Martinek rejoins the Islanders, The latest on Thomas and What is going on with the Canucks Centers

Check out these three NHL news tidbits

Radek Martinek rejoins Islanders

Thomas wants to play … next season

Gallagher: Canucks need to settle the second line centre question


Radek Martinek rejoins Islanders

On the first day of training camp, the New York Islanders announced that they have signed veteran deFenseman Radek Martinek to a one-year deal.

Martinek, 36, played for Columbus last season but only made seven appearances due to injury.

He is a draft choice of the Islanders (No. 228 in the 1999 NHL Draft), who played the first 453 games of his career with the team before joining Columbus. He has also appeared in nine stanley cup Playoff games, all with the Islanders.

He has 22 goals and 82 assists for 104 points in his NHL career.

Thomas wants to play … next season

Goaltender Tim Thomas still intends to sit out this season, but Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Sunday that the two-time Vezina Trophy winner told him he wants to play in 2013-14.

Chiarelli confirmed during a Sunday morning press conference at the opening of training camp that Thomas won’t attend camp or play this season, but said the 38-year-old goaltender wants to come back for next season.

Thomas is signed through the upcoming season. But he said in June via his Facebook page that he intended to sit out 2012-13 to remain with his family in Colorado. The Bruins will not have to pay Thomas, but they will have to carry his $5 million hit on their salary cap.

Gallagher: Canucks need to settle the second line centre question

Nobody would feel that confident unless he felt he knew something, because if you look at the roster as it presently stands, there are nothing but question marks everywhere. Unless there are some subtractions and additions, there’s no doubt A.V. faces perhaps his most difficult challenge since taking this very demanding job seven years back.

Unless the Canucks do get that centre, there aren’t many attractive options to a team which alleges — verbally at least — that it wants to play an exciting, uptempo style. After the Sedin line, no matter how the lineup might be augmented, it’s a pretty murky task trying to put together three more lines that might actually produce. And let’s be clear here: With games coming as quickly as they will in this condensed schedule, having an effective fourth line will be increasingly important as the season wears on.

Consider A.V.’s task as the roster stands. Try to make lines that you know have a good chance to succeed and you’ll find it’s as Harry Neale always described: like trying to carry three pounds of bleep in a two-pound bag.

There are a number of lines that might work, that could be effective short term, but none that has even the most remote chance of taking any team’s defensive focus off the twins. So get that centre in here quickly and pray it’s not Sami Pahlsson.

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