- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
Like all American conglomerates these days, we here at Puck Daddy like to outsource work. Some might call it being lazy; I call it job creation. For our 'Russian sports power couple' news, we turn to the good people over at Russian Machine Never Breaks (RMNB).
Sadly, RMNB reported this morning Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin and No. 93 ranked tennis player Maria Kirilenko have decided to end their engagement. Kirilenko issued an official statement through R-Sports:
“I have made a decision to break up our engagement. There are a lot of reasons, but I wouldn’t want to go in detail. I’ll say just that our relationship is over, but I respect Sasha as a person and an athlete and sincerely wish him athletic success in the future.
Red Wings announce new arena plans; NHL and HBO talk '24/7'; Bruins' excess of d-men (Puck Headlines)Jen Neale at Puck Daddy14 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.
• "Olympia Development of Michigan today announced plans for a sweeping transformation of dozens of underutilized blocks between downtown and midtown Detroit into a world-class Sports and Entertainment District." The project will bring much needed jobs and economic expansion to Detroit. The new Red Wings arena is set to open in 2017. [District Detroit]
• Here's George Malik's in-depth look at the nuts and bolts of the new arena plans. [Kukla's Korner]
• WIIM foretells the upcoming Red Wings season as being 'The Mike Babcock Show'. They dissect the always direct head coach's responses in a local radio interview. Whatever you do, don't say the statement 'just like last year'; it's a trigger. [Winging It In Motown]
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
Late July means that arbitration news begins trickling out. Last summer, no players actually went to arbitration. All 21 settled with their teams before the two sides met in a Toronto conference room to argue their case.
Twenty players elected arbitration this summer, and three others are heading there because of their clubs.
On Monday, Vladimir Sobotka was the first player to have his hearing. Of course, Sobotka wasn’t there, as he signed a three-year deal to play with Omsk of the KHL. He was, however, awarded a one-year contract for $2.725 million, which will be honored if he ever returns to the NHL.
Sobotka’s KHL deal includes an opt-out clause after each season beginning next summer.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
( Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)
Tanner Glass and Lee Stempniak are teammates again, for the first time since spring, and second time since 2004-05. That year, they played together at Dartmouth, with Stempniak a senior and Glass a sophomore.
Now, they're both on the New York Rangers and highlight a particularly bizarre portion of the NHL's annual summer free agency period.
The early days of free agency almost always come off as being woefully inefficient. Guys who sign on or around July 1 tend to be overpaid in terms of dollars and years, and that's a secret to approximately nobody. But the weird part is that things go from laughably expensive to laughably cheap pretty quickly, and it usually happens around the start of the second week of the month. The TSN-coined term “free agent frenzy” is, as a consequence, alarmingly apt. Teams get themselves all worked up to make it appear as though they're doing something that they pay top dollar for players they shouldn't.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
Last month, after the Columbus Blue Jackets offered restricted free agent Ryan Johansen a two-year bridge contract, the 21-year old forward called it a “slap in the face.” He wanted a longer-term deal — four years or more — but the team was in the mood for something along the lines of a two- or three-year term.
Three weeks later, it appears a bit of progress has been made. According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, sources have told him that Johansen’s camp approached the Blue Jackets with a two-year offer after originally wanting a four-year pact.
Baby steps are still steps and if both sides can agree to a bridge, the next move is obviously determining Johansen’s worth, which could take another couple weeks.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 day ago
The friendy rivalry between Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will continue for at least the next nine seasons after the Chicago Blackhawks pair inked matching 8-year, $84 million contracts last week to remain in The Windy City.
Their personal competition doesn’t just take place on the ice, but off it, as well.
At last summer’s Blackhawks Convention, the two took part in a dance-off during one panel, with the captain breaking out the moonwalk and “Showtime!” going with the patented Kaner shuffle. While Toews deserved bonus points just for breaking away from his usual Captain Serious mood, Kane played it perfectly doing his thing to get under the skin of his buddy.
Round 2 took place on Saturday during the 2014 Convention and once again, Kane defended his title:
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy1 day ago
VANCOUVER - Our opponents broke out on a two-on-one. I was the lone man back.
I sized up the two men sprinting in my direction. To my left, calling for the pass: some guy. To my right, carrying the ball: NHL centre Rod Pelley. I decided to let Pelley make the pass.
He did, and I breathed a sigh of relief. But then, to my horror, as I turned to check the seemingly more checkable guy, he passed it back. It turned me around completely.
It wasn't a perfect pass, but it didn't need to be. I watched as Pelley dropped to one knee and put the little orange ball top corner with a one-timer that would have made Brett Hull proud. The crowd went wild. I fell down.
Stupid Rod Pelley.
Five Hole For Food (FHFF) just completed its fifth tour of Canada, and with the anniversary came an incredible accomplishment. The charity, which sends founder Richard Loat and his friends on a cross-Canada adventure, playing road hockey in 13 cities in 17 days, all in support of local food banks, reached a milion.
"The goal was to hit our millionth pound of food raised since day one," said Loat. "We hit that milestone."
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy2 days ago
Follow Cam Talbot's career for even a short amount of time and you're going to learn two things about him: 1) He's a goalie. 2) He really likes Ghostbusters .
All you have to do is look at his gear and these two things become crystal clear. He's usually wearing goalie pads, which is a dead giveaway on what position he plays, and he's been rocking Ghostbuster-themed masks since he got Dave Gunnarsson to paint the Stay Puft Marshallow Man and Slimer on his mask in 2010.
On Friday, Gunnarsson debuted his latest creation for Talbot, and unsurprisingly, it's Ghostbusters -themed. (He really likes Ghostbusters .)
Love that Bill Murray has finally found his way onto a goalie mask. He should be on all of them.
Gunnarsson explained the new mask on his Facebook page:
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy2 days ago
T.J. Oshie became a household name this season after his incredible performance in the shootout versus Russia at the Sochi Olympics, scoring four goals in six attempts to lead his team to victory.
But you had to know Oshie's luck was eventually going to turn. He was bound to regress at some point, and on Friday, it happened. During golf. (Surprise! The hockey gods can get you anywhere.) Here's Oshie discovering that it's a lot easier to go five-hole on Sergei Bobrovsky than it is to sink a putt from seven feet:
Just no finish at all. You'd think he was coached by Ken Hitchcock or something.
This unfortunate and cringeworthy scene comes to us from the American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. Oshie is one of four NHL representatives, alongside Martin Brodeur, Jeremy Roenick, and Joe Sakic.
Puck Daddy chats with NHL 15 producer Sean Ramjagsingh about moving to next-gen, improved physics and living crowdsSean Leahy at Puck Daddy3 days ago
Q. You didn’t put out NHL 14 on the next-gen consoles last year. What did the extra time allow you to do for NHL 15 ?
RAMJAGSINGH: Not being on next-gen last year allowed us to really focus on NHL 14 and push how much we could do with 14 . At the same time, not being on gen-4 for launch was a good thing for us because we could leverage a lot of the learning from the other games in the EA Sports family; so games like FIFA and Madden led the way. There’s new hardware that comes up, there’s new technological things, hurdles you need to overcome that don’t always necessarily benefit the end user. You need to spend time figuring out how to develop on those consoles before you can actually deliver the cool stuff. By not being there for Year 1 we were able to let the FIFAs and the Maddens of the world kind of figure out all of the technological hurdles so we can spend more time focusing on the features for NHL 15 .
Were there one or two things that you either couldn’t get into NHL 14 or wanted to improve upon that you couldn’t get into NHL 15 ?