Dominik Hasek, Scott Niedermayer headline 2015 IIHF Hall of Fame

Dominik Hasek IIHF HOF featured

Already members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Scott Niedermayer and Dominik Hasek will enter the IIHF Hall of Fame as part of a seven-member class of 2015.

Other inductees include longtime Czech captain Robert Reichel, Sweden’s Maria Rooth, Fran Rider in the builder category, and Lucio Topatigh, an Italian national rewarded for his play for a non-top hockey nation. Read more

From Beliveau to Balon, Canadiens have a way of treating their former players

Ken Campbell
Beliveau

In their first game back on home ice since the death of Jean Beliveau, the day before what will be an emotional farewell, the Montreal Canadiens listed their official attendance at 21,286, one fewer than a sellout. That was to account for the fact that Seat No. 1 in Row EE, Section 102 was empty.

Some will argue that Jean Beliveau was there all right, but you get the idea. The Canadiens deliberately halted a string of 11 consecutive years of sellouts to honor the memory of one of the greatest players the franchise has ever produced. Read more

Five franchise players who finished their careers with other teams

Mats Sundin Vancouver Canucks

There’s been a lot of talk about legacy lately with Daniel Alfredsson signing a one-day deal to retire as an Ottawa Senator, and Martin Brodeur joining the St. Louis Blues after serving as the face of the New Jersey Devils for two decades.

It’s odd to see Brodeur with the Bluenote on his jersey and mask, and it was strange to see Daniel Alfredsson skating for the Detroit Red Wings last season.

But as hurt as some fans were by the Brodeur and Alfredsson defections, the history books will still remember them for what they accomplished with the franchises they came to represent.

We saw that already in Alfredsson’s retirement ceremony in Ottawa on Thursday, and we’ll see it again with Brodeur when he hangs up his pads.
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Bure and Ovechkin: 702 games, three goals apart. Who’s better?

Alexander Ovechkin equalled Pavel Bure's career games played last weekend, and their numbers are remarkably similar. (Getty Images)

Don’t you love it when a perfect comparison delivers itself to you on a plate?

Credit to a Reddit user named ‘Nuppa Nuppa’ for pointing this out. Alex Ovechkin played his 702nd career game this past Saturday in Toronto. In doing so, he equalled Pavel Bure’s total. So arguably the two greatest pure goal scorers of the last 25 years sat at precisely the same sample size before Ovie reached 703 games Tuesday. Lo and behold, they were just three goals apart.

Bure: 702 games, 437 goals, 779 points
Ovechkin: 702 games, 434 goals, 835 points

Those numbers leap off the page, get down on their knees and beg us to ask: who is better? ‘The Russian Rocket’ or ‘Alexander the GR8′?

Let’s break it down.

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What happened to the days of the dominant NHL goalie?

Dominik Hasek had several of the greatest seasons ever by a goaltender. (Getty Images)

If you need evidence to illustrate the vagaries of NHL goaltending, look no further than Roberto Luongo, the guest editor of the Oct. 20 edition of The Hockey News. One minute you’re on top of the world, winning Olympic gold medals and being talked about as a Vezina Trophy candidate. Not long after, you’re fishing pucks out of the back of the net and making self-deprecating jokes on Twitter.

Let’s start with the following premise: There is no position wracked with more instability and less sustained excellence than that of goaltender. In terms of consistent performance these days, there’s Henrik Lundqvist and then everybody else. It seems that from one season to the next, teams have no idea what kind of goaltending they’re going to get. Where have you gone, six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek? A goaltending fraternity turns its lonely eyes to you. Read more

Could Marc-Andre Fleury catch Martin Brodeur for No. 1 on all-time wins list?

Ken Campbell
Marc-Andre Fleury (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The words “much-maligned” and the name Marc-Andre Fleury so often go together that those who don’t follow hockey closely might have the idea it’s actually part of his name. The Much-Maligned Marc-Andre Fleury. Hey, at least it beats the likes of Pilot Inspektor Lee or Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette or Blanket Jackson.

The much-maligned one made his mark on history Monday night when he stopped 27 shots in the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins. In doing so, Fleury became the 31st goaltender in NHL history to record 300 career wins. Fleury accomplished the feat in his 547th career game, which makes him the third fastest to 300 in NHL history behind Jacques Plante and Andy Moog – yeah, Andy Moog. And at 29 years and 361 days, he’s also the third youngest in NHL history to reach the benchmark, behind Martin Brodeur and Terry Sawchuk. Read more

AHL announces Hall of Fame inductees for 2015

Jared Clinton
Bronco Horvath (top left), Frederic Cassivi (top right), James C. Hendy (bottom left), and Art Stratton (bottom right) are the AHL Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

While the stars of the American League may not be as synonymous with the game as the Gretzkys or the Howes, they deserve to be honored just the same. Local heroes who did it all for their small town teams, the AHL announced Frederic Cassivi, James C. Hendy, Bronco Horvath, and Art Stratton as 2015 Hall of Fame class.

In the modern era, it’s incredibly difficult for a goaltender to earn the continual faith of organizations while never making the jump to the NHL. That’s exactly what Frederic Cassivi did. Cassivi, who played 12 seasons in the AHL, was one of the most successful netminders of his time, with his best season coming during the NHL lockout campaign of 2004-05. In 46 appearances that season, Cassivi posted a 2.07 goals against average and .924 save percentage, helping lead the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks to the Division Finals of the Calder Cup playoffs. Read more

Playing past their prime didn’t hurt Forsberg, Modano & Hasek – & it won’t hurt Brodeur’s legacy either

Martin Brodeur (Getty Images)

When I look at the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014, the first thing I think of is the eye-popping talent and character of the players and people. The second thing that comes to mind, oddly enough, is Martin Brodeur.

Because as the former Devils goalie floats in limbo these days, not employed by any team but not ready to say he’s retired, I hear some say he’s doing himself a disservice by not realizing what the lack of job offers is telling him, and suggest Brodeur should call a press conference as soon as possible to put his 21-season career to bed. But when you look at the careers of this year’s HHOF inductees, it becomes clear even the best of the best can’t help but play past their best due date. Guys like Red Wings icon (and 2015 lock Hall-of-Famer) Nicklas Lidstrom or Canadiens great Ken Dryden, who retire before a precipitous decline in effectiveness sets in, are the exception. The majority of the elite – including 2014 honorees Peter Forsberg and Mike Modano, and to a lesser degree, Dominik Hasek and Rob Blake – did not leave the sport at their peak. Read more