- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
TORONTO – For an hour on Monday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman regaled attendees of a Canadian Club of Toronto luncheon with examples of the League’s current prosperity, its potential for growth and various other sunshine and rainbows. He was relaxed, jovial and engaging, the bringer of good news.
So, like, the complete opposite of Roger Goodell then.
Bettman counts the embattled NFL commissioner as a friend. “I know what it’s like to get intense scrutiny. It’s not always fun. But Roger’s a good man,” said Bettman.
There have been calls for Goodell’s resignation after he fumbled the investigation and punishment of Ray Rice, as well as other domestic violence incidents in the NFL.
Bettman said the NHL has tried to be proactive in educating its players about off-ice issues, from domestic violence to drug addiction.
“We’ve had education and counseling programs for more than a decade. Our security department works with the players. Our behavioral health program councilors do it with the players at least once if not more during the season. We go team by team,” he said.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
The official event announcing the 2015 Winter Classic at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. is Tuesday, and the ballpark is already adorned with signage for the press conference.
Including what appears to be the Washington Capitals’ new Winter Classic jersey logo.
The image was captured by an tipster for Russian Machine Never Breaks, and it appears the Capitals are doing a more dramatic jersey design for their game against the Chicago Blackhawks than they did for their previous Winter Classic at the Pittsburgh Penguins. In the sense that they’re doing more than taking the “1980s red, white and blue stars” design out of mothballs.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy8 hrs 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.
• Calgary Flames goalie Brad Thiessen immortalizes Harvey The Hound on his new bucket. Just don't show Craig MacTavish. [In Goal Magazine]
• Bobby Ryan is being held out of Monday's pre-season opener for Ottawa due to a possible concussion. Ryan collided with Kyle Turris during an intra-squad scrimmage, and got his 'bell rung'. [Ottawa Sun]
• After a tough summer, Gordie Howe is seeing better days as he fights through dementia. [Detroit Free Press]
• Ryan Suter discusses the death of his father, Bob. Have the tissues ready. [Star Tribune]Mon, Sep 22New Jersey5 - 4NY RangersGame Recap
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
TORONTO -- Would Toronto fans care about a second NHL team in their city if the Maple Leafs actually won the Stanley Cup?
Commissioner Gary Bettman has considered the possibility, even as he reiterated that the NHL isn’t in an “expansion process” with analysis of potential new markets.
“If we decided that we were putting a second team in [Toronto], and the year the team was supposed to start, the Leafs won the Cup?” he asked as Canadian Club of Toronto event on Monday.
“If the Leafs won the Cup, it would be like the second team didn’t exist.”
Bettman said this is all hypothetical, of course. We assume he means expansion and not the Leafs actually winning the Cup …
The commissioner said he’s concerned about another multi-team NHL city, because ultimately there’s going to be one franchise with more gravitas than the other. It’s something he’s witnessed as a native New Yorker, with the Yankees and Mets, as well as more recently with the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
Everyone knows the story of the 2002 Olympics and the “lucky loonie”.
Trent Evans, an icemaker who used to work for the Edmonton Oilers, was hired to work the Games in Salt Lake City. In order to mark the center spot in the E Center, he used a loonie; and when the Canadian men’s and women’s hockey teams went on to win gold, the legend of the “lucky loonie” was born.
So, if a Canadian dollar can have special powers, can some melted rink ice do the same trick? It worked for Nathan Horton in 2011. On Monday, we learned it also worked for the Los Angeles Kings.
Joe Loughlin is the Event Crew Supervisor at Staples Center. Before each of the Kings' three Game 7s against the Sharks, Ducks and Blackhawks, he made sure, with a bit of anonymous help, that melted ice from LA's home rink was sprayed onto the surfaces of SAP Center, Honda Center and United Center.
While he was able to pull off the move by himself while traveling with the team to San Jose and Anaheim, he almost was unable to complete the trifecta for the do-or-die game in Chicago.LiveLos Angeles3 - 4ArizonaFollow Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
Peter Karmanos has owned the Carolina Hurricanes since 1994, back when they were the Hartford Whalers. Now 71 years old, he doesn’t intend to own them forever, which is surprising, because we always figured he was rich enough find a vampire and acquire immortality, like that guy on “The Strain.”
