Category Archives: NHL

Winter Classic 2013: Maple Leafs/Red Wings at The Big House

January 1st 2013. Absolutely looking forward to this. I have to figure out a way to be at this game. There will be something like 115,000 people there. The event will be be a major boost to economy in Detroit and the surrounding areas.

What possible matchups do you want to see in the future and where?
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NHL All-Star Draft

As I am playing some catch up on my DVR I have to say yet again that I absolutely love the All-Star draft that the NHL started doing last year.

Concept is simple. Instead of a simple East versus West game (or North America versus the World!) they pick two captains and they do a school yard style pick from a pool of All-Stars. Other sports needs to adopt this. I’d be much more interested in the NBA All-Star game if they did this.
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Winnipeg team expected to announce ‘Jets’ name before pick

Winnipeg team expected to announce ‘Jets’ name before pick

I had no doubt that the team would end up being called the Jets but it is good to see common sense prevail. Calling the team anything else would have been a terrible marketing failure on behalf of the NHL.

I’m looking to the NHL Draft. It will be the first time in a very long time that I will be sitting down to watch it from the start. I was disappointed with the awards show the other night. Hopefully the draft doesn’t disappoint.
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Thin Ice: Money, Politics and the Demise of a NHL Franchise (Basics from Fernwood Publishing)TEEMU SELANNE Winnipeg Jets 1993 CCM Vintage Throwback Away NHL Hockey Jersey, LARGE

Boston’s domination of the sports landscape

Congratulations to the Boston Bruins on ending their three decade long drought for the Stanley Cup. Remarkably the teams representing the Boston area have won championships in each of the four major sports in the last 7 years. Is there another city that has done so in such a short time frame?  I can’t think of one.  Remarkably the Patriots now have the longest championship drought in the Boston market. On twitter we came up with a few who had 3 in short period of time.

Jets, Mets and Knicks won in 69-70.
Oakland had Warriors, Raiders,A’s 74-77.
Mets, Islanders, Giants did it 83-86.
Yanks, Giants and Rangers from 91-96.

Any others?

Darren Rovell of CNBC points out that up until 1993 the longest drought Canada had was five years but now they haven’t won one since 1993.

Darren Pang of Versus had to get creative on the post game show to get a microphone up to Zdeno Chara who is 6’9″. Yes, that is a hockey stick attached to the microphone.

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Chicago Blackhawks at the White House

Earlier today President Obama welcomed the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks to the White House. As he mentioned in his remarks he’s welcomed a lot of teams and athletes to the White House but this one was different.

This one is a little sweeter. … It’s the first time during my presidency I get to welcome a world champion from my hometown, Chicago.

President Obama brought attention to Chicago’s history of long championship droughts.

Finally, I want to congratulate all the fans.  We have a proud tradition in Chicago of believing that no matter how long it takes, how much we have to endure, it’s only a matter of time before our team finally wins it all.  (Laughter.)  The waiting builds character.  We have a lot of character.  (Laughter.)   

The Blackhawks last won the Stanley Cup in 1961 and that led President Obama to take a stroll down memory lane.

Now, I have to say, even by Chicago standards, 49 years, that’s a pretty long time.  (Laughter.)  To put that in perspective, the last time the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, a movie cost 69 cents.  JFK had just moved into the White House.  I was still in diapers.  (Laughter.)  And when the legendary Glenn Hall played goalie for the Hawks, he did it with a wooden stick and no mask.

To be honest as big a sports fan Barack Obama is I highly doubt he knows who Glenn Hall is. Since become President he has attended MLB, NBA, WNBA and NCAA events but the NHL has not received the same love from him. He hasn’t attended a Washington Capitals game despite them having one of the best players in the league Alex Ovechkin. He even passed up on watching the Blackhawks during their Stanley Cup run last year when he was on a trip to Chicago. 

Transcript of Obama’s remarks.

Obama received a #44 Blackhawks jersey as well as a replica of the Stanley Cup.

Photo courtesy of Getty 
Photo courtesy of Getty

Later in the day the team joined First Lady Michelle Obama on the White House lawn for an event that was part of “Lets Move” campaign. She received a Team USA jersey with name “FLOTUS” and the number 1 on the back from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and David Ogrean from USA Hockey. During the event the NHL announced a partnership with the “Lets Move” campaign. The NHL has launched a website to promote their efforts. Mike Memoli had a great line about FLOTUS and Bettman

Gary Bettman standing next to Michelle Obama. At least a 50-point approval gap between the two.

