Tom Gilbert drives the net and scores with an Orr-like finish

Jared Clinton
Tom Gilbert (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

There will never be another defenseman like Bobby Orr, but there can still be those that have moments of brilliance that remind us of the great blueliner. Tom Gilbert had one Thursday night.

Late in the second period, with the Canadiens down 2-0 to the Kings and a faceoff in the Los Angeles zone, David Desharnais won a draw back to Gilbert. With room for Gilbert to skate down the wall, he took it and proceeded to drive all the way to the front of the net. With a quick deke Gilbert brought the puck from the goal line to the front of the net, reached all the way around Jonathan Quick and tucked it in the far side.

It’s the moment right after the goal, though, that is most reminiscent of Orr. When Gilbert was sweeping the puck past Quick, the Kings netminder stuck his stick into Gilbert’s skates, sending him sailing through the air post-goal. Take a look: Read more

Waiver-wire pickup David Schlemko makes memorable debut with Flames, scores jaw-dropping shootout winner

David Schlemko scores on Tuukka Rask. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

On Saturday, defenseman David Schlemko was a waiver-wire pickup of the Calgary Flames. Five days later, he made his debut for the organization Thursday night on the road against the Boston Bruins – and made it memorable by scoring a stunning, game-winning shootout goal on star netminder Tuukka Rask.

The Flames are the third NHL team for the 27-year-old Schlemko this season: The Edmonton native began the year in Arizona and appeared in 20 games for the Coyotes (scoring one goal and four points) before the team waived him January 2; and the Dallas Stars picked him up one day later and employed him for just five games before putting him back on the waiver wire Feb. 28. Calgary had just lost blueliner and captain Mark Giordano for the season with a torn biceps, so Schlemko was plucked off waivers March 1, but he didn’t play in the Flames’ March 3 game against Philadelphia. And after Calgary and the Bruins were tied at three goals apiece at the end of overtime in Boston, Schlemko was the eighth Flames shooter in the shootout. He did not disappoint – unless you were Rask and his teammates:
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Predators center Mike Ribeiro sued for alleged sexual assault of former nanny

Adam Proteau
Nashville Predators' Mike Ribeiro

As first reported by Wednesday, Nashville Predators center Mike Ribeiro is being sued for more than $1 million in damages by a nanny he and his wife employed in Texas for an alleged sexual assault and for threats made against her in 2012.

Full details of the lawsuit were not immediately released, but Larry Fredman, the attorney for the woman behind the lawsuit, told The Associated Press Thursday she’d been sexually assaulted by Ribeiro shortly after graduating from high school and when Ribeiro had been playing for the Dallas Stars. The young woman said she didn’t alert the authorities because she was “terrified”. And Ribeiro’s wife, Tamara, is alleged in the suit to have “made inappropriate comments and/or threats” to her. Read more

Blackhawks star Duncan Keith helps special little girl skate and score a goal for the first time

Adam Proteau
Duncan Keith (Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Chicago Blackhawks star Duncan Keith is like many NHLers in that he devotes much of his off-ice time to charitable endeavors. And recently, the 31-year-old defenseman did a world of good by doing one of the simplest things any player can do: give their time and heart to a special little girl who was skating – and scoring a goal – for the very first time.

Keith met with a toddler named Cammy and her parents at the Hawks’ practice facility; the young girl has severe cognitive challenges and is unable to walk or speak, but she has a brilliant smile and passion for hockey and wanted little more than to get on the ice, put a puck in a net, and have the goal assisted by her favorite player. That’s just what Keith did for her: Read more

Watch 11-year-old Jordyn Leopold talk about the letter that brought her dad home

Jared Clinton
Jordyn Leopold (via Minnesota Wild/Wild TV)

The best news item from trade deadline day, and inarguably the most heartwarming, was the story of a letter sent from the daughter of Jordan Leopold to the Wild coaching staff – one that asked if the team could, please, bring her dad back home to Minnesota.

In one of the final moves of the day, the Wild made young Jodryn’s wish come true when they acquired her father from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Justin Falk and a fifth round pick in the upcoming draft. What is now being called “The Letter” surfaced within hours of the trade’s announcement.

On the night her dad played his first game in Minnesota, Wild TV caught up with Jordyn to ask her about how her letter came to be and see what’s next for the 11-year-old. Read more

Throwback Thursday re-visits the 1995 Future Watch top 50 list

Brian Costello
Future Watch 1995 photo

The Hockey News has been publishing a special issue dedicated to NHL prospects since the late 1980s. What began as an “In The System” theme issue gave way to Future Watch in 1992. Our first top 50 list of prospects – compiled by canvassing a panel of scouts – appeared in Future Watch 1994 with Paul Kariya as the No. 1 prospect. The following season – 20 years ago – Ed Jovanovski was the chosen one. The headline read:

NHL’s premier prospect no ordinary Jovanovski

In this edition of Throwback Thursday, here’s how that winter, 1995 cover story by Ken Campbell read:

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Future Watch 2015: the NHL’s top 10 falling prospects

Matt Larkin
Stefan Matteau. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, I outlined the top rising prospects in THN Future Watch 2015, our ultimate prospect ranking publication. To recap the process:

Scouts from every NHL team rank their organizations’ top 10 prospects. That generates a pool of 300 players. A panel of about 15 (the number varies slightly by year) head scouts and GMs uses that 300-player list to create a top 50. Votes are assembled to create an aggregate top 50, and the panel also ranks each franchise’s prospect pools.

Which players have plummeted among our top 75 – or out of it – based on last year’s ranking? Here’s a look at Future Watch’s top fallers. Keep in mind anyone ranked last year who graduated to full-time NHL duty doesn’t count as a “faller.”

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10 must-watch games as the regular season winds down

Jared Clinton
Boston and Florida are battling hard for the final wild-card spot in the East. (Steve Babineau/Getty Images)

With the trade deadline over and clubs deep in the race for the playoffs, nearly every single evening presents to us a must-watch game with postseason implications.

Whether it be for division seeding or to squeak into a wild-card spot, points are at their most critical. However, there’s also another race to watch and that’s the race to the bottom of the NHL’s standings for a shot at selecting either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, the consensus first- and second-overall ranked players in the upcoming draft.

Here are the ten games to watch down the stretch: Read more