Brandon Sugden‘s dream of getting one more shot at making it into the NHL has suddenly come crashing to a halt.
After scoring an invitation to attend training camp with the New York Islanders, all that was left in Sugden’s way was the approval of all 30 NHL teams. Because Sugden retired from hockey in December 2006 only to suit up in the LNAH months later, the league must grant Sudgen an unofficial reinstatement in the aforementioned form.
Unfortunately for “Sugar”, three different teams gave a thumbs down according to Lindsay Kramer of the Syracuse Post-Standard:
Travis Sugden called me on Wednesday morning with some stunning news about his son, Brandon, the former Syracuse Crunch enforcer. Travis said he just found out three NHL teams have objected to Brandon returning to pro hockey this season. Brandon had planned on attending camp with the Islanders. If he did not make New York, he said he was eager to explore playing for the Crunch again.
Travis did not yet know which teams blocked Brandon. But the denial means he can’t play in the NHL or AHL until next year. Brandon needed to clear this odd technicality because after leaving the Crunch two seasons ago, he announced it as a “retirement.’’ Because he “retired’’ then came back to play pro hockey (in the LNAH) within one year, every other NHL organization had to give him a thumbs up to return.
That’s not where the story ends though. While his rejection would only mean another year in the LNAH until he can return to either the NHL or AHL, Sugden’s plan fell in line with the current health of his father, Travis, who has been diagnosed with cancer and has less than a year left to live according to doctors. Part of Sugden’s reasoning in giving the big leagues one more try was to give his father the opportunity to see his son play at the highest level possible.
Sugden’s camp will reportedly be contacting the NHLPA to see if there is anything they can do. Still, at the moment at least, things aren’t looking very promising. Here’s to hoping some sort of agreement can be worked out and Sugden will be permitted to play after all.
We’re giving away a copy of the book The Bruise Brothers: Hockey’s Heavyweight Champions.
A quote from our preview post:
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It’s a story that could be made into a book some day.
After years toiling around in lower-level minor leagues, cutting his teeth in Quebec’s infamous LNAH, and temporarily calling it quits, Jon Mirasty will attend his first NHL training camp this fall after signing a two-way deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets this past offseason.
The Jackets are already “enforcer-less” after shipping Jody Shelley to San Jose last season. To top that off, 2007-08 fighting majors leader Jared Boll reportedly broke his right hand while playing a pickup hockey game with friends last week:
The Blue Jackets winger said he suffered a broken right hand last week while playing pickup hockey in Toronto. Boll said he was hit in the glove by a puck that was shot from the point.
“It was kind of what happened to (Dan) Fritsche at the end of last season,” Boll said yesterday as he arrived in Columbus with a cast on the hand. “The doctor said it was a clean break. It didn’t even require surgery.”
Boll will likely be healthy enough in time for the start of Columbus’ training camp in September, but it’s key to note that this isn’t the first time that he’s injured his right hand. Hopefully it’s not the start of repeated problems.
If the Jackets decide to go into the season without a true heavy and Mirasty’s skills continue to progress, it wouldn’t be a surprise if “Nasty” were to receive a cup of coffee at some point next year, regardless if Boll is in the lineup or not.
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20 Years Ago: Gretzky deal shocked the hockey world
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Sean Avery happy to bring his ‘style’ of hockey to the Stars
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Getting to Know: Bruce Bennett
Mr. Price anxious for new season
When the Stars signed Sean Avery to a four-year deal last month, everyone else in the league cringed. The NHL’s two biggest pests on the same team? Say no more.
However the Dallas Morning News looks at the big picture. They point out that Steve Ott‘s ice time started to steadily decrease throughout the playoffs and the inclusion of Avery along with a handful of prospects hoping to stay with the big club calls into question Ott’s status with the team:
The key for him will be to find his place. If he is the left wing on the checking line with Mike Modano (as he was for much of last season), Ott will indeed play an important role. But if the coaches are hoping to move Modano around or give him a more skilled partner like Brunnstrom, Ott will probably be moved to the fourth line.
And with Avery now a significant part of the picture who does many of the same things Ott does, is there a concern that Ott’s role will be diminished?
While Avery will likely settle in on one of the top two lines, Ott could indeed see himself relegated to the fourth line. Avery is able to instigate at will and do it without the fear of being a liability on the ice, so will the Stars still include Ott’s peskiness in their everyday lineup? It’ll be interesting to see what develops out of training camp in the fall.
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Sean Avery Bucks The Trend
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Coyotes’ Sulliman puts his career on ice
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Patrick Roy’s Son Charged with Assault from Hockey Fight
Sean Avery Pontificates on Men in Shorts
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Captain jailed for hockey assault
Sporting Equivalency: The Joker
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Video: Baywatch’s Traci Bingham is blissfully unaware that Igor Larionov is retired, and your Ovechkin love update