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Tag:New York Rangers
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:44 am
Edited on: January 12, 2012 11:45 am
 

Report: Interest in Avery goes up, but no waivers

By Brian Stubits

The twists and turns of a Sean Avery season. Aren't they fun?

Even when he's down in the AHL (where the orange juice refills might or might not be free), he's making noise. Well OK, he's not making the noise, but noise is being made about him. Or something like that.

Twice this season, the 29 teams not named the New York Rangers had a chance to claim Avery off of waivers and have him for their own but passed. Not even two weeks since his most recent demotion to the AHL Connecticut Whale, there is reportedly interest from at least one team to get Avery now.

According to the New York Post, the Rangers have been asked to place Avery on re-entry waivers again so that he can be claimed and wear another team's sweater in the NHL. It's obvious Rangers coach John Tortorella doesn't have any room for Avery on his bench, so why not acquiesce and let Avery go on his merry way? Two words: cap space.

Sources have told The Post general manager Glen Sather rejected that request, instead offering to trade Avery in a minor-league deal under which the Rangers would take back additional dollars but the responsibility for placing Avery on re-entry would then pass to the acquiring club that would then bear the burden of carrying dead salary-cap space upon a claim.

...

Avery’s full cap hit for the remainder of the season is just a tick over $890,000 as of tomorrow. Therefore, the Rangers would be hit with approximately $445,000 of dead cap space upon a re-entry claim.

The NHL has calculated that scenario would theoretically cost the Rangers $2 million in available space at the Feb. 27 trade deadline: $1 million of accrued space for which the club would be charged plus $1 million it therefore would not save.

That's a pretty penny to spend just to let a player loose. Now we'll find out how interested this mystery suitor/suitors is/are by the willingness to give up something in return to the Rangers.

Trying to think of who could be interested in signing Avery, I would take a Wild guess and say we could exclude the Toronto Maple Leafs after Brian Burke's recent "anti-rat" rant.

I'm not a Rangers fan, about the only people who seem to still love Avery, but for some reason that I still cannot pinpoint, I've come to like Avery a little bit. Maybe it's just that I'm a devil's advocate. I'm not sure. But I'd be interested in seeing him get a fresh start somewhere else. When he was playing, Avery was in good behavior this season for the Rangers. There might still be a fourth-line spot for Avery somewhere in the league.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: January 11, 2012 4:45 pm
 

Rangers give fan beaten in Philly tickets to game

By Brian Stubits

Just after the New Year, we relayed to you the story out of Philadelphia where a Rangers fan was badly beaten by some Flyers fans outside of Geno's Steaks following New York's 3-2 win in the Winter Classic.

The victim is 30-year-old Neal Auricchio, a police officer in New Jersey and former purple heart honoree from his service in Iraq as a marine. He is also a life-long Rangers fan who was on leave from his duty with the police after his wife gave birth the week before Christmas.

While the police investigation to find the men responsible for beating Auricchio and damaging his eye socket to the point of requiring surgery, the Rangers have set into motion a day for Auricchio to come to Madison Square Garden for a game on them. He'll be on hand Feb. 27 when the Rangers host the New Jersey Devils

Rangers coach John Tortorella was the one who called to give Auricchio the news.

“It absolutely lifted his spirits,” his wife Maria Auricchio told the New York Post. “He’s, and we’re all, such big Rangers fans. It was great [to get Tortorella’s call].”

I tell ya, between this and his relationship with Liam Trainer, Tortorella is going to win over some more fans.

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

Posted on: January 11, 2012 12:19 am
 

Mike Smith made one of the saves of the year

By: Adam Gretz

The Phoenix Coyotes lost to the New York Rangers in a shootout on Tuesday night, 2-1, but it's hard to put any of the blame on goaltender Mike Smith. He stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced through regulation and overtime, and did everything he could to keep his team in the game and give them a chance to win.

He only had to face one shot during the five-minute overtime period, and it couldn't have come in a tougher situation as he had to face New York's best goal-scorer, Marian Gaborik, on a penalty shot.

