Jonathan Toews is Captain Serious, but he’s expanding his role to become NHL’s Mr. Manners

Adam Proteau
Jonathan Toews (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Chicago Blackhawks star center Jonathan Toews is deadly serious about hockey – and in a new, lighthearted public service announcement video released by the Hawks Tuesday, he reveals how seriously he treats proper etiquette when it comes to fans visiting the bathroom when they’re attending an NHL game.

Playing off his well-earned reputation as the NHL’s straightest of straight men, the 26-year-old Toews jokingly admonishes fans who choose to leave their seats for the bathroom when the action is going on: Read more

Could Scott Gomez actually be a wanted man at the trade deadline?

Ken Campbell
Scott Gomez Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

The first and only time Scott Gomez was traded, the results were a disaster. That trade started a series of falling dominos that led to Gomez’s career spiraling downhill and to him becoming one of the NHL’s biggest pariahs.

So how cool is it that almost six years later, Gomez could become a wanted man at the trade deadline? All right, wanted might be gilding the lily a little. But the fact that Gomez has played his way into the conversation of players who could be moved by March 2 is nothing short of remarkable.

The NHL trade deadline seems becoming less about blockbusters – those big trades for players with term left on their deals are usually done at the draft now – and more about bolstering and tinkering. Some of the deals that turn out to be the best ones are the relatively minor ones that don’t cost the team acquiring the player much. And all the uncertainty surrounding the salary cap next season might impact this year’s trade deadline even more in that respect. (The Los Angeles Kings, though, are outliers in this one. Both of their Cup wins were preceded by big pre-deadline deals with the Columbus Blue Jackets that paid off in a big way in the playoffs – getting Jeff Carter in 2012 and Marian Gaborik last season.)

There are some GMs who think this year’s deadline will be dominated only by rentals because teams are wary of taking on too much money and term without know what the cap will be next season. And the uncertainty over whether the NHL Players’ Association will trigger the five percent inflator, because that will mean more in escrow payments, is adding to the worry.

So if the market is going to be flooded with rentals, teams looking for some inexpensive help might do worse than pick up Gomez, who rededicated himself to fitness and seems intent on proving he’s still got game. His 20 points in 33 games puts him pace for full season total of 50 points. Read more

Jamie Benn scores first career hat trick – here are five players waiting for their own

Patric Hornqvist and James Neal

Multi-goal games happen on a near nightly basis, but it takes a special night for a player to complete a hat trick. There have been strange hat tricks in NHL history – heck, Mason Raymond has three in his career – but even most gifted offensive talents have struggled to net their own.

Take Jamie Benn, for instance. Tuesday night marked his first career hat trick and it was his 401st NHL game. Shane Doan was drafted in 1995 and scored his first trio in 2012. Brad Richards was nearly 33 before he scored his first.

Two players on this list have had playoff hat tricks, but the regular season feat remains out of their grasp. The names will shock you, too. These are five players waiting for their first career hat trick: Read more

Why no Selke love for two-way wingers like Hossa and Nash?

Josh Elliott
Marian Hossa and Rick Nash

Officially, the Frank J. Selke Trophy is awarded to “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”

There’s nothing in there about faceoff percentage, yet that stat seems to have become one of the most important criteria for picking the Selke winner. Faceoff winning percentage comes up in the Selke conversation just as often as stats like plus-minus, shorthanded minutes and point production.

The problem with that is wingers are rarely taken seriously as potential Selke candidates.
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Crosby, Kane bring the sizzle in epic Penguins-Blackhawks shootout

Josh Elliott
Sidney Crosby scores on Corey Crawford

Love it or hate it, the shootout tiebreaker is a platform for the league’s best players to showcase their skills.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks combined for one of the most spectacular shootouts of the season on Sunday in a contest that saw the likes of Sidney Crosby, David Perron and Kris Letang go up against Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.

The Blackhawks came out on top by a score of 2-1 in a shootout full of theatrics and short on saves.

Every goal was worth a replay, but Sidney Crosby’s pop-fly score was one of the best of the bunch.
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Steve Montador has died at age 35 of ‘natural causes’

Steve Montador

Former NHL defenceman Steve Montador was found dead inside his Mississauga home early Sunday morning. He was 35 years old.

Peel Regional Police say a friend found Montador dead at about 2 a.m. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

Police say an autopsy will be conducted but no foul play is suspected.

“It appears to be natural causes,” police said.
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Show that special someone you care with ridiculous NHL-themed Valentine’s Day cards

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Toews Valentine's Day card (Chicago Blackhawks)

Ah, Valentine’s Day – the one day of the year that you get to tell that special person in your life how much you care with a pun and a picture of Patrick Sharp. Wait, what?

Yes, that’s right. Thanks to the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks, there are more than a few wonderful ways to tell that certain someone how much you care. Both teams released player-themed Valentine’s Day Cards that will make you cringe. Even the most hopeless romantic isn’t this hopeless. Take a look at some of the best. Read more

Sedins save Canucks with five-pass ‘Sedin Magic’ OT winner

Jared Clinton
Sedins (Getty Images)

There are times when Daniel and Henrik Sedin are so in sync that it seems unbelievable, even for twins. Wednesday night was another one of those moments.

After the Blackhawks scored two goals in the final two minutes to tie the score at four and send the game to overtime, the Sedins hit the ice in overtime and teamed up to make Chicago defenseman Michal Rozsival look like a passing obstacle. The Sedins completed not one, not two, but five tape-to-tape passes before Daniel found the back of the net. Read more