Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Report detailing Leanne Domi's statement

TORONTO -- Former Maple Leafs enforcer Tie Domi is portrayed as an "angry, violent" cheater who romanced Liberal MP Belinda Stronach while he ignored his family, according to a divorce application filed by his wife.
Domi threatened her with financial ruin if she hired a lawyer instead of taking a $2.5 million home-and-cash offer, Leanne Domi says in the document filed last week in which she cites adultery and cruelty as grounds for the divorce.
Domi's tough guy tactics worked wonders for him on the ice, but won't score any points in Ontario's courts, she says.
The document contains allegations that have not been proven in court. Tie Domi has not filed a response.
Leanne, 40, says she believed Tie would be faithful after an affair with actress Tia Carrere in 1999, the statement says.
She didn't believe all "the rumour and innuendo" about her husband and Stronach, who is also 40, until a friend caught them in New York in July, she states in the document.
Tie told her he was at a charity golf tournament in the Maritimes when he was in New York, Leanne states.
"It was humiliating to me ... I had been made into a fool -- Belinda and Tie were clearly laughing at how stupid I was for being the drudge who looked after the house and the family while they frolicked in New York."
Leanne also accuses Tie of trying to use his children as props for his retirement announcement while he has "avoided most of their activities," except for son Max's hockey games.
Tie's excuse was that he was "working" with Stronach and other business contacts to support his family, she says.
Most recently, Domi skipped the final day of Max's hockey tournament -- which his team won -- to attend a film festival lunch with Stronach and Brad Pitt, the document says.
The wife of 13 years says she gave up her career in merchandising to raise their three children and support Domi in his hockey career, encouraging his business and community work.
Leanne says Stronach "insinuated herself" into the Domis' life in the summer of 2005 when she attended the Formula One races in Montreal and dropped into a cocktail party. The Magna heiress coolly said, "hello" and then ignored Leanne and other wives -- who offered her champagne -- and "doted on the men (she sat directly beside Tie) as though they might disappear at any minute, the document says.
"Tie assured me that Belinda was nothing more than an important 'business contact' and said I should be nice to her since she held the key to an important and lucrative deal ... involving the supply of steel to Magna ... and he stood to make monumental commissions from this deal."
Domi's "intimate sexual relationship may have commenced when he began working on her political campaign in January, 2006," Leanne says. She notes that Domi "informed the news media he had been dating Stronach."
Their marriage collapsed this summer and she lashes out at Domi for "threatening me with financial extinction because I did not buy into his agenda. It is reprehensible and wrong," she says.
"He is a bully and will do whatever he has to do and say whatever he needs to get what he wants for himself."
Domi spent numerous nights away from the matrimonial home when he told Leanne -- who was on vacation in Muskoka -- that he was in their residence, the document says.
"When confronted by me about his lies about his whereabouts," Domi later deactivated his home's security cameras and "admitted doing so because he 'didn't want to be watched' on cameras he insisted on installing at their home, Leanne says. Domi hired house-sitters for their Toronto home while she was at their Muskoka condo -- which Domi bought her as a 40th birthday present and a vacation home for their family.
Instead of joining his family for these Muskoka vacations, Domi "repeatedly rebuffed our attempts to get him to come up to the condo," Leanne says.
Domi "admitted to adultery (albeit tangentially) on one occasion when he came home shortly after July 22, 2006," the document says. "I was crying and I asked him why he had done what he had done.
"I am so sorry, Leanne ... just leave Belinda out of this," she quotes him as saying.
Leanne says she believes Domi is "living in a condo on the Magna golf course."
She is seeking $15,246 monthly child support for their three children, Carlin, 12, Max, 11, and Avery, 7, and $30,000 a month for herself.
She alleges Domi's company and bank statement show "staggering, enormous debt, almost all of which is in my name."
The Domis' marital troubles started in 1999. Domi "spent inordinate amounts of time away from home," she says.
After a year-end team party, Domi didn't show up for two days, not calling once, she states.
"He was volatile, angry and violent when confronted about his habits. He left on a Friday afternoon and telephoned me saying he would never come back."
Leanne says she later discovered the other woman was Tia Carrere, who filmed her TV series Relic Hunter here. After an 18-month separation, Domi returned to the marriage, vowing to "never lie to me or the children again," she says.
"I believed him ... when he told the world at his 1,000th game in March 2006 that he could never have accomplished everything he had without me at his side, even though Belinda was hovering around him in the after-party," Leanne says.
Four months later, the Domis' marriage was over after she confronted Domi about Stronach and threw him out of their home, Leanne says.
"It is not an easy time for our family right now. We are coping as best as we can," Leanne said yesterday.
Greg MacEachern, executive assistant to Stronach, said she has "no comment at this time."
Domi's agent said the hockey star would have nothing to say while the matter was before the courts, Canadian Press reports.

Belinda Stronach not the first of Domi's affairs

According to reports on Leanne's statement, this affair with Liberal MP Belinda Stronach is not his first. As reported in papers...

Leanne, 40, says she believed Tie would be faithful after an affair with actress Tia Carrere in 1999, the statement says.