Not only did Smith get the best of Gaborik on the shot, he did so by making one of the best saves we've seen so far this season.



Awesome save. Of course, there's also a bit of luck there as well. If Gaborik gets any sort of elevation on that shot it's in the back of the net and the game ends at that point. But Gaborik didn't, and Smith made the highlights.

Gaborik, however, would get his revenge in the shootout by beating Smith in the third round.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 10:43 am
Edited on: January 10, 2012 2:25 pm
 

Midseason Awards: Breaking up the Hart

By Brian Stubits

On Monday night, the NHL season went over the hump and the second half officially began.

The league has been a Wild ride through only half a season as the Maple Leafs fell from the trees and onto your lawn. Stars have been dropping all over the place, too. Some teams have been singing the Blues as they’ve gone down in Flames while others have been surprising high Flyers as if they were in Jets. You'd almost think they made deals with the Devils or something.

OK, enough with the ambiguous team-name puns, time to get our Ducks in a row here.

In the first half of the season alone the NHL has seen seven head coaches fired, plenty of surprises, has memorized the introduction to a Brandon Shanahan video and had a memorable Winter Classic (we can thank NBC for that, right Torts?).

Now comes the fun part where everybody and their brother has their own candidate for each award, but here are the Eye on Hockey midseason awards as handed out by myself, Brian Stubits and my colleague Adam Gretz.

See that commentary space at the bottom? That's for your write-in candidates. Don't be shy (as if you needed the encouragement).

Hart (Given to the Most Valuable Player)

Stubits: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

Giroux has had absolutely no problem filling the scoring void left by Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in Philadelphia. His 48 points are 11 better than the next highest on his team (Scott Hartnell) despite missing four games with a concussion and he has the Flyers in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference.

Gretz: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

I know the history. I know that goaltenders don't generally win this award, and that you can probably count on one hand the number of times it's happened, at least over the past 30-40 years. But we're talking about MVP's of the first half of the season, and I'm not sure where the Rangers would be without him at this point. He faces a heavy workload and he's their best player every night.

Vezina (Given to the most outstanding goalie)

Stubits: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

I had a tough time here with him and Henrik Lundqvist. Considering Quick has carried more of his team's load and has twice as many shutouts clinches it for me. As for Tim Thomas? Hard when Tuukka Rask's numbers are even better. Brian Elliott has been splitting too much. Jimmy Howard another close call. Hard to make a bad pick for Vezina this year.

Gretz: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

The last four goalies to win the MVP (Jose Theodore, Dominik Hasek -- twice -- Jacques Plante) also won the Vezina Trophy that same season, so if I have Lundqvist as my mid-season MVP, it only seems fair to give him the Vezina as well. Boston's Tuukka Rask has better numbers at this point, but he's also only appeared in 14 games.

Norris (Given to the top defenseman)

Stubits: Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

Offensively speaking, he's one of the best you'll find in hockey. Defensively speaking, he's one of the best you'll find in hockey. What else could you want in a defenseman? Zdeno Chara comes in a close second for me with Brian Campbell a surprising third.

Gretz: Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

He's one of the leading scorers among defensemen in the NHL and one of the guys Nashville leans on to play heavy minutes (among the toughest in the league), which makes his ability to put up points even more impressive.

Calder (Given to the top rookie)

Stubits: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers

As of now, that's not a terribly tough call, I don't think. Nugent-Hopkins has been great for the Oilers this season, particularly on the power play. He's on pace for around 75 points if he were to play 82 games (which he won't). It will get more interesting as the season wears on and Nugent-Hopkins remains sidelined. Watch for Adam Henrique in New Jersey.

Gretz: Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils

Offensively, his numbers are nearly identical to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in Edmonton with seemingly far less fanfare. I give the edge to Henrique because he's played in tougher situations and is a regular on New Jersey's penalty kill, which happens to be the best in the NHL. He's tied for the league lead (among all players, not just rookies) in shorthanded points.

