Friday, April 29, 2005

Vancouver 2010 Winter Games Logo - Inukshuk

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The newly unveiled logo for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics has upset some Canadian aboriginal people.
The multicolored "inukshuk" -- based on traditional Inuit stone figures used to point traveling Inuit to safety and symbolize friendship -- is composed of blocks in the colors of the Olympic rings. It's called "Ilanaaq" (pronounced ih-lah-nawk), the Inuit word for "friend."
It was denounced by Edward John, the grand chief of Canada's First Nations Summit.
He said the logo, unveiled Saturday in Vancouver, didn't reflect the indigenous people of Canada's western coast. The Inuit are natives of Canada's northern and Arctic Circle territories.
"We're very surprised at the choice," John said. "If the games were in the North or in the Arctic, and we had a totem pole or a West Coast design, I'm not sure (the Inuit would) be happy either."  Many of Canada's Inuit live in Nunavut. The northern territory's premier, Paul Okalik, is pleased with the design choice.
"We're very proud that a symbol from our culture is going to be used in an international event," he said. "Our inukshuk has been around a very long time. To be shown off to the rest of the world is very special for us."
-Referenced from

Sportsnet's World Hockey Championship predicitons

With hockey being the casualty of the labour woes between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association, the "losers" tournament looks an awful lot like a winner. The 2005 world championship has an appeal like it has never had before.
This time out, Canada is pooled with the United States, Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, Latvia, Ukraine and Denmark. The other pool includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Sportsnet predicts Canada over The Czech Republic. I pick U.S.A. over Slovakia.....more
-Referenced from

Moore v/s Bertuzzi Analysis

Becker's breakdown of the Bertuzzi/Moore case
Sportsnet News Legal Analyst Rob Becker has been following the Bertuzzi - Moore incident from the start. In his column today, Becker gives a detailed look at the new developments in and out of the courtroom including new revelations about the private meeting between Todd Bertuzzi and League Commissioner Gary Bettman at Tuesday's hearing in New York.
-By Rob Becker, for

World Hockey Challenge

With the World Hockey Championships about to start, has a fun way to get fans excited about the world-class tournament. A fantasy World Championship Challenge (click to play).
-Referenced from

Union News - NHLPA

The NHL Players' Association has applied for union certification in Quebec and British Columbia, a move intended to block the potential use of replacement players in those provinces. The NHLPA is seeking to establish the association in Quebec and B.C. as a legal entity with rights similar to those of trade unions. It's a significant move to prevent the NHL from using replacements.FULL STORY...
-Referenced from

Thursday, April 28, 2005

EA Sports 2004-2005 Virtual Season

Looks like EA Sports also completed an official virtual season as well.  And the had a very interesting final.  Calgary v/s Montreal, with the Flames burning the Habs 4 games to 1.
Season award winners were as follows:
Stanley Cup Champs:
Calgary Flames
Hart Trophy (MVP): Milan Hejduk, Colorado
Ross (Scoring): Segei Fedorov, Anaheim
Richard (Goals): Sergei Fedorov, Anaheim
Norris (Defenseman): Sheldon Souray, Montreal
Calder (Rookie): Andre Fleury, Boston
Vezina (Goalie): Andrew Raycroft, Rangers
Smythe (Playoff MVP): Jarome Iginla, Calgary


1 OTT===>1 OTT IN 5
8 ATL       
2 TB====>2 TB IN 6
3 PHI===>6 NYR IN 7
4 NJ====>4 NJ IN 6
1 OTT===>1 OTT IN 6
2 TB====>2 TB IN 7
4 NJ
1 OTT===>1 OTT IN 7
2 TB
1 COL===>1 COL IN 6
8 NAS       
2 SJ====>2 SJ IN 6
3 DET===>6 PHX IN 7
4 CAL====>4 CAL IN 7
1 COL===>6 PHX IN 7
2 SJ====>2 SJ IN 7
2 SJ===>2 SJ IN 6
1 OTT V/S 2 SJ ===> OTT IN 6 GAMES



ATLANTIC                         CENTRAL
3 PHILADELPHIA*              3 DETROIT*
4 NEW JERSEY*               7 ST LOUIS*
6 NY RANGERS*               8 NASHVILLE*
13 PITTSBURGH               10 COLUMBUS
14 NY ISLANDERS            15 CHICAGO !
NORTHEAST                    NORTHWEST
1 OTTAWA*                      1 COLORADO*
5 TORONTO*                    4 CALGARY*
7 MONTREAL*                  5 VANCOUVER*
11 BOSTON                      9 EDMONTON
12 BUFFALO                   12 MINNESOTA
SOUTHEAST                    PACIFIC
2 TAMPA BAY*                 2 SAN JOSE*
8 ATLANTA*                     6 PHOENIX*
9 FLORIDA                       11 DALLAS
10 CAROLINA                   13 LOS ANGELES
15 WASHINGTON             14 ANAHEIM
* = made playoffs , ! = Last place overall
In this simulated season (courtesy EA Sports NHL 2005)
the Chicago BlackHawks get the #1 pick, and select
Sydney Crosby

Free agent frenzy (continued)