Tie Domi commits Adultry with Liberal MP Belinda Stronach

TORONTO (CP) -- Liberal MP Belinda Stronach has wound up in the middle of the nasty divorce of hockey tough guy Tie Domi, with court documents filed by the former NHL player's estranged wife alleging that her husband's greatest concern is that Stronach not be dragged into the dispute.Leanne Domi will seek spousal and child support from Tie Domi's $1-million annual income in Superior Court in Toronto on Tuesday, though neither party is obligated to appear in person. Her allegations, contained in a 20-page divorce application, have not been proven in court.In the application, filed Sept. 18, the day before Tie Domi announced his retirement from the NHL, she alleges her husband's "intimate sexual relationship" with Stronach caused their marriage to deteriorate as well as his relationship with their three children.She also alleges that the former Toronto Maple Leaf player told her if she did not hire a lawyer he would give her $1 million in cash and a $1.5-million house. If she contacted a lawyer, however, "I would get nothing."The documents also allege that Tie Domi "is anxious and desperate to ensure that Belinda is not brought into the divorce."Tie Domi has said he won't comment on his personal life and his agent said Monday the hockey star would have nothing to say while the matter was before the courts.Stronach, who stuck to her regular routine in Ottawa on Monday, has also refused to comment.She attended a gathering of the Liberal caucus executive, performed her regular Commons parliamentary duties, met with Liberal MPs to plot question-period strategy for the week, and went to a conference of business executives."She felt it would be very important that she do her job today and continue being the MP for Newmarket-Aurora," said the Stronach associate."She's got duties as an MP and that's what she'd rather be known for."The personal life of the multimillionaire heiress to the auto-parts giant Magna International also made headlines in May 2005, when as a sitting Conservative member of Parliament, she crossed the floor, effectively jilting boyfriend and fellow Tory Peter MacKay, now foreign affairs minister.Leanne Domi is seeking spousal support of $30,000 and child support of more than $15,000 per month, custody of the children with scheduled visits for Tie Domi, exclusive possession of the family home and the right to sell it and an order that his assets be frozen.Though the application states it is not necessary to name names in cases of alleged adultery, the first line of Leanne Domi's allegations reads: "Tie Domi has committed adultery with Belinda Stronach" and there are numerous references to Stronach throughout the document.The document alleges her husband's relationship with Stronach started in the summer of 2005, when he and Stronach attended a Formula One race in Montreal.In January 2006 Tie Domi started working on Stronach's political campaign, Leanne Domi says in the divorce document, even though "Tie had little to no interest in politics, and in fact, had not the slightest idea about political ideology."As her husband began spending more time with Stronach, Leanne Domi alleges he also began spending less time with their children, aged seven to 12, missing their hockey games in favour of, in one instance, attending a Toronto International Film Festival charity gala with Stronach, her son and actor Brad Pitt.Leanne Domi says that on July 22, after receiving a call from a friend who said she saw Stronach and Tie Domi walking hand in hand down Madison Avenue in Manhattan, she tearfully implored her husband to explain, "Why he'd done what he'd done."He responded, "I am so sorry Leanne...just leave Belinda out of this," the court document says.Leanne Domi says she asked her husband to leave their house. "He told me that if I kept quiet and didn't hire a lawyer he would give me $1 million in cash and buy me a house for $1.5 million," the divorce application reads.. It also says Tie Domi threatened his wife would "get nothing" if she hired a lawyer and said he has many powerful and influential friends (including Stronach) who are "on his side and who don't want to hear my stupid sob stories about him and Belinda."The application also contains allegations that Tie Domi's "trysts" with Stronach were not his first indiscretions. His wife claims he also had a relationship with actress Tia Carrere, known for the television show "Relic Hunter" during a period the couple were separated and attending counselling.

Tie Domi and ex-Wife Leanne reach a settlement

TORONTO (CP) -- Former NHL enforcer Tie Domi and his estranged wife Leanne reached a temporary settlement in their high-profile divorce proceedings Tuesday but the name that set off a media frenzy was not spoken aloud in court and was nowhere to be found in the legal papers.The negotiated consent order includes agreements on giving child custody to the mother, payment of her legal fees and a restraining order that states Tie Domi is to "be restrained from molesting, annoying or harassing Leanne Domi or from communicating with Leanne Domi."Neither party was in attendance for the muted courtroom drama, which played out as the local media buzzed with stories about the popular, former Maple Leaf's alleged affair with Liberal MP and heiress Belinda Stronach.Leanne Domi wanted the divorce to be below the radar and not include Stronach but Tie Domi fought her attempts at getting a fair settlement, and so she went public, according to her application before the court.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Hockey News - September 22, 2006

