Sean Leahy

  • Sergei Makarov joins 'KLM' linemate Larionov in Hockey Hall of Fame

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago

    Nearly 20 years after retiring, Sergei Makarov has been named as part of the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame Class, joining Pat Quinn, Rogie Vachon and Eric Lindros.

    “Oh my gosh, the wait is over,” is what Hall Chairman Lanny MacDonald said Makarov responded with when told the great news from his home in Russia.

    Markarov’s case is a unique one in that his resumes on the NHL and international level are impressive, and in a year where there weren’t any slam-dunk candidates, the former Soviet star will finally get enshrined in Toronto this coming November. 

    On the club level with CSKA Moscow, he won 11 consecutive league titles and led the Soviet league in scoring for nine seasons, winning three MVPs.

    Makarov would reunite with Larionov in 1993 with the San Jose Sharks and form the 'OV' line with Johan Garpenlov. He would lead the team in scoring with 30 goals and 68 points and help upset the No. 1 seeded Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

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  • Jaromir Jagr surprises nosy photographer with sandwich (Video)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 15 hrs ago

    As you could imagine, Jaromir Jagr is a pretty popular fella in his home country of the Czech Republic. So now that he’s back overseas preparing for the 2016-17 NHL season, the paparazzi over there can’t help but want to snag a photograph of the hockey legend.

    One such inspired photographer decided to wait outside Jagr’s home earlier this month to snap a shot of the 44-year-old Florida Panthers forward and his girlfriend, Veronika. He was so determined for a snapshot, he was willing to wait a very long time.

    After a while, Jagr went outside to speak to him. When it appeared the man wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon, Jagr wanted to make sure his visitor didn’t starve, so he had a snack prepared for him.

    When Jagr approached the photographer with the meal, he explained, “You deserve this for your patience. Hockey taught me to respect my opponents.”

    Hopefully the photographer enjoyed his meal and will leave Jagr and his girflriend alone for the rest of the summer.

    To end his video, Jagr noted, “It's not always fun to be popular.” 

    Stick-tap Aftonbladet

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  • Canucks waive Chris Higgins, intend to buy him out

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago

    Five months after the Vancouver Canucks announced they were exploring trade options for Chris Higgins and then later demoted him to the AHL, the team has decided to waive 33-year-old forward again, this time time with the intent of buying him out.

    According to General Fanager, buying out the final year of Higgins’ deal saves the Canucks $1.666 million this coming season. There will be a $833,333 hit on Vancouver’s cap picture for 2016-17 and 2017-18.

    The Canucks tried to find a trade partner in January for Higgins, who only scored three times in 33 games this season. No one gave GM Jim Benning a call, so a day later he was waived and sent to Utica of the AHL where he’d post 9-4-13 in 22 games.

    Injuries hampered Higgins this season, leading to an unproductive campaign that caused a decline offensively and also saw his possession numbers drop from 50 percent over the last two seasons to 46 percent, per Corsica Hockey.

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  • Ray Bourque arrested on DWI charges

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Former Boston Bruins defenseman Ray Bourque was arrested Friday night for allegedly driving drunk in Andover, Mass., according to FOX25 Boston.

    Police said Bourque was arrested at the scene following a car crash just before midnight. Neither the two people in his car or the three people in the other vehicle were injured.

    From the Boston Globe:

    The Eagle Tribune reports Bourque was charged with operating under the influence of liquor and following too closely. He's now out on bail and will be arraigned on Monday.

    Bourque played for the Bruins from 1979-2000 before he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche where he would win the Stanley Cup in 2001.

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  • Devils' Ray Shero on futures of Kyle Palmieri, Patrik Elias

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – The New Jersey Devils won’t have any issues clearing the $54 million salary cap floor for next season. With Ryan Clowe still on the books for two more seasons and one more year of Marc Savard’s contract after they acquired his cap hit from the Florida Panthers this week, Ray Shero can focus on trying to sign and re-sign players to reasonable deals.

    One of those players is Kyle Palmieri, a restricted free agent who led the team in scoring this past season with 30 goals and 57 points. The 25-year-old forward has earned a significant raise from his $1.6 million salary in 2015-16 and Shero said talks with his agent are moving along smoothly.

    “It’s going to work out one way or the other,” Shero said at the conclusion of the 2016 NHL Draft. “I think he’s a real good fit for us. We’re a really good fit for him. It’s just a matter of finding that right term.” 

    There are options, however, for Palmieri. He could go to arbitration or the two sides could settle on a bridge deal and work on hammering out something long-term should it come to that.

    “We’ve never committed one way or another. Nor has he, but we’re just going to see,” Shero said.

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  • Prolific junior scorer Alex DeBrincat lands with Chicago Blackhawks

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – The 2016 NHL Draft featured only two 50-goal scorers from this past season. One was Kieffer Bellows, who was selected 19th overall by the New York Islanders. 

    The other was one of the smallest players in the draft: 5’7, 165 lbs. Alex DeBrincat from the Erie Otters of the OHL, who landed with the Chicago Blackhawks at No. 39. 

    DeBrincat’s 51-50-111 season with the Otters was his third straight 50-50-100-plus campaign. In 2014-15, he posted 51-53-104 in his first year in Erie. Before he entered junior, he scored 54-57-111 at Lake Forest Academy, which is about 45 minutes from Chicago.

    Going to school just outside Chicago did allow DeBrincat to attend some Blackhawks games. But there was one issue. Growing up in Michigan made him a fan of the Detroit Red Wings. That allegiance is obviously severed now.

    The Blackhawks have never been shy about believing in smaller players. It’s worked out for Patrick Kane, Andrew Shaw and others. With the likes of those two, along with Tyler Johnson, Mats Zuccarello and Cam Atkinson, among others, helping shed the stigma that smaller players can’t succeed in the NHL, DeBrincat is thankful for the opportunity. 

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  • Blue Jackets GM was set on taking Dubois over Puljujärvi at No. 3

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – Plain and simple: Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen believed that Pierre-Luc Dubois was the best player available at No. 3.

    Most mock drafts heading into Friday’s Round 1 had the Blue Jackets taking Jesse Puljujärvi, right after Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine. But Kekalainen surprised everyone inside First Niagara Center with the pick.

    So is there something he knows that we don’t?

    “Well, there might be," he said. "But it’s not about negative things, it’s about his building our list and believing in our order of preference. Pierre-Luc Dubois was No. 3 on our list."

    Heading into Friday there was speculation that the Blue Jackets would look to move the pick. Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he would have been fine trading out of the three spot to move down if the right offer came along. It didn’t, and Dubois heard his name called by head of amateur scouting Ville Siren.

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  • Coyotes' Jakob Chychrun confident he can make NHL jump at 18

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jakob Chychrun remembers the assignment he was given when his Sarnia Sting took on London Knights in an OHL clash during his first year in the league. He was tasked with slowing down Max Domi, the forward who would post 32 goals and 102 points that season.

    Fast forward two years later and Chychrun and Domi are potential future teammates after the Arizona Coyotes selected the defenseman with the 16th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

    Chychrun had to sit and watch 15 other names come off the board before the Coyotes, who debated picking him at No. 7, made a trade with the Detroit Red Wings to move up to that spot and select the Boca Raton, Florida native.

    “You have to really prepare for anything. That’s kind of what I was doing last night,” Chychrun said. “I was kind of preparing for anything that could happen. This was unbelievable. I really wanted to go to a team that wanted me and whenever a team trades up to get you it’s special.” 

    “It’s always been a goal of mine to play in the National Hockey League at 18,” he said. “I really believe if there’s anyone that can do it and is physically and mentally ready for it it’s me.”

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  • Blue Jackets give No. 3 pick Pierre-Luc Dubois birthday surprise

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – Nearly 20 hours after he officially turned 18 years old, Pierre-Luc Dubois heard his name called during Round 1 of the NHL Draft.

    That part was expected. What shocked everyone inside First Niagara Center was when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called the name of the 6’2, 205 lbs. forward out of Cape Breton.

    Most, if not all of the projections for Friday’s first round saw the Columbus Blue Jackets taking Jesse Puljujärvi with the No. 3 overall pick. Instead, it was Ville Siren, head of the team’s amateur scouting, calling Dubois’ name.

    “I was a little surprised, but it’s probably my best birthday I’ve ever had in my life. Pretty happy right now,” Dubois said.

    With rumors swirling around not only the Blue Jackets’ pick at No. 3 but also the Edmonton Oilers at No. 4, Dubois said it was impossible to avoid the scuttlebutt. He tried his best to avoid it all, but couldn’t help other people talking to him about what could happen around those selections.

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  • Capitals fill third line need with Lars Eller trade

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Moments after the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Auston Matthews with the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens added to the excitement by making a pair of deals.

    Along with acquiring Andrew Shaw from the Chicago Blackhawks, GM Marc Bergevin dealt away Lars Eller to the Washington Capitals for second-round picks in 2017 and 2018.

    Eller is signed for the next two seasons and carries a $3.5 million cap hit.

    Capitals GM Brian MacLellan has now delivered yet again on an off-season promise. Two years ago he wanted to improve his defense so he went out and signed Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen. Last summer, he wanted to upgrade at right wing so he picked up T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams. 

    For the Habs, moving out Eller's cap hit will now allow them to sign Shaw, currently an RFA, to a new deal.

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