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.

  • Getty ImagesThe 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are 481 days away and the NHL and its players are still undecided about whether or not the league will participate for a fifth straight time.

    There are good reasons why Commissioner Gary Bettman is hesitant to tell the the NHLPA, IOC and IIHF head Rene Fasel "yes". Between shutting down the regular season for three weeks to not being able to broadcast highlights thanks to the IOC's strict licensing rules to praying no one gets injured, there's a lot to be concerned with from the league's side. Oh, not making any money off things is a sticking point as well.

    Factor in unattractive time zones for Sochi and Pyeongchang, South Korea, the host in 2018, for television and enter the World Cup of Hockey.

    The tournament hasn't been played since the summer of 2004, but every time the idea of its revival is brought up it's welcomed with opened arms because it's something that the NHL and the NHLPA can control and most importantly, generate revenue with. While in every discussion since 2004 -- our final glimpse of hockey before the last lockout began -- has slotted in a World Cup in its typical late-August/early-September slot on the calendar, there's a chance that it could be moved to fill in dates in future Februarys in non-Olympic years.

    From Roy McGregor of the Globe and Mail:

    A reborn World Cup, however, would be profoundly different, with the tournament played at prime time for television as well as prime time for hockey — February of every fourth year, alternating with the Olympic Winter Games so hockey fans would have a major international tournament every second year.

    "We've had those discussions informally," confirmed Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, who personally supports the initiative. "It's all about growing all facets of the game."

    The IIHF is reviewing its championship structure and working on a 10-to-12-year plan that is roughly modelled on FIFA (soccer's world governing body) and aimed at increasing international interest in hockey.

    There's been a lot of support for a return of a hockey World Cup. The tournament was rumored to made a comeback in 2011, but never materialized. In 2010, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke penned an editorial saying it's a no-brainer' for everyone involved. Even as late as this past June Bettman expressed interest. NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr has brought it up in the past.

    Right now it's not a question about whether or not a World Cup of Hockey will return, it's when.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Is it just a matter of time before a return of the World Cup of Hockey?
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    It's a Friday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:

    Special Guest Stars: Marek flies solo! We're joined by the legendary Terry Ryan. The former NHLer and great storyteller will talk about inventing the "hot stick" celebration that Ovechkin aped years later. Also, hockey author Todd Denault chats up his newest (and most excellent) book "A Season in Time" about the '92-'93 NHL season, one that many say was the last 'pure hockey' season the NHL ever had.

    Question of the Day: What was your favorite hockey season and why?

    Email your answers to jeff.marek@sportsnet.ca or tweet them with the hashtag #MvsW to @jeffmarek.

    Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above! Click here to download podcasts from the show each day Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or Feedburner.

    Read More »from Marek vs. Wyshynski Radio: Solo Marek; former NHLer Terry Ryan and author Todd Denault
  • 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.

    Reddit

    • Ugh. Some Justin Bieber fan has defaced the memorial to Rick Rypien outside of Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Sickening. [Pass it to Bulis]

    • Michael Grange on the idea of the NHLPA going after the salary cap: "Suggesting the NHL should scrap its hard-won and dearly cherished salary cap would likely set off hockey's version of an intractable blood feud." Happy Opening Night*, people! [Sportsnet]

    • As the NHL and NHLPA figure out what revenue split will be best, Jesse Spector ponders whether the NBA or Major League Baseball model would be suitable for both sides. [Sporting News]

    • Ryan Clowe of the San Jose Sharks says that the players aren't cracking and hasn't put a lot of thought yet into venturing to Europe to play while a deal is being worked out. [ESPN]

    • Daniel Alfredsson on the potential damages of an extended lockout:"If nothing happens, I could have played my last game. That's fine with me. I'm not going to try and push here. I want a deal that's fair. And if that means we're not going to play because the owners don't want to negotiate fairly with us, then so be it and that's the way it is. Do I want to play? I love to play. I'm having a blast when I'm out there." [Sens Extra]

    • "Given that the NHL is so dysfunctional, greedy and uncaring to fans, it's time to consider a radical approach to solving this mess. One solution is to form a new, independent pro hockey league." Yeah, because that's been so successful in the past! [Toronto Star]

