Great Odin’s raven: San Diego Gulls goaltender puts Ron Burgundy on new mask

Jared Clinton
(via David Gunnarsson/Facebook)

Ron Burgundy, the fictitious San Diego broadcaster played by Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, is one of the most memorable — and certainly most quotable — characters from a comedy in the past 15 years.

Burgundy’s quips and one-liners have remained incredibly popular more than a decade after the film’s 2004 release, and it seemed only a matter of time before someone would make the obvious connection between Anchorman and the San Diego Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks’ AHL affiliate. Well, the connection has been made, and now Gulls fans will be seeing Burgundy night in and night out on the mask of goaltender Ryan Faragher.

Mask artist David Gunnarsson posted Faragher’s new mask Friday, and it pays homage to the Anchorman character with a portrait on the left panel of the mask, as well as the rest of his Channel 4 news team: Read more

Jonathan Drouin making it difficult to sympathize with his plight

Ken Campbell
Jonathan Drouin (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Until now, it would have been fairly easy to sympathize with Jonathan Drouin in his spat with the Tampa Bay Lightning, even if you didn’t agree with his methods. He’s a very good young player who has been caught in an organization where he’s not able to play a regular role and he feels his development is being stunted. So he asked for a trade. No harm, no foul.

When Drouin has had the chance with the Lightning, he has proved to be a capable NHL player. His possession numbers are very good and you could certainly make the case that injuries and a lack of opportunity have not allowed Drouin to fully showcase himself for a sustained period of time. This is a player, after all, who had six points in the first five games of the season when he had an opportunity to play with top players and log 15 minutes a game in ice time. (Although it’s absurd to suggest that the Lightning has it in for him. If you ever encounter a coach who refuses to play players he thinks can help him win, I’d like to meet him. He does not exist.)

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Brian McGrattan slams face off ice, taken off on stretcher following AHL fight

Jared Clinton
Brian McGrattan was injured following a fight (via YouTube)

A fight in the AHL nearly turned disastrous Tuesday night as San Diego Gulls winger and veteran bruiser Brian McGrattan was knocked out cold and slammed face first into the ice.

The fight, which occurred less than four minutes into the second period, ended when San Antonio Rampage winger Daniel Maggio connected with a right hand that stunned McGrattan. The punch caused McGrattan to fall to the ice without the ability to stop his head from crashing into the ice. As soon as he fell to the ice, he laid motionless with players from the Gulls, Rampage and referees on the ice signalling for immediate help: Read more

Kudos to NHL for (finally) doing right by John Scott

Ken Campbell
John Scott  (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

The one saving grace from the John Scott Fiasco of 2016™ is that the hockey world will almost certainly never have to experience the likes of it ever again. Nothing has been decided at the NHL level, but it would be ludicrous to think the league would not take steps to avoid this embarrassment ever again, either by allowing fans to vote for All-Star Game participation only on a pre-selected list of candidates or lessening the weight given to the fan vote.

So no more silly campaigns that leave the league looking like a village idiot. It strikes one, though, that hockey fans are the only ones who do these things. Other leagues have fan voting to select their participants and you don’t see utility infielders, bench warmers or third-stringers involved. Must have something to do with the product on the ice. When the game is a joke, people treat it as such. Perhaps the 3-on-3 format will do something to rectify that, so let’s give it a chance.

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NHL risks conspiracy theories, grievance with John Scott fiasco

John Scott (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

If the NHL wants to touch off the mother of all conspiracy theories, it will do the wrong thing and prevent John Scott from playing in the All-Star Game. But the NHL, as usual, doesn’t seem terribly concerned with optics. Because if it had, it would have announced the moment that Scott was traded to the Montreal Canadiens and sent to the minors that his spot as captain of the Pacific Division team in the All-Star Game was secure.

Instead, it issued this wishy-washy statement: “The league is evaluating how this trade impacts the Pacific Division roster.” When reached by thn.com Friday afternoon and asked whether he’d be playing in the game, Scott said, “I have no idea.” But if the league believes it has an out now that Scott is no longer playing for a team in the Pacific Division, that stretches the bounds of credulity. And that’s saying something when you consider it’s the NHL we’re talking about here.

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IceCaps unveil beautiful tribute jersey, honor 100th anniversary of World War One battle

Jared Clinton
Gabriel Dumont models the IceCaps' newest jersey (via St. John's IceCaps)

On July 1, 1916, approximately 733 men from Newfoundland and Labrador were killed or injured during the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont-Hamel. In the 100th anniversary year of that battle, the St. John’s IceCaps want to commemorate and pay tribute to those who fought in the battle and are doing so with a tribute jersey.

The new uniform, which was unveiled Thursday in St. John’s, is a striking jersey that honors the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Using the color scheme of the parent club Montreal Canadiens, the jersey uses both broad and narrow striping, a two-color collar and the wide horizontal band of color across the torso that has been used for years on Canadiens jerseys. Take a look: Read more

AHLer Alden Hirschfeld has seizure on bench, in stable condition

Jared Clinton
Alden Hirschfeld (Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Friday night’s AHL game between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Milwaukee Admirals had an incredibly scary moment when Griffins winger Alden Hirschfeld collapsed on the Grand Rapids bench.

Hirschfeld, 27, was on the bench with less than seven minutes remaining in the second period when the game was halted because of a medical emergency. Hirscheld, who had recently been recalled from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, was quickly attended to by medical staff at Van Andel Arena and both teams were sent to the dressing room.

While the game was delayed, the medical staff continued to attend to Hirschfeld. The delay lasted several minutes, after which time Hirschfeld was placed on a stretcher and taken off the ice. Per the Griffins, Hirschfeld “was transported to a local hospital in stable condition for further evaluation.” Read more

Finland jumps Sweden as captain Mikko Rantanen heats up

Mikko Rantanen (left) celebrates (photo by Sarah Fuqua)

HELSINKI, FINLAND – Swedish defenseman William Lagesson let out a primal scream, then loudly muttered to himself as he stalked off the ice. The rugged Edmonton Oilers prospect had, after all, managed to shut down Finnish super-teen Jesse Puljujarvi; something unheard of in this edition of the world juniors. But while Puljujarvi’s deadly line with Carolina pick Sebastian Aho and another 2016 draft phenom, Patrik Laine, was held off the scoresheet, Finland had a Plan B.

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