SPORT SCAN DAILY BRIEF by jolinmilioncherie

VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 107

									               SPORT-SCAN                                                 DAILY BRIEF
                                                                  NHL 6/6/2012
         Anaheim Ducks                                                              Nashville Predators
633487   Ducks' retrospective: First-round picks                           633526   Nashville Predators to sever ties with Alexander Radulov
                                                                           633527   Predators conclude business with 2010 draft class, sign fifth-
         Calgary Flames                                                             round pick
633488   Hartley-Cloutier connection continues in Calgary
633489   Former NHL netminder Cloutier hired as Hartley's right hand                New Jersey Devils
         man                                                               633528   Devils Put on Brave Face Before Game Four Showdown
633490   Flames' cap tap still flowing                                     633529   Finding a Way to Score Is Still Elusive for the Devils
                                                                           633530   For Sutter, Call of Out Blue Put Him Behind Bench
         Carolina Hurricanes                                               633531   Devils' mood is good; Anton Volchenkov says comeback is
633491   Canes announce organizational moves                                        possible
                                                                           633532   Devils: Petr Sykora will return to lineup for Game 4 against
         Chicago Blackhawks                                                         Kings
633492   Blackhawks breakdown: Brandon Bollig                              633533   Devils' Martin Brodeur will cherish playoff run no matter what
633493   Blackhawks breakdown: Corey Crawford                                       happens
                                                                           633534   Devils hot topic: Was Kings' first goal legit and did it make a
         Dallas Stars                                                               difference in Game 3?
633494   Stars add Christopher Nihlstorp; goalie pecking order gets        633535   Devils hot topic: Who has been the biggest no-show in
         murky                                                                      Stanley Cup finals?
                                                                           633536   Devils Stanley Cup finals hot topic: What disgusted you most
         Detroit Red Wings                                                          about Game 3?
633495   Red Wings' brain trust will meet again to consider options        633537   Politi: Down 0-3, the Devils can find some hope in a 93-year-
         and available talent                                                       old man
633496   Former Wings draft pick Bryan Rufenach dies in Switzerland        633538   Honest coach, Kings a good fit in Stanley Cup Finals
633497   Ex-Red Wing McCarty seeks safety from ex-pals                     633539   NJ Devils rookie Adam Henrique has experience when it
633498   Bryan Rufenach, former Red Wings draft pick, dies in                       comes to rallying from 0-3 deficit
         Switzerland at age 23                                             633540   NJ Devils facing elimination at hands of LA Kings, seek to
633499   Red Wings announce schedule of events for Winter Festival,                 stay alive in quest for Stanley Cup
         leading up to Winter Classic                                      633541   Parise will soon wear new jersey
633500   Nicklas Lidstrom's retirement reminds Chris Chelios of            633542   Devils’ three-cup trio may be put to sweep
         incident with 'that idiot, Claude Lemieux'
633501   Red Wings anticipate signing 2008 draft pick Max Nicastro                  New York Rangers
         this summer                                                       633543   Mark Messier says Rangers learned from deep playoff run

         Edmonton Oilers                                                            NHL
633502   Kings can match the amazing Oilers of ’88                         633544   Stanley Cup final: Kings' approach isn't changing
                                                                           633545   Bertuzzi, Crawford and Canucks ordered to disclose details
         Los Angeles Kings                                                          of agreement to Moore
633503   The versatile Stanley Cup — baptismal font and cereal bowl        633546   On a team deep with playoff stars, Quick has the edge for
633504   Los Angeles Kings are close to the Cup, but can they close?                MVP
633505   Los Angeles Kings are close to the Cup, but can they close?       633547   Cox: Michel Therrien takes long way back to Montreal
633506   Kings trace current Stanley Cup run to loss in March              633548   Stanley Cup: Captains show the rise of American hockey
633507   Kings face a battle of nerves heading into Game 4                 633549   Court orders Todd Bertuzzi, Vancouver Canucks to reveal
633508   It's tough to beat Kings' Jonathan Quick                                   secret deal
633509   Kings-Devils, the morning after                                   633550   Stanley Cup: New Jersey in for a Devil of a time with Los
633510   Kings' thinking: No need to change now                                     Angeles Kings
633511   STANLEY CUP FINAL: No one's sleeping on Kings                     633551   Cox on Stanley Cup: Los Angeles Kings master art of perfect
         goaltender Jonathan Quick anymore ... not even himself                     timing
633512   STANLEY CUP FINAL: Kings looking to Staple this Final             633552   Memorable captains from Stanley Cup lore
         shut
633513   KINGS MEDIA NOTES: Miller, Fox will get the call                           Ottawa Senators
633514   KINGS NOTEBOOK: Kopitar finally getting name recognition          633553   Scanlan: Hall call humbles Senators founders
633515   `Reset and refocus’ mentality for Kings                           633554   Senators unlikely to bring Kuba back: Murray
633516   `Reset and refocus’ mentality for Kings                           633555   Sens GM not rushing Alfie
                                                                           633556   Melnyk's Crown connection
         Minnesota Wild                                                    633557   Karlsson talks set to begin
633517   Ex-Minnesota Wild scout Michel Therrien named Montreal
         Canadiens coach again                                                      Philadelphia Flyers
                                                                           633558   Flyers' Giroux wins prestigious Wanamaker Award
         Montreal Canadiens                                                633559   After 41 years, goalie mask of Flyers legend Parent turns up
633518   Therrien gets another bite of the apple                           633560   Punch Shots: Jagr, Flyers aren’t ready to part ways
633519   Habs tap Therrien for coaching job                                633561   Giroux wins Wanamaker as Philly's top athlete
633520   Tears of joy for Michel Therrien                                  633562   Snider receives Lifetime Achievement Award
633521   Marc Bergevin’s polarizing decision (with video)                  633563   Will Capitals roll same dice as Flyers?
633522   Michel Therrien: a case of 'déjà vu all over again'?              633564   NHL Notes: Habs hire Therrien as new coach
633523   Michel Therrien returns as Montreal Canadiens head coach
633524   Habs chose the wrong coach
633525   Habs hire Therrien as coach, again
         Phoenix Coyotes
633565   Phoenix Coyotes' Shane Doan a finalist for Mark Messier
         NHL Leadership Award
633566   Big-time market feeling a bit small

         Pittsburgh Penguins
633567   Canadiens hire ex-Pens coach Therrien

         San Jose Sharks
633568   Wife of San Jose Sharks' Dominic Moore dealing with rare
         liver cancer
633569   Sharks' Dominic Moore missed games for ill wife
633570   Sharks spotlight: Marc-Edouard Vlasic
633571   Moore left Sharks to be with cancer-stricken wife

         St Louis Blues
633572   Blues' Taylor had a hand in building LA Kings team

         Vancouver Canucks
633573   Bertuzzi, Canucks ordered to reveal deal regarding Moore
         lawsuit
633574   Vancouver Canucks Player Usage Charts for 2011-12
         season
633575   Vladimir Krutov, Ex-Soviet superstar, Canucks winger,
         'fighting for his life’ in Moscow hospital
633576   Marc Crawford still hunting for coaching job

         Websites
633577   ESPN / Robitaille wants one for the fans
633578   ESPN / Second time could be charm for Therrien
633579   ESPN / 5 keys to the Kings' rebound
633580   ESPN Moore reveals wife's battle with cancer
633581   FOXSports.com / As fans rejoice, Kings stay focused on
         Game 4
633582   FOXSports.com / FOX Sports West, LA Kings announce
         long term TV Rights agreement
633583   NBCSports.com / NHL announces celebrity presenters at
         this summer’s Vegas awards show
633584   CNN/Sports Illustrated / INSIDE THE NHL / Making sense of
         the L.A. Kings
633585   CNN/Sports Illustrated / Penner finally comes up King-sized
633586   Sportsnet.ca / Spector on Kings: Sutter making men of boys
633587   Sportsnet.ca / Brophy on Kings: Dynasty in the making
633588   YAHOO SPORTS / MVP-to-be Jonathan Quick keeps it
         simple and subdued in Stanley Cup spotlight
SPORT-SCAN, INC. (941) 484-5941 phone (619) 839-3811 fax
633487     Anaheim Ducks


Ducks' retrospective: First-round picks


By ERIC STEPHENS


No team has a perfect record when it comes to the crapshoot that is the
NHL entry draft.
Even the Detroit Red Wings, who managed to grab Nicklas Lidstrom and
Johan Franzen in the third round and unearth the likes of Pavel Datsyuk,
Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom from deeper, had their own first-
round strikeouts in Yan Golubovsky (1994), Maxim Kuznetsov (1995) and
Jesse Wallin (1996).
The Ducks have hit a few home runs with their first-round selections over
the years and they hope to do so again with the sixth overall pick on June
22 at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center. But they've also swung and
missed on a few, which they can ill afford to do with their highest selection
since 2005.
The draft remains an inexact science even with the increasing amount of
importance teams put into it given the hard salary cap and the need to
produce young talent to slide into their rosters alongside the highly-paid
stars and veterans.
Back in April, Register columnist Mark Whicker looked at some players he
believes the Ducks are considering with their first selection. Right now, we'll
look at the club's No. 1 picks through the years and how they have fared
since.
Orange County Register: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633488     Calgary Flames                                                       General manager Jay Feaster believes the head coach should have the
                                                                                final say on his staff. So the decision belongs to Hartley whether to stick
                                                                                with Hartsburg and Malarchuk or move in a different direction.
Hartley-Cloutier connection continues in Calgary                                “I want to sit down with them,” Hartley said. “It has to be what’s best for
                                                                                them, and at the same time what’s best for the organization. In Atlanta,
                                                                                Steve Weeks was a coach when I got the job. I met with him. I kept him. He
By Vicki Hall,                                                                  became a very, very good partner for me.”
                                                                                In other words, Hartley isn’t tied to the idea of bringing in all of his own
                                                                                guys. Cloutier is his right-hand man. Hartsburg and/or Malarchuk could very
The Calgary Flames have named Jacques Cloutier as the team's associate          well still be in the picture.
coach.
                                                                                “I want to get their side of the story,” Hartley said. “What do they see for this
Bob Hartley was in the middle of gushing about his newest hire Tuesday          organization? Do they want to keep going?
when the phone suddenly went dead.
                                                                                “Well sit down and talk. Then we’ll take a couple days to review the
The head coach of the Calgary Flames called back with a conspiracy              situation and come up with a decision that’s best for everyone.”
theory.
                                                                                Calgary Herald: LOADED: 06.06.2012
“Probably someone from Edmonton is cutting the line,” Hartley
deadpanned, clearing embracing the Battle of Alberta before he even steps
foot behind the home bench at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Hartley chuckled at his own joke before resuming his original topic of
conversation — the official appointment of Jacques Cloutier as associate
head coach of the Flames.
“Like I was saying, Jacques is a great, great communicator,” Hartley said.
“He’s certainly very, very passionate. An unbelievable person.
“With all those years we’ve worked together, we basically become like
brothers.”
Brothers bound together by a passion for hockey instead of blood. When
Cloutier retired from life as a backup goalie, he worked for Hartley as an
assistant with the American Hockey League Cornwall Aces, the No. 1 farm
team for the Quebec Nordiques.
Simultaneously, Cloutier worked in Quebec as the goaltending coach or the
Nordiques. When the team moved to Colorado in 1995, he moved west to
Denver.
As an assistant coach for the Avs, Cloutier won a Stanley Cup in 1996
before Hartley arrived on the scene as head coach in 1998.
Together, they hoisted the Cup in 2001 on a star-studded team featuring
the likes of Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque and
current Flame Alex Tanguay.
Hartley and Cloutier reunited last year in Zurich and won a Swiss League
championship together.
And now here they are behind the same bench on the other side of the
pond.
“This is pretty exciting for me and Bob,” said Cloutier, 52. “We’ve been
waiting to get back together in the National Hockey League. We’re so
excited to get back at it together.”
A third-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 1979, Cloutier logged 14
seasons between the pipes in the NHL, primarily in a supportive role.
Sidelined by a knee injury in 1983-84, Cloutier served as an assistant coach
for the Rochester Americans at the wise old age of 24.
That set the stage for a second career in hockey after his playing days were
through.
“I know his ways,” Hartley said. “He knows my ways. We share the same
views. For me, there are no grey areas between him and me. For me, that’s
very important. We both have lots of energy. You’ll see us at practice. We’ll
stay a long time after practice to work or play with the guys.”
“You know it’s a game,” Cloutier said. “We’re known to be hard workers and
demanding, but you will see we get involved with the guys in practice.
We’re not just sitting on the sidelines. You have to show the players you’re
willing to do the same things you’re asking the players to do.”
Last season, Craig Hartsburg served as associate head coach for the
Flames under Brent Sutter, who parted ways with the team back in April.
Hartley called Hartsburg on Tuesday morning. The two coaches plan to
meet next week in person in Calgary to talk about the future.
A similar meeting is in the works with goalie coach Clint Malarchuk.
633489     Calgary Flames


Former NHL netminder Cloutier hired as Hartley's right hand man


By WES GILBERTSON ,Calgary Sun


As expected, Bob Hartley's longtime sidekick is on his way to Calgary.
Five days after Hartley was hired as the Flames' new head coach, the team
announced Tuesday that former NHL netminder Jacques Cloutier — his
right-hand man in Switzerland last season—will earn his paycheques as an
associate coach at the Saddledome.
Cloutier was a member of Hartley's staff with the Colorado Avalanche and
also during a stint with the American Hockey League's Cornwall Aces.
“Jacques brings a wealth of hockey experience, including two Stanley Cup
championships, to our coaching staff,” Hartley said in a statement. “We
have been coaching partners for many years, beginning in Cornwall
immediately after his playing days, another five years in Colorado and most
recently in Zurich.
“He has a tremendous talent for working with professionals, from young
players to veterans. Jacques and I have developed very good chemistry
and I consider him the most team-oriented and loyal individual I have met in
my career. He’ll be a valuable addition to our staff and to our success.”
Cloutier stopped pucks in the NHL for parts of a dozen seasons, including
stints with the Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks and Quebec Nordiques.
He's been coaching since his retirement in 1994, including 12 years with the
Avalanche.
He was part of two Stanley Cup parades in Colorado and helped coach the
Zurich Lions to a National A League crown in Switzerland this spring.
When Hartley was hired last week, he hinted he'd bring Cloutier to Calgary.
On Tuesday afternoon, it was made official.
“I’m very happy to be joining the Calgary Flames organization,” Cloutier
said. “I’d like to thank Jay Feaster, Bob Hartley and the Flames for this
opportunity. I’ve worked with Bob for many years, and I’m excited to be
going back to the NHL with him in such a passionate Canadian hockey
market and with such a highly regarded organization as Calgary.”
Calgary Sun: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633490     Calgary Flames


Flames' cap tap still flowing


By Eric Francis ,


CALGARY - Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster insists he still has carte
blanche to spend to the salary-cap ceiling, if he so desires.
Whether he will remains to be seen.
Flames fans got a bit of a scare Monday when Rogers Sportsnet’s Roger
Millions suggested on Twitter the Flames’ would no longer be amongst the
NHL’s biggest spenders as they have been for several years.
“Told #Flames will not be cap team anymore. In fact, expect them to be
around 55 Million when hockey is played again,” wrote Millions, the host of
Flames broadcasts.
His posting came just as Feaster was addressing hundreds of season-ticket
holders, prompting one tech-savvy seat-holder to ask the GM if it was true.
“We will be a cap team,” Feaster told the Sun yesterday. “Ownership has
not wavered from that commitment.”
Fans would have cause for concern if the highly-profitable organization
were to arbitrarily order Feaster to slash his spending, which is why it was
significant for Feaster to confirm he does not have any spending restrictions
imposed on him by ownership. Given the fact spending to the cap obviously
doesn’t guarantee success, Feaster added the onus is on him to spend the
money wisely.
He also pointed out that perhaps the club could be under the cap if indeed
the organization’s desire to get younger is realized as entry-level players
make less money than most veterans.
That said, pegging exactly how much cap room the Flames might have by
puck drop is an exercise in futility as the cap will be a moving target this
summer.
The Flames currently sit at $50 million in salaries and have $20 million in
cap space under the assumption this year’s record $3.3 billion in league
revenues will push next year’s cap to $70.3 million or higher.
That’s a dangerous assumption, however, as it’s evident the upcoming CBA
talks will revolve around just how players and owners will slice up the
revenue pie. The current CBA, which had teams capped at $64.3 million
this season, expires Sept. 15, and it’s widely believed the owners will push
for slashing player revenues from 57% to 50%.
If the cap does land at $70 million, the cap floor would be almost $58
million.
On Monday, Millions said his tweet was speculative, based on
conversations with people close to the organization.
Feaster has gone on record discussing how the Flames’ free-spending has
handcuffed the organization at times, prompting many to believe that with
six players hitting unrestricted free agency July 1 and four more scheduled
for restricted status, the club may indeed choose to leave itself plenty of
wiggle room given the CBA uncertainty and the fact it’s always useful for
any team to have cap space as the season progresses so trades can be
made to either bolster an existing lineup or build for the future.
Calgary Sun: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633491     Carolina Hurricanes


Canes announce organizational moves


By Chip Alexander –


RALEIGH Ron Francis has a new title. Tom Barrasso has a new job. Cory
Stillman is coming back.
Those were among the organizational moves announced Tuesday by
Carolina Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
Francis was promoted to vice president of hockey operations. Barrasso,
who has served as goaltending coach and an assistant coach, becomes a
pro scout for the Canes as Greg Stefan returns to work with the goalies in
the system.
Stillman, who helped the Canes win the 2006 Stanley Cup, will serve as
director of forward development as Rod Brind’Amour becomes a fulltime
assistant coach for the Canes. Stillman retired from playing last September
after 16 seasons and more than 1,000 NHL regular-season games. He
worked last season for the Florida Panthers in player development.
“He’s really a good hockey guy and will have a lot of good input,” Rutherford
said. “He always wanted to stay with the organization. This is where he
enjoyed his time as a player the most.
“The opportunity was there with Roddy (Brind’Amour) going full time with
the coaching staff. It strengthens us even more in moving forward.”
Brind’Amour was an assistant coach last season, but did not travel with the
team. He worked with the Canes’ forward prospects, spending some
instructional time in Charlotte with the Checkers of the American Hockey
League.
Stefan, a former NHL goalie with the Detroit Red Wings, was Carolina’s
goaltending coach from 2005-2007. He was a pro scout in 2011-12.
Barrasso has worked closely with Canes goalie Cam Ward the past few
seasons, and was credited with improving Ward’s techniques and his
mental approach to playing the position. But Rutherford said Canes coach
Kirk Muller wanted to “change the structure of how the goalie coach
worked.
“Greg had success with Cam when we won the Cup (in 2006) and Cam
won the Conn Smythe Trophy,” Rutherford said. “Tom (Barrasso) is really
good at what he does and did a good job for us. We wanted to broaden that
role where the goalie coach is not here on a fulltime basis and does a lot
more work in Charlotte coaching our future goalies. It’s a different role.”
Rutherford also said Jason Karmanos had been named executive vice
president and assistant general manager, and that assistant coach Dave
Lewis and director of defensemen development Glen Wesley each received
contract extensions.
Dave Hunter, who has worked with the team as a part-time amateur scout
for the past four years, has joined the team as a pro scout.
Rutherford said Francis’ new title and promotion “recognizes how good he
is in what he does.”
“His role won’t change dramatically. He has been a part of all of our hockey
decisions.”
News Observer LOADED: 06.06.2012
633492     Chicago Blackhawks


Blackhawks breakdown: Brandon Bollig


TRACEY MYERS & CHRIS BODEN


After making his NHL debut on Feb. 29, Brandon Bollig would average just
under six minutes per game in 18 games. He didn't record a single point
during the regular season, finishing minus-2 while delivering 27 hits and
racking up 58 penalty minutes. He played in four of the six games vs. the
Coyotes where he scored his first goal in Game 2. He was credited with five
hits in the series and was tagged with 19 penalty minutes.
Boden's take: The Blackhawks got an overall upgrade when John Scott was
dealt to the New York Rangers for a fifth-round draft pick at the trade
deadline. Bollig may not have put the same fear factor into the opposition's
thoughts for taking liberties with the Hawks' stars, but he got into more
fights than Scott would have, as a result. And boy was the St. Louis native
willing, getting into five fights in his first seven games. He was a better
skater than Scott, and even had a handful of scoring chances, too. He
finally collected his first NHL point with his goal in Game 2 of the Phoenix
playoff series.
Myers' take: When the Blackhawks bid adieu to Scott, Bollig became the
natural call-up. While Bollig isn’t quite as big as Scott (then again, who is),
he filled that role just fine. He was a solid skater, scored a goal, and, yeah
he fought. A lot. And while Bollig was always the pugilist with a smile on his
face, he put some serious hurts on a few opponents. His role obviously
diminished as the postseason went on – fighting just wasn’t a big part of the
playoffs outside of that Pittsburgh-Philadelphia series – but Bollig gave the
Blackhawks the big, bruising player who wasn’t afraid to tussle.
2012-13 Expectations
Boden: The Hawks signed him as an undrafted free agent two years ago,
and he enters this offseason as a restricted free agent. He would be a good
investment on a two-way contract to have in reserve at Rockford if he
doesn't find a one-way deal anywhere. But if Mayers, Andrew Shaw and
Daniel Carcillo are on this club, and especially if a nasty, sizeable
defenseman is acquired, one wonders where it would leave Bollig in the
numbers game here for what he offers. As constituted now, the roster
competition for one forward spot on the four lines is already between Jimmy
Hayes, Michael Frolik, Brandon Saad, Jeremy Morin and Ben Smith.
Myers: Bollig got a nice introduction to the NHL and did what he was
supposed to do: defend teammates or get them going with a brawl. Will he
start next season with the big club? That depends on a few things. One is
how he does in training camp. The other is what kind of players the
Blackhawks are looking to acquire this summer. Bollig is young, big and
willing to take the punches for his team. He should at least get a serious
look if he has a good camp.
Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.06.2012
633493     Chicago Blackhawks


Blackhawks breakdown: Corey Crawford


TRACEY MYERS & CHRIS BODEN


In his second full season of NHL duty, Corey Crawford played in 57 games
-- starting 55 of them. His numbers suffered in every category as he went
30-17-7 with a 2.72 goals-against average and .903 save percentage and
zero shutouts. He played every minute of the playoffs, compiling a 2.58
GAA and .912 save percentage, but giving up a pair of weak overtime goals
in Games 3 and 4 that put the Blackhawks in a 3-1 series hole they couldn't
get out of.
Boden's take: There is no hotter "hot button" on the Blackhawks this off-
eason. He was the RFA who needed to be re-signed after his impressive
rookie season and playoff series vs. Vancouver. He's the guy many of the
same analysts feel a need to replace a year later after being pulled from a
whopping seven starts. He showed flashes of that rookie form two or three
times, but raised all these questions due to classic "Sophomore Slump-itis"
with an assist from some ragged defensive coverage too often around him.
He needed to come up with a big save and cover those teammates backs a
bit more often.
Myers' take: Crawford entered last season with a new contract and the
Blackhawks’ hopes that he would pick up right where he left off from Game
7 in Vancouver. Well, that didn’t happen. Crawford started the season off
well, making up for a defense that had its shaky moments right out of the
gate. But then Crawford faltered and allowed too many soft goals. He said
his confidence never wavered, but anyone watching him certainly had to
question that. Crawford didn’t really steal any games last season, nor did he
record a shutout. It was a tough sophomore season for him, and had some
questioning if he was the best No. 1 choice moving forward.
2012-13 Expectations
Boden: Here's the deal for all the fans wanting Crawford moved, "Pronto!":
The Hawks aren't looking to deal him unless he's part of some multi-player
blockbuster deal that not only brings a goalie back to replace him, but helps
fill other needs. This league is filled with very good goalies who have had
poor seasons, many of them sophomore seasons. The Hawks need -- and
will find out if -- Crawford can grow out of it like the Carey Price, Pekka
Rinne and Jimmy Howard (just to name a few) rather than to turn into Steve
Mason. This season will determine that. They're not getting killed by the
deal they signed him to (two more years totaling $5.3 million), and it will be
a great investment if he bounces back. Corey's makeup is such that he'll do
everything possible to assure that happens, but we won't know until the
games resume. If he doesn't, Ray Emery had better be ready.
Myers: Can Crawford recapture his rookie year game again? He has to.
The Blackhawks need that guy, the one who played more than 30 games
down the regular- and postseason stretch, and was brilliant at it. I still say
he does rebound, and the defense getting better in front of him will help
that. But regardless, Crawford has to be able to stand on his head more. He
needs some shutouts. He needs to repeat that freshman year, or the
Blackhawks may be shopping for a new goaltender.
Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.06.2012
633494     Dallas Stars


Stars add Christopher Nihlstorp; goalie pecking order gets murky


MIKE HEIKA


The details have not yet been announced, but GM Joe Nieuwendyk today
confirmed the Stars have signed goalie Christopher Nihlstorp to a two-way
deal out of the Swedish Elite League.
With the Stars already showing solid goaltending depth in the form of Kari
Lehtonen, Richard Bachman, Tyler Beskorowany and Jack Campbell,
Nieuwendyk was asked what the signing means. ``It means everyone
should come ready for a very intense training camp.''
Bachman is a restricted free agent, so the Stars control his rights, and all
three other goalies are under contract. So adding a fifth goalie to the mix
seems to make a crowded house. If indeed Nihlstorp is given a far chance
to take Bachhman's job, you wonder how that would play out _ especially
with Campbell and Beskorowany in Cedar Park. The guess is that
Beskorowany doesn't want to go to the ECHL, and the guess is Bachman
doesn't to go to the AHL.
So there could be some jockeying done once all of this plays out, but it's a
clear sign to Bachman and Beskorowany that they have to raise their game
even more. As good as Bachman was in his stint in the NHL (8-5-1, 2.77,
.910), he still is an undersized goalie (5-10) who has to fight every game
and has to improve his consistency. As talented as Beskorowany appears
(59th overalll pick in 2008), he struggled mightily last season when asked to
take over the Texas Stars (10-19-0, 3.39, .886).
The Stars believe Nilhstorp can make the organization better.
``Competition is great for everyone, and I think we'll have a great
competition,'' said Stars goalie coach Mike Valley, who had a big hand in
finding and recruiting Nihlstorp. ``We think Christopher will step right in and
be a part of the push to get better.''
Nilhstorp is 28 and was recruited by other NHL teams after a solid season
in the Swedish Elite League. He had a 2.04 GAA and .923 save percentage
in 45 appearances for Farjestad, which went 27-18-10. At 6-3, 192, he is a
bigger goalie. He also catches right (a lefty with his stick), so that's an
interesting twist for opponents.
Valley played in Sweden and speaks Swedish and said he did a lot of
research on Nihlstorp.
``He was one of the top goalies over there, he served as the No. 3 goalie at
the World Championships, he's definitely considered an elite goalie,'' Vallley
said. ``And he's very hungry to see if he can make it in the NHL.''
Valley likes Nihlstorp's size and work ethic, and said, ``we're lucky to have
him in our system.'' The two-way contract also allows the Stars the ability to
make adjustments as Nihlstorp makes adjustments. He may not be ready
for the NHL immediately, or he simply might lose out in a battle with one of
the other goalies. Either way, the Stars can send him to Cedar Park and he
could be a great veteran partner for Campbell.
If he beats out Bachman, he could either push Kari Lehtonen or simply
provide some needed rest time for the Stars' No. 1 goalie.
Either way, it's a sign the Stars want to push to get better. They could have
been content with the goalie situation, but they believe a small signing like
this could make a big difference next season _ and they wanted to push the
bar higher for all of the goalies.
Dallas Morning News LOADED: 06.06.2012
633495     Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings' brain trust will meet again to consider options and available
talent


By Helene St. James


Red Wings brass closed down three days of meetings Tuesday by planning
to do it all over again later in June.
General manager Ken Holland led discussions that included participation
from senior vice president Jimmy Devellano, assistant general manager Jim
Nill, coach Mike Babcock, salary cap specialist Ryan Martin and the
scouting staff in preparation for the weeks and months ahead.
"I would categorize it as a whole lot of philosophical conversation," Holland
said. "We talked about what the rules are going to be, our team, and what
direction are we going to go in?"
Every player eligible to become an unrestricted free agent was rated and
ranked, but that'll be revisited later in June, because several of those
players are expected to re-sign with their current teams.
The front office brass has these meetings every year, but this version was a
little different. First and foremost, the Wings are faced with a future that, for
the first time in 20 seasons, does not include elite defenseman Nicklas
Lidstrom, who retired last week. Secondly, defenseman Brad Stuart is intent
on playing closer to his family in California, so there's another departure
from the defense's top four. Thirdly, with the collective bargaining
agreement expiring, the Wings want to be careful that whatever they do, it
will fit in under the new rules that will be in place when the next season
begins.
"It was a good start," Holland said. "We talked about a lot of players,
including our own in Grand Rapids, and where some of those guys fit in.
We talked about some players that we've heard might be available, through
the rumor mill, and we looked at teams that might have cap issues."
The Wings are willing to be aggressive, but this summer isn't a buyer's
market for free agents -- beyond defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach
Parise, there's a quick drop-off in quality. Furthermore, a lot of teams are
looking to make changes after disappointing playoffs, including San Jose,
Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago and Nashville. That adds up to a
competitive field for few available assets.
As for improving via trades, it's tricky. The Predators made a big splash at
the trade deadline in February only to come away from the playoffs with all
of five victories. Though superstar forward Rick Nash wants out of
Columbus, it would cost the suitor four or five prime assets -- losses that
would then have to be addressed.
"We're trying to rebuild our team, get back into the game," Holland said.
"We've had some very good discussions. We're going to meet again, talk
some more, see what we can do."
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 06.06.2012
633496    Detroit Red Wings


Former Wings draft pick Bryan Rufenach dies in Switzerland


By Detroit News staff


Bryan Rufenach, a 2007 Red Wings draft pick, died this week while
traveling in Switzerland.
Rufenach, 23, a seventh-round pick from Barrie, Ontario, and promising
defenseman, had 13 goals and 20 assists with the Toledo Walleye (ECHL)
last season, and had two assists while playing 13 games in Grand Rapids.
"The entire team's thoughts and prayers are with Bryan's family as they get
through this difficult time," Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said on the team's
website. "Bryan was a great teammate and would play any role asked of
him."
Rufenach played 54 games in Toledo, and his 13 goals ranked him third
among ECHL defensemen.
Detroit News LOADED: 06.06.2012
633497     Detroit Red Wings                                                      McCarty spent 13 seasons with Detroit, from 1993-2004 and 2007-09, and
                                                                                  helped win four Stanley Cups. Fans still talk about how he pummeled
                                                                                  Colorado Avalanche star Claude Lemieux during a brawl in March 1997.
Ex-Red Wing McCarty seeks safety from ex-pals                                     But behind the glory was a man battling demons. McCarty liked to party and
                                                                                  went through alcohol rehab in the 1990s.

By Mike Martindale                                                                He also ran up $185,000 in casino debts and filed for bankruptcy in 2005 to
                                                                                  clear more than $6 million in debts. By then, he was divorced from his first
                                                                                  wife.

Pontiac — Darren McCarty has battled financial and substance abuse                In a letter filed in Oakland Circuit Court, Sheryl McCarty said her husband
problems, but the retired Red Wings star and his new wife say in court            underwent regular drug and alcohol testing while with the Wings and
papers that four ex-friends are harassing them after failing to draw McCarty      "basically rebelled" after retiring in 2009.
back into a partying lifestyle.
                                                                                  "Darren started partying and surrounded himself with bad people due to the
McCarty, 40, and his wife, Sheryl, 37, got personal protection orders last        choices he was making. … Louis Barbato, Kimberly Mitchell, Tonya Juhl
month against three Oakland County women and a Macomb County man                  and Anne Marie Samulski are four of those people," she wrote.
for stalking and harassment, Oakland Circuit Court records show.
                                                                                  In her letter, Sheryl McCarty said after her husband cut off contact with
The McCartys accuse the four of trying to get the couple fired from their         them, Mitchell began calling and sending her emails threatening that they
jobs, threatening both through text messages and phone calls, posting             were "going to kill me" or "hit me so hard my neck would break."
malicious comments on McCarty's work and appearance websites, and
threatening violence against them.                                                Sheryl McCarty also wrote that Barbato said Darren "needs to watch his
                                                                                  back" and threatened to have people "throw a bomb through Darren's
Oakland Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Brennan granted the protection orders on         window."
May 22 against Tonya Juhl, 37, and Kimberley Mitchell, 38, both of
Clawson; Anne Marie Samulski, 22, of Royal Oak; and Louis Barbato, 40, of         In their protection order request, the McCartys allege Samulski made phone
Shelby Township.                                                                  calls to both of them threatening their lives.

The orders, good for a year, bar Juhl, Mitchell, Samulski and Barbato from        No incidents of violence were ever reported.
approaching, following or contacting the McCartys or going to their home or       But Sheryl McCarty said her husband's former associates were "slandering
workplaces. McCarty works for the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association,           him everywhere," including on radio station websites. She said they showed
and worked in the past year for a Detroit pawn shop; his wife is a nurse at       up at an event where her husband appeared on behalf of Danielle Probert,
Beaumont Hospital.                                                                wife of his deceased teammate Bob Probert, took photos of him signing
"All we want is to be left alone," McCarty said in an interview. "I ignored       books and posted it along with "slanderous and threatening things."
some of the things they were doing and was willing to let it go, until they       At a DTE Mayhem Fest concert, Sheryl McCarty alleged that Juhl
started threatening my wife and me. Death threats.                                approached her husband with three men and yelled the guys were going to
"They don't like me because I'm not running around with them anymore,             fight him.
and they don't like her because we got married and just want to get on with       "When they realized who he was, they changed their minds and walked
our lives."                                                                       away," she said. "But because of this, we don't go to a lot of concerts we
Sheryl McCarty described the four as "delusional, obsessed hockey fans."          would like to see because we don't want to run into these people."

"We like all the real fans, but these people don't love Darren, they love No.     Other charges
25," she said, citing her husband's number. "And when they no longer had          The couple also allege the four:
him around, they got mad."
                                                                                  Stalked McCarty at Joe Louis Arena and personal appearances.
Sheryl McCarty said she filed a complaint about harassing threats and
emails with the Royal Oak police in late April, weeks after the couple            Posted photos of his children on Facebook.
married.
                                                                                  Spread a rumor that McCarty was selling drugs out of his basement,
"We get a lot of these types of complaints, but there really isn't enough to      prompting a radio announcer to contact then-Red Wings captain Nicklas
warrant criminal charges at this time," said Royal Oak Police Lt. Thomas          Lidstrom.
Goad. "We have contacted the people, and it remains under investigation."
                                                                                  "Darren works with the Ilitch organization and Red Wing alumni, including
Police recommended the McCartys seek the protection orders, Goad said.            making personal appearances, and they have all been wonderful — we
Violation could mean up to 93 days in jail.                                       can't say enough about how they have stuck by him and tried to help him,"
                                                                                  Sheryl McCarty said.
Mitchell denied the couple's claims but would not elaborate.
                                                                                  "But at one point, he had to sit down with (general manager) Ken Holland
"I can't say anything because of the personal protection order," she said.        and explain what was happening, the rumors these people were spreading
"What they say is totally false, and I have a lot more to say, but I don't want   and how he was clean."
to go to jail."
                                                                                  Sheryl McCarty, who describes herself as a "country girl from Clare," said
Jeffrey Lance Abood, an attorney for Juhl, said he is looking into the claims.    she met her husband through a mutual friend at an Irish festival in March
According to court records, Juhl and Samulski are waitresses who dated            2010.
McCarty — apparently unbeknownst to each other — off and on from
December 2009 to March 2010.                                                      "I didn't know anything about hockey," she said. "I wondered who the big
                                                                                  guy with the missing tooth was."
"We don't know what they are attempting to accomplish — there seems to
be some vindictive ulterior motive to this because my client and another are      Sheryl McCarty said he was "very honest with me about his lifestyle."
former girlfriends of his," Abood said of the McCartys. "I don't know if Tonya
even knows Sheryl."                                                               "I told him I would never date him until he cleans up his life and gets all the
                                                                                  bad people out of his life and makes better choices," she said. "It took him a
Samulski and Barbato could not be reached for comment.                            few months, but he did."
McCarty battles demons                                                            Sheryl McCarty said she keeps her husband on vitamins and protein
                                                                                  shakes. She has two children, and he has four from prior relationships. "We
In his Wings career, Darren McCarty was known as a tough guy, part of the         have a real Brady Bunch going," she said. "My job is to keep him healthy
"Grind Line" with Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper.                                    and keep the crazies away."
McCarty, meanwhile, said he enjoys being home rather than closing bars
and is writing a book about his life on and off the ice.
"I guess it's a price of celebrity," he said.
Detroit News LOADED: 06.06.2012
633498     Detroit Red Wings


Bryan Rufenach, former Red Wings draft pick, dies in Switzerland at age 23


Ansar Khan


Defenseman Bryan Rufenach, a seventh-round pick of the Detroit Red
Wings in the 2007 NHL entry draft, died this week while traveling in
Switzerland, the Toledo Walleye reported on its Web site. He was 23.
Rufenach (6-foot, 192) split the 2011-12 season between the ECHL's
Walleye and the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. He had two assists in 13
games for the Griffins and collected 13 goals and 20 assists in 54 games
for Toledo.
“He was a very good college player, was getting his feet wet in the pros,''
Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said. "It's a sad day for his
family. It's been tough. He was a great young man, proud to be a Red Wing.
Always had a smile on his face.''
The native of Barie, Ontario, spent four years at Clarkson University in
Potsdam, N.Y. The Red Wings selected him with the 208th overall pick in
2007.
Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said in statement: "The entire team's thoughts
and prayers are with Bryan's family as they get through this difficult time.
Bryan was a great teammate and would play any role asked of him."
Michigan Live LOADED: 06.06.2012
633499     Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings announce schedule of events for Winter Festival, leading up to
Winter Classic


Ansar Khan


The Detroit Red Wings have announced a preliminary schedule for the
2012 Hockeytown Winter Festival at Comerica Park, leading up to the Jan.
1 Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at
Michigan Stadium:
Dec. 15-26: Celebration of Hockey featuring amateur games, corporate
outings and open skates. Information on booking ice time can be obtained
by visiting DetroitRedWings.com/icetime.
Dec. 27-31: Outdoor Festival featuring interactive games, autograph
signings, face painting and ice sculpture exhibits as well as musical
performances and entertainment.
Dec. 27-28: Great Lakes Invitational featuring the Michigan Wolverines,
Michigan State Spartans, Western Michigan Broncos and Michigan Tech
Huskies.
Dec. 29: Ontario Hockey League doubleheader featuring the Windsor
Spitfires vs. the Saginaw Spirit and the Plymouth Whalers vs. the London
Knights.
Dec. 30: American Hockey League Game featuring the Grand Rapids
Griffins and Toronto Marlies, AHL affiliates of the Red Wings and Maple
Leafs.
Dec. 31: Red Wings-Maple Leafs Alumni Showdown featuring legendary
players from the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.
Ticketing information for these events as well as the 2013 NHL Winter
Classic is being distributed to Red Wings season ticket holders this week.
Information regarding public sales for all Winter Classic and Winter Festival
events will be available later this summer.
Michigan Live LOADED: 06.06.2012
633500     Detroit Red Wings


Nicklas Lidstrom's retirement reminds Chris Chelios of incident with 'that
idiot, Claude Lemieux'


