Ducks acquire Kesler from Canucks

Ryan Kesler will undoubtedly help strengthen the Ducks down the middle.

Ryan Kesler will undoubtedly help strengthen the Ducks down the middle.

The Vancouver Canucks have traded forward Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks, it was announced earlier today by the National Hockey League.

Here is how the trade breaks down:

To Anaheim: Center Ryan Kesler, 2015 Third Round Draft Pick

To Vancouver: Center Nick Bonino, Defenseman Luca Sbisa, the number 24 pick of the first round  and a third round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft

Kesler was rumored to have asked for a trade near the end of the 2013-14 season, he currently has two years left on his contract at five million dollars a year.

The 29-year old, Livonia, Michigan native was drafted in the first round, 23 overall, by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.  Kesler has played 10 seasons with Vancouver, compiling 393 points (182 goals, 211 assists) in 655 games played. He has also competed twice in the Winter Olympics, bringing home a silver medal in 2010.

The 26-year old Bonino has played in five seasons for the Ducks, but has only seen limited action until this past season.  During the 2013-14 regular season he posted 22 goals and 27 assists in 77 games.  Before that, the Hartford, Connecticut product had only played in 112 NHL contests.

Sbisa (shown above) and Bonino will help the Canucks in their rebuilding process.

Sbisa (shown above) and Bonino will help the Canucks in their rebuilding process.

Sbisa has played six seasons at the NHL level, but again has only seen limited action.  He currently has 9 goals and 47 assists for 56 points over the 266 games played in his career.  He also carries a career plus minus rating that is currently at -23.

The young defenseman was a high draft pick, 19 overall in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, by the Philadelphia Flyers.

Among the draft picks picked up by the Canucks today, they also have the sixth selection in the first round as well.   The Draft begins tonight (Friday) at 7 P.M. at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

Kesler will likely slot into a second-line center position for the Ducks, they will likely opt to keep Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry together, which will really strengthen Anaheim down the middle.

Vancouver, who has gone into a bit of a rebuilding mode, has also been rumored to be trying to sign goaltender Ryan Miller.  Bonino carries a $1.9 million cap hit for the next three seasons and Sbisa has one year remaining at close to $2.2 million.  This still leaves the Canucks with around $1 million extra in cap space to work with, could this be playing into their chances at Miller?  Perhaps, but they have also acquired a number of draft picks that will also assist them in the rebuilding process.


Posted in Anaheim Ducks, Breaking News, Contracts, NHL, Trades, Uncategorized, Vancouver Canucks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flyers trade Hartnell for Umberger, 2015 Draft Pick from Columbus

Scott Hartnell will bring 13 seasons of experience to the Blue Jackets.

Scott Hartnell will bring 13 seasons of experience to the Blue Jackets.

The Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets have agreed on yet another trade.

Here is how the trade breaks down:

To Columbus: Left Wing Scott Hartnell

To Philadelphia: Left Wing RJ Umberger and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft

Hartnell, who has played seven years with the Flyers, five of which where he scored 20 or more goals, will head to a younger team in Columbus.  He could be the sort of veteran presence they need to get them further into the playoffs.  Hartnell finished the 2013-14 regular season with 20 goals and 32 assists for 52 points, his third best season of his 13-year career.  During the post season he tallied three assists in seven games.

As a whole, Hartnell, who is known for being a gritty forward, has played in 953 NHL contests and has 250 goals, 287 assists (537 points), and 1,452 penalty minutes.   His post season stats consist of 91 games played, 19 goals, 28 assists (47 points) and 146 penalty minutes.  Hartnell was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the first round, sixth overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, the only other team he has played for in his career.  Hartnell played six seasons with the Preds before moving to Philly.

RJ Umberger will return to the team that he started his NHL career with.

RJ Umberger will return to the team that he started his NHL career with.

Umberger, who has previously played three seasons with the Flyers, will be returning to the team where his NHL career really started.  Drafted by Vancouver in the first round, 16th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Umberger did not play an NHL game until the 2005-06 season with Philadelphia.  The 32-year old now has nine seasons under his belt between Philly and Columbus where he has amassed 169 goals, 197 assists (366 points) and 278 PIMs in 673 games played during his career.

