Friday, October 31, 2014

How about them Cowboys?




A fascinating bit of reading on the NHL.com site last week as Dan Rosen outlined the relief that Jason Spezza feels these days as he settles into Big D.

Taking part in the NHL.com feature Five Questions, Spezza reviewed some of the changes that the move to Dallas has brought, as he exchanged life in hockey obsessed Ottawa with the more casual acquaintance of the sport in Texas.

Among the apparent little things that can make the former Ottawa Senator love Texas, the ability to turn on his car radio again, where seldom is heard a discouraging word about the Stars or even the game....

Yes, as they say everything is bigger in Texas, and when it comes to the radio sports stations in Dallas, nothing, not by a long shot is bigger than talking about the Cowboys.

Something that Jason Spezza approves of, no doubt still trying to re-educate himself on the push button nature of car radios, after having spent man a cold night heading home from the rink in Ottawa  humming to himself, seemingly not inclined to hear how Bob in Barrhaven, or Gatean in Gatineau felt about the Sens efforts on the night.

So far things are going well on the ice for the former Senator, who joined the Stars on July 1st as part of a blockbuster trade. His stats package thus far in the regular season has the Dallas Center with 2 goals and 10 assists for a total of 12 points.




Beyond the illusion that getting lost in the big city shuffle just suits Spezza fine, the tale is one that should make the Canadian squads of Gary Bettman's collective just a little bit concerned.

Spezza is not alone when it comes to finding something to like about the lure of anonymity for the most part in many of the American outposts of the NHL. For the seven teams above the 49th, the ability to retain, let alone attract name players to the Canadian cities is growing harder by the year.

The pressure, media attention, constant scrutiny of the fans, all of it weighs heavily it seems when contracts come up.  At that point, if even the slightest gap in salary expectations should come into the discussion, suddenly it seems, players are hitting google to learn about the better dining establishments in the cities of the NHL's witness protection plan.

Not surprisingly the Ottawa newspapers were quick to deliver the former Senators post card back to the capital, with reviews of his new found freedom on the roads of Dallas.

Ottawa Sun-- Spezza happy to be out of spotlight in Dallas
Ottawa Citizen-- Jason Spezza learning to love Dallas

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Weekly Award Winners for week ending October 26



Our archive of the players named to the NHL's weekly honour roll through the month of October

Week ending October 26

Jeff Carter-- Los Angeles Kings
Ben Scrivens-- Edmonton Oilers
Frans Nielson-- New York Islanders

Three stars item for October 27, from NHL.com

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hired to Be Fired 2014-15


As sure as there are wins and losses (usually associated with the latter), there also will be change somewhere along the way between now and the end of June.

The day eventually comes for many NHL coaches, where they receive the phone call, or tap on the shoulder to go see the GM or owner.

A summons where the usual things are said, "you gave it a good shot, but we're going in a different direction", or variations of the theme.

Of the thirty members of the NHL coaching and managerial fraternity, sometime this year, maybe early, maybe late, the word will come that their services are no longer required.

We will provide the compilation of the summoned from this spot, listing those unlucky members of the club that find themselves outsourced in this 2014-15.

The archive of our list can be quickly referenced on our right hand side bar, in the Owner's Box section.

Tick, tock, tick, tock... the reaper stands ready....

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Injury Parade 201-415



An archive of injury reports from NHL teams in the course of the 2014-15 season. Our accounts of the latest from the M*A*S*H wards of the NHL can be found below.

List updated as of October 30, 2014

Anaheim

Oct 27-- Ducks' Lovejoy out 6-8 weeks with fractured finger
Oct 16-- Anaheim Ducks forward Patrick Maroon will be out 4 weeks with sprained ligament in left knee
Oct 13-- Ducks forward Maroon leaves game with lower-body injury
Oct 7-- Dany Heatley, Kyle Palmieri to begin regular season on Ducks' injured list
Oct 2-- Ducks' Fowler day-to-day with leg injury

Boston

Oct 29-- Bruins Tory Krug to miss 2-3 weeks with broken finger
Oct 24-- Bruins' Chara out 4-6 weeks with knee injury
Oct 13-- Bruins' Krejci cleared to return to lineup
Oct 2-- Injured Bruins forward Campbell doubtful for opener

Buffalo

Oct 6-- Sabres' Sam Reinhart to play in season opener

Calgary

Oct 9-- Flames centre Bennett needs shoulder surgery, will be out four to six months
Oct 8-- Flames' Monahan to be a game-time decision
Oct 7-- Flames forward Bennett out with shoulder injury
Oct 4-- Bennett to mis Flames game with injury

