Saturday, December 13, 2014

Weekly Award Winners for week ending December 7 2014

Our archive of the players named to the NHL's weekly honour roll through the month of November

Week ending December 7

Pavel Datsyuk -- Detroit Red Wings
Sergei Bobrovsky -- Columbus Blue Jackets
Aaron Ekblad  -- Florida Panthers

Three stars item for December 8, from

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mon capitane, bon voyage...

Yvan Cournyer one of the long time leaders in his own right of Les Canadiens, provided the perfect salute to the most treasured of all Habs, bidding farewell to Jean Béliveau, his captain, Quebec's captain.  A man widely respected across the nation as a man of class, a trait that few can live up to as did the long time icon of hockey in Montreal.

Wednesday, Quebec and Canada said farewell to Mr. Béliveau who passed away one week ago, his health had been failing in recent months, so perhaps announcement of his passing was not an unexpected development, though it was truly an unwanted news bulletin on a Tuesday evening.

With word of his passing, many turned to the remarkable Elise, Mr. Béliveau's partner in life, who has been the rock of which her immediate family and the extended hockey family have taken their cue from over the last seven days.

The funeral at Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral was befitting that of a Prime Minister or Cardinal, the impressive church filled with the famous and not so famous, more still gathered outside in one of those legendary Montreal blizzards, all paying their final salute to the Captain, who defined the sport in the sixties and represented the Canadiens for many years beyond his retirement.

When one reviews Wednesday's final act of mourning, we agree with Ken Dryden in his thoughts that  his funeral service, wasn't so much a farewell, as it was a thank you to the long time hockey icon.

A day that provided a fitting closure to the reminiscing and remembrances of greatness, for a man who had an impact far beyond the ice of the Forum or the other rinks of the NHL.

Tuesday, his team, celebrated a life lived with an emotional pre game ceremony, the kind of event that few professional sports franchises could ever hope to pull off with just the right touch.

Only perhaps the New York Yankess understand the moment, the resonance of such events beyond the sport, as well as Les Canadiens, an organization that truly understood the importance of their longtime leader as a larger than life symbol for Quebec, Canada and hockey.

The Tuesday night salute, followed the days of mourning at the Bell Centre as long lines of Quebecois and no doubt a number from beyond the province, passed by the casket, offering their own short prayer or tribute to their Captain,

Again, it was the remarkable Madam Béliveau that set the tone of the remembrances, both through those endless lines of fans that came to the Bell Centre in tribute and again at the special ceremony as she and her family took their familiar seats at the Bell Centre, Jean Beliveau's seat marked by the iconic number 4 sweater draped in silent tribute.

Through this last week there have been many remembrances of his skill at Canada's winter game, as well as his larger than life presence in the lives that he touched both with the Canadiens and beyond the game itself.

It's hard to pick one or two over the other, all have offered us glimpses of a player that truly fits the title of Legend, Jean Béliveau was a man who resonated beyond the game of hockey, exuding class, grace, skill and a word used often this week that indeed defined him, elegance.

The emotional nature of these last few days, have provided a fine tribute and made for a collective salute to his life and times, a life that was celebrated on Wednesday.

Dec 10 -- Simple elegant funeral is a perfect farewell to Jean Béliveau 
Dec 10 -- Fans, friends and family celebrate hockey star Jean Béliveau
Dec 10-- Thousands bid Habs legend a Final Farewell
Dec 10-- Canadiens, fans celebrate the life of Jean Béliveau at Bell Centre
Dec 10-- Jean Béliveau: Man for all seasons 
Dec 10-- Jean Béliveau's funeral features touching farewells
Dec 10-- Not Goodbye, but thank you
Dec 10-- The great Jean Béliveau remembered by former Montreal Canadiens teammates during emotional funeral
Dec 10-- Jean Béliveau remembered as a "great man" at funeral in Montreal

Dec 9 -- The Jean Béliveau-Elise Couture love story
Dec 9-- Jean Béliveau's widow moved to tears in pre-game tribute to Canadiens legend
Dec 9-- Canadiens turn Jean Béliveau's seat into a shrine, as it should stay

Dec 8-- Jean Béliveau an icon to many, a mensch to all
Dec 7-- Thousands pay emotional last respects to Jean Béliveau

Dec 5-- "We lost a father," Guy Lapointe says of former Canadiens teammate Jean Béliveau

Dec 3-- Béliveau was "the most universally respected hockey player and man"
Dec 3-- Dick Irvin picks Jean Béliveau as greatest Canadiens player
Dec 3-- Jean Béliveau, NHL Legend, remembered as true gentleman
Dec 2-- Jean Béliveau, beloved Canadiens hockey legend, dead at 83

And there have been some impressive video tributes in celebration of a legend.

