Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Habs look to crack the history book on western swing

It's a location where the Canadien teams of the past can be found rather frequently and if all goes according to plan this week, the 2015-16 version of Montreal's most followed ambassadors will find themselves part of the NHL history books.

Tonight, all that stand between Montreal and destiny are the struggling Vancouver Canucks, a team that has yet to win a home game, though if ever there was some motivation for a slump buster, playing the storied Canadiens franchise seeking to stake a claim to hockey history should be it.

Should the Habs prove victorious at Rogers Arena tonight, they will be joining the 93-94 Maple Leafs and 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres, and considering their play in the front nine, the odds certainly would seem in their favour.

The word domination gets a fair bit of a work out when talking of the Canadiens hot start to the season, with but 12 goals allowed in their nine wins to this point, a line up that hasn't seen a change since the season began and the incredibly focused Carey Price holding a stellar GAA of 1.29 along with .961 save average.

NHL.com broke down the first nine games for hockey fans, to provide a glimpse into how strong a start the rouge, blanc et bleu have had to the start of the season.

Undefeated Canadiens can make history on trip (video)

Carey Price has been outstanding
during the Canadiens undefeated
streak through October
And while the players may not be putting one game ahead of the next, for those looking ahead on the schedule, the record could belong to only Les Habitants by the time Thursday rolls around, Montreal will be in Edmonton for game two of their three game western swing.

They wrap up the tour of Western Canada on Friday night when they are in Calgary to face the flames.

By then they could be 13-0 and cruising through the season, or should someone in the West play spoiler to all those Habs fans dreams,  Montreal will look to start another streak as soon as they get back home.

Considering their play through October, the smart money is probably going on the streak continuing on into November.

Some notes on tonight's game in Vancouver and the lead up to it can be found below:

Habs hope to make history in Vancouver
NHL teams look to put Canadiens in the loss column
Montreal Canadiens stay perfect with win over Toronto Maple Leafs and extend streak to nine games
Frustration mounts over Vancouver Canucks' blow leads
Can the Canadiens go 82-0 this season
NHL MVP Carey Price could also be most dominant player in sports
Canucks out to stop mystical Habs
Perfect Canadiens haven't accomplished anything yet
Canucks hoping to end Canadians' streak, earn first home win of season

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Time for some Torts reforms in Columbus

John Tortorella is back behind an NHL bench, taking over
for the dismissed Todd Richards in Columbus
We've not even made it to Halloween and already the witching hour has arrived for the first NHL coaching casualty for 2015-16.

With an 0-7 start to launch their season, the Columbus Blue Jackets have played their way (or not actually) to making now former head coach Todd Richards the answer to this years trivia question of "who was the first NHL coach dismissed this year"

Richards was dispatched last night by the Blue Jackets executive branch, the announcement of his departure made public this morning, a decision that was reached for the most part because as the old saying goes, it's easier to get rid of a coach than 23 players and a couple of goaltenders who can't see the puck at the moment.

To bring that theory home a quick glance at the stats package for the Blue Jackets shows how dire defensive play has been, with goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky having surrendered 23 goals in his five games this year, while Curtis McElhinney has shaved the GAA down to 7 in his two appearances.

Offensively, the entire roster of the Blue Jackets has only accounted for 33 points to this point, only thirteen of them goals.

The woeful start for Columbus has found them with not a single win in their first seven games, the worst record in the relatively short history of the team and a benchmark for inconsistency that places them in the conversation for worst team starts in NHL history.

And while it was Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen up there at the head table with the new coach this afternoon, one has got to think that when the name of the new bench boss for the Blue Jackets was announced, it came from the desk of John Davidson.

The former Rangers executive, who is now running the show in Columbus and someone who has some familiarity with the work of the man tapped one of the more familiar and at times controversial names in recent NHL history to turn around the struggling squad.

Are you ready Columbus?  Are you really ready?  Cause here's Johnny Torts!!!

John Tortorella is back, ready to step behind one more bench hockey fans, the fourth of his NHL career, a new opportunity to recast his narrative for a league that probably can recreate every single controversial moment of his career.

The one year sabbatical after his stay and subsequent departure from Vancouver now a thing of the past, with much talk of pushing his new roster hard, the new boss said ready to start injecting some of the fiery emotion that he has brought to every stop on his NHL resume.

Stand by for bombast, stand by for some bellicosity and if you're a forward on the Blue Jackets, stand by, no make that get down now and start blocking some shots...

Word of his return to the NHL caught fire this afternoon, a mixture of compassion for Richards who many suggest was in a bad spot, combined with sheer glee that a larger than life presence was back, sportswriters in every NHL city sharpening their pencils and their wits for the engagements to come.

