Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Winter Classic Countdown: Big game at the Big House

The Winter Classic the outdoor festival of hockey, will provide a Wednesday afternoon skate at the park for the Red Wings and Leafs this year. As Michigan's famed Big House, plays host to the annual New Year's Day spectacular.

Hockeytown has already been in an outdoor hockey mood, this weekend the Great Lakes Invitational took place at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, with Andy Murray's Western Michigan University taking the Michigan bragging rights on the strength of two hard fought victories on Friday and Saturday night.

Sunday it was the turn for the OHL to take to the Comerica Ice field, with the Windsor Spitfires crossing the border to take victory from the Saginaw Spirit, in the first outdoor game played by OHL teams. The Sunday doubleheader, featured a nightcap match up between the London Knights and Plymouth Whalers, with the Michigan squad reclaiming a victory for the US in a shoot out.

Monday, the AHL had the opportunity to play under the open skies, as the Leafs farm club the Marlies took on the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings AHL affiliate. With Toronto claiming the 4-3 victory in a game which went to a shoot out.

The alumni game goes Tuesday at Comerica, while the Big House gets its final touches in place for Wednesday's welcome to the new year of outdoor hockey, in what will be the largest venue yet for these outdoor gatherings.

Below, to set the scene for Wednesday's event, some of the preparation items leading up to the New Year's Day showcase:

Jan 1-- Fans cold but excited for Winter Classic at  Big House
Jan 1-- Enormity of Winter Classic gives Red Wings chills
Jan 1-- Winter Classic cold presents a challenge to spectators
Jan 1-- Getting the old Wings gang back together makes for poignant moments
Jan 1-- Red Wings, Leafs almuni bask in moments frozen in time
Jan 1-- Fans not deterred by weather at Winter classic "We will weather it"
Jan 1-- Winter Classic finally here Detroit Red Wings' smiles, snow brighten day
Jan 1-- Maple Leafs, Red Wings set for Winter classic
Jan 1-- Bernier wins battle for Leafs' No 1 goalie role
Jan 1-- Weather conditions the wild card at NHL Winter classic
Jan 1-- Snowy road threatening Winter classic World Record Attempt
Jan 1-- Bernier to start in goal for Leafs in Winter Classic

Dec 31-- Winter Classic reignites eight-decade rivalry between Wings-Leafs
Dec 31-- Red Wings legends revved up for alumni showdown
Dec 31-- NHL warns Winter Classic fans about possible sale of unauthorized merchandise
Dec 31-- Red Wings practice at Big House ahead of Winter Classic
Dec 31-- Winter Classic forecast: 18 degrees expected for game between Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs
Dec 31-- NBC hockey broadcaster Mike Emrick excited to call Winter Classic at Big House
Dec 31-- Ex-Red Wings comment on today's throwback stars
Dec 31-- Home teams haven't fared well in Winter Classic history
Dec 31-- Supersized event good for game and Motown
Dec 31-- Winter Classic seeks to set attendance record
Dec 31-- Snowy conditions could affect annual outdoor game on ice and in stands
Dec 31-- Red Wings Luke Glendening is especially excited about his fifth outdoor game at Winter Classic
Dec 31-- Steve Yzerman, skating for the first time since retiring, enjoys brief stint in Alumni Showdown
Dec 31-- Red Wings soak up the atmosphere at the Big House, but focus on winning Winter classic...
Dec 31-- Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings hope wind helps more than it hurts
Dec 31-- Three things to know about the Detroit Red Wings
Dec 31-- Babcock warns about partying before Winter Classic

