Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.

Buffalo Sabres sign Andre Benoit, ease pressure on blueline kids

Ryan Kennedy
Andre-Benoit

In a few years, the Buffalo blueline will be run by players such as Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov, Jake McCabe and Mark Pysyk. The hope of course, is that the Sabres will be a playoff team by then, helped up front by names such as Sam Reinhart, Zemgus Girgensons and perhaps Connor McDavid. But in order to get that organic progression, the organization must ensure that those current youngsters don’t get squashed by pressure and expectations along the way.

Read more

Who would make your favorite team’s all-time roster?

Ryan Kennedy
Toews-Sioux

The Indiana Ice of the United States League are on hiatus right now due to arena issues, but the franchise has kept itself in the game by releasing its tenth anniversary all-star team. Notable names include Washington defenseman John Carlson, Boston blueliner Torey Krug and Calgary netminding prospect Jon Gillies. Which got me thinking about other programs around the hockey world.

What would the all-time teams look like for teams in major junior, NCAA or even Europe? As a lark, I put together a couple and the results are pretty interesting. For example, here’s who the University of North Dakota could trot out:

Read more

NHL logo rankings No. 25: New York Islanders

Ryan Kennedy
Islanders Logo (via sportslogos.net)

Debuting in the 1972-73 season, the New York Islanders were created in part to stymie the fledgling WHA from getting a foothold in the area. The team was quickly built the right way and within six years, the Long Island franchise undertook a run of four straight Stanley Cup titles thanks to legends such as Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin and Bryan Trottier, among others.

For most of the franchise’s history, the team has gone with a blue and orange logo featuring a stylized “NY” and the world “Islanders” with a map of Long Island in the middle. Except for one radically different crest, of course, that has drawn derision as one of the worst logos in the history of the game. But the Isles went back to their roots soon after and even with the team moving to Brooklyn soon, they can still use the same look – they just might need to shift the map a little to the east.

But despite the strong color scheme and the simplicity of the Isles’ logo, our THN panel was unimpressed, ranking it among the poorest. Think you can top the real thing? Send your best Islanders logo creation to editorial@thehockeynews.com. Toss out the official colors if you’d like and start from scratch; we want the coolest and most creative you can come up with. Or, take a shot at some of the other NHL franchises we’ve already ranked.

History of Islanders Logo

As detailed in the book Fish Sticks: The fall and rise of the New York Islanders, the original crest was designed by John Alogna, who owned a local ad agency at the time. The colors reflected that of Nassau County itself and Alogna was given three days to come up with something after previous efforts had fallen through.

(All logos below are from Chris Creamer’s website.)

That logo stood until June of 1995, when an urge to do something fresh led New York to a revamp that, well, didn’t go over so nice. From Fish Sticks, quoting Robert Rosenthal, part of the franchise’s management team at the time:

“As the team continued to lose, fans needed something to cling to and homed in on the logo,” Rosenthal said. “We began to realize it was not dying down. In the final analysis, we didn’t want our fans or players to be subjected to ridicule for something other than our play.” Read more

Hard to choose sides when it comes to Detroit’s future

Ryan Kennedy
Red-Wings-celebrate

“Seen that side of town/everybody’s always down. Why? Because they can’t get up.”

- Fugazi

How much do the Red Wings mean to Detroit? A silly question perhaps, but one residents of the city are being confronted with as the Ilitch family, who own the Original Six franchise as well as the Little Caesars pizza chain and numerous other interests, have unveiled new details for a long-planned development in the Motor City.

And this is more than just a new arena. No, this is an urban makeover on a grandiose scale, with entire neighborhoods planned around it. The renderings of the project certainly look cool, but not everyone is on board with the master plan.

Read more

Prospect Watch: Finland’s Esa Lindell develops for Dallas

Ryan Kennedy
Esa-Lindell

North American audiences haven’t seen much of Esa Lindell and if you ask the Swedes, they would have preferred not to have seen him at all this year.

Lindell, an offensive defenseman, scored thirty seconds into the gold medal game at the world juniors in Malmo, staking underdog Finland to a lead in a hotly-contested match that they would never trail.

Read more