- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy28 mins ago
TORONTO – The NHL announced plans for its centennial celebration beginning in 2017 with a number of events that will reach out to hockey fans in every market.
Along with the celebration calendar, the league announced that Wayne Gretzky has been named NHL Centennial Ambassador and will appear at various events throughout 2017.
The centennial party will end in November and December 2017 with events in the birthplace of the NHL, Montreal, and the site of the league’s first game, Ottawa.
Here’s the full calendar:
NHL Centennial Truck Tour (Jan. 1 – Dec. 2017) – This will visit all NHL markets throughout the year and include a 53-foot museum truck with “an interactive interior with original video content, exclusive memorabilia, and fan activations.” Also, there will be another 53-foot truck that will hold a big video screen for viewing parties and appearance from current and former players. A synthetic ice rink will be available for youth games and clinics. Toronto will get the first look at the Centennial Truck during the outdoor game on New Year’s Day.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy57 mins ago
Chicago Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin won the Calder Trophy last season and helped Patrick Kane to his Hart Trophy with outstanding play on their top line. He’s entering the last year of his entry-level contract, and he’s looking to get paid.
Which, if you know your recent Blackhawks history, is sort of a problem.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Panarin is seeking a six-year deal with in excess of $6 million per season. From the Tribune:
Panarin’s agent, Tom Lynn, said last week that the sides were in discussions on a new deal for the winger, who will be a restricted free agent following the 2016-17 season.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
TORONTO – If Mike Babcock has his way, the next World Cup of Hockey will have some changes.
The Team Canada coach was asked about the 2016 event, which is sanctioned by the NHL and NHLPA, and what could be different for the next World Cup in four years.
First he discussed a shift in the schedule to have more seats filled at the arena along with having the tournament in different locations and using international rankings to determine some elements about the event.
“Two cities, only night games, bring the pools together, close, close together so you have crowds every night, not moving players around. Based on where you finish, what your world standing is that’s how you’re ranked in the tournament, that’s how you pick dressing rooms, that’s how you pick everything,” Babcock said. “That’s fair, actually. When you go to the Olympic games, the swimmer in the heats that swims the fastest gets the best lane, that’s how it should be.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
TORONTO – Usually, it’s a welcome sight when a team’s fourth line hits the ice against yours. It might be a high-energy, low-talent group that’ll make you hustle, or maybe an ill-fitting group of spare parts that exists to give the other nine players a breather once every few shifts.
But when Canada’s fourth line hits the ice at the World Cup of Hockey? You’re staring at Joe Thornton, a point-per-game player for the San Jose Sharks last season who has 1,341 points in his career. You’re starting at Matt Duchene, who scored 30 goals for the Colorado Avalanche last season. You’re staring at Ryan O’Reilly, considered one of the finest two-way forwards in the NHL who had 60 points for the Buffalo Sabres last season.
Oh, and if you happen to draw Canada’s third defensive pairing? Then you’re facing Alex Pietrangelo, the St. Louis Blues’ top defenseman, and Brent Burns, who had 75 points last season and was a Norris Trophy finalist.
So … good luck.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
So the word is finally on the street that Jacob Trouba requested a trade before the NHL draft last June and that the Jets haven’t fulfilled his request.
The question, then, is what the Jets want in return. And the answer, according to Gary Lawless, is a player of similar age and experience, who is also a right-shot defenseman. In subsequent tweets, Lawless also says Winnipeg wanted to sign Trouba long-term, and that they don’t really want picks or prospects coming back. At first blush you hear that ask and say it is both reasonable and unlikely to help Kevin Cheveldayoff find a taker. Put another way, they want another — as Travis Yost pointed out yesterday — potential No. 1 defenseman to replace the unhappy one they’d be giving up.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
TORONTO – There are similarities between Ralph Krueger and Mike Babcock. Their international success as hockey coaches. Their cerebral, psychological approach to the game. Their wry humor in postgame press conferences.
And also water skiing.
“We’re both fanatic water skiers, so we compare our best water ski results on a regular basis, and that’s all we’ve talked about when we run into each other here,” said Krueger, head coach of Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey.
“He loves water skiing. I love water skiing. His daughter’s one of the best in the world, so I follow her,” said Babcock, head coach of Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey.
Babcock and Krueger are meeting in the World Cup of Hockey final, a best of three series beginning on Tuesday night between the tournament host – a juggernaut that’s trailed 89 seconds in its four wins – and an underdog European team that was created for wayward players that didn’t have their nations represented in the tournament.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
We finally have an answer as to whether Vladimir Sobotka will return to the NHL and St. Louis Blues this season.
According to Omsk of the KHL, the 29-year-old Sobotka will stay in Russia to fulfill the final year of his contract.
“The situation is developing exactly as we expected. Sobotka has Omsk [have a] valid contract for next year and representatives of the KHL to the NHL signed a memorandum of respect for treaties,” said club president Vladimir Šhalaev in a statement on Omsk’s website.
The Blues, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, are “still waiting to hear” from Sobotka’s camp.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
Last Season: 38-33-11 (87 points); 5th in Central; 2nd Wild Card spot in West
The first two-thirds (ish) of the season wasn’t an easy one for the Minnesota Wild.
The team was constantly dancing around the ‘will they, won’t they’ question of firing head coach Mike Yeo. Fifty five games into the season, a 23-22-10 record, and an eight game losing streak later, Yeo was sent packing.
Taking over was then-Iowa Wild (AHL) head coach, John Torchetti. He dug the team out of the cellar of the Central Division. In the final 27 games, the Wild were 15-11-1 and clinched a playoff spot shortly before the end of the season.
Facing the Dallas Stars in the first round of the playoffs, the Wild lost in six games. Yet their playoff loss would end up being their long-term gain. Since the Anaheim Ducks lost in the first round as well and decided to fire Bruce Boudreau, Minnesota swooped in and won the bidding war by offering Boudreau four years to the Ottawa Senators three.
2015-16 Season, In One Picture
The Great Round Hope for the State of Hockey.
Did They Get Better, Worse, or Are They About The Same?
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
TORONTO – John Tavares has 207 career NHL goals, so it’s not too often a goaltender gets him frustrated. But seeing Carey Price make saves against your best efforts every day in practice would definitely result in a few whacks of the boards with one’s stick.
“It’s really good for you and also can be a little frustrating,” Tavares said Tuesday of shooting on Price. “He makes some saves look so easy. You feel like you’ve made a really good shot, you got a lot on it, able to catch him off guard or pick the spot you’re hitting and he just swallows it up.”
Despite Price’s frequent denials of good opportunities, there is a benefit, Tavares says.
“As a player, going up against someone like him everyday in these past few weeks certainly makes you a much better shooter and helps you to develop many parts of your game trying to score goals,” he said. “[He’s] just so calm in net, he’s always so poised.”
“Calm” has been a consistent words used to describe Price on and off the ice in his career. No matter the situation – Olympics, Stanley Cup Playoffs, World Cup – the Montreal Canadiens netminder is tough to take off his game.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy23 hrs ago
TORONTO – It takes an average of 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text message. It takes 90 seconds to watch a typical advertisement during the Super Bowl. It takes 90 seconds to make a bag of Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice.
Canada has trailed in the World Cup of Hockey for 89 seconds. Canada has faced four teams, and has trailed for less time than it takes to text a friend, watch a commercial or make microwave rice.
Don’t they wish they were challenged even a little bit before reaching the final against Team Europe?
“Not at all!” laughed general manager Doug Armstrong. “I like it just the way it’s going.”