Dec 30-- Red Wings say Winter Classic cold won't bother them
Dec 30-- AHL Winter Festival Game: Young defensemen do their part for Grand Rapids Griffins
Dec 30-- Leafs a Classic fit
Dec 30-- Winter Classic brings back outdoor hockey memories for Leafs
Dec 30-- Toronto Marlies edge Grand Rapids Griffins at Comerica Park
Dec 30-- Ex-Leafs Captain Wendel Clark pumped for alumni game vs. Red Wings
Dec 30-- Winter Classic conditions looking good for Leafs, Wings
Dec 30-- Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle not changing his approach heading into Winter Classic
Dec 30-- Maple Leafs alumni won't let age get in way against Red Wings
Dec 30-- Leafs, Red Wings battling it out at Winter Classic and in standings
Dec 30-- Maple Leafs prepare for snow at Winter Classic
Dec 30-- Winter Classic a homecoming for Maple Leafs' Jerry D'Amigo
Dec 30-- Annual outdoor game is magic, unpredictability and all
Dec 30-- Toronto Maple Leafs getting ready for cold weather at Winter Classic
Dec 30-- NHL Winter Classic provides lift to downtown Detroit
Dec 30-- Glendening settles for AHL outdoor game, not Winter Classic
Dec 30-- Berenson a proud host for classic
Dec 30-- Eye black, soup, tea among Leaf outdoor options
Dec 30-- Marlies win shootout at Comerica Park
Dec 30-- Marlies top Griffins in AHL outdoor game
Dec 30-- Winter Classic atmosphere is special
Dec 30-- McCarty excited about playing in Alumni Showdown
Dec 30-- Outdoor game brings fond memories for Berenson
Dec 30-- 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic by the numbers
Dec 30-- Paul Maurice eager to get back behind the bench
Dec 30-- Media game makes cherished memories for some
Dec 30-- NBC Sports crew prepared to call another Classic
Dec 30-- Former coach Maurice recalls fun of outdoor practice
Dec 30-- Location, Location, Location: Classic finds latest home
Dec 30-- Early reports positive on Winter Classic rink

Dec 29-- Dion Phaneuf contract hot HBO 24/7 topic
Dec 29-- Red Wings GM Ken Holland drags out the pads -- reluctantly-- for alumni game
Dec 29-- Plymouth Whalers forward Cullen Mercer follows in his sister's footsteps with outdoor game
Dec 29-- Cloud cover best for Winter Classic
Dec 29-- Toronto Maple Leafs' David Clarkson gets into spat over water bottle in latest episode of 24/7
Dec 29-- Windsor tops Saginaw in first OHL outdoor game
Dec 29-- Winterizing Michigan Stadium a challenge for Classic
Dec 29-- Winter Classic is a big undertaking at Big House
Dec 29-- Weather issues at a minimum for Winter Classic
Dec 29-- New generation discovering joys of hockey outdoors
Dec 29-- Andy Murray savours WMU's GLI championship
Dec 29-- Western Michigan wins Great Lakes final

Dec 28-- Maple Leaf fans converge on Detroit to root for home team in Winter Classic
Dec 28-- Mike Ilitch deserves credit for bringing Winter Festival's energy to downtown Detroit
Dec 28-- Red Wings' excitement builds for the Winter Classic
Dec 28-- Randy Calryle's goal to keep players' focus on Red Wings game, not be distracted by Winter Classic hype
Dec 28-- Leafs players recall childhood days on outdoor rinks
Dec 28-- Viewers get inside look outdoors in Part 3 of '24/7'
Dec 28-- Winter Classic Forecast: Overcast and chilly
Dec 28-- Winter Classic Fan Reminders
Dec 28-- Michigan State wins Great Lakes consolation game
Dec 28-- Ice crew overcomes weather to get lines, logos down
Dec 28-- Wings' Miller talks outdoors, hockey family
Dec 28-- Teen refugees from Africa play a role in Winter Classic
Dec 28-- Rink-Building Crew works long night into morning
Dec 28-- Michigan Tech, Western Michigan make GLI final

Dec 27-- Alumni Showdown a chance to rekindle old fires
Dec 27-- Outdoor games bring players from North America and Europe back to childhood
Dec 27-- Winter Classic just another date on Randy Carlyle's schedule
Dec 27-- Fans celebrate hockey, winter at Detroit Fest
Dec 27-- Winter Fest brings fans, fun and dollars to Detroit
Dec 27-- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will not attend Winter Classic
Dec 27-- What makes the Big House so unique, and so special?
Dec 27-- Parking is among the challenges at Winter Classic
Dec 27-- Draper made sure Red Wings got bang for their buck
Dec 27-- Unexpected sun causes brief delay in painting ice

