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Entries with the tag: nhl

Hockey Notes From the Maven

From Stan Fischler at MSGNetwork.com:

• Jim Rutherford is turning the Hurricanes into a power. The acquisition of Alex Semin comes at a price, but it’s also a message to Carolina fans that the Canes mean business about becoming a contender. The real challenge—apart from Semin proving his worth—is for coach Kirk Muller, starting his first full season as the lead bench boss. It’s up to Muller to extract the best out of a gifted offensive force who has remained an enigma nonetheless since his NHL debut.

• The NHL’s astonishingly successful Winter Classic concept has spawned new offspring; the latest being on the collegiate level at Chicago’s vast Soldier Field. Dubbed “The Hockey City Classic,” the February 17 double-bill will feature Notre Dame vs. Miami of Ohio and Minnesota against Wisconsin. Promoters figure that the crowd could exceed 60,000.

• One of the most important NHL quiet-hires has evolved into one of Bettman’s Best. That would be ex-NHL defenseman Stephane Quintal. The onetime top Boston Draft pick works under Brendan Shanahan as Manager of Player Safety (alongside Rob Blake), yet another superb addition to the Shanny Group.

Click here for more from one of the best, the “Hockey Maven”.

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  Tags: msgnetwork.com, nhl, stan+fischler

How About Six?

That is what the New York Rangers will be looking to do tonight against the hot Ottawa Senators.

The Blueshirts have won five in a row and are currently playing a great brand of hockey. The club is getting timely goal scoring, great defense and excellent goaltending from both Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron.

The team is also showing that they can win hockey games in many different ways. The Blueshirts can take a team down in regulation, overtime, or a shootout while also being able to come from behind or hold a lead going into the third period.

On the other side, the Ottawa Senators are also playing some great hockey. In their last 10 games, the team is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and has won two straight. Through 44 games, the Senators are 23-15-6, which is good for fifth in the Eastern Conference.

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  Tags: atlantic+division, eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, martin+biron, montreal+canadies, new+york+rangers, nhl, northeast+division, ottawa+senators, toronto+maple+leafs

Into the Great Unknown: A Look at European Expansion

This is something that could definitely be applied to the National Hockey League and European Expansion.

As most hockey fans are aware of, the league has been displaying its game in Europe to kickoff the season for the past few years now. The NHL has had games in Prague, Sweden, and many other countries abroad to help grow the game and show that their league is the best hockey league in the world.

With that in mind, one has to wonder if the league would ever consider expanding into Europe. Here are some reasons why that would be a good idea:

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  Tags: europe, nhl

An E-mail Interview with Scott Burnside of ESPN.com

It is my pleasure to share with you an e-mail interview I did with Scott Burnside, a terrific hockey writer for ESPN.com.

Scott was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he became a hockey writer, how he got the gig at ESPN.com as well as his thoughts on what has gone on during this offseason in the NHL.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
SB: I have always been a fan growing up in northern and then southwestern Ontario. I was, however, a news writer for a long time before becoming a sports columnist and then specifically a hockey writer. Until I moved to Atlanta in the summer of 2003 I played poorly but regularly both in men’s leagues and pick-up. I was not a nice player. I still have a deformed collar bone after one incident that involved a trip via ambulance to a Toronto-area hospital that is a constant reminder that karma is indeed a, well, you know.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite player and team?
SB: When I was five or six, I received a table hockey game for Christmas and my father and I played constantly. He was Toronto and I was Montreal. Always. Thus I became a Canadiens fan and specifically a Ken Dryden fan. There is a picture of me somewhere with an old wool sweater with my chin resting on my hockey stick a la Dryden.

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  Tags: espn.com, nhl, scott+burnside

A Positive Outlook On the NHL

I am sure many of you will disagree with what I am about to write but try and hear me out.

I am not looking for anything from the National Hockey League but instead, am looking to point out what the league did right this season. After all, our sport is in good shape and instead of focusing on the negatives regarding the game of hockey, why can’t we look at the positives?

Many hockey fans and media alike thought that the lockout during the 2004-05 NHL season would kill the sport of hockey going forward.  Fast forward to today and our favorite sport is in excellent shape, thanks to a terrific 2010-11 season.

Here are a few reasons why this past season was so great (in no particular order):

Excitement:

The NHL showed this season why hockey is such an exciting sport. The perfect example of this was the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were high-scoring games, closely contested games, many overtime games, lots of different heroes, stellar goaltending and unbelievable plays. It was a Playoffs for the ages and one that will not be forgotten any time soon.

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  Tags: nhl

NHL In a Good Spot

Over at The Hockey Program, which is run by the great Chris Wassel, I wrote about how the NHL has a solid footing right now and will hopefully continue to get better.

You can either read it here or continue below:

NHL In Great Shape
By Patrick Hoffman

Many hockey fans and media alike thought that the lockout during the 2004-05 NHL season would kill the NHL going forward.

Well, fast forward to today and the National Hockey League is in excellent shape, thanks to a terrific 2010-11 season. Here are a few reasons why this past season was so great (in no particular order):

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  Tags: nhl

Have No Fear Hockey Fans: Lots to Get You Through the Summer

With the NHL officially over, I am sure that many of you hockey fanatics are absolutely dreading a summer without the sport we all love.

Well, have no fear because there are plenty of hockey-related things out there to help you survive the offseason and keep you involved with the game:

- NHL Network: If you have the NHL Network, this will be a great tool for you to utilize throughout the summer. The channel will show “Classic Series’s”, “Classic Games”, “Top 10’s” and like last year, I’m sure that they will replay much of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Sure, it would be great for the Network to add more original programming but what the Network has to offer right now is terrific hockey viewing.

