The Boston Bruins are getting prepared for the second Winter Classic in franchise history and at a press conference today the team and their opponent, the longtime rival Montreal Canadiens, unveiled the logos they’ll be using for the outdoor tilt.
According to TSN 690 in Montreal, the two teams will be facing off in classic style, donning jerseys that closely mirror those worn in the 1924-25 season, more than 90 years before their outdoor game is set to take place.
The Bruins logo, which utilizes an arching font over top of a Bruin, is a slight alteration of the jerseys Boston wore during that campaign, the first in Bruins history. The jerseys, according to NHLUniforms.com, were only worn for the inaugural season before Boston switched to a busy white, brown and yellow striped jersey the following campaign. Read more
The Montreal Canadiens have signed left winger Alexander Semin to a one-year contract for the very reasonable sum of $1.1 million. But that won’t cover up the most obvious hole in the franchise’s Stanley Cup plans.
Hockey players typically are not built the same as the average man. ‘Slim fit’ shirts are basically a no-go and the frustration of finding dress shirts that actually fit properly spurned South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Lee Moffie and fellow University of Michigan alum Steve Fischer to do something about it.
That idea became State and Liberty Clothing Co. and with another former Wolverine in Montreal Canadiens prospect Mac Bennett on board, the company has quickly become a favorite throughout the hockey world.
We’ve seen plenty of turnover on NHL rosters so far this summer, setting up what appears to be even crazier parity than normal in each division. The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks made major moves in the Pacific. The Washington Capitals jazzed up their top two lines in the Metropolitan. The Chicago Blackhawks did anything but sit on their championship team, making over a quarter of their roster.
A bushel of franchises, however, have been oddly quiet so far. Some are justified in their thought process. Others have their angry fans yelling “DO something!”
Why do some of these teams appear to be deer in the headlights right now? There’s a plausible explanation for each, though some are more maddening than others.
Kenny Reardon, the rambunctious Montreal Canadiens defenseman, had one thing in mind as he stickhandled across Madison Square Garden ice on the night of March 16, 1947 – freeze the puck. “Dick Irvin, our coach, had bawled me out for losing the puck and the game last time we were in New York,” Reardon said.
Montreal was leading the Rangers 4-3 with 32 seconds left. If the visitors could hold the lead they’d clinch first place and a new prize of $1,000 for each player the NHL was giving away that year. The downtrodden Rangers, on the other hand, needed the win to stave off elimination from a playoff berth.
As hockey games go, this one was ripe for mayhem. The teams had been nurturing individual and collective hatreds all season. Montreal’s Reardon and Maurice Richard squared off with Bill Juzda and Bryan Hextall of the Rangers in the second period. “They were out to get Richard and Reardon,” Irvin charged, “in order to ruin them for the playoffs.” Reardon, who in 1946 had declared war on Ranger fans by slugging a promenade customer, agreed with his coach. “But,” added Reardon, “I couldn’t afford a fight in that last minute. I wanted to stay out of trouble.” Read more
Even though Max Pacioretty will be out of action for 12 weeks with a knee injury, it will not require surgery. So that means if he heals precisely according to plan, Pacioretty will be ready to go five days before the Canadiens open their season against the Toronto Maple Leafs. If he’s a quick healer, he might be ready even sooner.
So it’s probably best to save your summer angst for something else. The Canadiens announced their top scorer injured his knee – they didn’t say which one – during an off-ice workout in Florida Thursday and is expected to be out 12 weeks. That would take him to Oct. 2 and the Canadiens don’t open their season until Oct. 7. But the best news is that the injury does not require him to go under the knife.
The Montreal Canadiens knew they need to get bigger and stronger at forward, so it’s no surprise to see them trade for a massive winger on Wednesday. The fact it was Zack Kassian, however, may raise an eyebrow or two.
Kassian, 24, was a first-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres and was dealt for Cody Hodgson at the 2012 deadline. The Canucks hoped they’d found their very own Milan Lucic, a mammoth power forward at 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds who could put the puck in the net.
It just didn’t quite materialize for Kassian, though. He showed it in bursts, like when he sniped 14 goals in 2013-14, and he even saw some stretches with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. But Kassian had a penchant for taking bad penalties and didn’t click with any of his coaches, from Alain Vigneault to Willie Desjardins. Kassian was an occasional healthy scratch.
NHL unrestricted free agency begins on July 1, but the thin market for available talent has teams considering better options via the trade market.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa is garnering considerable interest. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports 10 teams are looking at the 34-year-old blueliner who has a year left on his contract at a cap hit of $4.6 million. Friedman also claims Bieksa was nearly dealt to the San Jose Sharks, but after a week of talks the deal fell through before the draft.
The Canucks have just over $6.1 million in cap space for 2015-16 and must shed salary for other potential moves. Given the interest in Bieksa, the Canucks could ship him out before the free agent market opens. Failing that, they could gauge interest from clubs that failed to land the few decent UFA defensemen currently available. Read more