The fact that the Blue Jackets have only made the playoffs a limited amount of times is what limits Umberger’s numbers during the post season.  In 30 post season games, only eight of which were in Columbus, he has 14 goals and 6 assists for 20 total points.

What baffles me is that these two guys are almost the exact same player.  Both are 32 years of age, 6’2” tall and both weigh in around 210 lbs.  Both first round draft picks, one year apart and they also both shoot left-handed.  Hartnell may have the edge in the gritty-ness department, judging by his penalty minutes, but to be honest, I find them to play nearly the exact same type of game.  These two players are both big bodies that are going to go to the net.  Hell even their cap-hits are almost the same.  Hartnell takes in $4.75 million a year and Umberger is making $4.6 million a year.

The biggest difference to me here is the length of the contracts.  Hartnell still has five years left on his deal, whereas Umberger only has three.  This strikes me as another way to dump a contract that the Flyers no longer want.  The Max Talbot deal seemed to be the same way to me.  Downie and Talbot had nearly identical numbers and play the same sort of game, but Downie’s contract ended this season and Talbot still had two years left.

I would not be surprised to see someone else go before or during the draft, such as Coburn or Lecavalier to get rid of more unwanted cap hits and longer term deals. Look for Philly to make more noise in the coming weeks.

Also, watch out for Columbus this coming season.  Giving Pittsburgh fits in the playoffs this past season was only the beginning of what they are going to do.  With a good core of young players, a solid goalie and now veteran presence, look out.

Posted in Columbus Blue Jackets, Contracts, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Trades, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rangers use compliance buyout on Richards

Brad Richards, one-time Stanley Cup Winner is no longer with the Rangers.

Brad Richards, one-time Stanley Cup Winner is no longer with the Rangers.

Fresh off of a Stanley Cup Playoff run that led them to the Final, the New York Rangers announced yesterday that they have used a compliance buyout on forward Brad Richards.

The 34-year old Richards had six years remaining on his 9-year, $60 million dollar contract, which took $6.67 million dollars a year away from the Rangers in cap space.  The Canadian Press reported that Richards will still receive about sixty percent (roughly $12.6 million dollars) of his remaining salary over the next 12 years.

Richards finished the 2013-14 regular season with 20 goals and 31 assists for 51 points, third best on the Rangers team in points and second in goals only to Rick Nash who had 26.   He also finished the season with a -8 plus minus rating.  Richards was sixth overall on the Rangers in points for the 2013-14 Stanley Cup Playoffs as well.

Through his three years with New York, the Murray Harbour, PEI naitive totaled 210 games played, 56 goals and 95 assists (151 points).   Richards proved to be a bit of an iron-man as well, missing only two games in the three seasons he played.

As the stats show, Richards still has a lot left in the tank, but will most likely have to accept a lot less money and a shorter-term deal.  He would certainly slot well into any team’s third or even second line roles.  Plus he will probably be willing to accept a little less in the monetary area as the Rangers will be paying him somewhere around one million dollars a year anyway.

Drafted by Tampa Bay in round three, 64 overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Richards went on to win the Stanley Cup with that same team during the 2003-04 season.  That same year he won both the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of the Playoffs) and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

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NHL announces home-opener schedules

NHL_blackThe National Hockey League released its list of home-openers for the 2014-15 season earlier today. Here is the list taken directly from the NHL’s website: FULL LIST OF HOME OPENERS, 2014-15 SEASON Anaheim Ducks: Friday, Oct. 17 vs. Minnesota * Arizona Coyotes: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Winnipeg Boston Bruins: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Philadelphia Buffalo Sabres: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Columbus Calgary Flames: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Vancouver Carolina Hurricanes: Friday, Oct. 10 vs. NY Islanders Chicago Blackhawks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Buffalo Colorado Avalanche: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Minnesota Columbus Blue Jackets: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. NY Rangers Dallas Stars: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Chicago Detroit Red Wings: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Boston Edmonton Oilers: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Calgary Florida Panthers: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. New Jersey Los Angeles Kings: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. San Jose Minnesota Wild: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Colorado Montreal Canadiens: Thursday, Oct. 16 vs. Boston Nashville Predators: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Ottawa New Jersey Devils: Saturday, Oct. 18 vs. San Jose New York Islanders: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Carolina New York Rangers: Sunday, Oct. 12 vs. Toronto Ottawa Senators: Thursday, Oct. 16 vs. Colorado Philadelphia Flyers: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. New Jersey Pittsburgh Penguins: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Anaheim San Jose Sharks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Winnipeg St. Louis Blues: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. NY Rangers Tampa Bay Lightning: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Florida Toronto Maple Leafs: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Montreal Vancouver Canucks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Edmonton Washington Capitals: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Montreal Winnipeg Jets: Friday, Oct. 17 vs. Nashville * Franchise’s name officially changes on Friday, June 27, at 2014 NHL Draft The league also stated that it plans to release the full 1,230-game schedule on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 4 p.m. (Tomorrow). This year’s NHL Entry Draft will take place in Philadelphia, Pa. on Friday, June 27.