Dec 26-- Three Detroit Wings families eager to see sons compete outdoors - again
Dec 26-- Andy Murray talks outdoor hockey at Comerica Park
Dec 26-- Winter Classic rink-building crew gets Christmas break
Dec 26-- Winter Classic rink close to getting logos, lines
Dec 26-- Winter Classic has NHL on lookout for counterfeit merchandise
Dec 26-- E. J. Hradek talks Winter classic goalies, coaches' clothing
Dec 26-- Work resumes on Michigan Stadium ice Rink

Dec 24-- Downtown hockey Fan Zone brings together big names, games, food, music and more

Dec 23-- Toronto Maple Leafs could use more wins, fewer cameras
Dec 23-- Past outdoor game a thriller for Maple Leafs' Gardiner
Dec 23-- Zac Brown Band leads Winter Classic Entertainment
Dec 23-- Maple Leafs' D'Amigo guaranteed outdoor game

Dec 22-- '24/7' airs dramatic second episode just after Alfredsson buries Leafs
Dec 22-- Toronto Maple Leafs show a little tension as HBO's 24/7 catches team in midst of struggles
Dec 22-- Detroit Red Wings take Winter Classic preview in shootout over Toronto Maple Leafs
Dec 22-- Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings offer Winter Classic preview with game in Toronto
Dec 22-- Hagelin, Merrill share Big House memories
Dec 22-- Jimmy Howard on Spectator Plaza

Dec 21-- Fans should plan ahead to park for NHL Winter Classic
Dec 21-- Coaches take center stage in Part 2 of '24/7'
Dec 21-- Detroit's DeKeyser back for Classic preview

Dec 20-- Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle says life not easy under glare of HBO's '24/7'
Dec 20-- Maple Leafs adjust to life in front of the cameras
Dec 20-- NHL Winter Classic rink time lapse

Dec 19-- Detroit Red Wings try to lighten mood in midst of skid
Dec 19-- Red Wings, Maple Leafs in Winter Classic preview
Dec 19-- Winter Classic Rink Build Update with Dan Craig
Dec 19-- Sustainability upgrades come to Detroit's Clark Park
Dec 19-- Red Wings use outdoor practice to lift spirits

Dec 16-- League, Red Wings Foundation lead park renovation

Dec 14-- Part 1 of HBO '24/7' focuses on teams' adversity

Dec 12-- Winter Classic Truck Arrives in Ann Arbor
Dec 12-- Wings' Draper talks Alumni Showdown

Dec 11-- Canadians can expect censored Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings in HBO's 24/7 leading up to 2014 Winter Classic

Dec 10-- Red Wings legend Yzerman on 2013 Alumni Showdown
Dec 10-- Yzerman to join Red Wings for Alumni Showdown
Dec 10-- HBO's '24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs' debuts Dec. 14
Dec 10-- NHL to host free fan festival to Celebrate 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tournament Time: Spengler Cup 2014

There won't be any large contingent of idle NHLers to round out this years Spengler Cup rosters, making it a fairly mercenary group that will take to the ice for the Maple Leaf this time around.

Hockey Canada listed the names of those competing for Team Canada with a collection of Canadians playing in Europe and a few from the AHL ready to fly Canada's flag at this years event when the puck drops in Davos.

Like the World Juniors, the Spengler opens up on Boxing Day with to games of note for the 6 competing teams, featuring a wide range of club hockey squads in addition to the assembled Canadians.

Among the others taking part in this years Spengler, the Rochester Americans, CKSA Moscow, HC Geneve-Servette, HC Davos and HC Vitkovice Steel.

The full Spengler Schedule can be found below as each day's events get ready for puck drop.

The Spengler Cup home page can be found here.

TSN's Broadcast Schedule for Spengler 2013 can be found here.

Summaries and items of interest to follow through to the Championship game on December 31st.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Championship Game

CKSA Moscow 3 vs HC Geneve-Servette 5
HC Geneve-Servette Spengler Cup Champions for 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013
Semi Finals

HC Davos 4 vs CKSA Moscow 5 (OT shootout)
HC Geneve-Servette 6 vs Canada 5

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Team Canada 6 vs Rochester Americans 3 
CKSA Moscow 3 vs Vitkovice 2 (OT)  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

HC Davos 3 vs Canada 2
HC Geneve-Servette 4 vs CKSA Moscow 3 (OT)

