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					               SPORT-SCAN                                                    DAILY BRIEF
                                                                   NHL 5/15/2011

         Boston Bruins                                                                New York Rangers
569407   Electrical storm                                                    569445   Boogaard Family Authorizes Brain Study
569408   In a game of negatives, Seguin provided positive energy             569446   Mystery still surrounds death of 28-year-old Rangers wing
569409   Quick strikes were shocking                                                  Derek Boogaard, autopsy could take weeks
569410   Kaberle’s futility sums up opener                                   569447   Death of Rangers' left wing Derek Boogaard, just 28-years-
569411   Bergeron returns to ice for brief skate                                      old, sends shockwaves through hockey world
569412   Bruins fans hope wait is over                                       569448   Rangers' Boogaard found dead; cause unknown
569413   Rich Peverley feels ‘lucky’ to wear Black ’n’ Gold                  569449   Former Rangers player Barnaby arrested near Buffalo:
569414   Dwayne Roloson on the river                                                  report
569415   Time is now for Tyler Seguin                                        569450   Rangers remember Derek Boogaard as a gentle giant
                                                                             569451   Boogaard autopsy results will take weeks
         Buffalo Sabres                                                      569452   Shock and dismay over Boogaard’s death
569416   Barnaby pleads not guilty to felony criminal mischief               569453   Boogaard remembered as a gentle giant
569417   Former Sabre Barnaby arrested after domestic incident
         Carolina Hurricanes                                                 569454   Lightning bolt out of gate, beat Bruins 5-2
569418   Raleigh's ice will never be the same                                569455   Boogaard family donates NHL enforcer’s brain to science
                                                                             569456   Former teammates and opponents remember Derek
         Columbus Blue Jackets                                                        Boogaard
569419   Jackets' hope rises in East                                         569457   Ex-NHLer Matthew Barnaby charged with criminal mischief
                                                                             569458   Boogaard Family Authorizes Brain Study
         Dallas Stars                                                        569459   Some Fans in Canada See Vancouver as Foreign
569420   Stars' Morrow on embarrassing golf moments and his                  569460   Struggling Franchises Plot Their Next Moves in an Uncertain
         current swing                                                                Climate
                                                                             569461   2011 NHL Playoffs: A look at the conference finals
         Detroit Red Wings
569421   Red Wings earn above-average marks                                           Philadelphia Flyers
569422   Red Wings close out season, brace for changes                       569462   Snider on public ice rinks, Flyers and Sixers
569423   Nicklas Lidstrom, don't skate off into the sunset yet               569463   Philadelphia Flyers: Roster Decisions; Who's in and Who's
569424   Livonia's Ryan Kesler grown into top-notch two-way NHL                       Out?
569425   Puck Daddy 'eulogy' rips into the Red Wings                                  Pittsburgh Penguins
569426   Longtime Red Wing Kris Draper says 'I still want to play'           569464   Cup Chronicles: Kevin Stevens
569427   Chris Osgood's future with Red Wings up in the air                  569465   Penguins Notebook: Jagr likely to remain in KHL
569428   Red Wings clean out their lockers; Mike Modano reflects on          569466   Collier: Something to like about Sean Avery
         bittersweet season
569429   Red Wings: Notebook                                                          San Jose Sharks
569430   Return or retire? Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom keeps us           569467   How San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks match up
         guessing for now                                                    569468   Sharks notebook: San Jose's Ian White had anxious
569431   Red Wings exited playoffs with class — unlike Lakers                         moments in Game 7
569432   Red Wings' Mike Babcock tries to sell Nicklas Lidstrom on           569469   Sharks have been skating with just one goal: Growth
         team having another shot at Cup next season                         569470   Sharks appear recharged for the Canucks
569433   Long-time Red Wings Kris Draper, Chris Osgood ponder                569471   Sharks coach should like this prediction
         future as players pack up for offseason                             569472   Sharks' Devin Setoguchi set stage for playoff success
569434   Detroit Red Wings happy with goalie Jimmy Howard's
         postseason play                                                              Tampa Bay Lightning
569435   Analysis: What changes will Detroit Red Wings make after            569473   Everything clicking for Bergenheim
         another second round exit?                                          569474   Bolts Notebook: Boogaard's death hits team hard
                                                                             569475   Bolts strike early and often to take series lead
         Edmonton Oilers                                                     569476   Travel will be an issue for Stanley Cup teams
569436   Oilers interested in Finland’s Lajunen                              569477   Lightning's Thompson excited to face Bruins
                                                                             569478   Tampa Bay Lightning-Boston Bruins Game 1: What they're
         Minnesota Wild                                                               saying
569437   Boogaard's family will donate brain for concussion research         569479   Gary Shelton: It's getting easier to see the Tampa Bay
569438   Jarring Friday reminds us no one is immortal                                 Lightning going far
569439   Remembering those athletes gone too soon                            569480   Tampa Bay Lightning beats Boston Bruins 5-2 in Game 1 of
569440   So long to the Boogey Man                                                    East final
569441   NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says league is stunned,               569481   Tampa Bay Lightning-Boston Bruins East final news and
         saddened at Boogaard's death                                                 notes
569442   With a lot of hard work, Derek Boogaard turned himself into         569482   Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has bad game against
         a solid NHL player                                                           Tampa Bay Lightning
569443   Tom Powers: Lovable Boogey will be sorely missed                    569483   Breakdown of West final between Vancouver Canucks and
569444   Former Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard's autopsy results to                     San Jose Sharks
         take weeks                                                          569484   Tampa Bay Lightning players remember New York Rangers
                                                                                      enforcer Derek Boogaard
                                                                             569485   Tampa Bay Lightning players who knew tough guy Derek
                                                                                      Boogaard recall "a big teddy bear"
         Toronto Maple Leafs
569486   Simmons Says: Be careful what you wish for, Leafs fans 7

         Vancouver Canucks
569487   The Psychiatrist Series
569488   Kesler on fire going into West final
569489   Sedins looking for fresh start
569490   Five burning questions
569491   Canucks notebook: Oreskovich expected to bump Tambellini
569492   Canucks' blueline corps may never again be this good
569493   San Jose focus on Kesler could help Sedins line
569494   Niemi gives the Sharks confidence
569495   Canucks Gameday
569496   Defenceman Dan Boyle ‘means the world to our team,’ says
         Sharks coach
569497   Bieksa, Ehrhoff have a decision to make
569498   Canucks' Bieksa pokes fun at former teammate Wellwood
         the 'weasel'
569499   Kurten Trick: Sharks Are Pretty Deep Down The Middle
569500   Bieksa on Boogaard: A huge loss for the game

569501   CNN/Sports Illustrated / Sarah Kwak INSIDE THE NHL
569502   ESPN / Lightning-Bruins: Nasty finish to Game 1
569503   ESPN / Coach: Mike Modano is a phenomenal guy
569504 /The Baggage Bowl
               SPORT-SCAN, INC. 941-284-4129
569407      Boston Bruins                                                              Before Thomas knew what was happening, Purcell was tucking the puck
                                                                                       over the line at 12:40. Julien had little alternative but to call his timeout.
                                                                                       “Those mistakes were mistakes that you can correct easily,’’ Julien said.
Electrical storm                                                                       “Those things were uncharacteristic of our hockey club. Of the first three
                                                                                       goals, I don’t feel there was a good goal out of all of those things. A blind
                                                                                       backhand from a tough angle. We lose a puck beside our net. Is it really
Fluto Shinzawa                                                                         something that they did so well that created that? No. I think it’s more about
                                                                                       us. Give them credit for pouncing on those opportunities and capitalizing on
                                                                                       them. That’s part of the game. But you’ve got to look at your team and say,
                                                                                       ‘What can you do better?’ We have to make sure we’re a little better with
Before the Eastern Conference finals even started, Tampa Bay coach Guy
                                                                                       our puck management. That wasn’t there tonight.’’
Boucher pointed out many similarities between his team and the
Canadiens, who engaged the Bruins in a seven-game dogfight in the                      A Tyler Seguin goal at 15:59 of the first gave the Bruins a little life. But they
opening round.                                                                         showed little push in the second, especially when their power play failed on
                                                                                       three opportunities in the period. During six minutes of power-play time in
Like the Canadiens, Boucher said, the Lightning were good at capitalizing
                                                                                       the second, the Bruins put only three pucks on Roloson. They rarely got set
on mistakes. They clogged the neutral zone. They blocked shots. They
                                                                                       up in their formation because their entries — the Bruins generated zero
relied on their goaltender to make the first save.
                                                                                       speed through the neutral zone because of flat-footed dumps — allowed
Boucher should go into fortune telling.                                                the Lightning to retrieve pucks with ease.

Last night before 17,565 at TD Garden, the Lightning played a near-perfect             Predictably, the Bruins tried to act tough in the final minute. Nathan Horton
replica of the Canadiens in Game 2 — Montreal scored a 3-1 win over the                tangled with Moore, a perpetual pest for the ex-Panther all season.
Bruins — of the opening round. Tampa converted Boston mistakes into                    Moments later, Milan Lucic popped Hedman. Both were tagged with
three goals within an 85-second span in the first period. After that, the              roughing minors and 10-minute misconducts.
Lightning emphasized their defensive game and gave Dwayne Roloson (31
                                                                                       By then, the outcome had been decided
saves) plenty of looks at the puck en route to a convincing 5-2 win.
                                                                                       Boston Globe LOADED: 05.15.2011
“We gave them that 3-0 lead,’’ said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “It was
certainly a little bit like in that Montreal series. I thought we gave them some
easy goals. That was more of our doing than it was theirs.’’
The Bruins had played so thoroughly in their four-game dismantling of the
Flyers in the previous round. But last night, like they did early in the
Montreal series, the Bruins committed a handful of uncharacteristic
mistakes. And like he was at the beginning of the playoffs, Tim Thomas (29
saves) wasn’t sharp enough to bail out his teammates.
The first mistake came under heavy forechecking heat. With Steve Downie
on his back, Dennis Seidenberg retrieved a puck off the end boards,
reversing it to Dominic Moore instead of a teammate. Downie arrived with
such force that the collision jostled Seidenberg’s stick free from his grip.
As Seidenberg went to the front of the net, Moore spotted Victor Hedman
open at the right circle. Thomas stopped Hedman’s shot and left the
rebound in the slot. A stickless Seidenberg tried to boot the puck out of
“It started with me reversing the puck to their guy,’’ Seidenberg said. “From
there on, it was just a big battle in front of the net. I lost my stick. I obviously
didn’t know what to do without my stick. The puck was in my feet, and I
kicked it to whoever scored the goal.’’
The German defenseman proved he is no Michael Ballack. Seidenberg
kicked the puck to the blade of Sean Bergenheim, who added to his league-
leading goal total with his eighth postseason strike at 11:15 to give the
Lightning a 1-0 advantage.
“The guy who finishes gets a lot of the glory most of the time,’’ Boucher
said. “But there’s a lot of steps in the process that makes that happen. I
don’t take Bergenheim out of the mix. He’s part of the mix and doing a great
job. He’s one of those hustlers. He’s been like that all year.’’
Nineteen seconds later, the Lightning scored again. Brett Clark, one of the
Lightning’s three former University of Maine stars, abused four of the six
Bruins on the ice. Clark started with the puck deep in the offensive zone.
Rich Peverley was the first forechecker. But Peverley forechecked with zero
purpose, neither pressuring Clark nor funneling him toward teammates.
With Peverley in his rearview mirror, Clark then blew past a flat-footed
Michael Ryder in the neutral zone. As Clark accelerated over the blue line,
he peeled around Andrew Ference, who made a feeble attempt to poke the
puck off his stick.
Clark completed his rush by backhanding a sharp-angle floater on goal.
Thomas let the puck sail between his pads for the Lightning’s second goal.
The Lightning capped the three-goal outburst by making Tomas Kaberle
look foolish. During a Tampa line change, Seidenberg regrouped and threw
a hinge pass back to Kaberle instead of attacking the other way. Because
of the regroup, Seidenberg allowed Teddy Purcell to gain speed on the
forecheck. As Purcell closed, Kaberle fumbled the puck when he tried to
peel around the net.
569408      Boston Bruins                                                             Through the second period, Seguin had five minutes and six shifts, despite
                                                                                      being the only Black and Gold bit of offense. In the third, Julien loosened
                                                                                      the leash on the rookie and elected to give him more ice time. Seguin
In a game of negatives, Seguin provided positive energy                               logged 4:38 and played five shifts in the final period. But by that time it was
                                                                                      too late.
                                                                                      “Yeah, it’s frustrating, but it’s a lot better than being in the stands, where
Christopher L. Gasper                                                                 you can’t contribute at all,’’ said Seguin, when asked about his playing time.
                                                                                      Seguin’s rookie season has been a disappointment by most standards. The
                                                                                      expectation was that he would be an instant impact player. Instead, he
Tyler Seguin can barely grow the customary playoff beard. It’s fuzzy and              bounced around between lines, and wing and center, and finally landed out
spotty, sort of like his rookie season. He was merely an infant the last time         of the lineup in the postseason until last night.
the Bruins played in the Eastern Conference finals in 1992, his uniform
number (19) matching his age. Yet the takeaway from last night’s 5-2 loss             “I found myself during the season a lot of times being more frustrated than I
to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 is that the kid is going to be all right.        should have been,’’ said Seguin. “Just with the last month you realize a bit
                                                                                      more just how grateful it is just to be in the lineup with the boys and share
If you’re looking for sunny-side-up spin on what was a thoroughly                     that experience of being part of the team. I was sitting there for a bit. I was
disheartening evening of hockey at TD Garden, it was the play of Seguin,              still staying ready. I wasn’t getting angry or negative, just trying to stay
who looked every bit the part of a potential franchise forward of the future,         positive.’’
collecting a goal and an assist in his playoff debut.
                                                                                      The only thing positive about last night was Seguin.
“He had a good game,’’ said coach Claude Julien, who couldn’t say that
about many of his charges. “I thought when he had his chance he took                  Boston Globe LOADED: 05.15.2011
advantage of it and scored, and obviously he had a lot of energy tonight.
So, he was a good player for us.’’
Bruins future in the form of Seguin, and Bruins past in the form of Ray
Bourque, who was the honorary captain for the charged-up pregame
festivities, both gave the fans something to cheer about. It was the Bruins’
present that was a disappointment, falling behind, 3-0, with not even 13
minutes gone in the first period, and never recovering.
In his first playoff game, Seguin, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft,
served up the lone highlight for the Spoked-Believers, bringing Tampa Bay
defenseman Mike Lundin to his knees and the crowd to its feet with a
spectacular goal at 15:59 of the first period that trimmed Tampa Bay’s lead
to 3-1.
Seguin took a pass from Michael Ryder in the neutral zone, sped into
Tampa’s end, undressed Lundin with a slick move, and then flicked the
puck past Dwayne Roloson for his first playoff goal.
“Definitely, a bit of relief. I think coming into the first period I was definitely
very excited,’’ said Seguin. “I found myself running around just a little bit,
just because I had so much legs. After I had that goal it was a bit of a sigh
of relief. I could be more poised out there.’’
“It gave us a little life,’’ said David Krejci of Seguin’s tally. “We were a little
shocked, but then it gave us a little life. We felt good about ourselves. It was
a big goal, but we couldn’t get the next one.’’
Seguin celebrated his first tally by pounding himself into the glass behind
the net. That was a fitting celebration because for most of the game it
looked like Seguin’s teammates were banging their heads against a wall.
You could use the excuse that the Bruins were rusty after an eight-day
layoff, but Seguin, who was only active because Patrice Bergeron was a
no-go with a mild concussion, has been mothballed since the regular-
season finale against the Devils on April 10.
The Bruins found themselves down, 3-0, to the hockey heathens from
Florida thanks to a disastrous stretch that spanned 1 minute, 25 seconds.
Seguin was on the ice for two of Tampa Bay’s tallies.
On the first, Tim Thomas stopped an initial shot from Victor Hedman but
couldn’t smother the puck. It leaked out in front and defenseman Dennis
Seidenberg, who had lost his stick, tried to kick it clear with his right skate.
He kicked it right to a waiting Sean Bergenheim, who potted his playoff-
leading eighth goal at 11:15 of the first period.
Just 19 seconds later, defenseman Brett Clark put a backhander past
Thomas, and it was 2-0. Things got worse 1:06 later when Tomas Kaberle
badly mishandled the puck behind his net, serving it up on a silver platter at
the right post for Teddy Purcell, who took a couple of whacks at it and
deposited it in the Boston net.
“When we gave them that 3-0 lead it was a little bit like in that Montreal
series,’’ said Julien. “I thought we gave them some easy goals, and that
was more our doing than theirs.’’
Along with Krejci, Seguin was about the only poised puckster in Black and
Gold, which is why it was odd that Julien didn’t give him more playing time
569409     Boston Bruins

Quick strikes were shocking

Barbara Matson

The barrage started halfway through the first period. Tim Thomas had made
a spectacular save on Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier at 6:55, sliding on
the ice on his stomach to cut off a breakaway rush with a glove save.
It was the usual stuff for Thomas, a Vezina finalist this season and the
anchor for the Bruins’ playoff run. But then the Lightning knocked in three
goals in 1 minute 25 seconds, a club record in a playoff game, and the
game Thomas thought he was playing was gone, and in its place, a big
“It’s a tough hole to get out of,’’ said Thomas, after the Bruins dropped
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, 5-2, to the Lightning last night at
TD Garden. “Two would have been better . . . when we went down, 2-0, I
was thinking ‘OK, I was going to make this like Philly Game 2, I’m just going
to hold it at 2 and then we’ll come back and win this game.’
“But the third goal was a surprise, a bad-bounce goal.’’
Sean Bergenheim scored first, at 11:15, taking advantage of a stickless
Dennis Seidenberg to smack in the rebound of Dominic Moore’s shot.
The defenseman lost his stick on a collision behind the Bruins net with
Steve Downie and when the rebound of Moore’s shot came off Thomas’s
pads, Seidenberg could only kick at it with his skate. He couldn’t get
enough mustard on it to clear the puck and Bergenheim pounced for his
eighth goal of the playoffs.
Brett Clark’s goal 19 seconds later was a stunner. Thomas didn’t even
know who the 34-year-old Tampa Bay defenseman was when Clark skated
out of the neutral zone with the puck, slid around the Bruins defense on the
right side, and lifted a backhand shot at the net that beat Thomas.
“It went right armpit,’’ Thomas said. “Backhanders are always a little bit
harder to tell where they’re going to go.
“First, I was looking for who he was going to pass to, then I was trying to
figure out who he was.’’
Thomas wanted to see a familiar face, because then he might be able to
guess where the shot was going to go.
“I was just trying to put my chest in the center of the net and it was a
seeing-eye puck,’’ Thomas said.
The packed house hardly had time to swallow the first two goals when the
Bruins gave up a third. Tomas Kaberle’s weak attempt to move the puck out
from behind Thomas was picked off by Teddy Purcell, who stuffed in a shot
at the right post at 12:40.
The Bruins called a timeout.
“That was the right time for a timeout,’’ Thomas said. “I was OK, still,
mentally. It was just a weird goal.’’
Thomas took a moment, then changed his mind.
“Having said that, now that I’ve thought about it maybe it was good for me,
too,’’ said Thomas, “just like it was for everyone else.’’
The Bruins got one back on Tyler Seguin’s first career playoff goal at 15:59,
but that was a one-man special as the rookie deked Mike Lundin onto his
behind and then rifled a shot past Dwayne Roloson. As a team, the Bruins
couldn’t make anything happen. It was a game that Thomas would like to
see in the rearview mirror as soon as possible. The Bruins and Lightning
play Game 2 Tuesday.
“I wish we played quicker than another two days off,’’ said Thomas.
Boston Globe LOADED: 05.15.2011
569410     Boston Bruins                                                         Tampa team that extra penny’s worth of confidence. The Kaberle gimme
                                                                                 took those two pennies and turned them into a dollar.
                                                                                 Stunned, Julien called a timeout and summoned his dead-on-double-
Kaberle’s futility sums up opener                                                runners charges to the bench. What a revolting development.
                                                                                 “We lost the puck on the side of the net,’’ lamented Julien, later adding, “we
Kevin Paul Dupont                                                                need to be a little better with puck management.’’
                                                                                 To say nothing of puckhandling, especially on the 0-for-4 power play. On
                                                                                 Boston’s first advantage, the puck left the attack zone on six occasions. The
Tomas Kaberle is now officially a misfit toy, a borrowed piece from Toronto      second time it left the zone four times. Four more times on the third PP.
brought to the Hub to help the power play, only to end up looking like the       Four more on the fourth. Do we see a pattern here? It’s very hard to score
plastic ear stuck in the middle of Mr. Potato Head’s face. Tough on the          goals when the puck is only in there for the blink of an eye. But that’s not on
eyes. Very tough. Embarrassing.                                                  Kaberle. That’s an overall breakdown of the entry, and the inability to hold
                                                                                 the zone.
Wasn’t Kaberle supposed to make the power play look better? Instead, with
the aging Czech defenseman brought in to man the point, steady the show,         It’s time to try something new on the PP and a place to start could be
help produce goals with his velvet-handed dishes, the Boston man-                pulling Kaberle off the point. OK, he cost general manager Peter Chiarelli a
advantage has turned into the laughingstock of the 2011 Stanley Cup              former No. 1 pick, Joe Colborne, and a first-round pick in this year’s draft.
playoffs.                                                                        But those are assets, and costly ones. To leave Kaberle out there is adding
                                                                                 to the cost, in terms of goals not scored and now goals gifted.
The Bruins went their standard 0 for 4 on the advantage last night, dropping
to a feckless 2 for 41 in 12 games, and the one time Kaberle was isolated        Yes, sometimes you make a mistake and you have to put it behind you.
for a shot in the right wing circle he missed the right post by about six        When the toy doesn’t fit, find something better.
inches. Nothing but net. The outside, useless portion, how-the-heck-did-
that-happen side of the net.                                                     Boston Globe LOADED: 05.15.2011

“My stick bent on it,’’ said Kaberle, asked if perhaps he is squeezing his
stick too hard, hockey code for being tense. “It happens. It’s not about
squeezing the stick. It’s about hitting the net.’’
That’s the 24-square-foot net as framed by those three red pipes. In his
17:29 of ice time last night, Kaberle landed two of his four attempts on net,
so he knows where it is, although he is far too reluctant to shoot. That alone
is part of his problem. He doesn’t have a great shot, so he prefers not to
use it, which leaves the opposition with an advantage right off the hop. If
he’s not going to shoot, and he’s working the point on the power play, then
the advantage is essentially working with one hand (Kaberle’s) tied behind
its back.
The worst of the Kaberle worst last night, though, came at even strength,
only moments after the Bruins slipped into a mental fugue after
surrendering two first-period goals in a span of 19 seconds. There was
Kaberle, behind his own net, holding a puck shoveled his way by defensive
partner Dennis Seidenberg (a game-worst minus-3). Under no particular
pressure, and obviously absent a clue, Kaberle all but gifted the puck to an
advancing Teddy Purcell at the right post, and Purcell promptly cashed in
the gift certificate for a 3-0 Tampa lead.
That’s a new low for the misfit toy from Toronto. It’s one thing not to help
where he is supposed to help, but it’s something different to be coughing up
the puck under no pressure, right there at his own net, and looking on while
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals goes right down the drain. The
only boo-boo that could have been more blatant would have been for
Kaberle to have shot the puck off the back of goalie Tim Thomas’s left leg
for a bank-shot own goal.
“He didn’t take it from me, the puck slid on my blade and I tried to make a
move,’’ said Kaberle. “Those things you have to put behind you, the past
behind you . . . When you make a mistake, you have to put it behind you.’’
The Bruins were uncharacteristically foggy in the first period, especially in
that stretch when they yielded the three goals in a span of 1:25 and
completely deflated a sellout crowd that was crackling with excitement in
the minutes leading up to the opening faceoff. It was the first Eastern
Conference final played in the new Garden.
Sean Bergenheim struck first at 11:15, followed by Brett Clark with the 2-0
lead only 19 seconds later, with Thomas either fooled or unprepared for the
shot after Clark carried nearly two-thirds the length of the ice. Clark first
slipped by Michael Ryder in the neutral zone, then deked around Andrew
Ference as he gained entry over the blue line, and launched his softy from
the right wing circle. Lots of blame to share there.
“We made mistakes on all three goals, that’s pretty obvious,’’ noted coach
Claude Julien, who finally called a mercy timeout after the Thomas cough-
up. “But they are mistakes we can correct easily.’’
All the juice went out of the crowd with the Clark goal. Could this be the
same Boston team that swept the Flyers out of Round 2? Sure didn’t look it.
But neither did the Bolts look like the Broad Streeters. Each goal gave the
569411      Boston Bruins                                                            St. Louis. In the second round, Washington’s top pairing of John Carlson
                                                                                     and Karl Alzner skated against the Stamkos line.
                                                                                     But Lightning coach Guy Boucher has always mixed his lines to prevent
Bergeron returns to ice for brief skate                                              power pairings from rubbing out his go-to stars. Boucher is planning to pull
                                                                                     a similar trick this round to keep Zdeno Chara from neutralizing Stamkos,
                                                                                     St. Louis, and Vincent Lecavalier.
Fluto Shinzawa
                                                                                     “I don’t want my top players to sit on the bench because of matchups,’’
                                                                                     Boucher said. “In the end, your top players have to play against their top
                                                                                     players. There will be some matchups. We don’t have much control over it
Yesterday morning at TD Garden, for the first time since suffering a mild            here in Boston. Therefore, everybody has to be ready to play against Chara
concussion May 6, Patrice Bergeron hit the ice.                                      and everybody else.’’
Prior to the team’s morning skate, the Bruins center pulled on his blades for        Of Tampa’s three primary gunners, only St. Louis scored a point last night.
a brief solo spin.                                                                   He assisted on Marc-Andre Bergeron’s power-play goal in garbage time.
                                                                                     Lecavalier led all Lightning forwards with 18:09 of ice time.
“Just a light skate this morning,’’ coach Claude Julien said. “That’s where
he’s at right now. Light skate on his own.’’                                         Seguin is in Tyler Seguin made his NHL playoff debut last night. Seguin
                                                                                     became the first player since 1993 to appear in a conference final the year
The Bruins have been tight-lipped on Bergeron’s condition since he was
                                                                                     after being drafted among the top five. The last was Darius Kasparaitis for
thumped by Claude Giroux in the third period of Game 4 against the Flyers.
                                                                                     the Islanders in 1993. A year ago, Seguin was taking final exams and
However, the Bruins would not have given Bergeron the green light to skate
                                                                                     concluding high school life in Plymouth, Mich. Seguin was also preparing
unless his post-concussion symptoms had waned.
                                                                                     for the NHL combine. By his recollection, he added 7 pounds between the
Bergeron has been unavailable for comment since suffering the                        end of his junior season and the combine . . . The Bruins went 0 for 4 on the
concussion, the third of his NHL career.                                             power play with only four shots. “I thought our execution could certainly
                                                                                     have been better, especially on those entries,’’ Julien said. “We had some
“This is something that’s just protocol,’’ Julien said. “He’s going through the      rims, and at one point, the puck went past three of our guys. Guys have to
normal stuff. Today was a light skate on his own.’’                                  be better in those areas. We know that. If we do our job properly, I think
                                                                                     we’re going to have success.’’
The Bruins will continue to monitor Bergeron’s recovery. If he doesn’t suffer
any setbacks, he could be cleared for more skating. Bergeron has yet to              Boston Globe LOADED: 05.15.2011
practice with his teammates. It is unlikely Bergeron will be available for
Game 2 Tuesday even if he continues to progress.
Bergeron attended last night’s 5-2 loss. During the 8-Spoked Salute to
honor military personnel, Bergeron appeared as part of the ceremony.
Bergeron gave a thumbs-up to the crowd, which roared with approval.
“He seems to be recovering pretty well right now,’’ said linemate Brad
Marchand. “I don’t know how it went. Hopefully it went well.’’
Last night, Chris Kelly replaced Bergeron on the second line between
Marchand and Mark Recchi. Kelly had two shots in 16:55 of ice time and
went 10 for 17 on faceoffs.
Bergeron’s absence was felt all over the ice. But nowhere did the hole
seem bigger than at the dot. The Bruins lost 41 of 67 draws. David Krejci
went 3 for 18. Bergeron has won 64.2 percent of his postseason draws.
Remembered fondly On Oct. 27, 2006, Todd Fedoruk learned the hard way
how painful an encounter with Derek Boogaard can be. With one thundering
right hand, Boogaard caved in the left side of the Anaheim forward’s face.
The following day, the Ducks recalled Shawn Thornton from their AHL
affiliate in Portland, Maine.
Had Fedoruk been wiser than to challenge Boogaard, who was then with
the Wild, Thornton might never have established himself as an NHLer, to
say nothing of winning a Stanley Cup ring later that season.
“He’s partially the reason I’m in the NHL,’’ Thornton said. “He broke
Fedoruk’s face in a fight. That’s what gave me my chance.’’
From one tough guy to another, Thornton paid his respects to Boogaard,
who was found dead in his Minnesota apartment Friday. He was 28.
“There’s a lot of guys who do this job,’’ said Thornton, who fought Boogaard
Oct. 23. “He was definitely at the top of the list of guys you really didn’t want
to run into. If you had to, you had to. That’s our job. But he had the potential
to hurt you.’’
Boogaard was limited to 22 games this season with the Rangers. On Dec.
9, he suffered a concussion during a fight with Ottawa’s Matt Carkner and
didn’t play again.
Before signing with the Rangers last summer, Boogaard played for the Wild
for five seasons. In 2009-10, he was teammates with Shane Hnidy.
“It’s really tough,’’ Hnidy said. “It hit me hard last night when I first heard.’’
Mixing it up In the first two playoff rounds, Tampa Bay’s opponents had a
beast of a time finding the right matchups against the Lightning’s star
attackers. In the first round, Pittsburgh tried to deploy defensemen Brooks
Orpik and Kris Letang against Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos, and Martin
569412     Boston Bruins

Bruins fans hope wait is over

Marie Szaniszlo

Fans on edge last night in Boston for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference
finals were rooting for a winning series to propel the Boston Bruins into the
final round and end their 39-year Stanley Cup drought.
Kevin Colson was 11 years old in 1970 when the Bruins ended their
second-longest curse — 29 years — by defeating the St. Louis Blues in four
games in the final. Legendary Bruin Bobby Orr scored the game-winning
goal in overtime to clinch the Stanley Cup.
“It was amazing,” said Colson, 52. “It was fantastic. I can’t wait to do it
After that historic win against the Blues, the Bruins took another sip from
the cup in 1972 with a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers. Once again, Orr
scored the game-winning goal, becoming the first player to win two Smythe
Trophies. But that was the last time the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.
“There’s been a lot of heartbreaks,” said Steve Adams, 43, who came from
Old Orchard Beach, Maine, to watch last night’s game.
John Blake of Northwood, N.H., attributed many of the Bruins’ woes to the
team’s owner and former managers.
“Bruins fans have always been so used to making it this far, only to be let
down, I think they just rode the wave,” said Blake, 44. “They didn’t want to
invest the money to get the players needed to get the job done.”
But with former Bruin Cam Neely as president, many fans say, the team’s
prospects have improved.
“The atmosphere’s electric,” Adams said. “You need heart. You need guts.
You need to want it more than the other team. And these guys do.”
The Bruins this year became the first team in National Hockey League
history to win a playoff series without scoring a powerplay goal as they
eliminated the Montreal Canadiens in seven games.
On May 6, the Bruins trounced the Philadelphia Flyers at home, advancing
for the first time since 1992 to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they
face the No. 5 seed Tampa Bay Lightning. Game 2 is Tuesday.
“Everybody wrote them off, but you got hungry guys now who have never
been (to the finals) before, and they want it,” said Joe LaBrecque. 47, of
West Newfield, Maine.
“We’ve come this far. It’s worth the wait.”
Boston Herald LOADED: 05.15.2011
569413     Boston Bruins

Rich Peverley feels ‘lucky’ to wear Black ’n’ Gold

Steve Buckley

It’s not uncommon for a professional athlete, having just learned he has
been traded, to hurl a verbal hand grenade or two at his former team.
Not Rich Peverley. Though thrilled to have been liberated from the ever-
struggling Atlanta Thrashers when he was traded to the Bruins in mid-
February, Peverley remains bullish about the future of big league hockey in
the city he once called home.
Noting that the National Hockey League is working to bring stability to the
Phoenix Coyotes, Peverley said, “I think they’ll do the same for Atlanta.
When you make the playoffs one year out of 10 it’s tough to bring in fans.
But if they ever put a winner on the ice there, the fans will come. It’s a big
city and a great television market.”
Peverley is a good historian: The Thrashers have qualified for the playoffs
just once, in the spring of 2007, after finishing first in the Southeast Division
with a 42-28-11 record. Alas, they were swept in the first round by the New
York Rangers.
Peverley, who was playing for Nashville at the time, was claimed on
waivers by the Thrashers in January 2009. At the time he was traded to the
Bruins in the deal that sent defenseman Mark Stuart and forward Blake
Wheeler to Atlanta, he had 14 goals and 20 assists. In 23 regular-season
games with the Bruins, he had four goals and three assists. He has a goal
and five assists in 11 playoff games.
“I’m very lucky, obviously,” he said. “I wasn’t going to make the playoffs
(with Atlanta) and I’ve come to a great spot and have a chance to compete
for a Stanley Cup and I’ve been very thankful of that.”
And what would Peverley be doing tonight had he not been traded to the
“I’d probably be at home watching every game, because you want to be
there,” he said. “I always prepare as though I’m going to be in the playoffs
every year. And then you go from there if you’re not. But I’m prepared to go
for a long run.”
Since both the Thrashers and Lightning are in the Southeast Division,
Peverley is well-versed in the team the Bruins are about to play in the
Eastern Conference finals.
“The video staff and the coaches have done a really great job of preparing
us for that,” he said, “but the Lightning are an extremely talented group.
They’re very disciplined in their system. We have to be prepared for a
“You’ve got to use your speed,” he said. “They’re going to want to slow the
game down a little bit. The teams that use their speed have success against
them. It’s about holding onto the puck in their zone and keeping it away
from their dynamic forwards.”
Boston Herald LOADED: 05.15.2011
569414     Boston Bruins                                                          Beyond the two goals the Bruins scored with the extra man in the last two
                                                                                  games of the Philadelphia series, Krejci had a good feeling about the power
Dwayne Roloson on the river                                                       “We had some good movement; even in the first two games, I liked the
                                                                                  puck movement,” Krejci said. “Then we had the lucky 5-on-3 with two
                                                                                  minutes to go (in Game 3, which) helped us. We carried it on into the fourth
Steve Conroy                                                                      game and we got a big one on the first power play. I like our look and
                                                                                  hopefully we’ll have more success.” .?.?.
                                                                                  The Bruins have a 23-4-6 record against the Lightning at home.
Since departing UMass-Lowell in 1994, Dwayne Roloson has played in 10
different cities in a career that has seen him yo-yo between the AHL and          Boston Herald LOADED: 05.15.2011
NHL, travel to Europe and come back again.
But if you think the Tampa Bay Lightning goalie looks at Lowell as just
another stop along the way, think again. Roloson, who’ll try to thwart the
Bruins in the Eastern Conference finals beginning tonight at the Garden,
said his four years in Lowell were quite special.
“It meant a lot to me. I was 20 years old and had nowhere to go really,” the
Ontario native said yesterday. “I had a couple of offers to play college
hockey and getting an opportunity to play at Lowell was huge for me. It
allowed me to develop as a person and as a goalie. I look back at the
memories I have at university, and still to this day the friends I had at
university are still my close personal friends. You grow up together, you
learn a lot together and you have a lot of fun together.
“We were well coached by Bill Riley and Bruce Crowder. When Bruce came
in, there were a lot of changes, but we learned a lot about pro hockey with
Bruce having played pro. He was preparing each and every individual to
play pro hockey. I remember back to the time after my junior year, sitting in
the coaches’ office with coach Crowder, discussing my future. I was trying
to decide whether to leave or come back. He said, ‘For me, I don’t want you
to leave. But you, you probably want to leave. I’m going to give you the
resources to make that decision.’ I made the decision to go back and,
looking back on it, it was the best decision I ever made.”
When asked if he knew the effect his return had on Bruins goalie Tim
Thomas’ career — Thomas chose the University of Vermont after he
learned Roloson was coming back for another year at Lowell — he said that
Lightning forward Martin St. Louis, a Vermont teammate of Thomas’, had
indeed informed him.
“And thanks a lot, Roli,” joked St. Louis, who was seated at the dais next to
Thomas, of course, went on to have an excellent career in Burlington.
“It was great for Timmy,” said Roloson. “They had a lot of success in
college and I’m sure they had a lot of fun. I know when we played them, I
think they spanked us like 8- or 9-1. They had a great program, and they
still do.”
Bergy progressing
Trying to predict the return of a concussed player is never easy, and coach
Claude Julien is already tiring of giving updates on Patrice Bergeron. But on
the eve of Game 1, Julien said Bergeron is progressing.
“He’s improving. He really is improving and we’re optimistic about him,”
Julien said. “As (general manager) Peter (Chiarelli) said, we knew he was
going to miss the start of the series. How much he’s going to miss I can’t tell
you. But he’s on the right track and we’re staying positive.
“I’m not going to say much more because, when it comes to concussions,
you’ve got good news and you’ve got setbacks — you’ve got all kinds of
things. So I’m not going to sit here and change my tune every day except to
tell you that, right now, it’s going in the right direction.”
Bergeron suffered what has been termed a mild concussion when, early in
the third period of last Friday’s Game 4, he took a big, open-ice hit from the
Flyers’ Claude Giroux.
Powering up
Prior to the B’s full practice session, the power play went to work.
The first unit consisted of Tomas Kaberle and Johnny Boychuk on the back
end, with David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton up front. The second
unit had Rich Peverley, Mark Recchi and Michael Ryder at forward, with
Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg on the blue line.
569415     Boston Bruins                                                          “This is a different game than junior. Anybody, whether they’re as skilled as
                                                                                  he is or not, they have to learn to play defensively. You’re playing against
                                                                                  the best players in the world. It’s not an easy task. He’s done a tremendous
Time is now for Tyler Seguin                                                      job so far of trying to learn. He’s willing to learn. It probably was a humbling
                                                                                  experience for him, what he’s gone through. But he’s going to be a lot better
                                                                                  for this experience. He’s already a better player now than when he started
Stephen Harris
                                                                                  Far enough to hold his own tonight? We look forward to seeing.
                                                                                  Boston Herald LOADED: 05.15.2011
Tyler Seguin did not develop during his rookie season as well as other top
prospects in recent years for one very good reason: He didn’t have to.
Taylor Hall in Edmonton, John Tavares with the Islanders and Steven
Stamkos in Tampa Bay all joined sub-.500, non-playoff teams desperately
in need of talent upgrades. Those teenagers were put in difficult positions,
asked to shoulder heavy loads with expectations of immediate results.
Seguin was that rare high pick who came to a strong team and didn’t have
to deal with any great pressure to succeed.
If fans were displeased with Seguin’s first-year performance — 74 games,
11 goals, 11 assists, minus-4 — they really shouldn’t have been. The B’s
brass would have liked a little more, but generally felt Seguin spent his first
season as a pro learning, growing and improving.
Now Seguin comes to a major milestone in his career with his first playoff
appearance at the Garden tonight in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference
finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Remember, this is a kid barely
three months past his 19th birthday, who hasn’t played since April 10 and is
stepping into the most intense and physical hockey game he’s ever played.
In other words, don’t expect too much.
“l think he’ll be fine,” said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. “He
needs a chance. It’s huge stakes right now. He’s going to get an opportunity
and we’ll see what he does. It’s been a good development tool having him
watching (playoff games) and I think this will be another good development
tool. I hope that he comes through. He’s practiced quite hard.
“But it is a different animal when you get into a game.”
Seguin knows that. He knows the no-pressure, fun time is over. Now it’s
time to prove he can go on the ice and compete.
“I’ve learned a lot this season,” said Seguin. “But this is playoffs. This is
about results. It’s not about learning anymore.”
And, of course, the lessons he had to learn were about physical
involvement, battling, playing with desperate intensity.
“You look around this league and guys like (Alex) Ovechkin, (Sidney)
Crosby, Bergy (Patrice Bergeron) on our team, they’re the best players and
also the best (competitors), the best at winning battles,” he said. “That’s
what I’m trying to do.”
Seguin said he felt a change in the intensity of games after the All-Star
“The pace seemed to pick up and it seemed more like playoff hockey,” he
said. “Now, just watching from the stands and being around the room, the
intensity has picked up so much more. You can see why the fans love
playoffs so much more, just because of the intensity, the big hits, the great
We will see if he’s ready for it. His teammates are confident.
“I think he’s ready for this challenge,” said center Gregory Campbell. “As an
organization, I think they’ve done a good job bringing him along the right
way. It’s not an easy situation for him to come here as an 18-year-old. I
always tell him there’s not too many 18-year-olds playing in the NHL.”
Not so unique for Campbell is the learning process Seguin is undergoing.
The skill parts of the game he had figured out fairly well; it was the hitting,
the checking, the system play, the grinding and battling that had to be
“Yeah, but you know what, he’s not the first player who’s had to do that,”
said Campbell. “You’ve seen that many times. Guys with his kind of skill,
they just play instinctively and they’re good. In junior and the leagues below
that, he probably didn’t have to think much, he was just that much better
than the other kids.
569416     Buffalo Sabres                                                        Buffalo News LOADED: 05.15.2011

Barnaby pleads not guilty to felony criminal mischief

Gene Warner

Matthew Barnaby is accused of sending a threatening text message to a
male friend of his estranged wife in a domestic dispute that sent him to jail
overnight Friday, authorities said.
Barnaby, 38, the former Sabres player and current ESPN hockey analyst,
pleaded not guilty today in Amherst Town Court to five charges, including
one felony, following a domestic incident Friday evening involving his
estranged wife and her friend.
Amherst Town Justice Mark G. Farrell released Barnaby, 38, on his own
recognizance following a 12-minute arraignment this morning.
"Mr. Barnaby, it goes without question that you [must] completely stay
away from anyone involved in this matter," Farrell told the popular ex-
Amherst police initially provided few details about the incident, which
occurred at about 6:15 p.m. Friday at Barnaby's former residence in the
Getzville area of Amherst.
Today, though, Amherst Police Capt. Stephen J. McGonagle noted that
there were no injuries -- and no physical contact.
There was property damage. When Barnaby arrived at the home, he
attempted to enter and kicked the door, leaving an estimated $300 in
damages, police added.
Barnaby faces charges of felony criminal mischief, criminal contempt,
criminal trespass, harassment and aggravated harassment. The most
serious charge, felony criminal mischief, carries a possible prison term of up
to four years.
"He's been accused of sending threatening text messages and making
phone calls to the [estranged wife's] friend, which led to the aggravated
harassment charge," McGonagle said.
Law enforcement sources said that soon after the incident, Barnaby drove
to the male friend's place of business on Transit Road to confront him. State
police responded, but Barnaby was gone when they arrived, and no arrests
were made.
Those sources also said Barnaby was charged with criminal contempt
because he is accused of violating a court order -- agreed to by him and his
estranged wife -- about access to their marital property. That court order
was not an order of protection, sources emphasized.
Farrell issued identical no-contact court orders prohibiting Barnaby from
having any contact, even through a third party, with either victim in the
Rachel L. Newton, chief of the Erie County District Attorney's Domestic
Violence Bureau, requested $15,000 bail for Barnaby, who was jailed
overnight Friday, law enforcement sources said.
Farrell, though, released Barnaby on his own recognizance, after his
attorneys, David H. Elibol and Michael H. Kooshoian, pointed to their
client's strong personal and business ties to the Buffalo community.
Barnaby, wearing a light blue polo shirt, brown pants and sneakers, said
little during the 12-minute court session, other than giving the names of the
couple's two children and saying he has no weapons.
He released the following statement Saturday through his spokesman,
Jesse Derris:
"The past few months have been difficult on our entire family, as my wife
and I decided to separate and divorce. Last evening, there was an
unfortunate disagreement between us regarding a family matter. There was
never any physical violence or threat of physical violence involved. I would
like to ask that everyone respect our privacy during this difficult time, and
hope that this will be resolved quickly and amicably."
Barnaby's next court appearance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday,
when Farrell said the case could go to Amherst's Domestic Violence Court.
569417     Buffalo Sabres

Former Sabre Barnaby arrested after domestic incident

T.J. Pignataro

Matthew Barnaby, the former rough-and-tumble Buffalo Sabres forward-
turned ESPN and TSN hockey analyst, is scheduled to be arraigned this
morning in Amherst Town Court on multiple charges stemming from a
domestic violence incident this evening in Getzville, Amherst Police said.
Barnaby, 38, was charged by Amherst Police with criminal mischief,
criminal trespass, harassment, criminal contempt and aggravated
harassment after a domestic-related incident involving two victims,
according to Amherst Lt. Tom Ratzel.
The incident occurred at a Getzville home about 6:15 p.m. and Barnaby
was arrested a short time later, authorities said. He was expected to spend
Friday evening in the Amherst Town Jail.
Police would not discuss further specifics about the case.
Barnaby, an Ottawa, Ont., native who played for the Sabres from 1992 to
1999, was noted for wearing a pair of silver front teeth emblazoned with a
Sabres' logo. He also was known for tough play on the ice and kindhearted
nature and charity work away from the rink.
He left the Queen City for Pittsburgh in a deadline deal in March 1999.
Besides the Penguins, Barnaby went on to play with he Tampa Bay
Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks
and Dallas Stars.
He retired in 2007 after 834 NHL games, scoring 113 goals ó and,
accumulating 2,562 minutes in penalties.
Barnaby continues to maintain a Buffalo-area residence.
Buffalo News LOADED: 05.15.2011
569418     Carolina Hurricanes                                                    "He had made a new home in Raleigh," Hurricanes president and general
                                                                                  manager Jim Rutherford said. "Unfortunately it was for a much shorter time
                                                                                  than it should have been. He'll be missed greatly."
Raleigh's ice will never be the same                                              He came here with the team and he embraced the Triangle as much as any
                                                                                  of the Hartford transplants, to the point where it's impossible to imagine the
                                                                                  arena without him.
By LUKE DECOCK - Staff Writer
                                                                                  When the Pittsburgh Penguins struggled mightily with the ice quality at their
                                                                                  new arena this fall, Hurricanes TV broadcaster John Forslund asked Sidney
                                                                                  Crosby which building had the best ice in the league. "Honestly?" Crosby
RALEIGH -- Buildings are inanimate objects. People give them life. Donnie         said. "It might be your building."
MacMillian did that for the RBC Center. He was more than its caretaker; he
was its heart and soul.                                                           When Forslund relayed Crosby's comment to MacMillian, he beamed.
                                                                                  Nothing could have made him happier.
For anyone who spent any time behind the scenes at the arena, MacMillian
was a ubiquitous, friendly, energetic presence. His title was "building           News Observer LOADED: 05.15.2011
superintendent" but he did the work of an entire team of people: He made
the ice, fixed what broke and kept the building running.
MacMillian, who died Thursday at 52, took the team's move from
Connecticut as an opportunity for a fresh start. He made a new life for
himself, living in a recreational vehicle parked just outside the building's
back door, riding his motorcycle, throwing himself entirely into taking care of
the RBC Center.
MacMillian was riding his mountain bike in Umstead State Park when he
suffered an apparent heart attack.
The man known as "Donnie Mac" was eccentric, to say the least, but he
was good at his job, beloved by his coworkers and respected by his peers.
He was who he was, made no excuses and loved what he did.
"He loved that people knew he lived in the motor coach in the back of the
building," RBC Center general manager Dave Olsen said. "He was
completely unique in how he approached life. He was easygoing, never
really sweated anything, but he was darn serious about the ice business. If
you in any way, shape or form took a shot at him about his ice, he took it
Before the 2006 playoffs, he buried a silver dollar at center ice. Edmonton
Oilers forward Ryan Smyth dug it out of the ice before Game 5 of the
Stanley Cup finals, and MacMillian was irate. ("I guess he needed it to buy
dinner," MacMillian fumed.) Five days later, he was holding the Stanley Cup
over his head; by the time training camp started, the coin had been returned
to him.
He took the challenge of making good ice in a hot, humid environment
seriously. He pushed and pushed for improvements to the building's ice-
making equipment, and in the end, he was rewarded: When visiting teams
filled out their ice reports, the RBC Center got the kind of ratings usually
seen north of the border.
"He was always in the top five in the last three or four years," said Dan
Craig, the NHL's chief icemaker.
MacMillian was an innovator as well, developing a seamless kickplate - the
yellow strip where the boards meet the ice - that has become industry-
standard in NHL arenas. This fall, he started using a laser-leveling system
before anyone else in the NHL.
Donnie Mac was rarely seen in anything but T-shirts and baggy pants - for a
time, he may have been keeping makers of the garish Zubaz pants in
business - and the arena was his life. It wasn't just making the ice, although
he took the most pride in that.
He trained and pushed his changeover crew to the point where they could
convert the building from basketball to hockey, or vice versa, in only a few
When visiting teams arrived at the airport, at all hours of the night, it was
often MacMillian who drove the equipment truck to pick up their gear.
He was a top-notch carpenter as well. The complex carpentry behind the
bar at Lucky B's, the Glenwood South bar owned by former Cane Bates
Battaglia. That was his handiwork. Just this week, he was getting ready to
build a wheelchair ramp at the home of a Hurricanes' employee whose wife
was stricken with cancer. He and his crew could fix just about anything
without making a phone call to someone outside the building.
That's the way MacMillian liked it: It was his building, and he'd keep it
running. He'd eat lunch at the Deck inside the RBC Center nearly every day
and sleep outside in his RV at night. It was still parked there Friday
afternoon, empty, the way the building feels without him.
569419     Columbus Blue Jackets                                                    One other reason for Columbus to like the move: The Blue Jackets are 18-
                                                                                    2-4 vs. the Southeast Division over the past four seasons, including one
                                                                                    regulation loss in their past 18 games.
Jackets' hope rises in East                                                         It was a farfetched plan for years. If the right dominoes continue to fall, it
                                                                                    could be one of the biggest moves the Blue Jackets make this summer.

