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.

  • THE VENT is a forum for rants, raves, pleas and laments from hockey fans across the world about the NHL lockout. It runs every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. If you've got a take on the lockout and need to let it out, email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com, Subject: The Vent.

    Dave Morton doesn't want to see another empty space on the Stanley Cup again. He wants control of the world's greatest trophy taken away from the Trust and put in the hands of the Canadian government.

    Given the way the NHL has treated the Fans, I suggest the Government of Canada should take back control of the Stanley Cup! Removing the NHL cronies from the Trust that is responsible for looking after the Stanley Cup, and insert a cross section of Canadians that have a true interest in the game of hockey, not just making money! Then allow the Stanley Cup to be awarded to the Team or League that is most deserving of winning it. Hey, what about awarding it to the winners of The IIHF world championship, men and women? Wouldn't that be a good legacy for Bettman's 20 yr. tenure as Commissioner of the NHL....

    Boycotting the games won't work, since many fans will continue to go anyway, and in the case of most of the original 6, they're all big business season ticket holders anyway.

    Bettman and company have proven they couldn't care less about the fans, they just want more of our money. Locking out the NHLPA is a legitimate method of dealing with an unreasonable union when all else fails. But, it should not be used just because Bettman says you accept our first ridiculous offer, or we take our ball and go home. Bettman has 2  interests; one is money and the other driving force is to CONTROL. Unfortunately, Donald Fehr and the NHLPA aren't cooperating so far.

    If all, or most Canadians wrote to their Municipal, Provincial, and Federal representatives, it just might happen.

    I can't think of better way to deliver the message to Bettman and company, than to take back the Stanley Cup!

    Can we Americans get involved, Dave?

    Read More »from Canadians taking back Stanley Cup; fans don’t matter; boycott idea with a twist (THE VENT)
  • Sports Collectors DailyHow much would you pay for a piece of history? Specifically, how much would you pay for a piece of American hockey history?

    As we told you on Tuesday, Mike Eruzione, captain of the American team that won the men's ice hockey gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, is selling several pieces of his hockey collection, including the jersey and stick he used in the victory over the Soviet Union in the famed "Miracle on Ice" game. The live auction will take place early in 2013 via Heritage Auctions.

    This won't be the first "Miracle"-related item to hit the auction market. Please recall Mark Wells' gold medal from those Olympics selling for over $310,000, as well as the jersey Ken Morrow wore in the victory over Finland fetching over $104,000. The pre-sale estimate for Eruzione's "Miracle" jersey, according to Sports Collectors Daily, is a million dollars.

    Will some rich, American hockey fan (Hi, Terry Pegula!) pony up at least that much?

    Yes, indeed they will.

    So why is Eruzione choosing to part with such a treasured item (among others) now? He's thinking about family.

    Read More »from Why Mike Eruzione is selling his game-worn ‘Miracle on Ice’ jersey
  • @peaks71 / YouTubeAbove is Craig Peacock of the Belfast Giants in more attractive times dancing to Mariah Carey and post-injury from over the weekend. You might remember the 24-year old forward from his featured role in their "All I Want For Christmas" viral video from 2010.

    On Saturday, in a game against the Fife Flyers, Peacock scored the Giants' opening goal, but would later leave the game after taking a skate blade to his upper lip.

    The result? Twenty-nine stitches after dumping Bobby Chaumont over the boards (long distance video at the 10:25 mark here).

    Once he was stitched up Peacock let Giants fan know he was okay by Tweeting out the above "after" picture of his grisly injury. He then warned everyone who possess a weak stomach that he was going to show the "before" photo.

    If you can handle it, check it out after the jump. It's quite NSFW.

    Read More »from Craig Peacock of the Belfast Giants gruesomely shows you what skate to face looks like (PHOTOS)
  • Getty ImagesWe here at Puck Daddy are incredibly fond of Rene Rancourt, the anthem singer for the Boston Bruins. From his stellar pipes, to his incredibly patriotic fashion sense, to his ability to deliver endless fist pumps, if we could hire him to sing random songs at Puck Daddy HQ, we would; hell, people have hired him to perform at their weddings. (Lucky dogs.)

    So with no NHL hockey being played, hockey fans in Boston and across the world are robbed of Rene's pre-game magic show. But fear not, as the San Jose Sharks' AHL affiliates in nearby Worcester have come to save the day, if only for just one night.

    On Tuesday, the Baby Sharks announced that they've signed Rancourt to a one-game ATO (anthem tryout), where he'll perform before their game on Saturday night against the Portland Pirates.

