News and notes from around the NHL this evening:
- The Chicago Blackhawks have assigned goaltender Collin Delia to the AHL Rockford IceHogs, the team announced today. The roster cut leaves the Blackhawks with 35 remaining players at camp, including 20 forwards, 12 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders. The Blackhawks signed Delia to a two-year entry level deal this summer worth $767K a year. Delia most recently played for Merrimack College in the NCAA, posting a 2.15 GAA and .927 SV% in 21 games. Delia was never expected to make the big team—Corey Crawford’s backup spot is between Anton Forsberg and Jean-Francois Berube—but will round out the AHL roster for now.
- Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported today in his 31 Thoughts column that the impetus for the faceoff rules crackdown came from the competition committee. David Backes—a committee member—admitted to Boston media that faceoffs have devolved into scrums where the goal is to not lose rather than to win. Players were increasingly crowding the dot and focusing more on holding off the other center until a winger arrives. The tweaked enforcement standards hope to swing the pendulum back to skill-based faceoff wins.
- One of Canada’s most prolific international goaltenders retired this week. Charline Labonte, a three-time Olympic gold medal winner, retired from hockey on Monday. Labonte is probably the most well-known female goaltender outside of Manon Rheaume, and like Rheume, Labonte made her mark early on by playing in the men’s QMJHL. She played two seasons with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the QMJHL in 1999-00 and 2000-01 before eventually playing for Canada and McGill University. Labonte spent the last two seasons playing for the Montreal Canadiennes in the CWHL, and posted an astounding 1.53 GAA and .934 SV%. There is no doubt that the 34 year-old is leaving the game on a high note.