Carolina

Oct 17-- Hurricanes' Skinner activated from injured reserve
Oct 13-- Injured Carolina Captain Eric Staal to miss Buffalo game; Skinner close to returning
Oct 13-- Hurricanes' Staal, Dwyer out Tuesday vs. Sabres
Oct 6-- Carolina forward Jeff Skinner out after suffering concussion

Chicago

Oct 8-- Chicago Blackhawks F Kris Versteeg to miss about 3 weeks with lower-body injury
Oct 7-- Blackhawks place Brandon Mashinter on IR

Colorado

Oct 23-- Avlanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov says groin healed, will start Friday against Canucks
Oct 17-- Pickard debuts for Avalanche after Berra injured
Oct 16-- Avalanche place goaltender Semyon Varlamov on injured reserve with groin ailment

Columbus

October 30-- Columbus Blue Jackets lose Letestu, Wisniewski
Oct 29-- Blue Jackets' Letestu out 2-4 weeks with groin injury
Oct 27-- Blue Jackets place Calvert on injured reserve
Oct 27-- Blue Jackets' Foligno leaves game after collision
Oct 26-- Blue Jackets activate McElhinney off injured reserve
Oct 21-- Nathan Horton's career could be in jeopardy: report
Oct 20-- Blue Jackets place McElhinney on IR
Oct 8-- Blue Jackets' Johansen practices, status uncertain
Oct 8-- Blue Jackets' Dubinsky out after abdominal surgery
Oct 1-- Columbus Blue Jackets to be without forward Boone Jenner for 5 weeks due to broken hand

Dallas

Oct 20-- Stars' Nemeth out for season with arm laceration
Oct 19-- Stars place Nichuskin on IR
Oct 2-- Stars' Gonchar out 3-5 weeks: Lehtonen healthy

Detroit

Oct 21-- Red Wings star Pavel Datsuyk ready to return from shoulder injury
Oct 8-- Red Wings' Datsyuk confirms he won't play in opener
Oct 3-- Red Wings' Datsyuk says shoulder "not ready"

Edmonton

Oct-- Oilers' Fasth goes on IR 

Los Angeles

Oct 27-- Kings' Kopitar leaves with upper-body injury
Oct 9-- Kings' Muzzin, Lewis to miss time

Minnesota

Oct 1-- Wild forward Fontaine to miss opening night

Nashville

Oct 28-- Predators to activated Cullen from injured reserve
Oct 7-- Predators place Matt Cullen, Viktor Stalberg on IR to start season

New Jersey

Oct 27-- Devils place forward Havlat on injured reserve
Oct 24-- Devils' Tootoo placed on IR with foot injury

New York Islanders

Oct 23-- Visnovsky, Lee to play for Islanders, Hamonic out
Oct 16-- Injury forces Islanders' Grabovski from game
Oct 10-- Islanders' Grabner out after hernia surgery

New York Rangers

Oct 20-- Rangers defenseman Girardi day-to-day report
Oct 10-- Rangers recall Kostka following Boyle injury
Oct 10-- Rangers defenceman Dan Boyle breaks hand blocking shot, out 4-6 weeks

Philadelphia

Oct 24-- Flyers Coburn, MacDonal out; Lecavalier skates
Oct 13-- Flyers' Lecavalier out because of lower-body injury
Oct 10-- Flyers prospect Morin breaks jaw, will have surgery
Oct 10-- Flyers hope Coburn won't be to long-term: report
Oct 9-- Flyers defenseman Coburn out with injury vs Devils
Oct 8-- Flyers' Simmonds to play in opener at Bruins
Oct 2-- Flyers' Simmonds day-to-day with lower body injury

Pittsburgh

Oct 27-- Penguins' Maata to have surgery for thyroid tumor
Oct 17-- Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis skates day after frightening moment against Stars
Oct 16-- Penguins forward Dupuis taken off on stretcher
Oct 8-- Penguins defenseman Letang healthy, ready to go
Oct 7-- Penguins' Malkin practices, might play in opener

St. Louis

Oct 29-- Blues captain Backes leaves game with injury
Oct 19-- Blues' Stastny day-to-day with upper body injury

Tampa Bay

Oct 21-- Jonathan Drouin makes his NHL debut after injury to Alex Killorn
Oct 20-- Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman out 4-6 weeks with broken finger
Oct 1-- Lightning's Cooper won't rush Drouin

Toronto

October 28-- Leafs Captain Dion Phaneuf leaves game vs. Sabres with apparent right leg injury
Oct 16-- Maple Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul misses practice with lower-body injury
Oct 13-- Maple Leafs goaltender Reimer leaves with injury
Oct 4-- Maple Leafs Kessel, Franson skate briefly
Oct 3-- Maple Leafs' Kessel out with lower-body injury
Oct 1-- Maple Leafs' Franson has no knee damage

