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Simmer’s AM Skate: Canucks at the Olympia, PTO’s Cranking Up, Yzerman Cap

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I’m not sure how many NHL games I’ve seen in person. A thousand or so I’m guessing, with thousands of more on TV. I was reminded that the Vancouver Canucks were one of the first half-dozen teams I saw in person and it happened at one of the Original Six’s great rinks, the Olympia in Detroit, November 10, 1974. Recently I uncovered an old jar where I had stored ticket stubs and I found a handful of beauties including one from when I was just a nipper. Price: Six bucks! Final Score, Vancouver Canucks 4 – Detroit Red Wings 2. Andrea Boudrias had a goal and an assist and Gary Smith was the winning goalkeeper. Jimmy Rutherford took the loss between the pipes for Detroit. That info I looked up in the scoresheet archives. I actually vaguely remember the Canucks going up 4-0 in the first period and watching the Red Wings comeback attempt fall short. What a rink – probably the best ice in the history of the National Hockey League. Ask any “old-timer”.

With that in mind, let’s skate! …

As we get closer to training camps it will be interesting to see what other players get Professional Try-Out (PTO) opportunities. I say other because Pittsburgh announced Friday that both Brian Boyle, the big centre, and defenceman Matt Bartkowski were getting a crack at making the Pen’s line-up. It would be Boyle’s eighth NHL team if he makes it. Dan Kingerski gives us the deets on the arrangement and the spec’s on the players with Pittsburgh Hockey Now. There are a couple dozen other UFA’s hanging around out there that might fit that bill.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi is a Carolina Hurricane as of Saturday evening. The Montreal Canadiens didn’t match the offer sheet for the 21-year-old centre. He’s now a Cane for one-year at $6.1-million. The Habs took another route to fill the vacant spot, trading the 1st round pick in 2022 they received as compensation for Kotkaniemi, or their own 2022 first rounder, whichever is higher but not in the top-ten, and a second-rounder in 2024 to Arizona for centre Christian Dvorak.

Kotkaniemi was the third overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft while Dvorak was selected 58th overall in 2014.

Yes, Steve Yzerman did move east to greater Ottawa when he was young but he will always be a native British Columbian. Any fans of the Cranbrook native out there? Well, you might be a fan of his salary cap management, as told to us by Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now.

There’s three BC’ers on the Colorado Avalanche rookie tournament roster. Yes, there are a few of those tournaments happening this year around the league. Adrian Dater breaks it down.

Enjoy the hockey action!

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