That Damn Hockey Blog

That Damn Hockey Blog: Panthers Have More Control Than The U.S. Government

Florida has a new goalie! Many expected the Jacob Markstrom era to begin in Florida this season, but that will be put on hold for one year, as long-time Boston Bruin, and guy who took last year off, Tim Thomas, has signed a 1-year, $2.5 million deal, with a $3.75 million cap hit with the franchise.

After making the playoffs in the 2011-12 season, being knocked out by the New Jersey Devils in the first round in seven games, the Panthers ended up with the worst record in the National Hockey League last season, on the back of Markstrom, Scott Clemmensen and Jose Theodore.

All smiles now Timmy T

What does Tim Thomas bring to Florida? He joins Kris Versteeg (one) Brian Campbell (one) and Tomas Kopecky (two), as holders of Stanley Cup rings. However, Thomas is the only one with a Conn Smythe as playoff MVP. A two-time Vezina winner, one-time William M. Jennings trophy, and the first player since Bernie Parent to win the Stanley Cup, Vezina and Conn Smythe in the same season.

The resume is plentiful, but Thomas is 39 years old. He didn’t play anywhere last season, so whether or not he’ll even make it out the year is a gamble for the Panthers, especially considering they seem to be outside playoff contenders at best. Perhaps he’s bought in to provide tutelage for Markstrom, but the latter will more than likely end up in the AHL when Clemmensen returns from injury.

For those wondering, Florida play Thomas’ former team, the Boston Bruins (I don’t count the Islanders, even though he was on their roster, he never played a game for them, not even as backup) five times next season. Mark these dates on your hockey calendar!
October 17, 2013, November 7, 2013, January 28, 2014, March 4, 2014 and March 9, 2014

The media will be all over it, especially for the first game I feel. Even Bruins starter, and Thomas’ backup in Boston, Tuukka Rask, joked that it’s going to be a “media debacle”. Fun times to be had in Florida for the year ahead.

Hockey Media

NHL 14 Demo – Thoughts and Points

For those who havent played it/downloaded it, the NHL 14 playable demo was released recently, and in it, contained three game modes. Play Now, which consisted of playing the third period (and overtime/shootout if needed), between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. NHL ’94 Anniversary mode, which contains the third period between the Bruins/Blackhawks, and Hockey Ultimate Team, which contains you receiving a random pack, and facing off in a tournament against the Halifax Mooseheads, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks and Team Canada respectively.

A quick analysis on each, possibly detailing what the retail version of NHL 14 could be all about.

NHL ’94 Anniversary mode should be available to play online multiplayer. It is only there as a replacement for the Winter Classic, which wasn’t played due to the lockout. This mode would be more fun being able to play online, as I feel the mode just wont be enough purely as offline single player/multiplayer. NHL ’94 mode is more than fun, and even the beginner would be able to do well in this mode, as opposed to needing to do tricks and dekes in order to be successful in other modes.

Ultimate Team from what I saw, seems to be fairly similar to the NHL ’13 model, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it would be a lot better if they re-introduced permanent training to your players.

Play Now was just a normal game, giving you the chance to show off the new fighting mechanic, the new dekes, and everything else you can think of. The fighting mechanic is 1000% better than previous editions, although they seem to happen a lot more regularly than even a real-life NHL game, which can be bothersome, and just like Madden and FIFA, the game’s looks are tweaked to look better, but the overall feel is pretty much the same as last year’s edition.

That Damn Hockey Blog

That Damn Hockey Blog: Ryan Miller and the Seattle Metropolitans


Ah, Ryan Miller. Hero of Team USA at the 2010 Olympics. Nowadays though, it’s a completely different story. The Sabres want him gone for some reason because they believe Jhonas Enroth is this king goalie or something I dunno. Anyway, if the Sabres were to trade Ryan Miller this season, where would they possibly trade him? Let’s go through the other 29 other teams and see if anyone would want a 33 year old Goaltender.

