Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has been one of the NHL’s busier wheelers-and-dealers of late, acquiring veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar from Dallas for Travis Moen last week and adding to the changes Thursday by dealing out-of-favor winger Rene Bourque to Anaheim in exchange for blueliner Bryan Allen.
That the soon-to-be 33-year-old Bourque was a goner from Montreal is no surprise; the team waived and demoted him to the American League earlier this month after being frustrated once again with his lack of production and engagement during the regular season. He bought himself some time last spring with eight goals and 11 points in 17 playoff games for the Habs, but after only posting a pair of assists in 13 games this season, Bergevin had seen enough. Read more
If you were desperately hanging on to the hope hockey legend Teemu Selanne would continue his professional playing career – either in Europe or back in the NHL – even as he approaches his mid-forties, you can let go of it: the surefire Hockey-Hall-of-Famer confirmed Wednesday he’s retired for good.
In an interview with the International Ice Hockey Federation’s website, the 44-year-old Selanne made it clear he won’t be tempted by lucrative contract offers from the KHL or any other league. Read more
Ottawa Senators defenseman Marc Methot is making some progress in his recovery from the back and hip ailments which have sidelined him since training camp. The Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan reports Methot has resumed skating with his teammates, but he’s taking things day-by-day and there’s still no timetable for his return to action.
Methot is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. His average cap hit is $3 million, while in real salary this season he’s earning $3.75 million. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports there’s no sign of progress in contract talks between Methot’s agent and Senators management, fuelling trade speculation. He claims the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers are among the interested clubs. Read more
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick didn’t become one of the NHL’s very best at his job because he could steal his team a win once in a while. He got to that level because he can steal wins on a regular basis. And although he fell just short Wednesday in L.A.’s 6-5 shootout loss to Anaheim, a save he made on Ducks center Rickard Rakell was the latest demonstration of Quick’s staggering skill and athleticism.
It was late in the second period with the Kings holding a 3-2 lead when Anaheim broke in quickly on a 3-on-2; Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano fired a shot at Quick, who made the save but gave up a rebound that went, with no small amount of speed, right onto the stick of Rakell. He snapped the puck back at the Kings net immediately, and if there had been almost any other goalie between the pipes, he would’ve scored the first goal of his NHL career. Unfortunately for him, he was facing someone with the instincts and ability to do this: Read more
The Anaheim Ducks announced late Wednesday that star right winger Corey Perry and cornerstone blueliner Francois Beauchemin had (a) been diagnosed with the mumps, (b) are in various stages of treatment for the viral infection and (c) are sidelined on a day-to-day basis (Perry is considered closer to returning). Mumps aren’t a normal diagnosis for any NHLer, but over the course of league history, there have been a handful of out-of-the-ordinary medical situations like this to confront players. Here are a few examples:
• In 2009, Bruins center David Krejci was separated from the team during the season and quarantined with the H1N1 virus (a.k.a. the swine flu) until he stopped showing symptoms or a fever. Krejci was one of five NHLers (including Doug Weight, Ladislav Smid and Peter Budaj) to contract the virus that season. None of the affected players suffered serious aftereffects. Read more
“Ping” may be the sweetest sound in the world for Vancouver Canucks fans today. Last night, with the game on the line, former Canuck Ryan Kesler skated in on Vancouver’s Eddie Lack in the shootout and rang one off the crossbar. One of the players he had been traded for, Nick Bonino, had already scored in the skills competition, so there’s your neatly-packaged storyline right there. But how about a shout-out to rookie GM Jim Benning for making that all possible in the first place?
There are some bitter rivalries in the NHL, but few groups of fans share as much disdain for each other as those of the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
That’s what makes this incredible prank so much better. It appears while a coworker was away on vacation, some big Kings fans took it upon themselves to make a rival Ducks fan feel some pain: Read more
The moment Ryan Kesler slipped on an Anaheim Ducks jersey, he felt a rush of excitement. Beneath it all, however, was an undercurrent of anxiety.
Kesler’s time as a Vancouver Canuck was up. The team needed a fresh start and so did he. But a cross-conference trade, or at least one out of his division, would’ve been a bit less awkward. Instead, he ended up a Duck, where he’d join forces with some of his mortal Pacific Division enemies, like a picked-on kid paired off with the class bullies for a school project.
The Ducks belong to captain Ryan Getzlaf and sniper Corey Perry, both of whom have traded blows with Kesler in the past. The 6-foot-4, 218-pound Getzlaf rag-dolled the 6-foot-2, 208-pound Kesler in Dec. 2008, and Perry threw down with Kesler in 2009 and 2010. Both Perry-Kesler tilts happened in the pre-season. That’s when you know there’s bad blood. So Kesler, understandably, didn’t know what to expect after the trade. But the Ducks quickly let him know bygones were bygones – their leader in particular.
“Ryan Getzlaf, really great captain, really great guy,” Kesler said. “But, really, all the guys made me feel at home. They were all welcoming. That was my biggest thing, playing against those guys, being in a rivalry against those guys. You develop hate towards them. But off the ice, they’re all good dudes and we got over it.”
Kesler said he, Getzlaf and Perry reminisced about their fights and had some laughs. But washing away bad blood is just one hurdle a player must overcome after a trade. The simple change of scenery is life-altering.