Washington

Oct 22-- Capitals defenseman Erskine out after neck surgery
Oct 20-- Laich won't accompany Capitals on three-game trip
Oct 9-- Capitals' Green out with upper-body injury

Winnipeg

Oct 23-- Jets coach says Evander Kane recovering and could be skating again soon
Oct 10-- Kane unlikely to play for Jets this weekend
Oct 9-- Kane leaves Jets' game with knee injury
Oct 3-- Jets' Byfuglien skating, not expected to play Saturday


Officiating Crews

Oct 28-- Referee Dave Lewis leave Wild-Bruins game after taking puck to face

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hockey stopped to remember slain soldiers on Saturday night

Saturday's cross Canada broadcasts brought Canadians together after a week of unfathomable violence, with the host cities of Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal in the early games providing the forum for the nation to seek a sense of normalcy, from a week that delivered something completely different.

In all of the home cities on the night, salutes were made to the memories of two fallen Canadian soldiers, struck down in terrifying incidents that will remain on our minds, indicative of the times we now live and leaving Canadians to call on the resolve that they have summoned in the past and this week were required to reach back for once again.

The evening started with the tribute from Ottawa, beamed simultaneously to the arenas of Montreal and Toronto, as members of the slain solider Nathan Cirillo's regiment stood at attention, Constable Lyndon Slewidge delivered the first lines of O Canada.

His job then shifted to national conductor, as the sold out crowd at Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre, joined in by those in Montreal and Toronto, led the nation in a stirring rendition of the anthem, with particular focus on the lines of glorious and free.

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The Flames who also were playing on Saturday, had provided  a similar salute and rousing anthem offered the view from the West on Friday night, as Canadians took stock of the week and exhaled five days of built up anger, concern and grief.

The ceremonies provided the clarion call for the nation to salute it's service members and those that came to their assistance this week. From four cities it was the right tone, the right pace, the right thing to try and bridge a horrid week and bring somewhat of a return to a sense of normalcy.

The evening of remembrance also provided opportunity for Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry, a strong supporter of Canada's military to deliver a heartfelt tribute to the soldiers murdered this week.

In addition, Mr. Cherry also provided right on the nose commentary on how Canadians tend to forget not only the sacrifices of their military but of the nations veterans, calling attention to a fund that is seeking to raise money in support of the fallen soldiers of this week.

Toronto Sun-- Don't forget Vincent and Cirillo, Canada
National Post-- Don Cherry urges Canadians to support funds for slain soldiers, armed forces: "Do this and send the money, I know I will"
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You can learn more about the StandonGuardFund here.

Next week and in that follows, Canadians will send off their two fallen soldiers with funerals, another heart wrenching moment and one that will be observed from coast to coast to coast.

And while as a nation there will still be mourning, still be questions, for a few hours on a Saturday night, hockey helped regain some of the balance that was desperately needed.

Some accounts of the atmosphere Saturday night can be found below:

NHL.com -- Canadian teams honour slain military personnel
NHL.com -- Hockey Night across Canada pays tribute to fallen soldiers in show of solidarity
Ottawa Sun-- Not a dry eye at Sens' tribute to fallen soldiers
Ottawa Citizen-- A tribute to the fallen soldiers, an overtime victory to New Jersey
Ottawa Citizen-- Senators, Maple Leafs, Canadiens join forces in pre-game tributes
Toronto Star-- NHL honours fallen soldiers in poignant three-city tribute
Globe and Mail-- Hockey returns to Ottawa with emotional pre-game anthem ceremony
Globe and Mail-- Hockey rises to the occasion and unites a nation
National Post-- Ottawa Senators, Maple Leafs, Canadiens hold joint pre-game tribute to fallen Canadian soldiers
National Post-- Toronto Maple Leafs topped by Boston Bruins after emotional pre-game tribute to called Canadian soldiers
CBC-- Senators, Canadiens, Leafs pay tribute in pre-game ceremony

Monday, October 20, 2014

Attendance Watch 2014-15 -- AKA, Mr. Bettman's Box Office

For those that crunch the numbers on the NHL, beyond the salary caps, a free agency calculations, the bottom line for many NHL teams comes from one simple thing, bottoms in the seats.

And this year like the last few of the past, there are some locations that are giving indications that hockey just isn't winning the battle for hearts, minds and wallets.

