The 10 worst free agent signings of 2014-15

Dave Bolland's five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Florida Panthers is one of the worst UFA deals handed out. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Blues’ signing of Martin Brodeur didn’t turn out the way many fans would have hoped, with the legendary netminder playing some of the worst hockey of his career and then retiring once there was no longer a spot for him in the lineup.

But the signing was a calculated risk. Brodeur came cheap, was a capable backup and a teacher and mentor for young goaltender Jake Allen. Because Brodeur retired before Feb. 1, it saved the Blues from paying a roster bonus to the veteran netminder. Those are all reasons you won’t find Brodeur on this list of the worst signings of this season.

What you will find is a few players who are overpaid, contracts that are far too long, and a few gambles that simply didn’t pay off. Read more

Patrick Marleau youngest to 1,300 NHL games. Can he catch Gordie Howe?

Matt Larkin
Patrick Marleau can become hockey's all-time games played leader if he competes into his early 40s. (Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

Patrick Marleau has quietly churned out production for the San Jose Sharks since they drafted him second overall in 1997. Went right to the NHL and scored 32 points as an 18-year-old. Scored 20 goals 12 times, 30 goals seven times, 40 goals once. The 74 games he played as a rookie were a career low for a full season.

So, about that durability – Marleau, 35, played his 1,300th NHL game Thursday night, becoming the youngest player in history to reach that milestone. He beat Scott Stevens by 104 days. Marleau remains a consistent top-six performer, even if his game is in decline, and he’s seemingly indestructible, so we have to ask: can he pass Gordie Howe to become the sport’s all-time leader in games played?

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Will infamous singer Gary Glitter’s latest sex crimes conviction finally convince NHL teams to stop playing his music?

Gary Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, leaves a London court  in November of 2014 after being charged with sex crimes. (Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

Notorious British musician Gary Glitter was found guilty Thursday in London of multiple sex crimes with minors, and if you’re wondering how this awful man has a connection to hockey, rest assured, you’re not the only one. Here’s why: Glitter’s hit song, “Rock and Roll, Part 2″, continues to be played at NHL arenas. It’s astonishing that teams feel justified in using it despite Glitter’s numerous sex crime convictions prior to this latest one – and the use of his music needs to end. Today.

The 70-year-old Glitter was convicted of one count of attempted rape, one count of sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13, and four counts of indecent assault. The charges all are in relation to crimes he committed against three girls in the 1970s; he’ll be sentenced February 27th and could receive the maximum sentence for unlawful sex with a minor of life in prison. And the former “glam rock” star, whose heyday came in the 1970s, has been found guilty of sex offenses with minors in courts around the world: in 1999, he was convicted of possessing child pornography (an offense for which he served a four-month prison sentence); in 2003, he was deported from Cambodia to Vietnam after sexual abuse allegations; and in 2006, he was sentenced to three years in a Vietnamese prison for sexually abusing two girls.

And yet, even with that information in the public domain, NHL teams have continued to play “Rock and Roll, Part 2″. The Colorado Avalanche still use the original version as their goal song. The Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators used it in their goal song celebrations last season. The San Jose Sharks use a muzak version for their goal song.

This is all so unnecessarily stubborn and, quite simply, unacceptable.
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Hey everybody, John Scott scored again

Adam Proteau
John Scott (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

San Jose Sharks enforcer John Scott scored a goal in October of this season and the hockey world erupted. Why? Well, mainly because the massive tough guy had scored just two goals in his entire NHL career (total games through 2013-14: 236) before the current campaign began. However, after Wednesday’s contest against Calgary, he’s matched that total and set a new career high with his second of the year.

The Sharks were trailing the Flames 3-0 in Calgary when Scott was the beneficiary of a most fortuitous bounce to the right of Flames goalie Jonas Hiller:

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Rumor Roundup: O’Reilly, Franson, Niemi all on the market heading to deadline

o'reilly

Trade rumors continue to swirl about the Colorado Avalanche, who entered Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Stars with 53 points, just four back of a wild card berth in the Western Conference. It’s believed the Avalanche, one of this season’s worst defensive clubs, could be in the market for blue line help. Losing top defenseman Erik Johnson (knee injury) for three-to-eight weeks could add more urgency to their search.

Most of the Avalanche trade rumors center around 23-year-old winger Ryan O’Reilly. The 2014 Lady Byng Trophy winner will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in July 2016. O’Reilly’s history of contentious contract negotiations with the Avs has many pundits considering him a top trade candidate.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports of conflicting views over when O’Reilly could hit the trade block. Some observers believe the Avalanche are close to moving him while others think they’ll wait until the summer when the trade market could improve. Read more

San Jose goes duck hunting in highlights of win over Anaheim

Jared Clinton
San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns holds up Anaheim Ducks mascot Wild Wing in the Sharks' remake of the classic Nintendo game Duck Hunt. (via YouTube)

The NHL and its teams have been known to use a little bit of audio and video magic from time to time on their highlight packages, and the San Jose Sharks gave their 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, Jan. 29 a unique video game spin.

For those that remember the first generation of Nintendo game consoles, the Sharks Duck Hunt treatment of their highlights should bring back some fond memories. That is, unless that snickering dog became a bit too much for you every time you missed a shot. Read more

Jordan Eberle’s nifty goal showcases Oilers star’s sublime skills

Adam Proteau
Jordan Eberle (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Edmonton Oilers may not have much to play for in terms of moving up the NHL standings the rest of the season, but star right winger Jordan Eberle gave his team’s fans something to smile about with a beautiful goal against the San Jose Sharks Monday night.

After a pass from Taylor Hall late in the first period, Eberle picks up the puck at the top of the circle in San Jose’s zone and breaks in, first toe-dragging the puck around Patrick Marleau, then beating Sharks defenseman Brent Burns and goalie Antti Niemi before backhanding the puck into the net for his 14th goal of the year: Read more