Koivu could be back in Montreal
Has Saku Koivu played his last game in Montreal? That seemed to be the thinking Thursday when Koivu and the Anaheim Ducks visited the Bell Centre, but the former Canadiens captain left the door open in his post-game remarks when he said: “That was amazing, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s a lot of hockey left this year, and we’ll see. But if that was the one, the last time, it was exactly the way I imagined.” Koivu, who turns 39 in November, thought he was facing the Canadiens for the last time on Nov. 30, 2011, when Montreal visited Anaheim. At that time, Koivu said he wanted to continue playing for at least one more season, but his contract with the Ducks was expiring and he thought he might end up back in Europe. Since then, he has signed two more one-year deals.
Clarkson set to make debut with Leafs
David Clarkson could take a deep breath as he prepared to make his debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Clarkson was the Leafs’ major off-season acquisition, but he was suspended for the first 10 games of the regular season after leaving the bench to join an altercation during an exhibition game. The Leafs took some of the pressure off the newcomer by winning seven of their first 10 games.
Will Sabres fans accept failure?
There’s a lot of discontent in Buffalo, where the Sabres are off to 1-9-1 start, the worst in club history. The Sabres are drawing an average of 18,296 fans a game, but they aren’t very happy fans. The players are being booed and there are calls for owner Terry Pegula to fire Darcy Regier, who has been the general manager since 1997. But Buffalo News columnist Bucky Gleason says Buffalo fans have come to accept failure, leaving Pegula under “no pressure to listen to a fan base desperate for change.” Team president Ted Black noted that the Sabres are rebuilding and that a last-place finish might not be a bad thing. He might be right, but that kind of talk doesn’t go over well with fans.
Checking in on hockey siblings
Here are updates on some lesser-known hockey siblings. Canadiens defenceman Jarred Tinordi’s older but smaller brother, Matt, is off to a quick start playing university hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Matt, who is 6-foot and 190 pounds, is the team’s senior captain and had three goals and two assists in his first four games. Trevor Van Riemsdyk followed his brother James of the Maple Leafs to the University of New Hampshire, where he is a junior defenceman. Angelo Esposito, a former first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, has dropped off the radar, but his younger brother John is playing for HC Bolzano, an Italian-based expansion team in the Austrian league. John, who graduated from Cornell University this year, has a goal and four assists in 10 games.
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