’07 draft pick Morrison at center of dispute

An interesting story is emerging north of the border surrounding 2007 fifth-round draft pick Brett Morrison. Apparently, the QMJHL is withholding the education reimbursement Morrison believes he is owed under league rules, for the four years he spent in juniors.

Here’s your excerpt from the Halifax Chronicle Herald story:

Morrison said he could even understand it if they denied him his money for his last two seasons when he wasn’t able to fulfil his schooling obligations, but finds it hard to swallow that they won’t come through for the seasons he did meet the league’s requirements. He is now considering legal action.

“Even if they decided to give me the money for the years I met the requirements, at least that would be something to show for my four years,” he said.

The Scott Niedermayer countdown winds down.

I found it: A real-time NHL draft countdown.

Hopefully Scott Niedermayer has found it, too. That’s how long he has to decide whether to retire or seek a contract with the Ducks for 2009-10. We’re down to four days and eight hours-plus as of this posting, meaning the defenseman is soon to make a decision.

Until then, you can throw out the window any draft projections that have the Ducks leaning one way or another, as their selection is sure to depend on whether a certain Hall of Fame defenseman is expected back or not.

Just can’t get enough? Check out draft boards here, here, here, here, hereandhere(with links to about 30 more here).

Pronger addresses trade rumors.

The Ducks head into next Friday’s draft, and the July 1 free-agency deadline, with a plethora of defenseman. Since one of them is Chris Pronger, he has been the subject of trade speculation in recent weeks.

Always a rumor magnet, Pronger has downplayed this speculation in the past with adamant blog poststo back up verbal denials. Not on Friday. “I can’t give a definitive answer one way or another,” he said.

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Parros, Pronger at NHLPA meetings.

For the casual fan, nothing Earth-shattering was born out of Friday’s NHL Players’ Association meetings. The Stanley Cup Finals went the distance and produced some solid TV ratings; an Arizona bankruptcy judge made sure no franchises are moving cities; in short, the league is doing well.

For the Ducks’ new player representative, George Parros, and fellow business-side junkie Chris Pronger, there was plenty to discuss at the NHLPA’s annual summer meeting in Las Vegas on Friday.

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Vegas NHL blog, part IV: Niedermayer, Getzlaf in final voting.

Adjudging who gets an invitation to Las Vegas and who doesn’t is hardly fair. The NHL has known for months who would win each of the awards that were presented tonight. Yet only the top three were announced as finalists and invited to enjoy the ceremony in person (and, you know, the rest of Las Vegas). Why not the top four? Top five, maybe?
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Vegas NHL blog, part III: Mason wins rookie of the year.

After accepting the Calder Trophy, Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Steve Mason congratulated Bobby Ryan and Kris Versteeg “on their tremendous seasons.” It’s an expected loss for Ryan, who went so far as to bet on Mason earlier today at the Palms.

The final tally by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association reveals that Mason collected 121 of 132 first-place votes, for a total of 1268 points. Ryan was listed first on nine ballots and garnered the most second-place votes (84), for a total of 829 points. Versteeg was third with 323 points.

Let the record show thatRyan said he planned to thank linemate Ryan Getzlaf if he won. The top 10:

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Vegas NHL blog, part II: More Bobby Ryan.

Ryan said that he began a second straight summer of off-season conditioning (read: punishment) last week with the Ducks’ strength and conditioning guru, Sean Skahan.

“I’ve got a much better platform than I did a year ago,” Ryan said. “I don’t have to worry about losing 20 pounds or anything like that. I’m going to be able to build a lot more muscle and hopefully work on my skating a little bit — just continue to progress in every little area.”

Continue reading “Vegas NHL blog, part II: More Bobby Ryan.” »