Blue Jackets -- "We have to get back to who we are"
Blue Jackets -- Blue Jackets aware of Tortorella's demanding style
Blue Jackets -- John Tortorella replaces Todd Richards as Blue Jackets head coach

Fiery Tortorella promises to rebuild club's confidence
New coach Tortorella 'honoured' to be part of Blue Jackets
Tortorella will push Blue Jackets hard
John Tortorella looking to bring 'confidence' back to the Blue Jackets
John Tortorella hired as Columbus Blue Jackets head coach after Todd Richards fired

And while the Blue Jackets are expressing their satisfaction at getting their man, the real happy place in the NHL tonight is Vancouver, where the Aquilini family suddenly got the kind of luck that sends one off to the lottery store for a mitt full of tickets on the next draw.

In addition to reportedly saving three million dollars from their continuing "thanks for coaching, sorry you gotta leave" payments, the Canucks will also receive a second round draft pick in one of the next three drafts because their former head coach found a job.

The second happiest constituency with the news of today, perhaps the New York newspapers, who always enjoy a good Tortorella tale. And while Larry Brooks (feuds passim) apparently was busy working on the Rangers files today, the Post did get it's first Tort's reviews in later in the day.

Prior to Tuesday night's dismissal the Blue Jacket players were saying all the usual things about not wanting to see a good hockey man lose his job because of their play. Yet it was their inability to get things going in the right direction that delivered Todd his fate.

If the past is any indication, we imagine that Tortorella won't much care what the players say about how he handles his new team. Whether it be an earnest proclamations of support, or shrieks of horror about his ways

For the most part, it will probably be a pretty simple process for the rest of the year in Columbus.

If the effort isn't delivered down out on the ice, the moving vans are going to find the winter of 2015-16 a very prosperous period of time for business.

Some of those engines probably will be warming up as the coach prepares to make his debut behind the Columbus bench.

The Tortorella era for Columbus starts Thursday when the Blue Jackets are in Minnesota.

You can follow the changes amongst the coaching and managerial ranks of the NHL from our Hired to be Fired archive page here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

NHL Suspensions and Fines 2015-16

As the new season begins,  so to will the need for a watchful eye on nightly action for play beyond the rules and that puts player safety at risk through.

The task of NHL Justice falls to Stephane Quintal takes over the administration of Justice who along with Chris Pronger will oversee the day to day needs of Justice in the NHL

They will be reviewing on ice incidents and assessing what punishment, if any will be required on a nightly basis.

As they have in past years, video is becoming key to the league announcements when it comes to punishment delivered by league officials, a helpful way of explaining to fans just what has been taken into consideration with each infraction.

Our listings of his deliberations can be found below, outlining those that have been summoned to the tribunal.

Offenders may now approach the bench, the court is now in session. Chief Justice Quintal presiding.

Cases up to date as of March 6, 2016

The Case files of Stephane Quintal 

Regular Season Suspensions

March 1 -- Boston -- Zac Rinaldo -- Suspended 5 games (details) (video)

February 24 -- St. Louis -- Ryan Reaves -- Suspended 3 games (details) (video)

February 18 -- Toronto -- Leo Komarov -- Suspended 3 games (details) (video)

February 7 -- Winnipeg -- Drew Stafford -- Suspended 1 game (details) (video)

February 3 -- Calgary -- Dennis Wideman -- Suspended 20 games (details) (video)

January 24 -- Los Angeles -- Milan Lucic -- Suspended 1 game (details) (video)

January 13 -- New Jersey -- Bobby Farnham -- Suspended 4 games (details) (video)

January 11-- Edmonton -- Matt Hendricks -- Suspended 3 games (details) (video)

January 8 -- Washington -- Marcus Johansson -- Suspended 2 games (details) (video)

January 6 -- Washington -- Zach Sill -- Suspended 2 games (details) (video)

December 30 -- Boston -- Brad Marchand -- Suspended 3 games (details) (video)

December 21 -- Boston -- Max Talbot -- Suspended 2 games (details) (video)

December 14 -- Anaheim -- Nate Thompson -- Suspended  3 games (details) (video)

December 2 -- Philadelphia -- Radko Gudas -- Suspended 3 games (details) (video)

November 28 -- Columbus -- Brandon Dubinsky  -- Suspended 1 game (details) (video)

November 13 -- Colorado  -- Gabriel Landeskog -- Suspended 2 games (details) (video)

November 2 -- Ottawa  -- Mark Stone -- Suspended 2 games (details) (video)

October 23 -- Dallas  -- Jason Demers -- Suspended 2 games (details) (video)

October 17 -- Colorado  -- Tyson Barrie  -- Suspended 3 games (details) (video)

October 16 -- Tampa Bay  -- Nikita Netserov -- Suspended 2 games (details) (video)

