- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy50 mins ago
Have a look at last year's teams to make the Frozen Four: Boston University, Providence College, North Dakota, and Nebraska-Omaha. They kind of typify the situation in college hockey at large this season.
Usually, when a year begins, we have a pretty good idea of who's going to be really good. It's not uncommon to get near-unanimous preseason No. 1 rankings. But in the first preseason poll, that was not only not-the-case, but there wasn't even a good idea of what the top-10 would look like. In all, a whopping 10 teams received at least one vote as the No. 1 team in the nation, and of that number, five got two or more.
This is, to some extent, a democratization of power on the national level; long-time lower-tier programs (reigning national champion Providence, Minnesota State, UMass Lowell, Harvard, etc.) have closed the gap between themselves and traditional powers (Boston College, North Dakota, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, Miami, etc.) and it's a trend that's likely to continue.
That makes for fun hockey and a dramatic season, but as far as the whole “handicapping the season” thing goes, all it does is muddy the waters in a delightful way.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The Vancouver Canucks surprised many when they dropped defensive prospect Frank Corrado on waivers, hoping to sneak the 22-year-old blueliner to the AHL.
No such luck: The Toronto Maple Leafs pounced on him, putting forward Richard Panik on waivers while claiming Corrado on Tuesday.
Taken in the fifth round of the 2011 Entry Draft, he made cameo appearances with the Canucks over the last three seasons, playing 28 games in total while seeing steady time in the AHL. He’s on a one-year bridge deal before becoming a restricted free agent again, with a cap hit of just $632,500.
Coach Mike Babcock said he broke down tape of Corrado, saying he “skates well, right-handed shot. I think he could help."
- Sean Leahy 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 email@example.com.
• OK, Tomas, time to grow out a mullet for the fans at the Emirates.
• Tyler Johnson responds to the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" bit featuring a woman who claimed she cheated on her boyfriend with the Tampa Bay Lightning star: “I have no idea who she is or why what was said was said. People can talk but (that) doesn’t mean it’s true.” [Tampa Tribune]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Hey, have you heard? Hockey’s back! The NHL season starts this Wednesday, and thus here is another edition of our 2015-16 NHL season preview predictions!
We all want to know who wins the Stanley Cup. We all want to know who captures the Hart Trophy. But there are so many other things worth predicting in the National Hockey League’s 2015-16 season that we had to tackle some appetizers before the main course.
(Please note this is a metaphor and in no way intended to be a Phil Kessel dietary reference. We leave those to the Toronto Sun.)
Here are some of the trends we have our eyes on this season, and how we think they’ll play out.
Your esteemed panel: Greg Wyshynski, NHL editor, Puck Daddy; Sean Leahy, editor, Puck Daddy; Jen Neale, editor, Puck Daddy; Josh Cooper, editor, Puck Daddy; Ryan Lambert, lead columnist, Puck Daddy; Darryl “Dobber” Dobbs, fantasy columnist, Puck Daddy; Sam McCaig, NHL editor/columnist, Yahoo Sports.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
A torn ACL and two blood clots have limited Pascal Dupuis to 55 games over the last two seasons for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Some more tough injury luck will sideline the forward for another 4-5 weeks to start the 2015-16 NHL season.
According to the Penguins, the 36-year old Dupuis will miss the first month of the season with a lower-body injury. The only good news is that whatever he’s dealing with is unrelated to the two blood clots he was diagnosed with since 2014.
On Monday, it was announced Dupuis would miss the Penguins’ opener on Thursday against the Dallas Stars, but now that injury has failed to show any signs of improvement.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
On Monday night’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” they did one of those person on the street bits in which they asked pedestrians the most impressive thing they’ve ever done.
The good news for Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning? That apparently he’s impressive. The bad news for Tyler Johnson? That the person he apparently impressed had a boyfriend at the time, and just let the world know about it.
“The most impressive thing I’ve ever done?” asked the woman, on camera. “I don’t know … cheat on my boyfriend, not have him find out.”
She’s then reminded this is a national television program.
She then reminds the audience that it’s an old boyfriend , not the one she has now. And apologizes to “Ben.”
Without prompting, she offers up that he’s a “famous athlete.” She’s then asked his initials, and she says “T.J.” She’s asked what sport he plays, and she says, “hockey.”
There’s a cut in the clip, and now she’s being asked what team he plays for. She says “Florida,” followed by “Tampa Bay."
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
Last month, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect named Viktor Loov told a Swedish news outlet that “there is a lot of cocaine” in the NHL.
“There are players everywhere who do it,” he said, via Pension Plan Puppets. “If you have money you probably have easy access.”
How much cocaine? Enough that the NHL has been forced to acknowledge that more than a few players are using it, and that the League might have to be more proactive in testing for it.
Rick Westhead of TSN wrote on Monday that the NHL is in talks with the NHLPA about adding cocaine and similar narcotics “to the list of banned substances for which the league regularly monitors.”
"The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they're going up," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN in an interview. "I wouldn't say it's a crisis in any sense. What I'd say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you've hit a cycle where it's an 'in' drug again.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
Montreal Canadiens forward Zack Kassian has been placed in Stage Two of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, both the league and the PA announced Monday afternoon.
Kassian is suspended without pay until he is “cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
The news comes shortly after Kassian was the passenger in a car accident at around 6 a.m. ET Sunday. On Monday, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said Kassian broke his nose and left foot in the crash.
"I'm a firm believer in character, and that's a lack of character on his part," Bergevin said. "I do not have all the information, but it is disappointing to say the least.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
There are repeat offenders, and then there’s The Irredeemable Raffi Torres.
The end of the NHL Department of Player Safety video announcing the San Jose Sharks winger’s 41-game suspension on Monday is such a baffling ledger of irresponsible head-hunting that it sounds like it was lifted from a Nancy Dowd screenplay.
April 2011: Torres bravely steps into a crouched, onrushing Jordan Eberle to crack him on the skull with his elbow, earning a four-game suspension.
December 2011: Torres steps up and into the head of Nate Prosser of the Wild for no apparent reason, getting a two-game suspension.
April 2012: The “Citizen Kane” of Torres hits, as he goes late and high on Marian Hossa, putting the Chicago Blackhawks star on a stretcher and earning him a 25-game playoff suspension, reduced down to 21 games.
May 2013: Torres lifts his shoulder into the head of Jarret Stoll in a Sharks/Kings playoff series, earning a suspension for the duration of Round 2.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
Raffi Torres sat out all of last season due to an ACL injury and now will sit for 41 more games after the NHL handed the San Jose Sharks forward a heavy suspension for his hit on Jakob Silfverberg Saturday night.
Take it away, Patrick Burke:
It's not often in a suspension video that listing a player's "Greatest Hits" takes as long as 25 seconds to read. That and quoting the collective bargaining agreement. But this is a special case.
Remember all those times in the past when a questionable hit was met with the “Throw the book at him!” response? This is the NHL and the Department of Player Safety getting fed up enough to punt a guy for half a season after four suspensions, three fines and two warnings failed to get the message across.