- NHL Home Ice on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio: By far and away, the NHL Home Ice Channel on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio is a godsend for all hockey fans. The channel has terrific hosts, great programming and enough hockey content to keep you occupied 24/7. Sure, osme of the shows they normally have on during the regular season will slow down but for the most part, NHL Home Ice will always have you covered when it comes to outstanding hockey content.

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  Tags: nhl, offseason

Some Thoughts from the Maven

From good friend of the blog Stan Fischler at MSGNetwork.com:

• WORLD’S WHAT? While the misnamed World Championships of hockey go unnoticed along New York’s Broadway, Chicago’s State Street and Hollywood’s Wilshire Boulevard, it gets lots of scrutiny from National Hockey League bird dogs scrutinizing prospects. Glen Sather and John Tortorella have to be pleased with Derek Stepan’s efforts for Team USA. “I didn’t realize how good Stepan was,” observed Team USA—former Islanders—head coach Scott Gordon. “Derek was impressive not just from a point standpoint—seven points in seven games—but his hockey intelligence. He’s the whole package.”

P.S. Don’t be surprised if Gordon re-appears as an NHL head coach. He’s got plenty of admirers among general managers.

• ON DEVILS ISLAND: Evgeni Nabokov’s snubbing of the Islanders during the homestretch may come under the heading “Time is a healer.” Nabby’s big-time agent Donnie Meehan has convinced the vet goalie that it would be more sensible to show up at training camp and be a good (goalie) boy, make some real money and then see what happens. Certainly, there’s a chance that Garth Snow can trade Easy Ev to a goalie-seeking team such as Philadelphia—even Phoenix, if Ilya Bryzgalov goes bye-bye—for a draft choice. (Hey, maybe even nab another Michael Grabner!) If Moose Hedberg does not return to New Jersey, who knows, Lou Lamoriello might get on the blower to Snow.

Click here for more from the Maven.

 

 

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  Tags: msgnetwork.com, nhl, stan+fischler

An E-mail Interview with Hockey Reporter Christine Simpson

It is my pleasure to present an e-mail interview I conducted with hockey reporter Christine Simpson.

Simpson, currently a reporter for the New Jersey Devils on MSG and big sister to Stanley Cup champion Craig Simpson, was kind enough to take time out of her hectic schedule to tell us about how she got into hockey, where she has worked in the hockey industry, and her thoughts on hockey broadcaster.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
CS: By accident. It started by growing up in Canada the middle sister between 2 hockey playing brothers. Dave was drafted by the New York Islanders and Craig by the Pittsburgh Penguins & went onto play for the Edmonton Oilers & Buffalo Sabres. As a kid I was dragged to arenas throughout the winters to watch them both play and little did I know that learning to love the game through them would help lead me to my professional career.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team and player? Why?
CS: Growing up in London, Ontario the Leafs were the team we’d see the most on Hockey Night in Canada. Favourite player though I’d always have to say were my brothers.

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  Tags: christine+simpson, new+jersey+devils, nhl

Simmer’s Weekly Hockey Thoughts

From good friend of the blog Rob Simpson at MsgNetwork.com:

1) Don’t mess with the Rangers’ rhythm: This year’s 0-4-1 record out of the All-Star break shouldn’t surprise anyone. Last year they went 1-3-1 after the long Olympic sojourn, and in 2009, after Henrik Lundqvist’s first All-Star game (which he wasn’t too crazy about), they came back and went 1-5.

2) In a recent blog post I talked of the perseverance of Matt Gilroy. Trade strategists would suggest the additional game time is the result of the Rangers having the young D-man on their tradable list. They’ll have to give up someone young (or two such someones) if they’re to acquire a valuable playoff commodity. Steve Eminger, sitting out for the last half-dozen games, probably wouldn’t be on that list. There’s an oddity age-wise: Gilroy, a second-year pro, is 26 years old, while Eminger, an eight-year-pro, is only 27.

3) Oh yeah, and all that talk about Dallas not dealing Brad Richards because they’re in the thick of the Western Conference hierarchy? Maybe so, but how about this scenario: They hold on to him, to prevent sending the wrong message to the team and the core fans, and then they drop from the playoff scene. Phoenix just passed Dallas for first place in the Pacific and the Stars (68 points) are only three points clear of being a non-playoff team, with division rival LA at 65. If they drop quickly enough, as in the next 10 days to two weeks, the Rangers might not have to wait until free agency after all.

Click here for more thoughts on the Blueshirts and the NHL.

 

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  Tags: msgnetwork.com, new+york+rangers, nhl, rob+simpson

What I Miss in Today’s NHL

Ever since I was born (March 31, 1983), I have been a huge hockey fan. I follow all the teams, players, statistics, writers, broadcasters, have all the highlight tapes, have all the books, have interned for Stan Fischler and have done much, more more in the game of hockey.

Now, I do not claim to be an expert in our great game but I do consider myself an extremely knowledgeable hockey fan who has a lot to offer in terms of hockey opinions.

With that in mind, and I may only be 28 years old, I’d like to mention some things that I miss in today’s NHL:

Old Division Names

When I first got into hockey, it was the Wales Conference (now known as the Eastern Conference) and the Clarence Campbell Conference (now known as the Western Conference. It was the Patrick Division, Adams Division, Smythe Division, and Norris Division. Yes, there are obviously more teams now than when I first started following but I miss those particular division makeups. These helped to create rivalries that still stand today and while also creating some of the greatest Stanley Cup Playoff games and series.

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  Tags: adams+division, andy+moog, chris+terreri, clarence+campbell+conference, curtis+joseph, mike+richter, mike+vernon, nhl, norris+division, old-time+hockey, patrick+division, ron+tugnutt, smythe+division, wales+conference

A Look at the NHL/Rangers at the 1/2 Point of the Season

Brian Monzo of WFAN and NHL Live was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule and chat about the NHL and the New York Rangers at the half way point of the 2010-11 season.

