SPORT-SCAN DAILY BRIEF.pdf

Document Sample
SPORT-SCAN DAILY BRIEF.pdf Powered By Docstoc
					               SPORT-SCAN                                                       DAILY BRIEF
                                                                      NHL 6/10/2011

         Anaheim Ducks                                                                   New York Rangers
571798   Ducks’ Hiller will resume skating next month                           571832   Rangers to buy out Drury; keep Avery, Wolski
                                                                                571833   Buyout looms for Drury
         Atlanta Thrashers                                                      571834   Chris Drury buyout: Nothing's been decided yet
571799   How Joe Johnson (unwittingly) ran the Thrashers out of town
                                                                                         NHL
         Boston Bruins                                                          571835   Bruins goalie Tim Thomas' feistiness is one of his biggest
571800   Thomas thinks outside the crease                                                assets
571801   Straight talk irks Canucks                                             571836   Roberto Luongo will start in goal for Canucks in Game 5 of
571802   Label works for him                                                             Stanley Cup finals
571803   Relentless Brad Marchand a perfect fit for Hub                         571837   Bruins’ Tim Thomas turning into MVP candidate
571804   Bruins show Canucks cold realities                                     571838   A Pest in Bruins Black and Gold Gets Mad, and Gets Even
571805   Bruins must maintain emotion                                           571839   Vancouver’s Circumspect Superstars
571806   ‘D’ holding down fort                                                  571840   Canucks’ scoring slump starts at the top
571807   Unforgettable season either way                                        571841   Tim Thomas sticking it to Canucks
571808   B’s earn an A on ‘D’                                                   571842   Hockey players behaving badly: Emotions run high, maturity
571809   Canucks frustration net result of Garden games                                  runs low
571810   Bruins in line to score as product pitchmen                            571843   Loving these Canucks sure isn’t easy
571811   Marchand’s Brad attitude fits in Boston                                571844   No talks with Balsillie about potential franchise
                                                                                571845   Tim Thomas should be a Canuck 0
         Calgary Flames                                                         571846   No one is pure in the Stanley Cup final
571812   Calgary Flames sign defenceman Brett Carson
571813   Flames sign Carson to 2-year deal                                               Ottawa Senators
                                                                                571847   MacLean likely to be Sens coach
         Chicago Blackhawks
571814   Marty Turco showing he can hack it on TV                                        Phoenix Coyotes
571815   Good sumnmer can put Hawks back on top                                 571848   Phoenix Coyotes' GM Don Maloney says 3 roads exist in
571816   Sharp remembers Cup win; hungry for more                                        goaltender search
571817   A year later, relive Blackhawks Stanley Cup win
                                                                                         Pittsburgh Penguins
         Colorado Avalanche                                                     571849   Pens sign penalty-killing specialist to deal
571818   Bourque reminisces on 10th anniversary of Avs' last Cup                571850   Penguins re-sign Adams to two-year deal
                                                                                571851   Penguins ink Adams to two-year deal
         Dallas Stars
571819   Stars bring back two minor league forwards                                      St Louis Blues
                                                                                571852   Blues re-sign defenseman Nikitin
         Detroit Red Wings
571820   Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom still undecided, cites need for                     Tampa Bay Lightning
         motivation                                                             571853   Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman: assistant coach
571821   Offseason training more difficult for Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom                   Wayne Fleming has a job waiting for him
571822   Davison native Tim Thomas' reputation soars in Cup Finals              571854   Exit interview: Lightning coach Guy Boucher said season
571823   Wearing any jersey other than the Red Wings' 'just wouldn't                     ended with talk of "getting better"
         be right'
571824   After working out with Detroit Lions players, I'll stick to the                 Toronto Maple Leafs
         NHL                                                                    571855   Maple Leafs lock up Reimer
                                                                                571856   Reimer signs multi-year deal with Leafs
         Edmonton Oilers
571825   Ken Lowe back with the Oilers                                                   Vancouver Canucks
                                                                                571857   Vigneault: 'Luongo's my guy'
         Montreal Canadiens                                                     571858   Five things the Canucks need to do to win the Cup
571826   Canadiens re-sign Andrei Kostitsyn                                     571859   Fickle Canucks fans turn on their heroes
571827   Montreal Canadiens sign Andrei Kostitsyn to one-year                   571860   'Little rat' Marchand relishes role
         contract                                                               571861   Canucks’ greatest danger? Sense of hopelessness
571828   Canadiens re-sign Kostitsyn                                            571862   5 Canucks factors for Game 5: What must be done to
                                                                                         bounce the Bruins
         Nashville Predators                                                    571863   Canucks rally behind slumping Luongo
571829   Lane Lambert hired by Nashville Predators                              571864   Game 5 marks watershed in Canucks history
                                                                                571865   Bruins' attack keeps Canucks on their heels
         New Jersey Devils                                                      571866   Canucks cast as villains by many
571830   Devils' Jon Merrill invited to 2011 U.S. national junior               571867   Coach V goes with embattled Luongo for Game 5
         evaluation camp                                                        571868   Rookie Bruin Marchand regrets taunt
                                                                                571869   A fan is a fan: Boston's waited four decades too
         New York Islanders                                                     571870   Bruisin' Brad Marchand, a rookie maybe, but perfect fit in
571831   Validity of Nassau Coliseum vote at issue                                       Boston
         Washington Capitals
571871   Goaltending coach Arturs Irbe won’t return to Capitals

         Websites
571881   ESPN / Glendale wastes chances to keep Coyotes
571882   ESPN / Cup finals: Home teams, Marchand's 'hand-washing'
         and, yes, the power play
571883   FOXSports.com / Bruins have done a 180 to square series
571884   NBCSports.com / Should Roberto Luongo start Game 5 for
         Vancouver?
571885   Sportsnet.ca /Thomas' reclamation project
571886   Sportsnet.ca /Playing his role
571887   TSN.CA / Horton marked a surprising turning point in series
571888   TSN.CA / Why NHL can't use the same crew for a whole
         series
571889   USA TODAY / As Sedins are silent, Bruins get scoring from
         everywhere
571890   Wall Street Journal / The Charles Bronson of Playoff Goalies
571891   YAHOO SPORTS / No kidding this time: Luongo starting
         Game 5

         Winnipeg
571872   Daly says NHL team name not set
571873   True North wouldn't own 'Jets' team history
571874   Ladd's scouting mission
571875   Ladd thinking long-term
571876   Ladd would be thrilled to be a Jet
571877   Ladd contract No. 1 priority for Winnipeg GM
571878   Chipman expands NHL family
571879   Winnipeg head coach head hunting
571880   Chevy wants to build from within
                SPORT-SCAN, INC. 941-284-4129
571798     Anaheim Ducks


Ducks’ Hiller will resume skating next month


By ERIC STEPHENS


Ducks general manager Bob Murray on Thursday said goalie Jonas Hiller
will resume skating in July as he attempts to recover from the vertigo
symptoms that kept him out much of the second half of the 2010-11
season.
Hiller made just two appearances after the vertigo first surfaced before a
Feb. 2 game against San Jose after he took part in his first All-Star game.
Persistent symptoms kept him from playing for the Ducks in their playoff
series against Nashville.
Murray said he spoke with Hiller last week and the two agreed that he
should return the ice and take shots in goal when he appears at former
Ducks goaltending coach Francois Allaire's camp in Switzerland.
"He's fine," Murray said. "He's in good spirits. We talked about a couple of
things. He'll be skating on the ice sometime around the middle of July.
"He'll be doing a camp early in the week and then skate with some pros
after that."
Hiller's uncertain situation apparently will not play a role in re-signing Ray
Emery as Murray indicated that he has not spoken with Emery's agent, J.P.
Barry. Barry did not return messages left by the Register.
Murray might not be making much of an effort to bring back Emery, who
came back from a serious knee injury last season and became the Ducks'
lead goalie down the stretch and in the playoffs.
Emery, a an unrestricted free agent on July 1, figures to be seeking a one-
way NHL contract with a team that will give him an opportunity to start after
going 7-2 with a 2.28 goals-against average in nine regular-season starts.
The Ducks already have Dan Ellis in the fold as he is signed for 2011-12 at
$1.5 million. Hiller is under contract through 2014 at $4.5 million annually,
which doesn't leave much room for Emery.
"I haven't really thought about it at this time," Murray said when asked about
re-signing Emery. "We have Jonas and Dan Ellis. Until something tells me
we don't have that, then I'll deal with that."
Murray said the presence of Ellis, a former starter in Nashville and Tampa
Bay, "makes it easier at the moment" to deal with the goaltending situation.
The Ducks could turn to bringing in another goalie later in the summer if
Hiller doesn't show signs of improvement.
Also Thursday, Murray would not directly address the subject of restricted
free-agent forwards Dan Sexton, Kyle Chipchura and Nick Bonino other
than to say that "some offers have been made to some people."
"Nothing to report at this time," he said.
ETEM USA IVITE
Top Ducks prospect Emerson Etem is among the 40 skaters invited to the
USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, which will take place Aug.
6-13 in Lake Placid, N.Y. The camp will help determine the team for the
2012 World Junior Championships.
Also on the initial roster are forwards Chase Balisy (Rancho Santa
Margarita), Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor), Shane McColgan (Manhattan
Beach) and Matt Nieto (Long Beach).
Orange County Register: LOADED: 06.10.2011
571799     Atlanta Thrashers                                                       In February Michael Gearon Jr. tells esteemed colleague Chris Vivlamore
                                                                                   that the Thrashers are in dire need of outside investors and that if none can
                                                                                   be found, the team will be sold even if it means Atlanta loses hockey. “I
How Joe Johnson (unwittingly) ran the Thrashers out of town                        don’t think there is an ability to stomach another $20 million in losses,”
                                                                                   Gearon says, which told us how thinly the Belkin-less Spirit was stretched
                                                                                   and brought us, not incidentally, back to Joe Johnson.

by Mark Bradley                                                                    Owing to his new contract, he makes $20 million a year. The sale of the
                                                                                   Thrashers will bank a net $110 million for the Spirit, which is $10 million
                                                                                   less than they paid to keep Johnson through 2016. As simplistic as it may
                                                                                   be to say that one basketball player had a direct effect on a hockey team …
If I can return to the Thrashers, who as we know won’t be returning …
                                                                                   well, check those numbers.
I don’t blame Atlanta as a city. I don’t blame hockey as a sport. I don’t
                                                                                   Both the perception and the reality of the Atlanta Spirit changed in the
blame Gary Bettman as a commissioner. I blame the Atlanta Spirit for
                                                                                   summer of 2005. Until then, we’d viewed the group as a well-meaning
buying a product that none among their membership really wanted and
                                                                                   bunch of guys who’d kept two of our teams from falling into the hands of a
neglecting it.
                                                                                   Texas car dealer. After Knight-versus-Belkin-regarding-Johnson, we saw
In a weird way, I also blame Joe Johnson.                                          them as a bunch of squabbling amateurs who couldn’t stay out of court.
                                                                                   And those five years of entangling litigation are the reason we’re again
The Spirit took ownership of the Thrashers, the Hawks and Philips Arena in         without an NHL franchise.
March 2004. In the summer of 2005 Billy Knight, then the Hawks’ general
manager, sought to work a sign-and-trade with Phoenix for the restricted           Atlanta Journal Constitution LOADED: 06.10.2011
free agent Joe Johnson. Knight offered Boris Diaw, who’d been the Hawks’
No. 1 draftee in 2003, and two future No. 1 pick. Steve Belkin, whom the
Spirit had installed as the team’s NBA governor, thought the price was too
high.
The many other Spirit members moved to overthrow Belkin as governor so
that the trade — described by one of the Spirit’s lawyers as “critical to the
future of the the Atlanta Hawks” — could be made. Belkin sought a
restraining order against his partners, and a Boston judge granted it. (It was
in that courtroom that the famous photo of Knight refusing to shake Belkin’s
hand was taken.)
Ultimately NBA commissioner David Stern intervened and allowed the
other eight Spirit members to buy out Belkin, prompting a triumphant press
conference at Philips Arena in which Johnson was introduced as a Hawk
and Knight hailed as a conquering hero. But Belkin took his case to a
Maryland court, where he found a judge who ruled in 2006 that he could
buy out the others.
If you’re charting the Thrashers’ first step toward Winnipeg, start right there.
The resulting litigation would last five years and essentially freeze the
Spirit’s assets. This became clear when the Spirit — having finally bought
out Belkin on Dec. 23, 2010 — filed a lawsuit this January against the law
firm King & Spalding for malpractice. In the lawsuit, the Spirit claimed the
five-year fight against Belkin had kept the Thrashers from being sold.
There was never a great feeling for hockey among the Spirit. Belkin wanted
a basketball team, having tried to buy the expansion Charlotte Bobcats. The
Gearons were Hawks fans from way back. (Michael Gearon Sr. had been
the Hawks’ president when Ted Turner owned the team.)
If not for the fight against Belkin, the Spirit might well have sold the
Thrashers in 2006 or 2008. Instead these owners were forced to keep the
team. The Hawks’ payroll kept rising. (With last summer’s $120 million re-
upping of Johnson — yep, him again — it became the NBA’s seventh-
highest.) The Thrashers’ payroll was consistently among the NHL’s lowest.
(It ranked 28th in the 30-team league this past season.)
If you wondered why the Spirit kept Don Waddell as GM as long as it did,
the answer was monetary: He didn’t go over his meager budget. With the
Spirit spending to fight off Belkin in court and making the attempt — give
the owners credit here — to better the Hawks, costs had to cut somewhere.
These are wealthy men, yes, but they’re not Arthur Blank.
To no one’s surprise, the two best players in Thrashers history — Marian
Hossa and Ilya Kovalchuk — were traded ahead of impending free agency.
(Neither would take what Waddell was offering to stay.) The Thrashers
made the playoffs in 2007 but never again. Attendance cratered, and no
wonder.
Timeline: Belkin is bought out in December 2010, which means his 30
percent ownership stake goes away, which means the remaining Spirit
members have to shoulder an even greater burden. In January the Spirit
files its lawsuit against King & Spalding, a fairly embarrassing tactic — who
wants to take on lawyers to court? — that was made necessary because
the Spirit was low on money. (The lawsuit identifies $194 million in
damages caused by King & Spalding’s mistakes in drawing up an
ownership contract that favored Belkin.)
571800     Boston Bruins                                                         “Get a few lucky bounces, and things are going to open up. All we can do is
                                                                                 stay upbeat. We’re tied, 2-2. We got the best out of three, and we got two
                                                                                 home games. We can’t be discouraged.’’
Thomas thinks outside the crease                                                 How can you not be discouraged when Thomas is stopping everything but
                                                                                 your entrance into the arena?

By Christopher L. Gasper                                                         Right now, the Canucks couldn’t find the back of the net with a GPS. Their
                                                                                 power play is 1 for 22. Reigning Hart Trophy winner Henrik Sedin came into
                                                                                 the series leading the NHL in playoff points but has a 0-0—0 line in four
                                                                                 games against the Bruins.
Perhaps the Vancouver Canucks could place a suggestion box outside
Rogers Arena before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight and ask their        Henrik Sedin was asked what the Canucks could do to open things up
fretting fans what they should try to put the puck past Tim Thomas. It might     against Thomas, and kiddingly replied, “Do you know?’’ Then he talked
take some outside-the-box thinking to beat a goalie who approaches               about continuing to shoot.
stopping the puck in a less-than-traditional manner.
                                                                                 But Thomas is the type of goalie who actually gets sharper the more shots
For all his success in a rags-to-Vezina career with warm-up stops in places      he faces.
such as Birmingham, Ala., Houston, Hamilton, Ontario, Finland, and
Sweden, there has been a lingering question about Thomas and his highly          He is 9-1 during the playoffs when facing 35 or more shots. Thomas has
unorthodox style — now known as “battlefly.’’                                    repelled more vulcanized rubber this postseason than almost any goalie in
                                                                                 history. His 701 saves trail only the 761 made in 1994 by Canucks goalie
Could he be counted on with his diving, sprawling, daring, and occasionally      Kirk McLean. The series is going at least two more games, and it’s quite
maddening approach to puck-stopping to backstop a team to the Cup?               likely Thomas will surpass that mark.

The answer is yes. After all the false starts and false idols from Pete          The Canucks have tried getting physical with Thomas, but that has
Peeters to Jon Casey to Blaine Lacher to Andrew Raycroft, the Bruins             backfired, too. Thomas belted Henrik Sedin in the crease in Game 3 and
finally have found a goalie capable of carrying them to the Cup. There is no     late in Game 4 chopped Alex Burrows with his paddle before turning
more doubting Thomas, who is the biggest reason the Bruins are two wins          pugilistic with the Vancouver pest.
shy of bringing Lord Stanley’s hallowed hardware back to the Hub after a
too-long hiatus.                                                                 “He seems to really enjoy those battles in front and whacking and hacking,’’
                                                                                 said Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. “It’s just great to see him
If that happens, youth hockey goalies across New England are going to            battling.’’
start playing Thomas’s flop-till-you-drop style, just as Little Leaguers once
imitated Nomar Garciaparra’s glove-tugging, toe-tapping ritual.                  Thomas has always battled — for his job and against conventional wisdom.

The 37-year-old Thomas, who recorded his third shutout of the playoffs           The unconventional has never looked so good.
Wednesday night with a 38-save virtuoso effort in Boston’s 4-0 win, has          Boston Globe LOADED: 06.10.2011
been the greatest advantage the Bruins have enjoyed in every playoff
series, and the Cup Final is no different.
“He’s one of the best goalies in the league,’’ said Canucks coach Alain
Vigneault. “I mean, he’s up for the Vezina [again]. He plays his own style,
and he’s playing it well right now. He’s giving his team a real good chance
to win.’’
While Canucks counterpart Roberto Luongo has foundered, allowing 12
goals on the Boston leg of the series and getting yanked in Game 4,
Thomas has seized the stage and the series. He has held the Canucks to
one goal or fewer in three of the four games and stopped 141 of 146 shots
(96.6 save percentage).
“I think Thomas has been great. That’s the only thing,’’ said Canucks
captain Henrik Sedin. “We got enough chances. Sometimes in a series you
get those bounces you need, but Thomas has been unbelievable. We need
to find a way to solve him.’’
As the Cup Final shifts back to Vancouver, tied 2-2, the momentum has
shifted inside the 4-foot-by-6-foot slices of hockey heaven on either end.
Luongo is an under-siege sieve, letting in goals and criticism. Thomas is a
cement wall, blocking out the Canucks and his cult-hero status.
“I’ve been so focused on playing in the playoffs that I’m a little removed
from what’s happening inside the city right now,’’ said Thomas after Game
4.
While Thomas’s mind is free of distraction, it’s clear he is occupying quite a
bit of space inside the brains of the Canucks.
Ever since Thomas held Vancouver to a single goal in Game 1, Vigneault
and the Canucks have been kvetching about Thomas’s forays outside the
blue paint of his crease. They’d like to slip one of those electronic ankle
bracelets on Thomas to make sure he stays inside the crease and out of
their heads with his constant movement and challenging of shooting angles.
He has reduced the league’s highest-scoring team during the regular
season to a diffident bunch that talks about beating him with lucky bounces,
greasy goals, and instead of its power play, the power of positive thinking.
“You can say all you want, but he’s a good goalie,’’ said the Canucks’
Daniel Sedin. “You just got to keep shooting and get a lucky bounce. It
sounds kind of cliché, but that’s the way it is.
571801     Boston Bruins                                                          That connection with viewers is a major reason Fox quickly hired Johnson
                                                                                  for a prominent role calling the NFL and college basketball after he
                                                                                  departed CBS in a contract dispute.
Straight talk irks Canucks                                                        But it must be said that CBS upgraded in essentially replacing him this
                                                                                  week with Marv Albert, who will call NFL games (presuming there are NFL
                                                                                  games this year).
By Chad Finn
                                                                                  Albert, who called NFL games for NBC from 1979-97, will continue in his
                                                                                  lead role on TNT’s Thursday night NBA coverage. He will also continue to
                                                                                  call NCAA men’s basketball tournament games for CBS and Turner Sports.
Mike Milbury was not available for comment yesterday, the Versus/NBC
analyst en route to Vancouver in advance of tonight’s Game 5 of the thrilling     Johnson deserved the acclaim he got at CBS, and he’s a good fit for Fox.
Stanley Cup Final between the Bruins and Canucks.                                 But Albert, an all-time great still on top of his game, is an upgrade on just
                                                                                  about anyone he follows. That includes Johnson.
The former, at least, is good news in Vancouver, where they weren’t exactly
putting down the welcome mat for Milbury at the airport. His commentary           Big pregame plans With no Red Sox game Monday, NESN is ramping up
about the Canucks has raised the ire of Vancouver fans and media,                 its Bruins coverage even more for Game 6 at TD Garden, adding a 90-
particularly with his comment Wednesday night about the Bruins’ effective         minute pregame show to the lineup.
physical approach to defending high-scoring Canucks twins Henrik and
Daniel Sedin during Game 4:                                                       Anchor Kathryn Tappen will be joined as usual on set by Gord Kluzak and
                                                                                  Barry Pederson, while Tom Caron and Andy Brickley will be live from
“By all means, stay in the face of Thelma and Louise — I mean Henrik and          FanFest.
Daniel. Get in their way, make them pay. This series is starting to go our
way.’’                                                                            Caron, recognized nowadays for his duties on Red Sox pregame and
                                                                                  postgame programming, used to host the Bruins pregame show.
Now, by saying “our way,’’ Milbury wasn’t implying that he’s in the Bruins’
corner; he frequently frames his comments by saying what he would if he           The last time Caron held the gig full time, in 2004, his analyst was Cam
were Claude Julien or Alain Vigneault. But an extensive search is not             Neely, who seems to have found his post-playing-career calling elsewhere.
required to understand why Vancouver media and fans are claiming bias:            Boston Globe LOADED: 06.10.2011
Milbury played for and coached the Bruins and has served as a NESN
analyst since 2007.
And his “Thelma and Louise’’ comment — referencing the 1991 movie
starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis — clearly irked the Canucks,
who were made aware of it following Game 4.
“I have no comment,’’ said Daniel Sedin, according to a story by The
Province’s Tony Gallagher. “That’s so bad.’’
“I couldn’t care less about Mike Milbury and his analysis,’’ added
defenseman Kevin Bieksa.
Never mind that Thelma and Louise were actually pretty tough and could
probably convert on better than 5 percent of their power plays. Milbury has
been on a Tim Thomas-like roll recently, and his I’m-going-to-say-what-I-
believe approach makes for outstanding television. Versus and NBC want
him to be entertaining and opinionated, and that is precisely what he has
been. Consider two of Milbury’s other greatest hits during the Final:
?On Canucks nuisance Alexandre Burrows escaping suspension after
biting Patrice Bergeron during Game 1: “If I had known in the late ’70s that
it was OK to pig out on human flesh, I would have eaten Guy Lafleur. This
is a disgraceful call by the league. This guy should have been suspended.
They’re impacting this series by a non-call. It was not very courageous.’’
?On the Bruins scoring four goals in the second period to break open Game
3 (his comments came during the second intermission): “What you’ve done
tonight so far is sent a message to this smug, arrogant group from
Vancouver that you want it more than they do. There comes a time, maybe
with five minutes left in this game, maybe with seven minutes left, that you
get a chance to send a message to someone who maybe didn’t get it.
That’s what I’m going to say to this team.’’
While Milbury’s words have generated plenty of buzz as a central element
of Versus’s terrific coverage so far, it’s neither his commentary nor the other
enjoyable aspects of the telecasts (if there’s another announcer who is as
skilled at calling a particular sport as Mike Emrick is at hockey, please
share the name) that have local fans tuning in at record rates.
The Bruins have captured the imagination of Boston fans during this
postseason run, and Versus continued to benefit in Game 4, earning the
highest local rating ever for an NHL game on the network with a 23.64
household rating in the Boston market. That topped the 23.37 that Game 3
delivered in Boston.
Marv still marvelous The popularity of play-by-play broadcaster Gus
Johnson, particularly among younger demographics, is no mystery; his
enthusiasm for the game at hand matches and likely often exceeds that of
the viewer at home.
It seems genuine enough; let’s put it at 75 percent in-the-moment
amazement, 25 percent this’ll-get-me-on-YouTube shtick.
571802      Boston Bruins


Label works for him


By Amalie Benjamin


VANCOUVER, British Columbia — It wasn’t the first time the Bruins have
been called “blue collar.’’ It goes with the territory in Boston.
But it’s notable, perhaps, because the team the Bruins are playing is
considered faster, more skilled, and more talented. That might ultimately
matter. Or it might not.
“I think because you say you’re ‘blue collar’ doesn’t mean you don’t have
any skill or talent as well,’’ said Bruins coach Claude Julien yesterday, the
day after he made the initial comment about his club. “It’s a group that
comes in and works hard every day, really grinds it out.
“Our team is pretty happy with that, if that’s what we’re labeled.
“At the same time, I think the fans in Boston like that kind of a team.
They’ve had those kind of teams in the past that have had success.
“That’s what Boston is all about. I think it seems to please everybody in that
area, including ourselves. We like the way we have to go out there and play
every night, and we take pride in it.’’
And for the past two games, it has worked. The Bruins have been able to
win with the Vancouver skill players looking out of sorts, not taking enough
shots, and not creating enough offense. Plus, there’s the goaltending.
Overall, it has been a very physical series. And the question was put to
Julien whether that physicality has been more detrimental to the skilled
Canucks than to the lunch-pail Bruins.
“I don’t know if that’s the case,’’ Julien said. “But I think our point is to finish
our checks. I think it’s part of what we want to do in this series, slow down a
team that’s extremely skilled.
“They’re a highly skilled team. We’re probably more of a physical team that
has to bring that game. We’re built a little differently. It’s about bringing your
game to the table.’’
There’s no question the Bruins have been able to do that. The question is
whether they can continue to do it in Vancouver, and whether the Canucks
can recover and adjust.
Julien made reference to the fact that critics have said the Bruins are less
talented. He also said he can live with that — as long as his charges
continue to believe in the way they play.
“We just would like to keep it simple and work hard,’’ said Brad Marchand.
“We don’t have the most skilled team in the world, we know that. We just try
and keep it simple.
“Obviously we’re from a blue-collar town and we’ve got a lot of blue-collar
players on our team. We just like to work hard.’’
Luongo to start Game 5 Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said Roberto
Luongo will start Game 5. “You can bet on that,’’ Vigneault told ESPN.com .
. . Perhaps the moment the Stanley Cup Final turned was after Game 2,
after Tim Thomas allowed a goal just 11 seconds into overtime. Since then,
the Bruins goaltender has been incredible. “It took a couple minutes in
here,’’ Thomas said. “That stone pillar there looked pretty appealing for a
punch for a little while. It doesn’t happen instantaneously. It took me a few
minutes.’’ . . . Asked if he felt the Bruins have control of the series, Patrice
Bergeron did not hesitate in replying. “No,’’ he said, “we haven’t
accomplished anything yet.’’ . . . Julien did not want to address Marchand’s
hand-wiping gesture toward the end of Game 4. “I think we’re really looking
for things now, aren’t we?’’ he said. “Next.’’
Boston Globe LOADED: 06.10.2011
571803     Boston Bruins                                                            “Whenever he’s really focused on his game .?.?. those kind of things start
                                                                                    coming out. You see how good a player he can be. He’s a much better
                                                                                    player than people see him as because some things overshadow his ability
Relentless Brad Marchand a perfect fit for Hub                                      to play the game at a high level.”
                                                                                    Those things are the kind of check he put on Kesler and the takedown of
                                                                                    Ehrhoff, but that constantly pushing, poking, pestering style is also what led
By Ron Borges                                                                       to his goal Wednesday night.
                                                                                    It happened not simply because he was in the right spot when teammate
                                                                                    Patrice Bergeron outfought Henrik Sedin for a loose puck behind the net
Brad Marchand calls himself “a rat,” but he’s our rat and so, to us, he’s just      and pushed it through to Marchand, who then beat Roberto Luongo to his
a pest. And no place loves its pests more than Boston.                              glove side. It happened because Marchand was forechecking, taking down
                                                                                    Ballard behind the net to first knock the puck free. After he did Marchand
That’s the beauty of being a scrappy, little guy in a town like this. Blue collar
                                                                                    wheeled around to the front of the net as Bergeron poked the loose puck
down to our underwear, Bostonians look at the highly skilled Sedin brothers
                                                                                    out front.
and laugh when Mike Milbury calls them “Thelma and Louise” because of
their less-than-stout approach to the hammer side of hockey. Bostonians             Goal, Pest!
look at Marchand and say, “Our kind of guy, Bradley is.”
                                                                                    “I’m just trying to play my game and what happens happens,” Marchand
Wednesday night, Mar-chand exhibited all that the Bruins have long been             said. “You take pride in whatever aspect of the game you want to play.”
about, the things that separate this team and this town from Vancouver —
the laid-back home of the Canucks. Vancouver fans love the flashy pass              Brad Marchand wants to play the aspect that makes the Sedin Sisters stay
and quick shot of the Sedins. Bruins fans love to see them flipped upside           awake at night. He wants to play hockey Boston style.
down.
                                                                                    Boston Herald LOADED: 06.10.2011
Marchand is from the upside-down school of hockey and so a cult hero
grows every time he does things like slam his 5-foot-8, 183-pound body into
Vancouver’s star center, Ryan Kesler, sending him crashing into the end
boards, as Marchand did on the first shift of Wednesday night’s 4-0 win
over the Canucks — a shellacking that sent the Stanley Cup finals back to
Canada tied, 2-2.
Vancouver roared into the Hub after two heart-breaking, one-goal Bruins
losses, thinking they had control of the Cup. Actually what they had was a
ticket to Hockey Hell Night, an 8-1 mental and physical Game 3 beatdown
that started only after the Canucks suddenly thought they were the Bruins.
Memo to them: You aren’t.
Aaron Rome took out Nathan Horton with a cheap shot, knocking him into a
fog so deep you felt the Hound of the Baskervilles would soon be trotting
onto the ice. Instead out trotted guys like Marchand, and ever since the
hard guys with the spoked B’s woke up and realized their game is not the
Canucks’ game it’s been 12-1, Bruins.
Their game is Marchand’s game. Their game is hard charging, forechecking
and hardly a thought of any style but the kind that made Joe Frazier
heavyweight champion.
Even after Game 4 was decided, Marchand was still fighting, taking a triple
minor on a play in which he violated just about every rule in the NHL’s book
(roughing, holding and tripping). It was the kind of play that separates
Bruins from Canucks.
Marchand roughed up Christian Ehrhoff along the boards with only 2:27 to
play and the B’s leading, 4-0, and was immediately called for a penalty
while the puck was still loose. Marchand went after it and Daniel Sedin tried
to run him into the end boards. The NHL “Code” says along the end boards
you don’t duck an oncoming hit, you take it like a man so the other guy
doesn’t decapitate himself.
Marchand took another route. He dipped low and sent Sedin flying over his
back and upside down on the ice. The Bruins Code? Code Red.
“I tried to jump over Ehrhoff there and clipped him with my arm and a Sedin
tried to take a run at me, and that would have been a cheap hit because I
already had a penalty against me,” Marchand said. “So I just ducked on him
and saw (Keith) Ballard come and he had his gloves off so I dropped mine.
“I shouldn’t have taken that penalty then, but it’s tough riding that line.
Obviously it’s part of my game to be a bit of a rat out there.”
Not many guys admit to such a role, yet Marchand is more than what he
seems. He is not a rat. Max Lapierre is a rat. Marchand? He’s a pest with
pop.
“First of all, he’s always been an energy player, a good skater,” coach
Claude Julien said of Marchand. “Unfortunately, he’s been looked upon
here in this league more as a pest, stirring things up. What people don’t
know about Brad is he’s got really good skills. He’s got a great release,
good shot, good speed. He’s very capable of playing a good game.
Sometimes that gets overshadowed in certain games where he lets the
other part of his game take over.
571804     Boston Bruins                                                          and keep pucks alive. And the B’s have scored three power-play goals on
                                                                                  17 tries.
                                                                                  •???Conclusion: While the above observations surely give even more lift to
Bruins show Canucks cold realities                                                sky-high Bruins fans, the last thing anyone interested in this team should do
                                                                                  is assume the Canucks are beaten. Certainly, even a hint of that sort of
                                                                                  overconfidence by B’s players could be a recipe for disaster.
By Stephen Harris /
                                                                                  After years of disappointments, the Canucks are saddled with a reputation
                                                                                  as a team that can be awesomely good — but also fall apart at times.

