• He’s back: Henrik Lundqvist dressing as backup for Rangers tonight

    Jared Clinton
    Henrik Lundqvist waves to MSG

    It’s like a nightmare scenario for the rest of the NHL. The New York Rangers, arguably the hottest team in the league, are getting their starting goaltender back tonight. And the team has been playing so well that the Rangers are just going to let him watch from the bench.

    That’s right – after 24 games on the injured reserve, Henrik Lundqvist has been officially activated by the Rangers and will dress tonight to backup Cam Talbot. If it was looking difficult to catch the Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division before this, it’s about to get that much harder. Read more

  • National Women’s Hockey League set to begin in 2015-16, will pay players

    Jared Clinton
    NWHL promotional video (via NWHL/YouTube)

    Less than three weeks after the CWHL handed out the Clarkson Cup to the Boston Blades, news comes that next season they’ll have to compete with a rival women’s league… and a rival league that can pay its players.

    Puck Daddy’s Jen Neale reported this afternoon the league, spawned by Dani Rylan and former Team USA superstar Angela Ruggiero, will begin its inaugural season in 2015-16. With four teams spread across the Northeastern United States, the four team league hopes it can coincide with the CWHL while giving women’s players another option, one that will offer them pay and takes the onus off of its players to find time, money and resources to compete in the league. Read more

  • Flyers owner Ed Snider sounds like a man losing patience with his team

    Adam Proteau
    Flyers executive Paul Holmgren, team owner Ed Snider, and GM Ron Hextall. (Zack Hill/NHLI via Getty Images)

    In early October, Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider told THN he was more than happy to allow GM Ron Hextall to build the team slowly and not engage in blockbuster trades, as has been the franchise’s custom as often as not under his stewardship.

    “Ron Hextall has come in and preached patience,” Snider said at the time. “Ron said, ‘We’re not going to rush guys along. We’re going to develop our kids and really work on that phase of the game.’ That was my philosophy when I started the team.”

    That was five months ago. Now, talking to Philly.com, Snider sounds as if he’s not quite so certain about the whole patience thing. 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

  • Watch Jason Spezza’s magic hands set up Jamie Benn for tap-in

    Jared Clinton
    Jason Spezza (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    It may seem like this hasn’t been the kind of season we’ve come to expect from Jason Spezza, but rest assured he still has an incredible pair of hands and he put them on display Wednesday night.

    Midway through the second period of Dallas’ tilt with Calgary and with the Stars on the power play, Spezza received a pass in the right wing circle. As Flames defenseman Kris Russell slid out to attempt to shut down Spezza’s passing lanes, he perfectly toe-dragged the puck around Russell, waited for a passing lane to open up and put a tape-to-tape feed past Calgary’s Dennis Wideman and onto the stick of Jamie Benn for a tap-in: Read more

  • Saskatoon traded away the first overall pick in the WHL for the second year in a row

    Ryan Kennedy
    Saskatoon's Brett Stovin (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

    There was a lot of hand-wringing in Toronto when the first draft pick traded to the Boston Bruins in the Phil Kessel deal turned out to be No. 2 overall, netting the B’s Tyler Seguin. But hey; at least the Leafs got one of the top scorers in the NHL in Kessel.

    Now gently and kindly turn your eyes to the Western League’s Saskatoon Blades, who, thanks to their own trades, have accidentally given away the first overall pick in the bantam draft for the second year in a row.

    Read more

  • Mark your calendars – the date has been set for the NHL’s most anticipated draft lottery in years

    NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly announces the Buffalo Sabres as holders of the second pick in the 2014 entry draft. (Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

    For months now, hockey fans have slowly built their anticipation for one of the most highly-consequential NHL draft lotteries since the process was introduced in 1995. And now it appears the league has settled on a date people can circle on their calendars.

    According to a Sportsnet.ca report, the league has decided to hold this year’s draft lottery Apr. 18, as part of a Hockey Night In Canada playoff broadcast. That leaves a little more than three weeks for fans of sad-sack teams to firm up viewing party plans and binge on lottery simulation websites – and when you look at some of the teams with a decent chance of drafting nascent superstars Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel (and the stakes involved if they fail to win the lottery), you’ve got near-perfect conditions to deliver what could very well be hockey’s most drama-packed off-ice night in history.

    For one thing, the increasingly-improving chance the Maple Leafs have at McDavid is going to push TV ratings to record levels. Like them or not, the Leafs have millions of fans, and after their brutal free-fall through the NHL standings this season those fans are going to try every superstitious trick in the book in the hope it allows fortune to smile on their beloved Buds. If that does happen, the city of Toronto is going to instantly explode in the biggest hockey-related celebration since a Stanley Cup was won here in 1967.

    And for as dramatic as that result would be for the Leafs franchise – it would almost certainly tempt team management to fast-track their rebuild – think of the ripple effect it would have on the rest of the league, and on Toronto rivals in particular: Read more

  • Recipe for must-see video: Take one Patrick Kane, mix with one GoPro camera

    Adam Proteau
    Patrick Kane (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

    Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane is still recuperating from a broken clavicle, but to tide you over until he makes his return (hopefully for Hawks fans, that will be in late May when Chicago is still in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and not next season), he and the people at GoPro have partnered to give fans an up-close look at his astonishing skill set.

    The 26-year-old right winger straps the high-performance GoPro camera to the top of his helmet in the video, and the results are mesmerizing. The viewer gets the impression they’re seeing things through Kane’s eyes as he stickhandles through obstacles and smoothly around the ice: Read more