Aaron Portzline                                                                     About the Thrashers
                                                                                    • Entered the league: 1999

The possibility of the Blue Jackets moving to the Eastern Conference - a            • Overall winning percentage: .447
decade-long pipedream - has suddenly been upgraded to wishful thinking.             • 2010-11 record: 34-36-12, 80 points, 12th in Eastern Conference
Now that the Phoenix Coyotes are settled in Glendale, Ariz., for at least           • 2010-11 average attendance: 13,469, 28th of 30 NHL teams
another season, eyes have turned to the Atlanta Thrashers. Talks involving
the Thrashers moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba, already are under way, and              About Winnipeg
it's a deal that could come together quickly, as the NHL is not expected to
put up much of a fight.                                                             • Previous NHL franchise: Jets, 1979-96 (now Phoenix Coyotes)

If that happens, Blue Jackets fans would be advised to take a seat, lest they       • Notable: Jets began as World Hockey Association team in 1972. Made
become dizzy or misplaced. The landscape around the club as its second              playoffs in 11 of 17 NHL seasons. A website dedicated to bringing an NHL
decade dawns - division opponents, rivalries, road games, etc. - could all be       team back to Winnipeg,, has been active since 2003. Has a
put in a blender in a matter of weeks.                                              metro area population of more than 750,000.

Here's a look - call it informed speculation - at how the process might play        Columbus Dispatch LOADED: 05.15.2011
If Atlanta moves to Winnipeg, the franchise would almost certainly be
shifted to the Western Conference, forcing a club in the West - likely
Columbus or Detroit, both in the Eastern Time zone - to move to the East,
specifically the Southeast Division.
Why the Southeast? The East is so muddled by geographic placement and
the existence of long-standing rivalries that it's almost impossible to find a
club from the Northeast or Atlantic divisions that makes sense in the
Southeast. An argument could be made that Nashville is the best fit
geographically for the Southeast, but the NHL will probably want to avoid
putting a team from the Central Time Zone in the East.
For years, it has been assumed that Detroit has first dibs on moving East.
Some have whispered that the Red Wings were promised the first ticket
back to the East when they landed in the Western Conference in 1993.
But NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Dispatch last month that
no such agreement - written or unwritten - exists, that it would be up to a
vote by the NHL's Board of Governors. Even if it comes to that, the Red
Wings might have a hard time coming up with support; the team helps sell
tickets throughout Western Conference arenas.
One also has to wonder if the Red Wings want to move back to the East
badly enough to join the Southeast Division, where they'd play Carolina,
Florida, Tampa Bay and Washington six times per season. They'd give up
six games against rival Chicago and be no closer than five states away
from their closest division opponent (Washington).
The Blue Jackets aren't proud in this instance; they would jump at the
chance to join the Southeast.
The Jackets would gladly trade three home games against Detroit and
Chicago for two each against Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Toronto, Montreal and the
New York Rangers, who are all good sells in the Columbus market.
Carolina and Florida might not stoke any fires with Blue Jackets' fans, but
Tampa Bay is playing in the Eastern Conference finals, and Washington,
with Alexander Ovechkin, is a marquee club.
Further, it would save the Blue Jackets a huge chunk of money on travel -
jet fuel, hotel stays, etc., not to mention the fatigue of cross-country flights.
Even if a five-game trip pops up on the schedule, they'd likely come home
between some of the games and not be gone for eight or nine days, as it
stands today. No more getting back from a trip at 4 a.m.
It's not as if the Blue Jackets would be leaving behind any heated rivals,
either. One of the saddest aspects of the Jackets' chronic losing is that
they've developed no true rivals in 10 seasons.
The club's local TV ratings would most certainly increase, too. Each year,
74 or more of the Blue Jackets' 82 games would start no later than 7:30
p.m., meaning fans with jobs and/or families would be more able to watch.
As it stands now, only 53 of the Blue Jackets' games are played inside the
Eastern Time Zone during a typical season.
569420     Dallas Stars                                                            How much do you play during the season?
                                                                                   Morrow: Maybe once a month, if the weather is decent and we have a
                                                                                   couple of days off.
Stars' Morrow on embarrassing golf moments and his current swing
                                                                                   Does your swing differ during the season?
                                                                                   Morrow: Yeah, definitely. It's not so much the swing, but the tempo maybe.
By MIKE HEIKA                                                                      When you're in hockey season, everything is aggressive and fast and
                                                                                   intense. And in golf, if you're doing those things, it's not going to help your
                                                                                   score. So it takes a little while to slow down and get relaxed
Brenden Morrow doesn't like to even say the word "yips," but he battled
some "nervousness" recently in his putting game.                                   How different are the two motions?

Going out with seasoned golfers Mike Modano and Brett Hull on a regular            Morrow: Well, with a hockey shot, you use your whole body. That's how you
basis, there is a bit of pressure on a guy with a 4-handicap.                      generate a lot of your power. And because the puck is moving, you adjust
                                                                                   your hands a lot to either slow things down or catch up to the puck. But with
"When you're with Mo, he makes everything, so you start to think too much          golf, you want your body a lot more still. You really want to be more quiet
and maybe start to put too much pressure on yourself, and I did that,"             with your lower body stuff, and that is a challenge.
Morrow said. "I almost got to the point where I was going to try one of those
long putters, but I settled down and worked things out and I think I have it       Best course you've played?
under control now."                                                                Morrow: I don't think Augusta can be beat. I've played it twice. The first time
That's one of the great things about golf for the Stars captain — it simulates     I played it, it probably took me 11 or 12 holes before the jitters slowed
the pressure of his other job.                                                     down. I really felt as close to how I feel for a playoff game when I golfed
                                                                                   there, and that's never happened before.
"Obviously, the stakes are different, but the process does help you,"
Morrow said. "I think anytime you have to go and work something out and            Worst day on the course?
fix a problem, it helps you overall in learning how to figure your way through     Morrow: It wasn't my golf, but the most embarrassing day was when I fell in
something. Golf is a very technical game, and sometimes when you're in a           a creek. It was one of my first days golfing with Hullie, and he was my idol
slump or gripping your stick a little tight [in hockey], you can step back and     growing up, so I was nervous anyway and I didn't want to hold them up or
study how your are holding your stick, or what your positioning is. I              be a nuisance. So I hit my shot over a creek on a par 5, and I jumped over
definitely have learned that from the game."                                       it, went over, hit my next shot, and then when I jumped back over the creek,
Morrow grew up in Carlyle, Saskatchewan, and didn't really embrace the             the side of the bank gave out and I went face first into the creek. I walked
game of golf until he moved to Texas, but he is now a full-fledged addict.         up and there I had mud in my hair, up my nose and all over my body, and
He talks with staff writer Mike Heika about a few of the finer points of the       they were dying.
game:                                                                              What about actual golf?
Where do you like to play golf around Dallas?                                      Morrow: I've had some bad rounds where everything has gone wrong, but
Morrow: I play everywhere. Preston Trail, Vaquero, Royal Oaks is the family        that's what's neat about golf. It seems like there is a new challenge every
club. Out of all of them, I probably like Preston Trail the best.                  day. You can have an awful day, go out and fix a few things and then golf
                                                                                   great, and there's a lot of pride in that. Then, you can be great one day, and
Do you have a favorite hole?                                                       the next you're terrible, and you have to start all over again. I like that part
                                                                                   of it, that you never really know what to expect.
Morrow: Not really. I might like a couple, but then that'll change if I don't do
particularly well there.                                                           What's in the bag:

Best score?                                                                        Driver: Taylor Made R7 425 9.5 degree with Fujikura Rombax x-stiff shaft.

Morrow: 71. I shot par at Vaquero.                                                 3-wood: Adams Speedline 10 15-degree Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana x-shaft

What happened that day?                                                            Rescue: Titleist 58. 5H UST proforce stiff shafts

Morrow: The greens are big there, and my short game is my biggest                  4-PW: Adams Ideal Pro Gold forged irons with 6.0Rifle Project x flighted
problem, so I was able to get on the greens there, and I'm a decent putter.        shafts, 52, 56, 60 degreee.

Hockey is an interesting game in that a lot of people who are right-handed         Cleveland CG15 wedge Stock shafts.
shoot left-handed. You shoot lefty in hockey, what about golf?
                                                                                   Odyssey white ice putter, 35 inches.
Morrow: I'm kind of weird. I'm a righty in golf, but in baseball I bat left-
handed. I actually golfed left-handed when I was really young and didn't           Ball: Srixon Z Star x-tour yellow or white.
really like it much. But our gym class went to a golf course when I was 16,        Dallas Morning News LOADED: 05.15.2011
and there weren't enough left-handed rentals, so I used a set of rights and
did pretty well. Since then, I have golfed right.
How did you get into the game?
Morrow: I was just a casual golfer until I got here on the team, and then you
really have no choice. If you're going to be here with Hullie and Mo, you
pretty much have to become a golfer. It was a process, but they drag you
into it pretty quickly.
What are those matches like now?
Morrow: I still can't beat them straight up, but I can get close with my
Is your goal to get your handicap to 0?
Morrow: Not while I'm playing hockey. I put in a lot of time now, but with
three kids and hockey season, I just can't concentrate on scoring that much.
I do it more for the enjoyment of the game and the time with the guys than I
do for scoring.
569421        Detroit Red Wings                                                 C+: Had 39 points after a bland season. He was very good against the
                                                                                Coyotes and excellent against the Sharks. Elite player when he puts his
                                                                                mind to it.
Red Wings earn above-average marks                                              Playoffs: B-
                                                                                Johan Franzen
By HELENE ST. JAMES                                                             B-: Has size and skill, but sometimes the fire is missing in the regular
                                                                                season. He had a team-high 28 goals, but only two in his last 27 games.
                                                                                Too hurt in the playoffs to make a difference.
The Red Wings finished with the third-best record in the West, one point out
of second, and with the second-best road record in the NHL. The 261 goals       Playoffs: C+
they scored during 82 regular-season games was one behind the league-           Darren Helm
leading Canucks.
                                                                                B: He's a forechecking machine and reached career highs with 12 goals
They didn't get as far as they wanted in the playoffs, losing in the Western    and 32 points in the regular season, helping make the fourth line viable.
Conference semifinals to the second-seeded Sharks, but the Wings can            Added three goals and three assists in the playoffs.
look back on the development of several young players as a reason to be
excited about next season. Forwards Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader           Playoffs: B
got better, and young defenseman Jakub Kindl had a very nice second half.
Goaltender Jimmy Howard shone in the playoffs, doing exactly what the           Tomas Holmstrom
Wings needed him to do.                                                         B: Scored 18 goals in the regular season, 10 on the power play, and spent
Then there was the continued stellar play of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik           most of the season as Datsyuk's puck-retriever and net-front presence. Had
Zetterberg. Datsyuk was the best player on either side of the Sharks series,    seven points in the playoffs.
showing why he's mentioned in the same breath as Sidney Crosby and              Playoffs: B+
Alex Ovechkin. Zetterberg isn't far behind. And Nicklas Lidstrom, as Danny
Cleary put it, showed he's a "top one" defenseman.                              Jiri Hudler
Six of the seven games in the Sharks series were decided by one goal, and       C: Looked lost during the first half and only was a threat offensively while
the Wings nearly squeezed out a fourth straight victory. They didn't lose to    playing with Datsyuk. Saw plenty of power-play time, but still failed to get a
the Sharks for lack of competing, which is why most players are getting         point against the Sharks.
good grades.
                                                                                Playoffs: D
                                                                                Drew Miller
Justin Abdelkader
                                                                                B: Another fast role player who scored 10 goals for the second straight
B: Progressed nicely as hard-checking grinder, played physical and helped       season. Scored a big goal in the Phoenix series and probably could have
on the penalty kill, but playoffs were marred by a slew of careless penalties   been used more against San Jose.
and being a minus-four.
                                                                                Playoffs: B
Playoffs: C
                                                                                Mike Modano
Todd Bertuzzi
                                                                                C: Suffered devastating injury to his right wrist Nov. 26 and was squeezed
B: Had 45 points in 81 games, followed up with six in 11 playoff games,         out of the lineup upon returning, then passed over in the playoffs. Couldn't
even though he was left off the power play. At his best when he's skating       have gone much worse.
hard and still using those soft hands.
                                                                                Playoffs: Inc.
Playoffs: B
                                                                                Henrik Zetterberg
Danny Cleary
                                                                                A: Finished the regular season as the leading scorer with 80 points in 80
B+: Was second on the team with 26 goals, playing hard-nosed hockey in          games. Missed Round 1 with a sprained knee, then willed his way into the
front of the net. Saw hard minutes against top lines in playoffs and still      Sharks series and delivered eight points.
added six points.
                                                                                Playoffs: A
Playoffs: B
Pavel Datsyuk
                                                                                Jonathan Ericsson
B+: Averaged more than a point a game during the season despite injuries
and showed he's one of the best in the world, with a team-high 15 points in     B: He shored up his game in his zone during the regular season to finish
11 playoff games.                                                               plus-eight, was good against Phoenix but not quite as effective against the
Playoffs: A
                                                                                Playoffs: B-
Kris Draper
                                                                                Jakub Kindl
B: Showed he had something left in his nearly 40-year-old tank with six
goals, but mostly providing a stabilizing presence on the fourth line and       B-: Played with much more confidence in the second half, pushing off guys
helped with face-offs.                                                          and limiting mistakes. Probably was ready to make his NHL playoff debut.
                                                                                Figures to be a regular next season.
Playoffs: B
                                                                                Playoffs: Inc.
Patrick Eaves
                                                                                Niklas Kronwall
B: His value is in his speed and the way he kills penalties, and he was key
to the stability of the fourth line. He added 13 goals in the regular season    B+: Reached a career high with 11 goals during the regular season as he
and three in the playoffs.                                                      took on a bigger role, and coupled that with a good run in the playoffs,
                                                                                where he tried to be more active offensively.
Playoffs: B
                                                                                Playoffs: A-
Valtteri Filppula
                                                                                Nicklas Lidstrom
A: Had a Norris Trophy-finalist regular season and was second on team in
scoring. He had eight points in the playoffs, when he was one of the team's
best players, as usual.
Playoffs: A
Brian Rafalski
B-: His outlet passes are crucial to getting the forwards going, and he had
another solid season points-wise even as he struggled with injuries. Had
just three points in the playoffs.
Playoffs: C+
Ruslan Salei
C: A good first half segued into a spotty second half, but he was solid in the
playoffs, providing a veteran presence and blocking the third-most shots as
he helped on the penalty kill.
Playoffs: C+
Brad Stuart
B: Provided a physical presence, was a great stay-at-home partner for
Lidstrom, contributed 20 points during the regular season and a plus-four,
followed by stellar playoff performance.
Playoffs: A
Jimmy Howard
B: Started the season well, then struggled along with team in January, but
was solid down the stretch. Played well against Phoenix and gave the
Wings a chance in every game to beat the Sharks.
Playoffs: B+
Chris Osgood
B-: Went 5-3-2 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .903 save percentage
before succumbing to a sports hernia in early January. Made 46 saves in
his 400th career victory Dec. 27.
Playoffs: Inc.
Joey MacDonald
C: The career minor leaguer did a fair job seeing spot duty as backup after
Osgood was injured and sat on the bench during the playoffs.
Playoffs: Inc.
On the bench
Contact Helene St. James: 313-222-2295 or
Mike Babcock and his assistants
B: They had the Wings in great shape after the first half, but they tumbled a
bit in the second, falling out of second place in the West. Babcock admitted
he hasn't figured out the formula for how to deal with a long layoff between
rounds, as the Wings looked rusty when the Sharks series began. The
bigger problem was the power play -- there were too many times it failed to
get even a quality chance against the Sharks, especially when a goal would
have made a big difference. Juggled lines and made adjustments to help
get the Wings back into the Sharks series.
Playoffs: B
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
569422     Detroit Red Wings                                                       Jakub Kindl, 24, had a great second half and will have every opportunity to
                                                                                   build on that next season. Management thought he was as good as veteran
                                                                                   Ruslan Salei down the stretch, and lobbied Babcock for Kindl to play over
Red Wings close out season, brace for changes                                      Salei. Brendan Smith, the Wings' first-round pick from 2007, is also ready to
                                                                                   challenge for a spot.
                                                                                   Brian Rafalski returns for another season, and while his health -- especially
By HELENE ST. JAMES                                                                his back and his knee -- is a concern, the Wings have cut his minutes to
                                                                                   around 20 a game. His tape-to-tape outlet passes are a key reason why the
                                                                                   Wings get going so quickly on offense.
The Red Wings arrived at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday clean-shaven and              There's a lot of speculation regarding Lidstrom, but he keeps his own
ready for the traditional team picture that comes with the end of the              counsel. Should he retire, the Wings will have $6.2 million to tempt
playoffs.                                                                          someone else, but for those eyeing Nashville's Shea Weber, he's a
                                                                                   restricted free agent, and the Predators will match any offer the Wings
Their run ended, again, in the second round. Some of the players who
                                                                                   throw at him. His teammate, Ryan Suter, on the other hand, is eligible to
cleaned out their lockers did so for the last time, but most didn't. Everyone
                                                                                   become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2012.
hoped Nicklas Lidstrom is in the latter category, but he won't decide for a
few weeks. Kris Draper likely is done, Chris Osgood probably, too, and             Everyone around the Joe sees the Wings' continued competitiveness and
Mike Modano, certainly.                                                            their growth from within on defense, as a reason why Lidstrom will be back.
The group that'll start filtering in around Labor Day won't be quite the same.     "He's on a team," Babcock said, "that I think has good opportunity."
"I think we're going to see some changes, no question," coach Mike                 Detroit Free Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
Babcock said. "I think it's very important as we ask our players to train all
summer and to work and get better, that as coaches, we do the same thing
and as management we do the same thing. We've got to improve our team.
"The bottom line is, the final four is going on, and this is the second year in
a row we're not involved. Now, last year, we weren't close to being involved.
This year, you had to like the way our team was. The reality is, we have to
be better."
The Wings left proud of how they competed against the Sharks, forcing the
series to seven games, and encouraged that a better season lies ahead.
Much of their future hinges on Lidstrom, but he if returns, their defense
looks to be even better thanks to the development of several players.
Future of defense looks bright
One of these seasons, Nicklas Lidstrom isn't going to come back. He's
freshly 41, has played a lot of hockey and has spent a lot of time away from
his wife and children the past two decades.
He's an irreplaceable guy and the most dependable player on the team. But
the Wings have been smart in transitioning away from relying on him as
their top minutes man on the back end, something that has been possible
thanks to Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart.
Kronwall, 30, and Stuart, 31, also are top defensemen. Kronwall is gifted
offensively, more of a join-the-rush type than Lidstrom, and is one of the
fiercest open-ice hitters in the game. He led the Wings with 23:04 minutes
of average ice time during the playoffs. Stuart is the sort of big, heavy stay-
at-home defenseman teams covet, the perfect partner for an offensive
defenseman. Both played key roles in stretching the second-round series
against the Sharks to seven games.
"Kronner is a guy who continues to take steps, and Stuie, he's just been
fantastic," coach Mike Babcock said Saturday. "I think every year, the way
he plays at playoff time, he's even better. That's just the way he is. He had
a great year for us."
Stuart is entering the last year of his contract, but he said he loves it here
and the Wings definitely want to keep him. The first priority for general
manager Ken Holland, before he begins talks of any extensions with
anyone, is finding out whether Lidstrom wants to return. Lidstrom will take a
little time to decide, but there's certainly no question he can play another
season. His regular season earned him another spot as a Norris Trophy
finalist, and he was superb during the regular season.
He'll also return to a competitive team, which is important.
"Me aside, looking at this team, there is great potential here," Lidstrom said.
"We have star players. We have the support group that I think are one of
the best in the league. I like the team even without me in the lineup. I
believe this team is going to be strong for years to come."
In addition to the continued growth of Kronwall and Stuart, the Wings saw
Jonathan Ericsson come through with a solid regular-season performance
to finish as a plus player for the first time in his career, playing the sort of
steady hockey they saw from him in the '09 playoffs. Ericsson, 27, is an
unrestricted free agent and will draw good offers, but he said his priority is
to stay in Detroit.
569423     Detroit Red Wings

Nicklas Lidstrom, don't skate off into the sunset yet


Transitioning from season to summer isn't much fun when it's still spring.
"It always feels like you're doing the team picture way too early," said
Nicklas Lidstrom on Saturday as the Red Wings went through the final
formalities at Joe Louis Arena before stamping the final punctuation mark
on the 2010-11 season.
But a big question mark will follow Lidstrom as he approaches the summer.
Will he come back?
Most believe he will. Lidstrom insisted he's not leaning one way or the
other. He'll follow the same approach as he did after last season. He'll let
the emotions ebb before rendering such an important decision. The wounds
inflicted from a second straight second-round playoff elimination are too raw
for him to look at his situation objectively.
Lidstrom neither looked nor sounded like a weary, beaten-down 41-year-old
in the dressing room following Thursday's Game 7 loss in San Jose. He
spoke of how invigorating it was being part of a special comeback against
the Sharks that fell one win shy of momentous. He was proud of how his
teammates responded.
He wouldn't say it publicly, but it had to be a source of individual pride,
because the Wings' quiet determination was a direct reflection of Lidstrom's
The Wings appear more confident in Lidstrom's return for another season
than they did at about this time a year ago, when they also cleaned out their
lockers and had their exit meetings following another second-round
elimination to San Jose.
Coach Mike Babcock said he thinks Lidstrom's coming back, strictly
because the Wings remain a Stanley Cup contender. It's hard walking away
when you know you're still playing at a considerably high level. It's why it's
much harder for Lidstrom than it was for Steve Yzerman when Detroit went
through the annual "Will he or won't he?" uncertainty in Yzerman's closing
Yzerman wasn't a sustainable force on the ice in those final couple of
seasons. He knew he couldn't physically play anymore following the 2006
season. But Yzerman could walk away and there wouldn't be a sizable
drop-off because Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg were emerging into
top-10 stars.
Is Niklas Kronwall, coming off his finest season, ready to step into that No.
1 defensive pairing?
"It's certainly nice when you hear others say good things about how you're
playing," said Kronwall. "It gives you more confidence and even more
incentive to keep working hard. But I'm like everybody else. I don't want
(Lidstrom) leaving right now because he's still such a tremendous player in
how he thinks through the game."
There's added pressure on Lidstrom, because everyone agrees that his
presence on the Wings next season -- which would be his 20th -- could
make the difference between the Wings being good or exceptional.
"I like the team even without me in the lineup," Lidstrom said Saturday.
"You look at how close we were to advancing, being in one-goal games
pretty much every game. Going down to the wire, it could have gone either
way. I believe this team is going to be strong for years to come."
Lidstrom's preparing everyone for the inevitable. There will come a day
when No. 5 won't be around, but that's a transition nobody's in any rush to
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
569424       Detroit Red Wings                                                  Hard work
                                                                                Ryan Kesler first slipped on skates at age 4 at Eddie Edgar Arena in
Livonia's Ryan Kesler grown into top-notch two-way NHL player
                                                                                "He went around the rink once and held my hand," Mike Kesler recalled.
                                                                                "And then he threw my hand to the side and said, 'I don't need your help
By GEORGE SIPPLE                                                                anymore, Dad.' He skated on his own from that point on.
                                                                                "He played his first game when he was 5 years old. I'll never forget it. We
                                                                                won one or two games that season. The very first game he played, he's on
Ryan Kesler, who put on his first pair of skates at age 4, played on various    the backdoor and the puck comes along and he slams it home. And that's
youth teams.                                                                    the only goal he got all spring."

Ryan Kesler, who put on his first pair of skates at age 4, played on various    Ryan Kesler would score his fair share of goals throughout his youth, but he
youth teams. / Courtesy of the Kesler family                                    was never considered a natural or prolific scorer. He had to work hard for
                                                                                his points and enjoyed excelling in the areas of the ice his father described
Ryan Kesler played for Team USA.                                                to him.
Ryan Kesler played for Team USA. / Courtesy of the Kesler family                "I really believed in players being able to play in what I called all three
                                                                                zones," Mike Kesler said. "For Mike, so many young players were great in
Meet Ryan Kesler
                                                                                the offensive zone but were "a liability in the defensive zone and had no
Who: Vancouver center.                                                          clue how to play at center ice.

Age: 26.                                                                        "I tried to instill in (Ryan) what I learned in the game," Mike said. "I said,
                                                                                'Ryan, if you take care of your own end first, the other ends will take care of
Vitals: 6-2, 202.                                                               themselves.' "
Hometown: Livonia.                                                              Youth hockey
High school: Livonia Churchill.                                                 Kyle Krug, currently coach of Belle Tire midget minor AAA, became
                                                                                involved with Ryan Kesler when Ryan was about 7. Kesler played for Krug,
College: Ohio State.                                                            first with the Michigan Nationals and then for Little Caesars.
How acquired: Selected in the first round, 23rd overall, by the Canucks in      "He was very, very quiet," Krug said. "Never talked.
the 2003 entry draft.
                                                                                "He played up a year. Bottom line was he was an average player."
                                                                                Krug said at that young age, most players are just happy to score goals.
For the U.S.: Won silver at the 2010 Olympics; has gold medals from U-17,       Kesler, though, was listening to his father's advice about being a
U-18 and junior championships.
                                                                                responsible defensive forward.
In the NHL: Selke Trophy finalist in 2009-11. Scored career-high 41 goals in
                                                                                "The goal-scoring didn't come natural for him," Krug said. "He wasn't a real
2010-11 season and a career-high 75 points in 2009-10.
                                                                                pretty skater at the time. There were other guys that were more compact,
                                                                                more fluid, natural goal scorers."

By THE NUMBERS                                                                  Krug wasn't thinking he had a future NHL superstar then.

Kesler's 2010-11 statistics:                                                    "When I take a look at the photograph of that Little Caesars team that Ryan
                                                                                was on, he would have been the least likely kid in my mind to play in the
             REG       POS                                                      National Hockey League," Krug said. "Probably because he was so quiet."
Games        82        13                                                       Kesler became fast friends with another player on that team, Chris Conner,
                                                                                who also made it to the NHL.
Goals        41        5
                                                                                "They were like peas in a pod," Krug said. "They went everywhere
Assists      32        10                                                       together."
Points       73        15                                                       Mike Kesler said his son and Conner have remained close friends and have
+/-          24        6                                                        trained together in the off-season to push each other to become better.

PIM          66        6                                                        Krug enjoys watching Kesler play, remembering the little boy who didn't
                                                                                have much to say. Krug hopes to see Kesler this summer bringing a
Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk tied Vancouver Canucks center and               Stanley Cup home to Michigan.
Livonia native Ryan Kesler for the NHL playoff scoring lead with a goal in
Thursday night's 3-2 loss to the Sharks in Game 7.                              "I want to see that kid win the Stanley Cup," Krug said. "Watching him when
                                                                                he was a little guy and to see what he is today -- he's a superstar.
While Datsyuk finished with 15 points in 11 games, Kesler has a chance to
add to his already impressive production.                                       "And he deserves it. He works hard. He doesn't take things for granted.
                                                                                Here's a guy that's just blood and guts. That's what hockey is all about. He's
Kesler is the front-runner for the Conn Smythe Trophy, which goes to the        in the elite now. He's got that grit and determination."
player judged to be most valuable to his team during the Stanley Cup finals.
He has five goals and 10 assists in 13 games and can add to those totals        Making strides
tonight when the Canucks host the Sharks in Game 1 of the Western finals.       The determination Kesler has comes from facing some obstacles as a
Kesler, also a Selke Trophy finalist for the top defensive forward, took his    youth. Kesler overcame Osgood-Schlatter disease, a rupture of the growth
strong two-way game to new heights in helping the Canucks beat the              plate in his knees, as a teen. He bounced around a few different local
Predators in six games in the Western semifinals. He had five goals and six     hockey organizations around that time, considered quitting hockey and
assists in the series, including game-winning goals in Games 3 and 4. He        ended up being coached by his father.
averaged 25 minutes and had 16 hits, 12 takeaways and blocked six shots.        Kesler became determined to show the people who cut him that they had
He also won 59% of his draws (105 of 178).                                      made a mistake.
That Kesler is excelling at both ends of the ice comes as no surprise to Kyle   Don Elland, an assistant coach for the Plymouth Whalers who was
Krug, Don Elland, Mike Eaves or Casey Jones -- who coached Kesler               coaching youth hockey teams for Compuware then, said Kesler soon turned
before the NHL.                                                                 heads after a growth spurt.
"He always played with a quiet confidence," Elland said. "Even at a young
age, when he was clumsy and his athleticism hadn't caught up, he was so
smart. He might not score at a higher rate as some of the other kids, but he
was so responsible in his own zone. He just worked so hard."
Elland credited Mike Kesler with giving his son that drive to be a great two-
way player.
"Most kids want to score, they want all the accolades," Elland said. "It's no
fun playing defense, blocking shots. He learned that from Mike."
The Keslers didn't get off to a good start with Mike as coach. Mike Kesler
was explaining a drill to the team when he turned around and saw his son
making a face.
"I said, 'Practice is over for you,' " recalled Mike. Ryan left the ice, called his
mom and told her to come pick him up.
"She said, 'Ryan, I'm not picking you up. You'll have to work things out with
your father,' " Mike recalled.
They did, and Ryan was respectful the rest of that season as he continued
to impress scouts. He eventually landed a spot with the U.S. National Team
Development Program in Ann Arbor.
U.S. program

Kesler continued to attend high school at Livonia Churchill, but he spent his
final two years playing for the NTDP program out of the Ann Arbor Ice
Cube. Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves, the father of Red Wings forward
Patrick Eaves, was the coach of the 18-and-under team at the time.
"He was a tall, lanky fella that could really skate, had a good shot and was
really competitive," Mike Eaves said. "The essence of Ryan is his will, his
determination, his wanting to get better. He's always looking for that edge,
whether it's mental or physical.
"He could really skate, and one of the essential skills at the NHL level is an
ability to skate. He's got a long reach and a good stick. Because of his size,
his mobility, he would have a chance to play at a high level of pro hockey.
But to put up the numbers that he's putting up now is really a neat thing to
Patrick Eaves and Kesler were teammates in the NTDP, and Patrick Eaves
said it doesn't surprise him that Kesler has been so successful this season.
"He was my workout partner," Patrick Eaves said. "He worked out really
hard. He was always very good at doing all the little things to win games. It
looks like he's found his scoring touch. It's fun to see friends take off like
College hockey
Kesler went from Ann Arbor to Columbus to continue his hockey
development. He was recruited to Ohio State by assistant coach Casey
Jones, now the associate head coach at Cornell.
Kesler spent one season with the Buckeyes (2002-03) and split the 2003-04
season between the Canucks and Manitoba Moose of the American
Hockey League.
"Fit exactly the mold of where we were going with our program," Jones said
of Kesler. "I know a lot of people always doubted and said he'd be a role
player at the highest level. He has a lot of self-confidence, and he wasn't
going to be denied in his goals."
R.J. Umberger (Blue Jackets), Dave Steckel (Devils) and Rod Pelley
(Devils) also played for the Buckeyes when Kesler was a freshman.
Jones said he wouldn't have projected Kesler to develop into a 40-goal NHL
scorer. Kesler had 41 goals and 32 assists in 82 games this season.
"You knew he was going to try," Jones said. "He has that personality; he's
not going to be denied. Would I have projected that? No. But if someone
told me he'd be where he is right now, I wouldn't say it has surprised me.
"He has all the intangible qualities. He competes at a high level, he goes
into all the critical areas, and he's a confident person. He has an ability to
play big in big games. We saw that even in his freshman year at Ohio
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
569425       Detroit Red Wings

Puck Daddy 'eulogy' rips into the Red Wings


Talk about kicking a team when it's down, not to mention the city it plays in.
As teams drop out of the NHL playoffs, they're eulogized -- as in, insulted --
in the Puck Daddy blog at
It was the Red Wings' turn to be roasted, in this case by Ryan Lambert, who
writes: "They were taken from us far too late. The end of the regular season
would have been a perfect time."
Lambert attacks all things Hockeytown, including that name and the
"Player safety, player schmafety, right?" he writes. "Let's just spend a whole
night chucking one cephalopod after another onto the ice like children,
delaying the game so some poor schlub can come out and carry each
carcass off the ice. ...
"After all, one octopus just isn't enough any more these days; six is a more
fitting number, as their 48 combined legs signifies the number of Niklas
Kronwall's dirty hits Red Wings fans have fallen all over themselves to
blindly defend."
Is that enough to get you riled? If not, there's more -- and worse -- at the
Web site, as Lambert goes on and on.
And the Yahoo editors ask you not to take it too seriously, because it's all
meant in good fun, yada, yada, yada.
Fat chance.
Quick hits
• San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle, quoted by after Game 7:
"There's a lot of people that did not want us to win this game. Detroit ...
they've got their little aura, I don't know what the word is. But I'm sure a lot
of the hockey world wanted to see Detroit come back and win this series."
• Mike Ditka, 71, in the Denver Post: "I've had four hip replacements. I
probably need a shoulder replacement. My mind, I think I'm OK, but I find
myself going from one room to the next sometimes and wondering why the
hell I went. Other than that, I think I'm OK."
Bottom line
• Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, who saw it coming, saying the
day before Tiger Woods withdrew from the Players Championship: "I think
there's a really good chance that he'll be gone here before he was last year.
It's very likely that he's going to reinjure himself playing this course and
maybe just hobble out of here. ...
"It's quite sad to see, and it's really sad to watch what's going on with Tiger
Woods on the range where this phenomenal athlete with perhaps the best
former swing of all time is now kind of an old man out there and trying to
rehearse the moves that don't come naturally to him."
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
569426     Detroit Red Wings

Longtime Red Wing Kris Draper says 'I still want to play'


Kris Draper said he wants to return next season to the Red Wings.
So does Jonathan Ericsson. So does Drew Miller, Patrick Eaves and
Ruslan Salei.
But not every player who will be an unrestricted free agent will be back
wearing the Winged Wheel next season. General manager Ken Holland
faces some tough choices and one of the toughest could be saying good-
bye to Draper, an alternate captain.
“What do I hope? I still want to play,” Draper said today at Joe Louis Arena
as the Wings met to take their team photo and clear out their lockers.
He said he’ll sit down with Holland and talk about what’s best for everyone.
Draper, who won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward in
2004 and four Stanley Cups (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008) with Detroit, said he
realizes his career is coming to an end.
“I’m closing in on that,” he said. “I just want to do what’s right for my family,
No. 1. What’s right for myself. What’s right for this organization as well,
which I respect so much. That’s why I want to definitely have a good
meeting with Kenny and talk with him.”
Asked if he would consider playing for another team if the Wings decided
not to bring him back, Draper said: “That’s pretty early to talk about that.
“This is home, that’s the one thing that probably makes it that much
tougher. I’ve been here so long. This is all my kids know. A lot of people,
when they get to this point in their career, they’ve been to different places,
(the kids) have been to different schools, they’ve had different friends. For
me, that’s not the case.”
Draper, who turns 40 on May 24, has 161 goals and 203 assists in 1,157
career NHL games — 20 games with Winnipeg and the rest with the Wings.
He said he doesn’t want to be selfish, saying his wife and children have
already made a lot of sacrifices while he continued to play the last few
“Ice shows, stuff going on with school, Christmas concerts, you name it,”
Draper said. “Usually it’s just Julie sitting there. Dad’s not there.”
Coach Mike Babcock said longtime Wings like Draper and Chris Osgood
are “vested in the company” and decisions about their future would be “hard
decisions for them and hard decisions for us.”
“How we perform each and every day matters to those guys,” Babcock said.
“Their role with Jimmy Howard and their role with (Darren) Helm and
(Justin) Abdelkader) are things we can’t measure, but things we know we
can’t do.
“We’re not in the locker room. We’re not in the weight room. We’re not
managing those things. They are. … Those guys are valuable resources to
us as coaches and management and obviously to the players.”
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
569427     Detroit Red Wings

Chris Osgood's future with Red Wings up in the air


Chris Osgood said he hasn’t decided whether he wants to return next
season. Even if he wants to come back, there’s a chance the Wings could
decide to part company and bring in another goaltender to back up Jimmy
He said he has not had “a serious conversation with myself about it yet.”
Osgood, 38, said the desire to play remains strong.
“I would definitely miss playing if I wasn’t,” he said. “That’s another factor,
too, whether I’d miss it or not and I do want to play, but it goes beyond that.”
Osgood earned his 400th career victory this season but ended the season
on injured reserve after having sports hernia surgery. He was 5-3-2 in 11
games with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage.
“I feel real good,” he said today as the players cleaned out their lockers at
Joe Louis Arena. “That’s something, probably the only thing I know is a for
sure, I feel real good. I feel I can come back 100 percent. If I couldn’t, then I
definitely wouldn’t consider coming back. That’s something that I feel real
good and that’s not a factor in my decision.”
Osgood said he wasn’t sure when he’d meet with Wings general manager
Ken Holland.
“I’m here for a while and I see him in the summer,” he said. “but I would
have to imagine there would be a certain date set up for me to decide or
them to decide what they’re going to do.”
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
569428     Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings clean out their lockers; Mike Modano reflects on bittersweet


Red Wings coach Mike Babcock doesn’t regret how hard he recruited Mike
Modano last summer, even as the season turned out much different than
either side pictured.
Modano packed his bags as the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers
Saturday at Joe Louis Arena. He planned to return to Dallas, where he
played 16 seasons before joining the Wings for what was to be one last
shot at a Stanley Cup.
He spoke openly of how trying this season was after suffering a slashed
wrist in November, and hinted it’s only a matter of time before he
announces his retirement.
Modano spent all but two games of the playoffs as a healthy scratch, but his
professionalism left a lingering impression.
“When I was sitting him out at one point this year, I said to myself, ‘Geez, I
wish I wouldn’t have made that call,’?” Babcock said. “But after watching
what happened and how Mike Modano handled himself, I’m real thankful
that we made that call because of the fact that he became part of our team.
The way he handled himself, the type of man he was, and the type of
teammate he was, that’s part of his legacy as well.
“He was absolutely fantastic. A great pro and a good teammate, and I think
a real inspiration to our guys. It’s unfortunate he got hurt. He tried catching
up, but in today’s NHL, at 26 never mind at 40, it’s a tough go. I was thrilled
when he started Game 6 at center ice for us here. We’re happy he came.”
Modano, of Westland, was lured by the Wings to come home last summer,
but the severe wrist injury derailed his season. It couldn’t have turned out
much worse.
“No, not really,” he said. “No one would have ever guessed what happened.
As far as the injury, I think once that happened and I was told that timeline
of return, I knew I was in trouble. I knew I wasn’t going to be easy coming
back from that and even when I did, it was going to be tough playing.
“Couldn’t have been worse timing and unfortunate the way things happened
throughout the course of the year. But, the first two months were fun.”
Asked what his future holds, Modano, 40 was pensive.
“The answer is, I don’t know,” Modano said. “But I have a lot of thoughts.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Your knee jerk reaction is to kind of walk
away considering the way things ended, and not give it a chance, but I think
you need to give it a fair assessment and a long thought process and then
hopefully I can come up with answer. But I don’t think it’s going to be very
drawn out.”
Modano was with the Stars’ franchise for 19 seasons, co-owns a restaurant
with former teammate Brett Hull in the area, and considers the place home.
The Stars told him he didn’t fit into their plans any more last summer, but he
may chat wit general manager Joe Nieuwendyk regarding a spot in the front
“I think that depends on the ownership situation,” Modano said. “But I’ll
head back there and then at some point probably re-connect with him and
see their direction and then figure out what I’m going to do as far as playing
and make that final announcement and move onto something else.”
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
569429        Detroit Red Wings                                                  The concussions to Danny Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi in Game 7 against
                                                                                 San Jose would have likely kept them out for the start of the next round had
                                                                                 the Wings advanced, but weren't considered long-term injuries.
Red Wings: Notebook                                                              Bertuzzi suffered a jaw injury in the process, too, when he collided with San
                                                                                 Jose's Dany Heatley. Bertuzzi was at Joe Louis Arena Saturday but didn't
                                                                                 talk to reporters.
Ted Kulfan / / The Detroit News
                                                                                 Cleary his collision with Jiri Hudler was jarring.
                                                                                 "It was scary," said Cleary, who still has to pass another neuro test on
Detroit— Mike Modano has no regrets about joining the Red Wings. Coach           Tuesday, about which he's optimistic. "I didn't remember anything, really. It
Mike Babcock has no regrets about Modano returning to play in his                took a few hours to get back (to normal)."
hometown, either.
                                                                                 Choices to make
Neither side envisioned the union ending the way it did. Modano only
played two of the 11 playoff games, and missed three months of the regular       Potential unrestricted free agents Jonathan Ericsson, Patrick Eaves and
season because of a lacerated right wrist.                                       Drew Miller all said they'd like to re-sign with the Wings, but aren't sure
                                                                                 what the future holds.
But Babcock is glad Modano wore the Wings sweater.
                                                                                 All are expected to receive offers on the free-agent market if they reach that
"After watching what happened and how Mike Modano handled himself, I'm           stage.
real thankful that we made that call (to sign Modano) because of the fact
that he became part of our team," Babcock said. "The way he handled              "There's a lot that goes into it but I want to see what Detroit thinks," said
himself, the type of man he was. The type of teammate he was, that's part        Miller, an East Lansing native. "I fee like it's a place I fit in and found a role."
of his legacy as well.                                                           Ericsson, in particular, could attract a lot of attention from other teams.
"He was absolutely fantastic. A great pro and a good teammate, and a real        "There are options but I really like it here," Ericsson said. "I like everything
inspiration to our guys.                                                         about this team and organization."
"It's unfortunate he got hurt. He tried catching up, but in today's NHL, at 26   Eaves said, "I really like it here and I'm sure it'll iron itself out. The season
and never mind (age) 40, it's a tough go. I was absolutely thrilled when he      just ended and I'm still feeling that loss from the other night. But I really like
started Game 6 at center ice for us (at Joe Louis Arena). We're happy he         it here."
came here."
                                                                                 Shocking death
Modano has hinted he'll retire but will hold off announcing a decision until
later in the offseason.                                                          Pavel Datsyuk was stunned to learn of the death of Derek Boogaard, the
                                                                                 New York Rangers enforcer who died Friday at age 28.
Modano blames the wrist injury for curtailing his season.
                                                                                 Boogaard helped at a camp that Datsyuk put together in Russia several
"No one would have ever guessed what happened," Modano said. "As far             summers ago.
as the injury, once that happened and I was told the timeline of a return, I
knew I was in trouble. I knew it wasn't going to be easy coming back from        "I'm real sad, I knew him a little bit," Datsyuk said. "He's a good guy, a real
that and even when I did, it was going to be tough playing.                      nice guy. I'm shocked.
"It couldn't have been worse timing. But, the first two months were fun."        "We practiced together a little bit. I hung out with him and the other guys (at
                                                                                 the camp) a little. I'm shocked. I'm sad for this parents. He's so young."
Modano is headed back to Dallas and will likely talk with Stars general
manager Joe Nieuwendyk about a possible front-office position.                   News staff writer John Niyo contributed
Head East?                                                                       Detroit News LOADED: 05.15.2011
Now that the Phoenix Coyotes are staying put for at least one more season,
there's substantial talk of the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg and
forcing one team from the West to move to the Eastern Conference.
The Wings have always wanted to be that team. Easier travel and better
start times for local television would be huge benefits.
Jimmy Devellano, the Wings' senior vice-president, said the Wings are
staying in the Western Conference for one more season. But after that?
"Where do things stand?" Devellano said. "We're gonna be right where we
are next year. Beyond that, I can't comment."
Devellano is hoping things will change after next season.
"Fingers crossed, toes crossed," he said, laughing. "Saying prayers."
Family ties
Chris Osgood wants to continue playing. But like his buddy Kris Draper,
family issues will have a big impact as to whether Osgood will return
"I still do (want to play)," Osgood said Saturday as the Wings cleaned out
their lockers, took a team picture, and went their separate ways. "I missed
playing (when sidelined Jan. 6 with a hernia surgery). I do want to play. But
it goes beyond that."
General manager Ken Holland and Osgood figure to talk in the coming
weeks, and a final decision from both sides figures to come before free
agency begins on July 1.
"As you get older, the things besides hockey — and I still love playing —
there are a lot of things going into my decision," Osgood said.
Dual concussions
569430      Detroit Red Wings                                                     Asked what his criteria will be, Lidstrom, a finalist for the Norris Trophy for
                                                                                  the 11th time in 13 years, rattled off a familiar checklist.
                                                                                  "I think it's everything," he said. "You take everything into account. How you
Return or retire? Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom keeps us guessing for now        feel. Motivation. Family situation. You just take everything into account
                                                                                  before you make a decision."