Friday, December 27, 2013 

CKSA Moscow 4 vs Rochester Americans 3 
HC Davos 5 vs HC Vitkovice Steel 1

Thursday, December 26 2013

HC Geneve-Servette 5 vs Rochester Americans 0 
Canada  5 vs HC Vitkovice Steel 4

Notes on the Tournament:

December 29-- Canada advances to Spengler Cup semifinals
December 29-- Canada headed to Spengler Cup semi-finals after 6-3 win over Rochester
December 29-- Canada doubles Rochester 6-3
December 29-- Rochester Amerks' European trip ends in loss
December 29-- Metropolit big for Canada
December 28-- Canada falls to HC Davos in Spengler Cup
December 28-- Canada loses to Davos at Spengler Cup
December 27-- Amerks fall to CKSA Moscow 4-3 at Spengler Cup
December 27-- Walser lifts Canada to 5-4 win at Spengler Cup
December 27-- Patrick Roy's son ejected at Spengler Cup, throws temper tantrum
December 26-- Frederick Roy, son of NHL legend, throws R-rated tantrum in first Spengler Cup match
December 26-- Walser lifts Canada to 5-4 victory over Vitkovice
December 26-- Canada opens Spengler Cup with win over Vitkovice
December 26-- Amerks fall in Spengler Cup opener
December 26-- Amerks drop opening game at Spengler Cup

Tournament Time: The World Junior Hockey Championships

Our Archive page of events for the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships from Malmo, Sweden. The Holiday hockey festival that never fails to capture the interest of Canadian hockey fans from coast to coast to coast.

This year, the USA will seek to defend their title, taking on all comers including the host Swedes and Canada, a squad that is always looking to provide a little push back to their continental cousins.

Below, find the day to day schedule and scoring summaries, as well as items of interest from the daily events on the ice. Updated through the day to reflect that day's action and the day to come.

The majority of our links will provide a larger focus on Team Canada and the USA squad at this years tournament, though notes of interest from the other teams will no doubt make their way into our review of the tournament.

You can review some of our pre tournament items here.

Some key websites for this years tournament:

The IIHF World Junior Tournament home page
The TSN Tournament home page
Hockey Canada home page
USA Hockey home page
World Junior Tournament Twitter feed

World Junior Tournament Schedule and Results

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Gold Medal Game

Sweden 2 vs Finland 3 (summary)
Finland wins Gold Medal and the World Junior Hockey Championship

Bronze Medal Game

Canada 1 vs Russia 2 (summary)
Russia wins the Bronze Medal

Relegation Final

Germany 3 vs Norway 1 (summary)
Norway is relegated to the B Pool for 2014-15

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Semi Final Round

Sweden 2 vs Russia 1  (summary)
Canada 1 vs Finland 5  (summary)

Sweden and Finland advance to Gold Medal game
Canada and Russia to play in Bronze Medal game

Friday, January 3, 2014

Relegation Round Part II

Norway 3 vs Germany  4 (summary) Final relegation game scheduled for Sunday

Thursday, January 2, 2014


USA 3 vs Russia 5  (summary)
Finland  5 vs Czech Republic 3 (summary)
Canada 4 vs Switzerland 1 (summary)
Sweden 6 vs Slovakia 0 (summary)

Relegation Round

Germany 0 vs Norway 3 (summary)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day Off from Competition

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sweden 3 vs Russia  2
Slovakia 1 vs Czech Republic 4
USA 2 vs Canada 3
Finland vs Switzerland (Noon ET/9 AM PT) TSN 2

Monday, December 30, 2013

Czech Republic 0 vs Germany 3 (summary)
Canada 5 vs Slovakia 3  (summary)
Russia 1 vs Finland 4 (summary)
Switzerland 3 vs Norway 2 (summary)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Germany 0 vs USA 8 (summary
Norway 0 vs Sweden 10 (summary

Saturday, December 28, 2013

USA 6 vs Slovakia 3 (summary)
Sweden 4 vs Finland 2 (summary)
Canada 4 vs Czech Republic 5  (summary)  OT shootout
Russia 7 vs Switzerland 1 (summary)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Slovakia 9 vs Germany 2   (summary)
Finland 5 vs Norway 1 (summary)

Thursday, December 26 2013

Germany 2 vs Canada 7 (summary)
Norway 0 vs Russia 11 (summary
Czech Republic 1 vs USA 5 (summary
Switzerland 3 vs Sweden 5 (summary)

