Posts Tagged ‘Brenden Morrow’

Top Line: Line brawl erupts in Toronto; Shanahan’s busy day; more links

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By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

• There was nothing wrong with a tough guy like Buffalo’s John Scott looking to start something in the Sabres’ preseason tilt against the Maple Leafs on Sunday night. The problem is that he picked on superstar forward Phil Kessel. That stupid decision prompted a line brawl that featured Ryan Miller going at it with Jonathan Bernier and led to David Clarkson hopping over the boards to protect Kessel. If you start your day hand-milling granola while wearing your favorite Birkenstocks, you might not want to watch as the carnage unfolds.

• Damien Cox points the finger of blame at Buffalo coach Ron Rolston.

• Here’s a look at the penalties handed out after the fray. Nice job by the stripes, there.

• Clarkson is all but certain to get 10 games for joining the fray. Kessel’s stick-swinging may cost him a couple of games as well. Now here’s a very interesting twist: the cap hits of suspended players remain on the books, so the Leafs, who were considering carrying just 21 players to stay in compliance, now face the challenge of making the numbers work while some good money sits on the sidelines.

• Sorting out that mess is only one of the headaches awaiting NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan this morning. He also has to deal with Vancouver’s Zack Kassian and the careless stick that broke Sam Gagner’s jaw (video).

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  • Published On Sep 23, 2013
  • Top Line: The modern captain; what’s next for Jonathan Toews; more links

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    Brian Burke has been the General Manager for the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, and Toronto Maple Leafs. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Brian Burke has won a defamation lawsuit against five online commenters. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Alan Maki writes that choosing a captain these days is more about establishing the brand and what’s best for business than a reflection of popularity in the room or leadership skills.

    • With a career’s worth of accomplishments already under his belt at the tender age of 25, what’s left for Jonathan Toews as he enters the second act of his career?

    • Brian Burke has quietly won a default judgment against five online commenters who were accused of defaming him. Now comes the tricky part.

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  • Published On Sep 21, 2013
  • Fame or famine: What’s next for nine key remaining NHL free agents?

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    NHL free agent defenseman Ron Hainsey

    Ron Hainsey’s NHLPA role during the lockout may have cooled teams’ desires for his services. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    This time last summer, there wasn’t much interest in Michal Rozsival. The big defensemen had played well for the Coyotes during Phoenix’s run to the Western Conference finals in 2012, but coming off a contract that had a cap hit of $5 million, he was seen as too old, too limited. He was viewed as a Plan B type. As time passed, he became a Plan C.

    Rozsival lingered on the open market longer than most, his value diminishing with each passing day, before he finally signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Blackhawks on Sept. 11, 2012.

    By that point, his signing rated little more than a couple of paragraphs in the Chicago papers. Rozsival was seen as an upgrade over No. 6 defenseman Sheldon Brookbank and insurance in case prospect Dylan Olsen wasn’t quite ready to make the jump to the NHL. But a free agent coup? Not at all.

    Rozsival was in and out of the lineup during the season, playing just 27 of 48 regular-season games as part of a bottom-end rotation. But when it came to crunch time in the playoffs, there he was, playing big minutes in key contests against the Kings and the Bruins. There may have been better signings last summer, but how many of them ended up with their names on the Stanley Cup?

    That’s just a reminder that in free-agency, it’s funny how things can work out. While most of the attention goes to the players who are signed early to big money and long term contracts, there are still some impact players to be had as the offseason slides from August into September.

    Of course, some UFAs are still floating on the market for a good reason. Here’s a look at some of the key names out there and what might lie ahead for each:

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  • Published On Aug 20, 2013
  • Top Line: Kovalev on KHL defections; Olympic concerns; more links

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    Former player Alexei Kovalev says the KHL is in competition with the NHL. (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Former player Alexei Kovalev says the KHL is in competition with the NHL. (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Alexei Kovalev says the KHL is in direct competition now with the NHL and the league will do whatever it takes to bring the best hockey to Russia.

    • If you’re wondering why the NHL appears to be dragging its feet on the Olympics, this article might reveal the answers.

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  • Published On Jul 15, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Pittsburgh Penguins overwhelm New York Islanders

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    john-tavares

    John Tavares (right) was largely ineffective against Pittsburgh’s aggressive marking. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    The New York Islanders outhit the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of their first-round series Wednesday night. They controlled the face-off dots. They even fired 26 shots on Marc-Andre Fleury, the same number that the Pens managed to land.