Updated Friday, September 22
Peter Schaefer and Daniel Alfredsson won't play tonight when the Senators face the Sabres. Both are suffering from a tight groin. Denis Hamel and Partick Eaves will take their spots. - TSN
Antoine Vermette will play left wing on the Senators top line with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. Vermette has struggled playing on offensive lines. Coach Bryan Murray says that Vermette tries to do too much when playing with skilled players. He's hoping that Vermette can change that. - TSN
Sens lineup for today's game vs. Buffalo: Goal: Emery (starting), Guard. Forward: Vermette-Spezza-Heatley, Hamel-Kaigorodov-Eaves, Luttinen-Vesce-Fitzpatrick, Foligno-Hennessy-Heerema. Defence: Redden-Corvo, Barinka-Cook, Kudelka-Hedlund - TSN
Leafs defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo was cleared medically to return to the ice. General Manager John Ferguson said that when the young defenceman returns is entirely up to him. They will not pressure a quick return, as it could be detrimental to his health and development. - Toronto Star
Alexander Ovechkin did not practice on Thursday due to what coach Glen Hanlon called a "little, tiny injury." - Washington Post
Johan Holmqvist will make his Lightning debut Friday against the Detroit Red Wings. Holmqvist was the top goaltender in the Swedish Elite League with a 1.95 GAA and also won a gold medal backstopping Sweden in the World Championships. - St. Petersburg Times
Penguins' Mark Recchi suffered a fractured cheekbone against the Flyers on Wednesday night. The doctors cleared the veteran winger to return to the ice so long as he feels up to it. However, the Penguins trainer has decided to keep Recchi on the shelf for a few more days in order for the pain and swelling to subside. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Panthers forward Todd Bertuzzi is expected to return to practice as early as today after sustaining bruised ribs. "He had some contusion, so that's good," coach/GM Jacques Martin said. " Nothing is broken. He's just very sore." - Miami Herald
Carolina Hurricane Justin Williams will not play in tonight's pre-season game. Williams still has a bruised right cheek from being hit by a puck in practice Wednesday. No word on his return.
In Nashville, both Steve Sullivan and Jason Arnott are still suffering groin problems as a result of off-season hernia surgery. No word yet on how long they will be side-lined.
Jean-Sebatien Giguere looked sharp in net for the Ducks last night, giving him the edge in the battle for Anaheim's No. 1 goaltender position going into tonights game against Los Angeles. - LA Times
Word from the Blackhawks camp has Brian Smolinski showing sparks of his old goal-scoring form. Head Coach Trent Yawney stated he was impressed with Nikolai Khabibulin in his first preseason action and is confident he will rebound from his subpar season last year. Winger Matt Keith is looking good in camp as well. Last year Keith, a 2nd round pick in '04, was one of the final roster cuts, and this year is looking to stick with the team. - Chicago Tribune
Paul Statsney, son of Quebec Nordiques/New Jersey Devils great Peter, is turning heads with his creativity in Colorado, including coach Joel Quenneville. Paul scored the winning goal in last night's game against the Detroit Red Wings. - Denver Post
Boston defenceman Zdeno Chara, will attempt to skate this morning before the team leaves for Moncton, New Brunswick. X-rays on his foot and ankle showed nothing save for slight bruising. He will regardless travel with the team. - Boston Globe
The Florida Panthers' Ville Peltonen seperated his left shoulder Wednesday in Atlanta, and should miss substantial playing time. The team is bracing for a six week loss. Goalie Ed Belfour was held out of practice Wednesday as he felt under the weather. No word yet on his return. - Miami Herald
Early word out of Minnesota has Jacques Lemaire liking what he sees from his team. The one-two punch of Gaborik and Demitra is turning heads. - Star Tribuune
Ramzi Abid is making his bid for a spot with the Nashville Predators by notching a hat trick in the teams 8-1 win over Columbus yesterday. - Tennessean
Former Leaf Alexander Mogilny received a second opinion on his arthritic hip and it was confirmed that he is physically unable to play. The team is expected to apply for long-term injury status in order to save the $3.5 million dollar salary that would have counted against the cap. - Bergen Record
Ranger netminder Kevin Weekes, who injured his groin muscle in a scrimmage Sunday, attempted to skate yesterday. He re-aggravated the injury and left the ice. Word has him sidelined indefinitely. - Newsday
The No. 1 goaltender battle in San Jose keeps getting even hotter with Evgeni Nabakov recording a shut-out in his time in Thursday's win over Vancouver. The other contenders in the battle are Vesa Toskala and Nolan Shaefer. - Oakland Tribune
Vladimir Orszagh had reconstructive knee surgery Thursday and is looking at a recovery preiod of six to nine months. - Belleville News-Democrat

Leafs may not pick up Sundin's club option for next season...

There is a chance the Toronto Maple Leafs won't be picking up the club option on Mats Sundin's contract next season.
This will feed the speculation he might consider waiving his no-trade clause, or worst case, retirement. Neither of which is likely to happen.
So, please hold the outrage!
Let me explain.
The Leafs and the NHL have discussed the language used in the big captains contract to determine how this option year applies to the CBA.
A contract, I should add, that is unique and will this season include a $760,000 allotment which boosts his salary this year to $7.6 million after the rollback. Its important to note this allotment will be paid out this season and will have no bearing on Toronto's cap in the future. Unlike Ed Belfour's arrangement, which the Leafs are absorbing even though Belfour is now property of the Florida Panthers.
Currently, it's the average of Sundin's salary ($6.3 million) that eats up a big chunk of Toronto's cap space.
However, the theory the Maple Leafs are exploring would see the team decline the option, in affect ending the contract before signing Sundin to a new contract, free and clear of his existing deal.
As long as the 35 year old signs for less than $6.3 million, Toronto would save potentially hundreds of thousands in cap space, freeing up money to re-invest in other players.
If Sundin were to agree to a two-year, $11.5 million deal, automatically Toronto will shave $800,000 off the cap. In today's NHL, $800,000 buys a pretty good player.
Its a technicality worth exploring.

