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?
Alexander Radulov has spent the better part of the past decade as one of the KHL’s top stars and he’s heading back to the NHL this coming season having conquered the Russia-based league in just about every way possible. With that in mind, he has his sights set on one of the few major trophies he hasn’t won: the Stanley Cup.
Radulov, 30, met with media Monday for the first time as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, and the now-veteran winger said that the chance to chase the Stanley Cup is one of the major things that drew him to the Habs.
“It’s always a hockey town and they always want to go for a run and for a Cup,” Radulov said, via the Montreal Gazette’s Stu Cowan. “That’s the reason I chose Montreal because I want to play and I want to compete for a Cup. That’s the main thing.” Read more
Carey Price’s last minute of NHL action came more than 270 days ago — nearly nine months — and he can’t wait for the World Cup to begin so he can finally put the MCL sprain that claimed nearly his entire 2015-16 campaign in the past.
In an interview with InGoal Magazine’s Kevin Woodley, Price admitted that he can’t help but think about the injury from time to time, but not because it’s impacting his ability to move about the crease. In fact, Price said he feels like his “old self on the ice,” but that the injury keeping him on the shelf for so long has crept into his mind.
“I don’t want to say I feel anxious but I just want to get started,” Price told Woodley. “I feel like the build-up has been six months of waiting for that first game and I still haven’t gotten there. I’ve been working towards a goal I haven’t gotten to yet.” Read more
Dale Weise may not have set a new career-high in points this past season, but the 28-year-old did notch a career-best 14 goals, had a higher average ice time than any season prior and looked like he could be a constant contributor to a team’s bottom six. So when Weise hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent, it was no surprise he was snatched up quickly.
The offer Weise went with was a four-year, $9.4-million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers, but he had no shortage of options. In speaking with the Montreal Gazette’s Stu Cowan, Weise said that the money on each of the offers he had was roughly the same, but it was Flyers GM Ron Hextall being the first to reach out and making it clear they wanted Weise — and weren’t chasing any other free agents — that persuaded him to sign in Philadelphia.
“With Philly, it was pretty direct, it was pretty honest,” Weise told Cowan. “They said: ‘Here’s how much money we have, we’re not trying to sign anybody else. You’re the guy we want. Here’s what we can offer, here’s where we see it.’ That was a big thing for me.” Read more
There was nothing shocking about Patrick Roy’s abrupt departure as coach and vice-president of hockey operations with the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
On the contrary, it was typical behavior from the Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender. When Roy doesn’t get his way, he packs up and goes home.
He did it with the Montreal Canadiens and he once stiffed the Canadian Olympic team.
Listen, Roy can do whatever the heck he wants. He was a great goaltender – one of the best ever – and he has enjoyed success as both a junior coach/executive and NHL coach. He doesn’t seem to care about his reputation, so why should we? Read more
Carey Price’s first action back from a season-ending MCL injury will come at the World Cup of Hockey. It’ll be the first time he sees a game of that caliber since late-November, which was the last time he suited up and participated with the Montreal Canadiens.
Price’s usage with Team Canada will be interesting to watch, especially with him returning from injury and a stable of excellent goaltenders ready to step in if there are any concerns about Price’s ability to start.
“With the number of games he missed last year, it will be fun for him to have large-caliber matches,” Canadiens goalie coach Stephane Waite told La Presse’s Guillaume LeFrancois. “It is not very demanding, because we will play six or seven games, depending on where it goes. This is no more (difficult than) if it was a camp with the Canadiens. This is only positive.”
But regardless of his playing time at the World Cup, the one thing for certain is that when Price gets back to the Canadiens, there will be a plan in place to keep Price fresh and healthy by limiting his starts. In fact, Waite said the goal is to keep Price in the 60-start range. Read more
Weber, 30, made his first public appearance as a member of the Canadiens Tuesday at coach Michel Therrien’s charity golf tournament, and he said repeatedly that his main goal in Montreal is to win games and help the team be as successful as possible. Though he understands the love Montreal has for P.K. Subban, he said he can’t be concerned with filling Subban’s shoes.
“I’m not worried about that,” Weber said. “I’m here to help this team win games, and I think we’ve put together a really good team, a competitive team, that can win this year. I’m looking forward to fitting in with this group. It’s an exciting time to be here.” Read more
The rough and tumble ways of the NHL are starting to go by the wayside, but veteran winger Shawn Thornton is sticking around for one more season with the Florida Panthers. But Thornton, 39, admitted that before he signed a one-year contract extension in February, he was considering hanging up his skates for good.
Speaking with CBS Boston’s Matt Kalman, Thornton said that while the 2015-16 campaign wore on, he began to think about retirement. As he planned to retire from the game, though, along came a contract offer from the Panthers to come back on a one-year, $750,000 deal. The idea was to keep Thornton around as a locker room leader and a guide for the young players looking to get a foothold in the league.
However, once this season is done, that’s likely it for Thornton. And once his playing days are done, the one-time tough guy could be finding his way to the Panthers’ front office, working on the “business side of things” for the team he has spent the past two years of his career with.
“Things change year to year. This would’ve been a different conversation last year,” Thornton told Kalman. “But as of right now probably leaning more toward the business side of hockey. Once the season’s over I’ll probably move into that role in Florida.”
That this is likely Thornton’s final season in the league isn’t altogether surprising as his career has been winding down since he arrived in Florida. But he’s not the only player who could be riding off into the sunset following the upcoming campaign. Here are five other players potentially headed for retirement after 2016-17: Read more