It’s been some time since I posted a collection of random hockey thoughts. Through the summer I mostly hung out and talked hockey on twitter conversing with the fantastic, and I mean fantastic, hockey community there.
With not much to speak of in the hockey world over the summer, with the exception of a couple of snafusby the Chicago Blackhawks and the neverending Coyotes debacle, the twitter hockey community was a great place to get my hockey fix.
I even tried to help out NHL.com correspondent and hockey blogger Paul Kukla with his NHL column this summer. However, even on the slow hockey news days of August, he still didn’t like my advice…check out what he wrote:
Tyler of NHL Digestsuggested a few topics — “Free agents taking pay cuts; older Russians heading home; and goalies left unsigned. If all else fails — Avery, Emery or Burkie!” Some great topics without a doubt, Tyler, but some of them would take some deep research on my part, and I need sleep.
Paul hit the nail on the head in that column with regard to how fans are just itching to get some hockey news from “on the ice”. Well, fellow fans, that time has come!
Over the past week it has sure been nice to get some actual hockey news. The rookies are back on the ice and the veterans are back in their respective communities and getting ready for another season of hockey goodness.
Too Much Time On Our Hands
Prior to this past week I was itching for anything hockey related. So deprived of the game that I set out to make an NHL player birthday calendar consisting of the birthday and birthplace of every hockey player to play in the National Hockey League.
Am I obsessed? Maybe. But, I take solace in the fact that I am not alone in my hockey pursuits.
In fact, Dirk over at On The Forecheck created an even more complex tool this summer. Upon the release of the 2009-2010 NHL schedule, Dirk created a spreadsheet that details the amount of travel that each team logs during the season. This data is not frivolous. Travel and fatigue can seriously play a role in the performance of players and, therefore, can influence the outcome of a game.
Yes, this is the time of year when we hockey fanatics start to get excited. Between praying that the acquisitions our favortie team made over the summer will finally put us over the top, to poring over stats in the quest to create the ultimate fantasy hockey team…Indeed, this is a great time of year!
The following is a compilation of links gathered on the NHL Digest Twitter feed today. If you want to see these stories and much more in real time, please follow NHL Digest at www.twitter.com/nhldigest.
Claude Lemieux and the Hall of Fame
Should Claude Lemieux make the hockey hall of fame? Is 4 Cups and a Conn Smythe enough? http://ff.im/-519vo
RT @joereiter Claude wasn’t an elite player. Butch Goring has 4 cups 1 Conn Smythe and 100 more points in his career and isn’t a Hall Of Fame player.
What are your thoughts on inducting Claude Lemieux into the Hockey Hall of Fame? Is he worthy, or not?
The Joe Sakic Retirement Press Conference
A touching moment from Avalanche fan @voteforgrant “Get your hankies ready… Sakic’s announcement starts in less than 10 minutes.”
ESPN is known for giving hockey the cold shoulder so @TheProspectpark said “STOP THE PRESSES ESPNews just did 15 seconds on Sakic’s retirement”
A touching comment by Gary Bettman quoted from the retirement ceremony by @voteforgrant : Bettman on Sakic-”While the ‘C’ on his jersey stood for captain, it also stood for courage, character, class, Canada & Colorado.”
Speaking of the Hall of Fame – Do you think there is any chance that Joe Sakic gets inducted before the mandatory waiting period?
Free Agency Links
Globe and Mail staffer @mirtle “Doug Wilson announced today that the Sharks have re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Kent Huskins to a two-year contract”
According to Sportsnet, the Maple Leafs have lured the Swedish teammate of Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, Rickard Wallin http://ff.im/-51NPH
@kyleroussel heard this quote referencing the Canadiens decision to let go of their Captain Saku Koivu (who signed with Anaheim) on the radio and decided to share:
Mark Recchi live on @theteam990 : “I’d take Saku Koivu on my team over Scott Gomez any day, and that’s not to knock Gomez”.
LegendsofHockey.net chronicles each player’s day with the Stanley Cup over the summer months. @Sean_Leahy linked us up to Phillippe Boucher’s day with the Stanley Cup http://bit.ly/5Rz6J
I won a book today from @hockeyplayermag and they say they’ve got more giveaways coming. Follow them on Twitter if you want to win some cool hockey prizes.
The following is a collection of today’s most important hockey links as found on the NHL Digest Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/nhldigest. I’ve added some of my thoughts and commentary to the links in order to expand on the subjects a little bit. Let me know what you think!