PH: So, we are past the 1/2 point of the NHL season. What are some of your general thoughts?
BM: I am very happy with the level they (New York Rangers) have been able to compete at considering the injuries. Everyone has stepped up and the play out of the rookies had been better then expected. I am shocked they’ve been able to comeback in a lot of games and always come out thinking they can win. That speaks a lot of the coaching.

PH: Which teams/players have surprised you the most in a good way? Why?
BM: I loved the Lightning in the offseason and am glad they are turning back into a top team. They have a top GM and a great coach along with the best pure goal scorer in the league, in Steven Stamkos. With Brett Connolly in their system, and Victor Hedman getting better as the years go on, they will be a great team for years to come.

I am not breaking any news, but I am shocked with the play of the Stars. I did not think Kari Lehtonen was going to play this well in net, but he has proved me wrong, and the Stars record shows it. 

As far as players, Ryan Kesler’s goal total in Vancouver has shocked me a little. Also, the point production of Dustin Byfuglien in Atlanta has caught me off guard.

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  Tags: brian+monzo, new+york+rangers, nhl, nhl+live, wfan

Is the All-Star Fan Balloting Process a Joke?

The NHL recently announced the six all stars as voted by the fans and while the players selected are all definitely talented, I believe that the whole fan voting process is a joke.

Let’s start by taking a look at this year’s picks: Sidney Crosby (forward, Pittsburgh Penguins), Evgeni Malkin (forward, Pittsburgh Penguins), Jonathan Toews (forward, Chicago Blackhawks), Kris Letang (defenseman, Pittsburgh Penguins), Duncan Keith (defenseman, Chicago Blackhawks) and Marc-Andre Fleury (goaltender, Pittsburgh Penguins). While there is no doubting that these players have all had successful seasons thus far, a lot can be said about how they were voted in the first place.

Obviously, because of the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Letang, and other solid players on the Penguins, fans have jumped on board to support them. In supporting them, the fans attend their games, by their merchandise and now, vote for them for the NHL All-Star Game and by vote, I mean A LOT. Just look at these voting statistics:

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  Tags: fan+voting, nhl, nhl+all-star+game

A Look at The NHL 1/3 of the Way Through with Scotty Wazz

Scotty Wazz, host of “The Face-Off Hockey Show” and publisher of The Strangest One of All was kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions regarding the NHL at the 1/3 point of the season.

PH: So, we are past the 1/3/ point of the NHL season. What are some of your general thoughts?
SW: Kind of hard to believe we’re one-third of the way through the season, but I think the torrid pace of Sidney Crosby is going to be the story until he slumps for two games or more. The continuation of maturity for Steven Stamkos has been great, considering what he went through in his rookie year. Plus, Tim Thomas really bounced back from his horrid season last year, showing that his Vezina year wasn’t a fluke at all.

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  Tags: nhl, scotty+wazz, the+face-off+hockey+show, the+strangest+one+of+all

A Look at the 1/3 Point of the NHL season with Millian of BluLine Hockey Talk Radio

Millian, the host of terrific hockey podcast “The BlueLine: Hockey Talk Radio”, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to give us his thoughts on the NHL season.

PH: So, we are just past the 1/3 point of the NHL season. What are some of your general thoughts?
MB: The scoring situation in the league has been an interesting one. While they have historically tried to get scoring up, this season has presented a noticeable effect. In many cases we are seeing routs alot more frequently. However, at the same time we are seeing shutouts more frequently. I am noticing that goal scoring is feast or famine. I am not sure where we are at in terms of last year’s pace, but this is something of interest that I have found. Outside of that, the hockey has been great, and I think the playoffs are going to be sweet.

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  Tags: millian, nhl, the+blueline:+hockey+talk+radio

An E-mail Interview with Hockey Personality Rob Simpson

As someone who watches, reads and listens to a lot of hockey, I can tell you that one of the best in the business is Rob Simpson.

Rob has been around the game for many years and has worked for many different outlets. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into the game, what outlets he has worked for and he provides us with his thoughts on what the New York Rangers have done this season since he covers them for MSG.com.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
RS: In general, I fell in love with it when I was five-years-old, when I started skating on our neighborhood pond with my older brothers and friends in 1969. The pond was shaped like a rink, only smaller, and was frozen for four straight months. I still remember my brother’s best friend taking a slapshot off the back of his head, (no concussion controversy ensued).  By the way, not sure I understand the global warming skeptics. I thought climatic shifts historically took epochs, like 10,000 or 20,000 years, not 30! That pond is probably frozen now for a total of four or five days a winter.

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  Tags: msg.com, nhl, rob+simpson

A Look at the Quarter Point of the NHL Season With Russ Cohen

Russ Cohen, creator of Sportsology, host of Hockey Prospect Radio on NHL Home Ice, and one of the authors of 100 Ranger Greats was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk the NHL season at the quarter point.

PH: So, we are just past the quarter pole of the NHL season. What are some of your general early thoughts?
RC: I think it’s been an exciting season so far. It seems as though fighting is on the rise and fans like that and it seems like the Western Conference is stronger than the East so far.

PH: Which teams/players have surprised you the most in a good way? Why?
RC: Atlanta. I had a great conversation with GM Rick Dudley at the rink. How many GM’s still scout? He’s made some shrewd moves and it’s paying off. I love Tampa as well. Steve Yzerman has injected hope into the franchise. The Red Wings are still the most impressive team in the game and that’s amazing considering the age of some of their players.

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  Tags: 100+ranger+greats, hockey+prospect+radio, nhl, russ+cohen, sportsology, xm+nhl+home+ice

A Season Preview E-mail Interview With Justin Kendrick

Keeping with the NHL season preview theme, I recently did an e-mail interview with Justin Kendrick of The Hockey Card Show.

Justin gives us his thoughts on the upcoming season. What do you think?

