Bob Gainey's FacebookIt's lulz:
League Investigating Penguins and FSNWouldn't surprise me if this were true:
The NHL yesterday said it was investigating why the Pittsburgh Penguins' TV-rights holder withheld from replay officials a videotape that showed the Flyers' Simon Gagne scoring a shorthanded goal against the host Penguins last Thursday.
"At the heart of the matter is the integrity of the system," said Gary Meagher, the NHL's senior vice president of public relations.
Gagne appeared to score on a second-period shot that goalie Brent Johnson smothered and carried into the net. It would have given the Flyers a 6-3 lead with 2 minutes, 53 seconds left in the second period.
The play was reviewed, and officials in Toronto said replays were inconclusive and did not count the goal.
A few minutes later, FSN in Pittsburgh gave its viewers a replay that showed the puck across the goal line. The NHL said that replay was not sent to its review team in Toronto until after the puck was dropped following the review. Once the puck is dropped, the ruling cannot be reversed, the NHL said.
"The league is investigating why we didn't get all angles of the replay," Meagher said.
Meagher said FSN should have sent all of the replays, and that it does not have the right to pick and choose which replays it sends.
"You can't have that happen," he said. "The league is concerned and it is being addressed."
After practice in Voorhees yesterday, Gagne, who was deprived of the goal in what turned out to be a 7-4 Flyers victory, said FSN "should be fined heavily."
Asked if a fine could be assessed, Meagher said in an e-mail last night: "It's a matter between the league, the Penguins, and FSN, and will be handled internally."
A short time after the ruling last Thursday, FSN showed the puck over the line - and one of the Penguins broadcasters told his viewers: "Oh, we saved that one [replay]!"
The Flyers' telecast was using the FSN feed, so there were no other replays that could be sent to Toronto that night.
Jennifer Moreau, an FSN spokeswoman
Who's side are you on? Personally I'm firmly behind Conan, he's getting screwed here and I'm praying he ditches NBC and goes to Fox, and kicks jay's ass in the ratings. Here's a story basically summing the whole thing up until yesterday's shows:
Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien had some not-so-nice things to say about their network Monday night.
Leno started off his 10 p.m. ET prime time show with the quip, "But you know, we're not just a show anymore, we are now a collector's item.
"As you may already know, our show has been canceled, fired again," he went on. "See, that shows you NBC's got nothing, even when they fire you it's a rerun. Didn't we just get fired in May?"
Leno's first guest Monday night, Bill Cosby, got in on the action, teasing, "Your ratings are so bad I thought we were going backward."
Following Leno, O'Brien told his applauding audience, "If you keep that up, this monologue won't start until 12:05.
"This weekend, a 6.5 earthquake his California. The earthquake was so powerful it knocked Jay Leno's show from 10 p.m. to 11:35," adding, "I plan to put on a great show night after night while stealing as many office supplies as humanly possible."
Oh, but he wasn't done yet. O'Brien went on to detail 11 things he could do in the wake of NBC's decision to move him out of the 11:35 p.m. slot to 12:05. Among them:
-- Star in a Lifetime original movie about a woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her network.
-- Go to ABC and star in a male redhead version of "Cougartown" called "Redwolf Village."
-- Host a show on B.E.T. called, "White All Night."
-- Move to FOX and follow their hit "24" with a new show called, "24:05"
-- Televise my own colonoscopy on the Bravo Channel in a show called "Project Funway."
-- Pretend to put my son in a giant foil balloon, then sit back and watch the offers come pouring in.
-- Leave television altogether and work in a classier business with better people, like hard-core porn.
Jerry Seinfeld Sticks Up for NBC
It's hard to blame the comedians for being a tad bitter. But at least one prominent comic is defending NBC's controversial shakeup of its late-night stars: Jerry Seinfeld.
Seinfeld, whose iconic sitcom aired on the network during the '90s and '00s, praised NBC's vision in moving Leno to prime time, even if the gamble didn't quite work out as planned.
"This was the right idea at the wrong time," Seinfeld said while promoting his new reality show, "The Marriage Ref," in Los Angeles on Sunday. "I'm proud that NBC had the guts to try something."
Seinfeld also said O'Brien will emerge from the wreckage unscathed.
