Documents
Resources
Learning Center
Upload
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

SPORT-SCAN DAILY BRIEF

VIEWS: 44 PAGES: 103

									               SPORT-SCAN                                                      DAILY BRIEF
                                                                      NHL 6/4/2011

         Boston Bruins                                                                   NHL
571242   Better chances improve odds                                            571278   Canucks' Manny Malhotra cleared to play in Game 2
571243   Screen may open door                                                   571279   Buyer Emerges for the Dallas Stars
571244   Power plays play well to the audience                                  571280   Even Strength Has Been the Bruins’ Big Advantage
571245   Despite pedigree, Luongo still dogged by critics                       571281   Oilers’ Brule Saves Bono’s Day
571246   Their Cup runneth over                                                 571282   Olympic Gold, or the Stanley Cup?
571247   He concentrates on little things                                       571283   NHL prospects show off their body work
571248   Time for a little thump                                                571284   Canucks' Malhotra returns to practice
571249   Milan Lucic is local kid in way                                        571285   NHL team takes shape in Winnipeg
571250   Getting a special delivery                                             571286   'Really sneaky' Krejci drives Bruins' offence
571252   Up against it once again, Bruins must rally in Game 2                  571287   Burrows knows he has to be smarter
571253   Brad Marchand mixes it up                                              571288   Cup final opener was a game for the ages
571254   Alberts checks back in                                                 571289   Judge rejects NHL deal with Molson-Coors
571255   Schmautz shooting for a Bruins victory                                 571290   Canuck nuts commit crimes of fashion
571256   Rating Boston’s mighty mites: Brad Marchand, Dustin                    571291   Cox: Slow developing final needs to get rolling
         Pedroia, Danny Woodhead                                                571292   Canucks taking the Force with them to Boston
                                                                                571293   Five questions heading into Game 2 of the Cup final
         Calgary Flames                                                         571294   Looks deceiving at NHL combine
571257   Ex-Flame shines light on substance abuse
571258   Horak ‘excited’ to join Flames                                                  Ottawa Senators
571259   Hartsburg reportedly will join Flames coaching staff                   571295   With Sens contract in his pocket, rugged Zack Smith keeps
                                                                                         focus on Calder Cup
         Columbus Blue Jackets
571260   Blue Jackets: Search for goaltender coach gets narrower                         Philadelphia Flyers
                                                                                571296   Flyers let go of top goalie prospect Eriksson
         Dallas Stars
571261   As Richards bolts, Stars GM must build with tight budget                        Pittsburgh Penguins
                                                                                571297   Pens GM Shero looking at making moves
         Detroit Red Wings
571262   Kindl named top rookie by broadcasters                                          St Louis Blues
571263   Jakub Kindl snags Red Wings rookie of year honor                       571298   Hockey Guy: Shanahan headed for bigger things?
571264   National writer reveals his NHL awards ballot                          571299   Ownership limbo likely to handcuff Blues in free agency
571265   Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom paddle surf with Kid Rock              571300   Polak gets new deal from Blues
571266   National writer: Brendan Shanahan is great choice for NHL
         'bad cop'                                                                       Tampa Bay Lightning
571267   One puck's journey: From Gordie Howe to Wings fan to Hall              571301   Bolts' Yzerman named Bay area's top sports executive
         of Fame                                                                571302   Exit interview: Sean Bergenheim says Game 7 vs. the Bruins
571268   Jakub Kindl named Red Wings rookie of the year                                  was "the biggest disappointment for me"
571269   Jakub Kindl named DSBA Red Wings rookie of year
                                                                                         Toronto Maple Leafs
         Edmonton Oilers                                                        571303   Leafs, Rangers, Kings and Wings interested in Richards
571270   Goalie's prospects murky                                               571304   Are the Leafs interested in the Brad Richards sweepstakes?
                                                                                571305   Leafs scouts getting busy 0
         Minnesota Wild
571274   One more Wild coaching candidate unearthed: Peter
         Horachek

         Montreal Canadiens
571271   Jean Béliveau to undergo surgery
571272   Canadiens have some holes to fill
571273   NHL notes: Beliveau faces surgery

         New Jersey Devils
571275   Devils weighing options for No. 4 pick

         New York Rangers
571276   New York Rangers still likely must wait until July 1 to pursue
         Dallas Stars All-Star Brad Richards
571277   Rangers VP Gordie Clark on Erixon trade, draft
         Vancouver Canucks
571306   Uncertainty about Malhotra, Hamhuis
571307   Bieksa faces tall task in Chara
571308   Bieksa suddenly blooming
571309   Lots of sitting for Canucks' checkout line
571310   Rome ready for increased role
571311   Burrows bit off more than he could chew
571312   Alex Burrows Canucks’ fearless foil to Sedins, for opponents
571313   Manny Malhotra should be back with Canucks in Game 2
571314   Bruins in catch-up mode vs. Canucks, but used to it
571315   Manny whammy: Malhotra back practising with Canucks
         today
571316   Canucks’ Victor Oreskovich is once again enjoying hockey
571317   Alberts in on Canucks’ blue line for Hamhuis? It's a good bet,
         says Ehrhoff
571318   Vancouver native Lucic's sorry, but he's busy with Bruins
571319   Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin’s real welcome to the NHL a
         welcomed playoff moment
571320   ruins’ Seidenberg not slighted that Canucks getting all the
         Nowitzki love
571321   Ryan Kesler is totally into you, Canada
571322   'Travelin' Tim Thomas troubles Canucks
571323   Scallen brought NHL to Vancouver, then his world came
         crashing down
571324   Miraculous Manny appears destined to play
571325   Deja vu: Malhotra skates with team, could play Game 2
571326   Alberts 'gets shivers' at prospect of playing Game 2
571327   Mavs' Nowitzki backs Canucks for Cup
571328   Bruins go back to drawing board

         Websites
571335   Sportsnet.ca /Not in his element
571336   Sportsnet.ca /Sizing up the Sedins
571337   TSN.CA Ray Ferraro / Memorial Cup MVP Huberdeau
         deserves a break
571338   USA TODAY / Game 2 preview: Bruins at Canucks Saturday
         night
571339   YAHOO SPORTS / Luongo tries taking it to the distance this
         time
571340   YAHOO SPORTS / ‘Shooter’ has been Canucks’ stick boy
         for 50 years

         Winnipeg
571329   President expects quick sale of remaining NHL season
         tickets in Winnipeg
571330   Kind words from Carlyle
571331   Bettman not welcome at salon
571332   NHL season tickets a big-league committment
571333   True North eyes 'Hawks AGM
571334   Emotional Jets assignment
                SPORT-SCAN, INC. 941-284-4129
571242     Boston Bruins                                                           hungrier and dirtier in the danger areas. The Canucks have been boxing out
                                                                                   the Bruins, not granting them in-close looks.
                                                                                   It’s possible that Dan Hamhuis, who appeared to suffer a leg injury following
Better chances improve odds                                                        his Game 1 hip check of Lucic, may not be available tonight. Hamhuis didn’t
Bruins plan for a breakout game                                                    practice yesterday. Hamhuis and Bieksa have been Vancouver’s ace
                                                                                   shutdown pairing. Yesterday, Bieksa skated with depth defenseman Aaron
                                                                                   Rome. It may be a pairing the Bruins could exploit.

