- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy39 mins ago
The American Hockey League held its Board of Governors meetings this week at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina and approved a number of changes for the 2014-15 season. Some of which we could see down the line in the NHL.
First, the governors approved a new league realignment with five franchises moving divisions, including two that moved since last season.
The bigger news are the rule changes that will be put in place when the AHL season kicks off in October.
“With the full support of the league’s Competition Committee and Player Development Committee, the Board has approved these changes with the betterment of our game and the safety of our players in mind,” said AHL President and CEO Dave Andrews.
There’s been talk of having NHL overtimes expanded to 10 minutes in hopes of minimizing the impact the shootout. For now, that idea hasn’t been met with much approval from the league’s general managers. There will be a dry scrape before overtime just as the AHL is implementing.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy57 mins ago
Plovers are “a widely distributed group of wading birds belonging to the subfamily Charadriinae” and known for their relatively short bills. Why anyone would want to plant a sign honoring Joe Pavelski on these poor birds is, frankly, deplorable ...
Oh, wait, sorry: Plover is apparently also a city in Wisconsin. Where Pavelski was born.
That makes more sense. Slightly.
Pavelski was honored with his own tribute sign right next to the Village of Plover sign, located near the I-39, which we hear can really get jammed up during lake house season doncha’know.
From the Stevens Point Journal, the source for most of our Plover new (at least since CNN closed their Plover bureau):
The sign, next to the Welcome to Plover sign on Highway B, was created by Mada, a Stevens Point-based custom apparel and sporting goods business.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
It's a Thursday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Stars: Dominic Moore of the NY Rangers joins us to talk about SMASHFEST.
• More news from the free agent frenzy.
• The St. Louis Blues say goodbye to Sobotka, hello again to Ott.
• Marek on the Toews and Kane contracts.
Question of the Day: TBA. Email email@example.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek . Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Is GM Doug Armstrong just going to show up to the hearing with the hope that Sobotka does the same?
“Yeah. Basically,” said Armstrong.
“This is a business decision by Vlad, that I respect. It doesn’t change my opinion on him as a man.”
Sobotka, 27, is one of the best faceoff men in the NHL, winning 61.9 percent of his draws last season. He had 33 points in 61 games, skating 16:44 per game. He was one of the team’s best possession players as well.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
This week, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks becamethe first two players to cross the $10 million annual salary threshold in the NHL, under the salary cap. They won’t be the last.
Thing is, many of their comrades worthy of an eight-figure AAV are locked up long term: Sidney Crosby (2025), Alex Ovechkin (2021), Evgeni Malkin (2022), Zach Parise (2025), Phil Kessel (2022), Jeff Carter (2022), Corey Perry (2021) and Claude Giroux (2022) among them.
But a few players are going to have a chance to break the bank in the near future. Here’s a look at the next wave of potential $10-million men.
P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens (Restricted, 2014)
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
Dany Heatley was once traded for a package that included Jonathan Cheechoo. Five years later, he’s basically become him.
Heatley signed a 1-year, $1-million contract with the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday; the kind of contract NHL teams hand out to former gunslingers in full decline, and the kind of contract former goal-scoring leaders get before their seemingly inevitable KHL deal.
He spent the last three seasons with the Minnesota Wild after the San Jose Sharks flipped him for Martin Havlat in July 2011. He was in San Jose for two seasons after demanding and approving a trade from the Ottawa Senators in Sept. 2009, ending a bitter standoff.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
Lou Lamoriello did his best to make Cory Schneider’s new 7-year, $42-million contract extension feel like the dawn of a new era for New Jersey Devils hockey.
“Cory’s not here to replace Marty. Cory’s here to establish his own identity,” said Lamoriello, as the Devils President/GM/Ruler Of All He Surveys announced the contract on Wednesday. Schneider’s deal kicks in during the 2015-16 season, as he has one more year at $4 million on his previous deal.
“We go from one great goaltender to another.”
The spectre of Brodeur haunts the organization. Not in the sense that anyone expects Schneider, 28, to replicate the Hall of Fame-worthy success Brodeur had in New Jersey for 20 years. But rather that he’s continuing the model the Devils perfected with Brodeur between the pipes: Success is created starting in the crease, and then built out.
Schneider said it’s all about “continuing a tradition of great goaltending in New Jersey,” and that he respects “what Marty has done for this organization.”
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy23 hrs ago
An amateur hockey player in Chicago has been banned from Johnny's Ice House, the Chicago Blackhawks training facility, after an armed robbery.
Tim O'Shea didn't commit the crime, nor was he the victim of the incident in which three other amateur hockey players were robbed at gunpoint by three men in the facility's parking garage, with one of the hockey players pistol-whipped before the trio of gunmen made off with their wallets and keys.
What O'Shea did do was reach out to the facility to express concern once he'd heard what happened, to ask how Johnny's Ice House might try to improve safety in and around the building. The response was a standard one, for the most part, with GM Kevin Rosenquist telling him the robbery was being taken very seriously. But it ended with this little jab:
"If you or your friends are questioning your association with the league due to safety concerns, then I would suggest perhaps the city is not for you and you should look into playing in the suburbs."
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Stars: Mark Lazerus from the Sun-Times joins us to talk Kane and Toews; Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News joins us to talk about their big summer.
• More news from the free agent frenzy.
• Evander Kane and the Jets.
• Other NHL news and notes.
Question of the Day: We are GOING POSTAL! Ask us anything! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek . Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have signed contract extensions through the 2022-23 season and made NHL history in doing so.
Toews and Kane inked matching 8-year, $84-million contracts on Wednesday, becoming the first two players to break the $10-million annual average salary ceiling since the salary cap was put in place after the 2005 lockout. They're the first players to make more than eight figures annually under the cap.
The Blackhawks’ stars had matching $6.3 million cap hits on their previous deals, which were scheduled to expire next summer, with unrestricted free agency beckoning.
Toews and Kane will make $10.5 million against the cap through 2022; Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was the previous leader at $9,538,462 against the cap annually through 2021. (See, Ted Leonsis wasn’t stubbornly refusing to circumvent the cap like everyone else was in 2008; he was just ahead of the curve!)
Of course, Ovechkin is a guy that gets you 50 goals. Kane and Toews have never broken 90 points; in Toews's case, he's broken 70 points once (although he was a point per game guy in the lockout shortened season).