Faster and more prolific Bruins a threat at both ends of the ice

Ken Campbell
Boston Bruins celebration  (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

You could make the argument that there has been no team in the NHL – with the exception of the Chicago Blackhawks – that has lost more young talent over the years than the Boston Bruins. Since they won the Cup in 2011, the Bruins have parted ways with Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and Johnny Boychuk. All but Boychuk were under 30 when they left and the average age of the players leaving was under 26.

Even losing a 36-year-old Jarome Iginla was a kick in the slats, considering he scored 30 goals in his only season with the Bruins, then scored 29 in his first season with the Colorado Avalanche.

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Former Blue Jays GM Anthopoulos to the NHL? Coyotes reportedly reach out

Jared Clinton
Former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Of all the names one may have expected to hear in connection with a job in an NHL front office, former Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos would have had to be at or near the very bottom. However, according to a report, the Arizona Coyotes have reached out to the recently crowned MLB Executive of the Year.

The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons reported late Saturday evening that Anthopoulos has been contacted by the Coyotes regarding a “senior position or a consulting position” with the club. Simmons cited two sources who confirmed the Coyotes reached out to the former Jays GM, and Simmons said the calls caught Anthopoulos “by complete surprise.” Read more

Cocaine testing could be coming to NHL by end of 2015-16

Jared Clinton
New York Rangers center Jarret Stoll (Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL’s drug testing could be expanded to include tests for cocaine by the end of the season, according to a report.

TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie reported Monday afternoon that the NHL drug tests for cocaine use could be in place as soon as the end of the 2015-16 season. Lavoie added that nothing is finalized yet, and the NHL and NHL Players’ Association hasn’t yet come to an agreement on the tests. Read more

Jets’ Pavelec out at least one month, which could give prospect Hellebuyck time to shine

Jared Clinton
Connor Hellebuyck (Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

The Winnipeg Jets have been an above average team this season in just about every regard. They out possess the opposition on a near nightly basis, have a favorable shooting percentage and are getting a good chunk of their starts in the attacking zone. One area the Jets have struggled, though, is between the pipes and things aren’t about to get any easier.

The Jets announced Monday that goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who was hit by Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan Saturday night, has been placed on the injured reserve and, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky, the diagnosis, a knee sprain, isn’t good. Pavelec is expected to miss all of December’s action, Orlesky reported, and there’s a possibility he won’t return until February.

Normally, this would be where Jets fans — or at least those who have been more on the side of netminder Michael Hutchinson than they have Pavelec — would be excited about the potential for Hutchinson to shine. However, Hutchinson has been statistically worse than Pavelec this season. Of the 42 goaltenders who have played at least 300 minutes at 5-on-5, Pavelec ranks 18th with a .931 save percentage. Hutchinson? He’s closer to the bottom with a 34th-best .912 SP.

To say the Jets can’t afford a run of poor goaltending in the incredibly competitive Central Division would be an understatement. But there may not be reason for the Winnipeg faithful to worry, because with Pavelec’s injury came the call up of Manitoba Moose netminder Connor Hellebuyck, and the future could very well be now for the Jets. Read more

Luongo one win from eighth all-time — does he have Hall of Fame credentials?

Jared Clinton
Roberto Luongo (Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

With one more victory, Roberto Luongo will take sole possession of eighth all-time in wins. It will be Luongo’s 408th victory, putting him one ahead of Glenn Hall and leaving Luongo only 14 wins shy of passing Tony Esposito for seventh all-time. But even as his passes some of the games all-time greats, one has to wonder if Luongo has the credentials to get into the Hall of Fame.

As THN’s Brian Costello excellently pointed out in August 2014, Luongo’s chances at getting himself into the Hall are based solely on one thing: his ability to pile up wins. Moving past Hall and Esposito won’t be enough for Luongo, though. No, in order to get into the Hall, Luongo is going to have to climb much further. Precedent has been set for someone of his ilk by the exclusion of Curtis Joseph from the Hall of Fame since he became eligible in 2012. Read more

Fischler’s One-Timers: Rangers destined for Stanley Cup, despite lack of superstars

Stan Fischler
Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)


*  There’s only one super team in the NHL right now and, ironically, barring the goaltender, that club doesn’t boast a single superstar. It happens to be the New York Rangers who are destined for the 2016 Stanley Cup. The reasons are simple: 1. New York features more good — not great — players at more positions than any other squad. 2. Henrik Lundqvist is at least as good as — I say better than — Vezina-winner Carey Price. 3. The Blueshirts collective defense beats those of any other NHL club. 4. Too-often-overlooked Alain Vigneault is at the top of his coaching game and certainly an Adams Award favorite.

These Rangers remind me of the 1946-47 Cup Champion Toronto Maple Leafs who failed to place a single player on either the First or Second All-Star Teams. A season later — when Toronto won its second of three straight titles — the only Leaf to place either on the First or Second All-Star Team was goalie Turk Broda. Leafs boss Conn Smythe called that club the best Toronto team he ever managed. Next June, I predict, we’ll be saying that this is the best Rangers team ever, and with only one All-Star, Lundqvist.

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Canadiens’ Winter Classic alumni roster features Robinson, Carbonneau and Kovalev

Jared Clinton
Alex Kovalev scored 430 career goals in the NHL. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

The beauty of the Winter Classic pitting the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens — aside from the obvious rivalry — is the alumni lists are long and incredibly talented. The alumni lists also span generations, which means stars of the 1980s can play alongside those who hung up the skates as few as two seasons ago.

Sunday evening, legendary Canadiens bench boss Jaques Demers announced the roster for Montreal’s alumni team at the Winter Classic, and there are several legendary names among the ranks. One of the highlights, though, is seeing the likes of 1970s star blueliner Larry Robinson suiting up on the same team as those who made their names in the 1990s and 2000s, such as Alexei Kovalev and Jose Theodore. Read more