Monday, October 09, 2017

Through Opening week ... everyone is a contender!

Dreams of raising Lord Stanley's Mug may seem a ways off just now, what with the playoffs far over the horizon of the Spring of 2018, but as we head towards the end of the first week for the 2017-18 campaign, everyone is a contender for the glory and has a shot to see their name engraved on the fabled trophy.

Well perhaps almost everyone,  some cracks have already appeared in the pre-season planning, with the Winnipeg Jets finding Goals Against once again providing more than a few issues, though they have at least cracked the win column after three outings.

Not so a number of squads, including the Buffalo Sabres who have had a rough go of it three games into a brand new year. Joining the Sabres in the quest for a first win are the Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Arizona Coyotes and the San Jose Sharks.

Now obviously, the first week of the season is hardly the time to be sending out the SOS calls, and head coaches probably don't have to start thinking about who has the best rates when it comes to moving companies.

After all, for most all it will take is a quick run of a few games to reverse the bad karma and keep the home town fans (and one or two owners) on the bandwagon.

That task seems to be a lot easier in a few places as the first seven days of the 2017-18 season get close to completion on Wednesday.

The Leafs fans already have the plans in hand for the parade for Stanley, Washington is out of the gate fast, as are the Blues.

Chicago is not far off the pace and scoring goals at will, something they have in common with a few of the teams of the Central division who have been active around the net early in the season.

The defensive division to this point is the Pacific, where no team has yet to hit double digits in the Goals For stats, and the Goals Against markers for the most part tell a story of tight contests over the first few games of the year.

The young guns as expected are showcasing their stuff, with Connor McDavid, Austin Matthews and Evgeny Kuznetsov all finding their form quickly into the season.

The veterans are also serving notice that they still have something to say,  Alex Ovechkin is off to a torrid pace early on with 7 goals, thanks to back to back hat tricks to open the season.

Also making some noise in the first week of play, the Vegas Golden Knights a team playing with little of those expansion team struggles, set to host their home opener on Tuesday night as an undefeated squad with a 2-0 record.

As the teams move towards Halloween, the distances will begin to grow between the contenders and those that will quickly learn that there is still much work ahead should they hope to be part of the long haul story of  the 2017-18 season.

That's our goal as well as we return to the blog for a new season, holding through for the long haul, chronicling the high profile stories, the side interest items and previewing the upcoming tournament season, including an Olympic Games without NHLers.

We hope you'll come along for the ride.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

HockeyNation Headlines: October 2017

Our archives of notes for October

October 31 -- NHL relocation game heating up: Over the Boards
October 30 -- Why the Buffalo Bills' success might be a good thing for the Sabres
October 29 -- At the moment, the Leafs just need good, not great goaltending from Andersen
October 28 -- Alex Ovechkin helps out homeless man in downtown Edmonton
October 27 -- Gaudreau's scoring but wants to be better in both ends
October 26 -- Shane Doan brings new perspective to NHL office
October 25 -- Power Play lifts Blues to Victory
October 24 -- Who are the Vegas Golden Nights and how are they off to such a good start?
October 23 -- Jagr could be back by Sunday
October 22 -- Golden Knights' Subban 'probably out weeks' after injury versus Blues
October 21 -- Williams Karlsson's heroics lift Knights to 3-2 OT win
October 20 -- NHL admits Avalanche wuz robbed by video review
October 19 -- Oilers end four-game losing skid with win in Chicago
October 18 -- Hayley Wickenheiser says Downie's death feels like 'we lost a teammate'
October 17 -- Edmonton Oilers fail to show up again in loss to Carolina Hurricanes
October 16 -- Calgary man makes multimillion dollar donation to B.C. Junior Hockey Team
October 15 -- Golden Knights beat Boston 3-1 behind backup goaltenders Malcolm Subban
October 14 -- Flyers rout Capitals as Laughton, Couturier, Giroux net two goals each
October 13 -- Shutout goaltending and power play goals lift Senators past Flames
October 12 -- Luongo ties for 4th on wins list, Panthers beat Blues 5-2
October 11 -- Patric Hornqvist's return fuels Penguins to win over Capitals
October 10 -- James Neal, Golden Knights roll to 5-2 win in home opener
October 9 -- Matthews sparks Leafs past Blackhawks in OT
October 8 -- Henrik Lundqvist backs Rangers to first win after shaky start
October 7 -- Alex Ovechkin has second consecutive hat trick
October 6 -- Golden Knights win inaugural NHL game, 2-1
October 5 -- Brandon Saad becomes second Blackhawks player to score hat trick in season opener
October 4 -- McDavid runs wild on Flames with opening night hat-trick
October 3 -- As season starts, hockey fans deserve to be mad about NHL's Olympic decision
October 2 -- Reports say NHL Star Jaromir Jagr to join Calgary Flames
October 1 -- Longtime NHL Broadcaster Dave Strader Passes at 62

Archive of 2017-18 Season

NHL Headline Archives: 2017-18

Our archive of the headlines posted daily and archived by the month.



NHL Suspensions 2017-18

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 George Parros in 2017-18 the latest of former NHL enforcers tasked to 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 Parros presiding.

