Hockey Hearsay compiles stories from around the hockey world and runs weekdays, 12 months a year.
SENATORS’ LEHNER WEIGHS IN ON EMERY-HOLTBY
The Ottawa Sun relays an interesting take from Senators goaltender Robin Lehner on Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery’s recent fight with fellow netminder Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals.
“I can’t be down 7-0 and decide I’ll take a guy that can’t defend himself and pound him, I don’t think,” said Lehner. “I think I should get suspended if I do it. It’s assault – isn’t it?”
Lehner had a goalie fight of his own Oct. 20, 2012 while playing in the AHL.
“My rule has been, if I see the other goalie goes out to the corner, (my) team is a man (down),” said Lehner. “That’s what happened in my fight in the AHL too. I was into it and (opposing goalie Riku) Helenius came down because it was 6-against-5. (It wasn’t) even numbers. Then you go.
“Holtby wasn’t interested. So he shouldn’t have gotten pounded. Simple, I think.”
OILERS’ EAKINS TO YAKUPOV: EARN IT
The Edmonton Journal recalls that just last week Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins made a point of reassuring Nail Yakupov he was not going to be traded and that the intent was to make him a better player.
On the heels of Yakupov’s comments, Eakins said on Tuesday that he was OK with the frustration but that it wouldn’t change his status on the team.
“We all want better, we all want more, but we have to earn the right to get more,” Eakins said. “If players want to make a stand or if an agent wants to make public things that are usually kept very private … so be it.
“It has absolutely no effect on how I’m going to run our team.”
LUPUL, REIMER IN CANADIAN OLYMPIC BULLPEN
The injury to Steven Stamkos has prompted many ‘who might fill his skates’ questions regarding Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics.
The Toronto Star notes Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul admits it would be a long-shot for him, but he and James Reimer received the same message from Steve Yzerman and his management group during the selection process— don’t count yourself out.
“For me, my focus is on this team (Leafs) and helping it win, but things like (the Olympics) are on the back of your mind for sure,” Lupul said.
“Whatever happens, happens, and . . . I have at least elevated my game to where I’m in the conversation. But everyone there is a capable player and they will have a lot of guys who can step in (for Stamkos).”
Reimer said he was contacted via email, and the message was “nothing is set, we’re taking the best players available.”
“I don’t know if it was official or unofficial, it was something like don’t count yourself out.”
YEO: TEAM CANADA SHOULD CONSIDER HARDING
The St. Paul Pioneer Press details how Wild coach Mike Yeo feels Team Canada should consider Josh Harding for a roster spot in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“I absolutely do,” Yeo said. “You look at numbers, you look at stats, you look at wins. He’s certainly made a case for himself, and that’s what you want.”
At the NHL general managers meetings in Toronto, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher told The Canadian Press he wasn’t sure Harding deserved a spot with so many more proven Canadian goalies available.
More Yeo: “You want players to put themselves in a position where they’re opening eyes and getting attention from other people, and I think he deserves that.”
PRONGER HALL OF FAME ELIGIBLE IN 2015?
The Philadelphia Daily News points out Chris Pronger will be on the Flyers’ payroll until at least June 30, 2017. His last NHL game was Nov. 19, 2011 and Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren is on record as saying Pronger will never play again.
That means, according to the bylaws, Pronger could be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2015 (three years after he played his last game)- even if he is still being paid to be an active player.
“He would be eligible in 2015, as far as the way the bylaw reads, and obviously, as long as he doesn’t play again prior to his election,” Jeff Denomme, president and CEO of the Hockey Hall of Fame, told ESPN.com. “If there was any question on matters pertaining to any particular candidate’s eligibility, I suspect that’s something the board would raise at some point, though.”
BLACKHAWKS’ TOEWS WORKS BEHIND THE NET
The Chicago Sun-Times delves into the mind of Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.
On having shallower, narrower nets and how it impacts his work behind the opposition’s net: “Four inches isn’t much on an entire hockey rink, but once you do get around there, there are some passes and some angles that maybe you didn’t quite have before,” Toews said. “So it’s a little bit tougher to defend against, and there are some very rare moments where it might work to your advantage.”
On trying to emulate Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, someone who is quick with his sticks defensively and strong on the puck offensively: “Sometimes when guys least expect it, you can try to steal the puck off the stick, because they’re not in a defensive possession if they think they have full possession of the puck, and that’s when they’re most vulnerable.”
PANTHERS’ MADDEN CHANNELS LATE BURNS
The Record notes that as John Madden has transitioned from player to NHL assistant coach with the Florida Panthers, he remembers one mentor in particular.
“I had a bunch of good coaches and I took away all the good stuff I had there,” Madden said of his tenure with the Devils from 1998-2009. “Robbie Ftorek was a great coach, Larry Robinson and Brent Sutter. But my favorite, the one I thought got the most out of me and I communicated most with was Pat Burns.
“I really enjoyed having him around,” Madden, 40, added. “I had my best season there and we won a Cup so I try to remember a lot of the things he taught me and, hopefully, I can pass them on.”
THEY TWEETED IT