Monthly Archives: September 2017

NHL trade rumors: Leafs among teams interested in Red Wings goalless forward Riley Sheahan

For the first time in more than two decades, the Red Wings are considered sellers leading up to Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline.

Detroit will most likely see its 25-season playoff streak come to end, and are reportedly listening to trade offers for defenseman Brendan Smith and forward Riley Sheahan. Unrestricted free agents Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott could also be dealt.

Draisaitl, 21, set a career high for points with 77 (29 goals, 48 assists) in 82 games in 2016-17, his third NHL season.

He finished second on the Oilers in scoring behind only McDavid, who agreed to an eight-year, $100 million extension July 5.

We have something really special. It’s something I wanted to be a part of as long as possible, Draisaitl said via Twitter.

Draisaitl also led the Oilers in scoring in the 2017 playoffs, posting six goals and 10 assists in 13 games.

Over 191 career regular-season games with the Oilers, the native of Cologne, Germany, has accumulated 137 points (50 goals, 87 assists) and 44 penalty minutes.

As mentioned above, perhaps signing Alex Kerfoot would fill the Rangers’ void down the middle where the club has yet to fill the departed Derek Stepan’s skates. Mika Zibanejad assumes the No. 1 center role with Stepan traded this summer to the Coyotes, and Kevin Hayes moves up from third line to second. Veteran David Desharnais signed as a free agent, but at this stage of his career, he’s more of a fourth-liner and special teams option.

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Claude Julien fired as Bruins all-time wins leader

Claude Julien is out as coach of the Boston Bruins, the team announced Tuesday.

Crosby has always been known as more of a playmaker than a pure goal-scorer. For his career, he’s had over 1.5 assists to every goal he’s scored.

In the early stages of his fourth NHL season, Crosby hit three round milestones on the same night in a 4-1 Penguins win over the Maple Leafs. He finished the night with a goal and three assists, in the process recording his 100th career goal, 200th assist, and 300th point (Crosby entered the night with a line of 99-99-198). Malkin, Crosby’s linemate that night, also notched four assists, seeing him reach the 200-point plateau for his career.

Crosby’s 100th goal came via a Malkin assist, his 200th point. To eliminate any ownership issues, Crosby had the Penguins training staff cut the keepsake puck in half.

It didn’t take long for Sid the Kid to become Sid the Captain, and when Crosby’s jersey got a ‘C’ stitched on the right breast, he also set a record in the process. At the conclusion of his second season, the Penguins named Crosby their 15th captain in franchise history. After becoming the youngest player in NHL history to to win a scoring title, Crosby became the league’s youngest-ever captain, bestowed the honor at 19 years at 297 days old, edging out Vincent Lecavalier, who was named the Lightning captain at 19 years, 324 days in 2000.

Two players (Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid) have since surpassed Crosby as younger NHL captains.

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Alex Ovechkin’s legend grows with picture-perfect 1,000th point

With the rival Penguins at Verizon Center and his family in the stands, Alex Ovechkin said he didn’t want to wait to get his 1,000th point. Wait, he did not.

The Capitals’ captain scored a goal 35 seconds into Wednesday’s game, becoming the 84th player in NHL history to join the 1,000-point club.

The goal was vintage Ovechkin as the dynamic winger crossed the blue line, deked across the right circle and released his lethal snap shot over the left shoulder of Marc-Andre Fleury.

It goes far beyond TV ratings, fancy training facilities and puck-crazed fan bases. Hockey in Warroad keeps the community alive.

The recently released documentary The Road Through Warroad: Hockeytown USA, which aired on NBC Sports Network, showcases the small town’s rich hockey tradition, which has helped produce five NHL players, seven Olympians and more than 80 NCAA Division I hockey players.

Located 6 miles from the Canadian border, and with a population of just under 1,800, Warroad is home to two indoor ice rinks including a 1,500-seat Olympic-size rink. Ice time is free to anyone who wants it, a far cry from the hundreds of dollars other communities charge per session.

The Rangers would like to trade defenseman Nick Holden as part of a package for a veteran center — Toronto’s Tyler Bozak has been mentioned often in rumors — but the closer it gets to training camp, the less likely this scenario becomes it seems.

So, the answer to the original question is yes, the Rangers do need another center. And there are internal options they likely will use, at least to start the season, before evaluating during the season and deciding if another path is necessary to filling that void.

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Should the Orioles buy, sell, or stay at the MLB trade deadline?

Imagine a room filled with smart baseball people. Maybe not the smartest, but people who know the game. People who know how teams are constructed, where their strengths are, where there might be weaknesses. This is the front office of the Baltimore Orioles.

