Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Jason Labarbera
Posted on: October 6, 2011 11:28 am
 

Price to support breast cancer research with mask

By Brian Stubits

The thing I love most about goalie masks is that they allow the players to express themselves in so many ways thanks to the help of talented designers like Dave Arrigo.

Earlier this week we showed you one of Arrigo's designs for Coyotes goaltender Jason LaBarbera. His mask will feature a year-long tribute to armed forces, in particular former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman. Now here's another worthwhile creation by Arrigo, this time for the Canadiens' Carey Price.

The mask features an homage to Price's Native ancestry background growing up in British Columbia. On either side of the mask is a the face of an elder tribe member. In the center of the mask is the Canadiens' classic logo laid over a dream catcher.

Most notably, though, is the base color of pink. That will match Price's equipment for the month of October, which is breast cancer awareness month. Starting on Oct. 6 the mask will go up for auction and bidding will be closed at the end of the month. The proceeds will go to cancer research.

It's a terrific gesture by Price and considering how crazy (we mean that in a completely positive way) the Habs fan base is, I'm sure it will fetch a good amount of dough for a good cause. I'm just hoping the mask gets a serious cleaning before being sold. As somebody who plays in net, I can attest to the foul smell that inhabits a used goalie mask. It's rather nauseating.

But it's a lot easier to stomach knowing the helmet was put to good use (stopping pucks) and a good cause.

Photo: davearrigo.com

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

Posted on: October 4, 2011 10:58 am
Edited on: October 4, 2011 11:11 am
 

Coyotes' LaBarbera honors Pat Tillman on mask

By Brian Stubits

We've seen this summer how goalie masks run the gammut from scary (Steve Mason's horror look), creative (Semyon Varlamov's snow battle) and appropriately fun (Mike Smith's Wile E. Coyote theme).

But in a way, they all pale in comparison to the design Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera will wear this season.

His mask will serve as a tribute to both the American and Canadian militaries through a memorial to former Arizona Cardinals star safety Pat Tillman. Tillman, who was killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire after leaving the NFL to join the army, is seen on one side of the mask both in his army uniform and football uniform, with his brother posing right beside him. The opposite side features a faceless soldier with helicopters flying above.

All through out there is a camoflauge design that uses the Coyotes colors of red and white. Interspersed among the camo are Stars to represent the United States armed forces and some Maple Leafs to represent the Canadian military.

At the bottom of the mask is a yellow ribbon, symbolizing support for the men and women fighting overseas surrounded by two Phoenix Coyotes logos.

The design was done by sports designer Dave Arrigo, who is a regular goalie mask maker. He posted LaBarbera's new cage on his website and had this to say: "Pat Tillman will live in on in our memories, I hope that this helmet assists with that in whatever facet possible."

This mask is sure to be a hit in the desert, paying homage to not only one of Phoenix's great heroes, but the USA's as well.

Photo: Dave Arrigo

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

Posted on: September 26, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2011 9:54 am
 

Pacific Division Preview: San Jose still on top

Sharks1

By: Adam Gretz

The San Jose Sharks have comfortably controlled the Pacific Division the past four seasons, winning it each year by an average margin of about 11 points.

Regular season success hasn't been much of an issue for the Sharks, reaching the 100-point mark six of the past seven seasons. The issue has always been whether or not they can avoid what seemed to be an annual early exit from the playoffs. They've done some work to help break their negative postseason reputation the past two years, reaching the conference finals each year before ultimately losing to Chicago and Vancouver respectively.

Will this be the year they finally break through and win the Conference? Will they be able to continue their dominance within the division, or did their four divisional rivals do enough to catch up this summer?

The Pacific was the only division in the NHL last season to produce four playoff teams, as Anaheim, Phoenix and Los Angeles joined the Sharks in the postseason. The Ducks boast the NHL's reigning MVP in Corey Perry, while the Los Angeles Kings made what was perhaps the biggest addition in the Western Conference by acquiring Mike Richards in an offseason blockbuster trade with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Pacific Division (In order of predicted finish)

SharksSan Jose Sharks: The Sharks avoided disaster in the second round of the playoffs last season by escaping with a Game 7 win over the Detroit Red Wings after watching a 3-0 series lead slip away, advancing to the Conference Finals for the second year in a row where they lost to the Canucks in five games. General manager Doug Wilson made a few significant changes to his roster this summer by sacrificing a bit of offense (Devin Setoguchi) to get a defensive upgrade in Brent Burns, while also sending Dany Heatley, a player that is coming his worst goal-scoring season since his rookie year, to Minnesota for Martin Havlat.

