• Watch SHL player undress two defenders en route to beautiful overtime winner

    Jared Clinton
    Ryan Lasch (via CHL/Robert Soderlind/YouTube)

    The NHL may be getting underway tonight, but the best goal you see all day might be this tally from Champions League action in Sweden.

    In a Tuesday evening contest between Sweden’s Frolunda HC and Germany’s ERC Ingolstadt, Ryan Lasch, a 28-year-old American-born right winger, scored an absolutely gorgeous goal to lift Frolunda into the Round of 16.

    After picking the puck up in his own end on a delayed penalty, Lasch flew through the neutral zone and proceeded to use an outside-inside move on two consecutive defenders before roofing a backhand from a seemingly impossible angle. Not only was the goal absolutely brilliant, it was the overtime winner in the second of a two-game set between Frolunda and Ingolstadt. Check it out: Read more

  • Can Drake Berehowsky’s program change how we evaluate players?

    Matt Larkin
    Drake Berehowsky. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

    Advanced statistics have permeated hockey so much that they now reside on NHL.com in their own category. We don’t need to repeat how many teams have hired experts. But that doesn’t mean the numbers game won’t evolve again. As Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas once told me, hockey’s analytics are 20 years behind baseball’s. Sooner or later, someone will invent a more accurate way to track statistics like possession.

    Is Drake Berehowsky that someone?

    It’s been a long time since we saw Berehowsky, 43, manning a blueline. He last suited up in the NHL for the Leafs, the team that took him 10th overall in 1990, late in the 2003-04 season. He bounced around the Swedish League, AHL and German League after that and retired in 2006. But Berehowsky stayed busy. He’s spent the better part of the past decade behind various benches, from OHL Barrie to AHL Peoria to ECHL Orlando and WHL Lethbridge, where he was head coach the past two seasons. Now he’s back in the OHL as an associate coach with the Sudbury Wolves.

    Along the way, through the ups and downs helming all those different teams, ideas danced around in his head. Was there a better, faster, more accurate way to evaluate his players? Could he pinpoint what data would help him and others make wiser decisions, be they in-game line combinations or even just deciding who should and shouldn’t make the team?

    Drake and his sister, Danielle, began work on an idea called StatsTrack, an application that tracks player and team events on the ice in real time. Drake provided the ideas and concepts behind what the program would track, Danielle ran the business side of things, and they worked with a team of digital technology specialists to develop the concept. The NHL Alumni Association also came on board as a partner.

    Read more

  • Once overpaid and underproducing, Scott Gomez would be a savvy signing for St. Louis

    Jared Clinton
    Scott Gomez Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

    When Scott Gomez was a Montreal Canadien, his inability to find the back of the net became a running joke. For more than a year — from Feb. 5, 2011 to Feb. 9, 2012 — Gomez hadn’t scored a single regular season goal. It turned Gomez, who was earning $7 million annually, into one of the most maligned players in Montreal, and that reputation of overpaid under-producer has stuck with him since.

    His name is usually followed by a remembrance of the goalless drought, but the 35-year-old Gomez has been a handy depth forward over the past three seasons with little fanfare. He’s had a tough time shaking his reputation, but Gomez used it to fly under the radar this past season in New Jersey and scored seven goals and 34 points in 58 games.

    Now, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy P. Rutherford, Gomez, who was on a PTO with St. Louis, is working on a contract for the 2015-16 season with Blues, which would be the perfect fit for the veteran center. Read more

  • Prospect Need to Know: Logan Brown is playing big for Windsor

    Windsor's Logan Brown (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

    Welcome to the rebirth of The Hot List. From now on, my weekly collection of top prospects will be known as Prospect Need to Know and the format will be a little different. The biggest changes involve star power and flexibility – there will be more of both. If your prospect knowledge is limited, I’ll have you covered with a steady dose of names such as Auston Matthews, Alex DeBrincat and Patrik Laine. If you like to go deeper, there will be categories on sleeper picks, major injury news and, as the season goes on, high risers in the draft rankings. Basically, I wanted to make sure I have a platform that would not limit me in bringing you the most essential prospect news. And for organizational purposes, players will now be listed in groupings, with those already drafted first (after the spotlight player, of course). So let’s get to it and have some fun:

    Read more

  • THN’s 2015-16 NHL season preview: Anaheim Ducks

    The Hockey News
    Sami Vatanen, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

    2014-15 Record: 51-24-7 (109 Pts.)