"What did the network do to him?" Seinfeld asked. "I don't think anyone's preventing people from watching Conan. Once they give you the cameras, it's on you. I can't blame NBC for having to move things around. I hope Conan stays, I think he's terrific. But there's no rules in show business, there's no refs."
It remains to be seen if O'Brien will stay with the network that made him a star of if he'll fly the coop. He's reportedly exploring his options with Fox, but Monday, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly told reporters that his network is waiting for O'Brien to determine his own fate with NBC before making an offer.
"I love Conan personally and professionally. But right now, he has to make a decision," Reilly said.
NBC Pulls Plug on Leno's Primetime Experiment
Amid sinking ratings and worried affiliates, NBC announced Sunday that the Jay Leno prime-time experiment will end Feb. 12.
NBC confirmed it will yank the comic's 10 p.m. nightly hour once the Winter Olympics begin, and it hopes he will accept a half-hour version of his show at his old time -- 11:35 p.m. -- instead.
"While it was performing at acceptable levels for the network, it did not meet our affiliates' needs and we realized we had to make a change," NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin said at the NBC winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday.
"What happened starting in November [was] the affiliates called, saying, 'Wow, wow, our local news is being affected more than we expected,'" Gaspin said.
NBC has spoken to Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon about moving their shows to later start times, Gaspin said. Under the proposal, O'Brien, the man who replaced Leno as host of "The Tonight Show," would move to 12:05 a.m., and Fallon to 1:05 a.m.
"My goal right now is to keep Jay, Conan and Jimmy as part of our late-night lineup," Gaspin said. "As much as I would like to tell you we have a done deal, we know that's not true. The talks are still ongoing."
NBC said its stars were given the weekend to think about it. The network doesn't know whether O'Brien will accept a half-hour demotion or bolt to another network.
"What we're hearing from inside the Conan camp is they're kind of 50-50 right now with what they're going to do," said Mike Schneider, TV editor for Variety. "I mean, this obviously is a big smack in the face."
Last week, amid a firestorm of speculation that NBC might can O'Brien altogether, the network released a statement this week declaring its loyalty to the late-night comic.
"We remain committed to keeping Conan O'Brien on NBC," the network said in a statement Thursday evening. "He is a valued part of our late-night lineup, as he has been for more than 16 years, and is one of the most respected entertainers on television."
'Leno Effect' Leaves Networks Grumbling
The network set the bar low for Leno's prime time 10 p.m. show. After an initial strong showing during his debut week, "The Jay Leno Show" shed viewers faster than you can say David Letterman.
His Sept. 14 debut attracted 18.4 million viewers. By the second week, however, the number of viewers had dipped as low as 5.1 million.
A fall repeat of CBS's "CSI-Miami" topped Leno on a Monday night; not a good sign because Leno vowed this summer to beat the competing networks whenever they aired reruns. Before that, the FX series "Sons of Anarchy" was the first cable show to beat Leno.
Then there's the so-called Leno effect that has some of NBC's more than 200 affiliates grumbling that the show's weak lead-in is eroding audiences for their 11 p.m. newscasts. O'Brien's and Fallon's numbers for their late-night shows are also down, ostensibly because of a weaker Leno. Leno made it clear in a 2009 interview with Broadcasting & Cable magazine that he wasn't ready to concede the fight.
"I enjoy being the underdog," Leno said. "Do I enjoy the battle? Yes, I get a certain amount of satisfaction from pounding my head against the wall.
"Emotionally, I can take body shots all day long and that doesn't really bother me," he added.
But in the end, bowing out of the 10 p.m. race wasn't a choice left up to him.
ABC News' David Alpert, Brian Rooney, Luchina Fisher and Michael S. James contributed to this report.
(videos of both Jay and Conan at the link)
From Down Goes Brown, poking fun at some old letters form 1962 that were recently uncovered. I shat my pants when I saw the 3rd one, but read the first two before you look at it!
2009: Brian Burke
2008: Cliff Fletcher
2007: John Furgeson Jr.
Chris Chelios ArrestedThat's what happens when you drink too much Ouzo.
WESTMONT, Ill. — Former NHL defenceman Chris Chelios was arrested last month and charged with drunk driving and speeding in suburban Chicago.
Westmont police say the 47-year-old Chelios, who now plays for the AHL's Chicago Wolves, was driving alone in his pickup truck when he was pulled over shortly after 4 a.m. on Dec. 28 for speeding and improper lane usage. He was arrested on a drunk driving charge and taken into custody.
