Friday, September 28, 2012

Prospect Watch: Vladimir Tarasenko

Many Canadians will remember Vladimir Tarasenko as the captain of the gold medal Russian team at the 2011 World Junior Championships in which they had that miraculous third period comeback. Well, now it's time for Tarasenko to make his NHL debut this season with the St. Louis Blues if this lockout ever ends.. The 20-year-old was drafted 16th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft, and would have been a top five pick if there weren't concerns over his contract status because his father and coach of his team, Sibir Novosibrisk of the KHL, thought it was best for him to grow as a player in Russia. This left many NHL GM's unsure of his desire to play in North America.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Get To Know The Swiss National League A

During the NHL Lockout, we'll profile some of the different leagues all over the globe that 
you can turn to for your hockey fix and catch some NHLers in action while locked out. 
The Swiss National League A (NLA) is one of the oldest hockey leagues in the world having a championship history dating back to 1916 and has quickly become a top destination for ageing professional hockey players and locked out NHLers. The Swiss National League operates on a two-tier system in which the top league is represented as the "A" league and is considered the sixth best ice hockey league in Europe. The NLA's fanbase is not to be taken lightly as some Swiss teams draw greater crowds than NHL teams on a regular basis and the arena atmosphere is unrivalled. Swiss hockey is serious business.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Questions From Our Readers: Lockout Edition

With this lockout looking like it will drag on for some time and no NHL action in sight, we've been receiving a lot of questions from our readers and friends. We did our best to try and answer some of the burning questions surrounding the Lockout and hope they help you through these tough times of no NHL hockey. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Get To Know The KHL

During the NHL Lockout, we'll profile some of the different leagues all over the globe that you can turn to for your hockey fix and catch some NHLers in action while locked out. 
The Kontinental Hockey League was founded in 2008 and is considered the top hockey league in Europe and second only to the NHL in the world. The KHL is comprised of 26 teams across 7 countries, 20 of which are based in Russia. The KHL is a top destination for many NHLers during the lockout for it's skill-level and proximity to home for European NHL players. As this lockout continues on you'll be seeing and hearing a lot more about the KHL with some of the NHL's biggest stars competing in the rival league.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When The NHL Lockout Really Hits You.

The NHL Lockout is not even a week old and while we haven't lost any regular season NHL games yet, it still sucks. It's looking like it'll drag on and as it prolongs we'll be passing through some scheduled events in which the reality of the NHL Lockout will really sink in. NHLers have already flown over to Europe and signed; some will even be playing their first games with their new clubs in a few days. That's not a good sign.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pissed At NHL Owners? Reasonable Ways To Hurt Them In Their Wallets

Building up the eventual lockout and the few days in which it's been official, we've heard of fan boycotts and pledges to lockout the NHL themselves. Some sites have even listed the holdings of NHL owners in which fans will have an easy guide to boycotting other companies that NHL ownership may be involved with. It's a consumer boycott to let the owners feel some heat during a lockout and not a bad idea in principle as if enough people actually followed suit you might actually see a decline in sales.

Friday, September 14, 2012

NHL Lockout Hurts The Little People

The NHL looks to be heading to another lengthy lockout as the players and owners play cat and mouse right now. I will always remember the 2004-05 lockout that cancelled the whole season because I had just returned from backpacking in Australia and was really excited to get to watch hockey again and of course to go to overpriced Toronto Maple Leafs games, but as we all know that season didn't happen. So yes, most of you went a year without hockey, I went two years…FUCK.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

NHL 13 Review

For many hockey fans, the release of the latest EA Sports NHL series game is a highlight on the calendar with gamers eagerly waiting to get their mitts on the game and NHL 13 was no different. Having been able to play it for a few days now and try out various game modes, we think it's time for a little review of the game. As with any of the latest NHL games we were blown away by the graphics and new features NHL 13 brought this year. The game is spectacular and a must own for any video game playing hockey fan, but we're sure many will agree they were left a little disappointed with some aspects unchanged from previous years.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Prospect Watch: Mikael Granlund

