Sean Leahy

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor of Puck Daddy since the blog started in April 2008. Having covered Stanley Cup Finals, NHL All-Star Games and NHL Drafts, his highlight might have been getting blown out playing Ryan Kesler in NHL2K11 on Nintendo Wii. That, or coercing an All-Star Game goal judge to let him control the goal light for a period. He currently resides on Long Island.

  • Detroit Red Wings, champions of breakfast (Photos)

    PLBPLB Sports is a food marketing company based in Pittsburgh that has churned out numerous products featuring professional athletes.

    Remember Jaromir Jagr's Creamy Peanut Butter? Marc-Andre Fleury Flakes? Pascal Dupuis Dijon Mustard? Adam Deadmarsh Deli Dill pickles? That's PLB.

    Their latest athlete-endorsed product is "Detroit Hockey HerOes" featuring retired Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.

    Via PLB Sports:

    “We believe Nick embodies why the Red Wings have had historical success,” said PLB Sports president Ty Ballou. “Extremely high-character person. His skills on the ice may not be perfect … but they are as close as it gets.”

    Lidstrom's addition to the PLB family is just another win for the Red Wings, who have seemed to dominate the athlete/cereal world for years.

    For example, remember Fedorov Crunch and Stevie's Stars?

    eBay

    Going old school, let's not forget Gordie Howe's Frosted Flakes and Mr. Hockey Honey Nut Toasted Oats:

    eBay

    And finally, how could we forget Chris Osgood's

    Read More »from Detroit Red Wings, champions of breakfast (Photos)
  • 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.

    • That whole contract squabble last season between Ryan O'Reilly and the Avalanche? All's good now, says Adrian Dater. The two sides should start talking extension this summer. [Denver Post]

    • How much fun is Nathan MacKinnon having this season with the Avs? “It’s been the best year of my life so far." [Yahoo]

    • Starting from a stop position and crossing over while skating are what's giving Steven Stamkos some issues as he comes back from a broken leg. But he says he's still progressing. [Tampa Bay Times]

    • Ilya Kovalchuk on life in the KHL and on getting revenge in the Olympics against Canada. [AP via Yahoo]

    • Loui Eriksson on his concussions: “The two hits I got this year I haven’t really seen. Maybe I need to keep my eyes up a little more than I’m used to. I don’t think it’s a fair play when a guy hits you when you’re not ready for it. I definitely didn’t touch the puck on that last one, and I couldn’t do anything about that one. It’s tough.” [CSNNE]

    • Henrik Sedin was incorrectly sent to the penalty box for a foul his brother Daniel committed. Henrik's response? "Yeah, I like that though – fantasy points." [LA Kings Insider]

    • Central Scouting released their midterm rankings on Monday. Sam Bennett and Leon Draisaitl are your top two North American skaters. [Buzzing the Net]

    Read More »from O’Reilly, Avs to talk deal in summer; Kovalchuk on life in KHL; Eriksson on concussion; (Puck Headlines)
  • In the Federal Hockey League on Saturday night, the Danville Dashers fell to the Watertown Privateers 6-2. A five-goal third period pushed Watertown to the win on the back of three power play goals.

    Aiding the final period barrage was plenty of power play time, thanks to a full-on brawl earlier in the period that saw 152 penalty minutes handed out and both coaches getting involved.

    (It's 17 minutes, but worth it.)

    "EVERYBODY'S THE THIRD MAN! EVERYBODY'S THE THIRD MAN!"

    The no. 2 reason why we love minor league line brawls are the over-the-top play-by-play announcers. No one can match their WWE-like intensity when calling these things.

    As for the brawl, here's the visual evidence of the third period penalty summary:

    FHL

    Yes, nine skaters received a game misconduct, along with Danville's backup goalie for leaving the bench. Only Danville's goalie, Nick Niedert, who kicked things off, avoided getting hit with a game misconduct.

    And, as you saw, Watertown was left with one player on their

    Read More »from Massive hockey brawl: Players ejected, coaches battle, announcer goes nuts (Video)
  • Getty Images

    If you've been fortunate to attend any of the six NHL Winter Classic's, you probably noticed a distinct sound. No, not the roar of a sold out football or baseball stadium. No, not a couple of fans getting sick in the corner due to an eventful New Year's Eve. That sound you heard were cash registers in and around the venue going non-stop as fans bought up all sorts of merchandise and concessions.

    So it's no surprise to learn that the NHL made bank on the 2014 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium. Just do the math: 105,491 fans plus highly-priced tickets, plus major ad and merchandise/concession sales equals NHL COO John Collins leaving the game with cartoonish dollar bill signs as eyes.

    According to Sports Business Daily's Chris Botta, the Winter Classic this year took in more than $30 million, with the NHL netting a profit over over $20 million.

    How much bigger was 2014 than games in the past? Botta explains:

    As a point of comparison for those numbers: The previous Winter Classic, the

    Read More »from Maple Leafs-Red Wings Winter Classic delivers $20 million profit for NHL (Report)
  • @juslachIt's the middle of winter, so backyard rinks are in full bloom. Many you see are of the no frills variety -- some wood acting as the boards and a fresh sheet of ice with hockey equipment littered on top.

    But for Justin Lachapelle, a resident of St-Lazare, Quebec, he's taken his love for the Montreal Canadiens and his ability to build a backyard rink to an entirely different level.