Notes through the Tournament


January 3-- Five things to watch in Canada's world junior semi-final against Finland
January 3-- Canada expects things to get physical in semi-final showdown with Finland
January 3-- Dumba, Hudon miss practice but are expected to play world junior semis
January 3-- Studious Finland knows what to expect from Canucks
January 3-- Reinhart leads Canada into WJC semifinals
January 3-- Finland's super line could challenge Canada at world junior
January 2-- Canada downs stubborn Switzerland, faces Finland in semi
January 2-- Canada's defencemen take the lead on offence in quarter-finals win over Switzerland
January 2-- After New Years Eve Thriller, Canada sets its focus on the Swiss  HockeyNation

January 1-- Canada taking do or die approach at WJC
January 1-- Pressure is on Canada vs. Switzerland
January 1-- Chatterbox Fucale keeps lines of communication open for Team Canada
January 1-- Swiss prepare for 'gagme of their lives' against Canada
January 1-- Brent Sutter not letting Canada off the hook ahead of Quarter-Finals against Switzerland
January 1-- Sutter Not Looking Past Swiss in World Juniors Quarters
January 1-- 'Shrek' Bolsters Canadian Blue Line at World Juniors

December 31-- Canada beats U. S. in thriller will face Swiss in quarter-finals
December 31-- Canada hangs on to beat U. S., claims top see in group
December 31-- Canada defeats United States at World Juniors to claim first pace in Group A
December 31-- Canada claims Group A with nail-biting win over U. S.
December 30-- Canada 'underdogs' heading into game against U. S.
December 30-- Canada gears up for U. S. as unfamiliar underdogs
December 30-- Canada score game-winner late in third period to seal comeback victory over Slovakia
December 29-- Zach Fucale will embrace first world junior game
December 29-- Connor McDavid odd man out vs. Slovakia?
December 29-- Canada's Fucale gets 1st world juniors start against Slovakia
December 29-- Fucale is ready and confident in goal for Canada vs. Slovakia
December 29-- Contrasting passions for junior hockey
December 29-- Fucale to start vs Slovakia; Sutter defends McDavid
December 29-- Canada makes change in net after loss to Czech Republic
December 29-- Czechs deliver wake up call to Canadian juniors
December 28-- Czech Republic records shootout upset over Canada
December 28-- Simon's goal in shootout lifts Czechs over Canada at world junior championship
December 28-- Canada stunned by Czech Republic in shootout
December 28-- Connor McDavid shows his age in loss to Czechs
December 28-- Canada's inexperience shows in shootout loss to Czechs
December 28-- Canada falls to Czechs in shootout
December 28-- Canada loses shootout to Czech Republic
December 27-- Canada's Scott Laughton, Josh Anderson put grit before glory
December 27-- Canada gets 'a bit of everything' with young line of Bo Horvat, Connor McDavid and Sam Reinhart
December 26-- Canada's Anthony Mantha scores hat trick in rout of Germany to open tournament
December 26-- Canada rolls over Germany in world junior opener
December 26-- Mantha's hat trick leads Canada in rout of Germany at world juniors
December 25-- All eyes on Draisaitl at world juniors
December 25-- Canada's quest for world junior hockey glory begins
December 25-- Hudon gets world junior redemption
December 25-- Jake Paterson to start opener for Canada
December 25-- Zach Fucale, Jake Paterson 'studs' in Canada's net
December 25-- Canada names 2014 world junior roster
December 23-- 10 Players to Watch


January 2-- Russia ousts defending champion United States in quarter-finals
January 2-- Russia rallies to beat US 5-3 in world junior hockey quarter-finals
January 2-- Top U. S. prospect Jack Eichel serves notice at world junior

