The Pittsburgh Penguins have a new alternate captain – Sidney Crosby.
New head coach Michel Therrien appointed the 18-year-old as the team’s other alternate captain along with Mark Recchi on Friday.
“I really believe this is a new beginning for our team,” Therrien said. “He is one of our best players. I am not afraid to give him – I don’t think it’s pressure because, eventually, it’s going to be Sidney’s team. Sid has some good veterans to work with. He has Mario [Lemieux], Mark Recchi, John LeClair, Lyle Odelein. We have a core group, but I want Sid to learn from those guys. He is a young kid, but sometimes a young kid has good, new ideas.”
It is a given that the options available to the big brains at Hockey Canada when it comes to naming their Olympic team Wednesday are vast. The options available to the USA Hockey collective, which will name its squad Monday, are, well, not so vast.
But the two longtime international and geographic rivals share core concerns as they work through their final selections before next week’s roster announcements.
Both will struggle with finding the right balance of youth and veteran experience, the so-called turning of the generational page. Both will struggle to settle on a goaltending lineup that will give them the best chance at a medal. Both hope to select players that will provide dressing room chemistry, that instant karma imperative in a short tournament.
As goals-against averages swell because of smaller pads and offense-friendly rules, goaltenders are being pulled once every 5.6 games. They were pulled once every 7.2 games in 2003-04.
If this pace keeps up, there could be 28% more in-game goaltending changes this season:
• Of 80 changes through Tuesday, 61 were coach’s decisions. Nineteen were the result of injuries. Only the Philadelphia Flyers haven’t made a switch (Of course that changed last night).
• Florida’s Roberto Luongo has been pulled five times in 28 starts, matching his total in 72 starts in 2003-04 when he was a Vezina Trophy finalist. St. Louis’ Patrick Lalime, pulled four times, was sent to the minors Tuesday.
The salary cap for NHL teams will rise next season, from the current $39 million to between $40 million and $45 million, commissioner Gary Bettman said on Thursday.
Bettman presented the news to owners at the end of a two-day meeting at a north Scottsdale resort. Bettman projected overall revenues of just over $2 billion.
If Team Russia plans on winning the gold medal at the Turin Olympics, it will have to do so without Alexander Mogilny.
On Thursday, Mogilny withdrew his name from consideration for the team, TSN reported on its Web site. The annoncement comes less than a week after fellow countryman Sergei Fedorov took himself out of the running. The two were teammates on CSKA Moscow, their former team in the USSR.