Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Going, going, gone!

It is upon us, the dawning of the Free Agent Frenzy and already it feels like it has begun.

Last night the Nashville Predators traded soon-to-be Unrestricted Free Agents Dan Ellis and Dustin Boyd to the Montreal Canadiens for Sergei Kostitsyn. It looks as if signed Ellis will be part of the Goalie 1A/1B combination in Montreal along with Restricted Free Agent Carey Price (this after the Habs traded the rights to goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues earlier in the off season).

Will there be more trades today? My guess is probably. Now that the Habs have a head start to talk to Ellis and his agent odds are he will probably sign. Ellis had this to say via Twitter:

Very excited about the trade! Its an honor to be part of a team with such great tradition and passion! Hope we can figure something out!


Hello and Bonjour to all my recent followers! Have not taken French since 9th grade so please give me some leeway!

after an influx of followers on his Twitter account after the announced trade (you can find Dan Ellis on Twitter @dellis39 ).

In other hockey news yesterday the Dallas Stars officially announced that they do not have any plans to offer Mike Modano a contract. After such great send offs both in Dallas and in Minnesota (where the played his last game this past season and even threw on a North Stars jersey) it is possible he will retire. There is no topping the way the fans in both cities treated him (except maybe going out with a Stanley Cup win but then you don't have that individual acknowledgment that he received).

It is possible that this image from the game in Minnesota vs the Wild is the last image we will have of Mike Modano playing in the NHL. Kind of reminds me of another famous picture of a players final step...

Tomorrow's Free Agent Frenzy brings with it the hope for the future and the memories of the past of those players decide to leave the ice.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

As of 7 a.m. this morning....

..... there is once again respect for Mikko Koivu.

Just check the shop.nhl site and after a week of research they have come to the conclusion that there really are two "k" 's in Mikko's first name. The listing on Shop.NHL for the third jersey now has the second "k" added to his name.

Monday, June 28, 2010

No respect for Mikko Koivu

We're not all perfect. No matter how much your significant other or your parents tell you that you are - NO ONE is.

Making mistakes is part of life - I get that, I've made many and will probably still make some, I am only 25. I will be the first to admit that I made a mistake in a recent post I made on another website. The person catching my mistake even emailed me to inform me of my blunder (thank you for not posting it in the comments by the way).

So what did I do? I emailed back and thanked the reader for pointing it out to me and then went in and edited the post. Mistake fixed. An entire word I missed. But I was able to insert that word and now all is right with the world (okay so fixing that one mistake didn't bring peace to the Middle East or even find me full time employment).

Now I know you are probably wondering, "What does this have to do with Mikko Koivu?" Last week I had noticed on the Shop.NHL site (via that on the listing for the Mikko Koivu Third Jersey they had misspelled his name to "Miko". Not a huge end of the word mistake but I still emailed them to let them know it was misspelled. After a few more communication with whichever Representative I got they told me...

Thank you for following up with us on this matter. We have submitted a
request for our Operations Department to research this matter further
and correct this error. Please allow 3-5 business days for us to review
this matter.

All you need to do is add the extra "k" to "Miko" So because the matter has yet to be resolved I have decided to start the Twitter hashtag #Respect4Mikko Will anyone post anything? Doubtful. But the Weather Service tells me it is unsafe to go outside today (have to love poor air quality and a heat index predicted to go near or above 100 yet again).

So in recap...

What to do when you make a mistake:
*Own up to the mistake
*If it is something that can be fixed, you fix it (As soon as possible)
*Learn from it
*Think positive
*Don't obsess about it
*Remember that everyone makes mistakes

*** UPDATE ***

It is just before 5 p.m. and I just recived an e-mail stating that the spelling error will be corrected within the next 2-3 days. #Respect4Mikko

Sunday, June 27, 2010

NHL Draft by Country

In case you were wondering here is a quick run down of how each country did in the 2010 NHL Draft.

Canada 99
United States 59
Sweden 20
Russia 8
Finland 7
Czech Republic 5
Germany 5
Slovakia 2
Switzerland 2
Denmark 1
Latvia 1
Norway 1

2010 Draft quick hits:

158 picks were from North America ( 75.2% for you math nerds out there).

