Monday, September 28, 2009

Theo Fluery Retires

Theo Fleury has retired after 15 seasons. His career achievements include playing in 1,084 games and 1,088 points.

His career included Calgary, Colorado, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks.

Information taken from NHL Live! on the NHL Network, today 09/28/09.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Original Six Vintage Hockey

The NHL Network has a wonderful show titled “Vintage Hockey”. Many times the e games are not what I would really consider vintage. Sometimes, though, there are some GREAT ones. Like yesterday...

The match-up involved two Original Six teams: Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. This traditional rivalry was a total delight to watch and listen to...It brought back so many nostalgic memories. And...I'm smiling as I write this. What a game..

Where do I start? (Yes, I know...the beginning is always a good idea). Well, the game was played at the Olympia (Olympia Stadium) in Detroit. It was Game 5 of the Stanley Cup semi-finals. The game was played on April 11, 1965. That's right...1965. Get down!

Even though the Red Wings won the game, 4-2, the Blackhawks went on to win the semi-final series in seven games. The Hawks then advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals and faced the Montreal Canadiens. The Hawks and Canadiens went seven games, with the Canadiens finally clinching the Stanley Cup Championship.

Bruce Martin was the play-by-play announcer. There was no color announcer. All we heard about was the game. Play-by-play. Absolutely perfect.

Here are some other facts I jotted down:

The indoor temperature was 80 degrees. There was steamy ice. The announcer stated, “Do not adjust your sets. The fog comes to you from our sponsors.” Too cool. By the end of the game, there was steam rising from the ice. The camera shot to the crowd throughout the game. The men had removed their jackets and were down to their shirts and ties. As the game progressed, men removed their ties and opened up their top one or two shirt buttons. It was just great to see.

Center ice consisted of two Detroit Red Wings logos. That was all. No wordage or clutter.

Norm Ullman was chosen as the player of the game. He was interviewed after the game. He broke the all-time scoring record for two goals in five seconds during a post-season game. As he was interviewed at game's end, he stated ..”the ice was real slow”.

The other two players of the game were Bobby Hull and Roger Crozier. Wow...

Some of the players of the game included, are you ready for this?!....Phil Esposito, Bobby Hull, Glenn Hall, Warren Moon, Bill Hay, Bill Gadsby, Ted Lindsey, Gordie Howe, Marcel Provonost, Warren Godrey, Larry Jeffrey, Peter Mavelich and Pat LaFontaine. It was pure nirvana watching that line-up.

There was a lull in the game when Glenn Hall, Hawks goalie, needed a “lingerie stop”. His suspenders broke. “Whenever there is a lingerie seems to involve goalies,” stated the announcer. As Hall went to the bench to have his suspenders repaired, Bobby Hull shot a rubber ball into the goal. The crowd went wild. :)

A Hawks player pushed Ted Lindsay. Lindsay whipped around and the two got into a fight (sorry, I didn't get the Hawks player..I was too wrapped up in watching Lindsey. I do know that wasn't Hull or Esposito). Lindsay received a two-minute penalty for roughing.

A few minutes later, a Hawks player tested Gordie Howe. Howe got even by hooking the guy. Gordie then joined his buddy Ted in the penalty box for two minutes. It was GREAT seeing Howe catch up with the guy who tested him. After hooking the guy, Howe stood there with a glare in his eyes and his hockey stick in the ready position. He was in the cross check mode. Just great...

Way to go NHL Network. Thanks...:)

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

NHL News & Signings 09/12/09

Here's some NHL signing information I picked up from the NHL Network today 09/12/09:

Derek Dorsett - CBJ 2 years

Dany Heatley - SJ (that's a shocker to me. I wonder if he'll try to get out of
that contract in a bit)....

Jonathan Cheecho - WASH

NHL Teams are holding on-ice training camps starting SUNDAY 09/13/09

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pittsburgh Penguins Honored at White House

Every year the defending champions of the Stanley Cup are honored by the White House. The team takes the trip, meets the President and the President makes a speech. The team stands behind and along side of the President. It is a happy and proud moment.