THE NHL and the Players' Association could be on the verge of a massive war that might put free agents such as Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat, Jason Spezza, Rick Nash and Dany Heatley on the open market this summer, the Sun has learned.
Several agents told the Sun yesterday if there's no collective bargaining agreement in place by July 1 -- the date players whose contracts expire must receive the required qualifying offers -- then they are prepared to take legal action to get their clients declared unrestricted free agents.
Such a move would strike hard at the core of the Senators roster. The contracts of Hossa, Havlat, Spezza, Todd White and Anton Volchenkov all expire this summer, as do those of hundreds of players around the NHL.
NHL VP Bill Daly has maintained these players will have their status determined once a new CBA has been agreed upon. But the agents' argument may be a reason the NHLPA hasn't been in a hurry to get a deal done.
"We could very well see the largest pool of young unrestricted free agent talent on the market in sports history," said Calgary-based agent J.P. Barry, co-managing director of IMG Hockey. "In addition to draft-age players such as (Sidney) Crosby, (Gilbert) Brule, (Mike) Richards and (Jeff) Carter being available, you can add a few hundred other free agents in the prime of their careers to the list of players available to any team. There are less than 300 players under contract for the 2005-06 season.
"Looking to rebuild? How about Joe Thornton, Rick Nash, Jarome Iginla or Dany Heatley? The list of star players in the prime of their careers that may be available is remarkable." The agents have an eye toward June 1, when all North American players selected in the 2003 draft have to be signed. That list includes Flyers prospects Carter and Richards, Washington's Eric Fehr and Pittsburgh's Ryan Stone.
In Ottawa's case, they need to get centre Patrick Eaves, who had a standout season at Boston College, under contract. Under normal circumstances, those players would be able to petition to re-enter the 2005 draft if they don't ink a deal. "The NHL has recently adopted a patently illogical argument that contract years expire during the lockout, but retention rights to draftees and formerly contracted players are 'frozen,' " said Barry. "The fact is, we are now in completely uncharted legal waters as this is the first professional sports league to miss an entire season by way of lockout.
"If no agreement is reached in the next month, this retention rights issue will likely be a very major topic in the negotiations."

-Credit BRUCE GARRIOCH, Ottawa Sun ( )

Agents ready for legal action

Come July 1, the NHL player agents are ready and willing to go to legal war against the NHL.
Several agents told the Ottawa Sun yesterday if there's no collective bargaining agreement in place by July 1 -- the date players whose contracts expire must receive the required qualifying offers -- then they are prepared to take legal action to get their clients declared unrestricted free agents.
Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat, Jason Spezza, Rick Nash and Dany Heatley are a few of the high profile players who could become unrestricted free agents.
Highly unlikely if you ask me, but intriguing to say the least.  Imagine the possibilities Leafs fans?  Hossa and Sundin.  You know the Rangers would go crazy and try and sign Nash and Heatley.
Ahhhhh!  The thought was nice while it lasted.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

U.S. defensemen ready for World Championships in Austria

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Up in Canada, they're called the "Fab Four" – Ed Jovanovski, Scott Hannan, Robyn Regehr and Wade Redden, the country's new generation of national team defensemen.
But what about the three young players who will play a pivotal role for the United States? Surely Paul Martin, Jordan Leopold and John-Michael Liles also deserve a catchy nickname. Just don't ask them to come up with one.
Martin, who is pale and quiet during the best of times, turned ashen when asked whether he'd like to suggest such a label.
"I'm not going to give you a name before we play. What did Leo say?" Martin asked, deferring to his longtime friend and former college teammate.
"What are we going to call ourselves?" Leopold replied. "Are you serious? Ask me after the tournament."
"I don't think that you can really come up with your own nickname," Liles said. "Let me know what you come up with."
For now, then, let's call them "The Future."
Because that's what these three 24-year-olds are expected to become, starting with their biggest hockey challenge to date, anchoring the U.S. defense at this year's world championship in Austria.
-Referenced from

Sidney Crosby's professional hockey career could begin in Europe.

Agent Pat Brisson tells the New York Times he has had preliminary discussions with teams in Sweden, Switzerland and Russia about Crosby turning pro should the NHL lockout continue into next season.
"I'm not saying he's going to go to Europe for sure, but it's clearly an option," Brisson tells the Times. "We'll have to make some decisions in the early part of June."
"(The European teams) basically want to know what we're looking for. Within a month and a half, we'll be in a better position to talk and bring things to fruition.  "His priority is the NHL. He's hoping it is going to get resolved."
Brisson says even if the NHL and the NHLPA work out a new collective bargaining agreement, caps on entry-level salaries could still make it more profitable for Crosby to play outside of North America.  Under the last collective bargaining agreement, rookies in the NHL were limited to a base salary of $1.25-million a season. However, the deal does not take into effect various incentive clauses, which have helped to drive rookie salaries higher. Talks on a new deal seem to indicate those loopholes could be closed as well.
Crosby, acknowledged to be the top NHL prospect, is currently leading Rimouski through the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. If the NHL does not hold an entry level draft, Rimouski are expected to stake their claim on Crosby for at least the next two seasons.  Brisson says he's also talked with teams in the American Hockey League and the World Hockey Association has been in contact as well, but he doesn't see the latter as a viable option.  Brisson adds Crosby would also consider an invitation to play for Canada at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.
-Referenced from

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Big Bert to meet with the 'Commish'

Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore will both attend Tuesday's reinstatement hearing for Bertuzzi at NHL headquarters in New York. It is the first time they will be in close proximity since Bertuzzi's attack on Moore during a Vancouver-Colorado NHL game on March 8, 2004. Moore's lawyer Tim Danson of Toronto told TSN on Monday that Moore will personally attend the hearing.
In my opinion, hockey has a long way to go to correct this mentality.  And unfortunately, Bertuzzi has to be made an example of.  Until Steve Moore is declared fit to be play by doctors, Bertuzzi should sit.  The debate of Bertuzzi being a star player and taking his livelyhood away is ignorant to say the least.  What about Moore's career in hockey ruined by the actions of Bertuzzi?  Wheteher or not Moore is an NHL calibre player is not the question.  The point to remeber is that Moore was in the NHL when this incident occured.  Thus making him an NHL player.
Final point - Until Moore is fit, Bertuzzi sits!