By Fluto Shinzawa                                                                  “You look at where most of our goals are scored,’’ Lucic said. “It’s in front of
                                                                                   the net, getting in those dirty areas, getting those rebounds, and fighting for
                                                                                   pucks. Their defense does a really good job of battling with whoever’s in
                                                                                   front of the net.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Tonight, if the Bruins aim to improve on
their production in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final — they didn’t once slip        “Our guys go to the net. For us, we’ve got to get there and create screens.
the puck past Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo — they must initiate their             We’ve got to find those loose pucks, work hard, and bear down once we get
adjustments in center ice.                                                         those opportunities.’’
“It starts, obviously, in the neutral zone,’’ Patrice Bergeron said. “Once         Boston Globe LOADED: 06.04.2011
we’re in their zone, we’ve got to find a better way to get to the net and battle
for those loose pucks. But also fight for ice. They’re doing a good job of
boxing us out. We have to make sure we’re getting in front of the net,
creating some havoc, and having some better looks.’’
In the 1-0 loss Wednesday night, the Bruins put 36 shots on Luongo. But
like coach Claude Julien said yesterday, it was just a number. One, in fact,
that belied the quality of legitimate opportunities the Bruins generated.
“The scoring chances are what you have to look at,’’ Julien said. “I think we
can be better in regards to that.’’
Of the shots Luongo saw, too many were of the variety a world-class, gold
medal-winning goalie can stop — from the outside with little traffic in front.
“That’s what we try and do with every big line,’’ said the Canucks’ Ryan
Kesler, who took most of his shifts against the top unit of Milan Lucic, David
Krejci, and Nathan Horton. “You try to keep their shots to the outside. You
try to limit their second and third opportunities. When you’ve got a goalie
like Roberto, he does an excellent job of stopping the first puck. Our job is
to eliminate the rebounds. We did a good job of that the last game.’’
Yesterday at Father Bauer Rink at the University of British Columbia, to
reinforce good habits, the Bruins emphasized neutral-zone play.
During one drill, assistant coach Geoff Ward tossed pucks into the
defensive zone for the blue liners to retrieve. Once they went back for the
puck, the defensemen turned quickly up the ice to initiate breakouts with
speed. The drill came to a close when the puck approached the offensive
blue line. The players repeated the drill several times.
“You can always improve on your speed through the neutral zone,’’ Brad
Marchand said. “We just have to make sure we have support all the time
whenever we’re coming up the ice. If we can do that, maybe we can get
some good opportunities. They like to pinch pretty hard against the boards.
We just have to make sure we have support.’’
With crisper retrievals, breakouts, and speed through center ice, the Bruins
can gain cleaner entries into the offensive zone — via the rush or dumps. In
Game 1, there were times when they didn’t have fresh legs in the neutral
zone. Because of that deficiency, the Bruins didn’t drive pucks deep well
enough. In turn, it became too easy for the Canucks to pursue dumps,
trigger breakouts, and counterattack.
“We were just trying to move the puck out of our zone as quick as
possible,’’ Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. “We know they want
to get the puck low, crash and bang. For us, if we can get back there first
and make that first pass, it eliminates that whole area of their game.’’
The strength of the Bruins’ offensive game is their forecheck and down-low
cycle. They emphasize hard entries with speed, which allows them to be
first to the puck in the offensive zone. Once that starts clicking, then their
puck-possession game gets into gear. They like to cycle the puck low, wear
out opposing defensemen, use their point men to relieve pressure, and go
hard to the crease.
When it’s on, no line executes the game plan better than the first unit. In
Game 1, the three first-line forwards totaled 13 shots. Krejci and Horton
each landed five. But the line rarely had sustained pressure against Luongo
and the Canucks. Too many of their opportunities were of the one-and-done
nature.
Tonight, the game plan will start with better wheels through center ice and
winning races to pucks in the offensive zone. But the Bruins will have to get
571243     Boston Bruins                                                          “I don’t think there’s any specific reason,’’ Julien said of Seguin’s six-game
                                                                                  scoreless streak. “There’s a lot of guys that have gone scoreless in those
                                                                                  six games as well. He’s 19 years old. We don’t expect him to carry our team
Screen may open door                                                              on his back.’’
                                                                                  Recchi remains Mark Recchi practiced on the second power-play unit,
                                                                                  although his last power-play goal was Jan. 10 against Pittsburgh. Recchi
By Fluto Shinzawa                                                                 doesn’t have a point since Game 4 of the second round against
                                                                                  Philadelphia . . . Rich Peverley was the fourth forward on the No. 2 line
                                                                                  yesterday, and could rotate in for Recchi at times tonight . . . The Bruins will
                                                                                  not have a morning skate today. They also didn’t skate prior to Game 1 . . .
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the
                                                                                  Milan Lucic on Dan Hamhuis’s Game 1 hip check, which sent him
Bruins’ power play looked its best in the first period when Zdeno Chara was
                                                                                  pinwheeling to the ice: “It’s the first time I’ve ever been hit like that and gone
screening Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. It appears Chara will remain in
                                                                                  all the way over. It’s unfortunate for the Canucks that he got hurt.’’ . . .
that position for tonight’s Game 2.
                                                                                  Vigneault hinted that he might roll out his fourth line more as the series
Toward the end of practice yesterday, the Bruins worked on their flickering       progresses. That would likely mean more ice time for Bruins Daniel Paille
power play. Like he has been since the third period of Game 5 of the              and Gregory Campbell. Campbell skated 7:38 in Game 1, Paille a team-low
Eastern Conference finals, Chara was the net-front presence on the first          5:15.
unit. Tomas Kaberle and Dennis Seidenberg were the point men. David
                                                                                  Boston Globe LOADED: 06.04.2011
Krejci manned the left boards. Nathan Horton was in the left corner.
For most of his time in Boston, Chara has been at the blue line on the
power play. From there, the Bruins have looked to set up Chara for his
triple-digit slap shot.
But for a player owning such a hard shot, Chara hasn’t taken full
advantage. Because of his long windup, shot-blockers — the ones
courageous enough to perform the equivalent of stepping in front of an
Acela train — have time to fill shooting lanes. Also, Chara requires lots of
repetitions to make sure his shot gets through traffic and on net. General
manager Peter Chiarelli has noted that Chara can’t do that in practice for
fear of injuring a teammate. He has performed most of his shooting drills
before and after practice.
So, with Chara’s shot not being utilized and the power play struggling, the
coaches have rotated the captain in front of Luongo. It is a job that is not
new to Chara.
For part of his time in Ottawa, Chara was the net-front man on the power
play, with Wade Redden and Daniel Alfredsson at the points. In Boston,
during empty-net, six-on-five situations, Chara has also gone to the front
instead of the point.
“I think it’s a combination of being aware of where the puck is, and
obviously you have to be in the right position,’’ Chara said. “It’s just having
the right instinct — where you feel the puck’s going to be, and kind of
predict a little bit, too.’’
Chara’s primary task is to prevent Luongo from seeing the play. The
Canucks, aware that trying to jostle the Slovakian strongman is a waste of
time, fronted Chara in Game 1. Tonight, Chara must continue to hound
Luongo. But the other power-play gunners, specifically Horton, must be
better at giving Chara support. If shots carom off Chara or if Luongo makes
the first save, the Bruins have to crash the net to jam home loose pucks.
“I think it’s got to be a commitment from everybody to be willing to do that
job,’’ Chara said of bothering Luongo. “And not just on power plays.’’
Depth charge In Game 1, even before left wing Raffi Torres tapped home
the winning goal with 18.5 seconds remaining, Vancouver’s third line had
submitted a sterling performance. Torres landed five hits. Ex-Canadien
Maxim Lapierre snapped off six shots, including two high-quality chances in
the third. Jannik Hansen had three shots, two hits, and two blocked shots in
15:26 of ice time.
“It took us a while to get some chemistry within that line, for whatever
reason,’’ Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “We had a few players
audition when Manny [Malhotra] went down for that third-line center spot.
Nobody really seemed to grab it until somewhere in the playoffs, Max
grabbed that opportunity. I think the reason they’ve been effective is that
they’re all three emotional players that play with an edge and skate real
well. Right now, they’re playing high-percentage hockey, getting pucks
behind the D. They’re playing the body when the opportunity is there.
They’ve been real smart and effective about it.’’
The Bruins will need their third line to push harder tonight. Michael Ryder
had two good looks at Luongo early in the third period of Game 1. But Chris
Kelly recorded only one shot. Tyler Seguin didn’t have a shot in 6:21 of ice
time. Seguin hasn’t gotten on the scoresheet since his four-point explosion
in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.
571244     Boston Bruins                                                              We sometimes tend to forget what a major part of the game special teams
                                                                                      are, and how we’d miss them if they weren’t around. “A team spends a lot
                                                                                      of its time, at least one-third, working on special teams,’’ Melrose points out.
Power plays play well to the audience                                                 “If you took special teams out of the game, you lose a lot of good
                                                                                      coaching.’’
                                                                                      We all know we couldn’t have a more contrasting matchup in this Stanley
By Bob Ryan                                                                           Cup Final than one between the Canucks, who thrive on the power play,
                                                                                      and the Bruins, who would be better off if the rules allowed them to refuse
                                                                                      penalties, a la football. The Bruins’ ongoing power-play futility is beginning
                                                                                      to mystify NHL experts, who cannot bring themselves to believe a team can
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Bruins fans have borne witness to back-
                                                                                      win the Stanley Cup without at least the occasional benefit of a power-play
to-back 1-0 games, which, we would all agree, were riveting, scintillating,
                                                                                      goal.
exhausting, and altogether unforgettable.
                                                                                      It has reached the point where the Bruins are now openly talking about a
Fine, but have you had enough? Aren’t you ready for something a little
                                                                                      preference for five-on-five hockey, and that may be an NHL first. But that is
different tonight?
                                                                                      a very tough way to do business.
Now, while Tampa Bay 7 and Vancouver 1 each had a 1-0 outcome, they
                                                                                      “I think Boston played a perfect game vs. Tampa Bay,’’ says Melrose. “And
were very different, and not just because the Bruins won the former and lost
                                                                                      I’d say they played pretty close to a perfect game on Wednesday against a
the latter. Tampa Bay 7 was that rarity of rarities: a penalty-free game.
                                                                                      better team. The bad news is they only got one win out of two perfect
Vancouver 1 brought the power play and penalty kill into the game in a big
                                                                                      games.’’
way, each team going 0 for 6 or 6 for 6, depending on which aspect of
special teams play was being recorded.                                                In a perfect Bruins world, they would replicate Tampa Bay 7, while adding a
                                                                                      few additional five-on-five goals, of course. But it’s unlikely much will
We all loved Tampa Bay 7 for the lack of penalties. Why it turned out that
                                                                                      change now. The essential dynamics of this series are unlikely to change.
way was pretty self-evident. The players were on their absolute best
                                                                                      Vancouver will lust for power plays, while the Bruins will merely tolerate
behavior, curbing the natural hockey player tendency to let the opposition
                                                                                      them.
know they were around with indiscriminate hooking, tripping, slashing,
holding, boarding, high-sticking, and that most nebulous of malfeasances,             We have seen our last penalty-free game this year; we know that much.
interfering.                                                                          That’s good news for anyone tuning into the game tonight. Tampa Bay 7
                                                                                      was a blissful oddity, but in the end it was all about the context.
“There weren’t any what I call ‘lazy’ penalties,’’ confirms Bruins president
Cam Neely, who, you may recall, used to play a little in his day.                     “I don’t think neutral fans want to see a penalty-free game,’’ says Melrose.
With such high stakes, no one on either side wished to be the one whose               Hockey needs power plays. If the Bruins don’t have one, that’s their
borderline penalty created a power play for the other side that would result          problem.
in a goal. The self-discipline of all the participants was exemplary. This is
not to say there was no hitting, but what physical play there was happened            Boston Globe LOADED: 06.04.2011
to be, well, thoughtful.
Referees Dan O’Halloran and Stephen Walkom likewise recognized the
moment. It was clear that in order to get either one of these gentlemen to
raise his right hand someone was going to have to do something very, very
nasty.
Vancouver 1 was another matter. We had penalties, we had mutual
chippiness, and we even had Bitegate. The power plays were on display
and the penalty-killing units, starting with goaltenders Roberto Luongo of
Vancouver and Tim Thomas of Boston, were put to the test. The defenses
prevailed, the only score being Raffi Torres’s even-strength goal with 18.5
seconds remaining.
So, there are two questions before us as we put our game faces on for
tonight’s affair at Rogers Arena: 1. How many 1-0 games is enough? 2. Are
games without power plays sufficiently entertaining?
The answer to Question 1 is pretty clear. Enough is enough, wouldn’t you
agree? This isn’t international football. After a while, you’d like to see a few
goals. Having a 1-0 game decide who gets into the Stanley Cup Final made
for tremendous drama, and none of us would trade that experience for any
conceivable alternative. It was a true sports fan’s delight, but the context is
what made it so special. It wouldn’t have resonated quite so much on Nov.
8 or Feb. 15.
The answer to Question 2 is less clear, and it’s something few hockey
people ever contemplate. But it does seem to be a safe statement that
hockey without power plays would lose a lot over the long haul. From a
fan’s point of view, when the referee does raise his right hand, it stimulates
people on both sides of the equation. The fans of the team receiving the
power play start thinking of seeing a red light — fans of teams other than
the Boston Bruins, that is — flash behind the net, while the fans of the team
committing the penalty steel themselves for the drama that will unfold as
their team tries to keep the ol’ biscuit from finding its way into the basket.
They will glance to see how much time is left on that penalty at least 10
times during those suspenseful two minutes.
“I think it’s great for the fans when their team is trying to kill off a penalty,’’
opines ESPN analyst Barry Melrose, he of the intriguing wardrobe. “They
like to see their guys block shots and their goalie make saves. On the other
side, you get to see the passing and shooting.’’
571245     Boston Bruins                                                          works hard and to see him be one of the best goalies in the league since
                                                                                  I’ve been here, it’s nice. I learned about working hard, he works hard in
                                                                                  practice and tries hard every time. He competes, just little things like that,
Despite pedigree, Luongo still dogged by critics                                  pretty much his work ethic.’’
                                                                                  Horton said even though it has been years since they practiced together, he
                                                                                  is hoping to exploit his old friend during the Final.
By Nancy Marrapese-Burrell
                                                                                  “It’s going to be tough for us to get goals, but hopefully he’s got those
                                                                                  tendencies that I remember,’’ said Horton. “He doesn’t have too many weak
                                                                                  spots.’’
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — For the first six seasons of his NHL
career, Roberto Luongo labored in virtual obscurity.                              Luongo, a Montreal native, went from playing in a market where not many
                                                                                  cared to a hockey hotbed where he is expected to stop every puck. Even
Luongo’s rookie year was split between the Islanders and their American           with a gold medal for Canada to his credit in the 2010 Olympics held here,
Hockey League affiliate in Lowell, Mass. When he was dealt to Florida, he         the local fan base has remained supportive but skeptical.
assumed a substantial workload (averaging better than 63 games per
season), but never made it to the postseason in five seasons.                     “They expect perfection,’’ said Milbury. “They’re asking sometimes for the
                                                                                  impossible, but I think he’s in a pretty good frame of mind right now. And
Although his fortunes turned when he was traded to the Canucks in June            he’s an elite-level goaltender. From the time we projected him to the time
2006, Luongo had never made it out of the second round of the playoffs            we got him, there wasn’t much change for me, he was always going to be
before this year, despite the team winning the Northwest Division in three of     among the top goaltenders in the league.’’
his first four years in Vancouver.
                                                                                  Luongo, now 32, said playing in Vancouver is the polar opposite of playing
That changed this season, when the Canucks not only had the best record           in South Florida.
in the division but the best in the NHL. And on Wednesday night, Luongo
made 36 saves in the Canucks’ 1-0 victory over the Bruins in Game 1 of the        “There wasn’t a lot of pressure there as far as expectations,’’ he said. “You
Stanley Cup Final.                                                                could walk around the city and nobody pretty much knew who you were.
                                                                                  The good thing about here is it’s fun to play in the city when you’re winning.
Luongo took an interesting route to get here. The Islanders made Luongo           Everybody knows who you are and [they’re] very supportive, especially at
the No. 4 overall pick in the 1997 draft, but he became expendable when           this stage of the season when your team has a chance to win the Stanley
the Islanders selected goalie Rick DiPietro with the No. 1 overall pick in        Cup.’’
2000. Then-general manager Mike Milbury packaged Luongo with Olli
Jokinen for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.                                         If there is a downside, it’s the constant scrutiny. But Luongo said he tunes
                                                                                  out most of it, and what he doesn’t tune out he accepts as coming with the
“The reason we traded him was because we kept running into drafts where           territory.
there were defensemen and goaltenders,’’ said Milbury. “We looked at it
and that was the year we took a stab at and got DiPietro.’’                       “It’s a hockey market,’’ said Luongo. “Obviously, when things are not going
                                                                                  well, sometimes you want to make sure you try to stay away from as much
Just because Milbury traded Luongo doesn’t mean he was down on the                of that stuff as possible. You don’t want to be focusing too much on all the
goalie. In fact, quite the contrary.                                              negative stuff around you, but you’ve got to learn to deal with those things.
                                                                                  There is good and bad in every place you play. But at the end of the day,
“I always thought he was going to be a terrific goaltender,’’ said Milbury. “He
                                                                                  it’s so much more fun to win in a city like this.’’
was a big horse of a kid. Big legs, big arms, and tall. We gambled on that
deal and didn’t fare as well as I would liked to have, but I don’t think there    Canucks general manager Mike Gillis signed Luongo to a 12-year, $64
was any question that Luongo was going to be good. He had some bumps              million contract in September 2009, believing he is the goalie of both the
along the way, yeah.’’                                                            present and the future. But a Cup is what the fans want, and anything less
                                                                                  will mean more grousing directed Luongo’s way.
Those bumps helped mold Luongo.
                                                                                  When asked if he has silenced his critics, Luongo said, “That’s a good
“I got to face a lot of shots and it really put me in a lot of situations that
                                                                                  question, I don’t know.’’
helped me to where I am today,’’ said Luongo. “Even though I didn’t have
much success, those organizations gave me a chance not only to be in the          But what he feels he has to prove, it isn’t to them.
NHL but to become a starter, so I’m very grateful to have that opportunity to
play for those teams, as well.’’                                                  “I don’t play for my critics, I play for myself, my teammates, and family and
                                                                                  friends,’’ said Luongo. “I can’t control what people say. I’ve had success my
Former Islanders assistant coach Greg Cronin, now head coach at                   whole career no matter what level I’ve been at. Obviously, this is the first
Northeastern, said Luongo was an outstanding prospect but needed some             time I’ve been able to get to a Stanley Cup Final and hopefully do
work.                                                                             something special, but at the end of the day I play to win a Stanley Cup,
                                                                                  and that’s about it.’’
“I knew Roberto was going to be really good,’’ said Cronin. “The problem
with Roberto at that time was he was so bowlegged, you could drive a truck        Boston Globe LOADED: 06.04.2011
through his legs. He wasn’t really that athletic.’’
Luongo demonstrated his mental toughness during a development camp in
Ann Arbor, Mich., run by Cronin.
“All [the Islanders’] prospects went through a boxing course, learning both
the basics of the sport as well as the psychological benefits of learning how
to deal with people confronting you and trying to invade your space,
because that’s what hockey is,’’ said Cronin.
“The goalie doesn’t have to do that, he’s just trying to stop the puck, but
Roberto went in there. He had gear on but he got punched in the face and
his nose was bloody and he just kept going. It didn’t faze him. He’s not a
tough guy, he’s not an aggressive personality, he’s very calm. But he boxed
the way he played. He just went about his business just like he does in the
net.’’
Bruins right wing Nathan Horton played two seasons with Luongo on the
Panthers. Horton said although it’s difficult for forwards and defensemen to
relate with netminders, he learned a lot from Luongo in their time together.
“He was obviously a top goalie in the league back then, too,’’ said Horton.
“Just to come in and be able to play with him, he’s a real great guy. He
571246     Boston Bruins                                                            “I can’t fill the orders fast enough,’’ Williams said, “but it’s a good problem to
                                                                                    have.’’
                                                                                    Boston Globe LOADED: 06.04.2011
Their Cup runneth over
Local businesses cash in on Bruins’ success)