    • Alex Ovechkin on his time so far in the KHL: "I can see the level of the game, I can see the guys, the skill of the players, how they have great techniques. I think right now it's — with the NHL not working — the KHL is the best league." [Russia Today]

    • The ECHL is getting into the outdoor game business Thursday announcing that on a date between Dec. 26 and Jan. 4 in 2014/15 -- yes, two years from now -- the Toledo Walleye play host at Fifth Third Field, home of the Toledo Mud Hens baseball team. [Toledo Blade]

    Read More »from Rick Rypien memorial defaced; ECHL outdoor game; Nathan MacKinnon highlight-reel goal (Puck Headlines)
  • NHL 2012-13 Campaign Preview: Winnipeg Jets

    Getty ImagesYes, indeed, despite the promise of impending labor Armageddon and a prolonged work-stoppage, your friends at Puck Daddy are previewing the 2012-13 NHL season (whenever the heck it starts). Why? Because this is the most important election in the history of all-time ever, and you need to know the candidates — like the Winnipeg Jets.

    NHL hockey returned to Winnipeg last season for the first time since 1995. It was a season of just being happy the Jets were back despite the 11th place finish in the Eastern Conference. Despite having the smallest capacity arena in the league, the MTS Centre was consistently the loudest arena night in and night out. The enthusiastic fan support helped the Jets to a 23-13-5 home record. Sadly for Winnipeg they couldn't play more than 41 regular season games at home because they suffered on the road with a 14-22-5 record. The Jets finished eight points out of a playoff spot and with just a little bit more success on the road they would have potentially found themselves playing into mid-April.

    So on to Year 2. The honeymoon period will begin to wear off and with a full season back in operation all eyes will be toward a return to the playoffs.

    Did the Jets do enough over the summer to secure a top-8 spot in the East?

    Read More »from NHL 2012-13 Campaign Preview: Winnipeg Jets
  • The Langley Rivermen are a Junior A team playing in the British Columbia Hockey League and currently sit fourth in the Mainland Division through eight games.

    This past weekend the Rivermen won a pair of 1-goal games against the Prince George (I wish they were the Spruce Moose) Spruce Kings. Sunday's series finale ended in the most dramatic way possible: a game-winning goal with less than a second to play thanks to forward Austin Azurdia:

    Very impressive patience for the young kid to accept the pass near center ice with five second left and have enough confidence to try and dirty dangle the defenseman instead of firing off a shot to beat the buzzer.

    And for all the well-deserved praise you can toss Azurdia's way, let's give some credit to the play-by-play man, as well. What a call by Brandon Astle, including the applicable, "This kid could run for mayor!"

    It was a plentiful weekend for the 19-year old Azurdia. He earned BCHL Player of the Week honors with four goals and five points in the two games against Prince George, becoming the first player in franchise history to earn the honor, and is currently watching his last second heroics go viral.

    Stick-tap Jimmy Traina

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Austin Azurdia delivers last second heroics for spectacular game winner in BCHL (VIDEO)
  • Very scary moment today during a Swedish Elite League game between Lulea and HV71. Early in the third period HV71 forward Oscar Sundh hit his head on the ice after a collision along the boards:

    Sundh was down on the ice unconscious for about 20 minutes before being transported to a local hospital where he woke up. According to the team doctor, Sundh suffered a concussion and will stay overnight in the hospital for further examination.

    HV71's players and coaching staff decided they didn't want to continue after seeing Sundh leave the ice under such serious circumstances. The game was postponed and will be completed at a later date, which will be determined on Wednesday.

    Stick-tap Fredrik H.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Swedish Elite League game postponed after player suffers head injury (VIDEO)
  • APBack in June of 2008, Dominik Hasek retired from the NHL at age 43 for the second time after 16 seasons. At the press conference, he noted he lacked the motivation to continue playing at a high level — a level that earned him a treasure trove of honors including two Hart Trophies, six Vezina Trophies, two Stanley Cups and an Olympic gold medal.

    A little over four years since that first retirement announcement, Hasek is set for another one, and this time it feels final. In an exclusive interview with iSport Hasek, 47, says it's unlikely he'll play again after failing to receive an offer from an NHL team.

