Tag:Pittsburgh Penguins
Posted on: August 23, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: August 23, 2011 11:03 am
 

Daily Skate: Should Sid retire? Blues tough sell

By Brian Stubits

ADVICE TO SID: Yesterday brought about another round of Penguins star Sidney Crosby retirement banter with a station in Halifax reporting he won't be ready for the season only to have it denied by his agent. The uncertainty of the report didn't stop Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star from writing a column on why Crosby should retire. The man has already left an indelible mark on the NHL and won a Stanley Cup, so why risk it? Here's the crux: "There are no goals left for him in the game. At best, all he achieves from now on is more of the same. He still has an entire life to lead after hockey, whether it ends tomorrow or in a decade. What’s in the balance is how capable he will be of leading it fully."

TOUGH SELL: The St. Louis Blues are still on the market and have been a while. Owner Dave Checketts had asked for proposals to be submitted to buy the organization and only one bid came through, that of current minority owner Tom Stillman. The problem is the offer is the same as his previous one (via Andy Strickland), below even the team's current debt, so there's hope another offer can come up. That could still come from Matthew Hulsizer, who didn't submit an offer but that doesn't mean he's done. Either way, the hockey market is hardly favorable (via Globe and Mail).

MIKITA'S BATTLE: It was in May that Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita announced he had Stage 1 oral cancer. Well, the good news is that Mikita says he is "coming along real well" (via Daily Herald) and he'll have a better idea next week when he visits his doctor.

HAWAII HOCKEY: You've heard the relocation cities -- Quebec City, Hamilton, Ont., Seattle, Houston, Las Vegas -- but here's a new one: Honolulu. Seriously. The On Goal Analysis blog makes the argument why Hawaii should be considered for a hockey franchise down the line. If you don't believe me, you can read it for yourself here.

JERSEY TALK: The Winnipeg Jets still haven't revealed their new jersey, but that's not stopping "leaks" from coming out. Check out the latest one down below. Of course, True North Sports and Entertainment has denied it, saying the leaked look is "not even close" (via Slam Sports). Considering that was the case with the logo, I'll imagine he's telling the truth. But time will tell.

Photo: Slam Sports

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

Posted on: August 22, 2011 7:29 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 7:42 pm
 

More Sidney Crosby reports, denials

Crosby

By: Adam Gretz

Are you ready for some more reports on Sidney Crosby's status for the start of the regular season (and yet more denials of those reports)?

If so, you're in luck, because CTV out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, reported on Monday that Crosby has suffered another setback in his recovery, stopped his workouts, and may not be ready for the start of the regular season. As expected, Crosby's agent quickly denied the report.

If you've heard this song before, it's because it's been playing on a non-stop loop for the past six months (or more).

From CTV:
Sources say Crosby's concussion symptoms returned last week and he cancelled all of his scheduled on-ice workouts at a Halifax-area rink.

Penguins players are expected to appear at training camp in mid-September and it appears Crosby will not be one of them.
Think back to last week when a nearly identical report surfaced from Josh Rimer of SiriusXM Radio, only to have the Penguins quickly address it, with general manager Ray Shero saying, "Training camp is a month away, so there's no expectation for me that he won't be ready or will be ready. He's doing his usual routine. He'll probably be in a week before camp starts. We'll evaluate him then."

This time it's Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, doing the talking. Brisson said, via the Associated Press, that Crosby "hasn't been shut down by anyone and has instead adjusted his summer program to address the different needs for his recovery."

And 'round and 'round we go.

The fact this is still an issue at this point, with no clear idea of whether or not he will be ready for the season or how his recovery is really going, is a definite concern -- especially on the same day a former NHL player announced his retirement because doctors told him his concussion history made it unsafe for him to continue playing. But, as has been the case throughout this entire process, the only person that seems to have any definitive idea as to what's going on is Crosby himself, and he's not talking.

It's Aug. 22, and we don't know whether Crosby will be on the ice for the Penguins when training camp opens (let alone the regular season), and it's obvious that we won't know that for sure until he is or isn't on the ice when the Penguins open camp.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: August 19, 2011 1:35 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Former NHL D-man Kasparaitis coaching in Sweden

By Brian Stubits

Here's a blast from the not-so-distant past. Darius Kasparaitis, former Islanders, Rangers, Avalanche and Penguins defenseman, is continuing his transition into coaching in Sweden.

