- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy27 mins ago
Upon completion of the Detroit Red Wings’ season, it was fairly obvious that Mike Babcock was going to entertain some significant offers, including one to remain with the Wings. Ultimately, one of the NHL’s most celebrated free agents took his talents to Toronto, signing the richest contract ever for a head coach.
That’s the Mike Babcock side of the split with Detroit. We really haven't gotten a sense of how his former players felt about his leaving the Red Wings, and what impact that departure might have on the team.
According to captain Henrik Zetterberg, they're happy to have a new voice behind the bench.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
(The 2015-16 NHL season is nearly upon us! Why bother watching this team? What will make or break the season? Find out as we preview all 30 teams as camps begin!)
48-29-5, 101 points. Second in the Pacific Division.
Probably a bit worse in that a lot of their aging top pieces got a year older. And most of their core players are in their mid-30s. Daniel (76 points) and Henrik Sedin (73 points), Radim Vrbata (31 goals) and Alexandre Burrows are all 34 years old.
Starting goaltender Ryan Miller is 35.
Vancouver no longer has the Eddie Lack safety blanket it had last season after a trading the netminder to the Carolina Hurricanes this summer. The Canucks were pretty excited to add Brandon Sutter as a depth center as part of dealing Nick Bonino, but seemed almost too pumped to bring in a guy who tied a career-high of 21 goals this past season.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
If you were writing up a shortlist of Art Ross Trophy candidates for the 2015-16 NHL season, Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers would likely be on that list. The 26-year old forward had a career year last season, scoring 22 times and recording 81 points, good enough for fourth overall, six points behind Jamie Benn.
As we wait for puck to drop on this season, Voracek gave reason for hockey fans to root for him to be in the Art Ross race come April.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
On Thursday morning, we published a translated excerpt from former NHL pest Jarkko Ruutu’s new Finnish-language autobiography that chronicled a Pittsburgh Penguins locker room prank orchestrated by Georges Laraque and Colby Armstrong, when all three players were with the Pens.
In summary, according to Ruutu: Laraque returned from practice to find a drawing of a monkey holding a banana in his locker; he angrily asked who left it there and Armstrong admitted it was him; when asked why, he said, “What do you mean? He is a [N-word], isn't he?"; then they two began to brawl before they broke up into laughter and revealed it was an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke.
Again, all according to Ruutu, who was there.
“The story is not 100 percent accurate,” Laraque told Puck Daddy on Thursday, after reaching out to us over Twitter. “I was part of it, it was my idea, and it was not accurate.”
Laraque declined to get into specifics on what actually occurred.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy4 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Pretty good haul there, boys. [Jake Gardiner / Instagram]
• Despite dealing with setbacks every time he skates, Johan Franzen says he isn’t thinking about retirement. [MLive]
• The 2016 NHL Trade Deadline will be Tuesday, Feb. 29th at 3 p.m. ET, a day that will feature six games. [Renaud Lavoie]
• The hunt for Connor McDavid’s rookie card will have shades of the chase for Sidney Crosby’s first card in 2005. [Globe and Mail]
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
This seems like a story that could only happen in Canada.
A judge used her own hockey knowledge as part of an assault conviction of Gordon MacIsaac, a defenseman in the Ottawa Senior Men’s Hockey League. MacIsaac was originally sentenced to 18 months probation.
In one particularly egregious example, the judge rejected the entire testimony of a witness simply because she assumed that no coach would have sent three defencemen onto the ice in the closing minutes of a losing game.
In a Court of Appeal decision overturning the conviction, Justice William Hourigan noted that the accused player should have been tried “based on the evidence at trial, not on the hockey experience of the trial judge.”
He added, “hockey strategy is not a proper subject for judicial notice.”
MacIsaac was charged with aggravated assault when he allegedly jumped into the air with his arms raised and knocked out the front teeth of opponent Drew Casterton in an Ottawa Senior Men’s Hockey League game in 2012.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are ready to get this thing going.
“I think it’s starting to get real,” said Eichel to Yahoo Sports’ Sunaya Sapurji, via Buzzing The Net. “Obviously I have to earn my spot on the Sabres – earn everything I get in the next month and a half. I’m just going to go in with an open mind and try to be positive throughout the whole process.”
As for McDavid, he says his expectations for the season aren’t “a numbers game” for the Edmonton Oilers. “It’s just doing the best that you can,” said McDavid to Buzzing The Net. “Playing the best that you can do and contributing to the team and trying to help the team win games. I think a winning Oilers season would be a great success.”
(Which is more delusional: Eichel not making the training camp cut for the Sabres or the Oilers having a winning season?)
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
Jarkko Ruutu was one of the NHL’s greatest pests during his 11-season career. Two of those seasons were with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where Ruutu shared a locker room with forwards Colby Armstrong and Georges Laraque, both of whom are now retired.
And now, in his new Finnish-language book “The Divine Comedy,” Ruutu shares one hell of a story about these two teammates which was excerpted on iltasanomat.fi.
From reader Krespo:
In this story he tells how, one day after practice, Georges Laraque stormed into the locker room absolutely furious, threatening to trash the place. Players gathered around and Laraque showed a picture pinned at his locker room stall – a drawing of a monkey with a banana.
So of course everybody started to freak out a bit, worried this could destroy the team. Laraque demanded to know who did it, and after a while, Colby Armstrong stepped up and admitted he did it.
Others wanted to know why would he do such a thing.
Armstrong replied: "What do you mean? He is a [N-word], isn't he?"
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Buffalo Sabres cash money forward Evander Kane dropped some serious dough on a billboard on LA's Sunset Strip to try to get model (then) ex Mara Teigen back. The photo is above.
And after the weekend, it appears the stunt worked. According to TMZ, Teigen has taken the forward back.
“I was very flattered, I thought it was really sweet, I thought it was really clever,” Teigen said in a video interview with TMZ. “I got a lot of texts and I saw a lot of it on TMZ and on the internet. It was pretty funny.”
Teigen said she thought it was "cute."
“We’re working things out, he’s a good guy,” she added.
The billboard was over 1 Oak, which TMZ says is one of the hottest places in Los Angeles.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy1 day ago
[Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]
6. Sticking around
On some level, I think we all fundamentally understood that even though they traded for him in June, there wasn't all that much of a chance that Milan Lucic would be sticking around Los Angeles long-term.
Too many guys to sign, too little cap room, and maybe even the fact that he might be in decline already at his age. Throw in Lucic likely being expensive because he's going to spend the year playing with some real good players, and all that made it look like this is a one-and-done, mercenary situation to some extent.