Posts Tagged ‘Jason Spezza’

Top Line: Rick Nash a smash in C’bus; NHL issues apology; more links

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Rick Nash found himself at the bottom of this pile in a game that was as physical as it was emotional. (Mike Munden/AP)

Rick Nash found himself at the bottom of this pile in a game that was as physical as it was emotional. (Mike Munden/AP)

By Allan Muir

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

• A chippy, emotional contest between the Rangers and Jackets last night demonstrated that the NHL has unofficially moved into playoff mode.

• A goalmouth fracas revealed Rick Nash in all his scrapping, battling glory. If 61 can bottle up some of that emotion and unleash it down the stretch, the Blueshirts will be tough to beat.

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  • Published On Mar 22, 2014
  • Top Line: New gig for Rick DiPietro?; new ugly Olympic jersey?; more links

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    Former New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro

    You may not have seen the last of star-crossed goaltender Rick DiPietro in the NHL. (Kathy Kmonicek/AP)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Knee surgery for Scott Clemmensen means a goaltending job is opening up in Florida, at least temporarily. Could the call go out to Rick DiPietro?

    • If you were mortified by the red Team Canada Olympic jersey that leaked last week, you might want to sit down before taking a look at this rumored black third.

    • Citing a “family matter,” Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos fired his son, Jason from his 15-year gig as the team’s assistant GM. I mean, Big Tom Callahan didn’t fire Tommy Boy, so you know this story is going to get interesting. Grab some popcorn and pull up a chair, kids.

    • Wanna watch some hockey today? The Flyers-Capitals rookie game will be streamed online here at 3 p.m. EDT.

    • A trio of old guys will be the centerpiece of the new-look Flyers.

    • I don’t want to lose sight of what a nice story this is about a group of kids learning a more important lesson while playing hockey, but what’s up with Scott Hartnell wearing a bun?

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  • Published On Sep 09, 2013
  • Top Line: Devils sale moves along; Penguins hire Martin, more links

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    The Prudential Center

    Owner Jeff Vanderbeek’s ultimate gift to the Devils will likely by their home in The Rock. (Getty Images)

    By John Rolfe

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

    • As the sale of the New Jersey Devils to Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris gets nearer by the day, Tom Gulitti looks at the legacy of Jeff Vanderbeek who left a lucrative career at Lehman Brothers to bathe in red ink in Newark. A shame, really, given the Devils’ history of success on the ice, their consistent competitiveness, and their sparkling barn. Harris, who has made some coin taking over struggling businesses, may be the man to right the franchise, but then again, owning an NHL team can be a great way to take inches off your piggy bank’s waistline.

    • Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is surely familiar with hockey’s economic realites.  It seems that budgetary concerns played no small role in Daniel Alfredsson’s departure,

    • NHL.com’s 30 in 30 turns its focus to the Dallas Stars, another franchise that has wandered in the financial wilderness and is now seeking a fresh identity with a new owner, GM and coach. Tyler Seguin, who ran into a little Twitter controversy this summer, is hardly the Stars’ biggest question mark.

    • Dan Bylsma is feeling pretty secure despite the Penguins’ disappointing playoff run. Armed with his new two-year extension, it was apparently his idea to have Pittsburgh hire Jacques Martin as an assistant coach. Martin was last seen being canned by the Canadiens in favor of the ill-fated Randy Cunneyworth, but he’s a former Jack Adams Award winner who ranks in the NHL’s top 10 in all-time coaching victories.

    • Now that the blizzard of Gretzky trade anniversary coverage is blowing over, some final thoughts.  If you haven’t read it, check out Stu Hackel’s story on how slowly solid rumors of the deal made their way through the media and a disbelieving public. When the news finally broke, there was genuine shock. Hard to imagine something like that happening today in the Twitterverse if, say, the Penguins were fixing to trade Sidney Crosby.

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  • Published On Aug 10, 2013
  • Top Line: Devils attract new buyer, Hall of Famer trades his son, more links

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    The New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings at the Prudential Center

    The lockout and not making the playoffs didn’t help the Devils’ shaky financial situation. (Elsa/Getty Images)

    By John Rolfe

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

    • Now that the Coyotes are ensconced in Arizona (for the time being) with new owners and an All-Star Game on the horizon, the ongoing saga of the New Jersey Devils can take center stage. Tom Gulitti reports that the Philadelphia 76ers’ ownership group is now making a bid to buy the struggling franchise, which is $230 million in the red.

    • Meanwhile, Forbes is reporting that the Devils will likely end up a ward of the NHL. Apparently, one potential new owner got a close look at the books and said, “Thanks, but no thanks, baby, I’ve already got more trouble than I need.” Commissioner Gary Bettman has denied that the league is about to step in, but a sale may be near.

    • The Devils will play their cross-river rivals the Rangers outdoors at Yankee Stadium on January 26 as part of the two-game Stadium Series that will feature all three New York metro area teams. Here’s a preliminary look at what the rink set-up will look like, courtesy of Newsday‘s Arthur Staple.

    • Terry Gregson’s successor as the NHL’s Director of Officiating is a familiar face, especially to Blackhawks fans. You may recall this little episode in May.

    • Speaking of the Blackhawks, NHL.com’s 30 in 30 series takes stock of the reigning Stanley Cup champions, who will return mostly intact from their summer of partying with the chalice (Michal Rozsival had a beery nice time with it), hopefully without too severe a hangover. They’ll also have an intriguing x-factor when they hit camp.

    • Trades surely make being a GM a cold-hearted business. Hockey Hall of Famer Doug Gilmour, who now runs the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, just traded his son, in a package deal … for a 12th round draft pick.

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  • Published On Aug 08, 2013
  • Top Line: Stunned reactions in Boston and Toronto to epic Game 7; more links

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    James Reimer leaves the ice after Toronto's epic Game 7 loss to Boston.

    Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer heads off to Toronto’s long summer. (Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • The Maple Leafs broke hearts and shattered dreams with the most unlikely defeat imaginable.

    • The hard-working Leafs deserved better than this, writes Steve Simmons.

    • As you might imagine, they’re having trouble processing the loss in Toronto.

    • We’ll never know how many fans in Boston left the arena or turned off the TV early and missed a comeback for the ages, but I’m guessing there are tens of thousands who are kicking themselves this morning.

    • The Bruins won the battle but may have lost the war of attrition. They’re down three defensemen heading into their second-round series against the Rangers.

    • With Henrik Lundqvist notching his second consecutive shutout, the Rangers morphed into Team Unflappable and smoked the Caps to win Game 7.

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  • Published On May 14, 2013
  • NHL playoffs preview: No. 2 Montreal Canadiens vs. No. 7 Ottawa Senators

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    Erik Karlsson's return gives the Ottawa Senators offense a new look.

    Erik Karlsson’s near-miraculous return from injury gives Ottawa an added dimension. (Jana Chytilova/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    EAST PREVIEWS: Pens-IslandersCanadiens-Senators | Capitals-Rangers | Bruins-Leafs

    WEST PREVIEWSHawks-Wild | Ducks-Red Wings | Canucks-Sharks | Blues-Kings

    Regular-season recaps

    Jan. 30: Senators 5, Canadiens 1

    Feb. 3: Canadiens 2, Senators 1

    Feb. 25: Senators 2, Canadiens 1 (SO)

    March 13: Canadiens 4, Senators 3

    Notable injuries

    Canadiens: D Alexei Emelin (knee, out for season)

    Senators: F Jason Spezza (back, indefinite); Chris Phillips (lower body, day-to-day)

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  • Published On Apr 30, 2013
  • Top Line: Minnesota meltdown, Brian Burke sues online jerks, more links

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    Zach-Parise

    Zach Parise and the Minnesota Wild will have some explaining to do if they end up missing the playoffs. (Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • A month ago, the Minnesota Wild stood atop the Northwest Division standings, but a 4-9-1 April has them on the brink of disaster. They played like a team with a non-refundable tee time in last night’s 6-1 loss to the Oilers. Drop the finale tonight in Denver and it’s time to dust off the clubs. Guessing coach Mike Yeo wouldn’t survive that.

    • Not that it matters much right now, but the Wild have a pair of legitimate contenders for postseason hardware.

    • No link here, just an explanation of how it works tonight: Detroit wins in Dallas, they’re in the playoffs. Minnesota wins in Denver, they’re in. Columbus…they need help. If they win in Nashville and Detroit loses in regulation, they’re in. If they win in regulation, any loss by Minnesota (regulation, OT, shootout) and they’re in. If they lose in OT or the shootout, and the Wild lose in regulation, they’re in. Got it?

    • Brian Burke is suing online commenters who suggested his firing from the Leafs was due to an extramarital affair. This one is going to have a fascinating effect on the keyboard courage that too many people are infused with.

    • Tonight’s game against the Wild is expected to be the last one for Colorado veteran Milan Hejduk. Accolades will be forthcoming.

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  • Published On Apr 27, 2013
  • Top Line: Penguins owe it all to Staal, bad news for Jason Spezza, more links

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    Douglas Murray of the Penguins

    Douglas Murray is a new Penguin because family came first for Jordan Staal. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    A notated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories about Jarome Iginla…and other stuff:

    • Jordan Staal’s decision not to extend his contract with the Penguins last summer was the first step on the path to this week’s pre-deadline trading frenzy in Pittsburgh.

    • All that airlifted talent doesn’t add up to more pressure on the Penguins, says James Neal. It simply ups their hunger to get the job done.

    • Oh…and the Penguins shut out the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night, 4-0, to win their 14th game in a row. The thing that stood out to me in this one: how relentless the line of Crosby/Dupuis/Kunitz was on the forecheck. If this is what their compete level looks like in March, I can’t wait to see them in May.

    • Jarome Iginla said the chance to win the Stanley Cup convinced him that Pittsburgh was the right place for him.

    • The Calgary Herald breaks down how the Iginla trade came together.

    • Steve Simmons says Jay Feaster should have been smart enough to say no to an Iginla trade. Meanwhile, Flames fans are left to wonder what might have been if Feaster or his predecessors had ever managed to acquire a true No. 1 center to play with Iggy. Our own Stu Hackel called it a crime.

    • The Senators are no longer counting on Jason Spezza to return this season.

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  • Published On Mar 29, 2013
  • Time For Spezza-less Senators to start panicking?

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    Ottawa's Jason Spezza hopes to return before the end of the season after having back surgery (Jana Chytilova/Getty Images).

    Ottawa’s Jason Spezza hopes to return before the end of the season after having back surgery (Jana Chytilova/Getty Images).

    By Allan Muir

    No one expected Ottawa GM Bryan Murray to do anything drastic in the wake of Jason Spezza’s long-term back injury. Because really, what options did he have? It’s not like other teams are looking to move the sort of all-world talent it would take to adequately fill the superstar center’s skates.

    Besides, Murray’s always been a prudent man. Even if that player was out there, the proper course of action would be to give everyone in the room a real chance to step up and fill the void first.

    There was a sense that these past eight days would give them that chance. The Sens had five games over that densely packed stretch, five games to pull together and show what they had without their offensive leader in the lineup.

    Now we know.

    It ain’t much.

    With a listless 1-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets this afternoon, the Senators failed four of those five tests, managing only to beat the floundering Buffalo Sabres.

    More troubling: they mustered just seven goals along the way and were shut out twice … by backup goalies.

    It’d be one thing if they’d staged an all-out assault that made Winnipeg’s rarely used Al Montoya look like Ken Dryden today, but that was a ridiculously easy 33-save performance. And this was a goalie ready to be beaten. His rust showed in the form of several poorly controlled rebounds, but the Sens did nothing to take advantage of those fat scoring chances. They had no net presence. No push.

    There was so little urgency, so little creativity in their game that the Jets were forced to take just three minors on the day, significant for a team that ranks 30th on the penalty kill.

    That’s a continuation of a trend that’s seen them generate just 15 power play opportunities over this stretch. Without Spezza, the Sens don’t control the puck as well or as often. And when they do have it, they aren’t making the sort of plays that draw penalties.

    Even after this rough stretch, Ottawa is holding down fifth place in the conference, just three points off the lead. Of course, they’re also three points out of ninth, and that’s why it’s hard to imagine Murray will roll with the status quo much longer.

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  • Published On Feb 09, 2013
  • Jason Spezza’s surgery: long-term trouble for Ottawa Senators

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    Jason Spezza's back injury is a major blow to the Ottawa Senators

    Jason Spezza, a four-time 30-goal scorer, won’t be easily replaced. (Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    The Ottawa Senators have done just fine so far without Jason Spezza, taking both games since he was hurt in a shootout loss to the Penguins last weekend.

    It’s good to know they can win without him, because they’ve learned that they’ll have to manage without their superstar center for a whole lot longer.

    GM Bryan Murray announced at a press conference on Thursday morning that Spezza would undergo back surgery this week and would be lost to the team “indefinitely.” At this point, the best guess is two months. Maybe more.

    “We are hoping that he gets back at the later part of the season and if we’re in the playoffs [he] will be able to participate at that time,” Murray said.

    The news couldn’t be much worse for the Senators, who are off to a 5-1-1 start.

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  • Published On Jan 31, 2013


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