Friday, September 15, 2006

2006 - 2007 NHL Preview from TSN.ca



The Preseason
2006 Training Camp ScheduleCheck out the dates and locations of each team's first on-ice practice and training camp sites.
2006 Preseason ScheduleTeams begin tuning up their rosters and evaluating talent with an exhibition schedule that begins Sunday, Sept. 17.

More Hockey News - September 15, 2006

Here we go again: Pens to Hamilton? The chairman of Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion Ltd., the makers of the BlackBerry e-mail handheld device, is now the front-runner to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins according to a published report.

Jagr accepts the 'C': Without a true captin since Mark Messier wore the letter back in 2003/04, Jaromir Jagr feels it is now his time to take the Rangers as his team....

Three Kings in crowded net: The Los Angeles Kings open training camp in the envious (depending on who you ask) position of having three No. 1 goaltenders: Dan Cloutier, Mathieu Garon and Jason LaBarbera....

Doug Gilmour joins Leafs' front office staff

TORONTO (CP) - Doug Gilmour, whose passionate style of play made him a Toronto fan favourite, has returned to the Maple Leafs as a talent evaluator.
The full-time position will see him assist GM John Ferguson, assistant GM Mike Penny and player development coach Paul Dennis on assessing players.
"I'll be hands on with John, Mike and Paul," said Gilmour. "It's baby steps right now.
"I'm going to give it all the effort I have and at times give an opinion. Whether it's right or wrong, they'll decide that."
Gilmour, 43, who quit as a player three years ago, said he also is tinkering with the idea of eventually getting into coaching.
"That's a decision I'll figure out in the next couple of years," he said. "Because I'm not that far removed from the game, I have some passion for the coaching side.
"But I'll learn the player development side now. I want to learn. I live here, my kids were born here, so I'm very proud to be part of the organization. I'm looking forward to it."
Gilmour, the Leafs' captain from 1994 to 1997, was an observer during the Leafs' rookie camp and was on hand for the first of the NHL camp's on-ice workouts Friday, when Ferguson made the hiring official.
"I'm waiting for that trip where Mike sends me some place he doesn't want to go," Gilmour kidded during an interview.
Ferguson and Gilmour had been mulling over exactly what he'd do for the last few weeks.
"Bringing Doug back into the organization on this side of the business is going to allow us to use his experience, his passion, his competitiveness - those intangibles - to drive them into the organization," Ferguson said during an impromptu news conference with Gilmour. "I couldn't be more pleased to bring him back and make him part of our future.
"We all know what he's done as a player. We think he can contribute (in the new role). We value his opinion. He'll learn and contribute, and who knows what the future holds.
"His presence in the organization means so much. Obviously, what he's done here as a Maple Leaf - that passion and competitiveness, that productivity, that success - all those things I don't possess and others in our organization don't possess. We'd like to think he can bring that to our group and to our players."
Gilmour twice played for the Leafs and retired as a member of the team after suffering a serious knee injury in 2003.
"It's nice to see him back in the organization," said captain Mats Sundin.
Gilmour played 1,474 NHL games with Calgary, St. Louis, Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, New Jersey and Montreal. He won a Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989.

Sundin wishes to end career as a Maple Leaf

TORONTO (CP) - He's said it before, and he'll say it again.
"If the organization wanted to move me, you have no real choice but, if it's up to me, I do want to stay as a Maple Leaf the rest of my career," captain Mats Sundin said after Toronto's first on-ice workouts of their NHL training camp Friday.
The topic arose during a media scrum because Sundin sold his posh home during the off-season, and because he's entering the last year - at US$7.6 million - of his contract.
The team has a $4.6-million option for 2007-2008 but it's likely both camps will start talking about an extension sometime this season.
"I don't have a desire to go anywhere else to be part of a championship team," he said. "We have just as good a chance to be a championship team right here as anyone else.
"I can't see myself trying to go to a contender at the end of the season just to be part of a championship. Any of the 16 teams that makes the playoffs has as good a chance as anyone else."
The Edmonton Oilers proved that after squeaking into the post-season on the schedule's last weekend last spring. Parity propelled by the salary cap levels the playing field.
"It's tougher and tougher to predict," said Sundin. "Before, you could tell who were going to be the top teams in the league.
"This year, it's impossible. I think we have as good a chance as any of the other teams. Our first focus has to make the playoffs. It's going to be very important for us to get off to a good start."
The six-foot-five centre earned 78 points and scored 31 goals last season. He played his best hockey after leading Sweden to Olympic gold.
"Having success with the Leafs in the playoffs is the ultimate goal," he said. "That in itself is a carrot that you're looking forward to and it helps you train."
While being bitterly disappointed to miss the playoffs last spring, he said there was a positive element to the club's strong finish.
"We had almost as many points as Edmonton had when they started their playoff run, and they went to the final. It was encouraging to see a lot of the younger players come in during the last 20 games and play well. That gave a brighter outlook to the start of this season."

