After significant health issues Stephen Weiss returns, hits career milestone

Adam Proteau
Stephen Weiss (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

It wasn’t all that long ago Stephen Weiss was considered one of the NHL’s brighter young talents, but he’ll be 32 in April, has struggled mightily with health issues for the past two seasons and looked to be following that pattern this year when a groin injury forced him out of the Detroit Red Wings’ lineup for 13 games. But after a conditioning stint in the AHL, Weiss made his return Monday against Ottawa – and the veteran center made people remember that talent with a two-goal performance – and a milestone in points – in Detroit’s 4-3 win over the visiting Senators.

Now in the second year of a five-year, $24.5-million contract with the Wings that carries an average cap hit of $4.9 million, Weiss scored his first of the night and season during a goalmouth scramble midway through the second period:

The goal was Weiss’ first since Oct. 14, 2013, but he didn’t have to wait nearly so long for his next one: it came about four minutes later on another close-range shot – although this one was one Sens goalie Craig Anderson would usually save: Read more

Remembering Pat Quinn: watch him break down his (in)famous hit on Bobby Orr

Adam Proteau
The big screen outside the Air Canada honors late NHL great Pat Quinn (Getty Images)

The passing of NHL great Pat Quinn Sunday night has brought back into focus his famous on-ice run-in with Boston Bruins icon Bobby Orr. And in this interview Quinn gave, he describes his view on the “cleanliness” of the incident – which saw the then-Maple Leafs defenseman launch himself into an unsuspecting Orr and knock him unconscious – and his relationship with Orr after it took place on April 2, 1969: Read more

Struggles, streaks, and scoring: 10 unexpected stats at the quarter point of the season

Jakub Voracek's amazing start means fantasy players could get a king's ransom for him in a trade. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

There are always early season surprises. That’s just the nature of hockey. A lucky bounce here and there, and you have Jon Sim fighting for the lead in preseason scoring, which is something that has actually happened in the past.

Over the course of the year, however, these things tend to even out. At the quarter mark of the season, trends are starting to develop. Of those trends, you’ll notice some are related, while others, not so much. These are the ten most unexpected stats at the quarter-pole. Read more

Power Rankings: Fish sticks rocket to No. 1

Ken Campbell
New York Islanders (Photo by Jim McIsaac/NHLI via Getty Images)

The New York Islanders are not in first place in the NHL today. They’re not even in the top five of the NHL standings. But is there a team in the league any team would like to meet less than the Islanders at the moment?

We doubt it. The Islanders have won eight of their past nine, including back-to-back wins over the team most consider to be the best in the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’ve scored at least four goals in each of their past five victories and are playing with a swagger we haven’t seen from this team in years.

And that’s why they’re on top of thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.)

1. N.Y. ISLANDERS (9): “This is a new hockey club with a new attitude,” said coach Jack Capuano after a home-and-home sweep of Pittsburgh. Coming up: Four Metro division games.

2. ST. LOUIS (1): Jay Bouwmeester’s Ironman streak ends at 737, Ryan Reaves’ consecutive goals streak starts at one. Coming up: Three winnable games at home to Ottawa and Edmonton, on the road to Minnesota.

3. ANAHEIM (5): Rene Bourque played 9:54 and had three shots and three hits in his Ducks debut against Arizona Sunday night. Coming up: Two more at home and a trip to San Jose Saturday night.

4. MONTREAL (3): In the seven games Montreal has lost this season, they’ve been outscored by a margin of 33-5. Coming up: Home-and-home against suddenly hot Buffalo, then a four-game western road trip. Read more

Patrick Burke captures Pat Quinn’s spirit with hilarious, heart-warming tale

Jared Clinton
From L to R: Patrick Burke, Pat Quinn, and Brian Burke. (via Patrick Burke on Twitter/@BurkieYCP)

WARNING: This story contains some language that is not suitable for children or the workplace.

Patrick Burke, the NHL’s director of Player Safety, president of You Can Play, and son of Brian Burke, spent some time with the late Pat Quinn when the Vancouver Canucks hired the elder Burke. Today, on the day of Quinn’s passing, Patrick shared an amazing story about just how great Quinn was. Read more

Radim Vrbata proving he’s more than a mirage

Vrbata Featured

To really understand what makes Radim Vrbata’s success this season so impeccable is to go all the way back to 2008, when a 27-year-old Vrbata was one of the lesser known yet still cherished free agents.

Coming off a career high 27 goals and 29 assists for 56 points, Vrbata embodied the spirit of a player hitting his prime. He was rewarded for his play on July 1, 2008, when the Tampa Bay Lightning signed him to a three-year, $9 million contract. What should have been the next great chapter of his career turned into a nightmare scenario, which saw him out of Tampa Bay and back in the desert in 2009. Read more

Pat Quinn and me: Remembering a legend

Pat Quinn (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

When I think of Pat Quinn, I harken back to the dark days of February, 1999. Quinn was just months into his tenure as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs and I was equally green as the Maple Leafs beat reporter with The Toronto Star covering him.

I had found out not long before that my father was dying of cancer. Word somehow got to Quinn and one day during a post-practice scrum when I think he could see I was smiling on the outside and dying on the inside and was being cajoled by my colleagues, he pulled me into him with his big right arm and held me close for just a second. He never mentioned a word of it ever again, and neither did I. Read more