John Niyo                                                                         Still, if he's taking into account his own play individually, even Lidstrom had
                                                                                  to admit Saturday he's hardly regressing.
                                                                                  "I felt I played better than I did last season, and that's something I wanted to
Detroit— Nineteen's an odd number, isn't it?                                      do," said Lidstrom, who finished second among NHL defenseman in scoring
                                                                                  with 62 points in the regular season, then added four goals and four assists
And besides, it was spoken for long ago with the Red Wings.                       in 11 playoff games. "I wanted to have a stronger year than I did last year. I
                                                                                  thought I did that."
So why not give it one more shot, Nick, and make it an even 20?
                                                                                  His teammates did, too, obviously. And they've already begun to remind
That's the hope in Detroit right now, if not the expectation, as everyone
                                                                                  him that he can do it again.
officially begins the annual retirement watch with Nicklas Lidstrom, the
Wings' captain and future Hall of Fame defenseman who just completed his          Asked if he was one of those lobbying the captain to return, Dan Cleary
19th NHL season.                                                                  joked, "Well, I'd be an idiot not to be." And while he might still be feeling the
                                                                                  effects of that concussion he suffered in Game 7, Cleary is no idiot.
But I hope you weren't expecting a concrete answer Saturday as the Wings
snapped a final team picture at Joe Louis Arena, swapped phone numbers            "Lidstrom knows that we want him back, everyone wants him back," said
and travel plans, and then cleaned out their lockers before parting company       Henrik Zetterberg, Lidstrom's heir apparent as team captain. "But it's up to
for the summer.                                                                   him. … He definitely has more hockey in him."
Because Lidstrom is as tough to read off the ice as he is on it,                  That much, we know. The question — again — is whether we'll get to see it.
preternaturally calm, even in the wake of Thursday night's crushing Game 7
loss that ended his team's season in San Jose — a second straight second-         Here's hoping we do.
round playoff exit after back-to-back trips to the Stanley Cup finals.
                                                                                  Detroit News LOADED: 05.15.2011
Still, listening to the Wings' decision-makers strike an encouraging tone as
they talked about Lidstrom's big decision Saturday, I don't think it's all just
wishful thinking.
"I hope I'm not naïve," said Jimmy Devellano, the Wings' senior vice
president. "He's too good, he's had too good a year, and I think he loves
leading the Red Wings. It's only a gut (feeling) — I could be wrong — but I
believe that he'll be back."
Mike Babcock, the Wings' head coach, said much the same when asked
about Lidstrom, who has been the Wings' captain since Steve Yzerman
retired in 2006.
"Well, I think he'll come back," Babcock said. "I mean, he's a good, good
player, and he's on a team that I think has a good opportunity. …
"I think if our team was no good, I don't think Nick would even consider
coming back. But I think having the kind of year he did and the kind of
playoffs he did and the kind of playoff our team did, it makes me pretty
confident he'll be back."
Me, too, but what do I know? I picked the Wings to beat the Sharks in six.
And I picked the Wings to win that Game 7 on the road Thursday night, too.
(I did predict a Vancouver-Boston matchup in the Stanley Cup final before
the regular season, though. I mean, since you asked. What's that? You
didn't ask? Oh, well, never mind then.)
Seriously, though, one of these years Lidstrom's going to have to pull a
Barry Sanders and leave us all wanting more. He won't retire by fax, or
anything like that. But he is going to go out before we're ready, to say
nothing of this franchise. Of that, we can all be sure, can't we?
"Obviously, he proved to himself (this season) that he's a top-one
defenseman," forward Danny Cleary said, laughing at his own impromptu
designation. "It's hard to retire when you're the best. So, I don't know. I
hope he comes back for our sake, and for everybody's sake."
For everybody's sake but his, Lidstrom was asked to drop a hint a dozen
different ways Saturday as he spoke to the media in the Wings' dressing
room. But his answers left little doubt: He's going to play this one close to
the vest, just like he did a year ago, when he weighed his options — from
his family's concerns to his team's prospects to his own built-in odometer —
and finally decided to re-sign a one-year contract at age 40.
"It was tough," he said Saturday. "Especially as you get up there in age.
That's why I'm taking it one year at a time and not rushing into anything.
That's the same approach for me this year."
As for a timeline, Lidstrom wouldn't offer much there, either, saying only that
he'd decide before the July 1 start of free agency, a deadline he beat by a
full month last year.
569431     Detroit Red Wings                                                       My on-running joke is that I was neutered when I became a sports
                                                                                   journalist. I cannot — and do not — care, professionally whether the Red
                                                                                   Wings win.
Red Wings exited playoffs with class — unlike Lakers                               But I do care for Detroit, its suburbs, its citizens. So in my self-exile, there
                                                                                   was a certain pride that a Detroit team rallied from the brink of elimination
                                                                                   only to be eliminated at the end by the barest of margins.
Jerry Green
                                                                                   No NBA former player turned TV commentator — not Charles Barkley — or
                                                                                   the others less outspoken old athletes could praise the Lakers.

Now for the dark side of being a champion.                                         Earvin Johnson spoke out on TV that the Lakers need to be overhauled.
                                                                                   What he said expressed shame on the Lakers. And Magic Johnson is a vice
When a team goes out, as is always inevitable, it should go out as a               president of the franchise.
                                                                                   In my quasi-retirement in Palm Desert, Calif., I live in the proximity of Los
It must go out with its pride intact, its honor secure.                            Angeles. All winter long the media of Southern California — newspapers,
                                                                                   radio, television — have inundated me about the Lakers this and the Lakers
Two champions went out this past week. They were defeated in the spring
                                                                                   that. Plus photos Kobe Bryant four days a week here and Kobe Bryant
playoffs of two winter sports.
                                                                                   there. Cheerleading journalists souped up on pro basketball at the expense
They were dynasties in their particular sports.                                    of Major League Baseball and the NHL — and without the NFL.

And these two former championship teams went out in opposite ways.                 And this week my exile was doused with the whining and wailing about a
                                                                                   team that waved the white flag in defense of a championship. Knocked out
The Red Wings went out proudly, playing with dignity and character until           in the sweep by Dallas, humiliated last Sunday before a national television
the bitter end. It has been three years since their most recent                    audience. Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom tossed out by the referees for
championship. But they played with the aura of champions all these years.          cheap-shot fouls. Bynum tearing off his Lakers jersey as he walked off the
                                                                                   court — a symbolic waving of a white flag.
They played with passion and fortitude. It is something inbred — an
intangible.                                                                        Movie celebrities dote on the Lakers. To them, Bryant is the celebrity. The
                                                                                   movie stars sit in the rich people's courtside seats and transform
And this past week, they went out in championship style.                           themselves into gawking fans.
The Los Angeles Lakers went out with shame and dishonor. There was no              One era of Lakers' championships was called Showtime. It was Magic and
passion and certainly no fortitude. They had won two successive NBA                Kareem. They played with passion. One year they lost to the Pistons for the
champions. And this past week, they went out as chumps.                            NBA championship in Kareem's last season.
I have an obsession for four-letter words.
                                                                                   But back then the Lakers went out like champions.
The Red Wings played with guts — four letters. Bruised, battered, they lost
                                                                                   Sadly, it was the Pistons double champions themselves who first displayed
by a single goal, still fighting in a grueling battle.
                                                                                   how not to go out like champions. In defeat to Michael Jordan and the
The Lakers quit — also four letters. They were swept, losing their last game       Chicago Bulls, Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and all except Joe Dumars
by 36 points, embarrassing themselves with cheap shots and in surrender.           walked off the court before the game had ended. Even then the Pistons did
                                                                                   not quit.
These are two sports franchises with rich histories, honored traditions. They
have been the dominant teams in their sports — the Wings in hockey, the            Now the Lakers — this team of five NBA championships in the last 11 years
Lakers in pro basketball — during multiple eras.                                   — under the departing Phil Jackson surrendered before all of America. A
                                                                                   team that lacked passion, that failed to go out like a champion.
Down 3-0 in their playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, the Red
Wings fought back to win the next three games and went down shooting in            For shame Los Angeles.
the final seconds of game 7.                                                       But perhaps that is to be expected of a city that doesn't even have a pro
With captain Nicklas Lidstrom gliding forward, Henrik Zetterberg dashing up        football franchise to kick around.
the boards, Pavel Daytsyk flaming the puck, with Jimmy Howard playing              Jerry Green
stellar in goal — the current Red Wings did not embarrass their forebears.
Gordie Howe, Teddy Lindsay and Steve Yzerman should be proud of the                Detroit News LOADED: 05.15.2011
championship heritage they left behind with the Red Wings. And Howard
could have been playing to the memory of Terry Sawchuk.
Not so with the Lakers.
Down 3-0, the Lakers went belly up against the Dallas Mavericks. They
plummeted in Game 4. To the publicly expressed shame of Earvin "Magic"
Johnson. For sure to the embarrassment of others involved with the Lakers'
multitude of championships, including five in these modern 2000s. They
disgraced other history-tinged players and coaches such as Kareem Abdul-
Jabbar, Jerry West, James Worthy and Pat Riley. Plus, I'm certain, their
lack of performance embarrassed Phil Jackson, the coach of so many
championship NBA teams, whose Lakers team this spring vanished without
a trace of a fight.
None of the usual entitlement for Lakers fans this year.
It is a story of two cities — hard-scrabble, mocked Detroit, and glittery, over-
preening Los Angeles.
Watching the Red Wings play with heart and soul on the Versus cable
television channel, there was a sense of pride.
Even Jeremy Roenick, outlandish so often with his sarcastic, sometimes
ghoulish comments, succumbed to the true grit of the Red Wings, a team
he once tormented as a player.
He praised the Wings for their character and their honor.
569432     Detroit Red Wings                                                    “It’s hard to retire when you’re the best,” Danny Cleary said. “I hope he
                                                                                comes back for the team’s sake, for everybody’s sake. His presence would
                                                                                be missed.”
Red Wings' Mike Babcock tries to sell Nicklas Lidstrom on team having           Said Kronwall: “If I had to guess, I think he’s coming back. Maybe it’s
another shot at Cup next season                                                 because I hope he does, so much.”
                                                                                Michigan Live LOADED: 05.15.2011
Ansar Khan

DETROIT — If Nicklas Lidstrom returns next season, he will be playing for
a competitive club that will remain a Stanley Cup contender after making a
few offseason changes.
That was the recruiting pitch Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made
to his indispensable defenseman Saturday at Joe Louis Arena, as players
and staff gathered for the team photo and cleaned out their lockers.
Despite losing to the San Jose Sharks in the second round of the playoffs
for the second year in a row, Babcock believes this team was much better
this season and still has a positive upside.
“I think if our team was no good, Nick wouldn’t even consider coming back.
But I think having the kind of year he did and the kind of playoff he did and
the kind of playoff our team had, it’s given me confidence he’ll be back,”
Babcock said.
“We felt we were a very competitive team in the playoffs. We’re getting
good growth out of our young guys. (Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg)
are in the prime of their careers. Mule (Johan Franzen) is a guy we think
can be way better next year with health.
“So if Nick decides he wants to stay, he’s going to be playing on a good
team with an opportunity.”
That is only one of the factors Lidstrom will consider before making his
decision on whether to play a 20th season or retire. He will take his time,
but a decision will come before the July 1 start of free agency.
“Same kind of thought process, and nothing is going to change how I made
the decision last year,” Lidstrom said. “Last year was tough, especially as
you get up there in age. I’m sure it will be the same kind of process.
“You take everything into account. How you feel, your motivation, your
family situation.”
Despite turning 41 on April 28, Lidstrom had a tremendous season and
playoffs. He is a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman
for the 11th time in 13 seasons and has a chance on June 22 to win the
award for a seventh time, tying Doug Harvey. Only Bobby Orr (eight) has
won more.
“If I was Nick, I’d come back and I’d keep coming back,” Mike Modano said.
“If he gets the Norris, he has a chance at history, catching Bobby Orr.”
That doesn’t sound like it would be Lidstrom’s main motivation for coming
“I thought I played better than I played last season, and that’s something I
really wanted to do,” Lidstrom said. “Looking at this team, there’s great
potential. We have star players, we have the supporting group that are one
of the best in the league. Look at how close we were to advancing — going
down to the wire it could’ve gone either way.
“I want to kind of get over this loss first and kind of take that out of the
equation. It was very hard, especially the way we fought back. We showed
a lot of character, will and determination. We pushed (San Jose) until the
last minute of Game 7.”
Lidstrom’s minutes were reduced, during the regular season and especially
in the playoffs. Babcock stopped using him on the penalty kill, for the most
part, to keep him fresher. He will do the same next season if Lidstrom
returns, as Niklas Kronwall assumed a bigger role.
“We think that gives him the best opportunity to be successful,” Babcock
said. “Why would we wear him out when we don’t have to?
“Obviously Kronner is a guy who continues to take steps and we need him
to do so.”
Teammates don’t even want to ponder the possibility of not having No. 5
patrolling the blue line next season.
569433      Detroit Red Wings                                                         Grinding forwards Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves are unrestricted free
                                                                                      agents who hope to return. But they might be able to get a better deal or a
                                                                                      bigger role with another team.
Long-time Red Wings Kris Draper, Chris Osgood ponder future as players                “I would definitely like to (come back),'' Miller said. “I feel like it's a place that
pack up for offseason                                                                 I fit in and found a role.
                                                                                      “Definitely want to see what Detroit is thinking, if they want me back. I think
Ansar Khan                                                                            everyone would like to play for the Red Wings. The last two years have
                                                                                      been great. I accept my role. I always want to expand it.''
                                                                                      Eaves pretty much feels the same way.
DETROIT – As players cleaned out their lockers and packed up their
belongings Saturday at Joe Louis Arena, longtime Detroit Red Wings Kris               “I'd like to stay here, but I don't know what's going to happen,'' Eaves said.
Draper and Chris Osgood wondered if they will be back.                                “I haven't really thought about it, with the season ending so quickly.''

Draper, a checking-line forward with the team since 1993-93, wants to                 Cleary feeling better after concussion
continue playing. Osgood, the goaltender who led the club to Stanley Cup              Danny Cleary said it was “scary'' when his head hit the ice after a collision
titles 10 years apart (1998 and 2008), said he still is contemplating his             with teammate Jiri Hudler late in the second period of Game 7 against San
future.                                                                               Jose on Thursday.
Much will depend on whether the Red Wings want to re-sign them or                     “I didn't remember anything, really,'' Cleary, who suffered a concussion,
replace them with younger players.                                                    said.
Both also have family considerations.                                                 He has a neurological test on Tuesday. He would not have been ready for
“I want to do what's best for my family first. I don't want to be selfish at all,''   the start of the next round (Sunday) but said he would have played in the
Draper said. “All the sacrifices my wife's made, my kids have made, the               series at some point had his team advanced.
travel, the road trips, me missing ice shows, stuff going on at the school,           “It was tough. It was an unfortunate accident,'' Cleary said. “It would have
Christmas concerts.                                                                   been nice to play that last period and give it one last, good chance.''
“Usually it's just Julie (his wife) sitting there and Dad's not there. That's why     Todd Bertuzzi also suffered a concussion in that game, when his helmet
I have to do what's right by them.''                                                  collided with Dany Heatley's helmet in the first period. Babcock said
Osgood said he hasn't put much thought into it yet.                                   Bertuzzi will be ready for the start of next season.

“I'll talk to Kenny (general manager Holland), work things out on my own,''           Datsyuk shocked by Boogaard's death
Osgood said. “First, if I want to play again. Second, what my role would be           Pavel Datsyuk was shocked and saddened by the death of New York
and if they even want me back. I'll talk to my wife and see what she thinks,          Rangers forward Derek Boogaard on Friday. The enforcer was found dead
if I should keep going or be around the house a little more than I have been          in his Minneapolis apartment. The cause of death has not been determined.
in the last while.
                                                                                      Datsyuk and Boogaard, 28, developed a friendship the last few years.
“I got three kids now. They play 20 soccer games, I see two or three of               Boogaard came to Russia to help Datsyuk at his summer hockey camp.
them. That factors into it.''
                                                                                      “I'm really sad. I know him really good. He was a nice guy,'' Datsyuk said.
Osgood, who missed the second half of the season after having sports                  “He come to camp, we practiced together a little bit. I still can't believe it.
hernia surgery on Jan. 11, said he expects to know by June 1.                         He's so young.''
“I would definitely miss playing if I wasn't,'' Osgood said. “That's another          Odds & ends
factor. I do want to play, but it goes beyond that.''
                                                                                      --Datsyuk said he doesn't need surgery for his ailing wrist.
Coach Mike Babcock knows it will be a difficult decision for the team.
                                                                                      --Defenseman Ruslan Salei, on his future, “Absolutely I would like (to
“It's uncertain every year when you get to a certain age,'' Babcock said. “I          return). But as of today it's unknown. I like the organization a lot, I like the
thought Drapes was fantastic this year for us. Ozzie obviously had a tough            city, I like the team, I like to be here. It was a positive year for me. I felt
year, injury-wise.                                                                    good. I really enjoyed it.''
“Those are special people in that they're vested in the company. How we               --Justin Abdelkader will continue taking summer classes at Michigan State.
perform each and every day matters to those guys.''                                   He needs to complete three more classes for his degree in business
Modano: Leaning “75 percent'' to retiring                                             management.

Future Hall of Famer Mike Modano said there is about a 75 percent chance              “I'm getting excited to get that done,'' Abdelkader said.
that he will retire. He won't make a knee-jerk reaction, however.                     Michigan Live LOADED: 05.15.2011
“It's been tough the last couple of years,'' Modano said. “I've been grasping
at something that maybe isn't there.
“My year here was a lot of fun and very memorable, being back home
playing in front of people I grew up with and family.''
Ericsson wants to stay, but ...
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, an unrestricted free agent, said he would
like to re-sign but admitted his future with the team is uncertain.
“I might make more money somewhere else, but I want to stay,'' Ericsson
Ericsson turned down a multiyear offer worth $2 million a season. He
probably could get more elsewhere.
“I really like it here,'' he said. “I like everything about this team, this
Miller, Eaves ponder free agency
569434     Detroit Red Wings                                                     The telecast registered a 22.5 household rating/39 share in the Detroit
                                                                                 metro area, FSD said. An average of 423,855 homes tuned in throughout
                                                                                 the telecast (one rating point equals approximately 18,838 households).
Detroit Red Wings happy with goalie Jimmy Howard's postseason play               Michigan Live LOADED: 05.15.2011

Ansar Khan

DETROIT — Jimmy Howard’s playoff performance gives the Detroit Red
Wings confidence that their goaltending position is in capable hands.
Howard was consistent throughout the postseason, giving the team a
chance to win every game.
“This has been tremendous for his growth,’’ general manager Ken Holland
said Thursday, following his team’s 3-2 loss in Game 7 to San Jose. “He’s
27, just coming into his prime. He’s played in a lot of big games. Game 7
against Phoenix (in 2010), Game 7 this year (at San Jose). You’re down 3-0
(to the Sharks), you play four straight elimination games.
“We believed half way through last year we had a real goalie. We rode him
into the playoffs a year ago. We think we got a tremendous goaltender.’’
Howard went 7-4, with a 2.49 goals-against average and .923 save
percentage in the playoffs. He had a 2.75 GAA and .915 save percentage in
last year’s playoffs.
“He definitely took another step this year,’’ teammate Henrik Zetterberg
said. “In the Phoenix series he was outstanding. He really kept us in the
games, gave us a chance to win. He stole Game 5 (vs. San Jose) for us.
That’s the things we need from a goalie. We have a huge belief in him, and
he will be our goalie for many years.’’
Howard battled consistency issues midway through the season, but
stepped up at the most important time.
“Right now you feel like you didn’t do enough because we didn’t come out
victorious,’’ Howard said. “It’s a little bit of a shock that the offseason is
starting for us. We got a special group of guys, a very resilient group of
guys. I couldn’t be prouder of how they played.’’
Detroit’s stars delivered
Pavel Datsyuk appeared dangerous almost every time he touched the puck
against the Sharks, and that was with a sore wrist for the final three games.
He had at least one point in each game against the Sharks and finished the
playoffs with a team-leading 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) and club-best
plus-10 rating.
“I think he’s the best two-way player in the game, for sure,’’ coach Mike
Babcock said. “But Zetterberg is no slouch either. We’re fortunate we got a
great 1-2 punch. They have great drive and really compete at the highest
level and make the group around them better.’’
Zetterberg, who missed the first round with a sprained knee, had eight
points in the final six games vs. San Jose.
“Z’s a great player during the year, but he’s a better playoff performer. It
seems to get the most out of him,’’ Babcock said. “Obviously, he was
injured. That’s the way life is. You can’t control those things. I thought he
really got skating as this series went on.’’
Holland likes team’s resolve
Holland was left wondering how the series would have unfolded had his
team won one of the first three games.
“The thing I’m most proud of is the heart and determination our guys
showed throughout the year, but especially (in this series), being down 3-0
and even (Thursday) being down 2-0 after one period,’’ Holland said.
“When they scored to make it 3-1, we made it 3-2 and were pushing until
the end. That’s a world-class team over there. I thought the last two periods
we had them on their heels, but we couldn’t quite tie it up.’’
Game 7 attracts record audience
Fox Sports Detroit attracted another record audience for Thursday’s Game
7 of the Western Conference semifinals.
569435     Detroit Red Wings                                                     Top prospect Brendan Smith will be given a good opportunity to earn a spot
                                                                                 in training camp but might need another half or full season of development
                                                                                 with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Analysis: What changes will Detroit Red Wings make after another second          The Red Wings’ biggest need is a top-four defenseman.
round exit?
                                                                                 Forget about Shea Weber. He’s going to re-sign with Nashville, in all
                                                                                 likelihood. In any event, the Red Wings don’t make offers to restricted free
Ansar Khan                                                                       agents. And if he doesn’t sign with the Predators, the Red Wings would be
                                                                                 more apt to pursue him in 2012 when he’s unrestricted.
                                                                                 Perhaps they’ll try to acquire Zach Bogosian of Atlanta, but only through a
DETROIT — In a seven-game series in which every game could have gone             trade, not an RFA offer sheet. They talked internally about that possibility
either way, the Detroit Red Wings battled back from a 3-0 deficit before         prior to the trade deadline but apparently decided it wasn’t worth breaking
falling just short against the San Jose Sharks.                                  up the core of a Cup contending team.

It shows how little separated the teams. The Red Wings are that close.           If the Red Wings move a forward, Jiri Hudler is the most likely candidate.
                                                                                 He struggled after returning from a one-year stint in Russia. But his poor
But the Sharks have beaten them two years in a row in the second round of        season and $2.875 million contract would make him tough to deal unless
the playoffs, a clear indication that something is missing.                      the Red Wings take another team’s baggage in return.
As the Red Wings head into the offseason, changes are inevitable. The            Would the Red Wings consider moving the enigmatic Filppula? He
defense needs retooling, either through free agency or a trade. If Nicklas       continues to show flashes of brilliance. He can be a high-level player with
Lidstrom retires, they will need to make a significant move. If the captain      his speed, passing and defensive ability. But he is too inconsistent and
comes back, a slight roster tweak should be good enough to make the Red          probably won’t reach that 70-point plateau that seems to be the team’s
Wings Stanley Cup contenders again.                                              annual goal for him.
“The league is really, really close,” general manager Ken Holland said after     Jimmy Howard stepped up big in the playoffs, cementing his status as the
Thursday’s 3-2 loss in Game 7. “We got to make some moves, but we got            goaltender of the future. He’s a workhorse who will play 60-65 games a
the nucleus of a good team.                                                      season. But who will back him up?
“We got a lot of good players, we’ll see how we can tweak it. We got to          The options include Chris Osgood, who wants to play another season after
figure out a way to get on the other side of this. Find a way to win by one      missing the second half following sports hernia surgery, journeyman Joey
instead of lose by one.”                                                         MacDonald and perhaps one-time prospect Daniel Larsson. He bolted for
                                                                                 Sweden last season but the Red Wings still own his NHL rights.
The age issue with this team always gets overblown. They have a lot of
older players, but they also have a strong nucleus of forwards in their prime.   Thomas McCollum, their top pick in 2008, has struggled in two seasons as
Scoring should not be a problem.                                                 a pro and isn’t close to being NHL-ready.
Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg were outstanding in the playoffs,            Coach Mike Babcock said earlier this season that this team has a two-year
reaffirming their status as two of the best two-way players in the NHL. They     window for winning the Stanley Cup. With a few alterations, the Red Wings
have a good supporting cast of skilled players in Johan Franzen, Danny           can be in the hunt again in 2011-12. Time has not yet passed them by.
Cleary and Valtteri Filppula. Aging veterans Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas
Holmstrom still have another effective year in them.                             Michigan Live LOADED: 05.15.2011

The club also has experienced good growth from its third- and fourth-line
players. If they re-sign unrestricted free agents Patrick Eaves and Drew
Miller, who might be able to get better deals elsewhere, the Red Wings will
maintain a strong and young core of grinders that includes Darren Helm
and Justin Abdelkader. These players bring speed, physical play and even
some offense.
Speedy Jan Mursak will be added to the mix next season, and possibly
Cory Emmerton, too.
The Red Wings will have a tough decision on whether to re-sign longtime
role player and team leader Kris Draper, who turns 40 in 10 days but wants
to continue playing. Future Hall of Famer Mike Modano will retire. If that
wasn’t clear before the playoffs, it was evident after he was scratched in
nine of 11 games.
There will be a couple of changes on defense. Lidstrom likely won’t be one
of them. He might win his seventh Norris Trophy as the league’s top
defenseman next month and surely realizes himself that he is too good to
walk away. Expect him to re-sign for the same $6.2 million he earned this
season (he’s not going to take less than Brian Rafalski’s $6 million).
“I truly believe the core group we have, looking at the top players,
Zetterberg and Datsyuk, and you have guys behind them — Franzen,
Filppula, Kronwall, Stewie — you got guys that are making strides and guys
that are star players in this league,” Lidstrom said.
Rafalski, Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall, who really stepped up in the
playoffs, all have one year remaining on their deals, giving the team a
strong nucleus.
Jonathan Ericsson and Ruslan Salei could be gone.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Ericsson turned down a multiyear offer worth $2
million a season. He improved this season but hasn’t been nearly as
effective as he was during his breakout performance in the 2009 playoffs.
Salei basically was a one-year veteran stop-gap while young Jakub Kindl
adjusted to the NHL.
569436     Edmonton Oilers

Oilers interested in Finland’s Lajunen

By Dan Barnes

Bratislava, Slovakia - The agent for Finnish defenceman Ville Lajunen said
the Edmonton Oilers are one of a few National Hockey League teams
interested in the 23-year-old member of the Espoo Blues.
Juuso Pulliainen said Friday he has held preliminary discussions with Oilers
president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe and general manager Steve
Tambellini, who had been scouting free agents at the world hockey
“They told me they must first have their pro (scouting) meetings and then
they will make a decision, but there are other teams too,” said Pulliainen.
Lajunen is a six-foot, 185-pound right-handed shot who has played four
seasons with the Blues, who play in Finland’s top division. He slipped to 24
points in 60 games this season, down from a career-high of 38 points in 58
games during the previous campaign.
His Blues teammates this season included former NHL players Tyler
Arnason and Stephane Veilleux. Lajunen’s brother Jani, a six-foot-one, 165-
pound forward, has two goals in three world championship games for
Finland, which plays Sweden in Sunday’s gold-medal final.
Neither Lowe nor Tambellini could be reached for comment Saturday. It’s
believed they were in transit to the scouting meetings.
Edmonton Journal: LOADED: 05.15.2011
569437     Minnesota Wild                                                         Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health Program. In addition, Star Tribune
                                                                                  sources say when Boogaard missed most of the Wild's training camp in
                                                                                  2009 and the first two weeks of the season under the guise of a
Boogaard's family will donate brain for concussion research                       concussion, he actually was entered into Stage 1 of the program.
                                                                                  Boogaard's path to the NHL wasn't an easy one. He was cut from his junior
                                                                                  team in 2002 but drafted by the Wild in 2001, and Risebrough placed
MICHAEL RUSSO                                                                     Boogaard in Louisiana of the East Coast Hockey League.
                                                                                  "Doug said, 'This guy could be a player,' " former assistant GM Tom Lynn
                                                                                  said. "We put him in a really, really challenging skating program because he
A concussion ended Derek Boogaard's 2010-11 season early, but the                 had the desire and he was tough as nails, and that started the odyssey."
family did not want to suggest concussions led to his death at age 28.
                                                                                  Boogaard was then promoted to Houston of the American Hockey League.
Late Saturday afternoon, Len and Joanne Boogaard signed paperwork to              With the Aeros, he was coached by Todd McLellan, now the coach of the
have their oldest son's brain donated to science.                                 San Jose Sharks.
The generous yet gut-wrenching decision came one day after the shocking           "I've had the opportunity to develop a lot of young men, and Derek was a
news that beloved former Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard, who suffered a             special one," McLellan said. "Nobody ever thought this guy was going to
season-ending concussion last December with the New York Rangers, died            play. Doug Risebrough believed in him, and he made sure that we began to
in his Minneapolis apartment. He was 28. The cause of his death is not yet        believe in him in Houston.
                                                                                  "... Every time we went to Minnesota, my two little guys would ask me if I
"Derek loved sports and obviously in particular hockey, so we believe Derek       saw Boogey. That's the impact he had on them."
would have liked to assist with research on a matter that had affected him
later on in his career," said Ryan Boogaard, 27, who along with younger           Wild owner Craig Leipold said he got a call from his college freshman son,
brother Aaron found Derek unconscious and not breathing soon after 6 p.m.         Connor, a former Wild intern, at 1 a.m. Saturday. "You could hear in his
Friday.                                                                           voice just how affected he was," Leipold said. "He had a lot of questions,
                                                                                  and I had no answers."
Boogaard's brain will be donated to the Sports Legacy Institute, who in
2008 teamed with researchers at Boston University Medical School to               That's why the despair in Risebrough's voice was apparent Saturday.
advance the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma
in athletes.                                                                      "This is not a good day because you're not going to see the story end the
                                                                                  way you wanted it to end," Risebrough said.
In March, it was announced that even though renowned hockey fighter Bob
Probert died of heart failure, Probert also had the degenerative brain            Star Tribune LOADED: 05.15.2011
disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the same disease found in
1960s enforcer Reggie Fleming's brain.
CTE is a progressive brain disease believed to be caused by repetitive
trauma to the brain, including concussions. Reportedly, 30 of the 40 athlete
brains studied have shown signs of CTE.
Boogaard suffered multiple concussions in his career, although the decision
by the Boogaards should not lead to a presumption that their son died of
complications from brain trauma.
An official cause of death could take at least two weeks as the Hennepin
County Medical Examiner's Office waits for results from multiple tests,
including a toxicology report.
Boogaard's funeral will be in his hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan,
although Ryan Boogaard didn't know a date yet.
Many were overwhelmed by Boogaard's death. Wild fans placed flowers
outside Gate 2 of Xcel Energy Center. A Facebook campaign began to hold
a Boogaard memorial in the Twin Cities. One mother of a Wild player
reached out to several other Wild moms to organize something special for
Boogaard's mom, "a lady that we all got to know so well." In a touching
moment, the NHL held a moment of silence before Game 1 of the Eastern
Conference finals.
"Our family appreciates everybody's calls and condolences," said Ryan
Boogaard, who also is grieving in town with his sister, Krysten, and half-
brother, Curtis. "Derek loved Minnesota. He loved it here. That's why he
made it his place in the summertime. He loved the fans here. He loved
playing in that building. He just loved everything about Minneapolis.''
Derek Boogaard was badly affected by his latest concussion. In March,
Boogaard said he spent three weeks inside his apartment at one point
because of the complications.
"I didn't have people around me," Boogaard said in March. "That's why
when [Rangers forward Marian Gaborik] got his concussion, I'd call him
every day and say, 'I want you to call me and we'll go for lunch and we'll do
something for at least an hour just so you get out of your apartment.' I didn't
want him going through the same thing I did."
That was the type of person Boogaard was, former Wild General Manager
Doug Risebrough said. "Deep down, Derek had a big heart," he said. "He
liked people and he liked to help people."
The New York Post reported Saturday that with two weeks left in the
Rangers season, Boogaard left the team to enter the NHL/NHLPA
569438     Minnesota Wild                                                          "You're looking at guys in their 20s and 30s who are supposed to be at the
                                                                                   peak of health. Something like this happens, and you realize that you're not
                                                                                   invincible, and that every day you get to come out here you're lucky, and
Jarring Friday reminds us no one is immortal                                       you should enjoy it."
                                                                                   A visitor pointed to Puckett's quote. "That's it," Morneau said. "That's why
                                                                                   what we're going through as a team, even though it's not fun and we're not
JIM SOUHAN                                                                         used to it around here, we can't feel sorry for ourselves just because we're
                                                                                   losing baseball games. You look at the big picture, and while obviously
                                                                                   everyone wants to have success, you can't feel sorry for yourself because
                                                                                   you went 0-for-4. There are people going through a lot harder things."
We shouldn't require reminders. We should know, innately, that death plays
no favorites, that not even the strongest escape this planet alive.                Fans brought flowers to Killebrew's statue by Target Field, and honored
                                                                                   Boogaard by placing flowers outside of Xcel Energy Center.
Somehow, though, death always jars us when it intersects with sports,
making this one of the saddest and most jarring weekends in memory.                "Boogey was 28 years old," Morneau said. "That's not supposed to happen
                                                                                   to a guy that young."
Friday morning, we learned that Twins legend Harmon Killebrew will end his
battle with esophageal cancer and spend his remaining days in hospice              Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at
care.                                                                              2:40 p.m. on 1500ESPN. His Twitter name is Souhanstrib. •
Friday night, we learned that former Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard had
been found dead at his Minneapolis apartment.                                      Star Tribune LOADED: 05.15.2011
The men shared few connections. Killebrew is 74 and those close to him,
such as Jack Morris, expected this news. Even those far removed from
Killebrew's inner circle realized that this form of cancer was particularly
devastating, especially for a man of Killebrew's age.
Boogaard was 28 and those close to him worried about his recovery from a
concussion. At 6-7 and 258 pounds, possessing the toughness of a man
who made his living with jaw and fists, he would have seemed, to an
outsider, invulnerable as Killebrew in his prime.
They are not invulnerable, though. Beneath the muscle and machismo of a
pro athlete beat all-too-mortal hearts.
We shouldn't require these reminders, especially we Minnesotans. We
followed Kirby Puckett's descent.
In 1991, he became a part of World Series history. In 1996, he awoke blind
in one eye, and retired months later. In 2006, he died after suffering a
A.E. Housman wrote the most celebrated elegy about interrupted athletic
lives: "To An Athlete Dying Young."
The greatest poem ever written on the subject, though, was uttered,
extemporaneously, by a product of the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago,
when he announced his retirement in a cramped room deep inside the
Metrodome on July 12, 2006.
"Can you all just do me one favor?" Puckett said. "Don't take life for
granted, because tomorrow isn't promised to any one of us."
A version of that quote now hangs in the Twins clubhouse, close to Justin
Morneau's locker. Saturday night, Morneau, the rare person who befriended
both Killebrew and Boogaard, stood under that quote and spoke quietly
about a weekend of loss.
"Yesterday was a rough day," he said, speaking of Friday. "Obviously it was
rougher for their families, but it was tough. I found out after the game about
Boogey, and I was in shock.
"On the ice, he was completely different than he was off the ice. You can
ask anybody who knew him. He cared about people. If you asked him what
he did and he told you he was a fighter in hockey, you wouldn't believe
Boogaard, like Morneau, struggled to overcome concussion symptoms.
"With his concussion, he's been checking up on me and seeing how I'm
feeling," Morneau said. "He texted me last week to see how I was doing,
make sure everything was OK.
"We talked back and forth. He's come down and taken batting practice with
us. To get news like this about him, it's not fun."
Many Twins knew that Killebrew was nearing the end of his battle with
cancer. Boogaard's death arrived without warning.
"It's almost like, as athletes, you have that feeling of invincibility," Morneau
said. "You're out here and you're supposed to be in the best shape of
everybody, and that's not supposed to happen. That's why it tends to be
more of a shock.
569439     Minnesota Wild

Remembering those athletes gone too soon

Staff Writer

Malik Sealy was killed in May 2000 when a drunken driver driving the wrong
way on Highway 100 struck his SUV. The Timberwolves reserve was 30
years old; his No. 2 hangs in the Target Center rafters.
Other prominent professional athletes who spent all or a significant portion
of their careers in Minnesota and died in their primes:
Bill Masterton, North Stars
• Played 38 games in 1967-68, the North Stars' inaugural season.
Died at age 29 of a head injury suffered during a Jan. 13, 1968, game at the
Met Center.
Danny Thompson, Twins/Texas
• Played 630 games for Twins from 1970 to '76.
Died at age 29 from leukemia on Dec. 10, 1976, less than 10 weeks after
playing his last major league game (for Texas).
Lyman Bostock, Twins/California
• Played 379 games for Twins from 1975 to '77.
Killed at age 27 by a gunshot in hometown of Gary, Ind., on Sept. 23, 1978.
He played for the Angels at the time.
Malik Sealy, Indiana/L.A. Clippers/Detroit/Timberwolves
• Played 113 games for Timberwolves from 1998 to 2000.
Died at age 30 after SUV was struck by a drunken driver in St. Louis Park
on May 20, 2000.
Korey Stringer, Vikings
• Played 93 games from 1995 to 2000.
Died at age 27 from complications brought on by heat stroke during training
camp at Mankato in August 2001.
Sergei Zholtok, Boston/Ottawa/Montreal/Edmonton/Wild/Nashville
• Played 210 games for Wild from 2001 to '04.
Died at age 31 after collapsing on Nov. 3, 2004, while playing in Belarus
during the NHL lockout.
Eddie Griffin, Houston/Wolves
• Played 153 games for Timberwolves from 2004 to '07.
Died at age 25 when the car he was driving hit a moving train in Houston on
Aug. 17, 2007.
Star Tribune LOADED: 05.15.2011
569440     Minnesota Wild                                                        ever meet. Like his father, Ryan's an RCMP officer in Canada by day,
                                                                                 Derek's publicist by night.
                                                                                 There hasn't been a word written on the web or a fight tape involving
So long to the Boogey Man                                                        Boogaard that proud Ryan hadn't unearthed and told Derek about.
                                                                                 I feel horrible for Ryan and Aaron, who discovered Derek tonight.
Michael Russo                                                                    This blew a lot of people away tonight. I got heartwarming emails from fans
                                                                                 and text messages from numerous players.

I don't know where I'm going to go with this blog to be honest. In fact, my      I spoke to Brian Rolston, who said, "We’re devastated by it. Disbelief, really.
cursor has been flickering in this spot for about three hours, it's 3 a.m. and   It’s just crazy. He was a great teammate, a great friend. He always treated
I'm still sickened.                                                              my family and my kids with great respect. He was just a great kid."

Even as I start typing now, my eyes are watering. So maybe that's my             Boogaard was one of a kind. He may have been a 6-8 giant, but he was as
answer.                                                                          gentle as they got. Quiet, funny and a whole lot smarter than people gave
                                                                                 him credit for when it came to league happenings, drafting and anything to
I'm supposed to be a professional, but I'm also human. In my role, you           do with the sport of hockey.
cover players professionally, but you get to know them personally.
                                                                                 Like most enforcers, he wasn't some street thug. He was a good guy who
Like many of you, I was floored and saddened by tonight's tragic news. But       realized what he had to do to play professionally in the NHL. And he loved
I've thought about this a lot the last few hours, and I want to do my best to    that the fans took to him. He loved the prestige that came with being the
not make this a tear jerker.                                                     BoogeyMan. It's why he pronounced his name Booooogaard when his last
                                                                                 name is really pronounced B-OH-GUARD.
I want to give you a different perspective to Derek Boogaard from someone
who covered him.                                                                 He loved kids, he loved doing charity work, from Defending the Blue Line, to
                                                                                 the Police Athletic League, to Second Harvest.
For those of you who have been reading this space for years, you know
Derek was a big contributor to this blog just by his pure humor. Many of my      Derek and I texted a lot about all sorts of things. I've talked to him a lot
mornings were spent just going over to his locker-room stall, leaning            lately, a lot this past week via text. In fact, I nearly texted him this afternoon
against the wall and shooting the breeze.                                        when I was walking down by his new apartment in the Warehouse District.
                                                                                 But I knew he had just gotten back from LA with Aaron and I knew Ryan
Inevitably, something would happen hilarious enough to cause me to pull          was coming in this afternoon.
the notepad out of my back pocket and begin to write funny quips down,
usually barbs between Boogey and Niklas Backstrom or Boogey and Cal              He was so looking forward to the "3 Boogaards" hanging.
                                                                                 Derek texted me Thursday asking me what followers and following meant
"He clicks when he sleeps," Boogaard said. "He's got something in his            on Twitter. I told him, asked why he wanted to know, and he told me he met
throat that, like, clicks. It's timed. It's like one of those big clocks."       with a PR firm while in LA and planned to join Twitter. I told him to let me
                                                                                 know when he launches, and I'd pump it up. He wrote back, "Perfect!"
"Please," said Clutterbuck, "look who's talking. Mr. Snore-o-matic 3000 over
there."                                                                          That will be the last I'll ever hear from Derek, and that's killing me right now.

