For everyone who thought there was something just not right with Ryan Kesler in the Stanley Cup finals, good call. The Selke Trophy winner had hip surgery on Tuesday and will be out 10-12 weeks, forcing him to miss training camp.
You could tell something was wrong with Kesler in the Boston series (unlike the Nashville series where he turned in a performance for the ages) but never once did he indicate there was the slightest issue, nor did he use it as an excuse after Game 7. Last night Kesler (@Ryan_Kesler) tweeted: "Thanks for all the well wishes. I’m well on my way to fully recovery hopefully by the start of the season. #cantholdmedown"
I know they’re different, but at the end of the day there are still plenty of ways to get around the salary cap in the NHL and New Jersey, it seems, has tried all of them. Interesting too when you consider that Devils GM Lou Lamoriello helped craft the current CBA. New Jersey has four players on the books this season with buyouts: Andrew Peters, Trent Hunter, Colin White and Jay Pandolfo.
Expect to hear the names Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat Tigers), Andreas Athanasiou (London Knights) and Matthew Dumba (Red Deer Rebels) plenty throughout the tournament that takes place in the Czech Republic and Slovakia August 8-13.
Steve Spott, head coach of the Kitchener Rangers, will handle the bench duties for the squad who has won this tournament three years in a row. Canada is in Group A with the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland. Group B features Finland, Slovakia, Russia and the United States.
Greg Ireland will take over behind the bench of the OHL champion Owen Sound Attack.
A coaching move expected to be announced today will see Bob Boughner return behind the bench for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL (he’s also co-owner of the team).
Boughner spent last season as an assistant with the Columbus Blue Jackets and many speculated he was looking to be added to Mike Babcock’s coaching staff in Detroit. When that didn’t go down, Boughner made the decision to go back to coach junior. His goal, however, is still to land a head coaching gig in the NHL.
Smart move by the ‘Dub’. We tend to forget these are kids we’re talking about and while I don’t think the NHL should necessarily gag its athletes on Twitter (and as Elliotte Friedman pointed out on Prime Time Sports a couple of weeks back, after the HBO 24/7 series how CAN they?), junior hockey is an entirely different creature.
1896: Gerry Geran is born in Holyoke, Mass. Who? Just the first U.S. born player to ever suit up in the NHL, that’s who. He played a handful of games for the Montreal Wanderers in 1917-18, the first season of the NHL, and then went to fight in the U.S Army before later suiting up for the Boston Bruins.
1951: Marcel Dionne is born in Drummondville, Que. Little Beaver, what a nickname (given to him by Gordie Howe when they played together in Detroit). Is he the greatest player to never win the Stanley Cup?
1972: Johnny McKenzie of the Boston Bruins was left unprotected in the ’72 expansion draft and chose to sign with the Philadelphia Blazers of the WHA. Oh man, here’s a story for you. "Pieface", as he was known when he played, pulled one of the biggest Stanley Cup stunts anyone has ever seen. After Boston beat the Rangers in Game 6 of the finals at Madison Square Garden, McKenzie skated to centre ice, raised him arm to emulate the Statue of Liberty, made a choking action with his other hand and danced around the ice. Remember things like this when people tell you players used to have respect for the game.
1994: The St. Louis Blues sign Tony Twist. An interesting mix of personalities, as he played the role of enforcer in his NHL career yet had a real kind heart off the ice. In St. Louis he spent countless hours volunteering for various children’s charities. There are very few guys in the enforcer business who love every single thing about fighting and never had a sleepless night, but Twist was one of those guys. Here’s an HBO Real Sports feature about the Twister.
1994: Red Wings sign free agent Mike Ramsey. A member of the Miracle on Ice U.S. hockey team that won gold in Lake Placid, Ramsey was drafted 11th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1979. He shared a house with Lindy Ruff for the first few years of his NHL career. Cliff Clavin moment: Ramsey played for Scotty Bowman three times: in Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Detroit. He ‘retired’ for the first time in 1996 after a leg injury but never signed his retirement papers. He came back to play two games with Detroit in February 1997, but the game had passed him and he retired for good. The Wings went on to win the Cup.
Name: Craig G.
Earliest Hockey Memory: 1976 maybe. Four-years old and on the floor, watching hockey with my grandfather. I always remember that it was the Toronto Maple Leafs, on CBC I think, and I can clearly remember the stubby bottle of Labatt 50 on the table and feeling that something really important was happening on TV.
Favourite YouTube hockey moment: You know, for reasons more detailed than I have time for here, the famous water bottle footage of the notorious Tie Domi taunting a Philly fan into falling into the penalty box with him, and subsequently eating a few famous Domi short pokes to the melon. This stands out from the myriad of hockey issues it is connected to, from U.S. franchising to the role of the “enforcer” in the modern game. And it was just funny. Check it out here.
Craig, I remember this incident well. The guy’s name is Chris Falcone and I actually met him during the playoffs in 2004 when I was in Philadelphia. He took me and my producer Jeff Domet out for dinner, toured us around the city and was a first class guy all the way. Why did he do it? Fit of passion I suppose. Joe and his family own a construction company in Philly and has been a season ticket holder for years.
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