PH: We know the season has yet to begin but name the eight teams from each conference that will make the playoffs.
JK: In the West:

Detroit
San Jose
Vancouver
Colorado
Anaheim
Chicago
Nashville
Los Angeles

In the East:

Washington
Pittsburgh
Ottawa
New Jersey
Buffalo
Montreal
New York Rangers
Toronto

And I’ll go ahead and lock that in as the final placement.

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  Tags: justin+kendrick, nhl, season+preview, the+hockey+card+show

Steiner Sports Going All Out for Hockey

From Sports Collectors Daily:

New York Rangers’ Stanley Cup hero Mark Messier, two-time Penguins Stanley Cup champion Mario Lemieux and “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe are among the ice icons convening at Iona College on Saturday, September 25, for Steinerfest IV.

Steiner Sports will present its fourth fanfest, which has grown in popularity with hockey zealots.

In all, 14 hockey greats will be on hand to meet fans Iona’s Mulcahy Gym, beginning at 10:00 AM through 5 PM.

Joining Messier, Lemieux and Howe, an elite trio which has amassed a staggering 6,199 total career points, will be fellow-Hall of Famers Brian Leetch, Brett Hull, Paul Coffey, Andy Bathgate, Harry Howell and Scotty Bowman, as well as past standouts Adam Graves, Ron Greschner, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios and Mike Keenan.

Click here for more information.

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  Tags: gordie+howe, mario+lemieux, mark+messier, new+york+rangers, nhl

Scotty Wazz Drops in for Off-Season Hockey Talk

Scott Wasilewski (Wazz) of The Face-off Hockey Show and The Strangest One of All Hockey Blog was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to discuss some off-season hockey topics here at Kukla’s Korner.

Take it away, Wazz:

PH: Which free agent signings do you like? Why?
SW: The defensive pick-ups in the Atlantic are amazing. The Devils picking up Anton Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder are pretty clutch, as both are stable defensively responsible players and should be able to make up for the losses the Devils had to endure. Which leads me to the pick-ups of Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek by the Penguins, who are younger options to counteract the loss of Sergei Gonchar to Ottawa. Martin and Michalek should compliment and push Kris Letang to be tops on the defensive corps.

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  Tags: free+agency, nhl, scott+wasilewski, the+face-off+hockey+show, the+strangest+one+of+all

Power Play’s Scott Laughlin Drops By To Chat Off-Season Hockey

Recently, I was lucky enough to do an e-mail interview with Scott Laughlin of XM’s NHL Home Ice. Scott Laughlin hosts the Power Play and also used to host Hockey This Morning.

Scott was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk about NHL free-agency and the Illya Kovalchuk situation. Take it away, Scott:

PH: Which free agent signings do you like? Why?
SL: I like what Pittsburgh did in signing Paul Martin and the unheralded Zbynek Michalek. Even without Sergei Gonchar you could make the argument that they’re a much-stronger defensive team as compared to last season. Unfortunately, big bucks for the two defencemen has meant they don’t have enough left under the cap to upgrade on the wing. However, with Crosby, Malkin, and Staal they’ll find a way to score enough to win.

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  Tags: free-agency, nhl, nhl+home+ice, scott+laughlin

Looking for Fans Reactions To a Few Questions I have

Good morning folks. The dog days of summer really are here and as such, I want to help keep hockey on your minds.

As such, I would like to get your thoughts on the following questions:

- Will Kovalchuk still end up being a New Jersey Devil? Why or why not?

- Was the NHL right to reject the Kovalchuk contract? Why or why not?

- Does this whole Kovalchuk saga prove that the league could be headed for a lockout in the next few seasons? Why or why not?

- How will the Chicago Blackhawks be next season after losing several key players due to salary cap problems? Why?

- Where will UFA goaltender Marty Turco end up signing? Why? How about UFA netminder Jose Theodore?

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, illya+kovalchuk, jose+theodore, marty+turco, michael+leighton, new+jersey+devils, nhl, philadelphia+flyers, steve+yzerman, tampa+bay+lightning

An E-mail Interview with Michelle Kenneth

This past week, I was luck enough to do an e-mail interview with a terrific hockey writer/blogger, Michelle Kenneth.

Currently, you can find Michelle’s work at Inside Hockey as well as her own blog, Michelle Kennth’s Hockey & Musings. Michelle was kind enough to take time out of her extremely hectic schedule to tell us about how she got into the game of hockey, how she got into covering the game she loves and her thoughts on the current landscape of hockey blogging.

She has a very interesting story to tell so scroll below to see what she has to tell us here at Kukla’s Korner.

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  Tags: michelle+kenneth, nhl

An E-mail Interview with Eddie of The Puck Podcast

As I’m sure all of you are aware, there are many great hockey podcasts out there that all deserve our attention.

Today, I bring you Eddie Garcia of Puck Podcast, a hockey talk show based out of California. Eddie was kind enough to take time out of his hectic schedule to tell us about how he got into the sport we all love, how he and Puck podcast partner Dough Stolhand came up with the show, as well as his thoughts on the current landscape of hockey podcasts.

Take it away, Eddie:

PH: How did you get into hockey?
EG: My interest in hockey began in the late 80’s and was fueled by the Wayne Gretzky trade to Los Angeles. When The Great One became a King I started watching more and more games on TV. Prior to the 1992 season I decided I was going to really invest the time in following the Kings from the start of the season to the end. Little did I know the Kings would make a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Finals. I became a huge fan of both the team and the sport from that year on. My love in the sport had grown each year and I also have been playing hockey for the last 9 years.

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  Tags: eddie+garcia, nhl, the+puck+podcast

Second Period Thoughts

After two periods, it’s still 3-1 Flyers as they try to knot the series up at 2-2.

Here are some thoughts I had on the second period:

- Leighton is 5-0 at home in these playoffs. He’s one period away from making that 6-0 thanks to his terrific play between the pipes tonight.

