Hockey Hearsay compiles stories from around the hockey world and runs weekdays, 12 months a year.
LACK HEALTHY, READY FOR CANUCKS
In describing his humorous exploits on Twitter, The Vancouver Sun believes Eddie Lack, 25, seems to be a throwback to the day when goalies were goofy and flaky and free-spirited. His smile is infectious. Assuming he wins the Canucks’ backup job ahead of fellow Swede Joacim Eriksson, Lack seems destined to become an immediate fan favourite.
@strombone1 hey big boy u wanna be in my fantasy football league? One last spot!
— Eddie Lack (@eddielack) August 21, 2013
“I’m just trying to have fun in life and make other people laugh,” he said. “I do enjoy being out there. I think I get it from my dad. He likes to talk a lot. I feel like there are two types of goalies: the goalie who just keeps to himself and the goalie who is a little bit louder. I think, for sure, I’m the second type.”
His 2012-13 season was cut short after just 13 games with a hip issue that eventually required surgery in late January. Lack doesn’t sense missing that time has set him back.
Lack on his surgically repaired hip: "I feel fresh and ready to go. I feel stronger and better than I've ever felt." #Canucks
— Elliott Pap (@ElliottPap) August 27, 2013
IGINLA NOT WORRIED ABOUT OLYMPIC SNUB
The Boston Herald describes how there was no seething anger from Bruins winger Jarome Iginla over the omission from Canada’s Olympic orientation camp and it’s not exactly in the forefront of the 36-year-old’s mind, but Iginla knows he still has it in his power to catch the eye of Team Canada Executive Director Steve Yzerman.
“I loved playing at the three Olympics and I was lucky enough to win two. Those are some of my best memories, for sure, winning gold for Canada,” said Iginla. “I’m not really too concerned about not being at the camp. I feel that a lot of it will be based on guys’ seasons and how it’s going at the time. I know a lot of the guys there. I just want to get off to a great start and have a great year and have that carry over. If I’m a part of that, that’s great. I know they have tough decisions and I feel fortunate to have made it three times because I know they have tough decisions every time and there are so many uncertainties….It’s one of those things that may be in the back of my mind, but I just want to play well and hopefully it takes care of itself. When Yzerman did let me know I wasn’t invited, he did say that a lot of it is based on the season for guys. Bergeron I believe didn’t go (to the camp) last time and he ended up making it. There’s that opportunity. But I really just want to focus, have fun and play hard. I’d love to be on it if I am, but if not, it’s all right. That’s kind of where it’s at.”
OMARK RETURNS TO OILERS MORE MATURE
Linus Omark signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Oilers and Sportsnet.ca’s Gene Principe explains why he was surprised by the move.
Omark tells the Edmonton Journal he wants another chance.
“It’s up to me now. I don’t expect anything to be given to me, but if I end up (in Oklahoma City), I’m going to work hard down there and, hopefully, that will give me a chance later on,” said Omark. “I’ll do my best to get up to the NHL again. It’s hard to get ice time, (but) I’m going to have to play hard. I’m more mature now.”
Back with Oilers this year :) keeping on nhl dream :) thank you everyone for happy words today!
— Linus Omark (@RealLinusOmark) August 27, 2013
Omark will make less money in the AHL than he would have made in Europe.
“It’s been my goal to go back to North America since I left and we looked at different options — the KHL has always been an option — but in the end, I really wanted to go back to the NHL and to the Oilers.
“I had a good year last year. I played big minutes and, when you play a lot, you grow as a player. I think I’m smarter with the puck now. I don’t throw it away as often. I’m heavier too, but we’ll see. I think I’m stronger, it’s just too early to say.”
MALCOLM SUBBAN: CANADIAN GOALTENDERS WILL RISE AGAIN
The Toronto Sun describes how Malcolm Subban has heard all about Canada’s supposed issues developing the next wave of world class goaltenders.
Failure to gain gold at the world juniors the past four years and then not win any medal in 2012 caused some fingerpointing towards the pipes. Some have connected the dots to forecast trouble in Sochi and future Olympic games when Canada defends its title in 2014.
But Subban, a first-round pick of the Boston Bruins last year, doesn’t see a bad moon rising.
“I think every country is going to have their stint where they have really good goaltending,” Subban said Tuesday. “You look at Canada and for so long, we had the best. But it’s hard to repeat that every year.
“Alexander Ovechkin wins the Art Ross Trophy, but a player from Canada doesn’t win that every year, either. It’s the same with goaltending. We’ll peak again soon.”