By Kaivan Mangouri


The Stanley Cup finals officially arrive in Boston when the puck drops for
Game 3 Monday, but the Bruins’ deep playoff run already is providing a
boost for some local businesses.
Hours before the Bruins and Canucks faced off in Game 1 Wednesday in
Vancouver, British Columbia, fans were pouring into Sports Grille Boston on
Canal Street, near TD Garden, said manager David Lowd. Ordinarily, there
would have been about two dozen customers at the sports bar, Lowd said.
But on Wednesday, about 160, many of them dressed in Bruins gear,
watched the series opener.
For Sports Grille, these are bonus days.
“The further [the Bruins] go in the playoffs, the better business is for us,’’
Lowd said. “June, July, and August are Fenway months — we don’t do as
well when the Bruins are ousted in April or May.’’
It was a similar scene at The Four’s sports bar on Canal Street, as well as
at other bars and restaurants near the Garden. They’re all prepping for big
crowds through the weekend and, of course, next week, when thousands of
fans will stream into TD Garden with tickets in hand and money to spend.
But the economic impact of the Stanley Cup games extends far beyond the
immediate vicinity of Causeway Street, tourism officials say. Each Cup
game played here will generate about $5 million in revenue citywide, said
Patrick Moscaritolo, chief executive of the Greater Boston Convention &
Visitors Bureau. In addition to spending at bars and restaurants, the
revenue mainly comes from hotel rooms, and the sale of sports apparel and
memorabilia.
According to Moscaritolo, 5,200 fans at each home game — about 30
percent — come from beyond a 50-mile radius of Boston.
The National Hockey League is directly helping the local economy by
booking about 400 rooms at various Boston hotels for staff and event
sponsors.
Still, the predicted economic impact of the Stanley Cup finals here is slightly
less than the $5.4 million the bureau estimated for each of the Celtics’ three
home games during the NBA Finals in 2008, and the $7.2 million each of
the Red Sox’ two home games brought during the 2007 World Series.
Robert Baumann, an economics professor at Holy Cross, contends that
championship games might not generate the economic windfalls some
claim. It’s difficult to quantify the financial benefits of major sporting events
such as the Stanley Cup finals, he said.
“There’s an indirect advertising effect [as a result of] having your city in the
spotlight for two weeks, but we’ll never be able to measure how much that
impacts Boston’’ overall, Baumann said.
Which is not say that people aren’t eager to part with their cash because of
the Bruins’ good fortune. For instance, the Sports Authority in Braintree
quickly sold out of its commemorative Eastern Conference Championship
jerseys, store manager Mark Rockman said. The remaining Bruins
memorabilia is showcased at the front of the store, he said, a spot normally
reserved for Celtics gear this time of year. Even Red Sox merchandise is
being trumped by the Bruins this week. “No one comes in asking for
[Adrian] Gonzalez or [Carl] Crawford jerseys,’’ he said.
Mahlon Williams, owner of The Boston Sports Apparel Company, which
supplies T-shirts and other gear to area stores, said this weekend could
turn out to be his best ever.
“We’re selling excitement, and we’re capitalizing on people’s emotions,’’
Williams said. “That translates to an incredible amount of business for us.’’
Williams quickly realized an original batch of 1,500 Bruins T-shirts wouldn’t
be enough to satisfy the demand from his customers. A second round of
1,500 also went fast, and yesterday the company distributed another 4,000.
571247     Boston Bruins                                                            “He’s been with us now for a couple of consecutive years. He’s logging
                                                                                    important minutes. [Game 1], obviously, was a great game where he used
                                                                                    his skill set. He’s real good when he plays with an edge.’’
He concentrates on little things                                                    Hansen plays his part on his line, but he said it’s the totality of the trio that
Third-liner Hansen constantly in motion                                             makes all the difference.
                                                                                    “We play the same style and we kind of have the same mentality,’’ he said.
                                                                                    “It’s getting pucks in deep and getting in on the forecheck, finishing a check
By Nancy Marrapese-Burrell                                                          and taking pucks to the net.
                                                                                    “Playing with Max and Raffi, they’re two bigger guys and they like to throw
                                                                                    their bodies around as well as [bringing] quite a bit of speed, too.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — He was one of the most visible players
during a game in which space and time on the ice were at a premium.                 “So it’s a lot of different aspects, but just the fact that we’re able to get in on
                                                                                    the forecheck, and making [defensemen] look around and [wonder] ‘where
Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara and partner Dennis Seidenberg did a                   are they coming from now?’ and making them maybe rush a play a little
masterful job shutting down Vancouver’s potent Sedin twins, but one                 more than they wanted to.’’
forward they couldn’t contain in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was right
wing Jannik Hansen.                                                                 Boston Globe LOADED: 06.04.2011

It was Hansen, charging through the right circle, who found Raffi Torres for
the winning goal with 18.5 seconds remaining, giving the Canucks a 1-0
victory at Rogers Arena and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Hansen, a member of the Canucks’ third line, was all over the ice in the
third period. He had a breakaway early in the period, but Bruins goalie Tim
Thomas shut down his attempt to score through the five-hole. He also had a
terrific dish to linemate Maxim Lapierre later in the period but Thomas
turned him back.
The 25-year-old native of Denmark said his goal and that of his line is to
create opportunities wherever possible.
“It’s a matter of doing something every time you’re out there,’’ said Hansen.
“Obviously, we’re not going to score in bunches like the twins and [Ryan]
Kesler and those guys, but it’s a matter of providing energy and doing the
little things right.’’
It didn’t look like either team would score in regulation. Both Thomas and
Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo were very sharp, and neither side
seemed inclined to budge. Hansen said it was a matter of being patient.
“Obviously, we know coming into the series that Boston is extremely good
defensively, and Thomas in net is hard to score on,’’ said Hansen, “so it’s a
matter of not getting too down on yourself when he’s making save after
save.’’
With the top lines canceling each other out, it took a grinding combination to
get it done, and Hansen’s line doesn’t shy away from that.
“Boston is a big, physical team as well,’’ he said. “They’re going to come out
hitting and playing a physical game, so it plays into our style a little more.
“We’ve seen other series where one game has been tight and the next has
been a shootout — you never know what’s going to come at you. But again,
Boston is a very good team five-on-five and defensively, so we know we
have to bear down every time we’re out there.’’
Hansen said the game was reminiscent of the series against Nashville,
which the Canucks beat in the second round.
“Obviously, Boston has more offense and more ways to score at you, but
similar goaltending, you can say that for sure,’’ he said. “It’s just a matter of
keeping at it. [Thomas was] obviously making a couple of big saves early
on, but if we keep coming at it and not getting down on ourself, we feel
we’re in the game and we just need that one chance to get it by him.’’
Lapierre, who has the best vantage point to appreciate how dangerous
Torres and Hansen can be, said it’s the way they apply themselves that
makes them effective.
“Him and Raffi are really working hard every game,’’ said Lapierre. “They
are smart players on the ice, they’re always in good position.’’
Coach Alain Vigneault saw glimpses of Hansen’s talent in previous seasons
when he was called up because of injuries, but he also saw that the young
player needed more experience in the minors.
“He went back to Manitoba and needed some more time there,’’ said
Vigneault. “I think he had a great role model in Mike Keane, who really
helped him with positional play, penalty killing. It’s paid off.
571248     Boston Bruins                                                           pretty good hit, at times he looked a bit wary. He played only 6:21, including
                                                                                   just 1:20 of power-play time, which is a story for another day.
                                                                                   But if Seguin did sit and watch for a game or two, who knows, maybe he
Time for a little thump                                                            could then return to the lineup with a new focus and again make some
Bruins could use Shawn Thornton now                                                major offensive contributions.
                                                                                   It may be time to get Thornton back in a game.

By Stephen Harris | Saturday, June 4, 2011 |                                       Boston Herald LOADED: 06.04.2011
http://www.bostonherald.com | Boston Bruins


VANCOUVER — Entering the Stanley Cup finals, there wasn’t any
particular expectation that toughness would be a major factor. This shaped
up more as a series of X’s and O’s, special teams and goaltending than one
in which physical nastiness or intimidation came into play.
But one game in, a re-evaluation may be in order.
The Bruins-Canucks matchup looks like it’s going to be a somewhat
rougher affair than anticipated, and the ugliness didn’t have to build up. It
was there from the start.
“There seems to be a lot of hatred,” said Bruins winger Brad Marchand. “It
started last game and I think it’s only going to get worse as the series goes
on. With where we’re at in the series and what we’re fighting for, guys are
willing to do whatever it takes to win that Cup.”
Marchand believes the chippy tactics by the Canucks is because they hope
to draw penalties and turn loose their potent power play. Certainly, this is a
tense and dangerous on-ice environment.
“Guys are so anxious and excited, they’ll do whatever they can out there,”
said Marchand. “Sometimes you get the sticks high, you get a little dirty.
The games are getting pretty emotional, guys taking shots at each other,
runs at each other.”
So for that reason, the thought arises before tonight’s Game 2 that it’s time
the Bruins get rugged winger Shawn Thornton back into the lineup, and let
rookie Tyler Seguin, whose play has slipped, sit.
“They’re a puck-possession team, but they have that element to their game,
the agitator element,” said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli before
yesterday’s practice at the University of British Columbia. “It doesn’t
surprise me they have that, but I didn’t think we’d see it so early in the
series. Normally that stuff builds up and it happens later in the series. There
were a lot more scrums than I would have expected in Game 1, and we’re
probably going to see that the rest of the series.
“They have that third line and they have some other guys, too, with that kind
of element in their game. So do we. Our MO is big, strong, physical and
sustain a forecheck. The by-product of that is hitting, and then the scrums
and all that stuff may ensue.”
If Thornton did play, it’s not likely he’d get into a bunch of fights. Those are
pretty rare in the finals. But his presence might cool off the rambunctious
inclinations of Max Lapierre, Alex Burrows, Raffi Torres and others.
And Thornton also does a good job with the forechecking chores that are so
critical for the B’s.
It’s safe to assume that Thornton, who won the 2007 Cup with Anaheim,
would take the ice pumped sky-high to play well. He said the other day that
being here with the Bruins means more to him than his experience with the
Ducks, a team he joined for less than one full season.
“It feels a little bit more special being here with this team than it did with
Anaheim,” said Thornton. “Only because I feel like I’ve been part of the
growing process the last four years.”
Remember, the Bruins’ best chances at winning this series were based on,
as they say, doing the job in the dirty areas. The B’s weren’t going to out-
skill the Canucks; they had to out-grind them. And Thornton is a guy who
knows his way around the dirty areas.
As for Seguin, he obviously took an enormous leap forward in his career
with his remarkable two-goal, two-assist performance in Game 2 against
Tampa Bay. Without that star-is-born effort, who knows, maybe it would be
the Lightning facing the Canucks.
Seguin has had no points since that game, although he been a more
responsible and improved all-round player. Still, this was a 19-year-old kid
playing in the Stanley Cup final Wednesday. And while he did dish out one
571249     Boston Bruins                                                            And so it is for Milan Lucic, and it’s happening in the Stanley Cup finals.
                                                                                    The Vancouver Canucks are out to win the first Stanley Cup in their 40
                                                                                    years of existence, and a local kid, Lucic, is standing in the way.
Milan Lucic is local kid in way                                                     Down the road, maybe he’ll say it was fun.
Takes series personal                                                               Right now, though, he has no goals and no assists and there are photos
                                                                                    showing him standing on his head — and not in that pleasing goaltender
                                                                                    kind of way.
By Steve Buckley | Saturday, June 4, 2011 |
http://www.bostonherald.com | Boston Bruins                                         And, yes, absolutely, it’s all very personal to Milan Lucic.
                                                                                    Boston Herald LOADED: 06.04.2011

VANCOUVER — Milan Lucic did not score a goal in Game 1 of the Stanley
Cup finals.
He did not have an assist.
And even though the guy who knocked him arse-over-tea-kettle in the
second period of the Bruins’ 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks ended up
stretched out on the medic’s table, not to be seen for the rest of the night,
Milan Lucic admitted yesterday that, “It’s the first time I’ve ever actually
been hit like that and gone all the way over.”
And to think that all this — no goals, no assists and a lasting visual of being
knocked on his head in front of his own bench — had the unfortunate side
effect of also taking place in his hometown. Lucic had spent three days
talking about returning to the old sod to play against the team he rooted for
while growing up in Vancouver, and during all those interviews he displayed
a measure of diplomacy that’s hard to find in a 22-year-old.
Yet there he was in Game 1, coming up empty and going down hard.
Talking with the media yesterday, and asked for the millionth time about
playing in the Stanley Cup finals in his back yard, Lucic again chose
diplomacy.
“You know, obviously I’m from here, so people are definitely going to want
to see you and want your time,” he said. “But this is the most important time
of year. After this series, I’ll be back here in the summer, so they can see
me as much as they want.”
But the one question Lucic hasn’t been asked is this: Is it personal? He
talks about the opportunity to be on the NHL’s grand stage, and he talks
about T-E-A-M, but would it be a little bit less .?.?. less personal .?.?. if the
Bruins were playing the San Jose Sharks?
After he stepped away from the mass gathering of media yesterday and
was stepping outside into the long-awaited sunshine of the Vancouver
afternoon, Lucic was asked if it’s personal.
His answer was honest and candid.
“Obviously you want to win, but it would also be tough to come back here
for the summer after not winning,” he said. “So I guess, yeah, it is personal.”
Outside the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre on the campus of the
University of British Columbia, members of Lucic’s family, including the
winger’s younger brother, were waiting to do a live TV shot. Standing off to
the side was Jovo Miletic, a close friend of the Lucics — so close, in fact,
that Milan Lucic’s father was best man at his wedding. And Milan Lucic’s
mother was maid of honor. The man’s credentials as Close Family Friend
thus established, Miletic was asked: Just how personal is this to Lucic?
“I’ve never seen him so pumped up like this,” Miletic said. “He’s got every
member of his family watching him. All his friends, everyone he ever went
to school with, everyone he ever knew.
“I am 100 percent positive that this is very personal for him. I’ve heard him
talk about it. I hope he’s enjoying this time, because it’s very, very important
to him.”
It must have been like this for Medford’s Mike Pagliarulo to play at Fenway
Park [map] in the gray road uniform of the hated Yankees, or for Haverhill’s
Carlos Pena, during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays, to play against
the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.
Think of all the sons of Greater Boston, some famous, some not —
Hingham’s Tony Amonte, Melrose’s Andy Brickley, Billerica’s Tom
Fitzgerald, Dorchester’s Chris O’Sullivan, Cambridge’s Tommy O’Regan —
who stepped onto the Garden ice wearing the uniform of the opposing
team. You don’t think these guys heard about it all summer from old high-
school buddies if they got their lunch handed to them by the Bruins?
571250     Boston Bruins                                                           Boston Herald LOADED: 06.04.2011