Strengths: Even after trading Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi the Sharks still have two outstanding lines with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Martin Havlat, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture. Boyle, Burns, Marc Eduard Vlasic and Douglas Murray is a strong top-four on the blue line that combines offensive ability (Boyle and Burns) and strong defensive play (Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Douglas Murray, who also happens to be one of the biggest hitters in the league). They have an outstanding power play that should still be a force even with the loss of Heatley and his 11 power play goals from a year ago. Burns (eight power play goals a year ago) gives them another weapon on the point to go along with Boyle.

Weaknesses: The third and fourth lines aren't great, and the injury questions surrounding goaltenders Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki should be a concern early in the season, but should go away once Niemi returns to the lineup, and may be as early as the season opener. Penalty kill was a major problem last season -- can the addition of Michal Handzus make a difference?

KingsLos Angeles Kings: The Kings haven't advanced beyond the first round of the Western Conference playoffs in over a decade, and have only won one playoff series since reaching the Stanley Cup Finals all the way back in 1993. This roster, on paper, looks to be their best chance for postseason success -- assuming they finally work out something with unsigned defenseman Drew Doughty. For years we've been waiting for the Kings to make a big move given their tradable assets and cap space, and they finally pulled off the blockbuster trade this summer by acquiring Mike Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Strengths: If you believe championship teams are built down the middle, then the Los Angeles Kings should have a great foundation. Already having Anze Kopitar on the roster, the Kings added Richards, one of the best two-way centers in the NHL, back in June in exchange for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a draft pick. Combine those two with Jarret Stoll, and the Kings top-three centers should be able to match up with just about any team in the Western Conference. Thanks to steady stay-at-home defensemen like Rob Scuderi and Willie Mitchell the Kings had one of the top penalty killing units in the league last season.

On the wings Dustin Penner, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams and Simon Gagne help create what should be an improved offense over the one that finished 25th in goals scored last season.

Weaknesses: As of this moment the biggest weakness for the Kings might be the fact that their best defenseman, Drew Doughty, remains unsigned as a restricted free agent, and with each passing day we're one day closer to him missing games that actually count in the standings. The power play needs to improve, finishing just 21st in the NHL last season.

DucksAnaheim Ducks: Without looking it up, do you know which player led all NHL defensemen in scoring last season? Nicklas Lidstrom? Shea Weber? Maybe Dan Boyle? Try again. It was Anaheim's Lubomir Visnovsky, giving the Ducks the NHL's top-scoring defenseman as well as the leading goal-scorer (Corey Perry, the only player to hit the 50-goal mark).

Strengths:  Corey Perry. Ryan Getzlaf. Bobby Ryan. Teemu Selanne. Those four players combined for nearly 60 percent of Anaheim's goals in 2010-11, and that was with one of them, Getzlaf, missing 15 games. Perry, who finished as the NHL's leading goal-scorer and won his first MVP award, probably isn't going to score 50 goals again, and Selanne is a year older (but still productive) but this is still an excellent quartet of forwards.

Weaknesses: Which forwards after the four mentioned above can provide offense?

Jonas Hiller is an excellent goaltender when he's in the lineup, but how much will his battle with vertigo impact him this season? If he has to miss any extended time the options behind him (Dan Ellis is currently the backup) aren't really all that promising.

The defense can certainly provide some offense with Lubomir Visnovsky, who is coming off a career year with 68 points, and Cam Fowler having a very promising rookie season -- from an offensive perspective -- with 10 goals and 30 assists, but questions remain as to how good they can be in their own zone.

StarsDallas Stars: There are disappointing ways to finish a season, and then there's what the Dallas Stars did to close out the 2010-11 season, losing nine of their final 14 games to miss the playoffs -- the only team in the division to do so -- by just one point. All they had to do on the final day of the regular season was beat the Minnesota Wild, a team that had completely gone in the tank and won just seven of its final 22 games. The Stars lost, 5-3, allowing the Chicago Blackhawks to clinch the No. 8 spot.