After reading an article about the Pittsburgh Penguins memorable meeting, I have decided not to reprint it here. Why? Some jackasses have turned it into a political debate. When are people going to realize that IS NOT THE PURPOSE OF THE MEETING!!

Congrats to the Penguins. They deserve the accolades and all the respect they receive. Any true hockey fan knows that winning the Stanley Cup is not an easy task.

Any "hockey fan" who turns the meeting between the President and the Stanley Cup winning team into anything other than what it is AN a waste of human intelligence. THIS TRADITION HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS.....DO NOT TAINT IT!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

NHL Live! Return Date

Just received notice through my Twitter account that NHL Live! is due back on the air waves September 28.

Friday, September 4, 2009

NHL Update as of 09/04/09

As mentioned on the NHL Network

Unrestricted free agent centers:

Dominic Moore BUF
Michael Peca CBJ
Derek Armstrong LA
Blair Betts NYR
Mike Comrie OTT
Chris Gratton CBJ
Rob Lang MTL
Manny Malhotra CBJ
Jiri Novotny CBJ
Mats Sundin VAN


Derick Brassard 4 yr CBJ

Steve Eminger 2 yr ANA

Claude Julien Head Coach Multi Year contract extension BOS

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jason Smith Retires After 14 Seasons

As printed in the Edmonton Journal and Ottawa Citizen....09/03/09

Jason Smith was longest running captain of the Edmonton Oilers.

It's one of the hardest lessons hockey players can learn: If you like to play a rough, sometimes nasty game, your body will eventually rebel.

You play hurt. And you stay hurt.

That's what happened to former Edmonton Oilers captain Jason Smith, who retired Wednesday after 1,008 NHL games over 14 seasons --none where he ever went to battle anything but all-out. If there was a shot to be blocked, a straight-arm to be delivered into an opposing player's chest or a score to be settled for an earlier slight-- often on a teammate-- Smith was always first in line.

But now it's the end of the line.

"I always played the game as hard as I could and as physically as I could and I don't think I can do that anymore. It's not like I flipped a coin and made this decision," Smith said at his going-away party in Ottawa, where he played last season for the Senators.

Smith, a native of Calgary, was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 1997 and played for five different teams in a distinguished NHL career: the Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs, the Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers and Senators.

He came to Edmonton on March 23, 1999, in a trade-deadline deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Oilers gave up a fourth-round draft pick in '99 (Toronto took Jonathan Zion)and a second-rounder in 2000 (they took Kris Vernarsky). Only Vernarsky played in the NHL, but just 17 games.

Smith, nicknamed Gator, played 542 Oilers regular-season games and 45 more in the playoffs. He became Oilers captain in 2001 after Doug Weight was traded to St. Louis. When he was traded to Philadelphia, he got the C there, too, a testament to his leadership.

"There were some pretty tough captains like Bucky (Kelly Buchberger) and Fogey (Lee Fogolin) too, but Jason certainly wore his heart on his sleeve as well as any of them," said current Oilers president Kevin Lowe, who was a coach and then general manager with the team during Smith's years in Oilers silks.

Smith's most satisfying moments as a player came during his seven-plus years in Edmonton, where he became the fourth team captain to lead the team to the Stanley Cup final, in 2006 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"Obviously, being in Edmonton as long as I was, being the captain there and experiencing the run to the finals, was a special time," Smith said. "Having grown up in Alberta and being around the Flames-Oilers rivalry, it was pretty amazing to be a part of that.

"I had some great teammates there, and met some great people in the city and still have friends away from the game there to this day. I definitely had a lot of fun playing there and have a lot of great memories of playing in Edmonton."

Part of what made Smith a great leader was his incredible pain threshold. He barely knew his way to the medical room.

"If he said, 'This is hurting me,' you would put him in an ambulance," said longtime Oilers trainer Ken Lowe, Kevin's brother.

"Nobody beats Danny Ray Kepley (for taking pain), but Gator was right up there. In my top five. Only one time I can remember him being worried was when he was hit in the eye with a puck...only time he ever hesitated about playing.
The Edmonton Journal

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