I have wanted to write about Mikael Granlund for quite some time now as he is one of my favourite hockey prospects despite not playing an NHL game. Talking hockey prospects has always interested me because there is just so much hope and promise with these young players coming up through junior, college and from Europe. While I follow these young guns for Sim League drafts and for NHL 13 draft scouting, these kids are also the future of the sport and I like to know who the next up-and-coming NHL stars are going to be. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

1987 Canada Cup Revisited

Over the next three nights, TSN will be showing the 1987 Canada Cup Final between Canada and the Soviet Union in primetime. Since the end of August, ESPN Classic has been showing the round robin games 25 years to the date of each game, and now it's time for one of the greatest tournament finals in hockey history to be aired. If you have the time and you've missed hockey, these games are definitely worth checking out.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Will We See 60 Goals Again This Year?

Last year, Steven Stamkos amazed us by capturing his second Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy and hitting the 60-goals mark at the age of 22. It was the 39th time that a player has scored 60+ goals and Stamkos became just the 20th player to hit the mark in a single season. With that being said, scoring 60 goals is pretty rare and not many will forget when Alex Ovechkin torched the league for 65 in 2007-08. Ovie's 65 is memorable not only for his flair on most of them, but because it was also the most goals scored in 12 years since Mario and Jaromir lit up the league in 1995-96. Of the other 19 players to hit 60, only 8 have done it multiple times meaning Stamkos will be looking to join some pretty elite company this season, but he won't be alone in the 60-goal pursuit.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Toronto Maple Leafs Are Just The Worst.

Too bad "drinking beer through a brown bag" wasn't a category.
ESPN The Magazine recently released their Ultimate Team Rankings for the four major North American professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) and ranked at the bottom in 122nd place were the Toronto Maple Leafs. They are just the worst according to ESPN. You really shouldn't take the rankings too seriously because the Phoenix Coyotes ranked first in the NHL and 6th overall in North American pro sports. While we don't know enough about the NFL, NBA, or MLB to make any arguments about the rankings as a whole, we can look at the NHL rankings for any flaws in the study.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Would A Sovereign Quebec Hockey Team Look Like If They Separated From Canada?

Earlier this week, the sovereigntist Parti Québécois won the Quebec provincial election and of course sparked talks of Quebec separating from Canada as their own independent nation. This is a remote possibility as the PQ only have a minority government and a majority of Quebeckers aren't interested in leaving Canada. While there is a better chance of Scott Gomez winning the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy next year than Quebec separating from Canada, it's fun to think about what a Quebec international hockey team would look like and how it would impact Canada on the international hockey stage.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Everybody Hates Gary

Gary Bettman isn't very well liked among hockey fans. There's a reason he's booed every time he's in public and websites like www.garybettmansucks.com and www.firebettman.com exist. Perhaps it's because of his overseeing of expansion and relocation into non-traditional hockey markets, or maybe it's because he makes $8M a year. Well those probably add to the hatred, it's probably because he's presided over two NHL lockouts including the 2004-05 lost season in which the NHL became the first North American sports league to cancel an entire season due to a labour dispute. As each day passes in September, a third lockout under Bettman's tenure as NHL commissioner looms, and the hate builds even more.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The 1992-93 Pinnacle Sidelines Subset (Part 3)

There are many great hockey card sets out there, but one of our favourites is the 1992-93 Pinnacle Sidelines subset that profiled nine NHLers and some of their off-ice hobbies. Part One was great featuring Eric Lindros, Randy Wood, and Dale Hunter, and Part Two didn't disappoint either with Pat Falloon on a tractor, Luke Richardson playing with model rockets and Dean Kennedy as a rodeo star.
We've already written about Doug Gilmour's hilarious collection of hockey cards, and this one is among the best. I don't know about you, but when I think of someone being an "actor" I don't think of them dressed up as a cowboy. Dougie would pop up in TV shows from time to time, but we're glad he stuck to hockey and earned a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

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