Now imagine some of these people at the same time concluding that the Orioles’ rotation was fine. They went and ticked off a bunch of boxes, and everything looked swell.

My god, could you imagine how hilarious it would be for the Red Sox to place David Price on revocable waivers just to see what would happen? The entire controversy happening in the northeast right now, between a player and former player both known for being a wee bit touchy (at times!), is fairly ridiculous.

But even fairly ridiculous controversies can be made funnier by a team out-and-out trolling its fans (and the easily incensed local media) with a move like this. Of course, a trade would probably also not happen seeing as Price is once again having elbow issues. So considering that and his seven-year, $217 million contract that runs through 2022, he’s not the most reasonably priced option. Also, the whole the Red Sox probably need Price to stay in first place thing. Details.

Because of that last bit, even if someone claimed Price on waivers the Sox would pull him right back to Boston and keep him with the team and maybe deal with more fan ire in the process. But it’s really, really funny to think about the team committing to the bit so thoroughly that it would even put him on waivers in the first place.

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Capitals’ Andre Burakovsky jumps into fan’s car, thought it was Uber

A case of mistaken identity turned into one Washington Capitals fan’s 15 minutes of fame.

Manny Nicolas and his friend were parked outside a restaurant in Washington, D.C. early Sunday morning when three men opened the door to his car asking if he was their Uber driver.

According to Nicolas, one of the men asked, Do you know who I am? before he introduced himself as Capitals left winger Andre Burakovsky.

At first Nicolas didn’t believe the man until he showed Nicolas photos on his phone. Nicolas also noticed the man was wearing a cast on his right hand, which Burakovsky injured during a game against the Detroit Red Wings last week.

I saw his hand, and I was like, ‘It is you!’ Nicolas said. He was a very cool guy.

Nicolas said he and his friend did drive Burakovsky and his two companions back to Burakovsky’s apartment, even though they didn’t live nearby. They also got a cool selfie with the 22-year-old.

But the results have shown Draisaitl is most effective, by a significant margin, with McDavid. So maybe there won’t be a 1a, 1b situation, and if that’s the case, what will the drop-off be for Edmonton on the rest of its line chart without the cap to allocate?

There are legitimate questions to ask about where this leaves Edmonton, but for now, the Oilers are probably in their best-case scenario. It’s an unfamiliar, contending position for the Oilers franchise over the past decade, so that in and of itself isn’t really a bad thing. But while Edmonton now has its two cornerstone players locked up long-term, the real challenge will soon begin for the Oilers.

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Sharks’ Patrick Marleau rides resurgence to career goal No. 500

When Patrick Marleau confirmed he would play a 19th NHL season, it seemed a foregone conclusion he would reach the 500-goal milestone. A painfully slow start to his season (eight points in 26 games) delayed the celebration a bit, but the time finally arrived Thursday.

The red-hot Sharks winger became the 45th player in NHL history to score 500 goals with a first-period marker in a 4-1 win over the Canucks.

But everything changed with a very scary play in the 2011 Winter Classic when the Penguins faced Ovechkin and the rival Capitals. Skating through the middle of the ice, Crosby took a high hit from the Capitals’ Dave Steckel that knocked Crosby out of the game. Though he played four nights later in Tampa Bay, it would be Crosby’s final action for a 10-and-a-half month stretch when he was sidelined with a concussion.

Crosby’s return to the ice though inspired confidence that the health scare was behind him, when he scored twice against the Islanders in a 5-0 Penguins victory.

With all the buzz surrounding teenage phenoms Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, Crosby proved this past season that he’s undoubtedly among the NHL’s top active players. Crosby had one of the best goal-scoring seasons of his career and won his second Richard trophy (and first outright), leading the NHL with 44 goals.

Crosby began his career a baby-faced 18-year-old and came sprinting out of the gate with a six-game scoring streak. But it wasn’t until his third game (real slacker) that Crosby scored his first-career goal. Though it came in a Penguins overtime loss to the Bruins, Crosby beat Hannu Toivonen (a nice piece of trivia) late in the second period to put the Penguins ahead, 6-4. Crosby, who also recorded two assists, had his first multi- and three-point games of his career. Boston would go on to win the game, 7-6.

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NHL, Red Wings considering legal action after team logo used at white nationalist rally

Both the NHL and Detroit Red Wings are considering legal action in the wake of reports that the team’s logo was being used at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Katie Strang of the Athletic Detroit reports that NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told her the league is offended and outraged by this and will explore legal actions to address offensive and unauthorized use of property.

Vermette was issued a game misconduct for abuse of an official. It’s likely he’ll face a suspension from the NHL, depending on how the league rules.

If officials file the play under physical abuse of official, Vermette could receive an automatic ban of three, 10 or 20 games based on the category of severity that’s assigned — I, II or III. Category I carries the harshest suspension of at least 20 games.

