Tag:Adam Gretz
Posted on: August 17, 2011 9:35 am
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:52 pm

Jeremy Roenick reenacts Swingers scene

By: Adam Gretz

The video below, which comes via the folks at Hugging Harold Reynolds, features former NHL star Jeremy Roenick appearing in a reenactment of a scene from the 1996 movie Swingers. The original scene featured Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and Patrick Van Horn playing a game of EA Sports NHL '93, with Roenick's character as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks being one of the focal points of the game and conversation (as well as making Wayne Gretzky's head bleed).

Last week many of you in the comments disagreed (strongly!) with my suggestion of adding Roenick to the NHL '12 legends series because there are more worthy players throughout the history of the game. And I don't disagree with that. My suggestion had little to do with his Roenick's status as one of the NHL's all-time greats (though, he was certainly an awesome player), and more to do with his status as a video game and pop culture icon, thanks in large part to EA Sports and this movie. It is, after all, just a video game.

Anyway, here's the clip (and there is probably some language that's deemed not safe for work, so if you're in the office, turn it down. And here's the original scene from the movie ... with language that's definitely not safe for the office.)...

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 17, 2011 9:06 am
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:16 pm

Daily Skate: The NHL's new fight

By: Adam Gretz

THE NHL'S NEW FIGHT: As reactions to Rick Rypien's death continue to pour in, National Post columnist Bruce Arthur put together a tremendous column on Tuesday nighttalking about the new fight that the NHL has on its hands: depression. Writes Arthur:
we don’t know enough about why he might have been depressed, about whether fighting was a trigger for that depression. We just know that he suffered from a disease that is still not understood in society, or in sports. Studies have shown that depression is severely underreported in professional sport; even if this case, in which the Canucks attempted to procure various avenues of treatment without putting pressure on the young man, Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis admits they didn’t have an established course to follow. “There is,” he said, “no blueprint.”
The entire column is definitely interesting and worth checking out.

SOME POSITIVE ATTENTION FOR LEBDA: Defenseman Brett Lebda was recently bought out by the Nashville Predators after they acquired him following what was a disappointing run with the Toronto Maple Leafs. His play was the butt of many jokes in Detroit (his first NHL team) and Toronto, and Michael Petrella of The Production Line points out a lot of the positive things he's been able to do throughout his career.

CHECK OUT BRYZGALOV'S NEW MASK: Apparently, Ilya Bryzgalov likes tigers because they are featured on what is supposedly his new mask that he'll wear as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. InGoal Magazine has the pictures.

LEAGUE TO TEST CURVED GLASS: The Research, Development and Orientation camp kicks off today in Ontario, and Dan Rosen of NHL.com has a look at one of the possible changes the league will be testing: curved glass that would replace the padded turnbuckles that used to sit near the end of the player benches.

ALFREDSSON RETURNS TO ICE: Ottawa Senators forward hit the ice for the first time since early February and managed to skate for more than an hour on Tuesday. The session appears to have been a success as the veteran winger said "it felt good to be back on the ice," via Martin Cleary of the Ottawa Citizen. The Senators can certainly use him -- and his offense -- this upcoming season.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:32 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 9:05 am

The NHL '12 soundtrack is here

By: Adam Gretz

As video games have evolved over the years, from Pong all the way up to the present day Xbox, one of the improvements that's been made for the gaming experience has been the music featured in the games. Think back to sports games for your original eight-bit Nintendo Entertainment Systen and how simple (and repetitive) it was. Example: the music for Bases Loaded in all of its glory.

Instead of simple little made-up tunes, games now feature real music from real bands, and on Tuesday EA Sports released the soundtrack for the upcoming NHL '12 game. As is the case with all discussions that revolve around music (perhaps the most subjective of the arts), it's sure to leave some people happy, others unhappy, and others completely indifferent.

Here's the lineup, via EA Sports (and just to experience each band, we've included a link to each song. Just click on the name of the band.):
Against! Me – Occult Enemies (Russian Spies/Occult Enemies)
Anthrax – I’m Alive (Worship Music)
Beady Eye – Standing on the Edge of the Noise (Different Gear, Still Speeding)
Billy Idol – Mony Mony (The Very Best of Billy Idol)
Black Tide – That Fire (Post Mortem)
Blackguard – Farewell (Firefight)
Bush – Sound of Winter (The Sea of Memories)
Death Letters – I Wish I could Steal a Sunset (Post-Historic)
Dropkick Murphys – Hang ‘em High (Going out in Style)
ELO – Don’t Bring Me Down (Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of ELO)
Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ (Screaming for Vengeance)
Manchester Orchestra – April Fool (Simple Math)
Middle Class Rut – Busy Being Born (No Name No Color)
Murderdolls – Whatever you got, I’m Against It (Women and Children Last)
So there you go. I admit, I kind of like ELO (there's nothing wrong with that. Really.) even though their peak was a bit before my time, but I'm not sure I automatically associate them (and especially Don't Bring Me Down) with hockey (or video games). But again, it's music and there's sure to be disagreement and no hope of pleasing everybody.