Cases up to date as of October 16, 2017

The Case files of George Parros

Regular Season Suspensions

October 4 -- Washington -- Tom Wilson suspended for four games for boarding (details)

Total Regular Season Games suspended (by team)

Anaheim -- 
Arizona --
Boston -- 
Buffalo --
Calgary -- 
Carolina --
Chicago -- 
Colorado --
Columbus -- 
Dallas -- 
Detroit --
Edmonton -- 
Florida --
Los Angeles --
Minnesota --
Montreal --
Nashville --
New Jersey -- 
New York Islanders --
New York Rangers --
Ottawa -- 
Philadelphia -- 
Pittsburgh --
San Jose -- 
St. Louis -- 
Tampa Bay -- 
Toronto --
Vancouver --
Washington -- 4
Winnipeg --

Total Regular Game Suspensions to date --  4

Pre Season Suspensions

September 25 -- New York Rangers -- Andrew Desjardins, suspended two games for illegal check to the head (details)

September 23 -- Washington -- Tom Wilson, suspended two pre-season games for interference (details)

Monetary punishment

October 9 -- St. Louis -- Robert Bortuzzo -- fined $3,091.40 for cross checking (details)

Other Notes related to the Department of Player Safety

October 4 -- Whitney happy to have 'hand in the game' with Player Safety
October 4 -- Ray Whitney joins NHL Department of Player Safety

Resources From the Department of Player Safety

Department of Player Safety background

NHL Rule Book 2017-18

NHL Rules videos and explanations

News from the Department of Player Safety

Friday, October 06, 2017

The Expandables: Kansas City Archive

Our notes on developments from Missouri, where talk continues of a potential return for Kansas City to the NHL.

Kansas City




September 29 -- Lamar Hunt Jr. talks future of KC as possible NHL expansion market
September 27 -- Toronto Maple Leaf's sojourn to Quebec City brings up all sorts of bittersweet hockey memories


August 16 -- Kansas City on NHL expansion radar
August 15 -- Is Kansas City a viable NHL expansion location?
August 5 -- Kansas City has some holes to fill before it can become an NHL Expansion Destination

The Trading Post 2017-18

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 2017-18, 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:

Regular Season Trading Period commenced as of October 4, 2017.
Trade Deadline  -- February 26, 2018

Trades updated as to October 16, 2017


October 9 -- Philadelphia/Anaheim -- the Flyers acquire goaltender Dustin Torkarksi from the Anaheim Ducks for  future Considerations

October 6 -- Toronto/Las Vegas -- the  Maple Leafs acquire goaltendar Calvin Pickard from the Golden Knights, in exchange for Tobias Lindberg and a sixth round pick in the 2018 draft (NHL Trade Alert)

October 4 -- Chicago/Montreal -- the Blackhawks acquired forward Andreas Martinsen from the Canadiens for forward Kyle Baun (NHL Trade Alert)

October 4 -- Buffalo/ Montreal -- The Sabres send forward Nicholas Deslauriers to the Canadiens in exchange for defenceman Zach Redmond (NHL Trade Alert)

Transactions Counter:  4 Trades to date
(As of start of Regular Season)

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

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

Attendance Watch: 2017-18

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 now aboard the NHL Club of member franchises and two more potential expansion franchises yet to be awarded, locations such as Quebec City, Seattle and Kansas City among others now look to get on the short list for that expansion, though they may also have an interest in going the relocation route should that option present itself.

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.

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 we have in the past, 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 November 7, 2017

Bottom Feeders (our three dim star selection)

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

1.  New York Islanders (6)
2.  Carolina Hurricanes (5)
3.  Florida Panthers (4)

The Breakdown by Franchise location

Arizona Coyotes (3)

November 4 -- 12,019 (Carolina) (Event Summary)
November 2 -- 11,477 (Buffalo) (Event Summary)
October 18 -- 11,225 (Dallas) (Event Summary)

Carolina Hurricanes (4)

November 7 -- 8,828 (Florida) (Event Summary)
October 29 -- 10,108 (Anaheim) (Event Summary)
October 27 -- 10,069 (St. Louis) (Event Summary)
October 24 --10, 498 (Tampa Bay) (Event Summary)
October 10 -- 7,892 (Columbus) (Event Summary)

Colorado Avalanche (2)

November 2 -- 12,048 (Carolina) (Event Summary)
October 24 -- 12,823 (Dallas) (Event Summary)

Florida Panthers (4)

November 2 -- 9,311 (Columbus) (Event Summary)
October 30 -- 9,493 (Tampa Bay) (Event Summary)
October 26 -- 10,545 (Anaheim) (Event Summary)
October 12 -- 10,846 (St. Louis) (Event Summary)

New Jersey Devils (1)

November 7 -- 12,317 (St. Louis) (Event Summary)

New York Islanders (6)

November 7 -- 12,281 (Edmonton) (Event Summary)
November 5 -- 10,927 (Colorado) (Event Summary)
October 30 -- 11,113 (Las Vegas) (Event Summary)
October 24 -- 9,795 (Arizona) (Event Summary)
October 21 -- 11,877 (San Jose) (Event Summary)
October 9 -- 10,673  (St. Louis) (Event Summary)

Hired to Be Fired: 2017-18 Season

As sure as there are wins and losses (usually associated with the latter), there also will be change somewhere along the way between now and the end of June.

