Articles in NHL Teams

Addressing The Attendance Issues In Buffalo

02/02/2023 at 2:53am EST

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

We apparently have Weeknight Flu in this town. I just watched the Sabres play last week on a Monday night in Dallas in front of a roaring crowd of more than 18,000. And that's a city that's far pricier, has much worse traffic and was charging $35 for its garage parking. ...

Folks here just want Friday nights or weekend afternoons. As someone who travels, I can tell you that's a Buffalo thing. The buildings are full in most cities on most nights.

The Sabres are 29th out of 32 teams in total attendance and dead last in attendance percentage. They went into Wednesday's game playing in front of just 76.4% of capacity. There are 17 teams at 96% and up, and 22 teams at 93% or higher.

The Sabres aren't revealing their season ticket base but judging by their lowest numbers of the season, you can interpolate it's grown from about 6,500 last year to somewhere around 9,000 this year. Obviously, they have to work to get that higher, whether it's through new purchasers of the full package of lots of folks combing from packs of various sizes.

Winning helps that. Entertaining hockey helps that. You'll have to wait for next season, based largely on the result of this one, to see what kind of bump they get.

You do wish people would be more interested in seeing the Sabres now, and not so focused on the opponent. But people have been burned so much the last 11 years, and even some nights this season, that a big buy-in is simply not going to be automatic.

There is a lot of crabbing about individual game pricing and it's justified. The dynamic pricing model, which makes the price of a hockey ticket play hopscotch over the course of a day, is becoming an industry standard in sports and it's a scourge.

The Sabres should be above it. It comes off as a scam. If I want to see Carolina on Feb. 1, the price of a ticket should be the same on Nov 1, Dec. 1 or Jan. 1. It's not. There shouldn't be upwards of 30 prices for tickets for a game based on location, row number. That's too many.

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NHL Short Notes

02/02/2023 at 2:09am EST

* Sebastian Aho and Brent Burns continued their recent strings of success as the Hurricanes captured their seventh straight victory and entered the All-Star break with their second double-digit point streak of the season.

* Defensemen accounted for two of five goals as the NHL-leading Bruins bested their division rivals to secure their 39th win of the season and join rare company in the process.

Stars Of The Month

02/01/2023 at 2:03pm EST

NEW YORK (Feb. 1, 2023) – New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes, Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak and Seattle Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of January.

Hockey Thoughts From Last Night

02/01/2023 at 10:19am EST

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- Clearly, the Canucks have identified their core — Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Miller, Andrei Kuzmenko. Things can change if someone gives them reason to pivot, but actions speak and these are the key Canucks. (There are conversations about extending Ethan Bear.) Other than that, they’re listening on a few interesting things.

Let’s see how things play out when goaltender Thatcher Demko returns. The fact he’s signed with a bit of term makes him attractive, and teams will want to get a feel for what Vancouver is thinking. Buffalo, Columbus, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh all make sense. The Sabres and Blue Jackets can afford to be patient — they are thinking long-term — but others would need to know he can make a spring 2023 impact, particularly with the price to be paid. Will there be enough runway before March 3 to convince buyers Demko is ready?

There are repeated rumblings linking Brock Boeser and Minnesota, but the math doesn’t make sense as things stand. I do think there are teams who like Tyler Myers’ nastiness, but in a tight cap world, that might wait until the summer.

- Carolina wasn’t adding Horvat without the possibility of an extension. Depending on how roles shake out on Long Island, would the Hurricanes pivot to Pageau? Certainly feels like a Rod Brind’Amour-esque player.

- I wouldn’t say New Jersey is the team to beat on Timo Meier, but it’s clear teams know the Devils are very much in it. The biggest balancing act for them might be their salary structure. It sounds like they prefer to have no forwards above Jack Hughes’ $8-million AAV — or at least not blowing that out of the water. That’s not only a consideration for Meier, but also Jesper Bratt.

- The biggest challenge for the Golden Knights is mental. They went through this last year, seemingly safe in January, only to get riddled with injuries and cap pressures, completely submarining their season — missing the playoffs. Calgary is five back with a game in hand, Nashville eight with three in hand for the wild card. It’s not DEFCON 1, but four points in their last eight games brings back the bad memories, the jitters, the doubts, “Are we doing this again?” You’ve got to block out the negative. Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll had a great saying: You don’t have to be extraordinary. You just have to do the ordinary things extraordinary well.

more Thoughts...

NHL Short Notes

02/01/2023 at 2:35am EST

* The Hurricanes erased a multi-goal deficit in the third period to win for the second time in five days and Sebastian Aho scored in overtime to help the club match its best 50-game start to a season in franchise history.