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The standout team of HBO’s 24/7 may not be who you think

HBO is airing 24/7 again, leading up to the Winter Classic between Detroit and Toronto.

HBO is airing 24/7 again, leading up to the Winter Classic between Detroit and Toronto.

After watching the first three episodes of “HBO’s 24/7 Red Wings and Maple Leafs: Road to the Winter Classic,” I noticed something. A single team during the time of the show has really made a name for themselves.  This team is probably the most unlikely one you would think of.

It’s the Florida Panthers.

The first episode of 24/7 opens up with the Red Wings hosting the visiting Panthers.  On Dec. 7, Red Wings Coach Mike Babcock started backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson in lieu of Jimmy Howard.  After three periods of play, the Panthers walked away with the victory, 2-1.

Granted at the time Detroit’s Captain Henrik Zetterberg and top six forward Pavel Datsyuk were out of the lineup due to injuries, but you’d expect others to step up in their absence.

Only three days later the Wings traveled south to take on the Panthers again.  This game was decided by a single goal, this time in the shootout.  Florida was again victorious over the HBO spotlighted Detroit team.

During the second episode of 24/7, it was the Maple Leafs turn to feel the wrath of the Panthers.  Scoring three goals before the Leafs were able to finally register a goal late in the third period, the Panthers finished off Toronto, 3-1.

The Panthers currently sit in 7th place in the Atlantic division with 35 points.  They are 14 points out of third place and are 10 points behind in the wild card race.  Surprisingly, from the start of episode one until the current time the Panthers have gone on quite a run.  Over that time Florida’s record is 7-4, including a five-game winning streak.

Florida took on some of the division leaders during the run too, beating the Montreal Canadiens twice, Red Wings twice and the Washington Capitals once.

Despite a tough season, December has been good to the Panthers netminders.

Despite a tough season, December has been good to the Panthers netminders.

The goalie tandem of Tim Thomas and Scott Clemmensen has been good for Florida this month.  Tim Thomas went 3-1 before being knocked out of the line up due to injury, while Clemmensen has been 5-3.

The Month of December has been very kind to the Panthers, with 13-of-14 games played so far, they have picked up 16 out of a possible 26 points.  With only the struggling New York Rangers left on the schedule, they look poised to make December their best month of the season to date.

With the first five games of January being against struggling opponents like the Predators, Sabres and Islanders, Florida has a chance to gain some real ground on the division leaders.  The only question is:  Will the magic of 24/7 carry over into the New Year for the Panthers?  Or was this just a fluke?

Posted in 2014 Winter Classic, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flyers drop Laviolette, name Berube new Head Coach

Peter Laviolette has been relieved of his duties as Flyers Head Coach.

Peter Laviolette has been relieved of his duties as Flyers Head Coach.

The Philadelphia Flyers have announced that they have fired Head Coach Peter Laviolette.

Serving as head coach now will be former Assistant Coach Craig Berube.

Laviolette has manned the helm for the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes and most recently, Philadelphia Flyers.  Coaching 759 games in his career, he has a record of 389-281-25.  To his credit, Laviolette has six playoff appearances, two division championships and one Stanley Cup (With the Carolina Hurricanes).

The Flyers had a dismal 2012-13 season.  Finishing barely over the .500 mark at 23-22-3, they missed the playoffs for the first time in five years.  Starting off the new season with three consecutive losses, apparently the Flyers felt it was time for a change.