October 5 -- San Jose  -- Raffi Torres -- Suspended 41 games  (details) (video)

Total Regular Season Games suspended (by team)

Anaheim -- 3
Boston -- 10
Calgary -- 20
Colorado -- 5
Columbus -- 1
Dallas --
Edmonton -- 3
Los Angeles -- 1
New Jersey -- 4
Ottawa -- 2
Philadelphia -- 3
San Jose -- 41
St. Louis -- 3
Tampa Bay -- 2
Toronto -- 3
Washington -- 4
Winnipeg -- 1

Total Game Suspension to date  108

Monetary punishment

January 13 -- Winnipeg -- Tyler Myers -- fined $5,000 for cross-checking (details)

December 6 -- Vancouver -- Brandon Prust -- fined $5,000 for  spearing (details)

November 13 -- Boston -- Brad Marchand -- fined $5,000 for roughing (details)

November 4 -- St. Louis -- Ryan Reaves -- fined $3,024.19 for roughing (details)

October 26 -- Winnipeg -- Alexander Burmistrov -- fined $4,166.67 for elbowing (details)

October 23 -- New Jersey -- Stephen Gionata -- fined $2,284.95 for spearing (details)

October 15 -- New Jersey -- Jordin Tootoo -- fined $2,217.74 for dangerous trip (details)

From the Department of Player Safety

Department of Player Safety background

NHL Rule Book 2015-16

NHL Rules video explanation

News from the Department of Player Safety

The Trading Post 2015-16

For many NHL teams, Septembers rosters will be pretty well set through the season, barring a major injury the teams that roll into the new season in high gear, rarely make major changes through the year, with only a trade deadline acquisition to perhaps shore up a weak spot or bring in depth for the playoff battle ahead.

Others however, quickly learn that the planning of July and August and September's training camps haven't really solved a lot of their problems and that the only way to get back on track is to bring new faces and ship out those that aren't fitting into where the team hopes to be going by the time the Spring rolls around.

It's at those points that the General Managers of each of the NHL's member clubs start to earn their pay, making decisions on which players need a fresh start, or which perhaps have seen their best days slip by, or when it's time to just shake things up and snap a team out of its lethargy.

Below we will track the deals of 2014-15, providing some background for the names that suddenly find that movers and change of address notifications are part of the NHL experience.

It all of course leads up to the Spring time madness known as the Trade Deadline, a day where hockey fans perhaps suddenly come down with a bad cold or some other suitable malady that will require at least a day at home, perhaps even in front of the television.

The preamble to the Spring trading deadline starts with the first puck drop of game one, the listings of the relocated can be found below:

Trading Period commenced October 7th, 2015.
Trade Deadline Monday, February 29, 2016.
Trades updated as to February 29, 2016

February 29 -- Arizona -- Pittsburgh -- A three for one deal sees Dustin Jeffrey, Dan O'Donoghue and James Melindy off to Pittsburgh, with the Coyotes receiving Matia Marantuoni in return

February 29 -- Minnesota -- Calgary -- Goaltender Niklas Backstrom is Alberta bound along with a 6th round draft pick in the 2016 draft, with Minnesota receiving David Jones in return
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Anaheim -- Edmonton -- The Ducks keep busy sending Patrick Maroon to the Edmonton Oilers receive Defenceman Martin Gernat and a 4th round pick in 2016 as part of the deal
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Anaheim -- Chicago -- The Ducks give up Tim Jackman and a 7th round pick in the 2017 draft to Chicago in exchange for Corey Tropp.

February 29 -- Arizona -- Nashville -- Corey Potter heads for Nashville after the Coyote and Predators finish off a deal, the Coyotes received future considerations for their side of the arrangement.

