Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:09 am
Edited on: December 7, 2011 12:41 am
By: Adam Gretz
Mike Murphy, 22-year-old goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes, made his NHL debut on Tuesday night in relief of starter Cam Ward after he allowed six goals on 32 shots against Calgary in a game the Flames ultimately won, 7-6.
Murphy entered the game with a little under nine minutes remaining in the third period and stopped the only two shots he faced ... and he still ended up taking the loss on the stat sheet, despite not giving up a single goal.
With the Hurricanes trailing, 6-4, head coach Kirk Muller pulled Murphy with less than two minutes to play in regulation to get an extra attacker on the ice. That was quickly followed by Calgary's Jarome Iginla scoring an empty-net goal to put the Flames up 7-4. Game over, right? Almost.
Over the final minute of the period, the Hurricanes quickly responded with a pair of goals from Chad LaRose and Eric Staal to cut the deficit to 7-6. Staal's goal came with just five seconds remaining on the clock. Because of that late, and basically meaningless goal, the seventh Flames tally, the one scored on the empty net, obviously became the game-winner. And even though it was scored without a goalie in the crease, since Murphy was the goalie that was pulled, allowing it to be scored, he is the one that gets credit for the loss. Without allowing a goal.
Welcome to the NHL!
It's not the first time it's happened in the NHL, as former Los Angeles Kings goalie Mario Gosselin (via the HfBoards) had something similar happen back in 1989 when he stopped all six shots he faced in relief of Kelly Hrudey in a 7-6 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
Photo: Getty Images
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Posted on: September 22, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 1:22 pm
The Hurricanes signed general manager Jim Rutherford to a four-year contract extension on Thursday, keeping him in Carolina through the 2015-16 season.
“Jim is one of the premier general managers in all of sports,” 'Canes CEO, Owner and Governor Peter Karmanos said. “In the 14 years since the Hurricanes arrived in North Carolina, his leadership has allowed our franchise to host two Stanley Cup Finals, the NHL All-Star Game and the NHL Draft, bringing tremendously positive attention to the team and the area. This contract will take him through his 30th year with our hockey organization, and I am proud to have been associated with Jim for that long.”
That's right, Rutherford has held his position as the GM of the organization going back to their days as the Hartford Whalers. He is the second-longest tenured GM in the NHL behind only Lou Lamoriello in New Jersey.
Rutherford has had a good run leading the organization, highlighted by the team bringing the Stanley Cup to Carolina in 2006. He has done a good job keeping up a level of success as the 'Canes did make it back to the Eastern Conference finals two years ago and they have been in the playoff hunt every season.
Part of the staff's success in Carolina has been the ability to draft. It isn't as if Raleigh has been a location where players are breaking down doors to play or that they are winning by virtue of a big budget. Instead they are led by home-grown talent such as Eric Staal, Erik Cole, Jeff Skinner, Cam Ward and Chad LaRose.
Twice in his career in Carolina has he been recognized as the Executive of the Year by THN, both years the Hurricanes made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: September 7, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 5:03 pm
(Pavol Demitra/Getty Images)
For the fourth time this summer, tragedy has struck the hockey world. This time it comes in the form of a plane crash in Russia carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team of the KHL, a team that includes many former NHL faces.
Among those who were on the roster are former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei Karlis Skrastins, Josef Vasicek and Karel Rachunek. The coaching staff was led by former Bruins, Whalers, Flyers and Red Wings defenseman Brad McCrimmon and also contained former NHL players Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev.
"Words cannot express what has transpired," Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said. "I knew a lot of players that were on that team. Nothing could prepare the hockey community for the devastating news ... [This] has left all of us beyond words.
"[Vasyunov] wanted to go over and play a lot and come back here. He was so proud to be a Devil. I can't say enough about him."
"I'm safe, but thanks for the kind words but pray and think of the players and their families on that flight."
As you can imagine, in a league that now contains many Russian players and has its ties grow every year with Russia's top league, the responses have been numerous and distraught. Alex Ovechkin simply said "I'm in shock!!!!!R.I.P ...."
Perhaps Demitra is perhaps the best known former NHL player among the bunch. He spent most of his NHL career with the Blues, where he had his best seasons as a player. His best year was 2002-03 when he scored 36 goals and had 57 assists. He was named to three All-Star teams; 1999, 2000 and 2002. He most recently played for the Canucks in 2009-10 before moving on to the KHL.
Moreover, he developed some tremendous friendships in the NHL. The bond he created with Keith Tkachuk in St. Louis was tremendous and Tkachuk was predictably hurt.
"I am beyond devastated by the tragic news involving my good friends Brad and Pavol and the rest of their teammates in Russia. Brad was my teammate in Phoenix and later coached me in Atlanta and was truly a wonderful man who will be greatly missed. Pav was like a brother to me and I cannot believe that he is no longer with us. This is a terrible day for the hockey fraternity. My family’s thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time.”
Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star- Tribune penned this story back in 2007 (at the bottom of the entry) about the strong bond Demitra developed with Marion Gaborik when the two were playing together for the Wild.