- Speaking of home ice, the Flyers haven’t lost at the Wachovia Center since Game 3 in the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Boston Bruins.

- From @DanTencer: “Who are the guys in white jerseys and what have they done with the Hawks?”

- Understatement from Mike Emrick: “Dustin Byfuglien has not been the same presence he was in games 1 and 2”. I’m sure the team and its fans think the same thing.

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, nhl, philadelphia+flyers, stanley+cup+playoffs

First Period Thoughts

With the way the first period went, Paul may certainly be right with his 5-3 prediction.

Game 4 has certainly been a great one so far. Here are some of my thoughts after a first period which has the Flyers up 3-1 over the Blackhawks:

- How about that terrific Leighton blocker save on Toews in front of the net and then again on the wraparound? Leighton showed exceptional poise and did a great job in smothering the rebound.

- Got to admit - I was impressed with Richards’s goal. He made a great play to help turn the puck over and then slide a great low backhander through the wickets of Niemi. That’s the kind of leadership and offensive skill that Richards has shown throughout these playoffs.

- Ladd returns to the Hawks’ lineup and takes a penalty on his first shift. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot.

- Kopecky has to be feeling badly about that interference penalty, eh?

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, nhl, philadelphia+flyers, stanley+cup+playoffs

An E-mail Interview with Ryan Porth of RLD Hockey

Continuing in my e-mail interview series, today I bring you Ryan Porth of the terrific blog RLD Hockey and its podcast RLD HockeyTalk.

Ryan was kind enough to tell us about how he got into the game, how he started his blog and podcast as well as his thoughts on the current landscape of hockey blogs and podcasts.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
RP: As a kid in Cincinnati, I used to play travel hockey for my local team in Northern Kentucky. I attended countless Mighty Ducks and Cyclones games with my father, which helped me get into hockey a lot. Also, my older brother was a goalie before I started skating, and even played in college for MTSU a couple years back. So, yeah, my family has been around hockey ever since I can remember!

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
RP: Well, because Cincinnati didn’t have an NHL team and nearby Columbus was just getting the Blue Jackets, I was always an Avalanche fan before moving to Nashville. To this day, Patrick Roy and Peter Forsberg remain two of my all-time favorite hockey players. I was thrilled to have been able to see Forsberg in Preds colors in 2007 – even though that time didn’t last long.

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  Tags: nhl, rld+hockey, ryan+porth

Previewing the Conference Finals

Good friend of the blog Brian Monzo previews the Conference finals for WFAN.com:

To say these NHL playoffs have been wild would be the understatement of the week. The Western Conference is a little easier to look at and understand why the Blackhawks and Sharks are the two teams remaining. Those were the best two teams and they are battling to go to the Stanley Cup Final. In the East, the expression ‘what the hell?’ never was so accurate. The Canadiens and the Flyers were the 7th and 8th seeds in the East, only to lock up playoff spots in the last week of the regular season.

You have seen some amazing things in the Eastern Conference.  Not only did the Habs defeat the top seeded Capitals in seven games, they defeated the defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins in seven. The Flyers inched their way into the playoffs on the last day of the season. They then made short work of the Devils, then made history by coming back from down 0-3 against the Bruins.

Click here for more from Monzo.


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  Tags: nhl, stanley+cup+playoffs

Talking Bruins/Flyers with Russ Cohen

Russ Cohen, owner of the terrific Sportsology.net and one of the authors of the tremendous 100 Ranger Greats, took time out of his hectic schedule to talk about tonight’s Game 7 between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers.

PH: Did you honestly think this series would be where it is now? Why or why not?
RC: No, I honestly thought when Boston had the series at 3-0 that they would finish off the Flyers in six. I give all the credit in the world to the Flyers coaching staff and players for never giving up in the face of adversity. It’s been an amazing run considering all that they have been through.

PH: What do the Bruins need to do to win tonight?
RC: They need to put players with size in the crease like Milan Lucic and Blake Wheeler. They need to get these players out on the ice, Mark Recchi included when the Flyers have their rarely used third pairing defenseman out there. The top two Flyers defensive pairings are logging incredible minutes and at times were a bit weary of the Bruins dump and chase tactics. The Bruins need to figure out if their strategy is dump and chase or defense first. That coaching message seems to be lost on the players right now.

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  Tags: nhl, russ+cohen, stanley+cup+playoffs

An E-mail Interview with Pierre Lebrun

This week, I had the privilege and honor of interviewing one of the best hockey writers out there – Pierre Lebrun of ESPN.com.

Pierre was kind enough to take time out of his extremely hectic hockey coverage schedule to tell us about how he got into loving the game, how he got into covering the game for a living, and of course, his thoughts on the Stanley Cup playoff action.

Enjoy!

PH: How did you get into hockey?
PL: Well, played hockey all my life (what else are you going do in Northern Ontario, right?) Played 24/7, eight days a week as they say, on the ice, on the road, in the basement, you name it. Was an average player but was lucky to be part of 1990 All-Ontario Midget B champion Hearst Lumberkins.

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  Tags: nhl, pierre+lebrun, stanley+cup+playoffs

Still here

Sorry that things have been quiet around here folks. Not too much is going on with the New York Rangers so there has not been much to report or even link to.

I will say that I’ve really enjoyed the playoff action up to this point. While it was disappointing to see the Red Wings get eliminated, it was nice to see the Sharks make it to the Conference Finals for a chance to get into the Stanley Cup Finals.

I’ve also come away disappointed by Roberto Luongo’s play. Where is this great goaltender that we all thought we knew?

Overall, it’s been great hockey and I hope these rounds go nice and long because I do not want the hockey season to end!

