• Flyers, legend Bob “The Hound” Kelly make 104-year-old fan’s dream come true

    Adam Proteau
    Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.52.43 AM

    The power of the Stanley Cup – and even a Stanley Cup championship ring – is such that it can bring to tears people of all ages and from all walks of life. A recent example was seen at a retirement residence in Upper Moreland, Pa., last Wednesday, when a visit from a Philadelphia Flyers legend overwhelmed a hockey fan celebrating her 104th birthday.

    The woman who was celebrating, Helen Moser – described by her grandson as a longtime, diehard Flyers fan – was enjoying her birthday festivities at the Wesley Enhanced Living retirement community when Flyers icon Bob “The Hound” Kelly stopped in bearing a cake and a team jersey with her surname and age on the back. The joy on Moser’s face was clear from the moment he walked in, but when Kelly took off his Cup ring and placed it on her finger, she was overcome with emotion. Read more

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs need bottom-six help and Daniel Winnik can do that

    Ryan Kennedy
    Daniel-Winnik

    As they saw last season with Mason Raymond, the Toronto Maple Leafs are hoping a couple recent signings can result in great bargains.

    The latest is local product Daniel Winnik, who signed with the Buds for $1.3 million on Monday and projects as a third-liner with the squad. Winnik played some very tough minutes with the Anaheim Ducks this past season, ranking third among the team’s forwards in Quality of Competition relative to Corsi.

    Winnik was relegated to the press box for four playoffs games by Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, including the first three games of Anaheim’s second-round series against Los Angeles. The Ducks lost two out of three of those games Winnik was scratched for, ultimately losing the series in seven.

    A center who can play on the wing as well, Winnik will join a long list of recent Leafs signings who can replace players lost during the off-season such as Nikolai Kulemin, David Bolland and Jay McClement. Another recent signing that fits along with Winnik in terms of strategy is David Booth.

    Like Winnik, Booth was cast off by his former team (Vancouver), but brings potential to Toronto at a relative pittance of $1.1 million. Booth struggled through injuries as a Canuck, but he was one of Vancouver’s best possession players when he did suit up and finished more shifts in the offensive zone than he started. Also noteworthy is that both Winnik and Booth drew more penalties than they took this past season.

    Toronto was abysmal while shorthanded in 2013-14 and on top of staying out of the box, Winnik can also help the penalty kill, as he led all Ducks forwards in shorthanded ice time (Anaheim finished 15th on the PK; Toronto was 28th overall).

    Although the Leafs lost a bunch of forwards, they now have a logjam thanks to the Winnik and Booth moves. Along with those two, Toronto brought back Matt Frattin and Leo Komarov for a second tour of duty and added newbies Petri Kontiola and Mike Santorelli. Along with youngsters from the Marlies (and perhaps even 2014 first-rounder William Nylander), that’s a lot of competition to suss out for coach Randy Carlyle.

  • New video features map of every NHL logo ever, plus “Brass Bonanza”

    Ryan Kennedy
    Hartford-Whalers

    This is fun. Ann Frazier of the San Jose-centric Fear the Fin blog has posted a video that details every team in the NHL by season, with the logo changing based on the year. Not only does it bring short-lived teams such as the Quebec Bulldogs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Quakers and St. Louis Eagles to the fore, but it’s also interesting to look at the map and see just how long Los Angeles was marooned out in the Southwest before a flood of teams (Sharks, Ducks and Coyotes) joined them. Plus, the video is set to the classic Hartford Whalers anthem “Brass Bonanza,” which you now have stuck in your head:

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  • Why P.K. Subban drinking beer out of “the Stanley Cup” is a complete nontroversy

    Adam Proteau
    P.K. Subban (Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

    There are garden-variety nitpickers, and then there are nitpicking hockey fans. Whether it’s their sheer volume of nits picked or their ability to find and pick nits where it wasn’t believed any existed, puck-loving pedants are a cut above most others. So it should surprise no one that Subban’s playful weekend in Montreal – in which he drank beer through a straw from a replica Stanley Cup at a Just For Laughs comedy event (see video below, starting at the 3:50 mark) – has some people grumbling.

    That’s because the superstitions surrounding the Cup have grown to ridiculous levels. We’ve known for years now how averse NHL players are to touching sport’s most beautiful trophy, but when you can’t even have a little fun with the award that represents the pinnacle of success in your line of work, something is seriously awry.

