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.
The stat line said it all Saturday night for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ David Clarkson.
Two minutes and 31 seconds of ice time. 27 penalty minutes. Ejected from the game for a dangerous hit on Montreal’s Sergei Gonchar.
In short: a disaster.
What would you rather have: three players with 30-goal potential, or seven players with 20-goal potential?
Do the math and it sounds easy – you’d probably rather have 140 goals over 90 goals, right?
But put some names in the conversation like Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on one side, and Clarke MacArthur and Kyle Turris on the other side, and it’s easy to lose sight of the numbers.
The Edmonton Oilers rebuild has been critiqued from many angles, but those critiques usually involve the same handful of teams. They’re doing what Chicago and Pittsburgh did by getting bad and drafting high, yet they can’t seem to improve. They’re not patching holes like the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have tried to rebuild on the fly for about as long as the Oilers have been trying to rebuild from the ground up.
But Edmonton might have more to learn from smaller-market Canadian teams like Ottawa and Winnipeg, who have more of the same organizational challenges.
The Hockey News scouting report on Nikolaj Ehlers describes him as “supremely skilled and talented with the puck, able to create plays and finish on his own.”
Maybe it’s time we add “with either hand” to the end of that description.
The left-shot, left wing Dane put on an incredible show against the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes on Friday, switching handedness in the middle of heavy traffic in the neutral zone.
Yes, Ehlers switched handedness, as in suddenly started playing as a right-shot forward.
Cheering for a hockey team can feel like being in love sometimes. Sure, it’s a mostly one-sided relationship, but there are a lot of similarities, too.
You can’t wait to see your favourite team on a Saturday night. You love it when you can see your favourite players in person. You really, really hate it when they let you down, but damn it, you’re always willing to give them another chance.
Until that one day they maybe let you down too much, and you finally decide to end things.
Some romantic relationships are rockier than others, and the same goes for certain fan-team relationships.
But sometimes, a thoughtful gift is all it takes to smooth things out.
With that in mind, here are some thoughtful Valentine’s Day gifts to smooth things out for these 10 NHL teams.
Dmitry Kulikov took out Tyler Seguin‘s legs with a dirty low bridge hit on Friday that should earn the Florida defender a suspension on top of his game misconduct.
The play happened in the third period of a game between the Stars and Panthers with 6:55 left on the clock and Seguin’s Stars ahead 2-0.
Seguin had just entered the Panthers zone and passed the puck away when Kulikov ducked low and took out Seguin’s legs in the middle of the ice. Seguin went toppling over Kulikov and couldn’t get back to his feet. He had to be helped to the dressing room.
See it for yourself.
Mark Arcobello is tired of changing teams.
Now with his fourth team in 2014-15, Arcobello scored on his first shift with the Arizona Coyotes Friday in a bid to stick in the desert.
Arcobello actually tied an NHL record on Friday by suiting up for the Coyotes. He’s just the third player in league history to skate for four teams in one season, after Dennis O’Brien and Dave McLlwain.
O’Brien played for the Minnesota North Stars, Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Barons and Boston Bruins in the 1977-78 season, while McLwain skated for the Winnipeg Jets, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Columbus Blue Jackets paid tribute to one of the league’s most affable players on Friday with a ceremony to mark Scott Hartnell’s 1,000th NHL game.
The Jackets played a video tribute to Hartnell before the game and showered Hartnell with gifts and praise. Hartnell’s parents came out on the ice for the ceremony, which coincidentally came with Hartnell’s old Philadelphia Flyers team in town.
With the NHL set to introduce in-house analytics data on its website in the near future, the situation has never been better for the league to add salary cap information to its statistical offerings.
The NHL has thus far balked at making all players’ salaries public, despite the fact that every player’s salary is already out there. Hockey insiders and sites like Cap Geek have been disclosing salaries since the dawn of the cap era in 2005, and that information has become crucial to fans’ understanding of the game.
Salaries drive trades, roster makeup and prospect development. They directly impact the product on the ice.
So why doesn’t the NHL make that information available, instead of forcing fans to go to a third-party site?