Pittsburgh Penguins

Your 2016 Stanley Cup Champions

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins, for winning the Stanley Cup, for the 2015-16 season. The Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks in six games, with captain Sidney Crosby, winning his first Conn Smythe Trophy.

Pittsburgh defeated the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs, before toppling the President’s Trophy winning Washington Capitals in the semis. The Tampa Bay Lightning, pushed them to seven games, however the Pens won through to win the Prince of Wales trophy as Eastern Conference winners. They then converted that victory, by eliminating the Sharks, to win their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history.

General

RIP Gordie Howe 1928-2016

On June 10 2016, Hockey has lost its greatest. Gordie Howe has passed away, aged 88, leaving behind a legacy that will never be matched. Howe started his career with the Detroit Red Wings, scoring his first of 2358 goals throughout his illustrious career, which spanned 34 years, franchises and two leagues, the National Hockey League (NHL) and the World Hockey Association (WHA). The latter of which, saw him play for the Houston Aeros in 1973, alongside his sons, Marty and fellow NHL Hall of Famer, Mark.

Mr. Hockey was the best player in the toughest era. The combo of a goal, an assist and a fight, within the same game, is dubbed the ‘Gordie Howe hat-trick’. Howe though, only had two in his entire career, Rick Tocchet has the most in NHL history, with 18.

Gordie Howe started in 1946, and fully retired in 1980, only returning for a one-off game for the IHL’s Detroit Vipers during the 97-98 season. His last all-star game was in 1980, which also just happened to be the first NHL all-star game of the game’s future greatest, then 19-year old Wayne Gretzky. Howe earned 23 all-star appearances, won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings and two Avco World Trophiesin the WHA with the Hartford Whalers.

There may be a debate, as to who the greatest player of all-time is, but there will only ever be one Mr. Hockey. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Howe family, and all of his family, friends and fans.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs Finally Win A Thing!!

The Toronto Maple Leafs are your winners of the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery, meaning that they have the first overall pick, to be held in Buffalo on June 24-25. The likely first pick, will be Auston Matthews, who last applied his trade, for the Zurich HSC Lions. The Winnipeg Jets won the number #2 slot, with the Columbus Blue Jackets, holding #3. Edmonton fell to #4, after winning last year’s lottery.

So what does this mean for the draft?

First things first, this will fast track Toronto’s re-build in the forward sense by adding Matthews. He could slot into the Leafs’ top 6-9 in the C slot, meaning it could very well be the end of Tyler Bozak in the Air Canada Centre. Also, obtaining Matthews, as well as re-signing Nazem Kadri, could lead to Brendan Shanahan, not pursuing pending UFA Steven Stamkos on July 1, and instead using the cap to fill other needs on the roster.

But what if the Leafs trade the pick?

Well, it’s an option. Especially considering that Matthews is from Arizona. The Coyotes could try and move up from their current position (7) in the draft, to #1, allowing them to draft their hometown boy, and still leave the Leafs with two first round picks, thanks to the Phil Kessel trade and the Penguins making the playoffs. The Oilers (4) and the Flames (6), are also rumoured to be shopping their top picks, and a possible trade with the Leafs could happen, with both the Oilers and Flames having assets on their roster, that Toronto would love to have on their re-building roster.

If the Leafs draft Auston Matthews, will this mean that Steven Stamkos plays in the Blue and White next season?

Well.. With Matthews, Kadri, and Bozak, the Leafs have the middle sorted, and with Stamkos’ displeasure of playing wing, either one of the three Centres move out wide, or move out of Toronto, with Bozak being the most likely. If Bozak does move, they may have to move a Joffrey Lupul-type contract as well, in order to fit the asking price that Stamkos will ask, into the cap. A core of Stamkos, Kadri and Matthews, does sound better, and it takes the pressure off Matthews when he debuts. But, whether the Leafs decide to invest in the best Free Agent on the market, who just happens to be from Toronto, remains to be seen.

Does Toronto even need Stamkos?

No. They don’t need him. Sure, every franchise would love Steven Stamkos on their roster. But do the Leafs need him? At this point of their program, where the focus is on re-building and squad structure, then the answer is no. Stamkos is entering the prime of his NHL career, and could potentially be wasted on the Leafs, whilst the young squad around him builds for the 2-3 years it will take before they reach their prime. Also, if they throw all their cap in the Stamkos basket, then their more important needs of defense and goaltending, go neglected again. Unless Stamkos can play in net. I mean, he is that good as a player, but as a Goalie?

What will the Leafs do?

They will draft Auston Matthews with the first overall pick in the draft. If they do trade a pick, it will be the pick that they received from Pittsburgh. Matthews is on Jack Eichel levels of ability, and will instantly inject something into the Leafs’ lineup, that they haven’t seen in the franchise in a long time. As for Stamkos, well, as fate could have it, Pavel Datsyuk is verging on retiring and returning to Russia, leaving the Detroit Red Wings with a massive hole to fill in at Centre. Brad Richards probably won’t be re-signed, especially at the $3 million he signed for this season, and Darren Helm could be on the way out also. Even though the Wings will have to re-sign Petr Mrazek, as fate could have it, Steven Stamkos could sign for the franchise, in which his current GM, Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman, captained to three Stanley Cups.

That Damn Hockey Blog

Bored Hockey Fan’s Playoff Bracket prediction spectacular

Welcome to the 2016 NHL playoffs! It’s that time, where the regular season means nothing, the next six weeks mean everything and one franchise will achieve the biggest prize in the game, winning Lord Stanley’s Cup.