Koivu takes part in first camp scrimmage

MONTREAL (CP) - Neither Michael Ryder's new visor nor Saku Koivu's blind spot prevented the Montreal Canadiens linemates from seeing eye to eye on the ice Friday.
Koivu had no trouble finding Ryder and winger Chris Higgins with passes in his first scrimmage since he suffered a serious left eye injury in the NHL playoffs in April.
The Canadiens captain even fed a pretty pass from the left side to Higgins for a goal.
"I thought it went well," said Koivu. "Physically, I felt fine and more important, I'm surprised I felt that comfortable with my eye.
"It will be a different scenario when we play against another team, but this was a first step and we have a couple of days before the first pre-season games. I hope that every day I feel a little more comfortable out there."
Koivu wore a contact lens on the eye, which still has a blind spot and recently developed a small cataract after off-season surgery to repair a detached retina.
He also wore a larger visor than the one he had on when Justin Williams' stick clipped his eye during a playoff game against Carolina on April 26.
The team's first day of on-ice workouts before a standing room only crowd at the Sportsplex 4-Glaces boosted Koivu's confidence that he will be ready for the Canadiens' regular season opener Oct. 6 in Buffalo.
"I had some doubts before today how I'd feel and what to expect. but the vision was OK," he said. "I didn't lose the puck in my feet too many times, so it was a pleasant surprise.
"If I don't face any setbacks and the vision is the way it is now, I don't see a problem for the season opener. But the first couple of exhibition games will tell a lot more."
Montreal's first two pre-season matches are against Boston at home on Tuesday and Wednesday. Koivu expects to play a game or two more than usual in the pre-season to get used to his slightly reduced vision.
Ryder is also adjusting to altered vision.
The 30-goal scorer is experimenting with a visor, although it will depend on how well he adapts in the pre-season whether he'll wear it in games that count.
The winger from Bonavista, N.L., said he considered wearing a visor even before Koivu's injury.
"It's a little different, just getting used to the sweat and snow that gets on it," he said. "It feels like you're inside something, looking through. Hopefully, I'll get used to it."
Koivu applauded his linemate's decision.
"Sometimes when something happens to a teammate, you see what might happen if you don't wear one," he said. "I'm hoping that it woke a few guys up and they realize that by wearing one, they might avoid an injury like that.
"I know there's a lot of guys who aren't used to wearing one but for us Europeans, it's never been a problem."
Ryder also showed up 12 pounds lighter than last season at 192 pounds after a summer of therapy for a pinched nerve in his neck.
"Because of my injury, I couldn't work out much," he said. "I was just trying to watch what I eat and make sure I didn't get out of shape and I ended up losing 12 pounds.
"Hopefully, I'm quicker. I don't really feel any pain now. It was in my neck, but I felt it more in my side. But it's gone. Now I'm just trying to rebuild the muscles."
Guy Carbonneau, who directed his first scrimmage since taking over as head coach, opted to keep his veterans together when making up lines.
Koivu, Ryder and Higgins ended last season together, while newcomer Sergei Samsonov showed energy in skating with Mike Ribeiro and Alex Kovalev. That line scored twice in the scrimmage.
Another new acquisition, Mike Johnson, scored a goal playing with Tomas Plekanec and Alexander Perezhogin while Radek Bonk centred Steve Begin and tough guy Aaron Downey, who also scored.
Garth Murray skated with two players competing for a vacant spot at forward - Andrei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovsky.
"It's a short camp," said Carbonneau. "I have to get my team ready first.
"But we had (rookie) Kyle Chipchura's line against Ribeiro's line and they did well. That's good. It shows them what they have to do to play at this level. The first day went well."
One who looked sharp was six-foot-five defenceman Ryan O'Byrne, a 2003 third round draft pick who joined the team from Cornell University.
There is a spot open on defence to start the season as Francis Bouillon recovers from off-season knee surgery. Bouillon is to resume skating in two weeks, but isn't expected back until November.
The public was admitted free and they jammed the 1,200-seat arena. Fans were stacked three deep in the standing room area for the scrimmages.

Hockey News - September 15, 2006

Russian tribunal rules against Malkin
The Evgeni Malkin saga is far from over. A Russian arbitration tribunal issued a court order Friday prohibiting the Russian centre from playing in the NHL. But exactly what that means isn't clear.

Nonis doesn't know why Clarke made offer
Vancouver Canucks general manager Dave Nonis says Bob Clarke's actions in signing centre Ryan Kesler to a US$1.9 million offer sheet make no sense.

The Latest: A year after the Blues suspended Keith Tkachuk for arriving to training camp out of shape -- 263 pounds and 19 percent body fat--the star left winger will step onto the ice today at the Ice Zone weighing 229 pounds with 10 percent body fat. (More)...

Sundin wants to finish career with Leafs
Great things expected of Sens Kaigorodov
Tkachuk reports to Blues in better shape
Konowalchuk having heart checked out
Blackhawks lose Barker up to six weeks
Report: Bruins send Zhamnov home
Flyers centre Primeau retires
Blues sign Radek Dvorak
Leafs take to the ice at camp
Leafs add Gilmour to front office
Flyers name Forsberg captain
NHL to allow bigger stick curves
More Headlines >>

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Clarke tries a bold move, and stings Canuks GM...and Why Not? He's just playing by the rules!