The day eventually comes for many NHL coaches, where they receive the phone call, or tap on the shoulder to go see the GM or owner.

A summons where the usual things are said, "you gave it a good shot, but we're going in a different direction", or variations of the theme.

Of the thirty members of the NHL coaching and managerial fraternity, sometime this year, maybe early, maybe late, the word will come that their services are no longer required.

We will provide the compilation of the summoned from this spot, listing those unlucky members of the club that find themselves outsourced in this 2017-18.

The archive of our list can be quickly referenced on our right hand side bar, in the Owner's Box section.

Tick, tock, tick, tock... the reaper stands ready...

The Listings to Date

The Reviews of the Dismissals

The Owners Box 2017-18

Our Archive of items regarding ownership of NHL franchises, highlighting the moves in the structure of team ownership and other newsworthy notes surrounding the NHL's 30 Franchises and Administration.

NHL Issues and Events



The Expandables -- Houston Archive

Our notes on development from Texas, where the new Rockets owner is expressing some interest in bringing an NHL franchise to Houston.


October 11 -- New Rockets owner interested in bringing NHL team to Houston
October 11 -- Tilman Fertitta Pledges to be Aggressive in bringing the NHL to Houston
October 11 -- NHL team could be in the works for Houston, Rockets owner Fertitta says
October 11 -- Rockets owner wants NHL team in Houston
October 8 -- The one way the city can get an NHL franchise
July 21 -- Could Houston Rockets sale precede NHL expansion, relocation to Toyota Centre?

The Expandable's: Quebec City Archive

Our notes on development from the Quebec Capital, everyone's favourite bridesmaid, but a city yet to make it's way back to the NHL altar.

Quebec City 


September 27 -- Toronto Maple Leafs' sojourn to Quebec City brings up all sorts of bittersweet hockey memories
September 12 -- Seattle looks set to get an NHL team, but what of Quebec City?
September 12 -- NHL players want next expansion team to be in Quebec City


June 25 -- Waiting for the Nordiques: Quebec City doesn't mind being NHL's Plan B

The Expandables: Seattle Archive

Our notes on development from the Pacific Northwest, where any number of arena proposals continue to percolate, though without any shovels actually making their way into the ground to this point.



October 10 -- Hansen: SODO arena project not dead; room for 2 arenas in Seattle
October 10 -- Chris Hansen won't try to block Oak View Group's KeyArena plan, pushes for two-arena scenario
October 4 -- Gary Bettman on possible Seattle NHL team: "We are nowhere near that"


September 25 -- Seattle bylaw bars subsidies for sports: What about KeyArena deal?
September 17 -- Chris Hansen needs game changer if he wants to climb  back in Seattle arena race
September 12 -- Seattle arena deal makes addition of another expansion franchise a no-brainer
September 12 -- See what Seattle NHL hockey might look like in a revamped Key Arena
September 12 -- Seattle looks set to get an NHL team, but what of Quebec City?
September 12 -- Seattle could be in line for NHL, NBA teams as arena deal takes shape
September 12 -- Seattle arena could be NHL ready by 2020
September 12 -- Seattle proposes $600M KeyArena Renovations to Attract NBA and NHL teams


June 10 -- Seattle NHL talks far too premature until arena issue solved
June 8 -- NHL team investors join KeyArena remodel effort after Murray selects Oak View Group bid
June 8 -- KeyArena to be renovated in efforts to lure NHL, NBA team to Seattle
June 7 -- Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Celtics minority owner David Bonderman join KeyArena renovation group
June 7 -- Jerry Bruckheimer investing in Seattle arena renovation
June 7 -- Producer Jerry Bruckheimer joins bid to bring NHL team to Seattle
June 7 -- Seattle inches closer to arena that could house NBA or NHL team

The Expandable NHL 2017-18

With the Las Vegas Golden Knights franchise now successfully in the fold and ready to welcome fans from far beyond Nevada, the NHL will turn its thoughts towards two more locations in the years to come

As the tire kickers come on by we'll keep track of who has the potential to become a pin on the NHL map and who may just have fanciful dreams that will never come true.

Along with those ready to embark on the NHL expansion process, others perhaps will be standing by, to take any wards of the NHL that may arrive from existing locations that may be struggling to attract fans in their current locations.

All of the items of note will be gathered below:

Looking for a seat at the table


Kansas City

Quebec City


Sunday, January 01, 2017

Centennial Classic delivers a pond hockey finish at BMO field

New Years' Day brought the Centennial Classic to Toronto's BMO field

In the end, after sixty minutes of play and a last second tying goal from Detroit to push it to overtime, the rink on the wide expanse of BMO field resembled most what the NHL wants us to take from these stadium spectacles, the vision of hockey stoking memories of the game on a pond.

With the skies blue, the air crisp and the ice fast; if somewhat unpredictable, the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs provided the visual centerpiece to launch the 100th centennial of the NHL for the over 40,000 in attendance just off the shores of Lake Ontario.

In fact, the skies were too bright as the scheduled start time beckoned, the sun shining from an angle that made for unsafe conditions that required a delay of thirty minutes before the teams could drop the puck.

