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.

For Eric Lindros on Monday, will it be good news or bad news?

Brian Costello
2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers

Is this the year the Hall of Fame selection committee forgives Eric Lindros and grants him a spot in hockey’s shrine?

We’ll find out Monday when the 18 members of the Hall’s selection committee meet and vote for this year’s inductees. In yesterday’s blog, we profiled the three first-year eligible candidates The Hockey News believes will get at least 14 affirmative votes – Dominik Hasek, Peter Forsberg and Mike Modano.

Today, let’s look at some of the previously passed-over candidates. After all, seven of the past 12 inductees in the players category in the past four years had to wait at least one year before getting enshrined.

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Hasek, Forsberg, Modano will get Hall of Fame green light

Detroit Red Wings v Colorado Avalanche

Two of them are slam dunks and the other is a very good bet to make the Hall of Fame this year.

When the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee meets Monday to determine the class of 2014, they won’t have to debate for very long on Dominik Hasek and Peter Forsberg. They’ll be automatics. Mike Modano, on the other hand, might spur debate. He’ll need at least 14 affirmative votes from the 18 selection committee members to make the grade.

Here’s a brief look at the careers of these three first-year eligible candidates The Hockey News is projecting to gain Hall approval for 2014.

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Hall Monitor: When will Carbonneau’s defensive greatness be recognized?

Brian Costello
Guy Carbonneau

With the Hockey Hall of Fame’s selection committee scheduled to get together next Monday to determine the 2014 induction class, let’s take a look at one worthy candidate who continues to get overlooked.

Guy Carbonneau never played on the top line, never scored 30 goals or 60 points in a season and was never called the best player in hockey by a Russian coach. Yet his playing attributes and individual awards so closely resemble those of Hall of Famer Bob Gainey, you have to wonder why Carbonneau keeps getting short shrift.

Carbonneau was largely a defensive specialist through most of his 18 seasons in the NHL, even though he had 134 goals and an astounding 323 points during his final two seasons for Chicoutimi in the Quebec League.

He was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1979 at the tail end of their four-Cups-in-four-years dynasty. In order to make the grade, he had to sharpen his defensive play. His first seven seasons with the Canadiens were spent playing with and alongside defensive forward ace Gainey, called the most complete player in the game by Russian coach Anatoli Tarasov in 1979.

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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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