VANCOUVER (CP) -- The Vancouver Canucks are going to be paying Ryan Kesler top dollar after all.The Canucks matched Kesler's offer sheet and re-signed the centre to a new contract Thursday after the Philadelphia Flyers extended a US$1.9-million offer to the 22-year-old on Tuesday.Vancouver had hoped to re-sign the restricted free agent for much less money. They had reportedly been trying to negotiate for roughly half the amount Kesler will now be paid.It was the first offer sheet signed by a player since 1999. The Canucks had a week to choose whether to match the offer or receive a second-round draft pick, but took just two days to make the decision.Technically, the last official offer sheet before Tuesday was in July 1999 when Tampa Bay made an offer for little-known Oiler Brett Hauer. Edmonton matched it.The last offer sheet of any note was in February 1998 when Carolina went after Detroit star Sergei Fedorov and the Red Wings matched it.Clarke's move sparked debate around the league. Some GMs privately questioned it although none of them would go public. The general concern was that Clarke nearly tripling Kesler's salary to $1.9 million would be inflationary and affect future comparable players. Kesler is a checking centre who had 10 goals in his rookie season last year.Philadelphia went after the young Canuck in an effort to replace former captain Keith Primeau, who was forced to retire because of concussion-related problems.For his part, Clarke wasn't concerned about how the move was viewed by others."That's the rules in the CBA," Clarke said. "The rules aren't convenient just for one team, they're there for everybody. You can't pick and choose. If you like one rule and I like one rule, does that mean we can only use one rule? That's crazy."If you're unhappy with the rules, complain to (commissioner) Gary Bettman."

Mats will be Maurice's go to guy

TORONTO (CP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs made plenty of changes for the new NHL season and one that is about to happen might have the most favourable impact of them all.Mats Sundin will get more playing time.The big Swedish centre can expect new head coach Paul Maurice to have him on the ice well in excess of the nearly 20 minutes a game he logged last season. The onus will be on the captain to lead the Leafs' bid to return to the playoffs."I've always had players in those roles play an awful lot of minutes relative to the rest of the league," Maurice said during the opening day of training camp Thursday. "The three TV time-outs during games, charter flights, better nutrition -- all those things point to your better players playing more."The biggest thing though is that there's not the same price to be paid to play hockey as there was two years ago. Mats Sundin, to get to the front of the net two years ago, had to give back five sticks by the time he got to the bench. The wear and tear on these guys has changed."Fitness tests and off-ice workouts were the order of the day in the freezer that was Ricoh Coliseum. A handful of players including off-season free-agent pickup Pavel Kubina donned pads and skated. Most have been training in groups for weeks, so everybody looks to be near game-ready shape. Nobody was puking on the exercise machines.On-ice drills begin Friday, and the first exhibition game is at Air Canada Centre on Monday night against Buffalo. The regular-season opener is at home on Wed., Oct. 4 against Ottawa.At this stage, Maurice isn't fretting over who skates on the first line with Sundin."Who Mats plays with is not the most important question to answer," Maurice said. "He's going to play with a lot of different people over the course of the year."There's times you leave lines together because you know there's chemistry there and you want to let them work through it, but we'll ask Mats to be our best player most nights and if the people around him aren't going then you make adjustments.
Mats Sundin is here to make the players around him better, and he's good enough to."There'll be no camp scrimmages, said Maurice."It's almost like play-fighting with a friend and I don't care for it," he explained. "A short camp forces you to work on systems."NHL training camps were shortened to 20 days this year."I think it's still too long," new Leafs centre Mike Peca said with a grin. "Players are coming into camp in such great shape ... it's plenty of time."Regardless, Maurice's main goal is to make this a quicker team. After all, it's the trend around the league given the strict crackdown on obstruction fouls that is in force.He's not making any bold predictions."It's a dogfight now for everybody to get into the playoffs," he said. "My biggest concern outside of hockey is controlling the emotional rollercoaster our team will go on based on the interest in the team."That's part of being here -- managing that rollercoaster. I understand that we're going to be in a dogfight to make the playoffs. That's hard for home-town fans to hear but it's the (reality) of the NHL" now that the salary cap's levelling of player hiring capabilities has promoted parity.There's been nary a discouraging word about Maurice since he replaced Pat Quinn, but he insists he has yet to feel the weight of the heavy expectations of Leafs fans on his shoulders as he prepares to return to an NHL bench for the first time in 2.5 years."I know it's coming, but I don't feel any pressure yet," he said. "If you're going to win on the big stage, there's going to be some pressure there to do it."The main competition in camp will be for two or three defence spots and a handful of third- and fourth-line wing positions."I don't think there are clear frontrunners in a lot of areas," said Maurice. "A player who did a great amount of work this summer can really change his game."I would expect great competition. The change in the game where the players aren't physically asked to grind is the biggest advantage our young kids have. We don't have to wait two years for a player to physically mature. If you can come in and skate and jump into plays you can be a good player in your second year. There's more room for young players to come in and be impact players."

