- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
In a lot of ways, NHL Development Camps are little more than a precaution. As the offseason proper rears its ugly head -- it technically begins when the Stanley Cup is hoisted, but it really begins after the draft and free agency -- teams want to ensure that their kids are going to come into camp ready for a spot, not fat from eating Arby's all summer. After all, you don't have much time before the kids have rights . You can't have them losing a year to poor conditioning.
But it serves a purpose for the fans too. It fills the hockeyless days of summer, for one thing, and it gives supporters a chance to get excited about the skill coming down the pipe.
It helps when the kids show off some of that skill in the shootout drills, and several did this year. Here are our top five shootout moves from development camps the NHL over.
5. Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
The Chronicles of Stanley is an occasional series this summer that tracks the Los Angeles Kings as they enjoy their special alone time with the Stanley Cup.
Two years ago, Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings became the first Slovenian player to ever win the Stanley Cup. He celebrated by taking the trophy back to his home town that summer.
A second Cup conquest two years later and Kopitar is back in Slovenia on Sunday spending another day celebrating with his countrymen.
The long day began with a tradition: eating out of the bowl. It looks like Kopitar went the cereal route, while his dog, Gustl, enjoyed a treat of his own in the cutest Stanley Cup photos you’ll ever see:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
The American Hockey League dipped its toes into the muddy waters of the fighting debate with a new rule beginning in the 2014-15 season:
“An automatic game misconduct will be applied to any player who has been assessed two major penalties for fighting or three major penalties for any infraction in the same game.”
This rule was likely inspired by the nasty injury George Parros suffered against Colton Orr in Oct. 2013, getting stretchered off the ice after taking a fall in their second fight of the night.
The notion that there needed to be a second fight is the issue. The first time they scrapped, it was for entertainment purposes: Amplifying the electricity of the Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs rivalry in their season opening game. The second fight came after Orr was yapping at P.K. Subban, as Parros played the role of enforcer.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
Sharks are known to have remarkably sensitive hearing, in order to find, say, another creature flailing in distress. Yet until recently, the protests by irritated fans against the San Jose Sharks’ new Ice Girls had fallen on deaf ears.
Ever since the plan was announced – timed rather poorly with the decision not to bring back beloved color commentator Drew Remenda on the TV side – the San Jose Sharks’ decision to have an ice crew/cheer squad was roundly panned on social media. There’s already a “Say NO to Sharks Ice Girls” Facebook page with hundreds of likes.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
On Extra Skater's list of available free agents, one thing stands out: there are several better-known fighters who remain un-signed.
AVAILABLE: Krys Barch, Paul Bissonnette, Sheldon Brookbank, Daniel Carcillo, Mark Fraser, Ryan Jones, Zenon Konopka (currently suspended), Ryan Malone (legal issues), Shane O'Brien, George Parros, Aaron Rome, Mike Rupp, Jordin Tootoo, Kevin Westgarth, and Ryan White.
So why are there so many pugilists still available to teams?
It could be that we're just a few weeks into free agency, and teams are attempting to fill in their primary positions first. It could also be - put on your tin foil hat - a sign of the changing times in the NHL.
For years fans have read the articles and heard the debates about the need to end fighting in the NHL. (Personally, I don't mind it when it's spur of the moment; it's the staged crap that drives me crazy.) However, the general consensus is that if the NHL wants to eliminate fighting, they're going to have to issue an edict outlawing it.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Congratulations are in order to Brandon Dubinsky, who signed a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, and in so doing, accomplished a pretty impressive little feat.
Dubinsky's extension -- again, with the Blue Jackets, and not the team he came from, the hometown Rangers -- landed him on the front page of Saturday's New York Times sports section.
How did he do it?
Mainly because Dubinsky wasn't the only high-profile athlete to sign a contract with an Ohio-based team on Friday. Some guy named Lebron James, who plays basketball, did the same thing with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Obviously, the combination of two elite athletes signing big deals in Ohio was enough for the Times to make sure they got to share the front:
It's a very clever front. Normally, these transaction pages are buried, but with Dubinsky and Lebron signing, it deserved a more prominent role. It's clear that Ohio sports is the theme here, as the first transaction you see is a right-handed pitcher called up to the Cleveland Indians.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy1 day ago
The St. Louis Blues were none too happy about Vladimir Sobotka's decision to bolt for the KHL on Thursday. They responded by re-signing Steve Ott, who wasn't very good for them, but hey, they needed somebody.
But while the Blues were annoyed, one of their players saw the silver lining immediately. With Sobotka's no. 17 now up for grabs, left wing Jaden Schwartz snagged it for a very special reason.
It's the number his older sister, Mandi, wore for the Yale University women's team before she lost her two-and-a-half year battle with acute myeloid leukemia. On Friday, Jaden let his fans know that his no. 9 jersey would become a thing of the past:
It's yet another way Mandi's legacy is being honored.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy2 days ago
Trending Topics is a column that looks at the week in hockey, occasionally according to Twitter. If you're only going to comment to say how stupid Twitter is, why not just go have a good cry for the slow, sad death of your dear internet instead?
On the surface, the San Jose Sharks still look like the team they've been for years. They're deep down the middle, sturdy on the blue line, and reliable in net. They have some of the game's best centers, explosive talent and very solid coaching.
But what happened to them this spring, losing a series they led 3-0 to the eventual Stanley Cup champions, seems to have done something to them. They kicked around the idea of firing coach Todd McLellan — nearly violating the cardinal rule that you shouldn't fire a coach unless you know someone better is out there — before deciding against it. They vowed major changes to the roster that have led to rumors of the team trading Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau or both. Their big free agent acquisition this summer was John Scott, for some reason.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy2 days ago
Bryan Berard is leading a very interesting retirement. First, there was his turn on Battle of the Blades (he deserved to win, dammit). Then there was his adventure as a private eye, where he helped bring down two con men that swindled millions from retired NHLers.
Now, speaking of eyes, Berard's right one continues to be a problem, and he's locked in a legal battle with the insurance company that paid him millions after the retinal tear and detached retina he suffered during his playing days.
Berard was clipped by the stick of Marian Hossa during a game between the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2000. It was initially feared that his playing days were over, and he received a $6 million insurance settlement from Standard Security Life the following year.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy2 days ago
Vladimir Sobotka’s departure to the KHL on Thursday was a bit of a surprise to the St. Louis Blues. The center inked a three-year deal with Omsk will earn him over $4 million tax-free. The team responded by re-signing Steve Ott for two years and $5.2 million.
The Blues had heard the KHL rumors when they began negotiating an extension in the spring, but that didn't deter them from aggressively trying to bring back the 27-year old Sobotka.
“This is a business decision by Vlad, that I respect,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. “It doesn’t change my opinion on him as a man.”
If you ask Sobotka's agent, former NHLer Petr Svoboda, a deal could have been had for an extra $300,000.