• Calder-eligible Tanner Pearson doing more with less than anyone on the Kings

    Ken Campbell
    Tanner Pearson (left) and Tyler Toffoli (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

    It’s a very small sample size, but if Tanner Pearson continues the torrid pace he’s set through the first six games of the season, a replica of the Calder Trophy will be sitting on his mantle next summer.

    And this begs two questions. The first is: Why on Earth doesn’t Darryl Sutter play him more? And the second is: Is it fair that Pearson is eligible for the Calder Trophy in the first place? Read more

  • Martin Brodeur appears during Devils’ home-opening 3D show

    Jared Clinton
    Martin Brodeur. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Martin Brodeur may still be a free agent, but on the New Jersey Devils’ opening night, the Devils’ legend covered the ice.

    In a stunning 3D display on-ice display, some of the former Devils goaltender and legendary NHL keeper’s career highlights were included in an eye-popping opening video. For their home opener, the Devils revealed a state-of-the-art on-ice projection system that is the first of its kind in the NHL. Though you’ve seen on-ice projection in the Quebec League and even just across the border in Montreal, the Devils system is the first permanent fixture in the pros.

    The light show, which highlighted the entire history of the team to the tune of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, was breathtaking. In just three short minutes, the video outlined the Devils first victory, three Stanley Cups, and other big moments in the franchise’s history. Read more

  • Why Mark Hunter is a smart hire as the Maple Leafs’ director of player personnel

    Matt Larkin
    Mark Hunter is the second Ontario League GM hired away by the Leafs since the summer. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

    The Toronto Maple Leafs went so nuts with their hiring spree – from Brendan Shanahan to Kyle Dubas to Darryl Metcalf of Extra Skater – that they couldn’t stop shopping for executives by the time the season started.

    Tuesday, they unveiled Mark Hunter as their new director of player personnel, taking over Dave Poulin’s old role. Hunter should be a familiar name to you. He was a 628-game NHL veteran and he’s Dale’s brother. More importantly, he’s masterminded the London Knights juggernaut in the Ontario League as the team’s owner, vice-president and GM for 12 years. Under his watch, the Knights won three OHL crowns and, of course, the 2005 Memorial Cup with an absolutely stacked squad that went 79-9-2 over the entire year.

    Hunter will oversee the Leafs’ pro and amateur scouting, plus player evaluation. It should inspire confidence knowing Corey Perry, Dave Bolland, Brandon Prust, Steve Mason, Sam Gagner, Patrick Kane, Nazem Kadri, John Tavares and Olli Maatta, just to cherrypick a few names, filtered through London and the Hunter brothers, some for a lot longer than others, before reaching the NHL.

    The hire also gives the Leafs’ new brain trust three former OHL GMs: Hunter, Dubas and assistant coach Steve Spott. Does adding Hunter mean Shananan is simply fulfilling his promise to improve the Leafs’ scouting and development? Or does it also mean current GM Dave Nonis should start sweating just a little bit more? In the last year, he’s been surrounded by a Hall of Famer czar and two former junior GMs. Is Nonis being nudged toward milk-carton status a la Greg Sherman in Colorado?

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  • Paul Maurice lets profanity fly as Jets spiral downwards

    Jared Clinton
    (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

    I guess you could say Paul Maurice is a bit fed up.

    Who could blame the Winnipeg Jets coach, really? After a decisive 6-2 defeat of the Arizona Coyotes on opening night, the Jets have been able to muster just two goals in their next four outings. That’s not a typo.

    Following the Jets’ 4-1 loss at the hands of the Calgary Flames – a game in which the Flames were playing their final road game of a six-game road trip – Jets’ winger Blake Wheeler reportedly spoke to media about whether it was the players’ responsibility to hold each other accountable for their on-ice performance.

    The question was then posed back to Paul Maurice in his press conference on Monday. While you can watch the whole press conference below, and there are certainly some great sound bites, you should fast-forward to the 8:30 mark for the goods. Read more

  • Jordin Tootoo’s life in the fast lane: booze, women, hockey

    Ronnie Shuker
    Jordin Tootoo Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

    His brother’s suicide note said only this: “Jor, go all the way. Take care of the family. You’re the man. Terence.”

    For Jordin Tootoo, it was the crossroads of his career. He’d either quit hockey right then and there, or heed his brother’s last words to him and continue on to become the first Inuk to play in the NHL.

    This is what frames All the Way: My Life on Ice, which was released today. It’s the mid-career memoir of Tootoo, a tough-as-nails, built-like-a-brick fighter who, against all odds, reached hockey’s highest summit from the small village of Rankin Inlet in Nunavut.

    The book’s bountiful f-bombs, derivatives and an assortment other colorful metaphors give it the raw, bare bones feel of being in a bar listening to Tootoo tell his story. Except he’s not drinking. Nearly four years removed from a mid-season stint in rehab, Tootoo is still sober, following more than a decade heavy drinking and all the debauchery and demons that ensued.

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  • Rumor Roundup: Could a Yakupov-for-Gardiner swap happen?

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    The appearance of Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis at Rexall Place for Friday’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers raised eyebrows among NHL followers. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector wondered if Ben Scrivens performance in that game could affect the whereabouts of Leafs goalie James Reimer.

    Evidently, the game’s outcome (a 2-0 win for the Canucks) had no effect on Reimer, who remains the Maple Leafs backup. Still, with the Oilers off to a franchise-worst start (0-4-1 in their opening five games) and the Leafs lurching from the gate with a 2-3-1 record, it’s only natural that Nonis’ appearance at that game would generate trade speculation.

    Nonis could be doing some advanced scouting, but as The Score’s Thomas Drance observes, the Leafs don’t play the Oilers or Canucks until December, so an early-October scouting trip seems unusual. If Nonis’ Western swing is to pursue a trade, the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons believes it’ll be a small deal, not a significant one. Read more

  • Los Angeles Kings pick Adrian Kempe brings power to The Hot List

    Adrian Kempe (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

    The big news in the prospect world right now concerns the class-action lawsuit filed against the CHL and without going into too much detail, I think this could have a dramatic effect on junior hockey. With profits and losses so extreme across the continent, I believe a minimum wage policy would have to be supported by revenue sharing. But let’s get back on the ice, shall we? Because that’s what The Hot List is, a round-up of the kids we can’t wait to see in the NHL one day.

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