Hockey Hearsay compiles stories from around the hockey world and runs weekdays, 12 months a year.
OVECHKIN: NHL’S JERSEY TUCK RULE ‘STUPID’
The Washington Post details how among several new rule changes for the 2013-14 season is one saying players are not permitted to tuck their jersey into their pants anymore.
“I’m the guy who love that kind of stuff,” said Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin. “I’m kind of upset about it, but most important thing, nobody talk to us, the players. They think it can be dangerous for somebody. I think it’s kind of stupid. My gear is not stay [near] my body so jersey always goes in. If I’m going to put jersey normally, I’m going to skate and it goes back.”
Ovechkin has always sported a more distinctive look than some of his other NHL counterparts. When he first arrived, he wore a mirrored and tinted visor that the league ultimately outlawed. He tucks his jersey. He wears yellow skate laces. It’s an extension of his personality, and Ovechkin wants to hold on to that individuality.
“I think if NHL wants to make a show, this is a show. You can see the young kids look at the players. They do — like tinted visors or yellow laces — they do the same what the NHL players do,” Ovechkin said. “Right now, what are they going to do? Everybody going to be on the same page? We individuals, everybody wants to do their own thing. It’s stupid.”
SHOOT-FIRST FOR CANUCKS’ DANIEL SEDIN
The Vancouver Sun indicates Daniel Sedin insists his best years are not behind him and hopes to prove it by adopting more of a shoot-first mentality this season.
“I have always been a goal scorer,” he said. “I don’t maybe have the great shot that (Ryan Kesler) has, but I think I am pretty good at getting in positions to score and work to get to those rebounds and that hasn’t been there the last two years and that has been disappointing.”
For Daniel, it all comes down to percentages. He feels if he gets the right number of shots on goal, the goals will come.
“For me, if I can get three-and-a-half to four shots a game my shooting percentage is usually around 13 or 14 per cent,” he said. “That is going to put me right there goal-wise. That is key for me, to think shot and if I can get three or four it’s going to become some goals, I think.”
EAKINS TURNS THE PAGE ON OILERS’ PAST
The Edmonton Journal passes along that many of the pictures and plaques that once decorated the walls of the Oilers dressing room are gone and will be replaced with more current photos.
“I thought it was really important that our team be featured in that room. I’m going to do my best to make sure that there is a picture of every guy on our roster in that room somewhere,” said new head coach Dallas Eakins. “That is their dressing room. It is not Mark Messier’s dressing room, and this is no disrespect. We will definitely try and emulate the play of those teams and the success they had. I just want these guys to be comfortable with their room.”
Most of the items that have been removed will be hung in other areas of the rink, so the fans can see them. The five Stanley Cup replicas are still standing in the entry showcase and, as Eakins stated on Sunday, “that’s a great piece of history. That’s the only thing that counts.”
SADDLEDOME REBUILD USED AS FLAMES’ METAPHOR
The Globe and Mail describes how for most of the first week of training camp, coach Bob Hartley used the Saddledome reconstruction as a metaphor for the larger challenges facing the Flames’ organization as a whole.
Physically, the Saddledome returned to working order in record time. Can the rebuilding hockey team learn a lesson from that fast-tracked reconstruct?
“We can definitely use that,” Giordano answered. “Bob’s mentioned it a couple of times already. We have to take that workman-like attitude and carry it over to our game.”
Hartley related a story Saturday morning about a conversation with Pierre Champness, the project superintendent for the CANA construction company, who reportedly entered his office once the flood waters had receded and saw a motivational expression on his chalkboard that had survived intact.
“I have a saying, ‘without courage, there is no hope,’” Hartley said. “When the water went down, that line was still on my whiteboard and he took a picture of it and he told the employees, ‘that’s where we’re starting.’ It’s just unbelievable. If we can just match their intensity and will, our fans will be very pleased with us and we will have a great season.”
LEAFS’ CLARKSON STOKED TO PLAY AT ACC
The Toronto Sun notes the Leafs are counting on David Clarkson bringing extra adrenalin to home games, starting this week during exhibition play.
“I hope so,” said Clarkson. “To be able to start a new chapter in my life and be part of the Leafs is something I’m looking forward to. I played in New Jersey for a while and loved it. But every time you come here and hear your national anthem, in a building where you sat as a fan … it’s definitely special to put on that jersey and be part of it.”
JETS’ SETOGUCHI REMEMBERS FIRST CAMP
The Winnipeg Free Press observes how the first pre-season game offered a number of the young prospects a chance to pull on an NHL jersey for the first time. And that’s an experience many will never forget.
“This is my 10th training camp,” said Winnipeg Jets winger Setoguchi. “It’s fun to come in here and be around the guys. I’m really enjoying it.
“(My first game) was great. The first guy I lined up against was (Hall of Famer) Luc Robitaille. That was the coolest thing I’ve ever done. My first game was against L.A. in San Jose and (he) lined up against me. I’ll never forget that one. It’s tough just not to look at Lucky Luc and stare at him off the draw.”
LIGHTNING OWNER ENDORSES YZERMAN’S VISION
The Tampa Bay Times relays that Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, after speaking to a crowd of 4,516 at Fan Fest, was clear that he and general manager Steve Yzerman, in the fourth year of a five-year deal, believe in patience when building a franchise.
“There is no other way to do it,” Vinik said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the job Steve is doing. He’s put together the best, or one of the best staffs in hockey. I think they’ve done a great job drafting and developing young players. I think he’s made a lot of good moves over the years.”
As for Yzerman’s contract, which runs through the 2014-15 season, Vinik said discussions about an extension have not started but made it sound as if they would.
“I think I said it the day at the first (Yzerman) press conference,” Vinik said. “He was, like, in Detroit for 19 years. I hope he’s with this organization for 19 years, too.”
BRUINS TRYING CHARA NET-FRONT ON POWER PLAY
The Boston Herald illustrates that Zdeno Chara, who has manned the point on the power play since coming to the Bruins, was positioned down low at the top of the crease to screen the goalie in one practice configuration over the weekend, with Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla on the wings, and David Krejci and Torey Krug at the points.
“We’re tinkering with that,” coach Claude Julien said. “Obviously we’re going to have another look. We’ve got some guys that we feel can shoot the puck from the back end and do some things. Z is probably one of our best guys screening in front of the net with his big body. We knew that for a long time, but it was just probably what else we felt we didn’t have on the back end. It’s something we’re experimenting with. Those same five guys, we could move them into different places and it could still be a power play for us with Z back on the point.”
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