Archive for January, 2008

Phaneuf Close to Long-Term Deal

Posted in Alex Tanguay, All-star, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Hockey, Iginla, miikka kiprusoff, NHL, Phaneuf with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2008 by flamesfan77

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It has been reported that Dion Phaneuf and the Calgary Flames are close to signing a long-term contract extension for the All-Star defenseman.  The Flames feel it is important to lock up their star before he gets an offer sheet in the summer that they would be forced to match, or risk losing him like the Oilers did to the Ducks for Dustin Penner. 

It has been rumoured to be in the 6-7 million dollar a year range, which makes Calgary have a very expensive top 7 with Iginla, Regehr, Kiprusoff, Aucoin, Tanguay and Sarich adding up to over 30 million already.  Thankfully the NHL salary cap has been steadily going upward which will give Calgary a little flexibility in filling out its roster in the coming seasons.

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Emery’s Struggles

Posted in Hockey, Hockey Fights, NHL, Ottawa Senators, Ray Emery, Stanley Cup with tags , , , , , , on January 30, 2008 by flamesfan77

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With the recent fine of almost $15,000 dollars, Ottawa Senators goalie Ray Emery continues to be a distraction to the Eastern Conference Leader.  He has had controversy with his Mike Tyson mask.  He was involved in a road rage case on his way to practice.  He was in a car accident that made him miss one practice.  He overslept for a playoff flight last year and now shows up to the wrong arena in Long Island and is justifiably told to miss practice forcing the Sens to have one goalie in practice.  He has also had tantrums on the ice during practice where he has broken sticks.  He has said that he has trouble getting motivated to go on the ice.  Newsflash, it is your job and you get paid over 3 million a year to do so!  Obviously being in a backup role this season would be hard after leading your team to the Stanley Cup final the previous season, but Emery needs to become a man and accept his role.  If he doesn’t Ottawa needs to do something about it to have a chance at repeating last years success.

Here is a video of Emery’s fight with a Buffalo Goalie and Enforcer!

Sundin’s Fate Decided This Week

Posted in All-star, Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, Mats Sundin, MLSE, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks with tags , , , , , , , on January 28, 2008 by flamesfan77

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There is a meeting between Mats Sundin, his agent and new Toronto Maple Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher to discuss where the team is headed and what part if any Mats wants.  It is believed the Leafs are hoping the former all-star will be willing to waive his no trade clause in his contract, however he has always said he will stay in Toronto if they are a playoff team.

Detroit, Vancouver and Calgary are all clubs that have expressed interest in him.  But it is more a question of who is Mats interested in joining.  Hopefully the Leafs can get this resolved soon so they can concentrate on a playoff run, something they have not had in some time.

Here is a funny commercial about him from a few years back!

All-Star Game Great

Posted in All-star, Hockey, Iginla, NHL, rick dipietro with tags , , , , on January 28, 2008 by flamesfan77

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Although I have trashed it in the past, this past NHL All-Star game was actually one of the best I have ever seen.  There was intensity, great plays and a game that came down to the final thirty seconds.

  I loved the commentary from the goalies during the game, especially at the start when Rick Dipietro was scored on in record time to start an all-star game. 

One criticism is that the players should shoot more and be a little more selfish, but hockey players for the most part are not showboats and would feel uncomfortable doing this, and half the time the 3-4 passes worked.

All in all it was a great weekend and the fans in Atlanta showed how great they are making the game loud and exciting!

Here is video Highlights of the All-Star super-skills competition.

All-star Weekend Off to a Slow Start

Posted in All-star, Hockey, NHL, Ovechkin, Ryan Getzlaf, Toronto Maple Leafs with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2008 by flamesfan77

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Today I watched a revamped NHL all-star skills competition and I have to say that I am thankful I pvr’d it so I could get through it faster.  The first event was a relay race/obstacle course that was worse than watching a Kings/Lightning battle of the basement affair. 

Next up was a faster skater contest that is now a straightaway, which I do prefer, but the outcome appeared to have flaws as two competitors that lost their respective heats were in the finals.  The traditional elimination shootout was fine but not as exciting since we see this on a nightly basis. 

The hardest shot was once again entertaining. 

I also like the youngstars game, but would have preferred a little bit longer. 

Tomas Kaberle proved once again to Leafs fans he should shoot more after going 8 for 9 in the accuracy competition.

I was also disappointed with the CBC broadcast as the cameras were sloppy and missed half the exciting plays. 

The final event of the evening was a judged shootout, a NHL version of an NBA slam dunk competition.  I liked the thought of this, but I don’t think the players were prepared to entertain as 95% of the moves were something you see on a nightly basis.  Thankfully Alexander Ovechkin spiced things up and Ryan Getzlaf attempted some moves, but for the most part it was weak.  Goalies should be forced to stay in their crease or even the use of “shooter tutor” nets to allow the shooters some space.

Hopefully tomorrow’s game is more exciting!

Here’s a 08 All-Star video showing this year’s players!

Teemu Selanne to Return after Break

Posted in All-star, Anaheim Ducks, Hockey, NHL, Scott Niedermayer, Stanley Cup, Teemu Selanne with tags , , , , , on January 26, 2008 by flamesfan77

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Sources have confirmed that former all-star sniper Teemu Selanne will be returning to the Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks.  He will be the second player on the Ducks to return mid-season as defenseman Scott Niedermayer returned recently and has helped them rise through the standings. 

Scott surprisingly was even named an all-star even after participating in a handful of games. 

With 1135 career points Selanne will make the Ducks a legitimate contender in the West and will help with the offense, something the ducks surprisingly have been lacking this year.

The Ducks have gone 12-5-1 since Scott returned and are currently only one point back of San Jose for the division lead.

Here is a video compilation of Selanne highlights.

NHL All-Star Not All it is Cracked Up to Be?

Posted in All-star, Hockey, Martin Brodeur, NHL, Roberto luongo, Sidney Crosby, Stanley Cup with tags , , , , , , , on January 25, 2008 by flamesfan77

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With all of the stars declining their appearance in this upcoming NHL all-star weekend it begs the question is it worth while for the league to shut down during the middle of the season and host such an event.  Big name stars such as Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur have decided to sit out of this years contest in Atlanta.  I myself will watch the game this upcoming weekend, but if past years are any indication I will be a select few that will.  With Sidney Crosby’s injury this will also take the biggest star out of the game. 

 Does the NHL need to follow MLB and make the game more meaningful by giving home ice advantage to the conference that wins in the Stanley Cup finals?  This will get more intensity into the games making them more exciting, but this also adds to the risk of injury to the players involved.  It also doesn’t create incentive to players that are not going to the playoffs that are basement dwellers at the All-Star break.

The break also delays the NHL season farther into the summer than it needs to be.  By June most Americans have some other sport they are following and will have lost interest in our playoffs.  Hopefully this game will be exciting and allow us fans to enjoy ourselves in a relatively quiet weekend in the sporting world.