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 meeting of Geneve-Servette HC and HC Davos, both of the National League A (Switzerland), on Saturday was the second time this season that Joe Thornton squared off against his San Jose Sharks teammate Logan Couture. Couture got the better of Jumbo Joe (and Rick Nash) the first time around and did so again during a 5-4 overtime win yesterday.

    Couture did his part in helping Servette keep their first place standing by scoring the fourth goal via the always thrilling between-the-legs move after a nice individual sequence:

    Through 12 games, Couture is enjoying his time in Switzerland. Aside from sitting in first place, Couture has scored five times and contributed 16 points.

    Next up is Austen Burgh of the Colorado State men's hockey team. Participating in last weekend's Rocky Mountain Showcase against University of Colorado at Pepsi Center, Burgh created a turnover at his own blue line and found himself on a breakaway. What's a player to do when you're up 4-2 late in the game and going for your team's fifth goal of the night? Why, you dip into your bag of tricks, of course:

    If you successfully pull off that move for a goal, then you deserve to celebrate however you want, like the dive/swim move at center ice Bergh performed.

    What makes these goals even more impressive is the balls on both Couture and Burgh to attempt them during the course of open play. These weren't Round 16 shootout attempts like Marek Malik, these were goal scoring opportunities against competitive opponents, not some sort of charity game of shinny. You don't see all the YouTube videos of the misses, just the ones, like above, that are tried and executed to perfection. Good on 'em.

    Stick-tap to JT Utah for the Couture video

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Watch Logan Couture and Austen Burgh perfectly execute the between-the-legs shot (VIDEO)
  • APWith the cancellation of the NHL schedule through Nov. 30, both the NHL and NHLPA have released statements responding to the depressing news.

    [Related: No agreement in sight, no NHL hockey in November]

    First up, here's NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly:

    "The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action. By presenting a proposal to the NHLPA that contemplated a fair division of revenues and was responsive to Player concerns regarding the value of their contracts, we had hoped to be able to forge a long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement that would have preserved an 82-game Regular Season for our fans. Unfortunately, that did not occur.

    "We acknowledge and accept that there is joint responsibility in collective bargaining and, though we are profoundly disappointed that a new agreement has not been attained to this point, we remain committed to achieving an agreement that is fair for the Players and the Clubs -- one that will be good for the game and our fans."

    NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr followed up a few minutes later:

    "The league officially informed us today that they have withdrawn their latest proposal and have cancelled another slate of regular season games. This is deeply disappointing for all hockey fans and everyone who makes their living from hockey, including the players.  But it comes as no surprise.

    Last week the owners gave us what amounts to a "take-it-or-leave-it" proposal.  We responded with the framework for three proposals on the players' share, each of which moved significantly, towards their stated desire for a 50-50 split of HRR, with the only condition being that they honour contracts they have already signed. Honouring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request. Unfortunately, after considering them for only 10 minutes they rejected all of our proposals.

    Since then, we have repeatedly advised the owners that the players are prepared to sit down and negotiate on any day, with no pre-conditions.  The owners refused.  They apparently are only interested in meeting if we first agree to everything in their last offer, except for perhaps a few minor tweaks and discussion of their "make whole" provision.

    The message from the owners seems to be: if you don't give us exactly what we want, there is no point in talking.  They have shown they are very good at delivering deadlines and demands, but we need a willing partner to negotiate.  We hope they return to the table in order to get the players back on the ice soon."

    Things will only get bleaker as time goes on and the two sides fail to meet. The Winter Classic and All-Star Game in Columbus will be next -- and likely soon -- if there's no sunshine on the horizon.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Daly wants ‘fair deal’, Fehr wants ‘willing partner’ as NHL cancels Nov. games
  • With no agreement in sight, NHL cancels games through Nov. 30

    Getty ImagesThursday's deadline for the NHLPA to accept the NHL's offer proposed last week to save the full 82-game schedule came and went off the table Thursday, so what was expected became official as the league canceled the schedule through Nov. 30.

    [Trending Topics: Firing Don Fehr or Gary Bettman wouldn't solve anything]

    From the NHL:

    The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through November 30 because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL.

    A total of 326 regular-season games — 26.5 percent of the season -- were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.

    [Related: Bill Daly, Donald Fehr release statements in response to cancelations]

    Two big dates on the NHL calendar that are now gone include the Nov. 9 Hall of Fame Game in Toronto three days before former Maple Leaf Mats Sundin is inducted along with Pavel Bure, Adam Oates and Joe Sakic, as well as the "NHL Thanksgiving Showdown" on Nov. 23 that was set to feature the New York Rangers visiting the Boston Bruins and a float in the Macy's parade the day before.

