• Watch Ryan Kesler go undercover as the biggest Ryan Kesler fan

    Jared Clinton
    Ryan Kesler in disguise supporting Ryan Kesler. (via Anaheim Ducks/YouTube)

    When the Ducks acquired Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks, it was a great deal to land a second-line center who could contribute in Anaheim. But who would have thought the biggest winner would be fans who like to see players’ personalities shine through?

    Already Kesler has become a comedic hit for taking some straight-faced jabs at teammates in his web series, “Between Two Zambonis,” which is a takeoff on the popular “Between Two Ferns” show hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis. But Kesler isn’t stopping at a show where he roasts teammates. No, Kesler is going one step further.

    Check out “Undercover Duck,” a video from the Ducks where Kesler goes into disguise to attend a game in Anaheim as the biggest fan of…Ryan Kesler: Read more

  • The Rangers finally lost and it could be a sign of a slide in New York

    Jared Clinton
    Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

    The New York Rangers went into Tampa Bay Thursday night sporting a nine-game winning streak, and left the game with a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat thanks to a late shorthanded goal by Lightning center Valtteri Filppula. Now that the streak is over, there might be cause for concern that a less friendly run could be on the horizon.

    Rangers coach Alain Vigneault will be one of the first to admit that New York wasn’t perfect while they were piling up the victories. Even though they were getting the results, a third of the wins were one-goal games and one victory, Nov. 14 over the Senators, required a shootout for the Blueshirts to pick up the win.

    “We still have areas that we are working on and need to improve,” Vigneault told the New York Daily News’ Peter Botte after the winning streak was stretched to six. “We are very aware of that. We’re like any team in the NHL, you have to get better as the season moves forward and that’s what we’re going to continue to strive for.”

    And the Rangers certainly have something to strive for. If they can’t turn around their puck possession game, and if their shooting and save percentages are any indication, Vigneault’s club could be due some unfavorable luck. Read more

  • Scotty Bowman: Stanley Cup winner and hockey encyclopedia

    Scotty Bowman  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    This all starts two weeks ago, during Hall of Fame weekend. The legendary Scotty Bowman is on hand since, at one time or another, he has coached three of the four inductees. Bowman is asked how many Hall of Famers he coached in his career, so he starts with the St. Louis Blues, who had Doug Harvey and Dickie Moore at the end of their careers, along with a goaltending tandem of Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante.

    “They put up big numbers,” Bowman says. “They had 13 shutouts and only 157 goals against in 76 games. We had 22 one-goal games that year.”

    Read more

  • Gripping Swift Current documentary a story of Sheldon Kennedy’s redemption, hope

    Brian Costello
    Sheldon Kennedy.

    The documentary Swift Current was a big hit at the Rendevous With Madness Film Festival in Toronto earlier this month. “The house was packed,” one observer said afterwards. “And there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”

    The film, which will reach a mass audience on Global on November 21, profiles the life of Sheldon Kennedy, the former NHLer who for years as a teenager was sexually assaulted by junior coach Graham James in the 1980s. It chronicles his decision to go public with the allegation in 1997 and follows his tumultuous emotional struggles in the ensuing decade and his subsequent rise to the point he received the Order of Canada in 2015.

    If you don’t know the Sheldon Kennedy story, it’s about as griping as real-life adventure gets. The Elkhorn, Man., native was also 17 when the Swift Current Broncos bus went off the TransCanada Highway in 1986 and killed four teammates.

    If you are familiar with the Kennedy saga, you see the story pushed further along to the good work the 46-year-old is doing today.

    Read more

  • Who are the Stanley Cup contenders, pretenders, and dark horses according to advanced stats?

    Dominik Luszczyszyn
    Rangers and Canadiens. (Getty Images)

    With almost every team at the 20 game mark, it’s time to start thinking about Stanley Cup contenders. Okay, maybe it’s a little early for championship talk, but with a quarter of the season in the books the sample size is just large enough to get a decent read on some teams (most analysts find that looking at 20-25 game averages is best for predictions).