VANCOUVER — Four things we believed about the Vancouver Canucks 10                This is a formidable Canucks team that maybe wasn’t quite prepared for the
days ago (and what we know now to be true):                                       physical play and energy level — and the speed and skill, too — of the
                                                                                  Bruins. But they understand now what they’re up against. And realities can
•???Assumption: The Canucks were the most talented, deepest and best-             change quickly in a playoff series, and we may very well see the good
balanced team the NHL has seen in many a year. At the pre-series media            version of the Canucks again.
day, Bruins players were hearing from breathless reporters questions such
as, “These guys are really, really good. What are you guys going to do?” It       The home team should be as desperate as a team can be tonight. The
was pretty apparent a big portion of the media figured the B’s had no             Bruins have to be the same, or maybe even a little bit more so. This is only
chance against the mighty Canucks.                                                the biggest game in 20 years for both teams. On that point, assumption and
                                                                                  reality are the same.
•???Reality: Uh, not quite right. In actuality, after four games of the Stanley
Cup finals, the Canucks have clearly been the better team on the ice for,         Boston Herald LOADED: 06.10.2011
what, two periods? The third periods in Games 1 and 2? In the other 10
periods, the play has been even or the Bruins enjoyed an edge — much of
the time a very significant edge.
It was written here that the Bruins couldn’t “out-skill” this opponent, but
could and would win this series if they could “out-grind” it. Well, so far, the
B’s have beaten the Canucks in both regards, with a 14-5 advantage in
goals.
•???Assumption: The Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, were so immensely
talented, and their on-ice chemistry so magical, it would be nearly
impossible for the Bruins to contain them.
•???Reality: Well, suffice to say that in the Garden press box Wednesday
night, the Vancouver stars were being referred to as, “the Sedin Sisters.”
On the Versus broadcast, commentator and former Bruin Mike Milbury
called them “Thelma and Louise.” The Sedins admit they weren’t ready for
the physical demands of the NHL in their first few seasons; it looks like they
still aren’t.
Henrik Sedin didn’t get his first shot on goal until early in Game 4. The
playmaking center is scoreless and has a minus-2 rating in the series.
Daniel Sedin, the goal-scoring winger, has 1-1-2 totals and a minus-1
rating.
They’re getting pounded and whacked all over the ice, the B’s rarely giving
them an open inch of ice. We’ve often seen one Sedin or the other picking
himself up off the ice, looking pleadingly to the referees for help. But the
refs are letting the boys fight it out, and so far there hasn’t been much fight
in Thelma and Louise.
•???Assumption: As good as Tim Thomas had been in the postseason,
Roberto Luongo had been better — and had successfully answered all the
longtime critics who questioned whether he could win the big one or might
crumble when things went badly.
•???Reality: That one hasn’t worked out too well for the Canucks, either,
has it?
Thomas has been ridiculously good, and if the Bruins win this thing he is a
lock for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
As for Luongo, he looked terrific in Games 1 and 2 — when the Bruins did
little to pressure him, when there was little net-front traffic and most shots
were from the outside. But when the B’s started to bring it hard in Game 3,
pucks started flying past Luongo with alarming frequency. He’s allowed all
14 goals in the series.
•???Assumption: The Vancouver power play was so phenomenal — and
Boston’s so poor — it cut the Bruins’ chance of winning the series almost to
nil.
•???Reality: In the face of extraordinary B’s penalty-killing by Daniel Paille,
Gregory Campbell and others, the Canucks’ power play is 1-for-22 — and
the B’s have struck for two brilliant shorthanded scores, including the Brad
Marchand solo effort that should go on the all-time finals highlight reel.
And the Bruins power play, while still not a scoring machine, has been
looking better and better as the overall confidence of the team grows. The
entries are cleaner, the puck movement sharper, shots and bodies are
going to the net and Bruins are outworking Canucks to win the 50-50 battles
571805     Boston Bruins


Bruins must maintain emotion


By Steve Conroy


VANCOUVER — The environment, to say the least, will be a lot less
friendly for the Bruins tonight.
When the B’s take the Rogers Arena ice for pivotal Game 5 of the Stanley
Cup finals against the Vancouver Canucks, the heroes and villains will have
changed jerseys. Instead of Maxim Lapierre and Alex Burrows getting the
catcalls and raspberries, it will be Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara and Tim
Thomas.
But that prospect has never really bothered the 2010-11 Bruins. Not only
did they acquit themselves just fine in losing two heartbreakers here — and
they handled the hostile atmosphere infinitely better than the Canucks did in
Boston — they have excelled on the road all year and in these playoffs.
The Bruins won a pair of games in Montreal to take back the conference
quarterfinals, they captured a pair in Philadelphia in sweeping that series,
and grabbed one in Tampa Bay to take back home ice in the Eastern
Conference finals.
Now, if they want to make their dream of a Stanley Cup championship
come true, they have to win a game in Vancouver. Despite the fact road
teams have done well in these playoffs, hockey is a sport in which the home
team has real, tangible advantages, most notably the last change.
And Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault will do his best to get his stuck-in-
the-sand Sedin twins away from the Patrice Bergeron line and Chara-
Dennis Seidenberg matchup.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli believes his team has what it takes
to be successful away from a tremendous home-ice advantage at the
Garden.
“We’re a good road team and I feel confident going on the road,” said
Chiarelli in the wake of the B’s convincing 4-0 Game 4 victory on
Wednesday night. “Everything is magnified here. The last change is huge,
and that’s something we’re going to have to battle, but I have confidence in
our coaches and I have confidence in our players.”
Since Aaron Rome knocked out Nathan Horton with a brutally late hit early
in Game 3, there is no doubt the B’s have been packing an emotional
wallop. But emotion can carry you only so far, Chiarelli pointed out.
“We’re scoring goals, so I don’t know if that’s just emotion. We’re creating
speed, we’re getting chances, our (penalty) kill’s been good,” said Chiarelli,
referring to the unit that has gone 21-for-22 against the Canucks. “There is
a lot of emotion, but the guys have worked for this. You have to be
emotional, but you also have to have poise and be confident within the
game. And I think we’ll continue to have that.
“It’s going to be tough in (Vanouver). You saw all the emotion here with the
fans and how guys fed off it. It’s the same thing in (Vancouver). It’s nutty
there.”
While the B’s all-around play has been much crisper, especially in Game 4,
than it was in Vancouver, they’ve still needed Thomas to be superlative. In
both home wins, he had to make key saves at important junctures. If he
hadn’t, those games very well could have turned out differently, despite the
blowout nature of the final results. In the last two games, he has made 78
saves, many of them spectacular.
It seems almost comical now that there were people suggesting Thomas
should adjust his style.
“Things get magnified in the finals, as does the absurdity of the questions,”
said Chiarelli. “You deal with them, roll with them, and Tim does well with a
chip on his shoulder.”
The entire Bruins team, in fact, is discovering that a well-placed chip can be
a very useful tool.
Boston Herald LOADED: 06.10.2011
571806     Boston Bruins


‘D’ holding down fort


By Dan Duggan


After being shut out, 4-0, in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals on
Wednesday night, Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin lavished praise
on Tim Thomas. The Bruins goalie was worthy of every compliment after
turning away 78-of-79 shots he faced in the two Bruins wins at the Garden
to even the series at 2-2 heading into tonight’s Game 5 in Vancouver.
But to focus solely on Thomas discounts the valuable contributions of the
Bruins defense in the last two games.
Top defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg rejoined forces after
being split up in the first two games of the series. The shutdown pair has
completely neutralized Vancouver’s top line, which is led by Sedin and his
twin brother, Daniel.
The Sedins have combined for just one goal and an assist (both by Daniel)
in the series. The pair managed just six shots on goal in Games 3 and 4
combined.
“I thought that as a whole team, we played really tight defensively and we
made some strong plays,” Chara said. “That’s what you need obviously to
have everybody contributing.”
Plagued by sloppy puck-handling and turnovers in their own zone in the first
two games, the Bruins defensemen mostly cleaned that up at the Garden.
But they also increased their physicality, relentlessly pounding the Sedins,
who are stars because of their talent not their brawn.
The Sedins have been criticized for being pushed around by the Bruins
defense.
“They spent a lot of time in the other team’s end (Wednesday night) with no
results to show at the end. But it’s not from lack of effort, not from lack of
playing the right way,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said of his team.
“(The) Bruins did a good job. You got to give that team credit. They’re
playing a smart game. Right now, they’ve been able to shut us down
offensively here for the last two games.”
The Canucks had their share of scoring opportunities in Boston, but they
also paid for every rush. When they enter the crease, Canucks forwards
must be wary not only of Chara and Seidenberg, but also Thomas, who
leveled Henrik Sedin in Game 3.
“It’s a big part of the game, especially in the playoffs, to play physical and
there’s a lot of battles,” Chara said. “You got to make sure that you do
whatever you can to win more than lose some.”
Of course, when the Bruins do lose a battle or make a mistake, it helps to
have the ultimate safety net behind them.
“I think Thomas has been great,” Henrik Sedin said. “That’s the only thing.
We got enough chances. Sometimes in series you get those bounces you
need, but Thomas has been unbelievable. We need to find a way to solve
him. That’s the only thing.”
Boston Herald LOADED: 06.10.2011
571807     Boston Bruins                                                              “Yeah, that was awesome!”
                                                                                      But it will never get old.
Unforgettable season either way                                                       Let’s say it one more time: If the Bruins don’t win this thing, the quest for a
                                                                                      Cup will be at 40 years and counting when the next training camp
                                                                                      commences. But you will hold tight to what has happened this week — not
By Steve Buckley                                                                      because you want to, but because it’ll be impossible to do otherwise.
                                                                                      Boston Herald LOADED: 06.10.2011

First off, we need to take care of an important piece of hockey
housekeeping that absolutely will hit home with hardcore, old-time, Gallery
God-type Bruins fans who have been waiting a long, long time for a Stanley
Cup celebration.
Here, folks, is the statement of the obvious: The Bruins need to win the Cup
in order for this season to be officially stamped “successful.” This is
precisely the point Shawn Thornton was trying to make the other night after
the Bruins’ completed their 4-0 thumping of the Vancouver Canucks in
Game 4 of the Cup finals: While winning one for the Gipper (Nathan Horton)
was nice, it’s not the end game.
The end game is Zdeno Chara skating around the ice — be it at the Garden
after Game 6 or Rogers Arena after Game 7 — with the Stanley Cup high
over his head.
Nathan Horton? He has inspired the Bruins to play harder, and the boys
have certainly done that. But if the Bruins lose to the Canucks in the Cup
finals, it’s not like Thornton & Co. will be telling the writers: Hey, at least the
B’s rallied for a couple of games after Hortie got taken to Massachusetts
General Hospital.
But even with those ground rules in place, I don’t consider it sacrilege, or
even bad karma, to view what’s happened this week as a significant
moment in Boston sports history that Bruins fans will remember for the rest
of their lives.
Let us recap: About five minutes into Game 3 Monday night at the Garden,
Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome applied a devastating hit on Horton, the
Bruins’ postseason Big Papi. The Garden was hushed as Horton lay
motionless on the ice. During those anxious moments when the young man
was strapped to a gurney and then slowly wheeled off the ice, it was
impossible for anyone in the house to think in terms of how this would affect
the way Bruins coach Claude Julien deployed his lines for the remainder of
the game.
The first period ended, the contest a scoreless tie. And then something
happened to the Bruins — words were said in the Bruins’ dressing room,
fists were formed, a pact was made, a light switch went on. The Bruins
busted out of their locker room and commenced with the offensive butchery.
By the close of business Monday night, the Bruins had hung a humiliating
8-1 victory on the Canucks.
And then there was Game 4, Wednesday night. The evening began with
No. 4 waving a Nathan Horton banner, and it ended with goal No. 4 being
added to the Bruins’ tally. With their 4-0 victory over the Canucks in Game 4
— so many 4’s going on that night that the barkeeps at The Four’s must
have loved it — the Bruins have outscored the Canucks 12-1 since Rome’s
hit on Horton.
Later that night, amid the celebrating in the B’s dressing room, Thornton
said, “That’s history,” meaning that the game was over and it’s time to focus
on Game 5. But on an entirely different level, it really was, and is, history.
It’s scrapbook material. It’s the stuff that has you remembering where you
were — at the Garden, in your den, at Malachy’s Saloon in Quincy or Sligo
Pub in Somerville or Doc’s Tavern in Biddeford, Maine — when it all
happened.
It is true that, not too long ago, this space went to great pains to point out
that Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas’ stupendous save against the Tampa
Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals — body sprawling, stick
extended — would only be remembered if the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.
But what we have seen this week is different. The events of Games 3 and
4, with Horton getting hurt, the Bruins getting even, will still be talked about
years and years from now, for no other reason than because the emotions
were as mesmerizing as the athletics.
True, the retelling may lapse into the repetitious, as in:
“Remember when the Bruins outscored the Canucks 12-1 after Nathan
Horton got hit?”
571808     Boston Bruins


B’s earn an A on ‘D’


By Herald staff


The h had the NHL’s highest scoring offense this season. But through four
games of the Stanley Cup finals, they have managed just five goals. The
Canucks vaunted first line of Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows
has been stymied by the Bruins shutdown defensemen, Zdeno Chara and
Dennis Seidenberg. Ryan Kesler is a dominant force on the second line, but
he’s experienced the same struggles in the finals. Here’s a look at the
Canucks’ dip in production:
HENRIK SEDIN
First three rounds
18 games
2 goals 19 assists 21 points 36 shots
Stanley Cup finals
4 games
0 goals 0 assists 0 points 2 shots
RYAN KESLER
First three rounds
18 games
7 goals 11 assists 18 points 58 shots
Stanley Cup finals
4 games
0 goals 1 assist 1 point 10 shots
DANIEL SEDIN
First three rounds
18 games
8 goals 8 assists 16 points 72 shots
Stanley Cup finals
4 games
1 goal 1 assist 2 points 16 shots
ALEX BURROWS
First three rounds
18 games
7 goals 7 assists 14 points 49 shots
Stanley Cup finals
4 games
2 goals 1 assist 3 points 7 shots on goal
Boston Herald LOADED: 06.10.2011
571809     Boston Bruins


Canucks frustration net result of Garden games


By Rich Thompson


The Vancouver Canucks had goaltender issues at both ends of the rink in
consecutive lopsided losses to the Bruins at TD Garden.
The Bruins evened the best-of-seven Stanley Cup final by outscoring the
Canucks 12-1, and look to take their first series lead tonight in Game 5 at
Rogers Arena.
The most obvious problem was the stunning collapse of Roberto Luongo.
After giving up two goals in the first two games of the series, Luongo (14-8,
2.54 goals-against average) misread angles and gave up easy rebounds as
the Bruins piled on. The Vancouver starter allowed four goals on 20 shots in
Wednesday night’s 4-0 loss, before being lifted for Cory Schneider with
16:21 to play.
“He’s been so good for us,” said Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. “We have a
lot of trust in Lou and he’s showed up for us every game.
“He’s going to bounce back.”
The more beguiling problem played out in the Bruins end. Tim Thomas
stymied the Canucks across the board. Thomas (14-8, 2.11 GAA) made 40
saves in an 8-1 thumping on Monday night and 38 in Wednesday’s shutout.
Henrik Sedin actually referred to what happened at the Garden as the
Canucks’ “Tim Thomas problem.”
“I think Tim Thomas has been great, that’s the only thing” he said. “We got
enough chances, but sometimes in a series you get those bounces you
need, but Thomas has been unbelievable.
“We need to find a way to solve him. .?.?. We need a greasy one and we
had a lot of chances.”
Vancouver failed on eight power-play opportunities in Game 3 and six on
Wednesday. The Bruins’ penalty kill and Thomas have held the Canucks’
power play, which entered the series with 17 goals in the postseason, to
one goal in 22 tries.
“The power play has helped us throughout the season and throughout the
playoffs but now it is hurting us,” Henrik Sedin said. “We lost momentum
and they have gained momentum on their power play, so that has to be
better.”
Boston Herald LOADED: 06.10.2011
571810     Boston Bruins


Bruins in line to score as product pitchmen


By Thomas Grillo


With victory comes the spoils. And for Bruins goalie extraordinaire Tim
Thomas, behemoth defenseman Zdeno Chara, enforcer Shawn Thornton
and other spoked-B’s, some of that booty will come in the form of lucrative
endorsement deals.
“This is the most exciting Bruins team in a long time, and stars have
emerged making it likely that endorsement deals are very likely,” said
Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist from Smith College.
Thomas, Chara, Thornton and even Nathan Horton — who was taken off
the ice on a stretcher after an illegal hit by Canucks defenseman Aaron
Rome in Game 3 — have the best chance of inking regional ad deals that
could net them about $1 million each.
At 6-feet, 9-inches tall, Chara towers above the pack of sports heroes for
companies looking to promote their products, said Stephen A. Greyser,
professor emeritus at Harvard Business School.
“He’s more than 7-feet tall on skates and is easily spotted, making him
attractive for a potential endorsement,” Greyser said.
Greyser pointed out that for several years Chara won the All-Star Skills
competition with the fastest shot into the net at nearly 106 mph. “Isn’t that
the kind of speed that would make a good ad for a delivery service like
FedEx?” he asked.
A.J. Gerritson, of Hub-based 451 Marketing, said despite the injury, he
expects Horton could be the most marketable Bruin.
“He got hurt, but lots of people credit him with igniting the fire within the
Bruins to win two games in a row,” Gerritson said.
Two local outfits already have signed up a pair of Big Bad Bruins. The City
of Boston Credit Union recently inked a deal to make Thornton the lender’s
spokesman. Last fall, Dunkin’ Donuts recruited rookie phenom Tyler Seguin
for its “Caught Cold” campaign.
“Thornton gets everyone’s attention, because when he comes in the game
he’s all about winning,” said John Vrooman, a Vanderbilt University
economics professor. “And Tim Thomas from Michigan is the team’s best
player. He’s resilient like a Ford truck — (and Ford) may want to think about
using him in an ad campaign.”
Boston Herald LOADED: 06.10.2011
571811     Boston Bruins


Marchand’s Brad attitude fits in Boston


By Tenley Woodman


The Canucks can’t wait for Brad Marchand to get off the ice. The Bruins
winger is a mess-with-their-head and get-in-their-face kind of guy. And even
if Marchand is Canadian, his attitude fits right in here.
After all, there’s no shortage of feisty in Boston. For example:
SAMUEL ADAMS:
Boston’s original rabble-rouser. While uptight cousin John Adams went all
“let’s be reasonable,” Sam was revving up for revolution and inciting mobs
to dump tea in the harbor.
DUSTIN PEDROIA:
Cocky or confident? This Hobbit-sized Red Sox infielder likes to remind us
of his “laser show” at the batter’s box. When he’s not scrambling around the
bases, the second baseman is running his mouth.
U.S. REP. BARNEY FRANK:
There’s nothing this congressman relishes more than a war of words. The
pugnacious lawmaker skewers detractors. On same-sex marriage: “They’re
saying that my ability to marry another man somehow jeopardizes
heterosexual marriage. Then they go out and cheat on their wives.”
DANE COOK:
He’s famously obnoxious, and laughing all the way to the bank. The
Arlington comic has more than 2 million fans on MySpace [website], sells
out arenas and makes rancid Hollywood rom-coms. How annoying is he?
Just watch his stand-up routine and see.
“BOSTON ROB” MARIANO:
Master manipulator, quote machine and recent winner of “Survivor:
Redemption Island.” The Canton native played his fellow castaways like
puppets in his fourth outing. On “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,” the Boston
University grad threw down with Texan Russell Hantz: “Russell’s a
bonehead. He’s like the Hobbit on crack.”
BOBBY BROWN:
It’s his prerogative — he’s a bad boy. Long before the Roxbury-born New
Edition singer settled down and blew up with Whitney Houston, Brown was
famous for his hard-partying ways. When his recording career went south,
he headed for reality TV: “Celebrity Fit Club,” “Gone Country” and the icing
on the cake, “Being Bobby Brown.”
Boston Herald LOADED: 06.10.2011
571812      Calgary Flames                                                      “So just knowing the coaches, the GM have that confidence in you . . . I’m
                                                                                going to come into camp in the best shape I can, play my game and
                                                                                hopefully show I deserve to play some minutes.”
Calgary Flames sign defenceman Brett Carson                                     Calgary Herald: LOADED: 06.10.2011


By John Down,


It wasn’t about the money. It was the opportunity.
So when the Calgary Flames, with just four defencemen under contract for
the upcoming season, offered pending unrestricted free agent Brett Carson
a two-year, one-way deal, the 25-year-old former Hitmen captain couldn’t
get his pen out fast enough.
“The biggest thing going into this contract negotiation, me and my agent
agreed, for me it really wasn’t about the money right now,” he said, taking a
break from a charity golf outing near his native Regina on Thursday. “I want
the opportunity to play in the NHL and that’s the biggest reason why the
one-way contract was important.
“On a one-way, there’s a better chance they’re going to keep you around
and one thing I wanted was that extra chance . . . to have the confidence
knowing I’m going to be there and be able to go out and play my game.”
He’ll collect $500,000 this season, the same salary he earned last season,
and $600,000 in 2012-13.
Steve Staios, Anton Babchuk, Adam Pardy and Brendan Mikkelson are the
other pending UFAs on the Flames blueline. It would seem unlikely the
team will sign the aging Staios and Babchuk is probably out of their price
range.
The six-foot-four, 220-pound
Carson was plucked off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes last Feb. 28.
He played six of his 78 career games with the Flames after being selected
in the fourth round of 2004 by the Hurricanes.
One of his biggest assets, outside of his size, is his skating and the Flames
exploited it when they used him up front in a game when myriad late-
season injuries thinned their front-line troops considerably.
Now the door is wide open for a permanent job on defence as he joins the
core group of Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr, Mark Giordano and Cory
Sarich.
“Based on his solid play at the end of last season, we believe Brett can be
an everyday defenceman for us, said Flames GM Jay Feaster in a prepared
statement. “In our end-of-season meetings, a number of our top forwards
commented on his consistent ability to get the puck to them in transition,
and we are confident he will continue to develop his overall game.”
Carson admitted he loved the atmosphere in Calgary and hoped all along
he’d be able to don the Flaming C again.
“I’ve been asked a few times if it was an easy or tough decision to skip
going to July 1 (when he would have become a free agent),” he said. “But
I’d told everyone it was an easy decision because Calgary offered me this
deal. Since the end of the season, this is what I wanted to happen.
“Obviously, it’s really exciting.”
Carson, who played four games on defence with Mark Giordano as his
partner, said the Flames players, coaches and management also largely
factored into his decision.
“When I came in, the guys made me feel welcome right off the bat,” he said,
“and I was kind of worried about it because it was my first move in the NHL.
The coaching staff told me to go out and play my game, have fun, that it
was a good opportunity and to see what I could make of it.
“The year-end meeting went well with Jay and the coaches. They said they
saw me in the top six and I believe that’s where I can play. Having that
confidence from the coach and GM makes you feel a lot better about
yourself.
“People might not think it’s a big deal, but for me, kind of going up and
down the last few years, being scared to make mistakes, not knowing if the
coach had that confidence in you night in and night out, it makes the game
a lot tougher.
571813     Calgary Flames


Flames sign Carson to 2-year deal


By STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency


CALGARY - Brett Carson was about to hit the golf course in Regina when
the Calgary Flames announced they’d re-signed the young defenceman to
a new contract.
The two-year, one-way deal worth US$1.15 million speaks volumes about
his hockey potential.
Carson was hopeful it would help his golf game, too.
“I hope it will take a few strokes off my game,” the 25-year-old said with a
laugh. “I haven’t been out much this year.
“Hopefully, this little weight off my shoulders will let me swing a little easier.”
Knowing he was wanted by the organization that plucked him off waivers at
the trade deadline and played him in a half-dozen games down the stretch
will definitely allow Carson to breathe a little easier this summer.
“It was big for me to get the one-way deal — for the money, I guess, but
also I just wanted the opportunity,” Carson said. “I think that gives you more
security — a better chance of sticking around and getting an opportunity to
show you belong. That’s the biggest thing to me.
“Obviously, I’m still fighting for a job and a position, but it will let me play
with a little more confidence knowing there’s a better chance of me sticking
around.”
Another confidence boost comes from the words of Flames GM Jay
Feaster, who said “a number of our top forwards commented on (Carson’s)
consistent ability to get the puck to them in transition” during their end-of-
season meetings with management.
“I didn’t hear about that,” said a flattered Carson. “Confidence in yourself is
big, but if you get confidence (from) your players — especially some of the
top-end guys or the older guys who have been there a while — that’s huge.
“Maybe that’s why this got done, I guess.”
In just six games with the Flames, the former Calgary Hitmen defenceman
quickly re-established his presence in the city. Most importantly, with his
fellow Flames.
Former Carolina Hurricanes teammate Tom Kostopoulos did tell him he’d
heard decent reviews late in the season.
“This Carson kid can actually play,” Carson said, recalling the message he
received from the winger.
“Most of the guys probably didn’t even know my name (coming in). It was
good to hear that.”
Calgary Sun: LOADED: 06.10.2011
571814     Chicago Blackhawks


Marty Turco showing he can hack it on TV


By ADAM L. JAHNS


BOSTON — Veteran goalie -Marty Turco doesn’t believe his playing days
are over. But when they are, TV is an option for the always-approachable
and opinionated Turco, who has been an analyst for NHL Network since the
conference finals.
“I was a little apprehensive at first,” Turco said. “I’ve been asked the last
few years with missing the playoffs and such. I just didn’t feel ready to even
think about post-career.
“But this year, [my wife] Kelly and I talked about it. The opportunity to come
to this network, knowing the guys and even knowing the host, -David
Amber, it seemed to make sense. Let’s go see what this is all about, see if
I’m made for it.”
It turns out he is. Turco said the hardest part is knowing when to end his
commentary and let others chime in. It also wasn’t easy getting accustomed
to the meetings, long hours, production language, wearing an earpiece
while talking, knowing where the cameras are and all the makeup.
“I knew it was going to be harder than it looks,” Turco said. “I didn’t know it
was going to be that difficult. To say the least, I feel like I have room to
improve. It’s been an eye-opening experience. To see a show put together
was really unique.”
NHL Network’s producers like what Turco brings, and he likes the “College
GameDay” feel of the Stanley Cup finals. He even enjoyed getting
showered with boos in Vancouver. It was as if he were still with the
Blackhawks or Dallas Stars.
“They chanted like I was standing in my crease,” Turco said. “Vancouver
fans don’t forget. I threw some snarls out there to see if they’d back down.
Sometimes they did.”
The plan is to stay in the crease.
“I have no plans to be finished,” said Turco, 35. “I anticipate playing next
year and for as long as I can.”
Hawks general manager Stan Bowman told the Sun-Times on Wednesday
that he’s comfortable going with Corey Crawford and Alexander Salak next
season. So Turco likely will be elsewhere. He has no regrets after signing
with the Hawks last season.
“We love Chicago. We’d live there in a heartbeat,” Turco said. “They say it
may not have been a great hockey-card season, but the experience and
memories were top-notch.”
Chicago Sun Times LOADED: 06.10.2011
571815     Chicago Blackhawks                                                    Before winning a Stanley Cup with the Hawks, Cheveldayoff won four AHL
                                                                                 titles during his 12 years with the Wolves.
                                                                                 Now Cheveldayoff goes to work with current True North vice-president
Good sumnmer can put Hawks back on top                                           Craig Heisinger, who was the Brandon equipment manager when
                                                                                 Cheveldayoff played for the WHL’s Wheat Kings in the late ’80s.

By Barry Rozner                                                                  The good guys
                                                                                 The Texas Rangers used a 33rd-round pick to draft Georgia outfielder
                                                                                 Johnathan Taylor, who was paralyzed in March after breaking his neck in
A year after the Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup in a half-century,       an outfield collision with teammate Zach Cone, the Rangers’ second-round
and only a season removed from the cataclysmic salary-cap nightmare that         pick.
cost them half a roster, it’s possible the Hawks may be the Chicago team
closest to winning another title.                                                Next bout

They still have cap problems that will make it difficult to fix the bottom end   Notre Dame boxing champ Mike Lee will return to the ring July 9 at the
of their roster, but the core proved in the first round against Vancouver that   Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., just outside of L.A.
even a Stanley Cup finalist at full strength had precious little edge on the     The 23-year-old Lee will be featured on the undercard of the Showtime
Hawks.                                                                           lightweight championship fight between Brandon Rios and Urbano Antillon.
And now the Canucks will have their own summer of cap conundrums.                Lee is currently 5-0-0 with 3 knockouts.
The rest of the Western Conference is shockingly balanced, and with the          The quote
right moves this summer to add some size on defense and an edge
throughout the roster, the Hawks could be right back in the Cup Finals a         Defending U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell, on Tiger Woods: “Will he
year from now.                                                                   be back? Nobody knows at the minute. There’s obviously a lot going on. His
                                                                                 mental health is one question and his physical health is now another. Golf
Meanwhile, the Bulls have a great future but will have Miami to deal with for    needs him. He has been golf for the last 15 years.”
the next few years, and the Heat only figure to get better before next
season.                                                                          Passing fancy
The Bears have the Super Bowl champs in their division and a Detroit team        Omaha World-Herald’s Brad Dickson: “Tony Romo just got married. If
that could be better than the Bears if they can somehow keep QB Matthew          someone caught the bouquet, the bride has a better passer efficiency rating
Stafford healthy.                                                                than her husband does in big games.”
The Cubs are, well, the Cubs, and the White Sox have gone all in and that        Just asking
should be good enough to win their division this season, but it stresses the
imagination to think at the moment that they’ll be good enough to defeat the     S.F. Chronicle’s Scott Ostler: “Before those Ohio State kids are allowed to
Red Sox or Phillies in a seven-game series.                                      return to the football team, shouldn’t they be required to return their
                                                                                 tattoos?”
That brings us back to the Hawks, who will get a long summer to rest and
regenerate.                                                                      And finally …

There is much work to be done before they are again the favorites to come        Miami Herald’s Greg Cote, on the MLB draft: “This is where your team
out of the West, but they have many of the right players in place if GM Stan     drafts guys you have never heard of who might or might not make the big
Bowman can add and subtract in proper fashion.                                   club in around five years. Otherwise it’s pretty exciting.”

They’re far ahead of last summer knowing they have a superb goaltender in        Daily Herald Times LOADED: 06.10.2011
Corey Crawford, and they have every right to be encouraged by what they
saw late from Michael Frolik, Chris Campoli, Nick Leddy and Ben Smith.
If someone like Jeremy Morin arrives to provide some scoring depth, there’s
reason to be optimistic.
So Bowman’s got work to do, but if he can work some magic, a few months
from now it might very well be the Hawks who look like the next Chicago
team poised to win it all.
The last leg
Only two of the last 19 Belmont winners have had the lead after a mile, and
Preakness winner Shackleford (9-2) will probably be out front again
Saturday with Derby winner Animal Kingdom (2-1) chasing.
Animal Kingdom is a wonderful horse, but perhaps fatigue from the last few
races finally gets him here in the stretch.
Nehro (4-1) started from the 19 post in the Derby and worked his way up to
lose to Animal Kingdom at the finish, and he skipped the Preakness
knowing five of the last 11 Belmont winners have run the Derby and passed
on the Preakness.
Nehro would seem to be the one to beat, but the pick here is Master Of
Hounds (10-1), who went from 15th to fifth late in the Derby after getting a
terrible trip inside. Trainer Aidan O’Brien brings him back from Ireland after
the break, so he must think he’s got a serious chance.
Look for Nehro and Animal Kingdom to hit the board for a piece again.
Ivan Boldirev-ing
Congrats to former Hawks assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, who took over
as Winnipeg GM on Wednesday.
571816     Chicago Blackhawks


Sharp remembers Cup win; hungry for more


By Tracey Myers


The Chicago Blackhawks will always have a fond memory of June 9, 2010.
An odd-angled goal that ends a 49-year drought will certainly make a date
indelible.
While the Blackhawks are in the midst of a break that’s lasting longer than
they would’ve liked, Thursday they’re also celebrating their one-year
anniversary of winning the Stanley Cup.
“It’s nice being off but tough watching the games. A year ago today was
pretty special,” Patrick Sharp told the Chicago Tribune Live panel on
Thursday night. “(Patrick Kane) basically threw it on net. I just remember
skating down the ice. We knew it was special.”
Sharp was on the ice when Kane’s bizarre, Cup-clinching goal went through
Philadelphia goaltender Michael Leighton, and he was the second player to
get to goaltender Antti Niemi to start the celebration. A year later, various
Blackhawks were reminiscing through various media outlets about that
night in Philadelphia, and how disappointing it was to finish abruptly this
season.
Granted, the Blackhawks didn’t hang their heads too heavily this season.
They had a tremendous amount of turnover, as half a roster had to adjust to
the Blackhawks’ way of playing in a season. Remaining players didn’t get
much of any offseason to prep for a Cup repeat. Yet they forced a seventh
game against the Vancouver Canucks, one which Sharp nearly won in
overtime with his power-play attempt.
Now resting and with little turnover expected this offseason – especially
compared to last summer – the Blackhawks are ready to vie for the Cup
again. Sharp said he’s certainly not happy with just one.
“You’re extra motivated,” he told CTL. “Growing up it was a dream of mine
and doing that at 28, by no means do I think my career is over. You saw
how our team responded. We’re still living off that championship. There’s
nothing more I want to do than get that again.”
By the end of next week, the Blackhawks’ reign as Cup champions will
officially be over. The Cup will belong to someone else. But the memories
of June 9, 2010, will always be theirs.
Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.10.2011
571817     Chicago Blackhawks                                                       increasing, Niemi made a number of Cup-saving stops. But with 3:59
                                                                                    remaining, Hartnell continued his Blackhawks-killing ways with his second
                                                                                    goal of the game, and again the game was knotted.
A year later, relive Blackhawks Stanley Cup win                                     [WATCH: Blackhawks land in Chicago after winning Stanley Cup]
                                                                                    After Hartnell's score, momentum had flipped completely for Philly, winning
By Brett Ballantini                                                                 faceoffs and forcing the Blackhawks into successive icings. With two
                                                                                    minutes left, Niemi stopped a final flurry, punctuated by a save on Mike
                                                                                    Richards that was accomplished by diving forward with his face.

PHILADELPHIA -- Daylong showers postponed a Philadelphia Phillies                   "I don't think he would have thrown his gloves off like that if he wasn't 100%
game, displaced the Flyers' pregame "block party" and dampened orange-              sure -- he sold it pretty good if the puck didn't go in. But it was kind of an
clad fans' spirits.                                                                 awkward celebration. We didn't know what to do."

But they did herald the end of the longest Stanley Cup drought in the NHL,          -- Jonathan Toews, on Patrick Kane's Stanley Cup-clinching goal in
as the Chicago Blackhawks ended their 49-year ringless reign with a 4-3             overtime
overtime win over Philadelphia.
                                                                                    It was almost as if the rookie netminder was trying to reinsert himself into
Patrick Kane had the game-winner at 4:06 of overtime, surely the most               the Conn Smythe picture, as his noggin block produced audible gasps in
puzzlingly gorgeous Cup-clincher in Stanley Cup history. As players on both         the crowd. For the unflappable Finn, it was just another save at the office.
teams began to drag after 64 minutes of grueling, fast-paced action, Crazy
88 turned on the afterburners to turn the corner and thread the needle on a         "My team played good in front of me," Niemi said. "Of course, at the end it
shot for the win that, short of Kane, none of the 20,327 at the Wachovia            was getting pretty tricky. You're tired and playing just with feel then and
Center realized had gone in.                                                        hoping the puck won't go in. I'm happy my head stopped [Richards]."

"I don't think he would have thrown his gloves off like that if he wasn't 100%      All the momentum had flipped Philly's way, in front of a home crowd not
sure -- he sold it pretty good if the puck didn't go in," Blackhawks captain --     only wearing giveaway orangewear but fully slipping on the Cinderella
and 2010 Conn Smythe Trophy winner -- Jonathan Toews said. "But it was              galosh. A lesser team -- a team willing to shrink outta Pennsylvania tied 3-3
kind of an awkward celebration. We didn't know what to do."                         and encounter 48 hours of jibba-jabba before a back-against-wall Game 7 --
                                                                                    would have folded.
"We kind of stood there on the bench, until we saw [Kane] toss his gloves,"
Blackhawks forward Troy Brouwer said. "Then one guy threw his leg over              Not your Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. In the dressing room after
the wall, and we were off."                                                         regulation ended, the room was characteristically quiet. But there was still a
                                                                                    message to share.
In back of the bench, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville knew the goal to
be true.                                                                            "We just said that someone has to get that feeling," Toews said. "Someone
                                                                                    has to be the hero."
"I heard the sound, it was a funny sound," Cool Hand Q said. "Nobody knew
where the puck was. Kaner thought it was in ... and the guys knew. That's           In overtime, Richards and Claude Giroux put heavy pressure on Niemi just
why they celebrated. When I saw the net lift and the puck in the back, I            20 seconds in. Philadelphia continued pressing, forcing Brent Seabrook to
said, 'OK, the party is on.'"                                                       make a diving, game-saving poke check on a breakaway shortly after to
                                                                                    preserve the contest.
[WATCH: Blackhawks celebrate Stanley Cup win in locker room]
                                                                                    "At that point, you've just got to do what it takes," said the heavy-hitting d-
In a breathless, back-and-forth affair, Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Sharp and         man. "You're not worried about dead legs or injury -- you have to stop the
Andrew Ladd scored for Chicago, while Antti Niemi stopped an increasingly           puck."
difficult 21 shots to earn his franchise-record 16th postseason win.
                                                                                    Seabrook's blue line partner, Keith, who was a Conn Smythe finalist for
The Blackhawks opened the game with excruciating pressure on                        reasons not the least of which were seven lost chiclets during the game that
Philadelphia, garnering the better scoring chances and pelting Flyers goalie        clinched a Cup berth for Chicago, said his dental surgery was well worth it,
Michael Leighton with five shots in the first four minutes. And Chicago             and added, "We all sacrificed. Our team effort is always huge. Tonight was
missed its best chance early on when Duncan Keith clanged a slapper off             the biggest, and when you're going for the Cup, that's just how it's
the iron and Toews whiffed on a wide-open rebound.                                  supposed to work out."

