- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy21 mins ago
As you could imagine, Jaromir Jagr is a pretty popular fella in his home country of the Czech Republic. So now that he’s back overseas preparing for the 2016-17 NHL season, the paparazzi over there can’t help but want to snag a photograph of the hockey legend.
One such inspired photographer decided to wait outside Jagr’s home earlier this month to snap a shot of the 44-year-old Florida Panthers forward and his girlfriend, Veronika. He was so determined for a snapshot, he was willing to wait a very long time.
After a while, Jagr went outside to speak to him. When it appeared the man wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon, Jagr wanted to make sure his visitor didn’t starve, so he had a snack prepared for him.
When Jagr approached the photographer with the meal, he explained, “You deserve this for your patience. Hockey taught me to respect my opponents.”
Jagr, who just won his 12th Golden Hockey Stick award
Hopefully the photographer enjoyed his meal and will leave Jagr and his girflriend alone for the rest of the summer.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy37 mins ago
There are plenty of reasons why there were lackluster ratings for Sportsnet’s first season of its billion-dollar deal with the NHL. Chiefly, it’s because it's a Canadian network covering Canadian teams that all finished outside the playoffs; and in the case of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the primary team it covers was intentionally attempting to lose as much as possible.
But this is a $5.2-billion, 12-year NHL deal. Which means anything that doesn’t meet lofty expectations was going to necessitate changes. And the changes have arrived.
We already learned that George Stroumboulopoulos would be replaced as host by the host he replaced, Ron MacLean. In fact, Stroumboulopoulos has left the company.
“George is an extremely versatile and creative broadcaster and we value the contributions he made to Hockey Night in Canada. We look forward to seeing what his next great project will be,” said Scott Moore, President of Sportsnet & NHL Properties, Rogers. “We are continually evaluating and evolving our broadcasts to deliver the best experience for fans.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
One of the biggest storylines from the revival of the World Cup of Hockey is the revival of the NHL’s relationship with ESPN.
It’s not always been the smoothest relationship: The lowball offer that led the NHL to cast its lot with Comcast and NBC; the lack of coverage through the years because it wasn’t an ESPN rights property; and, going back a few years, the way hockey was shoved aside for flavor-of-the-minute things like poker tournaments, irking fans.
So what will the coverage look and sound like when the World Cup returns to the World Wide Leader in September?
ESPN released the details on Monday:
NHL studio analyst Barry Melrose, SportsCenter anchors Steve Levy and John Buccigross and former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes will call ESPN’s telecasts of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre from September 17 – October 1.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy2 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 .
• John Scott is in Australia and curious about the size of this cell phone.
• A bridge in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan could soon be named after Gordie Howe. [CBC]
• New Calgary Flames goaltender Brian Elliott was vacationing in Croatia when he found out he had been traded from the St. Louis Blues at the NHL Draft. [Calgary Sun]
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Five months after the Vancouver Canucks announced they were exploring trade options for Chris Higgins and then later demoted him to the AHL, the team has decided to waive 33-year-old forward again, this time time with the intent of buying him out.
According to General Fanager, buying out the final year of Higgins’ deal saves the Canucks $1.666 million this coming season. There will be a $833,333 hit on Vancouver’s cap picture for 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The Canucks tried to find a trade partner in January for Higgins, who only scored three times in 33 games this season. No one gave GM Jim Benning a call, so a day later he was waived and sent to Utica of the AHL where he’d post 9-4-13 in 22 games.
Injuries hampered Higgins this season, leading to an unproductive campaign that caused a decline offensively and also saw his possession numbers drop from 50 percent over the last two seasons to 46 percent, per Corsica Hockey.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
The Nashville Predators have signed young scorer Filip Forsberg to a six-year $36 million contract extension.
The deal is similar to the contract the Columbus Blue Jackets gave forward Brandon Saad last summer after the team acquired him from the Chicago Blackhawks. Like Saad, the 22-year-old Forsberg was coming off his entry-level contract though Forsberg was considered less susceptible to an offer sheet.
Still, the Predators know the issues of an offer sheet from first-hand experience, which was why it was important for Nashville to make a deal before July 1 when teams could give Forsberg an official offer.
The last two seasons Forsberg’s notched 63 points and 64 points respectively. In 2015-16 he tied a Nashville Predators single-season record set by Jason Arnott with 33 goals. The Predators acquired Forsberg at the 2013 trade deadline from the Washington Capitals for Martin Erat and Michael Latta.
The contract will buy up one season of Forsberg’s unrestricted free agency years.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
The Hockey Hall of Fame will announce its Class of 2016 on Monday afternoon. It’s one of those classes that considered a “down year,” in that the first-time candidate crop is rather paltry (or in one instance, “Palffy”). This opens the door for some holdovers from previous years, including that paragon of controversy, Eric Lindros.
The following odds were established through previous votes, discussions with those around the hockey world and a feeble attempt at trying to guess what’s on the minds of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
Keep in mind that there are also categories for Builders and Women’s Players. Don Cherry, Pat Quinn and Viktor Tikhonov are all eligible in the Builder’s Category. Please keep in mind that the Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto.
Here are the latest odds for the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2016:
If it’s ever going to be Eric’s year, it’s going to be this year.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's still not always easy to tell whether the Calgary Flames are going to make actual good decisions at any given time.
In general they're trending in the right direction, away from trading for Brandon Bolligs and signing Deryk Engellands, and toward identifying Jakub Nakladals and locking up Michael Froliks. They also realized that Kris Russell isn't key to their success, and traded him before the deadline.
There is, and should be, concern about what the team will do this summer, with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan looking for new deals, as well as a few glaring holes in the lineup that need addressing. But on Friday night, they took a big step in the latter direction, trading what was admittedly a high second-round pick (No. 35 overall) for Brian Elliott.
There was doubly good news in the transaction: First, the team still entered Saturday with a pair of second rounders (from Dallas and Florida thanks to trades of Russell and Jiri Hudler, respectively). Second, the team avoided the very real concern that it would give up entirely too much for a goalie it didn't really need, or wouldn't provide the value they might have thought
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
When we last left Alexander Radulov, the 30-year-old former Nashville Predators sniper was leaving the Kontinental Hockey League after four seasons for the NHL.
The Detroit Red Wings were courting him, offering him a one-year deal in the neighborhood of $5 million, according to MLive.com. Radulov, however, had a different number in mind for his talents: TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Radulov was actually seeking a two-year commitment for a whopping $7.5 million per season.
That’s Jason Spezza money for a guy who hasn’t been in the NHL since 2012 and whose lasting legacy is missing curfew.
So Radulov shopped around and, to the surprise of no one not named “Alex Radulov,” apparently couldn’t find an NHL team that met his asking price.
According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, “Alexander Radulov could not find an NHL team willing to pay his asking price. He has signed with KHL Salavat.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
BUFFALO, NY – One of our favorite moments of the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo was when the Philadelphia Flyers announced they were taking “Daniel Bernhardt” when they meant “David Bernhardt” and then someone at their draft table said “my bad” afterwards.
Because “awkward” is a mandatory part of the draft experience. Especially when it comes to the posed rookie photos they make these poor kids take.