When they did, the action at times did very much resemble that of an outdoor pond, shots fired down ice would take mysterious bounces, the players seemed to struggle at first to the outdoor conditions, taking a bit of time to make a sense of it all.

The first period, that of a scoreless tie was indicative of that tentative nature, though the Red Wings seemed to figure it out first, taking a 1-0  lead in the second, only to see the Leafs launch their comeback of four goals in the early stages of the final twenty minutes.

Such was the shift in momentum that up until the fourteen minute mark of the final period it appeared as though the home town side would be claiming a convincing victory in regulation time.

That was until the Red Wings took advantage of some Toronto miscues and put their game into another gear, scoring three goals in the final six minutes. The final marker, a frantic last second scramble in the Leafs end which delivered the tying goal by Anthony Mantha, who had already had a pretty impressive day and put the signature on his afternoon by sending the game into OT.

That perhaps might have been a cue for Leafs' fans of the past to sit in stunned disbelief as another victory suddenly slipped away from the win column, but perhaps 2017 may offer a different resolution after all when it comes to the Toronto squad.

For the hometown fans, the game could not have had a more storybook ending, the OT period offering up the opportunity for the highly acclaimed rookie Auston Matthews to tap in the winning goal, reinforcing for many the impact he has already had on the Leafs and providing a sense of what is to come.

Matthews rewarded the faith of head coach Mike Babcock who had been giving the rookie, and some of his young team mates, more and more responsibility as the game moved forward. Sending them over the boards for additional ice time in key situations and assigning defensive face off duties that indicate that the coach is allowing Matthews and the young up and comers the opportunity to grow into their roles with the Leafs.

On Sunday afternoon, on the first day of 2017 all of those decisions delivered much of what the Leafs fans and the NHL wanted to see, the young colts of the stable starting to show their stuff. While the marquee player for the team made the play that became the exclamation point for the event.

The final moments of the game, forgiving a shaky start and near disastrous late third meltdown to put an entertaining finish to the day of hockey.

The full Box Score and Game Notes can be reviewed here.

A glimpse into the work that goes into putting one of these outdoor showcase games on can be found from this Globe and Mail article, which highlights the achievement of the staff at BMO field who have had two of their busiest months just come to an end. Along with the Centennial Classic, the outdoor Toronto venue has played host to the CFL's Grey Cup Championship and the MLS Final.

Monday, if the weather Gods cooperate, the NHL is back to the outdoors as St. Louis takes its turn to host the Winter Classic, bringing the Blues and Black Hawks together in the shadow of St. Louis's famed Arch.

Rain in forecast for start of Winter Classic
Blackhawks prepared for potential rain delays in Monday's Winter classic

The Centennial Classic not only made for some entertaining hockey on the Toronto lakefront, but has also created an archive of notes on the game at 100, some of the reviews from a day at Toronto's urban pond can be found below, along with a few side items on the history of the game as well.

Globe and Mail

Leafs score OT winner to capture Centennial Classic
Maple Leafs stick to rebuilding plan after win over Detroit Red Wings

Toronto Star

Rookies write Leafs' Classic ending
Matthews sparks Maple Leafs' win in Centennial Classic OT thriller
Overtime in Centennial Classic? Naturally
Dave Keon honoured as an all-time NHL Great

Toronto Sun

Leafs snag OT win over Wings in Centennial Classic
Coreau thrilled to face off against 'world class' Matthews at Centennial Classic
NHL's most iconic living players show up for Centennial Classic
Leafs' Rielly pumped about team's direction after Centennial Classic

National Post

Auston Matthews rises to the moment with overtime winner for Maple Leafs in Centennial Classic
Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan starting to see 'promise' as young team creeps into playoff contention
Goals, heartbreak and a fractured skull: The Toronto Maple Leafs' greatest season was also their most remarkable

Detroit Free Press

Red Wings provide thrills for overtime game, but fall, 5-4 in OT
Red Wings' Anthony Mantha playing 'best hockey of young career'
Detroit Red Wings approach outdoor game with humour, hard work

Detroit News

Red Wings' flurry falls short in OT loss to Leafs
Centennial Classic a 'great gift' for Wings, Leafs
Outdoor games are old hat for Wings' Glendening

USA Today

Young Maple Leafs take step forward with thrilling Centennial Classic win
Matthews, Maple Leafs top Red Wings in Centennial Classic

Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs win Centennial Classic
Auston Matthews makes memories at Centennial Classic
33 of 100 Greatest NHL Players revealed
NHL history comes full circle at Centennial Classic

The Hockey News -- Maple Leafs' Young Guns Save the Centennial Classic - and their own bacon
The Hockey News -- Centennial Classic Slips through Red Wings fingers. Is their season next?
The Hockey News -- NHL announces the first 33 players on list of 100 greatest of all time
Canada's History -- The Greatest Game