Chelios posted bond and was released pending a Feb. 1 court appearance.
The defender was in Chicago's lineup Wednesday night for the Wolves' 3-1 loss to the Bulldogs at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum. He slipped out a back door of the arena without commenting about his arrest.
Chicago coach Don Lever was equally speechless when asked about the incident and whether the team would discipline Chelios.
"I've got no comment on that," he said. "That's a situation - a personal problem. We've got no comment on it."
Chelios was one of the NHL's top defencemen in his 25 years in the league, including stints in Montreal, Chicago and Detroit.
-With files from The Canadian Press.
Oilers Hope for EberleI'd say that it's exciting to be an Oilers fan with Eberle (not to mention Paajarvi-Svensson), but, who are we kidding, being an Oilers prospect pretty much kills your chances of doing anything worthwhile in your career
With the team sitting dead last in the Western Conference and their marquee off-season signing likely to miss the remainder of the season, there hasn't been many reasons to cheer in Edmonton this year.
However over the holiday season, Oilers fans were given a reason for optimism as 2008 first round draft pick Jordan Eberle established himself as a shining beacon of hope for the Oilers' future after starring once again for Canada at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Saskatoon.
If the 19-year old established his reputation as being a clutch performer during last year's tournament in Ottawa by sending the semi final game against the Russians to overtime by scoring with only five seconds remaining, then he firmly stamped his name in the annals of Canadian hockey history with his performance on Monday.
With less than three minutes remaining in regulation and Canada down by a pair to the United States, Eberle put the team on his back, scoring twice to force extra-time and prolonging Canada's gold rush, at least temporarily.
Although the United States would win the game in overtime, Eberle's performance made a huge impression, not only on the IIHF who chose him as tournament MVP, but on many of his future teammates.
"He's mister clutch, obviously," said Oilers forward Sam Gagner, who helped Canada capture gold in 2007 in Leksand, Sweden. "He scored some huge goals in that tournament and from a spectator view it's awesome to see. You get chills when you watch some of the goals he scores and how big they were."
Oilers forward Shawn Horcoff sees something special in the Regina native.
"The puck just follows him; you can't explain it," said Horcoff. "I think as a player, there are certain guys like that in the league that it just seems to come to them and he's a good finisher. I don't really think its luck, he finds the open ice and knows where the pucks going to go. Hopefully he can translate that to the pro game."
Eberle impressed the Oilers' brass enough at training camp that he was among the final cuts; his performance in Saskatoon likely went a long way to establishing a claim to a roster spot next season.
"His spectacular goal scoring in clutch situations is tremendous as far as Canadian teams are concerned and he's been a top scorer for his junior team on a pretty good team," said an impressed Pat Quinn, who coached Canada to gold in Ottawa last year where he got a first hand look at what Eberle was capable of.
In Ottawa, Eberle was third in team scoring behind just Cody Hodgson and John Tavares, scoring six goals and picking up seven assists as Canada won their record fifth straight gold. This time around, he found the back of the net eight times, surpassing Tavares for first on the all-time list for goal scoring by Canadians in the tournament.
He finished second in scoring in this tournament behind Derek Stepan of the United States, but his play left a definite impression on the tournament's leading scorer.
"I've never seen a guy as clutch as he is," Stepan said of Eberle following Monday's game. "He's a special player and he's got a knack for the net.
"He's got a good set of hands and he'll play in the NHL for a lot of years as well."
The Oilers are certainly hoping so since their recent draft history has been spotty at best. Of all the players that Edmonton has drafted since the lockout, only Gagner and Andrew Cogliano take a regular shift with the team. However, with both Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, who starred for Sweden in the tournament, in their system, the future looks much brighter than the present.
Sean Avery Exacts RevengeSay what you will about Avery, but he's a good hockey player who can turn it up when he needs to. If he can settle down for an extended period of time I don't think it's out of the question that he could help lead a team to the cup, Claude Lemieux style.
Read the article, some of the quotes (bolded) are hilarious.
NEW YORK -- Sean Avery's edge, dry sense of humour and even his missing scoring touch came rushing back all at once.
The timing was perfect, too, because he unleashed it all on the Dallas Stars -- the team that dumped him last season.
Avery exacted his revenge by scoring a goal and setting up three others in the New York Rangers' 5-2 victory Wednesday night.
