Could Patrick Roy coach Martin Brodeur? Varlamov injury may open the door

Jared Clinton
Martin Brodeur (Getty Images)

There may be no two goaltenders in NHL history whose names are linked like those of Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur.

Roy was an innovator, has four Stanley Cup rings to his name, two of which came as a member of the same Colorado Avalanche which he now coaches, and he won three Conn Smythe Trophies, more than any player who has ever played the game.

Brodeur was his immediate successor. Of all the records Roy set during his playing days, and there were several, the only one Brodeur has left standing is playoff victories, of which he has 38 less than Roy. Brodeur is the all-time leader in regular season wins, wins in a season, shutouts, and playoff shutouts. He’s also a two time Olympic gold medalist.

With an injury to Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, however, there lies a possibility they could be tied together for another reason: there’s a possibility Roy could become Brodeur’s coach. Read more

Hockey’s 10 richest contracts, in honor of Giancarlo Stanton’s monster MLB deal

Shea Weber

On Monday, Major League Baseball’s Giancarlo Stanton signed the richest contract in North American sports history. At 13-years and $325 million, the Miami Marlins outfielder stands to make more money than the average Canadian or American could earn in one hundred lifetimes.

In fact, here’s how it breaks down. Those earning the average 2014 income in Canada (USD$42,719) and USA ($51,371) would have to spend 7,608 and 6,327 years in the workforce, respectively, in order to match Stanton’s monster deal. Something tells me that might be unattainable.

There was a time – around the formation of the World Hockey Association – when Bobby Hull and the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets made waves with a $1 million dollar signing bonus. And in 1998-99, Sergei Fedorov made $14.5 million, the most ever at the time, which was more than the entire Nashville Predators roster made – combined. The days of both these contracts are long gone. These are the most lucrative contracts in the history of the NHL, all coming during the salary cap era. Read more

Why Cory Schneider matching a Martin Brodeur record is bad news for the Devils

Matt Larkin
The Devils are slated to start Cory Schneider a 19th straight time, and his numbers have been subpar this season. Coincidence? (Getty Images)

If I told a Devils fan before the 2014-15 season started, “I’m psychic, and I know for a fact Cory Schneider will match one of Martin Brodeur’s records this season,” that Devils fan would’ve jumped for joy, right?

Well, turns out Schneider and the Devils have found the one, twisted way to make the milestone dubious. Tuesday night marks New Jersey’s 19th game of the season. It will also mark Schneider’s 19th consecutive start to open the season, which will equal Brodeur’s franchise record set in 2001-02.

As I said last week, Schneider entered the season with a .925 career save percentage, which would be No. 1 in NHL history if he had enough games to qualify. General manager Lou Lamoriello and the Devils may have been unsentimental parting ways with Martin Brodeur, but it was a smart hockey decision. Schneider was one of the league’s most underrated stoppers, long overdue for an extended crack at a bellcow goalie gig.

But the early returns have been mildly unsettling: 8-7-2 with a 2.71 goals-against average and .910 save percentage, putting him 29th in the NHL in the latter two categories. Some of Schneider’s struggles aren’t really his fault. For instance, the Devils’ penalty kill has been so poor early in the season, allowing so many quality scoring chances, that Schneider’s shorthanded save percentage drags down his otherwise solid even-strength numbers.

Some of the problems, however, tie directly to Schneider. For one, he’s been maddeningly inconsistent. He won his first three starts, allowing two goals per game, then lost his next three, allowing four goals per game. He stopped 53 of 54 shots for two outstanding victories over Minnesota and Washington last Tuesday and Friday, then allowed three goals, including this softy, in a loss to Colorado:

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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

Jaromir Jagr’s legend grows as he’s made into giant marzipan statue

Jared Clinton
Marzipan Jagr

When Jaromir Jagr entered the NHL, he said he only had one dream: have his likeness represented as a statue made entirely of marzipan.

All right, probably not. But at least that’s some sort of explanation for how this incredible statue of the Czech superstar came to be. In any case, behold the majesty of the confectionary Jagr: Read more

Jaromir Jagr continues his ascent up the NHL’s all-time scoring list

Adam Proteau
Jaromir Jagr (Getty Images)

Jaromir Jagr is a freak of nature and one of the most incredible talents the NHL has ever seen, so it should come as no surprise he added another achievement to the long list he’s amassed over the course of his 21 years in the league. After his goal Monday against Boston, the 42-year-old New Jersey Devils right winger now sits tied as the sixth-greatest goal-scorer in NHL history.

Coming off the half-wall in New Jersey’s zone, Jagr picked up a pass from teammate Travis Zajac and fires a snapshot past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask to score his third goal of the season – and, more importantly, his 708th career regular season goal. That puts him alongside Hockey Hall-of-Famer Mike Gartner for the No. 6 spot on the league’s list of all-time scorers: Read more

Seth Griffith’s astonishing goal will knock off any and all socks you have on

Adam Proteau
Seth Griffith (Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Bruins rookie right winger Seth Griffith scored a goal against the New Jersey Devils Monday he’ll never be able to reproduce again no matter how many more years he plays in the NHL. That’s why it’s a surefire goal-of-the-year candidate.

After blocking a shot near Boston’s blueline late in the second period, Griffith chases the puck down the center of the ice, splits and fights off Devils defensemen Marek Zidlicky and Bryce Salvador, spins 180 degrees so that his back is to New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider, then bats the puck between his legs and through Schneider‘s legs to score his fourth goal of the year and give the Bruins a 3-2 advantage: Read more

Tiny Titans: The top scorers from small countries

Mason-Zuccarello

With a tally late in an Oct. 27 contest against the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello became the highest goal-scoring Norwegian NHLer of all-time.

His 31st career marker was one more than Espen Knutsen, who the 27-year-old Zuccarello trails by only 14 total points. Knutsen’s 111 points has been the high-water mark for Norwegian NHLers and has stood since he left the league in 2005.

With the young Ranger well on his way to surpassing Knutsen’s mark and becoming the most prolific Norwegian to play in the NHL, it’s time to look at some of the other great scorers from similar sized nations. Read more