For hopeful hockey fans in Quebec City, Hamilton, Suburban Toronto and now Seattle, watching the attendance figures becomes more important than which team is actually leading its division or closing in on a playoff spot.

Once again this year, we will track the teams that some suggest are on the bubble, secure leadership or not, financially flush as they may say they are, no one likes to lose money, so we'll scan the attendance numbers through the year, looking for those bargain basement teams that could be looking for a
relocation plan.

As last year, we shall use attendance at the 13,000 mark as our cut off for review.  Only those games that have drawn less than 13,000 or less in attendance will be listed below.

We also will list which team was in town as the visiting squad for the night, perhaps offering an explanation as to the night's recorded attendance.

Last year, as it was the year before, the Coyotes, Islanders and Blue Jackets were the featured attractions of the bottom three attendance reviews, 

And with the exception of the Islanders, who already have the moving vans warming up for a short haul to Brooklyn in the year to come,

Many of those at the bottom tier of the list of the less than faithful observers will seem rather familiar,

As well,  for some observers one more market worth keeping an eye on, is Florida. Where the sunshine state's Panthers are also in the running for team most likely to relocate.

The review can be accessed from our GM's office links on the right hand sidebar.

Attendance Figures as of October 30, 2014

Bottom Feeders (our three dim star selection)

The three teams with the lowest attendance, teams the most times below the 13,000 benchmark.

1. Arizona (3)
2. Florida  (3)
3. New York Islanders (2)

Arizona Coyotes (3)

October 18-- 11,100 (St. Louis) (Event Summary)
October 15-- 11,648 (Edmonton) (Event Summary)
October 11-- 12,859  (Los Angeles) (Event Summary)

Colorado Avalanche

October 30-- 12,892 (NY Islanders) (Event Summary)

Florida Panthers (2)

October 30-- 7,691 (Arizona) (Event Summary)
October 13-- 7,311 (Ottawa) (Event Summary)
October 11--11,419 (New Jersey) (Event Summary)

New Jersey Devils (1)

October 30-- 12,897 (Winnipeg) (Event Summary)

New York Islanders (3)

October 28-- 11,508 (Winnipeg) (Event Summary)
October 21-- 11,408 (Toronto) (Event Summary)
October 16-- 11,248 (San Jose) (Event Summary)

NHL Suspensions and Fines 2014-15

As the new season begins, there's a new Justice sitting on the bench at the NHL Supreme Court.  As Stephane Quintal takes over the administration of Justice from Brendan Shanahan, who relocated to ranks of management with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Quintal will be joined by Chris Pronger, who was named to the Department of Player Safety listings on October 10th.

They will be reviewing on ice incidents and assessing what punishment, if any will be required on a nightly basis.

Quintal, carries the more formal title of NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety.  It's anticipated that he will make much use of video, as Shanahan did during his term, to outline how a decision is reached in each individual case.

Our listings of his deliberations can be found below, outlining those that have been summoned to the tribunal.

Offenders may now approach the bench, the court is now in session. Chief Justice Quintal presiding.

Cases up to date as of October 29, 2014

The Case files of Stephane Quintal 

Regular Season Suspensions

October 29-- New York Rangers-- John Moore-- Suspended five games for check to the head (details) (video)

October 28-- San Jose -- John Scott -- Suspended two games for leaving the bench to start a fight (details) (video)

October 20-- Los Angeles-- Slava Voynov -- Suspended indefinitely over personal issues (details) (video)


Total Regular Season Games suspended (by team)

Los Angeles -- 00
New York Rangers -- 5
San Jose -- 2

Total Game Suspension to date 7

Monetary punishment


October 17-- Boston-- Milan Lucic-- $5,000 fine for obscene gesture incident (details)


From the Department of Player Safety

October 29-- NHL Director of Player Safety Leetch joins NHL Live

Weekly Award Winners for week ending October 19



Our archive of the players named to the NHL's weekly honour roll through the month of October

Week ending October 19

Tyler Seguin-- Dallas Stars
Frederik Anderson-- Anaheim Ducks
Steven Stamkos-- Tampa Bay Lightning

Three stars item for October 19, from NHL.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Trading Post 2014-15

For many NHL teams, the squad that starts September needs a bit of a tune up by Christmas, with major retooling for some if they still haven't hit their zone as the playoffs beckon.

It's at those points that the General Managers of each of the NHL's member clubs start to earn their pay, making decisions on which players need a fresh start, or which perhaps have seen their best days slip by.

The GM"s sometimes start that process almost as soon as training camp has come to an end, while others hold fast to their line ups until reality tells them that change is required, or injuries force their hand.