    Things will likely change throughout the season, but it’s an interesting discussion to have as those things change, especially if the underlying numbers remain consistent. This is about who’s got the best chance right now, who’s playing over their heads, and who could sneak into the conversation with some good bounces.

    Most people will point to the standings and say “Boom! There’s your contenders,” but with the randomness that comes with hockey it’s not that simple because the standings can lie, especially early on. That’s why many have begun looking towards the NHL’s advanced stat movement to get a better understanding of which teams are the real deal and which teams aren’t.

    Read more

  • Bobby Ryan says 2015 All-Star Game was “stale,” thinks NHL could scrap it

    Jared Clinton
    Bobby Ryan (Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Ottawa Senators right winger Bobby Ryan played for Team Foligno at the 2015 All-Star Game in Columbus, and it was the first such showcase of his NHL career. But Ryan said if 3-on-3 overtime doesn’t help spark some interest in the event, it might not be the worst idea to scrap the All-Star Game outright.

    In an interesting interview with the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, Ryan was asked if he thought the All-Star Game should be eliminated. Ryan conceded that it might be a move worth considering, but he understands the fan desire to see all of the game’s stars in one place.

    “Maybe with the World Cup coming in to infuse something new, it could change things,” Ryan told Garrioch. “But it’s tough for me to say…I really don’t know.” Read more

  • This Week in The Hockey News magazine: December 7, 2015

    The Hockey News

    UPC1_THN_6908-400It’s THN’s annual Goalie Issue, with top to bottom coverage of hockey’s masked men. Features include:

    THN Goalie Rankings – Carey Price is so good, he’s in his opponents’ heads, and also the heads of every ex-NHL goalie who voted on our definitive rankings. We look at what makes the best of the lot so great, from Lundqvist’s brain to Rinne’s glove to, well, everything Price does

    A New Iron Man Era in Net – Modern goalies don’t log the crazy minutes they used to, but workloads are trending back up
    By Ronnie Shuker

    History of Goalie Equipment – Tracking the gear’s evolution from maskless heroes in leather to the Michelin Men of today

    Braden Holtby – The Caps’ star stopper mastered the space between his ears to become a beast between the pipes

    Jim Carey 20 years later – ‘Net Detective’ burned bright and faded fast in the ’90s. His teammates reflect on what went wrong

    Editor’s Notebook – Don’t fear change – or larger nets – in hockey

    Inside Hockey – Evaluating goalies based on shot quality

    Marc-Andre Fleury – Can The Flower catch Marty’s wins record?

    Prospect Report – No clear No. 1 in 2016 goalie draft class

    The Straight Edge – NAHL now breeding ground for netminders

    Best Of The Books – The straw that broke Roy’s back in Montreal

    Strange But True – How Habs goalies Durnan and McNeil were driven to tears

    Overtime – Why do vets earn top dollar after they peak?

    Pick up a copy at your local newsstand, buy it from the THN store or digitally on your IPad or through PressReader, Kobo, Google PlayZinio or Nook. You can also subscribe at thehockeynews.com.

  • NHL players get bye week in 2016-17 in exchange for 3-on-3 All Star Game

    Jared Clinton
    Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. (Getty Images)

    All 30 NHL teams are set to get some time off in 2016-17 as the league has reportedly agreed to implement a five-day bye week for each club next season as part of the agreement by the NHL Players Association to change the All-Star Game format to 3-on-3.

    ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported Thursday evening that the league’s schedule makers will build in a five-day off-week for each team between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28 next season. The off-week, LeBrun wrote, would see players completely free from duty with the team. Team’s with a game the day following the bye week would be allowed to practice, “after 4 p.m. local time on the fifth day…otherwise no practice will be allowed on the fifth day,” according to LeBrun.

    The five-day break was something that players had asked for as part of the All-Star Game negotiation, LeBrun added. It’s an interesting addition to the schedule, but one that makes great sense considering the amount of hockey to be played next season. Read more