Tag:Adam Gretz
Posted on: August 29, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 7:24 pm

Eating healthy with Gary Roberts

RobertsBy: Adam Gretz

Even at 45 years of age and two years into his retirement former NHL player Gary Roberts is probably in better physical shape than most of the players that are still active..

He's a health food freak and workout junkie (and whatever other cliche you can think of) and has spent the past couple of years working with young NHL players -- perhaps most famously Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning -- to whip them into shape and improve their overall conditioning.

A large portion of that program is dietary, and James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail has an excellent piece highlighing the strict -- and limited -- diet Roberts instructs young players to follow.

Writes Mirtle:
Players are assigned a diet that has no wheat, no sugar, no soy and no processed or packaged foods. Everything must be organic, from deli meats on up, and the 26-item list of what players should eat includes goat’s milk, sunflower sprouts, mung beans, salba, chia and hemp.

While their workouts at Mr. Roberts’s High Performance Centre gym north of Toronto get most of the outside attention, players find that it’s what they eat that’s the most important part of the program.

“It’s nutrition, then body maintenance – treatment or yoga – and then it’s the training. If you don’t do the first two, the third one’s not going to work out that well,” says Mr. Roberts.
In other words: No late-night stops (or any stops) at the drive-thru window. I can honestly say I've never tasted a mung bean, and the only thing I know about them is that Creed Bratton once mentioned them on an episode of The Office and described them as, "very nutritious, but they smell like death."

You can check out the complete menu over at the Globe and Mail, as well as a couple of sample recipes that Roberts has players like Brayden Schenn, Jeff Skinner, James Neal, Jordan Staal and Cody Hodgson chowing down on to stay in top physical shape. I have to admit, I think I'm going to try some of them, especailly the shakes, including "Gary Roberts's Molten Chocolate Mousse" and "Steven Stamkos's Mango Mousse."

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz 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 27, 2011 10:21 am

Daily Skate: Modano still undecided

By: Adam Gretz

MODANO STILL ON THE FENCE Mike Modano spent the 2010-11 season playing with his hometown team, the Detroit Red Wings, scoring four goals in 40 games. The 41-year-old forward has yet to make a decision as to whether or not he wants to keep going for another season or call it a career, and he talked about that decision with Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas. Modano also talked about his ideas for a post-hockey career, including possible roles as a TV analyst and his desire to work for the Dallas Stars front office. For his career Modano has scored 561 goals, almost all of them coming with the Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars organization.

GONCHAR LOOKS TO REBOUND After signing a large contract on the first day of free agency last summer veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar had some struggles in his debut season with the Ottawa Senators, recording 27 points (7 goals, 20 assists) in 67 games. He's looking to improve on those numbers this season, and according to Wayne Scanlan, the Senators are going to need him and the other veterans on the team to step up this season.

MOREAU TALKS ABOUT JOINING Kings Veteran forward Ethan Moreau passed a physical this week and officially joined the Los Angeles Kings, and Rich Hammond had an opportunity to sit down and speak with the newest member of the club about his role for the upcoming season. Said Moreau, via Hammond, “I want to come to camp and prove that I’m where I was a few years ago. Throughout my career, I’ve been a top player on the third line. I’ve been an elite penalty-killer. I play defensively, I play physical, I play tough. I just can’t wait to get back, just to show my teammates that I’m not just here for leadership. I’m not just here to be a piece of the roster. I want to re-establish myself and score goals and play tough and do what I’ve always done. I don’t feel like my play has gone down. I’ve just had some unlucky injuries." Check out the rest of the interview over at LA Kings Insider.

ROBIDAS EXCITED ABOUT OFFSEASON MOVES Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas is looking forward to the upcoming season after a busy offseason by the front office that included the addition of seven veteran free agents. The Stars missed the playoffs by just two points last season, and the veteran defenseman wants to get the team back to that level. He recently spoke with Mark Stepneski of ESPNDallas about the new additions and the upcoming season.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 26, 2011 8:50 pm

Blues fans aren't happy with their new slogan

BluesBy: Adam Gretz

The St. Louis Blues have a new marketing slogan (pictured to the right) in an effort to move tickets for the 2011-12 season, and it involves the words "Don't Stop Believing."

You've probably heard those words before. They were made famous in a Journey song that has been the unofficial anthem for more than one sports team over the years, including the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox (Do you want to watch them awkwardly sing it? Sure you do).

In the NHL, the song has become a staple at Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, as fans become a part of the sound by joining in the singing of the lyrics "born and raised in south Detroit." It's that connection that has some Blues fans just a little unhappy. Example: the folks at Blues blog St. Louis Gametime (check out the comments for some of the heated reactions). The Twitter hashtag #betterbluesslogans has also provided a few laughs, while Red Wings find the whole thing rather comical.

Why is everybody in St. Louis so unhappy? Because the Red Wings are a heated divisional rival of the Blues, and building an ad campaign around something that's synonymous with a team that plays in your own division, and has finished ahead of you in the standings 10 years in a row, probably isn't the best way to rally the locals.