Strengths: Some very good forwards with players like Louii Eriksson and Jamie Benn leading the way, and Mike Ribiero still gives them a No. 1 center in the absence of Brad Richards who signed a huge deal with the New York Rangers in free agency. Based on his play after coming over in a mid-season trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Goligoski looks like he could be on the verge of a breakout season.

Weaknesses: Losing Brad Richards to free agency is a big blow, even with Mike Ribiero -- who trailed Richards by just six points last season -- still on the roster. No disrespect to Steve Ott, who is a fine all-around player, but a 1-2 punch of Richards and Ribiero down the middle is more dangerous than Ribiero-Ott from an offensive perspective.

Mediocre special teams a year ago with the Power Play finishing middle of the pack and the penalty kill in the bottom seven.

CoyotesPhoenix Coyotes: Yes, the Coyotes are still here, and yes, they're looking to make the playoffs for a third consecutive season after having been eliminated by Detroit in each of the past two seasons. They locked up one of their most important players to a long-term contract extension by signing Keith Yandle to a five-year deal this summer, but also said goodbye to another key player in goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

Strengths: Dave Tippett has done a masterful job the past two seasons with the Coyotes taking a team in a financial mess with little star power to speak of and helping to get them to the playoffs each year with a disciplined, defensive style that the players have bought in to. Keith Yandle is one of the best up-and-coming defenseman in the NHL,

Weaknesses:Replacing Bryzgalov with Mike Smith and Jason LaBarbera seems like a significant drop in talent. The one thing Phoenix does have going for it here is that it has a tight defensive system and some excellent two-way players, while Smith has past experience playing in Tippett's system. Still, will that be enough to overcome the loss of Bryzgalov? The Coyotes don't have a true big-time goal-scorer on the roster, but did manage to have 11 different players score at least 10 goals last season. Three of those players (Lee Stempniak, Eric Belanger and Scottie Upshall) are gone, and another, Kyle Turris, is holding out with some absurd contract demands.

NHL season preview schedule
Wed., Sept. 21: Step-back players Tues., Sept. 27: Atlantic Division
Thur., Sept. 22: Breakout players Wed., Sept. 28: Central Division
Fri., Sept. 23: Southeast Division Thur. Sept. 29: Northeast Division
Mon., Sept. 26: Pacific Division Fri., Sept. 30: Northwest Division

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: September 8, 2011 2:51 pm
 

Coyotes acquire G Cheverie from Panthers

By Brian Stubits

The Phoenix Coyotes decided to add some organizational depth at goaltender, trading away minor-league center Justin Bernhardt to the Florida Panthers for goalie prospect Marc Cheverie.

Here's the team's press release:

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have acquired goaltender Marc Cheverie from the Florida Panthers in exchange for center Justin Bernhardt.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Cheverie split the 2010-11 season between the Cincinnati Cyclones of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL). The 24-year-old native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia appeared in 30 games with Cincinnati posting a 13-9-5 record with three shutouts and a 3.11 goals against average (GAA). In 15 games with Rochester, Cheverie posted a record of 2-7-1 with a 3.91 GAA.

Cheverie spent three seasons with the University of Denver (2007-10), playing in 80 regular season games, posting a record of 48-18-8. He led the Pioneers to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2008-2010. Cheverie was selected by the Panthers in the seventh round (193rd overall) of the 2006 Entry Draft.

Bernhardt appeared in 47 games for the Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL) in 2010-11, recording 6-19-25 and 29 PIM. He signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Coyotes on April 13, 2009.

Cheverie is a well-regarded prospect, but he was stuck in the Panthers organization behind arguably the NHL's top goalie prospect, Jacob Markstrom. Of course, the Coyotes have to replace the departed Ilya Bryzgalov and to do so they brought in Mike Smith to join Jason LaBarbera. While Cheverie isn't likely to factor in the NHL this season, it's worth the flyer for Phoenix that he develops into a player who can take over down the line.

The price for the prospect is Bernhardt, a player who has shown scoring ability but has struggled to stay on the ice. He played a full 72-game schedule back in 2008-09 with Prince Albert of the WHL and he showed what he's capable of, scoring 35 goals with 57 assists.

Photo: Getty Images

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



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