- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy40 mins ago
Claude Giroux left the Philadelphia Flyers’ first day of training camp with a lower body injury, just 15 minutes into his practice session.
Perhaps coincidentally, Internet searches for “draft lottery rules” and “Connor McDavid” spiked around parts of Pennsylvania and South Jersey around the same time …
As GM Ron Hextall said, “Obviously, it’s not the way you want to start.”
But he later calmed the fears of fans, explaining that Giroux’s lower-body injury – there were reports of a groin injury and/or a hip injury – would only sideline him for two weeks of the preseason. Or pretty much all of the preseason.
Boy, if it’s not his lower body, it’s someone else’s lower body causing Giroux problems this year, right?
The Flyers won’t have Giroux for a key preseason opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs in London, Ont. Random Center Who Will Be Back In The AHL In October will really have to step up his game for that tilt.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
One of my favorite moments when we interviewed NHL No. 1 draft pick Aaron Ekblad on “Marek Vs. Wyshynski” was when he admitted that CapGeek.com was the hockey site he frequented the most. Hey, players are just like us: Curious about other contracts and their team’s own cap situation.
So one wonders if Jaden Schwartz’s Internet is down.
Cap Geek tells us that the St. Louis Blues have $2.783 million in cap space, with 23 players currently under contract, 21 of them on one-way deals. It tells us that Schwartz is a restricted free agent who doesn’t have enough games to his credit to be eligible for an offer sheet. It tells that that Cam Atkinson of the Columbus Blue Jackets, who has similar numbers in a similar amount of games played, is making $1.15 million against the cap.
It also tells us that the Blues have roughly 10 players due for new contracts in Summer 2015, among them goalie Jake Allen and forward Vladamir Tarasenko, who will be directly affected by whatever the Blues give Schwartz.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 hr 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.
• Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day.
• After Teemu Selanne’s book comments were released on Thursday, Flames goalie Jonas Hiller piled on Bruce Boudreau. “It didn’t end how I wanted there, and I didn’t feel I got his support there 100% at the end of the year.” [Calgary Sun]
- Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Martins Karsums of Dynamo Moscow delivered this brutal hit on Metallurg captain Sergei Mozyakin in a game on Wednesday. And it reminded us of all the things we loathe about the way clean hits are disrespected in today’s game, whether it’s a game in the KHL or NHL.
Seriously, look at that hit: Mozyakin had just played the puck, it’s a killer shoulder check near the boards. The aftermath is unfortunate, with Mozyakin’s head bouncing off the boards and his leg getting caught under his body. But it's a clean hit.
So then the nonsense starts, with a good check earning a mass of Metallurg teammates raining down on Karsums, and then the referees deciding that he somehow, someway earned a matching roughing minor for all of this. For being jumped.
The fight after the hit is at least understandable, given it was an injured captain on the ice. But the penalty that followed was handed out for the same reason – there was an injured captain on the ice, so clean hit be damned, off to the sin bin with you, comrade.
Sigh. Great hit though, penalized or not.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
INT – PENGUINS FRONT OFFICE
[Mario Lemieux, heralded owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, sips a glass of wine next to the phone receiver on his ear. A voice on the other end is filled with concern.]
PHONE: “Seriously Mario: $104 million for Sidney and $76 million for Geno … how are we going to afford this?
[Mario Lemieux glances around his office, which is covered in photos of his favorite player, Mario Lemieux. His eyes dart to a familiar sweater design, not seen on his players in eons but readily available to fans for the last 25 years.]
MARIO: “Let’s just say I’ve got an idea, and it’s gold. PITTSBURGH gold!”
[He laughs heartily, startling Sidney Crosby, who was asleep on his cot in the corner.]