February 29 -- Minnesota -- Los Angeles -- The Kings hold a family reunion with Brett Sutter shifting over from the Minnesota Wild with defenceman Scott Sabourin heading to the Wild, Sutter is the son of Kings head coach Daryl Sutter.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- New York Islanders -- Colorado -- The Islanders pick up Marc Andre-Cliche from the Avalanche in exchange for Taylor Beck
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Boston / Carolina  -- The Bruins picked up defenceman John Michael-Liles from the Hurricanes, with Anthony Camara heading for Carolina, along with a third round pick in the 2016 Draft and a 5th Round pick in the 2017 Draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Ottawa / New York Islanders -- The Senators pick up a third round pick in the 2016 draft after they send Shane Prince and a 7th Round pick in the 2016 draft to the New York Islanders.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Minnesota / Ottawa -- The Wild and Senators make an exchange, with Conor Allen heading to Minnesota and Michael Keranen making his way to Ottawa.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Montreal / New Jersey Devils -- Devante Smith-Pelly packs his suitcase once again, this time on his way to New Jersey in exchange the Habs picked up Stefan Matteau.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Boston / New Jersey Devils -- The Bruins add to their depth at forward taking Lee Stempniak from New Jersey with a second round pick in the 2017 draft and a 4th round pick in the 2016 draft going to the Devils.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Anaheim / Buffalo -- Jamie McGinn is on his way to Southern California, as the Ducks swing a deal with the Sabres, surrendering a conditional 3rd Round pick in the draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Florida / Anaheim -- The Ducks acquire Brandon Pirri from the Florida Panthers, sending a 6th Round draft pick to the Panthers.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29  -- Dallas / Calgary -- The Stars shore up the blue line with a trade that brings Kris Russell in from Calgary, Calgary receives Jyrki Jokipakka, Junior player Brett Pollock and a conditional 2nd round pick.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Colorado / New Jersey -- The Avalanche add some more parts to their playoff plan picking up Eric Gelinas from the New Jersey Devils, with a third round pick heading to the Devils
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Chicago / Carolina -- A minor league swap finds the Hawks acquiring goaltender Drew Macintyre from the Hurricanes system in exchange for defenceman Denis Robertson.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Arizona / Colorado -- The Colorado Avalanche pick up some speed for the forward lines with Mikkel Boedeker heading to the Avs in exchange for Alex Tanguay, as well as prospects Connor Bleackley and Kyle Wood.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 29 -- Arizona / Pittsburgh  -- Sergei Plotnikov is Arizona bound as the Coyotes make a deal with the Penguins, receiving Matthias Plachta in return, as well as a conditional 7th round pick for 2017's NHL Draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 28 -- Washington / Toronto -- More departures from the Air Canada Centre as the Leafs move Daniel Winnik, sending the forward to the Washington Capitals, who will also receive a fifth round pick in the 2016 draft as part of the deal, heading to Toronto is forward Brooks Laich, defenceman Connor Carrick and a second round pick in the 2016 Draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 28 -- Carolina / Los Angeles -- The Los Angeles Kings added some more depth on their forward lines on Sunday, picking up Kris Versteeg from Carolina, sending AHLer Valentin Zykov and a conditional fifty round pick  to the Hurricanes in exchange.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 28 -- New York Rangers / Washington -- The Rangers kept the lines open on Sunday and early into the evening had a second deal on the day done and complete, sending Ryan Borque to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Chris Brown.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 28 -- Carolina / New York Rangers -- It's a Staal family reunion in the Big Apple on Sunday as the Rangers acquire Eric Staal from the Carolina Hurricanes, sending forward Aleksi Saarela and second round picks in the 2016 and 2017 NHL drafts to Carolina.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 27 -- Buffalo / Ottawa -- AHL rosters for two clubs got a makeover on Saturday as the Buffalo Sabres acquired Alex Guptill, Eric O'Dell, Cole Schneider and Michal Sdao from the Ottawa Senators, with Jason Akeson, Phil Varone and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc joining the Ottawa system, the Senators also picked up a conditional 7th round pick in the 2016 draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 27 -- Florida / Edmonton -- Two of the more active traders on Saturday were back on the phones with Dale Tallon picking up Forward Teddy Purcell for the Panthers, sending the teams 3rd round pick in the 2016 draft to the Oilers.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 27 -- Pittsburgh / Edmonton -- The Edmonton Oilers continued collecting draft picks for the upcoming NHL draft, sending Justin Schultz to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, receiving the Penguins third round pick in this years draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 27 -- Detroit / Florida -- Florida General Mangaer Dale Tallon continued to work the phones Saturday, adding defenceman Jakub Kindl to the Panthers roster, sending a sxith round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft to the Red Wings as the Florida end of the deal.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 27 -- Florida / Calgary --  The Florida Panthers are going all in for the 2016 playoff race, securing another piece for the playoff run roster on Saturday, the Panthers acquired Jiri Hudler from the Flames, with Calgary receiving a second round pick for the 2016 draft and a fourth round pick in the 2018 draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 27 -- Toronto / San Jose -- Lou Lamiorello and Doug Wilson kept each others numbers handy, working another deal on Saturday which finds goaltender James Reimer heading to California along with forward Jeremy Morin. In return, the Leafs receive goaltender Alex Stalock, forward Ben Smith and a conditional fourth round pick in the 2018 NHL draft as part of the deal.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 27 -- St. Louis / Edmonton -- A swap from the crease started off a busy Saturday of trading activity in the NHL as the Blues added to their goaltending roster picking up Anders Nilsson from the Edmonton Oilers, sending Niklas Lindstrom north along with a fifth round pick in the 2016 NHL draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 26 -- Montreal / Chicago -- Stan Bowman has clearly developed an itchy finger for his celphone, making yet another deal, the second of the day for Friday sending Philip Danault and a second round draft pick in the 2018 draft to the Montreal Canadiens. In return the Hawks claimed Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weiss from the Habs. Key to the deal for Montreal was the opportunity to get Danault, with Habs GM Marc Bergevin familiar with his work from his time in Chicago.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 26 -- Los Angeles / Chicago -- The Blackhawks continued to make news with the trade deadline day fast approaching, swinging another deal that brings Christian Ehrhoff to the Windy City, with Rob Scuderi to make the move to LA, both players have been toiling in the AHL since January, the trade perhaps a chance to rejuvenate their seasons.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 25 -- Winnipeg / Chicago -- A major move by the Winnipeg Jets who seemingly reading some tea leaves decided that it was best to move Captain Andrew Ladd before he became an unrestricted free agent, sending him back to the Blackhawks a team that is clearly loading up for another Cup run.  Joining Ladd at the Winnipeg airport for a flight to Chicago are Matt Fraser and Jay Harrison, with the Jets receiving prospect Marko Dano, a first round pick in the 2016 Draft and a conditional pick in the 2018 NHL Draft which will hinge on how the Blackhawks do in the 2016 playoffs.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 24 -- Vancouver / Edmonton -- The Vancouver Canucks will be looking to do a little wooing in the off season, having picked up the rights to Philip Larsen in a mid week trade with the Edmonton Oilers, Larsen is currently playing in the Kontinental Hockey League, in exchange for his rights, the Oilers receive a fifth round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 23 -- Washington / Buffalo -- The Capitals shore up their defensive unit as they make their push for the playoffs, bringing in Mike Weber from the Buffalo Sabres, with Buffalo claiming a third round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft as part of the deal.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 22 -- Calgary / Vancouver -- Two of the lower tiered squads in the NHL's Western Conference swapped potential on Monday, with the Flames sending Markus Granlund to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Hunter Shinkaruk
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 22 -- Toronto / San Jose -- The Leafs continued to remake their lineup with GM Lou Lamoriello continuing to build on the plan for the future, while dispatching the roster of today. Monday's dealing saw Roman Polak and Nick Spaling head west, as the Leafs picked up more draft picks for the future  a second round selection in 2017 and 2018 drafts. In a bit of an eye brow raising move, the Leafs also acquired forward Raffi Torres, though it appeared doubtful that he would be joining the Leafs, with the team noting that Torres who was suspended for much of the 2015-16 season will remain with the Sharks farm club as a condition of the trade
(NHL Alert)

