Adam Proteau, currently the brand's columnist/writer, has worked for The Hockey News since 2002 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.
Every time you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to minor professional hockey promotions, some bizarre event – such as the the one in 2011 when the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors held a Charlie Sheen Night – comes along to change your mind. And every so often, a minor pro hockey promotion comes along that makes you wary about seeing it at all.
Such was the case Thursday night when the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals announced that, in an effort to raise awareness for men’s health, the team’s vice president of Business Development Mike Wojciechowski would undergo a live prostrate exam during their game this coming Saturday against the Rockford Icehogs.
I know, I should’ve asked you to prepare yourself to hear that type of news. Read more
Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen hasn’t had the best beginning to the season, but if he continues making unbelievable saves like the one he made on Kings center Jarret Stoll Thursday, Stars fans are going to forget his slow start.
With his Stars up 2-0 early in the second period against the host Kings, Lehtonen had to deal with a flurry of activity in front of his net: L.A. left winger Kyle Clifford fired the puck toward Lehtonen; Kings right winger Trevor Lewis tried to bat the puck past him before knocking it over to Stoll, who likely thought he had an easy goal given how much wide-open net he was staring at. But because Lehtonen still had something to say about it, this happened: Read more
In an interview with TSN’s Michael Farber Thursday, Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray revealed the extent of the cancer he was diagnosed with over the summer – and the long-term outlook for him is not good.
“There is no cure at this point for me,” Murray said of his Stage-4 (the most serious) colon cancer, which had also spread to his lungs and liver. “The frustrating part — and I’ve said this to several doctors since then — is, ‘How come there were no signs?’ ”
The soon-to-be 72-year-old Murray announced in July he was suffering from the disease, but in his discussion with Farber he said he’s since learned he was likely living with some form of cancer for the past decade without knowing it. He had not undergone a colonoscopy that likely would have detected a problem and dealt with it at an earlier stage, but to his credit, Murray is not feeling sorry for himself and made a point to advocate for men to have prostate exams. Read more
Penguins sophomore defenseman Olli Maatta’s recent surgery to remove a tumor on his thyroid gland revealed the tumor was cancerous, but Pittsburgh head coach Mike Johnston believes the 20-year-old will be playing again before his four-week recovery window expires.
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick didn’t become one of the NHL’s very best at his job because he could steal his team a win once in a while. He got to that level because he can steal wins on a regular basis. And although he fell just short Wednesday in L.A.’s 6-5 shootout loss to Anaheim, a save he made on Ducks center Rickard Rakell was the latest demonstration of Quick’s staggering skill and athleticism.
It was late in the second period with the Kings holding a 3-2 lead when Anaheim broke in quickly on a 3-on-2; Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano fired a shot at Quick, who made the save but gave up a rebound that went, with no small amount of speed, right onto the stick of Rakell. He snapped the puck back at the Kings net immediately, and if there had been almost any other goalie between the pipes, he would’ve scored the first goal of his NHL career. Unfortunately for him, he was facing someone with the instincts and ability to do this: Read more
The Anaheim Ducks announced late Wednesday that star right winger Corey Perry and cornerstone blueliner Francois Beauchemin had (a) been diagnosed with the mumps, (b) are in various stages of treatment for the viral infection and (c) are sidelined on a day-to-day basis (Perry is considered closer to returning). Mumps aren’t a normal diagnosis for any NHLer, but over the course of league history, there have been a handful of out-of-the-ordinary medical situations like this to confront players. Here are a few examples:
• In 2009, Bruins center David Krejci was separated from the team during the season and quarantined with the H1N1 virus (a.k.a. the swine flu) until he stopped showing symptoms or a fever. Krejci was one of five NHLers (including Doug Weight, Ladislav Smid and Peter Budaj) to contract the virus that season. None of the affected players suffered serious aftereffects. Read more
If you’re a Minnesota Wild fan who also respects the value of the advanced statistic known as PDO, you’re likely a very concerned individual these days. Despite adding winger Thomas Vanek this summer and the marquee signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter a couple years back, the Wild currently sit 10th in the Western Conference. But even worse, in the PDO department, they’re near the bottom of the league; the only teams worse in that regard are the Sabres, Oilers and Coyotes, and ahead of them are such non-powerhouses as Carolina and Colorado.
Add to that a four-game losing streak that included a 3-1 loss to New Jersey Tuesday, and you have a fan base that’s starting to get a little restless. And it’s tough to blame them. The franchise has only won three playoff rounds since NHL hockey returned to Minnesota in the 2000-01 campaign, and although their 43-win season last year was their best showing since they posted 44 wins in 2007-08, there’s no sense they’re on the cusp of entering into that elite group of teams (including the Kings, Blackhawks, Ducks and Penguins) who genuinely put the fear of the hockey gods into the opposition.
With youngsters Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Erik Haula and Jonas Brodin still developing, there was bound to be some growing pains for this group – and injuries have also been a factor for them. But if the Wild continue to struggle, GM Chuck Fletcher is going to face an intriguing dilemma: what changes do you make to a roster that, with few exceptions, is under contract at least until the end of next season? Clearly, not making the playoffs isn’t an option for team owner Craig Leipold – who said last season the organization needs to make it to the second round of the post-season in order to turn a profit – meaning Fletcher cannot simply sit back and wait for that youth development to take place. The pressure is real, and it could get spectacular if the ship isn’t righted. Read more
Don’t look now, but the best team in the west is the Vancouver Canucks, who beat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime Tuesday to improve their record to 12-5-0 and claim sole possession of top spot in the Western Conference. So look now at the reason they were able to do so: a terrific pass-and-convert game-winning goal between Canucks stars Henrik and Daniel Sedin:
Vancouver had blown three leads during the game at Rogers Arena, but escaped with a win 54 seconds before the shootout thanks to a nifty deke Henrik Sedin put on Sens forward Clarke MacArthur followed by a brilliant cross-ice pass he made to brother Daniel Sedin, who instantly fired the puck just inside the post past goalie Craig Anderson for Vancouver’s eighth win in their past 10 games: Read more