Primeau announces his retirement

Philadelphia Flyers centre Keith Primeau retired Thursday, ending a 15-year NHL career after failing to receive clearance to play because of lingering effects from a concussion.
Flyers name Forsberg captain

Hockey News - September 14, 2006

NHL to allow bigger stick curves
The National Hockey League Board of Governors today approved a variety of rule changes pertaining to the curvature of players' sticks.

Canucks match Kesler offer
The Vancouver Canucks are going to be paying Ryan Kesler top dollar after all.

'Canes to deal Jack Johnson?
Now that Frantisek Kaberle will miss most of this season because of shoulder surgery, the Carolina Hurricanes are in desperate need of a defenceman. But it won't be Jack Johnson, Carolina's third overall pick in the 2005 entry draft.

Aggressive tactics
A brief conversation with Vancouver Canucks general manager Dave Nonis is all that is required to establish his disdain for being inconvenienced by the Philadelphia Flyers attempt to lure restricted free agent Ryan Kesler with a high priced offer sheet.

Lalime to be sidelined 2-3 months
Luongo aims to change Canucks culture
Tanguay did homework on Iginla
Oilers begin camp with more firepower
Maurice: Leafs will struggle for playoffs
Senators going with blue-collar approach
Raycroft likes hockey buzz in T.O.
Capitals sign tough guy D Erskine
Panthers agree to terms with prospects
Connolly still has concussion symptoms
Koivu hopes to wait for cataract surgery
More Headlines >>

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hockey News

Gionta to attend training camp: Despite not having a contract, Brian Gionta has decided to put his career at risk and attend Devils training camp....

Remembering the lives lost: The five-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks brings back painful memories for many, including members of the LA Kings family. Scouts Mark Bavis and Ace Bailey were among the hundreds who died aboard United Airlines Flight 175, the second plane hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the World Trade Center.

Vokoun signs for four more years: The Nashville Predators made sure their star goalie wasn't going anywhere, signing Tomas Vokoun to a four-year deal....

Sens sign centre Kaigorodov
Flyers make Kesler an offer
Sabres sign players & coaches
Fitzgerald done after 17 years
Oilers agree to three with Lupul
Canucks ink Linden for one year
Flyers' Gagne gets five-year deal
Canes' Kaberle may miss six months
Vokoun staying put in Nashville
More Lupul-Oiler talks Monday
Sundin arrival surprises Leafs
Sabres ink a keeper in Miller
Malkin hits ice with Penguins
Vigneault: Markus is my captain
King walks out on 'Nucks camp

Primeau close to announcing his retirement?

PHILADELPHIA (CP) -- Flyers captain Keith Primeau is expected to announce his retirement by the end of the week, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting."I've had those discussions with my wife and I will have something more to say about it either tomorrow or Thursday," Primeau said. "I have not talked to the club since last week. I had been looking to get myself back into a position to play."If Primeau does end his career, the captaincy will likely go Peter Forsberg, which was the Flyers' plan in the event Primeau did not begin the season.Primeau, 34, who said retirement at his age will be "very tough to face," has been unable to recover from post-concussion syndrome suffered last Oct. 25 at Montreal when he took a blow to the head from Alexander Perezhogin.Primeau played 5{ seasons with the Flyers and 312 games with 87 goals, 126 assists and 213 points. He assumed the captaincy from Eric Desjardins in 2001.

DiPietro signs record deal...$67.5 Millon for 15 years

The New York Islanders have signed goalie Rick DiPietro to a 15-year, $67.5 million contract. The deal will pay DiPietro $4.5 million annually.
''In all of our discussions with Rick, he made it clear that he wanted to be an Islander for the rest of his career,'' said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. ''But it was of equal importance to Rick that we work out a deal that would allow us to continue to build a Stanley Cup contender for years to come. This deal is great news for our franchise and our fans.''
''I'm extremely appreciative of the commitment (Islanders owner) Charles Wang and Garth have made to me,'' said DiPietro.
Islanders' owner Charles Wang, who was directly involved in the negotiations, had indicated that if DiPietro didn't sign by Friday, when the team opens training camp in Nova Scotia, that DiPietro would not play in the 2006-07 season.
''Rick's made no secret for a long time that he wanted to be an Islander his whole career,'' DiPietro's agent Paul Krepelka told The Associated Press..

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Brendan Morrison looks forward to taking game to next level

BURNABY, B.C. (CP) -- Centre Brendan Morrison thinks subtracting Todd Bertuzzi from the Vancouver Canucks could result in an addition to his scoring totals this NHL season.For most of the last five years Morrison has been the setup man on the Canucks' high-scoring top line along with wingers Markus Naslund and Bertuzzi.Both Naslund and Bertuzzi wanted the puck as much as possible. That meant Morrison's job was pass first, maybe look for a rebound, then make sure he got back on defence.Bertuzzi's trade to the Florida Panthers this summer means Morrison may find the puck on his stick more often."When you play with those guys, the tendency is just to get them the puck," Morrison said after skating with some of his teammates at a local arena. "Now I might have the puck a little more, get the chance to create a little more and definitely shoot the puck more. That should lead to more production."Naslund said Morrison may get more of a chance to demonstrate the goal-scoring skills he showed at the University of Michigan where he was a Hobey Baker award winner as the top U.S. college hockey player."I think Brendan plays his best when he's forceful and confident," said Naslund. "Maybe it was difficult for him to play with me and Todd who both really want the puck all the time.