Former Assistant Coach Craig Berube has been named as Laviolette's replacement.

Former Assistant Coach Craig Berube has been named as Laviolette’s replacement.

Berube brings 20 National Hockey League seasons worth of professional playing along with him into his new role as head coach, including seven seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers.

As far as coaching goes, Berube ran the Philadelphia Phantoms for two seasons and was an assistant coach for two.  The Phantoms are the Flyers American Hockey League affiliate (now located in Adirondack).  He also has six seasons behind the bench as an assistant at the NHL level with Philadelphia.

I do not entirely see the Flyers last few season stumbles as Laviolette’s fault.  There is only so much a coach can do with a team that has an injury riddled defense and an offense that can hardly score 5-on-5.  Not to mention a goaltending carousel that hasn’t stopped spinning since the late 80’s.

Granted the coach is the guy who is supposed to make things happen, adapt and make changes when they need to be.  I guess as the head coach you truly are ultimately responsible for the product you put on the ice.  When a team isn’t gelling, there has to be changes.  In this case the change was made in the coaching department.

With 79 games left in the 2013-14 season, the Flyers front office will have plenty of time to see if they made the right call.

Philadelphia will take the ice Tuesday night as they host the Florida Panthers inside the Wells Fargo Center.  Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET.

Posted in AHL, Breaking News, Coaching, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thomas signs one-year deal with the Panthers

Tim Thomas signs a one-year deal with the Panthers. Photo C/O Sports Illustrated

Tim Thomas signs a one-year deal with the Panthers. Photo C/O Sports Illustrated

The Florida Panthers have signed a one-year deal with Goaltender Tim Thomas.

Thomas, 39, has been practicing with the team for some time now.

The news was tweeted out by the Panthers just about a half hour ago.

Thomas took last season off, citing family issues.  His contract was traded from Boston to the New York Islanders to get them to be cap space compliant.

During the 2011-12 season Thomas played 59 games for the Boston Bruins.  He posted a record of 35-19-1 and had a GAA of 2.36 and held a save percentage of .920.

Thomas’s best season was no doubt the 2010-11 season.  He backstopped the Bruins to their most recent Stanley Cup Championship.  In 57 contests he had 35-11-9 record.  Also a GAA of 2.00, save percentage of .938 and recorded nine shutouts.  That season he also won the Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender) and the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of the Playoffs).

The veteran goalie will most likely take over the starting role for the Panthers come the start of the season.  This will bump the high level prospect Jacob Markstrom to the backup role.  This is not nessacarily a bad thing.  Markstrom will have the chance to learn from one of the most unique goalies in the National Hockey League.

Last season Markstrom played 23 games for the Panthers and went 8-14-1.  With a save percentage of .901 and a GAA of 3.22 he struggled along with a young Florida team.  A veteran mentor may be just what the doctor ordered.

The Panthers first game of the 2013-14 season will be against the Dallas Stars on Thursday, October 3rd.

Posted in Boston Bruins, Breaking News, Contracts, Florida Panthers, Goalies, NHL | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton D-Men are tournament champions

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton D-Men.  2013 Dave Burke Memorial Champions of their division.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton D-Men. 2013 Dave Burke Memorial Champions of their division.
Names from left to right:
Top: Jeff Ames, Jamie Lovinger, Eric Jones, Mark Makowski, Carl Soprano, Pat McGlynn, Seth Mahaffey and Lenny Nardozzo.
Bottom: Ryan Pringle, Mike Zampetti, Sterry Mahaffey, Walter Letanski, Micah Cross and Russ Hryvnak.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton D-Men are the Champions of the 6th annual Dave Burke Memorial Hockey Tournament.

The D-Men took part in the tournament this year that took place at the Revolution Ice Center in Pittston, Pennsylvania.  It started on Friday, August, 16th and ended on Sunday, the 18th.

The tournament is in honor of the late Dave Burke, a local goalie who lost his fight with Leukemia.  Recently the tournament has been expanded to also include the likes of Gary Lukasiewicz another local goalie who lost his battle with the same disease.  The benefits of the tournament, which includes team admissions, food, raffles, auctions and more, are donated to local charities.