(On a semi-related note, I've always wondered why Red Wings fans love the connection when the reference to Detroit in the song is about a guy that's leaving the city on "the midnight train going anywhere." But I suppose that's another discussion for another day).

Photo: blues.nhl.com

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

Posted on: August 26, 2011 7:07 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 7:42 pm

Blair Betts: The NHL's penalty killing specialist

By: Adam Gretz

There's a good chance Blair Betts won't be selected in many fantasy drafts this season.

He's spent parts of nine years in the NHL with the Calgary Flames, New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, scoring just 41 goals in 477 career games. Nothing that really stands out as an extraordinarly productive hockey player, at least from an offensive point of view. But his role -- and his value -- can't be appreciated by simply looking at how many goals he scores, because he's rarely in a positition to score them.

Or asked to score them.

There are certain players in the NHL that have a specific skillset that allows them to fill one primary role which occupies the majority of their time on the ice. It could be as a power play specialist (a player like Marc-Andre Bergeron), a fighter (a player like George Parros), or in the case of Betts, a penalty killer.

In a typical game Betts will play no more than 10 minutes. During this past season, for example, Betts averaged just under 10-and-a-half minutes per game, with a large portion of that time coming in shorthanded situations. While averaging less ice-time than every regular forward on the Flyers not named Jody Shelley and Dan Carcillo, Betts not only led all Flyers forwards in shorthanded ice-time per game, he led every forward in the NHL.

Even more than that, the 30-year-old Betts spent a larger percentage of his ice-time killing penalties than any other forward in the NHL. By a wide margin.

During the 2010-11 season Betts spent over 34 percent of his total ice-time playing in situations with his team was down a man. To put that in perspective, if you were to look at the top-25 forwards that averaged the most shorthanded ice-time per game last season, the next closest forward was Anaheim's Todd Marchant at just over 27 percent. Betts' teammate, Darroll Powe, Edmonton's Colin Fraser and Pittsburgh's Craig Adams all came in at just over 25 percent.

Here's how the top-10 looked:

Penalty Killing Specialists
Player Shorthanded Ice Time Total Ice Time Shorthanded Percentage
Blair Betts 271:46 783.50 34%
Todd Marchant 285:08 1,049:59 27%
Darroll Powe 257:16 995:12 25%
Coiln Fraser 177:35 688:29 25%
Craig Adams 247:11 974:56 25%
Darren Helm 251:11 1,091:08 23%
Patrick Eaves 169:36 799:55 21%
Liam Reddox 130:38 659:50 19%
Lauri Korpikoski 239:21 1,226:44 19%
Max Talbot 239:50 1,235:34 19%

Since becoming a regular NHL player with the Flames during the 2003-04 season, he's consistently been one of the top penalty killing options on every team he's played on, with those units typically finishing near the top-10 in the league (the average finish of the team's he's played on in penalty killing percentage has been 9th).

It can be an extremely valuable, but thankless, role that doesn't bring much attention, and few players do it as often -- or as well -- as Betts.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: August 25, 2011 10:28 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 11:19 pm

Bryzgalov introduced to Philadelphia media

BryzgalovBy: Adam Gretz

After a series of trades and some re-tooling of the roster earlier this summer, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has pretty much become the face of the Philadelphia Flyers. He's the highest paid player on the team and the third highest-paid player in the NHL this season, a contract he signed shortly after forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were sent packing to Los Angeles and Columbus.

With that comes plenty of expectation, especially at a position that has been viewed as the only weak link for a perennial Stanley Cup contender. It's a bold shift in organizational structure for the Flyers, a team that over the past several years went through each season and playoff run with a revolving door of goaltenders with relatively small salary cap commitments.

Over the past three seasons alone the Flyers used eight different goaltenders for at least one game. Those days appear to be over, as Bryzgalov will obviously be counted on to solidify the position for the next several years. Whether he will be enough to overcome the loss of offensive players like Richards, Carter and Ville Leino remains to be seen, but the 31-year-old has become one of the most important players -- if not the most important player -- in the organization for the foreseeable future.

The Flyers introduced Bryzgalov to the Philadelphia media on Thursday, and he's not only ready to play as many games as the Flyers need him to play, he's expecting to win a lot of them, too (then again, what else is he going to say?).

Said Bryzgalov, "When you play a lot, you feel confident about your game. If they need me to play 70 games, I'll play 70. If they need me to play 50, I'll play 50. So it all depends on the coach and management, whatever they need."

He's also looking to win at least 40 games this season, something he did two years ago as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes. Playing 50 games, or even 60 games, hasn't been an issue in recent years as he was a workhorse for the Coyotes, appearing in at least 64 games in each of the past four seasons.

The 40 wins, however, could be tougher goal to reach.

Of course, regular seasons wins aren't going to be what the majority of Flyers fans care about. It's all going to come down to what happens in the playoffs, an area that remains somewhat of a question for Bryzgalov after some struggles the past two seasons with the Coyotes, a team that simply wasn't as talented from top-to-bottom as the Detroit Red Wings teams that eliminated them (he had more postseason success with Anaheim back in 2005 and 2006).