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  Tags: nhl, stanley+cup+playoffs

All About Panger

From great friend of the blog Scott Wasilewski from The Strangest One of All:

It is playoff time and as I watch TSN, I debated doing this nominee for a while. Even though people widely know him in North America for his broadcasting prowess, not many actually realize his goaltending prowess. When looking at it over and over—the fact remains he only played 81 NHL games, not a full season in this day-in-age; but is still one of the most popular guys when it comes to hockey. That’s right—holy jumpin’....it’s Darren Pang.

Now, Panger had started off his career with the Nepean Raiders in Junior “A” where he would play along side Steve Yzerman (a friendship that last to this day) for the 1980-81 season, before moving onto the Ontario Hockey League with the Belleville Bulls. With the Bulls in the 1981-82 season, Pang would get a majority of the starts over Ken Porteous with 47 and a 15-21-1 record for the year. The 1982-83 season started off shaky, as Pang went 3-8-0 with the Bulls, before being sent to the Ottawa 67s. That’s where Pang’s game seemed to change, as he would go 28-14-3 with the 67s. Pang would help the 67s get to the semi-finals before losing to the eventual OHL champion Oshawa Generals.

Click here for more great hockey content from Scotty Wazz.

 

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  Tags: darren+pang, nhl, scotty+wazz

An E-mail Interview with the Great Jeff Marek

I’ve been really luck to do e-mail interviews with a lot of great hockey personalities.

Today is no different as Jeff Marek of CBC was kind enough to take time out of his hectic schedule to tell us about how he got into the game, how he got into working in hockey for a living and his current thoughts on the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Take it away, Jeff:

PH: How did you get into hockey?
JM: Like everyone else here, I grew up a hockey fan and have never known a world without hockey in it. Not just NHL but junior, minor, Euro, roller (was a HUGE fan of the RHI; where have you gone Toronto Planets? I went to every game) – all of it.

But to be honest, I never thought I’d be involved in a professional capacity with hockey. I went to University of Guelph with aims at doing my PhD and becoming an English professor, which many have pointed out is ironic considering how I constantly butcher our language. After getting my B.A in ’95, I took a summer job in the promotions department of a sports radio station (FAN 590) in Toronto and that’s where it began.

Year after year, I put off the PhD and stuck it out learning radio. Within a year, I had a weekend overnight show on the air with George Stroumboulopoulos (now host of The Hour) and Bob Mackowyz Jr (morning host for CBC Radio 2) called “Game”. That’s where it began.

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  Tags: cbc, jeff+marek, nhl

A Round 2 Preview from a Rangers Blogger

From great friend of the blog Brian Monzo at Wfan.com:

4) Penguins vs. (8) Canadiens:
You would think the Canadiens are on the high of all highs here, taking out the top seed in the East. But let’s get back to reality here. It is going to be very tough to prevent the Penguins now from getting back to the Finals. I understand Halak played out of his mind, but Sid the Kid, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal are just getting started. Unfortunately for Scott Gomez, Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta, their run is going to come to an end. The Pens will have the Mellon Arena whited out every game, and perhaps playing the best hockey of his still young career, Crosby will be lighting the lamp over and over. Prediction: Pens in five.

(6) Bruins vs. (7) Flyers:
The Flyers got away with an easy one. They somehow snuck right by Devils without the Devils even knowing it. Veteran goalie Brian Boucher is playing perhaps the best he has ever played. However, the injury bug has hit and Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne are out. For the Bruins, it is the opposite. Star youngster Tuukka Rask didn’t to be overly briliant against the Sabres. He was good, not great. The Bruins now get back Marc Savard, who has been out for months with a concussion. This should be a long series, but the Bruins will get it done. Prediction: Bruins in seven.

Click here for more great stuff from Monzo!

 

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  Tags: nhl, stanley+cup+playoffs

Your Thoughts on Round 2

Good morning folks. Sorry for not having posting much in the last few days. Things are busy at work and unfortunately, things are slow Rangers’ news wise.

With that in mind, what are your thoughts on Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

- Can Jaroslav Halak keep up his strong play?

- Can the Pittsburgh Penguins advance to the Conference Finals for the third straight year?

- How will Brian Boucher’s play hold up against the Boston Bruins?

- Will the San Jose Sharks get past round 2 by defeating the almighty Red Wings?

- How will Roberto Luongo play against the Hawks?

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  Tags: nhl, stanley+cup+playoffs

Thinking Comeback

From great friend of the blog Scotty Wazz at The Strangest One of All:

The Eastern Conference has all their series with one team up three games-to-one. While it seems that all hope is lost, the only redeeming quality is that it’s nothing too insurmountable. In fact, all the teams who are up 3-1 have had a history of collapse when in that position. There have been 21 comebacks when a team was down 3-1, eight from the Conference Quarterfinals, last one coming last season. Buffalo and Ottawa are the only two teams in the East to not be involved in any lost deficits.

We’ll start with a team from tonight that could clinch, and the first team in the modern era to blow a 3-1 lead, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now, the Penguins are up 3-1 on the Senators, but the Penguins were the first to blow the big lead when they did it against the New York Islanders back in 1975. In fact, the Pens were up 3-0 on the Islanders and couldn’t put them away. On the flip side, the Penguins have twice comeback from the 3-1 deficit.

Click here for more great stuff from Scotty!

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  Tags: nhl, stanley+cup+playoffs

Looking back at Predictions

In a recent blog on XM 204’s NHL Home Ice Channel blog, host Mick Kern went back in time and looked at the predictions he made before the 2009-2010 season started.

I found these two predictions to be the most intriguing:

- bloggers for the Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals will continue to show their complete ignorance of the game of hockey � HALF RIGHT.  That one was for fun.  Red Wings’ fans ignored it, and continued to show why they and their team are a class act.  Some, and I stress SOME, Capitals’ fans took the bait, which only proves the point.

- except for Paul Kukla, who, unfortunately for him, will have at least two of his hockey viewing parties crashed by Rossy and Mick � GIVE IT TIME.