Getting a special delivery


By Steve Conroy / Bruins Notebook | Saturday, June 4, 2011 |
http://www.bostonherald.com | Boston Bruins


VANCOUVER — A major concern for the Bruins heading into these Stanley
Cup finals was special teams. But after Game 1, they should have a pretty
good feeling about half of that department.
While the power play had its usual trouble scoring goals (0-for-6), the
penalty kill did a terrific job on the Canucks’ vaunted power-play unit, which
was first in the NHL in the regular season and came into the finals clicking
at more than 28 percent.
Not only did the Bruins force the Canucks to go 0-for-6 themselves, but the
B’s did a good job of limiting Vancouver’s chances on the man advantage.
“It was a lot of guys were getting in front of pucks,” said Brad Marchand.
“There are a couple of guys with big bombs back there on the point and
guys just seemed to be willing to sacrifice their body and get in the way.
There were a few huge blocks there right in front of the slot that could have
gone in and guys were willing to get in front of them. I think that was a big
part of it, but other than that we were doing a good job of limiting their time
and space.”
Rich Peverley concurred that the Bruins came up with big blocks, especially
Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly, but he thought there was more to it than
that.
“I think if we do a good job of delaying their entries into the zone, if they’re
not set up, it’s usually pretty hard for them to score goals. If you can keep
them out of the zone and slow them down, then you’re going to give
yourself a better chance,” said Peverley.
Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, a key man on the point for
Vancouver’s power-play unit, said it’s within the Canucks’ abilities to be
better.
“They probably did what they do on their penalty kill. I don’t think it was
anything special. I think we can be a little more crisp. We got a few
chances, but we can definitely be better,” said Ehrhoff.
Too much rest
With the second off day between Game 1 and Game 2, most players and
coaches seemed more than ready to get it going again tonight.
“I think everybody likes to get into the rhythm. Obviously, every second day
is probably the best rhythm going,” said coach Claude Julien. “But when
you get into those situations and you have a couple of days in between
games, to me it’s always the same for both teams. I don’t think there’s a
necessary edge, unless somebody is really banged up and needs that extra
day. We’re looking forward to (Game 2). Hopefully, these two days off have
made us even hungrier and ready.”
Green Men get wet
After taking a penalty in Game 1, Marchand got up close and personal with
the Vancouver fans known as the Green Men, a couple of fans who wear
green spandex outfits and taunt Canucks’ opponents in the penalty box.
He even may have gotten them with his water bottle.
“I tried to squirt some water in my mouth and I might have missed and got a
little on them,” said the Bruins’ resident imp.
As for the fans’ outfits?
“I think they’re a little embarrassed with how they look so they have to wear
those masks,” said Marchand.
German accent
Dallas Mavericks star and native of Germany Dirk Nowitzki gave a taped
message on the Jumbotron here in Game 1 wishing countryman Ehrhoff
good luck in the series, showing no love for another German, Bruins
defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. Seidenberg, however, isn’t holding a
grudge.
571251     Boston Bruins                                                           Boston Herald LOADED: 06.04.2011


Getting a special delivery


By Steve Conroy / Bruins Notebook | Saturday, June 4, 2011 |
http://www.bostonherald.com | Boston Bruins


VANCOUVER — A major concern for the Bruins heading into these Stanley
Cup finals was special teams. But after Game 1, they should have a pretty
good feeling about half of that department.
While the power play had its usual trouble scoring goals (0-for-6), the
penalty kill did a terrific job on the Canucks’ vaunted power-play unit, which
was first in the NHL in the regular season and came into the finals clicking
at more than 28 percent.
Not only did the Bruins force the Canucks to go 0-for-6 themselves, but the
B’s did a good job of limiting Vancouver’s chances on the man advantage.
“It was a lot of guys were getting in front of pucks,” said Brad Marchand.
“There are a couple of guys with big bombs back there on the point and
guys just seemed to be willing to sacrifice their body and get in the way.
There were a few huge blocks there right in front of the slot that could have
gone in and guys were willing to get in front of them. I think that was a big
part of it, but other than that we were doing a good job of limiting their time
and space.”
Rich Peverley concurred that the Bruins came up with big blocks, especially
Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly, but he thought there was more to it than
that.
“I think if we do a good job of delaying their entries into the zone, if they’re
not set up, it’s usually pretty hard for them to score goals. If you can keep
them out of the zone and slow them down, then you’re going to give
yourself a better chance,” said Peverley.
Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, a key man on the point for
Vancouver’s power-play unit, said it’s within the Canucks’ abilities to be
better.
“They probably did what they do on their penalty kill. I don’t think it was
anything special. I think we can be a little more crisp. We got a few
chances, but we can definitely be better,” said Ehrhoff.
Too much rest
With the second off day between Game 1 and Game 2, most players and
coaches seemed more than ready to get it going again tonight.
“I think everybody likes to get into the rhythm. Obviously, every second day
is probably the best rhythm going,” said coach Claude Julien. “But when
you get into those situations and you have a couple of days in between
games, to me it’s always the same for both teams. I don’t think there’s a
necessary edge, unless somebody is really banged up and needs that extra
day. We’re looking forward to (Game 2). Hopefully, these two days off have
made us even hungrier and ready.”
Green Men get wet
After taking a penalty in Game 1, Marchand got up close and personal with
the Vancouver fans known as the Green Men, a couple of fans who wear
green spandex outfits and taunt Canucks’ opponents in the penalty box.
He even may have gotten them with his water bottle.
“I tried to squirt some water in my mouth and I might have missed and got a
little on them,” said the Bruins’ resident imp.
As for the fans’ outfits?
“I think they’re a little embarrassed with how they look so they have to wear
those masks,” said Marchand.
German accent
Dallas Mavericks star and native of Germany Dirk Nowitzki gave a taped
message on the Jumbotron here in Game 1 wishing countryman Ehrhoff
good luck in the series, showing no love for another German, Bruins
defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. Seidenberg, however, isn’t holding a
grudge.
571252     Boston Bruins                                                          there and it seems like we’re the underdogs so we just have to make sure
                                                                                  we don’t let that play into our minds so much and just focus on each game.”
                                                                                  They’ve been able to do that before. We’ll see if they can do it again.
Up against it once again, Bruins must rally in Game 2
                                                                                  Boston Herald LOADED: 06.04.2011

By Steve Conroy | Saturday, June 4, 2011 |
http://www.bostonherald.com | Boston Bruins


VANCOUVER — The Bruins have been here before. In fact, they’ve
actually been in tougher spots than this.
And it’s with that valuable knowledge that the B’s enter tonight’s Game 2 of
the Stanley Cup finals at Rogers Arena, attempting to even their series
against the Vancouver Canucks at one game apiece.
With their 1-0 Game 1 loss here on Wednesday, the B’s have now lost the
first game of three of four series. They have, of course, come back to win
the previous two.
“It’s never over until you get that fourth win, right?” said center Patrice
Bergeron. “But that being said, we’re really focusing on making sure we’re
getting back in that series.”
The B’s opened their playoff run rather inauspiciously, dropping their first
two games at home to the Montreal Canadiens. At that point, the Black ‘n’
Gold bandwagon was pretty empty, but they stormed back to tie that series
with two wins at the Bell Centre and eventually won that series in seven
games.
Then, after sweeping the Flyers, they dropped the first game at home to the
Tampa Bay Lightning and barely hung on to win Game 2. In neither game
did they resemble the tight-checking team that won the Northeast Division,
which was exacerbated by the fact Bergeron was out with a concussion for
the first two games. But he came back, and so too did their game.
And now here they are again. The Canucks just may be the best team
they’ve faced. From a sheer statistical standpoint, there’s not really an
argument. And in this series, the Canucks may just prove to be the better
team.
But the Bruins are hardly daunted by being down 1-0 in the series.
“We have a lot experience in the room and we’ve been through situations
like this before,” said winger Brad Marchand. “It just seems like we have a
lot of character right now. A lot of guys are stepping up at key points and we
have a lot of depth on our team. At the right time, the right guys are
stepping up and that’s been big for us.”
Rich Peverley believes the experience of being down can be a benefit.
“I think it can help guys stay more patient and not be as anxious,” said the
forward. “We’ve been down 2-0 against Montreal, we were down against
Tampa. It’s a series, it’s a long race and whoever stays the most consistent
usually wins.”
But if the B’s want to go 3-for-3 in series in which they’ve lost Game 1, they
will have to make some improvements over the 1-0 loss, though they did
play a pretty good road game.
After most of the players stayed off the ice Thursday, the entire team skated
at the University of British Columbia yesterday for a high-tempo practice
that lasted close to an hour. Much time was spent on neutral zone play,
building speed into the offensive zone as well as preventing their quick
opponents from gaining too much of it themselves.
The B’s also continued to work on the power play, with Zdeno Chara
remaining down low on the first unit. Traffic in front of Canucks goalie
Roberto Luongo will be key.
“I think it’s got to be a commitment from everybody, be willing to do that job,
not just on power plays. Obviously, five-on-five, whatever situation that is,”
said Chara.
The B’s are also developing a chip on their shoulder, which was bound to
happen the longer they stayed in this Canuck-mad town. They came into
this series as underdogs and now it seems as though they are prohibitive
ones.
“It seems like everyone’s putting us down and that we don’t have a chance
in this series,” said Marchand. “But obviously they have a great team over
571253     Boston Bruins


Brad Marchand mixes it up


By Rich Thompson | Saturday, June 4, 2011 |
http://www.bostonherald.com | Boston Bruins


VANCOUVER — The Bruins and Canucks are not traditional or territorial
rivals, but there are rumblings from both camps as if they were. A feeling of
mutual animosity was established in Vancouver’s Game 1 victory
Wednesday. Bruins instigator Brad Marchand said the chippy play, trash
talk and underhanded tactics that are his forte also fit the persona of the
Canucks.
There were 13 penalties issued in Game 1 and all but two were of the nasty
variety like cross checking, high sticking and kneeing. There was even a
double roughing minor issued to Alex Burrows for biting Patrice Bergeron’s
finger during a scrum at the end of the first period. Infractions like that have
given the series a hard edge, the kind of playoff encounters the Bruins
expect from traditional rivals Montreal and Philadelphia.
Marchand knows he must assume a disciplined posture, but he doesn’t
expect the lingering hostility to subside when the teams resume the Stanley
Cup finals tonight.
“This next one is a huge game, 1-1 and 0-2 are a huge difference,”
Marchand said. “You can look at it and say we don’t play each other much
and it was chippy for the most part.
“But we have a lot of hatred for each other. Just being in the finals you want
to win so bad that you hate the other guy. You want to do everything you
can to make sure you win it. If being physical and chippy and taking shots
at guys are part of the game then it’s only going to get worse as the series
goes on.”
Marchand got a dose of his own tactics in the first period, and he didn’t
react well. He thrives on his ability to get opponents to react impulsively to
his late hits and ceaseless jabber. But Marchand fell victim to that approach
at 13:25 of the first.
Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff chose a moment away from the
puck to give Marchand a good spearing along the boards. Marchand
responded on adrenaline and emotion when he grabbed at Ehrhoff’s stick.
The officials missed Ehrhoff’s use of the stick, but they caught Marchand
and he was sent to the box.
“You have to watch your emotions and keep them in check,” Marchand
said. “That penalty I took happened when I was rattled after he speared me
by the bench.”
Marchand, who has six goals and six assists in his first postseason, knows
he must regain the confidence in the offensive zone he displayed in the
Bruins’ sweep of the Flyers. And he feels a greater sense of urgency with
the season reduced to, at most, six games.
“This is not a situation you get to be in every day,” he said. “We are fighting
for the Stanley Cup and sometimes it only comes around once in your
career. We don’t want to let this opportunity slip away, we want to give it our
best effort. If it’s good enough and we are able to win that’s good for us. If
not then we want to know we left our very best on the ice.”
Boston Herald LOADED: 06.04.2011
571254     Boston Bruins


Alberts checks back in
Ex-Bruin may make series debut tonight


By Matt Kalman


VANCOUVER — Bruins forward Shawn Thornton still remembers how
Andrew Alberts proved early on to be a solid teammate.
“When I signed here, I didn’t know anyone. I took a cab to practice in
Wilmington from Cambridge,” Thornton said this week. “Afterward, I had to
go pick up a car. (Alberts) went out of his way to make sure that I got to
know the guys and took me for lunch. He drove me to go get my car. He
was a good teammate when he was (with us). .?.?. I’m happy to see him
having success.”
Success for Alberts has come in the form of a part-time role for the Western
Conference champion Vancouver Canucks, who enter tonight’s Game 2 of
the Stanley Cup finals up 1-0 in the series. Alberts played his first three
seasons for the Bruins before they traded him to Philadelphia in 2008.
After skating for the Flyers and Carolina he wound up in Vancouver last
year. This season, he battled through a shoulder injury and a broken wrist
to appear in 42 games and post seven points (one goal).
The defenseman has appeared in just three playoff games thus far, but his
role could change dramatically tonight if Canucks veteran Dan Hamhuis,
who was injured in Game 1, can’t play. Hamhuis is day-to-day.
Alberts practiced yesterday alongside veteran Christian Ehrhoff, a regular in
Vancouver’s lineup. Although Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said not to
read into the lines from practice too much, the pairing may be a hint that
Alberts will make his Stanley Cup finals debut tonight.
“It’s been since Game 3 of the Nashville (second-round) series, so hopefully
I’d get out there, get a bump in early, make a couple quick plays and get in
the game as soon as possible,” Alberts said. “Just make simple plays, for
me.”
The appearance could be extra special given the opponent.
“I’ve still got some buddies over there, so it’d be fun playing against them,”
he said. “But it’s a different makeup from when I was there, so it’s a little
different attitude and identity. So it’s a different team.”
Alberts said he never was bitter about the trade from the Bruins because he
understood that with free agency looming the team wanted to make sure it
got something for him. He still keeps in touch with some B’s players and still
is putting to use the lessons he picked up as a young defenseman straight
out of Boston College.
“My first year, Brian Leetch was there, Hal Gill. Two good players and just
learning how to be a professional on and off the ice with those guys (was
big),” Alberts said. “Joe (Thornton) was there for a little bit, and Glen Murray
and the first couple years you really start to learn a lot about the game on
and off the ice, and I’ve kind of carried that through my career.”
And Alberts is still the same solid locker-room guy that once aided Shawn
Thornton’s transition to the B’s.
“He’s a great guy and he works extremely hard. It’s probably a little tougher
for him being in and out of the lineup and he’s not really sure when he’s
playing,” Hamhuis said. “But he’s a guy that it doesn’t really get him down,
or he doesn’t show it anyway. It’s a tough spot to be in, especially being a
veteran guy. So I’m really impressed with his positive attitude and work
ethic during the season.”
Boston Herald LOADED: 06.04.2011
571255     Boston Bruins