Leading the parade of visuals, this amazing tribute from Tim Thompson best known for the classic Hockey Night in Canada montages.

Some of our other favourites from a week of remembrances can be found below.




Senators shift direction removing head coach Paul MacLean and turning things over to assistant Dave Cameron

Those that were running through the lists of those that could soon be looking for work, probably hadn't circled the Ottawa Senators on their toto sheet, while the Sens had struggled in recent weeks, the idea that the coach who won the Jack Adams trophy less than two years ago, would be in danger of short term unemployment, most likely wasn't being considered.

So, developments out of Ottawa on Monday certainly caught the NHL world by surprise, as GM Bryan Murray called a press conference to announce the departure of MacLean and the promotion of assistant coach Dave Cameron to the top job.

Something had gone wrong in the nation's capital, the Senators always it seems are on the cusp of something special, only to have it all trail off, the 2014-15 season giving some early signs that those familiar traits were ready to arrive again.

Still, one wonders at what point a team might decide that the immediate fix of a coaching change may not solve the deeper issues. The malaise that seemed to grip the Senators highlighted that they had stopped listening to their coach, yet accountability for that lack of response it would seem won't be demanded just yet.

Dave Cameron takes over the under performing squad, Bryan Murray perhaps believing that a coach who has spent his time with young players in the minor leagues will have greater empathy with the players, coaxing a more successful effort night in and night out.

Some might say that they saw this day coming a few years back, when the then assistant coach, someone highly prized by owner Eugene Melnyk first arrived behind the Senators bench.

That perhaps may not be a fair observation, Cameron has built a record of his own through the years, considered a teacher, his lesson plan will be on that is closely watched through the rest of this season. Yet it will be the tag that follows Cameron through the short term, the subject we imagine of many a phone call late into the night to the Ottawa phone in shows.

On the ice, recurring issues and patterns will need to be addressed, internal issues in the dressing room may also require an exile or two before the Senators can turn a corner that seems further down the ice today than it did a few weeks ago.

Paul MacLean will coach again, most are in agreement with that, good coaches rarely are out of work for long.  And no doubt, other coaches on thin ice in other markets may soon start hearing rumbles that Maclean may be heading their town's way.

For Ottawa, the problem for the Senators of late is that they are quickly becoming a bit of a coaching graveyard, with a list of former coaches that were put in place behind the bench of a team many consider an up and coming force and yet none could take them very far into spring time hockey.

Up and coming has now morphed into rebuilding, player decisions and a team atmosphere that pears to have provided for a shorter timeline between the two than fans in Ottawa probably had expected.

That's not all related to coaching issues, that's a little higher up the corporate ladder, particularly in Ottawa, where a fairly high profile owner will now be in the spotlight.

Accountability for the situation in Ottawa should probably be shared from the dressing room to the owner's box, there's more than enough need to take some responsibility for everyone.

Paul MacLean leaves with no regrets
Paul MacLean’s dismissal was a matter of liveability
Senators fire head coach Paul MacLean; Ave Cameron takes over
Former Sens Coach knows he needed to win games
MacLean showcases solid humour in farewell presser
From saviour to scapegoat
Coaching change can spark team
'Old Paul' never came back
Onus now on Senators to prove MacLean was the problem
Sens GM says MacLean lost the room, 'didn't believe in the group' anymore
The coach conundrum: Murray can't find one in his own image
In unforgiving NHL, MacLean goes from coach of the year to canned in a year
Senators players ready to turn the page on a system that wasn't working

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

NHL Stars of the Month November

Heading into the main stretch of the NHL season, the NHL made note of those who excelled in the last thirty days and named their three Stars of the Month for November.