The Pittsburgh Penguins revealed their new third jerseys for the 2014-15 season, and they’re glorious throwbacks to the 1980s, when Mario was piling up points while carrying Rob Brown on his back:
That’s a pretty sharp looking sweater right there. Vibrant colors, great design. We imagine most Penguins fans are in “TAKE MY MONEY NOW!” mode.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
Darcy Kuemper tried to play the KHL card in his RFA negotiations with the Minnesota Wild, but all he needed was an unfortunate incident to open the door for his return.
On Wednesday, the Wild announced that goaltender Josh Harding would be out "indefinitely" (read: months) with a fractured foot after an off-ice incident. According to Mike Russo of the Star Tribune, the incident was with a teammate, which afterward Harding kicked a wall, causing the injury. Down to only Niklas Backstrom in goal, general manager Chuck Fletcher reached out to Ilya Bryzgalov, bringing him back on a tryout contract.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
When PyeongChang, South Korea hosts the 2018 Winter Olympics, their men's and women's hockey team will be able to ice teams in their respective hockey tournaments after the IIHF granted the country automatic entries.
Last April, the IIHF expressed to the Korea Ice Hockey Association their desire to see the country make "progress in performance." That progress, at least on the men's side, meant seeing the team rise to 18th in the IIHF world rankings, a tall task after recently being relegated to Group B in the Division I World Championships.
The IIHF Congress decided on Friday that the Olympic hosts should be able to participate after the KIHA presented a four-year development plan that will see $20 million invested into the national team program.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
(The 2014-15 NHL season is nearly upon us, and attempting to handicap the winners and losers can sometimes leave us speechless. So we decided to break down all 30 teams with the next best thing to words: Emojis!)
Ho-hum. Nothing big happened in Los Angeles.
Well, not during the regular season, that is.
The Kings used the regular season as a tuneup for the playoffs. They finished with a 46-28-8 record. In the Western Conference, a 100-point season like LA’s will get you a No. 6 seed in the playoffs. No biggie for the Kings because the playoffs is when the magic happens.
For their first act, the Kings performed a disappearing act. LA vanished in the Aztec Tomb, falling down 0-3 to the San Jose Sharks; only to make a historic come back and win four-straight. Next they went toe-to-toe with freeway frenemy Anaheim. In a series that took only 20 years to come to fruition, the Kings and Ducks battled to a seventh game. Anaheim proceeded to lay down and get run over repeatedly like two-day old roadkill.
In a thrilling seven game series, Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup after defeating Chicago in overtime.
Oh wait. My mistake. They had to play a team from the Eastern Conference to win the Cup.
- Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
At this point in his tenure with Columbus, Nathan Horton has been paid $289,474 per point. He’s played 36 games – missing the start of his first season with the team after offseason shoulder surgery, and then basically missing the rest of the season after suffering an abdominal tear in March.
The Blue Jackets were obviously excited to have a healthy Horton to start this season. Instead, they not only don’t have a healthy Horton, they won’t have Horton at all.
According to Puck-Rakers, Horton has a back injury that will force him out of training camp and potentially the first part of the regular season. Again.
"He signed a big contract – I signed almost the same contract (this summer) – and you feel like you have a lot to prove," Dubinsky said. "We certainly feel for him. We hope he gets better. But we certainly want him to take his time. Because a 100 percent Nathan Horton for 60 or 70 games -- or however long it’s going to be -- is better than a 70 percent guy for 82 games. Hopefully he can have a speedy recovery."
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
Last month it was revealed that Kimmo Timonen, veteran defenseman for the Philadelphia Flyers, was diagnosed with blood clots in his lower right leg and lungs. His status for the 2014-15 NHL season had yet to be determined.
On Thursday, the Flyers offered some clarity: Timomen will be out “months,” through the new year,but hasn’t ruled out a return to the ice this season.
“My desire is I want to play. But the chances of me playing are really slim. That’s a fact. But I’m ready and waiting to see,” said Timonen. “There’s a little chance there’s a safe way for me to step on the ice, then we have a new discussion. But we don’t know yet.”