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

Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekly Award Winners for week ending November 16

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

Week ending November 16

Jori Lehtera-- St. Louis Blues
Carey Price-- Montreal Canadiens
Filip Forsberg-- Nashville Predators

 Three stars item for November 17, from

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Weekly Award Winners for week ending November 9

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

Week ending November 9

Mark Giordano-- Calgary Flames
Craig Anderson-- Ottawa Senators
Vladimir Tarasenko-- St. Louis Blues

 Three stars item for November 9, from

Sunday, November 09, 2014

World Junior Tournament 2014 Preparations

An archive of notes on the lead up to the World Junior championships coming up in December.

A look at the preparations that the teams taking part in the tournament to be held in Toronto and Montreal from December 26 to January 5.

IIHF World Junior Championship website

Hockey Canada's World Junior Championship


November 14-- World Junior exhibition schedule announced


November 3-- Player evaluation entering key phase for Canadian team hopefuls


November 12-- USA Hockey names roster for World Jr. Challenge

Rookie of the Month for October 2014

The NHL named their Rookie of the Month for October, with the first award for the 2014-15 season heading to the west coast.

Tanner Pearson-- Los Angeles Kings

7 goals and and nine points over 11 games in October provided the burst of offence that found Tanner Pearson picking up the accolades for the month.

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

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

NHL Stars of the Month for October

With one month knocked off the NHL calendar, the NHL named their three Stars of the Month for October.

Anaheim Duck's Corey Perry
The First Star for the month of October

First Star

Corey Perry-- Anaheim Ducks

Second Star

Sidney Crosby-- Pittsburgh Penguins

Third Star

Tyler Seguin-- Dallas Stars

Weekly Awards Winners for week ending November 2

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

Week ending November 2

Vladimir Tarasenko-- St. Louis Blues
Pavel Datsyuk-- Detroit Red Wings
Marc Andre Fleury-- Pittsburgh Penguins

 Three stars item for November 2, from

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Bruins get some High Profile support for the season ahead

The Boston Bruin's won Sunday and they didn't even take to the ice.

The Dalai Lama, visiting Boston for a speaking engagement on Sunday pulled on a Boston Bruins hat, pretty well ensuring that the faithful of Boston (both of the Dalai Lama and the Bruins) had yet one more reason to listen intently to the lessons to come.

His Holiness has been on a North American tour in recent weeks, though the only NHL city visited thus far was Vancouver, which perhaps finds itself wishing that someone had been a little quicker on the mark.

The Dali Lama is off to New York City next, though we imagine that his advisers will suggest he keep the Bruins hat in the suitcase for the next few days.

Denis Leary was the first to spread the word of the Dalai Lama's fashion selection for the day, taking to twitter (see left) quickly to make sure that all were informed.

Bob McKenzie of TSN was fairly quick to bring Mr. Leary back down to ice level, providing his own photo collection as evidence that the Dalai Lama plays no favourites when it comes to his North American travels, while at the same time McKenzie suggested that perhaps the Bruins were a little parsimonious in the memorabilia department.

Still, the Bruins success in the divine intervention front on Sunday, clearly sets the bar high for other NHL franchises and with only so many religious leaders out there to offer up a similar hint of team loyalty, we imagine some of the other NHL teams are already sending off their ambassadors.

Montreal will now have to expand their own roster of the divine, perhaps to seek out the Pope, while Toronto may be looking to the head of the Church of England, the Queen to pull on a Maple Leafs journey at some future event.

Then there's the leaders of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism (other than the Tibet version) and the Greek and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches to seek out to name a few, a fairly comprehensive list for the NHL teams to divvy up can be found here.

And while teams that are struggling out of the gate may need more immediate help, some teams perhaps may hold off on their approaches until the playoff push.

We're not sure where LA may fall into the whole quest for a boost, though we imagine a few of the fans in the stands will offer up Scientology as a natural fit. Particularly when you consider the number of celebrities that are members and make the occasional appearance at the Staples Centre.

