Josh Elliott

Josh Elliott is a stay-at-home web editor for Post-to-Post on weekends and a contributor to The Hockey News magazine. From drafts to contracts to trades, he loves the business of hockey and plays nothing but Dynasty Mode in EA’s NHL video games. He’s a Western Journalism grad, a hockey addict and a closet comic book junkie.

Don’t make Toews frown – Blackhawks captain stars in ’80s-inspired exercise video

Josh Elliott
Chicago Blackhawks exercise video

The Chicago Blackhawks really want you “exercise” your right to vote for them in the All-Star Game, so they made a vintage ‘80s video to try and convince you.

The video features a song praising captain Jonathan Toews as he poses for the camera in vintage 1980s workout gear. Toews is wearing a headband, wristbands, high socks and short-shorts, classic ‘80s style.

“Vote for him – don’t make him frown!” says the voiceover, as Toews’ winning smile gets turned upside down before our very eyes. “You’ve got to exercise your right to vote. It’s the American way!”

The video also shows clips of Toews scoring, fist-pumping, chucking his gloves (repeatedly) and generally being good at hockey.
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Top five teams who like to trade in first-round picks

Patrik Berglund, T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko

With the holiday trade freeze upon us and the sprint to the trade deadline around the corner, some teams may be thinking about dealing a first-round pick to improve their chances in the new year.

First-round picks are precious currency of the salary-capped NHL. They often produce cheap, controllable young talent to complement high-priced veterans, and they’re also the most consistently valuable trading chip every team has available.

Since the 2004-05 lockout, many teams have built their rosters by wheeling and dealing in first-round picks. Sometimes a first-rounder helps seal the deal on a big-time player trade. Other times it’s compensation for a team selling off its vets at the trade deadline. And when the draft arrives in June, certain general managers love moving up or down in the first round with the help of an additional pick to sweeten the change in order.
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Jannik Hansen ‘checked out’ OK after scary collapse on the bench

Josh Elliott
Jannik Hansen

A frightening thing happened on the Vancouver Canucks’ bench Saturday night, when forward Jannik Hansen collapsed after taking a hit during the second period against the Calgary Flames.

Hansen slumped over on the bench immediately after leaving the ice. His teammates rushed to his aid and signaled for help.

He left the bench under his own power and was taken to hospital for further evaluation.
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Does the NHL discipline Willie Mitchell for hitting Kris Letang with a helmet?

Josh Elliott
Florida Panthers Willie Mitchell

Tough NHLers like Willie Mitchell know how to solve their problems with their fists. So why did he grab Kris Letang‘s helmet and start hitting him with it on Saturday?

The incident happened late in the first period of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 3-1 win over Florida.

Mitchell grabbed Letang’s helmet off his head and smacked him with it as referees tried to separate the two in a melee near the Panthers net.
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Leafs’ luck runs out as Grossmann scores fluke off the back boards

Josh Elliott
Toronto Maple Leafs Jonathan Bernier

The once high-flying Toronto Maple Leafs came crashing back to earth with another embarrassing defeat on Saturday, this time in a 7-4 loss to Philadelphia that hinged on a crazy ricochet goal.

The Leafs and Flyers played to a wild 3-3 tie after one period, but it was Nicklas Grossmann who broke the game open with one of the most bizarre goals of the year.

With his team pressuring, Grossmann took a pass at the left point and dumped the puck hard into the corner. The puck hit the back wall, then hit Jonathan Bernier‘s leg, then went in.

The slow-motion replay is like watching a game of Plinko.
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Devan Dubnyk reclamation project on track with the Arizona Coyotes

Josh Elliott
Devan Dubnyk Arizona Coyotes

Dave Tippett, Sean Burke and the Arizona Coyotes are doing it again. They’ve plucked another goalie off the scrap heap and made him look like look like a legitimate NHL netminder.

This time it’s Devan Dubnyk, the former Edmonton Oilers castoff who’s been revitalized by playing in the desert. The towering 6-foot-6 goaltender appears to finally be tapping into the potential that made him the 14th choice overall in the 2004, much to the disappointment of Oilers fans. It’s taken Dubnyk a few years and a few trades to figure it out, but at long last, he’s using his big frame to stop pucks.
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ECHL team sports the ugliest Star Wars jerseys you’ve ever seen

Josh Elliott
The Missouri Mavericks Star Wars Jersey

The Force was with the Missouri Mavericks on Friday, as they drubbed the visiting Brampton Beast 6-2 while wearing the flashiest Star Wars-themed jerseys in this galaxy or any other.

What do hockey, horses and Star Wars have to do with each other, you ask?

Who cares? It’s the ECHL, where teams do pop culture-themed nights all the time.

The garish-looking Mavericks jersey depicts Darth Vader holding a lightsaber on the front, and features Jedi master Yoda on one sleeve and a stormtrooper on the other. Obi Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and an assortment of other characters appear on the back, below the numbers. The whole shirt is awash in space, stars and swirling red and blue cosmic dust.

Oh, and there’s a rather out-of-place-looking Mavericks logo in the very center.
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Five players to watch as the KHL crisis unfolds

Josh Elliott
Ilya Kovalchuk

The Russian ruble and the price of oil have tanked, putting Russia’s KHL in crisis mode and casting doubt on the future of the league. Owners are crying poor, players say they’re not being paid and the league’s new commissioner is stuck trying to figure it all out.

That means hard times ahead for hockey in Russia, and while it’s hard to believe the KHL will outright fold, chances are the league’s oil baron owners will look to slash salary so they don’t lose their shirts paying for hockey. They may even have to contract the league.

Which brings us to the big question: what impact will the ruble crash have on players if the KHL is no longer a financial draw?
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