Suspend him or suspend him: Vancouver’s Alex Burrows ejected after head shot on Preds’ Paul Gaustad

Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa stands near Preds center Paul Gaustad, who had just been hit by Vancouver's Alex Burrows. (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Just about every NHL media person working today will tell you it’s easy and often unfair to judge players’ actions from the comforts of the press box or our living rooms. We always have to bear that in mind when we’re talking about supplemental discipline. The game moves faster than any sport not contested on wheels, and there are times when players will seriously injure an opponent with no malice intended.

Then there are NHLers who “just happen” to be involved with an annually-increasing number of borderline dirty incidents in the same way Jason Statham just happens to make essentially the same action movie time and again. Which brings me to Alex Burrows.

The Canucks’ agitator was back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons Tuesday after this blindside hit to the head of Predators center Paul Gaustad got him a five-minute major and an ejection from Vancouver’s game against Nashville: Read more

Former Red Wing, Canuck Mikael Samuelsson announces retirement

Jared Clinton
Mikael Samuelsson (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Following one-season in the SHL, 13-year NHL veteran Mikael Samuelsson has decided to hang up his skates.

Samuelsson, 38, was drafted in the fifth round, 145th overall, by the San Jose Sharks in the 1998 draft, but didn’t really make his mark in the NHL until nearly a decade later when he landed with the Detroit Red Wings. With Detroit, Sameulsson would capture a Stanley Cup in 2007-08 and his performance in the 2005-06 season would help earn him a spot on the Olympic gold medal-winning Swedish squad in 2006. Read more

Why locking up Chris Tanev was a no-brainer for the Canucks

Jared Clinton
Chris Tanev (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

When you’ve got the future of your blueline nearing free agency, you do just about anything you can to secure him long-term. That’s exactly what the Vancouver Canucks did Tuesday when they inked Chris Tanev to a five-year, $22.5 million extension.

Tanev, 25, signed the five-year deal just months before his current one-year contract is set to expire. In five seasons, Tanev has gone from promising prospect to top-pairing defenseman for the Canucks, and his new deal signifies Vancouver has high hopes for what his future holds. The signing was an all-around no brainer. Read more

NCAA Frozen Four: Players to watch from every team in the tournament

Minnesota State goalie Stephon Williams (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

College hockey’s Frozen Four kicks off this week with 16 teams gunning for a spot in Boston, where the semifinal and final will be held in April. Regionals spread the squads across four cities and there is a lot of firepower at this year’s installment. But who are the players to watch for? Here’s a primer for every school, with an admitted bias towards NHL prospects.

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Suspend him or not: Kings’ Toffoli boards Canucks’ Burrows

Jared Clinton
Tyler Toffoli

For the first time in his young career, Tyler Toffoli may be getting a call from the Department of Player Safety.

During Saturday afternoon’s game between the Kings and Canucks, Toffoli sent Vancouver Canucks winger Alex Burrows head first into the boards with a crosscheck to the back. Burrows stayed down on the ice for several moments before being helped from the ice.

You can see the play, which resulted in a five-minute major and a game misconduct for Toffoli, below: Read more

Five backup goaltenders who could find starting jobs next season

Cam-Talbot

In Wednesday’s win over the New York Rangers, Chicago backup netminder Scott Darling showed exactly why the Blackhawks inked him to a two-year extension. And, with the win, he made the backup goaltending job in Chicago that much more interesting.

With the shutout – the first of Darling’s professional career – it adds more credence to the belief that Antti Raanta’s time might be up as Corey Crawford’s backup. But the move from starting AHL netminder to NHL second-stringer, which Darling made, is a common one. Next season, however, could see the rise of more than a few backup goaltenders to first-string duty.

Here are the five goaltenders you can most expect to challenge for a starting gig: Read more

Canucks honor life and legacy of late coach Pat Quinn in touching pre-game ceremony

Adam Proteau
The late Pat Quinn's wife Sandra, daughters Kalli and Val and granddaughter Kate Rydland join Canucks president Trevor Linden, team owner Francesco Aquilini and Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson as a street is named in Quinn's honor. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Before their game against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks celebrated the life of former coach and GM Pat Quinn.

Quinn, who passed away Nov. 23 in Vancouver at age 71, played a major role for both teams at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena, and had a street named in his honor prior to the showdown between the Flyers and Canucks; he was represented at Tuesday’s ceremony by his wife, Sandra, daughters Val and Kalli, and granddaughter Kate Rydland. Quinn was also honored by the appearance of former teammates, players he coached and those with whom he worked, including former Flyers legend and GM Bob Clarke, longtime assistant coach Rick Ley, and retired Canucks stars Markus Naslund, Trevor Linden and Pavel Bure: Read more

Ryan Miller wants Eddie Lack to wear taco-design goalie pads

Jared Clinton
Ryan Miller's custom pad design for Eddie Lack. (via Twitter/Ryan Miller)

Ryan Miller and Eddie Lack have a special kind of relationship, wherein both Canucks netminders like to take shots at each other over social media. The latest jab comes from Miller, who wanted to help Lack design his new set of pads.

Lack held a mask design competition earlier this season and it was met with great success. So it only makes sense he would try to do the same with his equipment. Brian’s, the company which Lack has previously used for his custom Canucks pads and his outstanding Chicago Wolves pads, has set up the competition and Miller took full advantage.

Included in Miller’s design are pictures of Lack’s parents, Mia and Willie, as well as a taco – half on the left pad, half on the right. It’s an… interesting design, to say the least. Read more