Team Jagr played soccer, but minus Jagr, reports Czech news agency CTK (see iDNES.cz). Jagr explained why he didn't play: "I'm injured, I can't possibly move my joint and could have thrown it out. Anyway, soccer is not my favorite sport. Sluggishness has already set in. I still have two weeks until hockey camp at Slany, then I can try a little something afterwards in Kladno, but until then I'm out. But to go straight from nothing into training in Kladno [on August 20th], I would be injured in two days. I must do it gradually until I reach condition, especially skating, so that I'm not handicapped in skating, in my legs. That's where I have to certainly get to again, training twice a day without problem. Good things are there, like rehabilitation." [Sorry for the sloppy translation.]
Petr Prucha is training with Team Jagr, so hokej.cz took the opportunity to talk to him there. He remains haunted by his knee injury, despite "taking the world's most prestigious league by storm in his first season" [writer's words, not Prucha's]. He may retain some doubt about the trademark invincibility that set him apart from other rookies last season.
In his Sunday column yesterday in the New York Post, Larry Brooks had some news about unsigned RFAs Marcel Hossa and Fedor Tyutin. The former unwisely turned down the Rangers' offer of a two-way contract, which hopefully spells the end of his undistinguished Ranger career, in which he was one of the few players, maybe even the only season-long player, who refused to buy into the team's work ethic. Progress is reportedly being made on the Tyutin front, which will hopefully allow the promising young rearguard to comfortably build on his rookie season, maximizing his evident talent and minimizing his late-season inconsistency.
The bulk of Brooks's column was about how the Devils plan to work themselves out of a large portion of their self-imposed salary cap woes -- they will try to rehabilitate Vladimir Malakhov and Alexander Mogilny as NHL players and then find ways to get rid of them in ways the NHL cannot void. We remain flabbergasted that this is happening to the Devils when all bets were that the Rangers would be the team that got itself into this kind of trouble.
In more Ranger-related Devil news, who says you can't regain the form of your youth? That is what Mike Dunham hopes to do -- he is a candidate for the Devils' backup job, which will help him achieve the success of his youth, when he somehow built a reputation as a capable NHL goaltender despite rarely playing behind workhorse netminder Martin Brodeur.
Although it seems that the Penguins will be sold to a Hartford-based real estate magnate, Hartford is not a likely destination for the franchise should Pittsburgh fail to provide the team with a modern arena. See the report in the Courant. And in other arena news, the town of St. Albert, Alberta is trying to sell the naming rights of the arenas it named after a couple of hometown boys, one of them being Mark Messier. Good luck to them, although the only logical candidate will not give up its historic self-advertising name of Madison Square Garden.