Category Archives: NHL

CANTLON’S CORNER: THE WIDE WORLD OF (HOCKEY) SPORTS

gerryBY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

Some news from around the hockey world.

The role of concussions in sports and hockey in particular, have been a major topic the past five years. Work on designing a new, more protective helmet has been ongoing. In a fine piece, well worth the read, in the New York Times, current developments that are ongoing for manufacturers and the medical community to achieve success are examined.

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to escalate, the sport of hockey has been affected there and may well spill over to the US.

As August comes upon us, usually the only quiet month in hockey, here’s a look at news and notes with a Connecticut angle. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: CT BOY – ROB MALLOY

GerryBY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

The season after winning a championship is always tough.

No different for the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) defending Goodall Cup champion Sydney Ice Dogs.

Cheshire, Connecticut native Rob Malloy, 27 is in his fourth season -third as Sydney’s captain – became the kings of hockey in the southern hemisphere last September. Malloy has seen the high and lows.

Malloy Picture #1This season Malloy was there as the Ice Bears get off to a rocky 1-5 start and endured the sudden departure of head coach Ron Kuprowsky, who was the only coach Malloy has known since coming to play in Australia.

On April 14th, Kuprowsky, a Canadian native from Edmonton, and his two assistants Colin Downie and Brad Andrlon, left just two games into the regular season.

“We didn’t see it coming at all. It really wasn’t the way we wanted to start our season, especially after winning the championship. It left a pretty salty taste in our mouths for a while, but we moved forward.

I don’t want to go into any details regarding the departure. I’ll just say there were a few disagreements with management and leave it at that,” Malloy said in an interview conducted via e-mail.

The team briefly went with a trio of interim coaches, including the recently retired Ice Dogs defenseman Anthony Wilson, the brother of second leading scorer David Dunwoodie-Dion and Mark Page. On May 8th, they finally settling upon hiring 13-year Australian coaching veteran, Andrew Petrie.

“He has been an awesome addition. He’s perfect for the situation and he’s earned the respect from the team. We have a great relationship which helps things as well.”

Malloy Picture #2The Ice Dogs presently are in second place in the eight team circuit with a record of 11-8-1-1 (wins, losses, overtime wins, overtime losses) overcoming the early season blues to trail the Melbourne Mustangs by just two points for the top spot. The Mustangs have 38 points after this past weekend’s action.

Melbourne won its lone game, 6-3, over Newcastle and the ice Dogs cooled off a hot Perth Thunder team 5-3 in their lone weekend contest.

The two teams don’t meet until the last game of the regular season in Sydney. The game will be played at the Ice Dogs home rink, the Liverpool Catholic Club Sports Complex. Continue reading

VAIVE COMING BACK TO GRENVILLE

greenville-road-warriors211BY: Andy Zilch, Greenville Road Warriors

Greenville, SC: Today the Greenville Road Warriors, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers, announced the signing of forward Justin Vaive.

“I am thrilled to be adding Justin to the roster again this year. He is the type of player that can not only score but also brings a physical presence on the ice,” Coach Dean Stork said. “His ability to crash the net and fight for loose pucks makes him a tremendous offensive threat.”

Vaive (vie-vuh) only skated in 13 regular season games as a Road Warrior last season while splitting the year with the Hartford Wolf Pack. In his brief stint with Greenville, the power forward posted ten goals, eight assists and 20 penalty minutes. Vaive also played in 13 postseason games with Road Warriors, scoring six goals and five assists. The Buffalo, New York native dressed in 27 games with Hartford tallying one goal and four assists. He was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Season tickets for the Greenville Road Warriors’ 2014-15 season are available now and start as low as $170! Call a Road Warriors Account Executive at (864) 674-PUCK or visit GreenvilleRoadWarriors.com to secure your Road Warriors season tickets today!

XL CENTER RENOVATION UPDATE

mitch-headshot-10-13t-150x126BY: Mitch Beck, Publisher, Howlings

You can keep up with all of the latest on the $35M in renovation that is going on at the XL Center by going to XL Center: Chapter 40. Some samples of what’s going on from the site are below…

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KREIDER SIGNS: TWO-DOWN-TWO-TO-GO

Chris KreiderBY: The New York Rangers

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Chris Kreider.