February 21 -- Toronto / Colorado -- The Maple Leafs continue to shed some contract and assemble picks for the 2016 draft with a deal with the Colorado Avalanche, sending  Shawn Matthias to the Rocky Mountain state in return for Colin Smith and a fourth round pick in this years draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

February 9 -- Ottawa / Toronto -- A major swap of players between two of the NHL's top rivals, as the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators swung a nine player deal, with a draft pick tossed into the mix as well.  Heading to the Nation's capital will be Dion Phaneuf, Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert and Cody Donaghey,  the latter four it is expected will be dispatched to Binghampton. Making the drive southwest to Toronto will be Milan Michalek, Jared Cowen, Colin Greening and prospect Tobias Lindberg. Toronto also receives a second round draft pick in the 2017 draft.
(NHL Trade Alert)

January 21 -- Anaheim / Chicago -- The Blackhawks added some depth to the forward lines acquiring Jiri Sekac from the Anaheim Ducks, sending forward Ryan Garbut to California in exchange.
(NHL Trade Alert)

January 16 -- Anaheim / Pittsburgh -- The Ducks picked up two players from the Penguins with Forward David Perron and Defenceman Adam Glendenning joining Anaheim, while Forward Carl Hegelin heads off to Pittsburgh.
(NHL Trade Alert)

January 15 -- Montreal / Arizona -- The Montreal Canadiens have picked up a bit of toughness in what eventually became a three team deal on Friday, with Habs picking up John Scott and defence man Victory Bartley from the Arizona Coyotes, while Jarred Tinordi and minor leaguer Stefan Fournier head for the Southwest. Arizona followed that deal with one with Nashville , the details on that deal can be found below 
( NHL Trade Alert )

January 15 -- Arizona / Nashville -- Victor Barley was a much travelled man on Friday, first in a deal that saw him shifted to the Arizona Coyotes, then off to Montreal to join the Canadiens organization, Barley came through the process with Arizona making the deals and holding onto defenceman Stefan Elliot  
NHL Alert )

January 14 -- Ottawa / Nashville -- The Senators and Predators traded defencmen on Thursday, with Patrick Mullen heading to Music City in exchange for Connor Allen 
NHL Trade Alert ) 