Interesting, right?

 

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  Tags: nhl, nhl+home+ice, paul+kukla

Questions Abound

Good afternoon folks. I hope you’ve all been enjoying the playoffs thus far. I certainly have!

As always, I’ve had a bunch of hockey-related questions sitting in my head and wanted to get your thoughts on them:

- Who is the real Roberto Luongo? Is he overrated?

- What about Marc-Andre Fleury - is he overrated?

- Will the San Jose Sharks advance to the second round? Tough question, right?

- Who has been the MVP of the playoffs so far?

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  Tags: nhl, stanley+cup+playoffs

What a Classy Guy!

It’s not very often that a hockey blog is modeled after the hit movie “Anchorman”, which is why it was great to do an e-mail interview with Stayclassy.net’s creator, Kevin Burgundy.

Kevin was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us how he got into the game, how he came up with the blog and his thoughts on the regular season and of course, the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Over to you Mr. Burgundy:

PH: How did you get into hockey?
KB: I grew up in Ottawa and begun playing minor hockey at the age of seven with my brother. In 1992, the Ottawa Senators returned to the NHL after a long hiatus and Disney produced the first of three Mighty Ducks movies. If that’s not enough to create a life-long passion for hockey, I don’t know what is.

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  Tags: kevin+burgundy, nhl, stayclassy.net

Scott Laughlin Talks NHL Playoffs

Scott Laughlin of NHL Home Ice was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to do an e-mail interview regarding the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here is what we “talked” about:

PH: Which teams do you think will surprise in the playoffs? Why?
SL: My two first-round upsets are: Philly over NJ in 7 (Mike Richards will be the best player in the series and the Flyers won 5 of 6 from Jersey in regular season) and LA over Vancouver in 7 (not sold on Luongo who’s had a mediocre season by his standards).

PH: Which teams do you think will disappoint in the playoffs? Why?
SL: See above: Jersey (a handcuffed Kovalchuk and average Brodeur) and Vancouver (still lacking offensive punch on the blue-line).

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  Tags: nhl, stanley+cup+playoffs

Checking in with Blue Line Hockey Talk Radio

I recently conducted an e-mail interview with Millian, the host of The Blue Line: Hockey Talk Radio:

PH: I know that this has been beaten to death but what are your thoughts on the Cooke-on-Savard hit? What could the NHL have done to rectify that situation?
M:: People keep comparing it to the Booth/Richards hit. The thing is, that the Booth hit seemed to me like a play within the rules. Booth specifically had his head down, and Richards landed one on him.  In the Cooke hit, there was a much different air to it. You can’t just sense from the hit, and the follow-up interview that Cooke had a MUCH greater motive and overall, this hit on many levels seems much more deliberate. So, I think this was a dirty hit, and the league let one get away from them.

There is nothing to do really to rectify, as much as letting someone else beside Colin Campbell make the decisions. I would consider making the case that the league is trying not to rock the Player Union boat too much especially this close to a contract negotitation. So, there is definitely an underlying motive, and I doubt we will ever really know.

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  Tags: blueline+hockey+talk+radio, millian, nhl

An E-Mail Interview with David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period

Earlier this afternoon, I was lucky enough to receive answers to an e-mail interview I did with David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period. If you don’t know this already, The Fourth Period is a terrific hockey web site/magazine that is worth checking out on a daily basis.

David was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule and tell us about how he got into the game, how he started The Fourth Period and his current thoughts on surprising teams/players this year.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
DP: I was never a great player. I knew there wasn’t any hope in hell that I was good enough to take my game to the next level. That sucked, but I wanted to get into the game somehow. I figured, if I could do it on the ice, I might as well give it a shot off it. I got involved in hockey about 10 years ago when I started TFP. I really got it going for fun; I was still in school and I really could care less about most of my classes. I still did the work, but hockey was a priority. I was also an off-ice official in the OHL, and being that close to the game got my juices flowing even more. After noticing that more and more people kept visiting, I expanded it. I started interviewing scouts, GMs and players and they actually called me back. In fact, Scott Howson was the first to call back when he was working with the Edmonton Oilers. One thing led to another and it took off.

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  Tags: david+pagnotta, nhl, the+fourth+period

Going Back a Bit

Good friend of the blog Scotty Wasilewski has a terrific blog over at The Strangest One of All, a blog you should all check out when you have a chance.

On Monday’s, he does profiles of goaltenders we seem to forget about. For instance, he’s done one on Rick Tabaracci, Dominic Roussel, and good old Jim Carey.

Today, he takes a look at Mario Gosselin:

While there are many common names in hockey (lest we forget about the two Petr Sykoras in the NHL at the same time), this one name is shared by a NASCAR Truck Series driver and at the head of a Quebec Governmental Position. While that is nothing more than a “factoid,” it links up to this AGM as trying to find research on him is rather jumbled…as you see from the intro. Yet, this guy has plenty of history behind him, like playing for two now-defunct teams and having two teams still established. Whether it’s a kiss-of-death or not—another “factoid.” This week, we welcome Mario Gosselin to the AGM ranks.

Click here for more Absurd Goalie Monday greatness!

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  Tags: mario+gosselin, nhl, scotty+wazz

An e-mail Interview with Jay Grossman

I was lucky enough this weekend to do an e-mail interview with a hockey agent that is very much in the know when it comes to our sport - Jay Grossman.