Still, I have somewhat of a soft spot for the days of Blades of Steel.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Category: NHL
Tags: Adam Gretz
Posted on: August 16, 2011 5:43 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 8:27 pm

A look at Zach Bogosian's power play usage

BogosianBy: Adam Gretz

On Monday we looked at the possibility of players potentially wanting out of (and avoiding) Winnipeg, and how captain Andrew Ladd would prefer to not have anybody on his team that doesn't want to be there. Of course, there a lot of reasons as to why a player would want to avoid a particular team or situation, including playing time.

Sportsnet's Mike Brophy put together an article this week that examines three teams (Toronto, Los Angeles and Winnipeg) that are playing hardball with their young restricted free agent defenseman (Luke Schenn, Drew Doughty and Zach Bogosian, all of whom were selected at the top of the 2008 NHL draft). Regarding Bogosian, Brophy cites a source in Atlanta (where Bogosian played the first three years of his career) that suggests the 21-year-old puck-moving defenseman struggled offensively in 2010-11 because he was replaced on the power play by Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom. With those two likely to man the top unit going forward, Brophy suggests that lack of power play time (which could also cut into his point production) may impact Bogosian's desire to sign a long-term deal with the Jets.

That is certainly understandable and believable, but there is one problem with it: Bogosian's power play usage didn't really change much in 2010-11. In fact, he saw more power play time per game in 2010-11 than he did in his first two seasons in the NHL.

His production dropped, but his ice-time didn't.

Zach Bogosian Power Play Usage
Year Games Total Power Play Time Power Play Time/Game Power Play Points
2008-09 47 52:30 1:07 5
2009-10 81 134:23 1:39 6
2010-11 71 140:43 1:58 4

Was he playing as part of the top power play unit? Not always, as some of that was time on the Thrashers' second power play unit (his most common power play partner on the blue line was Johnny Oduya, but he also saw plenty of time with both Enstrom and Byfuglien). Still, it's not like he was playing top power play minutes (or putting up huge power play numbers) in 2008 and 2009. Even before the addition of Byfuglien his power play time was third on the team among defenseman in 2009-10, trailing Enstrom and veteran Pavel Kubina.

Bogosian is a gifted player and is still extremely young at a position that can take some time to develop, but his decline in offense in 2010-11 seems to have had more to do with a down year than losing out on power play time to Byfuglien and Enstrom.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:36 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 11:08 pm

Rick Rypien found dead in his home

By: Adam Gretz

Terrible news coming out on Monday night as NHL forward Rick Rypien has been found dead in his home according to James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail.

Rypien, perhaps best known for his role as an enforcer and one of the toughest fighters in the league, spent parts of six seasons in the NHL, all with the Vancouver Canucks, and scored nine goals in 119 games. He also took part in 28 regular season fights in the NHL, as well as many more in the preseason, playoffs and in the minor leagues according to Hockeyfights.com.

He recorded 226 penalty minutes in his NHL career. Earlier this summer he had signed a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets.

His career had some tumultous moments, including an incident in Minnesota when he grabbed a fan on his way into the locker room this past season. Back in November, shortly after that incident, Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun (via Bruce Arthur on Twitter) wrote about his off-ice problems and how there was concern within the Canucks organization about him off the ice, and how they were doing everything they could to help him.

Rypien's death comes just a few months after former Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers fighter Derek Boogaard was found dead in his Minnesota home following an accidental drug overdose.

The Vancouver Canucks released a statement late Monday night:

“It is with tremendous sadness that the Vancouver Canucks confirm the passing of Rick Rypien. Rick has been a beloved member of the Canucks family for the past six years. Rick was a great teammate and friend to our players, coaches and staff. We send our deepest condolences to the Rypien family at this most difficult time.”

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

Posted on: August 15, 2011 6:40 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 9:32 pm

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

LaddBy: Adam Gretz

Even before the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg this summer, there were rumblings that some players around the NHL might avoid joining the Jets -- or be unhappy about doing so -- because they wouldn't want to call Southern Manitoba their home. Former Coyotes and current Flyers goalie Iyla Bryzgalov infamously stated his desire to avoid Winnipeg -- and this was when the Coyotes were the top target for relocation -- because it didn't have enough parks (of all things!), among other concerns.

Recently, Bob McCown, a radio host in Toronto, said that he had first-hand knowledge that as many as three current Jets -- and as of now they are unnamed Jets, of course -- would like to get out of Winnipeg before even playing a game.