Jack Adams (Given to the best coach)

Stubits: Ken Hitchcock, St. Louis Blues

How can your choice be anybody else? The Blues were 6-7-0 before he was hired, 18-5-5 since. St. Louis has allowed the third-fewest goals in the NHL behind the Rangers and Bruins. Paul MacLean is my second choice. Kevin Dineen and Mike Yeo slipped with sluggish Decembers.

Gretz: Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators

Nobody had any preseason expectations for the Ottawa Senators other than that they would be competing for the No. 1 overall pick. Did anybody have them competing for a playoff spot at the halfway point? Or at any point? He also wins the Lanny MacDonald award for best mustache in the NHL.

Selke (Given to the best defensive forward)

Stubits: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

There are some great choices, but you can't go wrong with Bergeron. The Bruins defense is outstanding and he's part of that. Guys like Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Toews have arguments here too but the best defense should be rewarded in some fashion.

Gretz: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Bergeron has been climbing up the Selke voting in recent years, slowly but surely, and he's the best defensive player on one of the best defensive team in the league. Even though he plays some of the toughest minutes on the team, he's only been on the ice for 10 goals against at even strength. He kills penalties, wins faceoffs ... he does it all. One of the best two-way players in the league.

Best surprise

Stubits: Florida Panthers

The Panthers have been in first place of the Southeast Division for almost two months running. Let those words soak in. Sure, the division hasn't been very good as a whole, but this team was ripped pretty mercilessly for the offseason overhaul and here they are. Other good choices: Jets, Senators, Wild.

Gretz: Ottawa Senators

For the same reasons I have Paul MacLean as mid-season coach of the year. Nobody expected anything from the Senators this season other than for them to be terrible.

Biggest disappointment

Stubits: Buffalo Sabres

They aren't the worst of the candidates -- Ducks, Blue Jackets, Canadiens, Lightning -- but they had some very high expectations and have been incredibly pedestrian. They just aren't scoring much, their 107 goals the second fewest in the East. Very big things were expected of them, a point-per-game pace doesn't fit the bill.

Gretz: Columbus Blue Jackets

Well, this seems easy. Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski were supposed to be difference makers at two spots they needed the most help at, and while I didn't think they would be any sort of contender, I at least thought they would have a shot at the playoffs. At the halfway point, they're the worst team in the league.

Best offseason acquisition

Stubits: Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues

It was very close for me between him and another Brian, Campbell down in Florida. But Elliott, an afterthought on the goalie market this offseason, has been sensational in St. Louis, even before Hitchcock came aboard. He'd be my favorite for the Vezina if he weren't splitting so much with Jaroslav Halak.

Gretz: Ian White, Detroit Red Wings

There were questions as to how the Red Wings would replace Brian Rafalski on the blue line, and Ian White at an average annual salary of $2.75 million over two years has been a bargain for the production and quality of play he's provided.

Worst offseason acquisition

Stubits: Tomas Kaberle, Carolina Hurricanes

To be honest, I was looking for somebody other than Ville Leino, who is likely the runaway choice for this. But Kaberle was almost as bad, the only difference was that his contract isn't the long-term commitment that Leino's is. That didn't stop 'Canes GM Jim Rutherford from fixing his mistake before the All-Star break by trading Kaberle to Montreal. Under the radar pick: Re-signing Dwayne Roloson in Tampa Bay.

Gretz: Ville Leino, Buffao Sabres

This seemed like a dubious signing from the start. Buffalo gave Ville Leino six-years and $27 million based on one full season of production in the NHL. In 30 games this season he has 10 points.

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

Posted on: January 6, 2012 1:59 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 2:06 pm
 

President Clinton gets a puck, gives Jagr salute

By Brian Stubits

Former president Bill Clinton decided to take in the New York Rangers' home game against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, New York's first game since the Winter Classic win in Philadelphia.

Unlike the majority of high-profile guests, President Clinton elected not to sit in a suite but instead right on the ice. I'm glad he did, too, it resulted in a pretty cool moment.

Gesturing to somebody on the ice, Clinton was soon getting a puck flipped over the boards and into his waiting hands. Watch.

Yes, after giving the all-too presidential thumbs up, President Clinton than gave a salute to the ice crew member. It would have only been better if it were Mike Rupp who tossed the puck. Because apparently somebody was watching the Winter Classic.

