Rumblings: Avery's next step, Turris' progress, Doan's future in the desert

October, 5, 2011
10/05/11
9:57
PM ET

So what now for Sean Avery?

The New York Rangers assigned him to AHL Connecticut on Wednesday, which, as a matter of due process, was a must.

The question is, where will he end up for good this season? His agent, Pat Morris, told ESPN.com on Wednesday that he was in talks with clubs in Sweden, Switzerland and Russia.

It doesn't surprise us at all that there is interest from those clubs. The Avery waiver story Tuesday created massive buzz around the hockey world. Say what you want about Avery, but there are a few teams overseas that would crave that kind of attention.

Whatever deal Morris ends up negotiating for his client, the Rangers must sign off on it because they will officially "loan" the player to a European club. That's if and when a deal is actually reached with a European club.

But know this: Morris said Avery still wants to play.

Turris waits

On the eve of the NHL season, Kyle Turris remains unsigned. Still no progress, either.

"We continue to have discussions with the Coyotes and are positive that over time Kyle will be playing," his agent, Kurt Overhardt, told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "Kyle is in great shape and training hard in B.C."

What Overhardt didn't say, but we believe is the case, is that they'd be open to a trade to end this impasse. However, we don't think Coyotes GM Don Maloney feels compelled to do that at this point. We'll see whether that changes.

Shanahan meets with TSN

NHL sheriff Brendan Shanahan met with a bunch of us at TSN headquarters in Toronto on Wednesday. His presentation was impressive, and his video examples of dos and don'ts helped explain the widened scope of Rule 48 that goes into effect this season.

Still, he's going to be met with controversy and anger from teams this season. He knows that but doesn't accept the criticism that his suspensions will take hitting out of the game.

"We want it to be hockey; we want it to be physical," Shanahan said. "We're not looking to get rid of hitting. We want to get rid of certain types of hits."

Doan in Coyotes' plans

Phoenix captain Shane Doan is slated for unrestricted free agency July 1, but the club is hoping to lock him up before then.

"Shane Doan will remain a Coyote for as long as he wants to remain a Coyote," Maloney told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "He is symbolic of who we are and how we want to play, both on and off the ice. I met with Shane in the offseason, and we agreed to defer contract discussions until our ownership situation is resolved. However, I am very confident, at the appropriate time, we will negotiate a contract that keeps Shane a Coyote for the remainder of his playing career."

If you're Doan and his agent, J.P. Barry of CAA Sports, you definitely want to wait until the ownership situation is finally settled. You can't take the chance of signing a contract with a team that could be on the move.

Jackets' surprise rookie

Cam Atkinson has been the rookie surprise of Blue Jackets camp; not only has he made the team, but he will open the regular season on the second line with R.J. Umberger and Antoine Vermette.

"He's had a really strong camp," Jackets GM Scott Howson told ESPN.com. "He's had two outstanding seasons at Boston College, won a national championship, had two seasons of over 30 goals. We're all a bit surprised he showed so well here, and he just kept getting better and better during camp. Now the real challenge is to see if he can keep it up during the regular season."

Atkinson, 22, was taken in the sixth round (157th overall) in the 2008 NHL draft. He's only 5-foot-7 and 172 pounds, but he showed he was a dangerous threat in the preseason. Meanwhile, 19-year-old rookie Ryan Johansen also made the team, although he needs to impress more if he's going to stick around all year.

"It's a week-by-week situation," Howson said. "He's here to start the season, and we'll see where it goes. We have to do what's right for the team and what's right for him. Right now, we think it's better for him to stay here. He's on the fourth line right now. There might be some games where he doesn't play. We'll take it week by week."

Meaning the Jackets will have to decide at the nine-game mark whether to send him back to junior or let him play the whole season in the NHL.

More tidbits ...

• Matt Duchene enters the final season of his entry-level contract. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and John Tavares are among the young stars who signed their extensions a year out before their entry-level deals expired. At this point, however, there's nothing happening on the contract front with Colorado.

"No, we haven't had any talks," Duchene's agent, Pat Brisson, told ESPN.com.

• It's not a shock that the Vancouver Canucks claimed Dale Weise off waivers this week from the New York Rangers. A source told ESPN.com the Canucks actually tried to trade for Weise last season. He'll open the season in Vancouver on the fourth line alongside Maxim Lapierre and Aaron Volpatti.

• Mike Fisher is likely to miss the opening two games of the season as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz told ESPN.com the club is eyeing the third game of the season, the Preds' home opener, for his return.

• Veteran goalie Marty Turco is still hoping to catch on with an NHL team this season.

"Marty plans to play a few more seasons in the NHL, is in great shape and is training in Sault Ste. Marie [Ontario]," his agent, Kurt Overhardt, told ESPN.com. "We are patient but ready when a 1 [starting goalie job] or 2 [backup] opportunity opens up with an NHL club. He will be doing some weekend media with the NHL Network, but his priority is training to be ready."

• Rookie forward Brett Connolly, 19, had a knockout camp with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The sixth overall draft pick from 2010 has really improved his game compared to a year ago. We're told he trained a lot harder this summer, on and off the ice, which made him stronger and faster. He also worked on his skating and has improved his stride.

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