The native of Lithuania last played in the NHL with the Rangers back in the 2006-07 season before he was waived and eventually loaned to SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL. He had a very short stint working as an assistant coach for SKA, but his contract expired after six months.

So his new role is one that will put him in a position to really teach. Here's the story from the Swedish website hockey.expressen.se.

Considering I don't speak a lick of Swedish (I don't think the word Abba counts), I turned to a friend who happens to hail from Sweden. Here was his summary.

Kasparaitis joined AIK, a hockey team in Sweden's top division based in Stockholm, as a defenseman coach for the club's junior teams (junior meaning high school-college level). In this capacity, he will arrange training sessions once or twice a week, instructing on techniques particular to the defense position. Anders Gozzi, the AIK GM, explains that the hiring follows on the success he perceives that the team has had with similar special training sessions for goalies. If all goes well, Kasparaitis may move on to coaching the senior level players as well.

So there you have it. It's a true proving ground for Kasparaitis.

No word on if he'll be teaching them his way of checking.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: August 18, 2011 7:32 pm
 

National TV schedule is out; light on Predators

By Brian Stubits

So the national television game schedules were released by the NHL on Thursday, and all in all it's what you would expect. It features a lot of the Red Wings, Bruins, Capitals, Flyers, Blackhawks, Rangers and Penguins -- the usual suspects.

It's clear why they are on the tube so much. They have earned it with their play on the ice and the fan support off it. It's only smart business for a league that is the lowest of the USA's four major sports leagues in interest and viewership.

But how about the teams making the fewest appearance? It's some of what you'd expect. The Columbus Blue Jackets, at this point, will not grace the networks of NBC or Versus (or whatever the station will be named this season), not even once. The Florida Panthers will be seen nationwide on one occasion -- a date with the Penguins. Those are pretty understandable. It would be nice to see a little more of them, but it makes sense. They are rebuilt rosters, but have been bad for some time and don't exactly have large followings (we're being kind).

Next on the list, though, is the Nashville Predators. The Preds will be seen on national TV just twice. The only thing against the Preds is that they are in a small, southern market. But the quality of the team warrants a few more games than this. It's possible they will get flexed onto national coverage late in the season, but either way, it's a shame they are being left out save two games. After all, the Predators did make it into the second round of the playoffs last season, hockey's equivalent of the Elite Eight.

While upset, the people over at the Section 303 blog, a Predators destination, aren't surprised by the stiff.

Staying in the Western Conference, the Minnesota Wild will get quite a bit more air time despite not making the playoffs for the third straight season last year. In all, the Wild will be broadcast from sea to shining sea 10 times.

Here are the U.S. channel schedules, starting with NBC. I hope you like the Keystone State battles. (Source: NHL.com)

NBC schedule
Day Date Visitor Home Eastern time Notes
Fri. 11/25 Detroit Boston 1 p.m. N/A
Mon. 1/2 N.Y. Rangers Philadelphia 1 p.m. Winter Classic
Sat. 1/14 Chicago Detroit 12:30 p.m. N/A
Sun. 1/22 Boston Philadelphia 3 p.m. N/A
Sun. 1/22 Washington Pittsburgh 3 p.m. N/A
Sun. 2/12 Washington N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 2/12 Philadelphia Detroit 7:30 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 2/19 Pittsburgh Buffalo 12:30 p.m. N/A
Sun. 2/19 San Jose Detroit 12:30 p.m. N/A
Sun. 2/19 St. Louis Chicago 3 p.m. N/A
Sun. 2/19 Boston Minnesota 3 p.m. N/A
Sun. 3/4 Boston N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 3/4 Philadelphia Washington 7 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 3/11 Los Angeles Chicago 7 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 3/11 Boston Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 3/18 Pittsburgh Philadelphia 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 3/18 Washington Chicago 7 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 4/1/ Boston N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 4/1 Philadelphia Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sat. 4/7 Buffalo Boston 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sat. 4/7 Washington N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sat. 4/7 Philadelphia Pittsburgh 4 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 4/7 Chicago Detroit 4 p.m. NBC/VS Flex

Now here's the full schedule for Versus/NBC Sports Network.

Finally, here's how it will go on the NHL Network.

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

Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:47 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 5:42 pm
 

NHL '12 legends are complete

By: Adam Gretz

EA Sports unveiled the final two players for the NHL '12 legends feature on Thursday, and they are former Penguins center Mario Lemieux and Detroit Red Wings great Gordie Howe.

