Habs also getting tougher on the farm

Stortiniweb

New Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin and coach Michel Therrien have made it clear they want to be a tougher, more physical team once the lockout ends, signing free-agent enforcer Brandon Prust to a four-year, $10-million free-agent contract during the summer.

Prust fought an NHL lead-equalling 20 times last season for the New York Rangers. He scrapped 18, 25 and 16 times the three seasons before that, 2009-10 split between Calgary and New York, 2008-09 between Calgary and Phoenix.

And the Canadiens could also be a lot tougher on the farm, with Zach Stortini one of the players taking part in the Hamilton Bulldogs’ training camp in Sherbrooke. In 257 career NHL games, Stortini has 14-27-41 totals and 275 penalty minutes.

“I’m more than a fighter,” Stortini, who has dropped the gloves nearly 90 times in his NHL career, told The Gazette’s Pat Hickey. “I’m responsible, defensively, and I can contribute some points.”

You can read Hickey’s article on Stortini by clicking here.

There was bad news on the NHL lockout Tuesday afternoon as talks broke off in New York with no plans for negotiations to resume. The next step looks like the NHL will start cancelling regular-season games, with the season slated to begin on Oct. 11.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told reporters in New York that missing the pre-season cost the league almost $100 million U.S. in revenue.  He added that “no progress” was made at Tuesday’s session, which focused on the definition of hockey-related revenue.  You can read more by clicking here.

Meanwhile, the New York Times had a good feature on Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane and how he prepared financially for the lockout. The Times reported that Kane’s agent, Craig Oster, set him up with a financial adviser, who helped him save much of the $900,000 he earned last season. Kane recently agreed to a deal to play with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL. You can read the Times article by clicking here.

The KHL announced on Tuesday that it will broadcast five games in the United States during October on ESPN3 and might add more if the lockout drags on. Wednesday’s game between Dynamo Moscow and Ak Bars Kazan will be the first televised game. And The Canadian Press reported that the KHL has also scheduled two regular-season games at the newly opened Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., in January.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Joffrey Lupul hasn’t headed overseas, but has found work during the lockout as a writer, doing an article for AskMen with his take on the lockout.

“I will start by saying I am 100% behind our union,” Lupul wrote. “We have stability, have been well informed and are fully confident in Donald Fehr and his staff. Did we anticipate missing games? Not really – especially when we saw that the numbers at the end of the year were record-setting. But that is where we are now, and we have to stay the course and deal with it.”

You can read Lupul’s entire article by clicking here.

 In other off-the-ice news, former Canadien Sheldon Souray’s girlfriend, diva Kelly Kelly, has been released by World Wrestling Entertainment. You can read more about that by clicking here.

(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)

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