- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
On July 2, 2007, Scott Gomez made a decision that affected the rest of his career. It was a decision made for financial gain, which was his right as an unrestricted free agent, and it was a decision that would adversely affect his relationship with fans that had supported him for seven years -- in that he left the New Jersey Devils for their arch rivals, the New York Rangers.
Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, however, understood that for both Gomez and Brian Rafalski, who signed with Detroit on the same day, it was business. Nothing personal. “They gave us everything while they were here and we'd like to think that we've given them a reciprocal situation,” he said.
So seven years later – after Gomez became an overpriced pariah, involved in one of the most lopsided trades in recent NHL history and whose inability to score a goal made him a national punchline – the former Devils center, 34, is now an unsigned training camp tryout for the team.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy23 hrs ago
There are few topics in the NHL that get people buzzing like expansion and relocation do. Drop some morsel of news in the dead of August, and it’s like tossing the last bite of a Shake Shack burger to a flock of pigeons in Central Park.
On Tuesday, Tony Gallagher and Howard Bloom chucked their meat and the flock went crazy. Gallagher said that NHL expansion to Las Vegas was a “done deal,” and then Bloom upped the ante by claiming that the NHL will add Vegas, Seattle, a second Toronto franchise and Quebec City by 2017, the 100th anniversary of the League.
(No word on whether the League will begin an aggressive cloning program to fill out those rosters with NHL-level talent. Protect your comb, Jonathan Toews, they’re coming for DNA samples!)
Bill Daly of the NHL said the four-team expansionis "not in" the NHL's plans. Because what else is he supposed to say...
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
It’s no secret that Pittsburgh Penguins fans have a love/hate relationship with Marc-Andre Fleury, in the sense that many love to hate him.
But Fleury wasn’t terrible last regular season, nor the year before, posting respectable numbers (.917 EV save percentage) while finishing second in the NHL in wins with 39. He also rebounded nicely in the postseason with a .915 save percentage, the first time he cracked .900 since the Penguins’ Cup victory in 2010.
(Sidenote: Really? Ouch ...)
Fleury is entering the final year of his seven-year, $35 million contract, making a base salary of $5.75 million. He enters it with a new coach and a new general manager, both of whom might want to put their own stamp on the crease.
But GM Jim Rutherford tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Fleury is “one of the most talented goalies in the League and sees him as the long-term solution between the pipes.
“From my point of view, he's our goalie,” Rutherford said. “There's no reason why he can't be our goalie for a long time.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Some storylines are more compelling than others. I know this because I read to a 4-year-old before bedtime, and the plotting in “The Octonauts Meet The Frown Fish” is far denser than that of anything involving the “Bubble Guppies.” This is, like, a fact.
The same goes for NHL players. Yes, we’ll all be fascinated by the journeys of megastars like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, and the continued ascension of ones like Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall. But there are other players that offer a little more intrigue, at least for me, due to new locations or expectations.
Here are the 10 most fascinating players in the NHL heading into next season. Please add your own in the comments – who are you most looking to see in 2014-15? (And apologies to NHL defensemen; it’s not that I think you’re boring, it’s that I think you’re not as fascinating as these next 10 blokes. I'm sure you're interesting in your own way. Cheer up, we're all snowflakes.)
1. Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens
This is Year Three for the Canadiens forward, and Arpon Basu explains what that means:
EA Sports prides itself on accuracy and realism in its sports video games, from the ratings of players to the “if it’s in the game, it’s in the game” graphics.
But Ryan Reaves of the St. Louis Blues found one facet of its NHL series lacking in its attention to detail.
Let’s just say it’s an off-color misstep:
Somebody's f*!?in' up pic.twitter.com/3VhkmvkMCh
(We’re assuming it’s NHL 14 he’s speaking about, unless he’s playing a pre-release version of NHL 15 .)
Do not adjust your contrast settings. That’s what Reaves tweeted on Monday, showing a slight skin-tone variation between the IRL and video game versions of the Blues brawler.
Hey, times are tough all over. Maybe EA Sports ran out of budget space and defaulted to using the “Subban template” for all black NHL players.
The St. Louis Blues are having a major unveiling on Monday night at their Blues Ice Breaker fan event. And with all due respect to Paul Stastny, we’re talking about their revamped sweaters for the 2014-15 NHL season.
The jerseys leaked this afternoon on Twitter, and passed along by reader John Heuer. They were later released by the Blues ahead of the party.
Now, you may be staring at these slack-jawed, wondering what exactly is different about them from the previous incarnations.
Fear not: Chris Creamer, sports logo authority, offers this handy comparison between the recent jerseys:
First off, we weep not for the death of piping on these jerseys, which was an aesthetic eyesore on far too many sweaters after the RBK redesigns. But the real winner is the return of the bottom stripe, this time flaunting the yellow (gold, whatever) in the color scheme. They look classic, throwing back to the 1967 design, but they feel modern.
It's a (I don't like) Monday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Steve Dangle, vlogger supreme, joins us.
• Maybe we should be rooting for the Sabres to win.
• Sens goalie situation.
• News around the NHL.
Question of the Day: What is your NHL dream starting lineup in 2014? Three forwards, two defenseman and a goalie - GO! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
In this wacky digital media world of ours, old stuff just falls through the cracks sometimes. Then someone reposts a story or a video, and suddenly everyone’s writing about underwater hockey again.
This Latvian hockey line brawl is from 2007, so apologies ahead of time to everyone screaming “THIS IS OLD!”
(We refuse to apologize to the “SLOW NEWS DAY” people, because August 25 is why.)
But it was new to us when ‘zafer can’ popped it on YouTube today, and we searched back to find a better clip. Here is Riga 2000 and the aptly named ASK/Ogre, getting their brawl on:
The context here is really interesting: This was a line brawl from a Latvian Ice Hockey Championship series between the teams. ASK/Ogre, in black, sparked the brawl because they went down by two goals late in the third period in what would be the final game of the series. Which is, you know, extraordinarily honorable.
Craig Anderson was entering the final year of his contract with the Ottawa Senators; a 33-year-old incumbent that many assumed would yield the throne to Robin Lehner, the 23-year-old that’s been percolating in the Sens’ system since 2010.
Yet on Monday, Ottawa announced a three-year extension with Anderson with an average annual value of $4.2 million (breaking down to salaries of $4.75 million, $4.75 million and then $3.1 million).
It’s a great move for Anderson, considering how crowded the goalie carousel is in the NHL and the fact that the 2015 free-agent class could include Marc-Andre Fleury and Antti Niemi. So he gets some term and gets a decent bump from his previous deal.
More importantly, he remains in a situation where management obviously believes he gives them a better chance to win than Lehner does at this juncture.
- Greg Wyshynski at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History.
Growing up as a New Jersey Nets fan in the late 1980s/early 1990s was a bit like being Turtle on “Entourage.”
Vinny Chase played over in MSG, and all the pretty people wanted to hang with him. Turtle played in a cavernous, personality-deficient building in a swamp, suffering through attendance challenges so severe that the team’s midweek ticket deals amounted to, “No, seriously, we’ll pay you to see the Nuggets.”