Kreider, 23, skated in 66 games with the Rangers this past season, registering 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points, along with 72 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating. He tied for second among NHL rookies in power play goals (six), ranked fifth in goals, tied for fifth in power play points (12), and finished sixth in points. Kreider led the Rangers in plus/minus rating and shooting percentage (12.5%), ranked third on the team in power play goals and tied for fifth in goals. He established a single-game career-high with three assists and posted a plus-two rating on November 2 vs. Carolina. He tallied his first career hat trick, established a single-game career-high with a plus-three rating, and tied a single-game career-high with six shots on goal on November 30 vs. Vancouver.

In the 2014 Playoffs, the 6-3, 226-pounder recorded five goals and eight assists for 13 points, along with 14 penalty minutes in 15 games. Kreider established playoff career-highs in assists, points, power play goals (three), power play assists (two), power play points (five), and average ice time (16:48), and tied playoff career-highs in goals, shots on goal (29), and shooting percentage (17.2%). He led the team in power play goals and shooting percentage, tied for third in assists, and tied for fourth in goals, points, and power play points in the playoffs. After returning to the lineup for Game 4 of the Metropolitan Division Finals vs. Pittsburgh on May 7, Kreider ranked second on the team in points and tied for second in goals and assists. He established single-game playoff career-highs with three assists, four points, and six shots on goal in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Montreal on May 27, and became the first Ranger to record three points in one period of a playoff game since Jaromir Jagr in 2007.

Kreider has skated in 89 career NHL games, registering 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 points, along with 78 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating. He skated in his first career NHL regular season game on January 19, 2013 at Boston and tallied his first career NHL regular season point with a goal on February 5, 2013 at New Jersey. Kreider has also skated in 41 career NHL playoff games, recording 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points, along with 20 penalty minutes. Kreider made his NHL debut in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Ottawa on April 16, 2012. During the 2012 Playoffs, he established an NHL record by recording five goals and seven points before skating in a regular season game.

Internationally, the Boxford, Massachusetts native has represented Team USA in numerous tournaments, including the World Junior Championship and the World Championship. During the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, he tied for the team lead with six goals in seven games to help Team USA win the gold medal.

Kreider was originally selected by the Rangers in the first round, 19th overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

(Editor’s Note: Several sources indicate that the former Wolf Pack forward accepted a $4.95 million deal, $2.35 million next season and $2.6 million in 2015-16. The deal comes just minutes before his arbitration hearing would have begun. Often those hearings create long term hostility between the two parties so it’s a great thing to avoid that. Glen Sather calls these, “Bridge deals.” His feeling is a player gets a small one after their entry level deal and then the payday comes after that when they’ve proven themselves.)

HOBBITT SEQUEL TO OPEN IN NY: TITLE, “RETURN OF THE ZUCCARELLO”

ny-ranger-logo-150x145RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH MATS ZUCCARELLO

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 22, 2014 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Mats Zuccarello.

Zuccarello, 26, registered 19 goals and 40 assists for 59 points, along with 32 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating in 77 games with the Rangers this past season. He established career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, plus/minus rating, power play goals (four), power play assists (13), power play points (17), game-winning goals (four), average ice time (17:08), and shots on goal (170). Zuccarello led the team in points, tied for the team lead in assists, tied for second in power play assists, ranked third in goals, tied for third in plus/minus rating and game-winning goals, ranked fourth in power play points, and finished fifth in shots on goal. Zuccarello’s 59 points were the most a Norwegian-born player has recorded in one season in NHL history. After missing the Rangers’ contest on October 24 at Philadelphia, he tallied a point in 42 of his final 70 games. Zuccarello skated in his 100th career NHL contest on December 15 vs. Calgary. He registered a career-high, six-game point streak on two occasions – from January 26 at New Jersey to February 7 at Pittsburgh (two goals, six assists), and from March 30 at Edmonton to April 10 vs. Buffalo (four goals, five assists).