Leaving Europe with 52 picks ( and the remaining 24.8% so you don't have to do the math).

11 Americans went in the first round of the draft - a new US record
0 Swedes in the first round
4 of the top 5 picks of the draft were Canadian
the 5th pick of the draft was from Switzerland
the 9th pick of the draft was the first European trained player of the draft

Saturday, June 26, 2010

NHL Draft 2010 Round One

*Team Taylor vs Team Tyler - Team Taylor may have taken the first overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft however that means Taylor Hall is headed to Edmonton to play for the Oilers while Tyler Seguin will head to Boston to play for the Bruins. Which team do you really think won?

*Most Americans ever drafted in the first round of an NHL Draft with 11

*3 Russians, 1 Swiss, 1 Finn, and 0 Swedes in the first round. Remember last year Sweden set their record of having seven Swedes drafted in the first round (Including second overall pick Victor Hedman to the Tampa Bay Lightning) How Swede it use to be.

*Mikael Granlund of Finland was the highest drafted European trained player (9th to the Minnesota Wild)

Where did they go?:
1. Taylor Hall (Canada) to the Edmonton Oilers via Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
2. Tyler Seguin (Canada) to the Boston Bruins via Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
3. Erik Gudbranson (Canada) to the Florida Panthers via Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
4. Ryan Johansen (Canada)to the Columbus Blue Jackets via Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
5. Nino Niederreiter (Swiss) to the New York Islanders via Porland Winterhawks (WHL)
6. Brett Connolly (Canada) to the Tampa Bay Lightning via Prince George Cougars (WHL)
7. Jeff Skinner (Canada) to the Carolina Hurricanes via the Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
8. Aleksandr Burmistrov (Russia) to the Atlanta Thrasers via Barrie Colts (OHL)
9. Mikael Granlund (Finland) to the Minnesota Wild via HIFK (SM-liiga)
10. Dylan McIlrath (Canada)to the New York Rangers via Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
11. Jack Campbell (US) to Dallas Stars via U.S. National U-18Team (USHL)
12. Cam Fowler (US) To Anaheim Ducks via Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
13. Brandon Gormley (Canada) to Phoenix Coyotes via the Moncton Wildcars (QMJHL)
14. Jaden Schwartz (Canada) to the St. Louis Blues via Tri-City Storm (USHL)
15. Derek Forbort (US) to the LA Kings via Tri-City Storm (USHL)
16. Vladimir Tarasenko (Russia) St. Louis Blues via HC Sibir Novosibirsk (KHL)
17. Joey Hishon (Canada) Colorado Avalanche via Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
18. Austin Watson (US)Nashville Predators via Peterborough Petes (OHL)
19. Nick Bjugstad (US) Florida Panthers via Blaine High School
20. Beau Bennett (US) Pittsburgh Penguins via Penticton (BCHL)
21. Riley Sheahan (Canada) Detroit Red Wings via Univ. of Notre Dame (CCHA)
22. Jarred Tinordi (US) Montreal Candiens via U.S. National U-18 Team (USHL)
23. Mark Pysyk (Canada) to the Buffalo Sabres via Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
24. Kevin Hayes (US) to the Chicago Blackhawks via Noble and Greenough School
25. Quinton Howden (Canada) to the Florida Panthers via Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
26. Evgeny Kuznetsov (Russia) to the Washington Capitals via Traktor Chelybinsk (KHL)
27. Mark Visentin (Canada) to the Phoenix Coyotes via Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)
28. Charlie Coyle (US) San Jose Sharks via South Shore Kings (EJHL)
29. Emerson Erem (US) Anaheim Ducks via Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
30. Brock Nelson (US) New York Islanders via Univ. of North Dakota (WCHA)

Tune in today for the rest of the 2010 NHL Draft live from the Staples Center in LA.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Koivu Jersey Foul UPDATE

I received an email this morning about the Mikko Koivu Jersey Foul on the third jersey.

A request has been submitted to the Operations Department to "research this matter further and correct this error". However, it will take 3-5 days to add the second "k" to Koivu's first name.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The class of 2010

Dino Ciccarelli.
Cammi Granato.
Angela James.
Jimmy Devellano.
Daryl (Doc) Seaman.

