St. Louis Blues pick Robby Fabbri defies his size

Ryan Kennedy
Guelph center Robby Fabbri (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

I’m eavesdropping on a couple of scouts here in Traverse City. The Columbus and St. Louis prospects are facing off and early on, Robby Fabbri is doing some nice things on a line with Ty Rattie and Yannick Veilleux for the Blues.

“Look at Fabbri,” said one scout to the other. “He knows where he’s going to pass it before the puck is even on his stick.”

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Traverse City: Carolina goes big with Haydn Fleury

Ryan Kennedy
Carolina pick Haydn Fleury (Photo by Ken Andersen/NHLPA via Getty Images)

The Carolina Hurricanes tend to go with forwards early in the draft and even when they did take a blueliner with their first selection in 2011, it was Ryan Murphy, the offensively inclined D-man. But when the seventh pick rolled around in 2014, the Canes tabbed 6-foot-3, 203-pound Haydn Fleury and they’re pretty happy with that selection.

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Big, bad pointy heads may force change the hockey establishment has refused

Ken Campbell
Derek Dorsett and Brandon Prust.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Few things bother died-in-the-wool hockey people more than when busybodies such as governments and courts start meddling in the game. For the most part, old-time hockey guys think the game does just a marvelous job of policing itself, so the pointy-heads really don’t need to be sticking their noses into the business of hockey.

That’s why the alarm bells must be sounding fairly loudly these days. The concussion lawsuits, or the potential for them, are piling up. And a report by TSN that the state of Washington is looking into the way junior hockey players are treated cannot be good news for the hockey establishment. Read more

How can the Quebec League ban the spin-o-rama?

Ryan Kennedy
Zach Fucale must be happy (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

If you’re a fan of finesse goals, you probably love it. If you’re a goaltender, it’s the bane of your existence. But now if you play in the Quebec League, you won’t be allowed to use the spin-o-rama move in the shootout or during a penalty shot. So this bit of fun is dead:

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Quebec League preview: Who will rule in 2014-15

Ryan Kennedy
Quebec's Anthony Duclair  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

The Quebec League is the first of the CHL’s three circuits to enter regular season play and festivities officially kick off on Wednesday when Rouyn-Noranda visits the defending champions from Val-d’Or. But there is always a lot of turnover in junior and the Foreurs would be a big surprise to repeat. Who will represent the ‘Q’ at the Memorial Cup this year? One team will be the host Quebec Remparts, but another slot is up for grabs. I consulted with a crew of experts from the region to put together power rankings for the league, then added one name to know for each team:

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Calgary prospects Gaudreau and Bennett dream about the future

Ryan Kennedy
Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau on the move (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Not a lot of wins have come out of Alberta in recent years, but at least there is hope in both markets. Edmonton has toiled for years and had the more high-profile rebuild, but Calgary is quickly putting together a nice coterie of players as well.

Sean Monahan has already made a dent in the NHL and two other names are poised to join him up front on the Flames sooner than later: Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett.

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