This and That – Tidbits

Is it possible Hockey Hall of Famer Glen Sather, 70, may be thinking of retiring as a general manager if the New York Rangers make the playoffs this season? I’ve heard that. There was no response to a recent inquiry by me from Sather. If true, the Oilers can get his banner raised next season. The Oilers have put off a ceremony because Sather, the first member of the Oilers’ organization to make the HHOF in 1997, has been a GM with another team.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were likely looking at Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler on right wing with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, not third-line centre. Trading their best prospect, junior defenceman Derrick Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks), always seemed a reach, though. The Penguins need another puck-mover with Kris Letang’s medical concerns. Dealing former first-round draft pick Simon Despres, however, is another story. The blue-liner’s confidence has been shaken there, much like Matt Niskanen’s was in Dallas before he revived his career in Pittsburgh.

South Korea is a Winter Olympics logistical stretch for the NHL players in 2018, but of the five finalists for 2022, only one makes real sense to me: Oslo, the 1952 Winter Games host. Beijing is on the list, which boggles the mind. They’re not having it in Asia back-to-back. The others are Almady, Kazakhstan; Lviv, Ukraine; and Krakow, Poland.

It would have been a nice storyline if the Calgary Flames retired Joe Nieuwendyk’s No. 25 jersey and then had a press conference to say he was the new GM starting this spring, but Nieuwendyk, who is living in Dallas with a young family, isn’t sure he wants to uproot his family. Whoever the Flames get as GM, coach Bob Hartley is a keeper. He’s done a terrific job with a young team that works hard night-in, night-out. It’s impressive.