You are the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2010.

Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013

With the retirements now of Scott Neidermayer and Rob Blake the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2013 is starting to take shape.

Scott Niedermayer split his NHL career with the New Jersey Devils and the Anaheim Ducks.

He is the only player to win every major championship in his career. Niedermayer he has won the Memorial Cup, World Junior Championship gold, IIHF World Championship gold, two Olympic gold medals, four Stanley Cups and the World Cup. He is also a member of the Triple Gold Club (status awarded to players that have won a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold, and World Championship gold).

Here is a list of awards for Neidermayer:

1992–93 — NHL All-Rookie Team (defenceman)
1994–95 — Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils)
1997–98 — Played in NHL All-Star Game
1997–98 — NHL — Second All-Star Team (defenceman)
1999–00 — Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils)
2000–01 — Played in NHL All-Star Game
2002 Winter Olympics - Won Olympic Gold with Team Canada
2002–03 — Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils)
2003–04 — Played in NHL All-Star Game
2003–04 — NHL — First All-Star Team (defenceman)
2003–04 — NHL — James Norris Memorial Trophy (Defenceman of the Year)
Anaheim Ducks
2005–06 — First All-Star Team (defenceman)
2006–07 — Selected as Starter for NHL All-Star Game (but did not play)
2006–07 — NHL — Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP)
2006–07 — NHL — First All-Star Team (defenceman)
2006–07 — Stanley Cup (Anaheim Ducks)
2007–08 — Played in NHL All-Star Game
2008–09 — Played in NHL All-Star Game
2010 Winter Olympics - Won Olympic Gold with Team Canada

Niedermayer has played for Canada in the following competitions:

1991 World Junior Championships (gold medal)
1992 World Junior Championships
1996 World Cup (runner-up)
2002 Winter Olympics (gold medal)
2004 World Championships (gold medal)
2004 World Cup (championship)
2010 Winter Olympics (gold medal)

Also retiring thus far in this off season is Rob Blake.

Blake spent his NHL career among three team rosters that included the San Jose Sharks, the LA Kings, and the Colorado Avalanche in which he played in 1270 regular season games reaching 240 goals 537 assist, totalling 777 points (what a lucky number THAT is)and 1679 penalty minutes. Blake totaled an additional 146 games 26 goals 47 assist (73 total points) and 166 penalty minutes in the playoffs.

Played for Team Canada in:

1991 World Championships (silver medal)
1994 World Championships (gold medal)
1996 World Cup of Hockey (silver medal)
1997 World Championships (gold medal)
1998 Winter Olympics
1998 World Championships
1999 World Championships
2002 Winter Olympics (gold medal)
2006 Winter Olympics

Awards for Rob Blake:
NHL All-Rookie Team - 1991.
Played in NHL All-Star Game - 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003.
Named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1998.
Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
James Norris Memorial Trophy - 1998.
Stanley Cup - 2001 Colorado Avalanche.

The question now being asked is if Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu will join these two by announcing their retirements this summer as well.

Even the NHL makes Jersey Fouls

Really? "Miko" Koivu? Is the second "k" taking up too much space to spell out "Mikko"?

The NHL can't even get the name of FIRST (permanent) captain in the history of the Wild right? One would think some where along the lines someone, somewhere had to have gone over and proof read, or even just read the listings.

How has no one affiliated with the site caught this mistake?

Anteeksi Mikko.

***Special thanks to Bryan Reynolds over at Hockey Wilderness for capturing a screen shot of the lovely jersey foul brought to you by the official site for the Minnesota Wild for me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This week in WTF are you thinking...

This past week left some fan bases wondering "what the..."

The Detroit Red Wings announced that they reached an agreement with forward Todd Bertuzzi. Saying Bertuzzi is not a fan favorite in Hockeytown is a bit of an understatement. Fans were first shocked that he was brought back (it's not that he was horrible and I think in the play offs it looked as if he had finally found his place). What shocked fans was the two year $3.875 million no trade clause contract.

Up in Minne-so-ta the Wild managed to send their fans in to a panic when they announced the team had re-signed James Sheppard. The forward signed a one-year deal for just over $800,000. Not bad, still leaves plenty of room for the free agent frenzy that will hit July 1 and maybe, just maybe, he is working some of those kinks out of his game this summer.