The back and forths with Backstrom were gold, and my favorite Boogaard           I've spent the night reading old Boogaard articles and texts.
story is when Brent Burns was all over Boogaard for snoring. I wrote about
it, and the next week, Boogaard ran up to me all excitedly. Local-based          Unfortunately, we'll never get to read his tweets. That would have been
company Breathe Right sent him a box of nasal strips! Another great one          entertaining. He would have been a downright hit.
was that Boogaard/Bouchard commercial they shot a few years back where           He was a unique person. He was a unique personality. And he was a
Boogaard wakes up and tells Bouchard to quiet down so he doesn't wake            unique player.
up the sleeping fans in their hotel room.
                                                                                 Sadly, Boogaard indeed became a topic on Twitter tonight in an outpouring
I can still hear Boogaard's laugh or his baritone, "What's up?"                  of tweets from the hockey community. To me, that says it all.
He had a sense of humor about himself, too. He was realistic about what          Here's a sample:
kind of player he was. He never got offended when we asked questions
about his lack of goal scoring. I used to give him grief about how he couldn't   BizNasty2point0 Paul Bissonnette
stop once he got a bit of steam with his skating, telling him, "Good thing the
boards are there, or you'd wind up in the Mississippi River."                    Had to call my folks after hearing that awful news. Derek Boogard you were
                                                                                 pure nails on the ice, and an even better person off. R.I.P
I still remember how excited I was when he scored that momentous goal
Nov. 9. My brother's fiancee, Jaime, learned quickly what type of guy I was.     BrandonPrust8 Brandon Prust
As my brother and Jaime sat me down to ask me to be Best Man at their            At a loss for words. I'll miss my roomy Derek Boogaard.. You will be missed
wedding, I was blogging about Boogaard.                                          by everyone. Great friend and teammate
One of the memories I'll cherish was walking around Manhattan all                MichaelDelZotto Michael Del Zotto
afternoon with him when the Wild was in New York in March. Boogaard was
still out with a concussion he suffered last December, and he was at the         Boogy, you will be missed! Condolensces to the Boogard family. The world
point where all he'd do daily is walk around the city.                           lost an amazing friend and teammate!
It was a great afternoon. We talked hockey, Minnesota Wild, Trevor Gillies'      Jeremy_Roenick Jeremy Roenick
hit on Clutter, what he had been going through in a tough first year in NY
and especially his family.                                                       I'm so sad to hear about Derek boogard!! He was tough as nails and even
                                                                                 though I didn't know him I heard he was a great guy! U will b missed
It's Boogaard's close family that I'm thinking about tonight. That's who I'm
heartbroken for.                                                                 b_ryan9 Bobby Ryan

I think about his mother, Joanne, and sister, Krysten, who each smiled and       Absolute tragedy, RIP Derek Boogaard.
snapped pictures when Derek sparred with his brother, Aaron, at a local
                                                                                 GeorgesLaraque Georges Laraque
boxing gym in Regina when I went up there a few years ago with photog
Carlos Gonzalez for the fight-camp profile.                                      my condolences to the Boogaard family,Derek past away this morning,it
                                                                                 was the thoughest guy in the NHL my friend and biggest rival
I think about his father, Len, who I still remember walking around Universal
Studios and getting on rides with Derek during the Wild's father-son trip four   There were many others. Feel free to use the comment section to talk
years ago. I think about middle brother, Ryan, one of the great people you'd     anything Derek Boogaard.
Rest In Peace Boogey
Star Tribune LOADED: 05.15.2011
569441     Minnesota Wild

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says league is stunned, saddened at
Boogaard's death

Staff Writer

NEW YORK - NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league is reeling
over the death of New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard.
Bettman says in a statement that to lose someone so young and so strong
leaves everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened.
The commissioner says the NHL family sends its deepest condolences to
all who knew and loved Boogaard, and those who played and worked with
Boogaard was a fan favorite in five seasons in Minnesota.
He signed a four-year, $6.5 million deal in July with the New York Rangers,
but missed the last 52 games of the regular season with a concussion and
shoulder injury.
Boogaard was found dead in his apartment on Friday. Police continue to
investigate, but foul play is not immediately suspected.
Star Tribune LOADED: 05.15.2011
569442     Minnesota Wild                                                          His unexpected death brought out a barrage of eulogies, including this
                                                                                   statement from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman:
                                                                                   "The news that we have lost someone so young and so strong leaves
With a lot of hard work, Derek Boogaard turned himself into a solid NHL            everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened. The NHL
player                                                                             family sends its deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Derek
                                                                                   Boogaard, to those who played and worked with him and to everyone who
                                                                                   enjoyed watching him compete."
Bruce Brothers
                                                                                   Former teammate Stephane Veilleux, who was also drafted by the Wild in
                                                                                   2001, received a text from his agent informing him of the news.

Just 18 months after he was drafted by the Wild, Derek Boogaard came               "It's very tragic," Veilleux said. "It's hard to believe.
within a whisker of becoming just another seventh-round pick who
experienced a brief taste of the NHL in training camp and then dropped             "He had a bright future ahead of him, and I really feel fortunate that I got to
completely out of the picture.                                                     spend seven years in the same organization with him. He was just a
                                                                                   teammate that was ready to battle for you."
Boogaard rescued his career with his character and work ethic.
                                                                                   Battling was Boogaard's forte in hockey, but he was
Those are two attributes people most remembered about Boogaard less
than 24 hours after his death at age 28.                                           Near Gate 2 at the Xcel Energy Center, a small memorial was placed to
                                                                                   former Wild player Derek Boogaard, Saturday, May 14, 2011. (Pioneer
Boogaard's body was found by family members shortly after 6 p.m. Friday            Press: Chris Polydoroff)
at his Minneapolis apartment. Paramedics couldn't revive him. An autopsy
was performed Saturday, but no cause or manner of death is expected to             known as "a gentle giant" off the ice, in Veilleux's words.
be determined for about two weeks, according to Minneapolis Police Sgt.            "That's the point," Lemaire said. "You know, sometimes you see a guy that
William Palmer.                                                                    is tough like that and is ready to fight anybody on the ice and he looks like a
"The Minneapolis police homicide unit and the Hennepin County Medical              mean guy. And sometimes he was mean, the way he was playing. And then
Examiner are both conducting an investigation into that death," Palmer said.       you bring this guy off the ice and he's a big puppy."
"However, foul play is not suspected."                                             If Boogaard was the poster child for NHL fights, he was never a monster.
At 6 feet 7 and 265 pounds, Boogaard was one of the biggest, strongest             "He didn't have that in him," Risebrough said. "He was defending; that's all
and most recognizable men in the National Hockey League. But former                he was doing."
Wild general manager Doug Risebrough remembered how it almost didn't
come to pass.                                                                      When Boogaard was around, Risebrough's staff never had to look far to
                                                                                   find a player willing to volunteer for community causes.
After Boogaard was picked 202nd overall by Minnesota in the 2001 NHL
draft, he went back to the Western junior league's Medicine Hat Tigers for a       "The sad story is, he'll be missed by a lot of people because he touches
season and a half, but seemed to be making no progress and left the team.          people," Risebrough said. "I remember he willingly did so much stuff off the
He attended a Wild game in Calgary, and Risebrough invited him to visit the        ice. He just wanted to help however he could, so if there was a charity
team's dressing room after the game.                                               event, Boogey would do it. There was no persuading; he was first in line.
Risebrough remembers                                                               "I still remember seeing him with children; here's a guy who's 6 foot 7 and
                                                                                   he's got to reach down to pick up somebody who's 3 feet tall. He had a soft
the ensuing discussion.                                                            way with people that way. People liked him and people came to him.
"He explained to me that he really didn't have a place to play. I said, 'I'm       "Even in Minnesota, he arguably became one of the most popular players,
going to get you a contract, but you're going to have to work.' And he lived       and it wasn't just because of the role he played. He was a likeable person,
up to his obligation; he worked," Risebrough said.                                 and people can sense that."
"That's where the relationship started with me and him. I think he                 Boogaard is survived by his parents, Len and Joanne of Regina, and his
appreciated that - when he was in a tough way, I gave him a chance. I'd say        siblings, Aaron, Ryan and Krysten. Aaron is a former Wild draft pick.
a lot of people would have done it, but that's where it started."
                                                                                   Pioneer Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
Risebrough credits then-Houston Aeros coach Todd McLellan and then-
Wild coach Jacques Lemaire for prodding Boogaard along the way.
Lemaire was flabbergasted to learn of Boogaard's death Saturday morning
from the contractor rebuilding his house in Palmetto, Fla.
"I yell, 'Are you crazy?' " he said. "When you're that big and that strong and
that healthy and then all of a sudden it's gone, it's really shocking. It's just
Lemaire was happier to revisit how he witnessed Boogaard producing the
sweat and toil necessary to maneuver his big frame into the NHL.
"I still remember when he came up; there are guys that maybe their skill
level is not high enough to play in NHL, but they have other stuff that can
make it," Lemaire recalled. "His skating level was really good, and because
of his size, that's what excited us. Because he's so big and so strong and
he can skate, we thought that this guy has a chance."
With assistant coaches Mario Tremblay and Mike Ramsey, Lemaire worked
on Boogaard until the big guy had earned a roster spot for the 2005-06
"Jacques was really good with him," Risebrough said. "He got him to be a
player. He wanted him to work on all aspects of his game He challenged
him, and Boogey responded."
Boogaard, a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, played five seasons for
the Wild before signing a three-year, free-agent contract with the New York
Rangers last summer.
569443     Minnesota Wild                                                         The answer was "great." His forechecking set up a Rangers goal. He also
                                                                                  created havoc in front of the Wild net. He did not drop his gloves. Prior to
                                                                                  the game, Wild coach Todd Richards instructed his players that they were
Tom Powers: Lovable Boogey will be sorely missed                                  not to engage Boogaard. Period.
                                                                                  Boogey actually scored a goal last season, too, ending his seemingly
                                                                                  interminable scoring drought. But then came a shoulder injury and a very
Tom Powers                                                                        bad concussion. He missed the Rangers' last 51 games. He returned to the
                                                                                  Twin Cities to convalesce and then just seemed to fall off the face of the
In my mind's eye, I still picture Derek Boogaard leaning against the railing of   Until Friday. We won't know what happened for a while. The autopsy report
the Twins' dugout at Target Field while watching batting practice. He was         usually takes a couple of weeks. Perhaps his big heart just gave out. Or
unshaven, wearing a T-shirt and looking a little puffy. But, hey, it was          maybe there was something more sinister at work. But I don't care about
summertime and the rigors of a hockey season were temporarily on hold.            the details. A loss is a loss. A void is a void. Regardless of how it
                                                                                  happened, on Friday we lost one of the good ones.
He smiled a lot and wondered where he might be plying his trade come fall.
Occasionally, he'd gesture toward a baseball as it sailed into the seats.         Pioneer Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
That's when we all were reminded of his specific role in hockey. Boogaard
had no knuckles on his right hand. They had been worn away, the result of
crashing into helmets, cheekbones and anything else that stood in the way
of his earning an honest living.
That's common among NHL enforcers. There comes a time in their careers
when the term "knuckle sandwich" is a misnomer. You can't serve up what
you don't have. Instead, there are concaved areas at the base of gnarled
fingers, an unavoidable occupational hazard.
Boogey, then a free agent, was carefree that day. Soon he would sign a
four-year deal worth $1.65 million per annum with the New York Rangers.
But he didn't know that at the time. Instead, there was speculation that the
Edmonton Oilers would make him a formidable offer and that he would
remain in the Northwest Division, where he might return to torment the
Minnesota Wild.
That made everyone a little uncomfortable. It's not that the Wild didn't want
the Boogeyman anymore. In fact, they did offer him a contract. But
it wasn't the long-term deal that the Rangers proposed. Still, it was a good
offer. It's just that the Rangers' was better.
Nobody blamed Boogaard for taking it. How long does an enforcer's career
last, anyway? Just look at some of the toughest guys ever to lace them up
and see for yourself. Dave Semenko was done at 30. So was Tony Twist.
John Kordic was out of the NHL at 26. Lyndon Byers was through at 28.
Former Wild enforcer Matt Johnson simply walked away and buried himself
in his religion at age 28 after losing his appetite for destruction. Even Dave
"The Hammer" Schultz, was washed up at 30. And while other enforcers did
carry on into their mid-30s, the vast majority of them had lost their
effectiveness many years before.
Boogaard was 28. Already he was missing long stretches because of
injuries. Yes, he was delivering the lion's share of the punishment when
fighting, but even that comes at a price. The shoulders get tender, the back
goes out, fingers break....After playing in 65 games as a rookie, he
averaged just 47 over his next four seasons with the Wild.
No one would begrudge Boogey his new contract. A personable guy like
Boogaard was a cinch to do well in New York City, both on and off the ice.
Perhaps he'd find a media niche or a business niche that would serve him
well when it came time to retire. And surely that four-year deal was going to
be his last. If injuries and old age didn't get to him, the new Euro-centric
NHL would. Boogey already was a marked man among the officials.
So I thought it was going to be a terrific, happy ending for an unpretentious,
lovable guy. Like many of his fellow enforcers, he was completely non-
aggressive off the ice and would do anything to help his teammates, friends
and even strangers. Unlike them, however, he was rather non-aggressive
on the ice, too. He almost never was the first to drop his gloves. And when
a game became heated, he'd come over the boards and simply cruise
around and wait for someone to challenge him, which rarely happened.
Someone else would have to start the ruckus, then Boogaard would finish
it. He was the biggest and the toughest of the younger wave of enforcers.
Old-school fighters such as Chris Simon and Donald Brashear gave him a
few problems, mainly because they knew how to defend themselves. The
young guns of today just try to grab on and throw haymakers. But Boogaard
quickly became the most feared fighter in the league.
On Nov. 20, he and the Rangers administered a 5-2 pasting to the Wild at
Xcel Energy Center. Afterward, Boogaard pulled me aside in the dressing
room to ask, "How did I play?"
569444     Minnesota Wild                                                           It was a topic brought up to him numerous times over the years, and
                                                                                    Boogaard refused to become critical of his questioners.
                                                                                    But even as he joked about it, he desperately wanted to end that scoring
Former Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard's autopsy results to take weeks                 drought, Backstrom said. Boogaard continued to work on his offense, and
                                                                                    after the puck finally went in for him, "he deserved it," Backstrom said.

Bruce Brothers                                                                      The Wild issued a statement late Friday offering sympathy to his family.
                                                                                    "Derek was a fan favorite during his five seasons with the Wild and will be
                                                                                    greatly missed here in Minnesota and throughout the NHL," the statement
The former Wild forward and enforcer was found by family members in his             read. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Boogaard family during this
Minneapolis warehouse district condo just after 6 p.m. Friday. As with most         tragic time of loss."
unattended and unexpected deaths, Minneapolis police are investigating,
said Sgt. William Palmer.                                                           The Rangers also issued a statement from general manager Glen Sather:

"We do not suspect foul play," he added.                                            "Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual. He was a very
                                                                                    thoughtful person, who will be dearly missed by all those who knew him.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner confirmed an autopsy will be                   We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates
performed, but results will not be released for at least two weeks.                 during this difficult time."

Boogaard, 28, who played five seasons for Minnesota, signed with the New            NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr also issued a
York Rangers as a free agent last summer and played just 22 games for the           statement:
Rangers because of concussion problems.
                                                                                    "The NHLPA is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Derek
"It's hard to understand it," Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom said. "It's hard     Boogaard. Derek was a well-liked and respected member of the NHLPA,
to describe how I feel. It's tough."                                                and his passing is a great loss to the entire hockey community. Our sincere
                                                                                    condolences to Derek's many friends and family during this difficult time."
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman today released the following statement:
                                                                                    Staff writer Tad Vezner contributed to this article
"The news that we have lost someone so young and so strong leaves
everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened. The NHL                Pioneer Press LOADED: 05.15.2011
family sends its deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Derek
Boogaard, to those who played and worked with him and to everyone who
enjoyed watching him compete."
Backstrom and fellow Wild goalie Josh Harding, who had dressing room
stalls just a few feet from Boogaard's, had equally difficult times putting their
thoughts into words.
"He was always in a good mood, laughing and joking around and enjoying
the life," Backstrom said. "Just a
great, positive attitude."
Added Harding: "He was way, way, way too young. If you knew him as a
teammate and knew him as a guy off the ice, he was the kindest guy.
"He would have your back if anything bad happened, but he wasn't a mean,
tough guy. He was a gentle giant; he was a big ol' teddy bear. My thoughts
and prayers go to the family. He was a friend to everybody and definitely
everybody's going to miss him."
The 6-foot-7, 256-pound Boogaard, a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,
was drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round of the 2001 NHL draft and
became the Wild's enforcer during the 2005-06 season after playing two
seasons for the Houston Aeros. He was always prepared to drop his gloves
during on-ice scraps and received 54 fighting penalties while playing for the
Wild, rapidly becoming a favorite with Xcel Energy Center fans.
Fans still show up at Wild games wearing Boogaard's old No. 24 replica
jersey, Backstrom pointed out.
"The crowd welcomed him," Backstrom said. "He meant a lot on the ice,
and off the ice he was an awesome friend, an awesome teammate. You
can't find a bad word about him."
In the dressing room, Boogaard displayed a wry sense of humor and a laid-
back style.
It was said to Backstrom that Boogaard was a good man.
"Not just a good man; he was a great man," Backstrom said. "He was a
Backstrom remembered Boogaard traveling to Russia two summers ago to
work out with Detroit Red Wings star forward Pavel Datsyuk.
"That's 'Boogie,' " Backstrom said. "He tried to do everything to get better;
he worked hard. In Russia, he definitely was out of his comfort zone, but
even if he spoke a different language, he probably had a lot of really good
friends there."
Playing for the Rangers, Boogaard scored a goal on Nov. 9, ending the
longest active scoreless streak in the NHL dating back to Jan. 7, 2006.
569445     New York Rangers                                                      Boogaard’s only season with the Rangers ended prematurely on Dec. 9,
                                                                                 when he sustained a concussion in a fight with the Senators’ Matt Carkner
                                                                                 in Ottawa.
Boogaard Family Authorizes Brain Study                                           It was at least the third concussion of Boogaard’s N.H.L. career; he also
                                                                                 sustained one in a January 2007 fight with Eric Godard, and another in a
                                                                                 September 2009 preseason game in which he was struck on the head by
JEFF Z. KLEIN                                                                    an errant stick.
                                                                                 The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Boogaard was still experiencing
                                                                                 difficulty in March, needing sunglasses when he left his West 57th Street
In poll after poll of N.H.L. players it was always a landslide: Derek Boogaard   apartment in Manhattan because he was bothered by sunlight. But he also
was the toughest, most feared fighter in the league.                             went out to dinner often with Rangers teammates and participated in other
So fearsome was the hulking Boogaard that last summer the Rangers
signed him to a four-year contract at an average of $1.6 million per year —      Boogaard was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on June 23, 1982. His
far higher than most enforcers command. Glen Sather, the general                 family moved frequently to small towns in the province and in Ontario,
manager, explained that he signed Boogaard because he was “the biggest           where his father, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police constable, was posted.
and toughest.”
                                                                                 He got his break as a 15-year-old when his bantam team in Melfort,
Boogaard said upon joining the Rangers: “I’m not afraid to do what I do.         Saskatchewan, was losing badly to a team from North Battleford.
New York knows what type of player I am.”
                                                                                 “I fought one guy, and the linesman didn’t get a good hold on me,”
But what Boogaard did — fight 70 times in the N.H.L. and 206 times since         Boogaard told The Prince George Citizen, a British Columbia newspaper, in
joining the major junior Regina Pats as a teenager — might have come at a        2000. “I went over to their bench and started swinging. When I get mad, I
price.                                                                           do a lot of dumb things.”
Boogaard was found dead at 28 in his Minneapolis apartment by members            That performance impressed scouts with the Regina Pats of the major
of his family Friday. A Minneapolis police spokesman, Sgt. Bill Palmer, said     junior Western Hockey League, who drafted Boogaard to be a team tough
that no foul play was suspected because Boogaard’s body showed no sign           guy. In Regina, “he fought everybody at Pats camp, trying to make a name
of physical trauma but that no further comment could be made until results       for himself,” Josh Harding, a teammate of Boogaard’s there and later in
of a toxicology report were released in about two weeks.                         Minnesota, told The Regina Leader-Post.
Boogaard died while recovering from a concussion, sustained in an on-ice         Boogaard became known as the Boogieman, a nickname that stuck with
fight in December, that shortened his only season as a Ranger to 22              him. He was on his way to a career in a very specialized role that persists to
games. Although no evidence has emerged that Boogaard’s concussion               this day, despite the faster, more skill-based game that hockey has become
was related to his death, it comes amid mounting concern over the physical       in recent years.
and behavioral dangers of repeated head trauma among hockey players.
                                                                                 But he had problems adjusting. He was traded to Prince George, far from
On Saturday, Boogaard’s family authorized Boston University researchers          home, and, unable to settle in, lived with four families in his first year there.
to examine his brain for the damage they have recently found in more than        He almost left the team and went home. His teammates made fun of him.
20 N.F.L. players and two retired hockey players: Reggie Fleming, a
prominent fighter in the 1960s, and Bob Probert, a Boogaard-like enforcer        “A lot of the stuff I got was deserved, but some of it wasn’t,” he told the
from 1985 through 2002. Such tests generally take two to three months.           Prince George paper when he was 18. “I was younger then.”
Even if an athlete’s brain has been damaged, experts have said, it would
not necessarily affect his behavior.                                             Boogaard lost his first fight in junior hockey, and his opponent, Matt
                                                                                 Sommerfeld of Swift Current, tore the nameplate off his sweater and threw
“I was with Derek on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in L.A., and he had           it into the crowd. The last of his 19 fights that first season ended when Mike
his smile back,” his agent, Ron Salcer, said Saturday night. Salcer said he      Lee of Tri-Cities broke Boogaard’s jaw, and he spent the next several
did not want to comment on health issues at a time when Boogaard’s               weeks with his mouth wired shut. He lost 25 pounds.
mother, father, sister and two brothers were grieving. But, he said, “Derek
was doing really well, looking forward to training, and excited about next       But Boogaard was big and tough, and soon he became a desired
season.”                                                                         commodity, even though he scored only three goals as a junior player. He
                                                                                 was drafted in the seventh round by Minnesota in 2001 and played three
Boogaard’s most significant hockey statistic was his size: 6 feet 7 inches,      seasons in the minors, where he had 66 fights.
265 pounds. Playing a handful of shifts a game, he scored only three goals
in 277 career games over six seasons, but amassed 589 penalty minutes.           In 2005, he made it to the Wild and stuck with the team, becoming a fan
In one stretch of almost five years, he went 234 consecutive games without       favorite and a close friend of teammates like Marian Gaborik, who later
scoring, the longest drought in league history. In drills at the Rangers’        became a Rangers teammate.
training camp last year, he trailed behind the other players, winded, as he      “I played with Boogey for a long time in Minny and then in New York,”
had done at camps with his previous team, the Minnesota Wild.                    Gaborik said Saturday from Slovakia. “He was a great guy. We got along
Within hours of Boogaard’s death his fellow players — including some of          together great. We helped each other out on the ice and off the ice. We
those he fought — sent messages of condolence through the social media.          were very close. I tried to help him along in New York, and we had a very
                                                                                 good relationship. It’s just very sad.”
Boogaard was remembered fondly by former teammates in Minnesota and
New York and by former fighting opponents.                                       Boogaard kept at least one old habit — that of moving from place to place.
                                                                                 He lived in seven apartments in the Twin Cities in six years.
“Though he was a fighter on the ice, he was definitely a gentle giant off the
ice,” said Brandon Prust, who was Boogaard’s road roommate for a half-           Boogaard recently moved to an apartment in the North Loop, a gentrified
season with the Rangers and who, when Prust played with Calgary, was             neighborhood also known as the Warehouse District, less than a mile
elbowed by Boogaard on a play that earned Boogaard a five-game                   northwest of downtown Minneapolis. The eight-story, tan-brick building
suspension.                                                                      where Boogaard lived is between the Mississippi River and Target Field,
                                                                                 the home of baseball’s Minnesota Twins.
“I don’t know how to describe it,” said Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom, a
teammate of Boogaard’s for four years with the Wild. “It’s really hard.          It was where he was found dead Friday.
Unreal guy. Great friend and an awesome teammate. Just a really big teddy        Pat Borzi contributed reporting from Minneapolis, and Alan Schwarz from
bear.”                                                                           New York.
Georges Laraque fought Boogaard four times and was considered his lone           New York Times LOADED: 05.15.2011
rival as the league’s toughest player. “I’m still devastated over the death of
Derek Boogaard,” Laraque said. “I talked to him a couple days ago and was
supposed to fight-train with him this summer.”
569446     New York Rangers                                                     "The last year, we got a chance to know him as a person off the ice, and as
                                                                                a friend," Rangers winger Ryan Callahan said by telephone Saturday. "The
                                                                                biggest thing you realize is how caring and how nice he actually is. You
Mystery still surrounds death of 28-year-old Rangers wing Derek Boogaard,       don't get to see that on the ice with what he does. If you met him, you'd
autopsy could take weeks                                                        never think that (fighting) was what he did for a living. ...It's a terrible loss,
                                                                                and our thoughts and prayers are with his family - that's all you can really

Jesse Spector                                                                   While there has been no official announcement of the family's preferred
                                                                                way for fans to express their condolences, many Saturday were making
                                                                                donations in Boogaard's memory to charities he was known to support,
                                                                                including Defending the Blue Line, which helps children of military members
The cause of Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard's sudden death on Friday
                                                                                afford to play hockey, and Garden of Dreams. Boogaard's funeral will be in
in Minneapolis remained a mystery Saturday, as the Hennepin County
                                                                                Regina, Saskatchewan, the Star-Tribune reported, at a date to be
medical examiner's office said that full autopsy results could take "a couple
of weeks" to process as a full battery of tests will be run.
                                                                                New York Daily News LOADED: 05.15.2011
Minneapolis police do not suspect foul play, and there was no obvious sign
of physical trauma when the 28-year-old Boogaard was found dead at his
apartment by his brothers early Friday evening.
But because physical trauma was Boogaard's livelihood as one of the most
fearsome fighters in the NHL, his brother Ryan told the Minneapolis Star-
Tribune Saturday night that the family had decided to donate Derek's brain
to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encehalopathy at Boston
University. Officials at BU would not comment on that report when reached
by the Daily News Saturday night.
A source said Saturday night that Boogaard had been involved with the
NHLPA/NHL Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program, but neither
the league nor the union is allowed to comment on players' participation in
that program, let alone the reason that Boogaard might have needed its
services. The program was created in 1996 to address a wide variety of off-
ice problems that players might encounter, and first-time participants can
enter voluntarily with no punishment.
All sources who spoke to the Daily News Saturday stressed that it would be
inappropriate to speculate on the cause of Boogaard's death before the
autopsy results are released.
After the autopsy is completed, the scientists in Boston will have more to
say, and whether or not there is a connection between Boogaard's
concussion history and his death, that work will be viewed with great import
given the growing concern throughout sports about the danger posed by
repeated blows to the head.
In March, Boston University's research team found that Bob Probert, an
NHL enforcer from 1985-2002 who died of heart failure last July at age 45,
had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease.
While Probert also had problems with alcohol and drugs in his life, the BU
team has found CTE in more than 20 dead former pro football players,
including former NFL All-Pro defensive back Dave Duerson. When Duerson
committed suicide in February, he shot himself in the chest, and indicated in
his note that he wanted his brain to be scientifically examined.
Boogaard had 61 fights in six NHL seasons and countless more in the
minor leagues on his way up. Boogaard's final bout was Dec. 9 at Ottawa,
where he tangled with Matt Carkner of the Senators and sustained a
concussion that ended his season. Boogaard was well-aware that brain
injuries were an occupational hazard, having also missed time early in the
2009-10season with a concussion while he was a member of the Minnesota
Wild, and acknowledging that he'd had his "bell rung" on previous
After Boogaard's concussion in December, it took nearly three months until
he was able to skate again, and he said his recovery process included
several days when he just had to lie down in a dark room. Boogaard
regularly took part in morning skates at the Rangers' facility in Greenburgh
over the final month of the season, then disappeared just before the
playoffs. The Rangers did not dispute a report at the time that Boogaard
had been sent home to work on his conditioning, which had been an issue
since the start of training camp for the 6-7, 265-pound winger. According to
a source, however, that absence was because Boogaard was taking part in
the NHLPA/NHL program.
Boogaard's departure was unusual, but hardly given a second thought. It
seemed that Boogaard was eager to put an admittedly nightmarish first
season on Broadway behind him and prove that he was worth the four-year,
$6.5 million contract he had signed. Sources who spoke to Boogaard in the
days leading up to his death said he was "upbeat" and "doing better,"
making the death that much more shocking.
569447     New York Rangers

Death of Rangers' left wing Derek Boogaard, just 28-years-old, sends
shockwaves through hockey world

Jesse Spector

There still was a sense of shock in the world of hockey Saturday, as many
people woke to the news that Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard had died
on Friday at the age of 28, his body discovered in his Minneapolis
apartment by his visiting brothers.
"The news that we have lost someone so young and so strong leaves
everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened,"
commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement Saturday. "The NHL family
sends its deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Derek Boogaard,
to those who played and worked with him and to everyone who enjoyed
watching him compete."
The emotion was particularly strong among the Rangers, who instantly took
to Boogaard upon his arrival from Minnesota as a free agent last summer.
The 6-7, 265-pound left wing was known for his humorous spirit and
contrasting personality to the tough-guy role he assumed on the ice.
"The last year, we got a chance to know him as a person off the ice, and as
a friend," Rangers winger Ryan Callahan told the Daily News in a phone
interview Saturday. "The biggest thing you realize, is how caring and how
nice he actually is. You don't get to see that on the ice with what he does. If
you met him, you'd never think that (fighting) was what he did for a living. . .
. It's a terrible loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family - that's
all you can really do."
Funeral arrangements are pending. While the Boogaard family has not yet
made any official announcements, fans Saturday were making donations in
Boogaard's memory to charities he was known to support, including
Defending the Blue Line, which helps children of military members afford to
play hockey, and Garden of Dreams.
Boogaard's sudden death remained a mystery, as the Hennepin County
medical examiner's office said that full autopsy results could take "a couple
of weeks" to process as a full battery of tests will be run. Minneapolis police
do not suspect foul play, and there was no obvious sign of physical trauma.
Physical trauma, though, was Boogaard's livelihood as one of the most
fearsome fighters in the NHL, with 61 bouts in six seasons and countless
more in the minor leagues. Boogaard's final fight was Dec. 9 at Ottawa,
where he tangled with Matt Carkner of the Senators and sustained a
concussion that ended his season. Boogaard was well aware that brain
injuries were an occupational hazard, having also missed time early in the
2009-10 season with a concussion while he was a member of the
Minnesota Wild, and acknowledging that he'd had his "bell rung" on
previous occasions.
Whether there is any connection between Boogaard's concussion history
and his death remains to be seen, but there has been growing concern
throughout sports about the danger posed by repeated blows to the head.
In March, researchers at Boston University found that Bob Probert, an NHL
enforcer from 1985-2002 who died of heart failure last July at age 45, had
chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease.
While Probert also had problems with alcohol and substance abuse, the BU
team has found CTE in more than 20 dead former pro football players,
including former NFL All-Pro defensive back Dave Duerson. When Duerson
committed suicide in February, he shot himself in the chest, and indicated in
his note that he wanted his brain to be scientifically examined.
New York Daily News LOADED: 05.15.2011
569448    New York Rangers

Rangers' Boogaard found dead; cause unknown


Derek Boogaard, the friendly but at times troubled soul who spent this past
season with the Rangers, has died at the age of 28.
An autopsy to determine the cause of death will be performed on Boogaard,
who was found dead in his Warehouse District apartment in Minneapolis by
family members, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s
Unfailingly cordial and very popular among his teammates and peers
throughout the league, Boogaard had an unhappy season with the Rangers
that was cut short after just 22 games when the winger, who was signed to
a four-year, $6.5 million free agent contract last summer based on his
pugilistic exploits, suffered a concussion in a Dec. 9 fight in Ottawa with
Matt Carkner.
Boogaard, who completed the season with one goal, one assist, 45 penalty
minutes and seven fights in 45 games, had begun to skate on his own
toward the end of the season, but management sent him home with about a
week remaining because of unspecified issues.
General manager Glen Sather nevertheless remained loyal to the 6-foot-7,
265-pound winger, suggesting that the signing would become a positive
one for the franchise.
“Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual,” Sather said in a
statement released last night by the team. “He was a very thoughtful person
who will be missed by all those who knew him.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates
during this difficult time.”
Boogaard spent five years with the Wild before signing with the Rangers,
developing a folk-hero like persona while engaging in 54 fights in 255
games. More than Marian Gaborik, his high-scoring teammate on both the
Wild and in New York, Boogaard received a hero’s welcome when both
returned to Minnesota for the first time as Rangers on Nov. 20.
It was Boogaard whose crushing check set up the first goal in what became
the Rangers’ 5-2 victory. But that represented one of the few happy
moments of the season for the gentle man with the goofy sense of humor
who is gone far too soon.
Boogaard was involved with numerous charities, including the “Garden of
Dreams” foundation and “Boogaard’s Booguardians,” a program he created
which allowed military members and their families to attend Rangers home
The Wild also released a statement saying: “The Minnesota Wild
organization sends our deepest sympathies to the family of Derek
Boogaard. Derek was a fan favorite during his five seasons with the Wild
and will be greatly missed here in Minnesota and throughout the NHL. Our
thoughts and prayers go out to the Boogaard family during this tragic time
of loss.”
Word spread quickly, and a number of NHL players posted Twitter
messages to express their sadness.
“At a loss for words. I’ll miss my roomy Derek Boogard,” Rangers winger
Brandon Prust tweeted. “you will be missed by everyone. Great friend and
Wrote Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto on Twitter:
“Boogy, you will be missed!. Condolensces to the Boogard family. The
world lost an amazing friend and teammate!”
— With Mark Everson and David Satriano
New York Post LOADED: 05.15.2011
569449     New York Rangers

Former Rangers player Barnaby arrested near Buffalo: report

Staff Writer

Former Rangers player and current ESPN analyst Matthew Barnaby was
arrested Friday night, a Buffalo-area TV station reports .
According to WIVB, Barnaby "was arrested and charged with second
degree criminal contempt, harassment, second degree criminal trespass,
and second degree criminal mischief" after police found property damage at
an Amherst, N.Y., home. Two women reportedly were not injured.
"Police say after leaving the location, he made angry phone calls, and
Barnaby has also been charged with aggravated harassment via a cell
phone," the report says.
Barnaby, 38, played for the Rangers for three seasons, from 2001-04. He
retired from the NHL in 2007.
New York Post LOADED: 05.15.2011
569450     New York Rangers                                                       deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Derek Boogaard, to those
                                                                                  who played and worked with him and to everyone who enjoyed watching
                                                                                  him compete.”
Rangers remember Derek Boogaard as a gentle giant                                 Bergen Record LOADED: 05.15.2011


Why Derek Boogaard passed away at the age of 28 may not be known for
weeks after the Hennepin County (Minn.) Medical Examiner’s Office
conducted an autopsy on the late Rangers left wing Saturday.
Derek Boogaard, 28, joined the Rangers in July and appeared in 22 games
with them last season. He had a goal and an assist to go with 45 penalty
But to Rangers alternate captain Ryan Callahan, the most important thing
right now is honoring Boogaard’s memory.
“It’s not something I’ve really thought about,” Callahan said of the autopsy.
“I don’t want to speculate on what happened, what didn’t happen. I just
know it’s a tremendous loss at such a young age. There has to be a reason
for it but I’m trying to think about his family. My prayers are with his family
and friends.”
The 6-foot-8, 265-pound Boogaard, one of the NHL’s toughest enforcers
who had a concussion-shortened first season with the Rangers after playing
his first five seasons with the Wild, was found dead in his Minneapolis
apartment early Friday evening after emergency workers responded to a
911 call.
Multiple tests are being conducted, including toxicology reports, and the
Star Tribune (Minn.) reported that the Minneapolis Police Department and
the Medical Examiner’s Office are probing Boogaard’s death, though it’s not
believed foul play was a factor. The Star Tribune also reported Saturday
night that Boogaard’s parents will donate his brain to the Boston University
researchers studying brain disease and head trauma in athletes.
Meanwhile, the NHLPA said it could not comment on a report that
Boogaard was in the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health
“You’re trying to wrap your head around what the hell happened,” Rangers
center Brian Boyle said. “I have to come to grips with the fact that a great
friend is gone. He’s a guy you have to have the utmost respect for as a
hockey player. He really put himself on the line for the team.
“The biggest thing to realize, I think, is how good a guy he is off the ice,”
Callahan added. “You’ve heard it said, gentle giant. You see what he does
on the ice but you realize what a caring, kind person he was off the ice.”
Boogaard, who left the Wild to sign a four-year, $6.5 million deal with the
Rangers, played just 22 games before suffering a season-ending
concussion in a fight with the Senators’ Matt Carkner on Dec. 9.
Despite his role as an enforcer, perhaps the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
native’s biggest highlight as a Ranger was snapping a 235-game goal-less
streak in a 5-3 loss to the Capitals on Nov. 9. In all, Boogaard had one goal,
one assist and 45 penalty minutes, including seven fights, with the Rangers.
Boyle said Boogaard seemed determined to have a better second season
in New York. “Of course he did,” Boyle said. “He was motivated. He wanted
to get back.”
“We spoke before the world championships,” added Marian Gaborik,
Boogaard’s teammate with the Wild and the Rangers. “We were in touch a
lot. He was focusing on coming back, training every day. He was really
looking forward to coming back in great shape and prove that he’s the best
at what he does. He was really looking forward to that. He was always so
positive and optimistic.”
The Rangers’ organization has been struck by other tragedies recently.
Russian Alexei Cherepanov, the 17th overall pick in 2007, died at 19 in a
KHL game in 2008 before playing for the Rangers. And Roman Lyashenko,
who played 17 games for the Rangers from 2001-03, was found dead in a
Turkish hotel in 2003, believed to be a suicide.
“The news that we have lost someone so young and so strong leaves
everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened,” NHL
commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “The NHL family sends its
569451     New York Rangers

Boogaard autopsy results will take weeks


Minneapolis police said they do not suspect foul play in the unexpected
death of Rangers forward Derek Boogaard on Friday night, but authorities
do not expect to determine an official cause of death for weeks.
An autopsy was performed Saturday on the 28-year-old. The (Minneapolis)
StarTribune, citing sources, said he had been found unconscious by his
brothers Ryan and Aaron inside his Minneapolis apartment.
A spokeswoman for the Hennepin County, Minnesota, medical examiner's
office said Saturday it will take at least two weeks to get results of
laboratory tests.
Minneapolis police Sgt. William Palmer said emergency medical services
responded to a 911 call at Boogaard's downtown apartment just past 6 p.m.
Friday. First responders from the Minneapolis fire department determined
he was already dead, Palmer said. He declined to say if any evidence was
recovered at the scene.
Boogaard, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, had just told a StarTribune
reporter via a text message Thursday that he was returning from Los
Angeles and was planning to meet with one of his two brothers Friday.
"I don't think we have any answers as to what happened," said Ron Salcer,
Boogaard's agent, "or why it happened."
According to Hennepin County spokeswoman Carol Allis, when there are
no obvious signs of physical trauma or obvious immediate cause of death, a
battery of tests is required.
"If there's nothing that's real obvious when the person is found -- and it's our
understanding that there haven't been in this case -- it takes longer," she
said. "They don't usually release anything preliminarily because they don't
know everything until they get the tests back."
The StarTribune reported the family has donated Boogaard's brain to
Boston University for research.
The hockey world was struggling to come to grips with the abrupt death of a
hard-nosed player who was known for his fighter's mentality on the ice and
his fun-loving attitude off it.
"I was just shocked. I couldn't believe it," Rangers teammate Ruslan
Fedotenko said Saturday in Manhattan. "It's one of those things that just
seems surreal."
After signing a four-year, $6.5-million contract last July, Boogaard's first
season in New York after five seasons with the Minnesota Wild was limited
to just 22 games because of a concussion he suffered during a fight Dec. 9.
Boogaard struggled with common post-concussion symptoms such as
headaches and sensitivity to sunlight, telling the StarTribune in March that
he had spent a stretch of weeks inside his Manhattan apartment.
At 6-foot-7 and 265 pounds, his role on the ice was always as a rugged
enforcer. He was involved in seven fights last season and 70 during his
NHL career.
He returned to skating in March, three months after the concussion, but
there was not enough time left in the season for him to get back into game
shape. After the season he returned to Minneapolis.
"The news that we have lost someone so young and so strong leaves
everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened,"
commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
With Katie Strang in Minneapolis, and AP
Newsday LOADED: LOADED: 05.15.2011
569452     New York Rangers

Shock and dismay over Boogaard’s death

Katie Strang

MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire
received a phone call from his contractor yesterday, but it had nothing to do
with the new home he is building in Florida.
Instead, the contractor — who has relatives in Minnesota — told Lemaire
that Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard had been found dead in his
Minneapolis apartment by a family member Friday.
Lemaire, who coached the 28-year-old for four seasons with the Wild, could
not believe what he had heard. “I really was very shocked for many
reasons,” Lemaire told Newsday when reached by phone yesterday
afternoon. “He was a good person and a healthy, strong young man. It
always makes you wonder why things like this happen, especially to
someone so young.”
Lemaire, who took over the Devils this past season after they dismissed
coach John Mac
Lean in December, said he doesn’t know how to grapple with such awful
“It’s so hard when you hear a thing like this. It’s hard to deal with this,” he
said. “Everyone I talked to is very sad about this.”
Like Lemaire, Ruslan Fedotenko, Boogaard’s Rangers teammate, was
rocked by his death. “I was just shocked. I couldn’t believe it. It’s one of
those things that just seems surreal,” Fedotenko said when reached at a
Rangers community event in Manhattan.
The 32-year-old right wing said he recently spoke with Boogaard about his
plans this summer and said the 6-7 tough guy was enthused about getting
ready for 2011-12. “I just talked to him a couple of weeks ago, and he was
excited for the summer to get ready for the next season. We talked about
other things,” Fedotenko said. “It’s hard to imagine that he’s not going to be
there now. It’s really tragic and unfortunate.”
Also at the event was Rangers Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert, who expressed
his deep regret about Boogaard’s death. “I was very saddened. I knew
Derek during the year and spent some time with him,” Gilbert said. “I don’t
know exactly any details at this moment, I haven’t talked to anyone, but it’s
just important to his family that we all wish them well and we’re very sad.”
Gilbert, who works for the Rangers as the director of special projects and
community relations representative, said Boogaard’s loss will be felt across
the hockey community.
“Certainly, we offer our condolences and all the best to his family,’’ Gilbert
said. “He’s a member of our family, the Rangers, and we’re very saddened.”
Newsday LOADED: LOADED: 05.15.2011
569453     New York Rangers                                                       teammates and the community. We were so happy to have him. This is all
                                                                                  so very sad."
                                                                                  Said Ron Salcer, Boogaard's agent: "I've represented hockey players for 30
Boogaard remembered as a gentle giant                                             years. Most of them come from good homes, good families and have good
                                                                                  morals and ethics. Derek epitomized that. This is a very sad time and I'm
                                                                                  devastated for his family."
                                                                                  Newsday LOADED: LOADED: 05.15.2011