Joe Sakic To Retire
Joe Sakic is set to announce he’s retiring on Thursday according to Sportsnet.ca http://ff.im/-4VyQZ
Sakic turned 40 years old today and despite having the Winter Olympics in his home town of Vancouver next year, he has decided to hang up the blades. Sakic will retire as one of the game’s most classy players, leaders and competitors.
Joe Sakic is the current leader in career points per game (1.19) among active NHLers with more than 500 points (Guess who will be the leader after Sakic retires?)
You know I had to get Dany Heatley into the conversation somehow! Heatley will be the league’s leader in points per game (minimum 500 career points) once Sakic retires on Thursday.
Kovalev Speaks Out On Ottawa
Kovalev says Stanley Cup within reach in Ottawa. http://ff.im/-4Vg7g
Kovalev believes that he can bring more offense to Ottawa in the form of a second line scoring presence that they didn’t have previously. He believes that is what is holding the Senators back from success in the playoffs. I agree with him to a point, but the Senators also need defense and a goaltender. I didn’t expect Alex to bash his new team off the bat, but something more realistic wouldn’t have hurt.
@fatheaddesign Also thinks Kovalev is as close to the Stanley Cup in Ottawa as he will ever get saying- “Ottawa is a short train ride away from the HHOF, they can visit it there easily”.
Bonus NHL Goodness
If you are a Penguins fan in Ohio or Pennsylvania, visit your local Giant Eagle store. @Kicksavetwenty and @Brian_Metzer say the Penguins newly released Stanley Cup Championship DVD is only $12 there with your Giant Eagle advantage card.
@HabsIO says Scott Gomez will wear #91 and Mike Cammalleri will wear #13 in Montreal next season http://snipurl.com/maycc . According to Habs fan Michael Kuyaz, they will form part of the Montreal Canadiens new “Smurf Line” next season as seen here.
Chris Pronger signs 7-year extension in Philadelphia -… http://ff.im/-4Vn6Y
Pronger stated a few days ago that he would like to finish his career in Philadelphia. This 7-year extension will do just that for the 35 year old rearguard. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that Pronger retires in 5 years.
@hosea24hoursWhat’s so exciting about Jonas Gustavsson? It’s Burke’s way of giving Leafs fans false hope. Remember Fabian Brunnstrom?
He’s right, and as Kyle Roussel said: “If Gustavsson is so great, then why did it take him so long to get to the NHL, and If he’s so great, why did he only get a 1-year deal?” This highly touted “Monster” has a lot to prove and he will be asked to prove it under the bright lights and pressure of the cynical and fickle Toronto spotlight.
Answer: N. Lidstrom
The good folks over at the Pensburgh blog have taken some lessons from this down economy and posted an article today about defending a championship on a budget. http://bit.ly/11gTvj
*This is a new feature of NHL Digest, so please feel free to let me know your thoughts.
I am very active on twitter, sharing thoughts and links at www.twitter.com/nhldigest. That said, I thought it would be great for everyone to log all of my Twitter posts for the day into one place!
If you like it, let me know and I’ll update it daily in the “Hockey Links” Category!
On This Day in Hockey History
Do The Blackhawks Believe Hossa Is Jinxed? http://ff.im/-4Q385
NHL finalizes investigation into Blackhawks qualifying offers – Looks like the issue could be dead. http://ff.im/-4PRKv
Plenty of stuff about McSorley that you likely don’t know. http://ff.im/-4PGhW
Ottawa journalist wears Heatley jersey in public as an experiment…Good for some laughs! http://ff.im/-4PFYg
Hossa says he chose Chicago because “They have a chance to win the Cup”. Sound familiar? http://ff.im/-4PFDu
Touted Swedish goaltender, Jonas Gustavsson, expects to sign in the next couple of days http://ff.im/-4Pw9V
Los Angeles Kings Q&A with their newest player Ryan Smyth http://ff.im/-4Pdhu
Leafs new signing, Exelby and Ron Hextall weigh in on Heatley debacle http://ff.im/-4OzLR
Upcoming on NHL Digest
Again, please feel free to leave comments and suggestions and be sure to follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/nhldigest.
Also a new feature for NHL Digest is the ability to comment on an article directly from twitter! All you have to do is respond with an “@” reply to the Tweet with the article link in it and your comment will be added to the comments section below the article.
If you’re on Facebook, please hook up with almost 700 other hockey fans at the NHL Digest Facebook Page!