Here we goooo again.
The 2010-2011 edition of the NHL season kicks off in a way today with the opening of Habs training camp, and already journalists have found a way to stir some trouble up.
Yesterday La Presse reported that Brian Gionta would be named team captain, fans rejoiced at the prospect of the team being formally led by a bona fide winner who struck gold at both the NHL and NCAA level. So of course Mr. Gionta has no idea, and management refuses to say anything.
I love when things are just so damn clear.
Anyway, the team is almost 100% set from the get go, as Cammalleri, Gomez, Gionta, Plekanec, Pouliot, Kostitsyn, Pyatt, Boyd, Halpern, Moen, Lapierre, Eller and Darche should make up the forwards. Gill, Gorges, Hamrlik, Spacek, O'Byrne, Subban and an injured Markov should make up the defensive corps and Price and Auld will be in nets.
Fringe players like Pacioretty, Maxwell, White and Desharnais should fight for a reserve spot on the team while young guys like Leblanc and Tinordi will be sent to their junior teams to hone their skills.
I do not think there will be any major surprises, as no one else really has NHL caliber talent. One player who might surprise minimally could be Alexander Avtsin, a highly talented Russian who fell to the fourth round because of the inconsistency of Russians coming to North America. Do not think he is some Guillaume Latendresse type guy who will become a exhibition fan favorite, but he should have a very good year in Hamilton.
In other news, former Habs coach Pat Burns is fighting for his life at home surrounded by Family and my thoughts go out to him. He is a class act who has been one of the most succesful coaches of the last 25 years.
Good luck Mr. Burns.