374_DaveburketourneymedallogoBefore the Memorial Game this year, the dedication of “Gary’s Locker” also took place.  This is a set of goalie equipment available at the Revolution Ice Center for children who want to play goalie, but may not be able to afford the expensive equipment.  The gear will be able to be used during games and practices held at the RIC.

The WBS D-Men saw this tournament as an opportunity to showcase not only their on-ice skills, but their work with charity as well.

Team Captain Sterry Mahaffey, 31 of Wilkes-Barre, says it’s an honor to captain a team of such great guys.  “I can’t say enough good things about this group of guys,” Mahaffey said.  “A few years ago when I started looking for guys interested in starting a tournament team I never thought it would grow in popularity so fast.  I look forward to many more years with these guys.”

Mahaffey feels that charity is one of the biggest functions of the D-Men. “Or mission is simple, do what we can, when we can, for whoever we can. We all have jobs, we all have lives outside of the team but we are all willing to lend a hand when asked,” Mahaffey remarked.

Mahaffey says it best when it comes to what the tournament means to the teams that took part in it.  “I think it gives everyone involved a great sense of pride knowing that they are doing something more than just playing hockey.”

D-Men Forward Lenny Nardozzo, 45 of Nanticoke, feels that the team does more than just play hockey and help local charities.  “For me, at my age, it’s a chance to have made friends with guys of all ages that I probably would have never met,” Nardozzo said.   “We all have one quirk that all the other guys feed off of and just make it great to be around each other.”  Camaraderie is something that builds a strong team.  This team from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was definitely one of the strongest at the tournament that weekend.

The D-Men played their first game on Friday night against the Deep Freeze.  They took home a win that night beating the Freeze 6-3.  On Saturday the D-Men split the day, losing their first game to the Dutch Mafia 7-1, and winning their second game in a nail biter.  The D-Men went into the playoff rounds in third place.

On Sunday morning the team played their first playoff game against the Ice-aholics at the Coal Street Ice Rink.  Squeaking out a win in overtime, 4-3, the D-Men advanced to the finals, where they would meet the Dutch Mafia team that shellacked them the previous day.

Baby Caitrin Mahaffey (Daughter of Sterry and Cass Mahaffey), sporting one of the team's gold medals.

Baby Caitrin Mahaffey (Daughter of Sterry and Cass Mahaffey), sporting one of the team’s gold medals.

The D-Men played hard and with a revamped game plan took home the victory against the Dutch Mafia, beating the team from the Lehigh Valley 4-1.  The D-Men received a trophy and gold medals in a ceremony following the game.

Team Alternate Captain Seth Mahaffey, 30 of Kingston and brother of the team captain, felt that there were an abundance of plays that led to the D-Men victory.  “There were countless good plays from everybody,” Seth Mahaffey said.  “Our boy Mark Makowski was pretty stand out, his skills are just simply awesome.”

Lennny Nardozzo recalls a specific play that propelled the team to victory.  “I took a slap-shot in the head. Don’t remember much after that,” Nardozzo said.  “All kidding aside, each guy does something in every game that helps.”

D-Men Captain Sterry Mahaffey gives credit to the team’s goalie, “I would have to give the most props to our goalie, Walt Letanski.” Mahaffey said.  “There were two games where it seemed like no matter what we did, the other team had an answer. He never wavered; he stayed strong and focused even though he was just coming off of the flu.”  Letanski, 28 of Wilkes-Barre, could not be reached for comment.

With the trophy now in their possession the D-Men are planning to each have a “week with the trophy”, where each player will get to take it home and share it with his family.  This was the team’s first major tournament victory.  Captain Mahaffey says it’s hard to put into words.  “It is our first major victory, and the feeling is hard to describe. The D-Men have been around for a few years now and even though we haven’t had much success in tournament play it didn’t deter us from continuing,” Mahaffey said.  “Our goal as a team is never just winning every tournament, sure that would be nice, but we all feel it is more important to have fun no matter what the score is and, in this particular case, help a charity we support whole heartedly.”

Despite taking home a trophy and medals this time, the D-Men wanted us to know that they took away much more than just accolades.  Sterry Mahaffey insists the Dave Burke Memorial Tournament is more about fun and helping out the community.  “Not only is the competition fair but you can’t put a price on the festivities and camaraderie that goes on off the ice. Every team gets hangs out around the food and beverage tent, has a few drinks, shares a few stories and has a great time.” Mahaffey said.  “All while helping out a great cause.”