HockeyNation Headlines -- January 2017

Our archives of notes for January

January 13 -- Canadian hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser announces retirement
January 12 -- Listless Canadiens suffer a beating in Minnesota
January 11 -- Alex Ovechkin hits 1,000-point mark, plus one more, as Capitals beat Penguins
January 10 -- NHL announces All-Star Game Rosters, and there are a few snubs and surprises
January 9 -- Alex Ovechkin ties Maurice Richard's goal total in win over Canadiens
January 8 -- Ryan Hartman posts 1st career hat trick in unusual fashion as Hawks beat Predators
January 7 -- Laine hurt, Jets lose on disastrous day
January 6 -- Canucks 4, Flames 2: Beauty of a streak stretches to six by winning ugly
January 5 -- Terry the shootout hero again as U.S. tops Canada 5-4 in world junior final
January 4 -- Americans beat Russia in controversial shootout, reach WJC gold-medal game
January 3 -- 'One of the most emotional moments in my career,' Weber says
January 2 -- Canadian juniors make noise in crunch time
January 1-- Matthews sparks Maple Leafs' win in Centennial Classic OT thriller

Archive of 2016-17 season

Monday, December 26, 2016

Spengler Time in Switzerland

It sometimes gets lost in the Sports shuffle of the holidays, but in recent years Canadians have put some time aside to check out one of the more intriguing of tournament offerings with Spengler Cup play set to start on Boxing Day.

The tourney features professional players on a number of European teams tangling with a team of Canadians grabbed from European rosters and boosted with a few fly ins for tournament time.

Six teams are participating in the Davos based event with Team Canada and the host HC Davos squad to be joined by the KHL's  Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg and Dinamo Minsk, Lugano from the Swiss league and Mountfield from the Czech Extraliga making their first ever Tournament appearance.

The annual Spengler event provides Canadians and Americans a chance to catch up with some of their past favourites with a number of players from both countries carving out a nice living for the end of their careers, or others taking their developing skills to Europe for a little seasoning should the NHL not have a space on a roster for them.

The Team Canada roster was announced on December 20th and with General Manager Sean Burke selecting an interesting mix of players to carry Canada's flag into the tournament fray.

Putting the team through their paces for the tournament will be Head Coach Luke Richardson, Associate Coach Dave King and Gordie Dwyer. Notes on the approach that the three will take at the Davos tournament can be found here.

You can review tournament developments from the two websites below:

Spengler Cup website
Hockey Canada's Spengler Cup website

The Tournament scoreboard and summaries can be reviewed following daily play from Switzerland.

Spengler Cup Championship Game
December 31
Team Canada successfully defends its Spengler Cup Championship

Team Canada 5 vs HC Lugano 2 ( Game Summary )

14th Triumph for Tean Canada
Canada wins 2nd straight Spengler Cup
Canada defends Spengler Cup title with victory over HC Lugano
Camlachie's Dustin Jeffrey garners two assists in three games as Canada successfully defends Spengler Cup
Canada defeats HC Lugano, captures Spengler Cup for Second Consecutive year


Semi Final Friday
December 30

HK Dinamo Minsk 2 vs Team Canada 3 ( Summary )
HC Lugano  4 vs HC Davos 0 (Summary )

December 30 Notes

Canada advances to Spengler cup final
Canada advances to Spengler Cup final with 3-2 victory over Minsk
Canada to face Lugano in Spengler Cup Final
Is Lugano doing the Revenge?
Lugano in the Final against Team Canada
Team Canada First Finalist
Lugano to face Team Canada in Final


Quarter Final Thursday
December 29 

Mountfield HK 1 vs Team Canada 5  ( Game Summary  )
HC Davos 3 vs Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 1 ( Game Summary )   

December 29 Notes

Senn Heats Davos in the Semi-Final
Team Canada marched loose in the Semi-Final
It's a wonderful tournament
Semi Finals or Travel home


Opening Round Complete
December 28 

HC Lugano  4 vs  Mountfield HK 3  ( Game Summary  )
HC Dinamo Minsk 4 vs HC Davos 5  (  Game Summary )

December 28 Notes

Davos Despite victory only group-wide
Lugano on the way to the Semi-Final
Two duels for the Group Draw

December 27 

HC Davos 3 vs Team Canada  4 (  Game Summary )
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 3 vs Mountfield HK 4 ( Game Summary )

December 27 Notes

Team Canada wins thanks to Special Teams
Jarusek shoots Mountfield to victory
Canada edges Davos at Spengler Cup
Davos clocks to the Team Canada in tournament

December 26 

Team Canada 4 vs Dinamo Minsk 7  ( Game Summary )
HC Lugano 4 vs Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 2 ( Game Summary )    

December 26 Notes

Opening Game victory for Lugano
Minsk tops Canada in opening game of Spengler Cup
Canada coughs up early lead to fall to Dinamo Minks at Spengler Cup
Evgeny Kovyrshin leads HC Dinamo Minsk past Canada 7-4 at Spengler Cup

Pre-Tournament Notes related to the Spengler Cup can be found below:

December 24 -- Montreal Canadiens Zach Fucale afforded big opportunity at Spengler Cup
December 23 -- Cheering Canada on Boxing Day
December 23 -- Mark Katic added to Canada's Spengler Cup roster
December 23 -- Richardson set to lead Canada's title defence at Spengler Cup
December 23 -- He only needs his skates
December 22 -- Former Peterborough Petes captain Mark Flood playing in Spengler Cup
December 21 -- Beast's Fucale to play for Canada
December 21 -- Ex-Rockets' stopper to join Canada at Spengler Cup
December 21 -- Hockey Canada Names Roster
December 21 -- Camlachie's Dustin Jeffrey will make his Team Canada debut at the Spengler Cup
December 21 -- Spaling named to Team Canada for Spengler Cup
December 20 -- Campbell, Fucale among Spengler players
December 20 -- Islanders to play for Canada at Spengler Cup
December 19 -- Mister Hockey Canada
December 8 -- Luke Richardson named Canada head coach for 2016 Spengler Cup

World Juniors take centre ice for Boxing Day start to annual tournament

Americans have Bowl Season to tide them over the holidays, but for Canadians, in addition a strong interest in how the football picture sorts itself out, there is an added diversion as the break between Christmas and New Year's arrives. As Canadians continue to embrace the Boxing Day launch to the World Junior Championships, this year hosted by Montreal and Toronto.

