HNIC's senior online reporter Tim Wharnsby dishes out the latest news, buzz and inside information in the hockey world.
1. Teams won't be lining up to begin the NHL regular season in Europe. In the end, Pittsburgh was able to overcome a slow start to win the Stanley Cup after their European excursion last season. This year, however, the Chicago Blackhawks are the only team coping. They have a 5-3-0 record since arriving back from Helsinki four weeks ago. The Detroit Red Wings (3-2-2), St. Louis Blues (2-4-1) and Florida Panthers (1-5-1) have gone a combined 6-11-4 in North America.
2. Colorado Avalanche goalie Craig Anderson, signed as a free agent in the summer, wasn't invited to the United States Olympic summer orientation camp. But he has played his way into the mix, even though the three who attended the camp — Buffalo's Ryan Miller, Boston's Tim Thomas and Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick — also are off to quick starts. Anderson has eight wins, a .936 save percentage and 2.14 goals-against average, compared to Quick (eight, .897, 2.91), Miller (six, .940, 1.69) and Thomas (four, .902, 2.97).
3. Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to be sidelined a month after a CT scan Monday revealed a broken bone in his right foot. The Thrashers star, in the last year of his contract, was off to a fast start with nine goals in eight games. He left Saturday's contest against San Jose in the first period. New Jersey will be without defenceman Paul Martin (broken left arm) and forward Jay Pandolfo (shoulder) for four to six weeks.
4. Florida forward David Booth, who was rocked by Philadelphia Flyers centre Mike Richards on Saturday, was released from hospital Sunday. He has a concussion and will miss at least a week. Panthers general manager Randy Sexton was disappointed that Richards was not suspended for his violent bodycheck. But the league determined that the hit was not late, that Richards did not leave his feet nor did he target Booth's head. Richards also is not a repeat offender.
5. Steve Yzerman, the Canadian Olympic men's hockey team executive director, has embarked on a scouting tour around the NHL. His latest stop was in Philadelphia to watch the Flyers-Sharks game on Sunday. Yzerman is expected to hold a conference call with his management and coaching staff in early November to discuss a ghost roster.