Politics aside, Clinton always seemed like a guy I'd enjoy having a beer with (same goes for George W Bush). This does nothing to change my mind there. Giving the Jagr salute back to a Ranger? Awesome.

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

Posted on: January 6, 2012 12:56 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 4:47 pm
 

Weekend Preview: Bruins and Canucks meet again

By Brian Stubits

Schedules: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Vancouver to start Schneider over Luongo

The Boston Bruins are out-of-this-world good. Six times this season they have beaten their opponent by at least five goals. That includes Thursday's 9-0 rout of the Calgary Flames.

On the season they have scored 138 goals (most in the NHL) and only allowed 69 (fewest in the NHL). For the mathematically impaired, that's exactly twice as many goals for as against. They have an absolutely staggering plus-69 goal differential on the season.

To put that in further perspective, here's a stat that was pointed out to me by a friend. In only half a season, the Bruins' plus-69 is better than all but three teams' season total in the last three years.

Since their 3-7-0 start, it's been utterly ridiculous what they have done. Their record since is 23-3-1. That means they have earned 47 of the past 54 possible points.

It's scary to think about, but the numbers point to the Bruins being a better team than they were a season ago when they beat the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final.

Well the Canucks will get their one and only chance this season to see how much better, if at all, the Bruins are than a season ago.

These teams have had rather similar paths since their great seven-game Final a season ago. The Bruins have received a lot of the attention for the way they have just been steamrolling the competition, but the Canucks are going through a somewhat similar season. They, too, rebounded from the long postseason with a sluggish start but have since come to play the way they were expected. They have retaken their seat atop the Northwest Division and are in the thick for best record in the league.

It's no exaggeration to say that these very well could be the two best teams in the NHL again this season.

Yet this Saturday's matchup in Boston isn't as much about this season as it is about last season, specifically the Finals.

“I know there’s going to be a lot of hype for that game, but we’re a different team than we were last year. We’ve added some different components,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault told ESPN.com. “Boston is pretty much the same team, but it’s a new year. We’re going to just go in there and try and play our best game.”

There was enough hostility in that seven-game series to last for three series. We had finger-biting, tire-pumping, trash-talking and rioting. Well OK, that last one wasn't in the series, but still.

The biggest bit of trash talk that came out publicly wasn't until after the series when now retired Bruins forward Mark Recchi said he has never hated an opponent like he did those Canucks. That prompted Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa to suggest Recchi go play a round of golf or take a nap.

Recchi, now working with NBC, did backtrack this week.

“I probably shouldn’t have said anything and I wish I wouldn’t have, but that’s what happened and that’s how the series was,” Recchi told Vancouver’s The Province. “People know I love B.C. and Vancouver and it was an unbelievable series but there was a lot of dislike on both sides. And it wouldn’t have been a Stanley Cup final if there wasn’t that much dislike -- we really didn’t like each other.”

It's not likely that the dislike has worn off in the half-year since.

The rematch will have about all you could ask for in a midseason contest, assuming the Bruins don't turn it into a snoozer with another rout.

Mr. 499

I haven't come across anybody who doesn't like Jarome Iginla. The Calgary Flames forward has long been the epitome of what people want in their professional athletes. He's humble, approachable, charitable and of course talented.

He's on the cusp of reaching a great milestone, sitting one goal away from No. 500 in his career. Quite honestly, it's about the only reason why non-Flames fans would want to watch Calgary at the moment.

Iginla told CBSSports.com this week that the pursuit of the milestone isn't something that he's been worried about, but he certainly has thought about it.

"No, it hasn't weighed, but now that I'm at 499, you definitely try not to think about it on each shot and think 'well it could be' or whatever. So I think about it a little bit," Iginla said. "But once you get to the game you're just competing and want to win the game. I don't look at it like I'm counting down games. Just keep going and just keep trying to shoot and get chances and keep the same approach. But you definitely think about it a little bit."