Avery's stay with the Stars lasted only 23 games into a US$15.5 million, four-year contract that he signed before last season after leaving the Rangers as a free agent. The agitating forward quickly wore out his welcome in Dallas, and was suspended by the NHL in December after making crude comments about his former girlfriends dating other players. He never again played for the Stars, who waived him in February.
Avery was claimed soon after by the Rangers, with whom he finished the season. He hadn't faced Dallas since.
"I would have loved to have seen that delinquent do that for us last year," Stars goalie Marty Turco said. "I didn't think (four points) was possible. He has a good shot and he always has worked hard. His intelligence on the ice has always been an issue, and was with us when he was here."
Now the Stars and Rangers are splitting Avery's salary, a point not lost on the loquacious Avery when he was asked what was different about this game.
"Well, I was getting paid by two teams," Avery said.
After Brad Richards staked Dallas to a 1-0 lead 2:17 in, Avery tied it 1:46 later with his first goal in 20 games during a power play. He assisted on goals by Marian Gaborik, Ales Kotalik and Chris Drury to help the Rangers win their second straight at home after a 1-5-3 skid there.
Avery hadn't had as many as three points in a game since April 1, 2007. Four points matched a career high.
"It was the way that Sean Avery needs to play," Avery said of himself. "I've been thinking about it a lot. That's just the way it has to happen for me to be effective. I've got to stay consistent."
New York, outshot 27-25, is 7-1-2 in its last 10 overall. Ryan Callahan's empty-net goal made it 5-2 with 1:05 left
Jere Lehtinen lifted Dallas into a 2-2 tie in the second period, but the Stars dropped their third straight.
Avery drew great attention throughout the game, and initiated skirmishes and discussions after the whistle. He occupied the seat closest to the partition that separated the benches and continued talking to the Stars from there.
He got into trouble with the referees after assisting on Ales Kotalik's go-ahead goal at 8:23 of the second period. Avery went well out of his way to shove Lehtinen and was given a 10-minute misconduct. Then he was called for cross-checking Tom Wandell early in the third period, but the Rangers killed that power play.
"I'm happy for him," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "I think he has struggled as of late. ... I wish he didn't take the misconduct, because I think it took him out of the game a little bit."
Avery had earlier confrontations with defenceman Nicklas Grossman, Turco, Richards and Dallas captain Brenden Morrow. Several Stars, including Turco and Mike Modano, were critical of Avery at the time of his suspension that led to his departure from Dallas, and that anger still seemed present.
"He played well," Stars coach Marc Crawford said. "He had no impact on our guys' lack of execution. That would be giving him far too much credit. Give him credit on fashion."
Following Drury's tip-in of Avery's shot 8:57 into the third, Avery was knocked down in the slot by Jamie Benn just as he was about to celebrate with his teammates.
"It is a pretty good night when you have four points against a team that didn't want you a year ago," Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said.
Tortorella disputed reports that the Rangers have tried to inhibit Avery's style.
"There has been no leash or handcuffs on Sean Avery," he said. "We have really tried to push him the past couple of months in trying to get his game back and to play this way. I want Sean Avery on edge ... when he crosses the line, it is my job to try to bring him back."
Richards made it 1-0 when he pass attempt to Lehtinen hit diving defenceman Marc Staal in front and caromed in off Lundqvist's skate.
Gaborik gave the Rangers their first lead when he scored his NHL-leading 28th goal with 4:13 left in the first. Lehtinen tied it at 2 just 2:07 into the second when his drive hit the blade of Drury's stick and sailed past the unsuspecting Lundqvist.
Kotalik, who went 21 games without a goal before scoring in the Rangers' 3-2 win over Boston on Monday, found the net again with a slap shot from the right point to make it 3-2 at 8:23 of the second.
Lundqvist made 25 saves, including one during Dallas' 5-on-3 power play in the second period.
NOTES: Avery's other four-point game was March 17, 2007, versus Boston. He hadn't scored since Nov. 23. ... Dallas C Mike Ribeiro was accidentally hit in the throat by New York's Christopher Higgins during a second-period collision at centre ice. Higgins, who didn't see Ribeiro as they crossed paths, received a high-sticking penalty. Ribeiro was taken to a hospital to be evaluated. ... The teams combined to go 1 for 12 on the power play.