    Surviving Thursday's cuts, for now, include the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1 and, per Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the 2013 All-Star game in Columbus scheduled for late January. Though rumors are swirling that both could be axed sometime next week.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from With no agreement in sight, NHL cancels games through Nov. 30
  • MSG Network to broadcast pair of KHL games as NHL lockout continues

    Getty ImagesNext Monday, ESPN3 will air the sixth of its minimum seven games they announced earlier this month as part of an agreement with the KHL. The ESPN2 broadcasts featuring Steve Levy and Barry Melrose were, uh, not so good, but it was still real live hockey featuring a sprinkling of NHLers like Zdeno Chara and Alex Ovechkin.

    Looking to further its television imprint in North America while the NHL sits on the sidelines, the KHL has come to an agreement with MSG Network (owned by New York Rangers owner James Dolan) to broadcast two games in the next week featuring tri-state area players Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils and Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh.

    From MSG:

    MSG Networks, New York's hockey home, will telecast two Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) games in October. The games, on Friday, October 26 and Wednesday, October 31 on MSG, will be presented at 1:00 p.m. Eastern [on a 1-hour delay] with an encore presentation in primetime both nights at 8:00 p.m.

    MSG's John Giannone will call play-by-play alongside analyst Joe Micheletti from the MSG Studios at 11 Penn Plaza.

    Formed in 2008, the KHL includes 26 hockey clubs from Belarus, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine split into four divisions. The league runs from September to April and the winner is awarded the Gagarin Cup.

    MSG's presentation of KHL games is in association with the leagues' media partner, UFA Sports GmbH.

    Friday's tilt between Dinamo Minsk and Barys Astana will feature McDonagh, Victor Hedman, Evander Kane, Joe Pavelski, and everyone's favorite KHL goon, Jon Mirasty. Next Wednesday, when Dinamo Riga and SKA St. Petersburg meet, viewers will see Kovalchuk, Sergei Bobrovsky and Vladimir Tarasenko.

    With voids on their broadcasting schedules now, stations need content. So with an aggressive media partner in UFA Sports, the KHL could really become a regular presence this season in North America as the NHL cancels more and more games.

    After ESPN and now MSG, Canada, you might be next.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from MSG Network to broadcast pair of KHL games as NHL lockout continues
  • We're just under two weeks away from the 2012 United States presidential election. This is the time for President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney to try and convince those undecided voters and cement their positions in the minds of the American people.

    [Also: Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane signs in Switzerland, and he's bringing his mom]

    The President was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wednesday doing just that and while taking a question from a viewer, he weighed in on a hot issue affecting us all: the NHL lockout:

    For the video impaired:

    "You know, I do have a comment on this. Every time these things happen I just want to remind the owners and the players: you guys make money because you got a whole bunch of fans out there who are working really hard. They buy tickets. They're watching on TV. Ya'll should be able to figure this out. Get this done."

    The question came from "Mike from Los Angeles", a fan who just probably (if he's a Kings fan, of course) just experienced the thrill of a Stanley Cup victory and like the Kings, is hoping the city can continue building off of the momentum generated by their run last spring.

    Sadly for Mike it doesn't appear as if either the NHL or NHLPA will heed the presidential advice. No talks are currently planned as today is the NHL's deadline to save the full 82-game season. At this point, we'll likely see another batch of games chopped from the schedule sometime this week.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Watch President Obama tell NHL, NHLPA to ‘get this done’ with Jay Leno (VIDEO)
  • Getty Images"HELLO BROOKLYN!" was the greeting the media were met with by most of the speakers during Wednesday afternoon's press conference to officially announce the New York Islanders' move to the Barclays Center. After a long process of trying to get an arena deal on Long Island, Islanders owner Charles Wang has found a home in Brooklyn for a very long time.

    [Nick Cotsonika: League's frustrated, union's upset after MemoGate lockout sideshow]

    Wang announced that beginning with the 2015-16 season the Islanders will begin an ironclad 25-year lease agreement to play in Brooklyn. How excited is everyone involved about the move? The team is already taking $200 season ticket deposits.

    "We have tried really hard to keep the Islanders in their home of Nassau County," said Wang. "Unfortunately, we were unable to keep that dream. This has been a very long journey for the Islanders."

    While the team is still three years away from debuting, one of the concerns of hockey at the Barclays Center was the seating capacity for hockey. At the moment, Barclays seats approximately 14,500 for puck, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday that Wang and Barclays minority owner and developer Bruce Ratner were working that issue and that it's "not an issue."

    With two years left on their Nassau Coliseum agreement, Wang said he is going to honor the remainder of the team's lease.

