No need to play the 2014-15 season, National Hockey League. Yes, that may cut into the $4 billion in revenues you’re expected to generate, but think of the cost savings for teams that lose money.
Really, why actually play a season when a simulated NHL season has already been played, the Stanley Cup has been awarded and all the awards winners have already been determined? That’s what EA Sports, creators of the NHL 15 video game, have done. And they’ve determined that the Los Angeles Kings will become the first back-to-back Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and ’98. Read more
When the Philadelphia Flyers stopped sending out half-dressed women to clean the ice surface at the start of this pre-season, I lauded them for it as a progressive move. But all it took for them to reverse course and abandon their plans was a few thousand Philly fans to start booing the group of young men dressed in full orange jumpsuits who replaced them.
Nothing says “the courage of your convictions” like cowering in the face of some sad males who don’t enjoy hockey enough to appreciate it without hyper-sexualized women. Do these dudes realize that, through the magical wonders of the internet, they have the option to see pretty girls in skimpy clothes any day of any week of any year for the rest of their lives? Are they so unfamiliar with the female form they require constant visual reminders of it during the three hours they spend at the rink? Did they read this Mother Jones account of the shoddy treatment/salary afforded to ice girls and think this is an issue worth fighting for?
More importantly, do the Flyers actually believe fans will stop coming to games if they didn’t have women displaying their thighs, stomachs and shoulders like dehumanized meat products on the ice? How did they ever manage to sell tickets before the franchise started their ice girl crew in 2003-04? I guess the fans who booed the male ice crew just refused to attend games before then, right? Read more
On Tuesday, the Dallas Stars assigned offensive defenseman Julius Honka to the American League’s Texas Stars. As an 18-year-old experiencing his first NHL training camp, it was no surprise that the Finnish blueliner wouldn’t make the cut. What surprised many observers was that Dallas was allowed to assign Honka to the AHL in the first place.
After all, Honka played in the Western League for Swift Current last season and conventional wisdom held that players drafted out of the CHL who still had major junior eligibility (such as Honka) had to be returned to junior; they couldn’t go to the AHL.
This is the rule that has vexed sometimes-Buffalo Sabre Mikhail Grigorenko for a couple years now, since he was drafted out of the Quebec League. But the Stars were confronted with a glitch in the system.
Wayne Simmonds stoked the fire that burns between his Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers when he was quoted, on Twitter, wearing his heart on his sleeve:
We hockey fans are a bloodthirsty lot. Yes, even the pacifists, and don’t let them tell you any differently.
The Winnipeg Jets enter their most critical season since their relocation from Atlanta in 2011. Counting their final seasons as the Thrashers, the Jets haven’t made the playoffs since 2007. The honeymoon period is over in Winnipeg, as fans and media grow impatient waiting for the Jets to become contenders.
Apart from a coaching change midway through last season and signing third-line center Mathieu Perreault, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff responded to off-season calls for change by standing pat and preaching patience.
Left winger Evander Kane and defenseman/winger Dustin Byfuglien were frequently subject to trade speculation this summer. THN.com’s Rory Boylen recently listed Kane among his top 10 trade candidates for the upcoming season, while Byfuglien made SI.com’s Allan Muir’s list.
In the 21 seasons between 1980-81 and 2000-01, a total of three players won the NHL scoring championship. Perhaps you’ve heard of them – Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr.
In the 12 seasons since then, nine players have won it and nobody has taken home the Art Ross Trophy in successive seasons. We at thn.com predict that trend to continue. And if our crystal ball isn’t defective, there will be another first-time winner this season.
With that in mind, here are our top 10 choices for the Art Ross Trophy in 2014-15, in descending order. Read more
The Philadelphia Flyers enter training camp with a pile of questions about the team. Is the defense too slow and old? How will they fare without Kimmo Timonen, who is out for at least the first few months of the season, and possibly the entire year? Can Steve Mason put together another strong season, or was last year a one-off?
We’re skeptical of the Flyers this season and predicted them to finish fifth in the Metro Division and out of the playoffs. There are just too many concerns around the roster. And on the very first day of training camp, another uncertainty was added to the pile: Claude Giroux left the ice after 15 minutes with a “lower-body injury.”
It’s not yet clear exactly what the injury is, or how serious it is. But this is an awful way for the Flyers to start training camp.
Flyers fans: hold on to your butts.
No one has ever understood goaltenders. From Hall of Fame puker Glenn Hall to wall-kicking Josh Harding, they’re a breed apart and considering the dangerous occupation they chose, perhaps they can be forgiven for their eccentricities. Recently, it’s been very difficult to figure out who will dominate the Vezina Trophy race. But with some help from Rob Vollman’s Hockey Abstract, here’s a look at 10 goalies who might have down years. Quality Starts percentage refers to games in which a goalie had a .917 save percentage when facing more than 20 shots (.885 when facing 20 shots or less). Vollman averaged out the past three seasons to get his results.