Ruslan Salei and Karlis Skrastins also had lengthy stints in the NHL, even being traded for one another at one point. In the 2007-08 season, the Avalanche sent Skrastins to the Panthers in exchange for Salei. In his one full season in Florida, Skrastins had his most productive offensive year, scoring four goals and 14 assists. The tough-nosed defenseman then played his final two NHL seasons with the Stars. Terry Frei of the Denver Post chronicaled Skrastins' trip to the NHL from Latvia.
"The Dallas Stars are saddened by the loss of former defenseman Karlis Skrastins in today's tragic plane crash in Russia," the team released in a statement.
Salei spent nearly a decade playing for the Ducks in Anaheim before he was signed by the Panthers. Like Skrastins, he had his best offensive season playing with Florida, scoring six goals with 26 assists in 2006-07 before being traded the next season to Colorado.
He was playing with the Red Wings just last season, playing 75 games with Detroit.
Vasicek played parts of seven seasons in the NHL, six of those with the Carolina Hurricanes. Team captain Eric Staal had this to say about Vasicek: "Joe was an awesome guy, always in good spirits, always smiling. It's just a tragedy."
"He was one of my best buddies. He was in my wedding. I can't believe this," Martinek said.
Among the confirmed dead is former Red Wings and Flyers defenseman McCrimmon, Lokomotiv's coach. The news was just as somber in Detroit with Wings coach Mike Babcock.
McCrimmon had been an assistant with the Red Wings the past three seasons, having spent time wit the Thrashers, Flames and Islanders as an assistant as well. He left Detroit to lead the KHL team in hopes of becoming a head coach in the NHL some day.
As a defenseman, he put up some absolutely unbelievable numbers in his career. In only two of his 18 seasons did he ever record a negative plus-minus mark and he posted a career-high plus-83 in 1985-86 with the Flyers. He ended his career with a plus-444, the 10th best mark in NHL history. Each of the nine players ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame.
This will go down as one of the biggest, if not the biggest sports tragedies we've ever seen. About the only things I can think that compare are the plane crashes that affected the Marshall football team and Oklahoma State basketball teams. Hopefully, and we hope with every bone in our body, this is the end of what will be known as the Summer of Sorrow in hockey. This has truly been an offseason from hell and hopefully one that we never see again.
Tags: Air Crash, Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Karpovtsev, Alexander Vasyunov, Anaheim Ducks, Brad McCrimmon, Brian Stubits, Carolina Hurricanes, Chad LaRose, Colby Armstrong, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Dmitry Kulikov, Eric Staal, Florida Panthers, Igor Korolev, Josef Vasicek, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins, Keith Tkachuk, KHL, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, Marian Gaborik, Mike Babcock, Minnesota Wild, Nate Thompson, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Pavol Demitra, Philadelphia Flyers, Radek Martinek, Riley Armstrong, Ruslan Salei, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals
Posted on: June 29, 2011 11:13 am
Edited on: June 29, 2011 12:39 pm
The two-year contract calls for LaRose to make $3.4 million, which would be paid out in $1.5 million the first year, $1.9 million the second.
"Chad has been one of my favorite players right through his entire Compuware career, and it is my hope that he is a lifelong player with the organization," Rutherford said. "His work ethic and locker-room presence drive our team, whether it's a game or a practice, and he excels in his role on the ice for the Hurricanes."
The 29-year-old Michigan native scored 16 goals last season, sixth most on the team. He ended with a career-high 31 points.
Rutherford is still trying to work out deals with Erik Cole and Jussi Jokinen.
-- Brian Stubits
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:21 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 11:00 am
The players are flying off the free-agent market and the season hasn't even begun. You can add Joni Pitkanen to the list.
The Carolina Hurricanes locked up their young defenseman with a three-year contract at $4.5 million annually before he could test the open waters. The 28-year-old has spent the past three seasons in Raleigh with the 'Canes, scoring five goals with 30 assists last season.
"Joni has been a very important part of our defense as he plays in all situations," GM Jim Rutherford said. "He plays a lot of minutes, and is one of the top puck-movers in the league. We are very pleased that he wanted to return to the Hurricanes."
If he were to hit free agency, he was set to be one of the most coveted defensemen available. Instead, a rather bare market becomes even less inviting for the spenders.
"He's a guy that plays a ton of minutes in all situations, is a big, strong guy, and, if you look at the free agent list for defensemen, he was near the top of it," Rutherford said. "We thought he would want to test the market, but he really loves playing here and I really appreciate what he did to make that happen."
Also on Tuesday the Hurricanes re-signed Patrick Dwyer to a two-year deal.
They are the first of many decisions the Hurricanes have to make in the coming weeks. At this time, they have just five forwards under contract at the NHL level. Cory Stillman, Erik Cole, Chad LaRose and Jussi Jokinen are all unrestricted free agents come Friday while Brandon Sutter is on the restricted list.
Rutherford, holding little back, said things aren't going well with LaRose, Cole or Jokinen.
"For Erik and Jussi, this is about money to them," Rutherford said. "I'll use the same quote that I always use this time of year. You have players who say the right thing publicly about wanting to stay, but what they forget to add is, 'Unless I can get more money somewhere else.'
"That may very well be what happens, and in that way I understand their position."
-- Brian Stubits
Photo: Getty Images