With regard to penalties, the only whistles of the first came on Brents and         [WATCH: Check out uncut footage from Blackhawks parade]
Prongers: Blackhawk Sopel earned two interference penalties, teammate
Seabrook an elbow, and on the flip side two Prongs penalties rounded                Kane, a youngster still shy of kindergarten the last time the Blackhawks
things out. Little damage came of the first three -- in fact, Philadelphia failed   were in the Stanley Cup Finals, turned out to the hero his teammates
to record a shot on goal during its first two power plays. But with Pronger         sought before overtime.
boxed for the second time, Byfuglien camped in the crease and notched the           "I can't believe this just happened," Kane said. "It's something you dream of
first goal of the game -- making it two straight contests scoring a power-play      as a kid, to score the winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals. It was just -- it
goal with the 6-foot-6 Philly menace in the pen. But when Iron Giant was            was unbelievable."
sent off for the second time with less than a minute left in the first, Scott
Hartnell got the Blackhawks back after cashing the disc in from the crease          Pretty much sums it up for the thousands of revelers who took to the
to tie the game at 1.                                                               streets, honking horns, high-fiving and pulling on their redwear to celebrate
                                                                                    a first in most of our lifetimes.
After a breathless first, fans wouldn't have been wrong for expecting that
the second stanza would be a slowdown affair. But such was not the case,            Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.10.2011
as just 30 seconds in Simon Gagne was stoned on a breakaway by Niemi.
Some three minutes later, Ladd broke loose and was busted by Leighton.
Twelve minutes in, superscorer Danny Briere got loose deep on a two-on-
one to beat Niemi, a play precipitated by Keith getting tripped up by
Hartnell, creating a vacuum on the Blackhawks blue line. A couple of
minutes later, Keith exacted revenge during a four-on-four, feeding Sharp
for a soft goal to knot the game back up again.
With just two and a half minutes left in the second, Niklas Hjalmarsson
would up with a master-blaster that Ladd timed perfectly and tipped past
Leighton, and with a back-breaking goal late, Chicago went up, 3-2.
The third period proceeded just as frenetically as the first 40 minutes of the
game, and with time running short and Philadelphia's desperation
571818     Colorado Avalanche                                                    terms of bringing the effort and bringing our game, if we could honestly say
                                                                                 we had done that, that there was no doubt in my mind that we were the
                                                                                 better team and we had to make sure to bring that out. I said if we did that,
Bourque reminisces on 10th anniversary of Avs' last Cup                          there was no doubt it was going back to Denver for Game 7."
                                                                                 Bourque laughed, remembering that the Devils dominated early, but
                                                                                 couldn't score.
By Terry Frei
                                                                                 "After Footer scored that goal halfway through the first, we kind of took off
                                                                                 and dominated," Bourque said of the 4-0 victory. "But those first 10 minutes
                                                                                 were tough and, thank God, Patrick was ready for it."
After 22 seasons in the NHL, Ray Bourque finally got his hands on the
Stanley Cup on June 9, 2001. (John Leyba, Denver Post file )                     Asked about his memories of the rest of the playoff run, Bourque said: "I
                                                                                 remember finding a way to mess it up and get to seven games with Los
Ray Bourque probably won't need to check caller ID.                              Angeles in the second round. We made it so hard on ourselves. Then we
                                                                                 show up at the rink the next day and hear that (Forsberg) won't be able to
"Every time June 9 rolls around, I know exactly who's going to call me that
                                                                                 play the rest of the playoffs and thinking, 'Are you kidding me?'
night," Bourque said this week from the Boston area. "Shjon Podein calls
me every year on that night and we just reminisce."                              "Then Joe (Sakic) hurts his shoulder and he's playing with a bum shoulder,
                                                                                 and we're wondering, 'How are we going to get this done?' Then that
He laughed and added, "Where does the time go?"
                                                                                 conference final against St. Louis was one of the toughest series I ever
Yes, today is the 10th anniversary of the Avalanche's second NHL                 played in because of how they punished our 'D' the whole series long. I
championship, secured with a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at the       don't think I've ever been hit as much as I was in that one series."
Pepsi Center in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. It's the last
                                                                                 Ten years after his retirement, Bourque, 50, serves as a spokesman for TD
championship won by one of the big four pro teams in town.
                                                                                 Bank; owns a popular restaurant, Tresca, in Boston's North End; and acts
Bourque, the defenseman finishing his 22nd NHL season, was on the                as a host for the arena's Premium Club at about 10 Bruins home games a
receiving end of a touch pass of the Stanley Cup from captain Joe Sakic,         season. And, of course, he is paying close attention to the Cup Finals
and raised pro sport's most famous championship trophy overhead. It              series matching the Bruins and Vancouver.
produced a Kodak moment that ever since has been considered one of the
                                                                                 "I was a Boston Bruin for almost 21 years and the biggest regret I have is
NHL's defining Images.
                                                                                 not being able to deliver a Stanley Cup here for this organization and these
The reaction of Podein, the Minnesota-born third-line winger, also indicated     fans," he said. "To see them back in the Finals after so long, since 1990, is
another of the Cup's qualities. The Cup is passed around because in              exciting."
hockey, the championship accomplishment is inevitably communal,
                                                                                 Despite all that, he said he still has ties to Colorado.
arguably more so than in the other sports. So Podein didn't take off his
uniform or equipment until the next night.                                       "It was a great place to play, a great place to live, and the fans were
                                                                                 unbelievable," he said.
"You know what?" Bourque asked. "He probably puts it back on each June
9, for 25 hours."                                                                And most important for Ray Bourque, it culminated with a hoist of the Cup.
That Avs team, coached by Bob Hartley, seems a Hall of Fame roll call,           Denver Post: LOADED: 06.10.2011
especially in retrospect. Bourque and goalie Patrick Roy already are
enshrined. Centers Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, plus defenseman Rob
Blake, are locks once they become eligible — Sakic next year, Blake in
2013 and Forsberg in 2014, if he sticks to his recently announced
retirement. Recently retired defenseman Adam Foote also could draw some
support.
The Avalanche rolled up 118 points, a league high, during the 2000-01
season to win the Presidents' Trophy. But Colorado also was coming off
consecutive seventh-game losses in the Western Conference finals to the
Dallas
Stars and faced the additional pressure of knowing it would go down as an
underachieving — if much-admired — team had it won "only" one
championship in those first six seasons after the move of the Quebec
Nordiques to Denver.
Also, Bourque probably was going to have to hang up his skates without
ever raising the Cup in 20-plus seasons with the Boston Bruins and the two
playoff runs with Colorado.
"If anything, it grows bigger and better," Bourque said. "This year, it could
go to June 15, but whenever the winner hoists the Stanley Cup, it brings
back so many memories. It reminds you of the feelings you shared, of how
hard it is to win the Cup and everything that has to go into it."
Bourque had four goals and 10 points in Colorado's 21 playoff games,
playing in a tandem with Foote, but his most-remembered — if often
mischaracterized — contribution was a locker-room speech before Game 6
of the Finals at New Jersey. The Avalanche had just lost 4-1 in Game 5 at
home to fall down 3-2 in the series. And they had been without Forsberg
since Game 7 of the second-round series against Los Angeles after he
underwent emergency surgery to remove his spleen.
"I remembered the Chopper Travaglini Dinner they have every year there,
the big fundraiser where all the sports teams are involved," Bourque said.
"Mike Ditka was the speaker and he finished his speech by talking about
the man in the mirror.
"I just told the team that if every single player after the game could look in
the mirror and be able to say to a man that we did everything we could in
571819    Dallas Stars


Stars bring back two minor league forwards


Mike Heika


The Stars on Thursday re-signed minor league forwards Travis Morin and
Colton Sceviour. Both played mainly with the Texas Stars last season.
Both signed two-year, two-way contracts, meaning they will get paid at
different levels if they are playing in the NHL or AHL. Morin, 26, will make
$525,000 at the NHL level and $125,000 at the minor league level, with a
minimum guarantee of $150,000 each year. He had 21 goals and 24 assists
in 64 games last season with the Texas Stars and played three NHL
games.
Sceviour, 22, will make $525,000 at the NHL level and $75,000 if he is in
the minors. Sceviour had 16 goals and 25 assists in the AHL last season
and played one NHL game.
Dallas Morning News LOADED: 06.10.2011
571820     Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom still undecided, cites need for motivation


By GEORGE SIPPLE


Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom appeared on Jim Rome's radio
show this afternoon and said he's still deciding whether to retire. Lidstrom
said general manager Ken Holland told him he could wait until July 1 -- the
start of free agency -- to make up his mind.
The 41-year-old sounded like he he wasn't going to make the decision any
time soon.
"I'm going to take my time and really consider what I'm going to do,"
Lidstrom said. "I'm still healthy but, to me, it's more motivation."
If he decides to return, it would necessitate a summer of off-season
conditioning to prepare for another long season.
"For me, it's just finding that motivation to go through that off-season
training and get ready for another year," Lidstrom said.
Lidstrom is a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman.
He'll find out whether he'll win for a seventh time at the NHL awards show
June 22 in Las Vegas. Lidstrom also is a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy,
given the player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, and the Mark Messier
Leadership Award.
“I haven’t talked to Nick in about 10 days,” Holland told espn.com. “I know
he went on a family vacation, and he just got back. I’m hoping no news is
good news; that’s what I’m hoping.”
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 06.10.2011
571821     Detroit Red Wings


Offseason training more difficult for Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom


Ted Kulfan/ The Detroit News


Detroit — Nicklas Lidstrom still doesn't know if he'll return to the Red Wings
next season.
Lidstrom, appearing on the Jim Rome Show on Thursday to promote the
NHL Awards Show, said he's still unsure about coming back for a 20th
season.
"I'm going to take my time and really consider what I want to do," said
Lidstrom, 41, a finalist for the Norris Trophy (best defenseman), Lady Byng
Trophy (sportsmanship) and Mark Messier Leadership Award.
Wings general manager Ken Holland told Lidstrom he needs a decision by
July 1, which marks the start of unrestricted free agency.
Motivation is a key issue for Lidstrom.
"It's more motivation, committing to the offseason training," Lidstrom said.
"It's very hard to get ready for a long year, and then you have the long
season in itself."
Lidstrom said as athletes get older, dedication to an offseason training
program becomes more difficult.
"It is a little bit harder as you get older," Lidstrom said. "You have to train
even harder to stay at that level where you want to be.
"For myself, I have to train even harder to reach where I want to be able
play at."
Holland said early this week he expects a decision from Lidstrom around
the time of the NHL Awards Show, which is Wednesday, June 22. Lidstrom
leaves for Sweden for the summer that weekend.
Detroit News LOADED: 06.10.2011
571822     Detroit Red Wings                                                       "Thomas is huge, right now," Walker said. "A lot of it is his unorthodox style.
                                                                                   But it's his personality, too. He could be driving an 18-wheeler!
                                                                                   "He's not handsome. He's not running around town with super models. He
Davison native Tim Thomas' reputation soars in Cup Finals                          has this really everyday-guy quality to him, and people love him."
                                                                                   It does not hurt in an eternally-proper town that Thomas is preternaturally
Gregg Krupa/ The Detroit News                                                      polite.
                                                                                   Straying from the net seconds into overtime in Game 2 to challenge
                                                                                   Burrows and unable to recover when Burrows scored the winning goal, talk
Better known perhaps for academia and its true blood sport, politics, than         radio and scribes in Boston characteristically forgot "who brought them to
its sport teams, Boston nevertheless keeps an old secret: It truly is the          this point." Criticism heaped on the blue-collar goalie.
Bruins' town.
                                                                                   But when the occasionally brutal Boston press corps fired at him, face-to-
Given a wealth of championships won by the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots           face, Thomas deflected.
since the Bruins last won the Stanley Cup in 1972, a whole generation of
Bostonians was not fully aware of the singular attraction of their hockey          "I have a pretty good idea of how to play goalie," he said. Then, he smiled
team, until this Spring.                                                           broadly, making clear he intended no offense.

Now, they know.                                                                    "I'm not going to be taking suggestions or advice at this time," he said. "I'm
                                                                                   just going to keep playing the way I have."
And teaching the lesson is a pudgy, little, unorthodox goalie from the Flint
area, Tim Thomas, 37, whose career blossomed improbably late.                      The fans loved it, even before he talked about body-checking Sedin.

"Timmy Thomas is contributing 100 percent," said Buddy Sheehan,                    "He was catching the puck," Thomas said. "That happens a lot in practice
manager of The Sevens Ale House, at the foot of Beacon Hill near the State         off of rebounds and stuff like that. I get scored on, if I sit back and try to
House, as he watched the televised replay of Thomas shutting out the               react to where he sits the puck down with his hand.
Vancouver Canucks Wednesday night. "The whole town is into this guy.               "I had a hundredth of second to make a decision of what I was going to do."
He's got everyone believing in the Bruins.
                                                                                   What he did was to throw himself at Sedin, knocking him on his butt before
"I think it's his age, and the way he plays like he's in his 20s."                 he could make the play.
Welcomed distraction                                                               Goalies rarely check. This one was devastating.
Sheehan and others at taverns around The Olde Towne saw something                  As play continued, the CBC displayed a graphic on its broadcast. "Tim
rare Wednesday: With the Red Sox and Yankees on television, few fans               Thomas: Saves 34. Hits 1."
were interested.
                                                                                   "He's done it with that style of sort of spiraling around, and throwing himself
"I did not have one person ask for the Red Sox game, last night," Sheehan          on the ice, and using every piece of his body to stop the puck," said Mike
said. "All of the televisions had the Bruins on, and no one asked for the ball     Mutnansky, a host on radio station WEEI.
game."
                                                                                   "In 16 hours on radio this week, the Red Sox are completely back-burner
Thomas has Bostonians forgetting about the Celtics'poor playoff                    conversation," Mutnansky said. "It is amazing. If you had told me in June of
performance this year, what Tom Brady is doing during the NFL lockout and          2011 the Red Sox would get very little attention from sports fans and all the
the fact that despite an awful start the Red Sox are back in the thick of it.      fans want to talk about is Tim Thomas and the Bruins, I would have told you
Giving up just one goal in two games in Boston during the Stanley Cup              you were crazy.
Finals — and that one only when his team had a five-goal lead - Thomas             "It is, by far, the craziest I have ever seen it for the Bruins. Right now, it is a
has rekindled debate about whether the NHL trumps Major League                     Bruins' town, no ifs, ands or buts about it."
Baseball, the NBA and the NFL, in Boston.
                                                                                   The big, little man
"They've always had a big fan base," said Marc O'Brien, who tends bar at
Anchovies in the South End. "But it's been kind of dormant over the years.         Name Timothy James (Tim) Thomas Jr.
"Everybody's on board, now, though, the diehards, the bandwagons,                  Age: 37
everyone.
                                                                                   Birthplace: Flint, Michigan.
"Thomas has been great," O'Brien said. "People want to complain about the
unorthodox style, but you can't argue with the success."                           Height: 5'11" (listed).

In the 1970s, when the Red Auerbach era ended for Celtics' fans, the Red           Weight: 201 pounds (listed).
Sox were eternally frustrating and the New England Patriots were either an         Nickname: The Tank.
NFL team or Paul Revere's pals, depending on whom one asked, the
Bruins ruled Boston.                                                               High school team: Davison (MI.) Cardinals.
While Celtics won 10 of 12 championships from 1957 to 1969, somehow                College team: University of Vermont Catamounts.
the Bruins, with their three decades-old Stanley Cups, trumped the Celtics.
                                                                                   Drafted: 217TH overall, 1994, Quebec Nordiques.
Then Bobby Orr showed up, the Bruins won two more, in 1970 and 1972,
and everyone talked about how "the Broons" had always ruled.                       NHL debut: 2002, age 28

But a string of championships by the Celtics, the Patriots, the Red Sox and        Starting goalie: 2005, age 31, Boston Bruins.
the Celtics, again, over the past 25 years had fans proclaiming their town
                                                                                   Awards: 2009 Vezina Trophy, best goaltender in the NHL; NHL All-Star,
"The City of Champions," and omitting the old favorites.
                                                                                   2008, 2009, 2010; 2011 Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award, best save
Emerging icon                                                                      percentage in the NHL.

With Thomas making brilliant saves, fighting Alex Burrows and body-                Key to success: Yoga-based training to increase dexterity and flexibility.
checking Henrik Sedin, the "Spoked-B" again transcends in the Cradle of
                                                                                   Vancouvervs. Boston
Democracy.
                                                                                   Best-of-7 (if necessary)
"I have lived here for 22 years and I have always been told that deep down
this is the Bruins' town, and the last three weeks is the first time I have ever   Series tied 2-2
seen that," said Adrian Walker, a metro columnist for The Boston Globe.
                                                                                   June 1: Vancouver 1,Boston 0
June 5: Vancouver 3, Boston 2 (OT)
June 6: Boston 8, Vancouver 1
Wed.: Boston 4, Vancouver 0
Today: at Vancouver, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC
Monday: at Boston, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC
Wednesday*: at Vancouver, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC
Detroit News LOADED: 06.10.2011
571823     Detroit Red Wings


Wearing any jersey other than the Red Wings' 'just wouldn't be right'


By Philip Zaroo


BIRMINGHAM — Kris Draper has nothing to hide. After 18 years with one
franchise, he's willing to let the Detroit Red Wings decide his fate.
The four-time Stanley Cup winner is a free agent and would love to have
another chance to make it five titles, but he's leaving it up to Red Wings
general manager Ken Holland.
"If Kenny could've seen me working out here, I think he would've made a
decision right away," Draper said at a Detroit Lions player-organized
workout on Wednesday. "I think (the Lions players) wanted you out; I
wanted you guys to stay, I'll be honest with you. I wanted Kenny to see
exactly what I was doing."
Draper was invited to the practice by Lions offensive linemen Dominic
Raiola and Stephen Peterman. The 40-year-old held his own with much
younger players, thanks to his tireless work ethic and familiarity with the
exercises. Draper works with Art of Strength owner Mike Knight, who has
led the Lions' voluntary practices during the NFL lockout.
While Draper wouldn't completely ruling out going to another team if
Holland decides against re-signing him, he did admit it would be a longshot.
"I've played out a lot of different scenarios in my mind," he said. "To be
honest with you, for me to go and play hockey somewhere else for a year
would be pretty selfish on my part. I know my wife and my family would
support anything I do – I know (if) you ask my 9-year-old son, there's no
way he thinks his dad's finished playing hockey.
"It'll be a tough decision, no doubt. I love this organization. I wanna play
here; I told Kenny Holland that. I've been here so long. You never say
'never' in professional sports, but I couldn't see myself playing for another
team and wearing another team's colors. To me, it just wouldn't be right."
For the first time since the 1994-95 season, Draper played in fewer than 50
games (47), scoring just six goals to go along with five assists. Age aside,
he believes he can still contribute to the Red Wings next season.
Yet only Holland will make that determination.
"I just turned 40 a couple of weeks ago," Draper said. "I felt great this year, I
really did. I think that's why I feel that I can still play. That's why I've been
training the way I've been training right now – to make sure that I am ready
to go. I did what I always do when the season ends – take about a week off
and then get back to working out.
"I feel real good right now working out, coming to the gym. I love it. This has
been fun today. I want to play. I think I can play, but I have to have Kenny
Holland believing in me, that I can still play hockey. If that's the case, I'll do
anything I can for this hockey club, like I always have. And if it's not, then
(I'll) sit down with my family and talk about it, sit down with Kenny, and see
what the future would be within this organization."
Michigan Live LOADED: 06.10.2011
571824     Detroit Red Wings


After working out with Detroit Lions players, I'll stick to the NHL


Philip Zaroo


BIRMINGHAM — Really, it's not what it looks like.
Just because the Red Wings' Kris Draper was working out with the Detroit
Lions on Wednesday, it doesn't mean the veteran center is looking to
switch sports.
In fact, as a free agent, Draper would be content with getting just one more
shot at another Stanley Cup with Detroit, where he's played for 18 years.
No, Draper has become friends with offensive linemen Dominic Raiola and
Stephen Peterman, who invited him to join the Lions for their player-
organized workout at Detroit Country Day.
For years, Draper has worked out with Art of Strength head trainer and
owner Mike Knight, who has been leading the Lions' workouts during the
NFL lockout. So the 40-year-old hockey player was familiar with the
exercises and hung tough with the football players, despite being
generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 188 pounds.
"Yeah, I've worked with Mike before," Draper said, "but these guys – they
are just some big human beings. I think that's probably the one thing I
noticed – just how big, strong and powerful these guys are."
"Some of these guys they have 120 pounds, 130 pounds on me. But it was
fun."
Draper has been on the player end of lockouts twice in his career: in 1994
and 2004. He's also been on the Red Wings' last four Stanley Cup-winning
teams. The veteran thinks the Lions players are doing the right thing by
holding the voluntary practices on their own.
"I think it's awesome that these guys are getting together like this," he said.
"Anytime you can get your team together like this, it's obviously great. ...
"I'm a big Lions fan and a big NFL fan, and hopefully, something can get
resolved and they can play."
Michigan Live LOADED: 06.10.2011
571825     Edmonton Oilers                                                        Tugnutt is Hockey Canada’s goalie consultant and will be assisted by
                                                                                  former Oiler and ex-Dallas Stars goalie coach/assistant coach Andy Moog,
                                                                                  among others. Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk, who was part of Canada’s
Ken Lowe back with the Oilers                                                     world championship team this spring, will be a goalie mentor ... Dillon
                                                                                  Simpson, Craig’s son, has been working with Oilers skating coach Steve
                                                                                  Serdachny. He knows he has to improve his footspeed.

By Jim Matheson                                                                   Edmonton Journal: LOADED: 06.10.2011



EDMONTON - One day last week, TSN ran a picture on its website of Ryan
Nugent-Hopkins working out at the NHL scouting combine. In the
background was Ken Lowe, the former Edmonton Oilers trainer.
Ken Lowe? What was he doing there?
Well, it turns out that the long-time trainer, who was with the Oilers for two
decades and for all five of the Stanley Cup championships — along with
working for Hockey Canada internationally — until the Oilers changed
trainers after the 2009-10 season, is back with the NHL club.
Lowe, who got his start as the Edmonton Eskimos trainer, is now co-
ordinator of medical services. He approached the club with the idea of
getting closer to the medical staffs of junior and college teams.
T.D Forss is still the Oilers trainer, but Lowe will have a large hand in
working with junior trainers and college team trainers and the players the
Oilers draft or have drafted to make sure the NHL team has a handle on
their medical care.
“Every kid that we’ve drafted (in the past), I’ve given him my card if he goes
back to junior and I tell them, ‘Have your trainer phone me.’ I never heard
from them. I can understand. By the time they get back to their junior
teams, they’re seven or eight games into their season and the last thing
(the trainers) need do is talk to me,” said Lowe, who will be working in Billy
Moores’ player development department but also talking often with chief
amateur scout Stu MacGregor.
The Oilers want to build up a better rapport with the training staffs in junior
or college in case one of their players gets hurt. Not only that, but they want
the training staffs to know the NHL team cares about what’s going on.
“The trainers are well-trained, but they’ve never been brought into the
process. I talked to the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) trainers and they’re
excited. I think this is an untapped resource. We’ve also got (Oilers head of
medicine) Dr. Dhiren Naidu sending the junior trainers a questionnaire on
what they’d like to hear from an NHL trainer. We want a close relationship
with them,” said Lowe.
After taking a year off and being in the running for training jobs with two
CFL teams, Lowe was in Toronto for the combine last week looking at
medical reports of the prospects the Oilers are interested in.
“We’d like to know if a player has a history of a bad shoulder or knee, or
how many concussions they have had. We’re hearing now that Sidney
Crosby might have had a couple of concussions before he got to the
National Hockey League. Why weren’t they diagnosed? Because their
hands are full in junior. Often, a trainer is doing both jobs (the other is
equipment manager). I’ll follow up on those things,” said Lowe.
ON THE BENCH: Longtime equipment manager Barrie Stafford, who was
part of the training staff change in 2010, works for the Oilers on special
projects. He was heavily involved with the dressing room construction of
Edmonton’s American Hockey League farm team in Oklahoma City last
summer. Lyle Kulchisky, the colourful assistant equipment man, now does
work for the Oilers’ alumni ... Chris Botta, who has the pulse of the New
York Islanders on his Islanderspointblank.com website, says they’ll be
bringing back two toughies — Trevor Gillies, who was suspended twice last
year, and middleweight scrapper Micheal Haley, who have both been
plugged as guests at their entry draft party — but let centre Zenon
Konopka, 30, walk. The Islanders tried to deal Konopka at the trade
deadline for his faceoff prowess (57 per cent), but weren’t offered anything
higher than a fifth-rounder. The Oilers should be all over Konopka as a free
agent July 1, even if he has almost zero offensive ability (two goals, nine
points) because he can win a draw and he’ll stick up for his teammates. He
had 25 fights last year, 33 in 2009-10 ... Oilers 2010 draft Tyler Bunz of the
Medicine Hat Tigers is one of 10 goalies at Hockey Canada’s Program of
Excellence goaltending camp, which started Thursday in Calgary. Four
goalies will advance to Canada’s world junior team’s summer development
camp at Rexall Place in early August. Local product Kent Simpson of the
Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips, a second-round draft pick of
the Chicago Blackhawks last summer, was among the invitees. Ron
571826    Montreal Canadiens


Canadiens re-sign Andrei Kostitsyn


MONTREAL— The Canadian Press


The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed left-winger Andrei Kostitsyn to a
one-year deal, the club announced Thursday.
The 26-year-old scored 20 goals and added 25 assists in 81 games for the
Habs in 2010-11.
He added two goals in six playoffs games as Montreal bowed out to the
Boston Bruins in the first round.
“Andrei Kostitsyn is an important part of our group of forwards, and we are
happy to have agreed to a contract extension with him,” Canadiens general
manager Pierre Gautier said in a statement. “As a player drafted and
developed by the Canadiens organization, Andrei ranks year after year
amongst our point leaders.”
Born in Novopolotsk, Belarus, Kostitsyn was the Canadiens' first round
selection (10th overall) in the 2003 entry draft.
Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.10.2011
571827     Montreal Canadiens


Montreal Canadiens sign Andrei Kostitsyn to one-year contract


Montreal Gazette


MONTREAL - The Canadiens have locked up restricted free-agent Andrei
Kostitsyn to a one-year contract, the club announced on Thursday.
Kostitsyn will earn $3.25 million next season, the same amount he made in
2010-11.
“Andrei Kostitsyn is an important part of our group of forwards, and we are
happy to have agreed to a contract extension with him. As a player drafted
and developed by the Canadiens organization, Andrei ranks year after year
amongst our point leaders,” Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier
said in a statement.
During the 2010-11 season, the 26-year-old Kostitsyn scored 20 goals and
added 25 assists in 81 regular season games. He added two goals in six
playoff contests.
Born in Novopolotsk, Belarus, Kostitsyn is entering his seventh season with
the Canadiens. The 6-foot, 213-pound forward has recorded 186 points.
The winger was the Canadiens’ first round selection, 10th overall in the
2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Montreal Gazette LOADED: 06.10.2011
571828     Montreal Canadiens


Canadiens re-sign Kostitsyn


By QMI Agency


MONTREAL - Forward Andrei Kostitsyn signed a one-year contract worth a
reported $3.25 million with the Montreal Canadiens Thursday, less than a
month before the three-year deal he signed in 2008 expired.
"Andrei Kostitsyn is an important part of our group of forwards, and we are
happy to have agreed to a contract extension with him," Canadiens general
manager Pierre Gauthier said. "As a player drafted and developed by the
Canadiens organization, Andrei ranks year after year amongst our point
leaders."
Kostitsyn, the Canadiens' first-round draft pick in 2003, had 20 goals and 25
assists in 81 games during the 2010-11 season. He has played 326 career
NHL games, all with the Canadiens.
Montreal Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
571829     Nashville Predators


Lane Lambert hired by Nashville Predators


Staff


The Predators didn’t have to look far to find their new assistant coach.
Milwaukee Admirals Coach Lane Lambert is joining the Nashville staff,
according to sources close to the situation.
The Admirals, who are the Predators’ affiliate in the American Hockey
League, have called a press conference for today. The Predators did not
immediately comment.
“He has done an excellent job of being able to look at our players and know
what their strengths and weaknesses are and put them in a position to
succeed,” Predators Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton said last
week.
Lambert, 46, effectively replaces associate coach Brent Peterson, who will
be moved to an undefined coaching role within the organization. Peterson
was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease eight years ago, and was unable
to continue his on-ice duties at the end of this season.
Lambert’s promotion comes as the Predators face the potential for more
staff upheaval. Assistant coach Peter Horachek recently interviewed for the
Dallas Stars head coaching position. The Stars have not named a coach.
Lambert has been with the Predators organization since 2006, when he
was named a Milwaukee assistant. He became Admirals coach in 2007.
He has developed much of Nashville’s NHL talent. Predators who played
for Lambert in Milwaukee include forwards Patric Hornqvist, Nick Spaling
and Blake Geoffrion, defensemen Jonathon Blum and Cody Franson.
Tennessean LOADED: 06.10.2011
571830     New Jersey Devils                                                     6-7, 240, 12/21/92, L, Boston, Mass.
                                                                                 Northeastern Univ. (HEA)
Devils' Jon Merrill invited to 2011 U.S. national junior evaluation camp         D Robbie Russo
                                                                                 5-11, 189, 2/15/93, R, Westmont, Ill.
By Rich Chere/The Star-Ledger                                                    U.S. Nat'l U18 Team
                                                                                 D Jared Tinordi
Defenseman Jon Merrill, the Devils' first pick (38th overall) in last year's     6-7, 215, 2/20/92, L, Millersville, Md.
NHL entry draft, is one of 40 skaters invited to the 2011 national junior
evaluation camp to be held in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August.                      London Knights (OHL)

The skaters will audition for a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in the   F Kenny Agostino
2012 IIHF world junior championships.                                            5-11, 195, 4/30/92, L, Flanders, N.J.
Merrill, 19, is 6-3, 210 pounds. In 42 games for the University of Michigan      Yale Univ. (ECACH)
this season he had 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) with 16 penalty
minutes.                                                                         F Bill Arnold
Those skaters invited to Lake Placid in August:                                  6-0, 215, 2/25/92, L, Everett, Mass.
D Adam Clendening                                                                Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)
5-11, 190, 10/26/92, R, Niagara Falls, N.Y.                                      F Chase Balisy
Boston Univ. (HEA)                                                               6-0, 175, 2/2/92, L, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
D Brian Cooper                                                                   Western Michigan Univ. (CCHA)
5-9, 190, 1/1/93, L, Anchorage, Alaska                                           F Tyler Biggs
Fargo Force (USHL)                                                               6-2, 207, 4/30/93, R, Cincinnati, Ohio
D Justin Faulk                                                                   U.S. Nat'l U18 Team (USHL)
5-11, 200, 3/20/92, R, South St. Paul, Minn.                                     F Nick Bjugstad
Univ. of Minn. Duluth (WCHA)                                                     6-4, 204, 7/17/92, R, Blaine, Minn.
D Derek Forbort                                                                  Univ. of Minnesota (WCHA)
6-5, 200, 3/4/92, L, Duluth, Minn.                                               F Reid Boucher
Univ. of North Dakota (WCHA)                                                     5-9, 186, 9/8/93, L, Grand Ledge, Mich.
D Kevin Gravel                                                                   U.S. Nat'l U18 Team (USHL)
6-4, 190, 3/6/92, L, Kingsford, Mich.                                            F Connor Brickley
St. Cloud State Univ. (WCHA)                                                     6-1, 195, 2/25/92, L, Everett, Mass.
D Justin Holl                                                                    Univ. of Vermont (HEA)
6-2, 180, 1/30/92, R, Tonka Bay, Minn.                                           F Charlie Coyle
Univ. of Minnesota (WCHA)                                                        6-2, 207, 3/2/92, R, East Weymouth, Mass.
D Stephen Johns                                                                  Boston Univ. (HEA)
6-4, 221, 4/18/92, R, Wampum, Pa.                                                F Emerson Etem
Univ. of Notre Dame (CCHA)                                                       6-1, 197, 6/16/92, L, Long Beach, Calif.
D Seth Jones                                                                     Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
6-3, 195, 10/3/94, R, Plano, Texas                                               F Rocco Grimaldi
U.S. Nat'l U18 Team (USHL)                                                       5-6, 170, 2/8/93, R, Rossmoor, Calif.
D Austin Levi                                                                    U.S. Nat'l U18 Team (USHL)
6-4, 190, 2/16/92, L, Aurora, Colo.                                              F Kevin Hayes
Plymouth Whalers (OHL)                                                           6-3, 205, 5/8/92, L, Dorchester, Mass.
D Jon Merrill                                                                    Boston College (HEA)
6-3, 209, 2/3/92, L, Brighton, Mich.                                             F Jared Knight
Univ. of Michigan (CCHA)                                                         5-11, 202, 1/16/92, R, Battle Creek, Mich.
D Connor Murphy                                                                  London Knights (OHL)
6-3, 192, 3/26/93, R, Dublin, Ohio                                               F Phil Lane
U.S. Nat'l U18 Team (USHL)                                                       6-3, 195, 5/29/92, R, Rochester, N.Y.
D Jamie Oleksiak                                                                 Brampton Battalion (OHL)
F Shane McColgan
5-9, 170, 1/1/93, R, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
F Mike Mersch
6-1, 196, 10/2/92, L, Park Ridge, Ill.
Univ. of Wisconsin (WCHA)
F J.T. Miller
6-1, 195, 3/14/93, L, East Palestine, Ohio
U.S. Nat'l U18 Team (USHL)
F Matt Nieto
6-0, 190, 11/5/92, L, Long Beach, Calif.
Boston Univ. (HEA)
F Stefan Noesen
6-1, 195, 2/12/93, R, Plano, Texas
Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
F Shane Prince
5-11, 185, 11/16/92, L, Spencerport, N.Y.
Ottawa 67's (OHL)
F Bryan Rust
5-11, 196, 5/11/92, R, Novi, Mich.
Univ. of Notre Dame (CCHA)
F Brandon Saad
6-2, 206, 10/27/92, L, Gibsonia, Pa.
Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
F Nick Shore
6-0, 200, 9/26/92, R, Denver, Colo.
Univ. of Denver
F Vince Trochek
5-11, 185, 7/11/93, R, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
F T.J. Tynan
5-8, 170, 2/25/92, R, Orland Park, Ill.
Univ. of Notre Dame (CCHA)
F Austin Watson
6-3, 195, 1/13/92, R, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Peterborough Petes (OHL)
F Jason Zucker
5-11, 180, 1/16/92, L, Las Vegas, Nev.
Univ. of Denver (WCHA)
Star Ledger LOADED: 06.10.2011
571831     New York Islanders                                                    "That tax line doesn't start to cost the taxpayers any money until the
                                                                                 bonding is authorized by the Legislature . . . but the tax line is created
                                                                                 regardless," Denenberg said.
Validity of Nassau Coliseum vote at issue                                        Goldfeder noted that the state courts have ruled numerous times against
                                                                                 advisory referendums, including one involving the Shoreham nuclear power
                                                                                 plant.
By RANDI F. MARSHALL
                                                                                 "This is no different than the Shoreham advisory referendum," said
                                                                                 Desmond Ryan, who heads the Association for a Better Long Island, of the
                                                                                 Coliseum effort. "It was my understanding then, and it's my understanding
Legal experts are raising questions about the validity of Nassau County's        now. It's illegal."
Aug. 1 referendum on whether to borrow up to $400 million to build a new
Nassau Coliseum and a minor league ballpark.                                     But LoCurto said the referendum's "certain affirmative and binding actions,"
                                                                                 along with its establishment of a new tax line and revenue fund, make it
The issue revolves around whether the referendum, estimated to cost              legal.
between $1.6 million and $2.2 million, is considered to be binding or
advisory, and whether it complies with state and local law.                      Newsday LOADED: LOADED: 06.10.2011

A non-binding referendum could be open to legal challenge because voters
would not have the final say about the borrowing, some experts said. Both
the County Legislature and a state fiscal monitoring board also would have
to sign off on any borrowing.
Before Wednesday, county officials had repeatedly said the referendum
was non-binding. But yesterday afternoon, a county attorney said the vote
would be binding.
"The purpose of a referendum is to make law; it's not to be an opinion poll,"
said Columbia University law professor Richard Briffault, who specializes in
election and local government law. "There's simply no authority for the
government to conduct an opinion poll and use the voting booth for that
opinion poll . . . Right now, the county simply has no authority to hold an
advisory referendum."
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, has called the
referendum "non-binding" in several interviews.
But Wednesday, when asked about the legality of the referendum, Lisa
LoCurto, the first chief deputy county attorney, said in a statement, "This is
a binding referendum. It is not an advisory referendum.
LoCurto said in an interview that officials who had called the referendum
non-binding were not using the phrase in a legal sense. She said the
referendum is binding because it would authorize the county to establish a
new program and a special tax to pay for projects in the Nassau County
hub area.
Even if the referendum is binding, experts said questions over its legality
remain, since only very specific changes to law can be addressed through a
referendum.
"Like any proposed binding referendum, this needs to be analyzed to see if
it's a proper subject and if it's been done properly," said Jerry Goldfeder, a
Manhattan election lawyer. "One needs to review the law and the language
of the ballot question to see if it passes muster."
Nassau's Democratic Elections Commissioner, William Biamonte, said he
would ask the state attorney general for an opinion on whether the
referendum is legal.
"This entire process has been haphazardly rushed with no consideration of
the cost and legality of a non-binding special election," Biamonte said. "I am
asking the attorney general for an opinion on the permissibility of this,
before we run off a cliff and spend over $2 million to accomplish nothing but
possibly breaking the law."
A spokeswoman for the state attorney general's office did not return phone
calls.
According to a state Board of Elections opinion in 1977, non-binding
referendums are not permissible.
"Moreover, in the absence of express State statutory authority to do so, an
advisory referendum seeking the opinion of the electorate on a particular
issue is not permissible," the opinion stated.
"The constitution and state law allow a referendum in a very particular set of
circumstances," Goldfeder said. "Beyond that, our laws are enacted through
a legislative process. That's different than in many other states."
But Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) said the referendum is more than
advisory because it would create a new tax line for hub projects.
571832     New York Rangers


Rangers to buy out Drury; keep Avery, Wolski


By LARRY BROOKS


Glen Sather has informed Chris Drury that the Rangers will buy out the final
season of the captain's contract, The Post has learned.
Drury, whose 2010-11 was ruined by injuries that limited him to 24 games
during which he was reduced to a bit player, signed a five-year, $32.5
million free agent contract on July 1, 2007. It was the same day the
Rangers signed free agent Scott Gomez to a seven-year, $51.5 million
deal.
The Post also has learned that the Rangers will not buy out either Wojtek
Wolski or Sean Avery, each of whom ended the season with tenuous
futures on Broadway.
The Drury buyout, which will become official during the proscribed June 15-
30 window for such transactions, will open $3,333,333 of 2011-12 cap
space while costing the team $1,666,667 in dead space the following
season under the rules of the current collective bargaining agreement
Drury, who carried a $7.05 million cap hit, would have been due $5 million
in salary under terms of his contract. He will receive $3,716,667 over the
next two years as his buyout payment.
The center, who will turn 35 in August, missed 31 of the first 32 games with
a twice broken finger. He played 22 games from Dec. 15 to Feb. 3 before
leaving the lineup to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Drury
returned for the final game of the season against the Devils and scored his
only goal of the year. He then received limited minutes in the five-game
first-round defeat against the Capitals.
Head coach John Tortorella made it clear on breakup day he believed the
best course of action going forward was to buy out Drury.
"Dru is getting older; that's why he has a chronic knee [condition],"
Tortorella said. "It's not my total decision but I have my thoughts."
It is unknown whether Drury will seek to continue his career or whether the
12-year veteran (255-360-615 in 892 games) and three-time USA Olympian
will retire. Drury also played for the Avalanche, Flames and Sabres.
It also is possible, if not likely, that Drury will undergo medical treatment for
his knee before deciding on a course of action.
New York Post LOADED: 06.10.2011
571833     New York Rangers