    And yet the Isles were never in a contest that they lost 5-0. Not for a minute.

    Shows how far you can trust the surface numbers, eh?

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  • Published On May 02, 2013
  • Top Line: Boston begins to heal, Letang opposes outdoor games, more links

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    It was an emotional night in Boston as the Bruins played the Buffalo Sabres.

    No one who was at the Bruins’ game in Boston on Wednesday night will likely ever forget it. (Elise Amendola/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Of course the great Kevin Dupont managed to find the words to sum up Boston’s first steps back to normalcy, calling it “a night to remember, a hope to hold dear.”

    • Shira Springer talked to some of the fans before Boston’s 3-2 loss to the Sabres and found out why it was so important that they were there.

    • The Bruins bought a few postgame beers and spent some time with the city’s first responders as a way to say thanks from a grateful city.

    • Here’s the reaction from Buffalo.

    • “I think I’ve gotten enough of outdoor games,” said Kris Letang, voicing the first note of opposition from the players to the NHL’s expanded schedule of outdoor games. I’m sure there are more who think like him, but they’re probably smart enough not to take a swipe at contests that inflate the hockey-related revenue that drives up their paychecks.

    • The New Jersey Devils offered up their thoughts on taking part in next season’s outdoor action. Spoiler alert: they seem pretty enthused.

    • They are less enthused about their chances without Ilya Kovalchuk, who will miss his 11th straight game tonight. The Devils have scored just 16 times over the 10 games without him, crushing their playoff hopes. Wait…sounds like Kovy for MVP, right?

    • The Penguins’ web site posted a pregame story about Brenden Morrow finally finding his groove in Pittsburgh. He then went out and made that piece look awfully prescient with a two-goal performance to lead the Pens to a 6-4 win over the Habs.

    • The playoffs are a foregone conclusion in Montreal, but the road to readiness is proving a little steep. That’s three blowout losses in a row for the Habs. Do they really miss Alexei Emelin that much?

    • Not sure how a story can be written about Nazem Kadri’s April slump without mentioning that he hasn’t scored since Don Cherry kissed him on Hockey Night In Canada, but Mark Zwolinski thinks that a curse is the least of Kadri’s problems.

    • With their playoff lives on the line, the Rangers promised intensity before their last game against Philly…and then got their doors blown off. With no margin for error remaining, can they finally find that consistent effort down the stretch? It helps their cause that all six of their opponents currently sit outside the playoffs.

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  • Published On Apr 18, 2013
  • What now for the Bruins as Penguins keep beating them to the trade punch?

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    Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli

    Peter Chiarelli: What’s a guy gotta do to get some help around here? (Photo by Steven Senne/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Peter Chiarelli has to be feeling a bit like Mary Ann Summers this morning.

    Summers, of course, was the beautiful, charming young castaway stranded on a desert island with one other eligible woman…who just happened to be the world’s most beautiful movie star.

    It didn’t take her long to get comfortable with the First Runner-Up sash. Looks like Chiarelli’s getting used to it, as well.

    Twice in the last week, the GM of the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins has put an offer on the table for a player he hoped would help his team raise another banner in 2013. And twice he could do nothing but watch as Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero — the Ginger Grant of the NHL — stole those players away with a wink and a smile.

    Didn’t matter that Chiarelli offered more substance. Shero dangles the sizzle of skating alongside Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin while working for owner Mario Lemieux. Who can resist?

    Hey, the heart wants what it wants, right?

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  • Published On Mar 28, 2013
  • Top Line: More on Morrows trade, Ruff choice in Tampa Bay, more links

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    Brenden Morrow was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins

    Brenden Morrow should enjoy playing for the Penguins with former Stars teammates James Neal and Matt Niskanen. (Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    A notated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • You like the Brenden Morrow/Joe Morrow trade? So do the folks in Pittsburgh and Dallas.

    • Mike Heika offers up a solid piece on what Brenden Morrow meant to the Stars.

    • Is former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff the first choice to replace Guy Boucher in Tampa?

    • It’s time for Sabres owner Terry Pegula to bring in a team of hockey advisors to help him run the team. Bucky Gleason offers some smart recommendations, including Pat LaFontaine, Rick Dudley, Don Luce and Mike Peca.