Brendan Savage


Chris Chelios wasn't a member of the Detroit Red Wings during one of the
most infamous incidents of the modern era.
When Colorado's Claude Lemieux checked Kris Draper from behind in the
1996 playoffs, Chelios was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks and still
three years away from the trade that brought him to Detroit.
For those who may have forgotten – and seriously, how could you? –
Lemieux checked Draper face first into the boards in Game 6 of the playoff
series between the Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche, leaving Draper
with multiple broken bones and the entire Red Wings' nation wanting
revenge.
But just because Chelios was a couple of years away from suiting up for the
Red Wings doesn't mean he holds Lemieux in high regard. On the contrary.
Check out what Chelios, who now works in the Red Wings' front office, had
to say about Lemieux during last week's announcement that Nicklas
Lidstrom was retiring.
Chelio was talking about how much he likes Lidstrom's children and how
they would often take the ice at Joe Louis Arena to fire shots at Chelios,
who would borrow some goaltending equipment from a teammate and step
between the pipes for a little fun.
That reminded Chelios of when he started facing shots during his days with
the Canadiens.
"It goes back to Montreal when I was a young kid. We'd have Sunday's off
and I throw on Patrick's stuff," Chelios said in reference to former
Canadiens' goalie Patrick Roy. "I'd have 15-20 kids out there (while) playing
goal – and that idiot Claude Lemieux, of course, shooting at my head – and
it just carried over to here.
"I thought it was great. I had two boys who played – even my girls played –
and they just loved Nick's kids. I love their family and wish them the best."
Chelios and Lemieux both spent their first seven seasons in the NHL – from
1983-90 – playing together in Montreal. Lemieux was traded to New Jersey
just before the start of the 1990-91 season while Chelios was dealt to
Chicago three months earlier.
Apparently, they weren't BFFs in Montreal.
Michigan Live LOADED: 06.06.2012
633501     Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings anticipate signing 2008 draft pick Max Nicastro this summer


Ansar Khan


DETROIT – Max Nicastro is poised to begin his pro career, after putting his
legal issues behind him.
The Detroit Red Wings anticipate signing the defenseman from Boston
University, their third-round pick in the 2008 entry draft (91st overall), after
July 1 and assigning him to the Grand Rapids Griffins, assistant general
manager Jim Nill said.
The 22-year-old Nicastro is a big, stay-at-home defenseman (6-foot-3, 215).
“He has good size, a big, strong guy, physical,'' Nill said. “He can shoot the
puck. He's a strong skater.''
Authorities last week dropped rape charges against Nicastro. The native of
Thousand Oaks, Calif., was arrested Feb. 19 after he was accused of
assaulting a female student on campus. He had pleaded not guilty, was
suspended from the team and withdrew from school.
“We got no comment on what happened,'' Nill said. “Whatever is in the past,
he's been cleared of. We move forward.''
Nicastro had 11 goals and 22 assists in 102 games over three seasons at
Boston University.
Michigan Live LOADED: 06.06.2012
633502     Edmonton Oilers                                                       They’ve beaten the President’s trophy winning Canucks (111 points), the
                                                                                 St. Louis Blues, who had 109, the Phoenix Coyotes, with their dazzling
                                                                                 goalie Mike Smith, and now they’re one win from KO’ing the Devils, who
Kings can match the amazing Oilers of ’88                                        beat the Rangers, who had 1o9 points.
                                                                                 Not even the Oilers led 3-0 in every round that magical 1988 spring. But the
                                                                                 Kings have, something no other team in history has done. The pressure for
By Jim Matheson                                                                  the Kings is to win it at home on Wednesday so their long-suffering fans
                                                                                 can celebrate with them at the Staples Center, rather than on the road in
                                                                                 New Jersey in, say, game five.
If the Kings beat the Devils Wednesday to celebrate their first-ever Stanley     Edmonton Journal: LOADED: 06.06.2012
Cup, 44 years in the making, they’ll match the 1988 Oilers for the all-time
best playoff steam-roll at 16-2.
Mind-boggling stuff. That was arguably the best Oilers’ team of all-time. And
this Kings’ team barely got into the playoffs.
The 1988 Oilers run was their fourth Cup in five years. They had five guys
who would get to the Hall of Fame–Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari
Kurri, Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr. The team also had winger Craig
Simpson, now doing colour commentary for CBC on the Kings-Devils final.
He had 13 goals and 19 points that playoff year. They had the antagonistic
Esa Tikkanen, who had 10 goals and was all over Cam Neely in the final
series with the Bruins.
Kevin Lowe was on defence, Craig MacTavish was there to check. Steve
Smith, Keith Acton, Geoff Courtnall, Marty McSorley, Mike Kruselnyski,
Charlie Huddy, Kevin McClelland, Randy Gregg and Norm Lacombe were
also on the team, although Huddy’s playoff was short-circuited when he got
a charleyhorse in round three in Detroit and doctors had to cut into his
thigh muscle to relieve the pressure from a blood build-up.
The team was deep enough that Jeff Beukeboom only got into seven
games on the back-end, and Billy Ranford, now the Kings’ goalie coach,
watched Fuhr play every single minute, all 1136 of them.
That was Gretzky’s last group photo on the ice after they beat the Bruins.
He was gone 2 1/2 months later to Bruce McNall’s LA Kings for $15 million
U.S., Jimmy Carson, Marty Gelinas and three first-round draft picks.
Gretzky had 13 points in the final series with Ray Bourque’s Bruins, a four-
game sweep that went five games because the lights went out at the
Boston Garden on May 24 37 minutes into a 3-3 tie in game four. I was
working the radio broadcast with Rod Phillips that night and I remember
leaving him the lurch, climbing through the darkened seats to get to the
black dressing room area to find out what was happening, my other job as
a Journal scribe taking precedence. I remember hanging around forever
waiting for then NHL president John Ziegler to make some sort of ruling.
Game on, game off?
Gretzky had a sensational playoff, leading everybody with 43 points–31
assists. He had 10 assists against the Bruins. Messier had 34 points, Kurri
31. They had 37 goals as a trio.
The Oilers only losses were on the road, in Winnipeg in round one (game
three, 6-4) and in Detroit in round three (game three, 5-2). They won 11
games at home getting the bonus one when the postponed game four in
Boston moved back to Rexall Place. It’s the flipside of this year’s Kings,
who are 10-0 on the road, an NHL record.
The Oilers scored 84 goals and only gave up 53. They only had two games
go to OT and won them both (game two of round two against Calgary on
Gretzky’s shorthanded slapper on Mike Vernon, off a Kurri feed that got
past Al MacInnis with Messier in the penalty box and game four in Detroit
when Kurri scored on Glen Hanlon).
Gretzky stuck the knife in and twisted with his OT shot (maybe his most
famous playoff goal) and that was the series McSorley shishkabobbed Mike
Bullard, with Bullard leaving the ice on a stretcher in game three. McSorley
feigned amnesia, saying he couldn’t remember what he’d done because he
was rattled from an earlier wallop where Gary Roberts double-dribbled his
head off the glass. “He was out of it,” said Oilers’ coach Glen Sather.
As fish stories, go it was close to a whopper. But, it made for great copy.
Just as this Kings’ team is doing.
“With the parity in the league, to be doing what they’re doing, it’s amazing,”
said Messier.
It was an incredible Oilers team in ’88, making this year’s Kings’ run all the
more amazing.
633503     Los Angeles Kings                                                      has five brothers who made it to the NHL. Darryl Sutter's workmanlike
                                                                                  approach and drive for perfection are credited with turning the team around.
                                                                                  Lots of counterfeit tickets floating around L.A. Live these days.
The versatile Stanley Cup — baptismal font and cereal bowl
                                                                                  "The further you get from Staples, the riskier it is," advises Paul Vernon of
                                                                                  the LAPD Central Division's vice unit. "Scalpers don't want to deal with
Chris Erskine                                                                     detectives close to Staples."
                                                                                  Sat Parhar and Bal Dhaliwa, two buddies down from Vancouver to cheer
                                                                                  the Kings, got stung when their $400 tickets turned out to be bogus. They
Who's Stanley and what's with this Cup?                                           lucked into a couple of last-minute tickets released at the Kings box office
                                                                                  (yes, this happens). Those went for $650 a pop. But at least they were real.
The Stanley Cup, named for a long-ago governor general of Canada, was
scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. You know, just in            Dressed in cape and crown, Kings fan Craig Miller bought almost identical
case it's needed Wednesday.                                                       bogus tickets outside the Palm.

In that event, La Coupe Stanley will be presented on the ice, right after the     Purchased just before game time, those went for a mere $200. A friend
Conn Smythe Award to the Stanley Cup MVP.                                         happened by, saw his highness in distress, and was able to rustle up a
                                                                                  couple of last-minute seats in the Premiere section.
And if tradition holds, Kings captain Dustin Brown would skate the 35-
pound, 36-inch-high sterling silver and nickel trophy around Staples, before      Now Miller believes in miracles too.
passing it along to teammates to do the same.
                                                                                  Still standing, the 25-ton sand sculpture honoring the Kings at L.A. Live. It's
In the locker room, players will sip champagne from the trophy as it comes        been modified slightly to include a "Beat N.J." panel, but otherwise seems
into the team's possession for 100 days — "minus a couple of short league         perfectly intact weeks after first appearing. The work of seven artists from
events," says Phil Pritchard, one of five bodyguards who trade off                Archisand Professional Sand Sculptors (who knew?), it took two days to
accompanying the trophy at all times.                                             complete.

Once the postgame festivities are over, the winning team is allowed to add        Line of the week runner-up (with the Kings leading 4-0): "Put in McSorley!"
52 names — players, coaches, staff to the 2,000 already there. The Cup
then sleeps around, so to speak, passing from player to player, and is often      LA Times: LOADED: 06.06.2012
the guest of honor in hometown parades.
Over the years, the trophy has also been used for baptisms and as a
breakfast bowl. It's even visited strip clubs.
"If it could talk, it would be a bestseller," Pritchard says.
Meanwhile, he's standing by. Just in case it's needed.
Do you believe in miracles?
Al Michaels certainly does. A Kings ticket holder for 19 years, the NBC
sportscaster can't quite believe his eyes these days.
"It's like being in a dream sequence," he says of the Kings' postseason.
"This is the most amazing run I've seen in any sport . . . for a team to barely
get into the playoffs and now to be playing at this level.
"Here's what's happening, in my mind, in the playoffs: Every single one of
these guys is playing at least as well or better than they've every played. . .
. It's phenomenal," he says.
"There is nothing like hockey. When you think of it, in a 1-0 game and each
team gets 30 shots, you die 60 deaths."
And the Zach Galifianakis playoff beard award goes to . . . well, in my book
it's a tie between Dustin Penner and Kings mascot Bailey, who appears to
be a lion, or perhaps some kind of giant water-based rodent. Just in case,
someone dart the darned thing and drag it up into the mountains.
Of course, fans are sporting the playoff beards too, an NHL tradition that's
been traced back to the Islanders in the 1980s.
"What could be more uncomfortable?" asks Kings fan/game show host Pat
Sajak, at Monday's game with son, Patrick. "They want to win just so they
can shave."
Tips?
"Definitely, when you're cutting a larger beard off, you want to trim off as
much as possible first," says Brian Yamada, a shaving consultant with the
Art of Shaving in the Americana at Brand. "Take it all the way down," he
says.
He then recommends hot water to soften the beard and open the pores
before shaving.
Yamada says his shop will chop the whole thing off for $35.
In Calgary, they just use a blowtorch, then weed whackers.
Line of the week: "How'd the Kings end up with a coach who looks like a
duck?" But fans and players all seem to love this quirky, quacky guy, who
633504     Los Angeles Kings                                                     "He was the only one that was giving us a chance to consistently be in
                                                                                 those hockey games and maybe get a point. Maybe get one in a shootout. I
                                                                                 think he was on a roll the whole year, really. I think the team kind of
Los Angeles Kings are close to the Cup, but can they close?                      followed his lead in the last 15 to 20."
                                                                                 LA Times: LOADED: 06.06.2012

By Lisa Dillman


Any bit of mild criticism at this stage simply sounds like carping or a random
attempt to be contrarian.
Except when it is coming from the Kings themselves. Yes, these 15-2-in-
the-playoffs Kings.
It involves the process of elimination, and you might say it's been a tricky
one. The Kings were unable to dismiss the Vancouver Canucks on their first
attempt, in Game 4 at Staples Center, and the same happened against the
Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference finals in Game 4.
In between, they swept the St. Louis Blues. And now comes Game 4
Wednesday against the New Jersey Devils at Staples Center with the
gleaming Stanley Cup in the house, the Kings up three games to none and
poised to win it for the first time in franchise history.
"We haven't really been very good in these situations," Kings center Mike
Richards said Tuesday at the team's headquarters in El Segundo. "We're 1-
2 when we're up in these situations. It's something we have to improve on
obviously and we still know we can play better and be better."
They've had 3-0 leads in all four rounds, the first team to do that since the
NHL moved to best-of-seven series in every playoff round, meaning they
learned how difficult it is to strike that final blow.
"You go back to the first series and we let Vancouver off the hook for sure,"
Kings forward Colin Fraser said. "We didn't play our best game and same
with Phoenix when they came here. You want to play your best game every
single night.
"In reality, does it happen? Probably not. In order to close it out, we
definitely have to bring our best game because they're going to bring their
best game — 100% desperation. We need to have the same mentality. We
can't approach it like we're up 3-0. We maybe have to approach it like we
are down 3-0."
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter probably won't have to push that particular
button. He stayed predictably on message about his club and Jonathan
Quick, not gushing about the team or its star goaltender.
Sutter did tell a funny story about his specific whereabouts in Viking,
Canada, when Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi
called him about their coaching job in December.
"I think I was in the barn," Sutter said, adding that he wasn't shoveling
anything. "I remember that, but I had [shoveled] that day. Was probably
warming up. It was cold."
Don't they always say coaching can be a messy job?
But there's been almost nothing untidy about the Kings' journey to the brink
of the Stanley Cup. They are positioned to become the second team in NHL
history to go 16-2 in the playoffs. In 1988, the Edmonton Oilers went 16-2
with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri and goalie Grant
Fuhr.
"It's a lot different hockey now," said Kings center Jarret Stoll.
Indeed, Fuhr's goals-against average was 2.90 and his save percentage
was .883 in the Oilers' successful playoff run, after he had won the Vezina
Trophy (best goalie) for his regular-season performance.
Quick has allowed two goals with a save percentage of .972 in three Cup
Final games. Much of the talk Tuesday dealt with his stellar performance
and status as the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, which goes to
the most valuable player in the playoffs. He already has been named a
Vezina finalist.
Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said Quick has been in a zone the whole
season. "I think there was a stretch of games from maybe Game 25 to
Game 55 where we didn't score much and we didn't play that well as a
team," Scuderi said.
633505     Los Angeles Kings                                                     "He was the only one that was giving us a chance to consistently be in
                                                                                 those hockey games and maybe get a point. Maybe get one in a shootout. I
                                                                                 think he was on a roll the whole year, really. I think the team kind of
Los Angeles Kings are close to the Cup, but can they close?                      followed his lead in the last 15 to 20."
                                                                                 LA Times: LOADED: 06.06.2012

By Lisa Dillman


Any bit of mild criticism at this stage simply sounds like carping or a random
attempt to be contrarian.
Except when it is coming from the Kings themselves. Yes, these 15-2-in-
the-playoffs Kings.
It involves the process of elimination, and you might say it's been a tricky
one. The Kings were unable to dismiss the Vancouver Canucks on their first
attempt, in Game 4 at Staples Center, and the same happened against the
Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference finals in Game 4.
In between, they swept the St. Louis Blues. And now comes Game 4
Wednesday against the New Jersey Devils at Staples Center with the
gleaming Stanley Cup in the house, the Kings up three games to none and
poised to win it for the first time in franchise history.
"We haven't really been very good in these situations," Kings center Mike
Richards said Tuesday at the team's headquarters in El Segundo. "We're 1-
2 when we're up in these situations. It's something we have to improve on
obviously and we still know we can play better and be better."
They've had 3-0 leads in all four rounds, the first team to do that since the
NHL moved to best-of-seven series in every playoff round, meaning they
learned how difficult it is to strike that final blow.
"You go back to the first series and we let Vancouver off the hook for sure,"
Kings forward Colin Fraser said. "We didn't play our best game and same
with Phoenix when they came here. You want to play your best game every
single night.
"In reality, does it happen? Probably not. In order to close it out, we
definitely have to bring our best game because they're going to bring their
best game — 100% desperation. We need to have the same mentality. We
can't approach it like we're up 3-0. We maybe have to approach it like we
are down 3-0."
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter probably won't have to push that particular
button. He stayed predictably on message about his club and Jonathan
Quick, not gushing about the team or its star goaltender.
Sutter did tell a funny story about his specific whereabouts in Viking,
Canada, when Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi
called him about their coaching job in December.
"I think I was in the barn," Sutter said, adding that he wasn't shoveling
anything. "I remember that, but I had [shoveled] that day. Was probably
warming up. It was cold."
Don't they always say coaching can be a messy job?
But there's been almost nothing untidy about the Kings' journey to the brink
of the Stanley Cup. They are positioned to become the second team in NHL
history to go 16-2 in the playoffs. In 1988, the Edmonton Oilers went 16-2
with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri and goalie Grant
Fuhr.
"It's a lot different hockey now," said Kings center Jarret Stoll.
Indeed, Fuhr's goals-against average was 2.90 and his save percentage
was .883 in the Oilers' successful playoff run, after he had won the Vezina
Trophy (best goalie) for his regular-season performance.
Quick has allowed two goals with a save percentage of .972 in three Cup
Final games. Much of the talk Tuesday dealt with his stellar performance
and status as the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, which goes to
the most valuable player in the playoffs. He already has been named a
Vezina finalist.
Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said Quick has been in a zone the whole
season. "I think there was a stretch of games from maybe Game 25 to
Game 55 where we didn't score much and we didn't play that well as a
team," Scuderi said.
633506       Los Angeles Kings                                                     hear the play-by-play call and analysis of announcers Bob Miller and Jim
                                                                                   Fox, who were relegated to the sidelines after the first round because of the
                                                                                   exclusivity clause in the NHL's television deal with NBC.
Kings trace current Stanley Cup run to loss in March                               Club executives have been working on a solution that would respect
                                                                                   complicated broadcast rights issues involving the league and NBC and also
                                                                                   allow fans to hear Miller and Fox describe a possible Cup triumph.
By Chris Foster
                                                                                   Mike Altieri, vice president of communications and broadcasting for AEG
                                                                                   Sports, said that starting Wednesday — the team's first chance to win the
                                                                                   Stanley Cup, and going forward if the Cup Final continues past Game 4 —
It's closing time.                                                                 Miller and Fox will record a call of each game.
The Kings know it. The New Jersey Devils know it.                                  "Just so that we have it at the very least," Altieri said Tuesday. "There are a
                                                                                   lot of rights issues and we will figure out a way how fans will be able to
The question is, do the Kings take a spin with the Stanley Cup on
                                                                                   consume it."
Wednesday night or at some point in the next week? But coronation day is
coming with the Kings up, 3-0, in the Cup Final.                                   Among the possibilities are playing the duo's call on the team website after
                                                                                   enough time has lapsed so no one's broadcast rights are violated, or
"The last one is the hardest," Kings forward Jarret Stoll said.
                                                                                   creating a DVD that would incorporate their call and could be sold to the
Nothing has seemed too difficult for the Kings so far.                             public.

The season began in October, but this amazing run started after giving two         Game on NBCSN
goals in the last four minutes in a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on
                                                                                   Game 4 will be aired on NBC Sports Network. A tweet late Monday from the
March 9. The Kings are 24-4-3 since, including a 15-2 record in the
                                                                                   team's official Twitter account said the game had been moved to NBC but
playoffs.
                                                                                   that's not true and a correction was later tweeted.
"The response to that game over a two-week period really showed me a
                                                                                   LA Times: LOADED: 06.06.2012
lot," General Manager Dean Lombardi said. "We really came together as a
team. You could see it in the room. Guys got really close."
Mike Richards' shootout goal gave the Kings a 3-2 victory over the Chicago
Blackhawks two nights after the Detroit loss. The Kings were off and
skating, winning six consecutive games, five against teams that made the
playoffs.
"That, in its own, was playoff experience," Lombardi said.
Cliche day
New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur tried to hum a merry tune after a 4-0
loss to the Kings on Monday, but it was a bit off key.
"It's not the best situation, probably the worst situation to be in," Brodeur
said. "Actually, it is the worst situation we could be in."
One team has rallied from a 3-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final, the
Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942. There have been 24 other teams that took a
3-0 lead in the Final and took home the Cup. So there was nothing to do but
trot out some standard creek-no-paddle-type chatter.
"You can't look at the big picture for us right now," forward Zach Parise.
"We have to get this thing back to New Jersey and see what happens."
Whistle blowers
The Devils were still adamant that the Kings first goal Monday should not
have been allowed. Alec Martinez poked the puck into the net, but Brodeur
felt he had it covered and play should have been whistled dead.
"I think it's pretty evident to me after re-looking at it that it shouldn't have
counted," Coach Peter DeBoer said.
Brodeur was asked whether he got an explanation from the referee.
"It was kind of hard, especially with some of the words I told him," Brodeur
said. "I don't think I was going to get an answer back anyway."
Lineup change?
DeBoer hinted that 35-year-old Petr Sykora might be on the ice in Game 4.
Sykora has not played since May 19 against the New York Rangers.
"He's a guy that doesn't need a lot of looks to stick one in the net," DeBoer
said. "That's what he does best."
For the record
Edmonton holds the best single-season Stanley Cup playoff record. The
Oilers were 16-2 in 1988. The Kings tie that mark with a victory
Wednesday.
Bob Miller and Jim Fox air it out
For many Kings fans the joy of being one victory away from the team's first
Stanley Cup championship is incomplete because they haven't been able to
633507     Los Angeles Kings


Kings face a battle of nerves heading into Game 4


By David Wharton


Dustin Penner has been here before, just one victory away from the Stanley
Cup, so he knows what to expect over the next 36 hours.
Some anxious moments. A restless night.
"Your mind starts racing," said the Kings forward who won an NHL title with
the Ducks five years ago. "You can feel the energy from the position you're
in."
The Kings have a chance to sweep the New Jersey Devils and celebrate
their sport's ultimate victory on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Until
then, they must try to remain calm and focused, with the help of a few
platitudes.
"The fourth one's the hardest," center Colin Fraser said. "They aren't going
away."
After Monday night's crushing 4-0 game, the Devils did their best to endorse
that notion, Ilya Kovalchuk saying: "We will be a desperate team … we're
going to fight through the end."
But the Kings can smell blood with a chance to tie the NHL mark for best
record in the playoffs (16-2, set by Edmonton in 1988). And they will have a
home crowd on their side.
If Monday night was any indication, it will be an extremely noisy crowd.
Maybe the fans, having waited so long for their team to win the Cup, will be
letting off some nerves of their own.
"I don't know what 45 years of pent-up energy sounds like," captain Dustin
Brown said. "But if we play our game, maybe we'll find out."
LA Times: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633508     Los Angeles Kings                                                      sweeping conclusion, which no team has done since the 1998 Detroit Red
                                                                                  Wings dismissed the Washington Capitals.
                                                                                  Not surprisingly, Quick wouldn't discuss that. To every question about lifting
It's tough to beat Kings' Jonathan Quick                                          the Cup he tersely responded that the Kings have only three wins and need
                                                                                  one more before they can relax. But when it was suggested his image might
                                                                                  soon be on a poster that will get a place of honor on another kid's bedroom
Helene Elliott                                                                    wall, his serious mask dropped for an instant.
                                                                                  "You kind of focus on what you're doing and you don't really put much time
                                                                                  into thinking about that," he said, "but when you put it that way, it's pretty
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick gives up very little, whether he's facing         cool to think."
barrages of shots or volleying questions from reporters trying to learn what
makes him tick.                                                                   Very cool, actually.

But there's a lot beneath the mask of the man behind the Kings' swift and         LA Times: LOADED: 06.06.2012
stunning drive to within one victory of their first Stanley Cup championship.
Beneath the gruffness he wears like a protective armor are traces of the 8-
year-old who posted pictures of the New York Rangers and goalie Mike
Richter on the wall of his bedroom in Hamden, Conn., and still remembers
watching their 1994 Cup triumph in vivid detail.
"I was at home. I was at my house. Had a few friends over. We ate ice pops
watching the game," he said.
"I think I was probably more nervous back then than I am right now for the
games."
Quick's calm excellence is a central reason the Kings are in position to lift
the Cup on Wednesday night at Staples Center with a 16-2 record and
match the powerful 1988 Edmonton Oilers' modern record for the fewest
games needed to claim hockey's highest prize.
Dustin Brown has set the pace physically for nearly two months and Anze
Kopitar has set the standard statistically, but Quick's brilliance is why the
Kings hold a 3-0 series lead over the New Jersey Devils and can pull off a
feat generations of Kings fans have dreamed about.
"He took himself to a new level and he's playing on another planet and
that's what he expects," center Jarret Stoll said Tuesday. "He's a very hard
guy on himself, as we all are. As a team too, we want to get better every
game, but Quickie for sure, if he can get better any game he wants to try."
As usual, Quick has succeeded there. He has stopped 70 of 72 shots in the
Cup Final to reduce his goals-against average to 1.36, the lowest in a
playoff year among goalies who have played at least 15 games. Next-best
is the 1.55 compiled by Detroit's Chris Osgood in the Red Wings' 19-game
Cup run in 2008. That list also includes New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, who
had a 1.61 average in 2000 and a 1.65 in 2003, both Cup-winning seasons.
Quick's abilities are many: He's so flexible that Brodeur last week compared
him to Gumby, he can move faster from post to post than most goalies and
he picks up the puck well because he peers under and around bodies
rather than trying to see over them. By getting into a crouch he looks
smaller than 6 feet 1 and lulls opponents into thinking they can beat him if
they aim for the top part of the net.
"He covers the bottom of the net pretty well," said Devils forward Alexei
Ponikarovsky, a former King. "I think we have to be in his face a little bit
more and get those shots through, get rebounds up high."
How's that going, Alexei? New Jersey scored in Game 1 on a shot that
deflected off Kings defenseman Slava Voynov and in Game 2 on a
redirection no goalie could have stopped. High shot or low, Quick's agility
has prevailed.
Above all, though, Quick has shown an uncanny ability to frustrate
opponents before they can nurture a fragment of hope into momentum.
Defenseman Rob Scuderi said Quick's superb stops on St. Louis Blues
forward Andy McDonald in the opening minutes of their second-round
series were essential in sustaining the Kings' playoff drive.
"They really jumped out all over us. And I think he stuffed McDonald three
or four times on the left side of the net," Scuderi said. "We just needed it at
the time and it kind of summed up the season and the postseason."
Quick's out-of-the-gate steadiness has been deflating to the Devils too.
"He's played very well, for me, early in games," Coach Peter DeBoer said.
"We've never been able to grab momentum, first goal, at a critical time.
That's been a big part for us in the playoffs. We've got to be better at that."
Not that they have much time to improve on that part of their game, or
anything else. Quick and the Kings seem intent on bringing this to a
633509    Los Angeles Kings


Kings-Devils, the morning after


By MARK WHICKER


How did the Kings improve their Stanley Cup record to 15-2 on Monday
night? The same song, just a louder verse, as they swamped the Devils, 4-
0.
Now the Kings lead the Final 3-0 and can win the first Cup in franchise
history on Wednesday at Staples Center.
Orange County Register: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633510     Los Angeles Kings                                                     "We started playing playoff hockey for four or six weeks before the playoffs
                                                                                 started just to get in," the Kings' fourth-line center said. "And I think when
                                                                                 we beat Vancouver in the first game of the playoffs, beat them and played
Kings' thinking: No need to change now                                           well, that was the game that everyone kind of said we can.
                                                                                 "We do have the right makeup of the team and we know we have the type
                                                                                 of players that can win."
By ERIC STEPHENS
                                                                                 Luc Robitaille, the Hall of Fame left wing and current Kings' president of
                                                                                 business operations, had to go to Detroit to win a Cup but desperately
                                                                                 wants one for the franchise he has worked for nearly two decades.
EL SEGUNDO – Kings center Jarret Stoll has been on the losing side, while
a few of his teammates have experienced the other.                               Robitaille also wants to deliver a championship to the people who work
                                                                                 behind the scenes and "the fans that have been around, some since 1982,
To be on the verge of winning the Stanley Cup, the cherished and coveted         some since 1968 or 1967."
trophy for every NHL franchise. The feeling of knowing the next night can
be historic.                                                                     He heard the bedlam throughout the final two minutes of Game 3.

Article Tab: Kings center Jarret Stoll, right, thinks his teammates will be      "It's been a long time coming," he said. "I know I'm saying a cliché — it's still
able to block out all of the excitement over the team being on the verge of      not over. We still got to win one game. But it's certainly neat to see how
winning the Stanley Cup. 'We've had a pretty narrow focus and pretty             they're tasting it now."
straightforward approach to what we need to do and how we need to play.
We'll try to win,' Stoll said of Wednesday's game.                               On Tuesday, Stoll talked at length about how he and Matt Greene were the
                                                                                 start of Kings GM Dean Lombardi's patient rebuilding plan when he
Kings center Jarret Stoll, right, thinks his teammates will be able to block     acquired the two from Edmonton four years ago.
out all of the excitement over the team being on the verge of winning the
Stanley Cup. 'We've had a pretty narrow focus and pretty straightforward         The young core pieces in Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown needed to grow,
approach to what we need to do and how we need to play. We'll try to win,'       the franchise defenseman in Drew Doughty was drafted and Lombardi then
Stoll said of Wednesday's game.                                                  brought in veteran pieces such as Justin Williams, Willie Mitchell and Rob
                                                                                 Scuderi to support them.
MARK J. TERRILL, AP
                                                                                 "You hope you get lucky in that right situation," Stoll said. "Sometimes that's
If Game 4 of the Cup final against New Jersey goes the way of the Kings as       what it is. It's luck. It's being in the right place at the right time.
15 of their other 17 playoff games have, there will be a rip-roaring, silver
chalice-raising party that will take place at Staples Center on Wednesday        "Being with a great group of guys, great group of coaches — everything's
night.                                                                           got to fit. Everything's got to fall into place. I'm glad it did."

It is only up to the players to get the job done and begin the coronation.       Orange County Register: LOADED: 06.06.2012

"You just play the game," Stoll said. "You've got to play the game. To get to
where you want to be at the end of the night, you've got to play the game
and do the right things.
"We've done that so far in the playoffs. We've had a pretty narrow focus and
pretty straightforward approach to what we need to do and how we need to
play. We'll try to win."
The Kings all know what is directly ahead of them. But they've kept the
same message and verbiage that's powered them through every round,
with the seemingly overwhelmed Devils the latest victim.
Re-group, re-set and re-focus.
"Just trying to win a hockey game," said Jonathan Quick, their unflappable
goalie. "Same thing we've been doing for about eight months now. We're
going to continue to try to do that."
If there's any hint of anxiety, the stone-faced Quick, who has defined his
team's laser-like focus, summed up its preparation for Game 4 in his usual
few words.
"Same stuff," he said. "Same approach. No need to change."
The odds-on favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs' most
valuable player is right. There is no need.
For all that the Devils believed they've done well in the first three games,
they have only gotten two pucks past Quick. Anton Volchenkov and Ryan
Carter, two players not known for offense, have the goals. Zach Parise and
Ilya Kovalchuk haven't scored.
Is Quick in their heads? After absorbing a 4-0 shutout in Game 3, the Devils
were reduced to discussing how they can get one shot by the Vezina
Trophy finalist and putting some doubt into a sudden playoff juggernaut.
"We need something to happen, regardless of what it is," said goalie Martin
Brodeur, who has won three Cups with New Jersey. "A big hit, a nice goal,
a weak goal. Something."
Something has to happen to slow down the Kings' machine, one in which is
a victory away from tying the 1988 Edmonton Oilers' 16-2 run to the Cup.
Colin Fraser said the first of their 16 victories made him believe that such a
run could be real.
633511     Los Angeles Kings                                                   "He takes a lot of pride in his game, how he needs to treat his body and
                                                                               how he needs to prepare," center Jarret Stoll said. "His preparation and
                                                                               focus are unbelievable."
STANLEY CUP FINAL: No one's sleeping on Kings goaltender Jonathan              His campaign this season was so stellar that he was able to surmount the
Quick anymore ... not even himself                                             lack of prominence that comes from playing for what had been a middling
                                                                               team playing in the Pacific time zone. He was named one of three finalists
                                                                               for the Vezina Trophy as the league's most outstanding goaltender.
By Andrew Knoll,
                                                                               "He's out here in the West," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "If he's
                                                                               in New York where everyone's thinking (the Rangers' Henrik) Lundqvist is
                                                                               going to win the Vezina or whatever, I don't think there's any doubt that
EL SEGUNDO - Believe it or not, there was a time when Jonathan Quick           Quickie would win it.
was caught napping on the job.
                                                                               "We lost so many games by one goal, we won so many games by one goal
"All I think of with Jonathan Quick when I see him now is when he was in       and that was all due to his hard work and how well he was playing."
the East Coast League, he fell asleep on the couch and Billy Ranford went
down there to see him. He left the goalie coach with no goalie on the ice,"    Quick has been criminally understated in discussing his own achievements,
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. "That's how far Jonathan             perhaps obscuring his personality to the media and the public.
Quick has come."
                                                                               Even on the verge of a Cup victory that would end 45 years of suffering for
"Billy Ranford goes all the way down there, I don't know where the hell it     some fans and elate the roster, Quick remains stoic.
was, to give him his tutoring. He's at the rink and Quicker's sleeping. You
don't think there's some growth there?"                                        "(Game 4) doesn't count any more than the rest of them did," Quick said.
                                                                               "It's one game, so we're just going to play our game, work as hard as we
Lombardi wisely delegated the phone call to Quick to his right-hand man        can, try to be as prepared as possible and see what happens."
Ron Hextall, who was not too much calmer. Today, Hextall sings Quick's
praises in as close to a serenading falsetto as the rugged former goalie can   In describing his dominant performances throughout the season, he
muster.                                                                        underplayed their quality and uniqueness, describing them in painfullyplain
                                                                               terms. His summary of his playoff performance did not differ.
"He's matured as a player, he's also matured as a person. They kind of go
side by side," Hextall said.                                                   "I feel I've tried to give my team a chance to win every night," Quick said.
                                                                               "From a goalie standpoint, that's your job. You try to do your job every
Quick has developed into a monster between the pipes, a Vezina Trophy          night. Hopefully, more times than not, you're able to do that."
finalist in the regular season and the frontrunner for the Conn Smythe
Trophy as his team sits one win away from the Stanley Cup.                     Doughty described Quick as surprisingly normal for a goalie and a guy who
                                                                               is more forthcoming around his teammates. Hextall described him as "laid
Quick was in the top five in every major goaltending category, leading the     back." Defenseman Rob Scuderi joined Doughty in saying he was not the
league in shutouts with 10.                                                    typical quirky goalie, describing his personality more as that of a stay-at-
                                                                               home defenseman.
Even so, from a strictwin/loss standpoint, Quick was barely .500, winning 35
games, losing 21 in regulation and dropping 13 in overtime or a shootout for   Yet on the ice, he is focused, driven and meticulous. St. Louis Blues head
a total of 34 losses.                                                          coach Ken Hitchcock compared him to Dominik Hasek, Martin Brodeur, Ed
                                                                               Belfour and Terry Sawchuk in the course of one series. It was high praise
"He allowed us to find our game in                                             that would be the basketball equivalent of a guard being compared to Allen
                                                                               Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Clyde Drexler and Oscar Robertson.
front of him," said Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell, who credited Quick
with the Kings just reaching the postseason. "That's what great goalies do.    One of Quick's most distinct qualities is his ability to track the puck. He
They allow teams to find their game."                                          peers over shoulders, between legs, around hips and seemingly through
                                                                               bodies to locate the 3-by-1-inch biscuit.
Indeed, the Kings discovered their swagger late in the season, heating up
at the right time. Meanwhile, Quick found another level to his own game.       "One of the biggest things with a competitive goaltender is looking for pucks
                                                                               around people," said Hextall, who once had a postseason so strong with
In the playoffs, Quick has led the league in every major goaltending
                                                                               Philadelphia that he captured the 1987 Conn Smythe Trophy despite
category among goalies who made four or more starts. He has been a road
                                                                               playing for the losing side. "It's one of the hardest things in the position to
warrior, winning all 10 of his starts away from Staples Center.
                                                                               do. It takes a high level of competitiveness to track the puck and Quick's got
"He's been our most consistent player all year," Kings center Mike Richards    that."
said. "The biggest reason we made the playoffs is that he was so consistent
                                                                               The other signature quality of Quick that has propelled him to success is his
and he played every night the same way.
                                                                               resilience. Much like a great football cornerback, he has the ability to learn
"Playoffs have been no different. He's just been solid back there and every    from mistakes without being affected by them.
time we've needed a big save at big times he's made it."
                                                                               He has seldom if ever put together consecutive poor periods, let alone
Quick has improved each year since becoming the Kings' starter. In the         games, this year. He allowed four or more goals in back-to-back games just
three full seasons he has spent as their No. 1 goaltender, they have made      once this season.
the playoffs following a six-season absence from the postseason.
                                                                               "A bad goal or a bad game doesn't bother him," Hextall said. "That's
He took a 2010 first-round loss to Vancouver hard, a series in which many      something along the lines of Marty Brodeur where you're competitive but
observers thought he felt the fatigue of an arduous                            you don't let things bother you."

"I feel I've tried to give my team a chance to win every night," Kings         The detail-oriented, resilient, deferential Quick has not started puckering up
goaltender Jonathan Quick said. "From a goalie standpoint, that's your job.    to kiss the Cup just yet. Nevertheless, he finds himself a win away from
You try to do your job every night. Hopefully, more times than not, you're     living the sweetest of hockey dreams.
able to do that." (Alex Gallardo/The Associated Press)
                                                                               This time, there will be no angry phone call to wake him up.
72-appearance campaign.
                                                                               LA Daily News: LOADED: 06.06.2012
He came into camp the next season in tremendous physical condition,
determined to shoulder the load with aplomb as he has in each of his past
two campaigns.
Quick's numbers have gotten leaner with each passing year, as has the
muscle on the flexible, athletic netminder.
633512     Los Angeles Kings


STANLEY CUP FINAL: Kings looking to Staple this Final shut


By Andrew Knoll


EL SEGUNDO - On the verge of the first Stanley Cup in franchise history
today, the Kings have clung to their "one shift at a time" mentality,
suppressing the urge to think about Champagne or legacies.
"It starts with that first shift, everyone has to get out there with a bang,
working hard and playing hard. We gotta dominate." defenseman Drew
Doughty said. "From there, if we get up a few goals, we have to keep
pushing and pushing until we push them right out of the series."
Doughty was one of many Kings so eager to start Monday's Game 3
against the New Jersey Devils that he was grateful for the 5 p.m. start time
to accommodate Eastern viewers.
"There's maybe some nervous tension but you can't let that affect you
negatively," winger Dustin Penner said.
In that game, the Kings recovered from a slow start to piece together a
brilliant stretch after the midway point. They had phenomenal special
teams, superb goaltending, balanced scoring and contributions from all their
top players.
For Game 4, the focus may simply be on remaining relentless and closing
out the series with a 3-0 lead. They have taken three such leads but only
eliminated one opponent, the St. Louis Blues, in four games.
"We did a good job in the one series of closing it out, in the other two, we
didn't," center Jarret Stoll said. "We know the difference in the feelings, how
we need to play, what buttons we need to press and to just play the right
way."
On the New Jersey side, the club tried to avoid dwelling on the massive
task in front of them and instead concentrate on the details that could help
them turn the tide in the series.
Devils captain Zach Parise stressed that there were historic examples of
such comebacks in both the Stanley Cup playoffs and on the international
stage.
He said emotional stability and a positive demeanor were what he preached
to his teammates.
Veterans Patrik Elias and Martin Brodeur said the mood in the Devils' room
was not downtrodden and that the focus was simply on getting more of the
contested plays to go their way.
"I think guys are focused on what we need to do. We know we're doing a lot
of good things," Brodeur said. "I'll repeat myself 50 times: We've got to find
a way to score goals."
Brodeur went on to say that he was "trying to be perfect" but that Kings
goalie Jonathan Quick was "a little more perfect" at the moment.
Elias believed a lead would be key. The Devils have not had one in the
series and the Kings have very seldom surrendered an advantage all
postseason.
"It's tough when we don't score. We haven't had that first goal in this
series," Elias said. "When you lead, the other team has to change their
game a little bit."
The Kings fully expect the most intense and desperate performance from
the Eastern Conference champions in the series. To a man, they said they
had to exceed their effort and conclude the series with their best game in a
run that has included several spectacular performances.
"We've got to find a way to win that fourth game of the series, that 16th
game of the playoffs," Stoll said. "That's the hardest thing to do, we all know
that. It's a really, really tough trophy to win."
"We have to have that right mindset, that instinct to take it, to earn it."
LA Daily News: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633513     Los Angeles Kings                                                   game was up 127 percent from the Kings' Western Conference final
                                                                               average against the Phoenix Coyotes on NBCSN (2.18).
                                                                               The delivery in Los Angeles was up 71 percent from NBCSN's previous
KINGS MEDIA NOTES: Miller, Fox will get the call                               best in the market (2.90, Kings/Coyotes conference final Game 5 on May
                                                                               22).