Buyout looms for Drury


By ANDREW GROSS


The looming buyout of Rangers captain Chris Drury, which seemed highly
likely in the wake of the team’s quick playoff ouster, now seems a near
certainty.
Separate reports have emerged indicating Rangers general manager Glen
Sather has informed Drury he will be bought out of the final season of a
five-year, $35.25 million deal.
Drury, who will turn 35 on Aug. 20, had one goal and four assists in 24
games last season and is playing with a chronic knee injury. His lone goal
was crucial, tying the must-win season-finale against the Devils as the
Rangers went on to win 5-2 and earn a playoff spot.
"I was so happy for him when he scored the goal," coach John Tortorella
said on April 25, two days after the Rangers’ postseason ouster. "But then,
as I watch him in the playoffs, it was a bit of a struggle for Dru. He tried like
heck but he slowed down as it went on. This is something we have to look
at as far as where does he fit now? Because we are going young."
Drury’s salary cap hit for 2011-12 is due to be $7.05 million so the Rangers,
who would owe Drury $3,333,333 spread over two years, will save
$3,333,333 against the cap this season though they will have $1,666,667 in
dead salary cap space in 2012-13.. The NHL buyout period is June 15 to
30.
Bergen Record LOADED: 06.10.2011
571834     New York Rangers


Chris Drury buyout: Nothing's been decided yet


By Arthur Staple


Reports earlier Thursday that Rangers captain Chris Drury will most
definitely have the final year of his contract bought out are premature,
according to a source.
It's a complicated situation. Drury has $5 million in salary coming to him for
next season, so there's almost no chance he's retiring. The Rangers are
ready to move in a different direction and try to save some of the $7.05-
million in cap space Drury would occupy for next year. If he's bought out,
his cap hit for 2011-12 would be $3.667 million, a significant savings. There
would be a $1.667-million cap hit for 2012-13.
Rangers president Glen Sather has until June 30 to decide on buyouts.
There is also the matter of the numerous restricted free agents the Rangers
have, nearly all of whom are arbitration-eligible. If the team or the player
opts for arbitration -- the deadlines are July 5 for player-elected and July 6
for team-elected -- hearings are held from July 20-Aug. 4, with decisions
rendered by Aug. 6. At that point the Rangers would have a further buyout
period.
Plus, there's the option that the Rangers could get Drury to waive his no-
movement clause for a trade -- presumably for a player signed to a similarly
overpriced deal, but for a longer term, that the Rangers might deem useful.
The other team would want a veteran leader to bridge the gap for a year
and try to revive his career.
So, there's a lot in play right now, and none of it is set in stone, the source
said.
That's not to say Drury won't be bought out. What seems certain is that his
days as a Ranger are over, however that will be sorted out in the coming
weeks.
As for Wojtek Wolski, whom a report said would not be bought out, the
same source said nothing's been decided there either.
Newsday LOADED: LOADED: 06.10.2011
571835     NHL                                                                    LA Times: LOADED: 06.10.2011


Bruins goalie Tim Thomas' feistiness is one of his biggest assets


Helene Elliott


Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was never anyone's prize prospect.
The native of Flint, Mich., was drafted 217th by the Quebec Nordiques in
1994 and bounced around for years, playing college hockey at the
University of Vermont before beginning an odyssey that wound through the
best and worst minor leagues in North America, to Europe and back.
He was past his 28th birthday when he made his NHL debut and did not
become a regular with the Bruins until he was over 30. But his fearless,
straight-ahead approach never wavered.
"Anybody that knows the story of Tim Thomas, he's taken a real bumpy
road to get to the NHL," Coach Claude Julien said. "He's had so many
obstacles in front of him that he's overcome, it makes him a battler, it makes
him the perfect goaltender for our organization because that's what we are.
We're a blue-collar team that goes out and works hard and earns every inch
of the ice that you can get."
But as Julien pointed out Thursday, a day after the Bruins' second straight
thumping of the Vancouver Canucks tied the Stanley Cup finals at two
games each, "Just because you're blue-collar doesn't mean you don't have
skill."
Thomas' skill might be exceeded only by his feistiness. He is aggressive in
coming out of his crease and does not care if the Canucks moan and
insinuate that he is a bulldozer on skates, as they have nearly every day.
Thomas threw a check on Henrik Sedin in Game 3 that any defenseman
would be proud to claim, and when Alex Burrows tried to knock the stick out
of his hand in Game 4, Thomas chopped Burrows in the ankle and touched
off a skirmish.
Shades of a combative and successful goalie named Ron Hextall, who was
renowned for punishing opponents who crowded him and wasn't above
mixing it up.
"He has played extremely well and is as competitive a goalie as there is,"
said Hextall, now assistant general manager of the Kings. "He was
obviously frustrated by the contact and picked his time and reacted."
Thomas isn't about to back off now, with the finals reduced to a best-of-
three series starting Friday at Rogers Arena. Nor will his Bruins teammates
ease up on the physicality that has worn the Canucks down and blunted
nearly all of Vancouver's once-potent scoring threats.
"I think it's important for us to play the same type of game that we played
the last two games. That's what led us to the success that we had in those
two games," Thomas said Thursday.
"The challenge is doing it. It's easy to say, 'This is what we have to do,' but
it takes an extreme amount of effort and people laying their bodies on the
line and that's what we're going to need as a group and as a team."
The Bruins will need Thomas to be as focused and feisty as he has been
the first four games, a triumph by the slow and steady over the flashy
Roberto Luongo.
Thomas has stopped 141 of 146 shots in the Cup finals — a dazzling .966
save percentage — and his 701 saves through 22 playoff games is the
second-highest total by any goalie in postseason play, behind only the 761
made by Vancouver's Kirk McLean in 1994.
He has come up with big, game-changing saves when his team needed
them. Again, that's unlike Luongo, who has given up 14 goals on 124 shots,
an .887 save percentage.
Thomas has another useful talent: the ability to visualize succeeding in
various situations. So the goalie nobody could see making it in the NHL can
now — with good reason — see himself winning hockey's ultimate prize.
"I think it's important to visualize winning the Cup; that's what helps you to
get there," he said. "So I think it's important to keep the same sort of
visualization but not to take it any further, because things can change
quick."
571836     NHL


Roberto Luongo will start in goal for Canucks in Game 5 of Stanley Cup
finals


By Helene Elliott


From Vancouver, Canada — After Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto
Luongo was strafed by the Chicago Blackhawks in two straight first-round
playoff games, Coach Alain Vigneault vowed to stick by him…and started
Cory Schneider.
After seeing Luongo yield 12 goals on 58 shots in two games as the Boston
Bruins tied the Stanley Cup finals at 2-2, Vigneault vowed to stick by
Luongo for Game 5 on Friday at Rogers Arena.
"You can bet on that, yep," Vigneault said Thursday.
This time he might mean it.
"I just felt at that time with Chicago there was a special situation, the fact
that we had lost twice to them before in the playoffs and felt that we needed
to change momentum a little bit," Vigneault said. "My gut at that time told
me that putting Schneids in was the thing to do. There is one thing: Roberto
is the guy, he's my guy and he's playing. It's that simple."
Luongo acknowledged he and his teammates are "pretty upset with
ourselves and our performances," but said they can draw on their seven-
game victory over the Blackhawks.
"We obviously all remember that series and the ups and downs we went
through and the adversity that we faced. We came in and rose above it at
the end of the day and it made the victory so much sweeter," he said.
"The same thing applies [Friday]. We have to come out strong, firing. The
last two games were a bit of a bump in the road for us, but the opportunity
is still there for us. Nothing has changed from two games ago."
Etc.
Bruins center David Krejci became the playoff scoring leader with two
assists in Boston's 4-0 win in Game 4. He has 11 goals and 22 points in 22
games. … The Bruins are 15-13 in best-of-seven series in which they were
2-2 after four games. The Canucks are 2-7 in best-of-seven series in which
they were 2-2 after four games.
LA Times: LOADED: 06.10.2011
571837     NHL


Bruins’ Tim Thomas turning into MVP candidate


ADAM L. JAHNS


BOSTON — It’s hard not to cheer for Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.
His aggressive style is exciting. His rise from unknown to NHL star is
inspiring.
In the Stanley Cup finals, he has been outstanding. And it’s wearing on the
Vancouver Canucks.
“I don’t know. Do you have an answer for me?” Canucks captain Henrik
Sedin said when asked how to solve Thomas. “When top goalies like him
are getting hot, it’s tough to score goals.”
After two games, there were concerns that Thomas’ combative approach
was leaving the Bruins vulnerable against the fast and skilled Canucks.
Alex Burrows’ game-winner in Game 2, when Thomas vacated the net, was
a clear example.
Two games later, that’s almost all forgotten.
Thomas wasn’t bad in Games 1 and 2. He actually was good. And after two
standout games at home, Thomas could be considered the leading
candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the
playoffs, even if the Bruins lose the series.
Thomas lowered his goals-against average in the finals to 1.26 and raised
his save percentage to .966. He’s 9-1 in the postseason when facing 35
shots or more. He has three shutouts and moved into second in NHL
history with 701 saves in one postseason (the Canucks’ Kirk McLean made
761 in 1994).
Not bad for a 37-year-old who toiled for years in the minors and in Europe
before making the NHL.
Now Thomas is plowing ahead toward a Cup with his “battlefly” style. His
team hasn’t been blown out. Not even Canucks coach Alain Vigneault’s
attempt to change Thomas’ tactics by complaining to the league before
Game 4 changed his mentality.
“I don’t think it was ever an issue to begin with,” Thomas said. “It was made
an issue by the people that were talking about it. But in reality, it never was
an issue.”
Thomas was his typical self in Game 4. He’d had enough of the Canucks’
tactics and responded by whacking Burrows, which turned into a scuffle.
It wasn’t as good as his check on Sedin in Game 3, but it definitely was
another highlight to add to his reel.
“They’d been getting the butt end of my stick,” Thomas said. “They did it a
couple of times on the power-play in the first period also. I don’t know who it
was, I was focused on the puck. That was like the third time that he’d hit my
butt end on that power play.
“We were up 4-0, the game was getting down toward the end, so I thought
I’d give him a little love tap and let him know, I know what you’re doing, but
I’m not going to let you do it forever. So that’s all that was. It was a typical
battle.”
It was typical Thomas.
Chicago Sun Times LOADED: 06.10.2011
571838     NHL


A Pest in Bruins Black and Gold Gets Mad, and Gets Even


By JEFF Z. KLEIN


The Canucks do not possess the good-luck charms the Bruins have as they
try to right themselves for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals Friday in
Vancouver, British Columbia.
They do not have a 1980s vintage nylon Starter jacket that is given to the
most valuable player after each victory. They do not have a legend like
Bobby Orr to ignite the passion of home crowd before a game.
On the ice, the Canucks also have loads of forces to contend with —
starting with Brad Marchand, the Bruins’ dipsy-doodling ball of aggravation.
Marchand, who is 5-foot-9 and built like a fireplug, had a defining moment in
Boston’s 4-0 victory in Game 4 Wednesday when he broke into the
Vancouver zone on the left wing and stepped around the defenseman
Christian Ehrhoff, who fell, comically, because Marchand had knocked him
off balance.
A penalty was coming to Marchand as he glided behind goaltender Roberto
Luongo’s net. But out of the corner of his eye, as the whistle blew,
Marchand saw Daniel Sedin bearing down to smash him into the boards.
Marchand ducked at the last moment and Sedin went somersaulting over
him, again, comically.
That was too much for Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard, who dropped
his gloves and charged in to avenge the embarrassment. Marchand
dropped his mitts, too, and the twosome wrestled to the ice as the TD
Garden crowd roared.
“It’s helped my game to try and be a bit of a rat out there,” said Marchand, a
23-year-old rookie from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
It is useful to know that in a hockey context “rat” is a compliment.
Some of the other ratlike things Marchand has done in this series that is
tied 2-2: In Game 1 at Vancouver, he skated to the penalty box, where the
two Spandex-costumed Canucks fans known as the Green Men station
themselves to annoy opponents, and doused them (“I think I tried to spray
some water in my mouth and I missed a bit — it might have gotten on
them”); early in Game 4 he crashed into the injury-hobbled Canucks center
Ryan Kesler and effectively removed him as a factor; and throughout the
series he has chirped and jabbed and annoyed the Canucks with his after-
the-whistle antics.
But the most effective things he has done are not ratlike at all. Marchand’s
short-handed goal midway through Game 3 was a highlight-reel beauty, as
he skated around two Canucks and outwaited Luongo while gliding
gracefully across the front of the net. It was a classic, and he did it when the
score was 2-0 Boston and the result was in doubt.
In Game 4, he helped create the Bruins’ third goal by knocking the puck
away from Ballard and Henrik Sedin, then scored by taking Patrice
Bergeron’s centering pass and slamming it in.
It was Marchand’s second goal of the series and eighth of the playoffs —
not bad for a player completing his first full season.
Marchand has come through in this series, but the Sedin twins, Henrik and
Daniel, have not.
If the Canucks are to bounce back, they will need the Sedins to produce.
But they seem rattled by Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.
“We have to solve Thomas — that’s the thing,” Henrik said. “We have to
keep working hard. We need bounces.”
Daniel said, “We made a push, but Thomas stood tall.”
With the Sedins frustrated, it seems as if the Canucks are in need of some
new charm of their own — like former Canucks showing up to lend some
mojo or, better yet, current players coming through as Marchand has.
New York Times LOADED: 06.10.2011
571839     NHL                                                                   of the most humble guys. They treat everybody the same. I can’t say too
                                                                                 much more except two of the nicest guys you’ll meet.”
                                                                                 Brian Jennings, the N.H.L.’s executive vice president for marketing,
Vancouver’s Circumspect Superstars                                               acknowledges that it has been challenging to promote players who choose
                                                                                 to stay out of the spotlight.

By GERALD NARCISO                                                                “They’re very private and they’re quiet and there’s no doubt that would
                                                                                 certainly limit them from a marketing perspective,” Jennings said. “We see
                                                                                 the on-ice performance and I can tell you from the N.H.L. perspective,
                                                                                 they’ve been featured in more than a dozen of our marketing campaigns
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — On the ice, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, the           this year.
twin forwards for the Vancouver Canucks, can rack up points as few others
can. But outside of Canada and their native Sweden, not many people              “We certainly recognize their potential and will be looking to put more
recognize them.                                                                  marketing muscle behind them.”

With disengaged personalities and by playing in a small media market, the        There have been plenty of moments over this postseason when the Sedins
Sedins have flown under the radar compared with many other N.H.L. stars.         have been overshadowed by teammates. Ryan Kesler, Raffi Torres and,
But what they lack in Madison Avenue appeal, they make up for in personal        most recently, Alex Burrows have all been late-game stars.
accolades and team accomplishments.
                                                                                 At the beginning of the Bruins series, Henrik was asked whether he felt
Each has won a scoring title in the last two years, and if the votes go          there was pressure for him and Daniel to get points.
Daniel’s way in the N.H.L. awards this month, each will have also won a
Hart Memorial Trophy, hockey’s top individual award. Together, they are          “No, it’s about winning games,” he said. “That’s our focus. I don’t care who
the face of the Canucks. And if the franchise is to beat the Boston Bruins to    scores or who’s getting points.”
win its first Stanley Cup, the Sedins will likely have to come through with      Gillis, on the other hand, would prefer it be the Sedins. After his club was
performances that are impossible to ignore as the best-of-seven series           outscored, 12-1, in the last two games, Gillis knows the fate of Vancouver’s
heads back here on Friday tied at two games apiece.                              first Cup probably lies in the hands of his prized stars.
So far, they have disappointed. Other than a strong Game 2 last Saturday,        “They’ve got to be right there as our top players, and I think they will be,” he
when he scored the tying goal in regulation as well as assisted on the           said after Monday night’s 8-1 loss. “They’re unique players in their own way
winning goal in overtime, Daniel has been relatively ineffective. Henrik has     and as they begin to figure things out with the opposition, they get stronger
also struggled to find a rhythm. He has no points in the finals and has          and stronger. They really want this challenge and I know they’re going to
attempted only two shots.                                                        rise to the occasion.”
After two convincing victories by the Bruins at TD Garden, the Canucks are       Mark Spector
looking for the Sedins to rediscover what until this series had been a
relatively productive playoffs — Henrik has 21 points and Daniel has 9           New York Times LOADED: 06.10.2011
goals. The Canucks are 8-2 when Henrik logs an assist and 5-2 when
Daniel scores a goal.
“They spent a lot of time in the other team’s end with no results to show,”
Alain Vigneault, the Canucks’ coach, told reporters after his team’s 4-0 loss
to the Bruins on Wednesday. “But it’s not for lack of effort. You’ve got to
give that other team credit. They are playing a smart game.”
Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa called the Sedins among the most
consistent players in the league. “They’re our No. 1 lines and our offensive
leaders, so, yeah, we rely on them a lot,” he said.
Despite their most valuable player status, the Sedins do not generate the
same buzz as other N.H.L. stars like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni
Malkin or Patrick Kane. According to the league’s marketing office, neither
Daniel’s nor Henrik’s jerseys rank in the top 10 in sales among active
players.
“That probably has a lot to do with being out west,” Bieksa said. “You can
underrate them all you want, but they’re still two of the best in the world.”
Give or take a half-inch and a pound or two, the Sedins are identically built.
They have blue eyes and pumpkin-colored crew cuts and playoff beards.
They shoot left-handed.
The only real difference between them is that Henrik is the playmaker, while
Daniel is the scorer. But those differences tend to complement each other
as Henrik instinctively and effortlessly sets up his brother for easy goals.
“Daniel and Henrik have an ability to understand where everyone is on the
ice and use it to their advantage,” said Mike Gillis, the Canucks’ president
and general manager. “They make plays that other people don’t seem
capable of making.”
It is clear the Sedin twins are hockey players, not brands. They are the
antithesis of today’s high-profile athlete. They do not use Twitter, they do
not chase endorsement deals and they do not generate any tabloid interest.
Although polite with the news media, they are guarded and often bland with
their responses.
Even in their charity work, they seem embarrassed by the publicity. Last
year they donated $1.5 million to the BC Children’s Hospital to be put
toward a pediatric intensive care unit and a diagnostic imaging area.
“They’re shy and reserved,” said Bieksa, who has played the last six
seasons with the Sedins. “I think people who talk to them know they are two
571840     NHL


Canucks’ scoring slump starts at the top


MATTHEW SEKERES


The highest scoring team in hockey has been reduced to a pop-gun
offence, and the outage could not have come at a worse time for the
Vancouver Canucks.
The Sedin twins are slumping, the NHL’s best power play is powerless, and
the support scoring has dried up through four games of the Stanley Cup
final. Vancouver scored one goal in two games at TD Garden in Boston,
and has been unable to solve Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who has
been the best player in the series during three of four games.
Canucks fans still have hope
What’s gone wrong?
For starters, captain Henrik Sedin didn’t register his first shot on goal of the
series until the first period of Game 4, and is without a point in the series.
He is deferring rather than being aggressive with the puck, and he again
looks weak on his skates, as he was in a second-round series against the
Nashville Predators.
Daniel Sedin, the league’s top scorer in 2010-11, has two points, and other
than an excellent Game 2, Vancouver’s top line isn’t getting the job done.
More often than that, the Sedins and Alex Burrows are facing Bruins
defencemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, although Canucks
coach Alain Vigneault will have last change in Game 5 Friday and will be
able to dictate matchups a little more.
“Our best game is good enough,” Daniel Sedin said. “We know that. We’re
a confident group.”
Thomas has three shutouts in seven career games against Vancouver (5-2
record), and is on pace to threaten former Canucks netminder Kirk
McLean’s historic record for saves in a postseason (761). Thomas, who has
made 701 saves this spring, is 9-1 in these playoffs when facing 35 shots or
more, so Vancouver cannot rely on the simple correction of putting more
pucks on net.
“We haven’t done a good job of getting to the net, getting the screens,”
Vigneault said. “We’re going to talk about that and see if we can’t fix it.”
The Canucks rely on their power play for goals, but have just one in 22
chances this series with the man-advantage. That wouldn’t be as big a deal
if they were scoring 5-on-5, but they’re not.
Ryan Kesler is without a goal, and his line has but two assists in the series.
The third line scored the winning goal in Game 1 and the only goal in Game
4, but counting on Maxim Lapierre, Raffi Torres and Jannik Hansen to
shoulder a scoring burden is asking too much.
The same is true for the defence corps, despite 14 goals this postseason.
No Vancouver defenceman has scored in the Cup final.
The Canucks acknowledged that they need more shots and chances from
the middle of the ice, and less on the perimeter, while an up-tempo skating
game where the puck moves quickly from the defensive zone to the
offensive zone would also help their cause.
Vancouver averaged 3.11 goals a game this season, more than any other
team in the NHL, and its power play connected a league-best 24.3 per cent
of the time. Yet Thomas has leapt to the front of the Conn Smythe Trophy
line with his play in the Cup final, which has negated the Canucks and all
their weapons.
“He has also in the past, for whatever reason, given up quite a few goals on
certain occasions,” Vigneault reminded his audience after a 4-0 loss in
Game 4 on Wednesday. “He hasn’t done that yet. We’re maybe responsible
partly for that.”
Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.10.2011
571841     NHL                                                                    with a maximum of five games away to play, radically changing the habits of
                                                                                  a lifetime made no sense.
                                                                                  Since then, Thomas has vaulted to the top of the Conn Smythe Trophy
Tim Thomas sticking it to Canucks                                                 betting boards, at the same time as he’s wedged himself securely into the
                                                                                  psyche of the Vancouver players. Thomas’s numbers in this round are
                                                                                  approaching historical lows – a 1.26 goals-against average, a .966 save
ERIC DUHATSCHEK                                                                   percentage.
                                                                                  Vancouver is getting shots on goal, but not many Grade A scoring chances,
                                                                                  and the ones that Boston surrenders, Thomas stops. Right now, Thomas is
Billy Smith, come back, we miss you. And while you’re at, bring along Ron         up to 701 saves in this playoff year, the second highest total in history. On
Hextall. We miss him, too.                                                        Wednesday night, he passed John Vanbiesbrouck, Olaf Kolzig and Hextall,
                                                                                  his fraternity brother on the historic list. Next in line: Kirk McLean, in the
The NHL’s small but notorious fraternity of hack-and-whack goalies
                                                                                  Canucks’ 1994 run to the Stanley Cup final against the New York Rangers,
welcomed its newest member Wednesday night in the dying stages of a 4-0
                                                                                  a goaltending performance that all of Vancouver can remember.
Boston Bruins’ victory over the Vancouver Canucks. That’s when
goaltender Tim Thomas reared back and smacked his stick across the back           And the only saving grace, or mitigating circumstance, is that none of those
of Alex Burrows’ unprotected legs, felling him the way a lumberjack would in      four actually went on to win the Stanley Cup. In the search for straws that
the forests of northern British Columbia.                                         can be clutched, that may be Vancouver’s best hope at the moment.
Thomas was already getting serious membership consideration last                  Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.10.2011
Monday, when he threw a bodycheck against Canucks captain Henrik
Sedin, who’d set up shop just outside his goal crease.
But after the slash on Burrows? Initiation fees were waived, the waiting
period ignored and the obligatory nickname duly applied. Now, joining
Battlin’ Billy and Ragin’ Ronny, please welcome Terrible Timmy.
Terrible, incidentally, refers only to Thomas’s antics. His goaltending has
been the opposite of terrible – nothing short of brilliant, in fact. As Canucks
goalie Roberto Luongo was giving up 12 goals in the two games in Boston,
Thomas surrendered just the one – and it was late and meaningless in
Game 3, the 8-1 rout on Monday night that catapulted the Bruins back into
the series.
The Bruins seemed energized that night and they will tell you that part of
the reason was seeing teammate Nathan Horton carted off the ice on a
stretcher, after the late hit from Canucks defenceman Aaron Rome. Horton
appeared in the dressing room following Boston’s victory Wednesday to
carry on one of those motivational traditions that teams adopt at this time of
year.
In Boston, it centres on a thread-bare team jacket, awarded after each
game to that night’s most valuable player. On Monday, the Bruins players
hung the jacket in Horton’s vacated locker stall and, according to Thomas,
would have been content to leave it there for the remainder of the playoffs.
But Horton came by and handed it off to Rich Peverley, the two-goal scorer
who’d replaced him on the top line. Thomas is not one to indulge in over-
the-top sentimentality, so while acknowledging that Horton’s absence
provides a significant level of inspiration in this series, the chance to win a
Stanley Cup for everyone on the team also ranks high on the motivational
ladder.
And Thomas’s teammates will tell you that the example he sets, and the
competitive fires that burn within him, provide the same telling lift. Even
when they were ahead in the series, the Canucks had been railing against
Thomas’s tactics and playing style – that he moves in and out of the crease
at will, and creates as much contact as he absorbs.
Thomas explained away the slash on Burrows quite matter-of-factly: It was
late in the game, the Bruins had it under control, and so he thought he’d
“give him a little love tap and let him know, I know what you’re doing and
I’m not going to let you do it forever.”
Sedin thought it was a good thing, too, because now the league would have
to look at Thomas’s actions and in his mind anyway, take appropriate action
– whatever that might be. It sounded as though Sedin was lobbying the
Game 5 refereeing crew and trying to rattle Thomas, who hasn’t given an
inch in this series yet, not the way Luongo did in the two games in Boston.
Questions about Luongo’s confidence never seem too far away in these
playoffs, and it probably didn’t help matters when he was informed, after the
game Wednesday, that the faithful watching the game on the big screens
back at home at Rogers Arena cheered when he was lifted in favour of Cory
Schneider.
It’s curious too because less than a week ago, the shoe was on the other
foot. Leaving Vancouver, someone asked Bruins coach Claude Julien if
Thomas didn’t need to mend his wandering ways, given that he was caught
out of position on the winning overtime goal to Burrows in Game 2. Julien
paused for half a beat, before noting that eight months into the season and
571842     NHL                                                                  Inspired and enraged, the Bruins crushed Vancouver’s evil empire in two
                                                                                straight games. Then Horton appeared to pass on the Bruins jacket of
                                                                                honour in a surprise post-game appearance. George Lucas couldn’t have
Hockey players behaving badly: Emotions run high, maturity runs low             written it better himself.
                                                                                Meanwhile, Ryan Kesler has become a non-factor for the Canucks having
                                                                                lost all his powers of intimidation. He’s minus-3 with a single assist, and a
Dan Robson                                                                      few slapping matches to his credit.
                                                                                Horton, off the ice, is now a more powerful force than Kesler is on it.

Alex Burrows set the standard for the Stanley Cup final when he bit down        Class Meter:
on Patrice Bergeron’s finger in a Game 1 scuffle.
                                                                                Horton 9, Kesler N/A
Emotions will run high. Maturity will run low.
                                                                                HONOURABLE MENTION:
The chomp had a time-shifting affect. Suddenly the Boston Bruins and the
Vancouver Canucks became fifth-grade versions of themselves.                    Boston’s coach Claude Julien and Vancouver’s Alain Vigneault, for their
                                                                                ongoing griping about the opposing team’s antics. The Canucks taunt too
From taunts to cheap shots, here are some of the storylines fuelling the        much, Thomas plays too aggressively — we know, we know, we get it. Just
bitterness:                                                                     coach.

BRAD MARCHAND VS. ALEX BURROWS                                                  Class Meter:

Burrows started the series by chomping down on Bergeron’s finger. Then          Julien 4, Vigneault 4
he scores two goals — including the overtime winner — in Game 2.
Redemption earned.                                                              Toronto Star LOADED: 06.10.2011

But after two frustrating games in Boston he took a whack at Tim Thomas,
in a vain attempt to rattle a goalie who thrives on that kind of stuff.
Redemption lost.
Vancouver hasn’t been alone its playground antics. Leading 4-0 with mere
minutes remaining in Game 3, Marchand clotheslined the Canucks’
Christian Ehrhoff and vaulted Daniel Sedin awkwardly into the boards.
Marchand’s gloves were off before the Swede hit the ice.
The Bruins and Canucks have gone classless-tit for gutless-tat all series
long. The series looks more like a Thursday night in the ECHL than a
Stanley Cup final.
NHL Class Meter (scale of 1-10):
Marchand 3, Burrows 3
ZDENO CHARA VS. THE SEDIN TWINS
You have to feel badly for any player tasked with battling Zdeno Chara in
front of the Boston net. The Bruins’ giant has hacked and whacked any
Canuck trying to get set in front of Tim Thomas all series. It’s proven to be
an effective strategy when the refs put away their whistles.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin are taking the brunt of the beat-down. And while
they can’t match Chara’s physical jabs, they’ve done their best to dismiss
the Bruins verbally.
Henrik was flippant after his team was crushed by Boston in Game 2.
“I’d rather lose 8-1 than in overtime like they did,” he said.
After the Bruins tied up the series, the Swedish stars sounded like their
team lost a game of pick-up shinny.
“We’ve been through this before,” Henrik told reporters. “We’re confident.
We haven’t scored enough, but we’ve still got 2-2 in the series and we’re
going home to Vancouver with home ice advantage, best-of-three.”
“We’ve got to score in the first,” Daniel suggested. “When you’re on the
road and played the way we did in the first, you’ve got to score. I thought
we came out really strong, and if we score in the first, it’s going to be a
different game.”
Class Meter:
Chara 5, Sedin Twins 6
NATHAN HORTON VS. RYAN KESLER
Boston, the force is with you. After being levelled by Aaron Rome in Game
3, Nathan Horton transformed into Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Like the omniscient Jedi knight, Horton’s inspirational affect on his
teammates has had more of an impact than his actual on ice performance
— surprising, considering Horton was second in team scoring through the
playoffs.
571843     NHL                                                                    The head shots by Raffi Torres and Aaron Rome that left opposing players
                                                                                  concussed at the same time the sports world in general frets about brain
                                                                                  injuries were reckless and unnecessary.
Loving these Canucks sure isn’t easy                                              Alex Burrows lowered the bar with his chomp on the peaceful Patrice
                                                                                  Bergeron in Game 1, made worse by the league’s decision not to do
                                                                                  anything about it and Lapierre’s mocking of that decision in Game 2.
Damien Cox                                                                        Burrows got into a stick-fight with Boston goalie Tim Thomas in Game 4, a
                                                                                  fight he started.
                                                                                  Every game, it seems, there’s another line crossed. In Game 4, Ryan
If they were first-graders, they’d be encouraged to try and colour inside the     Kesler got back to his old whine-at-the-refs mode, something he’d removed
lines more consistently.                                                          from his repertoire.
And let’s face it, there have been more than a few occasions this spring          Pressure and push-back does funny things, huh?
when the Vancouver Canucks have resembled first-graders.
                                                                                  Again, the Canucks probably don’t really care how they’re remembered.
The biting. The bullying. The pretending the next kid in line started it. The     They just want to win, and history will take care of itself in the Land of the
sticking out of the tongue at classmates and authority figures.                   Hockey Conspiracy Theory.
Yessir, these Canucks have tons of talent and lots of experienced bodies,         But if they don’t, we’ll be left to wonder if what seemed to be an inability to
and since October they’ve been trying to convince one and all that they           draw within the lines was really a tip-off that the Canucks couldn’t walk a
have the character required to win it all.                                        straight one when they needed to.
Problem is, we’re four games into the 2011 Stanley Cup final, and the             Toronto Star LOADED: 06.10.2011
Canucks’ claims suddenly aren’t as believable as they were last week.
And they’re not a very likeable team, are they?
Question is, is this the sign of a committed, hardnosed hockey club simply
willing to do whatever it takes to win, cross any line, break any rule, injure
any opponent?
Or is this the Canucks’ tragic flaw, a flaw that has gradually revealed itself
over the course of this post-season and now, coming off two embarrassing
defeats in Boston, will ultimately block the championship that the Lower
Mainland so badly wants?
As the two teams exchanged hot, sunny Boston for mild, overcast
Vancouver on Thursday and the analysis from the Bruins’ two-game
aggregate triumph of 12-1 continued to pile up, we were left to consider the
deteriorating image of the Canucks.
They aren’t unusual in hockey. There are always villains and villainous
teams, although few win championships. The Broadstreet Bullies of the ’70s
were an exception if only because their willingness to break the rules came
at a time when the NHL had not yet learned to enforce rules very well at all.
What about the ’07 Anaheim Ducks, another team partially constructed by
Brian Burke, a team that led the NHL in fighting en route to the Cup? Sure,
but there’s a difference, most hockey people would acknowledge, between
a team likes to drop ’em and a team willing to pitchfork you in the groin
without blinking.
Then again, Chris Pronger was on that team, wasn’t he?
In some ways, there are elements of comparison between these Canucks
and the Maple Leafs of the early 2000s that featured Darcy Tucker, Tie
Domi and Shayne Corson. In 2002, that 100-point team locked horns with
the New York Islanders in one of the ugliest, filthiest series played in recent
memory. The Isles chirped and challenged the Leafs and brought out the
worst in Pat Quinn’s team, which won but won no fans in doing it.
The punctuation mark of that series remains Corson kicking at Eric Cairns
in a vicious fight. Injuries to Mats Sundin and others slowed the Leafs that
spring, but the fact was they only had to beat the Carolina Hurricanes to get
to the Cup final and couldn’t do it.
Now there was a team with a tragic flaw; too many players lacking in
restraint and willingness to truly sacrifice for the overall goal.
To understand why so many screw their faces at these Canucks like they
just heard Sarah Palin make another historical funny, there are many points
of reference to consider.
Bringing in Max Lapierre from Montreal (via Anaheim, of course) at the
trade deadline just added a trash-talking player notorious for faking injuries
and fouls. As one joke goes, when Lapierre left the Canadiens, it meant
Alexandre Despatie was left as the No. 1 diver in Quebec.
This is a team of Bill Barbers, and the last thing it needed for its image was
another one.
Kevin Bieksa has beat up two non-fighters in the post-season, Viktor
Stalberg and Patrick Marleau, and both bouts lacked any sense of honour.
571844     NHL


No talks with Balsillie about potential franchise


Mark Zwolinski


The NHL has denied a report that it has held talks with Jim Balsillie about
acquiring a franchise.
Forbes magazine says the Research in Motion (RIM) owner has received
assurances from the league that will open the door to an NHL franchise in
the future, but it comes with conditions.
Primarily, Balsillie must not “create any more spectacles or bad publicity for
the league” — a reference to failed franchise bids in the past.
The assurance for Balsillie has been reportedly extended by NHL
commissioner Gary Bettman, and appears to forgive previous, perceived
ownership transgressions by Balsillie, who has bid on the Pittsburgh
Penguins, Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes.
But if Balsillie has been offered an olive branch by the NHL, it’s news to the
league.
“No, we have not had any conversations or communications with Mr.
Balsillie or any of his people regarding the potential acquisition of an NHL
club,” NHL vice-president Bill Daly replied in an email Thursday.
Balsillie began his quest to own an NHL team in October of 2006 with a bid
on the Pittsburgh Penguins, but his subsequent withdrawal over
complications with a new arena plan wound up embarrassing Penguins
great Mario Lemieux.
Balsillie also bid on the Nashville and Phoenix franchises, but both times
there was confusion over advanced marketing campaigns and Balsillie’s
intentions to move the franchises to Hamilton.
Hamilton became a hot topic during the Balsillie bids on the Predators and
Coyotes, but potential franchise relocations to that city certainly angered
both the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs — and wound up with
both clubs pursuing alternate ownership avenues.
However, the Coyotes may be searching for a new owner next summer, if
their current one year deal with the city of Phoenix fails to locate a suitable
owner to take over the team on a permanent basis.
Last week, the NHL saw the Atlanta Thrashers relocate from Atlanta to
Winnipeg, while reports resurfaced of a potential NHL team in Quebec.
Balsillie’s RIM has been a major advertiser on NBC and Versus coverage of
the Stanley Cup playoffs and on NHL.com.
Toronto Star LOADED: 06.10.2011
571845     NHL                                                                  “Canadians take pride in all the things he’s done — the way he’s battled,
                                                                                overcome stuff … It’s been up and down. It hasn’t been easy for him. It’s
                                                                                not like everybody just handed him something. He’s worked for everything
Tim Thomas should be a Canuck 0                                                 he’s got.
                                                                                “We’re gonna keep him, though. We’re not gonna let him go.”

