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Tag:Adam Gretz
Posted on: January 28, 2012 8:25 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 8:33 pm
 

Patrick Kane's Superman wins breakaway challenge

By: Adam Gretz

The breakaway challenge, which was introduced during the 2008 All-Star festivities, is supposed to be the NHL's answer to the slam dunk contest where players have an opportunity to show off their skill and creativity. With props. Lots, and lots of props.

At times, as was the case in the first round on Saturday, it can seem to be more of a gong show as sometimes the shooters manage to fake themselves out.

Chicago's Patrick Kane managed to steal the show this year by busting out some Clark Kent glasses and a Superman cape, soaring across the ice on his stomach and beating Blues goaltender Brian Elliott.



Kane ended up winning the contest, getting 47 percent of the fan vote, beating out Anaheim's Corey Perry who made a convincing argument by pulling a mini-stick out from under his jersey (the type of stick you used when you played knee hockey in your basement) and scored with it.



Impressive, but not enough to win over the fans.

Washington's Alex Ovechkin won this contest in each of the first three years it's been featured.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Players we would like to see in the skills challenge
More 2012 All-Star Game coverage

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 28, 2012 6:51 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 11:47 pm
 

Sidney Crosby had vertebrae injury

CrosbyBy: Adam Gretz

Sidney Crosby hasn't appeared in a game for the Penguins since December 5, and at this point there is still no timetable for his return. Which is pretty much business as usual. It's been assumed that his current absence has been the result of another concussion, but he was also reportedly dealing with an injury to his C1 and C2 vertebrae, according to Bob McCown of Sportsnet 590 the Fan and Elliotte Friedman of CBC.

Said Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, via Friedman, "Sid did suffer a concussion, but last week, the possibility of two fractured vertebrae (C1 and C2) was discovered. A third doctor is being consulted to determine the exact diagnosis."

The Penguins released the following statement on Saturday night, including that the vertebrae injury has apparently already healed: "The diagnosis of Dr. Robert S. Bray, a neurological spine specialist based in Los Angeles, is that Sidney Crosby had suffered a neck injury in addition to a concussion. Dr. Bray reports that the neck injury is fully healed. Those findings will be evaluated by independent specialists over the next few days. The most important goal all along has been Sidney's return to full health, and we are encouraged that progress continues to be made."

Crosby had been in California this past week visiting Dr. Bray, so this news shouldn't come as a total shock (the fact he was seeing a specialist that deals with the spine, instead of a specialist that deals with concussions, should have been somewhat of a tip), but it does add a few more questions to the mix. Like, how didn't anybody know about this before?

What's interesting is that the injury was originally discovered, according to the Sportsnet report, when Crosby visited a specialist in Utah for an MRI after getting some advice from a friend ... New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Earlier in the day on Saturday Penguins general manager Ray Shero remained hopeful that Crosby will play again this season.

"We'll see, Hopefully, next week where he is after we get the reports from California," said Shero. "The thing with Sidney is we want to continue to look to see how we can get this under control and manageable ... hopefully we'll have him back here at some point soon."

This latest report may not change that, but it does simply add to what he has been dealing with, while the uncertainty continues to grow.

He appeared in eight games this season, scoring two goals and 10 assists after missing the second half of last season and the first part of this season due to a concussion.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 28, 2012 5:00 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 5:03 pm
 

Players we would like to see in skills challenge



By: Adam Gretz

The video above features Mike Ribeiro of the Dallas Stars scoring an absolutely insane shootout goal against the Colorado Avalanche a couple of years ago. It's a pretty amazing goal, leaving then-Avs goalie Peter Budaj completely confused. Throughout his career, Ribeiro has made a habit out of scoring highlight reel goals during the regular season skills competition that is otherwise known as the shootout.

He seems like he would be the type of player that would excel in the All-Star skills competition, particularly any of the breakaway challenges. But because he's not an All-Star this year, we don't get an opportunity to see what he's fully capable of when the spotlight is on. The NBA brings in players that aren't on the All-Star rosters to take part in their skills competition, and I wouldn't mind seeing the NHL try something similar.

With that in mind, let's take a quick look at some of the players not in the All-Star game this season that could be favorites to win the various events, or at the very least, put up a solid showing.