* Carolina recorded the NHL’s 96th multi-goal comeback victory of 2022-23 – tied with 2018-19 for the third most in a single campaign before the All-Star/Olympic break. The 2009-10 (99) and 2005-06 (98) seasons are the only ones with more.

* Thirty years ago today on Feb. 1, 1993, Gary Bettman took office as the first Commissioner in NHL history and has since presided over 55% of all games in League history.

TSN Insiders Tonight

01/31/2023 at 6:14pm EST
The TSN Hockey Insiders discuss how Bo Horvat is open to contract talks with the Islanders, how the trade interest in Brock Boeser hinges on salary retention, the IIHF's plans to discuss the status of Russian players in future major hockey tournaments, and much more.

Watch at TSN

The Bo Horvat Trade

01/31/2023 at 10:50am EST

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

When he was traded Monday by the only National Hockey League team he has played for, Bo Horvat was starting a long-planned family holiday at Disney World before reporting for this weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

It was a chance, he told Sportsnet on Friday before leaving Vancouver, to unplug from the stress and craziness of a disastrous Canucks season that had the team’s 27-year-old captain swirling at the epicentre of trade rumours since it began.

Horvat and his wife, Holly, were having custom All-Star Game jean jackets made for their small children, Gunnar (2 ½) and Tulsa (9 months), with the Canucks logo on them.

“Keepsakes,” Bo explained.

The last of them, it turns out.

On Monday, Vancouver traded him to the New York Islanders for winger Anthony Beauvillier, centre-prospect Aatu Raty and a conditional first-round draft pick. When Horvat flies to New York on Sunday night, instead of turning west to practise with the Canucks in New Jersey, Horvat will head east to meet the Islanders on Long Island.

The Canucks checked all the boxes on their trade wish list: a solid, proven NHL player in Beauvillier who is two years younger than Horvat, an A-grade prospect in Raty who has already logged 12 NHL games this season and a first-rounder.

It is the biggest in-season trade for the organization since holdout Pavel Bure was sent to the Florida Panthers in 1999. That was five general managers ago for the Canucks. This is a massive transaction that will, one way or another, define the Jim Rutherford-Patrik Allvin era.

continued

NHL Short Notes

01/31/2023 at 5:22am EST

* Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele each found the back of the net twice to help the Jets earn their first multi-goal, third-period comeback win of the season in their final contest before the All-Star break.

* With 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend just days away, #NHLStats previews the Atlantic Division roster, which features two representatives from the host Panthers: Matthew Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov.

* Sebastian Aho and the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes will put their respective streaks on the line when they host the Kings, who sit two points back of first place in the Pacific Division, on a three-game Tuesday.

Bo Horvat Headed To The New York Islanders

01/30/2023 at 5:49pm EST


Stars Of The Week

01/30/2023 at 1:21pm EST

NEW YORK (Jan. 30, 2023) – Ottawa Senators right wing Claude Giroux, Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander and Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 29.

Rest In Peace Bobby Hull

01/30/2023 at 9:49am EST

from John Dietz of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

Bobby Hull, the Blackhawks' all-time leading goal scorer, died Monday morning, two people close to Hull told the Daily Herald.

No other immediate details were available. Hull just celebrated his 84th birthday on Jan. 3.

The controversial Hull, who possessed a howitzer of a shot that allowed him to score 610 NHL goals, broke into the league in the 1957-58 season. He scored 30 or more goals for 13 consecutive seasons then left for the World Hockey Association in 1972 when the league agreed to pay him $1 million.

Hull, Stan Mikita and others led the Hawks to a Stanley Cup title in 1961.

continued

Below watch a Legends of Hockey feature on Hull.

NHL Short Notes

01/30/2023 at 6:50am EST

* John Tavares joined Tim Horton on a rare franchise list by recording two points in his 1,000th career NHL game.

* Brent Burns also skated in a milestone contest and assisted on the winning goal as the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes picked up a fifth straight victory.

* Mark Scheifele can reach the 30-goal mark when the Jets host the Blues on Monday.


No Tank In Chicago

01/29/2023 at 9:37am EST

from Mark Lazerus of The Athletic,

The Blackhawks, you see, don’t care about your tank. They don’t care about the draft lottery. They don’t care about Connor Bedard. Not in the slightest. And they’re having quite a bit of fun messing with general manager Kyle Davidson’s (smart, if cynical) grand design.

“That’s why we play the game, right?” said defenseman Seth Jones, who’s been bristling at the very idea of losing to win since Day 1 of training camp. “We’re trying to win every game we play. We’ve got to control what we can control in here, and obviously the front office, they control that.”