Calgary Flame's Mark Giordano
The First Star of the month for November

First Star

Mark Giordano -- Calgary Flames

Second Star

Vladimir Tarasenko -- St. Louis Blues

Third Star

Pekka Rinne -- Nashville Predators

Rookie of the Month November 2014

The NHL named their Rookie of the Month for November, as the second Rookie of the Month award for 2014 hit the right chords for Music City.

Filip Forsberg -- Nashville Predators

With fifteen points in thirteen games and +9 rating, November was a very productive month for Nashville's Filip Forsberg, and while the competition was tough, in the end the Predator's centre provided enough for the selection committee to name him Rookie of the month for November.

The review of Forsberg's month can be found here.

Our Archive of the Monthly and weekly awards winners can be found here.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Weekly Award Winners for week ending November 30 2014

Our archive of the players named to the NHL's weekly honour roll through the month of November

Week ending November 30

Jaroslav Halak -- New York Islanders
Ryan Callahan -- Tampa Bay Lightning
Karri Rammo  -- Calgary Flames

Three stars item for November 30, from

Headlines of December 2014

Our Archive for the month of December

December 17-- Three Pittsburgh Penguins being tested for mumps as Sidney Crosby returns to the ice
December 16-- Will plummeting Russian rubble kill the KHL?
December 15-- MacTavish temporarily takes over as Oilers Head Coach after firing Eakins
December 14-- Penguins' Crosby diagnosed with mumps
December 13-- Maple Leafs make it back-to-back wins over Wings
December 12-- Crosby to miss 2 games as precautionary measure
December 11-- Mike Babcock calls extension reports "fantasy world'
December 10-- Simple, elegant funeral is a perfect farewell to Jean Beliveau
December 9-- Jean Beliveau's widow moved to tears in pre-game tribute to Canadiens Legend
December 8-- Senators fire head coach Paul MacLean; Dave Cameron takes over
December 7-- Zibanedjad's four points power Senators from behind and past Canucks in overtime
December 6-- Brodeur back stops Blues to win
December 5-- Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish is "pissed off" at team's struggles
December 4-- Alfredsson proves you can go home again
December 3-- Jean Beliveau was a special man on and off the ice
December 2-- Jean Beliveau passes away at the age of 83
December 1-- World Junior Championship becoming a "big money" event

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Canucks hit the right note in Quinn Tribute

The passing of former player, coach, GM, President and Vancouver icon Pat Quinn was recognized by the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday evening, with the Canucks holding a moment of silence in honour of the man known as the Big Irishman.

And to reinforce that presence that Quinn carried with him from each and every stop on his NHL and International hockey travels, the Canucks called on Mark Donnelly to provide just the right commemoration of his passing.

A performance of Danny Boy that clearly had an impact on those in Rogers Arena and we imagine for a fair many miles far beyond those arena walls on Tuesday.

There were many tales told of the legend of Pat Quinn over the last forty eight hours, from Vancouver to Toronto, through Philly, LA and beyond, everyone had a story  or memory of one of Canada's most complete hockey men.

For Vancouver fans, perhaps his best moment and there were oh so many, came with his short, no nonsense takedown of a Don Cherry conspiracy theory of the Pavel Bure era, an epic Pat Quinn performance that highlighted flashes of not only his Irish temper but his ability to knock down some of the mightiest of hockey's personalities.

There are of course many, many more such moments, Stanley Cup runs, Olympic games, World Junior tournaments and a number of memories from his playing coaching and managing career.

Perhaps most famously remembered as the guy who nailed Bobby Orr, an incident that to this day can spur on a good discussion or speak a riot depending on where you are visiting at any given point in time.

Not an easy thing to do, and certainly not an easy thing to survive in the era of the Big Bad Bruins.

But, it remains as one of the most iconic of Quinn moments as there was through the ages.

His life beyond his playing days, moved him into the coaching and then the General Manager's office, his seminars both on ice and off, have carried many an NHL star and future executive through the years. 

Incredibly, Quinn had not yet been selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, another glaring error from the selection committee of that place of honour and an oversight that should be remedied with the utmost of haste.

Many of those pupils had nothing but fond remembrances of their time with Pat Quinn, a man whole left an impression with anyone he would meet, whether in hockey or out.