    From the Sharks:

    "I would like to thank the Worcester Sharks for the opportunity to stay in shape during the NHL work stoppage," said Rene Rancourt. "I look forward to get my vocal cords back in game shape in the AHL and look forward to making my Sharks debut at the DCU Center on December 16."

    "The Sharks are excited to have an NHL caliber voice singing the national anthem before the Sharks game on December 16," said Mudd. "We are thrilled to give Rene Rancourt the opportunity to work on his famous fist pumps and salute at the DCU Center in Worcester.

    Too bad the Sharks aren't giving out an updated Christmas Rancournament...

    Finally, from the Boston Globe in April, here's Rancourt in his own words describing what his life is like during "game day":

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Rene Rancourt, Boston Bruins anthem god, given 1-game AHL tryout by Sharks
  • In 19 games with Frolunda of the Swedish Elitserien, Matt Duchene scored four times and assisted on 10 others as part of a squad that also featured a wide variety of familiar names such Viktor Stalberg, Fabian Brunnstom, Joel Lundqvist, and P.J. Axelsson (!).

    Duchene played his final game for Frolunda on Saturday, a 3-1 win that saw him score the game-winning goal before the home fans said their goodbyes to him as the 21-year old Colorado Avalanche forward came back out on to the ice afterward:

    He might have been frustrated at times with his teammates, but he eventually settled in to enjoy his time in Sweden. Frolunda sits in eighth place as of Monday and will see its young locked out NHLer depart for Switzerland.

    On Sunday, Duchene confirmed rumors via his Twitter account that he would be leaving for Ambri-Piotta of the Swiss league, joining newly-signed Cory Schneider. According to the team, his contract is through Dec. 31 -- tied to the NHL's lockout situation, of course -- and he has an option to extend the deal for the remainder of the Swiss season.

    Duchene will arrive in Switzerland today and begin training with the team on Tuesday. He's expected to make his debut with his new club on Dec. 18.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Watch Matt Duchene get rousing send-off from Frolunda fans in final game (VIDEO)
  • Andrej Nestrasil as Kevin McCallister

    The holiday season is in full swing and there are 17 shopping days until Christmas. Hockey teams are already getting in the mood all over the world with various promotions, such as teddy bear tosses and special jerseys.

    Choreographed music videos are a favorite around here, as we all remember the Belfast Giants' take on Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" from 2010. Today, the ECHL's Toledo Walleye are giving it a shot with their version of The Drifters' "White Christmas", highlighted by Nestrasil acting out the Macaulay Culkin/aftershave scene.

    (Click the screencap to watch the video)

    It truly was a group effort. Even head coach Nick Vitucci got involved (as he gazes into your eyes above). According to the Walleye, the Toledo Ballet helped out with the choreography, and what an afternoon that must have been!

    The video acts as the perfect commercial for the Walleye. First, you get sucked in by the song and Clyde McPhatter's dulcet tones; then you stick around to see which of your favorite players has the worst dance moves until finally you finally realize: yup, all of them.

    Stick-tap Rachel Lenzi

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Toledo Walleye get Christmassy by singing ‘White Christmas’ (VIDEO)
  • Getty ImagesIt's the morning after one of the most bizarre nights in the NHL CBA negotiations and the thought of whether or not there will be a season is even murkier today.

    One of the handful of restricted free agents who did not sign before the lockout began on Sept. 15 was Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche. The 21-year old center who scored 18 goals and 55 points last season has finally inked a multi-year deal. The only catch is that it's in the KHL with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

    On Friday, the team announced that O'Reilly would be joining his brother, Cal, and Evgeni Malkin, in Metallurg after signing a two-year deal. But like other NHLers signing deals in Europe, he has an out-clause for his unique situation.

    From Ria Novosti:

    "It has been agreed by mutual consent that if Ryan is offered a contract on more lucrative terms in the National Hockey League, Metallurg will not interfere in that contract being concluded," the team said in a website statement.

    Metallurg did not say how much O'Reilly will be paid in Russia.

    Metallurg currently sit fourth in the KHL's Eastern Conference.

    How many more NHL players will venture to Europe now that the latest round of CBA talks have broken up? And will Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby finally make the jump? Switzerland appears to be the place where he'll land if he does go, but as he told media this morning after skating in Pittsburgh, "At the end of the day, I'm a hockey player. This is getting ridiculous." Frustration has set in.

    On Thursday night, after negotiations had broken off, Crosby told Rob Rossi of the Tribune Review that he was holding off on making a decision on Europe because he felt the two sides were close to a deal.

    Time is running out to save the season and we'll likely get more "the two sides touched base over the weekend" news in the coming days, but if they're as close as many make them out to be, a couple days break and right back at it next week would be an ideal scenario for everyone.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Ryan O’Reilly inks two-year deal in KHL with Metallurg Magnitogorsk
  • Getty ImagesThe NHL podium that launched a Twitter account.