That, of course, is a concerted effort by the franchise to finish in 32nd place this season, in order to ensure a top-three pick in a highly touted draft and secure the best odds of drafting Bedard, the kind of rare talent who could dramatically alter the Blackhawks’ future for the better.

That, is what commissioner Gary Bettman hilariously denied happens in the NHL. But Bettman, ever the lawyer, chose his words wisely, specifically saying that players don’t tank, that coaches don’t tank. And he’s absolutely right. Richardson said it himself, right after he was hired, that he was going to try to make things as difficult as possible for Davidson, and Davidson welcomed the defiance.

Does he still welcome it now that the Blackhawks are entering their bye week having won a modest-yet-sort-of-stunning seven of their last 11 games, bringing Columbus, Anaheim, Arizona and San Jose back into the race for the bottom?

more ($)

Ryan O'Reilly A Fit In Colorado?

01/29/2023 at 9:14am EST

from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,

If the Avs can bury the hatchet with Ryan O’Reilly, they can raise the Stanley Cup together.

Yes, O’Reilly left Colorado in 2015, his relationship with the Avs broken by acrimonious bickering about money.

But eight years is enough.

All is forgiven, my wayward son.

Make a trade for O’Reilly and the Avs would not only have the second-line center they’ve been missing since Nazem Kadri left town, but there wouldn’t be a team in the Western Conference that could prevent Colorado from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.

After sleep-walking through a championship hangover and slapping BandAids on a roster beset by injury, center Nathan MacKinnon sat in the Avalanche locker room looking forward to some R&R at the beach before reporting for all-star festivities in Sunrise, Fla.

“We’re just trying to weather the storm of injuries. We’re confident if we can get in (the playoffs), we’ll have a good chance,” MacKinnon said Saturday, after Colorado turned back a late push from St. Louis in a 4-2 victory.

continued

Hockey Talk As The Month Of January Comes To An End

01/29/2023 at 9:07am EST

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- Depending on who you follow, listen to, or read, the Maple Leafs will be acquiring Ryan O’Reilly, Timo Meier, Bo Horvat, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Max Domi, John Klingberg, Jake McCabe, Vladislav Gavrikov and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at or around the NHL’s trade deadline next month.

That is today’s world of fantasy sports meeting online reporting meeting guessing and hoping, meeting insiders with the occasional decent tout, and all of this intersecting on a mythical graph at a time when the sports world and Leafs Nation are playing along at home.

Trade talk in a challenging period of salary cap staleness is probably more difficult than it has ever been before. The day of the basic-need hockey trade — I’ll send you my defenceman for your forward — is all but over. Now, it’s about salary and salary cap and term and rental prices and openings and whether you can find a way to injure enough players to make a deal happen....

- The NHL coaching fraternity — and many of them are close — are down on Jimmy Rutherford for the manner in which the Bruce Boudreau situation was handled by the Vancouver Canucks. Even friends and former colleagues of Rutherford are having difficulty defending the club president for the very public and improper way the popular Boudreau was dismissed. More than one current coach is blaming ownership in Vancouver for the Canucks sloppiness. “Everyone knows what the problem is,” the coach texted me. “I don’t get why the story isn’t the owner (Francesco Aquilini).” Some coaches insist the NHL should force Aquilini to sell the Canucks the way it has been done in other leagues.

- Why is Jennifer Botterill so vibrant, energetic, and full of information working games live for TNT and so seemingly stale on the Hockey Night in Canada panel?

more on the first topic and additional notes too...

NHL Short Notes

01/29/2023 at 2:29am EST

* The Panthers stunned the top-ranked Bruins to earn a first-of-its-kind win during their final game before welcoming the League’s biggest stars to South Florida for the 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

* Nikita Kucherov found the score sheet once again at AMALIE Arena as the Lightning established a new franchise record for longest home winning streak.

* Matthew Berlin made one save (and a memory that will last a lifetime) in the Oilers’ high-scoring victory versus the Blackhawks.

Video- There's Hockey The There Is Life

01/28/2023 at 7:41pm EST

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Ottawa Senators assistant coach Bob Jones sits down with Christine Simpson to talk about his journey since being diagnosed with ALS and the support he has received from friends and family.

Pride Night Did Not Go As Planned For The New York Rangers

01/28/2023 at 5:54pm EST

from The Athletic,

The New York Rangers responded Saturday following questions and online criticism over apparent changes to the team’s Pride Night festivities during Friday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Rangers said in an email to fans earlier this month that the team would wear Pride-themed warmup jerseys and use tape on their sticks “in solidarity with those who continue to advocate for inclusivity,” according to screenshots posted by fans online. While plans went ahead for other aspects of the Pride celebration, players wore regular jerseys in warmups and did not tape their sticks.

“Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud to bring attention to important local community organizations as part of another great Pride Night,” the Rangers said in a statement Saturday. “In keeping with our organization’s core values, we support everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs.”

continued ($)

Not A Good Day For The Toronto Maple Leafs

01/28/2023 at 1:00pm EST

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

From morning til night, the Maple Leafs were engaged in a strange disappearing act.

First, it was Auston Matthews, absent from the Friday morning skate with what turned out to be a knee strain that will sideline him three weeks. Then goalie Matt Murray, who led them out for the game against Ottawa, was on the bench for O Canada with what coach Sheldon Keefe said later significantly “flared up on him”, a new injury that will keep him out a few games and require a callup from the Marlies.

It put Ilya Samsonov in a difficult position on a night he was supposed to be resting and the hungry Ottawa Senators then phased out the discombobulated Leafs 6-2, scoring early and often at Scotiabank Arena.

Murray could not have played had Samsonov been hurt said Keefe and the arena’s emergency backup goaltender was on alert.

“It put Sammy in a terrible, terrible spot,” Keefe said. “And we didn’t take care of him when he was in there.

“To me, it was a game of missed opportunities and poorly timed penalties that were momentum-drainers.”

continued

Game highlights are below.


Jim Montgomery's Work In Boston

01/28/2023 at 12:48pm EST

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

or much of the 20th century, General Motors proudly stamped the “Body by Fisher” logo on the cars it rolled off the Detroit assembly line. GM and Fisher wanted buyers to know they partnered to provide them with a quality, stylish set of wheels.

If the Bruins, an astounding 38-6-4 entering weekend play, stamped a logo on their 2022-23 model, it would read, “Mojo by Montgomery.”

The ride with the ever-positive Jim Montgomery behind the bench just keeps getting better.

“I’m amazed when I look at our record,” Montgomery said during a quiet moment during his club’s stop at Montreal’s Bell Centre the other day. “It just seems like every time we’re in a game, it’s in my head, ‘We’re gonna find a way.‘ And then it happens. It’s almost like it’s magical.”

Hired by the Bruins at sizable risk over the summer to replace the popular and successful Bruce Cassidy, Montgomery has been a 5-foot-10-inch dynamo of optimism since Day 1 on the job. He’ll be the boss behind the Atlantic Division bench for the NHL All Star Game on Saturday, staged fittingly in Sunrise, the town in Southern Florida named in the spirit of hope and light that every new day brings.

continued plus more hockey topics like this...

The Sabres entered weekend play with five consecutive wins, the longest current unbeaten streak in the league. It looks, finally, like the Crossed Swords at least will play meaningful games in February and March, and possibly could squeeze out a wild-card invite for their first trip to the playoffs since 2011. Rasmus Dahlin (55 points, second only to Erik Karlsson’s 64 among defensemen as of Friday) has developed into a horse and should shatter Phil Housley’s franchise mark of 81 points by Buffalo D-men. Dahlin is one of four Sabres already to reach the 50-point plateau, joined by Tage Thompson (68), Alex Tuch (54), and the all-but-forgotten Jeff Skinner (50). League-wide, the Oilers were the only other club with four players at or above the 50 line: Connor McDavid (89), Leon Draisaitl (73), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (58), and Zach Hyman (57)

NHL Short Notes

01/28/2023 at 7:45am EST

* Jack Hughes recorded a multi-goal game, including scoring the overtime winner, and moved into a tie with Jason Robertson for fifth place in the 2022-23 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race.

* The League announced that AleksanderBarkov, captain of the host Panthers, will replace the injured AustonMatthews on the Atlantic Division roster for the 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

* One week from today, All-Stars will go head-to-head in South Florida for the 67th NHL All-Star Game. But first, 19 more regular-season contests are to be played including more than half as part of an 11-game Saturday that begins with a matinee between the Blues and Avalanche on HULU, ESPN+, Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

Auston Matthews Out With A Knee Sprain

01/27/2023 at 10:33am EST

The TSN Insiders Last Night

01/27/2023 at 6:58am EST
Are the Canadiens fielding calls on Sean Monahan, specifically from Colorado? What is the latest on Max Pacioretty's torn Achilles injury? Are the Devils kicking tires on Sharks' winger Timo Meier? TSN Hockey Insiders Chris Johnston, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger discuss this and more.

Watch and/or read the transcript of the segment at TSN.

That Net Looks Small

01/27/2023 at 6:47am EST

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