But Karmanos tells Rick Westhead of TSN that he’s actively looking for a new ownership partner, working with New York investment bank Allen & Co. to find someone that will commit “hundreds of millions of dollars into the team but let me control it.” Which sounds like a pretty sweet deal if you can get it.
"What I am trying to do is set up a reasonable succession plan because I'm not one of those guys who thinks I am going to go on forever," Karmanos told TSN.
"I'd like to have a partner again...but someone will have to pay dearly for it. (The Hurricanes are) a valuable franchise despite what some of your folk in Canada say about them. I don't see a basketball or baseball or football team coming here. We're going to be the lone ranger here (in Raleigh) for quite some time."
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
On Saturday, the beer orgy that is Oktoberfest kicked off in Munich, Germany for the 181st time. It’s 16 days of booze, pretzels, booze, lederhosen and more booze.
A couple of Munich’s local sports teams got in on the act by donning lederhosen jerseys during games over the weekend. Soccer side 1860 Munich drew 1-1 with Ingolstadt in a Bavarian derby while wearing the festive look. Their fans even celebrated with an awesome lederhosen-themed tifo.
Not wanting to be left out in the fun, EHC Red Bull Munich had their own lederhosen getup during their 4-3 win over Düsseldorf EC.
(warning: autoplay video)
To help promote the Oktoberfest-themed games, players from EHC Red Bull and 1860 Munich got together last week at a local brewery for some unique competitiion.
(Yes, the brother’s of Robyn Regehr and Dennis Seidenberg play for EHC Red Bull.)
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
(Ed. Note. What We Learned shall return next Monday. Here's Ryan Lambert on the Hockey Hall of Fame cases for several players.)
One of the most fun-slash-infuriating things to think about in this sport is which players belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sometimes, it seems like they'll let just about anyone in (every third-line guy from the Canadiens of the late '50s), and other times an answer is so obvious that you can't believe it took that long for him to get in (Pavel Bure).
But the good part of that problem, if you want to call it “good” in the first place, is that it becomes a lot more difficult to guess who's going to make it in one day. That, in turn, sparks a good amount of debate as to who's going to make it. Here again, there are the slam-dunk players who are in the league right now — Pavel Datsyuk, Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, etc. — that “debating it” isn't worth your time.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 day 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!)
It was dicey at times, but in the end the Detroit Red Wings managed to keep their playoff streak alive for a 23rd consecutive season, the longest among the four major sports leagues. They grabbed the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference thanks to a 39-28-15 (93 pts.) record, taking 13 of the final 20 points available to them.
Detroit didn’t just make the playoffs, they basically survived a regular season where they were second in the (412). Only seven skaters reached the 70-game mark, with the likes of captain Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk dressing for just 45 of them.
In the postseason, the Red Wings were knocked out in the first round for the second time in three seasons, this one coming in five games to the Boston Bruins.
Entering 2014-15, the Red Wings face questions about the future of their head coach, the health of their older stars and if they’re good enough to be playing playoff hockey for a 24th straight spring.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
If you had Sept. 21 in the “When Do The KHL Contract Rumors Start For Ryan Johansen?” pool, congratulations.
TSN reported on Sunday that the Columbus Blue Jackets restricted free agent was set to receive a 1-year, $5-million offer from CSKA Moscow.
This is after agent Kurt Overhardt said Johansen has received upwards of six offers from the Russian league. No word if he also used Steven Stamkos as a point of comparisonin those contract talks …
Ah, but here’s a twist: Sergei Fedorov, the former NHL great who’s now the GM of CSKA Moscow, told Elliotte Friedman that “he did not and will not make any contract offer for the RFA to play for his club.
Fedorov told Friedman that he had to know "if there was a commitment to play by Sept. 18. He said he did not want to be seen ‘as interfering,’ since there was no agreement.”
This doesn’t mean the rest of the KHL mystery teams are out of the mix, of course.