MINNEAPOLIS -- As much as hulking enforcer Derek Boogaard was feared
on the ice and revered as one of the toughest fighters in the NHL, those
who knew him well spoke fondly of him as a person.
The 6-7, 265-pound tough guy, who died Friday at his Minneapolis
apartment, racked up 589 career penalty minutes in six seasons in the
NHL. But to teammates, coaches and friends, his lasting image is that of a
gentle giant.
"Like I always describe him, he's a big teddy bear," Rangers teammate
Ruslan Fedotenko told Newsday at a community event in Manhattan
Saturday morning. "He's big, he's a giant, but he's soft. He has a soft heart
and he's a caring person."
The towering native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who signed with the
Rangers last July, was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the seventh round
in 2001. He became a fan favorite during his five seasons with the Wild
from 2005-10, earning the nickname of "The Boogey Man" for his ability to
But his brawling belied the man who was caring and tender, and that is
what made him such a special person, Fedotenko said.
"He was a great teammate, and maybe not everyone can see that because
they see him on the ice fighting and doing his job,'' Fedotenko said. "But
inside and outside hockey, he was this very soft, caring, just great person."
Boogaard's former Minnesota Wild coach, Jacques Lemaire, reached by
phone Saturday, echoed Fedotenko's sentiments.
"On the ice, he was a guy that always got the respect from guys on other
teams. He worked hard to reach his goals, especially to play in the NHL,"
Lemaire said. "Off the ice, he was a totally different person. He was a nice
guy who all the players always wanted to hang out with and talk to."
Boogaard signed a four-year, $6.5-million deal with the Rangers in July but
was limited to 22 games because of a concussion in December that
sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Missing that amount of time was frustrating to Boogaard, according to friend
Devin Wilson, who played junior hockey with him in Prince George, British
Columbia. Wilson said that left Boogaard depressed at times.
"It was the expectation of living up to his contract. And he didn't want to let
down, or his coach, or most importantly, his teammates," said Wilson, who
had plans to move into an apartment with Boogaard on Manhattan's Upper
West Side.
Wilson wants Boogaard remembered for all the positive things he brought
to those around him. "He dreamed big,'' he said. "He was always talking
about these big adventures. He had an unbelievable thirst for life. And he
never said a bad word about anybody. He always took the positives from
everybody. The thing I want people to take away from all this is that he is
one of those guys that is an honor and privilege to be buddies with."
Goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who played with Boogaard with the Wild in
2005-06, also remembered him fondly. When reached via text message
before Saturday night's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, Roloson
said, "Great person, great teammate. He did all the little things to help his
Boogaard was noted for his work in the community during his brief time with
the Rangers.
"He's very, very big in supporting the troops," Fedotenko said. "He was
working with [the military] and was trying to get some guys to go and visit
them to give support for our troops. That always stuck in my mind."
Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert, whose No. 7 hangs from the rafters at Madison
Square Garden, also noted that.
"I enjoyed talking to him and admired his commitment to the community. He
wanted to give something back. He was a very gentle person," Gilbert said.
"Certainly as a person, he was a gentle giant who cared about his
569454     NHL                                                                     “He didn’t take it from me,” Kaberle said of Purcell. “The puck slid on my
                                                                                   blade and I tried to make a move. Those things you have to put behind you,
                                                                                   the past behind you. When you make a mistake, you have to put it behind
Lightning bolt out of gate, beat Bruins 5-2                                        you. If you keep thing about it, it’s not going to make you any better.”
                                                                                   Still, the Lightning were able to capitalize on the opportunities afforded them
                                                                                   by the Bruins.
Kevin McGran
                                                                                   “Getting the first (goal) settles you,” said St. Louis. “If you’d have told me we
                                                                                   would be up two goals after the first, I wouldn’t have believed you. We were
                                                                                   lucky on some of the goals. You fight for your bounce, but realize you were
BOSTON—Of course, on a team loaded with offensive talent it would be               fortunate there and keep pushing. Don’t sit back.”
Sean Bergenheim, Teddy Purcell and Brett Clark who would make the big
difference for the Tampa Bay Lightning.                                            Seguin was on the ice for two of the goals against, but got the crowd on its
                                                                                   feet though, undressing Tampa Bay defenceman Mike Lundin at the
So it was again — as it has been for much of the playoffs — that Tampa’s           Lightning blue line to create a breakaway. His shot surprised Roloson to the
so-called role players played a much bigger role.                                  far side. The Bruins – and the crowd – were back in the game at 15:59.
First-period goals from Bergenheim, Purcell and Clark — all within 85              “It was definitely an adjustment playing at this tempo,” said Seguin. “getting
seconds — propelled the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win over the Boston           that goal was a bit of a relief. I was more confident and more poised out
Bruins in the first game of the Eastern Conference final.                          there I thought.”
“It’s a good feeling, but to be honest, the best feeling is that we’re winning,”   All the time off made a little bit of difference. Simon Gagne was back in
said Bergenheim, the unheralded third-liner who leads the playoffs with            action for the Lightning, a much-needed offensive spark for Tampa.
eight goals. “I’m obviously happy that I’ve been helping the team, but I think
it’s more of a line effort and our line that’s been clicking.”                     Patrice Bergeron wasn’t available for the Bruins. He’s still recovering from a
                                                                                   concussion he suffered in Game 4 against Philadelphia. That opened up a
Tampa defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron scored in the third period, a                 spot for Seguin, the second overall pick from Brampton, who got a chance
power play goal with 6:23 left, that helped empty the TD Garden. More lines        at his first playoff game.
formed at the exits after Simon Gagne scored an empty netter with 2:31 to
go.                                                                                “I was trying to stay sharp, and keep a good vibe in the dressing room,” said
                                                                                   Seguin, who said it was tough to sit in the press box. “It’s hard to not be a
We couldn’t ask for a better result after 10 days off,” said Tampa star Martin     part when you want to be a part. Sitting in the stands you can’t do anything
St. Louis. “I thought they came out hard, especially the first three or four       but watch and hope. It’s not the position you want to be in.”
minutes. I thought they were skating really hard and making good plays in
the neutral zone.                                                                  Toronto Star LOADED: 05.15.2011

“We didn’t get spooked by it. Just kept going at it, kept skating, got our
forecheck going a little bit and created some chances. We were
opportunistic on those and obviously it’s a lot easier to play with the lead in
this league than trying to chase.”
It was the Lightning’s eighth playoff win in a row. The Bruins had come into
the game having won their last five.
Game 2 is Tuesday, giving the Bruins a couple of days to figure out to shut
down Tampa’s pluggers while working on their power play. Having more
than a week off didn’t help the Bruins in that facet of the game. They went
Rookie Tyler Seguin, playing his first playoff game, scored his first playoff
goal for Boston. Johnny Boychuk scored with 1:01 remaining.
“We could have had a better effort,” said Boston coach Claude Julien. “We
gave them a 3-0 lead, but it was a lot like the Montreal series. We gave
them some easy goals. It was more our doing, not theirs.
“Those three goals certainly set us back.”
Bergenheim has been the surprise of the East. His eight goals leads the
playoffs and come when he and his linemates – Dominic Moore and Steve
Downie – are busy playing against the other team’s top forwards.
Perhaps it’s odd that Bergenheim has more goals than Tampa’s stars –
Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Steve Stamkos. But the Lightning
appear to be a complete team, with each player knowing what’s expected
and often providing more. And nobody’s ego is getting in the way.
“You’ve got to do your role and more and those guys are bringing it” said
Tampa forward Martin St. Louis. “You need everybody at this time of year.
We don’t have any passengers and that’s why we’re having the success we
The game changed over a 1:25 span in the middle of the first period.
Bergenheim got his playoffs-leading eighth goal at 11:15. It came kind of
gift-wrapped when Bruins defenceman Dennis Seidenberg lost his stick.
With Thomas down, the puck came to Seidenberg in the crease. All he
could do was kick it. It went straight to Bergenheim, just a couple of feet
from the net.
The next shift, Clark steamed down the right wing – end-to-end – and put a
backhander past Thomas, just 29 seconds after Bergenheim’s goal.
Purcell made it 3-0, banging in his own rebound at 12:40, after capitalizing
on a Tomas Kaberle giveaway behind the Bruins net.
569455     NHL

Boogaard family donates NHL enforcer’s brain to science

Randy Starkman

Former NHL star Keith Primeau choked up a bit as he contemplated that
Derek Boogaard may have saved his biggest assist for last.
Boogaard’s family told the Minneapolis StarTribune on Saturday night that
they were donating the New York Ranger enforcer’s brain to the Boston
University research group doing groundbreaking work in studying
degenerative brain disease in athletes.
Primeau, who is donating his brain to the same study, expressed the hope
earlier in the day while on the XM Home Ice radio show that the Boogaards
would make such a decision.
When told by the Star the Boogaards were going ahead with the donation,
Primeau was touched by the gesture.
“I suppose I can only imagine how difficult a time this must be first of all,
and then to be presented with this type of dilemma,” said Primeau, who still
suffers symptoms five years after his last concussion. “For me personally, I
become very emotional when I hear these types of acts. It’s such an
important subject for me. I did it because of the hope some day it has the
ability to make a difference.”
Primeau, who runs a website, said the
Boogaards were likely motivated by the desire to help the cause and to get
some insight into a tragedy that has rocked the hockey world.
“For a family and the parents, you want to know. I’m sure they’re looking for
answers, too,” said the 14-year NHLer. “I extremely hope this will help them
get some answers either way and help in the healing process.”
Boogaard’s brother Ryan told reporter Michael Russo of the Star Tribune
that his brother’s concussion issues spurred their parents Len and Joanne
to sign the papers Saturday night to donate their oldest son’s brain to the
“Derek loved sports and obviously in particular hockey, so we believe Derek
would have liked to assist with research on a matter that had affected him
later on in his career,” Ryan Boogaard told Russo.
Boogaard played only 22 games for the Rangers last season because of
post-concussion symptoms, but there’s no evidence the problems caused
his death at age 28.
“The biggest reason people are reeling and for there to be questions is
because he was so young,” said Primeau, now 39. “Aside from the fact he
had a little bit of concussion problems and difficulty towards the end this
year, it just brings everybody’s vulnerability into play. Certainly, the league
and its members and friends and family are in disbelief today.”
The Boston University Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute is at
the forefront of examining the concussion epidemic in sports. On the
hockey side, they determined that former NHLers Bob Probert and Reggie
Fleming had the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic
encephalopathy (CTE) when they died. CTE is believed to be caused by
repetitive brain trauma.
Primeau said the idea of donating your brain to science is finding less and
less resistance among athletes.
“It’s become more accepted and very important. When I first told my brother
that I was donating my brain, he was a little appalled, a little grossed out by
the whole thing. But ultimately what the brain is is the most important organ,
the most vital organ in the human body. And the more information we can
garner, the more we can understand, the better we can fight head injuries
and the difficulties people face through post concussion.”
Toronto Star LOADED: 05.15.2011
569456     NHL                                                                    “Most of the tough guys, they do the job because it’s their job, but they don’t
                                                                                  really like it that much,” said Laraque. “The guys that like fighting are
                                                                                  dangerous because they want to hurt you. He had all the tools to hurt you
Former teammates and opponents remember Derek Boogaard                            because he had the biggest punch in the NHL.”
                                                                                  Boogaard dealt out a world of hurt in his career, but he absorbed
                                                                                  punishment, too, including several concussions. He appeared to view it as
Randy Starkman                                                                    an occupational hazard. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reported in
                                                                                  March that Boogaard’s response to the news Probert had the brain disease
                                                                                  CTE when he died was: “Live by the sword, die by the sword.”
Derek Boogaard died Friday at the age of 28.                                      There is no evidence that Boogaard’s concussions contributed to his
                                                                                  demise. Laraque said his friend had been completely cleared from his latest
But in the view of his peers, there was probably no one who did it better
                                                                                  injury and was back training extremely hard.
than “The Boogey Man” as he was known. The New York Ranger forward
was a man to be feared on the ice, even by fellow heavyweights like               “The family is grieving. I’m not going to give any answers about any
Georges Laraque.                                                                  questions as to what happened,” said Boogaard’s agent Ron Salcer. “He
                                                                                  was a great guy, loved by his teammates. Hockey players are tremendous
But it was not Boogaard’s hard fists that were being remembered most in
                                                                                  character people in many respects and Derek epitomized that.”
the wake of his shocking and unexplained death Friday at age 28, but
rather his soft heart.                                                            The grim news hangs over the Stanley Cup playoffs, in which many of
                                                                                  Boogaard’s former teammates are still engaged.
Laraque spent the day paying tribute to the rival who became his good
friend after he retired, training for a charity run he is now dedicating to       Boogaard was well known for his charity work and had created “Boogaard’s
Boogaard while re-tweeting messages celebrating the former Minnesota              Booguardians” with the Rangers, which hosted military families at home
Wild tough guy from Regina all day long.                                          games. He also worked with the Garden of Dreams Foundation.
                                                                                  Bruins defenceman Shane Hnidy sat stroking his beard after practice
                                                                                  Saturday morning ahead of Game 1 against Tampa Bay, his eyes watering,
“Off the ice, he was so nice and everybody in the NHL would love to have
                                                                                  his voice choking up as he talked about his friend and former teammate.
him on their team,” said Laraque in a phone interview.
                                                                                  “Everybody just saw the big tough exterior,” said Hnidy, who played with
Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment by brothers, Aaron,
                                                                                  Boogaard during his last season with Minnesota. “He was a great guy who
a minor league hockey player, and Ryan, an RCMP officer in
                                                                                  really gave back, especially in Minny, he was probably the biggest, most
                                                                                  popular player there.
A spokesperson at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said
                                                                                  “Underneath he was always fun. I always had a lot of fun with him. I’m
toxicology reports on Boogaard’s body will not be available “for weeks.” A
                                                                                  going to remember him for the behind-the-scenes stuff. I knew what he was
determination of the cause of death will not be complete until those reports
are completed, the spokesperson said. His funeral will be in Regina. No
date had been set.                                                                Tampa Bay Lighting goalie Mike Smith, who played with Boogaard with the
                                                                                  AHL Houston Aeros shortly after both turned pro, called him a “big teddy
Sgt. Bill Palmer with the Minneapolis Police Dept. said the case is being
investigated, but is not being treated as foul play or homicide or
misadventure, until more information is made available from the toxicology        “A really likeable guy, soft-spoken,” said Smith. “The way he played on the
reports.                                                                          ice did not reflect on how he was off the ice. He played hard and did his job
                                                                                  to a T. When you see something happen like this, it makes you really think.
The New York Post was reporting last night that Boogaard had been
                                                                                  Hockey is fun, but life is way more important. It’s a tragic loss. He’s a guy
receiving counselling from the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse & Behavioral
                                                                                  that’s going to be missed for sure.”
Health Program in the weeks leading up to his death.
                                                                                  Tampa Bay forward Dominic Moore, a teammate of Boogaard with the Wild,
Boogaard’s brother Ryan told the Minneapolis StarTribune that the family
                                                                                  described him as thoughtful and humble.
has decided to donate Derek’s brain to the Boston University group
studying brain disease in athletes. This is the group that discovered that        “Most people wouldn’t guess that just from his game,” said Moore. “He wore
former NHLers Bob Probert and Reggie Fleming, among other athletes, had           glasses off the ice. He was one of those guys who’s different than what
the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)             you’d expect. A gentleman.”
when they died.
                                                                                  Commissioner Gary Bettman issued a statement: “The news that we have
Boogaard’s death sent shock waves through the hockey community.                   lost someone so young and so strong leaves everyone in the National
Among those reeling was Laraque, who was helping Boogaard after his first         Hockey League stunned and saddened. The NHL family sends its deepest
season in New York came to an abrupt end after 22 games because of a              condolences to all who knew and loved Derek Boogaard, to those who
concussion suffered in a fight with Ottawa’s Matt Carkner. Like many who          played and worked with him and to everyone who enjoyed watching him
practise his craft, Boogaard had a history of concussions.                        compete.”
The Regina native had signed a four-year $6.5 million (U.S.) contract last        Boogaard told the StarTribune recently he expected to come back stronger
July with the Rangers after five years as a hugely popular member of the          than ever after his disappointing season in New York: “I did not want to
Wild.                                                                             have the year I had for my first year. I disappointed a lot of people. So I
                                                                                  gotta work my (butt) off this summer so I can get back to what I was doing
“I talked to him a couple of days ago,” said Laraque. “I was devastated
                                                                                  in Minny, you know?”
(when I heard). I’m still devastated.”
                                                                                  He is survived by his mother, Joanne; father, Len; brothers Curtis, Ryan
Laraque was planning to do some fight training with Boogaard this summer
                                                                                  and Aaron and sister, Krysten, who just finished her senior season with the
in his hometown of Regina and said there also were plans for the 6-foot-7
                                                                                  University of Kansas women’s basketball team.
enforcer to train with MMA fighters in New York as well.
                                                                                  Sean Avery, Rangers
“He felt a lot of pressure and he was obviously really frustrated with his last
fight that caused him a concussion, and that’s why he really wanted to            "As big of a man as Derek was, his heart was even bigger. I hope that his
come back stronger than ever,” said Laraque in a phone interview. “He’s           family, friends and most importantly, those who didn't know him, understand
the toughest guy in the league, right. There’s pressure that comes with that.     what a great teammate he was."
But he was ready to take it.”
                                                                                  Kevin Bieksa, Canucks
Laraque said that Boogaard was an anomaly among NHL policeman in that
he actually enjoyed fighting. He’d run a controversial summer camp with his       “He was probably in the top three toughest guys of all time … and probably
brother Aaron focusing on teaching young players to fight.                        the most feared fighter of all time. It's a huge loss for the game.''
Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Wild
"Every player on our team felt a little bit more safe with him on the ice. He
was really tough on the ice, but outside the ice he was a great guy."
Toronto Star LOADED: 05.15.2011
569457     NHL

Ex-NHLer Matthew Barnaby charged with criminal mischief

Kevin McGran

Hockey analyst Matthew Barnaby spent Friday night in jail and pleaded not
guilty Saturday to five charges, including one felony, following a domestic
incident involving his estranged wife.
Barnaby, the retired NHL forward who has been doing TV analysis for TSN
and ESPN, was released on his own recognizance. The incident occurred
at about 6:15 p.m. Friday at Barnaby’s former residence in Amherst, N.Y.
Police said there were no injuries and no physical contact.
Barnaby said Saturday the argument involved a “family matter” and that he
and his wife are getting a divorce.
Barnaby faces charges of felony criminal mischief, criminal contempt,
criminal trespass, harassment and aggravated harassment. The most
serious charge, felony criminal mischief, carries a prison term of up to four
years if convicted.
“Mr. Barnaby, it goes without question that you (must) completely stay away
from anyone involved in this matter,” Amherst Town Justice Mark G. Farrell
told Barnaby, according to the Buffalo News.
Barnaby’s TSN work for this season ended in March, but he is part of
ESPN’s playoff coverage.
“We are looking into the situation,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz told
the Star.
A TSN spokesperson said the network would have no comment while the
matter is before the courts.
Toronto Star LOADED: 05.15.2011
569458     NHL                                                                   Boogaard’s only season with the Rangers ended prematurely on Dec. 9,
                                                                                 when he sustained a concussion in a fight with the Senators’ Matt Carkner
                                                                                 in Ottawa.
Boogaard Family Authorizes Brain Study                                           It was at least the third concussion of Boogaard’s N.H.L. career; he also
                                                                                 sustained one in a January 2007 fight with Eric Godard, and another in a
                                                                                 September 2009 preseason game in which he was struck on the head by
By JEFF Z. KLEIN                                                                 an errant stick.
                                                                                 The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Boogaard was still experiencing
                                                                                 difficulty in March, needing sunglasses when he left his West 57th Street
In poll after poll of N.H.L. players it was always a landslide: Derek Boogaard   apartment in Manhattan because he was bothered by sunlight. But he also
was the toughest, most feared fighter in the league.                             went out to dinner often with Rangers teammates and participated in other
So fearsome was the hulking Boogaard that last summer the Rangers
signed him to a four-year contract at an average of $1.6 million per year —      Boogaard was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on June 23, 1982. His
far higher than most enforcers command. Glen Sather, the general                 family moved frequently to small towns in the province and in Ontario,
manager, explained that he signed Boogaard because he was “the biggest           where his father, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police constable, was posted.
and toughest.”
                                                                                 He got his break as a 15-year-old when his bantam team in Melfort,
Boogaard said upon joining the Rangers: “I’m not afraid to do what I do.         Saskatchewan, was losing badly to a team from North Battleford.
New York knows what type of player I am.”
                                                                                 “I fought one guy, and the linesman didn’t get a good hold on me,”
But what Boogaard did — fight 70 times in the N.H.L. and 206 times since         Boogaard told The Prince George Citizen, a British Columbia newspaper, in
joining the major junior Regina Pats as a teenager — might have come at a        2000. “I went over to their bench and started swinging. When I get mad, I
price.                                                                           do a lot of dumb things.”
Boogaard was found dead at 28 in his Minneapolis apartment by members            That performance impressed scouts with the Regina Pats of the major
of his family Friday. A Minneapolis police spokesman, Sgt. Bill Palmer, said     junior Western Hockey League, who drafted Boogaard to be a team tough
that no foul play was suspected because Boogaard’s body showed no sign           guy. In Regina, “he fought everybody at Pats camp, trying to make a name
of physical trauma but that no further comment could be made until results       for himself,” Josh Harding, a teammate of Boogaard’s there and later in
of a toxicology report were released in about two weeks.                         Minnesota, told The Regina Leader-Post.
Boogaard died while recovering from a concussion, sustained in an on-ice         Boogaard became known as the Boogieman, a nickname that stuck with
fight in December, that shortened his only season as a Ranger to 22              him. He was on his way to a career in a very specialized role that persists to
games. Although no evidence has emerged that Boogaard’s concussion               this day, despite the faster, more skill-based game that hockey has become
was related to his death, it comes amid mounting concern over the physical       in recent years.
and behavioral dangers of repeated head trauma among hockey players.
                                                                                 But he had problems adjusting. He was traded to Prince George, far from
On Saturday, Boogaard’s family authorized Boston University researchers          home, and, unable to settle in, lived with four families in his first year there.
to examine his brain for the damage they have recently found in more than        He almost left the team and went home. His teammates made fun of him.
20 N.F.L. players and two retired hockey players: Reggie Fleming, a
prominent fighter in the 1960s, and Bob Probert, a Boogaard-like enforcer        “A lot of the stuff I got was deserved, but some of it wasn’t,” he told the
from 1985 through 2002. Such tests generally take two to three months.           Prince George paper when he was 18. “I was younger then.”
Even if an athlete’s brain has been damaged, experts have said, it would
not necessarily affect his behavior.                                             Boogaard lost his first fight in junior hockey, and his opponent, Matt
                                                                                 Sommerfeld of Swift Current, tore the nameplate off his sweater and threw
“I was with Derek on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in L.A., and he had           it into the crowd. The last of his 19 fights that first season ended when Mike
his smile back,” his agent, Ron Salcer, said Saturday night. Salcer said he      Lee of Tri-Cities broke Boogaard’s jaw, and he spent the next several
did not want to comment on health issues at a time when Boogaard’s               weeks with his mouth wired shut. He lost 25 pounds.
mother, father, sister and two brothers were grieving. But, he said, “Derek
was doing really well, looking forward to training, and excited about next       But Boogaard was big and tough, and soon he became a desired
season.”                                                                         commodity, even though he scored only three goals as a junior player. He
                                                                                 was drafted in the seventh round by Minnesota in 2001 and played three
Boogaard’s most significant hockey statistic was his size: 6 feet 7 inches,      seasons in the minors, where he had 66 fights.
265 pounds. Playing a handful of shifts a game, he scored only three goals
in 277 career games over six seasons, but amassed 589 penalty minutes.           In 2005, he made it to the Wild and stuck with the team, becoming a fan
In one stretch of almost five years, he went 234 consecutive games without       favorite and a close friend of teammates like Marian Gaborik, who later
scoring, the longest drought in league history. In drills at the Rangers’        became a Rangers teammate.
training camp last year, he trailed behind the other players, winded, as he      “I played with Boogey for a long time in Minny and then in New York,”
had done at camps with his previous team, the Minnesota Wild.                    Gaborik said Saturday from Slovakia. “He was a great guy. We got along
Within hours of Boogaard’s death his fellow players — including some of          together great. We helped each other out on the ice and off the ice. We
those he fought — sent messages of condolence through the social media.          were very close. I tried to help him along in New York, and we had a very
                                                                                 good relationship. It’s just very sad.”
Boogaard was remembered fondly by former teammates in Minnesota and
New York and by former fighting opponents.                                       Boogaard kept at least one old habit — that of moving from place to place.
                                                                                 He lived in seven apartments in the Twin Cities in six years.
“Though he was a fighter on the ice, he was definitely a gentle giant off the
ice,” said Brandon Prust, who was Boogaard’s road roommate for a half-           Boogaard recently moved to an apartment in the North Loop, a gentrified
season with the Rangers and who, when Prust played with Calgary, was             neighborhood also known as the Warehouse District, less than a mile
elbowed by Boogaard on a play that earned Boogaard a five-game                   northwest of downtown Minneapolis. The eight-story, tan-brick building
suspension.                                                                      where Boogaard lived is between the Mississippi River and Target Field,
                                                                                 the home of baseball’s Minnesota Twins.
“I don’t know how to describe it,” said Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom, a
teammate of Boogaard’s for four years with the Wild. “It’s really hard.          It was where he was found dead Friday.
Unreal guy. Great friend and an awesome teammate. Just a really big teddy        Pat Borzi contributed reporting from Minneapolis, and Alan Schwarz from
bear.”                                                                           New York.
Georges Laraque fought Boogaard four times and was considered his lone           New York Times LOADED: 05.15.2011
rival as the league’s toughest player. “I’m still devastated over the death of
Derek Boogaard,” Laraque said. “I talked to him a couple days ago and was
supposed to fight-train with him this summer.”
569459     NHL                                                                      Canucks as they begin their pursuit of the Stanley Cup, the coveted trophy
                                                                                    of our sport.”
                                                                                    The words were carefully chosen for a national audience — a federal
Some Fans in Canada See Vancouver as Foreign                                        election was weeks away. But he might have used a slightly different spin
                                                                                    had the Leafs or Flames made the playoffs. Harper grew up in Toronto and
                                                                                    sits in Parliament as a representative from Calgary.
                                                                                    Either way, he is now squarely in the Canucks camp.
                                                                                    “As a Canadian, I’m now all the way behind the Canucks,” Harper said in a
If you are American, you might think that the Vancouver Canucks are now             radio interview on May 2, the day his Conservative Party won a clear
Canada’s team because they are the last Canada-based club standing                  majority in Parliament.
among the final four in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Well, think again.
                                                                                    Generally, however, Canadians do not think in nationalistic terms during the
“Dear rest of Canada — please get your own hockey team” was the                     Stanley Cup playoffs, although they revere the game. A 2010 Angus Reid
headline to an opinion article last week in The Vancouver Sun,                      poll showed that hockey ranked No. 2, just behind the flag and just ahead of
encapsulating the leave-us-alone attitude many Canucks fans are taking in           the Canadian armed forces and the health care system, when it came to
the face of a roiling swelling of both affection and, more often, revulsion for     things that “can elicit feelings of pride among Canadians.”
their team across the country.
                                                                                    But Canadians tend to reserve their nationalistic feelings for international
The columnist, Pete McMartin, cited the mounting evidence of recent days            hockey events like the annual world junior tournament, the world
that Canadians had turned on the Canucks for having several top players             championship or the Olympics, said Glenn Healy, a “Hockey Night in
who are American or Swedish, and playing in Vancouver, traditionally                Canada” commentator who played 15 seasons as an N.H.L. goalie.
derided as a mild-weather Lotus Land by those from east of British
Columbia.                                                                           The Stanley Cup is more about cities and regions and longstanding
                                                                                    allegiances that can transcend the border.
He cited the hundreds of “virulently anti-Canuck” messages on a Calgary
Web site posted during the Canucks-Predators series; an interview in an             “For the most, part you get a team, and you’re cheering for that team,”
Edmonton paper with a Finnish hockey writer based in Vancouver who said:            Healy said, as when Manitobans cheered on the Chicago Blackhawks last
“How Canadian a city is Vancouver to start with? It never snows. It never           year because their captain, Jonathan Toews, is from Winnipeg.
freezes”; and various pronouncements from writers and bloggers across               “If Tampa Bay ends up playing against Vancouver” for the Cup this year,
Canada disavowing any support for the Canucks in the quest for the first            Richelieu said, “a lot of Quebecers would support the Lightning, just as they
Stanley Cup in their 40 years of existence.                                         did in 2004 against the Calgary Flames. They have Martin St. Louis,
If the Canucks were to lift hockey’s ultimate prize, it would be the first time a   Vincent Lecavalier — even the coach, Guy Boucher. That has a strong
Canada-based team did so since 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens won                resonance here in Quebec.”
the Cup.                                                                            Bruce Arthur, a columnist for The National Post, put it more viscerally last
It does bother Canadians to some degree that no team from their side of             month when he derided “the notion that all Canadian hockey fans should
the border has won in so long, especially when teams like Dallas, Tampa             root for the last remaining member of the club, which is like asking the
Bay, Carolina and Anaheim have won in the interim.                                  relatives of gang members killed in a six-gang war to root for the last gang
                                                                                    standing,” he wrote.
“It’s a pretty strong desire among Canadians to see the Cup won here —
it’s been almost a generation,” said Jaideep Mukerji, a vice president of the       “Athens never cheered for Sparta, either.”
polling company Angus Reid Public Opinion based in Ottawa.                          Greg Hounslow, who writes Red Mile, a Calgary Flames fan Web site, is not
His company did a survey of 1,013 Canadian adults at this time last spring,         cheering for Vancouver because of “the rivalry that exists between the
when Montreal made the final four after upsets of the Washington Capitals           Flames and Canucks and my general dislike for many of their fans,” he
and the Pittsburgh Penguins, and found that 68 percent would root for the           said.
Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup.                                                   “Most Canadians would agree that we want the Stanley Cup back in
But the Canadiens are a special case, a century-old club that predates the          Canada as soon as possible,” Hounslow said. “If our preferred team isn’t in
N.H.L. itself and whose battles with the Toronto Maple Leafs for hearts and         the race, the next consideration is how many Canadians are on the team.”
minds in the early days of radio and television are embedded in the national        And on that count the Canucks, who are led by the Swedes Daniel and
DNA.                                                                                Henrik Sedin and the American Ryan Kesler, fall behind the San Jose
It is different with the Canucks.                                                   Sharks, four of whose stars are the Canadian Olympians Joe Thornton,
                                                                                    Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle.
“The Canucks are a regional brand,” said André Richelieu, a professor of
marketing at Université Laval in Quebec. “I don’t think it would have the           Not every Canadian outside British Columbia has it in for Vancouver,
same resonance as the Canadiens or Leafs going to the final. They really            however.
are true national brands.”                                                          “Of course, we’re supporting the Canucks,” said Paul McDonagh, manager
Richelieu said the question of trans-Canada support for the Canucks is              of the Westminster Hotel and Tavern in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.
ambiguous.                                                                          But what about all the Canucks haters across the rest of Canada?
Beyond the desire to see a Canadian club win, he said: “You have to take            “It’s kind of a love-hate thing they have with Vancouver, like with Toronto,”
into consideration regional differences and language differences. The fact          he said. “Only with Toronto it’s mostly hate.”
that the Canucks do not have too many francophones alters the sense of
pride Quebecers may have for them. And then, from Flames fans in                    New York Times LOADED: 05.15.2011
Calgary, there’s going to be a lot of hatred.”
Or as Mitch Melnick, a radio host on Montreal 990 the Fan, said: “It’s not
really a Canadian thing. I don’t get the sense that a lot of people root for a
team simply because they’re the last Canadian team left.”
Some pro forma support exists for the Canucks. Last month, Prime Minister
Stephen Harper issued a statement in support of the two Canadian clubs
that had made it to the playoffs.
“As a hockey fan,” Harper said, “I know that Canadians from coast to coast
to coast will be cheering on the Montreal Canadiens and the Vancouver
569460     NHL                                                                     That 1933 victory remains one of only two senior men’s titles the Americans
                                                                                   have won on foreign ice. The other victory, also against Canada, came in
                                                                                   Montreal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
Struggling Franchises Plot Their Next Moves in an Uncertain Climate                The United States goalie in 1933 was Gerry Cosby, who went on to own a
                                                                                   hockey supply store at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers goalie Mike
                                                                                   Richter was the American hero in 1996.
                                                                                   New York Times LOADED: 05.15.2011

In the midst of one of the most exciting Stanley Cup playoffs in memory,
some troubled N.H.L. franchises made news last week.
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced a special
referendum on a $400 million bond issue to finance a new rink for the New
York Islanders.
But within hours the plan was called “a complete waste of money” by
George Marlin, a member of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, the
state-appointed oversight board that must approve all major expenditures
by the debt-ridden county. Officially, the board expressed its “deep concern”
over the “fiscal implications” of the plan.
And in the most recent twist to the Phoenix Coyotes’ ownership tale, the city
of Glendale, Ariz., voted to approve up to $25 million to underwrite a
second season of the club’s losses, which last season amounted to $37
million. This allows the N.H.L., the city and the Chicago businessman
Matthew Hulsizer one more year to try to hammer out an agreement for
Hulsizer to buy the club and keep it in Glendale.
Winnipeg, Manitoba — where the franchise began as the World Hockey
Association’s Jets in 1972 before moving to Phoenix in 1996 — had hoped
the club would return. It is also thought to be a possible destination for
another wobbly team, the Atlanta Thrashers. The owners, the Spirit of
Atlanta Group, have tried for a few years to attract investors or sell the club,
with no success. There was a report Thursday that a Thrashers move was
imminent, but it turned out to be a Twitter hoax by a Winnipeg teenager.
Nevertheless, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Thrashers beat writer,
Chris Vivlamore, wrote, “It does appear the situation is headed in that
direction,” after Bill Daly, the N.H.L.’s deputy commissioner, would not
guarantee the Thrashers would remain in Georgia next season. On a Friday
radio show, Vivlamore put the chances of the team moving at 95 percent.
A day earlier, Commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the Thrashers’
situation, saying, “I think everybody needs to take a step back because I
think there’s been a fair amount of speculation, supposition and even
hysteria in the media.”
Worlds Without Wins
In recent years the United States has had remarkable success on the
international stage. The American men’s and women’s under-18 teams, and
the women’s senior team are the reigning world champions, and the men’s
under-20 squad took the bronze medal. In 2010 the American men and
women won Olympic silver medals at the Vancouver Games.
But the United States performs dismally year after year in the men’s world
championship. Last week was no different. The United States was knocked
out in the quarterfinals by the Czech Republic (thanks to a Jaromir Jagr hat
trick) for an eighth-place finish. Here is the Americans’ order of finish in the
tournament for the previous nine years: 13th, 4th, 6th, 5th, 7th, 6th, 3rd,
13th and 7th. They have one bronze medal to show for a decade’s worth of
The worlds are not a top-priority tournament, and many players skip it or
are unable to participate because it conflicts with the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Nevertheless, it is a prestige event, and Russia, Canada, Sweden, the
Czech Republic and Slovakia have all won it in the past 10 years. Finland
and Sweden will contest this year’s final on Sunday in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The United States’s top player this year was the Rangers’ Derek Stepan,
who led the team in scoring with two goals and five assists. The Americans
finished with three regulation victories, one shootout loss and three
regulation losses.
Since the start of the world championship in 1920, the Americans have won
it only twice. In 1960, their Olympic gold medal at Squaw Valley, Calif., also
counted as the world title, and in 1933, represented by the Massachusetts
Rangers, they beat Canada to win the tournament in Prague.
569461     NHL                                                                     Key To The Series
                                                                                   Ryan Kesler. The Canucks wouldn’t have survived the second round
                                                                                   without him. Kesler either scored or assisted on 11 of Vancouver’s 14 goals
2011 NHL Playoffs: A look at the conference finals                                 against the Predators. How does he follow that? With a trip to the Stanley
                                                                                   Cup finals if San Jose doesn’t find a way to stop him.

Rich Chere                                                                         The Savvy Fan Will Be Watching ...
                                                                                   Vancouver’s Green Men. Not all of the action is on the ice. The league has
                                                                                   warned these acrobats dressed in green body suits to stop taunting
EASTERN CONFERENCE                                                                 opposing players in the penalty box. They held up cardboard cutouts of
                                                                                   Carrie Underwood when husband Mike Fisher was in the box and
No. 3 Boston Bruins vs. No. 5 Tampa Bay Lightning                                  Blackhawks fan Vince Vaughn when Duncan Keith was in the sin bin.
                                                                                   What’s next?
How They Got Here
Bruins defeated Canadiens in 7 and Flyers in 4. Lightning defeated
Penguins in 7 and swept the Capitals.                                              San Jose’s top guns. Had the Sharks blown their series with the Red
                                                                                   Wings, it would’ve provided the final pieces of evidence to prove Joe
Season Series
                                                                                   Thornton and Patrick Marleau don’t come through under playoff pressure.
Boston won three out of four, including the last three meetings. That              Both were exceptional, with Marleau scoring the series winner, but now the
included an 8-1 rout on Dec. 2.                                                    pressure really builds.

Key To The Series                                                                  Our Take

Which goalie falters. Tim Thomas of the Bruins (8-3, 2.03 goals-against            The Canucks couldn’t beat goalie Antti Niemi last year when he was in the
average, .937 save percentage) and Dwayne Roloson of the Lightning (8-3,           Blackhawks’ net, leading them to the Stanley Cup. But that was then.
2.01, .941) have similar stats. Thomas has probably been tested more often         Having already disposed of the Blackhawks, they’ll send Niemi packing,
(52 saves in Game 2 vs. Philly) and most neutral observers would give him          too.
the edge.
                                                                                   Canucks in 7
The Savvy Fan Will be Watching ...
Special teams. The Bruins have only two goals in 37 power plays in the
                                                                                   Sunday: at Canucks, 8 p.m.
playoffs, at one juncture going 0-for-30. The Lightning (Martin St. Louis,
Steven Stamkos,Vinny Lecavalier) are deadly on the PP (12-for-45) and              Wednesday: at Canucks, 9 p.m.
also do a superb job of penalty-killing, but they’ll miss injured defenseman
Pavel Kubina.                                                                      Friday: at Sharks, 9 p.m.

X-Factor                                                                           May 22: at Sharks, 3 p.m.

Patrice Bergeron. The Bruins’ leading scorer in the playoffs with 12 points,       x-May 24: at Canucks, 9 p.m.
the skilled center suffered a concussion in Game 4 against the Flyers. The
belief is that he’ll play at some point in the series, but the Bruins can’t play   x-May 26: at Sharks, 9 p.m.
head games. If Bergeron is unable to play, that will be a significant blow to      x-May 28: at Canucks, 8 p.m.
Boston’s chances
                                                                                   Star Ledger LOADED: 05.15.2011
Our Take
Few would’ve predicted the Lightning to be here, but the impact of young
coach Guy Boucher and GM Steve Yzerman has been undeniable. This is a
team that can win the Cup.
Lightning in 6
Today: at Bruins, 8 p.m.
Tuesday: at Bruins, 8 p.m.
Thursday: at Lightning, 8 p.m.
May 21: at Lightning, 1:30 p.m.
x-May 23: at Bruins, 8 p.m.
x-May 25: at Lightning, 8 p.m.
x-May 27: at Bruins, 8 p.m.

No. 1 Vancouver Canucks vs. No. 2 San Jose Sharks
How They Got Here
Canucks defeated Blackhawks in 7, Predators in 6. Sharks defeated the
Kings in 6, Red Wings in 7.
Season Series
The Canucks went 3-0-1 against the Sharks, though three of those games
went to overtime (or longer).
569462      Philadelphia Flyers                                                         We didn't feel we had major problems at the beginning of the year, and we
                                                                                        didn't feel we had major problems when we were in first place. But we have
                                                                                        problems, and we're evaluating how to fix them. We haven't finished that
Snider on public ice rinks, Flyers and Sixers                                           evaluation, but I believe we have enough of a core to build on.
                                                                                        Q: So for those fans or media who want you to blow it up or make major
                                                                                        changes, you'd say . . . ?
John Gonzalez
                                                                                        A: I'd say that's ridiculous. There's absolutely no chance of us making a
                                                                                        major overhaul. Zero chance.

Ed Snider is a busy man. The Comcast-Spectacor chairman has a lot going                 Q: You said the Flyers' season was disappointing. What about the Sixers'?
on these days, and not just with the Flyers and Sixers.
                                                                                        A: It was a major, major step in the right direction. We have an outstanding
The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation recently matched a $6.5 million                   coach [in Doug Collins]. If we give him the players he needs, he'll mold the
grant from Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to                   team in a positive way.
help restore and maintain Philadelphia's five public ice rinks. The project will
also provide after-school recreation and education activities for children free         Q: About the players: Were you disappointed in Andre Iguodala when he
of charge.                                                                              said he expected to be back in the NBA next year, but not necessarily back
                                                                                        with the Sixers?
Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectacor , owner of the Flyers and
Sixers, is helping restore the city´s public ice rinks.                                 A: Iguodala probably has read a thousand articles about why we should
                                                                                        trade him and why he's not worth the money. He's probably hedging his
Snider talked to Page 2 about the project, as well as why there's "zero                 own bet. Don't forget, after that, he added he wanted to be with the same
chance" the Flyers will make a "major overhaul," the Sixers' "step in the               team his entire career. He's been put through the ringer by so-called
right direction," and the still-undetermined future of one key front-office             basketball experts and writers. He certainly hasn't asked to be traded. I
executive.                                                                              think it was an unfortunate interpretation of his words.

Question: How did the program to update the city's ice rinks begin?                     He's a good player. The proof is in the pudding - he was second-team all-
                                                                                        defensive squad. You have to do two things in basketball. Try to score and
Answer: It started when we took over running the rinks when the city was                try to defend. If you have someone who can keep the other guy from
going to close them. We've been running them ever since.                                scoring, that's a valuable commodity.
Because they're open air, they only operate from November to beginning of               Q: Ed Stefanski said something similar about Iguodala's game. What kind of
March. They were relatively dilapidated; not much money had been put in.                job do you think Stefanski did this year [as general manager]?
We want to make them beautiful, up-to-date, modern-looking facilities. We
want to provide ice for the kids, as well as educational rooms. Tutors. We              A: I don't think we made any decisions this year except for the draft. Ed was
want to help with their homework. All of these things, and all free of charge.          very responsible in hiring Doug Collins and drafting [Jrue] Holiday and
                                                                                        [Evan] Turner.
It's the only thing I've ever put my name on. I want it to be part of my
legacy.                                                                                 Q: Stefanski has another year left on his contract. Will he be back next
Q: Another huge part of your legacy was recently demolished. How difficult
was it to finally say goodbye to the Spectrum?                                          A: This is this year. We evaluate everything on an annual basis.

A: It ended up being bricks and mortar in the end. To leave an empty shell              Q: So you're not ready to decide yet?
would make no sense and it wouldn't satisfy me. I came to grips when I
knew we had to do it. I have the memories, and I'm excited about the new                A: No. But it's up to [team president] Rod Thorn. That decision wouldn't be
project. It's still called Philly Live, but I'm calling it the world's largest sports   made by me, anyway.
bar. I think it will be incredible.                                                     Q: But, ostensibly, at some point that decision reaches your level, right?
Q: What kind of year did the Flyers have, in your estimation?                           A: Yes, but he hasn't come to me, because he's in the process of evaluating
A: Disappointing. That's the word. I think most every hockey fan, and all of            also.
us involved in the operation, particularly after last season and the first half         We want to see personnel-wise where we go first, but we know what our
of this season, had very high expectations. There was no satisfaction in it             needs are. First, we'd like to get a big man in the middle. That's obviously
because we didn't go all the way.                                                       the most difficult thing to do. They don't just grow them anymore. [Laughs]
Q: Since the season ended, there's been a lot of talk about chemistry, or               It's weird.
the lack thereof, in the locker room. Do you think that's a problem for this            Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 05.15.2011
A: That's strictly an answer for [coach Peter] Laviolette. I don't stress or
worry about it.
Q: Really? According to some people, you worry about the team quite a bit.
I want to read you a quote from Al Morganti. This is what he said on
Comcast SportsNet about you the other day: "When Ed Snider gets up in
the morning and it's cloudy, he calls God and says 'Where's the sun?' This
is not a patient organization. It's like, let's get things done and let's get them
done quickly."
A: [Laughs] I don't think I can change the clouds into sun, but other than
that I am impatient. The whole reason for our existence is to try to win a
championship. We try to do that every single year. Even though our last
Cup win was in '75, we've been to the Finals many years. While we've had
relative success and I think the fans think they get their money's worth most
of the time, we want to win the Cup. If I didn't want to do that, I'd need to
find something else to do.
We went into this year thinking that we were OK with our goalies,
particularly with the addition of Sergei Bobrovsky - not to carry us, but as a
nice addition. And our other goalies were involved in taking us to Stanley
Cup championship series in the past.
569463     Philadelphia Flyers                                                     Scott Hartnell: a 25 goal and 25 assist guy with a tendency to disappear
                                                                                   making his $8.4M over the next two seasons difficult to unload
                                                                                   Kimmo Timonen: he is injured or he is getting old, either way there is no
Philadelphia Flyers: Roster Decisions; Who's in and Who's Out?                     way to dump the 2 years/$12.6M owed to him
                                                                                   Matt Walker: the Flyers would love to get rid of his $1.7M salary (just like
Mike Pascale                                                                       the Lightning did) but his injury makes that nearly impossible
                                                                                   Michael Leighton: even he admits that he is still hurt, going to have to
                                                                                   swallow the $1.55M left on this contract
I decided to let the dust settle before giving my take on the Flyers future as
it is difficult to be objective when you are filled with rage and                  No Opinion
disappointment.                                                                    PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 14: Andreas Nodl #15 of the Philadelphia
Although if there is one positive from the early playoff exit, it’s that general   Flyers skates against the Buffalo Sabres in Game One of the Eastern
manger Paul Holmgren gets almost two months to weigh his options.                  Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at
                                                                                   Wells Fargo Center on April 14, 2011 in Philadelphia
And since it is still too early to start pondering free agents and potential
trades, I am going to focus on the Flyers current roster and decide which          Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 05.15.2011
players should remain and which should start to pack their bags.
Players to keep
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 02: Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia
Flyers skates in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against
the Boston Bruins during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells
Fargo Center on May 2, 2011 in Philadelphia, Penns
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 30: Danny Briere #48 of the Philadelphia
Flyers celebrates a Flyers goal against the Boston Bruins in Game One of
the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup
Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on April 30, 2
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 26: Ville Leino #22 of the Philadelphia Flyers
skates down the ice against the Buffalo Sabres in Game Seven of the
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup
Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 26, 2011
PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 03: Nikolay Zherdev #93 of The Philadelphia
Flyers in action against the Toronto Maple Leafs during their game on
March 3, 2011 at The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Nikolay Zherdev: will continue to be the go-to whipping boy if he stays on
the team
Nick Boynton: we hardly knew ye, don’t really want to either
Brian Boucher: Laviolette has too much confidence in him so Holmgren
can’t leave him as an option
Mostly likely to be traded
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 12: Kris Versteeg #10 of the Philadelphia
Flyers skates against the Atlanta Thrashers on March 12, 2011 at Wells
Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Kris Versteeg: never clicked with Richards although it may be a hard sell to
trade a guy to his fourth team in a calendar year
Matt Carle: his numbers are inflated from playing with Pronger and
hopefully other teams didn’t notice his frequent poor decisions
Should be traded but won't
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 16: Jeff Carter #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers
skates in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the
Buffalo Sabres during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo
Center on April 16, 2011 in Philadelphia
Jeff Carter: his name is coming up in trade rumors, however, Holmgren isn’t
one to admit he made a mistake and trading Carter within six months of
giving him an 11 year/$58M contract would be doing just that
Jody Shelley: if he’s so great in the locker room you can trade him to
another team and let him lose fights for them
Blair Betts: if he’s so great on the penalty kill you can trade him to another
team and let him lose puck battles for them
Should be traded but can't
BUFFALO NY - JANUARY 11: Scott Hatnell #19 of the Philadelphia Flyers
shoots the puck into the empty net against the Buffalo Sabres during their
NHL game at HSBC Arena January 11, 2011 in Buffalo, New York
569464      Pittsburgh Penguins                                                    Everybody thinks they can win. Everybody always thinks that they have a
                                                                                   good enough team to win the Stanley Cup. I believe everyone has a
                                                                                   chance, but who knows what's going to happen in April?
Cup Chronicles: Kevin Stevens                                                      On Bob Johnson:
                                                                                   He brought in a lot of positives to our locker room. He made us believe we
Mike Palm                                                                          had a chance to win. He's that type of coach. He's an old-school coach, one
                                                                                   of those guys that really made you believe and feel positive about your
                                                                                   team. I think that he definitely was a big key in how we played.

