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Quick Hits: Defensive Pairings Announced

  • The Red Wings/Griffins signed a pair of prospects yesterday to minor league deals. Forward Adam Estoclet and defenseman Bryan Rufenach were signed to AHL deals meaning they will not take up a roster spot for the Wings. In their most recent seasons, both have scored at a nearly point-per-game rate. [The Malik Report]
  • This is almost shocking: Mike Babcock said yesterday that Ian White, and not Jonathan Ericsson, will play with Nicklas Lidstrom during training camp and preseason. Many, including myself, figured Babcock would pair Ericsson with Lidstrom to give him a boost of confidence to go along with that new contract. Instead, Babcock has basically declared that the #2 job is White's to lose. I hope to see some Rafalski-like chemistry between him and Lidstrom. [MLive]
  • In addition to announcing White as Lidstrom's partner, Babcock also put the other pairings out there and there is nothing shocking. Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall remain a couple, Ericsson is paired with Jakub Kindl for now, and Jeff's dream date, Brendan Smith, is paired with Mike Commodore. In the same article, Khan reports that Babcock is impressed by Gustav Nyquist [MLive]:

He's like Pav (Datsyuk) in that he skates faster with the puck than he does without it, creates space every time he's on the ice. He's professional with and without the puck. Looks like a hockey player. He's an NHL player.

  • Speaking of Pavel Datsyuk, this just gets more saddening every time I read about it. Datsyuk is still having troubles coping with the Lokomotiv tragedy. He knew and had played with the majority of the players on the team and was reportedly close to a lot of the coaching and training staff as well. [MLive]
  • This is disappointing. The Stars will be submitting a "pre-packaged bankruptcy plan" as part of a process to be bought by Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi.  Any team declaring bankruptcy is bad for the league, especially one in a market as big as Dallas, but the real heart breaker is the potential buyer. I have been hoping for months now that Mark Cuban, eccentric and outspoken owner of the NBA reigning champions Dallas Mavericks, would emerge as a darkhorse candidate to buy the team.  An owner like Cuban, dedicated to nothing more than cheering his team (or jeering the opponent) on and putting a winner out there, would be great for the NHL. [Defending Big D]
  • Goon, a hockey comedy starring Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, and Jay Baruchel, released its first trailer yesterday. [/Film]
  • The Hockey News has a 5 minute long video preview of the Wings up. [The Hockey News]
  • Time to eat my words: after saying several times that the Wings never win in their prospects tourney, they beat Buffalo 5-2. [Point Streak]
  • As has been said a hundred times already, we need Ericsson to step up and take on some of Brian Rafalski's old responsibilities. [NBC Sports]

Discussion of the Day: Do you think these defensive pairings are here to stay or will we see something different in a month(!) when the season starts?