BY ARI YANOVER
After sustaining a career-ending injury Nov. 9, 2012 while playing for Montreal’s
farm team, the Hamilton Bulldogs in the American League, Blake Geoffrion was left with an uncertain future. He spent seven months doing nothing but recovering from a depressed skull fracture, and he couldn’t find a doctor who would give him the green light to resume playing.
But even though he’d hung up the skates, there was still interest. Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen called, offering Geoffrion a scouting position.
It was a way to stay in hockey, a natural instinct for someone who has spent his entire life in the sport. So Geoffrion accepted Kekalainen’s proposal, deciding to try it for a year and see if it was a fit. “I want to be a general manager in the NHL one day,” he’d said upon taking the job. “After doing some research and figuring out how to become a general manager, this is where you started, in scouting.”
Geoffrion spent the year scouting for Columbus, but after seeing how things were run, he felt he didn’t have enough experience. He knew plenty about the hockey side, but the business side was new to him, and he wanted to explore that. Read more
The American League’s Calder Cup is filled with compelling storylines: No. 1 (in the West) vs. No. 2 (in the Atlantic); America vs. Canada…here’s how it all breaks down according to the stats, thanks to this infographic provided by the league. Click here for a larger version.
By Andrew Heliotis
1. Wayne Simmonds
RW, Philadelphia Flyers
This past season Simmonds hit career highs in all three scoring categories and his 60 points were good enough for a top 50 scoring finish. Simmonds really excelled on the power play, however. Scroll down the special teams list of top goal scorers and it won’t take long to hit his name. Only Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and San Jose’s Joe Pavelski finished with more than Simmonds’ 15 power play goals. With 209 shots all season he scored at the same rate as Sidney Crosby and finished with a better shooting percentage than six of the top 10 point-getters of the season.
2. Alexander Steen
LW, St. Louis Blues
Early in 2005-06, two rookies for the Maple Leafs made their team’s scouts look like geniuses. Steen and Kyle Wellwood combined for 90 points and the Toronto faithful began salivating. But 20 games into 2008-09 Steen would forever be an afterthought in Hogtown when he was sent to the St. Louis Blues for Lee Stempniak. Oh, how things have changed. This season Steen, who built a reputation as a consistently underrated, solid two-way forward, led the Blues in goals (33) and points (62), recorded in just 68 games. Steen’s 0.49 goals per game was seventh in the NHL. Read more
Well, there it is, fans. In the NHL, a fourth-line nobody gets all of two games for blindsiding a first-line somebody and sending him into surgery for his face. If this were the NFL, Brandon Prust would be serving his teammates Gatorade for the rest of the playoffs after sideswiping Derek Stepan early in the first period of Game 3 at Madison Square Garden.
But it isn’t. Instead, Prust will park himself in the press box for a couple games, while the Montreal Canadiens move on without him, with ease, since he’s, well, easily replaced with another fourth-liner, most likely Michael Bournival. Prust has two assists in 12 games.
Michel Therrien said it succinctly: “We have lost our best player.”
Carey Price is officially out for the rest of the Eastern Conference final Therrien told reporters at his pre-game presser for Game 2 tonight in Montreal.
By Jason Wryghte
Although Wayne Gretzky has repeatedly said he believes his career scoring records will be broken, he’s got to be the only one. To consistently score at the rate Gretzky did is almost incomprehensible when juxtaposing his totals with today’s NHL. In order for The Great One’s goal total of 894 to be surpassed, it would have taken the league leaders in goals from the past 18 seasons combined. This year’s top sniper, Alex Ovechkin, scored the “record breaking” tally Nov. 5 against the Islanders when the Caps forward blew a shot past goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. How many seasons of league leaders in other categories would it take for some of the NHL’s other all-time marks to fall? Read more
As has been the case almost all season long, the New York Rangers were at their best in unfriendly confines.
With their season in the balance, the Rangers played their most complete game of the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning convincingly 5-1 at the Consol Energy Center Friday night to cut the Penguins’ series lead to 3-2.
The scene at the end of the game said it all.
As the clock wound down, Dominic Moore patted Martin St-Louis on the back as the two sat side-by-side on the Rangers bench. And Moore was the first to embrace St-Louis as they celebrated the win with their teammates on the ice.
There’s never any downtime at The Hockey News. Nope, not even during the summer. If anything, it’s our busiest time of the year, when we prepare our annual Yearbook and Poolbook publications, along with our regular issues.
We’re also putting together a kids book this year. It’ll have 30 chapters, one on each NHL team, each coming with a profile of an NHL star, his reflections on his first NHL game and his list of favorite things.
For Minnesota we’re featuring Zach Parise. No surprise, his favorite hockey memory is getting to the Stanley Cup final in 2012.
He’s playing like he wants to get back there in 2014.