With these two names finally announced we now know the nine players that will be included: Lemieux, Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Chris Chelios, Ray Bourque, Jeremy Roenick, Borje Salming, Patrick Roy and Steve Yzerman. Almost all of the names are relatively recent, and it's hard to really believe something is celebrating the NHL's "legends" when it doesn't include a player like Bobby Orr, for example.

The only two players that appeared in the NHL before 1979 are Salming (he played for the Maple Leafs starting in 1973) and Howe (he made his NHL debut in 1946). Everybody else started their careers within the past 30 years. Still, it's an interesting part of the game that will allow users to add these players to any team.

You can check out the trailer featuring Lemieux and Howe at the EA Sports website.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:34 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 1:45 pm
 

Islanders party will feature different game

IslandersGame

By: Adam Gretz

The New York Islanders were in the news last week because of a viewing party that was going to take place during a rebroadcast of their brawl-filled game with the Pittsburgh Penguins -- a game the Islanders dominated 9-3 -- back in February. The game also included several fights and a number of ejections, and resulted in three suspensions (two for the Islanders, one for the Penguins) and a $100,000 fine for the Islanders organization.

Islanders fans, for the most part, seemed to love the idea, while Penguins fans and others around the league weren't quite behind it. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Kevin Allen of USA Today that the league "did not approve of the use," while they were also looking into the promotion of it.

It seems as if the league ended up convincing the Islanders and the MSG Network to feature a different game.

On Thursday, the Islanders sent out a new invite to their fans for the viewing party, which is scheduled to take place on Friday, announcing that instead of watching the Feb. 11 brawl, they will instead be watching a rebroadcast of their 7-6 overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 13. That game featured a hat trick from Michael Grabner, including the overtime winner.

Here's the updated invite from the Islanders:
Join us for a replay of the high-scoring OT win from February 13th vs the Buffalo Sabres.

Michael Grabner stealing the spotlight netting two goals in regulation and then adding a third (his first #GrabTrick for the Isles) in OT is worth celebrating again.

On Friday August 19th, MSG Plus will re-air the game and we want the fans to join us for a viewing party at Champions.

Same awesome deal as usual, raffles, prizes and more.

All raffles benefit the Islanders Children's Foundation.

RSVP now and remember to get there early and get a table with your friends.

Stay tuned to #Isles and #IslesMeetup for all the latest and for more information.
Photo: Getty Images

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.

Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:25 am
 

Daily Skate: Ovie endorsement; Isles under review

By Brian Stubits

I'M KIND OF A BIG DEAL: Alexander Ovechkin is always endorsing something. He and Sidney Crosby are undoubtedly the NHL's endorsement Kings. The latest for Ovie? His face being plastered (alexovetjkin.blogspot.com) on the Canadian candy bar Mr. Big Deal. Underneath a smiling Alex is the slogan "Be a big deal like me."

REPLAY REVIEW: The Islanders' plan to have a viewing party to re-watch the game against the Penguins that erupted into the Royal Rumble has drawn a lot of attention across the hockey world. Apparently it caught the NHL's eyes, too. Kevin Allen at USA Today writes that the NHL is "looking into" the promotion, with deputy commissioner Bill Daly saying "We do not approve of the use, based on what we know."

R.I.P. RIPPER: The tragic news came down late Monday that Winnipeg Jets enforcer Rick Rypien was found dead in his home. There is still a lot more to come out on that story. In the meantime, remembrances are pouring in all over Twitter of the player affectionately called the Ripper. Here's an example from Mike Commodore: "RIP Rick Rypien. He was a warrior. Hit me so hard my eyes couldn't focus for 30 secs. Not sure if it was a left or right. #hitmewithboth" USA Today offered up a photo gallery of Rypien's career.

PENS IN DEMAND: The Penguins continue to sell tickets like hot cakes. The team announced this morning that they are again capping the season-ticket sales at 15,000 for the season. That just continues the run in Pittsburgh where the Pens have sold out the last 210 games, which includes every game for the last four seasons.

SMAHSVILLE CELEB SHOW: The game isn't the only attraction in Nashville when you talk Predators hockey. The games are a hotspot for celebrities, too, mostly from the country music world. Nashville is, after all, the home of country. So in further embracing the city's country music roots and promoting the team, the Preds put together (Section 303) a bit of a montage of the scene at games in Nashville.

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