Below we will track the deals of 2014-15, providing some background for the names that suddenly find that movers and change of address notifications are part of the NHL experience.

It all of course leads up to the Spring time madness known as the Trade Deadline, a day where hockey fans perhaps suddenly come down with a bad cold or some other suitable malady that will require at least a day at home, perhaps even in front of the television.

The preamble to the Spring trading deadline starts with the first puck drop of game one, the listings of the relocated can be found below:

Trading Period commenced October 1st
Up to date as of October 19, 2014

October 5-- Winnipeg Jets/Montreal Canadiens-- The Winnipeg Jets pick up goaltender Peter Budaj and forward Patrick Holland from the Montreal Canadiens for forward Eric Tangradi. (NHL Trade Alert)

October 4-- New York Islanders/Chicago Black Hawks -- The Islanders swing a deal with the Blackhawks acquiring defence man Nick Leddy from the Hawks giving up three minor league defence men and the rights to goaltender Anders Nilsson, a restricted free agent playing in the Russian league this year (NHL Trade Alert)

October 4-- Boston/New York Islanders-- Boston sends Johnny Boychuk to the Islander, picking up a the Philadelphia Flyers second round pick in the 2015 NHL draft (which the Islanders had previously acquired, as well as a conditional pick in the 3rd Round should the Islanders trade Boychuk to another Eastern based team this season (NHL Trade Alert)

October 4-- New York Rangers/Florida Panthers-- The Rangers acquired forward Joey Crabb from the Florida Panthers, sending defenceman Steven Kampfer and forward Andrew Yogan to the Panthers. (NHL Trade Alert)


Transactions Counter:  4 Trades to date

Boston Bruins-- 1
Chicago Blackhawks-- 1
Florida Panthers -- 1
Montreal Canadiens-- 1
New York Islanders-- 2
New York Rangers -- 1
Winnipeg Jets -- 1

The link to these Trading Post dispatches can be found in our right hand column in the GM's Office section.

The Owners Box 2014-15



Our Archive of items regarding ownership of NHL franchises, highlighting the moves in the structure of team ownership and other newsworthy notes surrounding the NHL's 30 Franchises and Administration.

NHL Issues and Events

October 17-- Nashville to host 2016 NHL All-Star weekend
October 17-- Predators to host 2016 NHL All-Star festivities
October 13-- Buffalo Sabres to host 2016 NHL Draft
October 10-- Pronger joins NHL Department of Player Safety
October 8-- Gary Bettmann on outdoor games, expansion and more
October 8-- NHL Network US unveils new programming
October 7-- NHL Face-Off party headlined by the Tragically Hip
October 6-- NHL and Rogers announce media sales partnership
October 2-- Select Stadium Series tickets on sale Oct. 2
October 2-- NHL hosting Stadium Series event at Santa Clara's Levi Stadium


Team by Team Developments

New York Islanders

October 22-- New Islanders owners, Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin, speak of bright future for team
October 22-- Incoming Islander owners to continue Wang's vision
September 30 -- Board of Governors approves sale of Islanders

Phoenix Coyotes

October 10-- Barroway to become majority owner of Coyotes
October 3-- Coyotes owners to sell controlling share of NHL team: reports
October 2-- Coyotes confirm talks with potential investor

Toronto Maple Leafs

October 7-- Restructured management impacting Maple Leafs

Weekly Award Winners for week ending October 12



Our archive of the players named to the NHL's weekly honour roll through the month of October

Week ending October 12

Tomas Plekanec-- Montreal Canadiens
Darcy Kuemper-- Minnesota Wild
Sydney Crosby-- Pittsburgh Penguins

Pre Game Skate 2014-15


We will archive our various team home sites here, one click takes you to a page with a variety of information about your favourite team.

From homepages, to schedules, news items and information from the HockeyNation archives it's your starting point each day to finding out more about all 30 teams of the NHL .

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

Toronto Maple Leafs
Montreal Canadians
Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres
Detroit Red Wings
Florida Panthers
Ottawa Senators
Tampa Bay Lightning


Metropolitan Division


Carolina Hurricanes
Washington Capitals
Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins


WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Division

Chicago Black Hawks
Winnipeg Jets
Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators
St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks
Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Los Angeles Kings
Phoenix Coyotes
San Jose Sharks
Vancouver Canucks

In Memoriam:

Atlanta Thrashers 1999-2010

Monthly Award Winners 2014-15 Season


The monthly Three Star Selection and the Rookie of the Month Honours

Three Stars

Monthly Selections

October--


Weekly October
Week ending:

October 19


Rookie of the Month

October --

Features of the 2013-14 Season

Our Archive of Items from the 2013-14 Season