Never ask Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau to play Crazy Eights.
That was the takeaway Thursday after Finnish journalist Juha Hiitelä began Tweeting excerpts from Teemu Selanne’s soon-to-be-released book.
Essentially – and despite calling Boudreau a “nice man” – Selanne threw his former coach in Anaheim under the bus, drove over him with it, backed up, and repeated the process seven or eight times. In the most shocking statement, Selanne said he’d have returned to the NHL for a 22nd season if Boudreau wasn’t still the Ducks’ coach.
But he said much more than that. Here’s the now-retired Selanne describing his experience in the 2014 playoffs, when Boudreau made him a healthy scratch prior to Anaheim’s first round, Game 4 showdown against Dallas: Read more
Try not to be alarmed Pittsburgh Penguins fans – but Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will miss the start of training camp.
From the team’s website:
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will be held out of the start of training camp, it was announced today by Pittsburgh Penguins Executive Vice President and General Manager Jim Rutherford.
Rutherford said the decision was made as a precaution after both players suffered injuries while preparing for camp. Read more
So, we’re not going to recommend that you buy EA Sports’ NHL 15 this year because there are too many modes missing, but this video that shows players trying to guess their overall rating in the game is pretty neat.
Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Travis Zajac and more try and guess what their overall player rating is in this year’s NHL video game and some of them come pretty close.
The best answers out of the bunch come from Ovechkin. Oh Ovie – don’t ever leave for the KHL. Read more
2013-14 record: 29-45-8
Acquisitions: Greg Zanon, Willie Mitchell, Al Montoya, Dave Bolland, Jussi Jokinen, Shawn Thornton, Derek MacKenzie
Departures: Peter Mueller, Scott Clemmensen, Tom Gilbert, Jesse Winchester, Matt Gilroy
Top five fantasy players: Nick Bjugstad, Aleksander Barkov, Jussi Jokinen, Brian Campbell, Jonathan Huberdeau
Boom, Bust and Bottom Line: The best, worst and most likely scenario
Boom: The Panthers will have a full season with Roberto Luongo as their starter and Al Montoya as their backup, which alone will give them a huge boost. Last season’s combination of Tim Thomas, Scott Clemmensen and Jacob Markstrom was awful and cost the Panthers plenty of games and goals against. Read more
The John Davidson-Kurt Overhardt/Ryan Johansen tilt just keeps getting more and more entertaining.
Tuesday, of course, Blue Jackets president John Davidson told THN’s Ken Campbell that Johansen’s contract demands made no sense.
“When you see numbers that are thrown at us, we shouldn’t even respond,” Davidson said. “That’s how bad it is. It’s embarrassing. And if the kid sits out, he sits out. I wonder if the agent’s going to pay him his money back that he’s going to lose by sitting out.
“With the numbers they come back with…are so one-sided it’s nonsensical. It’s extortion is what it is. I don’t make this stuff up. I’ve been in this league doing this for a long time now and this one here, it’s baffling is what it is. This one’s baffling. Baffling.”
Today the Columbus Blue Jackets had their media day and Davidson didn’t take his foot off the gas. He gave three examples of contract offers the team made to Johansen and his agent – and remember, the two sides are still reportedly $3 million apart. Read more
Ryan Johansen’s contract negotiations with the Columbus Blue Jackets are…contentious. Yesterday started with Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen drawing a line in the sand by insinuating the start of training camp as a cut off point. Later on, team president John Davidson took aim at Johansen’s agent Kurt Overhardt by saying the numbers he was throwing out made no sense and were embarrassing.
This sounds like it could be one of the bigger RFA battles the NHL has had in recent years, but there’s still a little time before training camps open. And it’s not like it would be the first time a player has missed the start of training camp with a contract dispute.
It actually used to happen a lot more in the NHL. In the 1990s, it was a regular, yearly thing most teams would have to deal with at one point or another. The only great leverage an RFA without arbitration rights has is to stay home and make the team sweat. It maybe doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but the Johansen situation is hardly unique to the NHL today. Heck, Torey Krug, Jaden Schwartz, Reilly Smith, Darcy Kuemper and Cody Eakin are going through their own, less-publicized negotiations right now too.
We take a look at some of the more recent RFAs who missed all or a portion of training camp over a contract dispute and what the outcome was. We didn’t want to look too far back at every situation because market conditions have changed, especially when looking back past the 2004-05 lockout. Anything before then is basically no influence on Johansen’s situation. Just don’t call these guys holdouts.
Derek Stepan, New York Rangers
Prior to last season, Stepan missed 16 days of training camp before settling on a bridge deal with the Rangers. Stepan ended up signing a two-year deal that has a $3.075 million salary cap charge. Read more
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – The championship final of the Traverse City prospects tournament went into overtime and that meant the dry scrape of the ice that will be in effect for this season. From the time the final buzzer sounded to the time the puck was dropped for overtime, exactly six minutes and 21 seconds had elapsed.
So assuming the time frame will be about the same for the NHL, that’s more than six minutes of idle time for a league that has seemed obsessed with game flow for the past decade. That’s also more than six minutes where the players are sitting in sweaty equipment getting cold and possibly cramping up before going out on the ice to skate 4-on-4 in a high stakes situation. One NHL official who was on hand in Traverse City thinks it will be a matter of time before players and teams begin blaming that five minutes of inactivity on tweaks, groin pulls and other injuries that might occur in overtime. Read more
2013-14 record: 40-31-11
Acquisitions: Patrick Eaves, Ludwig Karlsson, Jason Spezza, Anders Lindback, Ales Hemsky
Departures: Dustin Jeffrey, Alex Chiasson, Alexander Guptill, Nicholas Paul, Chris Mueller, Toby Peterson
Top five fantasy players: Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, Alex Goligoski
Boom, Bust and Bottom Line: The best, worst and most likely scenario
Boom: Dallas had a good thing going and got even better this off-season. The 2013-14 campaign was a resounding success, as new GM Jim Nill, new coach Lindy Ruff and newly acquired sniper Tyler Seguin helped the Stars end a five-season playoff absence. Read more