The biggest "W-T-F" moment came from North of the boarder Montreal.


In case you you have not heard about Halak's rights being traded to the St. Louis Blues for two prospects (Lars Eller and Ian Schultz). The trade prompted a fan freak out frenzy on Twitter enough to shut it down and cause mass "fail whales" on the social media network. Even after it had started to calm down Halak was still a trending topic WORLDWIDE on the social networking site. That means as many people in the entire world were talking about Halak being traded as they were the World Cup and the vuvuzela annoyance.

At least this piece of gold made it to the Internet...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So much for a boring off season

Breaking news over night that the Detroit Red Wings have signed Ilari Filppula has many asking, "isn't his name Valtteri?"

Ilari Filppula is the older brother for current Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula.

Ilari spent the last few years with TPS Turku in the SM-liiga (in his native country Finland), winning this past seasons championship, and was named the winner of the 2010 Jari Kurri trophy (play off MVP).

For the 2009/2010 season Ilari played 58 games in which he had 12 goals and 37 assist. In the playoffs he played an additional 15 games with 2 goals and 12 assist.

Fitting song for the clip seeing as he is now on an NHL contact...

TPS Turku is partially owned by (current) NHL players Miikka Kiprusoff (Flames), Mikko Koivu (Wild) and his older brother Saku (Ducks).

Monday, June 14, 2010

How to battle hockey withdrawl

It’s that dreaded time of year. June.

The Stanley Cup has been handed to the Chicago Blackhawks; and The Cup is off on another whirlwind global tour (that I am sure does not involve a cab ride in Buffalo).

Now we wait. The 2010-2011 season does not start for a little over three months. Not a long time - but feels like eternity.

Here are some of my How-to-survive-what-seems-like-a-slow-agonizing-wait-for-the-first-puck-drop-of-the-regular-season suggestions:

Watch “vintage” games on NHL Network though out the summer (some are more vintage than others).

Tune in on June 23rd to the NHL awards show live from Las Vegas (List of Awards and finalist ).

Then get all your hockey buddies together and watch the 2010 NHL Draft on June 25-26 ( ).

Keep up on all the frenzy starting July 1st as the Unrestricted Free Agents hit the open market with the guys at “ProHockeyTalk on NBC” either on Twitter @PHTonNBC or on their website:

Read War and Peace.

Keep your cool. On hot summer days grab your skates (or a few bucks for rentals) and head to your local ice rink for either an open skate or a pick up game.

Find some replays on line and become an expert.

Check out

Watch “Slapshot”

Find out when your favorite (or local) teams prospects and training camps start and get your gear, a hand full of Sharpies, and your camera ready.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blake Geoffrion signs with Predators

The Hobey Baker winner has confirmed via Twitter that he is signing a two year deal with the Nashville Predators and there will be a press conference on Tuesday.

First to cross the Finnish line

History was in fact made last night as the Chicago Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup. For the first time in history a Finnish goaltender will have his name engraved into Lord Stanley's Cup.

With so many great goalies coming from Finland (young stars like Pekka Rinne and Tuukka Rask along with Olympians Antero Niittymaki, Niklas Backstrom and Miikka Kiprusoff just to name a few) it was just a matter of time before this goal was met.

Antti Niemi come and claim your cup - it's yours to take back to Finland.

You be the judge...

....who has the body of a champion???

Stanley Cup Moments

First off I want to say congratulations to the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization and to all their fans. You are the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions.

Now every hockey fan is looking back at the series and thinking about their favorite moment. For many in Chicago it's going to be when Captain Jonathan Toews lifted the cup for their city for the first time since 1961. Other hockey fans will enjoy the hit on Chris Pronger. Flyers' fans might be hurt and angry now but they'll come around (hopefully) and remember all of the victories the team did have on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Personally my favorite moment came from off the ice...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Eyes on the Prize

I realize in sports you do little things ( or big things ) to try and knock the other team off their game mentally; however, you're not suppose to distract your own team - especially not your goaltender!!!

What is Washington's goal?

So it appears right now that Jose Theodore will not be returning to the Washington Capitals next season.