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency                                                    LOADED 06.10.2011



Tim Thomas is a throwback.
He’s a heart-on-his sleeve, all-or-nothing, fight-for-everything he gets
goaltender who has stolen the spotlight in the Stanley Cup final.
He’s everything Canadians want to see representing the game they call
their own.
But the Boston Bruins’ Thomas is also (gasp!) an American.
Say it isn’t so … a hockey hero inspiring a team in a championship series,
who with his bushy ginger playoff beard looks like a lumberjack fresh out of
an old-growth redwood forest in B.C., and he calls Flint, Michigan, home?
It just doesn’t seem right.
Thomas is as old-school as it gets, a true blood-and-guts personality with a
back-story worthy of at least a cheaply-made Canadian TV movie.
But there’s nothing Canadian about him other than the way he plays.
Challenging anyone to beat him with a shot, his reward much greater than
the risk he tends to take. Passion runs so deep in his veins, the Boston
Bruins netminder finds time to bodycheck a Swede trying to make a play on
the puck in front of his crease, or exchange punches with an opponent
trying to rattle him with stick tricks.
A shutout, a bodycheck and a fight by a netminder has now been coined
the Tim Thomas Hat-Trick — an honour previously reserved for the likes of
Canadian hockey legend Gordie Howe, for a goal, assist and scrap in the
same game.
Thomas, at age 37, has, in two games of the Cup final series, made his
mark on the sport’s biggest stage.
It’s just in time to throw a wrench in the Vancouver Canucks’ plans to
become the first franchise to hoist the Stanley Cup north of the border since
the 1993 Montreal Canadiens. All because he plays like the guys from an
era even further back in hockey history.
“Do you remember Billy Smith? Remember Ron Hextall? Thomas definitely
is a guy that would have played in that era and played extremely well,” said
former NHL netminder Kelly Hrudey, now an analyst with CBC.
“He’s so competitive. And that’s what stands out for all of us.
“But I think the thing that makes him more fun than everybody else to watch
is that passion he plays with.”
It’s a passion we Canadians like to believe we own exclusive rights to when
it comes to our national pastime.
It’s time to adopt Thomas as one of our own.
Why not? He shares a first name with another hockey Tim, a Canadian
legend in Tim Horton, whose name is now synonymous with coffee and
donuts.
The franchise should at least name a Timbit after the Bruins hero — Red
Rage, or Ginger Glaze.
Heck, give him a franchise and Starbucks might be in trouble.
Everything Thomas touches turns to gold.
Or, in this series, black and blue.
“He’s my favourite goalie to watch,” said Hrudey, who’s on board with the
Canadian adoption idea. “I hope he takes (being considered Canadian) as a
compliment. But yes, he certainly could have grown up in any junior league
that we have. He would have fit right in with that kind of attitude.”
But Americans aren’t going to give Thomas up easily.
“You could look at every country, and they’d all probably say the same
thing,” said former NHLer Craig Conroy, of Potsdam, N.Y.
571846     NHL                                                                     (Boston was second in fights this year; Vancouver was 23rd. If you like
                                                                                   hockey beauty, Vancouver’s your team.)
                                                                                   It ignores defenceman Andrew Ference giving the Montreal crowd the
No one is pure in the Stanley Cup final                                            finger in round one, and claiming later that it was, in fact, an “unintentional
                                                                                   bird.” (He called his headshot to Montreal’s Jeff Halpern unintentional, too.)
                                                                                   The Bruins are a motley lot, to be sure. Vancouver just makes them look a
Bruce Arthur                                                                       little more honourable about it.
                                                                                   And there can be no tiebreaker with the fans. Canucks fans venturing to
                                                                                   Boston have claimed to have been verbally assaulted, in some cases in
As the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins fight and joust and                 racist terms, or have claimed to have been the subject of attempted
wrestle and bite each other for the Stanley Cup, the series is level at two        physical attacks; in Vancouver, Lucic, a local boy, said his grandparents
games apiece. You can argue over who has the momentum (it’s Boston), or            were showered with peanuts and popcorn while attending Game 1, and
who has played better (still Boston), or who will win (who knows, but right        teammate Johnny Boychuk said his parents were showered with beer
now it feels like Boston).                                                         inside the Rogers Arena. On Twitter, the flamethrowers are on both sides.
                                                                                   Clearly, both fanbases harbour their share of droogs and knuckle-draggers
But as the series has progressed, a shadow fight has quietly loomed — the
                                                                                   — or knuckle-biters, maybe — and both are unfortunately tainted by the
battle for the moral high ground. It’s not who is going to win; it’s who
                                                                                   association.
deserves to win. And the answer, if you are debating the issue in terms of
who plays the kind of hockey you would take home to your parents, is clear:        But this is not a moral contest; it is a savage and merciless tournament, and
nobody.                                                                            nobody is pure, and somebody has to win. And truly, they will deserve it for
                                                                                   the suffering they have endured. Just not, in the end, for the suffering they
Of course, not everybody will agree with this. Some Canucks fans will throw
                                                                                   have inflicted.
popcorn and peanuts, and some Bruins fans will bellow various insults
related to your personal appearance and perhaps your sexual orientation,           National Post LOADED: 06.10.2011
and even the many sane fans on both sides will be displeased. To the sane
ones, our apologies. To those various overheated nuts, don’t worry: We’ll
get to you eventually.
As for the moral high ground, it would be easier to find with scuba gear. It’s
nice to cheer for teams that you feel deserve your affection for some reason
other than success alone, unless you’re the kind of person who roots for the
New York Yankees or Goldman Sachs. In this Stanley Cup final, that is not
nearly so easy.
The prevailing wisdom says the Canucks are the more despicable outfit,
though not everybody agrees. In Canada, some newspapers have pushed
the patriotism angle pretty hard, trying to make people cheer for the
Canucks because they are Canada’s team, or at least located in Canada,
which apparently makes them worthy.
Frankly, this seems a little like trying to stuff fingers into somebody’s mouth,
which is what several Bruins attempted to do after Vancouver’s Alex
Burrows appeared to bite Boston’s Patrice Bergeron during a mutual
facewashing session, and which fellow Canuck Maxim Lapierre mocked by
waggling his fingers in front of Bergeron in Game 2. Only one of those acts
was even remotely admirable.
However, this led to Milan Lucic and even the 43-year-old Mark Recchi
angrily trying to stuff their fingers into Lapierre’s and Burrows’ mouths, and
their coach tut-tutted, and the league had to say they were going to create a
new and exciting rule that would penalize finger-waving with a two-minute
penalty plus a 10-minute misconduct, according to ESPN. Phew.
Somebody could have gotten hurt.
All these duelling punk moves aside — “garbage,” NHL vice-president Mike
Murphy called it — some people have gotten hurt. Like, say, Bruins forward
Nathan Horton, who was concussed in Game 3 on a late and dirty hit by
Vancouver’s Aaron Rome.
Less serious pains have been handed out by various slashes — Rich
Peverley on Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, Burrows on Boston’s Tim Thomas,
Thomas right back at the back of Burrows’ leg — along with slew foots
(Boston’s Brad Marchand, the closest thing Boston has to Burrows), cross-
checks (everybody), and so forth. The hatred blossomed in Game 1, and
has only escalated like a fever. Luckily, Vancouver’s Raffi Torres has
missed with every flying elbow he has thrown thus far, and none of the
more brutish Bruins have managed to concuss anybody yet.
And then, of course, there is the diving. The mother of Henrik and Daniel
Sedin must intermittently worry about her boys having been shot right out
there on the ice; Burrows, meanwhile, sometimes jerks his head so violently
without any real contact that one suspects someone is manipulating a
Burrows voodoo doll somewhere.
That being said, the Bruins are certainly not above embellishment, if on a
much smaller scale — faking high sticks, for instance. Still, it looks like
everyone should cheer for Boston, right? Well, except that conveniently
ignores Boston’s own history of shoddy behaviour, from Zdeno Chara
crushing Montreal’s Max Pacioretty in March, to Recchi impugning the
honesty of the Canadiens medical staff, to their team’s brawling sensibility
in the rematch, which included Bruins fighters jumping Habs pacifists.
571847     Ottawa Senators                                                      There still exists the thinking that Murray wants a guy who has been a
                                                                                coach in the NHL to run his team. If so, MacTavish is the man. He was the
                                                                                bench boss in Edmonton for eight years, ending in 2008-09. He had a
MacLean likely to be Sens coach                                                 winning record in seven of those seasons, but still missed the playoffs five
                                                                                times. He did, however, lead the Oilers to the Stanley Cup final against the
                                                                                Hurricanes in 2005-06, where they lost in Game 7. MacTavish had a long
                                                                                playing career and also has served time as an assistant coach in the NHL.
By DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency                                                      He’d be a good choice.
                                                                                1. Paul MacLean, Detroit Red Wings
OTTAWA - Paul MacLean is going to be the next coach of the Senators.            A native of Grostenquin, France, who grew up in Antigonish, N.S., MacLean
                                                                                had 71 points and 125 PIMs in 66 games for the 1977-78 Hull Olympiques.
Now, I’m not 100% sure of this. I would not bet my truck. But of the
                                                                                He spent the following season on the Canadian national team, then turned
candidates uncovered by the Sun in recent weeks, MacLean seems to be
                                                                                pro with the Blues, who drafted him in the seventh round. After one season
the most logical choice.
                                                                                in the minors, he played 10 in the NHL, scoring 324 goals and 349 assists
Of course, that is if the decision really is with GM Bryan Murray and not       in 719 games. One of those campaigns was with the Red Wings, but it was
owner Eugene Melnyk.                                                            two seasons before Murray came in as coach. MacLean was a coach for
                                                                                nine seasons in the minors, winning almost twice as many games as he lost
Let’s believe it is, if only because the boss says so.                          and capturing the 2000-01 UHL championship with the Quad City Mallards.
                                                                                When Mike Babcock was hired by Murray to coach the Ducks, he hired
The winner is going to come from what is a six-man field, of that I’m 99%
                                                                                MacLean as an assistant. MacLean has been with Babcock ever since,
certain. Still not enough to bet the truck, but just about anything else.
                                                                                from his two years in Anaheim to six with Detroit. Murray’s proudest hiring is
Here’s how I see the race breaking down, from back to front:                    Babcock and with good reason. The Wings coach is one of if not the best in
                                                                                the league. There’s no doubt he has given MacLean a ringing endorsement
6. Gerard Gallant, Saint John Sea Dogs                                          and it’s certain Murray values Babcock’s opinion. As an assistant in the
                                                                                NHL for as long as he’s been, MacLean must be a good communicator.
Gallant’s junior record is phenomenal. In two seasons behind the Sea Dogs’      And judging by the success the Wings have had the past six seasons, he’s
bench, he is 111-19-1-2 and he won the Memorial Cup a couple of weeks           done a good job coaching them up with Babcock. If Murray liked the way he
ago. Four Sea Dogs are projected to get selected in the first round of the      interviewed, it says here MacLean will soon be moving to Ottawa. He can
NHL draft, which the Senators currently have the sixth and 21st picks.          borrow my truck if he needs it.
Gallant was a good, tough NHL winger. He was in the league from 1984-
1995, playing three seasons for Murray in Detroit. Along with being an          Ottawa Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
assistant coach for the Blue Jackets and Islanders, he was the Columbus
bench boss for 147 games between 2004-2007. He won 56 of them. If
Murray is going to take a junior coach, however, he’d be hard-pressed to
tell Melnyk it’s not his guy.
5. Dave Cameron, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors
In a TV interview at the Memorial Cup, Melnyk said if it was up to him, he’d
hire Cameron, but then added the decision is in Murray’s hands. He should
have just said the decision is in Murray’s hands. If Murray hires Cameron
now and says that this was the best candidate, his No. 1 choice all along,
there will be many of us who won’t believe him. We will be sure (although
not quite certain enough to bet a truck) that he was following orders from
above. We might even think that, when Melnyk gave Murray his extension a
couple of months ago, he told his GM that Cameron would be his next
coach. Cameron is a quality coach, no doubt. He left a job in the pros to
coach Melnyk’s OHL team with some sort of assurance that by making the
step backward he would be repaid with NHL employment down the road.
Don’t be surprised if he is promoted to an assistant’s job in Ottawa.
4. Kirk Muller, Montreal Canadiens
Muller was happy with the interview he had with Murray and the feeling
quite likely was mutual. Muller is a people person, the type of communicator
that Murray is looking for. He’s also done a good job as an assistant with
the Habs for the past five years. Jacques Martin said Muller is ready to
become a coach. A lot of hockey people think it’s going to be in Dallas.
3. Kurt Kleinendorst, Binghamton Senators
Seemed like every time the phone rang at the Broome County Veterans
Memorial Arena this season, the B-Sens lineup took a hit. As the Senators
dumped salaries at the deadline, they raided his roster relentlessly. Yet
Kleinendorst managed to keep the players focused enough to make the
playoffs, then hungry enough to emerge from a fifth-place, wild-card team to
become AHL champions. “He won and he developed players,” said
assistant GM Tim Murray. “He’s a good teacher. He was hard when he had
to be. He made adjustments. When you win as a coach, you certainly put
yourself in the mix. I’m sure Bryan will have to speak with him again.” That
doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be a second interview for Kleinendorst, as
Murray wasn’t going to talk to him until the playoffs were over. By then,
Murray had his list whittled down. Unless Kleinendorst aces the interview, it
could be tough for him to slip ahead of the other contenders. While
Kleinendorst knows all the players and interacts well with them, it’d be
tough for Murray to go to Bingo for a coach again.
2. Craig MacTavish, TSN commentator
571848     Phoenix Coyotes


Phoenix Coyotes' GM Don Maloney says 3 roads exist in goaltender search


By Jim Gintonio –


Now that Ilya Bryzgalov - along with salary demands that were "completely
out of the realm of possibility" for General Manager Don Maloney - has
exited, the Coyotes are focusing on the future.
The tens of millions that Bryzgalov sought over the long term remain in
play, becoming funds that Maloney will have available to find a new goalie
and sign other players.
"It's an opportunity to potentially spend less, hopefully find a way to be as
good and use that excess resource in other ways to put a better team in
front of our goaltending," Maloney said. "So this to me isn't something that
we're staring into our lemonade and going, 'Woe is us.' "
Maloney said he will use a three-pronged strategy in his goaltending quest:
- Acquiring a top young player via trade: "There's three or four in other
organizations that may be available in a trade that would cost a good asset
but may potentially solidify your goaltending for a long time; that's one
obvious way to look at it."
- Signing an unrestricted free agent: "There's two or three players in that
grouping that we like. We think in our system with (goaltending coach) Sean
Burke would be good fits for us."
The free-agency period begins July 1, and the prime target is Tomas
Vokoun, 34, of the Florida Panthers, but his price tag might be too steep:
He made $5.7 million last season and responded with a 2.55 goals-against
average and a save percentage of .922.
- Bringing in an experienced goaltender: "I've had a couple conversations
(this week) regarding some very good established goaltenders on other
clubs that for financial reasons they might be looking to make some
changes."
While he talks with his players and agents, Maloney also is trying to add
scoring punch or another defenseman. "We've got a lot of payroll right now .
. . it's just a matter of spending wisely."
Defenseman Keith Yandle, coming off a breakout season as a first-time All-
Star, is restricted. The Coyotes are expecting to re-sign him, but the price
will be high because Yandle likely will be receiving several offers, which the
Coyotes can match.
Free-agent forwards Vernon Fiddler, Radim Vrbata and Lauri Korpikoski
(restricted) also are high on the Coyotes' list.
Meanwhile, veteran defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who made $6.5 million last
season, is second only to Dallas' Brad Richards ($7.8 million) on the money
scale for unrestricted free agents. Jovanovski has given the Coyotes
several good seasons, but his return seems doubtful. Maloney has not
spoken with either Jovanovski or his agent, Pat Morris, since the end of the
regular season.
"I get a sense he's going to get into the marketplace and ascertain his
value, and looking at our needs we have to see what we end up spending
on a goaltender and how we can solve our center (issue)," Maloney said.
He added that he is not sure right now if there is still a window of
opportunity in Arizona for the 34-year-old defenseman.
"I think as we get closer to the draft (June 24-25), get closer to July 1, I'll
have a better understanding of where we sit in regards to what it's going to
cost us for Keith Yandle, what it's going to cost us for some of the other
players, and what we might have available to potentially offer Jovo."
Arizona Republic LOADED: 06.10.2011
571849      Pittsburgh Penguins                                                      "We have a lot of options," Shero said.
                                                                                     Notes: Penguins prospects Bryan Rust and Kenneth Agostino were among
                                                                                     40 skaters selected to attend the 2011 USA Hockey National Junior
Pens sign penalty-killing specialist to deal                                         Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., this August. Also, four Pittsburgh
                                                                                     area players — Brandon Saad, Vince Trocheck, Stephen Johns and J.T.
                                                                                     Miller — will attend the camp.
By Josh Yohe, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
                                                                                     Winging it
                                                                                     The Penguins are dealing with some significant issues at right wing. Here is
The Penguins predictably signed Craig Adams to a two-year deal Thursday.             a look at their current situation.

Now, things get really interesting.                                                  Last year's right wings:

With Adams and Nick Johnson as the only right wingers signed for next                Alex Kovalev — Unrestricted free agent (unlikely to return)
season — and Johnson making the squad is no lock — general manager
Ray Shero has plenty of decisions to make.                                           Pascal Dupuis — Unrestricted free agent (possibility to return)

Trading restricted free agent Tyler Kennedy, a rumor that has grown                  Tyler Kennedy — Restricted free agent
considerably over the past month, doesn't appear in Shero's immediate                Arron Asham — Unrestricted free agent (unlikely to return)
plans.
                                                                                     Craig Adams — Signed through 2013
"I'm not trying to get rid of him," Shero said. "I'm trying to sign him."
                                                                                     Nick Johnson — Signed through 2012
Shero has plenty of options with Kennedy. He could trade him while his
value is high, he could strike a deal with him, let him walk or let an arbitrator    Eric Godard — Unrestricted free agent (unlikely to return)
make a financial arrangement.
                                                                                     Tribune Review LOADED: 06.10.2011
While the Kennedy situation appears unclear, bringing back Adams was a
no-brainer.
Adams played a huge role in the NHL's best penalty-killing unit during the
2010-11 season. He has only scored four goals in 171 regular season
games with the Penguins, but the 34-year-old has long been a favorite of
coach Dan Bylsma. A proven playoff performer, who works cheap, the
Penguins inked Adams to a deal that will pay him $675,000 during each of
the next two seasons.
"I obviously wanted to be there in Pittsburgh," Adams said. "I'm comfortable
with the organization and the city. I'm happy about this."
Shero decided to bring Adams back largely because of the intangibles he
brings to the Penguins.
"He brings grit and character to the room," Shero said. "He sets a good
example to the younger players."
Don't look for Adams' role to change.
"Unless the staff wants to put me on the power play," Adams joked, "my
role will be the same. I'll play right wing, center, left wing. I'll play wherever
they want me to play."
The Penguins hope to bring at least one more unrestricted free agent back
from a group that includes center Max Talbot, right wing Pascal Dupuis, left
wing Mike Rupp and right wing Arron Asham.
Some details are emerging regarding the requests of certain players:
• It is believed that Talbot, 27, wants a four-year contract, something the
Penguins are almost certainly unwilling to offer.
• Dupuis, 32, wants a three-year deal, which doesn't figure to fit into the
Penguins' plans. Shero rarely gives players over 30 a deal that is more than
two years.
• Rupp, 31, wants a two-year deal, but it is believed that his financial
request isn't in the Penguins' ballpark.
• Right winger Dustin Jeffrey, 23, is a restricted free agent coming off ACL
surgery. Shero wants to sign him this summer.
"Of course, I hope a lot of the guys come back," Adams said. "We have a
close room, and you want to play with the same people. But the NHL
doesn't work that way and you know there will be different people from year
to year. I trust in Ray to make the right decisions. If some people leave, he
will replace them well."
The most interesting figure this summer appears to be the 24-year-old
Kennedy. Thanks to additional responsibility last season, while the
Penguins were depleted by injuries, Kennedy scored a career-high 21
goals.
He now figures to want a substantial raise from the $725,000 he earned last
season.
571850     Pittsburgh Penguins                                                     players J.T. Miller (Moon), Brandon Saad (Gibsonia), Vince Trocheck
                                                                                   (Upper St. Clair) and Stephen Johns (Wampum). All are forwards except
                                                                                   Johns, a defenseman.
Penguins re-sign Adams to two-year deal                                            Post Gazette LOADED: 06.10.2011


By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Penguins forward Craig Adams scored 15 points last season.
In what could become a high-stakes game of musical locker stalls, Craig
Adams secured a seat Thursday in the Penguins dressing room.
Adams, a premier penalty-killer, signed a two-year contract with an average
salary of $675,000. He is the first of the regulars facing free agency, all
forwards, to be locked up.
General manager Ray Shero said he is "hopeful we'll sign a few of these
guys" before they can become free agents three weeks from today.
The Penguins previously re-signed up-and-coming winger Nick Johnson,
but they still have a substantial list of impending free agents.
The most prominent among those eligible for unrestricted free agency if not
re-signed by July 1 are Pascal Dupuis, Max Talbot and Mike Rupp. Others
are Arron Asham, Chris Conner and Eric Godard. Shero has said he is not
pursuing Mike Comrie and Alex Kovalev, although he did have initial talks
with them.
In addition, winger Tyler Kennedy and center Dustin Jeffrey will become
restricted free agents if not re-signed by July 1.
"I'm not close on anything else," Shero said. "Craig just happens to be the
first guy to say yes."
With each potential free agent who comes to terms, salary-cap space -- and
therefore the chances of others returning --shrinks, and Shero reshuffles his
priorities and re-evaluates the financial situation.
"They're all separate negotiations, but they're all somewhat moving targets,
too," Shero said.
He has talked to every impending free agent or their representative, but
won't predict which ones or how many might be signed by July 1.
"I really don't have a sense for it," he said. "I don't know what the next three
weeks will bring."
Conversely, the Penguins know exactly what Adams, 34, brings.
The fourth-line center or winger earned his $125,000 bump in annual salary
not by producing offensively -- he had four goals, 15 points in 80 games in
2010-11 -- but by being strong in other areas.
In addition to being a prominent member of the NHL's top penalty-killing
unit last season, Adams ranked fourth on the team with 171 hits and first
among forwards with 64 blocked shots.
"He can skate, play a physical game, block shots," Shero said. "He does all
those little things you need."
Shero and Adams got close on a contract last month, but things broke
down. Shero declined to say which side eventually blinked.
"It was probably a little of both," he said. "I know how we feel about Craig as
a player and a person and a leader here. He has character and grit and
passion. You can say, 'I can replace a Craig Adams.' Yeah, you can, but if
you can make a deal, you try make it happen. You know him, he knows us."
Adams was picked up from Chicago on waivers in March 2009, just in time
to help during the run to the Stanley Cup.
NOTES -- Shero, on the general managers' recommendation this week that
Rule 48 be broadened to make more hits to the head illegal: "I would like to
see zero tolerance. I'm on record on that. Our organization is on record with
that. But we're not in the majority on that. ... Eventually, I think it will get
there. It's not there now. But, at the same time, it's good to know that they
are taking steps to make it safer and recognize we aren't trying to take
hitting out of the game." ... Coach Dan Bylsma will serve as an assistant
coach at the USA Hockey national junior evaluation camp next month in
Lake Placid, N.Y. Among the 40 skaters invited are 2010 Penguins draft
picks Bryan Rust (third round) and Kenneth Agostino (fifth round), and local
571851     Pittsburgh Penguins


Penguins ink Adams to two-year deal


By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


The Penguins today signed forward Craig Adams to a two-year, $1.35
million contract that runs through the 2012-13 season.
Adams, 34, would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency if not re-
signed by July 1.
A physical fourth-liner and penalty-killer, Adams was claimed off waivers by
the Penguins in March 2009 and was part of the Penguins' Stanley Cup
team that spring.
He had four goals, 15 points in 80 games in 2010-11.
Post Gazette LOADED: 06.10.2011
571852     St Louis Blues


Blues re-sign defenseman Nikitin


By JEREMY RUTHERFORD


Defenseman Nikita Nikitin, 24, has re-signed a one-year contract extension
with the Blues.
It's a one-way contract for $600,000, meaning Nikitin (6-foot-3, 217 pounds)
will be paid an NHL salary in 2011-12 even if he's assigned to Peoria.
The one-way contract is a way that NHL teams convince European players
that staying in North America is in their best interest. But it's also a sign that
the Blues are confident that Nikitin, a Russian who played previously in the
KHL, will play in the NHL next season.
Nikitin appeared in 41 games last season and had one goal and eight
assists for the Blues, helping out during a season when the Blues had
several key injuries on the blueline. In 22 games with Peoria, the Blues'
minor-league affiliate, he had three goals and 11 assists.
Nikitin was a fifth-round pick of the Blues in 2004 and played six seasons in
Russia before making his North American debut last season.
St Louis Post Dispatch LOADED: 06.10.2011
571853     Tampa Bay Lightning


Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman: assistant coach Wayne Fleming
has a job waiting for him


Posted by Damian Cristodero


Thought this was worth mentioning on the blog as it will be only a small item
in Friday's paper. But Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Wayne Fleming
has a job waiting for him when he recovers from treatment for brain cancer,
even if he is not ready to rejoin the team for the beginning of next season,
GM Steve Yzerman said.
"Everything is subject to change but right now my intention is to leave (the
position) open," Yzerman said Thursday. "When Wayne is healthy enough
to rejoin the coaching staff, he'll rejoin the coaching staff."
Couple of things at work here. As Yzerman said of his decision, "It's the
right thing to do." But it also is the prudent thing to do for Fleming, 60, who
still is in a California hospital, where he had surgery to remove the
malignant tumor and is now undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. It has
to be a boost for his spirits knowing the team is waiting for him.
"He's progressing," Yzerman said. "He's making some positive progress,
but it's slow."
Fleming was a rallying point for Lightning players, who dedicated the
postseason to him. Fleming also was the architect of Tampa Bay's penalty
kill that was so successful during the playoffs, working at 92.3 percent
efficiency, second only to the Canadiens. In Fleming's absence, assistant
coach Marty Raymond took over the penalty kill.
"We're pla ying a man short right now," Yzerman said. "We'll be fine."
St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 06.10.2011
571854     Tampa Bay Lightning                                                       On A Roloson/Mike Smith goalie duo: Right now, I'm still a bit emotional
                                                                                     about our team being eliminated and I'm still thinking the things we could
                                                                                     have done better in those games, but I'm also thinking that I really enjoyed
Exit interview: Lightning coach Guy Boucher said season ended with talk of           this group. I enjoyed the individuals in it. Players really bought into
"getting better"                                                                     everything we were trying to do. It would be an easy thing for me to say we
                                                                                     would like every player back. But if we would get both goaltenders back
                                                                                     obviously it would be a positive. But that's Steve's job. I get close to the
                                                                                     players and I enjoy the players as people. That's why there's a GM, so he
Posted by Damian Cristodero                                                          could come in and make the right decision while I'm a little emotional about
                                                                                     it.
                                                                                     St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 06.10.2011
In this edition of the Tampa Bay Lightning exit interviews, coach Guy
Boucher talks about an emotional end of the season, how much he learned
and why he is proud to remind that the team was "one goal away from the
Stanley Cup final" and is again "on the map."
On overcoming season-ending emotions: well, you don't want to flush
everything out, obviously. It's a very successful season, one very few teams
had this year. Basically, we were one of the last three teams at the end and
one goal away from the Stanley Cup final. We have to be proud and
understand that we made giant leaps. But we have to look at it that we
could have done better in that last game and the entire series against
Boston. Obviously, we wanted more we wanted to be better and we closed
that today by talking about getting better.
On next season's team: You don't know who is going to be back and that's
the toughest thing for me and the rest of the coaching staff. A lot of guys
are up for their contract and it's going to be a very, very busy summer for
Steve (general manager, Yzerman) and Julien (assistant GM, BriseBois).
All summer I'm going to wonder who's coming in, so that will be a different
kind of summer for me.
On players coming back: I'm sure if you ask the greatest majority of players,
they're going to say I'd love to stay and it will be a true statement and an
honest statement. The reality is there is an economics side to this business
and every player is looking our for the team but also looking out for their
families. There's different plans also, depending on which guy you negotiate
first with. That's a lot of complicated stuff that I'm so glad I don't have to
deal with. Right now, it's a moment where, for me, I need to reflect and look
back and slowly look forward to the next year and see how we want to do
things and bring in new ways and an attitude we want to continue from this
year.
On what he heard from fans: I heard in the street and I kind of liked it. He
said, 'Don't be disappointed. The team is back on tack and we're on the
map now.' I liked the fact that we're on the map now, and I think that's
exactly what it is. The positive thing is we have created a culture and now
we have to build on that culture.
On moving forward: Sometimes you think you need two, three pieces and
you bring them in and it doesn't work because the chemistry is not that
good. Sometimes you feel like you don't need anything and everything is
great, and sometimes you don't do anything and it doesn't turn out to be
great. There are so many things that come into play for a team to do well.
Obviously, there's injuries, there's chemistry. I've seen it all basically over
the years and it's very difficult. But one thing you want to do is re-sign the
players who have helped you and who have showed up in big games and in
big moments. At the same time you want to get better, so if there are
players out there we can get our hands on, obviously, it would be great. But
mot important is we respect what has made us that successful and that's
our culture. That means we have to have the right people for the right
reasons.
On what he learned: Probably the thing I've learned is that the teams are
almost equal. Even the bottom end teams they'll beat you anytime you're a
little off, either with injuries or just coming back from a road trip. The players
are so good and it's all fine tuning. That's why sometimes you can be
disappointed because you lost against a certain team but that certain team
just won four in a row against other top teams. The players are the best in
the world, so the difference is like the 100-meter guys, point something, a
hundredth of a second, so that's my learning curve right there.
On getting Dwayne Roloson to come back: It's a real personal thing. A
player might have enjoyed himself here greatly but there's a family involved,
there are previous places they've been at, and their houses, their main
houses are somewhere. There's a lot of things that come into play. We,
obviously, liked what he was for us. He was one of the guys who made a
major contribution for a successful season, so we'll see. But we're definitely
happy with what he did this season.
571855     Toronto Maple Leafs


Maple Leafs lock up Reimer


JAMES MIRTLE


The Toronto Maple Leafs have locked up their starter for another three
years.
James Reimer, the 23-year-old netminder who had a storybook rookie
campaign this season, signed a $5.4-million contract Thursday that keeps
him signed through the 2013-14 season.
A pending restricted free agent, Reimer will have a cap hit of $1.8-million.
“I think it’s a steal for the Toronto Maple Leafs if he continues to play the
way he did at the end of last season,” Reimer’s agent Ray Petkau said. “If
he levels off a little bit, then it’s also not a big risk for the Leafs.”
The deal is far more than anyone expected a year ago for the youngster
from Morweena, Man., as Reimer was fourth on Toronto’s depth chart going
into training camp and didn’t get his first NHL start until New Year’s Day.
With the Leafs well out of the playoff race, however, he was their best
player the rest of the way, posting a 20-10-5 record with a .921 save
percentage and 2.60 goals-against average.
“We are extremely pleased to have come to terms on this new deal with
James,” Leafs GM Brian Burke said in a statement. “He earned the
opportunity to play at the NHL level this past season and he made the most
of it with his outstanding play.
“He really grabbed the net and never looked back. We are confident that his
talent and strong work habits will be contributing factors to our team’s
success next season.”
Petkau said the two sides have been negotiating for several weeks and that
the deal was finalized in the last 48 hours.
Reimer is celebrating his one-year wedding anniversary in Hawaii but is
expected to speak with the media later in the day.
“He’s celebrating on the beach, I think,” Petkau said.
“This wasn’t going to be one of those situations where we hold out for the
most amount of money you can get and destroying relationships. That’s the
last thing that James would want. He’s happy with the terms.”
Petkau added that Reimer is determined to keep up his strong play next
season.
“He just wanted to get [the contract] done and focus on improving over last
year’s results,” Petkau said. “He’s really got a very demanding workout
schedule planned for the summer.
“Everyone talks about the sophomore jinx but if his work ethic in the gym
has any bearing on that, there’s going to be no such thing for him. He’s
working extremely hard. He looks fantastic.”
Reimer became a fan favourite in Toronto as much for his play as his “aw
shucks” small town personality in his first season, saying at times he was
overwhelmed by the support he received.
“It’s been fun,” he said late in the year. “It’s been hard to kind of grasp the
whole thing because it feels like every day something new happens. I’m still
just trying to enjoy the ride.”
Reimer went on to have a solid showing playing for Canada at the world
championships and is expected to get the bulk of the starts for Toronto next
season.
The Leafs backup situation has yet to be settled. Jonas Gustavsson is
under contract but struggled during the season and rarely played down the
stretch.
A veteran free agent may be brought in to share the load with Reimer.
Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.10.2011
571856     Toronto Maple Leafs


Reimer signs multi-year deal with Leafs


Damien Cox


The Morweena Miracle has signed on the bottom line.
The Star has learned Maple Leaf goaltender James Reimer, who sparked a
second-half turnaround for Toronto last season after beginning the season
fourth on the team’s depth chart, has signed a multi-year contract with the
team.
The 23-year-old Reimer, who posted a 20-10-5 mark with a 2.60 goals
against average in 37 games with the Leafs, signed a three-year, $5.4
million contract extension on Thursday. He was set to become a restricted
free agent on July 1.
“He earned the opportunity to play at the NHL level this past season and he
made the most of it with his outstanding play,” Maple Leafs general
manager Brian Burke said in a statement. “He really grabbed the net and
never looked back. We are confident that his talent and strong work habits
will be contributing factors to our team’s success next season.”
After starting the year with the AHL Marlies, Reimer finished the campaign
representing Team Canada at the world hockey championship in Slovakia
where he went 3-0 with a 2.04 goals against average.
It was an improbable run for a goaltender who didn’t start playing organized
hockey until he was 12 and got drafted by the Leafs 99th overall in 2006.
Reimer receives a hefty raise after finishing a rookie contract that paid him
about $600,000 at the NHL level. He’s expected to be the team’s No. 1
goaltender next season.
Burke still has a decision to make on veteran goalie Jean-Sebastien
Giguere, who had offseason sports hernia surgery and is due to become an
unrestricted free agent. Jonas Gustavsson is also under contract for next
season.
Toronto Star LOADED: 06.10.2011
571857     Vancouver Canucks


Vigneault: 'Luongo's my guy'


By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency


VANCOUVER - Alain Vigneault left no doubt.
When asked if goaltender Roberto Luongo would start Game 5 of the
Stanley Cup final, the Vancouver Canucks coach replied: "Roberto is the
guy. He's my guy." He later added, in French, there was no question
Luongo would start.
Vigneault pulled Luongo early in the third period of Game 4 against the
Boston Bruins after he gave up four goals on 20 shots as the Bruins won 4-
0 to tied the series 2-2. Luongo gave up 12 goals in the two games in
Boston.
That the question is even being asked shows how skittish things are around
the Canucks.
Of course, Vigneault also made it sound like Luongo would start Game 6
against the Chicago Blackhawks, but went with Cory Schneider. The
Canucks lost that one after Scheider came up lame and had to leave the
game.
Vigneault came back with Luongo in Game 7 and he overcame a late goal
by the 'Hawks to help the Canucks win in overtime.
While it seems like most of Canuck Nation is wringing its hands after the
losses in Boston, Luongo struck a positive chord about his club's situation.
"Last time I checked, it's 2-2 in the series, so I don't see why we should be
depressed or whatever it may be," he said. "We're in a two-out-of-three
Stanley Cup finals. So if I was told that before the start of the year, I mean,
where do I sign? That's the bottom line for us."
He said the adversity the Canucks have been through this season,
including blowing that 3-0 lead against the 'Hawks in the first round, is
something they can now draw upon.
"I think it's always being put to the test, all year we've battled through
adversity and have been able to rise above it every time," he said. "We've
been through so much as a team since the beginning of the year, we've
always found a way to come through it and this is no different.
"Obviously, the stage is bigger, but I think we have the confidence that we
believe in the guys we have in this room and that we can get the job done
no matter what the circumstances are."
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
571858     Vancouver Canucks


Five things the Canucks need to do to win the Cup


By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency


VANCOUVER - VANCOUVER - What's with all the gloom and doom?
Yes, the Beatdown in Beantown was hard to swallow, especially being
outscored 12-1 in two games.
But it's not like the Canucks are losing the Stanley Cup final. All locked up
at two games apiece, it is now a best of three, with Vancouver holding
home-ice advantage.
Here are five things the Canucks must do the rest of the way to win the Cup
1. TRAFFIC JAM!
Enough of the adulation talk concerning Tim Thomas coming from the
Canucks dressing room. Blah blah blah. It's time to do something about it.
At least Kevin Bieksa had the guts to come out and say the Vancouver
forwards were not getting enough traffic in front of the Bruin net. Maybe he
should be telling that to his teammates.
2. HEY RYAN, START FLYIN'
Ryan Kesler almost singlehandedly carried the Canucks past the Nashville
Predators in the second round. He hardly resembles that same guy right
now, collecting just one point in four games in the final. And he dropped the
gloves with Dennis Seidenberg, who is not a fighter. If Kesler is hurt, which
is the story we're hearing, he still must find a way to contribute in a positive
manner. And soon.
3. TWIN AWAKENINGS
As people, the Sedin twins are class acts. On the ice, however, they have
gone missing in action, combining for just two points in four games. That's
simply unacceptable for a pair of skilled players who have each won the Art
Ross as the NHL's regular-season scoring champion. If Henrik is ailing, as
some suspect, at least he's not making excuses. Either way, the twins need
to start producing.
4. TRUST IN LOUIE
Now is not the time to start playing musical goalies, no matter how bad your
starter looked in Boston. Stick to your starter and run with him. All 14
Canuck victories in this post-season have come with Roberto Luongo in
net. Enough said.
5. RIDE THE EMOTIONAL WAVE
In a series in which the home team has won every game, the Canucks hold
the hammer. Vancouver's fans are among the best and most loyal in the
league so its time Vancouver takes advantage of the energy in Rogers
Arena.
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
571859     Vancouver Canucks                                                       "Bongo Luongo needs a puck in the face," one fan wrote.
                                                                                   "Ballard is the worst (defenceman ever)" said another.
Fickle Canucks fans turn on their heroes                                           "How the mighty has fallen," said Skippy, in response to the bitter emails.
                                                                                   Walking towards Rogers Arena on Thursday morning, you could feel the
                                                                                   angst growing in Van City (which, admittedly, is as irritating a nickname for
By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency                                                       a city as T-Dot).
                                                                                   Maybe it was laundry day, but there seemed to be far fewer Vancouverites
VANCOUVER -- Radio sports jocks Hippy and Skippy, or whatever their                donning Canucks jerseys and hats than there were early in the week.
names are, seemed to hit the nail on the head in terms of what the mood in         And unlike Wednesday afternoon, prior to Game 4, nobody was driving
Van City is like these days.                                                       around honking or waving Canucks flags
Hippy, or it might have been Skippy (it's hard to know) expressed his              There was virtually no one milling around Rogers Arena and the celebrated
dismay that the actress -- Canadian actress no less -- Rachel McAdams              Canucks store inside the arena was certainly not packed, as it has been
was spotted at the TD Garden in Boston on Wednesday night cheering for             early in the playoffs.
the hated Bruins.
                                                                                   A suspicious clerk -- terrified that somebody was going to quote her by
"She's from Ontario!" exclaimed an incredulous Hippy.                              name -- said there is no longer a fear the store will run out of merchandise,
Yep, it's come down to this.                                                       other than Canucks sweaters in ladies and kids sizes.