January 8 -- Vancouver / New York Rangers -- The Canucks and Rangers exchanged forwards on Friday with Emerson Etom heading to Vancouver in exchange for Nicklas Jensen and a 2017 sixth round pick. It's a reunion trade for Etem who played for Canucks head coach Willie Desjardian during his junior days in Medicine Hat.
( NHL Trade Alert )

January 7 -- Montreal / Anaheim -- The arrival of Ben Scrivens a few few weeks back has pushed a few dominoes down the Canadiens flow chart, with Dustin Tokarski trading in a St. John's Newfoundland winter for some time in the shadow of Disneyland.  Tokarski was traded to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, with forward Max Friberg heading east to join St. John's.
( NHL Trade Alert )

January 6 -- Nashville / Columbus -- The Nashville Predators added some offence, but at the cost of a high profile defensive player, as the Preds picked up Ryan Johansen on Wednesday evening, with Seth Jones heading north to Ohio. It was a trade that sent twitter into the kind of frenzy usually seen on Trade deadline day, with fans and hockey observers making the comparisons as to who in the end may end up with the best of the high profile deal. And while its a trade that benefits both teams, a quick scan of the standings would seem to indicate that the Predators, for the short term, would seem to be poised to benefit the most from Wednesday's player swap.
( NHL Trade Alert )

January 6 -- Los Angeles / Philadelphia -- A mini blockbuster trade day for the NHL started Wednesday with the Los Angeles Kings acquiring Vincent Lecavelier and defenceman Luke Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers, receiving Jordan Weal and a third round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft in exchange.
( NHL Trade Alert )

January 3 -- Toronto / Chicago -- The two original six squads swapped a couple of minor league players on Sunday with the Hawks sending Jeremy Morin to the Maple Leafs organization, while Toronto moved Richard Panik, who is now destined for Rockford, the trade a new start for both players in their new locations
( NHL Trade Alert)

December 28 -- Montreal / Edmonton -- Montreal solved two issues of note with a late 2015 trade, as they sent forward Zack Kassian to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goaltender Ben Scrivens, an acquisition that will provide some insurance for the Habs as they await the return of Carey Price.  As for Kassian, he never suited up in a regular season game for the Montreal Canadiens following an off ice auto accident and for many his days in rouge, blanc and bleu were numbered from that day on. Reinstated as part of the NHL/NHLPA substance abuse program he was put on waivers by Montreal and then traded to Edmonton. He will report to Bakersfield where it will be up to him to make the most of what could be his return to the NHL
( NHL Trade Alert )

December 15 -- Montreal / Arizona -- The Habs and Coyotes exchange two players with Lucas Lessio bound for Montreal, while Christian Thomas heads to Phoenix
( NHL Trade Alert )

December 14 -- Pittsburgh / Chicago -- The Penguins and Hawks exchange a pair of defensemen with the Penguins acquiring Trevor Daley from the Hawks in exchange for Rob Scuderi, as part of the deal the Pens will be responsible for 33 per cent of Scuderi's salary.
( NHL Trade Alert )

November 12 -- Calgary / Tampa Bay -- The Calgary Flames acquired Goaltender Kevin Poulin in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The debut trade of the 2015-16 regular season will send future considerations to the Lightning, while Poulin will report to the Flames farm club in Bakersfield, California
(NHL Trade Alert)

Transactions Counter:  53 Trades to date

Anaheim Ducks -- 7
Arizona Coyotes -- 7
Boston Bruins -- 2
Buffalo Sabres -- 3
Calgary Flames -- 5
Carolina Hurricanes -- 4
Colorado Avalanche -- 3
Columbus Blue Jackets-- 1
Chicago Blackhawks -- 8
Dallas Stars -- 1
Detroit Red Wings -- 1
Edmonton Oilers -- 6
Florida Panthers -- 4
Los Angeles Kings -- 4
Minnesota Wild -- 3
Montreal Canadiens-- 7
Nashville Predators -- 4
New Jersey Devils -- 3
New York Islanders-- 2
New York Rangers -- 3
Ottawa Senators -- 5
Philadelphia Flyers -- 1
Pittsburgh Penguins -- 5
San Jose Sharks-- 2
St. Louis Blues -- 1
Tampa Bay Lightning -- 1
Toronto Maple Leafs -- 5
Vancouver Canucks -- 3
Washington Capitals-- 4
Winnipeg Jets -- 1

The link to these Trading Post dispatches can be found in our right hand column in the GM's Office section.

