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The Breakaway: Bruins' Thomas a battler

by Shawn P. Roarke

* Good for Boston’s Tim Thomas. He is playing like a true No. 1 despite the fact that the club once again tried to give his job away this summer. Thomas is a true battler, that’s for sure. Hopefully the injury he suffered Wednesday night is not serious.

* CTN always has been told that to learn about something, it’s best to find an expert and follow its example. Therefore, CTN believes that if you want to learn how to run a classy organization, pay attention to the Carolina Hurricanes.

* CTN wouldn’t be very surprised if Carey Price steals the Montreal Canadiens’ No. 1 goaltending job soon. It usually works this way, doesn’t it? An injury paves the way for the young phenom who is thought to be a year or two away. Next thing you know, the established No. 1 is filling out change-of-address forms.

* A goalie theme seems to have dominated the start of the Breakaway. As such, CTN would be remiss not to mention Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, who is making a bid to become the modern-day “Mr. Zero,” a title originally held by Frank Brimsek.

* What’s next in Philadelphia? Paul Holmgren says his club has been put on notice by the League because of all the suspensions the team has incurred in the first two months of the season. Is Dean Wormser waiting in the wings to levy a little double-secret probation on the club, or what?

* Michigan vs. Florida in the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day is a pretty good bowl game for the afternoon. But it is not even in the same league for excitement as a NHL game held outdoors in Buffalo that features Sidney Crosby going against Ryan Miller.

* CTN wishes a belated farewell to Tom Johnson, who passed away last week. The former Canadian player and Bruins executive was one of the best storytellers in the game. The 40 minutes or so CTN spent with Johnson at last year’s Stanley Cup Final was among the highlights of CTN’s hockey career.

* Is the team Canada will send to the upcoming World Junior Championships so deep that Everett’s Kyle Beach doesn’t even merit an invite to the tryout camp? The 17-year-old has 39 points in 29 games – in the low-scoring WHL – and might be the best power forward in the draft.

* Congrats to the Orange Crush on winning this year’s Turkey Bowl, the NHL office’s annual flag-football tournament. Dot-commers Dan “’Wes Welker” Rosen, John “Sam Adams” McGourty and Brad “Rodney Harrison” Holland all played key roles in taking home the championship.

* Also in line for kudos is former dot-com producer Roger Sackaroff, who will graduate the Los Angeles Fire Department training academy Friday.

* Most importantly on the remembrance front though, boys and girls, is the fact that Friday is Pearl Harbor Day. The “day that will live in a infamy” cannot be forgotten. So take a moment Friday to acknowledge all of those that paid the supreme price on Dec. 7, 1941.

* Toronto’s Wade Belak scored his first goal in more than four years Tuesday night. Therefore, CTN still has hope of winning the Pulitzer.

* Has anybody seen the trailers for the new Rambo movie? Yikes, does it look bad. At least, the trailer sported Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” as a soundtrack.

* The United States announced on Tuesday the team it will send to the World Junior Championships later this month. It is a strong team with a good veteran core, including Kyle Okposo. But it would look a lot better if at Patrick Kane were wearing the red-white-and-blue.

* USA Hockey has narrowed the field of potential hosts for the 2009 IIHF U-18 World Championships down to three cities – Fargo N.D., St. Cloud, Minn., and Providence, R.I. A piece of unsolicited advice to the USA Hockey powers that be: Pick Providence. Rhode Island, the ancestral home of CTN! It is a great hockey town and will support the event in earnest.

* If CTN were so lucky to be Lou Lamoriello, the Devils’ GM, CTN would be on the phone to Anaheim GM Brian Burke to see what the price would be to take defenseman Francois Beauchemin off Anaheim’s hands. Burke, it seems, will have to move a defenseman to free up future cap space if he hopes to welcome prodigal son Scott Niedermayer back into the fold anytime soon.

* CTN hopes David Perron is freed up to play for Canada in the World Junior Championships. St. Louis will decide whether or not to release the rookie for international duty in the next few days.

* Bon chance to Minnesota’s Wes Walz, who retired from the Minnesota Wild this week. One of the last original members of the Minnesota Wild, Walz was a true professional that poured his heart and soul into the game. He will be missed.

* CTN hopes Mark Recchi gets a call from another team after being waived by the Penguins earlier this week. The veteran forward can still help somebody out and is just two years removed from helping the Carolina Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup. Good luck, Mark.


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