    THN’s Prediction: 1st, Pacific Division

    What To Expect: In the past three playoffs, the Ducks have inched progressively closer to their second Stanley Cup, taking 3-2 series leads before falling short. Most recently, they appeared destined for the dance, before the resiliency of the Blackhawks overpowered them. This string of near misses could be spirit crushing, or it could be the perfect motivational elixir. Bet on the latter.

    The Ducks are once again all in. General manager Bob Murray made clever off-season tweaks, upgrading his wings with Chris Stewart’s size and Carl Hagelin’s speed while adding veteran bottom-six help in Shawn Horcoff and Mike Santorelli.

    Anaheim’s offense dipped from first to 11th and lost 22-goal scorer Matt Beleskey this off-season, along with Kyle Palmieri and Emerson Etem. The Ducks needs new additions to pitch in and to see progress from youngsters Rickard Rakell and Jiri Sekac. Anaheim relied on a top-heavy structure led by Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler. Secondary scoring must take the heat off the top guns. Read more

  • New Jersey Devils to honor Martin Brodeur with statue, retire No. 30 on Feb. 9

    Jared Clinton
    Martin Brodeur earned himself many curtain calls over his illustrious career. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    He may be manning the St. Louis Blues’ front office but Martin Brodeur will always be remembered as a New Jersey Devil, and the Devils are set to make sure no one ever forgets the legendary netminder in New Jersey when they honor him on Feb. 9.

    When the Edmonton Oilers roll into the Prudential Center for the early February contest, the Devils will pay tribute Brodeur, who played in New Jersey from 1993 until 2014. Over the weekend of festivities, the Devils will also unveil a statue of the surefire Hall of Famer.

    “I don’t think you can honor a hockey player better than retiring his jersey,” said Brodeur. “And even better, a statue now. I’m going to have to talk to that guy and make sure he puts it on my good side. It’s a great honor. I’ll be beside the three defenseman (Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko, Scott Niedermayer) who really helped me out to be the goalie that I was.” Read more

  • Rumor Roundup: Potential UFAs Kopitar, Stamkos, Staal still without extensions

    Anze Kopitar  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

    With the new NHL season fast approaching, several potential UFA stars appear no closer to re-signing with their current teams. The status of Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar and Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal remains a hot topic in the rumor mill.

    The Tampa Bay Time’s Joe Smith reports the 25-year-old Stamkos denied recent trade speculation tying him to the Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames. The longer Stamkos remains unsigned, Smith believes more trade rumors will dog the Lightning captain this season.

    As for Kopitar, ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports the two sides seem no closer to an agreement, though talks remain positive. Kopitar, 28, would like to get a deal done before the start of the season. There’s no word yet if he’ll shut down negotiations once the season begins. Read more

  • NHL, NHLPA discuss adding cocaine to list of banned substances

    Ian Denomme
    Bill Daly and Donald Fehr. (Getty Images)

    On the heels of two high-profile arrests, and an acknowledgement that recreational drugs are increasing in popularity, the NHL and NHL Players Association have reportedly begun talks aimed at adding cocaine to the league’s list of banned substances.

    The report from TSN’s Rick Westhead said the NHL is acknowledging and trying to address increased use of cocaine among its players. In April, former Kings, now Rangers, center Jarret Stoll was arrested in Las Vegas for cocaine possession. He pleaded to two misdemeanor charges in June and signed with the Rangers in August. In April 2014, former Lightning left winger Ryan Malone was arrested for DUI and possession of cocaine. He was not convicted.

    In the TSN story, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly admits they are seeing increased use of “party drugs.”

    “The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they’re going up,” Daly told TSN in an interview. “I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis in any sense. What I’d say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you’ve hit a cycle where it’s an ‘in’ drug again.

    “I’d be shocked if we’re talking about a couple dozen guys. I don’t want to be naïve here … but if we’re talking more than 20 guys I’d be shocked. Because we don’t test in a comprehensive way, I can’t say.”

    More comprehensive testing may be on the way, but adding testing for cocaine would be a collective bargaining issue. Under the current program, players are tested at least twice throughout the season for performance-enhancing drugs, and 60 players are tested during the off-season. Only one-third of all the samples are also tested for drugs like cocaine.

    Westhead reported that NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr held close-door meetings with several NHL teams last year to discuss increased cocaine use, and will continue to do so this year.