Since the early days of the tournament, it's held a special place in the sports rankings for Canadian fans, drawing large audience for host broadcaster TSN, which devotes much of its assets towards production of what comes close to to two weeks of international puck.

The ten team tournament digs into the ice at 1 PM this afternoon in Montreal, 10 AM for British Columbians just putting the wraps on breakfast and with that start ten days of high tempo Junior hockey takes it's share of the sports highlights packages.

The highly anticipated event provides, stirs the passions of the land that considers itself home to the game and offers up a glimpse at some of the names that will be part of this summer's NHL draft and potentially for many years to come among the member teams of the professional experience.

Tournament play starts in Montreal and for the next ten days you can find Canadians within eyesight of a television set somewhere whenever the team with the Maple Leaf steps out on the ice.

Participating Teams for the 2016-17 World Junior Tournament Include:

Pool A

Czech Republic

Pool B


You can get a preview of some of the atmosphere for the World Juniors from a range of websites listed below dedicated to the event.

IIHF Website

Hockey Canada Website

TSN website

As well, we will post the results of each day at the World Juniors as well as track items of interest over the course of the ten days leading up to the January 5th Championship match.

Tournament Standings

The World Junior Schedule 2016-17
All Games on TSN

January 5, 2017
Gold Medal Game 

USA wins GOLD Medal
Canada receives SILVER Medal

Canada 4 vs USA 5 Shootout ( Game Summary @ Montreal

IIHF -- Terry scores shootout gold
IIHF -- Chabot named MVP
IIHF -- Fasel, Hockey Canada meet press

Heartbreak for Canada as U.S. win junior gold in shootout
Canada settles for silver after losing to U.S. in shootout
Canada falls to US in heartbreaking gold medal shootout loss
World Junior championship springs to life in final 48 hours
Canadian juniors get sterling silver in shootout loss to U.S.
World juniors are Canada's pay-to-play (and watch) program
Heartbreak for Team Canada as U.S. works overtime to capture world junior hockey gold in shootout
Thomas Chabot shines on the big stage leading Team Canada to a silver medal at world junior hockey tournament
Terry the shootout hero again as U.S. tops Canada 5-4 in world junior final
Montreal shouldn't be embarrassed by world junior attendance
World Junior Classic: Gold or Silver, Hold your heads high
Team USA wins gold at World Junior Championships in dramatic shootout

January 5, 2017
Bronze Medal Game
Russia wins Bronze Medal

Russia 2 vs Sweden 1 ( Game Summary  ) @ Montreal

IIHF -- Bronze goes to Russia

Russia strikes quickly in OT, beats Sweden for junior bronze
Russia beats Sweden 2-1 in overtime to win world junior bronze
Disappointing performance still wins Sergachyov a medal 
Sweden can't beat Russian goaltending in bronze medal loss
Guryanov's OT winner to give Russia 2-1 win over Sweden in bronze medal game
Ilya Samsonov snares a bronze medal for Russia


Semi Finals

January 4, 2017

Sweden 2 vs Canada 5 ( Game Summary @ Montreal
USA 4 vs Russia 3 Shootout ( Game Summary @ Montreal

IIHF -- Fired Up Canada wins
IIHF -- Americans going for gold

Canada defeats Sweden in world  junior hockey semi-final
U.S. advances to world juniors final with shootout win over Russia
Canada wins Hart-stopper of a semifinal
Strome steps up to help lead Canada over Sweden
Troy Terry scores three in shootout as U.S. advances to gold medal game
It's Canada-U.S. for gold as hart saves day against Swedes
Troy Terry's shootout heroics send U.S. to junior final
What's keeping fans away from world juniors? Hockey Canada hopes for better turnout in semis
Canadian Juniors going for gold as Carter Hart comes off bench to backstop 5-2 win over Sweden
Dylan Strome quiets the critics with big third period for Canada in semifinal triumph over Sweden
U.S. celebrates a new sports hero as Troy Terry scores three times in shootout to defeat Russia in world junior semifinal
Canada to face U.S. in world junior final after win over Sweden
Semifinals prove to be festivals for the fearless
American's beat Russia in controversial shootout, reach WJC gold-medal game
Canadian Hockey wins the day as Swedes get sunk
Team USA finally slays Russian and Troy Terry is the Hero
Team USA tops Russian in shootout to advance to final of World Juniors


Quarter Finals

January 2, 2017

Canada 5 vs Czech Republic 3 (  Game Summary @ Montreal
USA 3 vs Switzerland  2 (  Game Summary@ Toronto
Sweden 8 vs Slovakia 3 ( Game Summary@ Montreal
Denmark 0 vs Russia 4 ( Game Summary @ Toronto