    • With his school-age children his top priority, Mike Ribeiro is looking for at least four years on his next contract. He’s hoping to stay in Washington, but if the Caps can’t meet that term demand, he thinks it’s best for him to move on.

    • Ribeiro’s former teammate Brad Richards says “he’s never experienced anything like” his current struggles with the Rangers. His assist on Sunday night against the Capitals was his first point in seven games. Richards is Exhibit A when discussing New York’s lost season.

    • Boston coach Claude Julien has demoted struggling winger Milan Lucic from the top line as the B’s look to shake up their offense.

    • The Caps are hoping a system that promotes shorter outlet passes will minimize the physical abuse opponents lay on defenseman Mike Green. Being a little quicker on the draw would help him, too.

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  • Published On Mar 25, 2013
  • Morrow for Morrow: Dallas-Pittsburgh seal the deal

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    Morrow

    Stars captain Brenden Morrow may be a Penguin soon if he waives his no-trade clause. ( Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)

    By Allan Muir

    Multiple sources, including Canada’s TSN are reporting that Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow has been dealt to Pittsburgh for blueline prospect Joe Morrow.

    The swap also sees a 2013 third-round pick going to the Pens and a 2013 fifth-rounder going to the Stars.

    Brendan Morrow, the 34-year-old Canadian Olympian, agreed to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate the deal, according to Aaron Ward of TSN.

    The first significant swap of the deadline season seems to address obvious needs for at least one of these teams.

    To get a high-end, young defense prospect like Joe Morrow, who was a 2011 first-rounder, is a coup for Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. The younger (and unrelated) Morrow is a strong two-way defender with legitimate top-four potential. He’s quick on his feet, has a heavy shot and can play with some edge. Adding him to a talent pool that includes Brenden Dillon, Jamie Oleksiak, Ludvig Bystrom and Patrik Nemeth gives Dallas a promising core for the future and potentially frees Nieuwendyk to move veteran Stephane Robidas for another young prospect.

    On their end, the Penguins fully understand that character will be Morrow’s primary contribution. Used properly, he can be a physical, defensively responsible presence at five-on-five, and he can still create a little havoc down low on the power play, but there’s not a lot of tread left on his tires. Maybe a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup — he arrived in Dallas one year after the Stars won it in 1999 — will add some jump to his aging legs. More likely though, he’ll reprise his recent performance in Big D: the occasional strong shift, but he was invisible more nights than not.

    Two more quick takes on the deal.

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  • Published On Mar 24, 2013
  • Top Line: Trade deadline day may be a dud, AHL realignment, more links

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    Jarome Iginla

    With many teams strapped for cap space, the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes may fizzle. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    A notated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • The jam-packed standings and inflationary asset demands may conspire to dull this year’s trade deadline, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.

    • So, too, might a lack of impact players. Friedman’s late-night reaction to the Corey Perry signing suggested that the Ducks couldn’t afford to let the valuable winger slip away. How many other teams will feel that way about their assets ahead of the deadline?

    • Here’s the reaction from the OC to Perry’s signing. Here’s my reaction.

    • Serving the third game of his four-game suspension kept Perry out of Anaheim’s lineup on Monday night. Didn’t matter. The Ducks had no trouble disposing of the Sharks to earn their franchise-record 12th consecutive home victory.

    • Here’s a good read from George Johnson on the parallel lives of Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow.

    • With realignment bringing (some) geographical sanity back to the NHL, the AHL could be following suit with a realignment of affiliates.

    • Sidelined Rangers defenseman Marc Staal hasn’t said much since suffering an eye injury last month, but his family has kept everyone informed along the way. Brother Jordan said last night that he believes his older brother is hopeful of returning to play this season.

    • The Rangers’ offense continues to struggle, but one regulation goal was enough to earn two points, thanks to a magnificent performance from Henrik Lundqvist.

    • An 0-5-1 slump has New Jersey on the verge of the playoff precipice, making tonight’s game against the Rangers a must-win. Martin Brodeur practiced with the Devils on Monday for the first time in three weeks but he’s not expected to play tonight against the New York. He hopes to be ready for a start against Carolina on Thursday.

    • The Sabres sent Mikhail Grigrorenko back to juniors. Stefan Matteau was returned to Blainville-Boisbriand by the Devils. But Montreal underager Alex Galchenyuk is sticking with the Habs for the long run.

    • The passing of former Canadiens executive Frank Selke, Jr. was mourned around the sporting world.

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  • Published On Mar 19, 2013


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