    It needs to be stressed that the Cup used at the Just For Laughs show was a replica. That fact alone should be enough for the complainers to cram it. But as we all should be aware, virtually everything Subban does comes under fire from deranged fans – in some cases, out of jealousy; in others, because of his race – and this is but another sad example. Read more

  • NHL logo rankings No. 20: Columbus Blue Jackets

    Rory Boylen
    bigbluejackets

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are a 21st Century NHL team – entering the league in 2000-01 – so they don’t have a long track record of redesigns or touch-ups. But the Blue Jackets are all about history. The team name is a nod to American history and the region’s role in the Civil War, which made Ken Hitchcock a perfect fit for the franchise.

    So don’t let Stinger the hornet mascot confuse you. This team is named for the Blue Coats, not the buzzing Blue Jackets.

    But did you know the Columbus NHL franchise was almost called the Justice? When majority owner John H. McConnell’s team was figuring out a name for the expansion franchise, the two finalists were the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Columbus Justice. That name would have been way worse and, we imagine, the logo would have been awful, too.

    A Justice logo would surely have ranked lower in our rankings than the current Blue Jackets logo does at No. 20. There were some mixed opinions in the THN office about this look. Some like the color combination and the slick design that ties it together, while others saw a very basic and bland design fit for No. 30. Do you think you can design a better look for the Jackets?

    (Aside: I would rank Columbus very high if they would use the blue cannon as their primary logo.)

    Try your hand at coming up with a new design for the Columbus Blue Jackets logo and submit your entry to editorial@thehockeynews.com. At the end of our rankings, we’ll share all our favorites redesigns of the 30 NHL logos. And if you had fun creating one for Columbus, you can send us more art work for the other NHL teams, too.

    HISTORY OF THE BLUE JACKETS LOGO
    If I had to rank the two primary logos Columbus has used in its decade-and-a-half of existence, this one would rank miles behind the current look. This one is too “Saturday morning cartoons” for me and includes a touch of neon the NHL was pushing for. Yuck. Here’s what the Blue Jackets’ website says about the first logo ever used by the franchise:

    “The primary Blue Jackets logo that was selected features a star-studded red ribbon unfurled in the shape of the team’s initials, CBJ, with an electric green hockey stick cutting through the center to represent the “J.” The 13 stars represent each of the original 13 U.S. Colonies and signify patriotism. The star on top of the stick signifies Columbus as the state capital.”

    bluejacketslogo

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  • Logan Couture: Kings loss still hurts, Sharks don’t care about analytics

    Ryan Kennedy
    Logan-Couture

    Logan Couture is a good sport, but as he helped raise money for the Smashfest charitable event in Toronto last week, you could tell there’s a weariness surrounding him these days when the press is around. That’s because he knows there will inevitably be questions about his team’s collapse against Los Angeles in the first round of the playoffs, when San Jose could not close out a 3-0 series lead. The Kings would go on to win four straight, of course, and ultimately the Stanley Cup.

    “You think about how much it hurts,” he said. “It’s sad. The feelings aren’t gonna go away, probably ever. It’s something that sticks with you a long time. It should be motivation for our team.”

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  • Prospect Watch: Tampa Bay’s Dominik Masin is a wanted man

    Dominik-Masin

    Getting drafted is a dream for all high-end hockey prospects, but being selected by a team on the rise like the Tampa Bay Lightning makes the day even more sweet. Czech defenseman Dominik Masin was picked 35th overall by the Bolts this summer, capping off a season that saw his stock jump up after the world under-18s. Speaking through a translator, Masin was amped for the future.

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  • Who won the Brad Richards to Dallas trade…six years later?

    Jason Kay
    Chicago Blackhawks v Dallas Stars

    Brad Richards has had a very good, well-decorated career. He’s won a Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy and been paid richly for his efforts.

    He’s also been the subject of some criticism, particularly in New York the past few years, and was bought out following the Blueshirts’ playoff run.

    During his latter days in Tampa Bay, Richards was part of a triumvirate of stars, along with Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St-Louis, who were eating up a healthy helping of the Lightning’s cap space and there was strong speculation one would be moved. The needle landed on Richards.

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