Because of the World Junior tournament that just ended on Thursday with one hell of a game between Sweden and Russia, the Flames have been road warriors for the past couple of weeks. But on Saturday night they'll return home to the Saddledome to take on the Minnesota Wild with Iginla still just one away.

In a way it's great that Iginla didn't reach the milestone in the past week for it will give him a chance to do it back home in Calgary. He'd be applauded handsomely in whichever city it happened, but it's always best to do these things at home.

Certainly the team will be happy to be back home, too. The Flames petered out the end of their seven-game road trip, losing the last five, including that 9-0 rout in Boston.

"We feel that we're good at home and that we're confident," Iginla said. They better hope so, they don't want to fall too far behind in the playoff picture.

Capitalizing

One team that has crawled back into the playoff picture is the Washington Capitals. The Caps were, to be frank, very average for a good chunk of the first half. However they have begun to play just how they were expected to. That's every more so the case with Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin had gone 23 straight games without multiple points in one night. He snapped that streak and has since run off four consecutive multi-point games. Maybe he had a great Christmas. Or perhaps it was the excitement of his two-year anniversary as captain. Whatever the reason, he has elevated his game big time and probably not coincidentally, so has Washington.

They travel to the West Coast to take on the San Jose Sharks on Saturday riding a four-game win streak. Again, it's no coincidence that Ovechkin has four straight multiple-point games.

But I'm still not 100 percent sold this team is back to its big-time status. Of the four wins, three have come at home where they have been very tough to beat, regardless of the overall mediocre performance. The fourth was a road win at Columbus. So this trip to San Jose, where they haven't won since 1993, will be a better gauge to see how the Capitals are coming along under Dale Hunter. Once they start winning on the road, then I'll start believing in them again.

Boom! Madden's debut

The Florida Panthers are still beating the odds and hanging onto first place in the Southeast Division. On Friday night they'll get some reinforcement to help them stay there.

Recently signed veteran John Madden is expected to make his debut with the Panthers in New Jersey. It's an interesting place for his first game as a Panther considering he spent the majority of his career with the Devils and helped them win two Stanley Cups.

That adds to the storyline this season of Devils coach Peter DeBoer facing his former team. Really, that doesn't hold much weight after the first meeting, so Madden's debut puts a little zest in another game between the two.

I'm sure the Devils fans will give Madden a nice, hearty hand even if he's in the other team's red.

More Wings work

It's going to be an Original Six weekend for the Detroit Red Wings.

On Saturday they will get a crack at their neighbors a little to the Northeast in the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite not being in the same conference, these two teams still have a good rivalry that stretches way back. Their proximity to each other helps too. It's why so many want to see the Leafs play in next year's Winter Classic against the Wings, possibly in the Big House.

Once they are done with the team from Toronto, they face their other Original Six big rival, the one that's still in their division. The Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks will wage a big battle on Sunday that will continue to help shape the ever-tight Central Division.

Great weekend of hockey for the folks in Hockeytown.

We're going streaking!

Here are the winning streaks and losing streaks in play entering the weekend.

New York Rangers: The Blueshirts keep on winning, taking a three-game streak into Friday's matchup with the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

New York Islanders: The Isles make the list this week, and it's on the good side! A three-game win streak is on the line at the Ducks on Friday and then the Coyotes on Saturday.

Ottawa Senators: The quietest of the NHL's surprise teams, the Senators have a four-game run going into the home-and-home with the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and Sunday.

Capitals: Aforementioned four-game win streak with the one game at San Jose.

Colorado Avalanche: The up-and-down Avs are playing well again, having won three straight. They have a tough Friday-Saturday road trip of at the Blackhawks and at the Blues.

Sharks: Not mentioned above, the Sharks also come into the game against the Caps hot, having won three in a row.

Flames: They look to end their five-game skid against the Wild on Saturday.

Anaheim Ducks: Three losses in a row and counting? With all their players now on the trade block, they face the Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: January 5, 2012 8:37 am
Edited on: January 5, 2012 9:46 am
 

Flyers fans attack Rangers fans after Classic

By Brian Stubits

Fan-on-fan violence has hit hockey again and unfortunately for the good fans of the Philadelphia Flyers, it will further sully their overall bad reputation.

