Brian Lee sits as scrimmages begin
Lee is recovering from a minor injury, but still made the trip to Lake Placid, N.Y. His name was removed from the USA White roster over the weekend, so it makes you wonder if he is going to play at the camp at all.
Lee's fellow Sioux defensemen, Taylor Chorney and Zach Jones, (USA Blue) will take on Finland at 3 p.m. today. Incoming freshman Michael Forney will take on Sweden with USA White at 6 p.m.
Gopher Erik Johnson, the No. 1 pick of the 2006 NHL Draft, did not make the trip to Lake Placid. He is recovering from a minor injury, the HF article stated. Michigan defenseman Jack Johnson stayed home for personal reasons.
The two Johnsons and Lee are all-but-locks to make the team. Their absences should give other guys, like Jones, plenty of opportunity to showcase their skills. However, it seemed like USA Hockey put a large emphasis on how the players performed during the first half of the season a year ago.
In other news...
There are swirling reports about what Russian star forward Evgeni Malkin will do this season. His Russian club, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, announced Monday that Malkin has re-signed and will not play in the NHL for one more season. Malkin, the No. 2 pick in 2004, is widely considered the best player in the world not in the NHL.
His agent, however, said to ignore those reports and that Malkin still wants to play with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team that drafted him, this season.
If Malkin does ends up back in Russia, it has to make you wonder whether its effects will be felt in the WCHA. The Penguins obviously have saved cap room to sign Malkin. If they do not sign him, will they try to sign a different draft pick instead?
If, by chance, they do decide to pick up somebody else, two of their best prospects (ignore what Hockey's Future says this time) are Minnesota defenseman Alex Goligoski and St. Cloud State goaltender Bobby Goepfert. Both players had the type of season that could warrant a nice pay day.
I still expect both Goligoski and Goepfert to be in college this season, but it was just a thought that popped into my head when I read the Malkin reports. With the landscape of college hockey this summer, I think it's a natural reaction...