• Skills not required on new IFC hockey-related sitcom

    Sal Barry
    (Courtesy of AMC)

    We all know that guy who buys the most expensive hockey stick but can barely hit the net, or the guy who plays beer league hockey more for the drinking than the game itself. It’s those types who inspired the IFC comedy Benders, which follows the on and off-ice misadventures of four men who have an unhealthy obsession for playing on their terrible team.

    “If you’ve been in a locker room before, or on any kind of rec league hockey team, these guys exist,” said actor Mark Gessner, who plays the bespectacled Dickie Litski on the show.

    Read more

  • If goalie equipment shrinks, don’t expect save percentages to decrease with it

    Jared Clinton
    Jaroslav Halak and Ben Bishop.

    For many NHL goaltenders looms the ever-present threat of equipment reductions and restrictions. And this off-season, goalies will again be a likely target in the effort to increase scoring.

    “I know it seems like a broken record or Groundhog Day, but goaltending equipment always comes up,” said Kay Whitmore, the NHL’s director of hockey operations and goaltender equipment. “We’ve done trimming and nipping and tucking here and there, but I think it’s time to look into this a little deeper.”

    Read more

  • Do you smell what LaBarbera’s cooking? Goaltender’s new mask honors ‘The Rock’

    Jared Clinton
    (via DaveArt)

    Jason LaBarbera has yet step between the pipes for the Flyers this season, but if he does, he’ll be bringing the most electrifying mask in hockey history to the ice. LaBarbera’s new lid pays tribute to box-office superstar and professional wrestling legend Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

    It’s well known that LaBarbera, 36, is a huge wrestling fan. With that in mind, it makes sense that when getting a new mask for a team that plays in the city famous for Rocky Balboa the veteran netminder would mix his love of the squared circle with another famous Rocky.

    LaBarbera’s mask, which was designed by DaveArt’s Dave Gunnarsson, doesn’t show off too much of The Rock’s in-ring work, but it does feature the 10-time world champion posing for the camera. The entire left panel is dedicated to The Rock, with the right side featuring the Flyers logo sprawling into the cage: Read more

  • Update: Bruins’ Subban out indefinitely with fractured larynx after puck to throat

    Jared Clinton
    Malcolm Subban (Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

    It’s been a rough couple weeks for Boston Bruins netminders. Jonas Gustavsson was hospitalized following the first period of a Jan. 26 game due to an elevated heart rate, and less than two weeks later, netminder Malcolm Subban was forced to spend his night in hospital after taking a puck to the throat ahead of Saturday’s AHL game.

    During warmup ahead of the Providence Bruins’ game against the Portland Pirates, Subban was struck in the throat with a puck and had to head off ice. Once off the ice, he was transported to hospital by ambulance and held overnight. Read more

  • Darryl Sittler’s 10-point game, 40 years later: an oral history

    Darryl Sittler
    Darryl Sittler. (Photo by Paul Cookson/Ad Army Group)

    WITH MATT LARKIN

    Staring across a table at Hall of Famer and Toronto Maple Leafs legend Darryl Sittler, 65, you’d never guess he accomplished his most famous feat four decades ago. His posture is perfect. He has the firm handshake of man who still works out at his local gym at least three times a week. He oozes a quiet, classy confidence. He could strut around like he owns the place but chooses modesty instead.

    Sittler sits in the THN office, flipping through a volume from a February 1976 edition, like it’s a pulpy novel he just can’t put down. After a quick dig through the archives, we’ve unearthed the newsprint cover detailing his signature NHL accomplishment.

    It’s a record so astounding it feels pulled from a video game or a movie. But it’s all too real, and it’s about to turn 40 years old. Everything clicked for Sittler Feb. 7, 1976 when his Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Boston Bruins. The points kept pouring in. Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard’s single-game record of eight points stood for 32 years and 9,453 NHL games before Sittler smashed it with a 10 spot. His mark is still going strong. This Feb. 7, 40 years and 38,995 NHL games will have passed since Sittler made history.

    Sittler joined us to review footage of all 10 points and reminisce about the events before, during and after that magical game. This is his definitive oral history.

    Read more

  • Getting to Know: Red Wings defenseman Mike Green

    Mark Malinowski
    Mike Green (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Status: Detroit Red Wings defenseman.

    Ht: 6-1 Wt: 207 pounds
    DOB: October 12, 1985 In: Calgary, Alta.

    First Hockey Memory: “Probably skating on the pond for the first time with my dad (Dave).”

    Hockey Inspirations: “I think my parents. I was a big fan of Scott Niedermayer – he was an inspiring player to watch. I idolized him. He’s kind of the reason I became a defenseman, and maybe molded into an offensive defenseman.”

    First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “Would’ve been … I think it was Theoren Fleury to be honest. When he was in Calgary. (After a practice?) I think it was a school event. He came to our school.”

    Read more

  • Senators’ Mark Stone takes skate to the face, somehow escapes serious injury

    Jared Clinton
    Mark Stone (via Streamable)

    Senators winger Mark Stone doesn’t head to the penalty box often, and he might be even more wary of committing stick infractions after a trip on Joffrey Lupul nearly resulted in Stone’s face being sliced open by Lupul’s skate.

    With three minutes remaining in the first period, Lupul was battling with Stone for the puck in the neutral zone when Stone got his stick into Lupul’s skate and hauled the Maple Leafs winger to the ice. The trip of Lupul resulted in his upper body falling forward and feet kicking up into the air, with his left skate coming up and catching Stone in the face.

    Stone immediately clutched his face and headed for the dressing room as referees on ice whistled the play dead because Stone had been tagged for tripping: Read more

  • Report: Blues could get first outdoor game, possibly Winter Classic against Blackhawks

    Jared Clinton
    Vladimir Tarasenko (Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)

    The St. Louis Blues have never played in an outdoor game, but they could be making their outdoor debut at the Winter Classic, the NHL’s showcase outdoor contest, in 2017.

    According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford, the NHL is “finalizing discussions” to put an outdoor game in St. Louis next season at Busch Stadium, which is the home building of the MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals. Rutherford reported that details still have to be worked out, but the Cardinals are reportedly expecting to host an outdoor game at their home field on Jan. 2, which would be the first Monday of 2017.

    Rutherford reported the potential opponent for the Winter Classic contest would be the Chicago Blackhawks, who are appearing in their fourth outdoor game this season against the Minnesota Wild. Read more