The Winter Classic was great. It was a fun event, turned out to be a really entertaining game and sure seemed to be a hit in Philadelphia to me. Despite the large numbers of New York Rangers fans I saw in attendance, there was nothing more than a few boos for the Blueshirt fans walking around the stadium before the game.

It was after the game that things got rough.

When you want a quick meal in South Philly, where do you go? Geno's Steaks, of course, one of the most renowned Philly cheesesteaks in the world. Naturally, there were fans of both the Rangers and Flyers waiting in line when a fight broke out. I'm not even sure if fight is the right word, more like an assault.

Here is video of the incident and Philadelphia Fox 29's story. (NSFW warning: there is some cursing.)

Apparently proud of their efforts, you can hear one of the attackers telling the Rangers fan that was just knocked cold to "go to [expletive deleted] sleep."

What was the cause of the disturbance, was it some postgame trash talk that heated everybody up? According to the Fox report, it was a situation where the Flyers fans bribed a local window washer to come and squirt the Rangers fans with water. That led to the hostilities boiling over and the above being the result.

One of the two Rangers fans that was assaulted is reportedly a police officer who was off duty. He was taken to a hospital in North New Jersey near his home, in the Woodbridge township. From the Star-Ledger:

"He took a severe beating," township spokesman John Hagerty said, adding that the officer was taken to a hospital, where he required stitches to close wounds. Hagerty refused to release the name of the officer, though News 12 New Jersey identified him as Neil Auricchio Jr., an Iraq war veteran.

Thanks to Facebook and SB Nation's Broad Street Hockey -- and one person's intelligence -- the Philadelphia police have a pretty good lead. Check out the information that Broad Street Hockey's Travis Hughes dug up and turned over to the police.

The dispute might not have been related to the game, I don't know, but what I can deduce is that these Rangers fans were picked partly because they were wearing blue instead of orange. It's stories like this that will continue to dissuade fans to wear opposing team colors to games, a sad development if I may say so.

This is the second fan violence incident in hockey in a little more than a week. You'll recall the story in San Jose of a 16-year-old girl being hit over the head and concussed at a Sharks game because she was wearing a Canucks jersey. In that case it was one hit and the accused attacker said it was an accident. There is no using that excuse in this melee.

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

Posted on: January 4, 2012 8:16 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2012 9:16 pm
 

John Tortorella fined $30,000

By: Adam Gretz

Rangers coach John Tortorella apologized on Wednesday for, in his words, tainting the Winter Classic with his mouth by suggesting that on-ice referees may have been trying to get the game to go into overtime for television drama by calling a penalty shot with less than 20 seconds to play in the third period of New York's 3-2 win.

That apology (which you can read here) did not stop the NHL from handing out a harsh fine on Wednesday evening. According to TSN's Daren Dreger, the league has fined Tortorella a whopping $30,000 for his remarks.

This is what Tortorella said (sarcastically, according to him) after Monday's game on the referees decision to award a penalty shot to the Flyers with just 19.6 secods to play in a one-goal game: "I'm not sure if NBC got together with the refs or what to turn this into an overtime game. It started with the non-call on Gabby's [Marian Gaborik] walk, he gets pitch-forked in the stomach and then everything starts going against us. For two good referees, I thought the game was reffed horribly. I'm not sure what happened there. Maybe they did want to get it to an overtime. I'm not sure if they have meetings about that or what. They're good guys, I just thought tonight, in that third period, it was disgusting."

Questioning the integrity of the game, whether it's in a joking manner or not, is obviously something the NHL (or any league, for that matter) is going to frown upon. And that's something that Tortorella paid a pretty heavy price to find out.

In a statement released by the league on Wednesday evening, Colin Campbell, the NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations, said "There is no acceptable explanation or excuse for commentary challenging the integrity of the League, its officials or its broadcast partners. People can disagree with calls by officials on the ice, but even in instances of the utmost frustration there is no justification for speaking as inappropriately and irresponsibly as Mr. Tortorella did."

More 2012 Winter Classic Coverage

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