- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
P.K. Subban has yet to lead the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup. But he's led Seth Rogen to the Stanley Cup, through the siren’s song of Canadian beer.
Rogen’s “Hilarity For Charity,” which seeks to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, was in Montreal as a part of the Just For Laughs festival, holding a late-night gala. On Saturday night, Rogen hit the stage with the apparent intent of creating the most Canadian moment in the history of Canada or moments.
Not only did Rogen have Youppi, the beloved Montreal Expos mascot, come on stage with a wheelbarrow of Timbits, but he had the Stanley Cup on stage (right-side-up, Def Leppard).
(Why was the Cup there when no Los Angeles Kings were present? Apparently everyone in Hollywood is eligible to have it for a day, per bandwagon rules.)
He vowed to fulfill a bucket list moment by drinking beer out of it.
Enter P.K. Subban with two pitchers of brew.
Enter beer, into Seth Rogen’s stomach.
Here’s a fan-shot video of the moment:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
For the most part, the hiring of Kyle Dubas by the Toronto Maple Leafs was greeted with pom-poms and champagne corks, and it’s easy to understand why.
The advanced stats advocates lauded it as a major advancement, as one of their own became a Leafs' lottery-pick-finish away from ascending to Dave Nonis’ seat. The media welcomed a new voice to the NHL conversation. Maple Leafs fans embraced it, as they do any move with the fait whiff of ingenuity and positivity.
There were a few voices of dissent, the loudest being Gare Joyce of Sportsnet, who offered a critical evaluation of Dubas’s time as GM of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Alas, it was buried under a dozen paragraphs of slightly bitter, ageist denouncement of Dubas as the flavor of the moment, a slick interview, a “whiz kid” who was eight years old when Joyce began banging out hockey tales at the Globe & Mail.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
When it became obvious that the New York Rangers were going to buy him out, Brad Richards pitched a potential new NHL home to his agent Pat Morris: The Chicago Blackhawks. Morris reminded him that the Hawks had little money against the cap with which to spend on a center, despite their need for one.
Then GM Stan Bowman came calling for Richards, and the veteran decided he’d make this work at the Blackhawks’ price.
Of course, making $51 million off his Rangers deal helps soften the blow of making just $2 million next season.
Richards spoke with Bob Verdi of the Blackhawks’ website about that recently:
You received a substantial amount of money so the Rangers could clear salary cap space, not an uncommon occurrence in the NHL now. Did that figure into your decision to sign with Chicago for one year at $2 million?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 days ago
It’s clear, at this point, that hockey loves Christmas.
Maybe a little too much.
Now the NHL has decided to bring hockey’s painful brand of yuletide cheer into your homes, office parties and the lives of your ironic hipster friends.
Created by Forever Collectables, the NFL was the first out of the gate with ugly Christmas sweaters, because Mike Ditka must be clothed at all times. The NHL sweaters were unleashed upon an unsuspecting public later.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 days ago
The joke about Loui Eriksson was that he’s so perpetually named one of the NHL’s most underrated players that he was almost overrated for being underrated.
Next season, he gets the spotlight in Boston: Opening camp on the wing of David Krejci and Milan Lucic, where a 36-year-old Jarome Iginla notched 30 goals last season before cashing in with a 3-year, $16-million deal with the Colorado Avalanche.
“We lost Jarome, but I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year. I think we started seeing that at the end of the year and he could be a replacement for Jarome,” said coach Claude Julien, via NHL.com.
He’s topped 30 goals once in his career, although he’s been over 25 goals four times in eight seasons. He’s never been a point per game player, even in truncated seasons due to work stoppages or injuries.
Steven Stamkos is getting the LeBron question.
It’s July 2014, and Stamkos has two more years on his 5-year, $37.5-million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then he becomes an unrestricted free agent, free to sign the NHL's first $12-million annual contract with any team named the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He’s getting the LeBron question because LeBron showed you can take your talents to Florida and then take them back home again. If you’re thinking “yeah, but Stamkos never played for the Maple Leafs in the first place, like LeBron did with the Cavs,” you’d both be correct and missing one of the singular charms of the Centre of the Hockey Universe, which is that every NHL player born in Ontario is on loan to the rest of the League until their inevitable return to lead the Maple Leafs to their first Stanley Cup since the year “The Graduate” was released.
Mr. Stamkos … are you trying to seduce us?
Joe Sacco had the good fortune of finding employment with the Buffalo Sabres last summer after being fired by the Colorado Avalanche, who hired Patrick Roy and turned their franchise’s fortunes around.
Alas, Ron Rolston, who hired him in Buffalo, was fired after winning just four of his first 20 games. Ted Nolan was hired, kept Sacco around and then turned the franchise’s fortunes around.
And then he fired Joe Sacco after the season.
Well, OK, he was “re-assigned” as a scout, although he never scouted anything but other job openings since the end of the season. He finally found a fit: Sacco was hired by the Boston Bruins to work under Claude Julien.
Normally, the hiring of an assistant coach is worth a note in Puck Headlines, but this one’s significant for three reasons:
1. It’s a former NHL head coach latching on as an assistant with a potential Stanley Cup contender.
2. He replaces Geoff Ward on the Bruins’ staff, who left for a higher-paying head coaching job with the Mannheim Eagles of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany. Ward was the architect of the Bruins’ power play, which was third in the NHL last season at 21.7-percent.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are the most intriguing team in the Eastern Conference headed into next season, if only to see what Mario Lemieux has wrought after he slammed his hand on the detonation button.
We assume Sidney Crosby is on board with the hiring of Mike Johnston, or else Mike Johnston wouldn’t have been hired. Evgeni Malkin’s a different story, and Johnston clearly understands that he needs both noggins of this two-headed monster nodding in unison.
So Mr. Johnston will go to Russia, according to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, who explains the importance of this trip thusly:
Malkin never has done anything but play, and playtime is over because the Penguins need more from their other future Hall of Fame center.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 days ago
Nashville Predators general manager David Poile usually pitches free agents on joining his team. He didn’t expect to be pitched by a free agent.
After taking a humiliating buyout from the Arizona Coyotes, in which GM Don Maloney cited “behavioral issues” in eating the last three years of their deal, Mike Ribeiro called Poile to inquire if there was a match between the team and the 34-year-old free agent. The Predators’ offensive needs, specifically in the middle, were no secret. Neither were Ribeiro’s personal issues, including problems in his marriage.
So Poile, Ribeiro and his wife Tammy all got on a Skype call and spoke candidly. Poile wasn’t sure where they left things. Ribeiro, meanwhile, made another bold move: Calling Peter Laviolette, the Predators’ new coach, to further discuss his potential role with the team. Laviolette then called Poile, and said they had a good chat.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 days ago
The Nashville Predators were desperate for help at center. Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy were desperate for new homes in the NHL.
Both players signed 1-year deals with Nashville on Wednesday, bolstering a roster that resembled a donut up front. Roy signed for 1 year and $1 million; t he Preds signed Ribeiro to a 1-year, $1.05-million contract, as he found an NHL team willing to take him on after his reputation was slaughtered by the Arizona Coyotes when they bought him out.
Said GM David Poile on Roy, who played for the St. Louis Blues last season:
“Derek brings us added depth, playmaking ability and experience at center, helping complement our young, developing wingers,” Poile said. “He has played in a number of roles, averaging about 19 minutes of ice time throughout his career, and is effective on the power play. He provides our coaching staff with some added skill and maturity down the middle when putting together our lineup for the coming season.”
On Ribeiro, Poile said: