Tag:Phoenix Coyotes
Posted on: September 5, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 1:47 pm
 

Stamkos still enjoys playing summer baseball

StamkosBaseballBy: Adam Gretz

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has scored 96 goals over the past two seasons, and is already one of the most dangerous offensive players in the NHL at the age of 21. Earlier this offseason his production over the first three seasons of his career resulted in a brand new five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Lightning.

The fame that comes with being one of the top players in the league, as well as the brand new pay check, hasn't stopped him from spending his summer playing in a "beer league" baseball league in his hometown of Markhem, Ontario, where Stamkos buys uniforms, bats and picks up the post-game bar tabs.

Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star checked out a game this past week, and the reviews of Stamkos' baseball skills are almost as glowing as the ones usually reserved for his ability on the ice.

From the Star:
For the 21-year-old Stamkos, who played on three provincial championship baseball teams for the Markham Mariners from about age 11 to 13, the grand old game has long been a passion.

“He could have been better at baseball than hockey,” said Adam Velocci.

“His dad wanted him to play baseball, but he loves hockey,” said Velocci, the Green Beys' third baseman who also played on those championship squads.

Said Chris Stamkos, Steven's father: “Steven was smaller when he was young. Although he was good in hockey, I did think he had more natural instincts in baseball ... But then he grew, and he got more serious with hockey.”

Whatever talents he may have had -- or still has -- for baseball, hockey fans, and especially Tampa Bay fans, have to be happy he started following the path he's currently on. Feschuk also points out that NHL players have to get written consent from their team to take part in certain offseason activities, including baseball, and that consent is usually given.

Stamkos, who plays left field, is apparently hitting .608 on the season and clubbed a three-run homer the night Feschuk attended.

Some other notable hockey-baseball connections: You may have heard a thing or two (in every single game he played) about Chris Drury's appearance in the Little League World Series, while it's pretty common for hockey players that share a city with a big league baseball team to take their hacks in the batting cage. A couple of years ago Penguins captian Sidney Crosby knocked one out of PNC Park in Pittsburgh, while new Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith managed to do the same back in June.

(H/T The Big Lead, via PHT)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 30, 2011 7:10 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 8:51 pm
 

Mike Smith and the Wile E. Coyote

By: Adam Gretz

A couple of weeks ago we had an opportunity to speak with Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets about the rather frightening look his new mask will carry in 2011, illustrating just how unique these works of art can be. On Monday, the mask for new Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith was revealed by the artist, David Arrigo, and it will feature, appropriately enough, the Looney Tunes character, Wile E. Coyote.

Have a look, via Arrigo's website, where you can check out multiple angles as well as his thoughts on the design.

SmithMask

Smith will be competing for the No. 1 job in Phoenix with Jason LaBarbera in an effort to replace Ilya Bryzgalov, and Arrigo adds that he will soon be revealing the art work for Labarbera's mask for the upcoming season, having designed it as well.

It's not the first time a Looney Tunes character has been featured on a goalie mask, as Patrick Lalime's mask always had a version of Marvin The Martian.

Photo: David Arrigo

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.



Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:50 am
Edited on: August 30, 2011 9:56 am
 

Daily Skate: Devils planning Niedermayer night?

By Brian Stubits

NIEDERMAYER NIGHT? It's seems to be only a matter of time before the Devils honor Scott Niedermayer and retire his No. 27 jersey. According to Al Dhalla of Super Agent Inc., it will happen on Dec. 16 against the Stars. Tom Gulitti at the Bergen Record couldn't confirm the plans with Niedermayer, but Scott did acknowledge he has talked about it with the Devils in the past. "Lou [Lamoriello] will do it when he feels it's right to do. In my eyes at least, I don't think anything has been finalized anyway."

BELLY ACHING Alexander Ovechkin is the closes thing to a rock star in hockey because of his following back in Russia, he gets a bit of the paparazzi treatment. That makes this summer's hysteria and analysis over Ovi's seemingly bloated belly that was dissected by many, including Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post. Well maybe this will put fans at ease. Puck Daddy caught up with the Caps star before his upcoming charity game, and the interview included a "look at THIS belly" photo.

TO WHIT: If the Oilers plan on making a few small steps forward this season, they will need to have Ryan Whitney back on the ice. He was having a good season last year before he suffered an injured foot that cost him the remainder of his season. Unfortunately for him and Edmonton, he re-aggravated the injury earlier this summer skating in Boston. "I rolled over on the foot ... caught a rut in the ice. Minor sprain, I think," he told the Edmonton Journal. The good news is that it">

ODE TO LANGKOW: We finish up today with an ode coming from the Matchsticks and Gasoline blog about the exit of Daymond Langkow from the Flames to the Coyotes. I gotta tell ya, parting is such sweet sorrow. Especially when it includes prose like this: Then came that fateful day against Minnesota, Your luck was absent, not even one iota, The puck flew off of Ian White's stick, And hit your neck with the force of a brick.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 29, 2011 3:43 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 4:51 pm
 

Daymond Langkow traded to Phoenix

By: Adam Gretz

After spending the past six seasons with the Calgary Flames veteran forward Daymond Langkow has been traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Lee Stempniak.

Here's what Flames general manager Jay Feaster had to say in a team-released statement: "It is never easy moving a player who battles and competes such as Daymond; however, because of our depth and options at centre ice, this trade presents us with an opportunity to positively impact the organization in a number of ways. It makes us younger and provides an opportunity to evaluate a player who may factor into our plans for the future, it provides (coach) Brent (Sutter) with options as Stempniak can play either wing and can be used on both the power play and the penalty kill and it creates healthy competition among the forward group for ice time."

Langkow, who will turn 35 later this month, is coming off a neck injury last season that limited him to just four games. He is signed through the end of this season at a cap hit of $4.5 million, making it a rather expensive -- financially speaking -- gamble. There's also the fact that Phoenix traded a younger, cheaper player that isn't coming off an injury that cost him nearly a full season.

Prior to last season Langkow's offensive production was in a pretty steep decline, going from 33 goals and 77 points during the 2006-07 season -- his peak season in the NHL -- all the way down to 14 goals and 37 assists in 2009-10 with a steady downward trend during the years in between.

Before the trade Calgary was up against the NHL's salary cap with over $63.2 million in salary (via CapGeek), so the move definitely helps clear some space.

In exchange for Langkow the Flames get the 27-year-old Stempniak who is coming off a 19-goal, 19-assist performance with the Coyotes last season. He's shown nice offensive ability throughout his career but has had some issues with consistency. He's in the last year of a contract that has a $1.9 million cap hit, so the deal saves Calgary $2.6 million in cap space.

Once Langkow joins the Coyotes he will instantly become the second-highest paid forward on the team, trailing only their captain Shane Doan, and the fourth-highest paid player overall, behind only Doan and defenseman Keith Yandle and Michal Rozsival. It will be Langkow's second stop with the Coyotes, having spent three years with the team between 2001 and 2004, scoring 68 goals in 243 games.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.


Posted on: August 22, 2011 10:12 am
 

Daily Skate: Anybody like Alex Semin? Market talk

By Brian Stubits

EVERYBODY HATES SEMIN? With such vilified D.C. sports Stars like Albert Haynesworth and Gilbert Arenas no longer in town, it's time to wonder who, exactly, is Washington's most hated athlete? That's the question being presented by Capitals Outsider with the conclusion being that it might very well be recently maligned Caps forward Alex Semin. While he's still in the minor leagues, I have a feeling that Nationals prospect Bryce Harper might be on that list some day, unless Gregg Doyel can change minds.

MARKET VIABILITY: Since the Thrashers moved, the Islanders lost their vote on a new arena and the Coyotes have been on the block for seemingly a decade, the idea of relocation is constantly floating around the NHL. One go-to destination is always former NHL home Quebec City. But according to a Business Journal study (h/t to Puck Daddy) Quebec is way down the list of markets capable of hosting. Granted, this is a study that folks solely on the monetary aspects, that's why Honolulu and Atlanta are "more viable" destinations, but it's interesting to see nonetheless, even if it's not very practical.

U.S. LADIES LOSE: In the rubber match of their Women's Under-18 Series showdown, the American women lost a 3-1 first-period lead to the Canadians and dropped the final game by a score of 6-4. Women's hockey doesn't get much attention, but USA-Canada is good in any hockey match and provides for a very equal matchup in the women's side.

FANS SEEING RED: The Florida Panthers have had a massive renovation this offseason, much of publicly on the ice. But they have done a lot off the ice for to reach the fan base as well and among the ideas was to create a couple sections of super seats. The Panthers' home arena, the BankAtlantic Center, is a year-round facility that hosts numerous concerts and shows in addition to hockey. SO the idea seemed smart enough: sell some seats that are yours for whatever event is happening at the arena. The only problem? Long-time season-ticket holders sitting in those seats are going to be forced to pay a substantially higher price or forced to relocate, or even give up their tickets. Litter Box Cats has more.

JERSEY JUGGLE: Having a hard time keeping up with the different sweater changes this summer? Me too. Thankfully icethetics has the rundown of all the new sweaters and the tweaks we will see this season, such as this one.

Photo: Icethetics

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 20, 2011 2:23 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 2:33 pm
 

Coyotes want to re-sign Shane Doan

Doan1By: Adam Gretz

Shane Doan has been with the Coyotes franchise since it moved to Phoenix from Winnipeg prior to the 1996-97 season, and is one of just three players still active from the original Jets franchise (along with Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, assuming he returns for another season).

He is the team's all-time leader in games played and is in the top three in most major offensive categories, including goals with 296 (trailing only Dale Hawerchuk's 379 and Keith Tkachuk's 323), assists (trailing only Thomas Steen and Hawerchuk) and total points (again trailing only Hawerchuk and Steen). He's been one of the best players in team history going all the way back to its days in Winnipeg, has been its captain since 2003 and is still the face of the franchise.

He is also eligible for unrestricted free agency after this season, and it seems that general manager Don Maloney wants to make sure a new contract gets taken care of sooner rather than later, telling USA Today's Kevin Allen that he would like to start speaking with Doan's agent as early as next week.

From Allen:
"I would like to start dialogue to see where he is at, and what he is thinking," Maloney said. "He is certainly a guy we would like to re-sign, and I would rather do it now and not next June 30."

Doan, 34, has played his entire career with the Coyotes organization, dating to when the team was still located in Winnipeg. He moved with the team to Phoenix in 1996-97.

"He lives and dies with the Coyotes as much anyone," Maloney said. "He's important to us."

Maloney said he may contact Doan's agent, J.P. Barry, as early as next week to start the process.
Doan is in the last year of a five-year contract that has paid him $4.5 million per season.

He turns 35 on October, but has still been a productive player -- and according to Maloney still has "that cowboy body" -- scoring at least 20 goals in 10 of the past 11 seasons, including 20 in 72 games last season. As is the case with anything involving the Coyotes, the ownership saga could play some factor in this -- and it took another turn this past week -- but Maloney said he hopes making the playoffs in each of the past two seasons shows his captain the team is on the right track. Still, this is a guy that's never had the opportunity to play for a Stanley Cup, or even beyond the first round of the playoffs. The opportunity to join a team that's closer to a championship has to at least be minor consideration.

The Coyotes have few players signed beyond this season with only 11 players under contract for the 2012-13 season for a total of $23 million in cap space. Their commitments for 2013-14 are even fewer with only four players signed, and the only player locked up beyond then is standout defenseman Keith Yandle who signed a five-year contract with the Coyotes earlier this summer. So cap space isn't an issue. It's simply a matter of whether or not the last remaining of the original Coyotes is willing to commit what will likely be the rest of his career to the team.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:13 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 10:44 am
 

Daily Skate: Nylander invited to Flyers camp

By: Adam Gretz

NYLANDER GETS AN INVITE: Michael Nylander last played in the NHL during the 2008-09 season, and he's going to have a chance to make a return this season as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers announced on Wednesday that they've given Nylander an invite on a pro tryout contract. He's played 15 seasons in the NHL for seven different teams and scored 209 goals. During his last appearance in '08-09 he scored nine goals in 72 games as a member of the Washington Capitals. Over the past two seasons he's spent time in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins and Rochester Americans, as well as some time in his native Sweden playing for Jokerit.

SMITH WILL GET A CHANCE IN DETROIT: The Detroit Red Wings lost Brian Rafalski to retirement this offseason which is a rather large blow to their defense. Nicklas Lidstrom is returning for another year, and as good as he still is, he's certainly not getting any younger. It's time for some of the young guys to make their presence felt, and one player that's going to get a long look in training camp is Brendan Smith, the teams first-round pick in 2007. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press takes a look at whether or not he'll be ready for the NHL this season.

EHRHOFF IS READY TO HANDLE THE EXPECTATIONS: Who is the highest paid defenseman in the NHL this season? That would be Buffalo Sabres rearguard Christian Ehrhoff, who is set to pull in $10 million this season. That makes him not only the highest paid defenseman, but also one of the highest paid players in the league. With that comes plenty of expectations, and the veteran seems ready for all of it according to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.

BOEDKER REPORTEDLY RE-SIGNS IN PHOENIX: The Phoenix Coyotes re-signed Mikkel Boedker on Wednesday night according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. In three seasons the former first-round pick has scored 16 goals and recorded 45 points in 126 games.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:01 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 10:09 pm
 

New OT, short-handed rules talk of RDO Camp Day 1

By Brian Stubits

Day 1 of the NHL Research and Development Camp, or Camp Shanny as everybody likes to call it, is in the books. It's a time testing, tweaking and experimentation while general managers also get an up-close look at some of next year's draft prospects -- where GMs came away impressed with the defensemen.

Brendan Shanahan, getting settled into his new role as the NHL's next master disciplinarian, is running the show again this year as the league tries out a few ideas, some that will hit, some that will miss.

"This is research and development, it's what many companies do, what many corporations do," Shanahan said after the session. "It's what we do. It's not a knee-jerk reaction to anything we feel is wrong with the game.

"One of the things, maybe a misconception, was that we had to go out and test 30 new things. Quite honestly there were about 20 things that were repeating because we needed to get more information, more data. We love the way the game is being played by our players. We think the game is an entertaining game for the fans and we think it's a great time to study it. If for any reason, a year, two years, three years, four years down the road we see some trend that we don't like, we're going to have many of information to back it up."

Perhaps the most talked-about testing item after the first day was the suggestion to the overtime rules. It's no secret that the shootout debate has divided fans, with many feeling it ruins the game while others enjoy games having a clear winner and loser. To try and alleviate the argument of shootouts, one proposal is to lengthen overtime to seven minutes, going to 3-on-3 after four minutes.

"A couple of years ago we thought too many games were being undecided in overtime," Shanahan said. "Without changing many of the rules, that seemed to straighten itself out last year. This isn't about any sort of knee-jerk reaction, this is about being pro-active."

"I think it's certainly interesting to get to the 3-on-3," Blues GM Doug Armstrong told NHL.com. "I think if we want less games ending in the shootout, it's certainly an avenue we should explore, going right to the 3-on-3 and eliminate the 4-on-4."

But Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was singing a different tune.

"I prefer 4-on-4," Yzerman told NHL.com. "I'd like to keep 4-on-4. If we're going to extend it, keep it at 4-on-4. Three-on-three is not enough players on the ice, in my opinion."

The other big-discussion piece involved the removal of icing during man-down situations. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, on the bench, decided to take that as an opportunity to explore.

Knowing the other team couldn't launch the puck the length of the ice, he pulled his own goalie to create a 6-on-4 situation. I can't imagine you would see that during the season (unless it's late in the game) as the danger of the opposing team getting the puck out of the zone is at least slim. But in Camp Shanny? Why not?

Wouldn't you know it, Bylsma's team did surrender a goal at that time when a player fell down, allowing the other squad, coached by Phoenix Coyotes head man Dave Tippett, to score.

"I was really interested in this session that when a team is short-handed they can't ice the puck," Shanahan said. "I'd like to see more of that ... the coaches were curious about and wanted to play around with. That was a good one."

This is one of the proposed rules I am not a big fan of. I understand the concept of the penalty being something a team should suffer for, but I think it handicaps them too much. I would expect power play numbers to increase significantly and my feeling it's too strong of a change. But that's why they test it.

Finally, one of the other items under examination is the reduced goal and the use of a green line to detect if the puck completely crossed the goal line. Dan Craig takes a closer look at the smaller net in this video.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com