At the conclusion of the regular season, Zuccarello was named the recipient of the 2013-14 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. The award, which is voted on by the fans, has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1987-88 season to the player who “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” The Oslo, Norway native became the third European-born player to receive the award, joining Jan Erixon (1987-88, 1990-91) and Henrik Lundqvist (2005-06).

In the 2014 Playoffs, the 5-7, 179-pounder registered five goals and eight assists for 13 points, along with 20 penalty minutes and a plus-seven rating in 25 games. He established playoff career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, plus/minus rating, average ice time (17:40), hits (54), blocked shots (28), and shots on goal (54), and tied playoff career-highs in power play assists (three) and power play points (three). He tied for second on the team – and tied for eighth in the NHL – in plus/minus rating, tied for third on the team in assists, tied for fourth on the team in goals and points, ranked fifth on the team in shots on goal and hits, and tied for second among NHL forwards in blocked shots in the playoffs. He established single-game playoff career-highs with three assists and three points in Game 5 of the Metropolitan Division Finals at Pittsburgh on May 9.

Zuccarello has skated in 144 career NHL games, all with the Blueshirts, registering 30 goals and 63 assists for 93 points, along with 50 penalty minutes and a plus-24 rating. He has tallied nine goals on 19 shootout attempts (47.4%), including four game-deciding goals. In 2010-11, Zuccarello tied for the team lead, and tied for fourth among NHL rookies, with nine power play assists. He has tallied six goals and 14 assists for 20 points, along with 26 penalty minutes and a plus-five rating in 38 career NHL playoff games.

Internationally, Zuccarello has represented Norway in numerous tournaments, including most recently at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He skated in three games during the Olympics, leading all forwards on the team in average ice time (22:25).

Zuccarello signed with the Rangers as a free agent on March 28, 2013. He originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent on May 26, 2010.

STEMPNIAK SIGNS WITH RANGERS

ny-ranger-logo-150x145RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD LEE STEMPNIAK

NEW YORK, July 19, 2014 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Lee Stempniak.

Stempniak, 31, skated in 73 games with the Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins this past season, registering 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points, along with 32 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in average ice time (18:27), shorthanded goals (two), and shorthanded points (five). Stempniak tallied a point in nine of the first 10 games of the season from October 3 at Washington to October 24 at Dallas (four goals, five assists over the span).

He skated in his 600th career NHL game on January 7 at Phoenix, and tied a single-game career-high with three assists on January 28 vs. Chicago. Stempniak made his Penguins debut on March 6 at San Jose, and recorded 11 points (four goals, seven assists), along with a plus-five rating, in 21 regular season games with Pittsburgh.

In the 2014 Playoffs, the 5-11, 196-pounder established playoff career-highs in games played (13), goals (two), points (three), shots on goal (22), and hits (19). Stempniak tied for fifth on Pittsburgh in goals and tied for seventh in hits. He registered his first career NHL playoff goal in Game 3 of the Metropolitan Division Semifinals at Columbus on April 21.

Stempniak has skated in 637 career NHL games with St. Louis, Toronto, Phoenix, Calgary, and Pittsburgh, registering 150 goals and 191 assists for 341 points, along with 233 penalty minutes. He has tallied at least 14 goals in six of his nine NHL seasons, and has reached the 40-point plateau three times in his career. Stempniak established career-highs in games played (82), points (52), game-winning goals (four), power play assists (11), and power play points (19) during the 2006-07 season with St. Louis. He has reached the playoffs three times in his career, and has tallied two goals and three assists for five points in 24 career NHL playoff games.

Internationally, the West Seneca, New York native has represented Team USA at numerous tournaments. Stempniak tied for fifth on Team USA with two goals at the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland. He also tied for third among all skaters in goals (six) and tied for 10th among all skaters in points (10) at the 2007 IIHF World Championship in Moscow, Russia. Stempniak led the Americans in goals and points, tied for second on the team in assists (four), and tied for fourth on the team in plus/minus rating (plus-two) in the tournament.
Stempniak was originally selected by St. Louis in the fifth round, 148th overall, of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.