Around The NHL
By Stephen London
The Congressional Hockey Caucus took place last week as owners Ed Snider of the Philadelphia Flyers and Ted Leonsis of the Washington Capitals met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to discuss the future of the Hockey is for Everyone initiative.
Bettman stressed not only the accomplishments Snider and Leonsis have made owners, but also what they have accomplished philanthropically. But the main announcement of the caucus was the teaming up of the Hockey is for Everyone initiative and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to offer four-year scholarships for further education to participants in the NHL's official youth development programs.
The scholarships will be given on a merit and need basis for participants in the NHL's development programs. The scholarships also allow the recipient to attend any of the 47 public historically black colleges and universities in the United States, giving opportunities to those that may not otherwise be able to further their education.
Bruins' Two-Goalie System Down To One
The Boston Bruins received the unfortunate news that their secondary goaltender in their two-goaltender system, Tuukka Rask, will be out for 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury. In light of this injury, the Bruins have signed retired veteran Marty Turco. Turco is known for his time on the Dallas Stars, but finished his career as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Turco may struggle his first couple of games starting, but he also knows what the Stanley Cup playoffs are all about. During the postseason, Turco will be a presence in the locker room as well as a wild card veteran, who hasn't played in an NHL game since March 17, 2011.
Predators And Canucks Capitalize On Trade Deadline
The Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks are two teams that managed to get a better roster without sacrificing much before the trade deadline. The Predators instantly got better as they acquired Paul Gaustad from the Buffalo Sabres for a number of draft picks.
They were also able to get Andrei Kostitsyn, brother of Nashville's Sergei, from the Montreal Canadiens. Both Gaustad and Kostitsyn are talented forwards, which is exactly what the defensive-minded Predators need to make a run in the Western Conference during the postseason.
The Vancouver Canucks had an active trade deadline, acquiring three players, including forwards Sami Pahlsson, from the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Zack Kassian, from the Buffalo Sabres. Pahlsson is good defensively and is one of the best third- or fourth-line centers in the NHL. Kassian is a young winger, who is thought to be an amazing prospect, with the potential to be a dominant hockey player.
Also, the Canucks acquired another Sabre in Marc-Andre Gragnani. A young defenseman, Gragnani has the talent to become a first- or second-line defenseman, but there is plenty of time, considering he is about to turn 25 on March 11.
Posted March 6, 2012