By Tom Hoffarth,                                                               NBC Sports Network was also the No. 1-rated network overall in Los
                                                                               Angeles during the 5-to-7:45 p.m. time period.
                                                                               LA Daily News: LOADED: 06.06.2012
Longtime Kings TV broadcasters Bob Miller and Jim Fox will be set up to
call tonight's Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, and fans at Staples Center
may be able to listen to it.
Mike Altieri, the Kings' vice president, communications and content, said
Miller, the team's Hockey Hall of Fame play by play man for the team since
1973, will be joined by analyst Fox, the former Kings right winger and
Miller's partner the past 23 seasons, in a center-ice position on the upper
press box level where the Game Ops Crew works.
Their normal Fox Sports West broadcast position in the area near Section
318 has been occupied by the NBC national crew during the playoffs. Nick
Nickson and Daryl Evans have continued to use their adjoining radio booth
during the playoffs and can still be heard on the team's flagship station
KTLK-AM (1150).
Altieri said he is working on an arrangement to where fans can hear the call
throughout Staples Center if they are at the concession stands as well as
having a signal available on the radio for in-house access.
There are rights issues still to be negotiated as to how the Miller-Fox call
will be distributed by the team, either as a CD or on a DVD highlight
package to be sold for the Kings Care Foundation charity. The call will also
be available at some point soon on the team's LAKings.com website.
Should the Kings not clinch the Stanley Cup today, Altieri said Miller and
Fox will continue to
call every possible final game at either Staples Center or the Prudential
Center in Newark, N.J.
Miller and Fox have not called a Kings' playoff game since the first round
against Vancouver. NBC's rights preclude a local team from airing a side-
by-side local TV broadcast of a game past the first round. One online
petition to get NBC to allow Miller and Fox to call the Kings' games
throughout the playoffs generated some 400 cybersignatures in early May
and is past 1,700 to date.
The color purple
The Kings said rumors that the team would don their retro purple home
jerseys that they wore in some form from 1967 through 1988 can't happen
since a request would have to have been made to the NHL weeks ago.
In three throwback "legends" games during the regular season, the current
Kings team wore the old Forum blue (purple) and gold (yellow), as well as
for select games last season.
Who's watching?
Hockey Night in L.A. is not an automatic ratings grabber.
Despite bringing the No. 2 TV market in the Stanley Cup Final, L.A. and
New York-market friendly New Jersey generated just a 1.7 final Nielsen
rating and 2.9 million viewers for NBC on Saturday night's Game 2 - the
smallest audience for a final telecast since 2007 when the Ducks faced
Ottawa.
The Sports Business Daily reports Saturday night's telecast was down 23
percent and 17 percent, respectively, from a 2.2 rating and 3.569 million
viewers for the Boston-Vancouver Game 2 a year ago.
Game 1 was also down 33 percent from last season's Bruins-Canucks
opener, a 1.8 Nielsen rating with 2.9 million viewers, making it the lowest-
rated NHL Stanley Cup Final opener since the league returned the first
game to broadcast TV in '09.
Tonight's Game 4 will also be on the NBC Sports Network, which is in 80
million homes, rather than the 100-million-plus who have access to NBC
(and KNBC-Channel 4 in L.A.)
NBC said L.A. received a 4.95 household rating for Game 3 Monday, the
highest local rating ever in the market for an NHL game on NBCSN. The
633514       Los Angeles Kings                                                  Teammates have lauded Greene's consistency, selflessness and
                                                                                ruggedness.
                                                                                "Greener's huge for us out there every night. He's banging bodies, he's
KINGS NOTEBOOK: Kopitar finally getting name recognition                        rocking guys and every time he makes a hit the crowd goes nuts so that's
                                                                                awesome, too," said Doughty, who credited Greene in large part for the
                                                                                Kings' lights-out penalty kill.
By Andrew Knoll,
                                                                                Greene is a bit of a throwback, stepping up on forwards and clearing out the
                                                                                net front with the force and efficiency of a street-sweeper.

EL SEGUNDO - It's not Alex, it's not Kopidor.                                   "He's a great physical player and a great physical presence out there,"
                                                                                Martinez said. "I'm certainly happy I don't have to play against him."
It's A-N-Z-E K-O-P-I-T-A-R.
                                                                                Childhood dreams
Got it?
                                                                                While the Kings do not have any local players on the roster, Doughty grew
Anze Kopitar, the Kings' leading scorer five years running, might finally be    up a fan of the Kings all the way up in London, Ontario.
getting his due respect on the national stage. For the Kings, he has been a
cornerstone player since the second he arrived in the NHL.                      His childhood friend Logan Couture, now with the San Jose Sharks, even
                                                                                confirmed he had Kings bed sheets and a Wayne Gretzky poster in his
"He's such an underrated player all around. I know now he's finally getting     room as a kid.
the attention, but the minute I came here I thought he was one of the better
players in the game," defenseman Willie Mitchell said.                          Today, it's Gretzky admiring the current Kings and their dominant run.

Kopitar has been outstanding offensively as evidenced by his spectacular        "He was my hero growing up and to hear (praise) from a guy like that is
finishes, like his Game 1 winner in New Jersey and his textbook one-timer       great. Obviously he carried the Kings this far and they didn't happen to win
in Game 3. Yet his comprehensive skill set eclipses his scoring prowess,        the Cup so hopefully we're able do it this year," Doughty said.
which is but one facet of his subtly dominant game.
                                                                                LA Daily News: LOADED: 06.06.2012
"I give him the ultimate compliment. He reminds me of (Detroit's) Pavel
Datsyuk," Mitchell said. "He's so good defensively, he makes players
around him better. He's big and strong. It's tough to get him off the puck.
He's our most important player on the power play. He's one of our most
important players on the penalty kill and he's our most important centerman.
"Need I say more?"
Kopitar emerged from obscurity, growing up in the tiny Slovenian village of
Hrusica. Strangely, he has maintained some level of anonymity despite
living in the second-largest market in the United States and earning nearly
$7 million annually.
"He doesn't get the recognition
that the top centers in the East do. It's not even close, I think he's better
than so many guys in the league," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "He's
unbelievable, people don't realize how much he means to this team and
how much he does. He does it all. He blocks shots, he works hard on the
backcheck and he puts pucks in the net."
Kopitar has developed into a true No. 1 center, excelling in all situations
and developing into a locker-room leader. He has also developed into one
of the most powerful players in the league.
In addition to killing penalties, playing all over the ice on the power play,
shutting down other top centers and carving out space for his linemates,
Kopitar has notched 94 points in 99 games this season.
Alongside him for his entire career has been captain Dustin Brown, who
says Kopitar's aggressiveness has been a big part of his emergence as an
elite player.
"The first couple of years, he'd go into the corner and get knocked around a
little," Brown said. "Now, he goes into the corner and comes out with the
puck."
In Game No. 100 this season, Kopitar and the Kings might go onto the ice
and skate off with the Cup.
Old is new
Matt Greene was one of the three stars of Game 3 despite not recording a
goal, an assist or even a shot on goal.
He did have seven hits and five blocked shots, including stepping in front of
multiple Ilya Kovalchuk blasts during a 5-on-3 power play.
"Greener is an unbelievable competitor and an unbelievable team guy,"
defense partner Alec Martinez said. "That's apparent when he's laying in
front of those one-timers. You need guys like that in the playoffs and he's a
huge part of our team.
"He's a great leader and he's obviously willing to sacrifice his body for the
team in order to get a win. I can't say enough about him as a leader, a
hockey player and as a guy off the ice."
633515     Los Angeles Kings


`Reset and refocus’ mentality for Kings


Posted by Rich Hammond


“Reset and refocus,’’ Drew Doughty said after Game 3. “Refocus,
recharge,’’ Anze Kopitar said. There’s no doubt as to where those words
came from. Darryl Sutter is all about words and concepts such as those,
and no doubt started stressing them to his players shortly after last night’s
game. Throughout these playoffs, Sutter has tried to keep his players’ focus
on the task at hand, and not on whatever storylines the media wanted to
follow. Sutter’s challenge, now, is to get the Kings to play better in Game 4
than they did in their first three games, with the idea that the New Jersey
Devils, desperate to keep their season alive, with fight harder than ever. It’s
the constant drive for improvement and focus that all coaches stress, and
perhaps none more than Sutter.
SUTTER: “They [players] have to understand where they are. Playoffs have
been, from a scheduling standpoint, really disjointed. You look at the time
off we’ve had — which is not normal between series — then the way the
series have been broken up, even the start of the Finals. When you go
Wednesday, Saturday — we were in New Jersey for five days and played
one game. You have to be able to stay in a zone, or focused. If you don’t,
you’re in trouble. Just because you win — I’ve said it several times — it
doesn’t mean you played great or you played perfect. We won two games
in overtime, 2‑ 1. If you lost one of them, or lost them both, you’re still
looking at a huge battle. … Hey, we could have easily been down 2‑ 0
before we scored a goal last night.’’
At least in terms of public comments, no Kings player has perfected the art
of not looking ahead than Jonathan Quick, who today brushed aside any
questions about excitement level…
QUICK: “Just trying to win a hockey game. Same thing we’ve been doing
for about eight months now. We’re going to continue to try to do that. … It
doesn’t count any more than the rest of them did. It’s one game, so…we’re
just going to play our game, work as hard as we can, try to be as prepared
as (much as) possible, see what happens.’’
LA Kings Insider: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633516     Los Angeles Kings


`Reset and refocus’ mentality for Kings


Posted by Rich Hammond


“Reset and refocus,’’ Drew Doughty said after Game 3. “Refocus,
recharge,’’ Anze Kopitar said. There’s no doubt as to where those words
came from. Darryl Sutter is all about words and concepts such as those,
and no doubt started stressing them to his players shortly after last night’s
game. Throughout these playoffs, Sutter has tried to keep his players’ focus
on the task at hand, and not on whatever storylines the media wanted to
follow. Sutter’s challenge, now, is to get the Kings to play better in Game 4
than they did in their first three games, with the idea that the New Jersey
Devils, desperate to keep their season alive, with fight harder than ever. It’s
the constant drive for improvement and focus that all coaches stress, and
perhaps none more than Sutter.
SUTTER: “They [players] have to understand where they are. Playoffs have
been, from a scheduling standpoint, really disjointed. You look at the time
off we’ve had — which is not normal between series — then the way the
series have been broken up, even the start of the Finals. When you go
Wednesday, Saturday — we were in New Jersey for five days and played
one game. You have to be able to stay in a zone, or focused. If you don’t,
you’re in trouble. Just because you win — I’ve said it several times — it
doesn’t mean you played great or you played perfect. We won two games
in overtime, 2‑ 1. If you lost one of them, or lost them both, you’re still
looking at a huge battle. … Hey, we could have easily been down 2‑ 0
before we scored a goal last night.’’
At least in terms of public comments, no Kings player has perfected the art
of not looking ahead than Jonathan Quick, who today brushed aside any
questions about excitement level…
QUICK: “Just trying to win a hockey game. Same thing we’ve been doing
for about eight months now. We’re going to continue to try to do that. … It
doesn’t count any more than the rest of them did. It’s one game, so…we’re
just going to play our game, work as hard as we can, try to be as prepared
as (much as) possible, see what happens.’’
LA Kings Insider: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633517    Minnesota Wild


Ex-Minnesota Wild scout Michel Therrien named Montreal Canadiens
coach again


Associated Press


MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens have hired former Minnesota Wild
scout Michel Therrien as their coach again.
The 48-year-old returns to Montreal after coaching the team for parts of
three seasons.
He was fired by the Canadiens during the 2002-03 season.
Therrien coached the Pittsburgh Penguins starting in 2005 until he was fired
in February of 2009. He worked as a part-time scout for the Wild late in the
2010-11 season, then spent last season as a television analyst.
Pioneer Press LOADED: 06.06.2012
633518     Montreal Canadiens                                                   And he is one of only two coaches in Habs history to compile a record of
                                                                                .500 or worse, although it wasn’t his fault he took over a team assembled
                                                                                by Réjean Houle from 2000-03.
Therrien gets another bite of the apple                                         Recent history has shown the coach of the Canadiens can expect an
                                                                                average tenure of 200 games. The longest-serving since 1992, Alain
                                                                                Vigneault, had 266.
SEAN GORDON
                                                                                And the window to show he is a changed man will not be open long. In fact,
                                                                                the slow slide shut has already started.

Giving a good interview to a prospective employer is one thing, cooking an      Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.06.2012
impromptu dinner for them is quite another.
So put this one down to Michel Therrien’s talents as a grill-master.
This past Sunday, Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin called and
asked to see him.
They met at Therrien’s house north of the city, where the 48-year-old fired
up the barbecue – “I showed him my talents as a chef,” he joked.
Bergevin sprang the offer of a second turn behind the Habs’ bench;
Therrien quickly accepted, and asked if it was okay to tell his 80-year-old
mother Rachel, who lives with him and his children Elizabeth and Charles.
“There were tears on her cheek,” he said, “it was a beautiful moment.”
At a news conference Tuesday, Bergevin said that after an exhaustive
search he concluded Therrien, a longtime hockey acquaintance, provided
“the best fit for me and for the team.”
So what makes Therrien the right guy?
Leaving aside the howls from the anti-Therrien faction – which is populous
given his previous stint – several factors leap to mind.
The team has better pieces than the last time, plus Therrien is a decade
older, and commensurately wiser.
“You take over at 38, and everything feels like it’s moving pretty fast, you
coach with your gut ... I feel much better equipped than I was [then],”
Therrien said.
Those years, he said, have taught him to look at the game differently, and
to adapt.
“To take a step back is never a bad thing,” he told a news conference. “You
analyze yourself, what went well and what went wrong.”
Having spent the past year working as a television pundit, Therrien has
refined his knowledge of the Habs’ rabid media pack – the spotlight now
holds little mystery.
Like Bergevin, Therrien is old-school – as Pittsburgh Penguins boss he
memorably ripped his “soft” blueline, saying “their goal is to be the worst
defensive squad of the year.”
Therrien now says the outburst was calculated, that he’d spent a month
“waving pom-poms.”
“It didn’t work,” he said drily, pointing out some players “need a pat on the
back all the time, and other guys you give just one pat, their game goes
down.”
Bergevin prizes character and drive, and Therrien has plenty of both.
He is also the only man on the Habs’ short-list to have steered a last-place
team to the Stanley Cup final within three years, the span of a typical
coaching contract.
Given Bergevin’s other candidates – believed to be Marc Crawford, Patrick
Roy, Guy Carbonneau and Bob Hartley – the seamlessly bilingual Therrien
is eminently defensible.
The last team he coached won the Stanley Cup; sure, he was fired a couple
of months before it happened, but his influence on the likes of Sidney
Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kristopher Letang is undeniable.
Bergevin said he spoke at length with Pens co-owner Mario Lemieux – a
childhood friend – to vet Therrien’s suitability.
Habs fans will note Crosby was the first person to call and offer
congratulations.
Therrien is only the third man to get a second bite at the Montreal apple
since the Second World War – with Bob Gainey and Claude Ruel.
633519     Montreal Canadiens                                                     Between the NHL and AHL, he has coached an even 1,000 pro games.
                                                                                  He is the sixth Canadiens coach to have a second stint behind the bench.
Habs tap Therrien for coaching job                                                Newsy Lalonde coached from 1915 to 1921 and again from 1932 to 1934-
                                                                                  35. Leo Danderand was behind the bench from 1921-22 to 1925-26 and
                                                                                  then in 1934-35. Cecil Hart coached from 1926-27 to 1931-32 and again
Bill Beacon                                                                       from 1936-37 to 1938-39.
                                                                                  Claude Ruel coached in 1968-69 and 1969-70, then returned in 1979-80
                                                                                  and 1980-81.
Michel Therrien is back as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens.
                                                                                  Bob Gainey, who was also general manager, finished off two seasons
The NHL club announced Tuesday that 48-year-old Therrien will replace             behind the bench — in 2004-05 after Julien was fired and 2008-09 after
Randy Cunneyworth behind the bench.                                               Guy Carbonneau was let go.

The Montreal native coached the Canadiens from 2000 until he was                  Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.06.2012
replaced by Claude Julien in January 2003.
Therrien said he’s excited by the level of talent within the Canadiens’ lineup.
“There is a lot of potential with this group,” he said during a news
conference to announce his appointment.
And Therrien admits he has changed from his first stint at Canadiens
coach.
“We all change,” he said. “There’s a lot of people in that dressing room here
and I could tell you guys (media) changed a lot too.
“It goes with maturity. I got a lot of experience coaching that club before and
I brought that experience and knowledge when I left Montreal.”
The announcement ended weeks of speculation on who would be new
general manager Marc Bergevin’s man.
Former NHL coach Marc Crawford and the popular former goaltender
Patrick Roy, now coach and general manager of the junior Quebec
Remparts, were also believed to be top candidates.
Bergevin and his staff opted for Therrien, who has been working in
television since he was let go by the Pittsburgh Penguins only a few weeks
before their run to the Stanley Cup in 2009.
Cunneyworth was named interim coach after Jacques Martin was fired in
December. The move provoked howls of protest among many fans in
Quebec because he was the first non-French speaker to hold the job in four
decades.
Team president Geoff Molson apologized to fans and promised the next
head coach would be bilingual.
At the end of the season, the team announced that Cunneyworth was no
longer the coach and it would be up to the new head coach to decide
whether to keep him on as an assistant.
Therrien was hired by Montreal in 1997 to coach their top farm team, which
was then in Fredericton after taking the junior Granby Predators to a
Memorial Cup the previous year.
He was named head coach of the Canadiens on Nov. 20, 2000 to replace
the fired Alain Vigneault. Therrien’s team ended a four-year run of missing
the playoffs by reaching the second round in 2002. He had a 77-77-36
record in his first stint with the Canadiens.
After leaving Montreal, he joined the Penguins’ AHL club in Wilkes-Barre
from 2003 until he was called up to Pittsburgh to replace Ed Olczyk on Dec.
15, 2005.
“I got a chance to work with some great, young kids over there (Wilkes-
Barre) and we reached the Calder Cup final and when I moved back to the
NHL I was confident,” Therrien said. “I got a great challenge in Pittsburgh
and got the chance to work with some great young players and the
confidence in all those things helped me a lot.”
The following season, the talent-packed Penguins led by Sidney Crosby
made a 47-point jump to 105 points. In 2007-08, they reached the Stanley
Cup final, losing in six games to Detroit.
The team was faltering late in the 2008-09 campaign when Therrien was
abruptly replaced by Dan Bylsma, who took the club to its first Stanley Cup
since 1992.
Therrien has coached 462 NHL games with a 212-182-68 record. He is 21-
16 in playoffs games.
633520     Montreal Canadiens                                                     Therrien said he would start talking to the players, beginning with captain
                                                                                  Brian Gionta. While the Canadiens finished 28th overall in the NHL, he said
                                                                                  he thought there was a lot of potential. He said the No. 1 line of Max
Tears of joy for Michel Therrien                                                  Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Erik Cole can compete with any line in
                                                                                  the NHL. He also praised goaltender Carey Price, described P.K. Subban
                                                                                  as a thoroughbred, welcomed a healthy Andrei Markov and had kind words
                                                                                  for Tomas Plekanec, who seemed lost under the old regime. Therrien said
By Pat Hickey,                                                                    he would stress hard work and discipline on and off the ice, and those are
                                                                                  areas in which Plekanec stands out.
                                                                                  Therrien will also have to assemble his staff. He’ll start by sitting down with
Michel Therrien has a reputation as a tough guy, but he revealed a softer
                                                                                  Randy Cunneyworth, who finished the season as interim head coach. When
side Tuesday when he talked about being hired as head coach of the
                                                                                  he was named GM, Bergevin said Cunneyworth had been offered a job as
Canadiens.
                                                                                  an assistant coach, but the final decision will be up to Therrien.
Therrien and general manager Marc Bergevin hammered out the final
                                                                                  “These guys have to work together and travel together, and they have to
details Sunday over a barbecue at Therrien’s home.
                                                                                  get along,” Bergevin said. “But we owe it to Randy to make a quick
“My mother has been living with me since my father died last year and             decision. We can’t leave him hanging.”
when Marc told me that I had the job, I asked him if I could tell my mom
                                                                                  Therrien and Marc Crawford were the final two candidates for the job.
first,” Therrien recalled. “I saw a few tears. It was a nice moment.”
                                                                                  Bergevin also talked to Bob Hartley, who took the coaching job in Calgary,
Bergevin, who said he made many phone calls while dealing with six or             and former Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau.
seven candidates for the job, said he settled on Therrien because he
                                                                                  Bergevin will now turn his attention to the June 22-23 draft in Pittsburgh and
offered “leadership, experience and success at every level.”
                                                                                  other personnel matters. Last month, he said signing restricted free agents
This is the second time around in Montreal for the 48-year-old Therrien,          Price and Subban was a priority.
who coached the team for parts of three seasons from 2000 to 2003.
                                                                                  “I’ve made contact with their agents and one of the two is very close to
Therrien was coaching the Canadiens’ farm club in Fredericton when he
                                                                                  signing,” Bergevin said without elaborating.
received the call to replace Alain Vigneault. “When I got here, I was 38
years old, I came through junior and the American Hockey League and               Montreal Gazette LOADED: 06.06.2012
then, from one day to the next, I found myself behind the bench of the
Montreal Canadiens. It seemed to go too quickly,” Therrien said. “I had
never played in the NHL so I didn’t know what it felt like to go to Boston, to
go to Buffalo, to experience those rivalries. I was trying to coach the team
based on the experience I had at the time. But I obviously feel far better
prepared today than I did when I was 38.”
The Canadiens were a better team in Therrien’s only full season in 2001-
02. Backed by Hart and Vézina Trophy winner José Theodore in goal, the
Canadiens snuck into eighth place in the East with 87 points, 17 points
better than the previous season. They upset Boston in the first round of the
playoffs, but lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round.
The Canadiens lost Richard Zednik and Saku Koivu to injuries in the
playoffs, but Therrien contributed to the Carolina loss.
The Canadiens led the series 2-1 and were leading 3-0 in the third period of
Game 4 when Therrien was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty
by referee Kerry Fraser for arguing a penalty call to Stéphane Quintal.
Carolina scored with the two-man advantage and went on to win 4-3 in
overtime. They would win the series in six games.
Therrien was fired after the Canadiens started the next season with a 16-
12-6 record. He is one of 10 men who have been behind the bench since
Jacques Demers led the team to its last Stanley Cup in 1993.
But Bergevin cited long-term coaches Barry Trotz in Nashville and Lindy
Ruff as examples of the type of stability he hopes to establish in Montreal.
Therrien will start off with a three-year contract.
Therrien hasn’t coached since he was let go by the Pittsburgh Penguins
late in the 2008-09 season, a campaign that ended with a Stanley Cup
under Dan Bylsma.
After the Canadiens dumped him, Therrien was hired to coach the
Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre the following season, and he
replaced Ed Olczyk in Pittsburgh on Dec. 15, 2005.
“I was proud,” Therrien said when asked to assess his time in Pittsburgh.
“From when I got there to the day I left, there was a huge improvement.” He
left town with a record of 135-105-32.
Therrien spent one year as a pro scout for the Minnesota Wild and a year
working as an analyst for RDS. The latter job forced him to be critical of
some players, but he said that wouldn’t be a problem in his new job.
“I try to be honest and it’s the same when you’re a coach; sometimes you
have to tell players when they didn’t play well.” Therrien said. He also said
that his work in the media gave him a better idea how the media works.
“I know what it’s like on the other side now,” Therrien said. “You can’t ignore
the fact that in Montreal, the coach of the Canadiens has a responsibility to
communicate with the fans. It’s going to be very important for me.”
633521     Montreal Canadiens                                                   that (but he did in 1996, with Granby, the first club from this province to win
                                                                                since the 1971 Quebec Remparts).
                                                                                “I’ve never been afraid to tell people my goals. I always set the standards
Marc Bergevin’s polarizing decision (with video)                                very high for myself and my teams. To achieve those standards, you’ve got
                                                                                to work and believe in what you’re doing. I’ll do anything to get the most out
                                                                                of everyone.”
By Dave Stubbs,
                                                                                Therrien spoke that day of his first job – “I was 14 or 15, a parks monitor in
                                                                                St. Léonard. I was paid about $100 a week and coached baseball, working
                                                                                with kids age 9 or 10.”
MONTREAL - From galvanized to polarized in one short month.
                                                                                He’s never been afraid of labour, giving up his dreams of a playing career
Marc Bergevin, welcome to Montreal – for real. Hope you enjoyed the             when he suffered a knee injury. As a coaching assistant in Laval, Therrien
honeymoon.                                                                      worked for Bell Canada as a technician, climbing telephone poles and
                                                                                installing phone lines.
Since his hiring on May 2, the Canadiens’ new general manager has had a
famously impatient fan-base strongly on his side.                               “If I hadn’t become a coach,” he said, “I’d probably still be climbing poles
                                                                                today.”
Bergevin has moved deliberately to build a sound hockey operations
department aimed at pulling the club from its 2011-12 quicksand; he hired       (If he could fix the balky Wi-Fi at Brossard, the media would cut him some
Rick Dudley as an assistant GM, extended the contract of incumbent              slack. Guaranteed.)
assistant Larry Carrière; imported Scott Mellanby as director of player
personnel.                                                                      Therrien spoke of the favourite Canadiens of his children, Charles, then 7,
                                                                                and Élizabeth, then 9: “Charles has Saku Koivu’s (game-worn) sweater in
Compared to Pierre Gauthier, his sometimes lifelike predecessor, Bergevin       his room, he’s so proud of it. And (José) Théodore, especially for
has been a breath of communicative fresh air, keeping some cards tight to       Élizabeth.”
his vest yet willing to show others.
                                                                                He recalled getting into the Canadiens’ Forum dressing room when he was
But in the dark of night Monday into Tuesday, Internet reports confirmed by     8 or 9 and snagging Guy Lafleur’s autograph on a picture postcard.
team communiqué roughly nine hours later, Bergevin confounded many
fans and infuriated plenty more with his hiring of Michel Therrien to a         Three decades later, Therrien’s only full season behind the Habs bench
second tour of duty as Canadiens head coach.                                    wasn’t quite as much fun. Up 2-1 on Carolina in the 2002 Eastern
                                                                                Conference semifinal, the coach drew a bench minor – abuse of officials, it
All this iron-rich new blood in the front office, and then Bergevin gives the   read on the scoresheet – for a tirade at referee Kerry Fraser after
team what many critics are calling a stale infusion.                            Canadiens defenceman Stéphane Quintal was called for cross-checking.
The Canadiens were in free-fall the first time Therrien was hired to lead the   The Hurricanes scored with a 5-on-3 advantage, their first of three
Canadiens, in the 2000-01 NHL basement with a 5-13-2-0 record under             unanswered third-period goals, then went on to win the game 4-3 in
coach Alain Vigneault.                                                          overtime. Carolina would win the series in six.
Then-president Pierre Boivin also sacked GM Réjean Houle that November          Therrien denied he verbally abused Fraser, but the referee, in a long chat a
day, replacing him with André Savard while speaking of the club’s “crisis       year later, offered a different view:
situation,” describing its record as “unacceptable.”
                                                                                “Look at the replay,” Fraser said. “I made an obvious call on Quintal, who
Deepening the uncertainties: Molson Brewery was working to sell the             had cross-checked a guy in the back of the neck and put him into the net.
franchise and its arena home, which in time it would do to George Gillett Jr.   As I was standing over at the penalty box, Therrien got animated. He stood
                                                                                up on the bench, raised his arms, and hollered: ‘What the f---?!’
Therrien brought a passion and even a flamboyance to the rink. That didn’t
translate to sterling results, though you could argue the coach could only do   “I heard him from 85 feet away. If I heard him, so did his bench, the other
so much with economically talented rosters.                                     bench and every player on the ice. And he’d been warned earlier.”
He was fired in January 2003, replaced by Hamilton Bulldogs coach Claude        During our training-camp talk in 2001, with only 62 games of NHL coaching
Julien, and quit the organization with a .496 win percentage.                   experience under his belt, Therrien considered how he was being treated
                                                                                by the Canadiens fans in whose embrace/clenched grip he is once more:
After NHL stays in Montreal and Pittsburgh, losing a six-game Stanley Cup
final with the Penguins in 2007-08, Therrien has fans and detractors in         “To be quite sincere, people have been very, very nice,” he said. “They’re
equal numbers, quite possibly more of the latter.                               supportive, they appreciate the job I’m trying to do with this team. They’ve
                                                                                all been fantastic. I haven’t heard any bad stuff – so far.”
At least he’s seldom been dull. Exhibit A: his sarcastic 2006 press-
conference rant at his “soft” Penguins after a listless loss to Edmonton is a   And then he laughed.
thing of legend on YouTube.
                                                                                “Ask me again in a year.”
One prominent unrestricted free agent I’ve spoken with since regular-
season’s end could be a nice fit in Montreal at a decent price and would fill   Sounds like a plan. Again.
a Habs need.
                                                                                Montreal Gazette LOADED: 06.06.2012
But then I floated the name of Therrien among potential Canadiens
coaches, a suggestion that drew 30 seconds of stone-cold silence. Finally:
“If that happens,” he said, “I’ve got 29 teams I can play for.”
We know this much: Therrien had better play great personal defence until
he’s won a string of games. There were more crossed than open arms to
greet him in this town Tuesday, and he knows that only good results will
change this in his second kick at the Canadiens can.
I sat for an hour with Therrien in his Bell Centre office in September 2001,
shortly before he set off into his first full season behind the Habs bench,
and got a strong sense of what fuelled him as a coach, a man and a father.
His philosophy about coaching was pretty simple:
“Have no fear,” he said. “When I started coaching junior, I told people my
goal was to win the Memorial Cup. For a Quebec team then, you didn’t do
633522     Montreal Canadiens                                                      “There’s a lot of guys don’t care. They pretend to care but I know they don’t
                                                                                   care.”
                                                                                   The tirade was delivered in January 2006, after the Penguins’ third straight
Michel Therrien: a case of 'déjà vu all over again'?                               loss. The team proceeded to lose another seven in a row, but Therrien had
                                                                                   launched the process of turning a country-club hockey team into a hard-
                                                                                   working contender.
By Mike Boone,
                                                                                   Complacency is not the challenge he faces with the Canadiens. The team’s
                                                                                   defence is undersized, but not soft. And the players care. They did not quit
                                                                                   on Jacques Martin or his successor, Randy Cunneyworth.
MONTREAL - It is, in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “déjà vu all over
again.”                                                                            The Canadiens just didn’t have the horses – not enough thoroughbreds – to
                                                                                   compete with the NHL’s elite.
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “there are no second acts” in life. But Fitzgerald
was never a hockey coach, a line of work that can involve many spins on            It might take a while for the team to improve. But Therrien and the man who
the carousel.                                                                      hired him, general manager Marc Bergevin, noted the recent history of this
                                                                                   season’s Stanley Cup finalists: New Jersey missed the playoffs a year ago,
One need look no farther than the Stanley Cup final for examples. Los              and L.A. qualified by finishing eighth in the Western Conference.
Angeles is the latest stop on a long coaching odyssey for Darryl Sutter.
Pete DeBoer failed in Florida before New Jersey hired him.                         Get into the playoffs, Bergevin and Therrien said, and anything is possible.
                                                                                   But first you have to qualify for the postseason. To accomplish that,
The Canadiens have turned to their not-so-storied recent past in naming            Therrien plans to coach a Canadiens team that will display exemplary work
Michel Therrien their not-so-new head coach. But the Therrien who met the          ethic, discipline, pride and “leadership, on and off the ice.”
media at a hastily convened press conference at the Canadiens’ training
complex in Brossard Tuesday afternoon was not the man who was fired 46             As for the man behind the bench, Therrien says he’s changed since his first
games into the 2002-03 season.                                                     hometown head coaching job.

Gone is the notorious mustard-coloured jacket, replaced on this occasion           “Some more grey and less hair, but my weight isn’t that bad” he joked. “For
by a subtly pinstriped blue suit.                                                  sure, I’m a different person that I was 10 years ago. Who isn’t?

And gone, at least on Day 1 of his second coming, was the stressed-out             “That’s part of learning in life and learning as a human being. Yes, I’m a
demeanour of a 38-year-old coach trying to wring wins out a bad hockey             different person and a different coach. I’ve learned so much.”
team, which is what the Canadiens were in 2003.
                                                                                   The lessons will be applied to a new job that begins, Therrien said, with a
Of course, it can be argued – perhaps persuasively – they’re a worse team          call to his captain, Brian Gionta. He’ll talk to every player on the team,
now. Therrien’s second act is stewardship of a last-place hockey team that         explaing what the new sheriff in town expects.
inflicted some of its most putrid performances on the adoring Bell Centre
public.                                                                            “I’m taking over a team that finished last in the Eastern Conference,” he
                                                                                   said. “We’re going to go step by step, and we’re going to get better and
Several times during his remarks, Therrien alluded to hard work and                better.”
intensity. Canadiens fans, he said, are entitled to nothing less.
                                                                                   Montreal Gazette LOADED: 06.06.2012
“I’ve got to get the most out of every single player,” Therrien said. “That’s
always been my philosophy.”
He wants players who will be “on board”, displaying “leadership on and off
the ice.”
Therrien smiled and chuckled frequently through almost two hours of
questions. The new Canadiens coach said he was taking over a club not
without assets.
Therrien singled out the top line of David Desharnais, Erik Cole and Max
Pacioretty; Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price and the only holdover from his
first go-round as coach, Andrei Markov.
He had praise for P.K. Subban, a player whom Therrien, in his role as RDS
hockey analyst, had occasion to criticize during the past season.
“Subban is a thoroughbred, and you need thoroughbreds to win races,”
Therrien said.
He added that one of his challenges will be developing Subban’s talent and
leadership qualities.
Therrien has a good track record in that regard. Kris Letang was a
struggling forward in the Pittsburgh system before Therrien converted the
Quebec junior league grad into a defenceman who has become one of the
NHL’s best.
Therrien has some experience in that regard. He is credited with the
development of Kris Letang, a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
product who has become one of the NHL's best defencemen.
“I’m not impressed,” Therrien began. “It’s a pathetic performance. Half of
the team doesn’t care. What will those guys say if we take back 40 or 50
per cent of their salary because they only play 50 per cent of the time.”
The coach was just warming up.
“I’m really starting to believe their goal is to be the worst defensive squad in
the league,” Therrien added. “They turn the puck over, they have no vision,
they’re soft … I’ve never seen a bunch of defencemen soft like this.
633523    Montreal Canadiens


Michel Therrien returns as Montreal Canadiens head coach


By Jan Ravensbergen and Dave Stubbs,


MONTREAL – For Habs fans, this is a case of Back to the Future.
The Montreal Canadiens hockey club confirmed on its website Tuesday
morning that it has rehired Michel Therrien as the team's head coach.
Almost a decade ago, midway through during the 2002-03 season, the club
had dumped Therrien from the same slot behind its player bench.
His tenure then had spanned less than three seasons.
The Habs have scheduled a 2:30 p.m. Tuesday news conference at the
practice complex in Brossard.
The club issued its announcement at 8:55 a.m.
Therrien coached the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2005 to 2009, but was fired
in February 2009.
His replacement, Dan Bylsma, led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup that
spring.
Therrien's QMJHL playing career began in the 1980-81 season with the
Quebec Remparts.
His ice time as a player ended 1986-87, with the Baltimore Skipjacks of the
American Hockey League.
Therrien never played in the National Hockey League.
He had been in the running in a race that had reportedly been narrowed to
two candidates.
The other hopeful was veteran NHL coach Marc Crawford, with Patrick Roy
having slipped off the radar of new Habs general manager Marc Bergevin
during the past few days.
The Canadiens already had a Tuesday morning news conference lined up
for the Bell Centre in downtown Montreal, but that was for the annual Guy
Lafleur Awards of Excellence presentations; the bursary program helps
deserving Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Canadian university and
Quebec Junior Triple-A players.
In Quebec City, Premier Jean Charest said Therrien's hiring "is good for
Montreal. It's good for sports."
As he was walking away from a group of reporters, one shouted, "Good for
Bill 101?" referring to Quebec's French Language Charter.
"Yes!" Charest shouted back.
Montreal Gazette LOADED: 06.06.2012
633524     Montreal Canadiens                                                      next season. For now, with the franchise in desperate need of an immediate
                                                                                   turnaround, he's really on the hot seat.
                                                                                   Bergevin said that he talked to a lot of people before he hired Therrien for
Habs chose the wrong coach                                                         his "leadership, experience and the success he's had at all levels." He
                                                                                   added that he was given the mandate to "bring back the winning tradition"
                                                                                   and "that's why I choose Michel Therrien."
By DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency
                                                                                   Said Therrien: "It's an important day for myself, my family, my friends ... I'm
                                                                                   having a hard time expressing my feelings. I'm extremely honored to be
                                                                                   here.
Habs hire Therrien as coach, again
                                                                                   "I'm more ready than I was before (for this job). I can't wait for the
T'es pas sérieux?                                                                  challenge."
Yes, it's hard to believe the Montreal Canadiens really have hired Michel          Once again, it's really too bad the Habs feel handcuffed into hiring a
Therrien to be their coach again.                                                  bilingual coach rather than simply being able to go with the best man
                                                                                   available. But even of the candidates who can speak French, Therrien just
Mario Tremblay must have been busy.
                                                                                   doesn't seem to be the right choice.
The Habs might have been better off going with Mike Therien, Sun Media's
                                                                                   No, that would be Crawford -- even if he is just learning what "t'es pas
vice president of multiplatform content. This company has made great
                                                                                   sérieux?" means.
strides under his watch. He has a track record of success.
                                                                                   MICHEL THERRIEN BIO
The same can't be said for Therrien or his previous stumble with Les
Glorieux.                                                                          Name: Michel Therrien
In 190 regular season games behind the Montreal plank from 2000-03 he              Born: Nov. 4, 1963 (age 48) in Montreal
was 77-77-36. In 12 playoff games he was 6-6.
                                                                                   Playing career: Three years in the QMJHL (1980-83: Quebec, Chicoutimi,
That's going to keep Quebecers purchasing Molson Canadian beer?                    Longueuil) with 185 games played, 17 goals, 87 assists, 104 points, 302
                                                                                   penalty minutes. Four years in the AHL/IHL (1983-87: Nova Scotia,
More likely, news of Therrien's hiring will have them reaching for the hard
                                                                                   Sherbrooke, Milwaukee, Baltimore) with 208 games played, 17 goals, 74
stuff.
                                                                                   assists, 91 points, 120 penalty minutes.
Sure, the 48-year-old Montreal native had better results as coach of the
                                                                                   Coaching career: Five years in the QMJHL (1990-91, 1993-97: Laval,
Pittsburgh Penguins from 2005 until he was fired Feb. 15, 2009 -- a move
                                                                                   Granby) with 273 games,
that helped the Penguins win the Cup four months later.
                                                                                   191 wins, 71 losses, 11 ties. Best playoff finish: Won championshp
He also had Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in his lineup. Even Dave
                                                                                   (Granby, '95-96)
"Sparky" Allison -- who was 2-22-1 coaching the 1995-96 Ottawa Senators -
- could have won a pot or two with those aces.                                     Seven years in the AHL (1997-2001: Fredericton, Quebec; 2003-06:
                                                                                   Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) 444 games, 209 wins, 164 losses, 34 ties, 37
There must be a reason Therrien hasn't been a serious coaching candidate
                                                                                   overtime losses. Best playoff finish: lost in Calder Cup final (Wilkes-
with any team since the Penguins cut him loose. Might have something to
                                                                                   Barre/Scranton, 2004). Seven years in the NHL (2000-03: Montreal, 2005-
do with the fact that his style is more suited to handle juniors or minor
                                                                                   09: Pittsburgh) 462 games,
leaguers.
                                                                                   212 wins, 182 losses, 30 ties, 38 overtime losses. Best playoff finish: lost in
Nobody will admit it, but he could not have been the first choice of Habs
                                                                                   Stanley Cup final (Pittsburgh, 2008)
rookie GM Marc Bergevin. Surely, Bergevin preferred Bob Hartley, a former
Cup winner who wound up taking a job with the Calgary Flames last week.            Montreal Sun LOADED: 06.06.2012
Snooze ya lose, right Marc?
It's understandable Bergevin didn't hire Patrick Roy, who is said to have
wanted more control than was being offered.
But what about Marc Crawford?
That's the man who should have been introduced as the new bench boss to
the Montreal media Tuesday. A veteran of 1,271 games as an NHL coach,
Crawford has a championship ring (1996 Colorado Avalanche) and was
already taking French lessons to prepare him for the post.
Crawford told friends he's never been more thoroughly interviewed for a job.
Therrien, meanwhile, might be best known for his throat-slash gesture and
calling out his own players for their lack of caring.
"I'm really starting to believe their goal is to be the worst defensive squad in
the league," Therrien said after a loss by his Penguins in '06. "And their
doing such a great job (of) being the worst defensive squad in the league."
What he does have on Crawford is perfect command of the French
language already.
At his news conference in Brossard, Que., Therrien was doing his best to
charm the media. Obviously, he understands that first it is the powerful
reporters and broadcasters who follow the Habs that have to be won over,
not the fan base.
When answering how he's different as a coach now than he was his last
stint in Montreal, Therrien added to his audience: "I can tell you guys have
changed a lot, too."
He followed with a long, uncomfortable laugh at the own-joke. The moment
will seem like an hour in a La-Z-Boy to him if the Habs get off to a poor start
633525     Montreal Canadiens


