Bo knows faceoffs, and directions to Toronto

Ken Campbell
Bo Horvat (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Interesting story about Bo Horvat. He’s from Rodney, Ont., which is about 50 miles southwest of London, but he spent some of his most formative hockey years in Toronto.

Well, not really Toronto. When he was an atom in 2005-06, Horvat and another player from Sarnia would drive to Toronto every weekend to play for the Toronto Red Wings of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. The player’s father would drive from Sarnia, pick Horvat up along the way and they’d spend the weekend in a hotel room for $89 a night. Read more

Pat Quinn honored by Vancouver Canucks in touching pre-game ceremony

Jared Clinton
Quinn Tribute Featured

Before Tuesday’s game in Vancouver, the Canucks paid tribute to late coach, president and GM Pat Quinn.

Quinn, who spent two seasons in Vancouver as a player and another decade as president, coach, and GM, died on Sunday night at age 71. Already an inductee into the Canucks ring of honor, Vancouver paid tribute with a moment of silence followed by a moving career retrospective while anthem singer Mark Donnelly honored Quinn with the singing of Danny Boy. Read more

Leafs, Canucks to honor Pat Quinn on their uniforms

Adam Proteau
Maple Leafs Pat Quinn jersey (via Maple Leafs Twitter account)

Like the rest of the hockey world, the Canucks and Maple Leafs are grieving the passing of Pat Quinn, who died Sunday at age 71. But given that Quinn was a key figure for those two franchises – leading both to as close as they’d come to a Stanley Cup championship in the many years before his arrival and after his departure – it’s only fitting that Toronto and Vancouver would do something extra to honor their former coach and GM.

The Maple Leafs announced they would wear a special patch on their jerseys for their next two games; the patch features Quinn’s initials and a green clover in reference to his Irish heritage: Read more

Maple Leafs, Rangers, Canadiens all billion dollar organizations according to Forbes

Madison Square Garden

My, what a difference one year and a massive TV contract can make.

In 2013, when American business magazine Forbes released their NHL franchise valuations, only one team was said to be a billion dollar organization: the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.15 billion). That the Leafs were – and still are – the most valued team in the NHL comes to little surprise what with a fan base that continually shells out top dollar regardless of the outcome. It is hockey mecca, like it or not.

But Tuesday, when Forbes released its rankings for 2014, two franchises, the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers, found themselves in the billion dollar club thanks in large part to a friendly bump from the NHL’s league-wide television deals plus some added money from local television contracts. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Post-Thanksgiving shakeups could come for struggling franchises

Lecavalier

As the American Thanksgiving weekend approaches, the NHL trade market has slowly returned to life. The past two weeks saw the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens swing a couple of deals, including one in which the Stars shipped defensemen Sergei Gonchar to the Canadiens for forward Travis Moen. Factor in last week’s meeting of NHL GMs in Toronto and there’s growing speculation more deals are on the horizon.

A recent six-game losing skid has the Edmonton Oilers the hot topic of trade chatter. Pascal Dupuis’ blood-clot diagnosis could add urgency to the Pittsburgh Penguins search for a scoring winger, while the San Jose Sharks recent slump has generated talk of a possible roster shakeup. 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