POINTS                  TEAM   GP G   A   PTS
GAMACHE, SIMON      MIL    4   5   3     8    
HILBERT, ANDY         PRO    3   3   3     6    
SUTER, RYAN             MIL    4   1   5     6    
GAUSTAD, PAUL       ROC    3   4   1     5
HAMILTON, JEFF       HFD    3   2   3     5
HAYDAR, DARREN      MIL    4   2   3     5
KESLER, RYAN         MTB    3   2   3     5    

Moose go up 2-1 on Baby Leafs

The Manitoba Moose put the St. John's Maple Leafs in a deep hole and never let them climb out.
Ryan Kesler, Jeff Heerema, Jimmy Roy and Josh Green scored in the first 13 minutes and Manitoba cruised to a 5-2 victory Monday night that gave them a 2-1 edge in the first-round AHL playoff series.
Brad Leeb and Jason MacDonald scored for St. John's.
-Referenced from

Brodeur goes the distance to beat Latvia in tune-up

RIGA, Latvia (CP) - It took a period to adjust to an unfamiliar rink, but Canada prevailed 3-1 over Latvia on Monday in a world championship warm-up match. Patrick Marleau, Simon Gagne and Dany Heatley scored in the second period and Martin Brodeur looked sharp as he went the distance in goal for Canada.

-Referenced from

WHA in tough to put on tournament

The Toronto Sun reports that the Bobby Hull Invitational tournament - a 'testing ground' for the re-launch of the World Hockey Association - may be in trouble
According to the Sun, WHA president Ricky Smith has not returned calls, while partner Phil Esposito says he pulled out of the venture weeks ago because he had not been paid his promotional fees.
A three-team event was scheduled to take place in Toronto and Hamilton on May 20, with the winner meeting a Western team for $2 million in prize money.

According to the WHA web site, locked out NHL players like Jarome Iginla, Dany Heatley and Chris Chelios were to participate in the tournament.

Files from the Toronto Sun were used for this report.
-Referenced from

Monday, April 25, 2005

Forsberg willing to take pay cut

April 25 @ 9:50 AM
Peter Forsberg still wants to play in the NHL, still wants to be a Colorado Avalanche, and he's willing to take a paycut for it to happen.
"It's a great organization, so I see no reason to move if it's possible for them to keep me," Forsberg told the Swedish newspaper, Expressen. "I guess (a salary cap) could cause some problems, but I sure hope I can stay. Everyone knows salaries will go down. That's no big deal to me; it'll be the same for everyone."
-Referenced from

Life without hockey? "Trippin' out"

Chelios and Kid Rock rough it on 'Trippin' '

April 22, 2005

How I spent the NHL lockout, by Chris Chelios: Learning to bobsled, playing for the Motor City Mechanics, camping out with actresses Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba ... huh?

Chelios explains: "Bobby -- Kid Rock -- was offered the trip and they told him he could take someone with him, so I was that someone."

Chris and Bobby's Excellent Adventure -- an episode of "Trippin'," Diaz's new show on MTV -- is scheduled to debut at 10:30 Monday night. The premise of the series is for Diaz to take celebrities on ecological adventure trips around the world to promote environmental awareness.

In this episode, shot earlier this year, Diaz shepherds Chelios, Kid Rock, Alba and surfer Kelly Slater on a trip to Honduras and Costa Rica, where they do things like take a boat trip through the rainforest, swim with dolphins and snorkel.

"I've lived on the ocean for the last 14 years, so now at least I learned a little bit more about it, the dangers to all the species and stuff," Chelios said. "It was something I really never thought I'd get into, but it was a really cool trip. ...
Read more here

Words from a "Has-been"

Fleury rants after loss
Nobody untouched by verbal attack
LLOYDMINSTER, Sask. -- The Horse Lake Thunder were billed as the best senior hockey team money can buy. Saturday they also looked like the dumbest.

One game away from a berth in the Allan Cup final, the heavily favoured Thunder threw it all away with a series of meathead penalties in the first period, spotting the Thunder Bay Bombers three quick power play goals in a stunning 7-5 loss.

They were so hopelessly outwitted it was painful to watch -- although the sold-out Lloydminster Civic Centre delighted in watching Theo Fleury and Company come so terribly unglued.

"Remember 1980, the Miracle on Ice?," said Fleury, who teamed up with Sasha Lakovic to vent their spleens in a nine-minute post-game rant. "(Stuff) happens. Somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. You have to give the other team credit."

That was about as gracious in defeat as they'd get.

"Every single ticket for this event was sold out. Why, because of the Horse Lake Thunder," said Fleury. "Not because of the Thunder Bay Bombers or the Lloydminster whatever they call themselves. It was because Horse Lake was here."

Actually, the thing was sold out before Horse Lake qualified, but you never stop a guy when he's rolling.

"The only reason this tournament sold out was because of yours truly right here," continued Fleury. "We all know it and I'm going to say it: Once again Theo Fleury puts hockey on the map when it needs it the most."