Schmautz shooting for a Bruins victory


By Neil Cote | Saturday, June 4, 2011 | http://www.bostonherald.com |
Boston Bruins


He was among the definitive “Slap Shot” characters even before the movie
hit the big screen in 1977.
Bobby Schmautz was a wiry, long-haired, crooked-nosed, hyperkinetic
forward known for a chin-high wrist shot that goalies hated, stickwork that
earned him the moniker Dr. Hook, and a maniacal glare that might have
scared the devil.
Thus, Schmautz had all the necessities to be a fan favorite at the old
Garden, a much-admired teammate and a total pain in the butt to everyone
in opposing colors as well as some team executives.
And given that the team execs he exasperated during his 13-year career
included those in Boston and Vancouver, one might wonder just whom
Schmautz is rooting for in these Stanley Cup fInals. Until, that is, his loud,
jovial voice left no doubt.
“Kick Vancouver’s (expletive)!” he relayed from his home in Oregon.
Well it’s easy to fathom why the 66-year-old Canadian, a retired roofer,
would be cheering on an organization that traded him away in December
1979. For it was in Boston where, for five full seasons and parts of two
others, Schmautz was a proud, card-carrying member of Don Cherry’s
Lunch Pail A.C. — playing and producing a steady 20-plus goals annually
despite injuries that would have sidelined players of lesser grit. He even
came within sniffing distance of several Stanley Cups, including in his last
full season here when a bench minor against Montreal cost the Bruins a
berth in the 1979 finals and gave general manager Harry Sinden a
convenient excuse to fire the coach with whom he so often had clashed.
Early the following season, when the Colorado Rockies — now led by
Cherry — won in Boston, Schmautz said his old pal had outcoached his
replacement, Fred Creighton, and that burned his last bridge to the Bruins
brass. Within days, Schmautz was earmarked for Edmonton in return for
Dan Newman, an NHL version of Stan Papi. Before that season ended,
Schmautz was reunited with Cherry in Denver. The next season, he
resurfaced in Vancouver for his second go-around with the Canucks,
potting 27 goals, including one that was the decisive marker in a triumph at
the old Garden.
“Yeah, I looked up and winked at Sinden in his box,” Schmautz said.
Sinden wasn’t winking back, and following a first-round blowout against
Buffalo, the Vancouver brain trust wasn’t smiling at Schmautz, whose
outspoken ways and off-ice carousing made him a difficult fit for coach
Harry Neale. Nevertheless, Schmautz today is listed as No. 32 in the
(admittedly modest) Vancouver Canucks Hall of Fame, and he occasionally
ventures north for alumni functions, signings and reunions.
But Schmautz left at least part of his heart in Boston.
“If you pulled my shorts off you’d see I have that ‘B’ tattooed on my (butt),”
he said. “The people in Vancouver and Boston both treated me so well, but
those Boston years were so special. Grapes (Don Cherry) and I were great
friends. He was in it to win and so was I, and we both were so outspoken
about it. And Mr. Orr was the best I ever saw, and I played against and with
him.”
Schmautz expects to return to the Hub this summer and catch up with old
friends like Rick Middleton, Don Marcotte and Terry O’Reilly.
And how about Sinden?
“We’d get along all right, after I drilled him, but I’d only drill him once,” he
said. “Everything would be all right between us, and if you believe that .?.?.”
Boston Herald LOADED: 06.04.2011
571256     Boston Bruins


Rating Boston’s mighty mites: Brad Marchand, Dustin Pedroia, Danny
Woodhead


By Joshua Walovitch | Saturday, June 4, 2011 |
http://www.bostonherald.com | Boston Bruins


With Boston delirious with hockey fever, mighty mite rookie Brad Marchand
has emerged as the Bruins’ version of the Red Sox’ Dustin Pedroia and the
Patriots’ Danny Woodhead — undersized athletes with oversized talent.
At 5 feet, 9 inches tall, Marchand is the smallest player on the team’s roster.
But this bantam center has become a fan favorite with his energetic style of
play and knack for antagonizing opposing players.
Among NHL rookies, he placed in the top 10 in goals, points, plus/minus
rating and shorthanded goals, and he won the Bruins 7th Player Award
voted by fans. And just like Pedroia and Woodhead, Marchand plays a key
role in helping his team go deep into the playoffs.
But how close is Marchand to reaching the popularity level of our other
diminutive local heroes? Yesterday we hit the streets of Boston with
photographs of Marchand, Pedroia and Woodhead and asked passers-by
to play the classic schoolyard game of “Romance, Marry, Kill” (who’s
sexiest, most lovable and least lovable).
We unexpectedly encountered someone with a definitive answer to the
question: Kelli Pedroia, who was with her son Dylan outside of Fenway
Park [map].
Which two professional athletes will get an ego boost from our poll? And
which one not so much. Watch the video at for the answer.
Boston Herald LOADED: 06.04.2011
571257     Calgary Flames                                                          “How I win the day is I don’t drink or do drugs,” he said. “I’m in the program
                                                                                   and hang out with other people who have addiction issues and we try to get
                                                                                   through it together.”
Ex-Flame shines light on substance abuse                                           Myhres splits his time between his home in Edmonton and his business in
Myhres has a degree in abuse counselling and he’s eager to                   Calgary, where is the CEO of the Greater Strides Hockey Academy, a
mentor young hockey players                                                        brainchild that hopes to see come to fruition sooner than later.
                                                                                   Of Metis heritage, Myhres noticed as he toured about the country talking to
                                                                                   kids about substance abuse that there was nothing solely for aboriginal kids
By John Down                                                                       in the way of hockey schools. One thing led to another and now Greater
                                                                                   Strides, which has the full support of most Alberta tribes, has grown from
                                                                                   being a hockey academy proposal to including a private school complete
                                                                                   with on-site dormitory and cultural centre.
Brantt Myhres has been to the dark side . . . again and again and again and
again ... and again. And now the 34-year-old former National Hockey                The centre will be built with funds from the federal and provincial
League tough guy wants to give back, wants to share his knowledge, wants           governments and as much as he can round up from the private sector. In
to help players who are struggling with substance abuse.                           fact, Myhres is holding a golf tournament in early August at Redwood
                                                                                   Meadows to support the cause.
So with a certificate from Mount Royal in substance abuse counselling, he
has offered his services to the league and the players’ association. As one        “It’ll be a little like Notre Dame (Wilcox, Sask.) but for aboriginal kids,” he
who has first hand experience from years of battling with addictions, he           said. “We seem to have all kinds of people jumping on board.”
believes it is a topic that is often ignored by the public or swept under the
rug by the players themselves.                                                     jdown@calgaryherald.com

“A lot of it goes under the radar,” he said during a telephone interview from      Calgary Herald: LOADED: 06.04.2011
his home in Edmonton. “A lot of people really don’t hear the dark side of it. I
played with seven different NHL teams, 17 pro teams to be exact, and I had
a first hand glance at the abuse that went on.
“A lot of these guys don’t want to say anything to anybody because their
careers are at stake and that’s where I could come in. They could confide in
me because I’m speaking the same language. There’s no threat to them,
like they’re going to a coach, a general manager or an agent.
“They’re going to an ex-player who’s been there, done that several times.”
Myhres struck out five times in the NHL, the fifth suspension leading to a
lifetime ban. “I think I was the only player to get suspended four times by
the league and then get reinstated,” he said. “I played one game with the
Flames, a pre-season game (in 2005), got my orbital bone smashed by
Georges Laraque (Edmonton Oilers) in a fight and after that my spirits were
down and I ended up relapsing again.
“It was really dark for about a year and half. At some point I said, ‘I’m either
going to die or I’m going to get sober’. I went back to treatment for six
months in Oregon and when I got out, my goal was to give back. I wanted
to help players who are struggling with it.”
Myhres met with new NHLPA leader Donald Fehr recently but while they
agreed he could be a liaison to players, any formal role would have to be
jointly agreed upon by the league and PA. The recent death of Derek
Boogaard further strengthened his stance that the issue needs to be openly
addressed. Boogaard’s death was ruled to have been triggered by a mix of
alcohol and oxycodone.
“I’d definitely like to see a little more awareness,” he said. “The whole
league is up in arms over concussions but could you imagine if somebody
had died from one of those concussions how crazy it would have gotten.
“But there seems to be very little attention paid to guys who die because of
drug and alcohol abuse. You give an 18- or 19-year-old kid $500,000 or $1
million, it’s sometimes a recipe for disaster.”
Myhres drew his first suspension for alcohol abuse when he was just a 17-
year-old member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He paid his first visit to
rehab when he was a 24-year-old member of the Philadelphia Flyers during
the 1997-98 campaign.
“They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a
different result,” he said. “I looked at it as doing the same thing over and
over and expecting the same result. You know what you’re getting into.
“For me I couldn’t seem to function without being medicated and I think
fighting definitely took a major toll on me. I started fighting at age 16.”
Myhres had around 300 fights in pro hockey alone. In 154 regular season
games in the NHL with Tampa Bay, the Flyers, San Jose, Nashville,
Washington and Boston, he scored six goals and collected 687 minutes in
penalties.
He never played in the NHL after Laraque broke his orbital bone, nor did he
fight again. Now he’s been sober for three years but it’s an ongoing battle to
stay out of the dark side.
571258     Calgary Flames


Horak ‘excited’ to join Flames


By Scott Cruickshank


Welcoming him to the fold, the Calgary Flames had marvelled at Roman
Horak’s excitement level.
That, according to his pal, is normal.
“He’s just a very enthusiastic kid and he’s always excited, no matter what,”
said Ryan Howse, who’d skated on a line with Horak with the WHL’s
Chilliwack Bruins and — thanks to Wednesday’s trade — will turn pro with
his chum this coming winter.
“It’s pretty neat. I talked to him (Thursday), with a little email, and he’s pretty
excited to come. He can’t wait. He really enjoyed Canada, he really enjoyed
the people here. He’s been to a Flames game — we went as a team last
year — so he got to see that. And, obviously, with Chilliwack being close to
Abbotsford (home of the Flames’ farm team), he got to see a lot of
Abbotsford games.”
Howse, a sharp-shooting right-winger, and Horak, a soft-passing left-
winger, worked together for two seasons.
But, after their first campaign, the Flames selected Howse in the third round
and the New York Rangers grabbed Horak in the fifth.
That’s life in hockey, linemates and teammates come and go. However,
when the Flames shipped un-signable Tim Erixon to the Rangers, they got
Horak — and two second-round picks — in return.
“Someone we really like,” Flames general manager Jay Feaster said of the
Czech youngster. “We like his work ethic, we like his compete. We think he
will play in the National Hockey League.”
“We get a player who already has chemistry with one of our other draft
picks. He is signed. . . there is no European-return clause in that contract,
so he’ll come in here and try to earn a spot in camp. If he doesn’t, he’ll be
with our top AHL affiliate.”
Howse and Horak finished 1-2 in Bruins scoring, with 83 and 78 points,
respectively, last season.
Howse, a splendid finisher, says he owed a lot of his success to Horak.
“Thanks to him, I got a couple goals this year,” said Howse, who notched 51
in the 2010-11 campaign. “That’s one of his biggest strengths —
playmaking.
‘‘He’s easy to work with. Smooth skater, great vision. Very slick. Nice
moves, great hands. And don’t count him out as far as scoring a goal here
or there.
“It’ll be pretty neat to see how well our chemistry works at a higher level
now.”
Barring sensational training camps, the two forwards will embark on their
rookie seasons in Abbotsford.
“We spent two years watching each other develop,” said Howse. “Now,
turning pro together, it’s special to him and to me as well. I’m excited to
have someone close to me, play with me.
“He’s a great guy and an even better hockey player.”
Calgary Herald: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571259     Calgary Flames


Hartsburg reportedly will join Flames coaching staff


By Scott Cruickshank, Calgary Herald June 3, 2011


Craig Hartsburg, according to one report, is about to become a member of
the Calgary Flames’ coaching staff.
But the National Hockey League team came short of saying the deal was
complete.
“Craig Hartsburg is a top candidate for a coaching position with the
Flames,” Peter Hanlon, Flames vice-president of communications, said
Thursday afternoon. “However, there’s work to be done before any official
announcement.”
TSN’s report indicated that Hartsburg, after relinquishing his current
coaching gig with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League,
would step in and hold down an associate-coaching post.
Indeed, the Flames are in the market for assistants, having turned aside
Rob Cookson, Jamie McLennan and Ryan McGill at season’s end. (Dave
Lowry, alone, maintained his position.)
Hartsburg and Flames skipper Brent Sutter go way back.
The former coached the latter during their days with the Chicago
Blackhawks — one of three NHL head-coaching stops that Hartsburg has
made. He’s also been the main man for the Anaheim Ducks and, most
recently, the Ottawa Senators.
Hartsburg, who turns 52 later this month, has extensive assistant-coaching
experience, too — with the Minnesota North Stars and the Philadelphia
Flyers.
Like Sutter, he’s coached Canada to world-junior gold twice — in 2007 and
2008. Sutter turned the trick in 2005 and 2006.
Calgary Herald: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571260     Columbus Blue Jackets


Blue Jackets: Search for goaltender coach gets narrower


By Aaron Portzline


The Blue Jackets still may be more than a week away from hiring a
goaltending coach, but names of leading candidates are beginning to
emerge.
And it's unlikely that either Ron Tugnutt or Marc Denis, both former Blue
Jackets, will get the job.
Jamie McLennan and Eli Wilson have interviewed for the job, sources told
The Dispatch yesterday, with other names still out there.
McLennan retired in 2007 after a 14-season pro career and has been on
the coaching staff of the Calgary Flames the past two seasons.
Wilson never played professionally but spent 2007-10 with the Ottawa
Senators and a brief stint late last season as a goaltending consultant with
the Anaheim Ducks.
Tugnutt, a popular player during the Blue Jackets' first two seasons,
apparently won't be granted an interview, despite serving as Team
Canada's goaltending coach in the world junior championships the past two
seasons. He has coached in the junior ranks the last three seasons.
Denis has coached for Chicoutimi, Quebec, the past two seasons and is an
analyst for the French-speaking RDS sports network in Canada. He won't
get an interview, either.
The Blue Jackets' job came open when Dave Rook resigned shortly after
the season ended.


