As the summer draws to a close so too does the Minnesota Wild’s most exciting offseason in history. In addition to the well publicized Zach Parise, Ryan Suter Fourth of July signings, the Wild added needed depth in forwards Zenon Konopka and Torrey Mitchell. They also re-signed steady backup net minder Josh Harding to below market value.
The result has been a boost of optimism for a club that so desperately needed it.
All parties involved-ownership, management, players, and fans- watched as the team slowly came down from the high of a promising start for their franchise. In the Wild’s first ten seasons, they qualified for the postseason three times, won a divi...
In their first move during the free agency period, the Philadelphia Flyers brought back a familiar face to fill their backup goaltender position, signing Michael Leighton to a 1-year, $900k contract. Leighton replaces Sergei Bobrovsky, who was traded from the Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets on June 22 in return for three draft picks.
With the recent huge contracts signed by Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Quick, some pundits have started to speculate. They wonder whether or not this is good for any player, even if that player helped his team to a Stanley Cup and has a room full of hardware.
Most fans would like to think that their favorite team's coach, general manager, and owner are thinking long term and looking for consistency throughout the organization.
On the surface, these contracts show a couple of things. First and most obviously, it shows the club is looking to lock up one of their most valuable assets.
Secondly, it shows the player is committed to staying with the organization and become on...
The "Russian Factor" has become a buzzword among main stream media types of late, especially in regards to the nationality of potential lottery draft picks Yakupov and Grigorenko. Further the Don Cherry's of the world will tell you a Canadian or North American player has heart while a Russian or European is enigmatic. Let's take a look at a couple soon to be UFA's and discuss media perception of these players vs. their actual results.
I can pretty much talk about hockey 365 days a year, and do. When a friend asks me a question about the AHL or the Sound Tigers, they will get an answer. It took me a while to realize that because they asked me something about the game I love, did not mean they shared my enthusiasm. I first noticed it in the spring when a friend for years asked me to explain what a ‘developmental team’ was. Listening to my response as I explained the roll the AHL was intended to play in the development of players for the NHL, his eyes began to glaze over when I approached the V-260, V-320 (veteran of 260 or 320 professional games) grey areas. An “urgent call” took him from me, and the next day I was ‘un-friended’ on Facebook. That is when I decided it would best to write about the game. While it is still boring to many, at least the number of ‘Happy Birthday’ wishes I get from Facebook friends won’t diminish.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “How much do the players get paid in the AHL?” Were I a man of few words, the answer for this 2011-12 season would be a short “The league minimum is $39,000 the highest paid is getting $6,500,000.” This is true though misleading, and as I am not a man of few words and don’t want to mislead you, let me bore you from bottom to top.
The Blackhawks rolled into Columbus holding a 5-0-0 series lead over the Blue Jackets, and left by making it a perfect sweep for the season.
Brandon Bollig and Jared Boll dropped the gloves early to warm things up for the teams; Bollig got the better of Boll and both went to the box with five-for-fighting majors.
Andrew Shaw opened up the scoring not long after that, at the 4:12 mark in the first. Duncan Keith would get his first of four assists for the night. The Blackhawks put a goal past Steve Mason exactly 2:05 later, twice in a row - first Patrick Sharp and then Brent Seabrook, to close out the first 3-0.
Reports have come in that captain Nick Lidstrom will be out for tonight's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets due to a sore ankle. Lidstrom took a shot off the skate during the Avalanche game and was seen limping yesterday.
Doug Janik has been recalled from Grand Rapids to play tonight. Kyle Quincey is also out with a sore groin. Brendan Smith was already recalled to replace him.
After a solid win in New York, the most important thing the Blackhawks had to do in this afternoon's contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets was play a solid game and win. Thankfully, they did both, romping to a 6-1 blowout in a mostly-solid game.
It wasn't a perfect start, although the Blackhawks didn't look like a team that was playing its final game of a 9-game road stretch. After some initial give-and-go, Sami Lepistö blasted a shot intended to spring the waiting Patrick Sharp on a breakaway that probably could have been the first goal of the game. Instead, Derek Brassard anticipated the play - after all, the Blackhawks are getting well-known for this particu...