Top Czechs in, Swedes out at this year's worlds

The 25-man Czech team has two key forwards injured -- Patrick Elias of the New Jersey Devils and Milan Hejduk of the Colorado Avalanche -- but otherwise has only two skaters not from NHL clubs.

Solid goaltending comes from Tomas Vukoun of Boston, backed up by Toronto prospect Milan Hnilicka and Adam Svoboda of Nuremberg in the German league.

The defence is led by Tomas Kaberle of Toronto, Pavel Kubina of Tampa Bay, Jiri Fischer of Detroit and veteran Jiri Slegr of Boston. The Czechs also have has Jaroslav Spacek of Columbus, Frantisek Kaberle of Carolina, Marek Zidlicky of Nashville and Jan Hejda of CSKA Moscow.

With Jagr up front are shooters like Petr Sykora of Anaheim, Martin Rucinsky of Vancouver, Martin Straka of Los Angeles, Ales Hemsky and Radek Dvorak of Edmonton and checker Vaclav Varada of Ottawa.

Others are David Vyborny and Radim Vrbata of Columbus, Jan Hlavac of the New York Rangers, Vaclav Prospal of Tampa Bay, Jozef Vasicek of Carolina, Peter Cajanek of St. Louis and Petr Prucha of the Pardubice club.
-Referenced from

Top Czechs in, Swedes out at this year's worlds

The 25-man Czech team has two key forwards injured -- Patrick Elias of the New Jersey Devils and Milan Hejduk of the Colorado Avalanche -- but otherwise has only two skaters not from NHL clubs.

Solid goaltending comes from Tomas Vukoun of Boston, backed up by Toronto prospect Milan Hnilicka and Adam Svoboda of Nuremberg in the German league.

The defence is led by Tomas Kaberle of Toronto, Pavel Kubina of Tampa Bay, Jiri Fischer of Detroit and veteran Jiri Slegr of Boston. The Czechs also have has Jaroslav Spacek of Columbus, Frantisek Kaberle of Carolina, Marek Zidlicky of Nashville and Jan Hejda of CSKA Moscow.

With Jagr up front are shooters like Petr Sykora of Anaheim, Martin Rucinsky of Vancouver, Martin Straka of Los Angeles, Ales Hemsky and Radek Dvorak of Edmonton and checker Vaclav Varada of Ottawa.

Others are David Vyborny and Radim Vrbata of Columbus, Jan Hlavac of the New York Rangers, Vaclav Prospal of Tampa Bay, Jozef Vasicek of Carolina, Peter Cajanek of St. Louis and Petr Prucha of the Pardubice club.
-Referenced from

Many of the top Swedes have opted out of this year's World Championship in Austria

RIGA, Latvia (CP) -- The Czech Republic and Sweden announced their squads for the IIHF world championship Monday, with Jaromir Jagr heading a powerful Czech squad and Daniel Alfredsson leading a Swedish team missing star players like Mats Sundin and Peter Forsberg.

The Swedes, who lost the championship game to Canada in both 2003 and 2004, will be hard-pressed to get back to the final of the 12-team event that starts Saturday in Austria.

Missing from the 25-man list are top players like Forsberg, Sundin, Niklas Lidstrom, Markus Naslund and Tomas Holmstrom. Some are injured, others chose not to play.

Teams must pare rosters to 23 players before the tournament begins.  Leading Sweden is Ottawa Senators skipper Alfredsson, Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg and twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks. 
There are 10 players from last year's silver medallists and eight, including Alfredsson, from Swedish league champion Frolunda.  The top goaltender is Frolunda's Henrik Lundqvist, backed by Stefen Liv of HV71 and Johan Holmqvist of Brynas.  The defence is led by NHL veterans Mattias Norstrom of the Los Angeles Kings and Kenny Jonsson of the New York Islanders. Jonsson won Olympic gold for Sweden in 1994.  Other blueliners are Sanny Lindstrom of Timra, Magnus Johansson of Linkoping, Niklas Kronwall of Djurgardens, Christian Backman and Ronnie Sundin of Frolunda and Thomas Rhodin of Farjestads.

Forwards of note are P.J. Axelsson of the Boston Bruins, Jonas Hoglund of Farjestads and Samuel Pahlsson of Frolunda. Also up front are Magnus Kahnberg of Frolunda, Mattias Weinhandl of MODO, Johan Frantzen of Linkoping, Jonathan Hedstrom of Timra, Peter Nordstrom and Jorgen Jonsson of Farjestads, Mikael Samuelsson of Sodetaljie.
-Referenced from

Dean Lombardi may be heading west again.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have asked for permission to interview Lombardi regarding their general manager position.

Lombardi, who is currently a scout with theb Philadelphia Flyers, spent seven years as general manager with the San Jose Sharks.

Current TSN hockey analyst and former Canucks' general manager Brian Burke and former Blackhawks general manager Mike Smith have already interviewed for the position.
-Referenced from

NHL and the OLympics

NEW YORK (AP) - Prospects for NHL players taking part in the 2006 Olympics are dwindling because of the ongoing lockout, commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday.

''If we don't have a deal by the time we have to schedule, I assume it would be difficult to have Olympic participation,'' he said during the Associated Press Sports Editors annual meeting with league commissioners.

''Time is working against the Olympics,'' he said.  NHL players played in the Olympics in the 1998 and 2002 Games. The Turin Games will be held Feb. 10-26.

-Referenced from

OK....So this is not hockey related....But it's about being Canadian!

Seahawks take undrafted Lumsden

The Seattle Seahawks have have agreed to terms on a free-agent contract with McMaster Marauders running back Jesse Lumsden, TSN has learned.