IIHF -- Canada to face Sweden in Semi Final
IIHF -- Parsons saves the day
IIHF -- Swedes subdue Slovaks
IIHF -- Russia on to semis

Canada clinches top spot in semis of World Juniors after roller-coaster win over Czech Republic
Canada cutting it close in quest for gold at world juniors
Canada downs pesky Czech Republic, to play Sweden in semi-final
Referee assists Czech Republic goal against Canada
U.S. survives Swiss scare, will face Russia in semi-final
Canada sets semifinal date with Sweden at world juniors
Canadian juniors make noise in crunch time
U.S., Sweden, Russia advance to world junior semifinals
Team Canada goalie Connor Ingram took unique route to world juniors crease
Stephens leads Team Canada to quarterfinal victory over Czech Republic
Sweden simply dominant through five games at the world juniors
Canada vs. Sweden semifinal promises to be must-see hockey
Team USA 'dodges bullet' against Hischier and Swiss
Mitchell Stephens returns to lead Canadian juniors in quarter-final win over Czech Republic
Chabot and Stephens save Canada's bacon vs. Czechs
Gauthier scores two, Stephens returns as Canada tops Czechs 5-3 at world juniors
Russia, Sweden easily advance, U.S. struggles to subdue Swiss in world-junior quarter finals


Relegation Round 

January 3 -- Finland 4 vs Latvia 1 ( Game Summary @ Montreal
January 2 -- Finland 2 vs Latvia 1 (Game Summary @ Montreal

IIHF -- Finns finish off Latvia
IIHF -- Finns win relegation opener


Preliminary Round

December 31 

Sweden  5 vs Czech Republic 2 ( Game Summary )  @ Montreal
USA 3 vs Canada 1 ( Game Summary )   @ Toronto
Finland  2 vs Switzerland 0 ( Game Summary )   @ Montreal
Russia 2 vs Slovakia 0 ( Game Summary )   @ Toronto

IIHF -- USA ends NYE drought
IIHF -- Fourth Straight Swedish win
IIHF -- Finns blank Switzerland
IIHF -- Russia takes 3rd Place

Canada no longer the favourite at world juniors after 3-1 loss to U.S.
Canada's defenceman Phillipe Myers out for world junior quarter-finals with concussion
Canadians drop world junior showdown with U.S.
Losing hurts, but Canada's world junior quest has just begun
Leaf's prospects shine in USA's win over Canada
Russia shuts out Slovakia to set up quarterfinal clash with Denmark
Canada falls to U.S. to finish second in group
Jussi Ahokas thrust into coaching duties after Finland cleans house
Team Canada blinks against United States, heads to Montreal for world junior quarter-finals
Finland's faceplant at world juniors results in fired coaches and desperation for relegation round
U.S. deals Canada 1st loss at world juniors
Russia hold off Slovakia to take 3rd in Group B
Closely ranked junior prospects having different experiences at junior tournament

December 30 

Switzerland 5 vs Denmark 4 ( Summary ) @ Montreal
Slovakia 4 vs Latvia 2  ( Summary@ Toronto

IIHF -- Finland changes coach
IIHF -- Slovakia avoids Finns
IIHF -- Swiss shoot down Danes

Finland, heading to relegation round, fires entire coaching staff
Swedish hockey player Rasmus Dahlin impresses at world juniors
Canada's world junior hockey coach mum on goalie decision
Canada vs. USA: 'This is redemption'
Americans confident they are rounding into form in time to face Canada
World juniors get real with Canada-U.S. tradition
Prospects Eeli Tolvanen, Nico Hischier have spotlight to themselves
Team Canada's preparation infused with recent sting of losing to U.S. in under 18 event earlier this year

December 29

Latvia 2 vs Canada 10 ( Summary ) @ Toronto
Finland 1 vs Sweden 3  ( Summary ) @ Montreal
Russia 2 vs USA 3 ( Summary ) @ Toronto
Denmark 3 vs Czech Republic 2 ( Summary ) @ Montreal

IIHF -- Canada routs Latvia 10-2
IIHF -- Sweden clinches Group A
IIHF -- U. S. hangs tough to beat Russia
IIHF -- Danes pull another surprise

Canadians roll over Latvia en route to U. S. showdown
Canada wins, faces U.S. for first in Group A at world juniors
Team Canada's Jeremy Lauzon has renewed purpose after larynx injury
Team USA beats Russia at world juniors, goes to 3-0
Raddysh's scores 4 times in Team Canada squashing of Latvia
Canada thrashes Latvia to set up showdown with U.S.
U.S. defeats Russia to remain unbeaten

December 28 

Slovakia 2 vs USA 5  ( Summary @ Toronto
Switzerland 2 vs Sweden 4 ( Summary @ Montreal

IIHF -- Americans look sharp in 5-2 win
IIHF -- Swedes stay perfect

Maple Leafs' prospect Martins Dzierkals soaking up atmosphere at world juniors
Team Canada not taking anything for granted at world juniors
Team Canada is confident but not cocky at world juniors
Team Canada modest ahead of potential laugher vs. Latvia
Maple Leafs' Woll stands tall in Team USA net vs. Slovakia
Swedish Maple Leafs prospect Grundstrom plays 'Canadian' style
Canada's Dylan Strome doesn't want to fall into a Latvian-sized trap at world juniors on Thursday

