I am so smrt. My multiple AIH mentions connecting the Bruins to Jonas Gustavsson have apparently willed their relation into existence, as Boston has now invited the Swedish UFA to training camp on a PTO.
Was wondering if TB might look at FA Jonas Gustavsson, but hearing he will go to BOS camp on a tryout.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 4, 2015
Bringing in the big Swede is in no way an indictment of Boston's goaltending depth beyond Tuukka Rask, and in fact makes a lot of sense. Malcolm Subban and Jeremy Smith split duties rather evenly last season with the Providence Bruins, and both did quite well, with regular season save percentages of .921 and .933 respectively. This year, Boston's backup gig is up for grabs, the system has added Zane McIntyre to the pro ranks and Smith, while on a two-way contract, is waiver-eligible.
At the very least, bringing Gustavsson to camp gives Smith additional competition for the job of riding pine behind Rask (having quality veterans in addition to fellow prospects provide competition, what a novel idea). If Smith looks ready, you can either release Gust no harm no foul, or see if he's amenable to backing up one of the kids in Providence while the other starts in Gwinnett, providing yet another safety net for any NHL foibles. And if Gust outplays Smith in camp, he's a perfectly adequate (and likely cheap) backup who should do just fine behind Boston's stingy structure in spelling Tuukka Rask for somewhere around 20 games. At that point, if Jeremy Smith is claimed by a team in need, it's c'est la vie and relative status quo in Providence.
The arrogance of NHL teams is sometimes thinking goaltenders are predictable and not complete voodoo. Let them fight.
And now, your rather wordy Saturday news.
According to Scott Levin of WGRZ-TV, every individual at Patrick Kane's home on the night of the alleged incident has been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury. (ProHockeyTalk)
Colorado has its first junior A-based league: the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League, a USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III under-20 league. Growing the game is a great thing, even if they end up being Avs fans. (Denver Post)
Rich Peverley has announced his retirement and will join the Dallas Stars' Player Development Department. While it's a shame his playing career was cut short, it's good to see he'll immediately transition into a role which allows him to stay in the game. (Dallas Morning News)
Rich Peverley was the ultimate teammate and the best guy to sit beside during my first 4 years. Heck of a career & all the best in new role!— Tyler Seguin (@tseguinofficial) September 4, 2015
Speaking of Dallas, put Adam Vingan on record as believing the Dallas Stars are the Central Division's most improved team. (The Tennessean)
Alex Pietrangelo thinks that GM Doug Armstrong did a "great job" this summer. I think his definition of great job differs from mine somewhat. The Dallas Stars did a great job. The St. Louis Blues traded TJ Oshie for Troy Brouwer and doubled down on their goaltending. (NHL)
Rumour has it Jacob Trouba will be doing an autograph session at the Costco on McGillivray Blvd, Saturday, September 12th from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM. I'm not saying to get an extra autograph for yours truly, just that I may love and adore you forever if you do. (Access Winnipeg)
Apparently, Jiri Tlusty thought being traded to Winnipeg was a good opportunity. Hahaha. Anyways, he and a whole slew of other vets make for quite the collection of (possible) bargains still available. (National Post)
Emily Sadler gives a fairly optimistic sounding team preview of the Winnipeg Jets. Apparently, the tandem of Hutchinson and Pavelec "should give the Jets confidence in the crease this year". Err, about that. Though I completely agree that part of a successful season will be solving "the elephants-in-the-room that are the contracts of pending UFAs Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd". And no, that doesn't mean letting them walk as free agents. (Sportsnet)
In case you missed it yesterday, the Winnipeg Jets have announced their roster for the Penticton YoungStars tournament. One of these players is not like the others, one of these players is Jiri Fronk. (Jets.NHL)
And All The Rest
Phase III of the NHL expansion process is reportedly complete. No word yet on when we can expect Phase IV: A New Hope or Phase V: Seattle Strikes Back. (ProHockeyTalk)
The Arizona Coyotes have signed really nice late first round selection Nick Merkley to an entry-level contract, and he sure looks thrilled about it:
The belief that Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray must have in Robin Lehner still astounds me. On a team clearly intending to be better, Lehner was an expensive leap of faith, and I expect their 2015-16 house of cards to collapse if he's not up to the task. (Ottawa Citizen)
Kari Ramo is all set and ready to challenge for the Calgary Flames' starting gig, but to be honest, I'm more interested in how Joni Ortio is waiver-eligible. Let's see if Calgary tries to sneak him down to the AHL à la Jacob Markstrom last season. (Calgary Herald)
It sounds as if Henrik Zetterberg would have brought Mike Babcock to the airport himself, if only someone had asked. How the team fares under Jeff Blashill is one of the more interesting stories going into 2015-16. (MLive)
You know what will help Detroit's continued well-being and on-ice success? Bringing back Dan Cleary. Our Hockeytown friends are understandably unhappy, and it's a damn waste of a contract in my opinion, but at least his salary can be buried in the AHL. (Winging It In Motown)
If he isn't the Edmonton Oilers captain next season, Andrew Ference has a definite idea of who he'd have wear the "C". Who thinks the answer is Taylor Hall? (Edmonton Journal)
New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero continues to purge the House of Lamoriello, with word that Lou's son Chris has now also left the organization. Chris Lamoriello, who had been with the team for 19 seasons, was senior VP of Hockey Ops and GM of the Albany
River Rats Devils. Introducing new Toronto Maple Leafs something, Chris Lamoriello. (Fire and Ice)
Drafted 147th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, New York Islanders prospect Ryan Pilon has stepped away from the Brandon Wheat Kings due to personal reasons. From an off-ice perspective, one hopes for his well-being regardless of the path it takes him. From an on-ice perspective, while Pilon was a recent addition, he was a fine looking lottery ticket and the team's prospect pipeline takes a hit in his absence. (Lighthouse Hockey)
The New York Rangers have hired Chris Drury to be their Director of Player Development, and he's got a laundry list of responsibilities to attend to. (Blueshirts United)
Antti Raanta is "as excited as a little boy" to be joining the New York Rangers. I eagerly await the 2016 offseason article where it's reported he was bitterly cheering for **insert future playoff opponent here**. (Satakunnan Kansa)
Inspired by his sister Petra, Jakub Voracek has started a foundation to help in the fight against multiple sclerosis. And if that wasn't great already, the NHL star winger will donate $1,000 for every point he gets this season. What a fantastic idea, and yet another reason for @KitKat_P to cheer for him. (Yahoo! Sports)
Remember how Elliotte Friedman was wondering if Tampa Bay would be a fit for Jonas Gustavsson in a tweet above? That's because Andrei Vasilevskiy is out 2-3 months following surgery to remove a blood clot. If I'm Stevey Y, unless I have a whole lot of faith in Kristers Gudlevskis or Adam Wilcox, I'm scanning the waiver wire on an hourly basis. (Raw Charge)
And finally, @GameTimeArt has a question for the ages:
Who gets over their ex-player quicker? RT for Leafs fans over Kessel FAV for Jets fans over Kane— Art Middleton (@GameTimeArt) September 4, 2015
Thanks for reading!