Continue reading

That Damn Hockey Blog

That Damn Hockey Blog: I Want A Contract With The Islanders pt.2

Alexei Yashin was a stud for the Ottawa Senators on the ice. Off the ice, he would complain about contracts until the cows came home. He refused to play in the 95-96 season until he was made the highest paid player on the team. In 1998, he was to donate a million dollars to the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa, however the NAC learned that a condition of the donation would be to pay Yashin’s parents $425,000, they balked at the idea, and Yashin cancelled the donation.

There would be more contract disputes to come, with Yashin refusing to honor the last year of his contract before the 1999-00 season due to demanding a raise and the Senators declining, he then demanded a trade. Ottawa responded by suspending him for the 99-00 season instead. Yashin, who was meant to be a free agent after the season, was refused free agent status by an NHL Arbitrator, and instead had to play out the final year of his contract in the 2000-01 season. Which lead the Ottawa Senators to trade Yashin at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, to the New York Islanders. Which brought about one of hockey’s great debates. Which was worse? The contract the Islanders gave Yashin, or the players they traded in order to get Yashin.

New York traded forward Bill Muckalt, defenseman Zdeno Chara, and the second overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, which just happened to be Jason Spezza. The Islanders hoped that Yashin would provide the spark they needed, after picking up 94 and 88 points respectively, in the last two years he played.
Muckalt only spent one season in Ottawa, and didnt really come to much. Chara has become one of the most feared defensemen, not just for the Boston Bruins, but in the National Hockey League, and Spezza has become the forward centerpiece in Ottawa and looks to be a future captain.

But what about Yashin? He is the focal point of this blog after all. Well, the Islanders had so much faith in the Russian, that they signed him to a 10 year, 87.5 million dollar contract. Most found that an untradeable contract, but it was clear that in their eyes, Yashin was an Islander for the rest of his career. In his first year, Yashin helped the Islanders make the playoffs, but they never got past the first round during his tenure there, and after the first year, his production declined.

Even after they retooled the roster around Yashin for the 2005-06 season, it didnt help, as the Islanders bought out his contract at the end of the 2006-07 season, leaving them with a cap hit of just over $2.2mil until 2015. Yashin is currently the eighth highest cap hit for forwards on the Islanders roster, even though he reitred from hockey in 2012. Yashin is a prime example of gambling gone horribly, horribly wrong. If the Islanders hadn’t of made the deal, then chances are they would still have Zdeno Chara and Jason Spezza in their lineup, and who knows where they’d be now. Maybe where they expected to be with Yashin.

Buffalo Sabres

2013 NHL Entry Draft – Buffalo Sabres

Here is a look at whom the Buffalo Sabres drafted in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and also any trades they may have partaken in during the draft.

Round – Pick – Player Chosen (position in brackets) – Nationality – Junior/Club/College Team

1 – 8 – Rasmus Ristolainen (D) – Finland – TPS Turku (SM-liiga)
1 – 16 – Nikita Zadorov (D) – Russia – London Knights (OHL)
2 – 35 – J.T. Compher (LW) – United States – USA U-18 (USHL)
2 – 38 – Connor Hurley (C) – United States – Edina High (USHS)
2 – 52 – Justin Bailey (RW) – United States – Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
3 – 69 – Nicholas Baptiste (RW) – Canada – Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
5 – 129 – Calvin Petersen (G) – United States – Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
5 – 130 – Gustav Possler (RW) – Sweden – MODO (SHL)
5 – 143 – Anthony Florentino (D) – United States – South Kent Prep. (USHS)
6 – 159 – Sean Malone (C) – United States – USA U-18 (USHL)
7 – 189 – Eric Locke (C) – United States – Saginaw Spirit (OHL)


Buffalo Sabres acquire Jamie McBain (D) and 2nd Rd pick (2013) from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Andrej Sekera (D)

Boston Bruins

2013 NHL Entry Draft – Boston Bruins

Here is a look at whom the Boston Bruins drafted in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and also any trades they may have partaken in during the draft.