A sample of some of the tributes of respect, admiration and affection for Quinn can be found below, though they truly just scratch the surface of the impact that Pat Quinn had not only on the Canucks but on hockey as well. Canucks remember Quinn with video "Danny Boy"
Vancouver Province-- Pat Quinn: A stubborn Irishman right up to his final days
Vancouver Province-- Big Irishman always had time for fans
Vancouver Province-- Always a calming influence: Pat Quinn was a coach who could really teach
Vancouver Province-- So much about Pat Quinn will live on
Vancouver Province-- The little boy in the photo: Death of Pat Quinn leaves longtime fan speechless, again
Vancouver Province-- Why it took me so long to like Pat Quinn, I'm not sure
Vancouver Sun-- Canucks icon Pat Quinn was hockey royalty in Vancouver
Vancouver Sun-- Pat Quinn was NHL's eloquently loyal leader, dignified statesman
Vancouver Sun-- Pat Quinn was a private person on a public stage
Vancouver Sun-- Some Good Words about a Good Man
Vancouver Sun-- Pat Quinn remembered as larger-than-life individual
Vancouver Sun-- Players and coaches mourn death of intimidating, personable Pat Quinn
Vancouver 24 Hours-- Pat Quinn: a Great Man remembered
Georgia Straight-- Former Canucks head coach Pat Quinn passes away in Vancouver
Georgia Straight-- Pat Quinn: I never knew ye (but my dad did for a little while)
National Post-- Pat Quinn, gone much too soon, was a man of his time and one of the best of them
National Post-- Pat Quinn, the cigar-loving, storytelling Irishman, was a hockey icon. He will be missed
National Post-- Pat Quinn remembered as a man with deep capacity for kindness and humour
National Post-- Pat Quinn saved the Vancouver Canucks, gave them credibility
National Post-- Pat Quinn mourned by hockey world: "We have lost a great man"
Globe and Mail-- Pat Quinn, a true giant of the game, left an impression everywhere he went
Globe and Mail-- Pat Quinn stayed in the game until the very end
Toronto Star-- Pat Quinn: teacher, winner, gentleman
Toronto Star-- Hockey community shares memories of Pat Quinn
Toronto Star-- Pat Quinn legacy built on respect
Toronto Sun-- Hockey World Mourns Pat Quinn
Toronto Sun-- Goodbye to Pat Quinn, a manly man
Toronto Sun-- Pat Quinn was a joy to cover
Toronto Sun-- Pat Quinn was  a larger than life figure Former Flyers coach Pat Quinn remembered fondly Former coach Quinn recalled fondly by Flyers Quinn mighty helpful to young reporter
TSN-- Legendary NHL and Hockey Canada coach Quinn passes away
NBC Sportsnet-- Pat Quinn 'one of hockey's most respected individuals' has died
ESPN-- Pat Quinn had undeniable impact
ESPN-- Reaction to Pat Quinn's death
Sportsnet-- The Pat Quinn I never knew, but wish I had
Sportnset-- Pat Quinn: A towering life in hockey
Sportnest-- Pat Quinn will be remembered as a gentle giant

Weekly Award Winners for Week ending November 23

Our archive of the players named to the NHL's weekly honour roll through the month of November

Week ending November 23

Jannik Hansen -- Vancouver Canucks
Thomas Tatar -- Detroit Red Wings
Jamie Benn  -- Anaheim Ducks

 Three stars item for November 24, from

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Celebrating the Class of 2014: Hockey's Hall of Fame Inductees

This past week in Toronto, six more names were added to the listing for the Hockey Hall of Fame,  four players who thrilled hockey fans through spectacular careers. A coach who finally received some long overdue recognition and an on ice official who kept the game on its best behaviour during some of its most heated contests.

The Class of 2014 celebrated this week for skills across the board and over the boards shift in and shift out. A listing of six key figures of the modern era, names that few if any would quibble with and most celebrate this week for their achievements and the talents that they brought to the game.

Below we've found a number of items on each, providing a snap shot of their success in a storied NHL career.