Habs hire Therrien as coach, again


By QMI Agency


MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens dove into their past in their search
for a new head coach, naming Michel Therrien to lead the team for the
second time in a decade.
General Manager Marc Bergevin will introduce the 48-year-old television
analyst at a news conference at the team's practice facility at 2:30 p.m. EDT
Tuesday.
It will be the second go-around in Montreal for Therrien, who was fired in
2003 after he posted a 76-77-22-14 record over three seasons.
Therrien guided the Habs to the playoffs in 2002 after a three-year absence
from the post-season, advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
He replaces interim coach Randy Cunneyworth, the assistant who was
promoted to the top job in December after the Canadiens fired Jacques
Martin.
Owner Geoff Molson then fired GM Pierre Gauthier in March, citing a lack of
stability on the ice and behind the scenes that dated back to former owner
George Gillett.
Molson has said a return to winning ways is his top priority.
The club has missed the playoffs in six of the past 13 seasons, including
this past season that saw the team finish in last place in the Eastern
Conference.
The path was cleared for Bergevin to hire Therrien once Bob Hartley
withdrew from the race and was named head coach of the Calgary Flames
last week.
Therrien, a Montreal native, saw his greatest success in Pittsburgh, where
he was hired part way through the 2005-06 campaign.
The Penguins recorded 105 points, a 47-point improvement over the
previous season and the fourth-biggest single-season turnaround in NHL
history.
In 2007-08, Therrien steered the Pens to a 102-point regular season, a
division title and a berth in the Stanley Cup final against Detroit where they
lost in six games.
Montreal Sun LOADED: 06.06.2012
633526     Nashville Predators


Nashville Predators to sever ties with Alexander Radulov


Josh Cooper


The Alexander Radulov era in Nashville will likely come to an end soon.
Predators general manager David Poile said today he’s looking to trade the
forward’s rights to another NHL team or allow him to return to the
Kontinental Hockey League.
“The best way to characterize it is it’s time to not pursue Rad anymore,”
Poile said. “If he wants to play in the KHL that’s fine, if he wants to play with
another NHL team I’d be willing to trade his rights.”
When asked if it would be safe to say that Radulov won’t be with the
Predators next season, Poile said: “I would say right now that would be safe
to say.”
The Predators drafted Radulov in 2004 and he played two seasons in
Nashville before bolting for the KHL in 2008.
He returned to the Predators in late March and in nine regular season
games he posted seven points. He had six points in eight playoff games,
including five points in Nashville’s five-game series win over Detroit.
In the next round the Predators suspended him for Game 3 against Phoenix
for a curfew violation. They also held him out of Game 4 and went on to
lose the series in five games.
“We feel the fit right now is not with Nashville,” Poile said. “He is currently in
negotiations in the KHL, but still leaving the window open to a possible
return to the NHL. I have reached out to a few teams in the NHL to see
whether there is any interest. If there is there’s the possibility we could trade
his rights. But that’s where it stands today.”
Tennessean LOADED: 06.06.2012
633527     Nashville Predators


Predators conclude business with 2010 draft class, sign fifth-round pick


By David Boclair


The Nashville Predators continued to conduct their offseason business
overseas Tuesday.
Patrick Cehlin, a 2010 fifth-round draft pick out of Sweden, was signed to
an entry-level contract with the expectation that he would play in North
America next season. That followed a pair of recent free agent signings,
one from Sweden and one from Finland.
The move also concludes the team’s initial business with its six-person
2010 draft class. Cehlin, 20, joins right wing Austin Watson (first round),
defenseman Tyler Aronson (third round), defenseman Anthony Bitteto (sixth
round) and center Joonas Rask (seventh) round under contract.
Nashville previously relinquished its rights to the other member of that
group, left wing David Elsner (seventh round).
Cehlin, a 5-foot-11, 172-pound right wing, has spent the last three seasons
with Djurgardens in Sweden’s top professional league. He set a career-high
with 10 goals in 2011-12, which was fourth on the team. In 2011, he was
one of Sweden’s top players in the World Junior Championships.
He is one of four Predators’ draft picks out of Sweden in the last three
years.
In fact, they have taken at least one player out of Sweden in six of the last
seven years. The only one who has become a full-time NHL player is Patric
Hornqivst (seventh round, 2005), Nashville’s leading goal scorer in two of
the past three seasons.
Nashville City Paper LOADED: 06.06.2012
633528     New Jersey Devils


Devils Put on Brave Face Before Game Four Showdown


By REUTERS


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Staring into the abyss with the prospect of a
humbling four-game sweep from the Stanley Cup finals, the New Jersey
Devils put on a brave face and said all the right things on Tuesday as they
prepared to face the Los Angeles Kings.
But the smiles seemed forced and the words weary as the rattled Devils
trotted out a few well-worn, backs-against-the-wall cliches, mustering up as
much defiance as they could before their do-or-die Game Four on
Wednesday.
"I think it's an opportunity we have to stay alive," Devils netminder Martin
Brodeur said. "We have to compete tomorrow and we'll see where that's
going to bring us.
"We put ourselves in that position. Credit to those guys, they've been
playing real well.
"Everything they touch turns to gold."
The Kings will be hoping to touch silver after Game Four -- Lord Stanley's
treasured mug that has eluded them in their 45 years as a franchise.
New Jersey has hoisted the Cup three times but has watched a fourth slip
away, starting with a pair of 2-1 overtime losses at home that left them ruing
their bad luck and believing a break here or there would have had them in
the driver's seat.
"I think we've played some good hockey and the bounces haven't gone our
way," said Devils forward David Clarkson. "This is part of the way things go.
This is the playoffs.
"Bounces go your way or don't. We're not going to give up.
"I think last game we did a lot of good things. I don't think the score showed
for how well we played at certain times."
Coming back has required a bit of California dreaming for the Devils. Only
one team, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, has ever clawed back from 3-0
down to steal the Cup.
"We haven't talked about the statistics of the situation we're in," said Devils
coach Peter DeBoer. "We feel we don't belong in the hole we're in right now
based on the way we've played, but we are.
"Got to stick with it and win one game. That's where it starts.
"We're down 3-0. I think we played better than the situation indicates. But
that's hockey."
A good place to look for answers would be the Devils' sputtering powerplay
that has gone 0-for-12 in the series.
With just two goals in three games, the Devils also need to generate some
offense and make life a little more difficult for Kings netminder Jonathan
Quick.
The Devils have grudgingly given Quick the proper amount of respect but
point out that they have beaten other top netminders this postseason,
including the New York Rangers' Vezina trophy finalist Henrik Lundqvist.
"We've got to convert," said Devils captain Zach Parise. "I think last game
we had some good opportunities early, power plays, we're just not cashing
in when we need to and they are. That's been the difference.
"When we have a breakdown, they're making it count and we're not. That's
why we find ourselves where we are right now.
"We're in a tough spot. Try to get this thing taken back to New Jersey that's
all we can do right now."
New York Times LOADED: 06.06.2012
633529     New Jersey Devils


Finding a Way to Score Is Still Elusive for the Devils


By JEFF Z. KLEIN


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Coming back from three games down to win the
Stanley Cup is not as rare as the Transit of Venus phenomenon, but it will
be quite a challenge for the Devils to overtake the Kings, starting
Wednesday in Los Angeles.
 “We’re in a tough spot,” Zach Parise said of the Devils’ predicament. “It’ll
be very hard, but we’ll try our best.”
He then boarded the team bus at the practice rink here Tuesday, a few
minutes before Venus began to cross the face of the sun for the last time
until 2117.
The only time a team has rallied from 0-3 down to win the Stanley Cup was
in 1942, when Toronto overtook Detroit. But the Devils will not be staging a
comeback unless they can solve Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
“Quick’s playing very well,” Coach Peter DeBoer said. “We’re creating as
many chances this round as we had against the Rangers the prior round.
We’re not finishing.”
The Devils have scored two goals. That is not a playoff series futility record
— Minnesota scored once while being swept by Anaheim in the 2003
Western Conference finals — but they are on pace to tie a dubious record.
In 1952 the Montreal Canadiens scored twice in the finals while being swept
by the Red Wings.
Only Anton Volchenkov, who was credited with a goal after the puck
bounced in off a Kings defenseman, and Ryan Carter on a tip-in have put
the puck past Quick. Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and the rest of the Devils’
snipers have been blanked.
The Kings blanketed Kovalchuk so closely in their 4-0 victory in Game 3 on
Monday that there was speculation he had an injured back. Although he did
spend a long time in the trainers’ room after the game, Kovalchuk denied
that he was injured. On Tuesday, he looked fine taking one-timers in
practice.
“You get this deep in the playoffs, everybody’s playing hurt,” DeBoer said.
“You guys want somebody to blame for the situation we’re in. It’s not like
that, you know. We’re working hard. We’re doing a lot of good things.
Hasn’t gone our way yet.”
The Devils’ task seems almost insurmountable. Los Angeles has allowed
24 goals in 17 playoff games. Quick’s 1.36 goals-against average is the
best mark since Frank Brimsek’s 1.25 for Boston in the 1939 playoffs.
Quick has a .950 playoff save percentage, on pace for an N.H.L. record. To
score two goals on a goalie with a .950 save percentage, the Devils would
have to put 40 shots on net.
The Devils have never been swept in a playoff series, but that is what
goalie Martin Brodeur, 40, will face in what could be his last game. He said
that if the Devils do not come back, it will have no bearing on whether he
retires.
“I’m enjoying this, because I know it could be the last time,” Brodeur said.
“Regardless of the position we’re in, it’s not going to take away the fun that I
have being here. I’m fortunate to have a chance late in my career like this.
You’re not going to win them all, though. But we’re still alive.”
New York Times LOADED: 06.06.2012
633530     New Jersey Devils


For Sutter, Call of Out Blue Put Him Behind Bench


By JEFF Z. KLEIN


LOS ANGELES — While Devils Coach Peter DeBoer answered questions
about how he could fix his team, Kings Coach Darryl Sutter recalled the day
in December when General Manager Dean Lombardi called to tell him was
hiring him to take over the club.
“I think I was in the barn,” Sutter said, referring to his ranch in northwest
Alberta.
In his low, gravelly voice Sutter said he was not shoveling manure, “but I
had that day.
“I was probably warming up,” he added. “It was cold.”
Asked if had seen much of the Kings before taking the job, Sutter said:
“When you’re in Canada, and everybody that’s here from Canada, you
watch hockey every night, right? There’s always two or three games on.
That’s what you do. It’s dark at 4:30, and you watch hockey. That’s what
you do. It’s a good thing.”
New York Times LOADED: 06.06.2012
633531     New Jersey Devils


Devils' mood is good; Anton Volchenkov says comeback is possible


By Rich Chere


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- What was the mood of the Devils today?
“Actually it’s pretty good," goalie Martin Brodeur said. "Guys are focused on
what we need to do. We have to find a way to score goals.
“I try to give these guys a chance to win. I’ve done that in the first three
games. At the end of the day, it’s hard to win games when you don’t score
many goals. I try to be perfect but the other guy is a little more perfect than
me.”
Practice today helped the Devils pull together.
“We’re getting ourselves ready for a tough game," Brodeur said. "It’s an
opportunity we have to stay alive. Yesterday was real disappointing but
today was a little better. We practiced. No pressure. I’m sure it’s going to be
in the back of our heads, but we have to go out there and try to enjoy
ourselves and try to compete as hard as we can, like we’ve been doing.”
Ilya Kovalchuk said of a comeback: "It doesn't feel impossible. We're a
confident group of guys.
"We don't want to think about four games. You can't win it in one night."
But the Kings can.
Defenseman Anton Volchenkov was on the Ottawa Senators team that was
down, 3-1, in the 2003 conference finals against the Devils.
"I remember in Ottawa we played against New Jersey and we were down,
3-1. We came back and tied it, 3-3," Volchenkov said. "We lost the series,
but there was still a chance.
"This will be a tough game for L.A. tomorrow. We're in a pretty tough
situation right now, down 3-0, but there4 is still one game left. We'll go
game to game. One step. But you cannot win games if you don't score
goals."
Defenseman Henrik Tallinder said he is disappointed he won't play in Game
4. He wants to see the series extended to give him a shot at returning.
"I want to win. As long as we keep winning there is a chance," Tallinder
noted, "but I don't know if they are likely to change (the lineup) if we win."
Star Ledger LOADED: 06.06.2012
633532     New Jersey Devils                                                      “It’s an unfortunate call that I think really affected us in that game,” he said.
                                                                                  “At the time you’re always a little mad about it and you don’t understand.
                                                                                  Those guys (the referees) have a hard job and they react on the play.
Devils: Petr Sykora will return to lineup for Game 4 against Kings                Sometimes they make the decision and sometimes they make bad
                                                                                  decisions, regardless of what he feels.
                                                                                  “It’s up to him (Dan O’Halloran) to live with that call. It really affected us in
Rich Chere/                                                                       that game, but we have to move on.”
                                                                                  Did he get an explanation for no whistle?

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – You have to wonder why the Devils waited so long.            “Nope,” Brodeur said. “It’s kind of hard. Especially with some of the words I
                                                                                  told him. I don’t think I was going to get an answer back. All in French.”
Struggling to score goals against the Los Angeles Kings, Petr Sykora will
return to the lineup Wednesday night in Game 4. It will be the fifth Stanley      DeBoer said he did not get an explanation for the goal.
Cup finals for the 35-year-old winger, who has a history of scoring big
goals.                                                                            "I didn't get one. I didn't ask for one," the coach said. "I mean, I guess you
                                                                                  have an opportunity on the ice, right, for the referee to come over and
“Of course I’m excited. Hopefully I can bring some spark to the team,”            explain to you the thought process. That was the opportunity I did not get. I
Sykora said. “I’m just going to go out there and try to play my best game.”       didn't pursue one after the game.

Coach Pete DeBoer wouldn’t acknowledged that Sykora will play, although           "I think it's pretty evident to me after re-looking at it that it shouldn't have
in practice he had Patrik Elias back at center between Sykora and Dainius         counted. It was a critical time in the game. So it's unfortunate."
Zubrus.
                                                                                  Star Ledger LOADED: 06.06.2012
“He’s an option for us,” DeBoer said. “We’re going to consider him. We
haven’t scored. He's a guy that doesn't need a lot of looks to stick one in
the net. That's what he does best. So he's definitely an option.”
Sykora last played in Game 3 of the conference finals against the Rangers
on May 19. Jacob Josefson will come out.
Kings center Mike Richards admitted there will be some nervousness in
trying to close out the Devils in Game 4.
“It’s a position that you dream about since you're young,” Richsrds said. “It's
a situation where I think you have to try to enjoy. You're probably going to
be a little bit nervous at the same time. You just have to enjoy the process.
“We know how tough of a game it's going to be, what's ahead of us. At the
same time we have to be ready for it and not make mistakes just because
we're nervous."
So what will that mean for the Devils?
“In the back of our minds, no one wants this to end,” captain Zach Parise
said. “But we have nothing to lose. We can go and play as hard as we can
and hope for the best. There’s nothing really right now to save it for.
“Try to get this thing taken back to New Jersey. That’s all we can do right
now. We believe we can do it. Of course we do. We’re in a tough spot. It will
be very hard but we’ll try our best. You can’t look at the big picture right
now.”
*Fourth line winger Ryan Carter and defenseman Anton Volchenkov have
the Devils’ only two goals in the finals. Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik
Elias are all without a goal.
Parise acknowledged the team’s top guns need to put the puck in the net.
“We need to. There’s no secret there,” Parise said. “I know how this goes.
When the offense struggles you look at certain individuals. I get it. Yeah, we
have to do a better job of scoring some goals. They’re playing a real good
defensive game in not giving us a lot of room and a lot of chances. But the
chances are there. You have to make them count and so far we haven’t
been able to do that.”
*Defenseman Henrik Tallinder, who hasn’t played a game since Jan. 17
because of blood clots in his leg, said he will definitely not be in the lineup
Wednesday night.
“No, I’m not playing,” Tallinder said.
DeBoer did not appreciate a question asking if Kovalchuk is battling a
significant injury, perhaps the herniated disc in his back that sidelined him
for a game against the Flyers.
“You get this deep in the playoffs, everybody's playing hurt,” DeBoer said.
“You guys want somebody to blame for the situation we're in.
It's not like that, you know. We're working hard. We're doing a lot of good
things. It hasn't gone our way yet. We've got to keep going.”
*Martin Brodeur spoke of the Kings’ first goal during Game 3 in which he felt
the play should have been blown dead buit wasn’t.
633533     New Jersey Devils                                                      me to hope that we accomplish what we did this year would’ve been a little
                                                                                  far-fetched… Now we’re here in the Stanley Cup finals. I didn’t expect that,
                                                                                  that’s for sure, when I started the season.”
Devils' Martin Brodeur will cherish playoff run no matter what happens            He also didn’t expect to be down, 3-0, to the Kings.
                                                                                  Shock?
Rich Chere                                                                        “A little bit. The first two games we lost in overtime, tight games that
                                                                                  could’ve gone both ways,” Brodeur said. “Now we’re in a huge hole. I didn’t
                                                                                  expect that, that’s for sure, but this is what we’re facing.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Unless they are on the verge of writing the greatest
story in franchise history, the Devils will not be lifting the Stanley Cup this   “We need something to happen, regardless of what it is. A big hit. A nice
year.                                                                             goal, a weak goal. Something. They’ve been finding ways of winning. We
                                                                                  have to find the same for us because there is no tomorrow for us.”
Only one team in NHL history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the
finals to win the Cup and that happened 70 years ago when the Toronto             Even if it ends Wednesday night, there will be a next season for Brodeur
Maple Leafs did it during World War II.                                           unless a labor stoppage wipes out the 2012-13 schedule. That is also in the
                                                                                  back of his mind.
But no matter what happens, including the possibility of being swept by the
Los Angeles Kings, it will not taint the pure joy Devils goalie Martin Brodeur    “I just don’t want to taste retirement before I need to,” he said.
has experienced this season and it will not change his mind about wanting         Or the end of a memorable playoff run before he needs to.
to come back next season.
                                                                                  Star Ledger LOADED: 06.06.2012
“Not at all. This is great. This is what we play for, to have a chance to be in
the Stanley Cup finals. I wouldn’t trade that for anything, even though we’re
down, 3-0,” Brodeur said today as the Devils prepared for Game 4
Wednesday night at the Staples Center.
“It’s not fun, don’t get me wrong, but I’m enjoying the experience of being
back here (in his fifth finals). We have to be really proud of ourselves to
have achieved what we’ve achieved with what we had to go through last
season and to be in a spot like this. Definitely we feel we deserve a little
better, but we’re playing a team that is playing really well. It won’t change
the attitude I have about the game of hockey, that’s for sure.”
Brodeur said he will cherish this season whether or not the Devils defy the
odds in coming back. Teammate Zach Parise couldn’t bring himself to feel
the same way.
“I’m not thinking about the end right now,” Parise said. “Hopefully we have a
few more games in us.”
Brodeur undoubtedly feels the same, but he also knows this could be his
last serious run at a fourth Stanley Cup. He is 40 and there are no free
passes back to the finals no matter how close a team comes.
 “That’s why I’m enjoying this, because I know it could be the last time,”
Brodeur said. “Regardless of the position we’re in, it’s not going to take
away the fun that I have being here. This is what we play all year for and all
your life for. To have a chance. I’m fortunate to have a chance late in my
career like this. You’re not going to win them all, though. We’re still alive
and we’re going to try to make this a series.”
Coach Pete DeBoer acknowledged that the mental aspect of climbing such
a mountain will be the hardest. He described the mood of his players as “a
little disheartened. That's natural. It's human nature. Today was the kind of
day you have to get that out of your system. You come back ready to work.
“It's our responsibility as coaches to look at the positives, look at the good
things we're doing, look at the chances we're generating, show them that
success is that close. We just have to stick with it.”
He is not worried about his goaltender.
“Marty Brodeur bouncing back is the least of my concerns,” DeBoer said.
Brodeur is 12-8-3 with a 2.09 goals-against average and .919 save
percentage. If his stats don’t measure up to 1995, 2000 and 2003,
remember that those were much more defensive-minded Devils teams.
In fact, Brodeur feels his level of play in these playoffs is close to what it
was when he was winning his three championships.
“I think so. I feel real good. It’s probably one of the playoff runs where
physically and mentally I’ve been as sharp as I’ve been since maybe ’95. I
was so young I didn’t have time to have any wear and tear back then,” he
said with a laugh.
This entire season has been something of a surprise for the future hall of
Famer.
“A little bit. Because it was so hard last year I came in open-minded and
tried to get myself to have fun again because it was probably the worst
season I had last year. Personally and as an organization,” he said. “So for
633534     New Jersey Devils


Devils hot topic: Was Kings' first goal legit and did it make a difference in
Game 3?


NJ.com Staff


We didn't intend for this to be one of our hot topics today, but the NJ.com
Devils fans have spoken. A lot of talk from our users following Game 3 has
been about the Kings' controversial first goal and whether there should
have been a whistle as L.A. was whacking away.
From NJ.com user Barry_Weinstein_356:
Had the opportunity and good fortune to be there Monday night. ... Yes the
whistle should have blown before the first goal (even the King fans in my
section wondered what happened). Get the first goal and it's a different
game. Looked like they ran out of gas or confidence in the 3rd.
From NJ.com user devillady:
Allowing that first goal to count disgusts me. The second Quick touched the
puck, the whistle was blown ... We never got the chance to whack at the
puck in his crease.
Check out the sequence of photos and the video to the right, and you make
the call.
Was the goal legit?
In the grand scheme of things, we know the Devils lost 4-0 and one goal
obviously wouldn't have changed that outcome. However, did the fact that it
was the first goal make a difference in dictating the rest of the game? Did
the Kings gain all the momentum because of that? Or do you think it didn't
really matter anyway?
Star Ledger LOADED: 06.06.2012
633535     New Jersey Devils


Devils hot topic: Who has been the biggest no-show in Stanley Cup finals?


By NJ.com Staff


Travis Zajac is one of several Devils who have failed to register a point in
the Stanley Cup finals.
As a team, it goes without saying that the Devils probably wish they could
have played a bit better in the first three games of the Stanley Cup finals
against the Los Angeles Kings. Individually, there have been quite a few
"no-shows" wearing the red and white uniform.
In three games, including two overtime contests, the Devils have scored
just two goals. Their top forwards are nowhere to be found, and we've read
several comments about how the Devils shouldn't even accept two-minute
power plays anymore because that unit has been so bad.
So many Devils have failed to register a point this series, and many can't
even find room for a quality scoring chance.
Star Ledger LOADED: 06.06.2012
633536     New Jersey Devils


Devils Stanley Cup finals hot topic: What disgusted you most about Game
3?


NJ.com Staff


So those pregame motivational speeches NJ.com users came up with for
the Devils before Game 3 didn't quite work, did they?
After an embarrassing, hard-to-watch 4-0 loss to the Kings in Game 3, the
Devils are now one loss away from bowing out of the Stanley Cup finals
and hitting the golf courses for the summer.
Unlike the first two games in New Jersey, the Devils didn't even look like
they belonged on the same ice as Los Angeles in Game 3.
What disgusted you the most about Game 3? The mess of a power play?
The non-whistle on the Kings' first goal? The no-shows by the top forwards?
The lack of effort and hustle by the Devils once the Kings took the lead?
The reality that the series is basically all but over? Something else?
Star Ledger LOADED: 06.06.2012
633537     New Jersey Devils                                                      Champions have come and gone since then, but because of the deficit they
                                                                                  erased, the ’42 Leafs are still relevant in the sport.
                                                                                  Not that Devils coach Pete DeBoer has any plans to bring them up in his
Politi: Down 0-3, the Devils can find some hope in a 93-year-old man              pregame speech — or, to follow old Hap Day and bench his leading scorer
                                                                                  Ilya Kovalchuk.

Steve Politi/                                                                     “I grew up in Ontario and heard a lot of stories about the Leafs,” he said. “I
                                                                                  think ’42 is a little far back for anything I remember.”
                                                                                  It is ancient history, and that’s what makes it so remarkable. There are
LOS ANGELES — The last man alive who knows how it feels for a team to             more modern examples — hello 2004 Yankees vs. Red Sox — but none for
dig itself out of the deepest of craters will not be watching to see if these     a title. Maybe sports is due for another one. Maybe that’s something the
Devils can accomplish the feat.                                                   Devils can hold onto, even if the Kings look pretty much unbeatable.

Wally Stanowski is 93. He has cataracts in his eyes that keep him from            Stanowski, for one, is surprised his Leafs team still has that place in history.
driving, plus a bad back and other assorted aches and pains leftover from a       “Old people, they remember,” he said. “But young people, they don’t realize
hockey career that ended 61 years ago. But none of that is the reason he          what happened or they never heard of it.”
isn’t glued to the TV during the Stanley Cup Finals.
                                                                                  Told he is the last link to that history, Stanowski lets out a laugh.
“I don’t follow hockey — I think it stinks!” he said in a phone interview from
his suburban Toronto home. “All they do is shoot the puck in and then fight       “Not for too long, though!” he said.
like hell to get it. Where is all the skill in the game? It’s terrible hockey!”   Seventy years is a long time to see a second team match what those Leafs
So, no, he doesn’t know how the Devils ended up in this 3-0 series hole           accomplished, but that tells you all you need to know about how daunting
against the Kings, nor does he particularly care. But the defenseman they         the task ahead is for these Devils.
called the “Whirling Dervish” is quite familiar with the situation, and he        Star Ledger LOADED: 06.06.2012
knows what he’d tell them today if he had a chance.
 “Win one game!” his voice bellowed into the phone. “If I was the coach,
that’s what I’d say. You’ve got to win one game before you can do anything
else. I guess that’s about it, really.”
Everything about the sport — about the world, really — has changed, but
that one simple fact has not. Stanowski is the last living member of the
1942 Maple Leafs team that overcame a 3-0 deficit in the finals to win the
Stanley Cup, stunning the Detroit Red Wings to make history.
No team has done it since. If the Devils want some tangible proof that they
can pull this off, the grainy black-and-white video from the time and
Stanowski’s much more vivid memories are pretty much all there is.
Sports is filled with hyperbole about how hard it is for a team to accomplish
something, but this one? Put it this way: The Allied Forces hadn’t even
launched the Normandy invasion when the Maple Leafs pulled this off. Two
other teams have since pulled it off in earlier rounds, but never with the Cup
waiting in the building for its presentation.
“Everything is meant to be broken,” Devils veteran Patrik Elias said when
given the history lesson, but he said it with a knowing chuckle. The Devils
have to prove they can win once before they can even think about winning
this series, and even then, it’s the longest of long shots.
Then again, so were those Leafs. They had finished a full 15 points ahead
of the Red Wings in the regular-season standings, but then lost a pair of
close games at home before getting blistered 5-2 on the road in Game 3.
(Yes, Devils fans, this part of the story does sound a bit familiar).
Clarence “Hap” Day, the Toronto coach, used all the motivation tricks. He
read a letter, supposedly from a heartbroken 14-year-old girl, pleading for
her Maple Leafs to forge the comeback.
Dear Toronto Maple Leafs, I am your biggest fan. I have been praying so
hard for you to win. Please win for me.
But words didn’t change the series. A new lineup did. Day saw a team that
couldn’t keep up with the fast-skating Detroit team and decided to make
major changes. He benched his leading scorer, Gordie Drillon, and
replaced him with younger forwards Don Metz and Hank Goldup.
The Leafs rallied from a two-goal deficit to win Game 4, then Metz had a hat
trick in a Game 5 blowout.
“We just kept on winning,” Stanowski said. “We won the first one. Then we
won the second one. And then the pressure was really on Detroit, eh? We
turned the tables on them.”
Metz had another goal in a 3-0 shutout in Game 6, forcing the improbable
winner-takes-all final game. On April 18, 1942, more than 16,000 people
packed the Maple Leaf Gardens — the biggest crowd in Canadian history at
the time — to see if the Leafs could finish the job.
They were behind 1-0 after two periods, but then future Hall of Famer Dave
“Sweeney” Schriner scored twice in the third to win the Cup for Toronto.
633538      New Jersey Devils                                                     Even if being fair has been confused with brutal honesty.
                                                                                  Bergen Record LOADED: 06.06.2012
Honest coach, Kings a good fit in Stanley Cup Finals


By ANDREW GROSS


LOS ANGELES – His players call it "brutal honesty" but Darryl Sutter
disputes that. The coach insists the hard truths he sometimes has to tell his
Kings are just a matter of being fair.
"Just one thing to make really clear," Sutter said. "I don’t think it’s got
anything to do with being brutally honest. Good coaches are fair to the
group. Sometimes, if the player doesn’t think that’s fair to himself, you’re
doing what 15 of the players would like to be doing. It’s about the team and
it’s about the players. It’s very seldom about the coaches."
Except, in this case, it is.
Sutter has the Kings, now 15-2 in the playoffs, one victory away from the
franchise’s first Stanley Cup since its inception in 1967 after their 4-0 win
over the Devils on Monday night at Staples Center in Game 3.
Relying less on X’s and O’s than predecessor Terry Murray, whom he
replaced Dec. 20, Sutter instead is a master motivator, though his reliance
on folksy farm sayings and insistence that "This isn’t baseball" sometimes
baffles his players.
"I only know two languages," captain Dustin Brown said, "English and
Darryl-ish."
"The feedbag is the best," added center Colin Fraser, laughing. "Strap on
the feedbag. Everybody thinks he’s a crazy, intimidating guy, but he’s got a
pretty good sense of humor and he’s a good coach."
Sutter, 53, had coached the Blackhawks – his lone NHL team during his
seven-season playing career – the Sharks and the Flames, and also was
Calgary’s general manager. Sutter coached the Flames to the Cup Finals in
2004, when they lost in seven games to the Lightning.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi, also his boss in San Jose, hired
him to turn around a struggling L.A. team that had been one of the
preseason favorites to compete for the Cup.
"His intensity is an intensity I haven’t encountered yet from a coaching
standpoint," left wing Dustin Penner said.
Before being hired by the Kings, Sutter had concentrated on working on
working on the family’s 3,000-acre farm in Viking, Alberta, since resigning
as Flames general manager Dec. 28, 2010. Farm life is never far from
Sutter’s thoughts – recently he fretted during an informal session with the
media that he was not back home to oversee planting of the crops.
The Kings finished 25-17-7 under Sutter and qualified as the eighth seed in
the Western Conference.
"He’s huge on preparation, huge on hard work, and once we all understood
that, it came together as a team," defenseman Drew Doughty said.
"His brutal honesty, I think, is the best thing," defenseman Matt Greene
added. "You always know where you are, good or bad. He’s got a good way
of showing that. There’s no guessing about how he feels about your play."
Admittedly, it’s old school.
"I was lucky to have three or four coaches that were, I’d say, instrumental in
me learning a lot of the finer points of the game," Sutter said. "Guys like Joe
Crozier, Bob Pulford, Roger Neilson; all guys that had detail, even though
they were old-school guys."
Crozier coached Sutter at New Brunswick (AHL), and Pulford and Neilson
coached the Blackhawks in the 1980s. One of six brothers to play in the
NHL, Sutter had 161 goals, 118 assists and 288 penalty minutes in 406
games with the Blackhawks.
He went right from player to coach when he was hired as a Blackhawks
assistant in 1987-88.
"He’s simple and he just lets us play," Fraser said. "He’s a tough coach but
he’s a fair coach."
633539     New Jersey Devils


NJ Devils rookie Adam Henrique has experience when it comes to rallying
from 0-3 deficit


By Kristie Ackert


LOS ANGELES — He is one of the least experienced players in the
playoffs, but when it comes to beating the odds in a best-of-seven series,
Devils rookie Adam Henrique has done that.
Two years ago, Henrique’s Windsor Spitfires rallied from an 0-3 hole and
beat the Kitchener Rangers — the team that current Devils coach Peter
DeBoer had previously coached — in the Memorial Cup semifinals.
Henrique’s Spitfires went on to win the 2010 Memorial Cup for for Canada’s
junior hockey supremacy.
RUMORS
With sniper Ilya Kovalchuk scoreless through the first three games of the
series, after having missed a game with a reported back injury in the
second round, the questions about his health are getting more frequent.
And they are getting more frustrating for Kovalchuk and DeBoer.
While Kovalchuk said he is “fine,” the questions are apparently testing
DeBoer ’s patience.
“You get this deep in the playoffs, everybody’s playing hurt,” DeBoer said.
“But you guys want somebody to blame for the situation we’re in. It’s not
like that. We’re working hard. We’re doing a lot of good things. It just hasn’t
gone our way yet.”
New York Daily News LOADED: 06.06.2012
633540     New Jersey Devils


NJ Devils facing elimination at hands of LA Kings, seek to stay alive in
quest for Stanley Cup


By Kristie Ackert


LOS ANGELES — For a guy on the verge of being swept in the Stanley
Cup Finals, Martin Brodeur admits he is having a blast. With the Devils
trailing the Kings 3-0 in the series, the 40-year-old veteran knows very well
that Wednesday night’s Game 4 might be his last chance to keep his title
dreams alive.
“I know it could be the last time. Regardless of the position we are in it’s not
gonna take away the fun I had being here. My family is here and we’re
having a blast,” Brodeur said Tuesday after the Devils practiced at the
Kings’ training facility. “This is what we play all year for, what you play your
whole life for to have a chance.
“I am fortunate to have a chance late in my career like this,” Brodeur added.
“You’re not gonna win them all though, but we’re still alive and we’re gonna
try to make this a series.”
To do that, the Devils have to find a way to beat Kings goalie Jonathan
Quick. In three games, Quick has allowed two goals, shutting the Devils out
in Monday’s Game 3 to put the Kings on the verge of winning their first
Stanley Cup.
The Devils are not only up against a hot goaltender, but the odds as well.
Since 1939, when the NHL went to a seven-game Finals, 24 teams have
fallen behind 3-0. Only three teams rallied to win Game 4 and only the 1942
Maple Leafs came back to win the Cup.
“I grew up in Ontario. Heard a lot of stories about the Leafs. I think ’42 is a
little far back for anything I remember,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said.
“We haven’t talked about the statistics of the situation we’re in. Again, we
feel we don’t belong in the hole we’re in right now based on the way we’ve
played, but we are.”
To get out of that hole, DeBoer looked to shake things up in practice,
putting veteran Petr Sykora, who is playing in his sixth Finals, between
Alexei Ponikarovsky and David Clarkson on the third line in place of Jacob
Josefson.
“We haven’t scored. He’s a guy that doesn’t need a lot of looks to stick one
in the net. That’s what he does best,” said DeBoer, who would not confirm
the change. “So he’s definitely an option.”
Don’t get Brodeur wrong, he is enjoying the ride, but wants a fourth title to
add to his resume.
His contact is up July 1, and he has said he thinks he will return. The three-
time Stanley Cup winner, however, knows he may never get this close to a
fourth again title.
“At this stage, this was what I was expecting to finish my career, my last few
years to play on a winning team,” Brodeur said. “Regardless of what
happens, I am really proud of what we accomplished this season.”
New York Daily News LOADED: 06.06.2012
633541     New Jersey Devils


Parise will soon wear new jersey


By LARRY BROOKS


LOS ANGELES — The clock is not only ticking on the Devils’ season, but
on Zach Parise’s career in New Jersey, for when the puck is dropped
tonight for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, it will start the countdown at
T-minus-60 on the captain’s impending unrestricted free agency.
The clock can be stopped for at least 72 more hours if the Devils can find a
way to derail the Kings’ runaway train and bring the series back to the Rock
for Game 5 on Saturday by becoming the third team in NHL history and the
first since the 1945 Red Wings to win a Game 4 on the road when down 3-0
in the Finals.
But if not, the focus will shift immediately from all of this season’s
unanticipated accomplishments on the ice to the bottom-line reality of
Parise’s July 1 entry into the open market, where he is likely to become the
most sought after upper-echelon free agent in memory.
“I’m not thinking about the end right now,” Parise said yesterday when
asked if he’d considered there would be inevitable changes to the team at
the conclusion of the series. “Hopefully we have a few more games.”
Whenever the end comes, it will mark the first day of the rest of Parise’s
professional life, and unless Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek finds a
benefactor by July 1 willing to immediately invest millions into a dramatically
front-loaded deal to keep the captain, it’s all but impossible to imagine No. 9
will stay, even if the notion of being a career Devil appeals to him.
There is no other forward on the market comparable to Parise, who has
steadfastly refused to engage in discussion about his future. One can
expect up to a dozen teams to make serious inquiries on the left wing, who
has spent his seven-year NHL career as a Devil.
This all but certainly will be the final summer in which, a) players will be
allowed to sign front-loaded contracts with huge signing bonuses that this
year will also serve as lockout-protection; and b) players will be permitted to
sign contracts without term limits.
Indeed, Parise can expect offers modeled after the nine-year, $60 million
contract Brad Richards signed last summer with the Rangers, under which
the center is receiving $24 million the first two years, including a $10 million
signing bonus last July and an $8 million signing bonus due next month.
Parise, who will turn 28 next month, could attract offers of up to 12 years.
He will certainly receive front-loaded, bonus-laden offers from the Rangers
and Red Wings, who have millions to spend and the inclination to do so.
The Wild will be in, though Parise might want to think more than twice about
going home to join a team in which he would be the best player by leaps
and bounds.
The Sharks could be in. The Maple Leafs will be, though current general
manager Brian Burke doesn’t believe in front-loaded deals. The Bruins
could become a serious contender. There will be others.
Given the financial realities in New Jersey, it’s almost impossible to conjure
the scenario in which ownership could cut Parise a $10 million check on
July 2. And again, that’s even assuming Parise’s first choice is to remain a
Devil.
He is one today and will be one tonight. But once the puck is dropped, the
clock will be ticking on the Devils’ season and on the captain’s career in
New Jersey.
T-minus-60 and counting.
New York Post LOADED: 06.06.2012
633542      New Jersey Devils                                                        Here, now, it is Kings 8, Devils 2, combined score.
                                                                                     New York Post LOADED: 06.06.2012
Devils’ three-cup trio may be put to sweep