With the playoffs starting with Detroit and Tampa on Wednesday, it’s time to show you my playoff bracket, which you too, can do, by clicking on the following link, HERE!

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That Damn Hockey Blog

A Bored Hockey Fan’s view of Trade Deadline Day

The most hyped day in the National Hockey League outside of July 1 is done and dusted for another year.

With big names such as Eric Staal, Justin Schultz, Jiri Hudler and James Reimer all moving in the days prior. Deadline day was seen as a mop up day for some and perhaps moving day for the rest of the Maple Leafs that weren’t traded.

So, without further ado, a Bored Hockey Fan’s summary of Deadline Day.

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Boston Bruins, Historical Hockey, Toronto Maple Leafs

Today is the Anniversary of the First All Star Game and Jersey Retirement.

Sure, it’s Valentine’s Day. But today mark’s the anniversary of the Ace Bailey Benefit Game, and essentially, the first All Star Game. On February 14, 1934 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in front of 14,074 spectators watched The Toronto Maple Leafs defeat a team comprised of the top players from the rest of the league. The final score was 7-3, for The Leafs.

NHLallstarsbailey

This game was not for league revenue, rather charity. ShoreBailey14Feb1934 Bailey’s career ended due a violent hit by Eddie Shore earlier in the 1933–34 season. Bailey suffered a near fatal skull fracture, but recovered enough to participate in the benefit game by shaking the hands and presenting gifts to all of the participating players. When nearing Shore, the crowd is said to have silenced. Bailey would extend his hand to Shore, and the crowd is said to have burst into a roar of approval.

CaptureDuring the ceremonies, The Maple Leafs stated that no player on the team would wear Bailey’s number 6 again. This marks the first time in NHL history that a team retired a player’s sweater number.

The game generated $20,909 in money for Bailey, and he would subsequently receive an additional $6,000 from the Boston Bruins.

For more information, Wikipedia has an excellent amount of information. Click here.

Here is a short little documentary, as well.

That Damn Hockey Blog

The potential 2015-16 roster for your Atlanta Thrashers Part Two

Image result for atlanta thrashers

In the first part, we had a look at the goaltending and defensive cores, that could potentially make up the Atlanta Thrashers for the 2015-16 season. If you missed it, that can be seen at the link below:

http://boredhockeyfan.com/potential-atlanta-thrashers-modern-day-roster/

This part, looks at the forward core. From potential draft picks, or players traded from the franchise, this list of 21 players, makes up the potential forward core, for the Atlanta Thrashers.

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Arizona Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens, NHL

Free John Scott

John Scott:  NHL All Star Captain.

John Scott: NHL All Star Captain.

In 2012, John Scott became a Buffalo Sabre.  As a Sabres fan who sat through a team with a distinct lack of goals the previous season, the first question on my mind was of course, “why?”  Scott had been up and down between the NHL and AHL since 2008 and had one goal in the big league to show for it.  His signing, I believe, was an overreaction to a hit by then-Bruin Milan Lucic on then-Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller the previous season, an attempt to “toughen up” the Buffalo Sabres.

To say that Scott’s tenure in Buffalo was less than stellar is an understatement.  With one goal and 194 penalty minutes across two seasons, the highlight of John Scott the Sabre was being ripped to shreds by Mike Milbury following a nationally televised game against the Boston Bruins for a hit on a defenseless Loui Eriksson.

Needless to say, I’ve never been the biggest fan of John Scott.  However, when you leave the people on the internet to their own devices, things happen. The National Hockey League opened up all star voting to the fans, and allowed them to vote for any player they chose as a captain for the player’s respective divisions in the new 3-on-3 tournament format.  That opened the door for fans to find the most ridiculous choice and vote him in.  Believe me, I was one of the people voting on a daily basis for John Scott, along with Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, and Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

So what happens?  John Scott wins the all-star voting.  Not just for the Pacific Division – he was the number one vote getter in all of the NHL.  Those of us who voted for him felt a sense of pride.  Suddenly, despite the fact we were initially voting for him as a joke, we had a sense of pride.  John Scott was our all-star.  We made that happen, and we were not only proud of that fact, we were proud of him.  Sure, he’s not the best hockey player, and yes, maybe Mike Milbury had a point in calling him a goon, but John Scott is a good guy, taking it all with good humor, and humbly accepting the honor bestowed upon him by the NHL fans.

People are often critical of the National Football League, referring to the NFL as the “No Fun League.”  I propose we start calling the NHL the “No Humor League,” because while we’re having fun putting guys like John Scott where they don’t necessarily belong, the league steps in and conveniently convinces the Arizona Coyotes to send Scott to the Montreal Canadiens, which throws a wrench into our plans.  Here’s what they don’t tell you.  Scott’s wife is pregnant with twins and due to give birth All-Star weekend.  Now, this poor woman, 9 months pregnant, has to go through the ordeal of her husband being traded to a team 2600 miles away, being uprooted from their home in Arizona, and for what?  So John Scott can’t play in the NHL All Star Game?

This ordeal is a bigger embarassment to the National Hockey League than John Scott could ever be.  I wish he were on Twitter, because I’d like to personally apologize for him for the way this has affected him and his family.  I voted for John Scott ten times a day every day.  I was looking forward to seeing him get his moment in the spotlight.  Now it’s all been taken away from him – and us.