Hockey Hall of Fame introduction for the 2014 Induction Celebration A Quick Look at the 2014 Hockey Hall of Famers
IIHF-- HHOF to induct six
National Post-- Here is the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2014
TSN-- TSN his home to Hockey Hall of Fame Induction weekend

The Players

Rob Blake (Hockey Hall of Fame bio)
Hall of Fame Induction Speech Hard work has its rewards
ESPN-- Rob Blake
LA King-- Rob Blake Hall of Fame Interview
LA Times-- Rob Blake's path to Hall of Fame started with the Kings
LA Daily News-- Hall of Fame bound Rob Blake of the Kings a star from the start
London Free Press-- HHOF inductee defence man Rob Blake was total package
The Beacon Herald-- Blake First Former Culliton in hall

Peter Forsberg (Hockey Hall of Fame bio)
Hall of Fame Induction Speech Forsberg credits brothers for competitive spirit
ESPN-- Passion made Forsberg great winner
Boston Herald-- Peter Forsberg Proud, humbled by Hall of Fame induction
The Local-- Sweden's Peter Forsberg enters NHL Hall of Fame
Denver Post-- Peter Forsberg: Swede Sensation
Denver Post-- Peter Forsberg enjoying life in retirement
Toronto Sun-- Hockey Hall of Fame set to induct Peter Forsberg

Dominik Hasek (Hockey Hall of Fame Bio)
Hall of Fame Induction Speech Hasek loved playing against the game's best
WIVB-- Hasek shows Buffalo plant of love in Hall of Fame Speech
Buffalo News-- Dominik Hasek takes his place in Hockey Hall of Fame
Buffalo News-- Ex-Sabre "Dominator" Hasek inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame
Yahoo Sports-- The legend of Dominik Hasey: From Hockey heretic to the Hall of Fame
Detroit Free Press-- No surprise Dominik Hasek entering Hall of Fame
Toronto Star-- The puck stopped with Dominik Hasek

Mike Modano (Hockey Hall of Fame Bio)
Hall of Fame Induction Speech Stars great Modano grateful for Gainey's influence
ESPN-- Mike Modano
Global News-- Mike Modano's career took off in Prince Albert, Sask.
Fox Sports-- Modano most proud of '99 Cup, growing game in Dallas
Fort Worth Star-Telegram-- Modano will receive hockey's ultimate honour
USA Today-- Mike Modano proud of Hall of Fame Career
Toronto Sun-- Mike Modano an American Idol

The Coach

Pat Burns (Hockey Hall of Fame Bio)
Hall of Fame Induction Speech Lamoriello says Burn made players accountable
National Post-- Joy, relief as Pat Burns finally gets his due with Hockey Hall of Fame induction
Globe and Mail-- Pat Burns finally gets his due with induction into Hockey Hall of Fame
New York Times-- A Former Police Office Will Get a Posthumous Honor
USA Today-- Emotional tribute to Pat Burns Highlights Hall of Fame Inductions
Hamilton Spectator-- Burns knew he'd make it to Hall of Fame eventually
TSN-- Pat Burns always felt he was the luckiest ex-cop in the world

The Ref

Bill McCreary (Hockey Hall of Fame Bio)
Hall of Fame Induction speech McCreary honored, humbled to enter Hall of Fame
TB Newswatch-- Longtime NHL referee Bill McCreary Built Hall of Fame career on consistency
Yahoo Sports-- Referee Bill McCreary: Hockey Hall of Famer
TSN-- McCreary was one of NHL's great officials
Hamilton Spectator-- Fair and Safe
Toronto Sun-- Referee Bill McCreary earned his stripes
Toronto Star-- Consistency propelled NHL referee Bill McCreary to the Hall of Fame

The Media Selections

Kevin Allen
USA Today

USA Today-- USA Today Sport's Kevin Allen gets Hall of Fame Honour Elmer Ferguson winner Allen first true hockey insider

Pat Foley
Chicago Blackhawks Broadcaster Voice of Blackhawks puts game before HHOF honour
Chicago Tribune-- Pat Foley on entering the Hockey Hall of Fame

Saturday, November 22, 2014

NHL Scouting Reports 2014-15

Listings and background items of those players that NHL scouts are keeping their eyes on, tracking where they place on the 2014 depth charts leading up to the June draft.


CSS November players to watch
College freshmen dot November players to watch list

Individual player watch

November 19-- Seattle top prospect Barzal sustains knee injury
November 17-- McDavid injured, Eichel extends point streak


CSS Preliminary players to watch