The Seahawks had expressed interest in Lumsden going into the draft and was the only team to invite him for a visit.  He will attend the team's mini-camp in Seattle on Apr. 29.
Lumsden has made a career of steamrolling through opponents, setting the CIS single season rushing record with 1,816 yards, the CIS single-season touchdown record (21) and the CIS career touchdown record (43). He also broke the OUA career rushing record with 4,328 yards.
The Seahawks have three other Canadians in the system - running back Kerry Carter, wide receiver Jerome Pathon and long snapper J.P Darche.
-Referenced from

U.S. Under 18 squad beats Canada for Gold

PLZEN, Czech Republic -- Canada came up short at the world under-18 hockey championship -- but a silver-medal finish was the least of its concerns.

U.S. phenom Phil Kessel scored three times and added an assist as the Americans won gold with a 5-1 win over Canada in the title game.  Kessel finished the tournament with a whopping ten goals in just six games.  He's considered a lock for the No. 1 pick in the 2006 NHL draft.

The game was marred by an awkward hit that sent Canadian forward Colton Yellow Horn headfirst into the boards in the waning moments of the third period.

-Referenced from

Round 1: Baby Leafs a fine substitute to the big club

North Division -- Series "F" (best-of-7)
N2-St. John's Maple Leafs vs. N3-Manitoba Moose

Game 1 - Wed., Apr. 20 - Manitoba 5, ST. JOHN'S 3
Game 2 - Fri., Apr. 22 - ST. JOHN'S 6, Manitoba 1
Game 3 - Mon., Apr. 25 - St. John's at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 4 - Wed., Apr. 27 - St. John's at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 5 - Fri., Apr. 29 - St. John's at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 6 - Sat., Apr. 30 - Manitoba vs. St. John's, 7:05 (ACC)
*Game 7 - Mon., May 2 - Manitoba vs. St. John's, 7:35 (ACC)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

First Euro Cup - Russia beats Sweeden

MOSCOW (AP) -- Viktor Kozlov netted a goal and set up two more Sunday as Russia beat Sweden 5-2 to win its first Euro Hockey Tour title.

Russia took the title 7-3 on aggregate, having won the first game of a two-game final 2-1 in Stockholm on Friday. The win was Russia's first major success since winning the world championship in 1993.

Sweden won its only title in the Euro Hockey Tour in 1998-99. Finland has won the title six times since the inaugural tournament in 1996-97.

-Referenced from

'Our sport is in danger'

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) - Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr is calling on National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and players union executive director Bob Goodenow to ''get out of the way'' if they can't solve the impasse that triggered the cancellation of the NHL's season.

In a column written for the Sunday Eagle-Tribune, the 1970s hockey star wrote, ''Our sport is in danger of becoming irrelevant unless both sides immediately put an end to this nonsense.''

Orr said in his column published Sunday that he initially resisted the urge to comment on the labour dispute and resulting shutdown of the NHL's season because he believed the two sides would resolve their differences for the good of the game.

But he said he no longer believes either side was interested in getting a fair deal done.

Owners and players must demand that Bettman and Goodenow meet immediately, and keep meeting until they emerge with either an agreement or a statement that they can't resolve their differences and they are stepping aside, Orr wrote.

Representatives of the owners and the players union have met better than three dozen times since their collective bargaining agreement expired last Sept. 15, the day Bettman declared the lockout that ended the season. The two sides have failed to resolve differences that made the NHL the first major sports league in North America to lose an entire season to a labour dispute.

Orr, 57, still lives in Boston and operates a hockey player sports agency. The married father of two grown sons remains one of the most revered figures in hockey. His No. 4 Bruins jersey was retired by the team in 1979 after a brilliant career cut short by a bad knee.

A panel of experts assembled by The Hockey News voted him one of the game's three greatest players of the 20th century, along with Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky.

Orr won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenceman a record eight consecutive times and was the league's most valuable player three times. He remains the only defenceman to win the league scoring championship, a feat he accomplished twice.

-Referenced from

Focus on regularity

The current labour negotiations may be going international with the upcoming World Championships in picturesque Austria as the backdrop. -- In the absence of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the upcoming World Hockey Championships will do its best to fill the hockey void. But, even the international stage may not be able to escape the dark cloud of the NHL lockout.

Sources tell Sportsnet the NHL and NHLPA have tentatively agreed to meet twice per week starting May 2, and there is a good chance the two sides will meet in Austria while attending the worlds.

On Thursday, Bob Goodenow made a brief stop at NHL headquarters in New York, however nothing of substance was discussed.

The league did supply the union with a list of 13 potential meeting dates over a three week span. However, neither side could agree on a workable date for next week, so it appears, at best, almost two weeks will pass between formal negotiations

Sidney Crosby has six points as Oceanic hammer Sagueneens 11-1

CHICOUTIMI, Que. (CP) - The Rimouski Oceanic can't keep their unbeaten streak going forever. But if they keep playing this well, it may not end anytime soon.

Phenom Sidney Crosby had a goal and five assists and Dany Roussin scored four goals as the Oceanic hammered the Chicoutimi Sagueneens 11-1 to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal.

The Oceanic are unbeaten in their last 34 regular season and playoff games. They swept the Lewiston Maineiacs in their other playoff series after enjoying a bye in the first round.

Jean-Sebastien Cote scored twice, while Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Mario Scalzo Jr., each had a goal and three assists for Rimouski. Mark Tobin and Benoit Arsenault also scored. Patrick Coulombe contributed three assists.  Nicolas Marcotte replied for Chicoutimi.

