Adam Proteau worked for The Hockey News from 2002 to 2015 and won the Professional Hockey Writers' award for best column in 2006. He also won the Esso Medal of Achievement for most improved player as a 13-year-old at the 'A' level in 1985, but he's less proud of that.
Jonathan Towes hasn’t acquired his reputation as one of hockey’s best playoff performers by accident, or via a slick and savvy Blackhawks marketing campaign. Year after year, Chicago’s captain steps up in the post-season – and Wednesday in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, Toews did it again, scoring the first goal of the night to put the Hawks ahead of Tampa Bay.
Toews hadn’t scored in the Cup Final series heading into Game 4 at United Center, so many expected he would contribute sooner than later. And sooner arrived at the 6:49 mark of the second period, when Toews batted a rebound past Bolts goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy for his 10th goal and 20th point in 21 post-season games this spring: Read more
For months now, the city of Glendale, Ariz., has been involved in an ongoing political debate regarding its relationship with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, the Gila River Arena in which the team plays, and the lease agreement that keeps the franchise in town. But after the municipality announced late Tuesday it would hold a special meeting Wednesday to discuss the possible cancellation of the arena lease, the Coyotes fired back with a harshly-worded news release from ownership indicating it would “take all actions available” to the team under the law against Glendale. Read more
Okay, we’re all pretty much agreed NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus was wrong to lobby the NHL to ban players from growing playoff beards. They’re here to stay for more than one reason. It’s clear the grand majority of NHL fans love them. In a more environment-conscious society, it’s admirable to see guys like Brent Burns construct entire alternative fulLy functional ecosystems using only his face, sunlight and the passage of time. In a world where we need comedy now more than ever, there’s Jonathan Toews’ “beard”. They’re not going anywhere.
For all the likelihood of it happening, Lazarus may as well have been asking for protective cups to be banned while he was trying to go Full Lamoriello on the grooming habits of NHL Players’ Association members. But when you consider the TV executive’s underlying message – that the league, the game and its players must take greater efforts to maximize their marketability – isn’t to be mocked at all. Lazarus is doing the NHL a service by trying to shake the tree and wake people up to a problem, because hockey at its highest level too often strives for a homogeneity that threatens its place in the pro sports pecking order. Read more
Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Cedric Paquette had only scored two NHL playoff goals prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday night in Chicago. But he’ll remember his third career post-season goal at hockey’s highest level – it was the game-winner late in the third period to give the Bolts a 3-2 win and a 2-1 series lead.
The game appeared headed to overtime late in the final frame, but after another brilliant rush and pass from Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman – rapidly becoming the Bolts’ top Conn Smythe Trophy candidate as playoff MVP – Paquette was left all alone with the puck in front of Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, and promptly scored the final goal of the night with 3:11 left in regulation: Read more
In an era where chaos goals are the norm, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks both got on the scoreboard for the first time Monday in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final via a less-frequent scoring method: a good, old-fashioned slap shot.
The Bolts got on the scoreboard first when star defenseman Victor Hedman made a brilliant stretch pass from behind Tampa’s net to winger Ryan Callahan, who received the puck at Chicago’s blueline and ripped it past Hawks goalie Corey Crawford at 5:09 of the first: Read more
The hockey world can be snow-globe small sometimes. Good news and bad news travels throughout it at the same velocity. Parts of your history can follow you around like a camouflaged zombie, blending into the background, but always lurking. Some never recover from the ghosts of the past, but some of the best stories in the sport come from the people who make the most of their second chances and who don’t allow their history to define who they are in the present day.
On Monday in Toronto, Sheldon Keefe continued to make the most of his second chance in the game: the Maple Leafs named him head coach of their American League affiliate Marlies squad. And while the 34-year-old’s road to a coaching opportunity many would maim for hasn’t always been smooth, his challenges on and off the ice have given him unique tools through which to develop players for an organization that hasn’t been especially good at it. Read more
Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday could feature some relatively new faces at both ends of the rink: the host Chicago Blackhawks are expected to play defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and left winger Bryan Bickell for the first time in the series, while Tampa Bay rookie Jonathan Drouin may remain in the lineup for the second straight game despite still suffering some growth pains at the most intense level of hockey there is. Read more
According to a report in the Montreal Gazette, a Hollywood director raised in Montreal is asking a Quebec Superior Court for permission to launch a class-action lawsuit against a suburb of that city after alleging it “turned a blind eye” as a hockey coach employed by the municipality sexually abused him and some 50 other boys. Read more