Columbus Dispatch LOADED: 06.04.2011
571261     Dallas Stars
                                                                               Cap
As Richards bolts, Stars GM must build with tight budget
                                                                               Floor
By MIKE HEIKA                                                                  2005-06


Joe Nieuwendyk feels the weight as much as you do — probably more.             $39.0 mil.
The Stars general manager wants to win — now. It kills him that the team
has missed the playoffs in two seasons under his watch. It kills him that he
had to fire Marc Crawford and admit that his first decision on the head        $21.5 mil.
coach was wrong. It kills him that he doesn’t have the budget to sign Brad     2006-07
Richards, and he has to go to Plan B so quickly.
But it also makes him stronger. And more patient. And maybe even
smarter.                                                                       $44.0 mil.
And that could pay off for this franchise in the long run.
One of the worst things for a GM is to have too much money early in his        $28.0 mil.
run. It makes it far too easy to make long-term mistakes that could
eventually hurt. Former GM Doug Armstrong found that out when he had to        2007-08
buy out Bill Guerin’s five-year, $45 million contract. The same thing
happened when Brett Hull and Les Jackson signed Sean Avery to a four-
year deal.                                                                     $50.3 mil.
Nieuwendyk shouldn’t have that problem. He has been forced to make
some tough decisions on a tight budget. He found Kari Lehtonen when
nobody believed the big goalie could find health and motivation. He            $34.3 mil.
unearthed 25-year-old Alex Goligoski when everyone else would have been
happy with a more reputable 30-something defenseman.                           2008-09

And the rewards of that creativity helped form the kind of GM Nieuwendyk
will become. He will eagerly use the money of new ownership when it            $56.7 mil.
eventually arrives, but he won’t see it as the only way to solve problems.
Leading scorer Richards will sign with another team after July 1. It’s
something Nieuwendyk has prepared for. While his departure will leave a        $40.7 mil.
hole in the scoring, it also will leave Nieuwendyk with a lot more money.
Richards made $7.8 million last season and will probably make close to that    2009-10
next season.
The Stars have 17 players under contract for about $38 million. The NHL        $56.8 mil.
floor for next season could be $46.2 million. That means Nieuwendyk might
have to find a way to spend another $8 million by next October. He can do
that on free agents or on trades for players with heavier contracts, but he
has to add to the current roster.                                              $40.8 mil.

And it’s a pretty good roster already. Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro, Loui      2010-11
Eriksson and Jamie Benn are set to play in the top-six forward group. With
Benn able to play center or wing, that allows Nieuwendyk some flexibility in
pursuing a top-six player who is either a center or a wing.                    $59.4 mil.
And while the defense certainly could use a boost, just one top-level player
could make all the difference in the world on the blue line. If Nieuwendyk
could get in on the bidding for Kevin Bieksa or Christian Ehrhoff or           $43.4 mil.
Jonathan Ericsson, the defense would take shape quickly.
                                                                               2011-12
Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi is expected to put forth a signed
purchase agreement next week, and then the process of moving the team
through bankruptcy court can begin. With other buyers able to put in bids,     $62.2 mil.
there’s no timeline for when the team will be sold, but Nieuwendyk should
be able to do everything he needs to do in hiring coaches and signing free
agents — so long as he stays under his budget.
                                                                               $46.2 mil.
Once the new owner is in, a new budget can be discussed, and maybe the
Stars can swing a trade or two for players deemed too expensive by other       *Projected figures
teams. Or maybe Nieuwendyk will remain patient and target next year’s          Dallas Morning News LOADED: 06.04.2011
free-agent crop.
After all, he’s learned a lot of patience in the last two years.
Juggling money
Next season’s salary cap is expected to be around $62.2 million, which
means the minimum amount teams spend will be about $46.2 million. That
means the Stars could have to spend around $8 more million just to get to
the cap floor. The NHL’s salary-cap history:
Season
571262     Detroit Red Wings


Kindl named top rookie by broadcasters


By GEORGE SIPPLE


Defenseman Jakub Kindl was named Red Wings rookie of the year Friday
by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.
Kindl had two goals and two assists in 48 games with a minus-six rating
and 36 penalty minutes. He also had 44 hits and 36 blocked shots.
Kindl, 24, was the club's seventh defenseman but pushed veteran Ruslan
Salei for playing time late in the season. Kindl didn't appear in any of the 11
playoff games.
He could get regular minutes next season on the third defensive pairing.
Defenseman Brian Rafalski retired, and Nicklas Lidstrom is deciding
whether to retire or play another season.
Two other defensemen, Salei and Jonathan Ericsson, will be unrestricted
free agents July 1.
Kindl spent three seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins improving his
defense, after being drafted 19th overall in the 2005.
The DSBA rookie of the year award dates to the 1948-49 season. Recent
winners include Jimmy Howard, Ericsson, Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall and
Johan Franzen.
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 06.04.2011
571263     Detroit Red Wings


Jakub Kindl snags Red Wings rookie of year honor


By GEORGE SIPPLE


Defenseman Jakub Kindl was named the Red Wings rookie of the year
today by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.
Kindl scored two goals and two assists for four points in 48 games with a
minus-6 rating and 36 penalty minutes. He also had 44 hits and 36 blocked
shots.
Kindl, 24, was the club's seventh defenseman, but pushed veteran Ruslan
Salei for playing time late in the season. Kindl didn't appear in any of the
club's 11 playoff games.
Kindl could get regular minutes next season on the team's third defensive
pairing. The Wings have already lost defenseman Brian Rafalski to
retirement and Nicklas Lidstrom is deciding whether to retire or return for
another season. Two other defenseman, Saleri and Jonathan Ericsson, will
be unrestricted free agents on July 1.
Kindl spent three seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins improving his
defensive game, after being drafted 19th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry
Draft.
The DSBA rookie of the year award dates to the 1948-49 season. Recent
winners include Jimmy Howard, Ericsson, Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall and
Johan Franzen.
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 06.04.2011
571264     Detroit Red Wings


National writer reveals his NHL awards ballot


By KIRKLAND CRAWFORD


Once the Canucks or Bruins hoist the Stanley Cup, NHL fans will shift focus
to Las Vegas and the NHL awards on June 22 in Las Vegas. Several Red
Wings are up for individual hardware, and one writer has divulged his ballot.
CBSSports.com's A.J. Perez explained how and why he voted. On his
ballot, only one Red Wings won. Nicklas Lidstrom got Perez's vote for the
Lady Byng Trophy.
Perez: "This is the sixth time he’s been a finalist for the Byng, but first time
in eight years. I know Lidstrom turned into a bad guy during that stretch.
You won’t find him in the penalty box much or barking at the refs
incessantly. Nearing his 41st birthday, he remains one of the game’s
calming figures."
The Wings captain wasn't as fortunate in Perez's vote for the Norris Trophy.
Lidstrom was third on the ballot, behind Boston's Zdeno Chara and
Anaheim Lubomir Visnovsky. "The six-time Norris winner had heck of an
offensive year, scoring 62 points (16 goals and 46 assists). He also had to
play without his usual defensive partner, Brian Rafalski, who was out
injured for stretches. Whether you put much weight on plus-minus or not,
the fact he was a minus-2 knocked him down a couple pegs."
Pavel Datsyuk is up for the Selke Trophy, but he doesn't necessarily have
Perez's support. The writer picked Canucks star (and Livonia native) Ryan
Kesler first, followed by Vancouver teammate Manny Malhotra before
Datsyuk. "Had injuries not limited him to 56 games this season, it would
have been much more difficult for me not to vote him No. 1 again. He’s won
the award the previous four seasons. Datsyuk remains a beast in the
faceoff circle (54.6% winning percentage) and finished the season plus-11,
second-lowest on the Wings."
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 06.04.2011
571265     Detroit Red Wings


Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom paddle surf with Kid Rock


By GEORGE SIPPLE


Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom attended a news conference in
Detroit on Thursday, but it wasn't to address his playing future.
Lidstrom and former teammate Chris Chelios helped Kid Rock announce
plans for a concert Aug. 12 at Comerica Park.
The trio arrived at Belle Isle's beach after crossing the Detroit River on
paddleboards.
Lidstrom said on a video posted on the Red Wings' Twitter page that there
was "nothing new to report" about his future. He has told the Wings he will
decide before July 1 whether he'll retire or return for a 20th season.
"I still haven't made a decision yet," Lidstrom said.
Chelios, executive adviser to Wings general manager Ken Holland, had
invited Kid Rock to go stand-up paddle surfing with him and Lidstrom.
Kid Rock decided to incorporate the activity into his Comerica Park
announcement.
"To actually be a part of the announcement kind of took me and Nick by
surprise," Chelios told the Free Press.
"We couldn't have asked for a better day to paddleboard right up to the
beach. I thought it went great ... beautiful shot of the city in the background.
For paddleboarding, you're not going to get a better situation on the river,
that's for sure."
Chelios said he never discussed hockey with Lidstrom on Thursday.
"We did not talk 1 second about hockey," Chelios said. "Nick's a real smart
guy. He's coming off a great year. I hope he comes back, obviously, being a
friend of his. I played as long as I could, and that advice came from Wayne
Gretzky. I told Nick the same thing: 'As long as you're enjoying it, play as
long as you can.' "
Lidstrom, 41, had 16 goals and 46 assists in 82 games this past season.
"It's not a question of whether he can play at a high level," Chelios said. "It's
just a matter of whether he wants to."
The Wings expect to hear from Lidstrom before the NHL draft June 24-25.
Lidstrom is expected to be at the NHL Awards on June 22 in Las Vegas as
a finalist for the Norris Trophy, which goes to the top defenseman.
Perhaps paddle surfing was another way for Lidstrom to get in some
physical activity in the off-season to keep in shape for a return to the ice.
"I go all the time, pretty much every day if the weather allows," Chelios said.
"That's Nick's first time down the river. I've taken him and his wife on the
inland lakes by Orchard Lake and Cass Lake."
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 06.04.2011
571266     Detroit Red Wings


National writer: Brendan Shanahan is great choice for NHL 'bad cop'


By KIRKLAND CRAWFORD


So Brendan Shanahan, the affable, popular former Red Wings who helped
Detroit to three Stanley Cups, is now the NHL's new Bad Cop?
On Wednesday before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, "Shanny" was
introduced as the league's new disciplinarian. Yahoo!Sports writer (and
former Freepster) Nicholas J. Cotsonika covered the news conference and
wrote that Shanahan is the best man to replace Colin Campbell.
Cotsonika: "But if you’re going to get someone with an intimate
understanding of the game, you’re going to have to accept at least some
perceived conflict of interest. The most qualified person in that context is
going to have connections and history. Shanahan understands what’s
happening on the ice and off of it. He scored 656 goals and won three
Stanley Cups; he also racked up 2,489 penalty minutes, complained about
the officiating and faced supplemental discipline himself. He helped rewrite
the new rules; he also played under them. He has the “fresh eyes”
Campbell said the league needs."
Cotsonika pointed out that part of the problem with Campbell's regime was
his potential conflict of interest with his son, Gregory, who plays for the
Boston Bruins. Shanahan doesn't have any family members in the league,
but he isn't that far removed from his playing days. He's has ex-teammates
still in the league and, in higher-up positions.
"It’s going to be sticky if and when Shanahan has to suspend, say, a
member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, whose general manager is former
teammate Steve Yzerman. So be it.
“You assume that Steve and I are still friends,” Shanahan cracked.
Good to see he hasn’t lost his sense of humor. Yet."
The biggest hurdle for Shanahan, according to Cotsonika, could be actually
being the "bad guy." It's an unenviable position to hand out punishment and
the ex-Wing will eventually make someone unhappy.
"Criticism in the media is one thing. Criticism from your peers is another.
How is Shanahan going to feel when he starts getting flak publicly and
privately from players, coaches and GMs – the people he respects the
most, the people whose respect he values the most? I think he can handle
it. I don’t think he’ll find it fun."
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 06.04.2011
571267     Detroit Red Wings                                                       Howe battling George Armstrong, the former Maple Leafs great, for a loose
                                                                                   puck.
                                                                                   In the background, sitting just beyond the glass, are John and Mary Barnes.
One puck's journey: From Gordie Howe to Wings fan to Hall of Fame                  John is wearing a fedora, a three-piece suit, and a tie. Mary wears a dress,
                                                                                   dress coat and bracelet. Her hands are clasped, almost prayerfully, in front
                                                                                   of her face.
Gregg Krupa/ The Detroit News
                                                                                   Both faces are etched with intense concern as Howe and Armstrong clash.
                                                                                   A generous gesture
It was a different era for sports in Detroit in December 1968. In October, the
Tigers helped heal a riot-torn city, winning their first World Series in 23        John Barnes was diabetic and his sight weakened to the point that, by
years. The Lions were lousy, and had just lost to the previously winless           1968, he would sit in the alumni room at the Olympia, often with liquid
Eagles on Thanksgiving Day at Tiger Stadium.                                       refreshment, listening to Bruce Martyn and Budd Lynch broadcast the play-
                                                                                   by-play.
At Olympia Stadium, the Red Wings were destined to finish fifth and out of
the playoffs in the six-team Eastern Conference of the NHL.                        "Gordie donated the stick with which he scored the goal," Allen Moore said.
                                                                                   "But, along with his wife, Colleen, they presented the historic puck with a
But at the age of 40, Gordie Howe was on fire.                                     beautiful silver band engraved with the signature of many of the players to
                                                                                   my uncle."
On his way to 44 goals that season, Howe accomplished what no other
NHL player had managed. Against Penguins goaltender Les Binkley on                 The Barneses were thrilled.
Dec. 9, Howe scored goal No. 700.
                                                                                   "What a wonderful gesture by one of the most thoughtful sports figures in
The next highest career total was Maurice "Rocket" Richard's 544.                  Detroit history," Moore said. "Gordie always seemed to take time for
                                                                                   ordinary folks as well as people who had suffered some sort of disability or
Howe's stick immediately went to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto,               hard luck."
along with a puck with which he had posed after the game, painted with the
number "700."                                                                      Howe later told reporters, "I'm just happy that I'm in a position that I can
                                                                                   give something like that away. They are real dedicated fans and my wife,
But, in the generous way of Howe and his wife, Colleen, who would become           Colleen, and I decided that they should have it."
known all across North America as Mr. and Mrs. Hockey, the actual puck
that went into the net off Howe's stick that night was given to a beloved,         John Barnes lived a long life, dying in November 1991. Mary passed away
longtime season-ticket holder, John Barnes.                                        in August 1998.