    From iSport (translated):

    "I prepared, I wanted to play. But for what I was studying (return to the NHL), it did not work. I do not see that it has changed," he explained in a video interview for iSport.cz. "I wanted to do everything possible to get back to the NHL, but the other party did not feel like me. Finally I decided it's not worth it," said Hasek.

    Via a IIHF.com translation:

    "It's very sad," Hasek told Sport. "But there is nothing you can do. I realized that it's time to retire."

    In March of 2011, Hasek said he wanted to play one more year in the KHL, but no offers came his way. This past March, he stated that if he didn't receive an adequate contract by June, he would retire. Over the summer, with the talk of retired players like Mike Modano and Georges Laraque making comebacks as well, Hasek began training with Pardubice of the Czech Extraliga -- the team he played for in his youth -- in hopes of enticing offers from NHL teams.

    Reportedly, two of the teams Hasek's camp had spoken with included the Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes, but the lockout and full AHL rosters at the moment put those discussions to a halt. "I see no reason why I would now suddenly be someone they want in the NHL," Hasek said.

    Had there not been an NHL lockout, maybe a team brings him to training camp for PR or to create a competition among their netminders. Maybe. But knowing the kind of fitness freak the future first ballot Hall of Famer Hasek is, a trait that allowed him to play competitively until age 47, it wouldn't surprise us if he's found lacing them up again somewhere in Europe in the future.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Dominik Hasek, 47, retires for a third time after failing to receive NHL offer
  • When we last were able to watch NHL hockey, Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin owned the title of "Goal of the Year" after he took the puck from his own blue line and knifed through the entire Tampa Bay Lightning roster to score the second goal of a hat trick during an 8-1 rout.

    These days Malkin is locked out and playing back with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL. During today's 3-0 win over Amur, Malkin just embarrassed Alexander Osipov for another beauty:

    It was a tough game for Osipov. He took a hit from Nikolai Kulemin earlier in the period and landed face first into the side boards. For Malkin, the goal was his second of the KHL season and he has 9 points through 9 games for Magnitogorsk, two behind the immortal Cal O'Reilly.

    The list of NHLers heading to Europe is growing daily. As the CBA talks drag on and we miss more and more of the 2012-13 season, YouTube and live streams will sadly be our best friends if we're to watch many of our NHL favorites on an ice sheet this year.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Evgeni Malkin not missing a beat in KHL with spectacular goal (VIDEO)
  • NHL 2012-13 Campaign Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning

    Yes, indeed, despite the promise of impending labor Armageddon and a prolonged work-stoppage, your friends at Puck Daddy are previewing the 2012-13 NHL season (whenever the heck it starts). Why? Because this is the most important election in the history of all-time ever, and you need to know the candidates — like the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    After a memorable run to the 2011 Eastern Conference Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning had no magic left last season. They dropped 19 points in the standings and had to settle for watching the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring. Dwayne Roloson couldn't recapture the form that helped lead the Lightning to within a game of the Cup Final and the lack of depth production doomed Tampa.

    The only real highlights were Steven Stamkos once again being Steven Stamkos by scoring 60 goals and winning his second Rocket Richard Trophy and the addition to the badass Tesla coils to the rafters of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

    With GM Steve Yzerman improving the goaltending over the summer and helping to fix a league-worst defense from a year ago, is there a return trip to the playoffs in the cards for the Lightning?

    Read More »from NHL 2012-13 Campaign Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Glitches in video games are sometimes frustrating, but often hilarious. Case and point: the "Hercules Check" that we featured last week showing Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara launching Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby into the fifth row thanks to a booming hip check.

    The clip went viral and EA enlisted NHL 13 producer Sean Ramjagsingh to help explain just how they captured that added bit of "realism":

    If you're a golf fan, you might remember when a gamer found a glitch in Tiger Woods 08 allowing a shot to be made while standing on top of water. EA had Tiger "demonstrate" that he's regularly able to make the "Jesus shot" and that it certainly was no glitch.

    Now, if we could only get them to make hits in the NHL series to mimic those of our favorite fighting games, like the "Hadouken", or just keep the already hilarious glitched reactions to some checks.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from EA Sports explains how the ‘Hercules Check’ in ‘NHL 13′ really happened (VIDEO)

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