Cedrick Desjardins made 34 saves for Rimouski. Chicoutimi goaltenders Alexandre Vincent and Brandon Verge combined for 20 saves.

-Referenced from

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Potential Europeans in the 1st Rd

First Round

1. Anze Kopitar, C, Sweden; 2. Martin Hanzal, C/RW, Czech Republic; 3. Jakub Vojta, D, Czech Republic; 4. Teemu Laakso, D, Finland; 5. Tomas Kudelka, D, Czech Republic; 6. Nicklas Bergfors, LW, Sweden; 7. Vladimir Karpov, LW, Belarus; 8. Denis Istomin, C, Russia; 9. Richard Lelkes, RW, Slovakia; 10. Alexander Sundstrm, LW, Sweden.

11. Anton Skorykh, LW, Russia; 12. Marek Bartanus, RW, Slovakia; 13. Siarhei Kostsitsyn, LW, Belarus; 14. Anton Krysanov, C, Russia; 15. Tomas Pospisil, RW, Czech Republic; 16. Ilja Zubov, C, Russia; 17. Risto Korhonen, D, Finland; 18. Sebastian Karlsson, LW, Sweden; 19. Juraj Mikus, C/RW, Slovakia; 20. Mikko Lehtonen, RW, Finland.

21. Vladimir Sobotka, C, Czech Republic; 22. Sergei Shirokov, RW, Russia; 23. Morten Madsen, RW, Finland; 24. Sergei Lesnukhin, LW, Russia; 25. Lukas Vantuch, C/RW, Czech Republic ; 26. Petr Kalus, C, Czech Republic; 27. Juho Mielonen, D, Finland; 28. Christoph Gawlik, C/LW, Germany; 29. Sergei Sentyurin, LW, Russia; 30. Jakub Drabek, LW, Czech Republic.

Potential North Americans in the 1st Rd

1. Sidney Crosby, C, Rimouski (QMJHL); 2. Benoit Pouliot, LW, Sudbury (OHL); 3. Bobby Ryan, RW, Owen Sound (OHL); 4. Luc Bourdon, D, Val-d'Or (QMJHL); 5. Jack Johnson, D, U.S. under-18; 6. Gilbert Brule, C, Vancouver (WHL); 7. Ryan Parent, D, Guelph (OHL); 8. Kenndal McArdle, LW, Moose Jaw (WHL); 9. Jack Skille, RW, U.S. under-18; 10. Matt Lashoff, D, Kitchener (OHL).

11. Ryan Stoa, C, U.S. under-18; 12. Devin Setoguchi, RW, Saskatoon (WHL); 13. Brendan Mikkelson, D, Portland (WHL); 14. Marc Staal, D, Sudbury (OHL); 15. Chris Durand, C, Seattle (WHL); 16. Brian Lee, D, Moorhead ( U.S. high school); 17. Ryan O'Marra, C, Erie (OHL); 18. Jakub Kindl, D, Kitchener (OHL); 19. Alex Bourret, RW, Lewiston (QMJHL); 20. James Neal, LW, Plymouth (OHL).

21. Michael Blunden, RW, Erie (OHL); 22. Scott Jackson, D, Seattle (WHL); 23. Dan Collins, RW, Plymouth (OHL); 24. Patrick Davis, LW, Kitchener (OHL); 25. Michael Sauer, D, Portland (WHL); 26. Chris Lawrence, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL); 27. Marek Zagrapan, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL); 28. Jean-Philippe Paquet, D, Shawinigan (QMJHL); 29. Justin Abdelkader, LW, Cedar Rapids (USHL); 30. Sasha Pokulok, D, Cornell Univ. (NCAA).

Draft Shmaft? Not this year

Even the man (former Leaf GM Cliff Fletcher), behind this memmorable phrase would have to agree that the 2005 NHL Entry-Level Draft is nothing to snicker at.

Aside from the obvious #1 choice Sydney Crosby, the like talent available is higher than recent years.  TSN has posted profiles of some th more noteable names for this years draft - if there is one that is.

Also, the CSB (Central Scouting Bureau) has their mid-term rankings published.

Baby Leafs tie up the series at 1

ST. JOHN'S (CP) - Matt Stajan scored twice and defenceman Joel Kwiatkowski had three assists as the St. John's Maple Leafs blasted the Manitoba Moose 6-1 to tie the first-round AHL playoff series at one win each Friday night.

Brett Engelhardt, Kyle Wellwood, Jason MacDonald and Brad Leeb also scored for St. John's, while Danny Groulx was the only Manitoba player to get the puck past Mikael Tellqvist.

The series shifts to Winnipeg for games Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Because of a scheduling conflict in St. John's, the sixth and seventh games, if necessary, would be played in Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

The Baby Leafs played gritty hockey from the outset in front of a loud crowd of 4,892 that gave the home side a standing ovation at the final buzzer.

Tellqvist made 27 saves, while the Leafs fired 43 shots at Wade Flaherty.  John Ferguson Jr., GM of the parent Leafs, and his head coach, Pat Quinn, liked what they saw.

-Referenced from

Parrish scores with 4.5 seconds to play to give Americans 5-4 win over Canada

QUEBEC (CP) - This wasn't just another other exhibition game for Mark Parrish.

Parrish scored with 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation to lead the United States to a 5-4 exhibition win over Canada on Friday night in the final North American tune-up game for both teams leading up to the IIHF world hockey championship. "We obviously wanted to get our first win on the board, even though it's an exhibition," Parrish said. "It was nice to come into Canada's town and beat them."