Canucks fans are getting gloomier and doomier by the minute and are                One of the Canuck-themed items on sale in the store is a Gnome Bank.
searching for scapegoats as their talented, but clearly vulnerable, team           Maybe it's me, but the Gnome, with his reddish beard and impish smile,
appears to be sinking into the abyss.                                              looks a lot like Henrik Sedin.

The gigantic Canucks banner is still flying high on the control tower at           Actually, the Gnome looks tougher.
Vancouver International Airport, but it doesn't look quite as proud as it did      Outside, in front of the Roger Neilson statue, a solitary fan stood reading
six days ago when the Canucks grabbed a two games to nothing lead                  the plaque, about how Neilson introduced "Towel Power" in 1982. Neilson
against the Bruins in the Stanley Cup final.                                       felt his Canucks were being hard done-by by the referees and thought
I guess it says something about how many times Canucks fans have been              waving a white towel would succinctly express his beliefs.
let down in the past that, even though the Stanley Cup is now a best 2-out-        Sort of an on-going theme in these parts.
of-3 series, and Vancouver has home ice advantage, deep pessimism has
replaced glee as the mood de jour here in the loveliest of all Canadian            The only people in Vancouver smiling yesterday were the cops, perhaps
cities.                                                                            relieved the Canucks can't win the Cup at home on Friday night, meaning
                                                                                   there won't be a riot for at least a couple of days.
The front page of the Vancouver Province came up with an appropriate
headline: 'Trouble Bruin'.                                                         Actually, even if they do win the Cup, Canucks fans are probably too
                                                                                   mentally spent to riot.
And it's trouble with a capital L.
                                                                                   Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
Is there anything more irritating than that ridiculous "Luuu" chant Vancouver
fans dish out whenever goaltender Roberto Luongo makes a barely
adequate save? Well, they were up to their old tricks again on Wednesday
night, perched on sidewalks and steps while staring up into a huge TV
screen outside of Canada Place. "Luuu" they chanted every time Luongo
made an average stop against the big, bad Bruins, who are forever being
mean to the sensitive Sedin twins.
But by the time the overrated Luongo let in the fourth goal in the third
period, the "Luuu" had been replaced by a collective "Whew".
I kid you not.
Indeed, when Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault finally pulled Luongo for
Cory Schneider, the fans actually applauded.
And you thought Raptors fans were fickle.
Vancouver may very well come back and win it all -- in fact, they're probably
still favoured to do as much -- but it's hard not to feel just a little bit smug
watching the Canucks faithful agonize over the fact the Bruins have
stormed back to tie the series 2-2.
The Canucks are a thoroughly unlikable team, what with the biting and
diving and Maxim Lapierre and those two "men" prancing around in green
tights.
And, besides, how much more happiness does this blessed town need?
They've already got mountains and the ocean and they had an absolutely
wonderful Olympic Games. The weather is lovely and cherry blossoms are
in full bloom. Do they really need a Stanley Cup as well?
Apparently they do.
God knows, if the Canucks blow this series, the despair around here will
overwhelming.
You can feel it already.
During their morning show from Boston on The Fox, AM 980, Hippy and
Skippy read some emails from emotional Canucks fans.
571860     Vancouver Canucks                                                     “I've heard a lot of reference in terms of his style of game and my style of
                                                                                 game – I heard he was a pretty interesting player to watch,” said Marchand.
                                                                                 “I definitely take it as a compliment, he's very well known in Boston, all the
'Little rat' Marchand relishes role                                              fans love him. When I ever hear the word Rat it's always referring to Ken
                                                                                 Linesman and that's usually a good thing so whenever you hear that I'm
                                                                                 definitely proud of that.”

By Ian Walker,                                                                   Marchand stopped short of apologizing for his gesture at the end of Game
                                                                                 4, but did go so far as to call it “childish” during the Bruins media availability
                                                                                 on Thursday.
VANCOUVER - It started at an early age. Not so much the hand-washing             See, he is growing up.
gesture he directed towards the Vancouver Canucks bench as he was
being escorted off the ice late in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on            Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.10.2011
Wednesday – that was a new one – but other things that would rile the
opposition.
A silly face. The constant chirping. His chippy play.
That's right, Brad Marchand was always a little rat.
“I remember it all the way back to Atom where I'd do things I shouldn't be
doing,” said the Boston Bruins winger, a sly smile creeping across his face,
in the moments after the Bruins arrival in Vancouver on Thursday for Game
5 at Rogers Arena tonight. “It's just how it was and how I got involved in the
game.”
If there was a moment that encapsulated what most fans outside of Boston
see in the 23-year-old winger, it came with about three minutes left in the
Bruins' 4-0 victory at TD Garden on Wednesday. Marchand received three
different minor penalties all the result of the same play. First he hauled
down Canucks defenceman Christian Ehrhoff with a free hand, then sent
Daniel Sedin hurling through the air after low-bridging him on an attempted
hit, before dropping the gloves with Keith Ballard, who had come to his
teammates aid.
It was en route to the Bruins dressing room that the 5-9, 183-pound shift-
disturber brushed his hands in the universal 'my work here is done' manner
reserved for heavy-weight enforcers, not someone half their size.
“It's helped my game to try and be a bit of a rat out there,” said Marchand, a
native of Sackville, N.S. “I take it as a compliment. I'm not trying to play a
certain way, I'm just trying to get myself emotionally involved in the game
and whatever name you want to give me I'll just roll with it.”
The thing is, there's so much more to the scrappy, grinding, shifty winger
than irritating opponents. Marchand can score – he has goals in back-to-
back games and sits tied for fourth in team playoff scoring with eight goals
and 15 points– kill penalties and check. He's also a big reason the Sedins
have been limited to one goal against the Bruins and that Boston has
deadlocked the best-of-seven series after trailing 2-0 just five days ago.
“First of all, he's always been an energy player, a good skater, but
unfortunately, he's been looked upon here in this league more as a pest,
stirring things up,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien, in the lead-up to
Game 4. “What people don't know about Brad is he's got really good skills.
He's got a great release, good shot, good speed. He's very capable of
playing a good game. Sometimes that gets overshadowed in certain games
where he lets the other part of his game take over.”
Julien recalled a story from the end of last year when the player told the
coach he was good for 20 goals this season despite being pegged as a
fourth-line winger out of training camp. The 23-year-old finished with 21
goals and 41 points in 77 games as a rookie.
“There's a guy who believes in himself and had high expectations,”
continued Julien. “I'm going to stand here saying I wasn't sure that I
believed he was going to score 20 goals for us. Even to a point, I think
halfway through the year, he had maybe only six goals here or something. I
told him he had a lot of making up to do. He just smiled at me, went out
there and scored 21. He's a much better player than people see him as
because some things overshadow his ability to play the game at the high
level.”
It's been 21 years since former Bruin Ken Linesman made his name
pestering the opposing team to a high level of frustration, but what many
hockey fans don't know is his style of play wasn't the sole reason he was
called 'The Rat.' Rather, Bobby Clark anointed him with the nickname
during their time together with the Philadelphia Flyers because of the way
the centre skated. Linesman had a tendency to lean forward like a rodent
as he moved up and down the ice.
All that extra-curricular stuff only added to the nickname's charm.
571861     Vancouver Canucks                                                     Tennessee. Then Vancouver dumped the San Jose Sharks 4-1 in the
                                                                                 Western Conference final, winning on Kevin Bieksa’s Magic Stanchion goal
                                                                                 in overtime.
Canucks’ greatest danger? Sense of hopelessness                                  Vigneault not only had his team in order, but the cosmos seemed aligned,
                                                                                 too, as the hockey gods began to balance the ledger after 40 years of
                                                                                 mostly bad bounces.
By Iain MacIntyre
                                                                                 Maybe the Canucks’ luck has run out. But their hardship this week probably
                                                                                 has far more to do with Brad Marchand outplaying Ryan Kesler, and Zdeno
                                                                                 Chara and Dennis Seidenberg shutting down Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and
BOSTON — Manny Malhotra had a dream. And so has nearly everyone                  Bruin penalty-killers dominating the Canuck power play, and Team USA’s
else in Canada who ever raised a hockey stick in joy and with great              Olympic backup dominating Team Canada’s Olympic starter in net.
expectation whacked a puck or tennis ball towards a net.
                                                                                 “We’ve got to move on,” Henrik implored late Wednesday. “If you look at a
“At some point or another, I guarantee somebody’s been playing road              2-2 score in the series, we should go home pretty happy. But, again, all the
hockey or shinny and said: ‘Next goal wins the Stanley Cup,’ ” Malhotra          talk’s about momentum and that’s not on our side right now.”
said before the Vancouver Canucks trudged home Thursday. “This is what
all of us have been dreaming about.”                                             So, we get back to the issue of confidence. Do you believe? Or more
                                                                                 important: Do they?
Best-of-three to win the Stanley Cup. Sounds pretty good even if, only five
days and two alarming losses ago, the Canucks had five chances to win            Soon, the next goal will win the Stanley Cup.
two games against the Boston Bruins for the Cup.
                                                                                 Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.10.2011
Still, it was only three months ago that Malhotra was unsure he would ever
see again out of his left eye. And then a surgeon in New York unwrapped a
bandage and held up fingers and the player started calling out correct
answers. It was one of the happiest moments of his life.
He is 31, has played 12 seasons in the National Hockey League and until
last year had never travelled beyond the first round of the playoffs.
Teammate Sami Salo is 36. Last July, unable to get out of bed after
rupturing his Achilles tendon, the defenceman worried hockey might be
over for him. He also has logged 12 NHL seasons — plus four in the
Finnish League before coming to North America — and is in his first Stanley
Cup final.
“I think it’s more than I thought,” Salo said. “[Winning] would mean
everything. All the blood and sweat and tears you poured over the years
would obviously be paid off. If someone had said come June you’ll be
playing … the Stanley Cup finals, I think I would have laughed. It has been
a great journey.”
Do you think Malhotra and Salo are unhappy at the chance to win two of
three games for a Stanley Cup? Should anyone be?
Despite the Canucks’ all-systems failure in Boston, the melting of their hard
drive in an aggregate 12-1 loss over two games in which Vancouver’s entire
team was outscored by opposition penalty killers and the Bruins goalie
looked like a six-by-four-foot sheet of Kevlar, the greatest danger before
Game 5 Friday is hopelessness. The same impending sense of doom that
has dragged against the franchise like a curse for most of the Canucks’ four
decades in the NHL.
Winger Daniel Sedin insisted confidence won’t be a problem, but it sure
didn’t look that way in Wednesday’s 4-0 loss when the Canucks’ goalie,
defence and power play all looked void of self-assurance.
“It’s real good,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault claimed post-game of his
players’ confidence. “You know, if somebody would have told me at the
beginning of the year that we could play for the Stanley Cup, best two-out-
of-three series with home-ice advantage in front of our fans, I would have
taken those odds. I would have taken that any time to play for the big prize.”
“We’d take that all day,” Malhotra agreed. “The prize at the end of the road
is far greater than the regular season and intensity of the games have gone
up. But nothing changes about our focus. The hardest criticism we’ve had
all year has come from this room.”
He meant the most meaningful criticism. The hardest criticism was on
airwaves and websites and in newspapers on Thursday.
What the Canucks have going for them, besides this rare and glorious
opportunity still in front of them, are first-round memories when they
climbed out of the wreck they created against the Chicago Blackhawks.
They blew a 3-0 lead in that series and a 1-0 lead late in Game 7 before
winning on Alex Burrows’ knuckleball in overtime. The Blackhawks beat the
Canucks 12-2 over Games 4 and 5, so Vancouver was one goal better but
one goalie-hook worse back then.
When the Canucks appeared to be letting a series lead slip away again
next round against the Nashville Predators, they won Game 6 in
571862     Vancouver Canucks                                                      • DISCIPLINE: The Canucks have prided themselves all season long about
                                                                                  their new-found ability to play “between the whistles” and not engage in
                                                                                  post-whistle scrums or other retaliatory behaviour. It's been a chore for
5 Canucks factors for Game 5: What must be done to bounce the Bruins              them this series and they have risen to the Bruins' bait, wasting precious
                                                                                  energy in the process. The Bruins have spent time in the box for their
                                                                                  behaviour but they seem to thrive on it. The Canucks not so much. They will
                                                                                  require maximum composure Friday. It isn't their biggest concern but it's
By Elliott Pap,                                                                   among the many needed to turn the series back in their favour.
                                                                                  Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.10.2011
VANCOUVER — These are the bear facts: The best-of-seven Stanley Cup
final is tied at 2-2 but the Boston Bruins appear to have the Vancouver
Canucks on the run.
The Bruins were bigger, better and badder during their two home games in
Beantown. They humiliated the Canucks by an aggregate score of 12-1 and
solved Vancouver's power play, Vancouver's forecheck and Vancouver's
$10-million goaltender. (That would be Roberto Luongo.)
So what's next? The Canucks have bounced back from other humiliations,
most recently during their first-round series against the Chicago
Blackhawks when they were drubbed 7-2 and 5-0 in consecutive games.
They eventually won that series in seven on an overtime goal by Alex
Burrows. All is obviously not lost, although it might seem that way to some
overly distraught Canuck followers.
Here are five categories that need to be corrected for the Canucks to
prevail in Game 5 Friday at Rogers Arena:
• GOALTENDING: Roberto Luongo is noted for his stretches of excellence
punctuated by some incredible meltdowns. He's in the throes of another
and it could not come at a worse time for the Canucks. When they left for
Boston, they needed to win two of five games to win the Cup. Now it's down
to two of three games. Not the most difficult task in hockey history unless
your goalie is springing leaks and the other guy (that would be Tim
Thomas) is impersonating a concrete wall.
Luongo has won in pressure-cooker situations before — the 2010 Olympic
gold-medal game, the Game 7 overtime against the Blackhawks and
another Game 7 squeaker four years ago vs. the Dallas Stars. He's capable
and he must recapture that form Friday.
• SPECIAL TEAMS: The Canucks, on paper, had the superior special
teams entering the series but the Bruins have seized that from them with
three power-play goals and two shorties while stuffing Vancouver's top-
ranked power play and holding it to a 1-for-22 performance. Make that non-
performance.
If the Bruins, especially super-pest Brad Marchand, continue to take
liberties and the Canucks can't get their power play going to make them
pay, it's going to be another difficult night for Vancouver players and
another restless night for Vancouver fans.
• SCORING CHANCES: It's one of those stats that doesn't appear on the
official scoresheet but it tells a significant story. The Canucks were credited
with 38 shots on Tim Thomas in Wednesday's 4-0 loss, but how many of
them were from long range and bad angles and hit Thomas right in the
spoked 'B' crest? How many times did Thomas have to pull a rabbit from his
mask? Not many.
Each team keeps its own “scoring chance” chart and only makes the
number public if the coach chooses to do so. Suffice it to say, if the
Canucks don't produce more high-quality chances from the slot area, rather
than the perimeter, they aren't likely to succeed Friday in Game 5.
• DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS: The undisclosed injury to shutdown blueliner
Dan Hamhuis in Game 1 has created a ripple effect that was further
exacerbated by the Aaron Rome suspension. Kevin Bieksa and his
Wednesday's partner Keith Ballard were a mess in the 4-0 loss and it
seemed contagious. Assistant coach Rick Bowness mixed and matched
and scrambled to find pairings that would work but nothing did.
If they stick with the unfortunate Ballard on Friday, perhaps it's time to
deploy rookie Chris Tanev alongside him as the pair were effective in two
games vs. San Jose. That would leave Bowness with a top four of Bieksa,
Sami Salo, Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Edler. That, however, would also
mean deleting Andrew Alberts and his imposing size from the lineup. It's a
conundrum unless Hamhuis makes a miraculous recovery from whatever is
ailing him, the latest speculation being a tear somewhere above his knees
and below his ribs.
571863     Vancouver Canucks                                                          And those are just the players healthy enough to suit up. The Canucks'
                                                                                      biggest loss has been Dan Hamhuis, the versatile veteran defenceman who
                                                                                      hasn't played since hurting himself delivering a check in Game 1.
Canucks rally behind slumping Luongo                                                  Without Hamhuis and suspended defenceman Aaron Rome, the Canucks'
                                                                                      offence was hampered in Game 4 by an inability to move quickly up the ice
                                                                                      in transition. Vancouver's aggressive offence is built on its cadre of mobile,
By Greg Beacham, Associated Press                                                     puck-moving defencemen, but the Canucks no longer have the manpower
                                                                                      to do everything they desire.
                                                                                      "We didn't expect to sweep these guys," Bieksa said. "We have to focus on
BOSTON — Although Roberto Luongo is receiving much of the blame for                   the positives, and can't hang our heads. If we come out the next game and
Vancouver's two-game meltdown in Boston during the Stanley Cup Final,                 score three (goals) in the first, no one will remember these games."
the Canucks refuse to allow their goalie to take the heat alone.
                                                                                      Vancouver still isn't getting much from the Sedin twins, who have largely
Most of the 12 goals he allowed in just over five periods weren't his fault,          disappeared at the biggest moment in their careers. Boston defencemen
defenceman Kevin Bieksa claimed. Luongo might have been pulled from a                 Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg deserve much of the credit for
crucial Game 4, but the star goalie will get himself together in time for             preventing the Sedins from passing and shooting with their usual fluid
Game 5 on Friday (5 p.m., CBC, Team 1040), captain Henrik Sedin                       teamwork, holding the NHL's last two scoring champions to two points in
promised.                                                                             four games.
If only the Canucks had provided that much support to Luongo on the ice,              "It's playoff hockey. Not always one line that decides it," Luongo said. "If we
maybe they wouldn't be headed home with their series lead completely                  have to win a game 1-0 like we did in Game 1, then that's what we'll have to
evaporated.                                                                           do."
"These were the same questions Boston got after they lost two games, and              At least the Canucks have experience in coming back from embarrassing
they found a way," Sedin said. "We need to do the same thing."                        losses during this post-season. After taking a 3-0 lead on the defending
                                                                                      champion Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, they lost the next two
No matter what spin is applied by the Canucks, Boston goalie Tim Thomas
                                                                                      games by a combined 12-2 — and then lost Game 6 with a start by
has thoroughly outplayed his fellow Vezina Trophy nominee through four
                                                                                      Luongo's backup, Cory Schneider.
games in the final, which are even heading back to Vancouver.
                                                                                      Vancouver hung on to win Game 7 in overtime, and the Canucks don't
While no goalie bears sole responsibility for his play, even Vancouver's
                                                                                      expect this breakthrough to be any easier.
most faithful fans realize Luongo is struggling after allowing seven goals on
the last 23 shots he faced in Boston.                                                 "Lou is going to be fine," Vigneault said of Luongo. "He's one of the best
                                                                                      goaltenders in the league. We've got a lot of trust and faith in him, in his
Luongo reportedly was jeered by the crowds at public game-watching
                                                                                      ability to play well."
parties back in Vancouver when coach Alain Vigneault finally pulled him
from Game 4 early in the third period.                                                Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.10.2011
Luongo was fidgety and quiet afterward, clearly eager to get away from
Boston and hoping his blue home jersey will help restore what he lacked.
"We have two out of three with home-ice advantage, and that's what we've
worked for all season," Luongo said.
The Canucks needed just one win to earn the chance to parade the Cup
around home ice. Now they'll need to win Game 5 just to stop the Bruins'
impressive momentum behind Thomas, who looks increasingly unbeatable
after giving up one goal in two home games.
He posted his third shutout of the playoffs in the Bruins' 4-0 victory in Game
4, and has quieted doubters of his aggressive style with a preposterous
1.26 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage in the finals,
stopping 141 of 146 shots in four games.
"I felt like that for a lot of this year," Thomas said. "I have felt so good in the
finals so far. I'm just going to keep doing the same thing that I've been
doing to try to have the same success that I've had. Between games, I try to
get as much rest as I possibly can and keep my body as maintained as
possible."
For the third consecutive season, the home teams have won the first four
games of the Stanley Cup Final — but the Canucks have no time to lament
their scoring drought or Luongo's crisis of confidence. If Vancouver can't
recover from a disastrous trip to Boston before Friday, Thomas and the
surging Bruins just might steamroll them on the way to a title.
"I think we're giving Thomas too much respect," Bieksa said. "He's leaky.
Pucks go through him. We've seen it all year. We just need to put more
pucks on him."
The Canucks' problems in front of Luongo stem from injuries that forced
them to mix-and-match defencemen into three new pairings this series.
Although teams refuse to discuss injuries at this point in the season, the
Canucks also are running out of healthy players.
Centre Ryan Kesler, a stellar playoff performer and the leader of
Vancouver's shutdown defensive line, has played with a fraction of his
usual disruptive force in the final while apparently nursing an undisclosed
problem. Puck-moving defenceman Christian Ehrhoff has an injured
shoulder that's preventing him from shooting the puck with his usual vigor.
571864     Vancouver Canucks                                                      We're playing against a real strong opponent right now. But we're also a
                                                                                  very good team. We've proved it in the past and we're going to set out to
                                                                                  prove it tomorrow night.”
Game 5 marks watershed in Canucks history                                         Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.10.2011


By Jim Jamieson


It's huge, almost beyond comparison.
And in an arena where hyperbole is all too commonplace, it's just a
statement of fact.
Game 5 against the Boston Bruins on Friday is the biggest game in the
history of the Canucks.
Sure, you could argue that Game 7 against the New York Rangers in 1994
is equivalent, but that game didn't have reputations and legacies at stake.
The 1994 team was a gang of over-achievers that had worked several
miracles to even get to that Game 7. They fell short by one goal, but are still
celebrated 17 years later.
That won't be the case for this Canucks group, which won the Presidents'
Trophy and was at or near the top of just about every meaningful statistical
category in the regular season. It won't be the case for Daniel and Henrik
Sedin, who are already being subjected to ignorant personal attacks by
broadcasters and online despite their back to back scoring titles and
consummate class. It won't be the case for Ryan Kesler or Roberto Luongo,
either, both of whom had Conn Smythe trajectories on their playoff
performances until the last two games of this series.
This Game 5 is like Game 7. Yes, momentum is over-rated in the playoffs,
but the way Boston beat Vancouver over the last two games – where they
outscored Vancouver 12-1 – has them coming into Rogers Arena with a
swagger. A third consecutive loss means giving the Bruins a chance to
hoist the Cup on Monday at home. Don't think they won't grab it.
A win for the Canucks means hanging on to home ice advantage and
having two more shots at winning it all, the last one a Game 7 at home.
“Obviously, we do have to treat it like Game 7,” said Luongo, on Thursday
after the Canucks returned from Boston. “We've got to treat every game in
the playoffs like at Game 7.”
Luongo said he and his teammates will draw from the experience of going
up 3-0 on Chicago in the first round and then having to win in a Game 7
overtime.
“You've got to use your past experiences,” said Luongo. “We all remember
that series, the ups and downs we went through and the adversity that we
faced. We came in and rose above it and at the end of the day it made the
victory so much sweeter. The same situation applies. We've got to come
out strong and firing and realize the last two games were a bit of a bump in
the road for us and the opportunity is still there for us.”
Yes, the series is tied -2-2, but the challenge for the Canucks is daunting.
It means reversing almost every trend in this series, from the goaltender on
out. Luongo has been badly outplayed by Boston's Tim Thomas – the new
Conn Smythe frontrunner – the last two games. Vancouver's defence, often
touted as the deepest in the NHL , is a shambles. The Canucks' key players
– some, like Henrik Sedin and Kesler clearly playing injured – simply aren't
getting it done when it matters most. And the power play, which led the NHL
in the regular season, has wilted to a miserable one goal – and that by the
second unit – in 22 chances in the series. Combine that with rarely winning
a puck battle in Game 4 and it's not a pretty picture.
How do the Canucks pull out of this death spiral? It starts with getting back
to playing the game that got them here. The one based on speed and
finesse that's mostly gone missing since the Bruins began suckering them
into an alley fight in Game 3. It also means getting goaltending that meets
or exceeds that of Thomas.
Scoring the odd power play goal wouldn't hurt, either.
Vigneault believes his best players will play that way.
“They're elite players and we've got to where we are today because our top
players are on most nights, the best players on the ice,” he said.
“Obviously, we need those guys to play up to their standards and they will.
We've faced adversity throughout the season in many shapes and forms.
571865     Vancouver Canucks                                                        Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.10.2011


Bruins' attack keeps Canucks on their heels


By Tony Gallagher


BOSTON — Evidently until the Vancouver Canucks start getting some
pucks past Tim Thomas in the Boston goal, they will be enduring a steady
stream gloves to the face, headlocks and mini-little rakes with the stick at
every play stoppage.
It is part of the Boston game plan as they openly admit and it appears to be
working wonders so they will certainly not be changing unless these irritants
that have turned the series into an old time Jim Peplinski-Joel Otto
facewash-fest cost them on the scoreboard.
And while that may not seem terribly onerous to put up with, it has certainly
been effective in turning the main engines of this club off although part of
thee five-on-five problems are due to the fact the puck is not making out of
the defensive zone in the usual pristine fashion it does when Dan Hamhuis
is present and all is well on the back end.
The officials have been asked to crack down on the extracurricular activities
and they have promised to do so but they don't really have the stomach for
calling minors for gloves in the face or little jabs in a Stanley Cup final. It's
kind of against their time held religion of letting the players decide the
game. And even if they did, the way the power play has been misfiring,
you'd almost have to concede there's very little point in Vancouver
underlining their concern about this stuff when there is very little likelihood
of it making much difference.
The Canucks are certainly controlling the message with respect to their
power play woes. An attempt to speak with the coach responsible Newell
Brown after Wednesday's game was rebuked when he said, "sorry, we
have to speak with one voice during the playoffs."
Right now that voice is uttering one word loudly — "doughnut".
But even for the casual observer there are some obvious difficulties, not the
least of which is Alex Edler struggling on the left point not being able to get
shots to the net or hitting the aggressive Thomas in the crest. In fact
Thomas' approach applies to the entire Boston kill as they attack the puck
on a fairly regular basis and then even when a good play is made and the
shot is there the way it was on Alex Burrows' pass to Henrik Sedin at the
side of the net in the first period when it could have changed the game, the
stick was being squeezed tighter than Oprah's pants.
For the Bruins part, they love their role as rats, professional bleep
disturbers that Burrows and Maxim Lapierre could only hope to aspire to.
Brad Marchand is so proud of his role he comes right out and pronounces
himself as a rat, a term which even the likes of Ken Linseman of old used to
deny when asked about it such has the term been used. This guy embraces
it.
“Obviously it's helped my game to try and be a bit of a rat out there you
know, obviously it's tough riding that line between a penalty that I shouldn't
have taken and staying within the rules. You want to stay on the right side.”
He's had miles of leeway on that right side and he's taken full advantage as
have so many others like Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton
before he went down, Patrice Bergeron and others. They are professional
provocateurs and whenever Burrows has responded by initiating the stuff
he's been into, it's pretty much been in retaliation which always tends to be
the stuff that happens when the game is getting goofy and they want to
finally put a stop to it.
It started early in the first period Wednesday when Henrik Sedin was simply
trying to skate to the bench and he was jabbed, then raked with a stick. He
reacted by overreacting which brought more taunts from the Bruins,
something the officials said they would also crack down on but haven't the
stomach for either.
“If we are not playing physical we are not playing the right way,” says
Thornton when asked about the funny stuff. “It's not our main focus but it's
one area of it.”
In the absence of calls and a power play that exacts retribution, it's been
one of the most effective areas of their game plan.
571866      Vancouver Canucks


Canucks cast as villains by many


By Gordon McIntyre


It seems impossible not to like Alex Burrows once you get to know him, and
his backstory is as compelling as any.
Same with the Sedins, same many of the Canucks.
So how did they become public enemy No. 1 in hockey-land?
OK, there's the good-Burr/bad-Burr thing, the Mr. Hyde who bites fingers,
pulls hair and has been known to go down like he was on a galloping horse,
thrown out of the saddle like he'd hit a low branch.
Jeremy Roenick has given us his two cents, same with Ryan Whitney, and
Dave Bolland shared his thoughts.
Social media has been wonderful, as well, at disseminating anti-Canucks
information – there's even a Facebook page called People Who HATE the
Canucks, where the common sentiment is “The Canucks are Lou-sers.”
J.R. had Keg-gate and lost teeth at General Motors Place, so maybe
Lotusland is more like loathe-it-land to him, because here's what he said:
“The Canucks are the villain because of the way they played, because of
Burrows, because of [Aaron] Rome."
And Bolland: “It gets painful watching and seeing that team in it. Typical
pulling hair and biting people, sort of like a little girl … stuff like that isn't
meant for hockey.”
Apparently it's more manly to slash the Sedins behind the knees.
A Versus commentator called the Sedins Thelma and Louise on
Wednesday, Mike Milbury has been his erudite self in castigating the
Canucks and Whitney, unable to find any of the players polled who said the
Canucks are the second-most-favoured team to play for, said 90 per cent of
NHL players want the Canucks to fail.
“There's no doubting their team is pretty amazing, but who makes up that
team makes them so tough to like,” he said. “This team is so easy to hate,
it's unbelievable."
Out-of-town media aren't afraid to pile on, whether they're from Chicago,
Boston or the playoff hinterland of Toronto.
One reporter in Chicago, upon exiting the arena, stopped to look at the
photos of performers who have played the United Centre, pointed to a
picture of Cher and said, “Luongo.”
The point being, Roberto Luongo is a diva.
The disdain doesn't begin and end with the mainstream media.
Listen to the guys at Crash the Crease, a Kingston, Ont., based blog run by
two fans, one of the Leafs, one of the Habs.
“The Canucks have a smug and arrogant fan base that has somehow
exceeded Canadiens and Maple Leafs fans combined over the past couple
months and that is almost impossible to do,” they wrote. “The Canucks [are
guilty of] dirty hits and a biting incident and diving and embellishing left and
right basically every single game.
“They have a team full players nobody likes.
“Nobody can deny they Canucks are a very, very good team with a ton of
depth and that they deserve to be where they are but … the team is full of
rats who dive and now bite and rarely ever drop the gloves.”
So for perspective, it's nice to listen to Shawn Thornton of the Bruins on the
Canucks hate-on:
“That's everyone's opinion, but our take is we're battling for the Stanley Cup
so there should be a lot of animosity and a lot of passion.
"There's a lot on the line here. Whatever else, I don't think you should read
into what other people say, to tell you the truth.”
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.10.2011
571867     Vancouver Canucks


Coach V goes with embattled Luongo for Game 5


By Jim Jamieson,


Yes, Roberto Luongo will get the start in goal for the Canucks in Game 5 of
the Stanley Cup final.
Luongo contributed to but was by no means responsible for Vancouver's
twin meltdowns in Games 3 and 4 in Boston.
The numbers, though, are ugly: 12 goals surrendered on 58 shots over two
games.
Considering that head coach Alain Vigneault made back-up Cory Schneider
his stealth start in Game 6 in Chicago in the first round after Luongo had
struggled in Game 4 and 5 losses, there's no surprise that one of the first
questions the coach fielded on Thursday following the team's return from
Boston was whether Louie will start.
“You can bet on that,” quipped Vigneault.
The coach stressed the two losses weren't just about his goaltender.
“This is not a one-man affair,” said Vigneault. “Our whole group can play
better and will play better. In the two games in Boston. I liked the way we
started the game. For some reason in the second period they've been able
to come at us and capitalize on some of our mistakes. We're aware of that,
we're excited about the opportunity in front of us. We've playing for the
Stanley Cup final, two out of three in this great city with these great fans. It
doesn't get much better than this.”
Asked why this was a different scenario than against the Blackhawks,
Vigneault said: “It was a special situation. We had lost twice before to them
in the playoffs, we felt that we needed to change momentum a little bit. My
gut told me at that time that putting Schneids in was the right thing to do. It
was a one-time thing.
“Roberto is the guy. He's my guy and it's that simple.”
Vigneault also said the Canucks need to get more close in chances on
Boston goalie Tim Thomas to be successful.
“He's a good goaltender and he plays an aggressive style,” said Vigneault.
“We've talked to guys about going east-west a little bit more and maybe
using the back of the net a little bit more. It's all those things that coaches
say all the time. There's a couple other things that we're going to address
with our team and hopefully they'll be beneficial tomorrow night.”
Defenceman Andrew Alberts said the Canucks got into too many scrums
with the Bruins in the last two games.
“I think it happened in Game 3 and we talked about it and were much better
in Game 4 at getting out of the scrums,” he said. “It's not our game. Boston
might want to build on the scrums and get a boost out of that. We're trying
to stay out of that and play hard between the whistles.”
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.10.2011
571868     Vancouver Canucks


Rookie Bruin Marchand regrets taunt


By Jim Jamieson,


Brad Marchand expressed his apparent earnest regrets for the hand-
washing gesture as he passed the Canucks bench on his way out of Game
4 in Boston.
The Bruins' 23-year-old rookie couldn't resist rubbing it in after a late third-
period tussle he had with Canucks defenceman Keith Ballard. He'd just
high-sticked Christian Ehrhoff, low-bridged Daniel Sedin and then dropped
the gloves with Ballard. Marchand got the rare triple – minors for roughing,
holding and tripping.
“That's something I shouldn't have done,” said Marchand of the hand-
washing, after the Bruins landed in Vancouver on Thursday. “It was a little
childish. They (Canucks) were yelling at me from the bench. That's just how
I reacted. I wish I didn't do it.”
Asked about the gesture in the context 'Finger-gate' and his vow after
Game 3 to cut out his own team's taunting, Boston coach Claude Julien
wasn't amused with the question.
“I think we're really looking for things right now,” said Julien tersely. “Next
(question).”
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault was amused.
“Last time, my counterpart said we don't tolerate that on our team,” he said.
“They went out that night and did it a couple times, so I won't go there.”
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.10.2011
571869       Vancouver Canucks                                                     But that season, the Bruins also signed Zdeno Chara, Thomas took over as
                                                                                   the starting goalie and Peter Chiarelli was hired as the general manager.
                                                                                   The next season, Neely moved into the front office, Claude Julien was hired
A fan is a fan: Boston's waited four decades too                                   as coach and East Van's Milan Lucic was drafted.
                                                                                   And they haven't looked back. This edition of the Bruins is also in keeping
                                                                                   with the team's tradition. It isn't over-burdened with talent but it's hard-
By Ed Willes,                                                                      working and tough.
                                                                                   Right now it's also two wins away from the Stanley Cup.