On Friday, 43 years later, in the living room of a home in Livonia, the puck       One label on the puck, the trademarks of the manufacturer, bears a few
started its journey to join the stick in the Hockey Hall of Fame.                  notations: "1:13 1st period," "Alex" and "Frank."

Allen Moore, the nephew of Barnes and his wife, Mary, handed it to Craig           Howe's 700th was scored one minute 13 seconds into the game.
Campbell and Phil Pritchard of the Hockey Hall of Fame, after almost a
decade of research and conversations with Moore.                                   Alex Delvecchio and Frank Mahovlich, both members of the Hockey Hall of
                                                                                   Fame, were Howe's linemates that season. Together, they tallied 118 goals
"When I first contacted them about making the donation, they were kind of          — Howe 44, Delvecchio 25 and Mahovlich 49.
leery about it," Moore said. "They said, 'Well, are you sure you've got the
right puck?'"                                                                      Early that season, the talk all around town was about how much longer
                                                                                   Howe would play. In a 76-game season, he appeared in every one. He
Moore and his wife, Janet, said they could have obtained $10,000-$15,000           scored, during a season in which he turned 41, the highest point total of his
on eBay. But it would not have honored his uncle and aunt, or the Howes.           career, 103.

"You know, money is money," Moore said. "This is more important.                   Campbell, manager of archives at the Hall, and Pritchard drove from
                                                                                   Toronto on Friday to get the puck. Then, they drove right back, with it.
"Gordie Howe and his wife, Colleen, were thoughtful and kind people. I
know he is a great hockey player, but I think he is a great person, too. For
him to do this, to give such a significant puck to a fan, is something special.
And we've seen other things he's done in the community."                           "It's immensely important," said Campbell, who along with Pritchard, also
                                                                                   serve as the "Keepers" of the Stanley Cup. "We're a charity. We're not
Pritchard, the curator of the Hall, said the puck is important. But the story      affiliated with any league or hockey entity. While we have connections to
behind it, and the involvement of two hockey-loving couples, the Howes and         leagues and federations, we rely on people out of the goodness of their
Barneses, makes cherished memories come alive.                                     hearts to donate key items, or a significant item to them, to the museum.

"The puck is amazing," Pritchard said. "But the story on how they got it?          "It will likely go up in the Gordie Howe showcase, there, within the next
That's the human interest."                                                        month.

Close to ice, players                                                              "And I think it's just great that it's come to be that the puck will rejoin the
                                                                                   stick for a longer moment than Gordie brought them together, during that
Beginning before television, the Barneses sat in a row directly along the          game."
boards. They were so close that in the days before Plexiglas, when a so-
called chicken-wire fence protected fans from flying pucks, Allen Moore            Detroit News LOADED: 06.04.2011
remembers getting sprayed with the snowy-ice by players who came to a
sudden stop nearby as he sat on his uncle's lap.
The closeness led to friendships between fans and players in a way that
almost never occurs today.
"Over the years, my aunt would tell our family about bowling with the
players as well as attending various team social events," Moore said.
"They'd bowl on West Chicago, near the Olympia. There was a bar
downstairs and the bowling was upstairs.
"I'll tell you, they were sort of party animals," Janet Moore said. "They really
got around. Later, we found out that Aunt Mary would baby-sit for Colleen
and Gordie."
In their home, the Moores have hung a framed copy of an old Red Wings
program, "Red Wings Magazine." The 50-cent souvenir bears a picture of
571268     Detroit Red Wings


Jakub Kindl named Red Wings rookie of the year


Ted Kulfan/ The Detroit News


Detroit— Defenseman Jakub Kindl has been named the Red Wings 2010-
11 Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association
(DSBA).
Kindl played in 48 games, scoring 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in addition to
44 hits and 36 blocked shots.
Kindl (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) was a 2005 1st-round draft pick.
The DSBA Red Wings Rookie of the Year Award dates back to the 1948-49
NHL season. Previous recipients of the award include current Red Wings
Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Jiri
Hudler, Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Ericsson.
Detroit News LOADED: 06.04.2011
571269     Detroit Red Wings


Jakub Kindl named DSBA Red Wings rookie of year


The Grand Rapids Press By The Grand Rapids Press


DETROIT -- Defenseman Jakub Kindl has been named the Detroit Red
Wings 2010-11 rookie of the year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters
Association (DSBA).
Kindl, 24, played in 48 games, picking up two goals and two assists, posting
a minus-6 rating and picking up 36 penalty minutes.
Kindl was the club's seventh defenseman last season, getting inserted into
the lineup as an injury replacement and rotating with veteran Ruslan Salei
late in the season. Next season, Kindl is expected to earn a regular spot in
the lineup.
Drafted 19th overall in the first round in 2005 because of his offensive skills
and puck-moving ability, Kindl spent three seasons with the Grand Rapids
Griffins, where he worked to improve his defensive game. He played with
more of an edge late last season.
The DSBA Red Wings rookie of the year award dates back to the 1948-49
season. Previous recipients include current Detroit players Henrik
Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Jiri Hudler,
Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Ericsson.
Michigan Live LOADED: 06.04.2011
571270      Edmonton Oilers


Goalie's prospects murky
Liston hopes stellar play before injury will earn draft consideration


By Jim Matheson


Goalie Liam Liston auditioned for the army of NHL scouts and general
managers at the Top Prospects game in January at the Air Canada Centre,
standing on his head for his 20-minute stint, but took a blow to his head
during the Western Hockey League playoffs and was sidelined with a
concussion.
Now, the 18-year-old from St. Albert, who played for the Brandon Wheat
Kings, isn't sure where he stands with the NHL draft three weeks away.
Chances are he'll get drafted, but where and when nobody knows. It's that
way with most goalies. There were only two taken as first-rounders last
June -American Jack Campbell (by the Dallas Stars) and Canadian Mark
Visentin (Phoenix Coyotes), who happened to both be in the last world
junior championship -and only 20 goalies taken in 210 selections. Four of
those were in the last round.
"It's a position that's drafted a little differently ... it seems every year it takes
one team to overcome that gun-shy feeling of being the first team to take a
goalie, then you get a little run of three or four guys." said Liston.
"Campbell went so high (11th), then Mark (27) in the first round, then Calvin
Pickard (Colorado Avalanche) and Kent Simpson (Chicago Blackhawks) in
the second. Once the first team takes somebody, it starts a bit of a waterfall
effect. Until then, it's a bit of waiting game."
Liston isn't sure how it will shake down for him at the draft in St. Paul, Minn.
He's certainly not flying there to sit in the seats with his parents. He'll hope
his phone rings June 25.
"How things went in the first half of the season, playing in the Top
Prospects game and stuff, it looked like there was a lot more certainty than
there is now," said Liston, a St. Albert Catholic high school graduate who
has spoken to about 10 NHL teams. "I'm pretty hopeful somebody takes a
chance on me. If so, hopefully I'll impress at camp."
"He had a really good prospects game. I think he made 19 stops in his one
period," said the Central Scouting Bureau's Rick Jackson.
"He'll get drafted."
Liston, rated the ninth-best goalie in North America and second best in the
WHL behind Edmonton Oil Kings' Laurent Brossoit, played on a run-and-
gun Brandon team, especially in the second half. He played 41 regular-
season games (20-16-1, 3.77 goals-against average) but was hurt in the
first playoff round against Medicine Hat. He was going against his childhood
friend Tyler Bunz, the Oilers' fifth-round pick last June.
Bunz also got a concussion later that round, but managed to play again.
Not Liston. His team, which made a late charge and made the playoffs, was
out in Round 1.
"The concussion was unfortunate, especially the time of year," said Liston,
the former Alberta Midget Hockey League goalie of the year. "I was
warming up between games three and four in Winnipeg and took a shot off
the chin area. Caught me by surprise. Originally, I thought it was just a
headache or I had a bit of the flu, but it progressed. Once I took all the
tests, it was more serious than I thought." He had an aversion to light (he
watched from the press box with the lights off in the playoffs), along with
dizziness.
"First time I've ever had one. It was like being fatigued all the time. You just
want to sleep. You can't regain your energy," said Liston, who has a clean
bill of health now.
The six-foot-two-inch, 195-pound Liston has been a goalie as long as he
can remember.
"One of my earliest memories was letting in 10 goals in a game and my dad
(John) figured that might be the end of it, but I loved it. Maybe it was the
equipment when I was little ... I loved being a difference-maker."
Edmonton Journal: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571271    Montreal Canadiens


Jean Béliveau to undergo surgery
Staff Report
The Canadiens announced Friday afternoon that Hall of Famer and team
ambassador Jean Béliveau is scheduled to undergo a preventive surgical
procedure next week to repair abdominal aneurysms.
The procedure, known as endovascular surgery, will be performed using
the most recent techniques, which are minimally invasive.
The team said in a press release that Béliveau, whose general state of
health is very good, will need a few months to fully recover from the
surgery.
Béliveau has asked that everyone respect his privacy and that of his family.
“We are pleased that Mr. Béliveau is under the good care of head team
physician David Mulder," team owner and CEO Geoff Molson said in a
statement. "On behalf of all of our fans, players and the entire Montreal
Canadiens family, I would like to wish Mr. Béliveau a prompt and complete
recovery."
Montreal Gazette LOADED: 06.04.2011
571272     Montreal Canadiens


Canadiens have some holes to fill


By PAT HICKEY, The GazetteJune 4, 2011 3:03 AM


Carey Price is the Canadiens' No. 1 goaltender.
He's also one of only two netminders in the Canadiens' organization. The
only other goaltender who is signed to a contract is Robert Mayer, the
Hamilton Bulldogs' backup who is in the second year of an entry-level
contract.
Before the 2009-10 season, the Canadiens had three young goalies in
Price, Jaroslav Halak and Cedrick Desjardins. They cleared the deck for
Price to be No. 1 by trading Halak to St. Louis, while Desjardins was
shipped to the Tampa Bay organization in return for the rights to Karri
Ramo, who is playing in Russia.
While there has been a lot of talk about decisions Pierre Gauthier faces in
having to deal with a handful of freeagent defenceman and the need for
some size up front, the general manager also has some holes to fill in goal
in Montreal and on the farm.
Alex Auld, who did an excellent job as Price's backup, is an unrestricted
free agent. So is veteran Curtis Sanford, who was Hamilton's No. 1 goalie
before he was injured. And so is Drew McIntyre, the late-season pickup
who led the Bulldogs to the final four in the American Hockey League
playoffs.
The lack of depth in goal is reflected in the roster for the first stage of the
Canadiens' development camp, which begins a five-day run Sunday at the
team's training facility in Brossard. Five of the six goaltenders are unsigned
players on tryouts. They include two U.S. college players and an
Englishman who spent most of last season in the German league. The only
player with a contract is Peter Delmas, who has an AHL contract with
Hamilton. He played with four different teams in four different leagues last
season.
The most promising player in the group may be Aaron Dell, who will join
University of North Dakota teammates Danny Kristo and Michael Cichy at
the camp. Dell earned All-America honours after posting a 30-7-2 record
with a 1.79 goals-against average.
The development camp is a mixed bag. Ten of the 33 players played in
Hamilton last season, and three of them - Aaron Palushaj, Andreas
Engqvist and defenceman Brendon Nash - saw action with the Canadiens.
Ten players played U.S. college hockey and nine of them are expected to
return to school in the fall. The exception is defenceman Joe Stejskal, who
signed with the Canadiens after graduating from Dartmouth. The collegians
include Kristo, who was a first-round draft choice in 2008. Defencemen Mac
Bennett and Greg Pateryn are still attending classes at Michigan and are
expected to attend the second half of the development camp, which will be
held July 5-9. That session will include the Canadiens' picks at this month's
entry draft as well as undrafted players from the Quebec Major Junior
Hockey League.
Louis Leblanc, a first-round pick in 2009, is on the list, but he underwent
shoulder surgery last month and won't take part in any of the on-ice
sessions.
Recently signed Finnish forward Joonas Nattinen will be on hand, but
veteran defencemen Alexei Yemelin and Raphael Diaz have too much
experience to attend the camp. The first on-ice session will be from 4 to 6
p.m. on Sunday, and there will be morning and afternoon sessions through
Thursday with all sessions open to the public.
Montreal Gazette LOADED: 06.04.2011
571273     Montreal Canadiens                                                   The Montreal Canadiens announced that 33 prospects will participate in a
                                                                                development camp starting Sunday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard,
                                                                                Que.
NHL notes: Beliveau faces surgery                                               Fourteen of the 33 are draft selections, including the first selections from
                                                                                the past three drafts: Jarred Tinordi (2010), Louis Leblanc (2009) and
                                                                                Danny Kristo (2008).
By QMI Agency
                                                                                Montreal Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011


Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau is scheduled to undergo a
preventive surgical procedure next week to repair abdominal aneurysms,
the team announced Friday.
The procedure, known as endovascular surgery, will be minimally invasive,
but Beliveau will require a few months to recover.
"As of today and for the duration of his convalescence Mr. Beliveau humbly
asks for everyone to respect his privacy and that of his family," the Habs
said in a news release.
Beliveau, who will turn 80 in August, has had several health issues,
including an apparent stroke last year.
The native of Trois-Rivieres, Que., won 10 Stanley Cups with the
Canadiens.
Beliveau was a two-time winner of the Hart Trophy, awarded to the NHL's
most valuable player.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972 and is now a
Canadiens ambassador.
Wings top franchise
For the third time in four years, the Detroit Red Wings have been declared
the NHL's top franchise by The Hockey News.
The Red Wings were cited for their ability to prosper despite tough
economic times in the Detroit area.
The publication uses nine categories to determine the annual franchise
rankings, with the Wings recording high marks in four categories: Front-
office continuity, regular-season success, playoff performance and strong
ownership.
Pittsburgh and Buffalo finished second and third, respectively, while the
New York Islanders were last.
Montreal was the highest-ranked Canadian franchise, placing seventh.
Vancouver was ninth, Ottawa 16th, Calgary 17th, Edmonton 22nd and
Toronto 23rd.