Andrew Ladd, who was named captain of the Thrashers last season, shared his thoughts on the anonymous Jets -- assuming they exist -- with Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press. Here's Ladd's comments, via Lawless:
"I haven't heard that, but if there are guys that don't want to be in Winnipeg then we don't want them anyway," said Ladd. "We want people that want to be part of a good hockey organization that's going to create a winning culture. From everyone I've talked to -- I haven't heard any of that."
The message from Ladd is pretty clear: If you don't want to be here, get the hell out. Ladd signed a contract earlier this summer that will keep him in Winnipeg for the next five years and pay him a total of $22 million.

Now, whether or not there are players that want out -- or will actively avoid signing with Winnipeg, or veto trades to Winnipeg if they have that power in their contract -- is certainly up for some level of debate, and, hell, is probably very likely to happen at some point. One of the reasons players try to get no-trade or no-movement clauses in their contracts is so they not only have control -- and the comfort level of knowing -- where they're going to be living and playing for a certain among of time, but also so they have ability to avoid going to a place they don't want to be for whatever reason.

And that reason could be competitive, financial or simply because they don't like the area. And while this could be true of any player with any market, it could be a bigger issue for a smaller city like Winnipeg with a team that hasn't had a recent track record of playing winning hockey.

Keep in mind, the Jets organization (which was previously the Thrashers) has appeared in one playoff series in its existence and never won a postseason game. That, combined with Winnipeg's brutal climate (and if you're Ilya Bryzgalov, it's lack of parks) could be an ugly combination. The Edmonton Oilers, for example, have had some issues in recent seasons, getting turned down by players -- Dany Heatley comes to mind after using his no-trade clause to reject a trade there a couple of years ago, after demanding a trade out of Ottawa -- and has found itself near the top of the polls for least desirable places to play.

(H/T Houses of the Hockey)

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 5:37 pm

Check out Mark Recchi's Stanley Cup tattoo

By: Adam Gretz

Mark Recchi retired earlier this summer after a fantastic career that saw him score 577 goals with a number of teams, including the Penguins, Flyers, Canadiens, Hurricanes, Thrashers, Lighting and, most recently, the Boston Bruins. Going to Boston during the 2008-09 season seemed to give his career a jump start at the age of 40, and in parts of three seasons with the Bruins, he managed to score 42 goals as a valuable asset to their offense.

He was also a nice addition during the playoffs this past season, recording 14 points in 25 games, as the Bruins took home the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972.

For Recchi, it was his third Stanley Cup, having previously won with Pittsburgh (1991) and Carolina (2006).

To celebrate, Recchi decided to celebrate his championships permanently in the form of a tattoo on his ankle that features the Cup, the logos of the three teams he won it with, and the years he earned his rings.

Here's a video from the Bruins website that features Recchi showing off his new ink, and his plans for future artwork to accompany it.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:10 am
Edited on: August 15, 2011 4:54 pm

Shero addresses Sidney Crosby status

CrosbyBy: Adam Gretz

Following another series of conflicting reports on Sidney Crosby's status for the start of the upcoming season, Penguins general manager Ray Shero addressed the status of his captain late Sunday night.

Said Shero, via Rob Rossi of the Tribune Review, Crosby has still had symptoms as a result of the concussion that prematurely ended his 2010-11 season, but nothing that's forced him to shut down his offseason workouts. He also pointed out that he's yet to have a situation this offseason where he's needed to be cleared to play.

Shero later addressed the media on Monday, expounding on what Rossi wrote.

"Training camp is a month away, so there's no expectation for me that he won't be ready or will be ready," Shero said. "He's doing his usual routine. He'll probably be in a week before camp starts. We'll evaluate him then.

"I think [Sid] has had some symptoms on and off depending on how hard he's pushed himself. Sid has pushed himself pretty hard this summer, which is the good news. Sid has never had to get to the point where he’s had to shut himself down or anything. That's the good news.

"The thing for me and for the organization is the bigger picture with Sidney Crosby. We want to make sure Sid is 100 percent cleared & ready to play when he does come back. He's not going to be pushed."

It had been a quite a while since the Penguins made any statement regarding Crosby, but after Josh Rimer, the NHL Home Ice Producer for Sirius XM Radio, reported that he heard from three different sources that the Penguins captain may not be ready for the start of the season, the conversation picked back up.

It's certainly nothing to downplay that Crosby is still apparently having some symptoms, but it's also worth noting that, at this point, it has little to do with his availability for the start of the regular season which is still nearly two months away. A lot can change in that time period (good and bad).

Without Crosby (and Evgeni Malkin, who was out with a knee injury) for half of the season the Penguins offense dropped significantly last season from years past, and ended up costing them in the postseason where they were eliminated in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games after jumping out to a 3-1 series lead. Malkin's rehab seems to be on track, but Crosby's remains a mystery surrounded with plenty of uncertainty.

At this point I'll believe he'll be back for the start of the season when he's on the ice and cleared for contact, and actually suited up on October 6th. On the other hand, I'll believe he won't be back when he's not on the ice on October 6th. Anything else is hard to believe at this point.

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