Matt Cullen had two goals for the Americans - his second and third of the two-game series. Mike Knuble and Yan Stastny had the others before 7,166 fans at the Quebec Coliseum.

Joe Thornton, Simon Gagne, Dany Heatley and Sheldon Souray scored for Canada.

The loss at the buzzer did not appear to hurt the Canadian team's confidence. Canada defeated the Americans 3-1 in the opening exhibition game Wednesday night in Halifax.

"There were definitely some lapses, but those things can be corrected," said Canadian head coach Marc Habscheid. "The desire is there, and that's the main thing you want.

"The rest can be corrected. These guys are high-end professionals, and they want to get them corrected too."

Canadian goalie Martin Brodeur allowed two goals on 10 shots in a period and a half after stopping all 18 shots he saw in Canada's exhibition opener. Brodeur was replaced at 10:11 of the second by Roberto Luongo, who stopped 15 of 18 shots he faced.

"I didn't get in much work, but I made a couple of good saves," Brodeur said. "They broke the ice on me.

"As a goalie it's always nice when you have a shutout streak going. Now, I've got some goals scored on me, so I'm going to look at the tape, see what I did and move forward."

Rick DiPietro went the distance in the American goal, stopping 27 shots.

The best line of the night for Canada was definitely the trio of Thornton, Gagne and Rick Nash. Nash and Thornton spent the winter playing together for Davos of the Swiss Elite League, and there was a definite chemistry between the two Friday.

"I've seen Rick play all year, and Simon is just an all-around good player, he likes to go in those areas where a lot of guys don't like to go and bang some pucks in," Thornton said. "As long as we keep putting the puck in front of the net we're going to get some goals that way."

Parrish took a pass from Cullen in the slot and fired a wrist shot past Luongo off a Canadian turnover in the neutral zone.

"We have to play smarter as a team," Brodeur said. "We made some mistakes and that's why they won.

"With 10 seconds left you just can't give up the puck and a chance to score like we did to lose the game. Physically and skill-wise everybody's sharp, it's the mental game we have to improve on."

Stastny broke a 3-3 tie at 9:36 of the third, scoring unassisted when his weak wrist shot from the right circle went off Luongo and into the net.

Souray tied it 4-4 just four seconds after Canada killed consecutive penalties to Mike Fischer and Robyn Regehr. Souray took a pass at the blue-line from Patrick Marleau and blasted a slapshot past DiPietro at 12:34 of the third.

Cullen opened the scoring for the United States late in what was a listless first period for both teams.

Parrish skated down the left wing while Cullen got behind Canadian defenceman Chris Phillips and got in front of Brodeur. Parrish's perfect pass banked in off Cullen's stick at 18:03 of the first.

"We've been having some great chemistry all week," Parrish said of his line with Cullen and Richard Park.

Canada scored three straight power-play goals in the second before the Americans rallied to tie the game going into the third.

Thornton got it started when his pass attempt to Gagne at the side of the net went in off Aaron Miller's stick at 2:13 with Yan Stastny in the box.

Gagne put Canada ahead 2-1 when he banged in his own rebound at 4:42, only six seconds after Andy Roach went off for tripping Kirk Maltby on a partial breakaway.

Brendan Morrison set up Heatley in the slot for his power play goal at 7:20 of the second while Jordan Leopold was sitting out a high-sticking penalty.

Knuble got the United States to within one at 9:19 when he fought off a Souray check to score from the lip of the crease.

Cullen tied it 3-3 at 19:04 of the second when he banged in the rebound of a Parrish shot that bounced off the backboards.

NOTES - Canada rounds out its exhibition schedule April 25 against Latvia and April 28 against the Czech Republic . . . Stastny, the son of Hall of Famer and Quebec Nordiques legend Peter Stastny, received some applause when he was announced in the starting lineup. Stastny was born in Quebec City and lived here until the age of seven.
-Referenced from

Agent:Turek did not cancel contract with Flames

Turek has played 328 games in his eight NHL seasons, posting a record of 159-115-43 with a 2.31 goals-against average.

(CP) -- The agent for Roman Turek said there's no change in the goaltender's contract status with the Calgary Flames, despite a report to the contrary.

The CTK news agency reported that Turek had cancelled his contract with the NHL team.

"He has not," agent Ritch Winter said in a telephone interview with The Canadian Press on Friday.

Turek's Czech league team, HC Ceske Budejovice, said on its website that it hoped to sign him later this month. Turek would have made $5-million US this season with the Flames, had there not been a lockout.

"His contract expires at the end of this year, he has an option to extend it," Winter said. "I think the Czech team is perhaps announcing their intention aware of this fact. But Roman has not entered into an agreement with them, he has not negotiated an agreement with them so his future is as yet undetermined like about 690 of his teammates and opponents.

"They're jumping the gun, but we'll see what the end result is once we know what the landscape is."

Turek, 34, had a 6-11-0 record with a 2.33 goals-against average in an injury-plagued 2003-04 season. He suffered a knee injury early in the campaign and primarily served as a backup to Miikka Kiprusoff upon his return. The Flames made it to the Stanley Cup final but lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games.

"I talk to Roman all the time, I know exactly what his thoughts are," Winter said. "We're not in a position to communicate with the Calgary Flames or have any discussions regarding his future until this lockout is resolved, and at that point those discussions will be held and decisions will be made."