ACQUIRED: Sept. 9, 1983 — Los Angeles trades Stevens' rights for F                 On stepping up in the absence of Mario Lemieux:
Anders Hakansson.
                                                                                   We had Johnny Cullen that year. We traded Cully, and he was probably
PENGUINS DEBUT: March 1, 1988, vs. Minnesota                                       one of our best players, if not the best player. He really helped us get to
                                                                                   where we got. I think he had 100 points that year. We had a lot of guys
PENGUINS 1990-91 STATS: 80 games, 40 goals, 46 assists, 86 points,                 chipping in offensively. We definitely needed Mario to get back. He's one of
133 PIM                                                                            those guys that's a difference maker every night. He was a guy that we
                                                                                   were looking forward to getting healthy and getting back to playing with us.
PENGUINS CAREER STATS: 522 games, 260 goals, 295 assists, 555
                                                                                   We had a lot of guys chip in and play well at that time.
points, 1,048 PIM
                                                                                   On what made the "Option Line" — Stevens, John Cullen and Mark Recchi
WHAT HE'S UP TO NOW: Professional scout for the Penguins, based out
                                                                                   — click:
of Boston
                                                                                   We were all good buddies. I think the thing with that line, we played
At 25, Kevin Stevens was a brash, young power forward for the Penguins in
                                                                                   together on the ice, but we all lived together off the ice. ... We weren't afraid
the 1990-91 season.
                                                                                   to tell each other what was wrong, what we were doing wrong, and I think
So, it didn't surprise many teammates when he guaranteed the Penguins —            that helped. We were all really good friends off the ice, and it helped us on
trailing 2-0 after losing twice in Boston — would eliminate the Bruins in the      the ice. We ended up having a big year. ... I just think it had to do with the
Wales Conference finals.                                                           friendship we had between us and how we pushed each other to be the
                                                                                   best players that we could be. I think, in the locker room, John, Mark and
"I was mad more than anything," Stevens said recently. "I just said we were        myself, we kind of put that pressure on ourselves.
going to win the next four. I just knew we could beat them. I knew we were
going to beat them. It's just a matter of proving to your teammates, and I         On being in the option year of his contract:
said it. I didn't mean for everybody, the whole world to hear it, but I guess it
                                                                                   All that stuff would take care of itself. We didn't really, back then, money
got blown up like that."
                                                                                   wasn't like it is now, where you're making, if we had a 100-point year back
Stevens led the way, with four goals in the next three games, as the               then, right now we'd be making six or seven million dollars a year, you
Penguins dumped Boston and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final against               know? Back then, the money wasn't like that. It was more of a game, we
Minnesota.                                                                         were more of a team, we stuck together, we played together. I think it
                                                                                   wasn't as much of a business. It's such a business right now. Back then, it
Much like he had in the Bruins series, Stevens played a significant role for       wasn't like that. It was more, we came together, and whatever happened,
the Penguins in the regular season, especially at the beginning when Mario         happened. We went out and played hard, did the best you could do to help
Lemieux was out for the first 50 games.                                            the team, and I think it wasn't as much like it is now, where it's all business;
                                                                                   it was more of a team game where things took care of themselves.
Stevens teamed with good friends John Cullen and Mark Recchi to form the
"Option Line," as all three were in the final years of their contract.             On how the trade for Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings
                                                                                   helped the Penguins:
"We really were a pack," he said. "So, I think we all tried to get the most out
of each other."                                                                    It's one of those things. Craig Patrick seemed to pull the trigger at the right
                                                                                   time. We were struggling. I think we came off a West Coast trip where I
The line clicked, with all three players near the top of the point standings for   think we lost six games in a row, and I think Craig was trying to figure out
much of the season. The trio was selected for the All-Star game, a first for       what to do, and that's when he made the trade to get Ronnie and Ulfie and
all three.                                                                         Grant Jennings there. When that trade happened, it really helped build the
Stevens finished with 40 goals and 46 assists in the regular season, and he        confidence of the team. It gave us depth. It gave us Ronnie, who was a
added 17 goals and 16 assists in 24 postseason games.                              great two-way player. And Ulfie was one of those shut-down defensemen
                                                                                   who would do anything to help the team win. I think when we got back and
That playoff success came despite a broken nose suffered in the first game         made the trade, and obviously Cully was one of our better friends. You hate
of the Patrick Division semifinals.                                                to see that happen. But I think our team came together. But bringing in such
                                                                                   great players, Hall of Fame players, they knew how to win. We would find a
"I just remember going in and having the doc pull my nose over," he said.          way to win, and we had different guys chip in in different areas, and
"Then, they put the shield on, and that was the worst thing ever because           everybody knew their job. I think that led us into the playoffs and carried us
they were putting their gloves in my face, and I couldn't get it out. ... I only   through it. It was a lot of breaks to win that Stanley Cup. It's not easy to win
used the shield for half a period, and then I took it off because of that          a Cup, and you need breaks, you need a lot, and I think we had all of that.
reason. I couldn't get away from them. They stick hands in the shield, and
you can't pull away or you rip your nose off."                                     On bringing in veteran players who had won the Stanley Cup before:
q&A with kevin stevens                                                             I think that helps. Trots was towards the end of his career, and he was
                                                                                   playing a different role than he did with the Islanders when he had all that
On the Penguins' Stanley Cup potential:                                            (success). He had a lot of leadership. He always found a way to help us win
Our first year was one of those years where we obviously felt we had a lot         and what we needed to get to that next level. Even a guy like (Jiri) Hrdina
of talent. But I don't know if any of us knew we could win a Stanley Cup. We       got a couple of big goals when we needed it. They just seemed to fit. Guys
felt we had talent, and we had a lot of good players. It was just a matter of      just fit in. We had great chemistry, a great bunch of guys. You always
how we were going to be playing when it came time in April to get on that          remember that team for just the guys we had and all the fun we had playing
two-month run starting to win the Stanley Cup. It's a hard thing to win. It's      together as a unit.
one of those things where you never know exactly how well you're going to          On Jaromir Jagr:
be playing and how your team is going to come together. I think that team
came together at the right time, and we were playing well going into April.        I think he had 19, 20 goals. He didn't score a ton of goals the first year, but
From there, we kind of rode the wave, you get confidence in everybody,             he had highlight film goals. He tended to get big goals for us. He always
and you hope that everybody's playing well. Guys got hurt, guys came in            had a lot of energy. He had the young legs. He was a strong, strong skater
and played well. It was just one of those seasons that worked out perfectly.       and had all the moves. You saw the next 15, 20 years how he played in the
We had great goaltending. You never know at the beginning of the year.             NHL. It's just a matter of you could see he was one of those gifted players.
Another great draft by Craig (Patrick) and a guy that came in and got some          I can't blame it on Trots. As luck had it, I was sitting next to him, he was just
big goals for us in the playoffs.                                                   chirping in there every little bit. We were kind of in it together. Probably not
                                                                                    the first time we did it.
On postgame workouts (which weren't normal in that era):
                                                                                    We had a lot of good trash talkers. But that was the game back then. I think
I think we all followed Paul (Coffey)'s lead there. He brought that working         there was trash talking on every team. It was a different game, more of a
out, and we did what we needed to do to be prepared to play the next                team game. It's still great right now, the playoffs are great, but it was just a
game. When you're playing every other night, you have to get treatment,             different game then. I think it's more of a business now.
you have to work out. I think we had good leadership, and we went and did
all that stuff. I think guys just kind of followed each other. We didn't really     On when he realized the Penguins were going to win the Stanley Cup:
know what we were doing, but we did it. We saw the veteran guys go in
there, so we all kind of followed in their footsteps, and I think that helped.      I guess 6-0, I thought we had a good chance, they weren't going to come
That was something that I had no idea what to do. We just kind of followed          back. We came out hard that night. Minnesota was a tough place to play;
in their footsteps.                                                                 they had great fans. We got a lot of breaks early, we got some goals from
                                                                                    working hard. It kind of worked out in our favor. It was a good way to put a
On playing in his first All-Star game:                                              cap on a great year.
It was great. We were able to go as a line, we were together. I think (Mike)        On the unusual nature of an 8-0 win:
Milbury was the coach and took all three of us, and we were surprised that
all three of us were going, but it was great. It was fun, and we were               Nobody ever thought it was going to be 8-0. That was a big win for us. We
together, and it made it that much better. I think we all needed each other to      had no idea we were going to stomp them that bad. They were a great
be good players. We kind of fed off each other and played that way. We all          team.
helped each other play hard.                                                        On rumors of the North Stars planning parade routes and Stanley Cup ring
On hearing John Cullen had been traded:                                             sizes:

It was shocking. I lived with Cully, so it was one of those things that was         I think you hear that from everybody. You hear it all the time. It gets blown
(shocking). Obviously, it wasn't something we wanted. When you have guys            out of proportion. They might have thought they were going to win, but we
like that, you want to keep them all, try to win a Cup with (him). But I think      thought we were going to win, too. To me, it wasn't a big part of anything.
it's definitely the nature of the beast. It's a business, and we needed to get      We were lucky enough to stop that parade, I guess.
better. Cully gave us back a lot. He was a great player, and we made the            On winning the Stanley Cup:
move. But it's never fun when your friend gets traded, but that's just part of
the game.                                                                           It's so hard to win the Stanley Cup, two months of hard, hard work. A lot of
                                                                                    ups, a lot of downs, a lot of bruises, a lot of cuts, a lot of everything. It's just
On a fluky goal vs. the New York Rangers that clinched a playoff spot for           one of those things that was a lot of fun, and we had a great time doing it.
the Penguins:                                                                       But it's a hard, hard thing to win.
That's just one of those ones where I'm dumping the puck in, and (John)             Tribune Review LOADED: 05.15.2011
Vanbiesbrouck went to stop it and play it behind the net, and he kind of
caught it, and he puts it in his own net from behind the net. He was facing
the opposite direction, and he went to catch it. ... It was a big goal at the
time. It's one of those things you need, to get the lucky breaks. And we got
a couple on the way.
On scoring 17 goals in the playoffs:
I was scoring a lot of goals, but I was playing with great players, just
following the play. I don't know. They just kept going in.
On his netfront presence:
I played down low in front of the net. But back then, there was a lot of
grabbing and poking and punching and holding. It was a different game
than it is now. Whatever I had to do to get away, that's what I was doing.
On Frank Pietrangelo's save:
I thought it was in the net. When you're looking from the bench, it looks like
it's in the net. That was one of those things you remember as long as you
live. I can see it like it was yesterday. It was a great save. Obviously, he got
in a position to get his glove there and make a great save. For us to win the
Stanley Cup, he had to come in and play great. That's the only way you can
win Cups, if you get guys chipping in all different places. Goaltenders
coming in, defenseman stepping in. Whatever it took to win, we had it.
On making his guarantee after losing the first two games in Boston:
But I knew we were coming home. I knew we'd win the home games. Then,
we came into Game 5 in Boston, and we blew them out that night, so it was
good. It was something that I think we all kind of grew on and kind of like
propelled us to win. We had a great team. I just felt we were going to beat
Boston. I wanted to beat them bad, and we were lucky enough that it
worked out.
On the video of Stevens and Bryan Trottier heckling Minnesota's Brian
We were just having fun. That's a part of the game. Bellows is a great
player, and we were just trying to heckle him a little bit to see if we could get
him off his game. You know, whatever it took to win hockey games, we tried
to do it. That was just part of the game back then. We were just trying to
give him the business a little because he could score goals.
569465     Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins Notebook: Jagr likely to remain in KHL

Shelly Anderson

Former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr has not played in the NHL since
Although there has been some speculation that Jaromir Jagr might return to
play for the Penguins, the prolific winger apparently is much closer to
remaining in the Kontinental Hockey League next season.
A couple of people with knowledge of Jagr's status said Saturday he has
had talks with teams in the Russian league -- including SKA St. Petersburg
-- about a contract for 2011-12, and that, at age 39, he has not seriously
considered an NHL comeback.
SKA St. Petersburg recently hired well known Czech coach Milos Riha.
Jagr won two Stanley Cups, five NHL scoring titles and a league MVP
award with the Penguins. He has not played in the NHL since his contract
with the New York Rangers ended after the 2007-08 season.
His contract with Avangard Omsk of the KHL recently expired. He has
helped the Czech Republic reach the bronze medal game today against
Russia at the International Ice Hockey Federation world championships in
A win for the fans
In response to suggestions from season ticket-holders during the Penguins'
first season in Consol Energy Center, the team will replace the metal
railings that line the upper level with tempered glass.
"That's our big offseason project," said Tom McMillan, team vice president
of communications.
McMillan said the railings affected the view of some fans in the lowest rows
of the upper level. The changeover should be completed before the start of
the 2011-12 season.
Rupp, Dupuis talks due soon
Allan Walsh, who represents Penguins wingers Pascal Dupuis and Mike
Rupp, said by email that he has not spoken with general manager Ray
Shero about the two, but that he expects "to begin discussions in the near
Dupuis and Rupp are eligible for unrestricted free agency if not re-signed by
July 1.
Post Gazette LOADED: 05.15.2011
569466     Pittsburgh Penguins                                                     Extracurricular is not a term that appears anywhere in the polling data, but
                                                                                   according to 51 percent of Americans answer 'yes' to the
                                                                                   question of whether gay marriage should be recognized with all the legal
Collier: Something to like about Sean Avery                                        rights of traditional marriage, 47 percent say 'no.' Women say yes by 57 to
                                                                                   40. Only 44 percent in another poll indicated gay marriage should be illegal,
                                                                                   53 percent answered 'legal.' Among younger people, acceptance numbers
                                                                                   are much more dramatic.
Gene Collier,
                                                                                   The blowback on Avery's video was, in fact, dwarfed by the blowback on
So it was just a month ago today we celebrated the 64th anniversary of             the blowback. In a week of misdirection, the most moving and articulate
Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier, and now behold another          contribution came from the linebacking corps of the Baltimore Ravens,
societal superhero who shall lead us again from our accustomed ignorance           where special teams ace Brendan Ayanbadejo not only told ESPN he
toward a new enlightenment.                                                        considered the intolerance for gays the same kind of barbarism that once
                                                                                   impeded interracial marriage, of which he is a product, but had taped his
Ladies and gentlemen, Sean Avery.
                                                                                   own video message on the matter.
Whoa whoa whoa.
                                                                                   "Gay and lesbian couples want to marry for similar reasons as we all do:
Accelerating 21st century cultural evolution is suddenly a job for the most        love and commitment," he says to the camera. "It's time for allow the
hated man in ice hockey? Or is that still Matt Cooke -- I haven't seen the         opportunity to build a family through marriage. It's a matter of fairness. This
rankings this week.                                                                is why I'm asking Marylanders to join me in supporting marriage equality for
                                                                                   same-sex couples. Having the freedom to marry means committed couples
Sean Avery, the same subcutaneous agitator who got himself shipped out             and their children will have the same crucial protections under the law as
of Dallas for spewing sexual vulgarisms about a former girlfriend? That            other families. Churches can always have their beliefs, but government is
Sean Avery?                                                                        supposed to treat everybody the same, and that's equal. America is
                                                                                   supposed to be the land of the free, but in order for this to be true for all us,
The Sean Avery who gave us the Sean Avery rule, the one that says you              we must have the ability to marry whom we love regardless of their gender.
can't be so patently unsportsmanlike as to stand facing the goaltender,
waving at him like you're trying to flag down the barmaid at a Soho bistro at      "Think about it, and join me in the land of the brave for standing on the side
last call?                                                                         of love."
Yeah, that Sean Avery.                                                             Don't know how many more news cycles this story can sustain, but there's
                                                                                   no attempt here to diminish Avery's role in sparking the discussion in sports,
If you weren't paying attention, this was the week where a sportscaster got        which has often been hostile to the very topic. Avery is not gay, and thereby
himself fired for agreeing with a sports agent for disagreeing with a noted
                                                                                   not oppressed in the manner of a Jackie Robinson. Similarly, the climate for
New York Rangers pest for agreeing to do a video in support of New
                                                                                   his stand on the matter isn't nearly so volatile as what Robinson faced in
Yorkers for Marriage Equality.
Confused? Let's go to the video tape.
                                                                                   Still, the impetus for all this was planted by Avery, and it's very much to his
"I treat everyone the way I expect to be treated, and that applies to              credit. Earlier this year, he told Canada's Sun newspaper chain, "If there's a
marriage," Avery says. "Committed couples should be able to marry the              kid in Canada or wherever who is playing and really loves the game and
person they love. Join me in supporting marriage equality."                        wants to keep playing but he's worried about coming out, I'd tell him to pick
                                                                                   up the phone and call (players association president) Donald Fehr and tell
This campaign of video advocacy, coordinated by the Human Rights                   him to book me a [plane] ticket.
Campaign, had been under way in Gotham for some time with taped
messages from notables Julianne Moore, Sam Waterston, New York Mayor               "I'll stand beside him in the dressing room while he tells his teammates he
Michael Bloomberg and former first daughter Barbara Bush.                          is gay. Maybe if Sean Avery is there, they would have less of a problem
                                                                                   with it."
But it was a first for an active athlete, and so naturally the professional pot-
stirrers began scanning Twitter for visceral responses, which had to take          That left many of us with the same question.
literally seconds.                                                                 "Damn, does that mean I have to like Sean Avery now?"
"Very sad to see Sean Avery's support of same-gender 'marriage,' " player          Post Gazette LOADED: 05.15.2011
agent Todd Reynolds tweeted. "Legal or not, it will always be wrong."
Then Damien Goddard, the Toronto sportscaster, tweeted, "I completely
and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the
traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage."
Sportsnet Toronto issued a statement that included the phrase "not the right
fit for our organization" after implying that Goddard's tweets alone were not
the issue.
Still, are you getting the feeling not everybody reads the news anymore?
Wasn't Kobe Bryant just slapped with a $100,000 fine for a gay slur against
an official even after having the good sense to apologize before that penalty
came down? Hasn't Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell just
finished a two-week suspension for a similar outburst involving fans in San
Never mind the news; has anyone read a calendar lately? It's 2011. Most
polling indicates the majority of people agree with Charles Barkley, which at
one time would have been absolutely frightening, but we all grow up
Barkely told USA Today this week: "If somebody is gay, that's their own
business. But it bothers me how people try to say that jocks are not going to
like a gay. ... I think gay people should be allowed to get married and God
bless them, that's their own business. Listen, if a guy can't play that's the
only time we don't want to play with him. We don't care about all that
extracurricular stuff."
569467     San Jose Sharks                                                       damaging blow to the head of Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook in
                                                                                 Game 3 of the first-round series.
                                                                                 SPECIAL TEAMS
How San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks match up
                                                                                 Vancouver and San Jose led NHL in the regular season on the power play,
                                                                                 the Canucks ranked No. 1 with a 24.3 percent success rate and San Jose
David Pollak                                                                     second at 23.5 percent. But Vancouver's penalty kill (85.6 percent success
                                                                                 rate, tied for 3rd in NHL) was much better than the Sharks' (79.6 percent,
                                                                                 24th in NHL). In the postseason's first two rounds, the Canucks also have
                                                                                 the edge in both areas: 22.2 percent to 13.7 percent on the power play and
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: SHARKS VS. VANCOUVER                                  86 percent to 82.7 percent on the penalty kill.
SEASON SERIES                                                                    -- DAVID POLLAK
Nov. 10 at Rogers Arena: Canucks 6, Sharks 1 -- One of several San Jose          San Jose Mercury News: LOADED: 05.15.2011
low points in the first half of the season as Sharks are totally outplayed and
Mikael Samuelsson leads Vancouver offense with two goals.
Jan. 3 at HP Pavilion: Canucks 4, Sharks 3 -- Alexandre Burrows' goal
midway through third period earns Vancouver its first win on San Jose ice
since April 7, 2007.
Jan. 20 at Rogers Arena: Sharks 2, Canucks 1 in shootout -- San Jose
beginning to turn season around as Antti Niemi stops Mason Raymond,
Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler in shootout while Joe Pavelski bags one for
March 10 at HP Pavilion: Canucks 5, Sharks 4 in shootout -- Ryane Clowe
goal with 21 seconds left helps Sharks pull even only to lose when Burrows
beats Niemi in shootout.
Things have gotten a little testy at times this season when Vancouver
center Ryan Kesler and Sharks captain Joe Thornton have battled it out.
Kesler is a finalist for Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward,
and he has frustrated Thornton at times. But the Sharks center has
developed a two-way game as well this year, so expect a high level of
intensity if their lines match up. The chance of that happening? "One
hundred percent," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. Kesler has 15
postseason points -- more
than anyone still playing -- while Thornton has 11 for San Jose. McLellan
also advises that too much is made about playoff matchups. "There's only
four teams left," he said. "It's probably a lot more about will than matching
right now."
So what's more impressive -- the 2010 Olympic gold medal that
Vancouver's Roberto Luongo helped Team Canada win or the 2010 Stanley
Cup ring that San Jose's Antti Niemi helped the Chicago Blackhawks earn
four months later? Suffice it to say that both goalies have shown they can
win the big game under pressure. In this postseason so far, Luongo has the
better save percentage (.917 to .906) and better goals against average
(2.21 to 3.01) with Niemi's stats reflecting two bad games against Los
Angeles in the first round. Luongo gets the big edge on experience but can't
match Niemi's 6-0 record in NHL playoff series in which he has been the
Each team is expected to have one face in the Game 1 lineup who played
for the opposition -- but neither says he has extra motivation because of
that. "I don't want to beat them any more than I would have wanted to beat
Detroit," Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff told the Vancouver Sun.
Ehrhoff played 341 games for the Sharks over five seasons before being
traded in August 2009 to clear salary space for the acquisition of Dany
Heatley. Forward Kyle Wellwood played in 149 games for Vancouver from
2008-2010 before becoming a Shark in January. As for the Canucks
decision not to bring him back this season, "I've never had hard feelings,"
Wellwood said.
Raffi Torres, then with the Edmonton Oilers, made a devastating blind-side
hit to the head of Sharks forward Milan Michalek in Game 2 of a second-
round playoff series in 2006. No Shark challenged Torres, Michalek saw
limited action in the rest of the series, and Edmonton eliminated San Jose
in six games after losing the first two. Now with the Canucks, Torres earned
a four-game suspension late in the regular season for an elbow to the head
of Oilers rookie Jordan Eberle but avoided secondary discipline for another
569468     San Jose Sharks                                                           "I just think Vancouver has a few more lessons to learn, and I'm glad I'm in
                                                                                     San Jose," Wellwood said. "I just feel they're more mature because they've
                                                                                     lost a few more times. They're not so scared of losing."
Sharks notebook: San Jose's Ian White had anxious moments in Game 7                  Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was asked Saturday by a Vancouver
                                                                                     reporter about Wellwood's comments. "I don't even remember what that
                                                                                     weasel said," he responded -- smiling -- to a reporter, who then relayed the
Alex Pavlovic                                                                        gist of what Wellwood had to say.
                                                                                     "When we had him on our squad, we were afraid to lose. He was the
                                                                                     smallest third-line center in the league at that point,'' Bieksa said -- still
As the Sharks held on to a 3-2 lead in the frantic final moments of                  smiling and not totally serious.
Thursday's Game 7 victory over Detroit, you would have been hard pressed
to find anyone at HP Pavilion hoping to avoid overtime more than                     Clowe, the Sharks leading playoff scorer with 13 points, practiced Saturday
defenseman Ian White.                                                                and said he's ready to go for Game 1.

White's wife, Tess, started having labor contractions five hours before the          He missed Game 6 of the Detroit series with an undisclosed upper-body
decisive game and went to the hospital for the birth of the couple's second          injury before making a dramatic return in Game 7.
child. After the Sharks' victory, White rushed to the hospital, where Tess
gave birth to 6-pound, 11-ounce Gracelyn Sophia at 7:16 a.m. Friday.                 The shocking death of New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard, who
                                                                                     was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment Friday, stunned the hockey
"Everyone is healthy and happy -- it was a real smooth delivery," White said         world.
after Saturday's practice at Sharks Ice. "(Doctors) were nice enough to let
her wait through the game."                                                          But it hit McLellan especially hard. He coached Boogaard, who was just 28,
                                                                                     for two seasons at the Minnesota Wild's top farm team, the Houston Aeros.
White had two shots in 14:12 of ice time in the victory and conceded that it
was "a little difficult at times" to keep his focus on the game.                     "It leaves a queasy feeling in your stomach," McLellan said. "I've had the
                                                                                     opportunity to develop a lot of young men, and Derek was a special one.
"Obviously we're all human, and the mind drifts from time to time," he said.         Nobody ever thought this guy was going to play."
"It was tough at times staying on course."
                                                                                     San Jose Mercury News: LOADED: 05.15.2011
Sharks coach Todd McLellan said White told him he was well-rested and
excited to return to practice Saturday. McLellan joked that Tess could have
been one of the game's three stars.
"There was some resilience there I guess, too, to hold on long enough to let
him finish the night," McLellan said. "It kind of puts everything in
perspective. Players have lives, families and a lot going on over and above
hockey, but they make a lot of sacrifices."
The Sharks had
begun a playoff series with home-ice advantage eight consecutive times.
But now, they're opening on the road for the first time since 2007.
That's part of the reason why McLellan has been playing up the angle that
the Sharks are the clear underdog in the Western Conference finals against
top-seeded Vancouver.
"It's just another challenge for us," he said. "They earned the opportunity to
play at home with 117 points (in the regular season). But we're not going
there looking to steal. We're looking to earn."
Ryane Clowe, though, said they're not above stealing.
"That's the mentality you always need when you're on the road," Clowe
said. "But I think it will be kind of nice to start on the road and be a bit of an
underdog. We've played well on the road this year. The guys are looking
forward to starting up there."
Once they got to Vancouver, though, several Sharks weren't too keen on
accepting that underdog label.
"Yeah, they had more points than us in the regular season and they won
the Presidents Trophy, so I guess you could say we're the underdog,"
Logan Couture told a group of reporters. "But both teams are so evenly
matched that it's going to be a great series. You can't really say there's a
huge difference between the teams."
Dan Boyle said that's not how he approaches a series.
"Honestly, as a player, we don't really care about being the underdog or
not," he said. "Going back to when I was a kid and growing up, all the hype,
all the columns -- defense, goalies, forwards, they've got the whole thing
check-marked, who's better? That kind of stuff is fun for the media and fans,
but for players, I don't think we spend time thinking about who the underdog
is. We're just coming out there to win."
When San Jose and Vancouver last met in early March, Kyle Wellwood had
what now may be considered a somewhat inflammatory explanation for the
Vancouver media as to why he preferred being a Shark after playing for the
Canucks the two previous seasons.
569469     San Jose Sharks                                                      "We learned so much from them," Eager said. "You learn how much it takes
                                                                                in the playoffs and how the real battle begins in the last two rounds. Losing
                                                                                to us last year probably showed this team how much they have to give, and
Sharks have been skating with just one goal: Growth                             that's why everyone in this room is very confident. They understand."
                                                                                It helps when you have endured the most pressure-packed situations
                                                                                imaginable and survived. This is a team that already was 5-0 in overtime
Mark Emmons                                                                     this postseason before last Thursday's pressure-cooker.

There is a handwritten word at the top of Todd McLellan's office whiteboard.    Devin Setoguchi said that in the third period of Game 7, as the Sharks were
It has been the Sharks' mantra all season.                                      fending off the Red Wings' desperate late attack, there was a sense on the
                                                                                bench that they could handle this.
                                                                                "We've been in these spots before," Setoguchi said. "Now, I think the
After winning a hard-fought Game 7 against Detroit on Thursday, the             nerves are settled down a lot more than they were before. That's the
Sharks find themselves in the same place they were 12 months ago. Now,          experience we've gained, and that definitely helps."
as they enter the Western Conference Finals for the second consecutive
year, the question to be answered is whether the Sharks have grown              Boyle is one of five Sharks players to have won a Stanley Cup with a
enough to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise          different team. He said San Jose will be better going forward for having
history.                                                                        battled a pesky Los Angeles squad and then enduring the heart-stopping
                                                                                series against Detroit.
"Maybe," defenseman Dan Boyle said, "the growth starts now."
                                                                                "Adversity means something," he said. "You don't get to raise the Stanley
But as the Sharks prepare for Game 1 against Vancouver on Sunday, this          Cup without going through some."
team already has shown both subtle and obvious signs of a maturing team
that is perhaps ready to take that next step.                                   And as the Sharks left for Vancouver, it was clear they have tired of the
                                                                                age-old question about this franchise -- is this finally the year?
Players, starting with captain Joe Thornton, have sacrificed personal
aspects of their games for the team. Throughout the season, the Sharks          "We got to the conference final last year," Thornton said. "Everyone seems
also have shown an ability to rebound from hard times "... like finding a way   to forget that. We've been here before. But hopefully we can grow beyond
to win a series after losing three consecutive games.                           it."

That's why McLellan, the day after the Sharks sent the Red Wings home for       San Jose Mercury News: LOADED: 05.15.2011
the summer, pointed to something else scrawled on his whiteboard:
Adversity breeds growth.
"That's a sentence I really like," he said.
The office board has become a good way to gauge the Sharks' mindset.
Before last season, as San Jose was coming off the embarrassing 2009
first-round playoff exit at the hands of Anaheim, there was a different
It read: Reputation. Everyone has one. Are you happy with yours?
Collectively? Individually?
The Sharks weren't, and they would go a long way in changing their image
as postseason underachievers by roaring into the Western Conference
Finals last spring.
Once there, though, they were swept away by Chicago. Almost from the
moment Game 4 ended, McLellan began talking about how the Sharks
would be wasting an opportunity if they didn't, yes, grow from that
"They're probably sick of hearing the word and I'm sick of using it,"
McLellan said. "But it's what we've hung our hat on."
The difference between success and failure in the NHL Playoffs is as thin
as a skate blade. And the Sharks appear to have learned some valuable
lessons from past disappointments.
For instance, McLellan has talked at length about how Thornton has altered
his game -- focusing less on points and more on doing whatever it takes to
just win. That attitude has trickled down to the rest of the team.
"If you see your leader fighting it, pushing back, not buying in or accepting
it, then you're going to have a lot tougher time," McLellan said. "When
'Jumbo' does it and does it right, the next layer do a good job of accepting
their roles."
Dany Heatley, whose offensive production also has taken a dip, is an
"I'm sure Dany was disappointed with his goal total (26) this season,"
McLellan added. "But he contributed in different areas like the penalty kill.
He's a lot like (Thornton) in that we've asked him to do more in other areas
and not just shoot the puck."
The Sharks also are benefiting from an education at the School of Hard
Knocks. Getting whipped by Chicago a year ago was painful. But fourth-line
Sharks winger Ben Eager, who played on that Blackhawks team,
remembers how his teammates felt when Detroit smacked around his
Chicago squad in the Western Conference Finals the previous year.
569470     San Jose Sharks                                                          Have they tapped into a new postseason comfort level? Are they playing
                                                                                    with house money?
                                                                                    Is it hockey kismet that Vancouver is a team that has just as much, or more,
Sharks appear recharged for the Canucks                                             postseason underachievement in its history than the Sharks?
                                                                                    "Hopefully we can carry it over," Thornton said. "It's such a good feeling. I
Tim Kawakami                                                                        think the guys are relaxed."
                                                                                    They already have played 13 games of playoff hockey this season, and
                                                                                    they are only halfway to the ultimate destination.
Somebody hit the "refresh" button at Sharks Central recently, and the
results were hard to miss Saturday.                                                 There is no question that the Vancouver series will ramp up the anxiety
                                                                                    levels as it progresses. But for now, the Sharks are riding the energy and
Fresh minds, fresh legs, fresh focus, fresh round of playoff hockey, only           pleased to be hurtling on to the next level.
days after their seven-game journey to hell and back against Detroit.
                                                                                    Funny how being four victories away from the Stanley Cup finals can
"We're poised and focused, I would say," defenseman Douglas Murray said             invigorate a franchise.
after Saturday's brisk practice and right before the team boarded a flight for
Vancouver to start the Western Conference finals.                                   San Jose Mercury News: LOADED: 05.15.2011

—‰'Relaxed' can be taken in the wrong way, but in a sense it's relaxed,
Then Murray stopped himself, smiled and put it the clearest way he could.
"Whatever the mood is," Murray said, "it's good. It feels good."
I can vouch for him -- during and after practice, the Sharks were bantering
and laughing, loose and noticeably energized.
This does not, of course, guarantee anything for the Sharks in Sunday's
Game 1 against the Canucks.
After experiencing the agony and tension of the Detroit Game 7 opera on
Thursday, the Sharks could wobble into Rogers Arena and hit the deck
And as talented as Vancouver is, the Sharks could play at a high level early
in this series and still get knocked around.
But on Saturday -- in the Sharks' only full-fledged practice before facing
Vancouver -- there certainly was no sense that the players were low on
battery power.
Despite the quick turnaround, they didn't seem rushed or weary.
Coach Todd McLellan said he worked to refocus the players' minds in a
meeting Friday and get their legs going Saturday, and he said he presumes
there will be no letdown in Game 1.
"I don't think we'll know until the puck drops, but I'm counting on it not
happening," McLellan said. "There's only four teams left right now.
"I think our emotions will be high. We'll be prepared to play."
In fact, several players said that the quick turnaround from Game 7 against
the Red Wings to Game 1 in Vancouver could be a lively chance to stake
out new territory.
This is the first time since 2007 that the Sharks will open a series on the
road -- after eight consecutive series with home-ice advantage.
Vancouver is the favorite. And the Sharks don't mind getting a quick chance
to test that proposition.
"I'm happy -- when you come off a big win like that, you just want to get
back at it," forward Ryane Clowe said. "And we play, I don't know what it is,
maybe a little looser on the road."
The aim, said captain Joe Thornton, is the same as always at the start of a
series: Take Game 1. Notably, after Sunday, there will be two days off
before Game 2 on Wednesday in Vancouver, so if the Sharks need
recharging, they will have that opportunity then.
"I think if you're at home or on the road, you're thinking, 'Get that first game,
grab momentum,' " Thornton said. "And that's what we're looking for."
By the way, the Sharks are the only one of the four conference finalists from
last year to make it back this year.
Of course, if the Sharks just avoid getting swept by the Canucks in this
year's West finals, that will exceed what they did against Chicago last year.
This series, though, comes on the heels of Game 7, which seems to have
altered the Sharks' biorhythms, and not in a bad way.
569471     San Jose Sharks                                                        So far, he has proved me right. Thornton has led on and off the ice, from his
                                                                                  defensive commitment to the calm words in the dressing room before every
                                                                                  overtime. He would never concede this, but at age 31 as a husband and
Sharks coach should like this prediction                                          new father, Thornton also is realizing that there are only so many kicks at
                                                                                  the can left. There is no guarantee the Sharks will ever get a chance again.
                                                                                  His teammates realize it, too. After the Detroit clincher, someone asked Joe
Mark Purdy                                                                        Pavelski if he felt a sense of relief.
                                                                                  "There's no relief," Pavelski said. "We've been here before. There's a higher
                                                                                  job ahead."
Todd McLellan is a happy guy these days. For the first time since he began
coaching the Sharks in 2008, his team is more or less officially expected to      The job is going to be a bear. The Sharks had only one win in four meetings
lose a playoff series. They will be the lower-seeded team Sunday in               with Vancouver in the regular season, and that was in a shootout. Those
Canada when they face off against the Vancouver Canucks, who had the              two Swedish twins, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, will be making life rugged for
best record in the NHL this season.                                               the Sharks' defensemen. Daniel is the twin most likely to win the Most
                                                                                  Valuable Player award this season. He led the league this season in
"I think most people see us as an underdog," McLellan said the other day,         scoring the first goal of games -- with 12 -- and was a clutch performer.
barely hiding his delight -- and provoking a rare question to the coach of a
team that has been so successful:                                                 Meanwhile, Vancouver's leading playoff scorer is Ryan Kesler, who joined
                                                                                  Pavelski as the prime heart-and-soul players on the USA Olympic team in
How big an underdog would he like the Sharks to be?                               2010. Kesler will plant himself in front of the goal and dare anyone to move
                                                                                  him out. Let's just say Sharks goalie Antti Niemi will be growing very
"I don't know," McLellan responded. "How big are underdogs?"
                                                                                  acquainted with Kesler's back
I guess the next part will be easy, then. I'm picking the Canucks to win in six
                                                                                  The Sharks have a chance to counteract all this if Thornton can get Patrick
                                                                                  Marleau to keep raising his game and if Devin Setoguchi keeps firing
It's not at McLellan's request. It's because the Canucks have shown over          accurately at the net. But they will need secondary scoring, too, plus more
the past month that they can back up their excellent regular-season record.       spectacular work from Niemi.
They have a terrific core of defensemen who will give the Sharks fits, a pair
                                                                                  It should be a fun and riveting series. But the underdog won't win this time.
of icy-eyed skilled Swedish twin forwards and a gritty American centerman
                                                                                  Hope that cheery forecast makes McLellan smile.
at the top of his game.
                                                                                  San Jose Mercury News: LOADED: 05.15.2011
Not that Vancouver will roll. The Canucks and the Sharks are the two best
teams left in the playoffs. This series is the de facto Stanley Cup finals. And
I expect the Sharks to come up just a little short, especially after draining
themselves in Thursday's epic Game 7 against Detroit while Vancouver has
been resting since Monday.
McLellan, of course, knows exactly what he is doing by casting
his Shark men as scrappy, plucky guys whom nobody expects to win. He
has never been able to play that psychological card. Ever since the NHL
lockout ended, the Sharks have flown the flag as a perpetually
underachieving team.
As McLellan noted: "We have this anchor that everybody throws at us, fairly
or unfairly."
It's a little of both. The Sharks are the only team in this year's conference
finals who were also there last year, which means something. Also, since
2004, just three NHL teams -- the Sharks, Red Wings and Flyers -- have
been able to reach the conference finals three times. By comparison,
Vancouver hasn't been there even once since 1994. So it's totally wrong to
label the Sharks as miserable flops worthy of scorn.
At the same time "... well, any follower of our beloved Los Tiburones can
finish the next sentence. For all of their impressive regular-season victories
and their better-than-reputed playoff success, the Sharks have yet to reach
the Stanley Cup finals. Let alone win the big, silver beer mug. And until they
do, they will always have that sentence to finish.
Vancouver, incidentally, is in much the same situation -- although the
franchise does have two appearances in the finals. As the only western
Canadian team never to win a Cup, though, the Canucks will be feeling the
heat from all over British Columbia. Which is why McLellan believes that
"maybe we'll play more free" with the Sharks players no longer being
reminded every day that they need to validate their promise.
The Sharks have shown the hockey world much fine stuff over the past
month. Coming back from a four-goal deficit to win Game 3 in Los Angeles.
Grinding out those four one-goal victories over Detroit, including the
stomach-acid special Thursday. And you get the sense that, unlike some
Sharks teams in the past who seemed to expect that their talent entitled
them to win a playoff series, this one understands that it takes sustained
effort to get the job done.
Joe Thornton has led the parade in that department, by the way. I stick to
the statement that was written here last autumn when there was
speculation after Rob Blake's retirement about who should take over the
team's captaincy: To me, there is no way the Sharks will win the Stanley
Cup unless Thornton is the captain.
569472     San Jose Sharks                                                        biggest fans, he said, especially Nancy, who often supplemented his $70
                                                                                  weekly stipend when he was playing junior hockey.
                                                                                  "I take pride in being Japanese-Canadian," Setoguchi said. "I'm half white
Sharks' Devin Setoguchi set stage for playoff success                             Canadian, too, and I'm proud of that, too, but I know the sacrifices my
                                                                                  grandparents made. That has never gone unnoticed by me. I wouldn't be
                                                                                  here if they hadn't made those sacrifices."
Susan Slusser
                                                                                  Western finals
SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 23: Devin Setoguchi #16 of the San J...
                                                                                  All games on Versus and 98.5/102.1, unless noted
San Jose coach Todd McLellan likes to describe Devin Setoguchi's season
as one of three stages.                                                           Today: at Vancouver, 5 p.m.

Stage 1 was dismal. Setoguchi had two points in the Sharks' first 12 games.       Wednesday: at Vancouver, 6 p.m.
Two and half months into the season, the right wing, a regular on the top         Friday: at HP Pavilion, 6 p.m.
two lines, had registered only two goals in 22 games. He went two months,
December and January, without an assist.                                          May 22: at HP Pavilion, Noon Channel: 11 Channel: 3 Channel: 8
"Stage 1, I don't think anyone was happy, including Devin," McLellan said.        May 24*: at Vancouver, 6 p.m.
"Stage 2, there was some growth and resurgence. And Stage 3 is the stage
he's at, or getting to, now.                                                      May 26*: at HP Pavilion, 6 p.m.

"He's had to elevate it a little more. He's not only scored big goals for us,     May 28*: at Vancouver, 5 p.m.
which is important, but he's provided us with a lot of speed and energy on        San Francisco Chronicle LOADED: 05.15.2011
that line."
Going into the Western Conference finals, which open today at Vancouver,
"that line" is the Sharks' top line, centered by captain Joe Thornton and with
Patrick Marleau on the left wing. Setoguchi, 24, is playing with two of San
Jose's big-gun veterans, and his six goals have him tied for the team
postseason lead with another standout young Sharks forward, center Logan
Couture. Two of Setoguchi's goals have come on power plays, including the
Sharks' first goal in their Game 7 win over Detroit on Thursday in the
second round.
Setoguchi has five goals in the past five postseason games, including a hat
trick in Game 3 against the Red Wings. Those results came despite usually
being matched up against Detroit's top line.
So what the heck was going on in Stage 1?
"If I knew, the stage wouldn't have been that long," McLellan said.
Setoguchi isn't sure why he struggled early, either. He's shown some
streakiness in previous seasons, but nothing as pronounced as that early
slump. But the Sharks, as a team, weren't exactly lighting it up, either: After
dropping six in a row in early January, the team was 21-19-5.
"I definitely didn't have the start I wanted, but as the year went on, we
progressed as a group, and as a result of that, my game developed,"
Setoguchi said. "We got better and better and I got better, but there is still
room for improvement. And this is the time I have to be my best, because
there is no next week or next month. It's now."
With the Sharks' big-name forwards - Thornton, Marleau and Dany Heatley
- not putting up huge numbers in the playoffs, Setoguchi and Couture have
proven to be two of the team's most valuable contributors. And the rest of
the Sharks recognize that they are every bit as central to the team's
fortunes as the "Big Three."
"The media talks about the Big Three; we don't talk about it," defenseman
Dan Boyle said. "Couture is going to be an All-Star center. Devin has
scored huge goals in the playoffs.
"He's finding ways to put the puck in the net, and that's what he's there for.
Joe is the passer and Devin is the finisher, because he's got a great shot.
He's going pretty well right now."
Setoguchi is one of only a handful of NHL players of Asian heritage. He is a
third-generation Japanese-Canadian, half Japanese on his father, Dale's,
His grandparents, Ken and Nancy Setoguchi, were interned during World
War II, moving away from their home in British Columbia and into a camp
for a year.
"After the war, they went back to their house - and there was another family
living there," Setoguchi said. "So like a lot of Japanese families, they
relocated to Taber."
That's Taber, Alberta, where the potato farm that Ken and Nancy Setoguchi
started remains the family business. And Setoguchi's grandparents are his
569473      Tampa Bay Lightning

Everything clicking for Bergenheim


Every Stanley Cup playoff year writes its own story.
This year's tome could be called, "The Legend of Sean Bergenheim".
Of course, had anyone written in eight goals in 12 playoff games, and four
in the past three, it might have been dismissed as fiction.
But true it is.
The reputation of the third-line left wing grew significantly taller Saturday
after he scored the Lightning's first goal, the first of three goals in a 1:25
span that boosted the Bolts to a 5-2 Game 1 win against the Boston Bruins.
He now leads all playoff goal-scorers. And all this in his first taste of Stanley
Cup action.
As Bergenheim goes, so go the Lightning.
Or is it the other way around?
Bergenheim would prefer to think that it is.
"It's a good feeling," he said. "But to be honest, the best feeling is that we're
winning. I'm obviously happy that I've been helping the team. But I think it's
more of a line effort. It's our line that's been clicking."
Lightning coach Guy Boucher, who cobbled Bergenheim together with
center Dominic Moore and right wing Steve Downie, agreed.
"I think it's like the rest of our team," Boucher said. "It's not about him. It's
about his line. It's about team chemistry. It's about players who jell. Sure
he's had success scoring goals. But if you look at how they are scored,
Moore is always there, and Downie's always there too. The finishers get a
lot of the glory. But most of the time, there are a lot of steps in the process
that make that happen."
Such was the case at 11:15 of the opening period, when Bergenheim cut to
the left and picked up a rebound from Moore and put it in.
"That's what we do," Bergenheim said. "We went in on the forecheck, we
got the puck in the front of the net and scored that way. I think we've scored
many goals like that one. But I think we as a line can do better than today."
Boucher said that Bergenheim is being rewarded for what he has been
doing all season long.
Following his nose.
"He's one of those hustlers. He's done that all year. I don't think he's any
different than during the year. The thing is, he's on a line now that clicks
really well."
Clicking famously, to be sure.
Tampa Tribune LOADED: 05.15.2011
569474     Tampa Bay Lightning                                                     Boucher said he thinks it will be at least another week before Tyrell might
                                                                                   Injured Bergeron skates for Bruins Injured Bruin Patrice Bergeron, who
Bolts Notebook: Boogaard's death hits team hard                                    recorded a team-leading 12 points through the first two rounds of the
                                                                                   playoffs, skated with call-ups from Boston's Providence AHL affiliate
                                                                                   Saturday morning before the Bruins hit the ice.
Staff Writer
                                                                                   "He just went out, had a light skate," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
                                                                                   "That's where he's at right now, just a light skate."