December 27 

Canada 5 vs Slovakia 0 ( Summary ) @ Toronto
Denmark 3 vs Finland 2 ( Summary ) @ Montreal  
Latvia 1 vs Russia 9  ( Summary @ Toronto
Czech Republic 3 vs Switzerland 4  ( Summary @ Montreal 

IIHF -- Canada explodes in 2nd for 5-0 win
IIHF -- Danes stun defending champs
IHHF-- Russia rebounds with win

Canada cruises to win against Slovakia team that only musters six shots
Team Canada taking charge
Is it time for world juniors to move back to smaller communities?
In losing to Denmark, Finland digs big hole at 2017 world juniors
Latvia's blowout loss doesn't get Dzierkals down
Canada overpowers Slovakia at world juniors
Undrafted Myers stands tall on Canadian blue line
Russians rebound with blowout win over Latvia at world juniors
Team Canada  breezes past Slovakia; Connor Ingram pitches easy six-save shutout
Team Canada's Philippe Myers represent the relentless pursuit of the NHL dream
Canadian Philippe Myers embraces the spirit of Luc Bourdon
Finland remains winless after upset loss to Denmark

December 26

Canada 5 vs Russia 3  ( Summary )  @ Toronto 
Czech Republic 2 vs Finland 1 ( Summary )  @ Montreal  
USA 6 vs Latvia 1   ( Summary ) @ Toronto 
Sweden 6 vs Denmark  1 ( Summary ) @ Montreal 

Notes of the Day

IIHF -- Canada Edges Russia
IIHF -- Czechs nip Finns
IIHF -- Americans win Opener
IIHF -- Sweden hammers Danes

Canada kicks off World Juniors with win over Russia
Relentless Canada opens World Juniors with victory over Russia
Captain Strome comes through in Canada's debut at 2017 World Juniors
Canada rises to the occasion with opening game 5-3 win over Russia at world junior tournament
Canada starts off world juniors on a  high note
Canada opens world juniors with victory over rival Russia
Canada sails past Russia to open world juniors with 5-3 win
Canada vs. Russia means the world at juniors
Team Canada goalie Carter hart has the smarts as well as saves
Nylander, Dahlin shine as Sweden tops Denmark 6-1 in world junior opener
United States routs Latvia in world junior hockey opener
Spacek's late goal lifts Czech Republic over Finland 2-1 at world juniors
Team USA survives early-game scare vs. Latvia
It's a no-brainer for AHL players to get loaned out for world junior hockey tournament
Sweden pummels Denmark in world junior opener

Overall Pre-Tournament Notes

December 25 -- Bolts give Canada F Joseph a contract ahead of WJC
December 25 -- NHL draft drama plays out at world juniors
December 25 -- Canadians think world junior gold is in the cards
December 25 -- World Juniors: A team-by-team look at this year's challengers
December 25 -- Strome gets chance to shine for Canada after missing out on NHL opportunity
December 25 -- Team Canada's Captain at World Juniors counts the lessons learned this 'weird' year
December 25 -- Five stories to to watch in the World Junior Championship
December 25 -- Why Canada might/might not win the 2017 world juniors
December 25 -- Parity means Canada is no lock to win it all
December 25 -- Overpricing for world junior tickets has stopped under Renney's guidance
December 25 -- Is it no Connor McDavid, no problem for Canada at the 2017 world juniors?
December 25 -- This year's world juniors will lack draft-eligible star power
December 25 -- Strome gets one last shot at world junior gold
December 24 -- Canada G Hart no stranger to bouncing back
December 24 -- Canada's Nolan Patrick, consensus No. 1 pick in 2017, misses coveted shot at world junior 'coming out party'
December 24 -- Canada looks for world junior redemption at home
December 23 -- Canadian junior team is loaded, even without NHL stars
December 23 -- 10 storylines to watch at 2017 World Junior Championship
December 23 -- Canada gets first scare in final pre-tournament world junior game
December 23 -- Canada to start Carter Hart agains Switzerland
December 23 -- Canadian juniors should appreciate spotlight while it's there
December 23 -- World Junior showcase short on draft sizzle
December 23 -- Canada aiming for a golden finish at world juniors
December 22 -- Team USA and its scary collection of forwards in position to contend for world junior gold
December 22 -- For every Carey Price, who started for Team Canada at the showcase, there's a handful of also rans
December 22 -- Team Canada wants to take full advantage of rare opportunity
December 22 -- Dylan Strome says Canadian World Junior squad are 'having fun'
December 22 -- Anthony Cirelli: Former OHL walk-on living the world junior dream
December 22 -- Team Canada scouting report: A look at the player going for gold at world juniors
December 21 -- Cirelli, Ingram lead Canada over Czech Republic in pre-tournament play
December 21 -- Team Canada chalks up another shutout in WJC pre-tournament play
December 19 -- Team Canada names Dylan Strome captain for world juniors
December 19 -- Canada downs Finland 5-0 in exhibition
December 19 -- Five draft-eligible players to watch at the 2017 world junior hockey tournament