Canada names Sidney Crosby World Cup captain; happy with J-Bo

Sidney Crosby (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

It was the most obvious choice, but there was also a pretty good reason for it. Team Canada named Sidney Crosby captain of the upcoming World Cup of Hockey squad, with Jonathan Toews and Shea Weber earning ‘A’s on their sweaters as alternate captains. So what went into the decision?

Read more

Report: Dineen, Boughner ‘major candidates’ for Avalanche coaching job

Kevin Dineen (Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Patrick Roy stepped down from his post as coach of the Avalanche nearly two weeks ago and two NHL assistants are reportedly the frontrunners to take over as bench boss in Colorado.

According to The Denver Post’s Terry Frei, Chicago Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen and San Jose Sharks assistant Bob Boughner are two ‘major candidates’ to assume the Avalanche’s top coaching job and both have ties to the city.

As Frei points out, Dineen spent two seasons at the University of Denver before making his jump to the NHL during the 1984-85 season with the Hartford Whalers, whereas Boughner spent the final two seasons of his NHL career with the Avalanche, playing a total of 52 games with the club across the 2003-04 and 2005-06 campaigns.

However, there’s another tie both coaches share. The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline made the connection between Dineen and Boughner, both former members of the Blue Jackets’ front office and coaching staff, and Avalanche assistant GM Chris McFarland, who held the same position in Columbus during the tenures of both Dineen and Boughner. Portzline added that also helps draw the link between Jared Bednar, coach of the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate, and the Avalanche. Read more

Vesey met with seven teams, discussing options Thursday — what can each team offer?

Jimmy Vesey (Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

For those tiring of hearing about NCAA free agent Jimmy Vesey, rest assured that the 23-year-old winger is nearing a decision on his destination.

According to a report from ESPN’s Joe McDonald, Vesey has finished meeting with the teams he has interest in joining — seven in total — and will begin discussing the options with his agents today with the possibility of coming to a final decision as early as Friday. Included on Vesey’s list of meetings were the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. That’s not to mention Vesey’s meeting with the Buffalo Sabres, who traded for his rights in mid-June.

Vesey comes with a lot of potential, having scored 56 goals and 114 points in 70 games with Harvard over the past two seasons, and he picked up the Hobey Baker Award in 2016 as the top player in the NCAA. But his performance doesn’t mean money can be used to sway his decision. Each team will have to table similar offers because Vesey will enter the league on a two-year, entry-level deal.

So which team will persuade Vesey to sign on the dotted line? Here are the pros and cons for each team in the running to land the college standout: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Bruins, Blackhawks, Rangers favorites for Jimmy Vesey

Jimmy Vesey. (Getty Images)

With the NHL off-season now in its dog days, notable trade and free-agent activity has slowed to a crawl. As a result, speculation over where promising free-agent prospect Jimmy Vesey could end up is garnering headlines.

Vesey, 23, is the 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner. Earlier this year, the Buffalo Sabres acquired his rights from the Nashville Predators in hopes of signing him to an entry-level contract. However, Vesey is eligible for unrestricted free agency on August 15 and intends to test the market.

For the past two months, it was believed the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs were front-runners for Vesey’s services. The college star is a Massachusetts native who grew up cheering for the Bruins. Meanwhile, his brother and father are employed by the Leafs.

As August 15 approaches, however, there are conflicting reports over where the Bruins and Leafs stand among the Vesey suitors.

Read more

Blues’ Winter Classic logo celebrates 50th anniversary, Blackhawks also go old-school

Jared Clinton
(via St. Louis Blues/Twitter)

The St. Louis Blues may not yet have a Stanley Cup in their trophy case, but the franchise has been one of the most steadily competitive in the NHL over the past several seasons. And with the Blues continuously on the rise, the NHL will head to St. Louis this coming January for the Winter Classic.

Having the Blues as the host of the Winter Classic carries more significance than simply playing one of the league’s showcase events in St. Louis, though. It also offers an opportunity for the franchise to celebrate a major anniversary in style. The coming campaign will be the 50th for the Blues, and the logo for the outdoor game has been selected with that in mind.

The logo the Blues will wear for the outdoor contest, which can be seen in greatest detail below, is the exact crest the team wore during its inaugural season. At first glance the logo may not look much different from the one the team currently wears, but the bolder base, more prominent yellow outline and more pronounced points make the mark standout from the one currently worn by the club. Read more

Signing bonuses could become next CBA battleground

Jamie Benn (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

When the NHL announced last fall its seven-year partnership that will see adidas become its official outfitter starting next season, your trusty correspondent asked commissioner Gary Bettman whether the deal would be extended by a year if there were another labor dispute. Bettman responded with a one-word answer.

“Really?” Bettman asked, with a good amount of offense and incredulity. Well, about as much offense and incredulity as someone who has shut down the game three times in the past 20 years could muster.

Read more

Are Brad Richards and Vincent Lecavalier Hall of Famers?

Vincent Lecavalier (left), Brad Richards and Martin St-Louis (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

From their days together as roommates at boarding school in Saskatchewan to winning a Memorial Cup together in Rimouski to a Stanley Cup in Tampa and signing contracts later in their careers that didn’t quite work out as well as everyone had hoped, Brad Richards and Vincent Lecavalier have had almost parallel tracks when it comes to their hockey careers.

So it is only fitting that they would retire from the NHL in the same year and maybe, just maybe, enter the Hall of Fame together in the fall of 2019. The call on both players will be a vexing decision for the Hall of Fame selection committee. To be sure, there are players who are inferior to both Richards and Lecavalier and accomplished less in the NHL than they did who are in, but induction into the Hall seems to be something of a moving target that is unpredictable.

Richards and Lecavalier had very good NHL careers. But were they truly great, Hall of Fame careers? It’s debatable, which makes things really interesting. Let’s take a look at both players:

Read more

The five early off-season moves that will have the biggest impact

Brian Elliott (Dilip Vishwanat/NHLI via Getty Images)

There’s still nearly three months until the NHL campaign opens, which will leave the league’s 30 teams with ample time to tune and tweak their rosters as opening night approaches.

However, a few teams have made big splashes this off-season. Some have gotten creative, such as the Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers, by trading for a player’s exclusive negotiating rights to ink them to a deal before free agency opened, while others have gone the more traditional route, like the Boston Bruins, who shelled out a five-year, $30-million deal to David Backes.

Meanwhile, some clubs have gone the trade route, with the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators linking up to make one-for-one deals that both teams hope will improve their situations going forward.

And though there are still a number of free agents who could sign and make a difference next season, the biggest names are off the market. So here are the five off-season moves that have been made (so far) that will have the biggest impact this coming season: Read more