    Not only does his 64-by-32 rink have re-used boards from a local rink, painted lines and face-off circles to make it look like Bell Centre, there's also a dressing room and, most importantly, a rink-side bar for post-game pops:

    Lachappelle told the Gazette that it took him eight years to build -- "Eight years of insanity" to be exact. It takes approximately 10 hours of maintenance for every hour of play, he said. Now that's commitment.

    From the Gazette:

    Lachapelle starts working on the rink as the temperature begins to drop, usually in November, waiting until the temperature is low enough to maintain a base

    Read More »from Incredible backyard rink has ice-level bar, golf cart Zamboni (Photos)
  • Getty Images

    Brian Rafalski has spent two and a half years in retirement, but hours before his first game back in competitive hockey, he says he's at ease.

    "There'll be some dust that has to be shaken off," Rafalski said by phone Friday afternoon.

    On Thursday, Rafalski signed a contract to join the ECHL's Florida Everblades, who he's spent the last two and a half years with as team chaplain, as well as a youth coach. Last week, the Detroit Red Wings granted Rafalski his release in order to allow him to pursue this opportunity otherwise, according to MLive.com's Ansar Khan, he "would have been Red Wings’ property for three years from the time he filed his voluntary retirement papers in May 2011."

    The 40-year old defenseman, who has three Stanley Cup rings and two Olympic silver medals, will make his debut against the South Carolina Stingrays Friday night.

    So why no? And is a return to the NHL his end goal?

    Read More »from Brian Rafalski on signing in ECHL: ‘I wouldn’t call it a comeback right now’
  • Sabres GM Tim Murray plans to drop Ted Nolan’s ‘interim’ tag

    Getty Images

    Tim Murray was officially named general manager of the Buffalo Sabres Thursday and as soon as the questions began, the future of head coach Ted Nolan was brought up. Many new GMs want to bring in their own head coach, not one left over from the previous regime. Nolan, for his part, has done his job well with the interim tag.

    Since taking over for Ron Rolston on Nov. 13, the Sabres have gone 8-11-4 after winning four of their first 20 games of the season. It's not enough to think playoffs, but enough to stabilize a ship that was headed for deep, dark waters.

    "Teddy’s my guy right now," said Murray during his introductory press conference Thursday. But appearing on the FAN590's Hockey Central at Noon on Friday afternoon, Murray pretty much confirmed that "right now" will soon be "beyond this season."

    Q. Is the interim tag still on him then? Or did you remove that?

    MURRAY: "Today it is."

    ...

    "...yes, the interim tag is still on, but we probably will do something for him there that it

    Read More »from Sabres GM Tim Murray plans to drop Ted Nolan’s ‘interim’ tag
  • Getty ImagesNo. 1 Star: Justin Fontaine, Minnesota Wild

    Fontaine became the first Wild rookie to ever notch a hat trick as Minnesota downed the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1 for their fourth win in a row. The trick was also their second in three games. Niklas Backstrom stopped 39 shots as the Wild jumped over the Coyotes for the eighth spot in the Western Conference.

    No. 2 Stars: Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils and Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues

    Michael Ryder's second period goal was enough for the Devils to edge the Dallas Stars 1-0. Schneider made 26 saves for his third shutout of the season and 12th of his career. The win snapped a three-game losing skid for New Jersey.

    Halak needed 33 saves for his 28th career shutout and third of this season as the St. Louis Blues won their seventh straight with a 5-0 shutout of the Calgary Flames. Five different Blues scored as St. Louis extended their points streak to 10 games.

    No. 3 Star: Jordan Staal, Carolina Hurricanes

    Staal scored his first shorthanded goal in almost two years and added a trio of assists for a four-point night as the Hurricanes routed the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1. Jeff Skinner scored his 17th goal in his last 17 games as Carolina won their fifth in a row.

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Fontaine nets first trick; Schneider, Halak record shutouts
  • Getty Images

    What kind of an effect can alumni games have on a hockey player? Apparently, they help retired ones get the itch again.

    After participating in the Winter Classic alumni game last week at Comerica Park in Detroit, former NHL defenseman Brian Rafalski has decided to attempt a comeback almost three years after he retired.

    On Thursday, the ECHL's Florida Everblades announced that they had come to "contract terms" with the 40-year old blueliner.

    From the Everblades:

    Rafalski, 40, notched 515 points in 11 NHL seasons, split between the New Jersey Devils and the Detroit Red Wings.

    The Dearborn, Mich., native won three Stanley Cups: 2000 and 2003 with the Devils and 2008 with the Red Wings. He was also on the blue line for Team USA at the last three Winter Olympic Games, taking the Silver Medal in 2002 and 2010.

    “I’m just excited to get back on the ice again and see where God takes me on this journey,” added Rafalski, who had retired from professional hockey following the Red Wings’ exit from

    Read More »from Brian Rafalski signs with ECHL’s Florida Everblades three years after retiring
  • Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five things to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

    Getty Images

    Create-a-Caption: "Fin, the Vancouver Canucks mascot, bites a penguin during the NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Rogers Arena."

    • • • • •

    Preview: Florida Panthers at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m. ET

    Preview: Dallas Stars at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. ET

    Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET

    Preview: Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 p.m. ET

    Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET

    Preview: St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. ET

    Preview: Minnesota Wild at Phoenix Coyotes, 9 p.m. ET

    Preview: Boston Bruins at Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m. ET

    Preview: Detroit Red Wings at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m. ET

    • • • • •

    Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...

    1. Sabres will listen to Miller. New GM Tim Murray will be the

    Read More »from Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Bruins visit Kings; Datsyuk scratched again

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