Actually a 50 point gap is being quiet generous to Gary Bettman. 
Getty Images

Hockey and politics mixed later in the day too at the Verizon Center for the 3rd annual Congressional hockey game.
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Patrick Kane Red Reebok Name and Number Chicago Blackhawks T-ShirtChicago Blackhawks 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Champions Official Locker Room T-Shirt

Obama welcomes the Blackhawks to the White House

At about 2:50 PM ET today Barack and Michelle Obama will welcome the Stanley Cup champions from their hometown of Chicago. The two will later join NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman outside for an event that is part of Michelle Obama’s “Lets Move” campaign.

EDIT: You can can see videos from the events here.

Chicago Blackhawks 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Champions Official Locker Room T-ShirtPatrick Kane Red Reebok Name and Number Chicago Blackhawks T-Shirt
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Tom Fenton, NHL Goalie

Professional athlete misses a game because he is sick and his roster spot goes to a coach from a local college. No, that is not the premise for the next Disney movie. It happened last night.

The Phoenix Coyotes were at the Madison Square Garden in New York last night to play the Rangers. Earlier in the day they suffered a minor setback when starting goalie Ilya Bryzgalov came down with the flu. He was replaced in the starting lineup by his backup Jason LaBarbera but the Coyotes had no one available to back him up. There wasn’t enough time to fly someone in from their Minor League affiliate in San Antonio so they reached out to a college coach in New York instead.

Tom Fenton a 26 year old coach for Manhatanville College lived out a dream last night and spent the night on the bench, in uniform at a National Hockey League game. He’s from Sarnia, Ontario so I’m pretty sure like most Canadian kids he had dreamed of this moment his entire childhood. No, he didn’t actually get to play in the game but he still has one hell of a story to tell for the rest of his life.

I loved this little piece from the story

“My phone rang, I didn’t pick it up,” said Fenton, who had less than three hours to get to MSG but arrived in time to back up Jason LaBarbera. “I eventually saw who it was so I picked it up after the haircut and called them right back.

“They basically said I have to get my butt down to MSG as soon as I can.

According to that same story he hasn’t played an actual game since his senior year at American International College last year. 

He spoke with Fox Sports Arizona before the game.

He also appeared on Sportscenter this morning with Linda Cohn

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Cohn-Head: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking Into the Boys' ClubNHL 11

Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup

Congratulation to the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the Stanley Cup.

It really was a long time coming for the franchise who had the longest drought in the NHL having last lifted Lord Stanley’s Cup in 1961. The franchise has had a great turnaround the past few years thanks in part to great draft picks and a new ownership. Hats off to Rocky Wirtz who really has turned this franchise around completely since taking over the franchise after his father’s death. Bill Wirtz had a rough relationship with the fans in Chicago. He was notably frugal and went as far as blacking out home games from TV in order to sell tickets. He managed to alienate not only fans but many Blackhawks legends.

It was fitting that former Blackhawk(also played for the Flyers) great Jeremy Roenick was in the NBC postgame booth. Jeremy Roenick of course led the team to a Stanley Cup Final but did not win the big one. His tears were genuine. They say the Stanley Cup is the toughest trophy to earn in sports and it is hard to argue that. The season is long and the playoffs just as brutal. There are few things in sports that top NHL playoffs in terms on intensity and drama.

The Blackhawks winning leaves my Toronto Maple Leafs with the longest Stanley Cup drought. The franchise last won in 1967. Hopefully the manage to win one in my lifetime because I definitely plan on being there for the clinching game and the parade.

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Chicago Blackhawks 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Champions Official Locker Room Long Sleeve T-Shirt - MediumT Blackhawks Ladies Stanley Cup Locker Room

Mats Sundin should accept a trade out of Toronto

As everyone knows I am a big time hockey fan. More importantly I am a big time Toronto Maple Leafs fan. During his tenure in Toronto, Mats Sundin has never been my favorite Leaf but I know what he has meant to the Leafs all these years. I understand the Leafs never went to the finals under his leadership and that they did underachieve at times…Mats Sundin has represented the city of Toronto well on and off the ice. It really is sad that the Leafs never did get him a set wing man in all his years. I can’t even begin to count all the guys that have come and gone without being the proper #2 that every successful team needs.

With that said the time has come to move….at least for the time being. I have no doubt in my mind that if at the end of the year he wanted to return to Toronto the Leafs would welcome him back. Accepting a trade now would help all parties involved. The Leafs can get a dynamic young player or two along with much needed draft picks. Sundin can go to a contender and make a run for that ring that has alluded Toronto for four decades.

While I respect his decision of wanting to finish his career in Toronto I don’t see why he can’t accept a deal now. Don’t get me wrong…I respect the loyalty shown to the team but it is not like he has been a lifelong Leaf. I would probably think of this differently if it was someone who had spent his entire career in Toronto.

The city of Toronto needs the Leafs to be great once again. A Mats Sundin trade now speeds up the process.