CAPITALS’ LEONSIS SUPPORTS D.C. OLYMPIC BID
CSNWashington.com points out that it has only been since Tuesday morning, but the coalition to bring the Olympic Games to Washington, D.C. in 2024 seems to be gaining steam.
Ted Leonsis, owner of the Wizards, Capitals and Verizon Center, came out in full support of the D.C. Olympic effort.
“I think our community is ready for it,” Leonsis said. “We’re the largest, most powerful city in the world that’s never hosted an Olympic games.”
Verizon Center would certainly be a key arena for the Olympic Games should they be played in Washington, and Leonsis thinks the area has the stadiums and infrastructure necessary for the event.
OKPOSO: ISLES HAVE HIGHER EXPECTATIONS
Newsday indicates 25-year-old Islanders winger Kyle Okposo is appreciative of the invite to the United States orientation camp, but knows the first half of the season will be the real key for making the team.
The Islanders, like Okposo, should also be motivated.
“The division didn’t get any easier in the offseason [with Washington, Carolina and Columbus added], but that’s good for us,” Okposo said. “We’re going in with higher expectations. Last year, we wanted to make the playoffs. Our expectations are to make a run this year.”
The Islanders want to become a Stanley Cup contender before they shift to the Barclays Center in 2015.
“I’m excited to see it [Barclays]” when the Isles face the Devils on Sept. 21. “We have a loyal fan base on Long Island, and some are upset that we’re leaving, but we’re not going to Kansas City, we’re going right down the road. Brooklyn’s a hopping spot right now.”
FLYERS’ TIMONEN COULD PLAY ONE MORE YEAR
CSNPhilly.com notes Kimmo Timonen was contemplating his future Tuesday.
“I’m not sure if this is going to be my last year,” the Flyers defenseman said. “I am going to take the approach of, ‘how do I feel?’ If I can still play at the level I’ve accomplished over the years, and enjoy it, I don’t see why not play one more year [after this season]. That will be my approach.
“If I stay healthy and play at the level I want, then I’ll go one more year. We’ll see.”
So, how will Timonen really know whether to hang up his skates after the 2013-14 season?
“I’ll know if I’m struggling or can’t get to the level of my play or a bunch of injuries comes along,” Timonen said. “You never know what will happen, but those things factor in to whether this is my last year.”
RANGERS’ RICHARDS HUNGRY, MOTIVATED
Brad Richards tells Newsday he is eager to bounce back after the worst season of his career.
“You can’t just point to one thing,” the New York Rangers center said of possible reasons for his reduced production. “It was a different type of year with the lockout.”
Richards said that his struggles affected him on the ice.
“A lot of things can snowball from that when you’re playing and things aren’t going the way you expect them to go,” he said. “But, I’m back to normal. I know I can play the game. I just want to get going.”
The desire to prove Richards still can play at a high level has fueled his summer workouts.
“I’m very motivated. If there was one positive thing, it’s gotten me very hungry this summer,” he said.
On recommendation from Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis, Richards spent the summer training with Ben Prentiss in Darien, Conn..
“[St. Louis] spoke highly of [Prentiss],” Richards said. “It was a good time to get a different view on things.”
MERRILL AIMS TO MAKE DEVILS
Fire & Ice writes that after three years at the University of Michigan and 12 AHL games with Albany after he turned pro last spring, Jon Merrill believes he is ready to make the jump to the NHL.
“I’m just confident,” he said. “I think I’m ready to take on the opportunity. Whatever opportunity is presented to me, I’m ready and willing to do whatever it takes.”
What kind of role can Merrill fill?
“Just play my game. Just make good decisions with the puck and don’t get beat defensively and don’t be a liability defensively and try to provide some offense when I can,” he said. “So, that’s what I’m trying to do and if I do those things, I feel pretty confident about my chances.”
WHAT THEY’RE TWEETING ABOUT
One word, awesome! pic.twitter.com/EsvI1PG4Lb
— John-Michael Liles (@hoosierjm26) August 27, 2013
— Andy McDonald (@10_AMac) August 27, 2013
— Craig Anderson (@CraigAnderson41) August 27, 2013
— Eric Gryba (@grybes02) August 27, 2013
— Chris Butler (@TheButler44) August 28, 2013
The amount of people I've seen texting and driving today is scary. Wake up people! #donttextanddrive
— Mike Fisher (@mikefisher1212) August 28, 2013