Jay was kind enough to take time out of his extremely busy schedule and tell us about how he got into the game, what players he has represented, a little bit about his company as welel as some thoughts on how teams can succeed in this salary cap world.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
JG: I started representing NHL players when I joined Art Kaminsky’s firm, Athletes and Artists in 1985. I was referred to the firm by A and A clients Herb Brooks and 1984 US Olympic Coach Lou Vairo. I had worked for Herb for 2 years with the NY Rangers from 1983-85 while I was still an undergraduate at Union College. MSG President Sonny Werblin (a family friend, as my sister Leah was born at a Rangers’ playoff game in 1978) and GM Craig Patrick hired me and I developed the Rangers first video analysis program, which was in its infancy and something I had picked up from another great mentor in Roger Neilson, Captain Video. I worked for Roger when he coached the Canucks to the NHL finals against the NY Islanders and worked at his hockey schools for seven summers as well.

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  Tags: jay+grossman, nhl, puck+agency

An E-mail Interview with Scottie Ferrall!

Back in the mid 1990’s, I would listen to WFAN New York Sports radio prior to going to bed. My favorite show to listen to at the time was “Ferrall on the bench” because despite being a sports show, he talked about hockey for a good portion of it. It was excellent as he knew his stuff and cared about our great game.

I was lucky enough to recently reach out to Scottie Ferrall and book an e-mail interview with him. Scottie was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk about how he got into hockey, sportscasting, and his thoughts on what’s currently going on in the National Hockey League.

This was by far my favorite e-mail interview out of everyone I have done so far so please, enjoy it puckheads!

PH: How did you get into hockey?
SF: After the 1980 Olympic Gold win in Lake Placid, my dad took me to see the Pens and Mark Johnson play the North Stars at the Igloo. Never looked back—became a huge fan for life!

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  Tags: nhl, scottie+ferrall

An Interview with a New York Hockey Blogger/Personality

This past weekend, I was able to do an e-mail interview with Brian Monzo. Monzo is a hockey blogger and radio producer with WFAN New York, as well as the producer of NHL Live.

Monzo was kind enough to tell us how he got into the game of hockey, how he got involved with radio and his current thoughts on the New York Rangers. Take it away Monzo:

PH: How did you get into hockey?
BM: I got into hockey from playing with my friends as a kid. We all played baseball and basketball, but for whatever reason, we all took a liking to playing street hockey. Warm or cold, we loved it. Playing NHL 94 also a huge part of helping me learn the NHL and the players.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
BM: The Rangers were and are my favorite team. Originally I was a Darren Turcotte fan, but quickly moved to Adam Graves in 94. Still one of my favorite guys in the business.

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  Tags: brian+monzo, nhl, snyrangersblog.com, wfan

Been Enjoying Olympic Hockey but….

I am ready for the NHL to return to action.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved the hockey in the Olympics these past two weeks and have enjoyed watching teams like Team USA, Team Canada, Team Finland and Team Slovakia have success. The games have been exciting, well-played and have provided fans with a few upsets (Team Russia and Team Sweden), which is all us puckheads could ask for.

With that said, however, I am excited for the NHL trading deadline, the playoff stretch run, and of course, the playoffs themselves. While I consider myself a fan of all hockey, it is NHL hockey that gets my heart pumping and the blood moving.

So, enjoy Olympic hockey while you can because this time next week, the National Hockey League will be in the thick of things as teams and their fans get ready for the stretch run.

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  Tags: nhl, olympic+hockey

Miller, Sabres Struggling

From good friend of the blog James Murphy at NHL.com:

“The big part of it is if you let things start to creep into your head, get uneasy and start to lose confidence as a team. That’s exactly the wrong way to think. You have to believe that what you’re doing is the right thing. You have to trust you have a good system in place.”

Miller has allowed 15 goals during his five-game skid, with a 4.07 goals-against average and .874 save percentage. He still has very solid stats overall, with a 2.15 GAA and .931 save percentage. Miller thinks that he and his teammates just need to roll with the punches and realize that sometimes it’s not as good as it seems and other times it’s not as bad.

“We’ve had some games this year where we haven’t been very good and we’ve won,” Miller said. “And we’ve had a few games in this stretch even where I thought we’ve been really good and haven’t got rewarded for some of our play.”

Click here for more from our good pal in MA.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, james+murphy, nhl, northeast+division, ryan+miller

A Brief Interview with Millian of “The Blue Line: Hockey Talk Radio”

Millian, the host of “The Blue Line: Hockey Talk Radio”, was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to talk about the trades that took place in the past week as well another thought on our favorite sport:

PH: What do you make of Kovalchuk landing in Jersey? Does the deal automatically make them Cup contenders?
M: Kovalchuk, IMO, is going to be a rental player, and I feel he is is going to see what the KHL has to offer. Not many teams will be available to offer $101M dollars, so there is definitely more to that story. A lot is going to hinge on what happens in the Olympics as well. One twisted knee and he is out for the remainder of the year, and NJD gave away players for nothing.

I worry about the Devils chances in general simply because of the amount of Olympians they have, including their star goalie, who has been having a rough time lately. With Kovy, they add another Olympian to that equation.

Also, I am not sure how Kovy is going to mesh with Lemaire, both in terms of playing styles and of butting heads. Kovy does not really play defense, nor backcheck, and I dont see Lemaire looking the other way too much. If he butts heads with him, Ilya has no ties to NJ, and therefore, no reason to stay. In the KHL, they will be happy to smooch his rump, and in my estimation, he will command near $20M per year.

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  Tags: blue+line:+hockey+talk+radio, calgary+flames, millian, new+jersey+devils, nhl, toronto+maple+leafs

Questions For You, the Readers

Good afternoon folks and welcome to my weekly installment of questions that I would like to get your thoughts on.

Feel free to comment!

- Where will Illya Kovalchuk go? What should teams give up for someone of his caliber?

- How much will the Toronto Maple Leafs improve with their acquisitions? Did they just get lucky last night against the New Jersey Devils?

- Speaking of the Toronto Maple Leafs, what does the deal mean for netminder Jonas Gustavsson?

- Who got the better end of the Olli Jokinen/Brandon Prust, Ales Kotalik/Christopher Higgins deal between the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames? Why?

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: nhl

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