In the only other case this season, Coyotes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo was suspended three games after shoving an official during a game in January.

Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman was given a 20-game suspension last season for knocking linesman Don Henderson to the ice.

Sure, GM Garth Snow can point to Steven Stamkos, the Lightning superstar who played out the final year of his contract two years ago and seemed destined to hit UFA status before reupping with Tampa Bay shortly before the first of July. However, it is difficult to believe Snow wants the Tavares question hanging over the organization this entire season.

But how can the Isles get Tavares’ signature on a contract extension? This doesn’t seem to be about money, Tavares is going to get plenty of it whether from the Islanders or somewhere else.

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Bruins vs. Sharks to be played as planned despite snowstorm

Despite severe winter weather in Boston, Thursday’s matchup between the Bruins and Sharks will go on as planned.

The Bruins said in a release they had asked the league to postpone the game to a later date, but scheduling conflicts for both teams and TD Garden made that impossible.

Due to the inconvenience, the Bruins are offering fans unwilling or unable to attend Thursday’s game a ticket exchange for a different regular season game at TD Garden between now and Dec. 31.

That all came to a fever pitch in 2009 when the Penguins and Capitals met in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in either player’s career. With the hockey world hoping each player would elevate his game and continue to grow the profile of the rivalry, they did just that in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Both players registered a hat trick, but Ovechkin’s Capitals won the game in what instantly became known as one of the great offensive duels of all time. Crosby’s Penguins would get the last laugh though, winning the series 4-3 and going on to win the Stanley Cup.

In 2007, the NHL announced it would be taking hockey outdoors with its inaugural Winter Classic. The New Year’s Day game in its first iteration pitted the Sabres against Crosby and the Penguins at then-Ralph Wilson Stadium. It wasn’t the first outdoor game in league history, but a major marketing and brand push to create an outdoor series that has grown over the past nine years.

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Justin Bieber bounces back from big hit by Chris Pronger

Justin Bieber swapped his superstar swag for skates on Saturday, and it worked out better than most would have imagined.

The 22-year-old pop singer and Ontario native put on an impressive performance during the NHL All-Star Celebrity Shootout as part of the NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, but first received a warm welcome that included a taste of the Staples Center glass.

One of the qualities people often forget about Crosby is how physically strong he is. Combined with some of the best edge-work in the NHL, Crosby has the ability to pivot on the puck when being hounded by a defender, making it nearly impossible to root him out of possession.

Perhaps no highlight is more emblematic of those physical tools than this assist to Letang in a 2010 playoff game against the Senators. Crosby holds onto the puck for an extended stretch despite Jason Spezza (who is four inches taller than Crosby) doing anything he can to knock him down.

In the same vein as the play above, for all the skill Crosby possesses (and there’s no shortage in that regard), so much of his success is bred through out-working defenders in the offensive zone.

Crosby picked up his 1,000th career point on a play that was very Crosby-esque, hustling to a loose puck, out-working Jets forward Blake Wheeler and gaining possession, and then finding an open teammate (Chris Kunitz) for the assist.

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The Dodgers expect to trade for Sonny Gray, Yu Darvish, or Justin Verlander

The Dodgers tend to ignore adding a high-profile starting pitcher at the trade deadline, even when they’ve been rumored to be interested. This deadline seems different, though, as rumors have only intensified as July 31 approaches, and we’re not at the stage where the Dodgers are increasingly confident that they’ll land one of Yu Darvish, Sonny Gray, or Justin Verlander in a trade, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi.

It makes a lot of sense, as we’ve covered in this space before. Yu Darvish would only be a rental, but he’s an ace the Dodgers could use at a time when Clayton Kershaw’s back makes the limits of his contributions more uncertain than they’ve been in the past. Justin Verlander would cost less in terms of prospects, and the Dodgers could absorb the $56 million still owed to him between 2018-2019 with more ease than maybe anyone in the game. Then there is Gray, who would be expensive (and maybe the most expensive of the trio), but who also has two years of team control remaining after 2017, so he wouldn’t be a rental: He’d be an investment in the present and the future.

Adrian Beltre was ejected from Wednesday’s Rangers’ game before he could attempt getting his fourth hit of the day, as he was asked to move to the on-deck circle. Beltre’s reaction was to move the on-deck circle to him, and sense this umpire lacks a sense of humor, that was game over for Beltre.

The Tigers are having trouble moving Justin Verlander thanks to his contract, which shouldn’t be a surprise given he’s owed $56 million after 2017 and has been about league-average this year.
Speaking of expensive veterans tethered to their franchises, Albert Pujols’ 2017 has … not been good.

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