Still, those who are first prosper the most, and Boston, can take to the ice with serene confidence this week, knowing that the His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is ready to go into the corners with them.

Headlines of November 2014

Our Archive for the month of November

November 24-- Pat Quinn, gone much too soon, was a man of his time and one of the best of them
November 23-- NY Rangers rout NHL's top team, Canadiens, 5-0
November 22-- Blackhawks Crush Oilers
November 21-- Toronto Maple Lefas throw gasoline on the fire with salute snub
November 20-- Columbus Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson is bankrupt: report
November 19-- Canucks hold on to defeat Oilers for fourth straight time
November 18-- Toronto Maple Leafs humiliated at home by Nashville Predators
November 17-- Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Where it ranks among the best
November 16-- Gordie Howe's health rapidly declining according to his son
November 15-- Hockey Hall of Fame inductees poke fun at Peter Forsberg: "Skilled, talented, nasty, dirty"
November 14-- Canucks take the night off in 5-0 loss to Coyotes
November 13-- Senators GM Bryan Murray faces reality of Stage 4 cancer diagnosis
November 12-- Ducks overcome bumps, mumps to beat Kings
November 11-- The Shame of Conner McDavid's injury
November 10-- NHL might be itching to place a bet on Vegas
November 9-- Canucks push back, close out California trip in style
November 8-- The Senators are trying to bring soccer atmosphere to a quiet arena
November 7-- ESPN's Keith Olbermann takes down the NHL's myth of the 'Original Six'
November 6-- Leafs’ Daniel Winnik leaves game on stretcher
November 5-- Fleury deal perfectly sensible
November 4-- Rangers giving Kaberle a chance after season away from NHL
November 3-- Oilers face challenge of winning without Hall, Ferrence
November 2-- Upstart, short handed Flames shock Canadiens 6-2 to kick off five game road trip
November 1-- Pavelec saves the day for Jets

Friday, October 31, 2014

How about them Cowboys?

A fascinating bit of reading on the site last week as Dan Rosen outlined the relief that Jason Spezza feels these days as he settles into Big D.

Taking part in the feature Five Questions, Spezza reviewed some of the changes that the move to Dallas has brought, as he exchanged life in hockey obsessed Ottawa with the more casual acquaintance of the sport in Texas.

Among the apparent little things that can make the former Ottawa Senator love Texas, the ability to turn on his car radio again, where seldom is heard a discouraging word about the Stars or even the game....

Yes, as they say everything is bigger in Texas, and when it comes to the radio sports stations in Dallas, nothing, not by a long shot is bigger than talking about the Cowboys.

Something that Jason Spezza approves of, no doubt still trying to re-educate himself on the push button nature of car radios, after having spent man a cold night heading home from the rink in Ottawa  humming to himself, seemingly not inclined to hear how Bob in Barrhaven, or Gatean in Gatineau felt about the Sens efforts on the night.

So far things are going well on the ice for the former Senator, who joined the Stars on July 1st as part of a blockbuster trade. His stats package thus far in the regular season has the Dallas Center with 2 goals and 10 assists for a total of 12 points.

Beyond the illusion that getting lost in the big city shuffle just suits Spezza fine, the tale is one that should make the Canadian squads of Gary Bettman's collective just a little bit concerned.

Spezza is not alone when it comes to finding something to like about the lure of anonymity for the most part in many of the American outposts of the NHL. For the seven teams above the 49th, the ability to retain, let alone attract name players to the Canadian cities is growing harder by the year.

The pressure, media attention, constant scrutiny of the fans, all of it weighs heavily it seems when contracts come up.  At that point, if even the slightest gap in salary expectations should come into the discussion, suddenly it seems, players are hitting google to learn about the better dining establishments in the cities of the NHL's witness protection plan.

Not surprisingly the Ottawa newspapers were quick to deliver the former Senators post card back to the capital, with reviews of his new found freedom on the roads of Dallas.

Ottawa Sun-- Spezza happy to be out of spotlight in Dallas
Ottawa Citizen-- Jason Spezza learning to love Dallas