Fastest Skater

1. Darren Helm, Detroit Red Wings
2. Andrew Cogliano, Anaheim Ducks
3. Mason Raymond, Vancouver Canucks

Cogliano has actually already won this event, taking it back in 2009 with a time of 14.31 seconds, but I would put Helm up against any other skater in the league in terms of pure speed. He doesn't score much, but everything he does on the ice, including his penalty killing, seems to be a complete blur.

Accuracy Shooting

1. Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils
2. Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals
3. Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres

Kind of a tough one to figure out, and it's not as easy as simply looking at a players shooting percentage because that doesn't necessarily mean a player with a high number is an "accurate" shooter, but Kovalchuk and Semin are obvious snipers that can pick their spots and hit the corners from anywhere in the offensive zone.

Hardest Shot

1. Sami Salo, Vancouver Canucks
2. Jason Garrison, Florida Panthers
3. Sheldon Souray, Dallas Stars

Jason Garrison has more goals than any other defenseman in the NHL this season with 13, and eight of them have come by way of his booming slap shot, more than any other player in the league. I don't know if he has what it takes to challenge Zdeno Chara or Shea Weber, but I imagine he could put up some impressive numbers, and the same could be said for Salo. At the Canucks team skills competition earlier this week he hit 102 MPH, which would have been harder than any other participant in last year's event with the exception of Chara and Weber.

Breakaway Challenge

1. Mike Riberio, Dallas Stars
2. Todd Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings
3. Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets

We already addressed what Riberio can bring to the table, but when the Red Wings are involved in a shootout they tend to be quality entertainment, not only because of the presence of Pavel Datsyuk, always a human highlight reel, but also because of Todd Bertuzzi, who has some pretty underrated skill. It's not uncommon to see him bust out the spin-o-rama move, but he has quite a few additional tricks up his sleeve as well. And don't underestimate the skill and hands that Rick Nash has for a big, power forward.

Any other players that didn't participate this season that you would like to see?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:15 pm
 

Video: Watch the Mellon Arena's roof come down

By: Adam Gretz

I don't know what it is about the demolition of a stadium or arena that gets so much attention, but it's almost impossible to turn away. That was the case on Saturday morning when the roof of the Mellon Arena (previously the Civic Arena) started to come down in Pittsburgh, piece by piece, section by section.

Between 1967 and 2010 it was one of the most unique and distinctive buildings in the NHL, and was the first major stadium or arena to have a retractable roof.

And now it has no roof.



The arena was home to the Penguins for 42 years and hosted four Stanley Cup Final series, an NHL All-Star game, an NHL draft, and, of course, who could forget the 1995 Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, Sudden Death. Good times.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Category: NHL
Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:40 am
Edited on: January 28, 2012 7:22 pm
 

Columbus will host 2013 All-Star Game

CBJBy: Adam Gretz

On the eve of the 2012 All-Star game, the NHL announced that the 2013 game will take place in Columbus, Ohio, at Nationwide Arena, the home of the Blue Jackets.

It will be the second major event that Columbus has hosted, as the 2007 Entry Draft was held there as well.

If the league continues its current All-Star format with two captains picking their teams from a pool of All-Stars, it's a good bet that Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash will be one of the players making the choices next season. In each of the past two years the host team has provided one of the captains, with Eric Staal being named one last season in Carolina, and Daniel Alfredsson picking his team on Thursday night in Ottawa.

Of course, two things will have to happen for us to get to that point: 1) There's no cancellation of the game due to some sort of CBA hold-up (the current agreement is up after this season, so who knows what's going to happen there) and 2) Rick Nash is still a member of the Blue Jackets.

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

Posted on: January 28, 2012 12:00 am
Edited on: January 29, 2012 10:25 am
 

Tim Thomas responds to criticism

Thomas

By: Adam Gretz

The Tim Thomas White House controversy just won't go away, even though he wishes that it would.

After he refused to attend the Bruins visit to the White House earlier in the week, the Conn Smythe winning goaltender has drawn a flood of criticism from media, fans and even anonymous sources within the Bruins organization, referring to his decision as "selfish," as the Boston Globe reported on Tuesday.

Even though he said his Facebook statement explaining his position would be his only comment on the matter, it's been all anybody wants to talk about anytime he's been in front of a microphone or camera during the All-Star weekend festivities.

During his media availability on Friday, for example, he was asked if he wanted to see this all just go away.

“I think it should. I think it should," said Thomas. "I think it’s all media-driven right now. It has been from the start. Everything I said then was as an individual. It wasn’t as a representative of the Boston Bruins. All it has to do is with me. It’s separate from hockey. That’s my personal life. Those are my personal views. Those are my personal beliefs. It has nothing to do with hockey. It has nothing to do with this All-Star Game.”

Thomas did not join the Bruins on Monday and said later in the evening that it was his right as an individual to not go, a decision he made because he feels the Federal government "has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People."
 
The controversy that followed even led to speculation that maybe this could be the beginning of the end for Thomas' time in Boston, which seems pretty silly to think about. Of course, sooner rather than later Thomas and the Bruins are going to part ways, but that has more do with the fact he is 37 years old, only has one year remaining on his contract, and the team already has his replacement, Tuukka Rask, on the roster. Not because he skipped out on taking a trip to visit the President.

Thomas will also eventually get his wish, and this story will disappear. Perhaps as soon as the second half of the season starts up and he gets back into the crease and starts winning games again.

That always seems to put a pretty quick stop to a lot of controversies like this.

Photo: Getty Images

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Bruins honored at White House while Thomas declines
Thomas explains decision
Thomas Speculation starts

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:07 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 9:35 pm
 

Brendan Morrison traded to Blackhawks

BlackhawksBy: Adam Gretz

The Chicago Blackhawks added some center depth to their lineup on Friday evening by acquiring Brendan Morrison from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Brian Connelly.

Morrison, 36, has four goals and seven assists this season in 28 games with the Flames, and is playing on a one-year contract worth $1.25 million. The Blackhawks will be on the hook for a salary cap hit of about $354,000 for the remainder of the season, so it's a relatively cheap pick up, not only financially, but also in the sense that they didn't have to give up much in return.

Connelly, a 25-year-old defenseman that signed with the Blackhawks organization back in 2009 after playing his college hockey Colorado College, has spent his entire professional career playing for the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League scoring 21 goals to go with 105 assists. In 44 games this season he has five goals and 31 assists.

Morrison isn't going to provide much offense for the Blackhawks, but with players like Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland logging the big minutes down the middle they only need some depth at the position. If nothing else, he gives Chicago another solid option in the faceoff dot as he's currently winning over 50 percent of his draws this season.

It is kind of interesting to see the Flames deal a veteran for a prospect that's already in his mid-20's when they're still in the playoff race, and just recently added Mike Cammalleri from Montreal. General manager Jay Feaster said it was mainly due to their projected lineup going forward, as well as Morrison's status as a free agent after this season.

“As we projected our line-up going forward we felt it was going to be difficult for us to find a spot for Brendan or get him significant ice-time,” said Feaster. "Given his pending UFA status and the fact that we were not going to re-sign him, we felt it important to try to move him for another asset. In Brian Connelly we obtain a 25 year old highly skilled AHL All-Star defenceman who is still a legitimate prospect. We are excited to have Brian in the organization.”

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 8:03 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 8:06 pm
 

TV Ratings drop for All-Star draft



By: Adam Gretz


On Thursday night the NHL held its second All-Star fantasy draft, and the league saw a drop in its television ratings as a little over 2 million viewers tuned in across North America, according to TV Sports Ratings, via Steve Lepore at Puck The Media.

Over 1.6 million of those viewers came from Canada, while a little over 400,000 watched it in the United States. The number for the states is down from the 600,000 that tuned in last year on a Friday night (again, this year's draft was held on a Thursday).

The draft is definitely a unique thing for the NHL, and it's unlike anything else any of the other major sports leagues do for their All-Star games, so I give the NHL credit for trying something different to spice up an event that generally draws a collective yawn from the fan base.

The problem is it just doesn't seem to translate all that well to television with some awkward moments and way too much empty space. Actually, the most entertaining part of Thursday's festivities was the Senators fans treating it like a battle of Ontario game and heckling Joffrey Lupul (and his Leafs teammates) at every opportunity.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

NHL All-Star Rosters
Couture Last Man Standing

All-Star Skills Challenge Lineups
More NHL All-Star Game Coverage

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