December 31-- Canada beats U. S. in thriller will face Swiss in quarter-finals
December 31-- Canada hangs on to beat U. S., claims top see in group
December 30-- Canada 'underdogs' heading into game against U. S.
December 29-- USA Routs Germany at world juniors
December 29-- United States pummels Germany to widen Group A lead at WJHC
December 29-- Special teams spark U. S. past Germany
December 29-- Americans wrap up spot in world junior playoff round
December 29-- Stolarz earns start against Germany, Stepan returns
December 28-- U. S. vaults to top of Group A
December 28-- Jack Eichel pressing Connor McDavid for top spot in 2015 draft
December 26-- U. S. breeze to easy victory over Czech Republic at world juniors
December 26-- Five score for U. S. in WJC win against Czech Republic
December 26-- Jon Gillies makes 23 saves, U. S. Opens world juniors with 5-1 won over Czech Rep.
December 26-- Team USA Confident in role as favourites
December 25-- Gophers' Lucia answers the call for U. S. world juniors team
December 25-- An unforgettable experience
December 23-- Wearing the 'C' Riley Barber


December 31-- Sweden edges Russia to clinch first place in Group B at World Juniors
December 29-- Burakowsky's Hat Trick paces Sweden past Norway at WJHC
December 26-- Sweden narrowly edges Swiss to avoid early upset at world juniors
December 25-- Blue and Yellow glory


January 3-- Studious Finland knows what to expect from Canucks
January 3-- Finland's super line could challenge Canada at world junior

December 30-- Finland Moves into Second in Group B with with over Russia
December 27-- Finland downs Norway at World Junior Hockey Championship
December 27-- Finland cruises to win over Norway


January 2-- Russia ousts defending champion United States in quarter-finals
January 2-- Russia rallies to beat US 5-3 in world junior hockey quarter-finals
December 28-- Russia hammers Switzerland 7-1 at world junior championship
December 26-- Russia crushes Norway at world junior championship

Czech Republic


December 27-- Slovakia routs Germany 9-2 at world juniors
December 27-- Slovakia hammers Germany


January 3-- Germany forces deciding relegation game vs. Norway
January 3-- Germany beat Norway, forces Game 3 in world junior hockey relegation series
December 30--  Cupper Makes 40 Saves; Germany upsets Czechs at WJHC


January 1-- Swiss prepare for 'gagme of their lives' against Canada
January 1-- Paschoud Scores in Shootout to lift Swiss Over Finns at WJHC
December 30-- Switzerland clinches playoff spot with win over Norway


January 3-- Germany forces deciding relegation game vs. Norway

Pre Tournament Scores

Dec 23-- Canada 4 vs Switzerland 1
Dec 22-- Sweden 3 vs Canada 0
Dec 20-- Canada 4 vs Finland 2

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shanahan sets the Standard

Fifteen games, almost one fifth of an NHL season, that was the amount of time that Brendan Shanahan assessed over the weekend as a fit punishment for Shawn Thornton. The first ever suspension for the Bruin will clearly be one that will be talked about for the remainder of this season and perhaps for a few more down the line.

The decision by the Director of Player Safety is the correct price to be paid for the events of last weekend which saw the Boston Bruin take Brooks Orpik to the ice, leaving the Penguin player concussed and taken off the ice by stretcher.

For some (hello Don Cherry) the suspension was considered too much, for others not quite enough, however for the most part, the fifteen games that Shanahan announced, is probably just the right number.

NESN-- Shawn Thornton Suspended 15 Games By NHL for Attacking Brooks Oprik
NESN-- Cam Neely believes that Shawn Thornton's 15 game suspension is "Higher than Warranted"
Boston Herald-- Thornton's 15 game ban too harsh
National Post-- Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton suspended 15 games for attack on Pittsburgh Penguins' Brooks Orpik
National Post-- Suspension of Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton sets new standard for Brendan Shanahan, NHL
Globe and Mail-- Bruins' Thornton suspended 15 games for attack on Pens' Orpik
Vancouver Sun-- NHL covers its legal backside in weighing Shawn Thornton suspension
Toronto Star-- Bruins' Shawn Thornton suspended 15 games for Brooks Orpik attack
TSN-- Bruins' Thornton suspended 15 Games for Actions against Orpik

It sets the tone for the season moving forward that the days of brain cramp incidents must come to an end. The time to consider your actions has arrived and that the Mad Max style of recent weeks will be addressed.

Shanahan has taken a fair amount of heat over his duties since he took on the thankless task of doling out suspensions and trying to create a culture of respect with the minority of players that don't seem to know how to spell that word.

His decision on the weekend was the right tone, the right punishment. The message clear an unequivocal, dangerous play will not be tolerated.

