NHL Blog Beat – December 17, 2013.

Posted on by Spector in Featured, News, Rumors | Leave a comment

10 greatest games of 2013, Sharks and Bruins Christmas videos, analysis of Martin St. Louis, Ryan Johansen, Scottie Upshall and much more in today’s collection of hockey blogging goodness.

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski lists the 10 greatest games of 2013, plus links to the hilarious Sharks and Bruins Christmas videos.

Even without Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis keeps playing well.

Even without Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis keeps playing well.

GRANTLAND: Sean McIndoe reviews the NHL weekend action and news, while over at his DOWN GOES BROWN blog, he has the (satirical) “top  secret” transcripts of Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke interviewing potential GM candidates.

DOBBER HOCKEY: Chris Wassel examines why the absence of Steven Stamkos hasn’t adversely affect Martin St. Louis’ performance.

BACKHAND SHELF: Justin Bourne reviews the opening episode of this season’s HBO 24/7: Road To The Winter Classic.

RAW CHARGE: Why NHL GMs are giving big contracts to starting goalies.

THE SPORTS BANK: Ed Cmar on the ascent of Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen.

LITTER BOX CATS: Kevin Kraczkowski on the redemption of Scottie Upshall.

THE HOCKEY WRITERS: Peter Chau hopes Northlands Coliseum gets a fond farewell.

Latest Oilers, Panthers, Avalanche & Flyers Rumors – December 17, 2013.

Posted on by Spector in Featured, News, Rumors | Leave a comment

Ales Hemsky unconcerned about trade rumors, Panthers’ owner promises his club will be active in the free agent market, the Avalanche search for a blueliner and comments by the Flyers’ owner sparks talk of a trade.

Ales Hemsky untroubled by trade rumors.

Ales Hemsky untroubled by trade rumors.

EDMONTON SUN/EDMONTON JOURNAL:Winger Ales Hemsky is resigned to the fact this season could be his last with the Oilers, but says trade rumors aren’t on his mind. The Oilers tried unsuccessfully to move him last summer. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and isn’t expected to re-sign.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis addressed a recent Ottawa Sun rumor claiming the Oilers had interest in Carolina Hurricanes goalie Justin Peters, noting the Oilers already traded a goalie (Jason LaBarbera) and suggesting Peters isn’t much better than LaBarbera.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s almost certain Hemsky will be moved by the trade deadline, as that’s when the bulk of his $5 million salary will be paid out by the Oilers. As the Sun piece noted, Hemsky’s been a good teammate and loved playing in Edmonton. If Hemsky stays healthy he could fetch a decent return, though not a top draft pick as some pundits have suggested. As for their rumored interest in Peters, they’ll have to move another goalie to take him on, and since they dealt LaBarbera to make room for the returning Ilya Bryzgalov, it wouldn’t make sense to add another goaltender now.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Craig Davis reports Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola will spend to allow his club to pursue elite free agents next summer. ”We won’t hesitate, not at all,” Viola said, referring to the possibility of signing an elite talent next July if the opportunity arises.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers went down that path in the summer of 2011, and while it helped them end their decade-long playoff drought the following season, they’ve been mired in mediocrity ever since.  I hope that the investment this time will be in quality rather than quantity.

THE DENVER POST’s Adrian Dater reported via Sulia the Colorado Avalanche are seeking a defenseman but he doesn’t believe it’s New York Rangers blueliner Michael Del Zotto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All recent indications were they were very interested in Florida’s Dmitry Kulikov, even rumored close to a deal until one of the sides backed off.  

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports recent comments by Flyers owner Ed Snider regarding the club’s recent performance suggests changes could be coming, perhaps a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers goalie Steve Mason has struggled of late but the real reason once again is their defensive play, blowing leads and giving up too many goals. If this keeps up, expect the trade rumors which dogged the club earlier this season to resurface.

NHL Canadian Corner – December 17, 2013.

Posted on by Spector in Featured, News, Rumors | Leave a comment

Jets down the Blue Jackets, Senators edge the Blues, Maple Leafs fall to Penguins, plus the latest on Michael Cammalleri, Chris Higgins and Corey Potter, while the Canadiens face a busy week.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Evander Kane celebrated his return to the roster by scoring the game-winning goal as the Jets downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2.

Cody Ceci celebrates his overtime winner against the Blues.

Cody Ceci celebrates his overtime winner against the Blues.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Hometown kid Cody Ceci’s first NHL goal was a winner as the Senators edged the St. Louis Blues 3-2. The loss was costly for the Blues, who lost forward David Backes to what’s been called a lower-body injury following a collision with Senators forward Colin Greening.

TORONTO SUN: Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1. Rookie Morgan Rielly’s first NHL goal was the sole tally for the Leafs, who also lost Jerry D’Amigo to a shoulder injury.

CALGARY SUN: Flames winger Michael Cammalleri returns to Boston for the first time since he was traded to the Flames by the Montreal Canadiens midway through a Habs game with the Bruins in January 2012.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I understood then-Habs GM Pierre Gauthier’s rationale for the move, the timing was horrible, embarrassing the Canadiens franchise. It was among the reasons for Gauthier’s firing later that year.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks forward Chris Higgins hard work is finally paying off.

NHL.COM (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): The NHL has suspended Edmonton Oilers defenseman Corey Potter two games for his hit on Anaheim’s Nick Bonino.

LA PRESSE: The Montreal Canadiens still have three games to play before their Christmas break.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 17, 2013.

Posted on by Spector in Featured, News, Rumors | Leave a comment

Avalanche bury the Stars, Shawn Thornton to appeal suspension, plus the latest on Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Milan Lucic, Chris Kreider, Scott Clemmensen and more, including a Christmas miracle for Paul Henderson.

Paul Stastny celebrates one of his two goals against the Stars.

Paul Stastny celebrates one of his two goals against the Stars.

DENVER POST: Paul Stastny snapped a nine-game scoreless streak with a four-point performance as the Colorado Avalanche dumped the Dallas Stars 6-2.

NOTE: Games involving Canadian teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”.

TSN.CA: Eric Macramalla with his analysis of Shawn Thornton’s intent to appeal his 15-game suspension.

THE SPORTING NEWS: A list of NHL suspensions to date this season. There’s been a lot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL players still don’t seem to be getting the message that questionable hits won’t be tolerated anymore.

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: A profile of the Anaheim Ducks “twins” Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, who are leading the club in their rise among the league’s top teams this season.

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins forward Milan Lucic is done defending his hometown of Vancouver after getting involved in an altercation over the weekend in a downtown club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems some Vancouver fans still haven’t gotten over the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

NEW YORK POST: Chris Kreider is among the few Rangers producing on a consistent basis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are struggling under coach Alain Vigneault this season, but not Kreider, who’s thriving under Vigneault.  It wasn’t that long ago he was considered trade bait. The Blueshirts won’t move him now.

MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers backup Scott Clemmensen’s up-and-down season is taking another turn as he’s played well filling in for the sidelined Tim Thomas.

TBO.COM: After a strong start to this season, struggling Lightning winger Alex Killorn is struggling to regain his scoring touch.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks backup Antti Raanta is regaling his teammates with stories of his service in the Finnish army.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Turns out his six months of mandatory military service in his youth served him well on his path toward the NHL.

TORONTO SUN: Paul Henderson got good news in time for Christmas, as a clinical trial has helped him battle back against chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Great news for Henderson. My best wishes for continued success in his battle against this disease.