- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 mins 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 Dave 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 Daddy1 hr 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 Daddy2 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 Daddy13 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 Daddy17 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 Daddy18 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.”
Crosby, Malkin to miss start of camp; Kesler talks Vancouver media; Sharks go to Tahoe (Puck Headlines)Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy21 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.
• The Penguins are releasing a new jersey design on Friday morning. Will it be similar to the yellow concept here? [Icethetics]
• PANIC TIME!!!!!!! Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will miss the start of Penguins camp as a precaution after injuries suffered while preparing. [Tribune Review]
• How did Josh Harding fracture his foot? Well, “…while kicking a wall after an off-ice altercation with a teammate and is expected to miss at least two or three months.” Not good times for the Wild. [Star Tribune]
- Dobber Hockey at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
Dobber launched his fantasy hockey website DobberHockey back in 2005 and has been Puck Daddy's resident fantasy hockey 'expert' since 2009.
Yeah, winning or losing your league depends on your success rate with some of the sleepers you take in the later rounds blah blah blah. All sleeper articles say the same thing in the intro, so I'll forego that and get to the goods.
Here are my picks for the late round gems, 2014-15 edition. All players below have an average draft position (Yahoo!) of 147th overall or later and an average round drafted of 14 or later…
(Average Pick, Average Round)
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Teemu Selanne has a book coming out in Finland. It’s a 320-page tome called “Teemu” that chronicles his life at and away from the rink. It appears to very much capture the essence of Teemu: Captivating and jovial, with occasional bursts of intense, aggressive professional pride.
One target of that pride: Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, whom Selanne blasts as an ill-prepared oaf who lacks the respect of his players and, basically, was the reason Selanne both considered leaving the Ducks and eventually retiring after last season.
Selanne on Boudreau and the Ducks:
“It would have been wrong if we had won the Stanley Cup with coach like that.”
“You are as good as you your coach wants you to be. If we had any other coach, I’d still be playing.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Something every politician learns early in their career is that there are no safe audiences. Assume every mic is hot. Assume every face in the crowd will go public with the words and ideas they’re hearing, no matter the venue.
The same apparently goes for NHL assistant coaches, as Steve Spott has now discovered. An anecdote told at a coaches’ clinic last month has sparked a raging debate over Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel, his willingness to be coached and his coaches’ willingness to push back at him.
Toronto Star writer Dave Feschuk, who knows his way around a takeout piece on the Leafs, revealed the comments on Wednesday. They centered around a breakout plan Spott was tasked to game-plan so that Toronto’s forwards could more effectively leave their own zone.
From the Star:
“Spotter said that when he went to Phil (with the breakout play), Phil said, I’m not doing it,” said one of the attendees, a former professional player.