BOSTON --                                                                          Bergeron suffered a mild concussion in Boston's series-clinching win over
                                                                                   Philadelphia on May 5 after being hit by the Flyers' Claude Giroux. With
The hockey world was stunned Friday night as word of the death of 28-              Bergeron's history of concussions, Julien wasn't going to speculate on how
year-old Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard spread quickly, and the news              soon it would be before the center could return.
hit three players in the Lightning locker room particularly hard.
                                                                                   "I don't know," Julien said. "This is something that's just protocol. He's going
Dwayne Roloson and Marc-Andre Bergeron were Boogaard's teammates                   through the normal stuff, and (this) was a light skate on his own. He just got
with the Minnesota Wild, and Mike Smith played with Boogaard with                  off the ice and we went on. So I don't think there's much more that we can
Minnesota's American Hockey League affiliate in Houston.                           give you."
"It's pretty tough to handle right now," a somber Roloson said Saturday after      Ted Starkey, Erik Erlendsson
the Lightning's morning skate. "He's a great person away from the rink, and
at the rink, there's not that much that needs to be said about what he did for     Tampa Tribune LOADED: 05.15.2011
his teammates on the ice — he gave them security.
"He did the little things to help his teammates succeed in the game of
hockey. It's very unfortunate, and my heart goes out to his family right now."
Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment Friday, and the
cause of his death might not be known for a couple of weeks.
"It's incredible, 28 years old," Bergeron said. "He was a good man and my
thoughts go out to his family and friends. I couldn't believe it when I heard it
(Saturday) morning. We don't know why, but it's pretty scary for all of us.
We can't wait for the reason why it happened."
Despite carrying a reputation as one of the league's toughest fighters, what
Roloson remembered most about Boogaard was a strong work ethic.
"He was an awesome guy in the room," he said. "He wanted to make it to
the NHL and wanted to prove every person out there that said he couldn't
make it wrong. He worked hard every day on and off the ice, and he's one
of those guys that was first on and last off. That was his attitude and he
wanted to get better and obviously he succeeded."
Said Bergeron: "He was more of a gentle giant, a pretty quiet guy. He did a
lot of his own things. He was just a good person."
Brimming with pride Lightning owner Jeff Vinik purchased the franchise 14
months ago and has received instant returns on his investment, watching
from up close as Tampa Bay advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.
Being in Boston, where he runs his hedge fund business, has no extra
special meaning to the minority owner of the Boston Red Sox who still has
a home in the area.
"I've been here for three days and it's been a fun time up here talking to
friends and family,'' Vinik said before Saturday's Game 1. "It's a big deal for
the community up here, so it's a fun time to be here. Having said that, I'm
just so thrilled the Lightning are fighting for the Eastern Conference
championship. It's great to be playing Boston, but I don't care who we're
playing. It's just great to be in this position.''
Tyrell skates again Lightning rookie Dana Tyrell, who injured his foot during
an April 22 practice, skated with some of his teammates Saturday morning,
wearing a red non-contact jersey for the second straight day as the team
took the optional morning skate before Game 1 at TD Garden.
"It feels good. It's been three weeks (Friday), and you know, it's been nice
the last couple of days," Tyrell said. "It's good to be back on (the ice)."
"He's getting closer," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "If he's able to
play, it's obviously one more tool for us to be able to put on the ice. He's got
the speed, the heart and the physicality to play at this level in the playoffs."
Because of the injury, the center missed the seven-game winning streak
that propelled the Lightning past Pittsburgh and Washington into the
Eastern Conference finals, which has been bittersweet for Tyrell.
"It's tough. I've been off for a while and it's tough to be away from the team
and not playing," Tyrell said. "But they're doing well, and I'm giving them
support as I can off the ice. Hopefully, I'll get back in game shape soon."
569475     Tampa Bay Lightning

Bolts strike early and often to take series lead


In a flash, the Lightning took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on
Saturday, defeating Boston 5-2.
Sean Bergenheim, Brett Clark and Teddy Purcell scored in a span of 85
seconds in the first period to stun the home crowd of 17,565 at TD Garden
watching the Bruins' first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals since
Dwayne Roloson stopped 31 shots to lead Tampa Bay to a franchise
record-tying eighth consecutive playoff victory. With his eighth consecutive
victory, Roloson tied an NHL record with Jacques Plante for longest
postseason winning streak by a goaltender over age 40.
Simon Gagne and Marc-Andre Bergeron also scored for Tampa Bay.
For two teams that sat at home for more than a week waiting for the series
to begin, both sides had the high intensity and strong jump to their
respective games teams need at this time of the year. While the crispness
of play might not have been at its peak, the pace was fast and swift, which
is exactly how Tampa Bay jumped to a lead.
The Lightning scored two goals in a franchise playoff-record 19 seconds
apart as Sean Bergenheim scored his league-leading eighth of the
postseason. Dennis Seidenberg, sans his stick, kicked a loose puck right
onto Bergenheim's stick and he scored 11:15 into the game. Bergenheim
has four goals during a three-game goal-scoring streak and has scored in
six of the past seven games.
Defenseman Brett Clark then did his best Bobby Orr impersonation, taking
a puck from inside his blue line and weaving around a pair of Boston
players before putting a soft backhand shot on goal that found a hole in Tim
Thomas at 11:34.
It didn't take long for the lead to increase to 3-0 after Tomas Kaberle lost a
puck behind his net and gave it right to Teddy Purcell, who banged the puck
past Thomas at 12:40 to give Tampa Bay three goals in a span of 85
seconds, eclipsing the previous franchise mark of three goals in 3:07 set
against Calgary in Game 2 of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals.
Rookie Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft, made his
playoff debut in style, turning Mike Lundin inside-out and beating Roloson to
the far post to make it 3-1 with 4:01 left in the opening period.
The second period looked nothing like the opening period, which featured
four goals and zero penalty calls. The teams took turns killing penalties,
starting 1:29 into the period. In total, there were five penalties, leaving half
the period to be played on special teams.
Each power play, however, came up empty and the period ended the same
way it began, with the Lightning holding a 3-1 lead. The best scoring
chance came from Steve Downie inside the crease, only to see Thomas
smother the puck at 14:10.
Tampa Bay put the icing on the victory in the third when Johnny Boychuk
took a roughing call for a quick jab to Vinny Lecavalier after Boychuk
delivered a hard hit on Simon Gagne. With the man advantage, Marc-Andre
Bergeron fired a shot from the left point that looked to hit the knob on
Thomas' stick and go into the net with 6:23 left.
Gagne added an empty-netter.
Tampa Tribune LOADED: 05.15.2011
569476     Tampa Bay Lightning

Travel will be an issue for Stanley Cup teams


For two months during the NHL playoffs, teams scramble around North
America shifting from city to city at sometimes breakneck speed. There is
little time to rest and recover for the players who try to be at peak readiness
for a schedule that has teams playing just about every other night.
Under the current best-of-seven series format, the schedule plays out in a
2-2-1-1-1 setup. This means the team with home-ice advantage gets the
first two games at home, followed by the next two games at the home of the
lower seed. The next three games are split with Game 5 at the higher seed,
Game 6 at the lower seed and Game 7 back to the higher-seeded team's
home rink.
From the viewpoint of ensuring the higher-seeded team has the advantage,
this format is the best setup. Even if the road team steals one of the first
two games, and theoretically steals home-ice advantage, Game 5 returns to
the higher seed's home rink.
To me, that makes the most sense.
But there is more at stake here and that's the quality of the product on the
ice and the quality that is shown to fans across two countries — and
beyond. Because once the playoffs reach the Stanley Cup finals, the travel
involved is downright brutal, and in many ways unfair to everybody
In this postseason, whichever team comes out of the Eastern Conference
— either Boston or Tampa Bay — will have to travel to a team in the Pacific
time zone, either Vancouver or San Jose. And everybody involved with the
series will have to move back and forth from city to city in a rapid amount of
time, just as those involved with the Detroit-San Jose series in the Western
Conference semifinals moving from the Eastern time zone to the west
Only in the finals it would come with the ultimate prize on the line, when the
focus of the sport is on two teams. And if the league is going to want to
maintain the every-other-day format, perhaps it is time to switch the format
and move to a 2-3-2 format, much like the NBA does for the championship
Does that take some of the competitive advantage away from the team that
earned the home-ice advantage? Yes, in some ways it does, because if the
road team wins one of the first two games, the series might not return to
where it started and could cheat the higher-seeded team out of potential
third home date.
But when it comes to getting both teams, all the television crews, all the
media, team staff and family members from one city to the next on short
notice over such a long distance, it can become an issue.
In 2004, when Tampa Bay faced off against Calgary, the travel schedule
was brutal, trying to get back and forth between cities that are 2,280 miles
apart. In 2006, it was much the same between Raleigh, N.C., and
Edmonton, which are 2,060 miles apart.
Tampa and Vancouver sit 2,590 miles apart, while Tampa and San Jose
are 2,360 miles apart. From Boston to Vancouver, it is 2,500 miles, while
the distance between Boston and San Jose is 2,680 miles.
A seven-game series that switches cities five times in either of the above
scenarios would result in roughly 13,000 air miles in a two-week span.
That's a lot of wear and tear on the teams involved, not to mention the
financial strain it puts on many budgets.
For the better of the game and the product on the players put on the ice, the
league needs to consider changing the format to better accommodate all
parties involved in the Stanley Cup finals.
Tampa Tribune LOADED: 05.15.2011
569477     Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Thompson excited to face Bruins


Nate Thompson doesn't like to think about what could have been.
But this is what could have been.
He could have been a Bruin.
That the sandpaper-like center is with the Lightning instead, preparing to
face the team that drafted and developed him, is a testament to his grit and
That and a botched salary cap maneuver made by Boston three seasons
"I'm not really worried about it too much," Thompson said following
Saturday's optional morning skate. "It's a business. It's pretty cool that I get
to play against the team that I was drafted by. It's exciting to play against
them. But at the same time, I'm not really too worried about the other stuff.
I'm focusing on our team and the way we're playing."
Thompson, Boston's sixth-round pick in the 2003 draft, is in his sixth
professional season, the first three of them spent in Providence as a Bruins
farmhand (save for a four-game call-up by Boston in 2007).
After a strong training camp in 2008, the Alaska native seemed ready to
seize a full-time job in Boston as the fourth-line center, only to lose out to
veteran Stephane Yelle, a last-minute free-agent signing.
When the numbers didn't add up, the Bruins tried to sneak Thompson
through waivers in hopes of stashing him back in Providence.
The Islanders had just hired Providence Bruins head man Scott Gordon as
their coach, and Gordon jumped at the chance to bring his former captain
To this day, Boston coach Claude Julien regrets seeing Thompson slip
through his fingers.
"I liked him as both an individual and a player," Julien said. "And he was a
hard worker. Unfortunately, organizations make decisions based on what
they can or can't do. And we didn't have a choice but to put him on the
waivers at that stage.
"He got picked up because he was a good player. We wanted to be a little
selfish and were hoping that he wouldn't. He probably would have gotten an
opportunity (here) as well."
Opportunity took a detour midway through last season, when the Islanders
cut Thompson loose, and that allowed him to land on his feet in Tampa.
Thompson, who credits Julien with having a large hand in his development,
still casts an eye down the hallway whenever the Lightning hit town.
But not an envious one.
"It's flattering to hear that (they liked me)," said Thompson. "They are first-
class people over there. It's good. But it's a business. It's a great
organization, but now I'm here in Tampa and it's the right fit for me."
Tampa Tribune LOADED: 05.15.2011
569478      Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning-Boston Bruins Game 1: What they're saying

Staff Writer

Back Next
Dennis Seidenberg, Bruins defenseman, on Sean Bergenheim's goal,
which put the Lightning ahead 1-0:
"It was just a big battle in front of the net. I lost my stick, and I, obviously,
didn't know what to do without a stick and the puck at my feet. I kicked it to
whoever scored the goal."
David Krejci, Bruins center, on the Lightning's two goals in 19 seconds:
"Somehow, you've got to find a way to find the energy and go out there the
next shift and try to … maybe get a goal."
Tomas Kaberle, Bruins defenseman, on the Lightning's three-goal burst:
"It's tough. We pretty much gave them every single one of them. And we
never gave up after. We know we are better in here, and we have to show it
in the second game. You know they are dangerous up front, and you have
to play in their zone, and there is their goalie. We know it is not going to be
an easy series. And we have to put it behind us right now and think about
what is going to happen on Tuesday."
Jeremy Roenick, Versus analyst:
"Boston was not mentally prepared for this game."
Scott Cullen,
In theory, the Boston Bruins might have felt positive if they knew that, after
Game 1, they would have kept Tampa Bay's Marty St. Louis, Steven
Stamkos and Vinny Lecavalier in check. But as usual, the Lightning got
production from their supporting cast. … Tampa Bay couldn't have asked
for more coming out of Game 1 at Boston, and the frustrated Bruins
resorted to some thug tactics when the outcome was already decided. The
Bruins will have to bring a whole lot more of that fire to Game 2 if they are
going to earn a split at home.
Bob McKenzie,
The Lightning's shift from their vaunted passive neutral zone 1-3-1 scheme
certainly seemed to be a curveball or a changeup that the Boston Bruins did
not respond to. This was a very aggressive Tampa Bay team, more so than
I've seen them at any time in these playoffs. (Lightning coach) Guy Boucher
is an innovative guy, and he throws a lot of curves. And the Bruins now
know to be prepared for the unexpected.
St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 05.15.2011
569479     Tampa Bay Lightning                                                       Did you watch the end of the game, when the Bruins tried to punch away
                                                                                     their frustration? The Lightning didn't blink. Afterward, it didn't smile. It treats
                                                                                     the goals and the fists and the shaky moments as a day at the office. Yes,
Gary Shelton: It's getting easier to see the Tampa Bay Lightning going far           there is more work to be done.
                                                                                     "The league is looking at head shots," Boucher said of Milan Lucic's sucker-
                                                                                     punch of Victor Hedman, "and that was a straight head shot."
Gary Shelton
                                                                                     Be honest: When the playoffs began, did you know anyone who thought
                                                                                     this team was capable of getting so deep? Once, reaching the second
                                                                                     round sounded like a lofty expectation.
                                                                                     These days, the Lightning has earned the right to be reconsidered. It has
It is too soon for the question, of course. The series has just begun. The           earned a higher level of expectations.
players have barely begun to open wounds on each other. There is a long
way to go.                                                                           True, this was only one game, Thomas will be better, and the Bruins will be
                                                                                     tougher. As for the Lightning, you can expect the phrase "a long way to go"
Still, a game such as this raises the question:                                      about a billion times between now and Tuesday night's game.
Why can't this Lightning team win it all?                                            If Boucher has taught the Lightning players nothing else, he has taught
                                                                                     them the postseason is a continuing streak of one-game series in which the
The Lightning won another game Saturday night. In the arena of its greatest
                                                                                     last shift no longer matters. The matchups aren't anything to worry about, or
torment, against a goaltender who leads the league in induced nightmares,
                                                                                     the odds, or the expectations.
in a series it was never supposed to reach, the Tampa Bay Lightning
captured the opening game of the NHL Eastern Conference final.                       Just the next shift.
Tampa Bay 5, Boston 2.                                                               Personally, I expect them to win that one, too.
And who is going to stop this team now?                                              St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 05.15.2011
This is no longer a nice little team on a nice little run after a nice little
season. It is no longer a plucky bunch of overachievers making up for the
years away from the playoffs. This is a contender.
With every series, with every game, with every shift, this team looks more
and more legitimate. The Lightning is better now than it was when it swept
Washington, and was better against Washington than it was when it came
from behind to beat Pittsburgh, and it was better against Pittsburgh than it
was at any point in the regular season.
This team gets better every day, and you cannot help but wonder how
much better it can become over the next month. With eight straight wins,
the Lightning is a powerhouse, a rolling ball of butcher knives, and it has
become impossible to tell the great players from the grinders. Suddenly,
every stick in the rack is lethal. Suddenly, these players have grown into a
mentally fierce, poised unit.
This was supposed to be a difficult game for the Lightning players,
remember? There was the eternal layoff, 10 days that seemed like a month.
There was the Boston home ice, where Tampa Bay had won only four of 35
games in its history. Most of all, there was Tim Thomas, the goaltender who
was supposed to be the Bruins' trump card.
And none of it mattered.
It took 85 seconds, from 11:15 into the game until 12:40, and quick as a
sneeze, the Lightning had scored three goals. Lightning players were
everywhere. A puck kicks off the skate of Dennis Seidenberg, and Sean
Bergenheim, of course, is there to pop it into the net. Brett Clark sweeps
down the left side then somehow coaxes a slow putt that Marlo could have
stopped. Then Tomas Kaberle fumbles the puck away to Teddy Purcell in
front of the net, and Purcell nudges it in.
This is what this Lightning team does. Make a mistake, and someone —
anyone — is on the puck like found money.
At this portion of the season, the tempting thing, the trite thing, is to begin to
talk about destiny. Fans love to talk about destiny. But that isn't it. You can
talk about magic, but that isn't it, either.
What you are seeing is a team that suddenly believes in itself. The
confidence of this team, the control, seems to grow, too. There are times it
seems outnumbered, and times the other team seems intent on leaving
Dwayne Roloson's mask as dimpled as a golf ball. But this team seems to
ride through the trouble most of the time, poised as an English professor.
That part is new. At the start of these playoffs, the Lightning lacked the
mental focus these games require. It doesn't lack that anymore.
"We've made a lot of progress mentally," coach Guy Boucher said. "When
you get to the playoffs, you have to find a whole new level of maturity. That
happened in the first series, and we've continued, I think. The thing we do
better is reel in our emotions. That's hard to do."
569480      Tampa Bay Lightning                                                    "Anybody who knows the game will see mistakes on all three goals," Bruins
                                                                                   coach Claude Julien said. "We've got to make sure that we're a little better
                                                                                   with puck management, and that wasn't there (Saturday)."
Tampa Bay Lightning beats Boston Bruins 5-2 in Game 1 of East final                The move the Bruins tried to make as the game ended was physical.
                                                                                   Hedman said it was "my bad" he didn't see Horton's punch coming, and
                                                                                   Boucher praised his players for not getting sucked into retaliating. "We
Damian Cristodero                                                                  control what we control," he said, "and that is our guys stay calm."
                                                                                   "It has been," Purcell said, "our game plan all year."

Brett Clark raises his arms for the first time in the playoffs for a goal he       St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 05.15.2011
scored, which gives the Lightning a 2-0 lead in the first period. The goal
came 19 seconds after one by Sean Bergenheim to set a Lightning playoff
record for fastest two goals. Bergenheim’s goal was his eighth of the
Brett Clark raises his arms for the first time in the playoffs for a goal he
scored, which gives the Lightning a 2-0 lead in the first period. The goal
came 19 seconds after one by Sean Bergenheim to set a Lightning playoff
record for fastest two goals. Bergenheim’s goal was his eighth of the
Back Next
BOSTON — Two sucker punches.
That was what the Bruins were reduced to by the end of the Lightning's 5-2
victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final Saturday night at TD
Milan Lucic popping Tampa Bay center Dominic Moore in the chops with
36.7 seconds left just after Nathan Horton popped defenseman Victor
That was no surprise, said Hedman, considering "we were leading and
there was not a whole lot of time left."
"That's the way it goes," Moore said. "Both teams are competing for every
square inch in there, so there are no surprises at any point in the game."
But coach Guy Boucher said the blows, both of which earned 10-minute
misconducts but especially Lucic's straight left to Moore's head, are worthy
of a look by the league. "The league is looking at head punches," he said,
"and that was a straight head punch."
Tampa Bay, though, delivered a body blow with two goals in 19 seconds
and three in 1 minute, 25 seconds to take a 3-0 lead with 7:20 left in the first
period. Both are team playoff records for quick tallies.
Sean Bergenheim scored his team-best eighth goal and seventh in his past
seven games in the first, followed by Brett Clark and Teddy Purcell.
Marc-Andre Bergeron and Simon Gagne scored in the third as the Lightning
won its eighth straight game and team playoff-record sixth straight on the
The Lightning penalty kill continued to flourish, going 4-for-4, and Dwayne
Roloson, 41, outplayed Tim Thomas with 31 saves, for his eighth straight
playoff win, which ties Jacques Plante for most consecutive wins by a
goalie 40 or older.
"It was all good," Purcell said. "We knew the first game was going to be
important. We wanted to come out with a good start."
The Bruins did, too, and forced the action early, and though the shots were
close in the first, 12-10 for Boston, Tampa Bay blocked eight, including big
blocks by Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos, who threw himself into the
slot to block a shot by Horton.
"You have to block shots," St. Louis said. "It's a desperate time of year. I
think it's a mentality we have. Every play matters. Every shot they get
through the first layer has a chance to go in. If it goes off you and goes in
the corner, less work for (Roloson)."
The Lightning struck quickly, with Bergenheim scoring with 8:45 left from in
front of the net. Next was Clark driving on the right wing and launching what
seemed to be an innocent backhander that deflected in off Thomas.
Purcell finished the onslaught when he took the puck away from Bruins
defenseman Tomas Kaberle behind the net and took two whacks to get it
past Thomas for a 3-0 lead.
"I kind of handcuffed myself," Purcell said. "I was surprised the puck came
out; it kind of caught Thomas off-guard as well."
569481       Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning-Boston Bruins East final news and notes

Damian Cristodero

Back Next
Three stars
BRETT CLARK: The Lightning defenseman's first-period goal, on a
backhand after an end-to-end rush, was the second of two Tampa Bay
goals in 19 seconds. He also had an assist.
VINNY LECAVALIER: The Lightning center had a solid all-around game.
He had six shots, was great on faceoffs and drew a roughing penalty on the
Bruins' Johnny Boychuk after the defenseman hit Simon Gagne in the third,
setting up a power play that produced Tampa Bay's fourth goal.
VICTOR HEDMAN: The Lightning defenseman was very steady, making
several good plays on poke checks to thwart Bruins chances.
Quote to note
"He's a pressure guy. He's lived with it in Team Canada. He's lived it in
Philly. He's been in pressure situations in the NHL so many years, and he's
come up with big goals. He's one of those guys that's a clutch player.
Certainly he will be playing a huge part in our team." — Lightning coach
Guy Boucher, on LW Simon Gagne returning to the lineup Saturday
Number of the day
58 Playoff goals for Bruins and former Lightning W Mark Recchi, tied with
Mike Modano for most among active players
The series Lightning leads 1-0
Game 1, Lightning 5, Bruins 2: Three goals in 1:25 of the first spark the
Tuesday: at Boston, 8, Versus
Thursday: at Tampa Bay, 8, Versus
May 21: at Tampa Bay, 1:30, Ch. 8
May 23: at Boston, 8, Versus *
May 25: at Tampa Bay, 8, Versus *
May 27: at Boston, 8, Versus *
Radio: 970-AM except May 21, which is 620-AM
If necessary
School daze
Loyalties are split, in a fun way, at the Meadowbrook School in Weston,
Mass., where Joshua Vinik, 10, son of Lightning owner Jeff Vinik (far left),
and Katryna Julien, 6, daughter of Bruins coach Claude Julien attend
classes. Jeff Vinik said he sent 350 T-shirts to the school last week, "and I
have a picture of my 10-year-old and his class all wearing Lightning shirts."
Claude Julien countered Friday with an appearance by the Bruins mascot,
Blades, and a rally-towel giveaway. "We had a fine arts thing there
Thursday night where the kids show their art," Vinik said. "It was the first
time I met Claude. We shook hands and said hello." Asked if his Lightning
loyalties have compromised any friendships, Vinik, also a minority owner of
the Red Sox, said no. "A lot of people I know, they switched over to
Lightning fans. The other ones," he said, laughing, "aren't friends anymore."
Tooth talk
Lightning C Nate Thompson joked he has a true hockey player's face after
getting a front tooth knocked out against the Capitals in Game 4 of their
Eastern Conference semifinal. Thompson said he has had teeth chipped
before but had never lost one until Washington F Nicklas Backstrom
inadvertently hit him with his stick blade on the follow through of a shot.
"Just an accident," Thompson said, adding that it was painful but part of the
game. "You've got to embrace it," he said, smiling. "You have to wear it."
St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 05.15.2011
569482      Tampa Bay Lightning

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has bad game against Tampa Bay

Joe Smith

BOSTON — Lightning coach Guy Boucher talked a lot about how Bruins
goaltender Tim Thomas was an "enigma," a battler tough to crack because
he can stop the puck with any part of his body.
The finalist for the Vezina Trophy was brilliant at times during Saturday's
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final. Thomas made some spectacular
saves, including sprawled-out stops with his glove on scoring chances by
Vinny Lecavalier and Steve Downie to help keep Boston in the game.
But for all the hype, Thomas was also human in the Bruins' 5-2 loss to the
Lightning. He matched his playoff high by allowing four goals (the final
Lightning goal was an empty-netter), including one on a seemingly innocent
backhander by defenseman Brett Clark in the first period. The goal was the
second in 19 seconds for the Lightning, which Boston center David Krejci
said took a lot of the momentum.
With the Lightning ahead 1-0, Clark made an end-to-end rush before
flipping a backhander from the bottom of the right circle through Thomas.
"It went right armpit," Thomas said. "Backhanders are always a little bit
harder to tell where they're going to go. First, I was looking for who he was
going to pass it to, and then I was trying to figure out who he was.
"You know some other people's tendencies. I was just trying to put my
chest in the center of the net. It was just a seeing-eye puck."
The four goals allowed by Thomas not only were his playoff high, it
matched the amount he gave up in his previous three games combined.
There wasn't much Thomas could do on Tampa Bay's first goal, by Sean
Bergenheim off a rebound.
"They got it through from the point, got a tip from the point, got a rebound
from the point and then another one to score," Thomas said.
Just 1:06 after Clark's goal, Thomas allowed another one when
defenseman Tomas Kaberle lost the puck as he tried to make a move
behind the Bruins net. Lightning wing Teddy Purcell got it into the net after
two attempts to put Tampa Bay up 3-0.
"It's a tough hole to get out of," Thomas said. "Two would have been better.
When we went down 2-0, I was thinking, 'Okay, I'm just going to make this
like Game 2 (of the Flyers series, when Boston trailed 2-0 early and won 3-
2 in overtime).
" 'I'm just going to hold it at two, and we'll come back and win this game.'
The third goal was a surprise, a bad bounce goal. And that made it more
St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 05.15.2011
569483      Tampa Bay Lightning

Breakdown of West final between Vancouver Canucks and San Jose

Tom Jones

Back Next
St. Petersburg Times staff writer Tom Jones breaks down the Western
Conference final between the Canucks and Sharks.
It's hard to get a good read on either team. Each nearly made history in
these playoffs — and not in a good way. Each came close to joining the
short list of NHL teams that lost a series after leading 3-0. The Canucks had
a 3-0 lead in the first round against the Blackhawks and won Game 7 in
overtime. The Sharks had a 3-0 lead against the Red Wings in the second
round and advanced with a 3-2 victory Thursday in Game 7. Then again,
both teams, known for recent playoff disappointments, showed plenty of
guts surviving those series and coming up big in Game 7. One of the more
interesting matchups is in goal, where San Jose's Antti Niemi goes against
Roberto Luongo. Niemi was in goal for the Blackhawks last season, when
Chicago swept Luongo and the Canucks in the second round. Niemi has
won six playoff series in a row and could become the first goalie since Harry
Holmes in 1916-17 to win back-to-back Cups with different teams. The
biggest showdown could be between arguably the best two-way centers in
hockey: San Jose's Joe Thornton and Vancouver's Ryan Kesler. Both have
been dominant in the playoffs, especially in the most critical games. Kesler
led all playoff scorers entering Saturday with 15 points. Vancouver's two
best players, the Sedin twins, have been ordinary in the playoffs. Regular-
season points leader Daniel has six goals and four assists in 13 games but
is minus-8. Regular-season assists leader Henrik has only one goal and
eight assists and is also minus-8. The Canucks have allowed four or more
power plays seven times in 13 postseason games, and that could be
trouble against a Sharks team that is loaded with talent and whose power-
play quarterback, former Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle, is heating up.
Boyle had eight points in the Detroit series. Ryan Clowe leads the Sharks
with 13 points, and Logan Couture and Devin Setoguchi are tied for the
team goals lead with six. The Canucks are trying to reach their first Stanley
Cup final since 1994. The Sharks are trying for their first since entering the
league in 1991.
Prediction: This series will be decided by how well Luongo plays. We think
this is the year he gets over the top. Canucks in seven.
St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 05.15.2011
569484     Tampa Bay Lightning                                                      St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 05.15.2011

Tampa Bay Lightning players remember New York Rangers enforcer Derek

Damian Cristodero

BOSTON — When Lightning G Mike Smith heard Rangers enforcer Derek
Boogaard died, he said, "I got goose bumps."
Smith played with Boogaard in 2005-06 with AHL Houston and said the 6-
foot-7, 265-pounder, one of the game's fiercest fighters, really was a gentle
"He was a big teddy bear," Smith said Saturday, "a really likable guy, soft
spoken. The way he played did not reflect in any way how he was off the
Lightning G Dwayne Roloson, who played with Boogaard in 2005-06 with
the Wild, and RW Adam Hall, also a teammate with the Wild in 2006-07,
said the same.
"An awesome guy in the (locker) room," Roloson said.
"A great teammate," Hall said, "fun to be around."
It is quite a picture given the statistics. Boogaard, 28, found dead Friday in
his Minneapolis apartment, had three goals and 16 points and 589 penalty
minutes in 277 games with Minnesota and New York.
"Not shy but very soft spoken," Smith said, "a guy who was real easy to talk
to. You'd think it was two different people when you saw him on the ice and
talked to him off the ice. He's going to be missed for sure."
"It's pretty tough to handle," said Roloson, who said he visited regularly this
season with Boogaard when Roloson was with the Islanders.
"I remember when he first broke in. Every day he came to work hard. He
wanted to get better. He wanted to make it in the NHL and wanted to prove
every person out there that said he couldn't make it wrong, and he
succeeded. It's very unfortunate. My heart goes out to his family."
Foul play is not suspected in Boogaard's death but is being investigated. An
autopsy was conducted Saturday; Hennepin County spokeswoman Carol
Allis said results might not be released for at least two weeks.
HEAD ISSUES: Simon Gagne, in his first game back since sustaining a
head injury in Game 1 of the East semifinals with the Capitals, took a solid-
third period hit from Johnny Boychuk with no ill effects.
"It was a good test," said the left wing, who had a goal and four shots in
15:11 of ice time.
"That's what you want when you come back."
Bottom line, Gagne said, "I wasn't too worried about it. That's why I'm
confident everything is okay."
IN AND OUT: Coach Guy Boucher stuck with 11 forwards and seven
defensemen, so C Blair Jones, who played in Gagne's absence, was on the
Jones also had to wait in the locker room after the morning skate as Gagne
was interviewed by reporters who spilled into Jones' adjacent space. "My
stall is always taken because I sit next to the big dogs," Jones said.
"I got an opportunity to play and I tried to use that as well as I could and felt
I did a pretty good job," added Jones, who had zero points and six hits while
averaging 6:11 of ice time in three games.
"It's obviously a big boost to the lineup to have Gags back, to add some
scoring punch. You can never have enough of that this time of year."
ODDS AND ENDS: C Vinny Lecavalier was outstanding with five shots, 16
of 26 on faceoffs and plus-3 in 18:09 of ice time. … The Lightning's
previous fastest two playoff goals were 24 seconds in Game 3 against the
Capitals. The previous three fastest goals were 3:07 in May 2004 during the
Stanley Cup final against the Flames. … Boucher said F Dana Tyrell (foot),
out since April 20, needs another week before playing. … D Matt Smaby
also was scratched.
569485     Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning players who knew tough guy Derek Boogaard recall
"a big teddy bear"

Damian Cristodero

Tampa Bay Lightning goal tender Mike Smith said he got "goose bumps"
when he heard Rangers tough guy Derek Boogaard had been found dead
Friday night in his apartment. He was 28. But more than that, said Smith,
who played with Boogaard during the 2005-06 season with AHL Houston,
he was "a big teddy bear."
Quite a statement considering Boogaard was one of the NHL's most feared
fighters and had 589 penalty minutes in 277 career games.
"For a big guy he was a big teddy bear. A really likable guy, soft spoken,"
Smith said. "The way he played on the ice did not reflect in any way how he
was off the ice. He played hard. He did his job. When you see something
happen like this it makes you think, you know, hockey is fun but life is way
more important. It’s a tragic loss, obviously. He’s a guy who is going to be
missed for sure."
Smith said he got "goose bumps" when he heard the news.
Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson, a teammate of Boogaard's in 2005-
06 with the Wild also took the news hard.
" Yeah, it's pretty tough to handle right now," Roloson said. "He was a great
person away from the rink and at the rink. He gave us security and did the
little things to help his teammates succeed in the game of hockey. It was
very unfortunate. My heart goes out to his family right now."
Asked to describe Boogaard in the locker room, Roloson said, "He was an
awesome guy in the room. I remember when he first broke in, every day he
came to work hard. He wanted to get better. He wanted to make it to the
NHL and wanted to prove to every person out there that said he couldn’t
make it they were wrong. He worked hard every day on and off the ice. One
of those guys who was first on, last off and with the attitude to get better,
and he succeeded."
The cause of Boogaard's death apparently has yet to be determined.
Other stuff from the morning skate: The Lightning had an optional skate at
TD Garden. Ten skaters and two goalies participated. ... Coach Guy
Boucher said he will stick with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Simon
Gagne is in, Blair Jones is out. Defense remains the same. ... Captain
Vinny Lecavalier on Bruins goalie Tim Thomas: "It's pretty tough to watch
tape and try to figure him out. He's all about battling and he fights and never
gives up. That's what makes him the goaltender he is. he competes
probably harder than any goaltender I've seen. That makes him the goalie
he is." ... Gagne did not come right out and say he had a concussion from
the Game 1 hit against the Capitals, but he sure made it sound like the
protocol he followed was done with the idea he might have one. "The first
two days I did the bike 10, 15 minutes to see if anything showed up. I just
did a little bit more every day." More than anything, the 10 days Tampa Bay
had between series was the key. "In the regular season I don't know if you
can prepare yourself like that for that kind of injury," he said. Bottom line,
Gagne added, "I wasn't too worried about it. That's why I'm confident
everything is okay." ... With Gagne in, Jones comes out. "It's the way it
goes," Jones said. "There's injuries and my job was to stay sharp and if
there was an opportunity to play, and I tried to use that as well as I could,
and I felt I did a pretty good job." Jones had zero points, two shots and six
hits and was minus-1 in three games. ... Forward Dana Tyrell, who has
played just four playoff games because of a left foot injury sustained at a
practice in Pittsburgh, skated again on Saturday and again with a red no-
contact jersey. Boucher said the target is for Tyrell to be ready by next
St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 05.15.2011
569486     Toronto Maple Leafs                                                    The NFL must end its lockout now, if not for football fans, then for the good
                                                                                  of society. Since the players were locked out, four members of the Tampa
                                                                                  Bay Buccaneers have been locked up ... Nice tweet from Shawn Green on
Simmons Says: Be careful what you wish for, Leafs fans 7                          the passing of former Jays’ coach and manager for a minute, Mel Queen.
                                                                                  First Green called him the “wisest man I met in 16 years in baseball. Then
                                                                                  he wrote: “Just ask (Carlos) Delgado, (Chris) Carpenter, (Roy) Halladay,
                                                                                  (Jeff) Kent, Shannon Stewart, Woody Williams etc. what Mel meant to their
By Steve Simmons                                                                  careers” ... I only met the late Derek Boogaard once. My memories are
                                                                                  two-fold: 1) He was like many of the NHL’s toughest players, nothing like
                                                                                  his on-ice image; 2) He had the second hardest handshake I’ve ever felt
Toronto hockey fans openly cheering for an NHL return to Winnipeg should          (Sidney Greenberg of Astral wins that category hands down) ... What a way
do so at their own peril.                                                         for Phil Jackson’s coaching career to supposedly come to an end, with
                                                                                  idiots like Andrew Bynum throwing elbows around like he trying out for a
Should the Atlanta Thrashers be sold to Winnipeg interests and moved to           career in UFC ... Best reason to cheer against San Jose in the playoffs: We
Canada, another move would have to follow — a team from the Western               can’t have Kyle Wellwood with a Stanley Cup ring, can we? ... The most
Conference eventually moving to the Eastern Conference.                           appropriate nickname in baseball: Alfredo Aceves of the Red Sox is known
                                                                                  to his teammates as sweaty. And boy is he ever ... This must worry Sidney
It may not happen right away. But if it does, the likely candidates to land in
                                                                                  Crosby: In Justin Morneau’s last 116 at bats before his concussion last
the East are the Detroit Red Wings, which is terrific news if you like
                                                                                  season, he batted .300 with seven home runs. In his first 116 at bats this
rivalries, not so great if you’re hoping to see the Leafs return to the Stanley
                                                                                  season, he’s hitting .216 with one home run.
Cup playoffs some day.
                                                                                  And another thing
The Red Wings, under Ken Holland, are an annual playoff team. That
means one more team the Leafs would have to beat out in order to make             From the department of nothing ever goes right for the Raptors, we give
the Top 8 they keep talking about.                                                you Zach Randolph, the reason the Memphis Grizzlies are playing Game 7
                                                                                  on Sunday against Oklahoma City. Randolph happened to be the 19th
The realignment may not occur next season — and Columbus is fighting              selection in the 2001 NBA Draft. The Raptors picking 17th chose Michael
with Detroit to move from the West to the East — but right now, for the           Bradley, who averaged 2.8 points per game in parts of five NBA seasons ...
Leafs to qualify for the playoffs next season they’d have to beat out Boston      For those counting, that’s the first Game 7 of the NBA playoffs. They trail
and Tampa, the conference finalists, along with contenders such as                the NHL 5-1 in Game 7s in this post-season ... Tuesday is an enormous
Washington, Pittsburgh, Montreal and Philadelphia. Then you add in Buffalo        day for the Raptors, who have no coach or general manager signed up for
under new ownership, the Rangers with Henrik Lundqvist, and playoff also
                                                                                  next season. Getting first pick in the draft would be a huge win at this time
rans, Carolina and New Jersey, and you see what the Leafs are up against.
                                                                                  for the franchise. But if you go with their history, don’t expect the win here ...
Add Detroit to the mix one year later and only gets that much more                The best point of dissent I’ve heard on the banning of body checking at the
complicated for the Leafs.                                                        house league and select level came from a hockey dad: If the OHF was
                                                                                  going to make that decision, they should have done so before Rep tryouts.
This and that                                                                     That would given any player who wanted to play contact hockey the
                                                                                  opportunity to do so .... Almost got to the bottom without a word, good, bad,
Two amazing things about the redoubtable Antti Niemi. 1) He’s played in six       or indifferent about the Sedin brothers. Stay tuned ... Happy birthday to
Stanley Cup playoff series and won all six; 2) His quest to win back to back      three of my all time favourite baseball players, Justin Morneau (30), George
Stanley Cups with two different teams remains alive ... Ken Hitchcock wants       Brett (59) and Omar Vizquel (44) and also to Michael Bishop (35), Ryan
another NHL head coaching gig but coming off a world championship where           Leaf (35) and Emmitt Smith (42) ... And hey, whatever became of Johan
Team Canada didn’t get a medal won’t help his cause ... Strange, there are        Garpenlov?
five coaching openings, in Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey and
Ottawa, and not one hiring to date. What’s everybody waiting for? And still       Sharks have more bite this year
don’t understand why Colorado didn’t fire Joe Sacco? There should be six
coaching vacancies ... Funny, that the usually accessible front office people     These are not Ron Wilson’s San Jose Sharks, this close to the Stanley
in Atlanta, general manager, Rick Dudley, and former GM, Don Waddell,             Cup. Not anymore. Wilson didn’t have Dan Boyle or Logan Couture or a
are not saying much of anything about the future of the Thrashers in the          grown up Devin Setoguchi in his lineup. He had Jonathan Cheechoo and
South. Their silence in this case is quite telling ... Two words for the          Milan Michalek and Craig Rivet and he had Ryan Clowe and Joe Pavelski,
Philadelphia captain, Mike Richards: Grow up ... For the record, that crazy,      but before they matured into players who would become difference makers.
improbable goal scored by Mikael Granlund at the world championship, was          In Wilson’s last San Jose season, he had three 20-goal scorers and no 30-
scored by the ninth player picked in last June’s draft, who is hardly a sniper.   goal scorers. This year’s Sharks team had two 30-goal scorers - should
The kid scored just eight goals in the Finnish League as a 19-year-old but        have had three had Dany Heatley not mailed in his season - and three 20-
that one will be remembered forever ... The three best goals in recent times:     goal scorers. Wilson did have Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in his time
1. Bobby Ryan’s stickhandling special vs. Nashville; 2. Granlund’s scoop          in San Jose but nowhere near the depth and strength of this year’s team.
and throw goal; 3. Ryan Kesler’s split the defenceman, Messier-like rush          This is a team deep enough to win the Cup. Looking back, Wilson’s teams
against the Predators.                                                            were not.