By MARK EVERSON


LOS ANGELES — There’s something achingly, poignantly glorious about
these last Three Cup Musketeers, the lone survivors, fighting to keep the
sun from finally setting on the empire.
They are the last three Devils Stanley Cup winners with this team, Martin
Brodeur, 40, Patrik Elias 36, and now, Petr Sykora, 35.
They are the last three to come back from 1-3 on the 2000 Flyers, trying to
come back from 0-3 on the 2012 Kings tonight, defying the final demise of
their revived, thought-dead dynasty, now gasping its very last breath.
They are the last links to the championships that stopped coming nine
years ago. Wednesday night, they will man the barricades in the near-
hopeless attempt to win another Cup, 70 years since the last-and-only
team, the 1942 Leafs, triumphed from 0-3 in the finals.
“I know it could be the last time,” said Brodeur, the best Devil in the finals.
“It’s not going to take away the fun I’m having. I’m fortunate to have a
chance like that late in my career. You’re not going to win them all, but
we’re still alive and we’re going to try to make this a series, make it a little
more fun.
“We’ve done a lot of great things for this organization to get back to where
we feel we need to be every single year. This is what I was expecting, to
finish my career, my last few years, to play on a winning team. Regardless
of what happens I’m really proud of what we accomplished.”
Brodeur made clear this run, regardless of outcome, has only increased his
intent to play next season, lockout willing.
“Because it was so hard last year, I came in open-minded, just wanting to
have fun because it was probably the worst season I had last year,
personally and as an organization,” Brodeur said. “So, to hope that we
would accomplish what we did this year would be a little far-fetched.
“Now we’re here in the Stanley Cup Finals. I didn’t expect that at the start of
the season, for sure.”
For Sykora, who had to earn a job via training camp tryout, tonight is his
chance to again be a playoff hero, cracking his sixth finals, now most
among actives since Nicklas Lidstrom retired.
Sykora is only 2-2-4 in 15 games, yet with the Devils threatening the 60-
year-old record for fewest goals in a best-of-seven finals (two, 1952
Canadiens), it’s all hands on deck.
Among his 32 career playoff goals, Sykora scored in quadruple-overtime
and double-overtime for the 2003 Ducks, later beaten by the Devils for their
last Cup. He also scored in triple-OT with Pittsburgh’s 2009 Cup-winners.
He scored both his goals this spring against the Flyers.
“We haven’t scored, and he’s a guy who doesn’t need a lot of looks to stick
one in the net. So he’s an option,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer said.
On the big stage again, Sykora would have the chance for heroics.
“I’ll try to play my best game. I just want to take it back to New Jersey [for
Game 5 Saturday]. It doesn’t matter how,” Sykora said.
Then there’s Elias, the franchise’s leading playoff and regular season goal-
scorer and point-getter. Skating with Sykora, and Dainius Zubrus, might
inspire him.
“You’re looking for some kind of spark, trying to create some chances and
Sykkie can do that,” Elias said.
“We’re in the finals, we’re still playing. If we look too far ahead, it’s a pretty
hard mountain to climb. We have to go out there [tonight] and keep living.”
Before the suns sets one last time on the Three Cup Musketeers.
Henrik Lundqvist shut them out twice in the first three of the Rangers’
series. The Devils won the second game, true, but the combined score in
those first three was Rangers 8, Devils 3.
633543     New York Rangers


Mark Messier says Rangers learned from deep playoff run


By ANDREW GROSS


LOS ANGELES — Mark Messier deliberately kept a low profile during the
Rangers' playoff run, especially during the Eastern Conference finals
against the Devils, because he didn't want to take the spotlight from the
current players.
But the Captain knows firsthand how much the Rangers learned making it
to the third round for the first time since 1997.
Messier spoke before Monday night's Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals at
Staples Center as he announced current Rangers captain Ryan Callahan
was a finalist along with the Kings captain Dustin Brown and Coyotes
captain Shane Doan for the sixth annual Mark Messier Leadership Award,
to be presented during the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas on June 20.
"I think the year that we had this year is the culmination of a lot of hard work
over the last couple of years," Messier said. "You can't quantify how
important it is for these players to play this kind of playoff hockey, to feel
what it's like to play that deep in the playoffs, the fatigue, the upsets, the
disappointments and then you have to climb back. Those are hard lessons
to learn unless you've actually experienced them.
"The teams that go on to win the Stanley Cup seem to get stronger as the
playoff series go on, and that is a testament to the depth they have in the
organization," said Messier, a special assistant to Rangers general
manager Glen Sather. "A key thing will be to add to our depth so we don't
have to use as many players as much as we did. The more depth you have,
the less chance you have of wearing players down and getting injuries."
Rangers right wing Marian Gaborik, who had 41 goals in the regular season
— the second time he's topped 40 goals in three seasons with the team —
but scored just once in the six-game loss to the Devils, will undergo surgery
Wednesday to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder and is expected to
miss up to six months.
"They don't make it easy for the star players to score goals and that's why
you need depth scoring," Messier said. "Marian Gaborik is 10 times the
hockey player he was when he came to the New York Rangers."
Bergen Record LOADED: 06.06.2012
633544     NHL


Stanley Cup final: Kings' approach isn't changing


Staff


LOS ANGELES -- The Kings barely cracked a smile after winning Game
Three last night in Staples Center to take a 3-0 series lead over the Devils
in the Stanley Cup final. They weren't about to start celebrating today after
an optional workout and a session with the media.
Los Angeles could become the first eighth seed to win the Cup. The Kings
also could match the 1988 Oilers for the best record in the playoffs.
Edmonton finished 16-2 in the postseason that year while being led by
Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.
"We haven't been very good in these situation," Kings center Mike Richards
said. "We're 1-2 when [holding a 3-0 series lead]. It's something we have to
improve on obviously. We still know that we can play better and be better."
L.A.'s approach is a reflection of no-nonsense coach Darryl Sutter, who
arrived in December with a salty attitude and a strong work ethic. He has
demanded the Kings keep things in perspective. He was a win away from
winning it all with Calgary in 2004, lost Game Six on a controversial no-goal
and ended up dropping Game Seven in Tampa Bay.
The Kings couldn't have asked for a better performance than the one they
had last night, when they coasted to a 4-0 victory. They limited the Devils to
just 22 shots and dominated for the final two periods. They're chasing their
first Stanley Cup in the 45-year history of the franchise.
Only the 1942 Maple Leafs have come back from a 3-0 deficit in the finals.
The 1975 Islanders and the 2010 Flyers came back from the same hole
earlier in the playoffs. New Jersey last night looked more like a team
bracing to get swept than capable of winning a single game.
"We're just trying to win a hockey game," said goaltender Jonathan Quick,
the favorite to win the Conn Symthe Trophy as playoff MVP. "Same thing
we've been doing for about eight months now. We're going to continue to
try to do that. It doesn't count any more than the rest of them did. It's one
game. We're just going to play o
Buffalo News LOADED: 06.06.2012
633545     NHL


Bertuzzi, Crawford and Canucks ordered to disclose details of agreement to
Moore


DAVID SHOALTS


An agreement between Todd Bertu zzi, the Vancouver Canucks and Marc
Crawford must be made known to the lawyers for former NHL player Steve
Moore, according to an Ontario Superior Court Justice. Justice Paul Perell
dismissed an appeal by lawyers for Bertuzzi and the Canucks, upholding a
decision by Master Ronald Dash of the Superior Court that Moore’s lawyers
have a right to know the details of the agreement between the defendants
in a legal action filed by Moore. The lawsuit, which is set for trial in late
September or early October, seeks more than $38-million in damages from
Bertuzzi and the Canucks for an attack on Moore in March, 2004 that ended
his NHL career. Bertuzzi played for the Canucks at the time while Crawford
was the head coach and Moore was with the Colorado Avalanche.
The agreement saw Bertuzzi drop his third-party claim against Crawford
and then the Canucks, Crawford and Bertuzzi dismissed all cross-claims
between them. Dash revealed in court the agreement calls for Bertuzzi,
Crawford and the Canucks share the responsibility for any damages
awarded to Moore. However, Dash did not say how the three parties will
split the payments and he told Moore’s lawyers not to make the agreement
public once they receive it.
The Canucks’ and Bertuzzi’s lawyers appealed Dash’s decision, arguing
such agreements between defendants must remain confidential or it would
discourage people from settling before a costly trial. Moore’s lawyers
argued the agreement removed any adversarial relationship between the
defendants and it would greatly change their strategy at trial.
Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.06.2012
633546     NHL                                                                     the stretch and playing smart hockey at both ends of the ice, it appears as
                                                                                   though he’s delivered the answer. Yes, he is.
                                                                                   YouTube is full of scenes of Slovenian hockey fans watching the Stanley
On a team deep with playoff stars, Quick has the edge for MVP                      Cup playoffs in the middle of the night, enthralled by the local hero. Kopitar
                                                                                   says he’s aware of them, but trying not to pay too much attention, for fear of
                                                                                   getting distracted from the task at hand.
ERIC DUHATSCHEK
                                                                                   Two months ago, heading into the playoffs, the Kings were a team of
                                                                                   maybes and possibilities. Since then, after making short work of every team
                                                                                   that crossed their path, they have really left only two questions unanswered:
In January, in advance of his first-ever appearance in an NHL all-star game,       Not if they’ll win the Stanley Cup, but when; and then who, among this deep
Los Angeles Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick told a charming anecdote              and balanced team will be chosen most valuable of all.
about the Boston Bruins’ Tim Thomas, and how Thomas influenced his
game back when he was still a college player at the University of                  Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.06.2012
Massachusetts.
Quick played two years for UMass and while there weren’t a lot of television
viewing options in the dorm, they did get NESN, the Boston cable network,
just as Thomas turned up in Boston – a reclamation project from the Finnish
league, who was in the process of unexpectedly nailing down the starting
job. Thomas went on to win multiple Vézina trophies and last year, also won
the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP in the Bruins’ stirring, come-from-
behind victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
Ironic, then, that Quick is poised to follow in the footsteps of the goalie who
influenced him as a collegian and shares that his deep-rooted competitive
fires.
The Kings are one win away from a most improbable Stanley Cup victory, in
the midst of a 15-2 playoff run, and with a chance to win the Stanley Cup on
Wednesday night in the fewest number of games since the Edmonton
Oilers went 16-2 with a team of future Hall Of Famers back in 1988.
The Kings have four candidates for the Conn Smythe – Quick, defenceman
Drew Doughty, centre Anze Kopitar and captain Dustin Brown. But in the
Stanley Cup final, where these things are generally decided, Quick has
edged to the front of the line. In the first three games against the New
Jersey Devils Quick has stopped 70 of 72 shots. His goals-against average
overall is a minuscule 1.32, his save percentage an extraordinary .950. He
is outplaying his opposite number, Martin Brodeur, who is considered one
of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history.
Sometimes, a player facing that sort of heightened pressure and scrutiny
can fall flat on his face, but instead, Quick has raised the level of his game.
On Tuesday, Quick acknowledged a few jitters before the opening game
against the Devils last weekend: “Your mind is racing a little bit, you’re
thinking too much. I think that’s natural. After that, though, it’s back to your
normal routine, just doing what you can to prepare for a game.”
Quick gave a rare glimpse into his private self yesterday. Under heavy
questioning from reporters, he finally revealed that he had a poster of Mike
Richter on his bedroom wall and cheered for the New York Rangers in the
1994 Stanley Cup final against the Vancouver Canucks.
“I just think I was more nervous back then than I am right now for the
games,” Quick said. “Obviously you watch all the games throughout the
playoffs there. I think the save in Game 6 that Richter made on Pavel Bure
was more than anything that happened in Game 7. I was really excited for
them to win.”
Part of coach Darryl Sutter’s motivational strategy is to keep all his players
grounded. As a result, Sutter will often refuse to play along with all the
gushing hyperbole that so often bubbles to the surface at this time of year.
So when Sutter was asked if he’d ever seen anything quite like Quick’s
performance in these playoffs, he had a ready answer: “Yeah, Miikka
Kiprusoff [for Calgary, in 2004].”
Unbelieving reporter: “In the final?”
Sutter: “Yes. Miikka. Do the math. Seven games. 14-13, goals-for, goals-
against, seven-game series. Pretty incredible.”
Likely Quick’s strongest challenger right now is Kopitar, another player who
is forging a new and improved identity in these playoffs, and in this final. As
recently as three years ago, Kopitar was challenging for an NHL scoring
title for a couple of months and looked ready to join the NHL’s elite players.
But his development stalled, it appeared, and he was having just a so-so
season by February when Sutter, after all of two months on the job,
ventured that Kopitar’s play had become stale. There was some question
as to whether Kopitar could be the true No. 1 centre that every team
believes it needs to win a Stanley Cup. In June, after ramping it up down
633547     NHL                                                                     Max Pacioretty. More important, he should have captain Brian Gionta and
                                                                                   veteran blueliner Andrei Markov in training camp, although it’s certainly
                                                                                   conceivable that his 192nd game coaching the Habs won’t come until
Cox: Michel Therrien takes long way back to Montreal                               November or later depending on what happens with this summer’s
                                                                                   collective bargaining talks.
                                                                                   He won’t return as a particularly popular blast from the past, nor will he get
Damien Cox                                                                         an extended honeymoon. Given this is his second shot, Therrien will need
                                                                                   to show immediate results in the same way Maple Leaf fans will be looking
                                                                                   for Carlyle to deliver something tangible when the next NHL season
                                                                                   commences.
Theoretically, a decision to bring back a coach or general manager should
be an act of dipping into a successful or glorious past.                           King Clancy, a bust as Leaf coach in three seasons, came back twice for
                                                                                   brief runs, once when Punch Imlach got sick and another time when Johnny
That’s what the New York Yankees thought they were doing over and over
                                                                                   McLellan went into hospital. The fans loved it, particularly in the
and over with Billy Martin. The New Jersey Devils brought back coaches —
                                                                                   championship 1967 season when he rang up a 7-1-2 record.
Jacques Lemaire (twice) and Larry Robinson — who had guided the team
to Stanley Cups in the hope they could do it again. Paul Maurice got more          That’s the way to do it when you’ve been through town already. Get in, get
than one shot at coaching the Carolina Hurricanes because he’d managed             out quick and leave ’em wanting more.
to get the team to a Cup final.
                                                                                   Therrien’s not in that position, of course. He wants an extended stay this
Usually, however, the second go-round isn’t any better than the first, as was      time, and all he has to do, in hockey’s most demanding market, is win.
the case with Lemaire, Robinson and Maurice. An exception to that rule
would be Eddie Johnston, who coached the Pittsburgh Penguins to two                Toronto Star LOADED: 06.06.2012
first-round exits and one non-playoff finish from 1980-83, then came back
for a second stint from 1993-97 and took the Pens to the ’96 Eastern
Conference final.
Which brings us to Michel Therrien and the Montreal Canadiens.
Clearly, Therrien’s return isn’t dipping into any glorious past. He coached
191 regular-season games in his first attempt at running the Habs, winning
77 of those matches. He did take the Canadiens past Boston in the first
round in 2002, but then lost to Carolina, infamously taking a costly abuse-
of-officials penalty in Game 4 with his team leading two games to one, and
the Canes advanced.
Fired the following January, Therrien was widely viewed as too emotional,
too temperamental and not experienced enough. So he went away,
coached Pittsburgh to the ’08 Stanley Cup final and now returns because,
well, he was viewed by rookie GM Marc Bergevin as the best of a
necessarily small pool of candidates, candidates who all needed to be
fluent in French.
It’s a safe choice, but a risky one at the same time. This is the sixth time the
Canadiens have brought a coach back for a second stint, and the last one
was Claude Ruel, who won the ’69 Cup and did pretty well when he
returned from 1979-81 as well.
Therrien, however, wasn’t successful last time, and why would you bring
back a coach who didn’t win? To be fair, he didn’t get as long a shot as he
probably deserved. The Habs were in turmoil, having been sold by the
Molson family, and Andre Savard was struggling to establish himself as
Rejean Houle’s successor.
But the hockey world is full of coaches who didn’t get a fair shot, and they
don’t get another one, at least not with the same team.
Therrien does because he’s bilingual, he’s connected to the Bergevin-Luc
Robitaille-Pat Brisson-Mario Lemieux circle of trust and because there are
many in Pittsburgh who would argue it was the structures and discipline that
Therrien put in place that ultimately paved the way for the Pens to win the
Cup the following season with Dan Bylsma behind the bench.
He fits, to some degree, with the latest pattern of pre-enjoyed (recycled)
coaching hires, which includes Ken Hitchcock (St. Louis), Randy Carlyle
(Toronto), Darryl Sutter (Los Angeles) and Bob Hartley (Calgary).
It’s always tempting to try something new, to hire a Guy Boucher, Glen
Gulutzan or Dale Hunter. But it’s safer, particularly for newbie GMs, to go
with somebody with a track record, somebody with a resumé of the ultimate
success.
Therrien has experience and, in Pittsburgh, had some success. But his
hiring didn’t thrill the Habs blogosphere or get a free pass on social media,
and it contradicts to some degree the sense of a brand-new direction the
Canadiens had established by hiring Bergevin.
Still, Therrien has experience dealing with bad Montreal teams, and last
year’s was particularly inept, finishing dead last in the Eastern Conference,
so he’s not likely to be intimidated by the daunting job at hand.
He inherits a very good starting goalie in Carey Price, a potential all-star on
defence in P.K. Subban and some decent strength up front, notably with
633548     NHL                                                                   “At that time, Americans in the game were really prevalent,” says Chris
                                                                                 Peters, who runs the website United States of Hockey. “They were big
                                                                                 stars, Keith Tkachuk, Chris Chelios, Mike Modano and Derian Hatcher.
Stanley Cup: Captains show the rise of American hockey                           Those were some of the big stars of the game. Then we kind of went
                                                                                 through a lull for a time, when there weren’t as many American players that
                                                                                 were playing significant roles.

Kevin McGran                                                                     “When you have two captains in the Stanley Cup final, you’ve got two guys
                                                                                 that are significant players, that are both Olympians, they are guys that are
                                                                                 younger, rising stars in the game.
LOS ANGELES—It has happened only once in NHL history, but it will                “There is certainly significance there, because it proves that it’s coming
definitely happen again: An American captain will hoist the Stanley Cup.         back, that Americans are playing a significant role on NHL teams after a
                                                                                 period of a few down years.”
Whether it’s Dustin Brown of Ithaca, N.Y., doing it Wednesday night in the
case of a four-game sweep by the Los Angeles Kings, or Zach Parise of            It’s not just the captains who play significant roles. Kings goalie Jonathan
Minneapolis doing it sometime later in the unlikely event of a New Jersey        Quick — one of the favourites for the Conn Smythe award — is American.
comeback, it will be a further sign of the rise of American hockey.              And both Cup general managers — New Jersey’s Lou Lamoriello and L.A.’s
                                                                                 Dean Lombardi — are American, with Lamoriello mentoring Lombardi early
“It’s one more statement about the particular development of our sport and
                                                                                 his career.
our program in America,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA
Hockey. “The number of American players, the number of GMs, the number           The Devils, in fact, have more Americans on their roster (seven) than
of coaches, continues to be greater than it used to be.                          Canadians (six). The Kings have 13 Canadians, six Americans.
“It was also a good comment on the leadership qualities of some of the           “USA Hockey has come a long way,” said Parise. “They do a really good
folks that are coming out of USA Hockey’s programs.”                             job of developing players and colleges are doing a good job.
Parise and Brown were just 14 years old when Derian Hatcher, of Sterling         “You can see it at the world juniors and things like that. The future is looking
Heights, Mich., led the Dallas Stars to a Stanley Cup triumph over the           good.”
Buffalo Sabres in 1999.
                                                                                 Toronto Star LOADED: 06.06.2012
Both say they were inspired, in part, by that win.
“I remember watching it,” said Parise.
Parise chose the NCAA college route toward the NHL. Brown opted for
junior hockey with the Guelph Storm. Both have become good friends off
the ice through their participation in events like the Olympics, the world
championships and the world junior tournament. Participating in those
events, they say, helped prepare them for their respective Cup runs.
“It’s one of those things you really enjoy doing it, and the most important
thing for me personally is you meet people, different parts of the country,”
said Brown. “I have a relationship with Zach because of USA Hockey.
Those are the things, when we’re done playing hockey, that are special.”
The American hockey program is very close to rivalling Canada’s, if it’s not
already its equal.
Some 511,000 players are registered with USA Hockey, and participation
has grown by 15.6 per cent cent since 2005-06.
There are 617,000 players registered with Hockey Canada, with
participation having grown by 11.7 per cent since 2005-06.
By comparison, only about 64,000 players are registered in Russia,
according to the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Ogrean doesn’t hide the fact that the goal for USA Hockey is to surpass
Canada — and, for that matter, the rest of the world — in international
hockey.
“Canada’s excellence has set a standard for us to emulate,” said Ogrean.
“Do we want to continue to enrol more and more players and get more and
more kids playing the game? Of course we do. Do we want them to
continue to play the game better? Of course.
“Do we want to have more success at the international level and win more
and more gold medals? Of course. Nobody ever dominates completely, but
we want to get to the point where not just in North America but in the rest of
the world that perhaps people will be looking at the Canada-U.S. rivalry as
the premier rivalry in hockey and we’re trying to get to that same perch.”
A Stanley Cup win generally provides a boost to minor hockey programs in
the champion’s city.
Hockey in southern California is already on the rise with the state now
sending players to the NHL. Five California players skated in the league this
season. The Cup has been won by U.S.-based teams since 1994.
Coincidentally or not, the American hockey program has been churning out
players at an increasing rate after a lull that followed the 1996 World Cup
victory by Team USA — a group that itself had been inspired by the 1980
Miracle On Ice.
633549     NHL


Court orders Todd Bertuzzi, Vancouver Canucks to reveal secret deal


Rick Westhead


Lawyers for Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks have lost a legal
battle to keep confidential a secret deal they struck last year related to
former NHL player Steve Moore’s $40 million lawsuit against Bertuzzi.
During a March 8, 2004 game between the Canucks and Colorado
Avalanche, Bertuzzi, then playing for Vancouver, struck Moore from behind.
He punched him in the side of the head and then drove his head into the
ice. After lying in a pool of blood for several minutes, Moore was removed
on a stretcher.
Moore, then 25, suffered three broken vertebrae and deep facial cuts. His
NHL career was over. His lawyer Tim Danson has said he’s suffered from
concussion-related symptoms ever since, hindering his ability to find work
even outside hockey.
Danson, who learned last September about the Bertuzzi-Crawford
settlement, also won the right to obtain details about the discussions that
led to their pact.
Lawyers for Bertuzzi and the Canucks have eight days to provide the
details of the settlement, which will remain secret until trial. A judge has set
a trial date of Oct. 22 for the case.
The court decision comes four months after Danson first won permission
from the court to see the agreement reached between Canucks owner Orca
Bay, Bertuzzi and former Vancouver coach Marc Crawford.
Orca Bay and Bertuzzi fought to keep the pact secret but a judge ruled on
Monday to reject their request.
In court documents released Monday, Justice Paul Perell wrote that
Bertuzzi, the Canucks and Crawford signed a settlement agreement
between July 13 and 18, 2011. They did not advise Moore that an
agreement had been signed, Perrell wrote.
For months, lawyers for Bertuzzi and the Canucks refused to confirm that
they had reached a financial settlement, dismissing Moore’s inquiries as
speculation.
Since Bertuzzi was convicted of a criminal offence relating to the attack on
Moore, he would not likely be covered by the team’s insurance policy,
meaning he could have faced being forced to pay a judgment of millions of
dollars.
Bertuzzi’s lawyer Geoff Adair had argued in court documents that the
agreement be released at trial, if at all.
One of the “overriding concerns,” Adair argued in a court filing, is that
Moore’s counsel will be able to use the settlement to try and show “that at
every turn the defendants have acted in concert to ‘hide’ the facts by
‘paying off’ Bertuzzi to drop the claim against Crawford.”
Danson declined to comment, while Adair couldn’t be reached.
Danson pointed out during a January court appearance that Bertuzzi had
alleged in court filings that Crawford demanded one of his players retaliate
against Moore after he hit Canucks all-star Markus Naslund in a previous
game.
Toronto Star LOADED: 06.06.2012
633550     NHL                                                                     Damien Cox


Stanley Cup: New Jersey in for a Devil of a time with Los Angeles Kings            Now imagine every spring Rob Ford would write an additional $15 million
                                                                                   cheque from taxpayers monies to Larry Tanenbaum just for staying put, and
                                                                                   ask for less than $1 million annually in rent.
Kevin McGran                                                                       Think a few people might be upset?
                                                                                   That’s the deal the “Arizona” Coyotes will get if a proposal put before city
LOS ANGELES—If the New Jersey Devils weren’t in trouble before, they               council in Glendale, Arizona on Thursday is approved and if no taxpayer
certainly are now.                                                                 watchdog groups get in the way.

They can look to the history books to see just how unlikely it is that they will   This is a 20-year proposal, and the Coyotes would have to pay a relocation
come back from a three-games-to-none deficit in the Stanley Cup final.             fee of $250-$350 million to get out of the deal, which sounds an awful lot
                                                                                   like an amount people in a couple of Canadian markets might be willing to
Teams leading the Stanley Cup final 3-0 have won the series 24 of 25 times         pay for an NHL franchise.
since the league implemented the best-of-seven format in 1939. The only
club to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the Stanley Cup was the 1942           It’s hard to believe they’d consider such a deal. But at this point, if this is
Toronto Maple Leafs (vs. Detroit). (Two other teams rallied from 3-0 series        what the elected politicians of that town want to stop this team from moving
deficits, but in early rounds.)                                                    to Quebec City, and if Gary Bettman along with new owner Greg Jamison
                                                                                   can sleep at night while they rape the taxpayers of a town that’s basically
“We don’t have a choice,” said Devils captain Zach Parise said after               bankrupt, this may be exactly what happens.
Monday’s 4-0 loss to Los Angeles. “We’ve got to have our best game in
Game 4. That’s the only way we can approach it.”                                   The good news? If it does happen, we can all stop caring about this
                                                                                   godforsaken franchise.
The Devils profess to have hope even if they find the next two days in Los
Angeles to be the equivalent of their own personal hell.                           This is of course after years of having Glendale taxpayers subsidize this
                                                                                   money-losing operation already. The evidence at hand is that only about
“We will be a desperate team Game 4,” said Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk.          10,000 or so fans want this team, or want to watch it, on a regular basis,
“We can’t lose anymore. We are going to fight through the end, obviously . .       plus the other bunch of folks that turn up at playoff time. Given that the
. It’s never easy . . . We’re going to fight anyway (to the) last second.”         Coyotes have been a very successful team for several seasons, there’s
                                                                                   little reason to believe suddenly folks will start turning up for November
The Kings went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill in Game 3, including denying 59         games against Nashville in much larger numbers.
seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage, and have been perfect on the penalty kill
(12-for-12) in the Stanley Cup final. Los Angeles is 64-for-69 (92.8 per cent)     Indeed, there’s probably a much greater chance attendance could drop if
on the penalty kill in the postseason, tops in the NHL.                            the team slides downwards in the standings. The thinly-veiled subsidy to
                                                                                   Jamison and Co. certainly won’t motivate the team to spend more on
“I think we credit it to special teams, right from our goaltender out,” said       players; every dollar that goes out will reduce that average annual $15
Kings forward Justin Williams. “You saw Matt Greene, Jarret Stoll, Willie          million free lunch from the city.
Mitchell out there killing that five-on-three together.
                                                                                   I guess if politicians detect a real passion to keep the team in Glendale
“That pumps the bench up. That gets you excited when you see guys                  under any circumstances, then they’re doing what the people want. That
sacrificing like that. What can you say about Jonathan Quick, too? He’s            seems unlikely. All this deal will likely do is allow the NHL to crow it was
been a rock this year, the whole playoffs. But I think special teams is the        able to keep the team in the desert. That it comes on the backs of
obvious key.”                                                                      taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars won’t make it into
                                                                                   the press release.
Quick earned his third shutout of the postseason, setting a franchise record,
and has stopped 70-of-72 shots in the series.                                      Toronto Star LOADED: 06.06.2012
“You have to give their goalie and their team some credit,” said Devils
coach Peter DeBoer. “You know, he’s made some saves. We put up the
same number of chances against Philly, the Rangers, we were getting
some goals. We’re not this series.
“That’s a credit to them. It’s not that our guys aren’t trying or not doing
enough. They’re shutting the door. We’ve got to find a way.”
The Kings are the first team in NHL history to lead 3-0 all four series of the
playoffs. If the Kings win on Wednesday they would tie the NHL mark for
best record in the playoffs (Edmonton was 16-2 in 1988).
NOTES: The NHL issued a release pointing out the celebrities who took in
Game 3: Hockey Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier;
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Colorado Avalanche centre
Matt Duchene; the star couple from the realms of soccer and pop music,
David and Victoria Beckham; actor Will Ferrell, actor/rapper Ice Cube,
producer Jerry Bruckheimer, actor Channing Tatum, actor David Boreanaz,
game show host Pat Sajak, actor Colin Hanks, actor Alan Thicke, actor
Ellen Page, actor Matthew Perry, actor James Gandolfini, director Kevin
Smith, actor Alyssa Milano and Laker Pau Gasol.
Toronto Star LOADED: 06.06.2012


NHL


Cox: Deal to keep Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona a burden for cash-strapped
taxpayers
633551     NHL                                                                    overflowing, as much as it was 20 years ago when Gretzky brought them
                                                                                  out the first time to the Fabulous Forum, and the team is showing absolutely
                                                                                  no holes, no vulnerabilities.
Cox on Stanley Cup: Los Angeles Kings master art of perfect timing                It took nine long years to produce this team. The process began with the
                                                                                  drafting of Dustin Brown in the first round in 2003 and really hit the jackpot
                                                                                  two years later when Kopitar and Quick were both drafted. As thanks for
Damien Cox                                                                        those canny drafts, Dave Taylor was dumped as GM in 2006 and replaced
                                                                                  by Dean Lombardi, who continued along the same path and finally pulled it
                                                                                  all together this year while many were clamouring for his dismissal.
The temptation, as it was five years ago, will be to paint a second Stanley       Nine years. To produce a team that got hot at the right time. That’s the
Cup for the state of California as a massive step forward for hockey and the      legacy of this team, the Kings, who finally will get their crowns.
NHL.
                                                                                  Toronto Star LOADED: 06.06.2012
Certainly, there is more hockey played today in SoCal than there was when
Wayne Gretzky was traded there, and probably more than even in 2007
when Brian Burke, Randy Carlyle and Co. led the Anaheim Ducks to the
NHL championship.
But when, whether it’s Wednesday or Saturday, the Los Angeles Kings
finish off the utterly punchless New Jersey Devils and lift the Cup for the
first time since the franchise was founded in 1967, the focus this time
shouldn’t be on the big picture, on what it means to California or the sport
down south.
It should be just about what it means to get really, really hot at the right
time, and about how the Kings, life and death to make the post-season in
March, had it all come together in almost unprecedented fashion to
absolutely trample every opponent placed in their path in the 2012 playoffs.
The Devils, lest we forget, looked absolutely great as recently as one week
ago. Before this final began, they’d outlasted the tricky Florida Panthers in
seven, embarrassed by the Philadelphia Flyers simply by turning the other
cheek and then soundly outplayed the best team in the Eastern
Conference, the New York Rangers, in six games.
Jersey, while in awful shape in the boardroom, looked to be in terrific
condition to really test the Kings. Ilya Kovalchuk was finally looking like he
might be approximately worth the his massive contract, Marty Brodeur
looked 30 years old again, and Peter DeBoer’s forechecking scheme
created more than enough offence.
A week later, the Devils have been obliterated, beaten twice in overtime
and by a 4-0 score in Game 3 on Monday night, dismantled in almost
exactly the same way the Kings hammered the Canucks, Blues and
Coyotes.
This L.A. team, quite frankly, would beat the next four opponents in their
way if the playoffs were to continue another six weeks. They are just that
confident, that sharp, that impregnable, that big, that fast and, as a final
flourish on Monday night showed, that skilled.
Remember, last September many spoke of the Kings as a team that might
just challenge for the Cup if all the youthful promise contained in players
like Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and others came together
with newly acquired players like Mike Richards. Then came a miserable few
months, the firing of Terry Murray, and a strong sense that it all wouldn’t
come together this season, maybe not ever.
Under Darryl Sutter, and after the acquisition of Jeff Carter to join his buddy
Richards, it did, however, and in a stunning way. Down in the American
Hockey League, the Norfolk Admirals have won 41 of their last 44 games to
move to within two games of a Calder Cup championship, but even that,
really, doesn’t compare to the 15-2 record the Kings have put together this
spring against the first, second and third seeds in the Western Conference,
and the champions of the east.
It isn’t a great team, or at least it would have to prove greatness over the
course of several seasons, but it is most surely a powerhouse in the
modern sense, which means a powerhouse for a period of months, not
years.
That’s the modern NHL. That’s what Boston did last year after losing the
first two playoff games at home, then roaring to a Cup. It’s about having the
right coach at the right moment for a team that gets a collective will and
suddenly plays in a way few would have foreseen.
We should probably throw a few “ifs” into the discussion here, you know, “if”
the Kings win a fourth game and the Cup, or if the Devils can come from
down 3-0 and make history. So there it is. Done.
But the Kings, barring some catastrophe difficult to imagine, can’t be
stopped now. Their bandwagon of celebs and show-business types is
633552     NHL                                                                   explaining why Steven Stamkos was just suspended for the entire 2012-13
                                                                                 season for a tripping minor.
                                                                                 • 2005 Gary Bettman doesn’t hand any cups to anyone, unless you want to
Memorable captains from Stanley Cup lore                                         count a steaming hot cup of “give us your money and shut up,” in which
                                                                                 case every hockey fan in North America personally receives one.

Sean McIndoe                                                                     • 2011 Zdeno Chara accepts the Stanley Cup from Bettman in yet another
                                                                                 example of foreigners having things handed to them by hard-working
                                                                                 Americans, Tim Thomas secretly thinks.

Chicago's Jonathan Toews was the last Canadian-born captain to accept            National Post LOADED: 06.06.2012
the Stanley Cup from commissioner Gary Bettman.
We still don’t know which team will win the Stanley Cup this year. But we
can be sure of one thing: for only the second time in history, an American
will be the captain of the winning team. And that means that either Dustin
Brown of the Kings or Zach Parise of the Devils will get to take part in one
of the best moments in all of sports.
Unlike other leagues, where the championship trophy is handed over to
team owners and various corporate sponsors, the Stanley Cup is handed
directly to the winning team’s captain. And whether that captain takes the
Cup for a victory lap or immediately hands it off to a deserving teammate,
the moment always seems to end up being a memorable one.
Here is a look back at some of the other NHL captains who have had a
chance to accept the Stanley Cup.
• 1999 Dallas Stars captain Derian Hatcher accepts the Cup while standing
in the wrong spot, but for some reason everyone involved just ignores that
and pretends everything is fine.
• 2010 The moment Gary Bettman hands him the Stanley Cup is the
happiest one of Jonathan Toews’ entire life, apparently, since his one
eyebrow looks like it kind of twitched there for a second.
• 1992 As Mario Lemieux triumphantly lifts the Cup, the various NHL
defencemen who have been clinging desperately to each of his limbs since
the season opener sheepishly begin to realize that they can probably just
let go now.
• 2008 The historic moment of the first European captain receiving the Cup
is ruined when a confused Nicklas Lidstrom asks if the big silver thing is
some sort of fancy ashtray for his unfiltered cigarettes, Don Cherry
imagines.
• 2004 The Tampa Bay Lightning win their first ever championship, causing
every fan of the early ’90s Maple Leafs to simultaneously wonder why the
Cup is being presented to Dave Andreychuk’s great-grandfather.
• 2000 Devils captain Scott Stevens watches on as his teammates take
turns handing the Cup to each other, then spends the rest of the celebration
concussing anyone who admires their pass.
• 1993 Guy Carbonneau lifts what will turn out to be the last Stanley Cup
ever won at the Montreal Forum in an emotional moment, although
everyone will later agree that the way he immediately starts measuring the
bowl’s curve while laughing hysterically and pointing at Marty McSorley was
probably unnecessary.
• 2009 While he realizes that all Cup-winning captains are asked to pose for
a photograph with Bettman before accepting the trophy, Sidney Crosby still
finds it kind of weird that Bettman takes the photo of them himself using his
mobile phone and then immediately uploads it to a Facebook album called
“Super-BFFs 4ever”.
• 1994 Mark Messier famously breaks into a fit of giddy laughter as Bettman
hands him the Cup, probably because he just realized how much the
Canucks would now be willing to offer him in free agency in a few years.
• 2007 Scott Niedermayer accepts the Cup from Bettman, raises it
triumphantly into the air, and then skates around the rink while using it to
calmly deflect the various slapshots Daniel Alfredsson is still “accidentally”
firing at him from center ice.
• 2001 Joe Sakic takes the Cup and hands it directly to Ray Bourque, after
realizing that going door-to-door and kicking every Boston Bruins fan in the
groin individually would take too long.
• 1997 After the Red Wings win their first title in over 40 years, Steve
Yzerman hands the Cup to owner Mike Illitch instead of to a fellow veteran
player like Brendan Shanahan, according to the weird prologue in the video
633553     Ottawa Senators                                                        stability under Eugene Melnyk, coming off a handsome and profitable
                                                                                  rebuilding season.
                                                                                  Leeder says there is a chance the club could reach the goal of 13,000
Scanlan: Hall call humbles Senators founders                                      season ticket holders, although it will require a mighty summer push.
                                                                                  Before Melnyk arrived in 2003 to assume ownership of a completely
by Wayne Scanlan                                                                  restructured organization emerging from a bankruptcy, there were real fears
                                                                                  the team could move.
                                                                                  “That was the toughest period,” Leeder said. “Rod was looking for a
The story of how the Senators came to be has been told and retold, and for        financial strucure that would work, and if the team was being sold, he
those who relish NHL hockey in this town, it doesn’t get old.                     wanted it kept here, even if he couldn’t be the owner.”

On Wednesday, the story gets etched a little deeper into the Ottawa sports        Credit Firestone with the dream and the original push, Bryden then taking
consciousness, our version of a footprint in Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.            the handoff.