Much has been made about the entire flow of that game and how things continued to escalate, valid points, there were any number of stupid incidents during the Bruins-Penguins game of last week that could keep Shanahan and his team busy for a fair amount of time.

However, the Thornton incident stood out among them, for the slew foot, the punches to a vulnerable player and even the nature of stalking him down the ice before the incident.

The parallels to the Todd Bertuzzi/Steve Moore incident, a black mark from the NHL archives that still has yet to be properly addressed. Thankfully, for Orpik his career will continue and for Gary Bettman and the NHL's Governors the spectre of a court case does not seem to be in motion here.

Thornton, to his credit was remorseful following the incident and not seemingly the convenient remorse we have seen in the past, which lacks but one key ingredient credibility.

Still, his acts were dangerous, the outcome clearly could have been much, much worse.

The Bruins outlined today that Mr. Thornton plans to appeal his fifteen games, which is his right, though one suspects that it will prove to be an unsuccessful appeal.

Boston Globe-- Shawn Thornton to appeal suspension
Boston Herald-- Shawn Thornton to appeal suspension
NESN-- Bruins Forward Shawn Thornton appealing 15 Game suspension
USA Today-- Shawn Thornton appeals 15-game suspension
Globe and Mail-- Thornton suspension a litmus test for appeals under new NHL CBA
NHL.com-- Bruins' Thornton plans to appeal 15-game suspension
CBC-- Shawn Thornton to appeal his 15 game suspension
Yahoo-- Can Shawn Thornton win his 15 game suspension appeal

The visuals of the string of events provide a fairly compelling case that Brendan Shanahan has made not only the correct decision, but the just decision.

Providing a new measuring point for future offences, though we have no doubt that Shanahan hopes his suspension of Mr. Thornton will provide the ultimate of deterrents and that finally, in season of but three months of nasty incidents, the message of mutual respect begins to take hold


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Time for some Truculence in Cowtown

One of Brian Burke's best adjectives is truculence, the characteristic that he believes best exemplifies his brand of hockey, a hard hitting, never back down approach to hockey that clearly wasn't part of the Calgary landscape over the last few years.

That it seems is about to change, with Burke relieving General Manager Jay Feaster and Assistant GM John Weisbrod of their duties last week, he has set a new course for an apparent attitude adjustment for the Flames, or at least for those that will feel comfortable with the new branding to come.

The hallmark of a Burke team and make no mistake, despite the suggestion that the search is on for a new GM, this will now be a Burke team, is a certain level of tenacity, at times an us against the world mentality that becomes the main calling card both at home and away.

He developed that baseline through his many stops, from Vancouver to Anaheim and on to Vancouver, there were even traces of it in Hartford back in the Whaler days, but well, the Whalers were only on the radar of Hartford, never the larger NHL stage.

Since those days with the whale, Burke has become almost larger than life, the quotes, the bombast and at times the feuds, it's all made for a fascinating ride and at times for some fascinating hockey.

Hey came close to a Stanley Cup era with the Canucks, claimed one with the Ducks and the Leafs of today still bear his blue print, some of it good, some of it bad.

At times his loyalty to those he brings on the journey has cost him, at others his shoot from the hip style has provided the self inflicted wounds.

But at the end of the day, in most cases his teams compete, play the game hard and no one gets to be a passenger.

The Flames may prove to be a challenge equal to the days of Toronto, both markets love their hockey, have great expectations and in recent years more than a share of disappointment.

The last few seasons have been campaigns of much disappointment for Calgary hockey fans, a collective that one time believed they were but a player if not just one goal away from another Stanley Cup.

That began to unravel a few years back and last season's post season disappointment left the fan base to try and understand where their team was heading.

They can wonder no more.

The twin firings of last week were the first indication that the rebuilding job in Calgary is full on, the tentative steps of the last few years, where the Flames couldn't seem to make up their minds as to where they should go now firmly behind them.

When he signed on to his executive earlier this year, many suggested it was only a matter of time before the shoes began to drop, they tumbled last week.

The rest of the season will determine how many of the current Flames are ready to buy in, those that don't won't be around for long.

Burke however may be in place for a stay, his chance to remake the Flames and return the franchise to consequence in the West is one that could remove some of the disappointment of his recent stops.