Flames coach and GM Darryl Sutter, reached by phone in B.C., said it's up to Roman or his agent to make an official announcement, if they have one to make.

"The bottom line is he's a locked-out player so there's nothing to even talk about," Sutter said. "And if it in fact comes to pass that that's the decision he makes, would it be a surprise? No.

"I think that's one of the issues with the lockout is you have a lot of older European players with young families that have spent the year in their native country and I think there'll probably be more than one player who makes that decision at some point."

Turek was drafted 113th overall by Minnesota in the 1990 entry draft. He spent five seasons with Ceske Budejovice and another with Nurnberg of the German league.

Turek signed with Dallas in 1996 and spent parts of three seasons with the Stars, winning a Stanley Cup in 1998-99. He was traded to St. Louis that spring and spent two seasons with the Blues before being dealt to Calgary on June 23, 2001.

"There's a lot of uncertainty," Winter said. "Roman's an older player who's got three children. We've talked about what his options will be, we've communicated them to the Flames. Depending how the labour situation is resolved, Roman, and ultimately working with Darryl Sutter and others, we'll make a decision."

Friday, April 22, 2005

To replace, or not to replace?

Oilers ready to use replacement players
April 19 @ 8:56 AM

With the mindframe that anything is better than nothing, Edmonton Oilers chairman Cal Nichols is ready to use replacement players rather than not have a season at all."Certainly that's our determination," Nichols told the Edmonton Journal. "Every market is different, every franchise has variations in terms of the amount of revenues and commitments to banks and leases and so on. We can only work with what we're faced with."

Make up your mind already!

Forsberg returning to NHL?
April 19 @ 9:00 AM

It appears reports of Peter Forsberg's demise may have been greatly exaggerated.Forsberg's agent, Don Baizley told the Denver Post that Forsberg is hoping to return to the NHL and the Colorado Avalanche next season."That's his mind-set at the moment," said Don Baizley, Forsberg's agent, "and I don't think he's looking to get out of Denver. He loves Denver."Whether Forsberg returns to Denver is questionable though, as he will be an unrestricted free agent if and when the NHL resumes playing. Also questionable is whether or not the Avalanche will be able to afford the star Swede under whatever the new CBA will be.

Referenced from

Lucky 13?

NHL to increase urgency -- Following Tuesday's meeting in New York, the NHL vowed the negotiation process with the union would get more aggressive.
Sportsnet has learned the league has isolated 13 dates over the next 3 weeks in an effort to bring the two sides to an agreement.NHLPA Executive Director, Bob Goodnow made a brief stop at NHL headquarters in Manhattan on Thursday, but sources say little of substance was discussed.No meeting dates have been confirmed, but the union has promised to get back to the NHL soon with its preferred schedule.

Referenced from

Brodeur - A complete competitor

NHL lockout hasn't dulled Brodeur's edge

Canada will take on the U.S. again Friday in Quebec City before heading to Europe for the world tournament, which will be held in Austria from April 30 to May 15.

QUEBEC (CP) -- The NHL lockout may have kept star goalie Martin Brodeur off the ice during the regular season but it hasn't dulled his edge as he practices with Team Canada for the upcoming world hockey championship.

"In my case, I haven't played hockey during the winter but I kept in shape during training and skating in New Jersey," he said Thursday before a team practice at the Quebec Coliseum.

Brodeur certainly looked sharp in Canada's 3-1 exhibition win over the United States on Wednesday in Halifax. The New Jersey Devils goalie stopped all 18 shots he faced in a period and a half of work.

Steve Tambellini, the Canadian team's general manager, was impressed with Brodeur's performance.

"How many games did he play this season?" he asked rhetorically. "That's what impressed me the most, it's his great ability to concentrate.

"He's calm and very focused."

Brodeur said the players are getting better as they work together.

"We have to be alert because half the guys haven't played this season," he said. "We're missing some cohesion at times but that's normal.

"We'll make the necessary adjustments. I'm not worried."

Brodeur said Canada is fielding a competitive team at the championships despite the absence of such players as Joe Sakic, Mario Lemieux and Martin St-Louis.

"What we have here are the up-and-coming stars of the NHL -- Joe Thornton, Rick Nash, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Shane Doan," he said.

Simon Gagne, who helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2002 Olympics and the World Cup in 2004, said he is looking forward to the tournament.

"I'm very happy to be wearing the uniform of Canada," said the Philadelphia Flyer.

-Referenced from

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Welcome !!!

Well this is going to be the start of my Hockey BloGGing. This is going to be a resource that will report on latest news, opinions, rumors, and scores (if the NHL ever starts up again).

So, to start off, here is the latest in CBA news referenced from

NEW YORK (April 19, 2005) - Representatives of the National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association today resumed discussions regarding a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The League was represented by Commissioner Gary Bettman; Harley Hotchkiss of the Calgary Flames, chairman of the NHL Board of Governors; NHL Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer Bill Daly; Boston Bruins owner Jerry Jacobs; Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold; New Jersey Devils Chief Executive Officer, President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello; NHL Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell; NHL Senior Vice President, General Counsel David Zimmerman, and attorneys Bob Batterman and Shep Goldfein.
After the meeting, which lasted approximately 6-1/2 hours, Mr. Daly released the following statement:
"While we continued to discuss various issues relating to the concept that was introduced at our April 4 meeting, no substantive progress toward a new agreement was made. The parties have agreed to arrange a more aggressive meeting schedule over the next several weeks in an attempt to move the process forward. We remain committed to doing everything we can to reach a negotiated solution as soon as possible."