The Senators’ original three amigos — Bruce Firestone, Cyril Leeder and           “Rod kept it alive during tough times, but it might never have had the
Randy Sexton, plus Rod Bryden, who refinanced the franchise and became            chance to be alive without his involvement,” Sexton says.
its owner — are being inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.
                                                                                  Each is so proud of the others, they could use a night to reflect and toast a
Well deserved. And the timing could not be better, with the Senators              glass. Leeder suspects it’s been more than 10 years, since before Bryden
celebrating the 20th anniversary of the October, 1992 return to the NHL           sold the club, that the four have been in the same room together. Bryden is
after a 58-year absence.                                                          busy turning waste into energy as CEO of Plasco Energy Group. Firestone
                                                                                  writes about entrepeneurship with EQJournal.org. Once a Senators general
They were all pleasantly surprised by the call to the hall. Well, in Sexton’s     manager, Sexton is assistant director of amateur scouting for the Pittsburgh
case, a bit concerned at first.                                                   Penguins, under former Senators assistant GM Ray Shero, now a fixture as
                                                                                  Pittsburgh’s GM.
“I was out on the west coast when I get an email saying, ‘hey Randy, it’s
Mike Flanagan from the Ottawa Police, can you give me a call?,’” Sexton           Leeder, of course, remains with the Senators, as president and alternate
was recalling on Tuesday.                                                         governor.
“I went, ‘holy geez.’ I call home and there’s no answer. I was worried. I         “We’re all kind of humbled about the whole process,” Leeder says. “It’s a
finally call Mike, and I talk to him for two minutes and I think he could sense   real honour and going in together makes it even more special for the four of
a little stress in my voice and finally he says, ‘oh, this is a good call.        us.
Everything’s good.’”
                                                                                  Ottawa Citizen LOADED: 06.06.2012
Couldn’t be better, actually, now that Sexton understands it was in
Flanagan’s capacity as chairman of the Ottawa sports hall that he was
contacting Sexton about this group induction.
The original story of the original three, of course, dates back to 1987, when
Firestone asked his then-kidemployees with Terrace Investments to stick
around after a game of pickup hockey at the old Lions Arena. Leeder and
Sexton were both 28.
This is the story as they told it to me some time ago. (It starts with the
unmistakably sweet sound of post-shinny beers cracking open).
“Guys, I think the NHL is going to expand,” Firestone says.
Leeder and Sexton nod. Take another swig of beer.
You know, I think Ottawa could probably support a franchise.”
Leeder and Sexton nod again in agreement. Leeder says something to the
effect that “we’d go to the games.”
Another swig of beer.
“The three of us are going to go get it,” Firestone says.
And now Sexton nearly spits a mouthful of beer all over the floor. Leeder
and Sexton set their beers down.
“I’ve been thinking about this,” Firestone says. “There’s nobody better than
us. We have the energy and the know-how.”
And so it began. As Sexton says, they were probably too naive to know
what they were getting into, how impossible the task, how long the odds. At
various times, the cause appeared hopeless — trying to pull together the
financing for a modern NHL arena and a franchise to live in it. After the first
miracle of league acceptance, the $50 million franchise fee was only the
beginning of the money hurdles.
That’s where Bryden stepped in, pulled together financing so complicated it
could make the head spin, even for an accountant like Leeder.
“Every time a deal would die, there was a possibility we might not go ahead
with the team and the building,” Leeder says. “But Rod just kept pushing on.
“When one door would close, he would just go on to the next one, and
wouldn’t take no for an answer.”
Ultimately, Bryden relinquished ownership of the team, as Firestone had
before him. Today, the team is — relatively speaking — the picture of
633554     Ottawa Senators


Senators unlikely to bring Kuba back: Murray


by Wayne Scanlan


Don’t expect Filip Kuba back on the Senators blueline next season.
Senators general manager Bryan Murray told the Citizen on Tuesday
morning that the organization is making plans for a team that does not
include the veteran Kuba, despite a comeback 2011-12 season.
“I think we’re moving on,” Murray said, in an interview, implying we just
might have seen the best of Kuba, and the last of him.
“I haven’t heard from him,” Murray said. “I talked to his agent (Rich Evans)
before the year ended and told him sort of the thoughts I had, about what
we might consider and I haven’t heard back.”
In other words, the Senators were only interested in the 35-year-old Kuba
(36 in December) if he were willing to take a significant cut from his current
$3.7 million per year contract, which just came to a close. Kuba is an
unrestricted free agent on July 1.
“He’s going to get his money,” Murray said. “I think he’s going to get similar
money to what he was earning with us. And I’m not going to go there I don’t
think.”
Kuba arrived in Ottawa from Tampa Bay in the summer of 2008, part of a
package for defenceman Andrej Meszaros. After a strong 2008-09 season,
in which he scored 40 points and averaged more than 23 minutes per
games, Kuba signed a three-year deal for a total of $11.1 million.
The next two seasons, Kuba struggled with injuries and poor play, but he
bounced back this season under new head coach Paul MacLean,
contributing six goals, 32 points while a plus 26. Kuba was usually paired
with budding superstar Erik Karlsson, but the team feels the young Swede
is ready to spread his wings with or without Kuba. Besides, there is other
talent in the system and a strong group of defencemen in the coming draft.
“I’m hoping one of our young defencemen can make it out of camp,” Murray
said, but we do need to sign another quality defenceman without a doubt.”
Murray said he hoped either Patrick Wiercioch or Mark Borowiecki, who
played in AHL Binghamton last season, “might be able to step and play at
least a chunk of games for us.”
The Kuba file is an indication Murray isn’t like to blow the budget on a big
name replacement, not when he already has the $5.5 million contract of
Sergei Gonchar, the pending deal for Karlsson, plus knowing he has to pay
Jared Cowen down the road.
“Whether I can find another forward that is a big upgrade, that’s to be seen,
and I have to wait for Daniel (Alfredsson) to let me know what he’s
thinking.”
Murray thinks the Senators captain will probably decide by the end of the
month if he’s returning for at least one more season.
“I’m not even going to call him about it,” Murray said. “I think he deserves
the time he wants to take for this. And we’ll see.”
Ottawa Citizen LOADED: 06.06.2012
633555     Ottawa Senators


Sens GM not rushing Alfie


By Bruce Garrioch ,


Daniel Alfredsson won’t be getting any heat from the Senators for his
decision on next year.
Senators GM Bryan Murray said Tuesday the Ottawa captain can take as
long he wants to decide whether he’s going to play or retire. Nobody from
the organization will be badgering Alfredsson for a decision, Murray said.
“I don’t need to hear from him right away and I don’t need to hear from him
before the draft,” said Murray. “I know he’s got a tough decision. I’m not
going to ask him.
“Daniel and I had good conversations before he left here in the exit
interview. I think he’ll make up his mind when he feels comfortable making
up his mind and I’m just going to leave it at that.”
Murray said he wants Alfredsson back.
“I’m like everybody else — I hope he comes back,” said Murray. “He was
one of our best players, if not our best player, at times. That’s all I can say.
I’m not going to make any demands as far as time is concerned.
“That would be unfair of us. He’ll make that call.”
Ottawa Sun LOADED: 06.06.2012
633556      Ottawa Senators                                                        the friendships and it was the thought that we could come up with the magic
                                                                                   wand that was going to make us money at the racetrack.”
                                                                                   A call has been put in. If I’ll Have Another gets to the winner’s circle, Melnyk
Melnyk's Crown connection                                                          is hoping to get his picture taken with the horse.
                                                                                   “It’s not my horse, but I’ll be cheering,” he said.
By Tim Baines ,                                                                    POTENTIAL DOUBLE-HEADER
                                                                                   After the race, if there is a Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final, Melnyk plans to
Eugene Melnyk promises the Senators will win a Stanley Cup.                        hop in a helicopter and fly to Manhattan where he will watch the Kings and
                                                                                   Devils on a giant TV screen in his favourite sports bar.
There are no ifs, ands or buts. The Senators owner is convinced it will
happen.                                                                            Just one of the peeps.

Such is his passion for his hockey team; and love for the game itself.             “It’s really a bit pathetic,” said Melnyk, with a laugh.

And if the New Jersey Devils co-operate and win Game 4 of the Stanley              In 2003, the same year he purchased the Senators out of bankruptcy,
Cup final against the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday, Melnyk plans to                 Melnyk bought Flower Alley for $165,000.
watch Game 5 from a sports bar in Manhattan.                                       It was on a whim, a hunch, or perhaps out of boredom after sitting around
First things first, though.                                                        for much of the day in a small room at a yearling sale in Kentucky.

Melnyk will be in New York Saturday for the Belmont Stakes.                        The purchase seemed to make sense. The colt came from Distorted
                                                                                   Humor, who had sired Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide, and a mare,
His horse, Flower Alley, sired I’ll Have Another, who will be looking to           Princess Olivia.
complete the Triple Crown triumph — coming off wins in both the Kentucky
Derby and Preakness Stakes.                                                        The lightbulb went off.

To put the importance of the race to I’ll Have Another in perspective, there       “It was a hunch, our girl (Olivia) had just had her first birthday,” said Melynk,
have been just 11 Triple Crown winners, none since 1978.                           who plays a game where throroughbreds have sold for as much as $16
                                                                                   million.
“If you can win the Triple Crown, you are truly a superhorse,” said Melnyk,
who has a stable of 500 horses, down from 650 at one point.                        But then he had to answer to his then-four-year-old daughter, Anna.

“It’s a combination Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux: Big body, strength,           “She was bawling her eyes out, ‘Daddy, you don’t love me anymore,’ ” said
distance, fast, sleek and ultra sharp. This guy can move around.                   Melnyk.

“If (I’ll Have Another) didn’t get intimidated in the Kentucky Derby, he won’t     “So I said she could name it whatever she wanted. She called it Flower
get intimidated at the Belmont. It’s like a hockey player in a Game 7 Stanley      Alley. She might as well have called it Daisy,” he added.
Cup final shootout, where you have the last shot.                                  In horse racing, image is important. Flower Alley wasn’t a powerful,
“If you can block everything out, that’s half the battle. It would be amazing if   muscular name, but it kept a young girl happy.
he did. The kid’s a superstar.”                                                    Flower Alley “didn’t do that bad” as a two-year-old racer, but really
Melnyk’s passion for horses dates back to his childhood. The atmosphere            blossomed as a three-year-old.
at the track and the majesty of the animals pulled him along for the ride.         “If you’re not 100% ready to play in the NHL, you go to Bingo or you go
“When I was a kid, we lived close to Woodbine (in Toronto) ... my dad never        back to Sweden,” said Melnyk.
gambled ... but my Uncle Leo, my father’s brother, would say, ‘Oh, you             “You don’t try to push the kid against guys who have been in the league for
really want to go to the racetrack with me,’ really loudly. It was his way out     10 years. Or they get pummelled and are afraid to go into the corners. It’s
the door, away from the house. And I would say, ‘I guess so.’ Meanwhile,           the same with horses.
he was the one that really wanted to go.
                                                                                   “If you run them too early, they get pummelled. They know if they’ve lost
“He was horrible at it. He would pick the horse by the jockey, that kind of        and the same as if they know if they’ve won. And they know if they’ve
stuff. Eventually, when I was able to go by myself, I fell in love with the        finished eighth.”
game.
                                                                                   NARROW DEFEAT
“I would spend every Saturday and Sunday at the racetrack. I just hung
around. My friends were there. A lot of friendships remain.                        Flower Alley just missed winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic, losing by a
                                                                                   length to Saint Liam in 2005, earning $935,000.
“When I was 22, I bought a partnership in a horse, Rocket Man. Everybody
threw in three to four grand. He could only go five furlongs at Greenwood,         It was a great day for Melnyk. His limo got him to his favourite New York
early in the season. Then he’d hit a brick wall. Three weeks into the racing       sports bar in time to watch the Senators crush the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-0.
season, the races would go to six furlongs. So he’d race two races a year,
he’d win every time.                                                               Flower Alley was retired after winning $2.5 million.

“But the rest of the time we had to feed the guy.”                                 He had become, “almost like a teenager. He was more interested in girls,
                                                                                   so we sent him to stud.”
Melnyk was mesmerized by the sport, driven by the adrenaline rush.
                                                                                   Melnyk now has half ownership in Flower Alley, whose stud feeds started at
“Seeing your horse coming down the stretch, you just can’t describe the            $30,000, then in tough times dropped to $7,500. I’ll Have Another’s success
feeling, especially if it’s a big race, how your heart pumps,” Melnyk said.        has driven it to $15,000 ... and it’s steadily rising.
“I dreamed of one day owning a horse that would win the Kentucky Derby             Horse owner. Hockey-team owner. And multi-millionaire.
or the Queen’s Plate.”
                                                                                   But the 53-year-old Melnyk came from humble roots — pumping gas and
Melnyk cherishes the friendships he’s made through horse racing.                   working at a styrofoam cup company on his way up the ladder to turning
                                                                                   Biovail into a billion-dollar enterprise.
“Why do people go to sports bars to watch football? Most of them have
never played football. But they’ll go watch Green Bay play San Diego,” said        His numerous philanthropic endeavours along the way include a $1-million
Melnyk.                                                                            donation toward construction of a child-care centre at Belmont Park.
“What’s the connection? It’s the chicken wings and the beer and the                TWO SPORTING LOVES
camaraderie. With horse racing, I enjoyed the handicapping and I enjoyed
But he still savours great pleasures ... and it comes back to horses and
hockey.
“In horse racing, your mind is just blank, so I never have a chance to think
too much,” he said. “In hockey, my feelings are just like any fan. The thrill
starts the day before the big game.
“I often lose sleep over it. Any time I’m watching the Senators, I’m so proud
of the guys and everyone around the team, including the fans. Just happy
that I can add a little bit of pleasure to so many people’s lives.
“You have to run both like a business. You can’t take it on as an expensive
hobby or you’ll very quickly remove the rich part. You need to be able to
withstand the good times and bad. You see that in both horse racing and
hockey.
“I went to the Stanley Cup finals. If you love the game as much as I do, it
taxes you, it drains you as far as emotions go. Even when we went down to
the Rangers in the first round, it was painful, but it was a fun painful.
“The same with horse racing, the way I look at it. If you lose one, they think
I’m going to cry.
“In horse racing, if you’re a 20% winner, you’re considered a success. The
highs of winning outweigh the lows of losing.”
While Melnyk has one eye on the playoffs and the other on the Belmont
Stakes and I’ll Have Another’s date with history, he’s still got the Senators
on his mind.
In his heart, he believes their day in the spotlight will come soon.
“We will win the Stanley Cup in my lifetime, you can take that to the bank,”
Melnyk said.
And you get the feeling it’s more than just his passion speaking.
MELNYK'S RESUME
Won Sovereign award for outstanding owner in Canadian racing in 2007,
2009.
Won Sovereign award for outstanding breeder in 2009; in total has won 10
Sovereign awards.
Owns Melnyk Racing Stables Inc., and Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala, Fla., a
1,000-acre property.
Colt Archers Bay won the Queen’s Plate in 1998
Sealy Hill became the first filly to win the Canadian Triple Tiara – Woodbine
Oaks, Bison City Stakes and Wonder Where Stakes
His other racehorses include Speightstown, Marchfield, Flower Alley, Pool
Land, Marley Vale, Tweedside, Bishop Court Hill, Harmony Lodge,
Bridgetown, Graeme Hall, Roxy Gap and Sterwins.
Ottawa Sun LOADED: 06.06.2012
633557     Ottawa Senators                                                        Ottawa Sun LOADED: 06.06.2012


Karlsson talks set to begin


By Bruce Garrioch ,


The Senators are ready to get down to business with standout defenceman
Erik Karlsson.
Senators GM Bryan Murray, speaking in a wide-ranging interview, told the
Sun he expects to hold formal talks with Karlsson’s agent Craig Oster and
put an offer on the table next week.
Taking a break from scouting meetings that wrapped up Tuesday at
Scotiabank Place, Murray confirmed there have been informal talks
between the two sides. But now it’s time for discussions with Karlsson, who
would become a restricted free agent July 1, to get serious.
“We had a meeting with our staff (Monday) and part of our discussion was
how we approach (the talks),” said Murray. “We’ve had informal
conversations, but that’s all. Now, we’ve got to get going on term and what
we think is fair from our point. We’ll have to find out what they think and
where we can go dollar-wise.
“We’ll get started within the next week, if not earlier. We’ll get an idea what
their thoughts are. We’ll do the same and then get some work done here.”
A finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top blueliner, Karlsson had 78
points this past season. He will be looking for a raise from the $1.3 million
he made in 2011-12.
Many believe Karlsson’s camp will demand a similar deal to the eight-year,
$56 million contract Drew Doughty signed with the Los Angeles Kings in
September.
“We haven’t gone there (as far as money is concerned),” said Murray. “I
have an idea, looking at comparables and somewhat comparables. He’s a
difficult player that way.
“We have an idea what we think is the ballpark numbers, but we haven’t
talked about it so we’re just shooting in the dark. We’ve had conversations
with Newport Sports over the years and we’ll both approach it in a
professional manner with an understanding that we both have a job to do.
We’ll try to do it the best we can for our side.”
Murray said there is no rush.
“Everybody knows, from Erik to their agents, that we want to get something
done,” said Murray.
The Senators will free up some money for Karlsson by letting blue-liner Filip
Kuba test the UFA market. He made $3.7 million last season and Murray
has no interest bringing him back at that price.
“We told his agent (Rich Evans) we liked his year, we thought he was a
good influence on Karlsson but we couldn’t go in the same dollar area as he
was before,” said Murray. “We said we would talk when the year was over
and we have not talked to this point.
“My assumption from that is they will try to investigate what the market is for
him. If he gets what he wants, he’ll probably move on and we’ll probably do
the same.”
Murray said the Senators will likely deal for a veteran defenceman or sign
one as a UFA to replace Kuba. The club is also counting on either Mark
Borowiecki or Patrick Wiercioch battling for a spot.
“We’re going to have to get at least one veteran defenceman,” said Murray.
“Besides that, we have to count on one of our younger guys having a
chance to make the team.”
Murray said he isn’t ready to announce whether forwards Jesse Winchester
and Zenon Konopka and defenceman Matt Carkner will be back as UFAs.
It’s certain not all will return.
“We haven’t told them yet, but we can’t bring everybody back,” said Murray.
“It’s as simple as that. We have to make the call there.”
However, one of the first calls will be to Karlsson’s agent.
633558     Philadelphia Flyers


Flyers' Giroux wins prestigious Wanamaker Award


By BILL FLEISCHMAN


WHEN CLAUDE Giroux first learned he had won the Wanamaker Award,
he wasn't familiar with it. Why should he be? The Flyers star has only been
in Philadelphia for 4 years.
"When I looked into it, it's bigger than I thought," Giroux said yesterday
before accepting the award in the Wanamaker Building's Crystal Tea Room.
"It's a great honor to win the award."
In accepting the award that is annually presented to "the athlete, team or
organization that has done the most to reflect credit upon Philadelphia,"
Giroux becomes the first Flyers player Wanamaker-ed in 32 years. The
1980 Flyers Stanley Cup finalists shared the award with the Sixers NBA
finalists.
Giroux, 24, was the NHL's third leading scorer this season with 93 points.
Despite playing in only two playoff rounds, Giroux led all playoff scorers
until recently.
Giroux said his recovery from postseason wrist surgeries is on schedule.
He sounded eager to get back on the ice.
"I feel we have something special," he said. "We have a young team with a
lot of heart."
The past season, in which he emerged as one of the NHL's elite players,
flew by for him.
"This year, everything kind of happened so fast, with HBO and the Winter
Classic," he said. "We had a great year. We had 8 to 10 rookies play, and
we played as a team the whole year."
Flyers chairman Ed Snider, winner of the Lifetime Achievement award,
described Giroux as "a superstar. He's a great kid."
Previous Wanamaker winners include Philly heavy hitters such as Bobby
Clarke, Bernie Parent, Wilt Chamberlain, Joe Frazier, Julius Erving, Mike
Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Ryan Howard. Roy Halladay was last year's
winner.
Snider's Lifetime Achievement award is for his sports, business and
philanthrophy, which includes the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.
"My life in Philadelphia has been beyond my wildest dreams," Snider said.
Phillies president Dave Montgomery, the Sports Congress chairman,
recalled a recent session of Major League Baseball where regional
television was the topic. Montgomery said Eddie Einhorn of the Chicago
White Sox leaned over and said, "You know who started this? Ed Snider
[with the PRISM cable network in the 1970s]."
Montgomery said, "[Snider] saw sports different than the rest of us."
In addition to Giroux and Snider, the Philadelphia Sports Congress also
presented the Robert P. Levy Community Service Award to Jerry Segal.
Joe and Roseann Kirlin received the City of Philadelphia Parks and
Recreation Sports Volunteer of the Year award.
Segal, an attorney, was paralyzed in 1988 after neck surgery. Setting a goal
to walk and play golf again, he was discharged from the Magee
Rehabilitation Center and in 1990 established the Jerry Segal Golf Classic.
The tournament has raised more than $10 million for Magee. Segal
regularly visits Magee to encourage patients.
The Kirlins launched the Katie Kirlin Fund after their daughter, Katie, died at
age 12. The fund supports wheelchair sports.
The Wanamaker Award is chosen by a committee of sports and media
representatives. Nominations are accepted via ballots in the Daily News.
The Sports Congress, Amerimar/Behringer Harvard management company,
the Daily News and CBS-3 present the Wanamaker luncheon.
Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 06.06.2012
633559     Philadelphia Flyers                                                    To make sure, Parent put the mask on his face. The custom mold still fit
                                                                                  perfectly to his eye sockets.
                                                                                  "The first thing I wanted to do when I saw the mask was to call Hadfield and
After 41 years, goalie mask of Flyers legend Parent turns up                      say, 'Thanks,' " Parent said. "It was a huge pain to get a new mask, it takes
                                                                                  6 to 8 months to get a new one molded and cured. You always wonder
                                                                                  what happened to it. Now, after 41 years, it's here. Life is full of surprises."
By FRANK SERAVALLI
                                                                                  Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 06.06.2012


IT STARTED with an innocent check by Toronto's Jim Dorey on the
Rangers' Ted Irvine. It ended with a 41-year-old mystery.
The date was April 8, 1971. Toronto was minutes away from icing a 4-1 win
in Game 2 of a first-round playoff series at Madison Square Garden when
Dorey ran Irvine into the boards.
The benches emptied for an on-ice donnybrook. Darryl Sittler and Brad
Park broke out of the penalty box with cocked fists.
Flying in from the other end of the ice, Rangers goaltender Eddie Giacomin
needed a dance partner.
Bernie Parent was already throwing bombs in the corner, and Giacomin
leveled him into the boards and started pounding. Parent was 25 when he
arrived in Toronto halfway through that 1970-71 season, having completed
an unspectacular first stint with the Flyers.
At that point, he was Bernie before "Only the Lord Saves More Than"
Bernie Parent.
Once the blows were traded and the knuckles bruised, Parent tried to
gather his equipment to finish off just his third career playoff win. Except
there was only one problem: He couldn't find his mask.
Halfway through the fracas, Rangers captain Vic Hadfield threw Parent's
coveted mask into the frenzied Garden crowd. Parent pleaded for its return.
New York City police officers scanned the crowd, searching the seats for
any sign of the custom-molded mask.
Parent had no backup mask, it was a one-of-a-kind. In 1971, goaltenders
were just beginning to understand a pseudo-helmet's value.
Maple Leafs coach John McLellan begged Parent to finish the game.
"I said, 'What are you, crazy?' " Parent recalled on Monday. "I'm not going
back in there without my mask."
Instead, McLellan had to summon 42-year-old legend Jacques Plante -
coincidentally, the first goaltender in NHL history to wear a mask - from the
bench to finish off the Rangers.
New York won the series. Toronto has not won the Cup since 1967. And
Parent went on to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame after delivering
two shimmering Stanley Cups after returning to Philadelphia.
But the mask was never heard from again, never popped up anywhere, until
it hit a memorabilia auction site in 2006. The mask resold last week, after a
private collector in Canada contacted Parent and his agent, Dean Smith,
out of the blue, looking for him to authenticate the mask from that wild,
crazy playoff series.
Though the private collector would not say exactly how much he paid for
that piece of hockey history, he said masks from that era were going from
anywhere between $20,000 to $30,000 today.
Parent will hand-deliver the mask to Dave, the new owner who wishes to
remain anonymous, in a few weeks after a memorabilia show in the Toronto
area. Dave said he will donate the mask to the Hockey Hall of Fame when
he dies, since the Hall of Fame does not accept items on loan anymore.
"I was always interested in the mask era," said Dave, the private collector. "I
was surfing the net and stumbled upon it. I wasn't at the game, but I was 7
or 8 years old at the time. I remembered the game. I just wanted to ask if
the original buyer was interested in selling. I thought it was a cool story, a
cool piece of history."
Parent, now 67, originally thought he'd have no chance of remembering a
41-year-old former piece of equipment. He switched to a different style with
the Flyers. But when he took this mask out of the box, any doubt vanished.
He immediately recognized two customs pieces of adhesive padding he
inserted himself.
633560     Philadelphia Flyers


Punch Shots: Jagr, Flyers aren’t ready to part ways


By Anthony J. SanFilippo


It’s safe to say that Philadelphia hockey fans fell in love with Jaromir Jagr
last season.
After years of hating the surefire Hall of Famer because he was a Penguin,
a Capital and a Ranger, Jagr arrived amid a lot of offseason consternation
and immediately won the fans over with his solid play, his unexpected
mentoring mentality and his entertaining personality.
And as good as it was, it didn’t end real well. Jagr was demoted from the
top line after he seemed to run out of gas in the playoffs and the Flyers
were bounced from the postseason after playing just one more game than
the season before.
Then the questions started to crop up about his future. Would he be back in
Philly?
Initially, it looked like conventional wisdom would win out and Jagr would be
playing elsewhere come October.
After all, the Flyers have a history of not re-signing their own, soon-to-be-
unrestricted free agents. Couple that with Jagr saying he wanted to play
somewhere that wanted him to play important minutes on a top line and on
the top power play, and it looked like Jagr’s stay in town would be a short
one.
But conventional wisdom also takes a backseat with these Flyers
sometimes — consider the complete makeover of the team last summer
exactly 12 months after falling two wins short of a Stanley Cup.
So, is it possible Jagr returns? Of course. Is it likely? It says here, yes.
This isn’t a guarantee by any means, but I know general manager Paul
Holmgren and Jagr’s agent Petr Svoboda (the former Flyer) have spoken
recently and the interest in having Jagr back in Philly is mutual.
Not only that, but from what I hear, they’ve even discussed some numbers
and seem to be like-minded.
So why not sign him now and get it out of the way?
Well… they can’t. Because of the “tagging” issue — which is a way of
referring to the maximum amount of money allowed to be allotted for the
following season’s salary cap — the Flyers can’t re-sign Jagr before
unrestricted free agency begins and the offseason cushion is put in place.
But don’t be surprised to hear Jagr’s name as a signee with the Flyers early
July 1, even if other teams come a-courting.
Delaware County Times LOADED: 06.06.2012
633561     Philadelphia Flyers                                                     Giroux’s first shift saw him drill Penguin captain Sidney Crosby, then score
                                                                                   after 28 seconds to begin what would become a 5-1 rout in the series-
                                                                                   clinching win.
Giroux wins Wanamaker as Philly's top athlete                                      “Anything you do in life, you want to be the best at it,” Giroux said. “Lavy
                                                                                   gave me a chance to prove myself and have a big role on team and be a
                                                                                   leader. I was very excited to have that role and excited for next year, too.”
Staff
                                                                                   Giroux is not watching the Final, even though former buddies Simon
                                                                                   Gagne, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are, as of this writing, just one win
                                                                                   away from their first Stanley Cup.
Paul Holmgren likes to tell this story about Claude Giroux's dedication to
being the very best he can.                                                        “Just painful to watch when you know you could have had a chance to be in
                                                                                   the Stanley Cup Final and you’re not,” Giroux said. “It’s tough.”
It begins with the 2007 Super Series -- the follow-up to the historic Summit
Series -- between Russia and Canada.                                               Aside from the Wanamaker, Giroux’s also up for one more honor: He's
                                                                                   battling Nashville’s Pekka Rinne to grace the cover of EA Sports' NHL13
Giroux, then 19, was one of Canada’s emerging juniors that summer.                 video next season. The fan voting ended Monday night.
“He had just finished that series, went all the way across Russia to play four     Oh, one more thing. Holmgren likes to also point out that as impressive as
games, then all the way across Canada and played four games,” the Flyers           Giroux was that ’07 training camp, he still got sent back to his junior club in
general manager recalled.                                                          Gatineau.
“He flew the red eye from Vancouver to Philadelphia, came into training            Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.06.2012
camp the next morning and had a two-mile run. He lapped a number of
guys.”
Holmgren was sitting in the middle of a track by himself when Giroux,
plopped himself down beside his boss.
“He says to me, ‘So, what are your plans for me?’" Holmgren laughed. “He’s
a confident kid.”
On Tuesday, Giroux won an award that not even Eric Lindros,
unquestionably the most dominant Flyer of the 1990s, ever did -- the
Wanamaker Award as the city’s top athlete.
Giroux beat out nine other finalists, including Eagles running back LeSean
McCoy, local boxer Bernard Hopkins and Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence.
“I didn’t know what the award was until I looked it up,” said Giroux, who
along with club chairman Ed Snider and others, were honored Tuesday at
the Crystal Tea Room atop the old Wanamaker building (now Macy’s).
“It’s bigger than I thought. It’s a great honor to win this award. It’s weird to
see that Lindros never won and he had a lot of great years. I feel pretty
lucky to win this.”
Giroux had a career-season with 93 points, third best in the NHL and the
most by a Flyer since Lindros (93 points) in 1998-99.
“Basically, it’s for somebody who has the ability to rock the city,” coach
Peter Laviolette said as he introduced Giroux. “Somebody who can bring it.”
Giroux is recovering from dual wrist surgery, which the club has been vague
about discussing (see story).
“It’s Chinese to me,” Giroux said of what was wrong with his wrists. “It was
up and down during the season ... It wasn’t bad the whole year long.”
Just bad enough that linemate Scott Hartnell began taking some of his
draws starting on March 6 against Detroit, an arrangement that lasted the
remainder of the regular season and playoffs.
Giroux admitted he’s slightly behind on his summer, upper-body
conditioning program, because he still can’t grip. He can barely shake
hands.
Incredibly, up until Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between Los Angeles
and New Jersey, Giroux -- despite those two painful wrists -- was still the
leading scorer in the playoffs with 17 points.
“It doesn’t matter,” Giroux said. “I’m still out. If I had two goals and we were
playing in the finals, I’d be more happy about that.”
Laviolette began his introduction of Giroux with a story. He said during his
NHL coaching career, he had never had an athlete come up to him and ask
to play the first shift, then promise making an impact on that shift.
Prior to Game 6 against Pittsburgh, Giroux asked Laviolette for that
opportunity.
“I didn’t know this at the time, but he went back to get water by the bench
and told two of his teammates, ‘wait till you see this,’ Laviolette said of the
moment.
633562     Philadelphia Flyers                                                 “We got Xfinity Live being the latest thing we’ve done in conjunction with
                                                                               Cordish and we’re happy with everything we’ve done. They’re all good
                                                                               companies.”
Snider receives Lifetime Achievement Award                                     Snider, Bob Clarke, Bernie Parent and the 1976 and 1980 Flyers have all
                                                                               been previously honored by the Philadelphia Sports Congress.

Staff                                                                          Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.06.2012



Ed Snider on Tuesday added yet another accolade to his already
impressive list of honors.
The 79-year-old Comcast-Spectacor chairman and founder of the Flyers
was presented with the Philadelphia Sports Congress’ Lifetime
Achievement award.
Snider joins such previous local winners as Jim Tuppeny, Harry Kalas and
Herb Magee.
“Lifetime Achievement Award,” Snider told a packed audience at the Crystal
Tea Room in the old Wanamaker’s Center City building (now Macy’s). “My
life in Philly has been beyond my wildest dreams.”
Sinder has been a part of the birth of the Flyers. The building of the
Spectrum. The creation of Spectacor. The building of the Wells Fargo
Center.
And, of course, the only venture that actually bears his name. The one he
feels will remain his legacy long after he’s gone with within the community:
the establishment of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.
“It’s been nearly 50 years since you first graced the Philadelphia sports
scene,” said longtime friend and Phillies president Dave Montgomery, who
serves as chairman of the Philadelphia Sports Congress.
Montgomery, who introduced Snider, said his presence in Philadelphia
since the 1960s created a “Snider effect.”
“This man saw sports differently than the rest of us,” Montgomery said. “He
said there was concessions involved [in sports] and [created] a company
called Ovations.
“There’s security involved. Maybe I’ll start Spectaguard. There’s facility
management involved and he gave my friend Peter [Luukko] a job
(Spectacor Management Group). The reality is, here’s a man who saw
sports differently from the rest of us.”
Snider and Montgomery both admitted they were upstaged at Tuesday’s
ceremonies, which also saw Flyers center Claude Giroux win the
Wanamaker Award as the city’s top athlete, by two other winners: Jerry
Segal and the Katie Kirlin Fund.
Segal told a heartwarming story of learning to walk again after being
paralyzed following back surgery. He has dedicated the past 22 years to
raise money – $10 million – for Magee Rehabilitation Hospital.
Segal, who motivates others at Magee in their rehab, was given the Robert
P. Leavy Community Service Award.
Joe Kirlin spoke of his late daughter Katie, and how she inspired an entire
generation of wheelchair athletes both here and beyond. The Kirlin Fund,
based in South Philadelphia, was named Philadelphia’s Sports Volunteer of
the Year.
Snider seemed visibly moved by their stories when he walked to the lectern
to accept his award.
“I was really touched by the stories here,” Snider told the audience. “The
real heroes here were the people who preceded me. I gotta tell ya, the
stories were heartwarming and you guys should be proud.”
Snider said the Lifetime Achievement Award was very different from
previous honors, including his long overdue induction in the U.S. Hockey
Hall of Fame last winter.
“It means a lot to me because they are honoring me for my entire career,
and I love it here. I’m very happy to get the award,” Snider said.
“I’ve had really good people and I am proud of what we accomplished.
We’ve got a pretty substantial company today, and we do pretty good
things.
633563      Philadelphia Flyers


Will Capitals roll same dice as Flyers?


staff.


Who would have thought that almost a year after the Flyers traded the
former cornerstones of their franchise – Mike Richards and Jeff Carter –
that the pair would be reunited and one win away from helping the Kings to
their first Stanley Cup?
Not many.
With that in mind, Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com offers a warning
to Capitals fans contemplating the thoughts of trading Alex Ovechkin this
summer and letting Alex Semin walk in free agency.
Gormley compared the duo of Richards and Carter to Capitals stars Semin
and Ovechkin.
"In their six years together in Philadelphia, Richards and Carter helped
transform the Flyers from the worst team in the NHL in 2006-07 to a Stanley
Cup finalist in 2010," Gormley said. "They were to the Flyers what Ovechkin
and Semin have been to the Capitals since joining forces in 2006-07 –
Richards the hard-hitting captain, Carter the sleek, goal scorer."
Semin is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and has
told reporters he will test free agency.
As for Ovechkin, Gormley wonders if Caps general manager George
McPhee will be bold enough to entertain offers for the 26-year-old.
Ovechkin has spent the last seven seasons with Washington and has failed
to help his team past the Eastern Conference semifinals.
So will the Caps roll the dice, or learn a lesson from the Flyers?
Keep in mind, in addition to Richards and Carter, former Flyers Justin
Williams and Simon Gagne, former head coach John Stevens, former
Director of Player Personnel Ron Hextell and former scout Dean Lombardi
are also one win away from a Cup with Los Angeles.
Gormley writes that would be the equivalent of Ovechkin, Semin, Mike
Knuble, Sergei Gonchar, Bruce Boudreau and Olie Kolzig teaming up in
Anaheim to win the Cup next June.
Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.06.2012
633564     Philadelphia Flyers


NHL Notes: Habs hire Therrien as new coach


staff.


Now, here's some news and notes from around the NHL.
Familiar territory
The Montreal Canadiens have brought back a familiar face to take over
head coaching duties.
The Habs on Tuesday hired Michel Therrien as their coach again. The 48-
year-old will take over for interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth, who
was removed from the position by general manager Marc Bergevin on May
2.
Therrien replaced Alain Vigneault as head coach of the Canadiens during
the 2000-01 season. He was fired by the club in 2003.
As our friends at ProHockeyTalk point out, Therrien will join the likes of
Newsy Lalonde, Leo Dandurand, Cecil Hart, Claude Ruel and Bob Gainey
as two-term Canadiens coaches.
Following the lockout, Therrien coached the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2005
to 2009, leading the team to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007-08.
Staying around
The Colorado Avalanche on Monday signed Cody McLeod through the
2014-15 season.
The 27-year-old registered 11 points in 75 games with the team last
season. He compiled a team-high 164 penalty minutes.
McLeod signed with the Avs in 2006 as an undrafted free agent.
Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.06.2012
633565    Phoenix Coyotes


Phoenix Coyotes' Shane Doan a finalist for Mark Messier NHL Leadership
Award


Republic news sources


The National Hockey League has announced that Coyotes captain Shane
Doan has been named as a finalist for the 2011-12 Mark Messier NHL
Leadership Award, presented by Bridgestone. The winner will be
announced at the 2012 NHL Awards at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las
Vegas.
The other two finalists for the award are Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles
Kings and Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers.
"Mark Messier was one of the greatest leaders to ever play in the NHL and I
am honored to be nominated for his award," said Doan. "I would like to
congratulate Dustin and Ryan on being selected as finalists. They are both
great leaders."
The award recognizes an individual who is a superior leader in hockey and
as a contributing member of society. It honors an individual who leads by
positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members
and a dedication to community activities and charitable causes.
Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel and NHL fans
through NHL.com in compiling a list of potential candidates. However, the
selection of the three finalists and the ultimate winner is Messier's alone.
Messier, a six-time Stanley Cup champion and 16-time NHL All-Star in
his 25 NHL seasons, is widely viewed as one of the greatest sports leaders
of all time. Among his numerous hockey and humanitarian honors, one of
the most special was the naming of the Mark Messier Skyway at
Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey for his 15 years of
dedication and commitment to help raise millions of dollars to benefit
children with cancer and other serious blood disorders.
Arizona Republic LOADED: 06.06.2012
633566     Phoenix Coyotes                                                        Arizona Republic LOADED: 06.06.2012


Big-time market feeling a bit small


By Dan Bickley,


Phoenix recruited all four major professional sports teams to Arizona. Only
one wears the city's name on its uniforms.
Even then, the Suns sometimes use the airport code: PHX.
This does not help our identity issues one bit.
The Coyotes are the latest franchise to dropkick its affiliation with Phoenix,
attempting to become the "Arizona Coyotes" under terms of a new deal with
incoming owner Greg Jamison. According to team officials, the switch won't
happen until 2013, as it's too late for the change to be approved for next
season.
But it's a clean and easy break. Only a side patch on the hockey uniform
needs to be altered, replacing the "PHX" with "AZ." And with no spiritual
connection to our capital city -- the Coyotes play their home games in
Glendale and stage occasional practice sessions in North Scottsdale -- the
change seems logical.
But it comes 18 years after the local NFL team ditched its association with
Phoenix, becoming the "Arizona Cardinals" while playing home games in
Tempe. And in the end, the lack of big-city affiliation doesn't help the small-
minded, disconnected nature of our populace.
Phoenix is the sixth-largest city in America. It is the 13th-largest designated
market area, with approximately 1.8 million television households. Yet the
same market commonly is referred to as the "Valley," an ambiguous,
nowhere phrase that perfectly reflects our scattered nature.
Phoenix native Phil Motta has a marketing firm and a background in sports.
He said the "use of 'Arizona' as a bland, imprecise compromised alternative
to the urban, big-league name 'Phoenix' contributes to a diminished sense
of urban patriotism." He believes this contributes to the small-market
behavior too often prevalent in these parts, one born from a small-market
self-perception.
It's also partly why he moved his business to Los Angeles.
"I hated doing that," Motta said. "But things like the Cardinals dumping
Phoenix as its identity -- and thus telling the country and the world that the
place called 'Phoenix' wasn't really a major-league city like Chicago or
Seattle or LA -- badly hurt the place's image and affected its suitability as a
headquarters location for firms like mine, which solicit clients all over the
country and the world."
Things are changing. Downtown Phoenix is growing up fast, and one day
might be the root of our civic identity, the urban epicenter of our dreams.
Diamondbacks Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick is a principal
investor in CityScape and will cut ribbon on a new downtown hotel
Thursday, one that already is booking incoming sports teams.
A baseball man, Kendrick marvels at the size of an NFL traveling party, and
how one of the Cardinals' upcoming opponents already has booked 170
rooms at the Hotel Palomar for three nights.
That's good money. It's also a sign of a shifting allure.
"It says that downtown Phoenix is starting to happen," Kendrick said. "It was
a pretty barren landscape not that long ago, even with the sports venues.
Ultimately the stadiums got built, but sports arenas by themselves do not
make for a core of a city. You need places to live, places for people to go
and have dinner and be entertained. I'm hopeful that we're finally on our
way."
Yet even with a stake in the game, Kendrick said he'd resist changing his
team's name to the Phoenix Diamondbacks. Alas, once you use the state
name as a moniker, you can't go back without appearing small.
"I think we feel a responsibility to be the state's baseball team," he said.
"And as much as I love Phoenix, I think Arizona is more representative of
who we are and what we want to be."
Sadly, that's the norm around here, and why a big-league market doesn't
always feel the part.
633567     Pittsburgh Penguins


Canadiens hire ex-Pens coach Therrien


By Shelly Anderson


The Montreal Canadiens today hired former Penguins coach Michel
Therrien for what will be his second stint as head coach with that club. He
was 77-77-36 in his first time with the Canadiens.
Therrien led the Penguins to the 2008 Stanley Cup final but was replaced
the following February by Dan Bylsma, who immediately took a team in
danger of missing the playoffs on a torrid run to the Cup championship.
Therrien has done some French-language TV work in Montreal and, for a
season, was a scout for Minnesota, often watching Penguins games from
the Consol Energy Center press box. But he has not coached since
Penguins general manager Ray Shero dismissed him.
Post Gazette LOADED: 06.06.2012
633568     San Jose Sharks