It's a challenge that won't be tackled in anonymity, Calgary like all Canadian franchises is under the constant spotlight of media attention.

Every move will be analyzed, debated and then stored away for further review.

The announced intent to make the team a more formidable opponent will sit well in the watering holes of Southern Alberta, the first measure of that dedication to a more truculent brand of hockey will be when the Flames renew acquaintances with the northern cousins.

Rebuilding a team takes time and requires an evolution of sorts, winning the Alberta battles through the season will make for a useful measuring stick and provide some tangible proof that the culture in Calgary is about to change as promised.

Some of the key moments in the Brian Burke Calgary timeline can be found below:

December 14-- Flames' Burke vs. Sabres' Lafontaine in GM search
December 13-- Burke axes Feaster as he unveils vision to build a big, bossy, belligerent band of brothers
December 12-- 'Background Brian' Burke jumps on the Flames' front burner
December 12-- Brian Burke doesn't plan to be patient with Calgary Flames
December 12-- Brian Burke leaves little doubt as to his plan for the Calgary Flames
December 12-- 'He did his best:' Jay Feaster is fired, Brian Burke steps in as acting GM
December 12-- Brian Burke 'not kissing babies up here,' takes Flames' helm as GM Feaster fired
December 12-- Successful teams are big
December 12-- Calgary Flames fire Jay Feaster, Brian Burke steps in as interim GM
December 12-- Burke leaves door open for select smaller skilled players to play for Flames
December 12-- Calgary Flames interim GM Brian Burke didn't take long to make move
December 12-- Amid tumultuous day in Flames front office, Hartley gets vote of confidence


Oct 31-- Toronto Maple Leafs defeat Calgary Flames with the team that former GM Brian Burke built
Sept 6-- Can Brian Burke be anyone but Brian Burke in Calgary?
Sept 6-- Will the frank, fiery Brian Burke really be able to stay in the background?
Sept 6-- Burke, Feaster claim they will coexist just fine in Flames front office
Sept 5-- Bob Hartley glad to have Burke on board with Flames
Sept 5-- Calgary Flames hire Brian Burke as president of hockey operations
Sept 5-- Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster and hockey ops boss Brian Burke expected to make everything work
Sept 5-- New Flames Boss Brian Burke to shun spotlight
Sept 5-- Calgary Flames name Brian Burke as president of hockey operations
Sept 5-- Brian Burke brings bombast and brains to the Calgary Flames

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Headlines 2013-14-- December 2013

Our Archive of headlines for December

December 31-- 18 degrees expected for game between Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs
December 30-- Ottawa Senators top Washington Capitals for first three-game win streak at home this season
December 29-- Florida Panthers snap losing streak with win over Montreal Canadiens
December 28-- Edmonton Oilers blow two-goal lead before falling to Philadelphia Flyers in shootout
December 27-- Patrick Sharps' birthday hat trick leads Hawks' rout
December 26-- Canada's Anthony Mantha more than a scoring machine
December 25-- World Juniors 2014: 10 players to watch
December 24-- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman upholds 15-game suspension to Shawn Thornton
December 23-- Senators light up, shut down conference-leading Penguins
December 22-- Vancouver Canucks' Roberto Luongo leaves with injury in win over Winnipeg Jets
December 21-- Oilers sing the Blues
December 20-- Lack and Kesler come through in shootout as Canucks edge Blackhawks 3-2
December 19-- The Only thing Kings' Martin Jones loses is his shutout
December 18-- Rangers fall to Pens in shootout loss
December 17-- Thornton suspension a litmus test for appeals under new NHL CBA
December 16-- Crosby lifts injury ravaged Penguins past slumping Leafs
December 15-- Capitals rally from three goals down in third, beat Flyers in shootout
December 14-- Shawn Thornton suspended 15 games
December 13-- Canucks click on all cylinders versus Oilers
December 12-- Burke axes Feaster as he unveils vision to build a big, bossy, belligerent band of brothers
December 11-- Blackhawks batter Flyers 7-2
December 10-- Sharks fall to New York Islanders in shootout
December 9-- Senators topple Flyers with shootout goal by Spezza
December 8-- Vancouver Canucks deal Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere first loss of the season
December 7-- Penguins' Orpik taken off ice on stretcher in loss to Bruins