Here and there                                                                    One-man show

The last time the Vancouver Canucks made it to the conference final, the          Right before our eyes, Jose Bautista gets better, every week, every month,
coaching matchup was classic: Pat Quinn, Canucks, vs. Pat Burns, Leafs.           every game. On a Blue Jays team where so much has gone wrong, so
Even if the series was not ... Department of boy was I wrong: When the            much has fallen apart, every Bautista at bat is something to follow, a
Tampa Bay Lightning entered the playoffs, I told anyone who listened: This        discovery of sorts waiting to happen. He was a good player at the end of
is one of those just happy to be there teams. They won’t last long ... For all    the 2009 season, a great player in 2010 and now, he is taking his game to
its buildup, the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics didn’t have half the drama of the      an entirely new level. It is both fascinating, remarkable and inspiring to
San Jose-Detroit classic ... The more I’m on Twitter, the more hooked I get,      watch. He has become what few Blue Jays before him have become: The
the more frustrated and disappointed it makes me, and yet I still keep going      reason to go to the ballpark. Typically, the fair weather fans of Toronto have
back. Like an addiction of sorts ... Personally, your thoughts or my thoughts     not completely caught on to Bautista and all that is happening with him.
on same sex marriage are your own or my business, but they do matter if           Attendance continues to be soft. But if anyone deserves more people in the
you’re a player agent and you’re representing clients who don’t agree with        park, it’s Bautista: He is starring daily in his own one-man show.
the beliefs you happen to be advertising in public ... Justin Verlander went
                                                                                  T.O.’s love for Leo in a league of its own
50 batters, the 28 batters he faced in the Blue Jays no hitter, and another
22 in his following start. That is about as close as anybody will ever get to     It wasn’t until I wrote about Leo Cahill and his health issues earlier this
Johnny Vander Meer ... For those keeping score, Team Canada didn’t get a          week and began reading all the responses that came in, that I came to truly
medal at the worlds even though James Reimer didn’t lose a game.                  understand how significant a figure he was on the Toronto sports scene.
                                                                                  There have been other people: Punch lmlach, Pinball Clemons, Cito
Scene and heard                                                                   Gaston, who have changed the way we look at sporting teams and sporting
                                                                                  times. But it’s different with Cahill. It is, for many of us, generational, a
childhood memory we want to hold on to forever. A time we cannot
duplicate. Cahill wasn’t just a coach, but a walking headline, someone we
adored and loathed, often at the same time. There won’t or can’t ever be
another like him because times and circumstances can never be the same.
Just be thankful he’s still around and appreciate the time for what it was.
Toronto Sun LOADED: 05.15.2011
569487     Vancouver Canucks

The Psychiatrist Series


VANCOUVER - If the opening game is as good as the opening quote, the
Western Conference final is going to be outstanding.
Kevin Bieksa laid a pretty good hit on Kyle Wellwood before the former
Vancouver Canuck and his new San Jose Sharks teammates had landed
here Saturday.
Bieksa was asked about a quote Wellwood supplied during the regular
season which comes into play now that the two teams with their horrid
histories meet in the series from which one of them can't help but win to get
to the Stanley Cup final.
"I don't even remember what the weasel said," responded Bieksa.
Wellwood, he was reminded, said he thought the Canucks were "afraid to
lose" in the early March quotes.
"When we had him on our squad, we were afraid to lose," said Bieksa.
"Smallest third-line centre in the league," he added.
This is a series which should be covered by psychiatrists not sports
columnists. Both these outfits have been desperately in need of analysis for
some time. Now they've come together in a best-of-seven series to share
the same couch.
Wellwood, who earned his degree in these sort of studies as a Toronto
Maple Leaf , offered his analysis in March.
"I just feel Vancouver has a few more lessons to learn and I'm glad I'm in
San Jose. I just feel the Sharks are more mature because they've lost a few
more times. They're not so scared of losing," he said back then.
Few series in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs have ever set up like
this one between two teams who have consistently found failure following
fabulous regular-season runs.
Both teams seem to insist on playing with a noose around their necks and
proved it again this spring as both blew 3-0 series leads before winning
Game 7s.
But has anybody given any thought to the idea that the noose may now be
off the necks of the Canucks but still firmly in place under the jaws of the
You could make a case that by getting to this series for the first time in 17
years, by defeating their demons against the Chicago Blackhawks and
putting away a subsequent series in a Game 6 on the road, the Canucks
should have removed the angst from the psychotic fan base that has
choked the team as much as the team has done it on its own.
The Canucks have been to the Western Conference final only three times in
their entire 40-year history but have never lost one. They're 2-0. The Sharks
have been to this series in three of the past seven seasons. They were
swept last year.
"I think we've done a good job getting this group feeling good about
themselves, feeling good about one another," said head coach Alain
Vigneault of the mood and attitude now.
"We're really confident we can go out and get it done. We feel really good
about our game. We feel confident that if we play the right way, we can be
the better team on the ice. Hopefully we'll set out to prove that, starting in
Game 1."
"We've never been this far as a group. It should be a lot of fun," said Daniel
Sedin, the Art Ross Trophy winner who has had no fun at all these playoffs.
"I mean, we have never felt this good about our team in a long time. So for
us, this is maybe the first year where we thought we were a contender
before it started."
Interesting, after the previous failures, to hear that now.
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 05.15.2011
569488     Vancouver Canucks

Kesler on fire going into West final


VANCOUVER - Will Ryan Kesler continue to be dominant, despite a switch
in opponents?
Will the Vancouver Canucks' best player in the first two rounds of the
playoffs be able to continue to lead his team, now that he likely faces a
much better centre, quite possibly Joe Thornton, this time around?
"For me, it's going to be playing the same way," said the Canucks' second-
line centre, who has won 53.8% of his faceoffs in the playoffs compared to
Thornton's 60.7 success ratio, while scoring five goals compared to two
from Jumbo Joe.
"Obviously, from Chicago to Nashville, I played the same way but I just got
a lot more scoring chances, a lot more scoring opportunities.
"I'm going to continue to play the same way, put the same game on the ice.
I think you've just got to continue getting better. You forget about the past
and you focus on San Jose. We did a good job of that after we won
probably the most emotional, important series played here in the past --
beating Chicago in seven.
"I thought we did a good job of moving on and focusing on Nashville," he
"We need to move on. I personally need to move on and continue getting
better." General manager Mike Gillis said it doesn't matter who is on the
other side of the ice.
"I think he can play against anyone the way he's playing right now," he said.
Alain Vigneault wouldn't say who he intends to play Kesler against.
"He faced some good players the last round," the Canucks coach said.
"Also as the series went on, he faced a good duo on D. They made some
adjustments. For the most part they had Shea Weber and Ryan Suter out
against him.
"I expect him to keep doing the same thing he's been dong, which is playing
good, hard hockey."
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 05.15.2011
569489     Vancouver Canucks

Sedins looking for fresh start


VANCOUVER - You'd say that the Sedins seemed loose and that maybe
even Henrik was having a little fun.
But then, again, maybe he was serious.
"You are going to have games when you are minus-7 combined," Henrik
said Saturday.
"You have to move on."
The Swedish twins, indeed, did have such a game en route to the Western
Conference final.
Both minus-8 in the playoffs so far, Henrik and Daniel, who took turns
winning the last two Art Ross Trophies, are looking for a fresh start.
"I think every game is a fresh start in the playoffs," said Henrik.
"It's a thing where you have to move on. You look at the next game as a
chance to make a difference.
"This is the way we look at it. Always a chance to go out there next shift,
next game, make a difference, and that's not going to change just because
it's a new series."
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 05.15.2011
569490     Vancouver Canucks

Five burning questions

By Terry Jones

The Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks have so much in
common. They've both been studies in regular season excellence followed
by fizzles and failures. Both have been notorious slow learners. The
Canucks talked the talk about learning their lessons against Chicago the
previous two years and ended up in overtime in Game 7 and damn near did
it again against Nashville. The Sharks have been at it even longer. Yes they
finally made the Western Conference Final last year. But when they got
there, thet got swept. Whoever best learned the lessons at long last will win
at trip to the final.
Robert Luongo, when he was signed to that 12-year $64 million contract,
was the No. 1 reason the Vancouver Canucks would finally win a Stanley
Cup. He won the gold medal for Canada at Vancouver 2010. But while he
won Game 7 against the Blackhawks in overtime, there's still fear he'll come
unglued like he did to get replaced in Game 6 against Chicago and in those
previous major meltdowns.
Is there a bigger mystery in hockey than how it can be that a goaltender has
now played six consecutive Stanley Cup playoff series and won them all
despite an average goals-against average of 2.76 and a pedestrian save
percentage of .909? Can this guy win two successive Stanley Cups with
two different teams and be the first to turn that trick since Harry Holmes in
Stop me if you've heard this one before. But will the Sedins show up this
Stanley season? They're 0-2 so far, the Swedish twins who have taken
turns winning Art Ross Trophies. Henrik may be hurt. And that hurts Daniel.
They're tied at a playoff-low minus eight. But Chicago had the template to
take them away. And Nashville takes everything away. Finally, they may
find a series which opens up their game and puts them back in play again.
'No Show Joe' Thorton grabbed Game 7 by the throat, stepped up and said
'Will everyone here kindly step to the rear and let a winner lead the way' in
a big way. Was this a sign of things to come for the Sharks the rest of the
way? And will fellow former post-season disappearing act Patrick Marleau
appear again like he did in Game 7 vs. Detroit?
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 05.15.2011
569491     Vancouver Canucks                                                        “Come back a bit more re-energized, refreshed and ready to go once we
                                                                                    started practising again."
                                                                                    POKER FACE: Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault was keeping his cards
Canucks notebook: Oreskovich expected to bump Tambellini                            close to his vest when it came to Sunday's match-ups. The question
                                                                                    remains whether he will counter with the Sedins or Kesler against the
                                                                                    Sharks' No. 1 unit of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi.
By Ian Walker
                                                                                    It's such a guarded secret, even Henrik claimed to be in the dark.
                                                                                    “I don't know the plan,” said Henrik. “We'll see what happens. He's a big
It looks as though Vancouver forward Jeff Tambellini will find himself back         guy, really strong, likes to score. He's one of the best in the league. He can
on the outside looking in when the puck drops Sunday (5 p.m., CBC, Team             make plays. You have to be careful when you run up against him. At the
1040) in Game 1 of the Western Conference final between the Canucks                 same time they got a lot of offensive guys that can hurt you. You have to
and San Jose Sharks at Rogers Arena.                                                focus on not only him, but a lot of the guys."

The big-bodied Victor Oreskovich was back on the fourth line during                 R.I.P. BOOGEYMAN: Canucks players were all saddened and shocked to
Saturday's practice, skating with Cody Hodgson and Tanner Glass. It                 learn of the death of New York Rangers tough-guy Derek Boogaard on
should be the only change to the Canucks' lineup from their Game 6 victory          Friday night. Boogaard was found by family members at his off-season
over the Nashville Predators.                                                       home in Minneapolis, Minn. Details of his death have yet to be released. He
                                                                                    was 28.
“Nothing official, but either way I'll be ready go,” said Oreskovich, who at 6-
3 and 215 pounds, has a definite advantage over the 5-11, 180-pound                 “He was a good guy, an intimidating guy, but a good guy none the less,”
Tambellini, especially against a lineup that boasts the likes of Joe Thornton       said Tanner Glass, who skated with the Saskatoon native in the summer.
and Ryane Clowe. “They have some big, fast guys, so I'm excited to face             “You have to feel for his family and friends.”
them, if that's the case.”
                                                                                    Defenceman Dan Hamhuis was a teammate with the 6-8, 250 pounder
Tambellini but did slot into Chris Higgins's place on the second line after the     while the two were playing with the WHL's Prince George Cougars.
latter left the ice early for treatment on his sore foot, suffered blocking a
shot in Game 5 against Nashville. It was the first time Higgins was on the          “It was kind of shocking,” said Hamhuis. “I saw that last night on the
ice since Vancouver's elimination victory on Monday.                                Internet. I played with him two or three years in junior and certainly it's really
                                                                                    sad. He was a really good guy. Pretty quiet, but he played a difficult role,
“It was the plan for the week and I'll be playing [Sunday],” said Higgins,          being a fighter. Him and I were pretty good friends in juniors. Certainly sad
adding there's not much that can be done other than to ice his foot to keep         to see that happen.”
the swelling down. “I'm just doing what I'm doing and trying to contain it as
much as I can.”                                                                     Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 05.15.2011

Mikael Samuelsson is expected to miss the start of the series with a lower
body injury while Keith Ballard and Andrew Alberts will be the healthy
scratches on defence.
Tambellini was on the ice for 4:41 in his only appearance of the post-
season, but made the most of his limited time by chasing down Martin Erat
with Vancouver up by one to erase a breakaway.
CLEAN SLATE: Ryan Kesler was asked how, or if, he could improve upon
his Round 2 performance, in which he had five goals in three games, two of
which were game-winners. He was also on the ice for 11 of Vancouver's 14
goals and finished the series with 11 points while playing 25 minutes a
“I think you just have to continue getting better,” he said. “You forget about
the past and you focus on San Jose. We did a good job of that after we
probably won the most emotional, important series of the guys that played
here in years past, beating Chicago in seven. I thought we did a good job of
moving on and focusing on Nashville. I don't see any way different. We
need to move on. Me personally, I need to move on and continue getting
Henrik and Daniel Sedin, who have been criticized for their lack of
production through the first two rounds, are taking a similar approach.
“I think every game is a fresh start in the playoffs,” said Henrik. “It's a thing
where you have to move on. You look at the next game as a chance to
make a difference. This is the way we look at it. Always a chance to go out
there next shift, next game, make a difference, and that's not going to
change just because it's a new series.”
TIME WELL SPENT: Vancouver comes into the series with five days
between games while San Jose last played on Thursday, when the Sharks
defeated the Detroit Red Wings in seven games.
“I think that was really good for us to get some rest,” said Henrik. “We got a
few good days of practice. I think come tomorrow [Sunday] we'll all be ready
to go. We've been looking forward to this a long time. We'll be ready.”
At this time of the season, the rest is as beneficial for the mind as it is the
body, said Roberto Luongo.
“Obviously, in the playoffs you want to be focused on hockey as much as
you can, especially when you're in the middle of a series, but the fact we
had a few days, especially early in the week where we didn't practice, made
us get away from the game a little bit and think about other things,” he said.
569492     Vancouver Canucks                                                     “We had an inordinate amount of defencemen getting injured and we
                                                                                 wanted to have as much depth as we could.”
                                                                                 To get it, Gillis traded one of his top prospects, a first-round pick, and
Canucks' blueline corps may never again be this good                             committed $8.7 million a year for Ballard and Hamhuis.
                                                                                 “I think we have every element we need, now,” Gillis said. “We may not
By Jason Botchford                                                               have that dominating guy who is really physically intimidating, but we have
                                                                                 guys who are really good at every aspect.”
, The ProvinceMay 14, 2011
                                                                                 Hamhuis has done more than just fit in. He’s made Bieksa a better player
                                                                                 and given the Canucks one of the best shutdown pairings they’ve had in the
                                                                                 franchise’s 40-year run.
                                                                                 “For a defenceman, you need a partner,” Gillis said. “There’s a reason why
Keith Ballard in action at Rogers Arena in Game 7 of the Western                 it’s Seabrook and Keith and it’s Weber and Suter. They get to know each
Conference first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks.            other. They learn to trust each other and they know what each other is
                                                                                 going to do.
If you’re so inclined, you can question Vancouver GM Mike Gillis when he
says earnestly he would do the Keith Ballard trade again — in a heartbeat.       “It makes them both better. I think Kevin and Dan have really found a
                                                                                 comfort level where they trust one another on the ice. They know where
But you can’t question the defence he’s constructed, the one many see as a
                                                                                 each other is going to be and they don’t allow themselves to get into
potential scales-tipper in the Western Conference final.
Gillis said Saturday he has no regrets. He shouldn’t. It took the same go-
                                                                                 “It’s great.”
for-broke mentality to sign off on the Ballard deal as it did to author a
blueline that now has a starting six Ballard can’t seem to crack.                What hasn’t been great for fans is seeing Ballard in the press box for playoff
                                                                                 games, an expensive healthy scratch.
And the reality is this: It may never again be this good. Unless, of course, a
Shea Weber trade exists somewhere other than fans’ dreams.                       Ballard hasn’t played since Game 2 of the Nashville series. In seven playoff
                                                                                 games, he played more than 15 minutes once. In the regular season, he
Without size or Chris Pronger, Vancouver’s blueline isn’t perfect. Even with
                                                                                 saw more than 20 minutes in ice time just six times. In other words, he’s
Aaron Rome. It can be exposed, and often is, down low, around the goal
                                                                                 never really been given a chance since arriving in Vancouver.
line and in corners. That could be trouble because these are areas the San
Jose Sharks and their puck-cycling ways can make perilous.                       “It’s a work in progress,” Gillis said. “He’s played some really good games,
                                                                                 he’s played some weaker games. We have to keep working with him to get
Still, Vancouver is the Toyota of defences — before the recalls. It is deep in
                                                                                 him to the level we want.”
defencemen who are reliable and consistently efficient. Without flash, they
can skate, score and move pucks. When they’re on, they can torture and           It’s hard not to wonder what would have happened if head coach Alain
tease puck possession teams like the Sharks, who give up the puck often          Vigneault had given Ballard a stretch of three weeks, let’s say in February,
and try to chase it down.                                                        where he played top-four minutes nightly. If he didn’t perform during the
                                                                                 stretch, there would be a lot less debate now about whether or not he
That’s why many believe the worm turned this year, allowing Vancouver to
                                                                                 deserves to be in the lineup instead of Rome.
go 3-0-1 against San Jose, a team that used to bonk the Canucks annually
as if they were cohos in a salmon farm.                                          “I really like Keith Ballard,” Gillis said. “I would do that trade again. I think
                                                                                 he’s a valuable member of the team and I think he will continue to prove to
You can’t cycle if you don’t have the puck.
                                                                                 be a valuable member of the team.
“It’s the deepest, easily, I’ve ever been on,” Kevin Bieksa said. “Our seven
                                                                                 “Sometimes, circumstances dictate. You have to react to what you’re
and eight guys could play anywhere else. We have a lot of different guys
who can do a lot of different things. We don’t ever have to rely on one guy.
                                                                                 What the Canucks are facing in the offseason is the reality they may lose
“And everyone is a puck mover.”
                                                                                 Christian Ehrhoff or Bieksa or both to free agency. If trading Ballard will help
Ok, maybe Rome’s puck-moving is more like “puck-flipping into the neutral        the Canucks get one or both, they’ll do it. Keeping both seems unlikely.
zone,” Bieksa said, but you get the idea.
                                                                                 If one leaves, Ballard becomes more valuable in Vancouver.
“We don’t need one guy staying back and another rushing the puck,” Bieksa
                                                                                 The trade-off? The defence won’t be nearly as good.
said. “I know on my pairing, we both can do the same things.”
                                                                                 Vancouver Province: LOADED: 05.15.2011
Bieksa is, of course, with Dan Hamhuis on Vancouver’s minute-chewing top
pairing. It was Hamhuis who took less money to play in his home province
as a free agent in July. He spurned several other teams, even though he
saw a talented defence in Vancouver that was going to make the big
minutes he desperately craved more difficult to earn.
It’s worked out beautifully for him. Only Bieksa, Ryan Suter and Dan Boyle
have played more this postseason.
If you consider Ballard disappointing, then you have to temper that with the
fact that Hamhuis seamlessly fit in, executed wonderfully and made
everyone forget Willie Mitchell.
It’s hard to have one without the other. Both Ballard and Hamhuis were
obtained out of the same motivation.
“I wanted more defencemen, that’s why,” Gillis said, bluntly.
Not every general manager would have. Heading into the offseason, Gillis
had the goalie, and an above-average defence. He could have spent more
resources on forwards, but instead jumped for two D-men. He reasoned
Saturday he did it because he was flat done watching his blueliners break
down in the playoffs with injuries.
“We were planning for the worst-case scenario,” Gillis said.
569493     Vancouver Canucks

San Jose focus on Kesler could help Sedins line


Ryan Kesler presents a challenge for the San Jose Sharks, and their efforts
to slow him down may help the Sedins line get going in the Western
Conference final series.
That the San Jose Sharks must do something to contend with Ryan Kesler
is obvious.
The interesting spin-off is that it may result in more opportunity for the
Kesler played arguably the greatest playoff round in Canucks history
against Nashville. After going pointless in the first game, he then reeled off
an amazing 11 points (5-6) in the final five games of the second-round
series. But that was just scoring. He also led the Canucks in just about
every other area.
The Sharks may try to get their No. 1 line of Joe Thornton between Patrick
Marleau and Devin Setoguchi out against Kesler – hoping that it deflects
more of his energies to the defensive side of the puck, as it did with the
Jonathan Toews line in the Chicago series.
Vancouver’s matchup of choice in the four regular-season games against
the Sharks was to sic Manny Malhotra and his third line on Thornton. But
with Malhotra’s season-ending eye injury that’s not an option — so Canucks
head coach Alain Vigneault may be OK with Kesler-Thornton when he gets
last change in the first two games at Rogers Arena.
San Jose coach Todd McLellan appeared to seek a Thornton-Sedins
matchup in the regular season, so we’ll see how that shakes out.
The other difference from the Canucks’ previous series — and this should
also benefit the Sedins — is that San Jose has no true shutdown defence
pair like Nashville’s all-world Ryan Suter and Shea Weber. Minute-muncher
Dan Boyle plays a ton, and after that it gets done by committee.
The Sedins had a miserable time in the Nashville series, Henrik with 1-3 in
the six games and Daniel with 1-2.
But the north-south style that this series shapes up to be should benefit
Danny and Hank.
“I think they’re more of a team that roll their lines and roll their Ds,” said
Henrik. “We’re the same kind of team, so we’ll see what happens. We’ve
been through this throughout the regular season and the playoffs, so it’s a
thing where if some guys aren’t scoring then other guys are stepping up.”
Chris Higgins said it won’t be as if the Sharks will ignore the Sedins.
“I don’t think they’re taking any focus off those guys,” he said. “They could
be back-to-back Hart Trophy winners. Kes is obviously playing some pretty
good hockey and it’s tough to match up against the two lines that we have.
But they’re a good team and they’re going to play hard.”
NOTE: It’s expected that Canucks right-winger Victor Oreskovich will
replace Jeff Tambellini on the fourth line, indicating the Canucks expect a
more physical game against the Sharks.
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 05.15.2011
569494     Vancouver Canucks

Niemi gives the Sharks confidence

By Jim Jamieson

Antti Niemi has earned the trust of his teammates with his play in the
second half of the season and the playoffs.
Antti Niemi hasn’t got great numbers against the Vancouver Canucks —
neither in last year’s playoffs with Chicago or this season in San Jose — but
the Sharks are brimming with confidence their goaltender can get the job
done for them in the Western Conference final against the Canucks.
Niemi’s stats against Vancouver in the regular season were 3.64 goals
against and an .896 save percentage, and in last year’s playoffs they were
3.02 GAA and an .898 SP, but he’s got a Stanley Cup ring and six-series
winning streak going in the playoffs.
“Well, yeah, we feel he’s the best goaltender in the world,” said Sharks
captain Joe Thornton after the team arrived in Vancouver on Saturday in
advance of Sunday’s Game 1.
“As a team, you have so much confidence going into each and every game
just knowing we have a chance to win. If we play well in front of him, we’ll
probably win, because he’s that good. For the team, it’s very comforting to
have a guy like that behind you.”
The Sharks signed Niemi after the Blackhawks walked away from a $2.75-
million aribitration award last summer. He struggled to start the season, as
did the entire San Jose team, but was a major factor in the team’s
turnaround in the second half.
Sharks defenceman Dan Boyle said it’s easy playing in front of the Finnish
“Let him see the pucks, try to clear the rebounds, no different than any
other team in the league,” said Boyle. “Right now he’s at the top of his
game. He’s been there since the second half of the season. He makes our
job pretty easy.”
Niemi is coming off a gruelling seven-game series with Detroit, where the
Red Wings poured 246 shots at him. He allowed 17 goals in the six games
and was below a .900 save percentage only once.
Niemi seems to be able to take it to another level when he needs to. He
says it’s just reacting to the moment.
“Well, I think it’s probably the pressure, you get extra energy out of it,” he
said. “And I think, obviously, the team has to be playing well.”
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 05.15.2011
569495     Vancouver Canucks                                                    Canucks: RW Mikael Samuelsson (lower body). Sharks: D Kent Huskins
                                                                                (upper body)
                                                                                — Jim Jamieson
Canucks Gameday
                                                                                Vancouver Province: LOADED: 05.15.2011

By Jim Jamieson

Sharks (0-0) at Canucks (0-0)
5 p.m., Rogers Arena
TV: CBC, Radio: TEAM 1040
Canucks: Vancouver is coming off a welcome five days’ rest to begin its first
conference final in 17 years. They desperately need to find someone,
anyone, besides Ryan Kesler to drive the bus offensively. One-line scoring
won’t get it done against the Sharks.
Sharks: San Jose gets to its second consecutive WCF and you know they
are keen to show they’re not going to fall short yet again after another
excellent regular season. Mind you, they didn’t exactly instill confidence by
allowing Detroit out of a 0-3 deficit in Round 2 before winning in seven.
1. The Canucks defencemen’s ability to handle the Sharks’ big forwards
when they get the puck deep and establish a cycle. This is the go-to move
for San Jose and it’s up to the Canucks to be able to minimize it by moving
the puck quickly out of their own zone.
2. The play of Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi. He’s a rock when he’s on and
a rebound machine when he’s not, but Niemi has now won six straight
playoff series (including last season’s Stanley Cup win with Chicago). He’s
much smaller than Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, who the Canucks faced in the
last round, but can be just as formidable.
3. Who will the Canucks play against the Joe Thornton line? Having last
change in the first two games, will Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault opt
to go head to head with Ryan Kesler — a la the Jonathan Toews matchup
in the Chicago series? Or will it be the Sedins, a matchup that the Sharks
seemed to seek during regular-season games?

The number of consecutive playoff series that San Jose goaltender Antti
Niemi has won.
GOALS 6 D.Sedin
ASSISTS 10 Kesler
POINTS 15 Kesler
SHOTS 55 D.Sedin
Luongo 8-5
2.25 GAA/.917 SV%
GOALS 6 Couture
ASSISTS 9 3 Players
POINTS 13 Clowe
SHOTS 49 Setoguchi
IN NET Niemi 7-5
3.01 GAA/.906 SV%
569496     Vancouver Canucks                                                       Vancouver Province: LOADED: 05.15.2011

Defenceman Dan Boyle ‘means the world to our team,’ says Sharks coach

By Tony Gallagher

San Jose coach Todd McLellan is asked about Dan Boyle in a quiet
moment away from the podium and he gives the answer a lot of thought
before responding.
“He means the world to our team,” says a coach who is both gifted and
enormously liked and respected by his players, and happens to be starting
his very first playoff series on the road as an NHL coach for six years (three
in Detroit).
“He’s our quarterback, he’s an elite defenceman that all the teams that end
up winning it seem to have, and a special leader. It’s not just the offence,
the points, the rushes — he blocks shots, he hits, kills penalties and has an
impact on just about every shift he takes.
“And we as coaches use him as a sounding board, too. He’ll often see
things a different way, a way we hadn’t seen, and he’ll challenge us in a
way. He’s great to talk to as a coach, a big help, he’s a very special player.”
When Sharks GM Doug Wilson stole him from Tampa for an assorted load
of goods that included Ty Wishart, Matt Carle and a first-rounder who
turned out to be Carter Ashton, Boyle ended up waiving his no-trade clause
largely because stars like Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton already
adorned the roster. And ever since he’s been with the Sharks, this team
seems to have had a shot at the big prize, one way or another, and he’s
been a significant reason why.
“He moves the puck so well for us and does all sorts of different things, but
mostly he just competes like crazy,” says Wilson of the man who is
absolutely vital to the Sharks defence holding together well enough for this
team to beat the Vancouver Canucks. “Every time out there he competes.”
It’s hard to imagine where the Sharks would be without him, but it’s not
dissimilar to where the Wings will be when Nicklas Lidstrom decides he’s
played enough hockey. Boyle is leading the NHL playoffs in points by a
defenceman with 11, he’s the glue that holds the Sharks together and you
only have to see how well Douglas Murray is playing to realize what a
positive impact Boyle has had on his partner.
He won a Cup in Tampa in 2004 before he agreed to come to San Jose,
and he sees a lot of similarities between that team and this edition of the
Sharks, and when you see the differences he lists you get the feeling he’s
not just saying it.
“Yeah, the top three lines are very much the same, in that you can just roll
them pretty good and have some success,” he said, before going on to
keep the fourth line’s ego intact with some comforting words as well.
Clearly the shortcomings of this team in the past have been a shortage of
support forwards for their top guns.
This year the likes of Torrey Mitchell, Devin Setoguchi, and Logan Couture
arrived with an impact and provided perhaps even more than offensive
support for Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley. The forwards
may well be where the Sharks carry an advantage in this series, depending
upon how the Sedins play, but there is no discussion of the San Jose attack
without the inclusion of Boyle, who won an Olympic gold medal at Rogers
Arena doing many of the same things for Team Canada.
Not only have those young forwards provided depth offensively the whole
group seems to have bought into whatever McLellan has been preaching,
according to Boyle.
“The top guys all kind of changed their games a little bit — concentrated on
defence, which I think wins championships,” he said. “I think that’s where
the biggest difference was. Guys are playing hard defensively and
offensively are pretty gifted. That takes over. But defensively, I think we’re a
better team than we were last year.”

By the time this series is finished, the Canucks will have provided an
excellent measuring stick of just how significant that improvement turns out
to be.
569497     Vancouver Canucks                                                      “You can’t say it’s not about the money,” says Henrik, the reigning Hart
                                                                                  Trophy winner who’s making $6.1 million a year. “But we wouldn’t have
                                                                                  signed for that money on another team.
Bieksa, Ehrhoff have a decision to make                                           “It shows we really want to be here and we enjoy playing with each other.
                                                                                  That’s what you want as a player.”

By Ed Willes                                                                      And that’s the tradeoff you accept. Sometimes.
                                                                                  Vancouver Province: LOADED: 05.15.2011

For Kevin Bieksa and Christian Ehrhoff, this is the easy part.
They both want to stay in Vancouver, and you don’t have to dig too deep to
understand why. The city is beautiful. It’s a hockey-mad market. As for their
work environment, the Canucks not only have a chance to win the Stanley
Cup this season, but look poised to contend for the next three to four
That, at least, is the easy part. The more difficult aspect concerns the salary
cap and the complications it presents. In a perfect world, they both merit
hefty raises. In a perfect world, they’d sign long-term deals and be part of
the Canucks’ glorious future.
But in the salary-cap world, there are 49 other considerations in play, and
what Bieksa and Ehrhoff deserve ranks far down on that list.
“There are scenarios under which both players would fit under the cap,”
says Laurence Gilman, the Canucks assistant general manager who’s
handled the team’s payroll expertly over the last three seasons.
And pretty much every one of those scenarios involves both players taking
under market value to stay in Vancouver.
With the Western final starting on Sunday evening, the contractual situation
of the two Canucks’ defencemen isn’t exactly a talking point of the
Vancouver-San Jose series. But this is also one of those issues that is
always around a team, particularly a team like the Canucks where a
championship or championships may be decided by a single personnel
In this case, the organization is staring at two big decisions. Bieksa has
emerged as a two-way defenceman who can play a shutdown role while
contributing offensively, and if you think those guys grow on trees, look
around the league.
Ehrhoff, for his part, finished seventh among defencemen in scoring and
helped trigger the NHL’s top-rated power play. Check those trees again.
There aren’t a lot of Ehrhoffs growing on them, either.
Clearly, then, both players are an integral part of the Canucks’ success this
season and, just as clearly, they would remain part of the team’s core
moving forward.
The next question is at what cost, and that’s where things get complicated.
Both are unresticted free agents this summer and each is contemplating a
significant payday. The Canucks, for their part, have some 13 players under
contract next season for about $46 million. The good news is the cap might
go up a couple of million to the $61-million range. The not-so-good news is
that would leave $15 million to fill out their roster.
So where do they spend their money? Bieksa is likely the less complicated
case because the most comparable player in the NHL might be his defence
partner, Dan Hamhuis, who’s making $4.5 million US.
Ehrhoff is a slightly different cat. His major selling point, offence from the
back end, is a valued commodity, which is why Anaheim’s Lubomir
Visnovsky is making $5.6 million a year.
Then there’s the X-factor in all this. How do you put a price on playing in
Vancouver? Ryan Kesler made headlines two years ago when he opined
Canucks’ players would have to take “pay cuts” if the team wanted to win.
That caused some excitement at the Players Association, but Kesler’s point
was bang on, even if his choice of words wasn’t.
The fact is there are at least four players on the current Canucks’ team
making significantly under market value — Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Kesler
and Alex Burrows — and that’s allowed GM Mike Gillis to build a Stanley
Cup contender. This is an intensely personal decision and asking a player
to take less than he’s worth is asking a lot.
But that request goes down a little easier when some of the best players in
the game have already taken less to play in Vancouver.
569498     Vancouver Canucks

Canucks' Bieksa pokes fun at former teammate Wellwood the 'weasel'

By Jason Botchford

Welly the Weasel.
Sounds like a children's book. Surely, if Kevin Bieksa wrote it, it would have
some terrific one liners. On those, he is never short.
Bieksa has become the most quotable player the Canucks have had in a
long, long time. He's had some winners this postseason, but topped himself
Saturday when he referred to Wellwood as a "weasel."
He was joking, at least half joking, but interesting he chose an animal which
is portrayed in fiction as being sneaky and thieving and one who always
manages to flee.
In the song "Pop Goes the Weasel," the weasel flees from the monkey.
But we digress.
This story started in March when Wellwood called out his old team,
suggesting the Canucks were afraid to lose. For those who forget,
Wellwood said:
"I just feel Vancouver has a few more lessons to learn and I'm glad I'm in
San Jose ...
"They're not so scared of losing. I think come playoff time this team [the
Sharks] is going to be better."
When baited with that story, Bieksa dived at the hook Saturday.
"I don't even remember what that weasel said," Bieksa said.
Ah, he said your team was essentially afraid to lose and needed to learn
some more of those playoff lessons everyone is always talking about.
"When we had him on our squad, we were afraid to lose," Bieksa said. "He
was the smallest third-line centre in the league at that point."
If Wellwood is looking for a positive here, Bieksa did call him small.
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 05.15.2011
569499     Vancouver Canucks

Kurten Trick: Sharks Are Pretty Deep Down The Middle

By Mike Halford Sun

The paper's letting us write 400 words for the print edition on each Canucks
game day. It's just three things we're thinking, so we called it the Kurten
Trick, like hat trick, because we couldn't think of anything more original.
1. When Joe Pavelski is the third-line center, your team is officially deep
down the middle. Pavelski had 66 points during the regular season, yet
perennial all-star Joe Thornton and rookie-of-the-year candidate Logan
Couture have been centering San Jose’s first and second lines,
respectively. The Sharks have a decent collection of wingers as well,
including Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau, Ryane Clowe, Devin Setoguchi,
Torrey Mitchell and Kyle Wellwood (don’t laugh, he’s playing well). Add it up
and San Jose can roll three lines that can score. Intimidating, right? Well,
yes. But fortunately for Vancouver, the Canucks are deep on the back end
the same way San Jose’s deep up front. Alain Vigneualt has six capable
defencemen at his disposal each game (and two more in the press box,
although AV's not crazy about one of them), but imagine if he only had four,
plus two guys he couldn’t trust against skilled forwards. How often would
those two see the ice against a team with three lines of skill? How tired
would the top four get? Mike Gillis made it a priority to assemble a deep
blue line during the summer. Now we’ll see if it pays off.
2. The Sharks have a tonne of talent up front, but they’re not exactly loaded
with quality defencemen. Dan Boyle was a member of Team Canada’s
gold-medal winning team at the Olympics, but after that it drops off pretty
significantly. Marc-Edouard Vlasic is solid, but adds little offensively. Jason
Demers is only 22 and still has a lot to learn. Douglas Murray is big…and
slow. Ian White has been traded by the Leafs, Flames and Hurricanes in
the last couple of years, which tells you something. And Niclas Wallin is, uh,
Niclas Wallin.
3. San Jose has a perfect 5-0 overtime record in the playoffs. For a team
with a reputation for folding under pressure, that’s a remarkably clutch
statistic. The Sharks have shown some real backbone this postseason, and
not just in sudden death. They battled back to beat Los Angeles after
trailing 4-0 in Game 3 of their first-round series with the Kings, and they got
the job done in Game 7 against Detroit, knowing that a loss would mean a
spot in choking infamy, having once led the series 3-0.
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 05.15.2011
569500     Vancouver Canucks

Bieksa on Boogaard: A huge loss for the game

By Jason Botchford

Kevin Bieksa believes Derek Boogaard was one of the toughest to ever
play the game.
Boogaard's death has rocked the NHL. Those he played against
remembered him as one of the most intimidating players in the league.
"In my opinion, he is probably in the top-three of the toughest guys of all
time," Bieksa said. "He's probably the most feared fighter of all time.
"It's a huge loss for the game."
The 28-year-old known as the "Boogey Man” had signed a $6.5 million
contract with the Rangers last year.
"It hits you right away," Bieksa said. "You immediately feel for his family and
friends. It's just a sad situation.
"He was a specimen. He hurt a lot of people when he fought. A lot of people
just said 'no' to him."
Tanner Glass skated with Boogaard in the summers occasionally as part of
Perry Pearn's three on three camps.
"He was always really nice, a quiet guy," Glass told The Province's Jim
Jamieson. "He seemed like a good guy to me.
"As a player, he was huge, intimidating. He was effective at what he did."
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 05.15.2011
569501     Websites                                                                "We're in the conference final. So who cares?" he said, sounding as
                                                                                   frustrated as the Bruins look on the power play. "I don't care if we score on
                                                                                   the power play or not. We're in the conference final. Look at other teams,
CNN/Sports Illustrated / Sarah Kwak>INSIDE THE NHL                                 they scored on the power play, and they're watching us at home on the
                                                                                   Without a plan to right that ship, however, it may not be very long before the
Sarah Kwak                                                                         Bruins find themselves in that same position. And it is up to coach Claude
                                                                                   Julien to figure out how to revive a moribund unit.
                                                                                   Perhaps that includes giving Tyler Seguin a shot. The 19-year-old rookie,
BOSTON -- As it turns out, the week hiatus before the start of the Eastern         who played just under 10 minutes Saturday, made the most of his ice time
Conference finals really didn't seem to change very much at all.                   with a goal and an assist. He undressed Tampa defenseman Mike Lundin
                                                                                   with a nice move in the first period, putting the puck past Roloson, too, to
The Lightning's powerhouse line continues to be the one anchored by none
                                                                                   cut the Lightning lead to 3-1. Julien would not comment on whether he had
other than Sean Bergenheim, who scored his league-leading eighth playoff
                                                                                   considered giving Seguin a shot on the power play Saturday, but looking at
goal, and the Bruins' power play remains as impotent as ever. Without goal
                                                                                   a unit that has scored just twice in 41 opportunities, there seems to be
support from its special teams, the Bruins were not able to climb back from
                                                                                   cause for change.
a near-instantaneous three-goal deficit early, ultimately falling to the
Lightning 5-2 on Saturday night at TD Garden.                                      THREE STARS
As lightning tends to do, Tampa Bay struck quickly, and in a span of 85            1. Dominic Moore, Lightning: The veteran center is the anchor of the
seconds midway through the first, the Lightning took advantage of a couple         Lightning's hottest line, which also happens to be its most defensively
of Bruins mistakes and put three goals behind Boston goalie Tim Thomas.            responsible. With Sean Bergenheim and Steve Downie, Moore kept
Bergenheim, who opened scoring 11:15 into the game, cashed in on a                 Boston's offense in check while also generating scoring opportunities
golden opportunity when he found himself open in the slot with the puck on         himself. He finished the game with an assist and led the team in
his stick. It had been kicked there by Bruins defenseman Dennis                    shorthanded time on the ice (4:26), stifling the Bruins struggling power play.
Seidenberg, who had lost his stick and was using his skate to clear the
rebound. It seemed to be a kick in the pants for Boston, which watched as          2. Vincent Lecavalier, Lightning: The big center may not have posted any
Tampa defenseman Brett Clark channeled Ray Bourque and went coast-to-              points Saturday night, but he took care of a lot of business. He was strong
coast before flipping a backhand shot by Thomas on the very next shift. A          on the face-off circle, winning 62 percent of his draws, and led the Lightning
brutal Boston turnover behind the net by Tomas Kaberle less than a minute          with five shots. He had some pristine scoring chances that were robbed by
later created a hole just too deep.                                                Tim Thomas, including a first-period breakaway, in which he unleashed his
                                                                                   best Peter Forsberg impression. This season has been a revival of sorts for
"It takes lots of energy from you [when they score so quickly]," Bruins            the captain, and his confidence on the ice is showing again.
center David Krejci said. "But you've got to stick with it as a team and go
out there on the next shift and try to get it back ... [but] it's really hard to   3. Tyler Seguin, Bruins: In just 9:38 ice time, the rookie was able to make
come back from a team like that when they play a lot of defensive hockey."         an impact in the game, getting a point on each of the Bruins' two scores. He
                                                                                   embarrassed Tampa defenseman Mike Lundin a little bit on his score, his
The Lightning's forechecking system, the now-infamous 1-3-1, makes it              first career playoff goal in his first career playoff game, and showed the kind
exceedingly difficult for teams to come back once Tampa Bay has picked             of offensive skill that may be lacking from the Bruins' bench since center
up the lead. In these playoffs, they are 7-0 when scoring the first goal, and      Patrice Bergeron is out with a concussion.
this was the sixth straight game that they got the early lead. It was also the
third straight in which Bergenheim found the back of the net. The 27-year-         CNN/Sports Illustrated LOADED: 05.15.2011
old Finn, who just a year ago was lost in the black hole of the New York
Islanders system, has scored in six of his last seven games, making a case
that he isn't a one-series wonder. Matched with Steve Downie and Dominic
Moore, Tampa Bay's third line has been its strongest. They have accounted
for 11 of the team's goals this postseason, and with their speed, they've
been able to create mismatches.
Lightning Bruins
Box ScoreRecapScoreboard
"They don't get outworked, they just keep on going," Tampa Bay goalie
Dwayne Roloson said. "It's just like the Energizer Bunny, just keep on going
and going and going. With [Downie], who helps them keep pucks in, they
keep pucks down low and work hard down there. They create their
chances. They create their opportunities. For us as a team, every line has
to contribute, and that line has been contributing for us right now."
As for the Bruins, it remains obvious where they will need contribution from
as the series moves forward. Despite having the eight days without a game
to practice its special teams, Boston turned in an 0-for-4 performance with
the man-advantage Saturday night, lowering its playoff power-play
percentage to 4.9. It was a struggle for the Bruins to generate sustained
pressure in the offensive zone in those situations. During its first power
play, the puck was cleared from the zone six times, and the Bruins
managed just four shots on net in four power-play opportunities.
"The first [power play] wasn't good at all," Kaberle said. "[But] we had a few
chances there. Once, the puck came behind [Roloson]. We just have to
focus on it. It could be the difference in Game 2."
It's a wonder that the Bruins even made it to the conference final despite
the failure of its power play, and Krejci, for one, thinks the concern over that
part of the game is overplayed.
569502     Websites

ESPN / Lightning-Bruins: Nasty finish to Game 1

Scott Burnside

The end of Game 1 featured a nasty little altercation with Milan Lucic
throwing a punch into the face of an unsuspecting Victor Hedman.
The Tampa defenseman hooked the leg of David Krejci, and Lucic
responded by giving him a gloved smash to the face.
"Well there's not too much to say. That is part of the game, too. I have to
expect that and there is nothing I can do about it. That's what he did and I
wasn't expecting it. So that's why it took me a little aback," Hedman said.
Gagne returns to lineup
The Lightning welcomed Simon Gagne back to the lineup for the first time
since Game 1 of the last round. The veteran winger, who has a history of
concussion problems and was out with a head injury, was belted by Johnny
Boychuk in Game 1.
"It was a clean hit. That was good. I had the puck in my skate," Gagne said
of the big hit from Boychuk.
"He is a pretty good physical defenseman and he got me in the chest. It
was a clean hit. It was good. Nothing happened."
Remembering Boogaard
The NHL honored New York Ranger forward Derek Boogaard who died
suddenly Friday evening with a moment of silence before the start of Game
1 of the Eastern Conference final Saturday night in Boston.
By the numbers
The Bruins and Lightning were a combined 13-0 when scoring first heading
into Game 1. The Lightning are now 8-0 when scoring first.
Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand both entered Game 1 riding five-game
point streaks, and David Krejci had a four-game point streak. All of those
streaks ended Saturday.
ESPN LOADED: 05.15.2011
569503     Websites

ESPN / Coach: Mike Modano is a phenomenal guy

Pierre LeBrun

Mike Modano's Hall of Fame career may have ended as a healthy scratch if
he does indeed decide to call it quits.
But his attitude throughout what was a difficult year in Detroit was nothing
short of remarkable, Wings head coach Mike Babcock told
"I think Mike Modano is a phenomenal guy," Babcock said from Detroit
where his team cleaned out its lockers Saturday. "He brought a lot to our
team. Part of his legacy will be what a great example he was for our young
players even when he wasn't in the lineup. He had a great attitude through
it all."
Modano, 40, desperately wanted to play in these playoffs. That he
appeared in only two games crushed him. But he didn't let his personal
situation affect the rest of the team, continuing to work hard in practice and
encouraging his teammates.
"It's how you handle yourself every day in good times and bad that shows
what kind of man you are and Mike Modano is a heck of a guy," Babcock
ESPN LOADED: 05.15.2011
569504      Websites                                                               "They're not so scared of losing. I think come playoff time this team is going
                                                                                   to be better," he added. "I just feel Vancouver has some more lessons to
                                                                                   learn and I'm glad I'm on San Jose, because they've been through a lot of /The Baggage Bowl                                                     hard times together. They are, I think, more prepared."
                                                                                   Scared of losing?

Mark Spector                                                                       "I don't even remember what the weasel said," said Bieksa, with a smile on
                                                                                   his face. "When we had him on our team we were afraid to lose. Smallest
                                                                                   third-line centre in the league at that point."

VANCOUVER - "The Doctor Is In."                                                    Finally, both teams came within a whisker of The Big Choke already this
                                                                                   spring, with Vancouver oh-so-nearly coughing up Round 1 after having built
You have to be of a certain vintage to recall Lucy Van Pelt and her five-cent      a 3-0 series lead against Chicago, and San Jose doing likewise against
psychiatric assessments, a fixture in those old Charlie Brown cartoons. But        Detroit in Round 2.
you can hang Lucy's shingle outside this meeting between two Western
Conference powers that haven't ever won anything, and have the head                But now, of course, it's all behind them.
trash to prove it.
                                                                                   Just don't look in the rearview mirror.
Welcome to the Baggage Bowl. We saved you a place on the couch.
                                                                          LOADED: 05.15.2011
"Well, we've both had good regular seasons for a few years now," began
Vancouver's thoughtful defenceman, Kevin Bieksa. "I'd say the core group
on both teams has stayed the same for the last three, four years. We both
have similar kind of labels of teams that have had good regular seasons but
haven't been able to make it in the playoffs."
As San Jose arrived in Vancouver Saturday afternoon for a series that will
either launch the Sharks into the first Stanley Cup final in its history, or get
Vancouver there for the first time since 1994, the similarities between these
two trophy-starved organizations are many.
Vancouver has the Sedin twins, the two reigning Art Ross Trophy winners
whose hardware will be long forgotten if they don't man up and start
producing some clutch points in these playoffs. Meanwhile, Sharks veteran
leaders Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are twin poster boys for a
franchise that has missed the playoffs once in 13 seasons yet never played
in the Cup.
San Jose enters its third Conference Final in seven years - yet has an 0-2
record in Round 3 series'. Vancouver's core group hasn't been at it as long
as San Jose's, but the franchise drought is far longer, with zero parades in
40 years.
"For us," Henrik Sedin said, "this is maybe the first year where we thought
we were a contender, really, before we started (the season). We've never
been this far. They went to the Conference Finals last year. So, they've
been here."
Good point by you, Henrik.
"You can't talk about Vancouver without talking about (the Sedins). There's
a lot of pressure on those (two) guys to come through," said San Jose's
Dan Boyle, with some bon mots of his own.
"Everybody thinks (Ryan) Kesler is the best player in the world with what he
did in the last series, and (Roberto) Luongo is an all-world goalie. So
they've got something to prove over there, too. We obviously do as well.
Both teams have something to prove and that will be the story of the
The NHL's post-season theme is, "History will be made."
Let's face it: In this series, it's all about history being erased.
"Boyle said it the best," Bieksa said. "Until you actually win, you're always
going to have that label as an organization. What you have to do is, you've
got to win."
One team's former captain was labeled "gutless" by Versus analyst Jeremy
Roenick, the courageous self-promoter who conveniently stepped back
from his words the next day - all from a safe 3000 miles from the guy he
was sniping, we might add.
The other team, Vancouver, has been dismissed as a club with too much
baggage by a guy who spent two seasons inside their dressing room. Kyle
Wellwood, the Canuck-turned-Shark, opined loudly on his old club back in
"I just feel Vancouver has a few more lessons to learn and I'm glad I'm in
San Jose," Wellwood said a couple of months ago, with both clubs looking
solid for a playoff berth. "I just feel (San Jose is) more mature because
they've lost a few more times.

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