BOSTON - There is a conceit in our market that winning the Stanley Cup             "They're the talk of the town," says Bourque. "The Yankees are playing the
means more to us; that the emotional investment of Canucks' fans in their          Red Sox (in a series that ended Thursday) and you don't hear a word about
team is unequalled in the known world and somehow, some way that                   that.
passion will turn the series.
                                                                                   "The fans have been dying for the Bruins to get back in the hunt. It's been a
That, at least, is our belief. But to be in Boston for the last week, to see       long time and with everything else going around here, they were taking a
these fans and the energy they create, is to understand we don't have a            back seat."
monopoly on unconditional loyalty. Bruins' fans have been waiting 39 years
for this opportunity. In that time their love for their team has been tested but   Bourque was asked if he has a prediction for the series.
its never broken.                                                                  He paused, then said: "They've got some great momentum on their side."
And now that they're this close, they can feel it as strongly as anyone in         And the fans along with that momenum.
Vancouver feels it.
                                                                                   Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.10.2011
"It's been a long time coming," says resident icon Ray Bourque in a phone
interview. "I think we all feel part of it. I never left Boston and a lot of the
guys I played with are still here.
"It's such a passionate sports town. When you're going good you're on top
of the world and when you're not, you're going to hear about it. But as an
athlete, you want that. You want to be a part of that passion."
And that's where the Bruins find themselves these days. In the heart of the
city.
Literally.
As much as Games 1 and 2 were a love-fest for the Canucks in Vancouver,
the last week has been Woodstock for Bruins' fans. They've trotted out Cam
Neely and Bobby Orr to hoist the team flag before the games and Orr's flag
featured the number of fallen Bruins' forward Nathan Horton. They then
proceeded to pound the stuffing out of the Canucks, winning the two games
by a combined score of 12-1 while the city adopted goalie Tim Thomas as
its patron saint.
The support, of course, hasn't always been gracious. There are now a
hundred stories about Canucks' fans being harassed in Boston. During
Game 4, the Jumbotron also showed a picture of a baby wearing a
Canucks' jersey.
The baby, it goes without saying, was booed.
But, for better or worse, that's Boston. It's the city of Harvard and MIT and
so much history but it's also the city of Charlestown and South Boston and
other working-class enclaves which are the ancestral home of the Bruins.
The Red Sox, as Bostononian Keith Tkachuk will tell you, will always be No.
1 in Boston.
"But the blue-collar fans always loved the Bruins," he says.
Tkachuk, who scored 538 goals in his 18-season NHL career, was born in
1972, the last year the Bruins won the Cup and grew up cheering for
Bourque and Neely. His father, John, is a Boston firefighter who used to
work on the crew that laid down the parquet floor at the old Boston
Gardens. John Tkachuk and his wife Geraldine are also from Charlestown,
the setting for the movie The Town.
Tkachuk was asked if the movie is an accurate portrayal of Charlestown.
"It's bang-on," he says.
All of which means Tkachuk knows this place and knows what the Bruins
mean to it. He doesn't like the way some Canuck fans have been treated.
"It's unfortunate that it's just a few ignorant people," he said.
But he also knows four decades of pent-up frustration are involved in the
Cup final.
The Bruins, in fact, had become something of a forgotten entity in Boston in
the early years of this decade. The Red Sox won two World Series. The
Patriots won three Super Bowls. The Celtics won an NBA championship.
And, as late as 06-07, the Bruins finished 13th in the Eastern Conference
571870     Vancouver Canucks


Bruisin' Brad Marchand, a rookie maybe, but perfect fit in Boston


By Ben Kuzma


BOSTON — This city works for Brad Marchand.
He looks like he should be cast in The Boxer movie as a big-nosed and
squat-in-stature scrapper who might bend the rules and even give you a low
blow — if it's going to get the job done. He even wears No. 63 as if to attract
attention and abuse because those digits make him look wider. It's working.
He has eight playoff goals and at least that many guys on the other team
would probably like to rip his head off.
The Boston Bruins bruiser not only scored Wednesday during a 4-0 victory
over the Vancouver Canucks to even the Stanley Cup final series at two
games apiece, he's scoring popularity points with the raucous TD Garden
faithful and his teammates. He plays more like a grizzled veteran than a guy
who logged 20 games as a rookie last season and then had 21 goals this
season. Even better, he's been called a rat and even calls himself a rat. He
considers it a badge of honour.
"It's a tough role to play, to walk that line, and I get pulled back a lot, but
that's how I have to play to be effective," said the 5-foot-9, 183 pound
Sackville, N.S., native, who started this season still classified as a rookie.
"You don't want to think of it all [being a rookie] because that's when nerves
creep in. We're two games away from the Cup, but still a very long way."
Marchand, 23, is refreshingly frank because he's still young enough and
hasn't been brainwashed by media training. He says what's on his mind,
and isn't afraid to admit he has a hard time getting up in the morning
because the season has been such a long grind. He even took a shot at the
Green Men by squirting water at the pair in Game 1 of the final series, but
the heavy shot he took at knocking Ryan Kesler off his game on the first
shift in Game 4 was telling. He rammed the Canucks centre into the
endboards because you don't have to be a doctor to diagnose that the left
groin has curtailed Kesler's speed and strength. Marchand knew that, too.
"Any time you get a hit early in the game it kind of gets you involved, and
that's what we were just trying to do," he said.
Marchand did more than that Wednesday. He initiated a panic-stricken
Canucks sequence by getting to Keith Ballard behind the net and, as the
blueliner and Henrik Sedin handled the puck by the net like a grenade,
sprung into the slot to roof a backhander over Roberto Luongo. In Game 3,
Marchand fended off Kesler and outwaited Luongo for an unassisted
shorthanded goal that spoke of talent to go with all that testosterone for the
61st pick in the 2006 entry draft. After all, in a late-game incident with
Christian Ehrhoff and Keith Ballard on Wednesday, he took a triple minor
but really didn't mind it all because of the end result.
"I tried to jump over Ehrhoff there and clipped him with my arm and a Sedin
tried to take a run at me, and that would have been a cheap hit because I
already had a penalty against me," recalled Marchand. "So I just ducked on
him and saw Ballard come and he had his gloves off so I dropped mine."
Marchand doesn't mind dropping the lines you seldom hear from any NHL
player. When asked what it was like for a player who has won two world
junior championships but never played this late into the spring, he didn't
mask his desire to doze off rather than go through the rigours of another
long playoff day.
"It's hardest when waking up in the morning," he said. "You seem to wake
up tired and pretty drowsy and you have to do whatever you can to get
prepared. But you're fighting for everything you've wanted your whole life
and that overshadows everything. You have all summer to recover."
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.10.2011
571871     Washington Capitals


Goaltending coach Arturs Irbe won’t return to Capitals


By Katie Carrera


Arturs Irbe will not be returning to the Capitals for the 2011-12 season, the
team confirmed Thursday. A team spokesman said that Irbe, whose
contract will expire at the end of June, opted to leave for “family and
personal reasons.”
Irbe, 44, spent the past two seasons as Washington’s goaltending coach,
helping the organization’s trio of young goaltenders – Michal Neuvirth,
Semyon Varlamov and Braden Holtlby – make the transition to the NHL.
This past year, the Capitals became the first team in league history with
three goaltenders age 22 or younger with 10 or more wins in a season, with
Irbe credited for the development of all three players.
Irbe’s time with the Capitals was his first NHL coaching job, coming after a
year of coaching goaltenders for the KHL’s Dinamo Riga in his hometown
and 13 seasons in the NHL. His departure was first reported on Twitter by
Japer’s Rink.
The Latvia native was hired in 2009, in part because of his ability to speak
Russian and communicate with Varlamov, who is a restricted free agent this
summer. Whether Irbe’s departure plays a part in determining Varlamov’s
future with the Capitals or impacts the continued progress of either Neuvirth
or Holtby remains to be seen.
The Capitals plan to have a goaltending coach in place for the start of the
2011-12 season.
Washington Post LOADED: 06.10.2011
571872     Winnipeg


Daly says NHL team name not set


By: Ed Tait


WINNIPEG - It is Winnipeg’s best-kept sporting secret. And even NHL
deputy commissioner Bill Daly is following along with great interest.
What will Winnipeg’s new NHL franchise be called? A great question to
which many in the community and are breathlessly waiting for an answer.
Thing is, all the league’s front-office executives who have gathered here to
go over some logistical issues can do is offer up their own support and
ideas.
The real decision will be left to True North bosses Mark Chipman and David
Thomson, although the league would have to approve any
logo/nickname/branding change.
"Ultimately we do, but great deference is given to the local ownership to
choose its identity and its colours," said Daly during a visit with the media
Wednesday afternoon. "You have to be sensitive to the other teams in the
league and their Images and identities and make sure what’s being created
is a distinct identity. But beyond that it’s pretty much up to the club.
"I know a little bit more today than I did yesterday (about the naming issue)
but, no, I don’t think that decision’s been made yet. It really hasn’t. Part of
the presentations today was going through the team identity and the
possibilities there. Mark still has a lot of good options in that regard and I’m
sure he’ll come to rest at some point with his partners on what they want to
do."
Meanwhile, a number of NHL office types — from the broadcast, hockey
operations, corporate marketing and communications departments — are
gathered here to meet with True North about their questions and any
concerns about upgrading MTS Centre.
"We’re just taking the True North organization through league processes
and policies, how we can be helpful, when we can be helpful, league
business... that kind of stuff," said Daly.
MTS Centre is an NHL-calibre building that needs some tinkering, said
Daly. An example, more room has to be made for extra television cameras
while the glass will have to be changed from seamless to acrylic in
compliance with a league mandate passed a couple of months ago.
Finally, Daly expects the NHL’s Board of Governors to unanimously
approve the relocation and sale of the Thrashers to True North at their
meeting in New York on June 21.
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 06.10.2011
571873     Winnipeg                                                               THE QUEBEC QUESTION: Daly said the league is tracking the problems
                                                                                  and controversy dogging plans for a new arena in Quebec City.
                                                                                  But it’s not involved.
True North wouldn't own 'Jets' team history
                                                                                  “It’s really a local matter. It will resolve itself the way it’s meant to resolve
                                                                                  itself,” he said. “If there’s a new building in Quebec City, I suppose it puts
By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency                                                       itself in a position that Winnipeg’s been in since 2004 when they built this
                                                                                  building.”
                                                                                  Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
WINNIPEG - NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly provided a glimpse into
the name game of Winnipeg’s new NHL franchise, Thursday.
Daly, in town for meetings with True North Sports and Entertainment, saw
some of the possibilities for the team name, but wouldn’t divulge them.
“I know a little bit more today than I knew yesterday,” Daly said. “But I don’t
think that decision’s been made, yet. Part of the presentation today was
going through the team identity and the possibilities there. Mark (Chipman)
still has a lot of good options in that regard.”
While the NHL owns the Jets name and is willing to give it to Chipman, the
chair of True North, Daly points out the team’s competitive history, including
team and individual records, belongs to the Phoenix Coyotes.
“One of his concerns about the Jets’ name and identity is that he really
doesn’t own his history,” Daly explained. “The Phoenix Coyotes, if you look
in their year book ... their franchise records are all players who played for
the Jets. And they’ll continue to have that. They maintained those rights
when they relocated from market to market.
“He hasn’t indicated that pushes him away in any material way, that’s just a
point of fact.”
In the same way, all Winnipeg franchise records will include the history of
the Atlanta Thrashers, inglorious as it is.
SAFETY CONCERN: The NHL is forcing True North to replace the boards
and glass at the MTS Centre in time for next season, part of the NHL’s
effort to reduce head injuries.
Daly said he only learned last Tuesday, the day True North completed the
purchase of the Thrashers, that Winnipeg’s facility, which has seamless
glass, wasn’t up to the new standards adopted earlier this year.
“We are, beginning next year, mandating that all our clubs have an acrylic
glass system so there’s more give in the glass,” Daly said. “We have been
able to determine that seamless glass in our buildings does cause more
injuries than an acrylic system.”
Other ongoing renovations for the NHL include the addition of a second,
suspended press box and renovations to some luxury suites, reducing their
size but increasing the number from 48 to 55.
SIDE BET: It appears Chipman owes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman a
beer, or something like that.
The two had a friendly wager going about how fast True North would sell
13,000 multiyear season tickets.
Chipman lost.
“Gary and Mark had a gentleman’s bet about how quickly the marketplace
would respond, and obviously it exceeded anybody’s expectations,” Daly
said. “The commissioner was more bullish than Mark in the bet.”
Winnipeg was the real winner, opening eyes around the league with the
quick sellout, and the 248,000 requests for tickets in just minutes.
“That’s a third of the population of Winnipeg,” Daly said. “We certainly were
hopeful the city would respond the way they did. But the levels to which
they responded, and the speed to which they responded was pretty
amazing.”
ON THE AGENDA: The league sent out a report on the Winnipeg franchise
to its governors this week, preparing them for the June 21 meeting at which
they’ll vote on the Thrashers sale and relocation.
Daly predicts a slam dunk.
“I have no reason to believe it won’t be unanimous,” he said. “All the factors
would indicate this is something that’s in the best interest of the league to
approve this relocation and approve the transfer of ownership.”
571874     Winnipeg                                                               After trades out of Carolina and Chicago, and a now a relocation from
                                                                                  Atlanta, Ladd sounds like a young man looking for a home.
                                                                                  Thursday, he may have truly seen it for the first time.
Ladd's scouting mission
                                                                                  Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011

By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency


WINNIPEG - It appears Andrew Ladd was a tad surprised at his first real
look at his potential new home.
The captain of Winnipeg’s new NHL team, fiancee in tow, poked his head
into the ’Peg, Thursday, and much to his amazement didn’t find an isolated,
mosquito-infested shantytown with one coffee shop and gravel roads that
roll up every night.
“Even in my short time here, it’s a lot different than even I expected,” Ladd
said, mentioning our selection of eateries and nice neighbourhoods, for
starters. “I guess I didn’t really know what to expect.”
That’s how it is with most NHL players who’ve never been here for more
than a cup of coffee — or a game in the minors.
Some even think we don’t have any parks (hello, Ilya Bryzgalov — are there
enough Russians for you in Philadelphia?).
So Ladd decided to scout it out, on his own dime, not only for himself — as
a potential restricted free agent, he has to decide if he wants a long-term
relationship with us, or just a one-season fling — but for his teammates,
who want to know if they’re moving to the end of the earth, or if you can at
least see it from Portage and Main.
 “We were kind of in limbo, and this hopefully gets the ball rolling,” the 25-
year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C., said. “Maybe I can provide some info for a
lot of the guys that are unsure about what’s going on here and what it’s like.
Especially how you’re treated with ownership goes a long way. And we
didn’t have that great an experience in Atlanta with that.”
No, they didn’t.
So perhaps players will be willing to put up with a pothole or three, some
bugs and five months of serious winter to be treated like real pros.
Ladd calls it the culture of an organization. The details, how your family’s
treated, things like that.
The feel of the place, too. Are the higher-ups easy to talk to?
With his old assistant GM in Chicago, Kevin Cheveldayoff, waiting here to
greet him with a big smile and a handshake, Ladd got an extremely positive
first impression. And you only get one shot at that.
“Most players are just excited to play in Canada and be part of a hockey-
crazy atmosphere,” Ladd said. “I’m sure there are guys that have their
reservations about coming. But you’ve just got to come here and
experience it, see what it’s like.
“If guys know coming in that it’s going to be an exciting, comfortable place
to play, that’s only going to help.”
We should have the exciting part down. A hockey-starved province that
gobbled up 13,000 season tickets worth some $200 million over the next
five years will see to that.
Comfortable? Well, yeah, if you have a fireplace and a companion for those
long winter nights.
Of course, nothing says comfort quite like cold, hard cash.
Which brings us to True North’s plan to hold tight the reins on this yet-to-be-
named horse, keeping it in the lower-to-middle lanes of the NHL’s financial
track.
For a guy like Ladd, who plays to win, that could be a deal-breaker, no?
“That’s fine,” the two-time Stanley Cup champ said. “As long as you know
that when push comes to shove, after that building process and they know
that there’s a chance to win, they’ll make the moves to help the team. As far
as I’ve been informed, they’re willing to do that. That’s all I need to hear.”
Sounds like this negotiation should be smoother than a Teemu Selanne
rush.
571875     Winnipeg


Ladd thinking long-term


By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency


WINNIPEG - Andrew Ladd has never been in a better bargaining position.
Fresh off career-highs with 29 goals and 59 points as a member of the
Atlanta Thrashers, Ladd is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1.
The Thrashers captain has been deemed a priority signing by the franchise,
which is in the midst of a move to Winnipeg.
There’s plenty of speculation that Ladd is the type of player who could draw
a significant offer sheet on the open market, but it’s important to note that
Winnipeg still has the right to match any offer.
Seeing what’s out there is appealing to the power forward, although Ladd
gave an indication he’d like to get a long-term deal done with Winnipeg if
the two sides can find some common ground.
“It’s something you think about (testing the market),” said Ladd, who was in
Winnipeg on Thursday to get a feel for the city and the direction in which
the franchise is moving. “But I’ve been kind of knocked around. This will be
my fourth spot — three teams, but fourth spot — in six, seven years. So it’d
be nice to be in the same place for a while and be able to lock up at the end
of the summer and know you’re coming back to the same place.”
Ladd is only 25, but he’s already played seven seasons in the NHL and won
two Stanley Cups.
His representatives tried to get a long-term deal done with the Thrashers
last season after he was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks, but
eventually he settled on a one-year term through arbitration, worth $2.35
million.
Talks were reopened in January, but a deal couldn’t be reached and Ladd’s
camp broke off the talks in April.
Ladd, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 of 2012 if a
long-term deal can’t be reached, is believed to be seeking a four-to-five
year deal for between $3.5 and $5 million per season.
If the two sides go to arbitration again, Ladd is due a raise north of $3
million and Winnipeg would run the risk of losing him for nothing at the end
of the season.
So a long-term deal would seem to benefit both sides.
For the sake of comparison, defenceman Dustin Byfuglien signed a five-
year extension last season worth $26 million.
Ladd’s visit to Winnipeg didn’t include any negotiations (that should come in
the next few days), but his connection to general manager Kevin
Cheveldayoff from their days with the Chicago Blackhawks certainly won’t
hurt as the process moves forward.
“You need to trust people you’re going to work with and know that you’re in
good hands,” said Ladd. “I have a lot of respect for Chevy and look forward
to working with him.”
Being the leader of the team moving to Winnipeg is something in which
Ladd takes enormous pride.
“It’s a big honour and big responsibility, and something I don’t take lightly,”
said Ladd. “I’m probably less of a talker and more showing by example. It’s
not going to change me. But I’m definitely excited about the opportunity
here and what I can do.”
Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff reiterated his position that
getting Ladd signed to a deal remains a top priority for the franchise.
“I can’t speak for what happened (in Atlanta), all I know is that we had a
great morning,” said Cheveldayoff. “It’s refreshing for him. We talked a bit
about this situation (in Winnipeg) but we also talked about what we were
doing one year ago today, when we were celebrating a championship.”
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
571876     Winnipeg


Ladd would be thrilled to be a Jet


By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency


WINNIPEG - Team captain Andrew Ladd says he sees both sides of the
argument, but admits he’d be thrilled to wear the jersey that’s synonymous
with NHL hockey in Winnipeg.
A Jets jersey.
“I’d love it. It’s got history,” Ladd, the first member of the former Atlanta
Thrashers to hit town, said, Thursday. “I was talking to (former Chicago
teammate and Winnipegger) Cam Barker the other day, and he was like,
‘There might be a riot if they go in a differnt direction.’ I’m a big fan of the
name.
"But it’s a new group, and I don’t think the success was there in the past
and we want to start something new here, too.”
Ladd and his fiancee flew in to meet team brass and check out the city.
They planed to visit various areas to see where they might want to live,
should they put down roots after their wedding next month.
Scheduled to become a restricted free agent, July 1, Ladd told reporters he
hasn’t begun negotiations on a new contract with Kevin Cheveldayoff, but
likes what he heard of the vision of the newly hired GM Thursday morning.
“And I trust it, too, which is a big thing,” Ladd said. “You need to trust
people you’re going to work with and know that you’re in good hands. I
have a lot of respect for Chevy and looking forward to working with him.”
A 29-goal scorer this past season, Ladd was a member of the Blackhawks
for Chicago’s Stanley Cup title a year ago, when Cheveldayoff was the
team’s assistant GM.
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
571877     Winnipeg


Ladd contract No. 1 priority for Winnipeg GM


By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency


WINNIPEG - Andrew Ladd, expect a phone call from Kevin Cheveldayoff.
And a hefty, new contract offer.
Getting the Atlanta Thrashers captain and leading scorer signed to a new
deal is a high priority, it seems, for everybody at True North Sports and
Entertainment.
“Andrew’s going to be one of my first phone calls,” new GM Kevin
Cheveldayoff said, Wednesday. “He is a big, big piece of this franchise.”
Ladd, a 25-year-old who’s already won Stanley Cups with Carolina (his
rookie season) and Chicago (a year ago), is scheduled to become a
restricted free agent, July 1.
While he’d begun talks toward an extension with Atlanta GM Rick Dudley,
those were put on hold until the sale of the franchise.
 “We’re very fortunate to be inheriting such a good leader,” Cheveldayoff
said, describing Ladd as someone who “exudes character” and “what it
takes to win.”
Ladd led the Thrashers with 29 goals and 59 points this season, his sixth in
the NHL, making him a priority for more than his leadership.
“We’re going to find a way. Find a way to get to common ground,”
Cheveldayoff said.
The GM will get plenty of help from his assistant.
“He won’t be cheap,” Craig Heisinger said of Ladd. “The role I would play is
selling him on the culture, the city, the province, the environment that’s
here. And it would be up to Kevin to hash out the number.”
With the full approval of the man who signs the cheques.
“He’s a fantastic young man,” True North chairman Mark Chipman said. “He
plays the game with his heart on the sleeve and that’s what we aim to be
about. That will be Chevy and Zinger’s responsibility to convince him he’s
coming to a place where he’s going to flourish.”
It’s the second straight summer Ladd’s contract has come down to the wire.
Last year he took the franchise to arbitration. If he doesn’t sign by July 1,
he’s free to accept offer sheets from other teams. But Winnipeg would have
the right to match.
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
571878     Winnipeg                                                                 the same beliefs. As an organization, I believed in a lot of what they
                                                                                    believed in prior to coming here. That makes it a natural fit.”
                                                                                    Heisinger said the beauty of his friendship with Cheveldayoff is in the fact
Chipman expands NHL family                                                          that it endured many years of rivalry, with the latter’s Wolves always besting
                                                                                    the former’s Moose in the post-season.

By TED WYMAN, QMI Agency                                                            “It doesn’t really matter what organization you go to, there are certain
                                                                                    people who remain in your support group when you need opinions on
                                                                                    players or different situations,” Heisinger said.

WINNIPEG - Mark Chipman is clearly a man who believes in family and the             “Kevin was always one of those guys for me, and I was the same for him.”
kind of loyalty associated with that institution.
                                                                                    Just what you expect from family.
The co-owner of Winnipeg’s NHL franchise had his entire family front and
centre when he made the announcement about his purchase of the Atlanta              Sage advice from old friend
Thrashers last week.                                                                As a player with the Brandon Wheat Kings way back when, Kevin
Wednesday, the families of Kevin Cheveldayoff and Craig Heisinger filled            Cheveldayoff once skated off the ice frothing at the mouth about getting
the front row at a press conference introducing the two longtime hockey             back at an opposing player for a perceived offence.
men as the general manager and assistant general manager of the not-yet-            Craig Heisinger, the Wheat Kings equipment manager at the time said:
named Winnipeg franchise.                                                           “Chevy, relax.”
Chipman’s organization has shown tremendous loyalty to fans who                     Cheveldayoff got a chance to return the favour this week when he and
supported the Manitoba Moose over the years and richly rewarded them                Heisinger were talking about all the things they have to do to get Winnipeg’s
with a pre-sale on season tickets for NHL hockey.                                   NHL franchise ready for the upcoming draft, the opening of free agency and
And he’s shown the same kind of loyalty to his staff with the Moose,                the 2011-2012 season.
bringing many of them along for the NHL ride, including one-time equipment          Cheveldayoff said: “Zing, I’m going to tell you something a very wise person
manager Heisinger, who was also named senior vice-president and director            told me when I was 15 years old: ‘Relax.’”
of hockey operations Wednesday.
                                                                                    “To be able to have that kind of exchange with him right off the hop, we’re
Claude Noel, who coached the Moose last season, is the front-runner to be           settling in nicely together.”
named head coach of the NHL team.
                                                                                    Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
Do we see a trend here?
“The type of culture you try to build is one where people feel like they’re part
of a family and they will willingly do the extraordinary,” Chipman said in a
one-on-one interview after Wednesday’s press conference. “That’s honestly
why we are here. We’ve had that culture embedded in our organization for
a long time. Everybody in our organization had a part of getting us the
success we had in the American Hockey League, which got us a building,
which got us to this day.”
It was with those values in mind that Chipman appointed longtime friend
and confidant Heisinger to such a key role with the NHL team and also
played a huge part in the decision to bring Heisinger’s longtime friend and
confidant, Cheveldayoff, on board.
“I don’t know how else to say it, we have become great friends over 15
years,” Chipman said of his relationship with Heisinger. “I don’t think you
can be in this business and go through the ups and downs of it without
forming deep friendships.
“One of the things that has been so gratifying about being in the business is
being able to share that with Zinger and now to bring Kevin in, who has had
a similar, even longer friendship than I’ve had with Zinger, just gives us a
great deal of comfort and confidence that it’s going to work.”
It was easy to see that Chipman’s two hires share the owner’s mindset.
Heisinger, 48, got emotional when he talked about both his own family (wife
Vickie and four sons) and his Manitoba Moose family, with which he shares
the credit for making the return of the NHL to Winnipeg possible.
“Thank you to the fans of the Moose, who let the players, coaches and
myself cut their teeth in front of them,” a choked-up Heisinger said at the
podium. “A lot of good people have been through here the last 15 years to
cut their teeth. People were very patient, not just with myself, but with the
players and the coaches, and that can’t be understated.
“At the end of the day, the No. 1 reason we had the press conference last
Tuesday and again this Wednesday, is because of the organization that
was built here and the fan support that they’ve shown over the last 15
years. That has provided this opportunity and given the NHL a reason to
have a second look at Winnipeg.”
From the sound of it, Cheveldayoff, 41, will fit right in. He first met Heisinger
when he was a 15-year-old player for the Brandon Wheat Kings and
Heisinger was the team’s equipment manager, and the two have been
close ever since.
“Zinger and I have a great relationship that goes back to our junior days,”
Cheveldayoff said. “It comes from the fact we both have the same values,
571879     Winnipeg


Winnipeg head coach head hunting


By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency


WINNIPEG - Winnipeg’s new NHL management team knows exactly what
qualities they’re looking for in their head coach.
As general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and director of player
personnel/assistant GM Craig Heisinger were officially unveiled as the two
strongest voices in the hockey operations department, it’s clear that finding
a head coach is near the top of the to-do list.
“Players want to be led,” said Cheveldayoff. “It doesn’t matter what age they
are or what their salaries are. I want someone that can communicate,
someone that has passion for the game, someone that coaches an exciting
team. I want someone who’s going to have some personality for the fans
that they can relate to. I don’t know if we’ll find all those things in one
person or not. It’s a great opportunity for whoever ends up coaching here.”
Incumbent Craig Ramsay is one of the guys who will be considered.
“Oh absolutely, nobody has been ruled out,” said Heisinger. “We’re going to
take our time and make decisions in due time.”
While Cheveldayoff said they won’t rush to get one in place for the 2011
NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn. on June 24-25, there’s a good chance
the bench boss will be unveiled in the next seven-to-10 days.
Here’s a closer look at who might be behind the bench this fall:
The candidates (with odds on getting the job)
Claude Noel (2-1) — The head coach of the Manitoba Moose last season is
emerging as the favourite in this race. Noel has a winning pedigree after
capturing the Calder Cup with the Milwaukee Admirals in 2004 and leading
them to the final in 2006. He spent parts of three seasons as an assistant
coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets and was interim coach before
joining the Moose.
Kirk Muller (3-1) — The longtime NHLer has spent the past five seasons as
an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens and has already
interviewed with the Dallas Stars, Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild and
spoken with the New Jersey Devils. The Moose were reportedly denied
permission by the Canadiens to speak with him for their vacancy last
summer, but won’t stand in the way this time.
Craig Ramsay (4-1) — He’s the incumbent, leading the Thrashers to a 34-
36-5-7 record last season. Conventional wisdom suggests a new general
manager often wants to go with his own guy, but incoming Vancouver
Canucks GM Mike Gillis stuck with Alain Vigneault and that worked out
pretty well.
Bob Woods (5-1) — He led the Hershey Bears to the 2009 Calder Cup over
the Moose before taking a job as an assistant coach under Bruce Boudreau
with the Washington Capitals. He was also a teammate of Cheveldayoff’s
with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings.
Mike Haviland (5-1) — Another well-respected NHL assistant who spent the
past three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and was part of the 2010
Stanley Cup. He was the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award winner in 2006-
07 after leading the Norfolk Admirals to a 50-win season.
John Anderson (5-1) — The former Thrashers bench boss was fired by the
previous regime after missing the playoffs twice (consecutive 35-win
seasons), but he did a better job than he got credit for. He’s won five
championships, including four with the Wolves during Cheveldayoff’s
tenure.
Paul MacLean (5-1) — The former Winnipeg Jets sniper is considered a
front-runner for the Senators vacancy, after spending the past six seasons
with the Detroit Red Wings and two seasons with the Anaheim Mighty
Ducks.
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
571880      Winnipeg                                                              “This is obviously a very, very exciting opportunity for me,” he said. “Being
                                                                                  part of bringing the NHL back to the Prairies, back to Winnipeg. This is a
                                                                                  story across the hockey nation. You’re witnessing history. When we all look
Chevy wants to build from within                                                  back at it, we’re going to remember this day.
                                                                                  “I hope the next level of excitement can be reached when the fans can be
                                                                                  parading with that Stanley Cup.”
By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency
                                                                                  A certain ex-football coach couldn’t have said it any better.
                                                                                  And that’s about the only thing he and the new hockey boss seem to have
WINNIPEG - The last time somebody hired a good friend around here                 in common.
without doing any other interviews, we got Mike Kelly.
                                                                                  Name game almost over
I bring this up as Winnipeg’s new NHL franchise introduces Kevin
Cheveldayoff as its first general manager.                                        There’s still no word on the name of Winnipeg’s new NHL team.

Chevy, as he’s already known, has long been friends with Craig Heisinger,         Mark Chipman of True North Sports says that’ll come “soon.”
who, along with his good friend, Mark Chipman, made the decision to target        Name or no name the new GM says it’s not too soon to start talking about
Cheveldayoff, and nobody else, for the most critical position in the              playoff whiteouts.
organization.
                                                                                  “That’s certainly the goal,” Kevin Cheveldayoff said. “If you want a chance
Chevy said yes, and, like that, the process was over.                             at the big prize, you’ve got to get into the playoffs. It’s unrealistic right now
I get the feeling, though, this’ll work out better than Lyle Bauer’s botched      to sit here and talk about guarantees, but... playoffs are something you
hiring of the most controversial coach in Winnipeg Blue Bomber history.           have to expect.”

Whether or not it ever produces the ultimate celebration at Portage and           Chevy bleeds green
Main is another thing. But that’s the plan.                                       Brace yourselves, local sports fans: the new GM of our NHL team is, wait
The five-year plan.                                                               for it, a melon-head.

“My expectation is to methodically try and build this franchise,”                 Asked if he’s a Riders or Bombers fan, Kevin Cheveldayoff admitted he
Cheveldayoff said. “There’s no quick fix. If you try to look for shortcuts,       couldn’t shake his Saskatchewan roots.
you’re only fooling yourself. There’s no go out and sign five, six, seven guys    “Ohhhh,” he began, as if the question caused extreme pain. “Some things
and all of a sudden put the Stanley Cup rings on your fingers. It doesn’t         are just going to be tough to change. Green’s going to be the colour for
work that way.”                                                                   me.”
Cheveldayoff saw exactly how it works his first year with the Chicago             Cheveldayoff, 41, was born in Saskatoon and raised in Blaine Lake, Sask.
Blackhawks, where he’ll forever be remembered as the assistant GM of last
year’s Stanley Cup champs.                                                        Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.10.2011
As high-priced as that team quickly became, it was built largely through the
draft.
“The majority of those players grew up together,” Cheveldayoff said. “They
went to Norfolk together, they went to Rockford together, they graduated to
the NHL together. I’ve lived it. I’ve seen it. It may not be the 100% way, but
that’s the way we’re going to do it.”
It’ll be a little different in Winnipeg, though.
Cheveldayoff has always been with organizations that aren’t afraid to
spend, whether it was the Blackhawks or the Wolves, also known around
here as the Evil Empire of minor-league hockey because of the way they
tossed their money around en route to two AHL and two IHL titles.
Chipman, head of True North Sports, has already said this will be a low-to-
middle spender, meaning they’ll have to work harder and smarter than
some of their NHL brethren.
Apparently, that’s music to Cheveldayoff’s ears.
“It was exhilarating to know he wants an opportunity to do it the way I
believe is the right way — to grow from within,” the GM said. “Just because
you give a guy more money doesn’t necessarily equate to bigger and better
things. We’re not going to just throw money at people and say, ‘Come on to
Winnipeg.’ We’ll do things that are rational.”
And they’ll have some fun doing it.
You get the impression the Chipman-Cheveldayoff-Heisinger triumvirate
has some chemistry going.
Asked about Cheveldayoff’s reputation as a salary cap specialist, Heisinger,
the old equipment manager for Chevy’s Brandon Wheat Kings, had this
comeback: “Kevin is passionate with numbers — just look at his penalty
minutes.”
At the core, this is more than friendship. It’s a passion for the game and this
city and province: Chipman’s unrelenting desire to bring us the top level of
hockey possible, Heisinger’s refusal to leave with the Jets for Phoenix, 15
years ago — and now Cheveldayoff’s dream, born in small-town
Saskatchewan.
571881     Websites                                                             If Hulsizer walks away, and all signs point to that day coming sooner than
                                                                                later, the city of Glendale might have watched its last, best chance to keep
                                                                                the team in the desert go with him.
ESPN / Glendale wastes chances to keep Coyotes                                  ESPN LOADED: 06.10.2011


By Scott Burnside


After spitting up another $25 million to cover losses by the Phoenix Coyotes
and keep them in town, the city of Glendale should be showing a little more
urgency to get a deal done with a prospective owner.
Yet this place has more than earned its nickname "Gongdale" throughout
the tortured saga of the local hockey team, so it shouldn't come as a
surprise that the machinery to find a new owner and finally stabilize the
situation in the desert has ground to a virtual halt.
A source told ESPN.com that prospective owner Matthew Hulsizer has
provided a new proposal to the city of Glendale for the purchase of the
team. This proposal would give the city more options for financing the deal
and is more attractive than the deal the city of Glendale previously agreed
to, which is presumably still on the books.
The old deal has never moved forward thanks to threats from conservative
public interest group The Goldwater Institute that it will sue over the deal,
which includes the sale of municipal bonds to help cover the cost of the
purchase of the team from the National Hockey League.
Multiple sources tell us there is a divide within city government with some
members of the council wanting to move forward with this new proposal and
with others, including city manager Ed Beasley, wanting to wait to see
whether Hulsizer will kick in more of his own money to buy the team or
another owner will come forward to buy the team and put less of a financial
burden on the municipality.
Of course, the ongoing sentiment from sources close to the deal is that
finding such a person who will take the team off the NHL's hands, spend
more of his or her own money and keep the team in Glendale remains
completely in the realm of fantasy.
Maybe such a person exists, but if he does, he has taken his sweet time
making himself known.
The Coyotes' plight was brought into a little sharper focus this week when
the Coyotes traded the rights to netminder Ilya Bryzgalov to the
Philadelphia Flyers.
Bryzgalov was key to the Coyotes' run to the playoffs this spring and a year
ago when he was nominated for the Vezina Trophy.
Perhaps Bryzgalov, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1,
wants too much money, so the trade of his rights would have been made
regardless of the Coyotes' ownership situation. But the fact that the team's
future in Arizona remains far from set can be seen as a contributing factor
to Bryzgalov's leaving town.
Further, how will GM Don Maloney attract free agents to keep the team
competitive with ownership still up in the air?
What kind of budget will he work with as the NHL continues to hold the
purse strings, however reluctantly?
The city of Glendale's failure to move forward with an ownership deal
continues to be a failure to establish a connection between the fan base
and the team and take advantage of the work done by coach Dave Tippett
and Maloney.
Hulsizer has collected more than $100 million in cash that is set aside for
the purchase of the team. It's believed Hulsizer is growing impatient to
either close the deal in Glendale, move on to another potential NHL
investment or redistribute the money to his investors.
The fact that the city of Glendale has for a second straight year committed
$25 million to cover losses connected to the team guarantees the team's
stay in Glendale for only the coming season. Nothing more. And you can be
sure the NHL will move swiftly to begin relocation of the team by the end of
December if an ownership deal is not in place, regardless of whether it's
with Hulsizer or someone else.
571882      Websites


ESPN / Cup finals: Home teams, Marchand's 'hand-washing' and, yes, the
power play


By Pierre LeBrun


VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The home team is 4-0 in these Stanley
Cup finals. Overall, the home team is 15-2 in the Cup finals dating back to
2009.
That's a daunting statistic for the Bruins.
"It's a best-out-of-three series with Vancouver having the home-ice
advantage," Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said Thursday. "We know we have
to win one here."
"It's pretty hard to play here," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron added. "The
crowd is very loud and Vancouver is obviously going to look to bounce
back, so we have to make sure we're bringing the same energy we had in
Games 3 and 4. It's a huge game tomorrow."
The Canucks are focusing on that home cooking to change their fortunes.
"We're not happy with the two games, but it's 2-2," Canucks blueliner
Alexander Edler said. "We're back home now and we've got to stay positive,
look forward to the game tomorrow, and I know we all are and we are
looking forward to that game and want to put our absolute best game out
there."
Marchand dust-off
Brad Marchand didn't make any friends with the Canucks with his hand
gesture late in Game 4.
After one of the melees late in Boston's 4-0 win, Marchand skated past the
Canucks' bench (with an official) and wiped his hands together in a I've-
washed-my-hands-of-that type of gesture.
"That's something I shouldn't have done," Marchand told reporters
Thursday. "It was a little childish. They were yelling at me from the bench,
and that was just how I reacted. I kind of wish I didn't do it."
Bruins coach Claude Julien didn't appreciate one reporter asking him about
the gesture during Thursday's media availability at Rogers Arena.
"I think we're really looking for things now, aren't we? Next [question]," he
said.
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault wasn't getting into it, either.
"Last time my counterpart said we don't tolerate that in our team, they went
out there and did it a couple times, so I won't go there," Vigneault said.
"Let's just say boys will be boys, and at times it's emotional out there. You
do things that are sometimes across the line, sometimes on the right side of
the line. It's just hockey."
The power play ... again
The Canucks' power play is a brutal 1-for-22 in the Cup finals after
humming along at better than 28 percent in the playoffs before this series.
Credit the Bruins' always-excellent penalty kill.
"I think we've done a good job all playoffs with our PK and adjusting to the
teams we've been playing against," Bergeron said.
Say what?
Someone actually asked Bruins forward Rich Peverley on Thursday
whether he believed his team had a "stranglehold" on the series.
"Well, I don't think we have a stranglehold on it; it's 2-2," he said. "We
haven't won in this building yet, so we're going to come in and we're going
to try and get one out of the next two if we have to play two here.
"I don't think we're too high," he added. "They've beaten us in this building,
so we're coming in knowing the games have been different here. But we've
played well at home, and hopefully we can carry that energy to tomorrow
night."
ESPN LOADED: 06.10.2011
571883     Websites                                                                Brother Daniel Sedin and linemate Burrows were held scoreless in three of
                                                                                   the four games, including both in Boston.
                                                                                   Ryan Kesler, who entered this series as the favorite for the Smythe trophy,
FOXSports.com / Bruins have done a 180 to square series                            has not been the same energetic, hard-hitting, two-way force he was in the
                                                                                   first three rounds, struggling through a nagging groin injury.

