When Martin Brodeur retires on Thursday, he’ll take with him the two most important regular season goaltending records: wins and shutouts. With 691 victories and 125 blank slates, there’s reason to believe his records will be left standing for a long, long time.
It’s not that the figures Brodeur posted are so astronomical that they can’t be matched, it’s that the way the NHL works now will likely never allow for a player to reach them. Brodeur had suited up for 168 games before his fourth professional season, and played more than 70 games in 10 straight campaigns. Today, most goaltenders don’t break into the NHL until they’re 24 or 25, and once they do they’re brought in slowly.
That said, how do today’s best goaltenders stack up to Brodeur’s behemoth totals? And is there any present day netminder who can come close to his records? Read more
Patrice Bergeron isn’t the kind of player who scores with much flash. He’s not the biggest, he’s not the fastest, and he doesn’t make the highlight reel often. But he’s the best full ice player in the NHL, and that alone is enough to consider him a star.
What’s most impressive about Bergeron’s game, which is the most complete of any player in the NHL, is he does everything against the NHL’s best. While other stars – your Sidney Crosbys and Alex Ovechkins, for example – get prime, offensive zone minutes, Bergeron makes his living working out of the Bruins’ zone. And 2014-15 has been another season where Boston’s two-way dynamo has impressed. Read more
If things go swimmingly well for Mike Richards, he won’t even have to take one trip on the old iron lung. The Manchester Monarchs of the American League don’t have a road game until a week from Friday and even then, it’s only a 100-mile ride to Providence.
And there’s a chance everything will be cleared up for Richards by that time and he’ll be back in the NHL. Since the Los Angeles Kings put Richards on waivers earlier this week, he has been the subject of considerable trade speculation. The only problem is that Richards’ trade value is currently at an all-time low. In order for the Kings to deal him now, not only would they have to eat salary, they might even have to give their trading partner an asset to do the deal. Read more
The prospect of the AHL putting teams on the west coast has long been talked about, and it appears the creation of a Pacific division has been all but settled.
On Sunday, Kevin Oklobzija of the Democrat and Chronicle reported there will officially be five teams playing next season out of California in order to be closer to their NHL affiliates. In addition, there are two other clubs looking at moving west. Read more
Any hope Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi had of a rival club plucking Mike Richards off waivers came to naught Tuesday. The 29-year-old veteran center cleared waivers and was demoted to the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Manchester. It’s the first time Richards has played in the minors since a brief stint with the Philadelphia Phantoms during the 2005 AHL playoffs.
It was a bold move by Lombardi, though one which shouldn’t be surprising. While Richards helped the Kings win two Stanley Cups, his performance since 2011-12 has been in steady decline. His numbers prior to his demotion (15 points through 47 games) put the center on pace for a career-low 26 points. He was seeing reduced ice time centering the Kings’ fourth line.
In recent weeks there was speculation Lombardi was trying to trade Richards, with most linking the center to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes a swap of Richards for Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf was “seriously considered”, but fell through because the Kings refused to include either Tanner Pearson or Tyler Toffoli in the deal. Read more
The New York Islanders continue to be one of the most fun teams to watch in the entire NHL, and this exquisite passing play leading to a Mikhail Grabovski goal is the most recent example.
If you can follow the moving puck, it goes from John Tavares, across the ice to Josh Bailey, over to Johnny Boychuk, back to Bailey, and then to the goalmouth where Grabovski is waiting to tap it home. It’s a thing of beauty, and each pass is perfect. The play is made better by Grabovski’s stationary celebration. Read more
Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise wasn’t ready to say goodbye to his smile. Unfortunately for Parise, I don’t think they can sew a tooth back in.
Midway through the first period of Tuesday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, Parise took a puck to the face and fell to the ice. When he began to gather himself, blood was dripping from his mouth, but that wasn’t the only thing that had found it’s way to the ice. Among the blood, there sat Parise’s tooth. And like a stereotypical hockey player, Parise picked it up. Read more
After a weekend of fun and festivities, the NHL’s back and it’s already time to talk about potential suspensions. Two separate incidents on Tuesday could find Montreal’s Alexei Emelin and Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler in hot water.
Early in the second period of the Canadiens’ tilt against the visiting Dallas Stars, Emelin gave chase to Jason Spezza behind the net and, with the puck coming towards the Stars center, Emelin gave him a shove from behind which resulted in a bloodied Spezza. Read more