouver did not realize what he was capable of. Ditto for the Florida Panthers, as he failed to pass the test in training camp and quite honestly, the 23-year-old was unsure himself. Under his own admission, Michael Grabner deserved to be cut from a club that has gone one decade without a postseason berth and aims its advertising on their opponents – among other things that do not include the team itself. Whereas the dismissal from Vancouver was purely business because of their depth, being axed from Florida was almost insulting. Long Island didn’t seem to mind; they ran into problems on the injury front in September. So, against all odds, they made the 14th overall pick of the 2006 Entry Draft their property via the waiver wire.

“It’s another chance for me,” Grabner said. “I’m glad (the Islanders) took a chance on me. Hopefully I can pick up my game and help them out here.” (more…)

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Jason Pominville has a lot going for him nowadays. He’s playing a sport he loves for a living, knowing full well that he’s a key member of the Buffalo Sabres after six years of working his way up the ladder. As a rookie, he excitingly netted a shorthanded overtime winner in the second round of the postseason which elevated the team to the Conference Finals. Now, the 28-year-old can add the honor of the historic club’s captaincy, that has been bestowed upon him, to the list.

The waiving of Craig Rivet last year had to happen; he was an aged veteran who had lost a step and the game’s speed isn’t exactly accommodating these shortcomings. Experience is taking a backseat, as the influx of youth is pouring into the league rapidly and pushing some of the older players out of a job. Sure, Teemu Selanne and Nicklas Lidstrom have it in them to defy this logic, but they are rare exceptions. For every Taylor Hall or Jeff Skinner, there is not a Ray Whitney or Mark Recchi to cancel them out.

In Rivet’s place, Lindy Ruff selected Pominville as his new leader for the upcoming season. You might ask why, especially with the arrival of the hard-nosed Robyn Regehr, a man who led by example in Calgary. Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy, two of the team’s other long-serving forwards, were considered as well. Along with Drew Stafford and Paul Gaustad, they accepted an alternate captain position, while Pominville was the correct choice that the coach opted for. (more…)