Spector                                                                            Defensemen Kevin Bieksa, Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Edler were among
                                                                                   the top-scoring blueliners in this year's playoffs, but only Edler has points in
                                                                                   this series. All three were held off the score sheet in Games 3 and 4. Bieska
                                                                                   and Ehrhoff each had combined plus-minus stats of minus-4, while Edler's
When this week began, the Vancouver Canucks enjoyed a 2-0 series lead              was minus-5.
over the Boston Bruins.
                                                                                   Finally, goalie Roberto Luongo had his worst performances of this year's
Canucks fans were entertaining notions of a Stanley Cup parade by week's           playoffs, giving up 12 goals on a combined 58 shots, looking nothing like
end, while analysts wondered if the Bruins could find a way to get back into       the calm, confident netminder of Games 1 and 2.
this series.
                                                                                   As the series shifts back to Vancouver on Friday, the Canucks will hope to
By Thursday morning, the Bruins had tied the series, silenced their critics        get a lift from the hometown crowd, but their arena is likely to be filled with
and addressed the factors which plagued them in the first two games, while         nervous energy from a fan base whose confidence may now be shaken.
the Canucks, blown out of Games 3 and 4, were now the ones being
questioned about their performance.                                                Injuries have undoubtedly taken a toll on several of Vancouver's stars.
                                                                                   Perhaps as a team they weren't fully prepared for how much the Bruins
The Canucks weren't just beaten in the two games in Boston, they were              would be charged up playing on their home ice. Maybe they were guilty of
humiliated, outscored 12-1 while looking nothing like the disciplined, patient     being a little overconfident after taking an early series lead.
club which used depth and speed to open the series with two victories over
the Bruins.                                                                        Whatever the reasons, the pressure of the series has now shifted fully upon
                                                                                   the Canucks, who return home for a crucial Game 5 against a Bruins team
Facing the challenge of back-to-back must-win games, the Bruins rose to            that now firmly believes it can win this series.
the occasion, with their stars as well as their role players stepping up. It was
very much a team effort.                                                           If the Canucks fail to generate more effective scoring chances, rattle
                                                                                   Thomas, kick-start their power play and get more out of their best players,
David Krejci, the Bruins' best offensive player, overtook Vancouver's Henrik       the Bruins could very well win it all.
Sedin in the playoff scoring race, with four points in those two games.
                                                                                   FOXSports.com LOADED: 06.10.2011
Veteran winger Michael Ryder, held scoreless in the first two games, also
netted four points.
Rookie Brad Marchand had three points, including a highlight reel, short-
handed goal which effectively buried the Canucks in Game 3, as did center
Rich Peverley, including two goals in Game 4.
Defenseman and team captain Zdeno Chara, who struggled earlier in the
series, bounced back once the series shifted to Boston, with three assists
and a combined plus-minus of plus-5.
Even right wing Mark Recchi, at 43 the oldest player in the series, made his
presence felt with two goals in Game 3.
And of course there was the performance of goaltender Tim Thomas, who
turned aside 78 of 79 shots in the two victories, emerging as the front-
runner for the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.
Thomas was superb, thwarting Vancouver's scorers time and again, while
his willingness to get physical -- flattening Daniel Sedin with a body check in
Game 3, and swatting at Vancouver pest Alex Burrows following a goal-
mouth scramble late in Game 4 -– earned comparisons to legendary Bruins
netminder Gerry Cheevers.
As if playing in front of their hometown fans and legends Bobby Orr and
Cam Neely weren't enough, the Bruins had additional motivation by playing
for an injured teammate.
Right winger Nathan Horton, who'd been a clutch scorer for the Bruins
earlier in the playoffs, was knocked out of the Finals with a concussion due
to a late hit early in Game 3 by Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome, who
was suspended for the remainder of the series.
The Canucks, meanwhile, had good starts in Games 3 and 4, but fell apart
in the second and third periods.
Vancouver's power play, third-best overall in this year's playoffs, has been a
non-factor in this series, scoring only once in 22 chances in four games,
and not at all in Boston.
The Canucks consistently outdrew the Bruins in the faceoff circle, but that
was cold comfort for an offense which has grown stone cold. Their power
play fell apart in Game 3, giving up two short-handed goals to the Bruins.
Worse for the Canucks, their best players weren't at their best in Boston.
Leading scorer Henrik Sedin was held scoreless in the first four games, as
he appeared to be hobbled by an ankle injury.
571884     Websites


NBCSports.com / Should Roberto Luongo start Game 5 for Vancouver?


Joe Yerdon


Through the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals, Roberto Luongo
appeared to be the man destined to make a run at the Conn Smythe Trophy
leading the Canucks to victory. He earned a shutout in Game 1 and held
strong to get the Canucks to overtime to win Game 2.
In Boston, things took a vastly more disturbing turn as Luongo went on to
allow 12 goals in 103 minutes played through Games 3 and 4 as the
Canucks dropped both games by a combined score of 12-1. Cory
Schneider took over for Luongo just minutes into the third period of Game 4
and did his part by stopping all nine shots he faced as the Bruins took
Game 4 4-0.
So now we have to ask the question: Should Luongo start in Game 5? After
all, the last time we saw Luongo get lit up this hard by an offense it came in
Games 4 and 5 against Chicago in the first round of this year’s playoffs.
Vancouver dropped Game 4 7-2 and then lost Game 5 5-0. Cory Schneider
then got the call to start in Game 6, a game he ultimately left early thanks to
injury and saw Luongo come into only to lose in overtime 4-3.
Some are thinking that coach Alain Vigneault might do the same thing this
time around. We’re not so quick to jump on that bandwagon for a big
reason. Against Chicago, the Canucks were playing with house money in
Game 6. They had a 3-2 series lead heading into that game and if
Schneider helped get the Canucks past their mental nemesis from Chicago,
all was well. This time around the fate of the Stanley Cup finals hangs in the
balance.
The winner of Game 5 will have a chance to end the series on Monday in
Game 6. For Vancouver, a Game 5 loss could mean the end of the series
given how poorly they played in Boston. For Vancouver, a win in Game 5
would mean they’d at least buy themselves a one game grace period
should they get bombed on again in Boston. Versus’ Keith Jones and
Jeremy Roenick said they’d stick with Luongo for Game 5.
Of course, there’s the worry about whether or not Luongo is going through a
mental phase here where he loses focus and confidence. You could argue
that two or three of the goals he allowed in Game 4 he should’ve stopped.
He certainly should’ve had Rich Peverley‘s first goal that beat him five hole
and he had to have Michael Ryder‘s shot that beat him over the shoulder.
Luongo had his own reasons why he missed on Ryder’s goal saying the
shot dipped about three feet after glancing off Sami Salo‘s stick. We’re a bit
skeptical of that take but we’re not the pros here.
So what would you do? Would you go back to your Vezina Trophy finalist
who had a couple of bad games or would you go with your rookie backup
goalie who has looked decent in the limited duty he’s had in the playoffs?
Let us know in the comments and vote in our poll as to what you would do.
NBCSports.com / LOADED: 06.10.2011
571885     Websites                                                                His is a personality that won’t stop fighting, just because he’s got a Vezina
                                                                                   on the mantle.
                                                                                   He unloaded on Burrows in Game 4, wasting one on the pesky winger
Sportsnet.ca /Thomas' reclamation project                                          who’d been giving him the ol’ Ryan Smyth treatment, chopping the knob of
                                                                                   Thomas’ goal stick.

Staff                                                                              "That was, like, the third time that he'd hit my butt end on that power-play,"
                                                                                   Thomas said. "We were up 4-0, the game was getting down toward the end.
                                                                                   So I thought I'd give him a little love tap and let him know, ‘I know what
                                                                                   you're doing, but I'm not going to let you do it forever.’"
VANCOUVER — We first met Tim Thomas in October of 2002, a 28-year-
old National Hockey League rookie with a back story you could barely               At that point Elmer Fudd, bear hunter extraordinaire, turned into Paul
believe.                                                                           Bunyan.

He was the goaltending version of Alex Burrows. Except that, where                 Yet who ever would have predicted that one day we’d see Thomas,
Burrows had been discovered in the East Coast League, Thomas was like a            defending his crease against Burrows in a league final. In the ECHL maybe,
bad Ikea wall unit, having been returned to Scandinavia three separate             or the Finnish League.
times before being finally accepted by the Boston Bruins.
                                                                                   But in a Stanley Cup final?
If ever there was a guy who needed to be interviewed that morning, it was
this Thomas guy, whose first NHL camp was with the Oilers. Because                 Like Thomas said: "This is what I’ve worked for my whole life."
chances were, the next conversation with him would require a trip to               Sportsnet.ca LOADED: 06.10.2011
Providence or Helsinki.
It was a Saturday morning skate, just a few hours before his first NHL start
in Edmonton, and the newest Bruin goalie regaled myself and Jim
Matheson of the Edmonton Journal about the time he was treed by a bear
while hunting north of Lynn Lake, Manitoba.
A location, in Thomas’ words, situated "at the end of the road, man."
"I’ve got a knife in my teeth, and I’m pointing my bow and arrow down the
side of the tree I HOPE the bear is coming up. He could be coming up the
other side," Thomas said that day. "I haven’t been that scared since I was
five years old."
He’d gone from a shot at a bruin to a shot with the Bruins, having stuck with
the team after coming to camp on a free agent invite.
"I’ve never been here before," he said that day. "This is what I’ve worked for
my whole life."
He told us the story of how his parents had pawned their wedding rings so
Thomas could afford to travel with his Michigan club to a tournament in
Ontario. One of the other Dads was Peter Karmanos, now owner of the
Carolina Hurricanes. Thomas is from working class Flint.
"My parents never got their rings back, but my dad bought another ring for
my mom on their 25th anniversary. They never told me about it until then,"
he said. "I just thought my dad lost it fishing or something. That’s the kind of
thing he’d do."
Nine years later it is still all about rings and Bruins for Tim Thomas, the man
who stands between the Vancouver Canucks and the Stanley Cup that
seemed so certain only a few days ago.
He has stopped 141 of the 146 shots the highest scoring team in the NHL
has fired at him in this Final. And, yes folks, he has wormed inside the
heads of the Sedin twins, who spoke in stereo of the Canucks’ dilemma
after Game 4, a 4-0 Boston shutout.
"We have to find a way to solve Thomas," Daniel said.
"Thomas is making a lot of saves," Henrik added.
So, Canucks fans, there may not be much satisfaction in what Tim Thomas
has done to your lads in this Stanley Cup final. But you can take solace in
the fact that, at least, the guy who’s knocking Henrik on his keester, who’s
going all Billy Smith on Burrows, is basically the same reclamation project
that Burrows is for your team.
Somehow, his hockey journey through the University of Vermont, Helsinki,
Birmingham, Houston, Hamilton, Detroit, Solna, Sweden, Oulu, Finland
and, of course, Boston, produced a goaltending style as diverse as the
menu at an Indian BBQ pit.
"Anybody that knows the story of Tim Thomas, he's taken a real bumpy
road to get to the NHL," said his coach Claude Julien. "He's had so many
obstacles in front of him that he's overcome, it makes him a battler — the
perfect goaltender for our organization because that's what we are.
"He never quits on any puck, even to the point where he can let a bad goal
in every once in a while, and you know that when the game is on the line
he's going to be standing on his head again. Because he battles through it."
571886     Websites                                                                 want to keep my emotions in check because I don't want to be the guy who
                                                                                    puts my team down. They are too dangerous on the power play to be
                                                                                    putting them up a man by doing something stupid so I'm definitely trying to
Sportsnet.ca /Playing his role                                                      keep it within the rules."
                                                                                    His teammates appreciated his efforts.

Mike Brophy                                                                         "He played great tonight," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said to
                                                                                    NESN.com following Game 3. "He played his role to a T. He was very
                                                                                    talkative on the bench and in the room, and when he was out there he was
                                                                                    flying around. He did his job. It's always nice to have Thorty out there. He's
Thornton stepped up during Boston's two home victories in the Stanley Cup           a big part of our team. Obviously the (the fans) love him. He's a warrior. He
final.                                                                              battles. I think he has the toughest job in hockey. What he does is a very
                                                                                    respectable thing and the fans love it."
Thornton stepped up during Boston's two home victories in the Stanley Cup
final.                                                                              Thornton was even more effective in Game 4 when his playing time
                                                                                    increased to 15 shifts and 9:29 of ice time. He had four hits and one shot.
Shawn Thornton continues to lead by example, and it’s paying off for the
                                                                                    Furthermore, he seemed significantly more composed.
Bruins in the final.
                                                                                    And that's what he'll do whenever he iss called upon. When you have your
Shawn Thornton knows a thing or two about patience.
                                                                                    name on the Cup, you understand what it takes to be a winner.
After all, there aren't many guys who kick around the minors for the better
                                                                                    Shawn Thornton is undoubtedly a winner.
part of nine seasons waiting for their chance to make it to the NHL. Most
guys consider the reality of their chances and then get on with life.               Sportsnet.ca LOADED: 06.10.2011
Not Thornton. The thought crossed his mind, but the Oshawa-born tough
guy was determined. His persistence paid off when the Chicago
Blackhawks gave him some games in 'The Apple' over three seasons. It
paid off again when he played the better part of the 2006-07 season with
the Anaheim Ducks and helped them win the Stanley Cup. Then it paid off
last summer when the Boston Bruins signed him to a two-year, $1.625
million contract.
But when he was yanked from the lineup following Game 2 of the Eastern
Conference championship series, Thornton wasn't pleased. Not one to rock
the boat, all Thornton could do was sit, wait and hope he'd get the tap on
the shoulder.
"Against Tampa, it was the right decision (to take me out)," Thornton told
sportsnet.ca after the Bruins landed in Vancouver Thursday afternoon. "It
was the easy option -- probably the only option at the time. It kind of stinks
because you always want to play, but it was the right decision. Besides,
Tampa was built differently than the other teams so it wasn't that big a deal.
"That said it's always nice to be wanted. I was very happy to find out I was
going back in. I kind of had a feeling I was going back in, but I wasn't sure. I
didn't nap. I was lying there, but I couldn't sleep. I didn't drink my usual five
or six coffees; just kept it to two or three so I wouldn't go over the line."
During the games spent in the press box, Thornton admits he wasn't the
happiest -- or safest -- guy to be around.
"It kills me," Thornton said of his times as a healthy scratch. "I have a tough
time watching. The boys were not sitting too close to me in case I punched
someone if something happened. I'm too passionate to be sitting up there. I
don't like watching hockey. I like playing."
Thornton is known as an energy player. Many refer to him as an enforcer,
but the fact he had his most productive offensive numbers this season,
scoring 10 goals and 20 points means he gets a much-deserved bump in
his job description. He's a willing fighter that can actually play the game.
Getting back to his previous job description, Thornton understands he's
responsible for providing his teammates with energy. All you have to do is
watch him on the bench during the national anthems to know he understand
his role. He hops and bops, bouncing from foot-to-foot, like he's seventh in
line to the only bathroom in the rink.
"Most of the time I'm focusing and trying to visualize what's going to happen
in the next 20 minutes," he said. "It's a routine I have to keep my legs going.
I love when the crowd starts singing the national anthem. It gets me fired
up."
When Thornton got his chance to return to the lineup, he made the best of
it.
He was the talk of the Stanley Cup final after Game 3. In a mere nine shifts
and 5:50 of ice time, the 6-foot-2 forward was a bundle of energy. Thornton
had two hits, two shots on goal and was credited with one takeaway. He
might have played more had he not been assessed a minor and 10-minute
misconduct at 7:58 of the third period.
"I hadn't played in two weeks and I had a lot of pent up energy that I was
excited to get out of me," Thornton said. "I have to play with emotion, but I
571887     Websites


TSN.CA / Horton marked a surprising turning point in series


Bob McKenzie


It's hard not to look at the first five minutes of Game 3 in Boston when
Aaron Rome knocked Nathan Horton out as the moment this series turned.
It was almost a bizarre case of history repeating itself back to the Chicago
series when Raffi Torres lowered the boom on Brent Seabrook - which also
took place in Game 3.
At the time the Blackhawks were down 3-0 and came back and won three
consecutive games.
You would think with Horton, one of the best Bruins forwards, out of the
game it would be a devastating blow to them but it went the other way.
They won big in the game Horton was knocked out of and came back and
dominated the Canucks in Game 4.
I'd like to say it was karma in the Chicago series since Torres never really
got punished and there was no suspension, so perhaps the hockey gods
were looking down and letting the Blackhawks back in the series.
In this case, Rome got a four-game suspension so everything should have
been equal but there seems to be some kind of cosmic thing with these big
hits and teams coming back after being on the receiving end.
Marchand's Antics
Brad Marchand was terrific in Games 3 and 4, in fact you can make the
case that nobody on the Boston Bruins played better.
Yet there he was late in the game getting involved in a scrum with the game
well in hand by clotheslining Christian Ehrhoff and then submarining Daniel
Sedin.
All of this caused him to have to drop the gloves and fight, which he is
willing and able to do no problem. But then he can't stand prosperity. It's not
enough that he's played well and that his team is going to win, he has to
skate past the bench dusting his hands off as if he's done with the Canucks.
This is a guy who earlier in the playoffs got reprimanded by Claude Julien
for doing a golf swing and claimed that he's still a young guy with stuff to
learn.
Well he didn't learn it in that game because you don't skate past your
opponent's bench dusting off your hands. These are the kinds of situations
where the hockey gods get involved.
The only thing is, if the hockey gods do get involved and Marchand takes a
stupid penalty and Vancouver capitalizes, there is probably someone on the
Canucks that will dust their hands at Marchand and have it come right back
around again.
It's been that kind of series.
TSN.CA LOADED: 06.10.2011
571888     Websites                                                                said to my wife, Kathy, that these are a recipe for disaster and doomed to
                                                                                   fail. Each crew of officials was assigned to work their games in the same
                                                                                   venue. Brad Watson and I were paired and assigned to work Games 3, 4
TSN.CA / Why NHL can't use the same crew for a whole series                        and 6; all played in Calgary! The other two guys Bill McCreary and Stephen
                                                                                   Walkom were to work their games in Tampa. In all my years of working the
                                                                                   Stanley Cup Final, assignments had never been done this way and for
                                                                                   obvious reasons.
Kerry Fraser
                                                                                   From experience I knew that series heat up as they progress. By the time
                                                                                   Game 4 rolls around, players can develop a huge dislike for their
                                                                                   opponents. A team facing elimination also feels added pressure and can
Kerry,
                                                                                   look to transfer blame; that can often be channeled towards the officials.
Given the antics that have been going on during this year's Stanley Cup            The fans can also jump on the bandwagon and usually do.
Final, one can easily blame and critique the officiating thus far in the series.
                                                                                   It only took Game 4 in Calgary for my prediction to come to pass. Fans
But you can't control what or when a player will do something stupid - all
                                                                                   littered the ice at the end of that game; a Calgary defeat. After Game 5
you can do is assess the incident and act upon it.
                                                                                   ended in Tampa, where I was the backup referee, a meeting was held in
Having said that, I believe assigning the same refs and linesmen for an            the officials' room and presided over by Director of Officiating, Andy
entire playoff series would limit if not stop this kind of play after a game or    VanHellemond (the guy responsible for the assignments). Assignments
two within the series as each player will get a sense of the officiating,          were abruptly changed and Watson and I were taken off Game 6 in
thereby not acting foolishly and concentrate on the game.                          Calgary. Colin Campbell was also in the officials' room for the meeting and I
                                                                                   concurred with their decision to make the change. (Somebody forgot to
Your thoughts?                                                                     inform Brad Watson, who was home in Denver watching Game 5 on
                                                                                   television. The next day Brad overheard the media talking about the
Italo Russo, Toronto
                                                                                   assignment change in the Denver Airport as he was about to board a flight
Italo:                                                                             to Calgary while the media were connecting from Tampa.)

Your comments in the first paragraph of your question are very well put. It is     I was back home in New Jersey when Game 6 was played in Calgary. Brad
certainly easier to blame the officials than players who might demonstrate a       Watson boarded that plane in Denver with the media and was the standby
lack of discipline with so much at stake; that of course is raising the Stanley    referee. The Lightning won in a lengthy overtime to force Game 7. (I'm sure
Cup. It is no secret that players will attempt to get away with as much as the     someone will tell us why it never should have happened!)
officials allow.                                                                   I flew back to Tampa to work Game 7 with McCreary. It was a bizarre
I would like to share a paragraph from page 112 of my book, The Final Call,        situation that resulted through an assignment process that was doomed to
on the difficulties and unique qualities required to be a professional hockey      fail from the very beginning. Someday I might even tell you just how crazy
referee.                                                                           things really got behind the scenes but for now let me just say, Italo, that
                                                                                   your suggestion of using the same two referees would fail faster than the
I wrote, "Over my 30 plus years in the business, I've come to realize that         '04 process. The guys wouldn't stand a chance past Game 3.
refereeing is an art form. You are dealing with many personalities on the
ice, from players to coaches to your fellow officials. You have to take in as      As the momentum in this series can shift from one game to the next, let's
much of the game as possible, at breakneck speed, staying in position              see if the Bruins and the Canucks know where the line is drawn in the sand.
while skating backwards ahead of the play, staying out of the way of
                                                                                   TSN.CA LOADED: 06.10.2011
players, and making decisions in a fraction of a second. You read the play
and know instinctively where the players are going to go or who they are
going to pass the puck to before it even happens. You truly develop a sixth
sense, a feel for the game, all the while watching 10 players for any
infractions they might commit when they think you're not looking."
Refereeing is reactionary as you have alluded to, Italo. There is often a very
fine line between a referee crew overcalling a game and allowing the
players to play on the edge; which is generally when the game is most
exciting.
Players need to know full well that if they cross the line they can expect a
penalty to be called regardless of the score or time remaining. Herein lays
the challenge for every referee; to define as clearly as humanly possible
where that line is drawn from start to finish and to still allow for an
entertaining flow to the game.
Continuing with this thought, it is very true that the referees don't control
what the players do ("something stupid") but the "standard of officiating"
that is employed from game to game should influence how the players
approach the physicality they utilize.
Each game is played differently, as we have seen to this point in the Cup
Final. About the only thing that has been consistent in the series has been
the play of Timmy Thomas. The referees must adjust to the difference in
each game but not through a difference in the overall standard that has
been set. That is why it is crucial for each referee and linesman pairing to
leave the series in good shape through their performance that night for the
next crew to carry forward.
When we reach the Stanley Cup Final there are only two officiating crews
assigned to work the series. This narrowing of the field should provide for
consistency over a seven-game series (if it goes the limit.) I can tell you
Italo that if one crew was assigned to work every game in the series it
would be a recipe for disaster. Not only would the players, coaches and
fans get sick of the same guys in stripes it would be an impossible
expectation placed upon the officials to succeed.
In the 2004 Stanley Cup Final between the Calgary Flames and the Tampa
Lightning I received my assignments prior to Game 1. Looking at them I
571889     Websites


USA TODAY / As Sedins are silent, Bruins get scoring from everywhere


By Kevin Allen, USA TODAY


VANCOUVER — The story going into Friday's Game 5 of the Stanley Cup
Final is why the Sedin twins aren't scoring. But the better story might be
why all the Boston Bruins are scoring.
The Vancouver Canucks were the best offensive team in the NHL this
season, and they have been outscored 12-1 in the last two games. They
hope to figure out the scoring disparity before they play tonight (8 ET, NBC)
with the series tied 2-2.
"(The Bruins) are in the shooting lanes," Vancouver defenseman Kevin
Bieksa said. "They are doing a good job of blocking shots. But maybe we
don't have the first shot mentality that we should."
Henrik Sedin doesn't have a point in the series, and brother Daniel has two.
What makes that worse is the Bruins are getting scoring from everyone.
Rich Peverley, who played on the fourth line for Boston earlier in the
season, moved up to the top line to replace Nathan Horton (concussion)
and scored a pair of goals.
"I know he's been through some tough years where he hasn't played in the
playoffs," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "But certainly he's been a guy
that's certainly enjoying the moment and giving us what we need."
The Bruins acquired him from the Atlanta Thrashers at the trade deadline
when they were getting their salary cap situation squared away while also
adding Tomas Kaberle and Chris Kelly.
"(Peverley) was certainly one of the guys that was targeted," Julien said.
"We just (liked) his versatility, whether he plays wing or center. He has
speed and we wanted to improve that area."
Peverley is 29, but this is his third full NHL season, and he had been in six
NHL playoff games before this current run. He was a 30-goal scorer in the
American Hockey League.
Horton was the Bruins' second-leading scorer when he was hurt on a heavy
check from the Canucks' Aaron Rome, who was suspended for the rest of
the series.
"You can't replace a guy like that," Peverley said about moving onto the top
line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. "He's been one of the best players all
playoffs, and the whole team stepped up in (Game 4)."
The Bruins are getting secondary scoring while the Canucks aren't getting
primary scoring. Michael Ryder has two goals and two assists in the past
two games, and Brad Marchand has two goals and an assist.. The 12 goals
Boston has scored over the past two games represents the largest two-
game playoff goal production they have had since 1983.
It's not just the Sedins who are struggling. Ryan Kesler has no points and is
minus-4 over the past three games. The Bruins are playing the Canucks
very aggressively, but Henrik Sedin says that isn't the issue.
"We have to do a better job of scoring when we get the chances," Sedin
said. "We're a very physical team. I don't think they are hurting us
physically. It's a battle out there."
Clearly the stellar play of Boston goalie Tim Thomas has made a difference.
Thomas has faced 749 shots in the playoffs, and he's on a pace to break
the all-time record of 820 shots faced by Vancouver's Kirk McLean, set in
1994. And Thomas is stopping more than 93% of those shots.
"My little boy is trying to get me to play hockey (at home)," Thomas said.
"I'm like, 'I'm a little too tired, wait until the summer.'"
USA TODAY LOADED: 06.10.2011
571890     Websites


Wall Street Journal / The Charles Bronson of Playoff Goalies


By Carl Bialik


For his time, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas qualifies as a volatile,
heavily penalized goalie — as demonstrated by his career high of 13
penalty minutes during the regular season, good (or bad) for a tie for third at
his position in the NHL; his four penalty minutes in the playoffs, which ties
for the most in a single postseason since 2008; and in particular his two-
minute penalty for slashing after getting in a tussle with Vanouver’s Alex
Burrows late in Boston’s Game 4 win on Wednesday.
Tim Thomas channeled his inner Ron Hextall against Alex Burrows in
Game 4.
But compared to the historical king of penalized goalies, Thomas is a
pacifist. Just three times a goalie has topped 100 penalty minutes in a
regular season. All three of those seasons belong to Ron Hextall, in the first
three seasons of his career with the Philadelphia Flyers. Hextall is also the
only goalie to top 25 penalty minutes in a single postseason, and he did it
three times, in those same three seasons — most impressively in his
second season, when he managed 30 penalty minutes in just one seven-
game series as the Flyers were bounced in the first round. Hextall has the
most career penalty minutes in the regular season and postseason of any
NHL netminder.
Other goalies have had their moments of postseason freakouts — notably
Jamie McLennan, whose 12 penalty minutes four years ago for Calgary
came for one infraction in just one minute on ice, and also cost him a five-
game suspension. But for sheer consistency in between-the-pipes
malfeasance, no one approaches Hextall’s first three seasons in the league.
And he was unusual in other ways. “Hextall, 25, wanders from the goal and
plays as a third defenseman,” Jay Greenberg wrote in Sports Illustrated in
1989. “No other NHL goaltender has ever shot and scored a goal; Hextall
has done it two times. And he is typecast as the reigning villain on the ever-
hated Flyers. Twice he has raged into violent acts that have caused the
NHL to suspend him.”
Hextall eventually slowed down his historically high penalty rate. He
averaged just over 34 minutes on ice for every minute in the penalty box in
his first three regular seasons. For the rest of his career, that ratio was over
93. And after amassing 101 penalty minutes in his first three postseasons,
or one for every 28 minutes, he got just 14 more penalty minutes, at a rate
of one for every 227 minutes on ice. That latter half of his career was
nothing to sneeze at: His total penalty minutes excluding his first three
seasons are still enough to rank 11th all-time, and his total for the playoffs
after those first three volatile seasons was enough to rank 34th all-time. He
remained ornery, just not historically so. And as the league-wide offensive
numbers slipped, Hextall also became a more effective goalie, allowing an
average of no higher than 2.56 goals against in his last four seasons, after
posting a GAA of 3 or above in his first eight seasons.
Thomas has managed to set career highs in GAA and lead the league two
out of the last three years while also increasing his propensity to be
penalized. But he’s still a long, long way from Hextall levels.
Wall Street Journal LOADED: 06.10.2011
571891      Websites                                                              defensemen. Most of the questions were directed to him, and even when
                                                                                  they weren’t, he took the lead.
                                                                                  “Last time I checked, it’s 2-2 in the series,” Luongo said. “So I don’t see why
YAHOO SPORTS / No kidding this time: Luongo starting Game 5                       we should be depressed.”
                                                                                  Vancouver fans can see why. Having waited 40 years for the franchise’s
By Nicholas J. Cotsonika,                                                         first Stanley Cup, they were so giddy with the Canucks taking a 2-0 series
                                                                                  lead that they partied in the streets after Game 2. At 4:30 a.m., the
                                                                                  stragglers among the revelers were still out and about. One carried a
                                                                                  homemade Cup on a sidewalk downtown. And now, suddenly, the series
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – I don’t think he’s lying this time.                 has turned, and the Bruins have all the momentum.
Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday that he would
start goaltender Roberto Luongo against the Boston Bruins on Friday night         Look, it isn’t all Luongo’s fault. It isn’t even close. The Bruins have been
in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.                                               pounding the Canucks and wearing them down. The defense has been
                                                                                  thinned by an injury to Dan Hamhuis and a suspension to Aaron Rome. The
“You can bet on that,” he said.                                                   offense has been struggling to finish scoring chances. The Canucks’ top
                                                                                  players – Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler – have only one goal
Of course, Vigneault said he would start Luongo against the Chicago
                                                                                  and two assists between them in this series.
Blackhawks in Game 6 of their first-round series, and he didn’t do it. He
benched Luongo and gave Cory Schneider a surprise start under                     Asked how he could solve Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, Henrik Sedin
circumstances that seemed, at least on the surface, very similar to the ones      said: “I don’t know. Do you have an answer for me? We have to keep doing
the Canucks face now.                                                             the things we are. He’s playing well right now like [Luongo] is when he’s
                                                                                  hot.”
The Canucks had been outscored over two games then, 12-2; they have
been outscored over two games now, 12-1. Vigneault had pulled Luongo in           That says a lot right there. Thomas is hot; Luongo is not.
back-to-back games against the ‘Hawks; he pulled him last game against
the Bruins and could have – should have – pulled him the game before that.        The theory has been that with so much talent in front of him – the winners
                                                                                  of the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular-season team – Luongo
But this is different. Vigneault said Thursday the Chicago series was a           doesn’t need to carry the Canucks. His job is not to win games; it’s to not
“special situation.” The Canucks had lost to the Blackhawks in back-to-back       lose them.
playoffs, and they were in danger of blowing a 3-0 series lead. He said he
felt that they “needed to change the momentum a little bit.”                      That has generally been true. Until now. Luongo’s team is struggling at the
                                                                                  most critical point in the season, and at the other end of the ice is a fellow
“My gut at that time told me that putting Schneids in was the thing to do,”       Vezina finalist.
Vigneault said. “There is one thing [now]: Roberto is the guy, he’s my guy
and he’s playing. It’s that simple.”                                              Actually, Thomas isn’t just a fellow Vezina finalist. Luongo already beat one
                                                                                  of those in the second round in the Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne.
Well, there is a little more to it than that.                                     Thomas is the Vezina favorite, and he’s playing like it – like a difference-
                                                                                  maker, like a leader, making save after save and even mixing it up with
Benching Luongo last time was a big mistake. Vigneault sat a guy who is a
                                                                                  miscreants who dare to invade his space in the crease. He’s in a zone,
finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender in the regular
                                                                                  even if he wouldn’t call it that.
season – a guy with a mega-million-dollar contract that runs through 2021-
22 – in favor of a promising but inexperienced backup. He risked damaging         “I’ve heard a lot of talk about the zone and stuff over the course of my
Luongo’s confidence, and he legitimized questions about the team’s                career, but I don’t feel much different than I did for most of the season right
confidence in him.                                                                now,” Thomas said. “The puck definitely doesn’t look any bigger. It doesn’t
                                                                                  look like a beach ball. It looks like a normal-sized puck. One thing when
The move didn’t work, though to the Canucks’ good fortune everything
                                                                                  you’re playing better, you’re just able to track the puck better around the
worked out for the best. In a bizarre turn of events, Schneider suffered
                                                                                  whole ice, and that’s happening well for me right now.”
cramps while allowing a goal on a penalty shot and had to leave Game 6 of
the series. Luongo allowed the overtime winner in relief, but he came back,       It needs to happen for Luongo right now, too. With the Cup on the line, with
won Game 7 in overtime and regained his form, at least until the last two         their skaters struggling, with the other goaltender shining, the Canucks
games. Having gone through all that, he actually gained confidence. He not        need their goaltender to at least balance the scales a bit – to be a
only advanced past the second round for the first time, he advanced past          difference-maker, to win and not just not lose.
the third.
                                                                                  At times like this, you go with your $10-million man, not your backup. It’s
The Canucks had a 3-2 lead in the Chicago series and were on the road.            that simple.
This series is a 2-2 tie, and the Canucks are at home. Most important, this
is for the Cup. This isn’t about gut feelings anymore. It’s about guts. At this   “We’re all pretty upset with ourselves and our performances,” Luongo said.
stage, you show confidence in the guys who got you here and leave it in           “So at the end of the day, we’re two wins away from reaching the ultimate
their hands.                                                                      goal, so I don’t think it’s a time for us to be putting our heads down or to not
                                                                                  have any confidence. I think we’re close, and we want to make sure that we
“You guys should know … the core group and the strong leadership that we          all bring our ‘A’ game.”
have in that dressing room, the accountability that we have in that dressing
room, guys aren’t happy with how they’ve played. ” Vigneault said. “They’re       YAHOO.COM LOADED: 06.10.2011
aware of it, and they’re going to come ready tomorrow, and they’re going to
live in the moment and seize this opportunity.”
Luongo gave up the captaincy to Henrik Sedin this season and much has
been made of how a burden has been lifted off his shoulders. He has
seemed more relaxed. That is true. But it is not as though Luongo has
stopped facing questions in Vancouver’s hockey-mad media market, and he
generally has not avoided them.
He doesn’t always tell people what they want to hear. He sometimes makes
excuses when he could own his mistakes. Maybe it’s a defense
mechanism. Maybe if he doesn’t admit to himself that he’s at fault the
negatives are easier to take. I don’t know. I’m not his sports psychologist.
I do know, though, that Luongo looked and sounded like a captain again
Thursday. The Canucks had spent several hours flying back from Boston
and they had to make some players available to the media by league
directive. Instead of taking the day off, Luongo showed up with three of his

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:5
posted:10/15/2012
language:Unknown
pages:98
shensengvf shensengvf http://
About