Capitals' are faced with either going with their two young gun netminders in Semyon Varlamov and Michael Neuvirth or bringing in another veteran from Unrestricted Free Agency.

Some of the available goalies the Capitals' have to pick from:

Evgeni Nabokov (San Jose)
Dan Ellis (Nashville)
Chris Mason (St. Louis)
Marty Turco (Dallas)
Ray Emery (Philadelphia)
Johan Hedberg (Atlanta)
Antero Niittymaki (Tampa Bay)
Vesa Toskala (Calgary)
Andrew Raycroft (Vancouver)

Personally I would go with picking either Dan Ellis, Marty Turco, or Antero Niittymaki for the position in Washington.

Dan Ellis is testing the market after the Predators re-signed Pekka Rinne for a 2 year $6.8 million contract. The two of them made a great goaltending combination that finished the season just two points behind the Detroit Red Wings (and 12 points behind the division lead Chicago Blackhawks) in the central division.

Marty Turco has only won one game inside of Joe Louis Arena in Detroit in his entire NHL career; however, the Capitals being in the Eastern Conference and not the Western Conference like the Dallas Stars that stat isn't going to play much of a roll (unless the teams meet in the Stanley Cup Finals - that might me awkward). Turco (along with Martin Brodeur) is one of the best puck-handling goalies in the NHL and lets face it getting the puck to Alexander Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom good things tend to happen.

Antero Niittymaki brings with him two Olympic medals. Winning the bronze medal in the 2010 Vancouver and the Silver medal (and tournament MVP) in 2006 when he was the starter for the Finnish team. Also important for the Capitals' (being in the Southeast division) Niittymaki has a career record being 17-0-0 against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Help Bäckström design a new mask

For those that do not know I write for The Hockey Writers about the Minnesota Wild. I came across this awhile ago and have forwarded it on via twitter and facebook but thought it was time to pass it on here as well.

If you have kids or know any kids (under 18) that love hockey and are creative (or even if not let them still have a shot who knows) Niklas Bäckström of the Minnesota Wild is having a contest to create a new mask design.

Here is the offical link with detailed information:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award: The goaltenders Kryptonite

Sports and curses/jinx go together like peanut butter and jelly or for those north of the boarder like gravy and cheese curd on french fries.

So when I was looking over the history of the “Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award” I couldn’t help but think this thing is jinxed.

For those that are not familiar with the award it is awarded by the National Hockey League to the goaltender who ends the season with the best save percentage (with at least 25 games played). Eight players have won the award since its inception in 1999-2000.

The list of winners is as follows:
Ed Belfour (1999-2000)
Marty Turco (2000-2001)
Jose Theodore (2001-2002)
Marty Turco (2002-2003)
Dwayne Roloson (2003-2004)
Cristobal Huet (2005-2006)
Niklas Backstrom (2006-2007)
Dan Ellis (2007-2008)
Tim Thomas (2008-2009)
Tuukka Rask (2009-2010)

So you’ve just had the best save percentage in the entire NHL what are you going to do? - Nothing? At least in the NFL if you win you go to Disney World

Lets look at the post lock out era goalies to win because lets face it the game has changed since then. Each of them had a finonimal season only to end up replaced.

Huet is currently playing in the Stanley Cup Finals right now; however, I use the term playing lightly as he is sitting on the bench collecting a HUGE pay check while the rookie kid from Finland, Antti Niemi, has taken his place on the ice.

Backstrom and the Wild have been plagued with goaltending problems (mostly injuries and lets not forget the fire that destroyed the teams equipment earlier this season) so I‘ll go light on them.

Ellis won the award and then had to split a season with Pekka Rinne the following season for lackluster play and only 11 wins for the season. He’s now testing the free agency market this summer as Rinne has taken over as starter for the Predators.

Tim Thomas. The amazingly heartfelt story from the 2008-2009 season who went on to win not only this award but the Vezina Trophy for the top goaltender of the season - he made the 2010 Team USA Olympic roster but never saw ice time and was replaced by the rookie Tuukka Rask as the starter for the Bruins.

Which brings us to this years winner - Tuukka Rask. - History will be made… or maybe jinxed.