A video of the report done by WBRE can be found below:

Posted in Awards, Fun Stuff, Men's League, Uncategorized, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jagr is ready to return, Devils need offense

Jaromir Jagr takes some on-ice instruction.  How weird does he look in that uniform?

Jaromir Jagr takes some on-ice instruction. How weird does he look in that uniform?

Devils Forward Jaromir Jagr is ready to come back into the line-up.

After leaving New Jersey’s first practice of the season on September 12, Jagr is finally ready to return.  He took part in the team’s practice yesterday (Wednesday).  It seems unlikely that the Devils will play Jagr in their final preseason game today against Philadelphia, however.

“I’m probably not going to play only because I didn’t have a practice with my teammates,” said Jagr.  Remaining optimistic that he will be ready for the season, the final decision will ultimately come down to what the coaching staff says, but it is unlikely they will fret over one preseason game.

The Devils first game of the 2013 season is set for October 4th, 2013 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Just eight days away.

Jagr will undoubtedly be a big part of New Jersey’s offense this year.  With the departure of David Clarkson (Toronto), losing Zach Parise a season ago to Minnesota and also losing Ilya Kovalchuk to retirement (or the KHL), the Devils will be looking for someone to step up on offense.


Ryane Clowe

The addition of Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder will undoubtedly help, but how much?  In the 2012-13 season, Clowe only scored a 19 points over 40 games, with only three of those points being goals.  Once a 40 to 50 points a season guy, the Devils are no-doubt hoping he returns to form.


Michael Ryder

Ryder, however, is a different story.  He put up 16 goals and 19 assists for a point total of 35 in 46 games.  Not bad at all, especially since he was traded from Dallas to Montreal about half way through the shortened season.  In the 2011-12 season, Ryder put up 62 points and beat his career high for goals with 35.

The Devils will also look for the continued growth of Adam Henrique.  In the 2011-12 season, Henrique played 74 contests and potted 16 goals and 35 helpers for 51 points.  Not bad for his first “real” season in the National Hockey League.  He followed that up with 13 points in the playoffs.

Jagr will help the Devils, even if he doesn’t score all the goals, he will most certainly set up some plays.  He also has an uncanny ability to make younger players respect the game more.  With a team that could be low on spirit due to all of the departures of key leaders, Jagr will be just what the doctor ordered in the locker room:  a leader.


Posted in Breaking News, Devils, Injuries, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Ryane Clowe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Line brawl leads to suspensions

Even the goalies exchanged fists during the on-ice battle royale.

Even the goalies exchanged fists during the on-ice battle royale.

Following the epic line brawl during the preseason game on September 22, 2013, suspensions are looming.

The game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres took place in the Air Canada Centre.  Halfway through the third period an altercation between the Sabres John Scott and the Leafs Phil Kessel turned into a line brawl of epic proportions.

Scott went at and was jawing with Kessel, that’s when Kessel backed up and slashed Scott twice in the leg with his stick.  This is where all hell broke loose.

Kessel ended up fighting with Ryan Flynn, Scott found a fighting partner when David Clarkson jumped off the bench and entered the fray.  All people on the ice were involved in some sort of fighting, including the goalies.

Ryan Miller and Jonathan Bernier also dropped their gloves.  It was a level bout until Bernier got an arm free and pummeled Miller, shortly after the linesmen broke up the fight.

In total 239 penalty minutes were handed out by the end of the game.

“We’re not proud or happy with what went on,” said Maple Leafs Head Coach Randy Carlyle. Of course he’s not, although the Leafs did get the win, finishing the game 5-3.

On Monday Clarkson was suspended 10 regular season games for his part in the brawl.  This will put Toronto in a tough spot to start the season as they really need all of their top level players.

Today, Phil Kessel was suspended for the remainder of the preseason for his slashing incident.  Ron Rolston, Buffalo Sabres head coach, was also fined today for player selection and team misconduct leading to the on-ice fights.

A video of the fight can be seen below:

Posted in Breaking News, Buffalo Sabres, Goalies, Jonathan Bernier, NHL, Suspensions, Toronto Maple Leafs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment