Sean Leahy

  • Senators sign teen battling rare disease to one-day scouting contract

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago

    Jonathan Pitre’s afflication prevents him from playing sports. The 14-year old suffers from epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a genetic disease that causes blistering of the skin, making things like bathing and walking painful to do.

    The Ottawa Citizen profiled Pitre’s plight last month, and included stunning photos of just how much his body blisters due to the disease.

    "I’m done with the dream of trying to play sports," Pitre told the Citizen. "I knew I’d never be able to play sports, but I tried to have hope that I would. Now I know what’s reality. But I still would like to do something in sports: I’d like to be a scout, or a sportscaster on Sportsnet, you know, one of the commentators.”

    He even managed to score an interview during the TSN broadcast:

    One of my all time favourite interviews, even if he does want my job ;). Jonathan Pitre: fighter and an inspiration. pic.twitter.com/mb9jquGvz9

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  • Leafs' stick salute controversy a matter of 'changing routine,' says Dion Phaneuf

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    Who would have thought that the Toronto Maple Leafs winning 5-2 over the Tampa Bay Lightning would bring controversy the next day?

    That’s what happened when the players (apparently no one told Cody Franson as you see above) celebrated the victory by exiting the Air Canada Centre ice without doing their usual post-win stick salute to the fans.

    Boy, did that get some fans and some in the Toronto media in an uproar.

    It’s already been dubbed Saluteghazi, but according to Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, it wasn’t meant to be a disrespect to the fans, it was about changing their losing ways. 

    Via David Alter:

    Phaneuf, however, didn't say whether the players realized beforehand how much this move would be misinterpreted (if you’re to believe the “routine” reason) and backfire on them since they play in the media market that is Toronto. It was basically more blood in the water for the sharks. 

    It's why non-stories turn into dominant headlines, even after they win .

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  • Stars extend Jason Spezza with four-year, $30 million deal

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago

    According to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, the Stars have extended Spezza for $30 million over the next four seasons. He’ll carry a cap hit of $7.5 million.

    Spezza is in the final season of a seven-year, $49 million deal he signed with the Ottawa Senators. After showing no inclination that he’d re-sign in Canada’s capital last season, GM Bryan Murrayshipped him to Dallas in a July 1 trade. In his first season with the Stars he’s currently second in scoring with 4 goals and 18 points through 20 games.

    Spezza re-signing weakens the UFA market next summer, which means TSN and Sportsnet will devote a few more minutes to what a Canadian World Cup team would look like during Free Agent Frenzy.

    It also means some players will benefit monetarily since we all know some GMs act like drunken sailors on leave when they have cap space to fill.

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  • NHL Three Stars: Bjugstad leads Panthers; Tatar's pair helps Red Wings

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    No. 1 Star: Nick Bjugstad, Florida Panthers

    Bjugstad did almost everything for the Panthers, scoring twice in regulation and later netting the deciding goal in the shootout as Florida got past the San Jose Sharks 3-2. The Panthers have now won four in a row in San Jose. The multi-goal game was the third of Bjugstad's career and second in three games.

    No. 2 Star: Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings

    Tatar scored Detroit’s first and last goals during their 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets. His most important of the evening came 2:10 after Justin Abdelkader’s tying goal late in the third period to give the Red Wings the lead for good: 

    No. 3 Star: James van Riemsdyk, Toronto Maple Leafs

    Two days after allowing nine goals to the Predators, the Maple Leafs put up a five spot and beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. JVR netted his eighth and ninth goals of the year as Toronto snapped a three-game losing streak. Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in the victory.  

    Did You Know?: "The Canucks (13-6-1) lost their first one-goal game this season, becoming the last in the NHL to do so." (AP)

  • 'Legion of Doom' reunite as Eric Lindros, John LeClair enter Flyers’ HOF

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    After all the drama that went down while Eric Lindros was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, time healed all wounds. He triumphantly returned to Philadelphia during the 2012 Winter Classic and received a roaring ovation from the Citizens Bank Park crowd.

    “The Big E” was back in Philadelphia on Thursday to join his fellow “Legion of Doom” linemate John LeClair in being inducted into the Flyers’ Hall of Fame. Before their busts were unveiled, the two were greeted by the third member of that dominant ‘90s trio: Mikael Renberg.

    Over a three-season span Lindros, Renberg and LeClair posted a combined 305 goals and 666 points before being broken up in 1997 with the trading of Renberg to Tampa Bay. They were a monster of a line that helped Lindros win the Hart and Pearson Trophies, as well as lead the Flyers to the 1997 Stanley Cup Final.

    Who knows, maybe we'll see them reunited once more in a year's time if Lindros finally gets his due and is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame?

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  • Buffalo snowstorm causes postponement of Friday's Sabres-Rangers game

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    The massive storml in Buffalo earlier this week that dropped nearly six feet of snow on the city and snowed in Patrick Kaleta for Tuesday night’s game against the San Jose Sharks has caused the postponement of Friday’s Sabres game.

    The New York Rangers were scheduled to fly to Buffalo on Thursday, but were told to unpack after the NHL made the decision. 

    "There's a lot more important things in life than a sporting event," Sabres head coach Ted Nolan said, via the Buffalo News. "But sometimes when you're going through tough situations that sporting even takes you away from reality for a couple hours and gets you to think of something else."

    No makeup date for Sabres-Rangers has been announced yet.

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  • KHL fans arrested by arena police for tossing hats on ice after hat trick

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Tossing your hat onto the ice after a player records a hat trick is a time-honored tradition in hockey. (Remember that Ticketmaster commercial that ran on NHL Network every five minutes a few years ago?)

    The tradition exists overseas as well, but apparently no one told the police working Tuesday’s KHL game between Sibir and Ak Bars at the Ice Sports Palace Sibir. As Sibir romped to a 6-1 victory, Jarno Koskiranta recorded a hat trick, giving fans in attendance the opportunity to chuck their caps to the ice:

    Great scene, right? Well, the police didn’t think so and arrested three fans who littered the ice, along with a Sibir team employee. The reason? According to Dmitry, via SovSport, it was because those fans were “disrupting the peace in public places.”

    Boy, pretty harsh. You'd think by the police reaction that the crowd started doing The Wave; now that's something that warrants handcuffs.

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  • Teemu Selanne closes door on KHL move: 'My career is over, that much is certain'

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    "I can think about it as long as I want, if I still find motivation to play," Selanne said in August. "Playing in Jokerit is tempting, that's for sure. We'll see."

    But sadly, there won’t be any sort of video from Selanne announcing “one more season."

    From the IIHF via MTV3 in Finland

    Via Juha Hiitela, the Finnish Flash was reportedly offered $10 million USD to join Jokerit and $5 million USD to play in only home games. But Selanne is at peace with his son's hockey careers taking up most of his time now compared to his own.

    We now will place "Teemu Forever" on pause for three years until his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame where he’ll be enshrined, forever.

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  • Harding clears waivers; Varlamov sidelined; dry scrape to be abandoned? (Puck Headlines)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. 

    • Here are the three jerseys the ECHL's Reading Royals will wearing during their Nov. 22 Army-Navy Hockey Day game. There will also be a game between the U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Naval Academy, a skills competition and the jerseys will be auctioned off after the game. [Royals]

    • Josh Harding has cleared waivers and will be sent down to Iowa of the AHL to get some work in after an 11-month absence. [Star Tribune]

    • A groin injury has sidelined Semyon Varlamov, meaning the Colorado Avalanche have recalled Calvin Pickard. [Avs]

    • According to Darren Dreger, the pre-overtime dry scrape could be abandoned by this weekend as the league’s GMs discuss it this week. [TSN]

  • Olli Maatta returns to Penguins lineup two weeks after removal of cancerous tumor

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    It was only two weeks ago that 20-year old Olli Mattaa had a cancerous tumor removed from his neck. The outlook from the beginning was good, with doctors saying he would likely return to the lineup within a month.

    Maatta confirmed after the Penguins' morning skate in Montreal that he'll be back on the blueline Tuesday night versus the Canadiens.

    “I didn’t think it’d be this quick,” Maatta said, “but I have to thank the doctors and team staff for doing their best.”

    “I feel the same as I did two weeks ago, two months ago, a year ago. I feel normal.”

    Penguins head coach Mike Johnston said that Maatta could have returned a few days earlier, but wanted to regain his quickness before committing himself to play again. He skated with Christian Ehrhoff on the second pairing, meaning Robert Bortuzzo was back to being the odd-man out.

    “Now I don’t have to worry about it anymore,” he said. “I can just focus on hockey again.” 

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