The Flyers lost a lot of offense this summer and are replacing it with some unproven -- though talented -- youngsters up front, while their top two defenseman (Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen) are both a year older, which means more responsibility for the man in goal. He's an improvement over what they've been running out there in past years for sure, but it's not out of the question for the Flyers to take a bit of a step back this year as a team, even with the upgrade Bryzgalov will bring.

You can see Bryzgalov's introductory press conference in its entirety at the Flyers website.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: August 25, 2011 7:08 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 7:21 pm

Can Neuvirth push Vokoun for starting job?

NeuvirthBy: Adam Gretz

Not that we know these things before even one game is played during the 2011-12 season, but the Washington Capitals addition of free agent goaltender Tomas Vokoun on a one-year, $1.5 million contract has the potential to be one of the best deals of the summer.

For the past four years he's been the proverbial big fish in the small pond, quietly going about his business as the best player -- and one of the best goalies in the NHL -- on one of the worst teams in the league. He's finished in the top-10 in save percentage in each of the past five seasons, including four finishes in the top-five, all while usually facing over 32 shots per game.

His addition was just one part of a busy summer of activity for the Capitals, which included the additions of forwards Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer, defenseman Roman Hamrlik, as well as the trade of one of their young goalies, Semyon Varlamov, to the Colorado Avalanche for a future first-round pick. It's already been assumed that Vokoun will be the Capitals' starting goaltender when the season begins, which means last year's No. 1, Michal Neuvirth, will be pushed to backup duty. Still, that's not stopping him from enterinng camp with the intentiions of taking back his starting gig, as he told Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post on Thursday.

From the Post:
Coach Bruce Boudreau has said he anticipates that Vokoun will start the season as the Capitals’ No. 1 option in net. But Neuvirth said Thursday that he's conceding nothing.

“Tomas might be one of the top three goalies in the league,” Neuvirth said. “So it's a big opportunity for me to show I can be as good as this guy or even better. Obviously, I want to play the most games and I still want to be the number one goalie.”

Reminded of Boudreau's comments, Neuvirth fired back, “It's still summer. We still have three weeks until training camp. Whatever Bruce is saying, it doesn't bother me. We'll see what happens in training camp. Obviously, Tomas is a great goalie and I respect him.”
Neuvirth is certainly right about one thing: it is still summer and, at this point, starting jobs are most certainly still up for grabs, but it's going to be difficult for him to reclaim his No. 1 job this season, if that even matters.

Whether he has the "No. 1" role or not, Neuvirth is still going to get his share of playing time this season (even if it's a decrease from last season), and it's important to keep in mind that he's still only 23 years old and represents the future of the position in Washington (and don't forget, the Capitals still have Braden Holtby in the system as well).

If there's a concern for Vokoun at this point it could probably go back to the part about him playing the past four seasons on one of the worst teams in the NHL and not having to deal with the pressures of postseason hockey. Despite playing 12 years in the NHL with the Predators and Panthers, the 35-year-old Vokoun has appeared in just 11 playoff games. Though, it's also worth pointing out that he's played well in those games -- all with the Predators -- recording a .922 save percentage.

A little competition at this point in his career shouldn't hurt Neuvirth, and there's not a team in the league that is going to worry about having too many good goaltenders that can start for them, especially when they're only taking up a combined $2.6 million salary cap space.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: August 24, 2011 10:51 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 12:08 am

Would you eat the Tim Thomas sandwich?


By: Adam Gretz

Oh yes, it's been an awesome couple of months for Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas. Stanley Cup? Check. Vezina Trophy? All his. Sandwich named after him (and this is clearly the important one)? Winner.

The folks at Days of Y'orr, a blog dedicated to the Stanley Cup champions, recently stumbled upon The Tim Thomas, a sandwich at the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The description on the menu: A grilled chicken breast coated in cajun spices, topped with grilled pineapple slices and melted pepper jack cheese. It'll run you $12.99.

Days of Y'orr not only came away unimpressed with the quality of the food at the restaurant, but also the fact that the Tim Thomas sandwich wasn't a cheeseburger. Having never had the luxury of dining at the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse I can't -- and won't -- speak for the quality of the ingredients or the food itself, so I'll leave that for the people that have actually frequented that particular establishment.

But what about the actual concept of the sandwich? The chicken and the pineapple. That it doesn't contain bloody red meat. Assuming it's made with fresh ingredients and prepared well, is this a sandwich you would enjoy? Is it worthy of being named a Stanley Cup Champion?

I'm not afraid to say yes, mainly because I'm a sucker for pineapple.

A quick glance at the menu on the the Corner Clubhouse's website reveals at least two other Bruins related sandwiches: the Milan Lucic, a roast beef sandwich with horseradish sauce, cheddar, lettuce and tomato on a bulkie roll, and the Ray Bourque, a North Carolina style pulled pork served on a bulkie roll with sliced Bermuda onion and a side of coleslaw.

(H/T Houses Of The Hockey)

Photo: Getty Images

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