Round – Pick – Player Chosen (position in brackets) – Nationality – Junior/Club/College Team

2nd – 60 – Linus Arensson (D)  – Sweden – Djurgardens IF (HockeyAllsvenskan)
3rd – 90 – Peter Cehlarik (LW) – Slovakia – Lulea HF (SHL)
4th – 120 – Ryan Fitzgerald (C) – Canada – Valley Jr. Warriors (EJHL)
5th – 150 – Wiley Sherman (D) – United States – Hotchkiss School (USHS)
6th – 180 – Anton Blidh (LW) – Sweden – Frolunda J20 (SuperElit)
7th – 210 – Mitchell Dempsey (LW) – Canada- Sault Ste.Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

Chicago Blackhawks congratulates.. congratulates the Chicago Blackhawks in winning the 2013 Stanley Cup, by defeating the Boston Bruins in 6 games.

After being behind by 2 games to 1, the Blackhawks win three straight, including two goals from Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland in 17 seconds of Game Six to clinch their second Stanley Cup in four years.

Patrick Kane, who scored the Cup winner against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010, walked away with the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP. Kane finished with 19 points (9G, 10A), including nine points, in his final ten games.

The UHF Tournament

The Ultimate Hockey Fighter Tournament – Quarter Finals

8 fights remain in the UHF Tournament. Who will survive to the final 4? Only you can decide!

Last week saw Tie Domi become the last of the quarter finalists, by defeating Mike Peluso.

This week starts off our Quarter Finals with the matchup of the tournament so far as Rob Ray takes on Krzysztof Oliwa.


Rob Ray
LW Canada
Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators
6′ 203 lbs
5×20 NHL Fights in a season
10×15 NHL Fights in a season
246 NHL Fights 16.4 FPY

Krzysztof Oliwa
New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils
6’5″ 240 lbs
3×20 NHL Fights in a season
6×15 NHL Fights in a season
178 NHL Fights 20.5 FPY

What happened when these two squared off:




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Hockey Media

NHL 14 – Enforcer Engine Insight

More details have been released, as to how the Enforcer Engine will be integrated into NHL 14. They were revealed as hidden Easter eggs in the NHL 14 trailer released recently. For those who didn’t catch the Easter eggs, here’s a detailed look at what they were, courtesy of..

  1. All-new Third Person Presentation: Say goodbye to the first person fighting system that was introduced in NHL 10. The Enforcer Engine brings an all-new authentic third person experience that will never break you away from the on-ice action.
  2. Post-Fight Celebrations: Fights are intense. Winning a fight is electrifying. You will celebrate the thrill of winning a fight by engaging the crowd or taunting your opponent.
  3. Everyone is Live: No more first person fighting mini-game where everyone leaves the ice. Players on the ice will interact with each other, pairing off and jostling. The ref will also be a part of the action.
  4. Real Fight Damage: The black eyes, bruising and lumps you take in a fight will last throughout the game. NHL hockey can be a battle. Now you’ll have the scars to prove it.

This sounds like that the game could mean that the game may continue at times, whilst a fight is starting, which would be good, but only it if it seamless and not some kind of loading screen in between the two. Post-Fight Celebrations seem pointless. All-in brawls of yesteryear could finally make it into a video game! The days of when Steve Ott, Sean Avery and Krys Barch would take on entire teams, only without biased Boston Bruins commentary, as in the video below.


Real Fight Damage sounds like a good idea, but unless they have a lot more close-up shots of players, there isn’t really much point, as you don’t see faces of players all that much, unless they score goals or have a lot of hits/saves etc. All good ideas on paper, but it will be interesting to see how these look when the game hits shelves this September.

The UHF Tournament

The Ultimate Hockey Fighter Tournament – Second Round

16 eliminated. 16 remain. Who advances on? That’s entirely up to you!

Last week, Ian Laperriere defeated Kelly Chase via the dreaded tiebreaker.

This week, a modern day Maple Leaf, go fist to fist with a wildcard of the tournament.

Colton Orr
Boston Bruins, New York Rangers. Toronto Maple Leafs
6’3″ 222 lbs
1×20 NHL Fights in a season
4×15 NHL Fights in a season
111 NHL Fights 15.9 FPY

(WC) Matthew Barnaby
Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars
6′ 188 lbs
3×20 NHL Fights in a season
6×15 NHL Fights in a season
206 NHL Fights 14.7 FPY

Why you should vote for Colton Orr:



Why you should vote for Matthew Barnaby:



[poll id=”23″]