NHL Trade Tracker can be viewed here

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

NHL headlines for October

Our Archive for the month of October

October 31 -- Oilers give up goal with nine seconds left, lose 5-4 to Flames
October 30 -- Rangers' top line reunites with a bang in commanding win
October 29 -- Draisaitl rallies Edmonton Oilers with last minute goal to shock Canadiens 4-3
October 28 -- Ottawa Senators finally taste victory at home, outlast Calgary Flames 5-4 in shootout
October 27 -- Canucks snap home losing streak and hand Habs their first loss
October 26 -- Jonathan Toews lifts Blackhawks to another 1-0 OT win
October 25 -- Kings play to good review in fifth straight win, 3-2 at Edmonton
October 24 -- Leafs fall 5-3 victims to Canadiens' winning juggernaut
October 23 -- Sloppy stuff from Oilers in Friday night loss to Capitals
October 22 -- Andrew Hammond's return can't save night as Ottawa Senators fall to New Jersey Devils 5-4 in shootout
October 21 -- Fiery Tortorella promises to rebuild club's confidence
October 20 -- Sidney Crosby stuck in one of worst stretches of NHL career, but it's not Phil Kessel's fault
October 19 -- Good news keeps rolling for Montreal Canadiens
October 18 -- Penguins defeat Maple Leafs, 2-1
October 17 -- Slow start, anemic power play dooms Canucks in 4-3 loss to Blues
October 16 -- Will Oilers' Connor McDavid reignite the Battle of Alberta with Flames?
October 15 -- Price helps Canadiens maintain early-season perfection
October 14 -- Senators take over third period against winless Blue Jackets
October 13 -- Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, L. A. Kings' Darryl Sutter among NHL bench bosses on thin ice this season
October 12 -- Montreal Candiens backup Mike Condon wins debut adding another chapter to improbable journey to NHL

October 11 -- Sabres goalie Lehner out 6-10 weeks with sprain
October 10 -- Senators survive blowing big lead, beat Leafs in first shootout of NHL season
October  9 -- Toronto Maple Leafs shut out by Red Wings in Mike Babcock's return to Detroit
October 8 -- Winnipeg Jets soar past Bruins 6-2 in season opener to snap 13 game losing streak by franchise in Boston
October 7 -- Several NHLers found themselves in hot water because of off-season legal troubles
October 6 -- Gretzky, Oilers coach McLellan agree Nugent-Hopkins pivotal in helping McDavid settle into NHL
October 5 -- Landmark ban on Raffi Torres sends right message
October 4 -- Zack Kassien of Montreal Canadiens injured in truck crash
October 3 -- Getting cut never gets easy
October 2 -- With trio of solid goaltenders, Flames facing tough questions in net
October 1 -- Senators seeking greater consistency after last season's race to the playoffs

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Attendance Watch 2015-16 --- aka Mr. Bettman's Box Office

For those that crunch the numbers on the NHL, beyond the salary caps, a free agency calculations, the bottom line for many NHL teams comes from one simple thing, bottoms in the seats.

And this year like the last few of the past, there are some locations that are giving indications that hockey just isn't winning the battle for hearts, minds and wallets.

With Las Vegas and Quebec now on the short list for expansion, it's not really known what kind of success they might have in going the relocation route should that option present itself.

Something that we imagine will be further explored as they proceed down their current course of the expansion franchise.

Still, at some time this season, someone is going to look at the listings of the NHL's trouble spots and
go, "how long can the league let this go on".

When they do, somebody somewhere will have a ready to go market up for consideration.

For hopeful hockey fans in Hamilton, Suburban Toronto and now Seattle, watching the attendance figures becomes more important than which team is actually leading its division or closing in on a playoff spot.

Once again this year, we will track the teams that some suggest are on the bubble, secure leadership or not, financially flush as they may say they are, no one likes to lose money, so we'll scan the attendance numbers through the year, looking for those bargain basement teams that could be looking for a relocation plan.

As last year, we shall use attendance at the 13,000 mark as our cut off for review.  Only those games that have drawn less than 13,000 or less in attendance will be listed below.

We also will list which team was in town as the visiting squad for the night, perhaps offering an explanation as to the night's recorded attendance.

The review can be accessed from our GM's office links on the right hand sidebar.

Attendance Figures as of March 3, 2016

Bottom Feeders (our three dim star selection)

The three teams with the lowest attendance, teams the most times below the 13,000 benchmark.