NHL news for September 7, 2006

Bettman to settle GM disputes
National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman will be involved in the resolution of Mike Keenan's break-up with the Florida Panthers and will also manage Neil Smith's settlement with the New York Islanders.

Morrison looks to increase scoring
Centre Brendan Morrison thinks subtracting Todd Bertuzzi from the Vancouver Canucks could result in an addition to his scoring totals this NHL season.

Thrashers agree to terms with Lehtonen
The Atlanta Thrashers have agreed to terms on a new multi-year contract with goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

Gagne and Flyers 'a ways away'
Bryzgalov inks two-year deal with Ducks
Naslund responds to captaincy questions
Crawford excited about rebuilding Kings
Ricci still recovering from neck surgery
Taylor named new Lightning captain
Koivu looks to test injured eye at camp
Officer sues VandenBussche for $10.2 M
Ovechkin says he's not ready for 'C'
Sharks' Bell arrested on DUI suspicion
Malkin inks deal with Penguins
Forsberg back on the ice after surgery
Avalanche re-sign Svatos to one-year deal
More Headlines >>

Martin insists he was not the reason for Keenan's departure

Despite reports to the contrary, Florida Panthers coach and GM Jacques Martin insists Mike Keenan isn't gone because of him. "No, I don't think there was a breakdown with my relationship with Mike," Martin told The Canadian Press in an interview Thursday.

Dudley: 'Panthers owner big fan of Martin'
Did Keenan jump, or was he pushed?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Malikin to sign soon with the Pens; Keenan fired/resigns; Zherdev could play in Russia

Evgeni Malkin is about to become a Pittsburgh Penguins player. Malkin has spent three weeks training in the Los Angeles region, but is expected to sign with the Penguins on Tuesday - two days before the start of rookie training camp. Malkin's agents said last week they would open contract talks early this week, and the Penguins are planning a news conference Tuesday to announce the signing.FULL STORY...

GM Keenan and Panthers part ways
The Florida Panthers and their general manager are not waiting together to see how the 2006-07 NHL season will unfold.

Zherdev, Columbus still not speaking
The chances Nikolai Zherdev will be playing in Columbus this season are dwindling.

Roenick perplexed by lack of TV exposure
Checketts guarantees winning start
Oilers to use five partial affiliates
Stars re-sign Trevor Daley
Islanders draft pick Blaho killed in crash
Hurricanes sign tough guy Stephen Peat
Sabres ink Kalinin to two-year deal
Hall of Famer Dickie Moore recovering
Red Wings to retire Yzerman's jersey
Havlat gets a chance to be 'the man'
Hurricanes sign Brad Isbister
More Headlines >>

Iron Mike let go from GM post in Florida

The Florida Panthers and their general manager are not waiting together to see how the 2006-07 NHL season will unfold.
Even after an offseason of major player transactions and renewed playoff hopes, the team announced in a statement Sunday that Mike Keenan has resigned from his front office post and has been replaced by head coach Jacques Martin.
''I can't say that I had looked at being a general manager,'' Martin said. ''Maybe a long-term goal could have been that, but not short term.''
It is not clear what led to the move - made just days before the start of training camp. While the Panthers are publicly saying he has resigned, sources tell TSN that Keenan was actually forced out.
Keenan had three years remaining on his contract with the Panthers and leaves after working parts of four seasons with the club. He was named head coach of the Panthers in December of 2001 and held the post until November of 2003.
He returned to the team as general manager in May of 2004 and immediately made a flurry of changes to improve the club's fortunes. He joined in with Martin - a former Ottawa bench boss who was also his university teammate - and added veteran players to the lineup such as forwards Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Roberts and Chris Gratton.
The team failed to make the playoffs for a fifth straight season in 2005-06, prompting Keenan to make more dramatic moves over the summer. He swung a blockbuster deal that saw superstar netminder Roberto Luongo go to Vancouver for a package that featured power forward Todd Bertuzzi, and also signed veteran goalie Ed Belfour.
The Panthers were Keenan's seventh NHL team. He began his NHL career as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1984, and then led the Chicago Blackhawks behind the bench in 1988, guiding both teams to the Stanley Cup Final.
In 1993-94, he was hired as head coach of New York Rangers and led the franchise to its first Stanley Cup win since 1940. Keenan also served as head coach and GM as the St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, and Boston Bruins.
Keenan began his coaching career with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League.
Martin spent eight seasons with the Senators before joining Florida and is considered one of the league's top coaches. He won the Jack Adams award as coach of the year in 1998-99 and was runner-up three other times.
Martin says he doesn't see much need for change to the Panthers' roster.
''I don't see any changes,'' Martin said. ''I think we're excited as an organization about this roster. We feel we've improved our hockey club.''
It will be his first general manager job in the NHL.