    For Islanders fans -- and hockey fans -- who were wondering whether or not the team's current name and logo will become vintage once they hit Brooklyn, fear not, as the press release included this sentence:

    "In support of the illustrious history of the team, the New York Islanders name and logo will remain unchanged."

    Your Brooklyn Hipsters jokes are no more.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Islanders officially announce 25-year lease at Barclays Center; name and logo to stay
  • A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    It's a Wednesday 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: Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal will be on to talk about the New York Islanders moving to Brooklyn; Michael Grange of Sports on the CBA talks; and Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch on John Davidson's move to the Blue Jackets.

    Question of the Day: Rename the Islanders!

    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: Islanders to Brooklyn; John Davidson to Columbus; CBA talks
  • 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.

    Grand Forks Herald

    • Workers today began removing the "Home of the Fighting Sioux" sign at Ralph Engelstad Arena at the University of North Dakota today. It will be replaced with "Home of North Dakota Hockey". [Jamestown Sun]

    • Patrick Kane heads to Switzerland to play with EHC Biel and Tyler Seguin. Those post-game parties will never be the same. [EHC Biel]

    • So where do we stand on the CBA talks? "League sources say Bettman won't be allowed to offer up any more concessions to try to get a deal and, in fact, he has gone further than some owners expected he would." Ugh. [Ottawa Sun]

    • What are some good and bad signs in the CBA talk? Down Goes Brown helps you out: "Good sign: The players have been attempting to build goodwill by inviting the owners to spend leisure time with them individually. Bad sign: So far, the owners have declined the repeated invitations to go for a nice walk in the woods with David Booth."  [DGB]

    • Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders has written a blog to fans explaining how he sees this current lockout situation. [MGrabs40]

    • A number of players, including Sidney Crosby, who haven't left for Europe have congregated this week to workout in Dallas. [Heika]

    • Here's a Maple Leafs Gardens dressing room toilet up for auction. Poop where Wendel did! [Frozen Pond]

    • Don Cherry took a break railing against Europeans and players who wear visors to set his scope on ... baseball announcer Tim McCarver? [Awful Announcing]

    Read More »from Patrick Kane to Switzerland; Michael Grabner blogs; Don Cherry vs. Tim McCarver (Puck Headlines)
  • When Jon Mirasty was with Vityaz of the KHL last season, he and his buddy Jeremy Yablonski laid waste to many a challenger as the pair, along with Kip Brennan and Nick Tarnasky, piled up a whopping 784 penalty minutes earning quite the reputation wherever they traveled.

    Mirasty, Brennan and Tarnasky moved on from Vityaz over the summer, so to help replace all those fighting majors the team brought in noted goon Trevor Gillies. On Monday, Vityaz faced off against Mirasty's Barys. And while Yablonski did not suit up, Mirasty and Gillies did and the pair dropped the gloves just 2:28 into the opening period.

    Via HockeyFights.com:

    As you'll notice, Mirasty wasn't smiling this time around while getting punched in the face as Gillies earned the TKO. It's also pretty clear that Mirasty suffered some sort of head injury judging by his short skate to the penalty box and his lengthy, lengthy fight card.

    The game was built up with the hope that old teammates, Yablonski and Mirasty, would take center stage, but Yablonski being out killed those thoughts. There's always next time as the two sides meet again on Dec. 3.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Fight Video: Watch Trevor Gillies handle Jon Mirasty for TKO victory
  • Binghamton Senators goaltender Robin Lehner is no stranger to dropping the blocker and the glove and scrapping with an opponent. His fiery temper has given us some memorable moments over the past few years.

    On Saturday night, Lehner added another fight to his belt taking on Riku Helenius of the Syracuse Crunch while the Senators enjoyed a comfortable 5-0 second period lead. Here's the entire brouhaha, thanks to HockeyFights.com:

    For his trouble, Lehner ended up with a game misconduct and was ejected with 10:30 left in the second period. In came Nathan Lawson, and that's when things fell apart. Syracuse would score twice in the second period, three times in the third and then Richard Panik potted home the overtime winner to complete the stunning comeback.

    After the game, Senators head coach Luke Richardson hoped his netminder could keep his temper under control in the future, something that was provoked by some crease crashing by the Crunch. From the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin:

    "I think there's always excitement when goalies fight but he's here to stop the puck and that's what he did well in the first half of the game. He's a fiery guy but he has to manage that and we have to help him manage that. We have to keep guys away from slamming into him."

    The gamesheet, as you would imagine, is quite long (hey, a Hugh Jessiman sighting!) and as you'll see, the entire game was chippy with 152 penalty minutes handed out in total.

    Stick-tap Raw Charge

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Robin Lehner gets ejected for goalie fight, Binghamton Senators blow 5-0 lead, lose in OT (VIDEO)

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