1. Carolina Hurricanes (21)
2. Arizona Coyotes (20)
3. Florida Panthers (11)

Arizona (20)

March 3 -- 11,999 (Anaheim) (Event Summary)
February 18 -- 11,853 (Dallas) (Event Summary)
February10 -- 12,255 (Vancouver) (Event Summary)
February 2 -- 12,261 (Los Angeles) (Event Summary)
January 21 -- 12,251 (San Jose) (Event Summary)
January 18 -- 11,134 (Buffalo) (Event Summary)
January 16 -- 11,745 (New Jersey) (Event Summary)
January 14 -- 12,014 (Detroit) (Event Summary)
January 12 -- 11,391 (Edmonton) (Event Summary)
January 9 -- 12,345 (Nashville) (Event Summary)
December 22 -- 12,234 (Toronto) (Event Summary)
December 19 -- 11,878 (NY Islanders) (Event Summary)
December 17 -- 11,120 (Columbus) (Event Summary)
December 12 -- 12,668 (Carolina) (Event Summary)
November 28 -- 12,727 (Ottawa) (Event Summary)
November 27 -- 11,495 (Calgary) (Event Summary)
November 25 -- 11,578 (Anaheim) (Event Summary)
November 5 -- 10,270 (Colorado) (Event Summary)
October 30 -- 12,166 (Vancouver) (Event Summary)
October 15 -- 12,029 (Minnesota) (Event Summary)

Carolina  (21)

February 23 -- 10,896 (Philadelphia) (Event Summary)
February 20 -- 10,422 (Tampa Bay) (Event Summary)
February 19 -- 11,756 (San  Jose) (Event Summary)
February 16 -- 10,489 (Winnipeg) (Event Summary)
January 24 -- 9,934 (Calgary) (Event Summary)
January 15 -- 11,657 (Vancouver) (Event Summary)
January 2 -- 12, 149 (Nashville) (Event Summary)
December 26 -- 11,654 (New Jersey) (Event Summary)
December 6 -- 9,021 (Arizona) (Event Summary)
December 5 -- 10,687 (Montreal) (Event Summary)
December 3 -- 9,254 ( New Jersey) (Event Summary)
November 25 -- 10,911 (Edmonton) (Event Summary)
November 22 -- 10,154 (Los Angeles) (Event Summary)
November 20 -- 10,327 (Toronto) (Event Summary)
November 16 -- 9,305 (Anaheim) (Event Summary)
November 12 -- 9,511 (Minnesota) (Event Summary)
November 7 -- 10,005 (Ottawa) (Event Summary)
November 6 -- 10,188 (Dallas) (Event Summary)
November 1 -- 9,081 (Tampa Bay) (Event Summary)
October 30 -- 9,345 (Colorado) (Event Summary)
October 13 -- 10,901 (Florida) (Event Summary)

Colorado (1)

October 21 -- 12,826 (Carolina) (Event Summary)

Columbus (10)

February 25 -- 12,590 (New Jersey) (Event Summary)
February 11 -- 12, 117 (Anaheim) (Event Summary)
January 25 -- 11,927 (Montreal) (Event Summary)
January 21 -- 12,492 (Calgary) ( Event Summary )
January 19 -- 12,291 (Washington) (Event Summary)
January 5 -- 12,411 (Minnesota) (Event Summary)
December 14 -- 12,494 (Tampa Bay) (Event Summary)
December 12 -- 12,342 (NY Islanders) (Event Summary)
November 17 -- 12,161 ( St. Louis) (Event Summary)
October 31 -- 12,860 (Winnipeg) (Event Summary)

Florida (11)

December 10 -- 12,810 (Washington) (Event Summary)
December 8 -- 11,571 (Ottawa) (Event Summary)
November 23 -- 10,997 (Los Angeles) (Event Summary)
November 19 -- 10,947 (Anaheim) (Event Summary)
November 16 -- 12,067 (Tampa Bay) (Event Summary)
November 12 -- 11,271 (Buffalo) (Event Summary)
November 10 -- 11,242 (Calgary) (Event Summary)
October 31 -- 11,207 (Washington) (Event Summary)
October 27 -- 11,694 (Colorado) (Event Summary)
October 17 -- 12,834 (Dallas) (Event Summary)
October 15 -- 11,616 (Buffalo) (Event Summary)

New Jersey (5)

October 31 -- 11,605 (NY Islanders) (Event Summary)
October 27 -- 12,847 (Columbus) (Event Summary)
October 20 -- 12,171 (Arizona) (Event Summary)
October 16 -- 12,464 (San Jose) ( Event Summary)
October 13 -- 11,117 (Nashville) (Event Summary)

New York Islanders  (11)

January 25 -- 12,086 (Detroit) (Event Summary)
December 4 -- 12,873 (St. Louis) (Event Summary)
November 30 -- 11,585 (Colorado) (Event Summary)
November 16 -- 11,841 (Phoenix) (Event Summary)
November 3 -- 12,122 (New Jersey) (Event Summary)
November 1 -- 11,278 (Buffalo) (Event Summary)
October 29 -- 11,494 (Carolina) (Event Summary)
October 26 -- 11,582 (Calgary) (Event Summary)
October 17 -- 11,577 (San Jose) (Event Summary)
October 15 -- 10,542 (Nashville) (Event Summary)
October 12 -- 11,183 (Winnipeg) (Event Summary)