Brian Costello

Brian Costello joined The Hockey News in 1990 when the likes of Bruce Boudreau, Randy Carlyle and Joel Quenneville were players, not coaches. Costello covered major junior hockey for five seasons before getting called up to THN. He likes to focus his attention on pre- and post-NHL careers, following closely the progress of the draft, up-and-coming prospects and fancying himself a Hall of Fame expert.

Timonen continues quest to be top all-time Finnish D-man in NHL

Brian Costello
New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Three

Kimmo Timonen is back for another season, his eighth with the Philadelphia Flyers and 16th in the NHL, and will celebrate his 40th birthday in uniform next March 18.

The Flyers and Timonen agreed to a one-year contract worth a reported $2 million in base salary and up to $4 million with bonuses. Timonen could have sought more on the open market, but wanted to remain in Philadelphia.

A question came in earlier asking where Timonen ranks among all-time Finnish defensemen in NHL history.

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Where is Martin Brodeur headed in his NHL swan song?

Boston Bruins v New Jersey Devils

This free agent season will be like none we’ve seen before if only for the simple reason the winningest goalie in the history of the game is making himself available to the open market.

If the NHL were run by an advisory board of mentors and guidance counselors rather than businessmen, there would be a meeting to discuss how best to handle this potentially sticky situation.

Isn’t it best served to have Martin Brodeur one day retire in all his glory as a member of the New Jersey Devils? Is it really necessary for 42-year-old Brodeur, with his game in decline, to play another season? How does it look having a goaltending icon serving as a backup, playing just three or four times a month?

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“Mistakes” on trade deadline day guaranteed to result in a Stanley Cup

Brian Costello
2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Two

A wise GM once said, “More mistakes are made on trade deadline day than the other 364 days combined.”

The rationale behind Brian Burke’s claim is teams in quest of the Stanley Cup grossly overpay to get a player for one month, plus whatever might happen in the playoffs.

It’s an easy claim to make because 15 teams that qualify for the playoffs won’t go home with the Stanley Cup. But does that mean they made a mistake on trade deadline day? Hardly.

More often than not, the team that goes on to win the Stanley Cup can, in part, look back to an important move made on trade deadline day as a contributing factor in reaching the pinnacle of success.

That will be the case again this year.

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Best of the Books: Fastest hat trick in NHL history

Brian Costello

On the first day of spring, 1952, the last-place Chicago Black Hawks took the Friday train to Toronto for a Saturday night game against the Maple Leafs. Nine-year Hawks vet Bill Mosienko was wrapping up his best offensive season since his rookie year and, having the night off, decided to look up an old friend. They got together for a drink, a meal and a gab session that rainy evening, then relaxed around a collection of hockey books.

“We were thumbing through the NHL record book,” Mosienko recalled a few days later, “and I remarked how nice it would be to have my name in there with some of the hockey greats. But I just figured it would never happen – and then it did, 48 hours later.” Read more

What’s Mark Messier doing on the ice? And who are those rich, dorky kids with him?

Brian Costello
2013 Stanley Cup Final

Diehard New York Rangers fans, you can have your dream come true – for a steep price.

A company called Goviva have been making sports dreams come true for 20 years. It’ll cost you five figures, six in some cases.

Robert Tuchman’s Goviva company says it will cost at least $15,000 per person for a fan to attend Stanley Cup final games in New York and receive other perks, such as hang out with some members of the 1994 Cup-champion Rangers team.

Extras, as you’ll see in this video from Bloomberg TV, will cost you more.

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Five NHL prospects to watch in the Calder Cup final series

Brian Costello
Dallas Stars v Winnipeg Jets

This year’s Stanley Cup final series is one of the most geographically challenging we’ve seen in a while. Los Angeles and New York are separated by 2,450 miles and three time zones.

But the two finalists in the American League are a little farther apart. Cedar Park, Texas, home of the Texas Stars, and St. John’s, Newfoundland, home of the St. John’s IceCaps, are separated by 2,648 miles.

The farm teams for the Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets begin their playdown for the Calder Cup Sunday in Texas. Here are the top five NHL prospects to watch in the AHL championship series.

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Los Angeles Kings on the verge of an all-time Stanley Cup playoff first

Brian Costello
Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Seven

It’s hard to believe the once offense-challenged Los Angeles Kings are on the verge of doing something never before accomplished in Stanley Cup playoff history.

No team has ever occupied the top six spots in the playoff scoring race. That’s something within the Kings’ grasp this spring. On three separate occasions, the top five spots have been occupied by one team’s players, but never six.

For it to happen, there are a few ifs.

• Marian Gaborik needs two points and Justin Williams three in the final series against the New York Rangers to pass Chicago’s Patrick Kane, the top-scoring non-King with 20 post-season points.

• Drew Doughty needs at least five points in the final series to pass Kane.

• One of Tyler Toffoli, Dustin Brown or Tanner Pearson will need to get hot with eight or more final series points to pass Kane, and outscore Martin St-Louis of the Rangers in the final.

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Oh baby, Bob Cole is coming back for more in 2014-15

Brian Costello
Toronto Maple Leafs v Winnipeg Jets

I had an email exchange with a media associate of mine this morning dealing with the pros and cons of Hockey Night In Canada venerable play-by-play man Bob Cole.

He tackled the cons. I handled the pros. He wondered, ever so diplomatically, if Sunday night’s Game 7 showdown between the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks was Cole’s final game calling NHL action.

My media associate obviously hadn’t heard the good news. Oh baby, Bob Cole is coming back for at least another season. That was confirmed by HNIC host Ron MacLean Sunday. Rogers media takes over the Canadian NHL TV hockey landscape starting next season and much is in flux with CBC personalities. But Cole will be part of the picture, probably in a limited capacity.

That’s good news to me and all the other Bob Cole fans out there. As for the Cole critics? They just don’t appreciate his subtle strengths.

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