Wife of San Jose Sharks' Dominic Moore dealing with rare liver cancer


By Mark Emmons


When the Sharks acquired center Dominic Moore before the February trade
deadline, they hoped the veteran could be a key addition for a long
postseason run. Instead, Moore struggled and didn't even play in the final
two games of the Sharks' quick first-round playoff exit against St. Louis.
But Tuesday, Moore revealed that his family has been dealing with a
personal crisis that may have contributed to his lack of production. In a
statement released through the Sharks, Moore said that his wife, Katie, was
diagnosed with a rare liver cancer near the end of the season and
underwent surgery at an undisclosed California hospital in April.
"While it was disappointing to not be able to compete with my Sharks
teammates in the playoffs, my wife's condition and care come first and I
want to thank the Sharks organization, my teammates and their families for
the love and support that has been shown to Katie and I during this difficult
time," Moore said in the statement. "We continue to pursue the best
treatment and care for Katie."Â"
He did not elaborate on the current health of his wife, and a team
spokesman said the family will not have any further comment at this time.
"We think so much of Dominic and Katie," added Sharks general manager
Doug Wilson. "As they go through this, we realize that there are some
things that are much bigger than the game of hockey. And this is one of
them."
The Sharks dealt a second-round pick in the upcoming
draft to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Moore and a seventh-round pick on
Feb. 16. Wilson was counting on Moore -- who had four goals and 15
assists in 56 games with Tampa Bay this season -- to provide help on the
team's weak penalty-kill unit, which ranked near the NHL bottom. The
much-traveled Moore, an Ontario native who played at Harvard and with
eight other NHL teams, also arrived with the reputation for being a versatile
player who also was strong in the face-off circle.
But Moore didn't have a big impact with the Sharks. He was limited to zero
goals and six assists in 23 regular-season games. He went scoreless in
three playoff games against the Blues. His most memorable moment in the
postseason came in Game 2 when his nose was broken by St. Louis'
Vladimir Sobotka in a fight. An angry Sharks coach Todd McLellan called it
a "sucker punch."
Moore didn't play in Games 4 and 5. At the time, that appeared to be a
coach's decision. But after the series, Wilson said Moore had not traveled
with the team to St. Louis for the season-ending game because of a family
matter.
Now that reason became clear.
Moore, 31, is an unrestricted free agent.
San Jose Mercury News: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633569    San Jose Sharks


Sharks' Dominic Moore missed games for ill wife


Associated Press


Sharks forward Dominic Moore says he missed games this postseason
because his wife has a rare form of liver cancer.
Moore issued a statement Tuesday through the Sharks to explain his
absence from San Jose's final two playoff games in April against the Blues.
He says his wife, Katie, was diagnosed with the disease late in the season.
She underwent surgery in California in April and Moore missed the final two
games against St. Louis with the team's permission.
Moore thanked the organization and his teammates for their support. He
says Katie is still being treated and offered no further details.
Moore was acquired in February from Tampa Bay for a second-round pick
and had six assists in 23 games.
Habs hire Therrien: Michel Therrien was hired as head coach of the
Canadiens, rejoining the franchise he coached from 2000 to '03.
San Francisco Chronicle LOADED: 06.06.2012
633570     San Jose Sharks                                                         Although, the good news, it shouldn’t be anything that prevents him from
                                                                                   being 100% healthy into training camp.
                                                                                   On a personal level, Marc Edouard remains one of the best interviews on
Sharks spotlight: Marc-Edouard Vlasic                                              the Sharks. Even on the bench during games, he gives straightforward and
                                                                                   honest assessments of what’s going on, when times are good or bad. It is
                                                                                   this clarity, which also likely helps him evaluate and adapt during the games
Kevin Kurz and Brodie Brazil                                                       as a player.
                                                                                   Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.06.2012

Editor's note: Over the next month, CSNCalifornia.com Sharks Insider
Kevin Kurz and Postgame Live reporter Brodie Brazil will evaluate the
2011-12 performance of each player on the roster. One breakdown will
occur every weekday in numerical order.
Sharks spotlight -- the series
Sharks spotlight: Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Age: 25 / D
In his sixth season in the NHL, all with the Sharks, defenseman Marc-
Edouard Vlasic had four goals and 19 assists for 23 points and 40 penalty
minutes in 82 games. He led the Sharks and was 12th in the league in
blocked shots (171), and was second on the team in ice time (23:09 per
game). He was scoreless with a -2 rating in five playoff games. He has one
year remaining on his contract.
Kurz says: A former second round pick of the Sharks, Marc-Edouard Vlasic
made huge strides in his game this season, and was the most consistent
blueliner from start to finish. He routinely played against the opposition’s top
players, and although he wasn’t quite as effective at the end of the season
as he was through the first half, Vlasic could be a mainstay on the San Jose
defense for years to come – provided the club signs him before he
becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1 next summer.
Unfortunately for Vlasic, his own-goal early in Game 2 against St. Louis will
be remembered as the turning point in the Sharks’ five-game defeat. As
much as his game matured this season, it would have been nice to hear
Vlasic, who is one of the more thoughtful and forthcoming players on the
team, take a little bit more responsibility for that misplay after the game.
Brodie says: Vlasic has two very big things going for him. First, he is only
25 years old. And second, he already has 6 years of NHL experience
under his belt. Put those together, and it’s very realistic that even after his
best campaign, we have not even seen Vlasic *at his bestyet.
It may be most accurate to say Marc-Edouard was a quality defenseman in
seasons prior, but this year, he became one of the team’s elite. Midway
through the schedule he was lined up with Dan Boyle; a pair that lasted until
the final game.
Picture any opponent with a 2 on 1 odd man rush coming towards the
Sharks’ end. Who is the 1 San Jose skater you’d like to see defending?
My choice would be Vlasic, and I think that is one of the best compliments
you can give a blueliner.
“Pickles” plays a true and responsible defensive game; usually good with
positioning, a good stick, and willing to block a shot. Additionally, kept both
his penalty minutes (40) and giveaways (44) relatively low. He is a perfect
contrast to an “offensive minded” partner that will likely always be paired
with.
2012-13 expectations
Kurz says: Like Logan Couture yesterday, the expectations for Vlasic next
season are obvious – he’ll once again be counted on to be one of the
team’s top and most important players. As one of the more underrated
defensemen in the NHL, Vlasic has the luxury of being able to fly under the
radar and catch some of his more unfamiliar opponents by surprise.
Vlasic’s solid positioning and active stick in the defensive zone are the keys
to his success, and with players like Dan Boyle and Brent Burns, racking up
points isn’t a priority for Vlasic. He can continue to concentrate on his
defensive game, which should only get better.
Brodie says: Expectations are simple… If Vlasic can bring a similar
performance next year to what he did this season, the Sharks would benefit
greatly. Any improvements on his part, would be a bonus.
Vlasic’s play was recognized with a bid to Team Canada’s roster for the
World Championships several weeks ago… however Marc Edouard was
sent home early from the tournament after suffering a knee injury.
633571     San Jose Sharks


Moore left Sharks to be with cancer-stricken wife


Staff


Dominic Moore had six assists in 23 games for the Sharks in the regular
season, but had to leave the team during the playoff series against St.
Louis due to health concerns with his wife.
Sharks center Dominic Moore, who left the team midway though its first
round series with St. Louis due to family reasons, released the following
statement on Tuesday.
“There have been a lot of questions and concerns raised since it was
revealed that I had to miss several games of the Sharks/Blues playoff
series due to a family matter and I wanted to update extended family,
friends, and former teammates on our situation.
"Towards the end of the 2011-12 season, my wife, Katie, began feeling ill.
We visited with local doctors, who suggested running a variety of tests to
ascertain the cause of the issue. Ultimately, Katie was diagnosed with a
rare liver cancer and it was recommended that she undergo surgery, which
took place in California in April.
"While it was disappointing to not be able to compete with my Sharks
teammates in the playoffs, my wife’s condition and care come first and I
want to thank the Sharks organization, my teammates and their families for
the love and support that has been shown to Katie and I during this difficult
time.
"We continue to pursue the best treatment and care for Katie.”
Moore, 31, was acquired by the Sharks from Tampa Bay just prior to the
NHL trade deadline on Feb. 16 in exchange for a second round draft pick.
That pick was previously acquired by the Sharks from Minnesota as part of
the deal for defenseman Brent Burns.
In 23 regular season games with the Sharks, Moore had no goals and six
assists. He was scoreless in three playoff games, and suffered a broken
nose in Game 2.
Moore is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.06.2012
633572     St Louis Blues                                                         "That was a disappointing thing," Taylor said. "I thought our staff did a lot of
                                                                                  good things and we left the Kings in a real good position to move forward
                                                                                  with a lot of good young pieces. But ownership was looking to take a
Blues' Taylor had a hand in building LA Kings team                                different route; they were looking for a rebuild. They drafted in the top five
                                                                                  three consecutive years and then began to turn the corner and move back
                                                                                  up the standings."

By JEREMY RUTHERFORD                                                              One of those top picks was defenseman Drew Doughty, who was taken No.
                                                                                  2 overall in 2008. After signing an eight-year, $56 million contract last year,
                                                                                  Doughty has been magnificent in the playoffs. The same for Mike Richards
                                                                                  and Jeff Carter, two high-priced players whom the Kings acquired via trade
If the Los Angeles Kings win the Stanley Cup, and they could accomplish
                                                                                  within the last year. Those acquisitions bumped the team's payroll to the
that in sweeping fashion tonight with a win over the New Jersey Devils, a
                                                                                  $64.3 million cap.
member of the Blues' management staff will be feeling a deserved degree
of success.                                                                       "Their ownership really stepped up," Taylor said.
Dave Taylor, Blues director of player personnel since 2010, spent three           He is thrilled for LA, but says, "when you move on, you move on."
decades in LA as a player, captain and general manager. He was one-third
of the famed "Triple Crown" line, finished his career as the Kings' all-time      Taylor worked three seasons in Dallas before being hired by the Blues in
leader in games played (1,111) and his No. 18 hangs retired in the rafters at     2010.
Staples Center next to No. 99 Wayne Gretzky.
                                                                                  Though his new club was swept by LA in the second round of the playoffs
But beyond Taylor's long-standing links to LA, it was during his nine years       this year, Taylor believes the Blues aren't far behind.
as GM (1997-2006) that the Kings drafted three components who are
contributing to the current juggernaut: forwards Dustin Brown and Anze            "You look at the positives _ it was a big step ahead for our group," he said.
Kopitar and goalie Jonathan Quick. That core now has the franchise on the         "We had a lot of our young players step into bigger roles and had good
verge of its first Stanley Cup since joining the NHL as an expansion team in      seasons for us. These players are starting to realize their abilities and what
1967, a development that would leave the Blues as the lone franchise from         it takes to play at that level. I think LA was a tremendous measuring stick."
that six-team expansion class without a championship.                             A measuring stick that, in part, was Taylor Made.
"I have a lot of good friends that are still with the Kings and certainly the     St Louis Post Dispatch LOADED: 06.06.2012
fans in LA over the years always treated me in a first-class manner," Taylor
said. "I know how excited those people will be, on the cusp of winning the
Cup. I certainly feel good for all of those people."
Taylor, 56, who has lived in the same LA suburb home since 1982, has
watched the Kings play in person an estimated 20 times this season in his
role with the Blues. He marvels at the team's dominance in the postseason,
which includes a 10-0 road record and an opportunity, with a win tonight, to
tie the 1988 Edmonton Oilers for the best mark (16-2) since the playoff
format changed to a best-of-seven for all four series in 1987.
"It's primarily their defensive structure," Taylor said of LA's key to success.
"You don't get too much time or space against them. I thought that was
really evident in the (Kings' series win over) Vancouver and in our series,
and it's carried on through the finals. They are a big team, they play
aggressive and physical and they've also got a lot of talent."
Taylor credits former LA scouting director Al Murray for finding that talent,
but Quick, Kopitar and Brown were all brought onboard during Taylor's
watch.
In 2003, the Kings drafted a player that they successfully projected as a
future captain, selecting Brown in the first round (No. 13 overall).
"We had him rated pretty high," Taylor said. "He had power-forward
attributes _ very, very strong for his age. He played the same way every
night. He was a north-south player, established the play every night and his
skills were solid. He's slimmed down a little bit, which has helped his
skating ability, so he's more dangerous on the attack. He's still got so much
power that he hits with tremendous impact."
Then in 2005, the Kings added Kopitar in the first round (No. 11) and Quick
in the third round (No. 72). Of Kopitar, Taylor said: "Just a big kid,
tremendous upside, very good skills. When he came in, he had an impact
immediately. Every franchise would love to have big skilled powerful No. 1
center like that."
Quick may look like a terrific pick now, but looking back, Taylor admits,
"That was a little more of a long shot _ you could see the athletic ability in
Jonathan, (but) it seems like (LA goalie coach) Bill Ranford has done a
tremendous job. I've been watching Jonathan for six years and he just
seems to get better every year."
This postseason, Quick leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.36),
save-percentage (.950), wins (15) and shutouts (3). Meanwhile, Kopitar is
tied for No. 1 in goals (8) and points (18) and Brown is tops in hits (82).
"You certainly have some pride in seeing how those players have
developed, how they are impact players in the NHL today," Taylor said,
"and now have a chance to realize their dream."
In April 2006, LA fired Taylor following the Kings' fourth-place finish in the
Pacific Division, despite several significant injuries on the roster.
633573     Vancouver Canucks


Bertuzzi, Canucks ordered to reveal deal regarding Moore lawsuit


Canadian Press


TORONTO — Lawyers for Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks have
lost an appeal to keep confidential the details of a deal struck last year
pertaining to a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Bertuzzi by former NHL
player Steve Moore.
Moore's civil lawsuit for damages and lost wages stems from an incident
during a game on March 8, 2004, in Vancouver between the Canucks and
the Colorado Avalanche. Bertuzzi, then with the Canucks, attacked
Colorado's Moore from behind and punched him in the side of the head,
driving him to the ice. Moore suffered three broken vertebrae, deep facial
cuts and never played in the NHL again.
The ugly incident was in retaliation to a hit Moore delivered to Canucks star
Markus Naslund in an earlier game between the teams. Naslund was
injured on the play, but Moore did not receive a penalty or any further
disciplinary action.
Moore's lawyer, Tim Danson, discovered last September that Bertuzzi,
former Vancouver coach Marc Crawford and Canucks owner Orca Bay
reached a settlement on how to share the liability should Moore win the
case. Knowledge of the deal surfaced after Bertuzzi had dropped a third-
party claim against Crawford.
An Ontario court ruled in January that Moore's counsel should have access
to the details of that agreement. Bertuzzi and the Canucks appealed that
decision, but it was upheld by an Ontario Superior Court judge on Monday.
The details of the agreement will not be disclosed to the public until the
case goes to trial later this year.
Danson declined to comment further when reached Tuesday. An email sent
to Bertuzzi's lawyer Geoff Adair was not returned.
Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing bodily harm in the
criminal trial that followed the incident. He was sentenced to a year's
probation and 80 hours of community service on Feb. 14, 2006. He was
also served a multi-game suspension by the NHL.
After Moore launched his civil suit against Bertuzzi and the Canucks,
Bertuzzi filed a third-party claim against Crawford, claiming the coach urged
his players to make Moore "pay the price" for his hit on Naslund.
In court documents released Monday, Justice Paul Perell stated that he
sees "no reason not to disclose the complete details of the proportional
sharing between the defendants."
Adair had argued in court that disclosure of the agreement's details may
make his client seem culpable, stating "the plaintiff's counsel will now be in
a position to make full use of the Settlement Agreement to advance the
theme to (the jury) at every turn that the defendants have acted in concert
to 'hide' the facts by 'paying off' Bertuzzi to drop the claim against
Crawford."
Perell, however, decided that the settlement between the defendants was
not an admission of liability, and said that it would be more harmful to the
defence not to disclose the details of the settlement because it would lead
to speculation that the defendants "have no answer or rejoinder to any
prejudicial adverse inferences from having entered into a provisional
sharing of indebtedness to the Moores."
Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633574     Vancouver Canucks                                                      season as well: he wasn’t the least bit sheltered and pulled his own weight.
                                                                                  Salo and Edler, on the other hand, don’t come out of this as strong. Salo’s
                                                                                  puck possession numbers were not good and Edler was barely in the
Vancouver Canucks Player Usage Charts for 2011-12 season                          positives despite starting more often in the offensive zone. As Harrison
                                                                                  suggested, finding a partner for Edler will be one of the major challenges of
                                                                                  the offseason.

Daniel Wagner,                                                                    On to the forwards, and Chris Higgins is a good player to start with: he
                                                                                  faced the toughest competition among Canucks’ forwards (other than
                                                                                  Pahlsson, whose numbers are skewed by his time in Columbus) and still
                                                                                  managed to keep his puck possession in the positives. Hansen’s white
Advanced statistics in hockey aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Also, not
                                                                                  bubble isn’t a huge concern considering his zone starts and quality of
everyone likes tea in the first place, so when you offer them a cup of tea
                                                                                  competition and he posted a career-high in goals, assists, and points.
and they politely, yet firmly, decline and you keep shoving tea in their face,
it’s rather rude. And yet, I continue to talk about advanced statistics on        The Sedins obviously benefit from Malhotra’s defensive zone starts, starting
PITB, trusting that the tea-drinkers will appreciate a nice rooibos tea while     nearly 80% of their shifts in the offensive zone. Burrows benefits also, of
everyone else will ignore it completely.                                          course, and all three took advantage with the best Corsi numbers on the
                                                                                  team.
But what if I promised a pretty picture that might make advanced statistics a
bit more clear? Or, in my increasingly forced tea metaphor, what if I added       Hodgson’s white bubble is conspicuous. The only other forward with a white
a bunch of high-fructose corn syrup to green tea but still pretended it was       bubble near him is Raymond (you can barely make it out behind the “m” in
healthy by putting ginseng in it?                                                 his name). While Hodgson wasn’t sheltered all season (and wasn’t with the
                                                                                  Sabres after the trade), he was sheltered throughout January and February,
Robert Vollman of Hockey Abstract has released the 2011-12 Player Usage
                                                                                  seeing a big boost in offensive zone starts. Prior to that, however, he was
Charts, which take three of the most common and useful advanced
                                                                                  deployed in a pretty normal fashion and, in terms of puck possession at
statistics and put them into a handy-dandy chart that makes it easy to see
                                                                                  least, struggled.
at a glance how a player was used and how well they performed in their
role. I’ve taken a look at these charts in regards to the Stanley Cup Finalists   Kassian, on the other hand, was sheltered, though the chart more
over at Backhand Shelf; now let’s take a look at the chart for the Canucks        represents his usage in Buffalo than in Vancouver. He did put up a positive
and see what can be gleaned from it.                                              Corsi, but it was against weaker competition.
I recommend downloading the PDF of the Player Usage Charts as it has a            One player to keep an eye on is Ebbett, who played just 18 games for the
more complete explanation of the charts as well as analysis of each team. I       Canucks due to injury, but moved the puck forward in his limited minutes
know that these charts will be my first stop when the Canucks acquire any         while starting more often in the defensive zone. Personally, I’d like to see
new players this offseason.                                                       him re-signed as a 13th forward option who can slot in and out of the lineup
                                                                                  as necessary.
First, a quick explanation of the elements of the chart:
                                                                                  The one other observation is how well Samuelsson did in Florida. The chart
All statistics are at even-strength.
                                                                                  barely represents his time with the Canucks this season as he was traded
The horizontal axis represents zone starts: the further to the right, the more    early on, but it does show that he faced tough competition, started more
often the player is starting in the offensive zone.                               often in the defensive zone, and still pushed puck possession forward for
                                                                                  the Panthers. Sturm was also a positive puck possession player for the
The vertical axis represents quality of competition: the higher up the chart,     Panthers, albeit in slightly easier minutes.
the more often the player is facing the opponent’s best players.
                                                                                  Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.06.2012
The bubbles represent Relative Corsi, which is a puck possession statistic
that uses shot attempts. The blue bubbles indicate a positive Relative Corsi,
the white bubbles indicate negative Relative Corsi. At it’s most basic, a big
blue bubble is good, a big white bubble is bad.
Defencemen are in purple.
Players with an asterisk did not play a full season with the Canucks.
(HockeyAbstract.com)
One of the first things I noticed when looking at the Canucks’ chart as
compared to those of other teams is how small the spread of quality of
competition is. Over the last few seasons, Alain Vigneault has moved away
from hard line-matching to deploying his lines according to zone starts.
Instead of sending checking players like Malhotra and Lapierre out against
the opposition’s top forward lines, he buries them with defensive zone starts
instead.
Context matters here, which is why I like these charts. Malhotra and
Lapierre, as well as Volpatti and Weise to a certain extent, have a legitimate
excuse for their poor puck possession numbers and their big white bubbles
on the chart. Those four players started in the defensive zone more than
pretty much any other player in the NHL. Given that kind of deployment, it
would be astonishing if they didn’t have negative Corsi numbers.
As we start to get more towards the middle of the chart, however, there’s
less excuse for Alberts, Rome, and Ballard, who are all clustered near each
other. While they did start more often in the defensive zone, it wasn’t to the
extreme degree of the forwards and they faced weaker competition.
Comparing them to Gragnani does make me a bit wary, however:
Gragnani’s positive Corsi is somewhat in proportion to his higher number of
offensive zone starts and he faced similar competition to Alberts, Rome,
and Ballard.
As for the rest of the defencemen, the duo of Hamhuis and Bieksa come
out looking very good, facing the toughest competition among defencemen
and pushing puck possession in a positive direction. Tanev had a strong
633575     Vancouver Canucks


Vladimir Krutov, Ex-Soviet superstar, Canucks winger, 'fighting for his life’ in
Moscow hospital


Vancouver Sun


Former Russian hockey star Vladimir Krutov, who played one season in the
NHL with the Vancouver Canucks, is in intensive care at a Moscow hospital
and doctors are “fighting for his life,” according to a report on the Voice of
Russia website.
Krutov, 52, fell ill on Sunday and was taken to hospital where doctors found
internal bleeding in the stomach area, a condition known at gastrorrhagia.
The website reported that Dmitry Shaposhnikov, CEO of an organization
called "Hockey Legends," said Krutov's condition was poor. The report said
Krutov was in a drug-induced coma.
Krutov's wife, Nina, told the Sovietski Sport newspaper that her husband
“began to feel sick” on Sunday and asked her to call an ambulance.
Krutov and fellow Russian Igor Larionov joined the Canucks for the 1989-90
season and, while Larionov quickly made the adjustment to NHL hockey
and North American life, Krutov did not. He reported out of shape, scored
11 goals in 61 games and was cut the following season when he again did
not live up to the team's conditioning standards. He finished his career back
in Europe.
In his prime during the 1980s, Krutov played with Larionov and Sergei
Makarov on the “KLM Line,” one of hockey's most potent scoring lines.
Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.06.2012
633576     Vancouver Canucks                                                     said he’s looking for someone to take the talents of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins,
                                                                                 Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to the next level.”
                                                                                 For now, Crawford remains a TSN analyst and on Tuesday he tried to
Marc Crawford still hunting for coaching job                                     remain in the background and let Therrien have his day.
                                                                                 “I’m out in the far distant reaches of nowhere,” he laughed when contacted.
By BEN KUZMA,                                                                    For now, yes. But stay tuned.
                                                                                 Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.06.2012
The morning after the night before, Marc Crawford was still taking the high
road.
Informed by Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin late
Monday that Michel Therrien was getting a second chance as head coach
of the NHL club — ahead of Crawford and Patrick Roy — the former
Vancouver Canucks bench boss did what anyone still searching for
employment would do. He said all the right things. Especially with coaching
vacancies in Washington and Edmonton and Crawford having ties to Oilers
general manager Steve Tambellini and Capitals general manager George
McPhee, a former Canucks executive.
“There are only 30 jobs in the NHL and I would love to have any one of
them, they’re all good,” Crawford said Tuesday. “I’ll just leave it at that. I
know I’m better for having been involved in the process. I enjoyed every
minute of it and they’re doing things right there [Montreal]. It was the most
intense interview process I’ve been through in my years as a player and as
a coach.”
That’s saying something.
Crawford became the youngest coach to win the Jack Adams Trophy with
Quebec in 1995 and won the Stanley Cup the following year with the
transplanted franchise in Colorado. But he was also fired by Vancouver,
Los Angeles and Dallas. Therrien suffered the same fate in Montreal and
Pittsburgh, but got the Penguins to the 2008 Cup final. He replaced Alain
Vigneault behind the Canadiens bench 20 games into the 2000-01 season
and was then fired 46 games into the 2002-03 season and replaced by
Claude Julien. So Bergevin was going to take his time to find the right fit at
the right time.
“I’ve been through quite a few interviews in my time and if you count them,
I’m in the teens for sure and this was by far the most thorough,” added
Crawford. “There’s not even a close second and you’ve got to remember I
was interviewed by Dean Lombardi [Los Angeles GM]. It was good for me
in all sorts of ways and really pushed me. I’m happy with that and obviously
I would have loved to get the job.”
Crawford lauded Bergevin, who played nine games for the Canucks under
the direction of Crawford at the end of the 2003-04 season, for assembling
an impressive hockey operations department. Since being hired May 2,
Bergevin has added Rick Dudley as his assistant and Scott Mellanby as
director of player personnel. He opted for Therrien to replace Randy
Cunneyworth partly because he has had success turning teams around
quickly and partly because team president Geoff Molson said the next
Canadiens coach would be bilingual. That helped Therrien and probably
hurt Crawford, even though he’s comfortable conversing in French and had
been brushing up his language skills.
“He [Bergevin] is trying to do everything he can to make a good decision
and that’s the right way to be and I thought it was great,” said Crawford of
the interview process.
Therrien, 48, told reporters at Tuesday’s press conference that despite his
passion and fiery demeanour, those sharp personality edges have softened
over the years.
“Some more grey and less hair, but my weight isn’t that bad,” he joked. “For
sure, I’m a different person than I was 10 years ago. Who isn’t? That’s part
of life and learning as a human being. Yes, I’m a different person and a
different coach. I’ve learned so much.”
Enough to turn around a sad-sack club that finished last in the Eastern
Conference and had the 20th-ranked offence and was 28th on the power
play?
“We’re going to go step by step and we’re going to get better and better,”
said Therrien.
As for Crawford, 51, many think he’s a good fit to succeed Dale Hunter in
Washington because of the ability to push the right buttons and motivate
high-end talent. In Edmonton, he’d have younger stars and Tambellini has
633577     Websites                                                                While Robitaille's duties are separate from the team's hockey operations
                                                                                   department, they are inexorably linked.
                                                                                   Selling the Kings' fan base on what GM Dean Lombardi and assistant GM
ESPN / Robitaille wants one for the fans                                           Ron Hextall were building was as important as the draft picks and trades
                                                                                   that went into the formation of this record-setting team.

By Scott Burnside                                                                  Robitaille has played a significant role in both catering to the longstanding
                                                                                   Kings fan base, those hard-core fans who date back to expansion days or
                                                                                   the "Miracle on Manchester" and the Gretzky era, but also cultivating the
                                                                                   new fan base that is crucial to continued growth in a competitive
LOS ANGELES -- He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1984 with                marketplace like Los Angeles.
the 171st overall pick.
                                                                                   "We know we have 2.5 million hockey fans [in Southern California]. We
He was, in fact, drafted after a famous baseball pitcher.                          know they're not all L.A. Kings fans but we're trying to reach them all,"
                                                                                   Robitaille said.
When he arrived for his first training camp, he spoke almost no English and
was given little chance of becoming an NHLer.                                      We visited Robitaille and the Kings in December shortly before head coach
                                                                                   Terry Murray was fired and replaced by Darryl Sutter. Robitaille was candid
And yet Luc Robitaille has been a virtual constant with this organization
                                                                                   about how important making a statement in the playoffs was to a fan base
ever since, a kind of Greek chorus first as a player and more recently as the
                                                                                   that had been patient but whose patience couldn't be counted on in
team's president of business operations, chronicling the infrequent peaks
                                                                                   perpetuity.
and too many valleys of a franchise that until now seemed destined never
to earn a championship.                                                            "For 47 years we've tried really hard [to win a Cup]. But let's say for the last
                                                                                   five years we tried a different way. OK, we're going to keep all of our young
"No team wanted me. Keep that in mind. Even the Kings, I have to question
                                                                                   guys; our fans suddenly had to be very patient. It's very hard in North
them, because they drafted Tom Glavine before me even though he said
                                                                                   America to tell fans to be patient with us, we're going to rebuild; you're
he'd never play hockey," Robitaille said, joking with reporters Tuesday.
                                                                                   saying you're going to lose. You're basically saying in a nice way you're
No man is an organization, but if it was so, then Robitaille would be the          going to lose. We told them that and we found a way to make our fans
Kings: their fortunes, his fortunes, inexorably linked. And while he won his       believers," Robitaille said.
only Stanley Cup as a member of the Detroit Red Wings, it's hard to
                                                                                   "The cool thing about it is today is we can say, see, we didn't lie," he added
imagine, if the Kings manage to win one more game this spring to bring
                                                                                   with a laugh.
home the franchise's first-ever Cup, anyone appreciating it as much as
Robitaille.                                                                        Nothing compares to winning a Stanley Cup as a player.
"One of the main reasons I wanted to be involved with this team is I wanted        But if the Kings are able to complete this journey with one more win,
to have the opportunity to be part of the team if and when it happens to win       Robitaille will enjoy a special place in the celebrations.
a Stanley Cup here," he said. "We're close, we still got a ways to go, but it's
certainly something if we can get that one more victory it's going to be very      "I call it chapeau, that's French for hat. It's a different hat for him," Brisson
special because it's never been done before.                                       told ESPN.com Tuesday. "There's no better guy. You cheer for him."

"It's like I told Mike Richards when he came last year: 'You know the cool         If the Kings do win, "it's a very big achievement for hockey here. It's a major
thing about here is if you can help us do something very special, it's             statement. That's what it means to him."
something that's never been done before. You're going to be the first one to
do it.' To me as an athlete it's very, very special."                              ESPN LOADED: 06.06.2012

Many pieces of fabric bind Robitaille, this team and this community as they
stand on the verge of a historic accomplishment.
Before this spring, the team had appeared in only one Stanley Cup final, in
1993, and Robitaille was a big part of that Kings team that lost to Montreal
in five games.
"He was the one guy everyone said that I would hate," Barry Melrose, the
coach of that team and longtime ESPN analyst, said Tuesday. "Really, it
was the other way around. He's one of my favorite guys that I ever
coached."
Melrose said he's not surprised at all that Robitaille has parlayed his Hall of
Fame playing career into a stellar career as a front-office executive.
"Luc was going to be a success no matter what he was going to do," he
said. "I still think he'd like be on the hockey side and I'm not sure that won't
happen sometime."
Pat Brisson, one of the game's top agents, came to visit Robitaille and
Steve Duchesne in March 1987. He was to stay with his former junior
teammates from Hull (now Gatineau), Quebec, for two weeks and ended up
staying six. He was back the following October and has never left.
Not long after Brisson and Robitaille worked together building ice
complexes in California, looking to fill a void as the team's popularity surged
after Wayne Gretzky's arrival in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s.
Often Robitaille would arrive at business meetings after practice but he
always had a point to make, an idea to float.
Luc Robitaille never won a Cup as a King but it's looking good that he'll win
as an executive.
As Robitaille's career wound down after the lockout -- he played his final
two seasons back in Los Angeles -- Tim Leiweke, the president and CEO of
the team's ownership group AEG, made plans for Robitaille to join the front
office.
633578      Websites                                                              No, this time around the Habs will be getting a more refined Therrien. Not
                                                                                  necessarily kinder or gentler but refined, seasoned. He’ll certainly have a
                                                                                  better grasp of the always mercurial relationship with the media covering
ESPN / Second time could be charm for Therrien                                    the Habs, having been on that side of the camera now. He will be more able
                                                                                  to channel his emotions and not let them interfere with what has always
                                                                                  been solid game planning.

By Scott Burnside                                                                 Indeed, there is just something about this hire that speaks to a good fit,
                                                                                  especially with the Habs in the midst of a significant metamorphosis.
                                                                                  We remember talking to Therrien’s good friend Bob Hartley in that spring of
We recall sitting down with Michel Therrien (or "Mike," as he prefers to be       2007 about their relationship. Hartley had given Therrien his first job as an
called now) for the first time in his office in Pittsburgh more than five years   assistant in Laval in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, in the early
ago.                                                                              1990s. The two combustible coaches meshed immediately, the team’s
                                                                                  building coming to be known as The House of Pain.
The Penguins, under the iron-willed Therrien, had gone from post-lockout
laughingstock to a team on the rise.                                              It’s a relationship that has remained strong over the years.
That spring, the Penguins were a surprise playoff team that had gone from         "We connected right away. We became partners and we became friends,"
an embarrassing 58-point total to 105 points.                                     Hartley told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
Those young Penguins were dispatched in the first round by Ottawa but the         Both men spent their time looking for a portal back to the NHL, working in
next spring they took the next step, advancing to their first Stanley Cup         the media. This past season Hartley went to Europe and enjoyed a
finals since 1992, dropping a six-game set to the Detroit Red Wings.              successful coaching stint with Zurich of the Swiss elite league.
In that spring of 2007, Therrien was generous with his time, talking about        Funny how things work out but both Hartley and Therrien returned to the
his family and the challenges of raising two children, who were in their early    NHL within a few days of each other as Hartley was recently named the
teens at the time, as a single dad.                                               head coach of the Calgary Flames.
The juxtaposition between the doting father and the take-no-prisoners             "We talked many times how great it would be to work together. We’re two
bench boss helped to illustrate the divide that often exists between public       head coaches but at the same time the friendship is there," Hartley said.
perception and reality. But as events unfolded, it also helped to explain the     "We were on the phone every week, every two weeks."
need to evolve as a player or coach if long-term success is the goal.
                                                                                  Both coaches have great challenges ahead of them with teams that most
Midway through the 2008-09 season, the Penguins seemed to have gone               recently failed to qualify for the postseason.
adrift, the feeling being that Therrien’s relentless ways and rough edges
had turned his players’ ears deaf to him.                                         But they also embrace their new challenges, having gone through their own
                                                                                  evolutions.
GM Ray Shero, who had inherited Therrien when he took over for former
GM Craig Patrick, made a coaching change in February, bringing in Dan             "For me, we are all different, whether you’re a reporter whether you’re a
Bylsma from the team’s AHL affiliate.                                             policeman," Hartley said. "Just the fact that you get older as an individual
                                                                                  should make you automatically better.
The move paid off, as the Penguins went on to beat Detroit in a Stanley
Cup finals rematch in the spring of 2009.                                         "We see things differently. It’s a process. Not only of sports but also of life."

Therrien?                                                                         ESPN LOADED: 06.06.2012

Well, as time passed each coaching vacancy that was filled by someone
else suggested that perhaps that ship had sailed.
Therrien worked as a scout for the Minnesota Wild for a time and he did
some broadcast analysis in Montreal, and he continued to be the doting
father.
On Tuesday, though, his wait came to an end as the Montreal Canadiens
announced they would return Therrien to the bench where he first got his
taste of NHL head coaching.
Who says you can’t go home again?
Therrien coached the Canadiens for parts of three seasons before the
lockout, making the playoffs once. A number of factors -- inexperience,
dealing with his marital situation and a temper that often bubbled perilously
close to the surface -- conspired to make his stay a short one.
One night in Atlanta, Therrien heaved all the sticks onto the ice after a local
timekeeper’s error at the end of regulation allowed the Thrashers to tie the
game and then go on to win in overtime.
Yet new Montreal GM Marc Bergevin clearly sees something in Therrien
that we have noted as our paths have crossed over the ensuing years, a
kind of mellowing, a smoothing of those rough edges.
While accomplished coaches such as Marc Crawford were in the mix, and
there was some discussion about Montreal legend Patrick Roy making the
jump to the NHL, Bergevin settled on Therrien.
Will the Canadiens, no strangers to underachievement, have an easy time
with Therrien? Don’t bet on it. We expect there will be lots of sharp words
and long practices if the Canadiens start next season playing as they did
through much of last.
But we don’t expect some of the public lashings that marked his early days
in Pittsburgh, where he once wondered aloud to the media if his players
were actually trying to become the worst defensive team in the NHL.
633579     Websites                                                                 series to their advantage and thrived with their backs against the wall over
                                                                                    13 weeks or so.
                                                                                    "It's a grind, but it gets your game where you need it to be," Fraser said. "So
ESPN / 5 keys to the Kings' rebound                                                 when we roll into Vancouver for Game 1 of the playoffs, we know where
                                                                                    we're at and we had already been playing playoff hockey. We won Game 1
                                                                                    in Vancouver and we realized we had become a good team and we could
By Pierre LeBrun                                                                    make some noise."
                                                                                    5. The trade and the call-ups. The acquisition of Jeff Carter in late February
                                                                                    and the late-season call-ups from AHL Manchester of Jordan Nolan and
LOS ANGELES -- So if a Kings fan went into a coma in December and                   Dwight King formed the trifecta effect that gave the Kings' lineup the mix
woke up Tuesday morning with his team one win away from a Stanley Cup               and balance it needed. People in the Kings' front office will tell you that until
championship, you could imagine the fan's complete shock.                           those three players were added to the mix, too many forwards were playing
                                                                                    out of their proper roles. Once Carter, Nolan and King were brought in, it
We posed that very scenario to both Mike Richards and Colin Fraser of the
                                                                                    helped everyone in the forward group settle into the proper roles. And,
Kings on Tuesday, and after they had a good laugh at the framework of our
                                                                                    suddenly, the Kings began to score goals after having incredible difficulty
story, they helped fill out our list of five reasons the Kings got off the mat in
                                                                                    doing just that all season long.
midseason to find themselves where they are now:
                                                                                    ESPN LOADED: 06.06.2012
1. Darryl, Darryl, Darryl. The hiring of Darryl Sutter in December cannot be
overstated as a factor.
"Obviously, Darryl coming in was an important change," Fraser said. "It
wasn't overnight, it's not like we started being lights out right away. It was a
gradual [change]."
In fact, when asked Tuesday whether he remembers one single moment
when he realized his team could contend for a championship, Sutter said
there wasn't just one. Rather, the realization, one by one, that certain
players were cluing in.
"From a team standpoint, a lot of individuals had different points, I think,
that I knew we had a chance of being a playoff team," Sutter said. "Then
once you get in, anything happens, right? That's the way I always looked at
it because it was always just the way the conference was. We would go
from third to 11th in three or four days. That's the best part of it, because it
helps the players understand how close and tight it is, too. So I don't think
there was a specific point. But for sure with individuals ... you knew
somebody had made that step or turned the switch a little bit."
2. Dustin Brown awakens. True or not, the trade rumors involving the Kings'
captain ignited a spark in Brown but also had a galvanizing effect on his
team. The Kings fed off the captain's dramatic response and his terrific play
since those rumors surfaced in late February.
"I also think all the rumors about Brownie and he comes out and scores
three goals and gets four points the first game after the trade deadline, you
can't ignore that," said Fraser. "Then we played our best hockey down the
stretch."
When your captain is leading the way, it's difficult for players in the dressing
room not to want to follow that example. That's what has happened with the
Kings.
3. Consistency. It's a cliché but it's also based in the tried and true on
championship teams. Consistency was maddeningly fleeting for the Kings
over the first two thirds of the regular season, but once they found it in their
game, it sparked a major hike in their level of play. Then went from an
average team to a contender.
"Throughout the year we've been up and down, had some good games,
had some poor games and couldn't really string anything together," said
Richards. "Right now we're doing that. We're playing on a consistent basis,
which really we should have been doing all year. For whatever reason we
weren't, but it's just nice to have that now."
The distinguishing trait of the team's 15-2 playoff record has been its ability
to string together very similar efforts, night in and night out, regardless of
what's on the line. That's not easy to do, but the Kings have found a way.
4. Playing playoff hockey before the playoffs. The Kings were fighting for
their playoff lives down the stretch and essentially were already playing
playoff hockey before the playoffs began. That was a huge advantage
before puck drop in Vancouver in the opening round.
"I've said to my buddies, we've got the right team, but we just have to get
hot at the right time," said Fraser. "The last six weeks of the regular season,
we were in a dogfight just to get into the playoffs and we got hot at the right
time. We just started rolling."
Sometimes, playing for your lives over a three-month span can be too
grueling for some players, but the Kings have used long layoffs between
633580     Websites


ESPN Moore reveals wife's battle with cancer


By Pierre LeBrun


Dominic Moore’s impact as a trade deadline pickup wasn’t what the Sharks
had expected and now we know why.
Sadly, as Moore revealed through the team Tuesday, the veteran center
was hit with a bombshell just before the playoffs. On Tuesday, Moore
released a statement through the Sharks:
"There have been a lot of questions and concerns raised since it was
revealed that I had to miss several games of the Sharks-Blues playoff
series due to a family matter and I wanted to update extended family,
friends, and former teammates on our situation.
"Towards the end of the 2011-12 season, my wife, Katie, began feeling ill.
We visited with local doctors, who suggested running a variety of tests to
ascertain the cause of the issue. Ultimately, Katie was diagnosed with a
rare liver cancer and it was recommended that she undergo surgery, which
took place in California in April.
"While it was disappointing to not be able to compete with my Sharks
teammates in the playoffs, my wife’s condition and care come first and I
want to thank the Sharks organization, my teammates and their families for
the love and support that has been shown to Katie and I during this difficult
time.
"We continue to pursue the best treatment and care for Katie.”
Here’s hoping for all the best for Moore and his wife, Katie. /
ESPN LOADED: 06.06.2012
633581      Websites                                                              Los Angeles looks to equal the 1988 Edmonton Oilers' all-time playoff
                                                                                  record of 16-2.
                                                                                  Amid the electric crowd, Gitig, who holds out hope for a ticket to Game 4,
FOXSports.com / As fans rejoice, Kings stay focused on Game 4                     paid notice to one particular fan celebrating in the aisles, lost in the
                                                                                  moment, carrying a sign that read "SWEEP SWEEP SWEEP.''

Jon Rosen                                                                         "He had to have been 80 years old,'' the fans said. "He was walking with a
                                                                                  limp, and he had a sign. You could tell he was so pumped up."
                                                                                  "Usually you don't want to talk about it because two games to nothing
LOS ANGELES — Though their fans are riding a wave of euphoria, the Los            doesn't really mean anything. … But I felt good about him. I felt good about
Angeles Kings didn't show any signs Tuesday of losing the acute focus that        that guy. If there's anybody in the stadium that can say it, he's allowed."
has guided them to their fourth consecutive 3-0 series lead — and one win
from the Stanley Cup.                                                             But with the Kingdom on the verge of eruption, Wednesday is simply
                                                                                  another engrossing gameday for Sutter, who described the importance of
As they appeared at their El Segundo practice facility, the blinders were still   limiting distractions on the brink of a championship.
attached, the mission still unfinished, Wednesday's potential Game 4
clincher against the New Jersey Devils still the only thing in their thoughts.    "We did a good job in the one series of closing it out,'' he said. "In the other
                                                                                  two, we didn't. We know the difference in the feelings. We know the
"Obviously, we're not going to start thinking about stuff that hasn't             difference in how we need to play and what buttons you need to press – so
happened yet," goalie Jonathan Quick said on the eve of what could be the         to speak – and just play the right way.
first Stanley Cup in the franchise's 45-year history.
                                                                                  "You've got to play the right way. You can't think ahead. You can't look
Depite the Kings' remarkable 15-2 record in these playoffs, there has been        ahead. We haven't done it at all in the playoffs," he said.
— and remains — so much modesty that you half-expect someone to say,
"It's the Stanley Cup. Ninety other teams have won it. We just have to be         "You've got to be in the moment. If you're not in the moment, you're not
prepared for our preseason opener in September."                                  focused on what's right in front of you at the time. That's the way you've got
                                                                                  to be. It's the way you've got to play."
Contrast that with ocean of silver-and-black-clad Kings fans who descended
on the Staples Center on Monday as the Kings recorded a 4-0 win in Game           FOXSports.com LOADED: 06.06.2012
3. There was unadulterated joy, chants of "We want the Cup!" and all
manner of yelping and hollering.
"It was incredible," said Michael Gitig of Sherman Oaks, Calif., one of the
record 18,764 fans attending the delirium.
"But it was also tempered with a kind of disbelief that we were actually 2-0
in the Stanley Cup Final. And when we were up 2-0, it was that same belief
that ‘Is this really happening?'"
Zen and the Art of a Maintenance Day, Tuesday was not. The Kings may
have utilized the Lakers' practice court for interviews, but coach Darryl
Sutter is about as far from Phil Jackson's ilk as one can be, even if Sutter's
native Alberta and Jackson's Montana share do a border.
The Kings' grounded approach can be traced to Sutter's workmanlike
demeanor, and disinclination to talk in the Zen-like abstractions of Jackson.
In fact, about as off-point as Sutter got Tuesday was to relate the story of
the day last December when he got a call on his Alberta farm from GM
Dean Lombardi, asking him to replace Terry Murray with the Kings
struggling.
Sutter revealed he had been shoveling manure earlier in the day — though
'manure' was not his word choice.
"I was probably warming up," he said of what he was doing at the time of
the call. "It was cold."
Like his coach, Kings star Colin Fraser embodies that "work to be done"
approach.
"That's the hardest one, right?" Fraser said of closing out a Stanley Cup
Final series. "You talk about the fourth one, but the 16th one is really
obviously the hardest."
Sutter's appreciation of the focus and intuition Fraser has brought to Los
Angeles is occasionally revealed in conversations with reporters, as it was
last week in New Jersey.
"I don't call them our fourth line," Sutter said on May 31. "I call it Colin
Fraser and whoever is playing with him," he said.
By recording four hits and winning six of eight faceoffs in 8:17 of ice time
Monday night, Fraser didn't give the impression of someone lost in the
intangible aspects of the Kings' historic run.
"You just can't get too far ahead,'' he said. "You can't get wrapped up in the
excitement. You've got to approach it like any other game. There's still a job
to do. It's not over till you win.''
Apparently there are those, however, who are getting wrapped up in the
excitement, and they're going to try to will their team into the archives as
633582     Websites


FOXSports.com / FOX Sports West, LA Kings announce long term TV
Rights agreement


Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE


Los Angeles - The Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Kings and
FOX Sports West Monday announced a new long-term television rights
agreement that ensures Fox Sports will remain the Kings' exclusive local
television partner well into the next decade.
Under the new agreement, FOX Sports West will televise approximately 75
regular-season Kings games per season, pending games selected for
national distribution. The network will also televise select early round
playoff match-ups and pre-season games. Financial details of the
agreement were not disclosed.
"The LA Kings are very excited and proud to continue what has been an
extremely rewarding partnership with our friends at FOX Sports West," said
Kings President, Business Operations, Luc Robitaille. "Los Angeles is truly
experiencing a historic period for our franchise, and this new agreement will
provide us with multiple opportunities and platforms to showcase our team
and its talented group of players for many years to come."
"We're pleased that the Kings will be a part of the Fox Sports family for a
long time to come," said Jeff Krolik, Executive Vice President, Fox Sports
Networks. "Their amazing playoff run has energized this town and we
couldn't be more proud to be partners with them."
"We're excited that FOX Sports West will remain the Kings' local TV home,"
said Steve Simpson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, FOX
Sports West / Prime Ticket. "We want to thank Tim Leiweke, Luc Robitaille,
and the entire Kings organization for their efforts in making this deal
happen."
As the home of the Kings, FOX Sports West has been delivering exclusive
coverage since 1985. Kings telecasts feature Hall-of-Fame Announcer Bob
Miller, who has served as the television "Voice of the Kings" for 39 seasons,
and Jim Fox, who has provided analysis for the Kings for 23 seasons.
FOX Sports West is also the destination for "Kings Live." Originating live
from Chick Hearn Plaza outside STAPLES Center, "Kings Live" provides
unmatched access to the Kings. As an extension of the game telecast,
"Kings Live" is a 30-minute post-game show led by reporter Patrick O'Neal,
with added game analysis from Fox. In addition to its regular-season
coverage this season, "Kings Live" continues to deliver post-game analysis
following every Stanley Cup Playoff game.
The Kings, who have a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals, host the
New Jersey Devils for Game 3 tonight at STAPLES Center at 5 p.m. PT.
About FOX Sports West
FOX Sports West is the television home of the Los Angeles Kings and the
Los Angeles Angels. Together, FOX Sports West and sister network PRIME
TICKET present more live, local sports programming than any other
network or broadcast system in the market. Serving sports fans in Southern
California, Nevada and Hawaii, the regional networks produce over 900 live
sporting events and telecast over 2,500 hours of original programming
every year. For complete regional sports news, provocative opinions,
telecast schedules and updated statistics, log-on to
www.foxsportswest.com.
About LA Kings
The L.A. Kings started play in 1967. They first called the Forum in
Inglewood home and the team has played at STAPLES Center in downtown
Los Angeles since 1999. Five players – Luc Robitaille, Wayne Gretzky,
Dave Taylor, Marcel Dionne and Rogie Vachon – have had their sweater
number retired. To learn more about the Kings, visit LAKings.com.
FOXSports.com LOADED: 06.06.2012
633583     Websites


NBCSports.com / NHL announces celebrity presenters at this summer’s
Vegas awards show


Jason Brough


This just in from the NHL:
The stars of the National Hockey League will come together with celebrities
from music, stage and screen for a celebration of hockey at the 2012 NHL
Awards™ at the Encore Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas on Wednesday,
June 20. The 2012 NHL Awards will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET on NBC
Sports Network in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews, Kevin Connolly (“Entourage”), Colin
Hanks (“The Good Guys,” “Dexter”), Joshua Jackson (“Fringe”), Cory
Monteith (“Glee”), Matthew Perry (“Go On,” “Friends”), Vince Vaughn (“The
Watch,” “Wedding Crashers,” “The Break-Up”) and Michael Vartan
(“Hawthorne,” “Alias”) – all hockey fans – are scheduled to serve as
presenters to honor the sport’s best. The broadcast also will feature special
appearances by actors Will Arnett (“Up All Night,” “Arrested Development”)
and Tracy Morgan (“30 Rock”) and director/writer/actor Kevin Smith
(“Clerks,” “Red State”).
Overall not a bad cast of celebrities, even though Connolly played the
insufferable E in Entourage. Still no idea how that wet blanket scored Sloan.
NBCSports.com / LOADED: 06.06.2012
633584     Websites                                                                 Maybe Carter allowed Sutter to balance his lines, but it hardly explains that
                                                                                    15-2 record -- even if Carter did have the Game 2 overtime winner.
                                                                                    KWAK: Carter right at home in LA
CNN/Sports Illustrated / INSIDE THE NHL / Making sense of the L.A. Kings
                                                                                    • Health. Now we are getting somewhere. Unlike most finalists who are the
                                                                                    very picture of health in June, assuming that picture is Edvard Munch's The
Michael Farber                                                                      Scream, Los Angeles is as ding-free as any prospective Cup team can be.
                                                                                    Despite obvious play-through-it problems, including Carter's ankle injury,
                                                                                    the Kings are as relatively robust as the 2011 Bruins. Even left winger
                                                                                    Simon Gagné was able to return from concussion to play, albeit
LOS ANGELES -- Honestly, do the 2012 Los Angeles Kings make any                     ineffectually, in Game 3. The Kings' ability to wrap things up quickly surely
sense to you?                                                                       has contributed to their run of good fortune, but it alone does not translate
                                                                                    to 15-2.
The Saint Jude All-Stars, which appeared to be a lost cause at midseason,
are on the cusp of not merely winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise            • Opponents. In the first round, the Kings were fortunate to face the
history -- an eighth-seed about to whitewash 45 years of futility with a thick      Presidents' Trophy-winner, Vancouver, which missed Daniel Sedin until the
veneer of pixie dust -- but perhaps equaling the 16-2 record of the 1988            fourth game. (There's the matter of health, turned on its head.) St. Louis, in
Edmonton Oilers, the best mark since the NHL adopted the current format             the second-round, had an extraordinary season after its coaching change,
of four rounds of best-of-series.                                                   but had no playoff gear to rev up its embryonic Cup bandwagon. In the
                                                                                    conference final, the Kings found a Phoenix team with more gumption than
If the Kings win Game 4 on Wednesday night, they will not only be the first
                                                                                    goals.
eighth seed to win the Cup. (The 2006 Oilers reached Game 7 before losing
in Carolina.) They will have played out the triumphal march from Aida,              • Star turns. The Kings certainly have had more of them than New Jersey:
including the elephants on their jumbo third and fourth lines.                      Kopitar's Game 1 overtime breakaway, Doughty's Bobby Orr act in Game 2,
                                                                                    and Carter's persistent play on the winner, but have not put on clinics that
Anyway, to refresh memories of those dynastic Oilers teams from the 1980s
                                                                                    would seem worthy of 15-2.
-- and Los Angeles center Jarret Stoll needed some prompting on Gretzky
and Messier and Kurri and Fuhr -- they were about to win their fourth               The apparent answer to 15-2 is not one of the above, but all of the above.
Stanley Cup in five years, the most impressive piece of eye candy the NHL           Quick, Sutter, a trade for Carter that allowed Slava Voynov to step into the
has ever seen. The '88 Oilers, in Wayne Gretzky's final season in                   No. 4 defenseman's role, good health, timeliness that is next to godliness
Edmonton, truly were hockey royalty.                                                against the Devils, and a virtual rose-petal strewn path against imperfect
                                                                                    New Jersey, which was forced to a Game 7 double overtime in the first
Despite the name and the original colors of the franchise, the Kings were
                                                                                    round by Florida.
not to the purple born. Even when Gretzky played in Southern California,
the Kings were not royalty despite the speculative name. At Game 3 on               "I think maybe the last six weeks of the season you could see things turn
Monday, the most famous athlete in the arena was David Beckham with                 around here," defenseman Rob Scuderi says. "We started to play
Gretzky a reasonable second. (Kings captain Dustin Brown has a plus-                consistently. A lot of the plays we were doing the previous 30 games that
minus rating, not a Q rating.)                                                      just weren't falling for us ... then shots started to go in. We started to get
                                                                                    more chemistry. You could really start to sense it from there. I don't think
Indeed, the Kings are the second best team in their own practice facility if
                                                                                    anyone panicked."
all those Lakers championship banners on the walls in El Segundo are put
in historical context. Now maybe one day these current Kings will slip a few        Says Stoll, "Nowadays you might see a lot of lower seeds getting further in
players into the Hockey Hall of Fame -- Jonathan Quick? Drew Doughty? --            the playoffs. I think you will. The league is so good now. Standings don't
but that is not much solace to the New Jersey Devils, who must be                   mean much now, except home ice."
wondering how they ended up on the edge of the San Andreas Fault
against a team that they pushed around for stretches in both Games 1 and            Ahem.
2 and had on the ropes early in Game 3.
                                                                                    And we all know how much that has meant to the Kings in the playoffs.
So, how do you explain the Kings? A checklist:                                      There is precedent to the triumph of the hockey upstart if your sense of
                                                                                    hockey predates the Original Six. The 1938 Chicago Black Hawks provided
• Goaltending. Quick has been superb, obviously. He has stopped 70 of 72            the road map back in the days when Black and Hawks had a space
shots in the final. He has been so effective that the Devils have begun             between them, like Penner's front teeth. Of course, Chicago was more of a
focusing on shooting near him as much as at him, looking for deflections or         rank underdog than these Kings, who finished 13th overall in points but only
redirections. When asked if he had ever seen playoff goaltending of this            16 behind the NHL-leading Canucks.
caliber, Kings coach Darryl Sutter replied, "Yeah. Miikka Kiprusoff,
(Calgary's Cup finalist goalie in 2004) ... Do the math: 14-13, goals-for,          GALLERY: Dark Horses in the Cup Final
goals-against, seven-game series. Pretty incredible." Goaltending is always
a factor, but Quick's historic play doesn't sufficiently explain 15-2 nor, for      Indeed, rank might have been the right description for those Black Hawks.
that matter, the Kings' 10-0 road record.                                           They sneaked into the playoffs by virtue of a third-place finish in the
                                                                                    American Division after winning just 14 of 48 games and posting a minus 42
GALLERY: The Kings road to the Cup final                                            goal-differential. Unlike the Kings, who went 13-5-3 in the last six weeks of
                                                                                    the season, the Hawks lost their final three games by a combined score of
• Coaching change. The Kings were foundering in December when GM                    13-3. Chicago then proved the adage that you have to actually buy a ticket
Dean Lombardi fired Terry Murray, reaching out to Sutter, who was back in           before you win the lottery. In rapid order, the Black Hawks beat the
Viking, Alberta, tending to his cattle. (Calgary Herald columnist George            Montreal Canadiens in the best-of-three by taking Game 3 at the Forum in
Johnson originally nicknamed Sutter "The Jolly Rancher." Perfect.) Sutter           overtime, then eliminated the New York Americans in three, and finally
said on Tuesday that when he took the Kings' call he was in his barn but            defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in four games in the best-of-five final.
not "shoveling s..." although he had been earlier that day. Anze Kopitar
initially wasn't even sure which of the Sutter hockey brothers Lombardi had         The other link between those Hawks and these Kings is the number of
hired. (There are six who played in the NHL.)                                       Americans. While Los Angeles has a U.S.-born GM in Dean Lombardi and
                                                                                    ices six Yanks, the Black Hawks were even more distinctively red, white
Sutter's impact was incremental. Indeed, the Kings did not truly get hot until      and blue. Rookie coach Bill Stewart was the first U.S.-born coach to win the
late February, more than two months after their coach traded his rubber             Cup. He had seven Americans in the lineup.
boots for skates. "After Darryl came, I talked to Stoll and I told him I can feel
the attitude changing," Kings winger Dustin Penner says. "We just became            So that is history ... and the Devils might be, too, by late Wednesday night.
a more confident group overall." Sutter kept the defensive structure while
demanding a more intense forecheck, but a coaching change is an                     CNN/Sports Illustrated LOADED: 06.06.2012
unsatisfactory explanation.
• The Jeff Carter trade. Yes, the Kings, 29th overall in goals, needed a
scorer, but the winger had six goals and nine points in 16 regular-season
games. This does not exactly represent a freshet of pucks in opposing nets.
633585     Websites                                                                 Bylsma, now the Penguins' coach, nudged Penner down the boulder-strewn
                                                                                    path of a prototypical power forward, a role that suits his physique but not
                                                                                    his natural inclinations. This has sorely tried the patience of some of his
CNN/Sports Illustrated / Penner finally comes up King-sized                         coaches. Once asked if it were indeed true he was Randy Carlyle's favorite
                                                                                    whipping boy with the Ducks, Penner told SI, "Nine out of 10 dentists would
                                                                                    agree."

Michael Farber                                                                      Craig MacTavish also housed Penner in Le Chateau Bow Wow in
                                                                                    Edmonton because he did he not sense sufficient commitment. (Penner
                                                                                    scored a career-high 32 goals in 2009-10 under a new Oilers coach, Pat
                                                                                    Quinn.) The Kings' Darryl Sutter, who replaced Terry Murray last
LOS ANGELES -- Dustin Penner, whose observations of the world are
                                                                                    December, is not a lollipop-and-rainbow fellow. He scratched Penner for
sharply drawn, is not the lunatic fringe of the Kings' magnificent run to the
                                                                                    three straight games and five times in a stretch of six matches. Upon
cusp of the Stanley Cup.
                                                                                    reinserting his 29-year-old winger into the lineup, the coach said, "It's not
No, his beard carries that description.                                             just giving him another shot. He's a veteran. He better step up to the plate.
                                                                                    It's very simple. He went out of the lineup because he was horse....so he'd
The growth is luxuriant, thick and black, ideally suited for a lumber camp if       better step up to the plate or he might not get another look."
this hockey thing doesn't work out, which, at times, depending on the
moods of his coaches, still seems like it might not. Penner says the beard          Although stepping up to the plate proved dangerous in the aforementioned
tickles his ears, as if someone or something is touching him. Of course, this       breakfast incident, Penner says, "It's been a great coach-player relationship
has been the springtime privilege of NHL players for 30 years since the             for me. The knee jerk reaction when he was hired here, especially what I'd
dynastic Islanders sported beards and made playoff facial hair all the rage.        heard about him when I was playing in Edmonton, is you don't know what to
Life, liberty and the hirsute of happiness -- all guaranteed to Stanley Cup         expect. He seems very rough on the exterior. But once you get to know him
finalists.                                                                          ... I really like playing for him."

Sixteen teams stop shaving in April, and only one wins the Cup in June.             Certainly Penner has responded in the playoffs. He has three goals
This would make a rational person believe that beards have no intrinsic             (including the overtime conference final winner against Phoenix) and eight
karmic value. Facial foliage can, however, make a man appear larger and             assists as the Kings have moved to within one win of the franchise's first
more menacing, which can only help someone like Penner, who, on Jeff                Cup, after an impressive 4-0 victory over New Jersey on Monday. One of
Carter's Game 2 overtime goal for the Kings, cuddled up to Devils goalie            his cousins calls him "Claude Lemieux" -- after the right winger who won
Martin Brodeur's crease and screened.                                               four Cups in a career that included championship stints with the Canadiens,
                                                                                    Avalanche and Devils -- because "I'm doing now in the playoffs what I
The matter of size always has defined Penner, who skates the wing with              should have done during the regular season."
Mike Richards and Carter on the Kings' impressive second line. In high
school in Manitoba -- Winkler (pop. 10,670) -- he was a runt: 5'-6" and 120         So, is it nice to have the focus on your play rather than your sense of
pounds through 11th grade. He spurted in one year, entering junior college          humor?
at 6'-2" and 210 before growing to his current height. When asked his size
                                                                                    "I think [my play] tends to make me a lot funnier than I am."
last week, Penner replied, "6-4, two mmmmmm."
                                                                                    CNN/Sports Illustrated LOADED: 06.06.2012
Penner is listed at 245, but it certainly is his prerogative to fudge -- which is
different than being allowed to eat fudge. Until he perked up in the playoffs,
Penner, whose conditioning level has been questioned throughout his
career, had been having a grim year: seven goals, 10 assists and minus
seven in 65 regular-season games. And that was the good part. He was
going through a messy, public divorce. He also sustained the most
ludicrous-sounding injury in sports: the Curse of Aunt Jemima.
In January, Penner said his back locked when, as he told Rich Hammond of
L.A. Kings Insider, "I just leaned over to dip into some delicious pancakes
that my wife made." (You always compliment the chef, even if, like Penner,
you wind up doing lawyers at 20 paces.) Penner is extraordinarily clever.
He grasped that you can handle ridicule in two ways: take it or turn it
around. Penner subverted the flapjack flap by poking fun at himself, raising
$3,000 for charity at a Los Angeles-area IHOP. It takes a big man to do
something like that, even one who grew into his girth.
Little Big Man
You do not play high school hockey in Canada because you are a
wonderful player. You play high school hockey in Canada because you are
not good enough to play major junior hockey or any of the layered tiers
below it. (When asked if knew of any other Canadian-born NHL player who
had played in high school, Penner said he couldn't think of one.)
You do not play junior college hockey in Minot, N.D., basically barnstorming
against any team that will play you, because an NHL future awaits. You do
not eventually make it to the University of Maine and skate like Bambi --
"Guys asked if this was my first year playing hockey," he says -- and
anticipate that one day Anaheim general manager Brian Burke will threaten
to rent a barn and fight Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe because the Oilers have
signed you to a bloated offer sheet.
"The blessing is also the curse," Penner says. "If you're smaller, you can
hide yourself better. But when you're usually the biggest guy on the ice, you
tend to stick out like a sore thumb." Pause. "Especially when you're not
moving.
"I was a centerman until college," Penner continues. "That helped me. I
tried to be a playmaker, a passer, a scorer. That developed my skills ... I
heard from [assistant coach] Dan Bylsma my first year in [AHL] Cincinnati
that you have to find your game, that you have to know what you're going to
hang your hat on as a player."
633586     Websites                                                               For instance, when Sutter spoke of the poor ice in New Jersey, of how "you
                                                                                  could only see half the puck" at times because of the snow build-up, he
                                                                                  likened it to shooting a puck over the boards and into the snow as a kid.
Sportsnet.ca / Spector on Kings: Sutter making men of boys                        "Then you'd dig around in the snow bank until you found the puck with your
                                                                                  initials carved into it. Right?"

Mark Spector                                                                      Who remembers that?
                                                                                  When asked where he was when Lombardi phoned to offer him the job,
                                                                                  Sutter said in all seriousness, "I think I was in the barn."
EL SEGUNDO, CA. -- The old head coach is grizzled, his face not only
scarred but rebuilt after a National Hockey League career that survived on        Q: "What were you doing in the barn?"
the back of courage and try, ripped apart one night by a Doug Wilson slap         A: "I wasn't shoveling sh--, I remember that. But I had that day," he said,
shot that Darryl Sutter simply jokes about now.                                   smiling.
The young defenceman is still just a pup. Forget what Drew Doughty needs          Not too proud to shovel it, and absolutely refusing to accept any of it from
to know about the positioning and strategy, Sutter is still trying to teach       his players, Sutter fathers these Kings as much as he coaches them.
what he needs to know about being a man.
                                                                                  We all laughed when he went to L.A., wondering how he'd deal with that
"Terry was all X's and O's and Darryl's not that at all," Doughty said of         loafer Dustin Penner.
former Kings coach Terry Murray. "Darryl's all about preparation, hard work
and being a man out there. Once I finally understood that, it was easy."          Well, Sutter has taken Penner - whose marriage broke up this season -
                                                                                  under his wing. It's a tough love thing, sure, but look at the results.
The coach, informed of the 22-year-old's comment, chuckled.
                                                                                  "I just told him, 'Forget about everything. Friggin', just put two months in
"Isn't he supposed to play like a man? It is a man's game," Sutter said. "It's    your pocket. See what you can do,'" Sutter said. "We wouldn't have got out
the best league in the world. The reason you're here is because you're a          of the first round without him."
man. It's not complicated."
                                                                                  "His intensity is an intensity that I haven't encountered yet," said Penner,
In Sutter's eyes, few things are complicated. Not even winning a Stanley          who hasn't played this well in five years. "He's always on. When you get to
Cup for the first time in his career, one that began from that band of            the rink, he's pacing. It's game time for him, all the time. It bleeds out to the
brothers in a farmhouse in Viking. The farmhouse where you returned to            rest of the team, the way he talks to us, the way he coaches the game, the
pick rocks and plant crops when your season was done, then watched your           way he teaches it, from practices to during the game to the intermissions."
brothers on TV at night.
                                                                                  Sutter needed Doughty and Penner to be the elite defenceman and power
Sutter has sown the seeds of this Stanley Cup for a lifetime, seen it on the      forward that they can be. The players clearly required some direction to get
kitchen table at his Mom's house, but never won one for himself. He has           them from what they thought was a 100 per cent effort, to where Sutter's
stubbornly refused this spring to look past the next game, but allowed            100 per cent lies.
himself to peek ahead in a conversation with myself and colleague Cam
Cole early Tuesday morning, opening a window to what would mean he                "It's no problem for the veterans, but the kids have never dealt with it,"
becomes the third Sutter to lift the Stanley Cup.                                 Sutter said. "Kids like Drew (and Penner) … they're awesome guys, they
                                                                                  just need to be pushed to their skill level."
"I know what it was like when Duane and Brent won six in four years (for the
New York Islanders)," said Darryl, the second eldest of six hockey-playing        Should it all finally happen, and Darryl Sutter be handed that Cup on
Sutters. "I know how they felt, and they were just kids. It was always what       Wednesday night at Staples Center, or Saturday in New Jersey, he won't
drove you.                                                                        walk away a winner.
"I played in the Calder Cup finals. Won the Turner Cup (as a coach). This is      He'll only walk away when he's not taking young men like Doughty and
the third Stanley Cup," he recounted. "All those friggin' Conference Finals, it   Penner, and turning them into men.
was always the Oilers, the Oilers... You always thought you were good
enough for the next one, right?"                                                  "If I don't think I'm helping them enough, then I'm not doing it," Sutter
                                                                                  declares. "I don't HAVE to do it. It's not like, ‘What am I going to do
But Chicago seldom was.                                                           tomorrow?'
He was Mike Keenan's associate coach when the Blackhawks finally beat             "I should be home chasing cows. Today's a day off."
Edmonton, but lost to Pittsburgh in the '92 final, and as a head coach took
the upstart Flames to Game 7 in 2004. Here, Sutter is GM Dean Lombardi's          Sportsnet.ca LOADED: 06.06.2012
closer - the final piece to six or seven years of concerted building in Los
Angeles.
The first thing he saw when he arrived was the lack of game day
preparedness.
"From the second you get up and come to the rink in the morning," said
Jarret Stoll. "From day one when he got here; the preparation, the mindset,
where our attitude, our head needs to be on game day was very clear when
he came in. That was a big change for some guys."
It was another element of the "Starbucks and sandals" culture in L.A. that
Lombardi had promised to eradicate, but couldn't quite.
"I guess, yeah," said Stoll. "Maybe he did. Maybe that was one of the right
buttons. For sure."
To understand Sutter, to really get the straightforward way he handles
things, you have to be willing to listen. George Johnson, the Calgary Herald
columnist, lovingly labeled him "The Jolly Rancher," and the pained faces
he emits while on the podium further an inaccurate portrayal of what he's
really like.
He's not an old, grouchy farmer, and he is not dumb.
633587     Websites                                                                Pittsburgh Penguins, for one, could have a healthy Sidney Crosby and
                                                                                   Evgeni Malkin next season to go with improved depth in goal.
                                                                                   Also, the Kings have been blessed with good health and we all know that
Sportsnet.ca / Brophy on Kings: Dynasty in the making                              won't necessarily be the case moving forward.
                                                                                   Finally, there is motivation. Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter will be
Mike Brophy                                                                        challenged to keep this group hungry to win again in the land of sandals
                                                                                   and Starbucks, as the GM himself once termed Los Angeles. That isn't
                                                                                   always as easy as it sounds, especially after a summer of celebrating.

Is it too early to start tossing around the 'D' word?                              When the hunter becomes the hunted, he had better be ready for attacks.
                                                                                   There will be no easy games for the Kings next season. Everybody will be
You know, dynasty?                                                                 up to take on the champs -- night after night after night. It has often been
                                                                                   said that repeating as champion is harder than winning the first time.
Given the fact the Los Angeles Kings haven't won anything yet, many would
suggest yes, it is way too early.                                                  Nevertheless, the Kings look to be primed for a good run.
But when you consider they are 15-2 in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs and        Good enough to build a dynasty?
hold a commanding 3-0 lead over the New Jersey Devils in the final -- not to
mention they have held the Devils to just two goals in three games -- it           We'll see.
appears imminent the Kings will win the Cup. Suggesting such is hardly
going out on a limb.                                                               Sportsnet.ca LOADED: 06.06.2012

Winning the Cup is not always the first step in a series of championships.
On the contrary, we haven't seen a back-to-back winner since the Detroit
Red Wings did it in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Previously it was the Pittsburgh
Penguins pulling it off in 1990-91 and 1991-92.
It has been suggested the introduction of the salary cap, which has led to
parity in the NHL, was the beginning of the end of dynasties. A team wins a
championship and that drives up the salary demands of its players so the
roster cannot be kept intact. Look no further than the Chicago Blackhawks
championship team from 2009-10 for evidence of that.
It is highly unlikely we will ever see another franchise win five consecutive
Stanley Cups as the Montreal Canadiens did starting in 1955-56. Of course
back then, you only had to win two rounds -- eight playoff games -- to sip
from the Cup. The New York Islanders won four straight beginning in 1979-
80.
The fact of the matter is we have seen eight different Stanley Cup
champions crowned the past eight seasons. And yet, when you take a close
look at the makeup of the Kings, it is not entirely unrealistic to expect this
franchise to win a few Cups over the next five or six seasons.
This is a very young hockey team.
Anze Kopitar, the team's best forward and leading scorer, is 24 years old.
Defenceman Drew Doughty, widely regarded as one of the very best at his
position in the league and a future Norris Trophy winner, is just 22.
Goaltender Jonathan Quick, the leading contender to win the Conn Smythe
Trophy as most valuable player in the playoffs, is 26.
Those three players, along with captain Dustin Brown and newcomers Mike
Richards and Jeff Carter -- who are all just 27 years old and only now
entering the prime of their careers -- are the heart and soul of the Kings.
But that's not all. Take a look at the Kings' support players. Dwight King,
Slava Voynov, Jordan Nolan and Andrei Loktionov are all 22 years old.
Tough guy Kyle Clifford, who has only played in three playoff games this
season, but could develop into an impact player, is 21. Defenceman Alec
Martinez is 24 and forward Trevor Lewis is 25. Even backup goalie,
Jonathan Bernier, is only 23.
Willie Mitchell is the old man on the team and at 35, but he still has plenty of
gas left in the tank. The same could be said for veteran winger Simon
Gagne, 32, who made his playoff debut Monday night after returning from a
concussion that sidelined him for half the season.
While general manager Dean Lombardi, who has been running the show
since April 21, 2006, didn't draft all the players on the Kings, he has done a
nice job adding pieces to the puzzle that was started by his predecessor
Dave Taylor. In all, the Kings have nine first round draft picks contributing to
their success this season. That includes Carter, Brown and Richards who
were picked 11th, 13th and 24th overall, respectively, in 2003.
Now, being young and talented is only a head start in today's NHL. There is
no guarantee that winning one Cup with a bunch of kids means others will
automatically follow.
There are plenty of obstacles that could cause the Kings to stumble in their
quest to repeat. For starters there are a number of great teams in the NHL
that will continue to improve to give the Kings a run for their money. The
633588     Websites                                                              president of business operations. "Look at his stats for the last three years.
                                                                                 They're phenomenal."
                                                                                 Quick still seems to hate it.
YAHOO SPORTS / MVP-to-be Jonathan Quick keeps it simple and
subdued in Stanley Cup spotlight                                                 He keeps his answers short. He refuses to look at the historical context. He
                                                                                 says all he cares about is the next game, nothing else. "I feel I've tried to
                                                                                 give my team a chance to win every night," he said. "I think from a goalie's
By Nicholas J. Cotsonika                                                         standpoint, that's your job."
                                                                                 That's it. That's Quick.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – This is a little boy's dream. This was Jonathan             "I mean, he's not a stats guy," said Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford.
Quick's. Growing up in Hamden, Conn., about two hours from Madison               "He's about wins. If there is going to be a stat that he's concerned about,
Square Garden, he had hockey posters on his bedroom walls – one of Mike          that would be wins. That's a good mentality to have for a starting goalie."
Richter in his goalie gear, another of the New York Rangers' 1994 Stanley        But this is a guy who was drafted in the third round in 2005, played two
Cup team.                                                                        years at the University of Massachusetts and rose from the low minors in
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick looks like a shoo-in for playoff MVP. (Getty)        the ECHL to the American Hockey League to the National Hockey League.
Quick was 8 when the Rangers won that Cup, their first in 54 years. He           This is a guy who held off Jonathan Bernier, whom the Kings drafted 11th
remembers having a few friends over, eating ice pops and watching Game           overall in 2006.
7 against the Vancouver Canucks.                                                 Robitaille is right. Quick has posted good stats three years in a row. But
"I think I was probably more nervous back then than I am right now," Quick       look at the improvement: In goals-against average, he has gone from 2.54
said.                                                                            to 2.24 to 1.95. In save percentage, he has gone from .907 to .918 to .929.
                                                                                 In shutouts, he has gone from four to six to 10.
Quick is 26 right now, and he has led the Los Angeles Kings to within a win
of the first Cup in their 45-year history.                                       Always athletic, he has learned to be more efficient, and he has become
                                                                                 one of the smoothest goaltenders you'll ever see – gliding back and forth
The kid who admired Richter's competitiveness and explosiveness is               with such ease and quickness, you'd think there was oil on top of the ice.
becoming known for his own talents. Children are wearing his sweater.            "He used to use his athletic ability on every save versus just using it when
Grown men are wearing his sweater. Superstars are wearing his sweater.           needed," Ranford said. "I think that's where his game has evolved the
Like a preppie with a cardigan, David Beckham had a Quick No. 32 tied            most."
around his neck Monday night after Game 3, a 4-0 shutout that gave the
Kings a 3-0 series lead over the New Jersey Devils.                              If not for Quick, the Kings wouldn't have even made the playoffs. They were
                                                                                 the second-lowest scoring team in the NHL. He lost nine games in which he
For his work in the regular season, when the Kings struggled to score and        allowed only one goal.
he carried them to the final playoff spot in the West, Quick was nominated
for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goaltender. He deserves to win it        [RELATED: Desperate Devils trying to avoid being swept away]
June 20 in Las Vegas. He probably should have been nominated, at least,          And if not for Quick, the Kings wouldn't be in this position in the playoffs,
for the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player, too.                   even though they have improved their offense. Take the first 10 minutes of
For his work over the past several weeks, when the Kings have gone a             Game 1 of the second round. He held off a St. Louis Blues barrage until the
stunning 15-2, he almost certainly will win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the        Kings found their feet, and the Kings ended up with a sweep. Take Game 3
playoffs' most valuable player. He has numbers that rank among the               of the final. He stymied the Devils while the game was still scoreless,
greatest of all-time – 1.36 goals-against average, .950 save percentage –        allowing the Kings to break it open later.
and he seems unlikely to lose focus and blow it.                                 "People should appreciate what he's done in the playoffs is what he's been
"We only have 15 wins," he said, "so we need one more."                          doing for us all year," Ranford said. "He was our rock, and when we
                                                                                 struggled to score goals, he was unflappable. He didn't let it bother him."
Better put some pops on ice.
                                                                                 Nothing seems to bother Quick, except perhaps the spotlight. It isn't just the
Detroit. Dec. 13, 2010. Quick made 51 saves in a 5-0 shutout of the Red          East Coast media and fans who don't know enough about Quick. The East
Wings at Joe Louis Arena. When the door to the dressing room opened to           Coast teams don't know enough about him, either. Mike Richards said until
the media, the reporters streamed in – and Quick's teammates made a              the Philadelphia Flyers traded him to L.A. last summer, he had no idea how
show of disappearing into the back, forcing him to be the center of attention.   good Quick was.

Quick seemed to hate it.                                                         "You don't get to see him very often," Richards said. "But I'm not sure he
                                                                                 minds that, either."
He kept his head down. He said there was always room for improvement.
He said all he cared about was the two points, not the shutout, not the          Back to Detroit again. Back to that game on Dec. 13, 2010. As Quick was
saves. "Those numbers don't mean anything," he said then. "It's all about        piling up those 51 saves, Doughty felt comfortable joking with him. After a
the wins and losses."                                                            particularly filthy stop in the second period, Doughty said something
                                                                                 particularly filthy.
[RELATED: Top 10 playoff MVP candidates]
                                                                                 A teammates said Quick is "a normal guy who could easily be a stay-at-
Not much has changed. Quick has continued to give amazing                        home defensman." (Getty)"It was kind of a joke, and he laughed about it,"
performances, and his teammates continue to push him to the front, hoping        Doughty said at the time. "That's why we love him. He's a great guy right
he will finally get the attention and respect he deserves.                       there. He's a great teammate and obviously an unbelievable goaltender."
In New York, they think Henrik Lundqvist should win the Vezina. In L.A.,         Quick is in a zone, but he isn't in The Zone – the weird place some
they think people in New York should stay up late and watch Quick. "If           goaltenders reside, making them unreachable to the outside world. He
Quickie's in New York, I don't think there's any doubt that he's going to win    seems unapproachable to the media at times, but he simply seems laid-
it," said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.                                         back to his coaches and teammates, the ones in his inner circle. "He's a
                                                                                 normal guy. He could easily be a stay-at-home defenseman," said
So this was a good thing, that Quick had to stand in front of a blue Stanley
                                                                                 teammate Rob Scuderi, a stay-at-home defenseman.
Cup Final backdrop Tuesday at the practice facility the Kings share with the
Los Angeles Lakers, surrounded by TV cameras and voice recorders and             He certainly knows never to show up one of his stay-at-home defensemen.
notebooks and nosy reporters, wearing black shorts, a black shirt, a flat-       "He's one of the best teammates you could have in your life," said Kings
brimmed Kings cap and a scruffy playoff beard, talking about himself.            veteran Willie Mitchell. "It's because he's such a selfless guy. Playing as a
                                                                                 defenseman in front of him, you might make a mistake and the puck goes
Quick's low profile has been elevated as the Kings close in on their first
                                                                                 in. He doesn't look at you, doesn't sit there, doesn't say anything. He just
Stanley Cup. (Reuters)"No one knows about it, but he's been playing this
                                                                                 sits there and says, 'Aw, I should have had it.' And he's smart, because
way," said Luc Robitaille, the Hall of Fame winger who is now the Kings'
                                                                                 when he does that, you play your ass off for him."
In that sense, Quick sounds a lot like Ranford, who won the Conn Smythe
with the 1990 Edmonton Oilers. "I think the Conn Smythe is a team trophy,"
Ranford said. "You're only as good as your teammates. They've got to give
it to somebody, but for somebody to win it, their teammates have to be
good around him."
Ranford spent a week with Quick last summer back in Connecticut. In the
same town where he had a few friends over, had some ice pops and
watched the Rangers win the Stanley Cup as an 8-year-old, Quick
barbecued outside the apartment he was renting.
"He was just sitting at the table, joking around with his buddies and stuff,"
Ranford said. "That's about what he is. That's about as much as it gets, in a
very close-knit group and just having some giggles, just telling stories and
laughing."
Sounds like a plan for a Cup party.
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