    Larry Tanenbaum of the Toronto Maple Leafs told reporters in New York City Wednesday afternoon, "We're going to continue to talk up until we get a deal."

    Well, a second day of prolonged discussions between a handful of NHL owners and players lasted over 10 hours and went until 1 a.m ET, and reasons for optimism were boosted even higher than they were after Tuesday's talks. Two consecutive days and over 17 hours of discussions. Desperation time has set in.

    "We had a series of candid discussions tonight. We will meet again tomorrow (Thursday)," said Ron Hainsey of the Winnipeg Jets, speaking on behalf of the PA. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly echoed Hainsey's comments saying, "We had good, candid dialogue; there continues to be critical open issues between the two parties."

    Daly also said that the league is expecting to hear back on those open issues Thursday.

    According to the Canadian Press, both sides swapped proposals on Wednesday. One aspect has the NHL reportedly pushing for a 10-year term for this new CBA with an out clause after eight, while the union would like something shorter. But for the sake of getting a deal closed maybe the PA relents for the longer term?

    John Shannon of Sportsnet is reporting that the NHL has moved on the "Make Whole" provision, bringing their total contribution to $300 million; unrestricted free agency and arbitration rules would remain the same, along with their stance on contract limits.

    Something that reportedly also came up during Wednesday's talks was -- if a deal falls into place soon -- games being played on Christmas, according to Damien Cox of the Toronto Star. This idea was brought up in 2009 and supported by both the NHL and NHLPA, but that was as part of a typical 82-game schedule, not a truncated one where opening night for the 2012-13 season could fall around Dec. 25.

    (Hockey on Christmas brought the typical groans from some members of the media who were overlooking the thought that, you know, there'd be actual NHL hockey to cover instead of standing on sidewalks in New York City and Toronto.)

    Clearly there's headway being made here. The expiration date of the 2012-13 season is quickly approaching and talks have reached a critical juncture. Both sides will meet internally on Thursday morning before re-convening to go at it again.

    We've all been wishing since the summer that both sides would lock themselves in a room until a new deal is agreed upon. This is the closest we'll get to that, and hopefully the positive vibes and desperation in the air aren't flushed away like they were after previous meetings.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from NHL, NHLPA hold extended ‘candid’ talks, ‘critical open issues’ to be discussed Thursday
  • NHLPA seeks to have Derek Boogaard family lawsuit dismissed

    Getty ImagesIn September, the parents of Derek Boogaard filed a lawsuit against the NHL Players' Association claiming that the union failed to assist them in filing a grievance for the remainder of his contract with the New York Rangers.

    At the time of Boogaard's death in May 2011, there were four years and $4.8 million left on his contract with the team. The lawsuit is seeking the remaining money on the contract plus $5 million in punitive damages.

    The lawsuit alleges that "at numerous times during his professional hockey career, to cope with injuries and pain and simply to be able to play or sleep after games, Derek Boogaard was prescribed or injected with a multitude of narcotics and sleeping pills by both the team doctors, physicians, trainers and dentists of the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild."

    After reports of the lawsuit broke, the NHLPA responded in a statement saying, "We are saddened to read reports that the parents of the late Derek Boogaard have filed a lawsuit against the NHLPA.  We have not been served with or seen a copy of the complaint, but we are confident that there is no meritorious claim that can be made against the NHLPA in regard to Derek's tragic death. It is not appropriate to comment further at this time."

    This week, the NHLPA moved to have the lawsuit dismissed.

    Read More »from NHLPA seeks to have Derek Boogaard family lawsuit dismissed
  • Team CocoBack in July, Conan O'Brien took to Twitter to jab the Los Angeles Kings and their fans a month after the team's Stanley Cup triumph. Kings forward Dustin Penner shot right back at the late night talk show host, to much approval from fans.

    Almost five months later, with Penner currently locked out of his job, he looked to O'Brien for some help, taking up an intern position on his show:

    Last week, Penner told the Winnipeg Sun that he asked his agent to find him something to do during the lockout, something that wouldn't pay him, but give him a fun experience. That led to an article penned by Penner for Vibe magazine in October about electronic dance music.

    After filming the Conan bit last week, it was approved on Monday and made last night's show. "It was a lot of fun," Penner told Paul Friesen of the Sun. "Because I fancy myself as a bit of a comedic enthusiast. I try to find laughter every day."

    Judging by Penner's experience on Conan he may have been bitten by the Hollywood bug:

    Twitter

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Dustin Penner interns with Conan O’Brien during LA Kings’ lockout downtime (VIDEO)

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