The Atlanta Thrashers -- the team Winnipeg is inheriting -- was 29th.
Whaddya mean free?
After years of being teased by the possibility of getting another NHL
franchise, and finally getting one this week, you can't blame Winnipeggers
for being wary at an offer of free hockey sticks.
The initial reaction Friday to the 1,500 free sticks was muted to say the
least, as downtown workers mostly ignored a cluster of them leaning
against the MTS Arena.
"Most people are saying, 'Is it free or not?' " said Jacques Trudel, a worker
with retailer Canadian Tire, which masterminded the take-a-stick campaign.
"People are too honest."


By mid-morning that had changed, and office workers soon had sticks with
"Welcome Home" printed on them slung over their shoulders as they
headed back to their cubicles.
"It's awesome," Kevin McDowell said of the NHL's return. "We've been
waiting for a long time."
The money-losing Atlanta Thrashers will move to Winnipeg next season if
the NHL's board of governors approves the sale June 21 to True North
Sports and Entertainment.
Habs kids go to camp
571274      Minnesota Wild                                                      HOW THEY GOT HERE
                                                                                HOUSTON
One more Wild coaching candidate unearthed: Peter Horachek                      --- Swept the Peoria Rivermen 4-0 in the first round.
                                                                                --- Defeated Milwaukee in seven games in the second round.
Posted by: Michael Russo                                                        --- Defeated Hamilton 4-3 in the Western Conference Finals
                                                                                BINGHAMTON
Afternoon from beautiful Toronto, where I'm about to motor to the airport for   --- Defeated Manchester 4-3 in the first round.
a flight. I've got a wedding in Upstate New York this weekend, a couple
hours from Binghamton.                                                          --- Defeated Portland 4-2 in the second round.

Trust me, I wish I could be two places at once so I could catch the Houston     --- Swept Charlotte 4-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Aeros play back-to-back games tonight and Saturday in Games 4 and 5 of          DID YOU KNOW?
the Calder Cup Finals. The Aeros hold a 2-1 series advantage.
                                                                                --- The Aeros are the first AHL club ever to win a playoff series after
But I won't be able to pull it off.                                             relinquishing a 3-0 series lead (Conference Finals vs. HAM)
Great three days here in Toronto gathering stuff for our NHL Draft              --- With wins over Milwaukee and Hamilton in the last two rounds, Houston
coverage. The NHL was beyond accomodating setting up interviews with            improved to 6-0 all-time in AHL Game 7’s.
athletes and giving access to folks. And of course, the NHL's brass and
agents are always accomodating.                                                 --- Houston and Binghamton both reached the 2011 Calder Cup Finals after
                                                                                missing the postseason entirely in 2010.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, potentially the No. 1 pick in the June 24-25 Draft in
St. Paul,. addressing the media after today's fitness testing.                  --- Binghamton is the eighth consecutive East Division team to represent
                                                                                the Eastern Conference in the Calder Cup Finals.
I sat down with GM Chuck Fletcher for an interview on tons of stuff a few
nights ago. The pressing stuff appeared in today's newspaper with a link        --- Houston’s hockey history actually pre-dates that of Binghamton. The
here. Talks about upcoming contract talks with Brent Burns, other issues on     Houston Skippers began play at the Sam Houston Coliseum in 1946,
the table, like the speculation throughout the NHL that Cam Barker is           changed their name to the Huskies, and were coached by Toe Blake during
buyout bait, and the coaching search.                                           the 1947-48 season. The team won the USHL crown that season.
                                                                                Binghamton’s first pro team was known as the Broome Dusters in the NAHL
However, I've got one name to add to the coaching candidate list. It's taken    in 1973.
a few days, but I finally feel I've ironed it down well enough to report.
                                                                                ALL-TIME AEROS PLAYOFF NOTABLES
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has interviewed longtime, well-respected Nashville
Predators assistant Peter Horachek, according to multiple sources.              --- The Aeros are 7-3 all-time in AHL Playoff series when they split the first
Horachek is also very much a candidate for the Dallas Stars. You can read       two games.
about him at this link
                                                                                --- In 2003, the Aeros split the first two games of each best-of-seven series
So, the names I've confirmed interviews for as of now are former Edmonton       on their way to the Calder Cup.
coach Craig MacTavish, whom I believe is a leading contender still (also
Ottawa), former Pittsburgh and Montreal coach Michel Therrien, former           --- Houston is 10-6 all-time in AHL Game 4’s with a 5-2 record on the road.
Dallas, Philly and Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock, Montreal Canadiens
                                                                                --- The Aeros are 7-0 all-time in AHL best-of-seven series in which they
assistant Kirk Muller (candidate in Dallas and Ottawa who knows he may
                                                                                have a 2-1 lead and are 5-2 in Game 4.
have to first become a head coach in the AHL) and Horachek.
                                                                                2011 AEROS PLAYOFF NOTABLES
As far as I know, Aeros coach Mike Yeo hasn't had his official interview yet,
but as I wrote the other day, Fletcher's certainly spent enough time with him   --- Houston is 9-3 in games decided by one goal. All three losses have been
both during this Calder Cup playoff run and during Yeo's longtime stint as      in overtime.
the Penguins' top assistant.
                                                                                --- When registering 40 or more shots, the Aeros are 4-1.
Couple other things:
                                                                                --- The Aeros are 7-2 when scoring first with a 3-0 road record.
I've gotten emails and tweets asking injury updates on Tyler Cuma and
Brett Bulmer. From what I'm told, Cuma is progressing very well. He's           --- Houston is 4-0 when leading after one period and 7-0 when leading after
working out with a personal trainer here in Toronto, came to Hamilton to        two periods.
watch "the boys" play in the Western Conference finals and may even
                                                                                --- Houston has outshot their opponents in 16 of 21 playoff games. They are
attend games here in this championship round.
                                                                                10-6 when doing so.
Bulmer has a minor knee injury...Bone, not ligament, I'm told, and if the
                                                                                --- Opponents have scored first 12 times, but the Aeros have won seven of
playoffs continued rather than concluded in a matter of days, he'd be a
                                                                                those games.
couple weeks away.
                                                                                --- Houston’s 61 shots in Game 6 vs. HAM tied a team record for the
That's it from me. Here's the Aeros' preview from the Aeros' PR, and
                                                                                second-most shots in one playoff game and were the most since Houston
remember, games can be listened to on aeros.com, watched on ahllive.com
                                                                                peppered Hamilton’s Ty Conklin with 84 shots in Game 2 of the 2003
and down at Tom Reid's Pub:
                                                                                Calder Cup Finals.
HOUSTON AEROS (Western Conference Champions)
                                                                                AEROS PLAYER NOTABLES
vs. BINGHAMTON SENATORS (Eastern Conference Champions)
                                                                                --- Jed Ortmeyer became the fifth Aeros player to score two goals in a
BEST-OF-7 --- BROOME COUNTY ARENA (6:05 p.m. CST)                               game this playoff campaign when he notched a pair in Game 1 vs. BNG.

(HOU leads 2-1)                                                                 --- Aeros players have a combined 28 multi-point games in the playoffs, led
                                                                                by Patrick O’Sullivan (4), Jed Ortmeyer and Casey Wellman (3 each).
OVERVIEW
                                                                                NHL AFFILIATES
The Houston Aeros and Binghamton Senators square off in Game 4 of the
Calder Cup Finals at Broome County Arena. The series is a best-of-seven         Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild)
with a 2-3-2 format. The Aeros have a 2-1 series lead after winning Games
                                                                                Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators)
1 and 3.
CALDER CUP FINALS SCHEDULE
2011 Calder Cup Finals (best-of-seven)
W2-Houston Aeros vs. E5-Binghamton Senators
Game 1 – Fri., May 27 – Binghamton 1 at Houston 3
Game 2 – Sat., May 28 – Binghamton 2 at Houston 1 OT
Game 3 – Wed., June 1 – Houston 2 at Binghamton 1
Game 4 – Fri., June 3 – Houston at Binghamton, 7:05 EST
*Game 5 – Sat., June 4 – Houston at Binghamton, 7:05 EST
*Game 6 – Tue., June 7 – Binghamton at Houston, 7:05 CST
*Game 7 – Thu., June 9 – Binghamton at Houston, 7:05 CST
PLAYOFF HISTORY, CONNECTIONS
--- This is the first time the teams have met in the playoffs.
--- The Aeros have never faced a team from New York in the postseason.
--- Binghamton’s Corey Locke is the Aeros single season (2009) playoff
leader in points (23), goals (12) and PPG (6). Goaltender Barry Brust was
an Aero from 2007-10.
AEROS GOALIES
--- AT HOME, Matt Hackett is 8-3 with a 2.17 GAA and .911 SV%. He went
3-1 at home in the Conference Finals.
--- ON THE ROAD, Hackett is 6-4 with a 2.74 GAA and .893 SV%.
--- Matt Hackett’s uncle, Jeff, led the Springfield Indians to a Calder Cup win
in 1990 and was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy, annually given to
the most valuable player of the playoffs. He went 10-5 that playoff
campaign.
LAST GAME QUICK RECAP
Jon DiSalvatore had a goal and an assist and Nate Prosser scored the
game-winner as the Houston Aeros defeated the Binghamton Senators 2-1
in Game 3 of the 2011 Calder Cup Finals before 4,710 fans at the Broome
County Veterans Memorial Arena on Wednesday night. Patrick O’Sullivan
assisted on both Houston goals while goaltender Matt Hackett made 28
saves in the victory, including 13 in the final 20 minutes.
AEROS SPECIAL TEAMS
POWER PLAY --- Is 1/9 vs. BNG… Went 6/30 vs. HAM… Went 6/32 vs.
MIL in round 2… Went 3/24 vs. PEO in the opening round… Ranked 6th
(20.2%) in the regular season… Jon DiSalvatore led the team with 14
PPG… Finished the season with goals in six-straight to set a season-high
streak (18/45)…Also had goals in six-straight from Feb. 22-Mar. 4… Had
multiple PPG in 16 games and was 12-2-0-2 in those games.
PENALTY KILL --- BNG is 2/11… HAM went 6/25and scored three SHG…
MIL went 4/30 in round 2… The Ads scored a SHG in Game 5… PEO went
3/12 on the PP in the first round… Ranked 22nd (81.0%) in the regular
season… Carson McMillan led the team with three SHG… Opponents were
16/46 on the PP in the final eight games of the season… Allowed at least a
goal in a season-high seven straight (Mar. 22 – Apr. 2)… Held opponents to
one or no PPG in 15 straight games until TOR went 2-for-5 on Jan. 23.
AEROS BROADCAST INFO
Follow the Aeros on News Talk 1070 KNTH and online at AEROS.COM
with Joe O’Donnell providing the play-by-play call. Watch every game
online at www.ahllive.com.
Star Tribune LOADED: 06.04.2011
571275     New Jersey Devils


Devils weighing options for No. 4 pick


By TOM GULITTI


Print | TORONTO – The first round of the NHL Entry Draft is less than three
weeks away and the Devils still have some work to do in figuring out which
player they will select with the No. 4 pick overall.
It will be the Devils’ highest pick since they took Scott Niedermayer third
overall in 1993 – the result of missing the playoffs for the first time since
1996 and then winning the draft lottery, which catapulted them from eighth
to fourth in the first round.
Devils executive vice president of hockey operations and director of
scouting David Conte said it was "fair" to estimate that they are looking at a
range of about 15 players for that No. 4 pick and will narrow down the field
as they get closer to the first round on June 24 in St. Paul, Minn.
"When we’re done with this and we’re done with our meetings and we get
the input from everybody at once, then we’ll have a better idea in the week
or so before Minnesota," Conte said Friday at Toronto Congress Center,
where the fitness testing was being conducted for the NHL Scouting
Combine. "Truthfully, I really don’t think I’ll have a real firm idea until [draft
day] morning."
For an organization that hasn’t selected higher than 17th (Zach Parise in
2003) since they took defenseman Lance Ward – a player the Devils never
signed – 10th overall in 1996, this is an opportunity to land a potential
franchise player or at least a solid player who can have a long and
productive NHL career.
"Where the Devils are they have an opportunity to get a very, very good
player," Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney said.
A year ago, it was clear that Taylor Hall [drafted first overall by Edmonton]
and Tyler Seguin [taken second by Boston] were the top two players
available and a class above everyone else. The picture is more clouded at
the top this year without a player viewed to be at the same level as Hall and
Seguin.
Red Deer Rebels center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is ranked the No. 1 North
American skater available by NHL’s Central Scouting. The Hockey News
and TSN in Canada also have him as the top player available, but that
doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be taken by Edmonton, which has the first
pick again.
Swedish defenseman Adam Larsson is the top-ranked prospect that played
in Europe this past season and could go first, and Kitchener Rangers left
wing Gabriel Landeskog is viewed as the most NHL-ready player available,
so he has a chance, too, along with Saint John’s Sea Dogs left wing/center
Jonathan Huberdeau.
"It funneled down to Taylor/Tyler last year and this year I think if you speak
to most teams they’re going to say that there’s four or five legitimate people
that can be the No. 1 pick this year," Oilers general manager Steve
Tambellini said.
That means the Devils should end up with a very good player. Huberdeau,
Landeskog, Niagara defenseman Dougie Hamilton, Niagara center Ryan
Strome and Kitchener defenseman Ryan Murphy are among the prospects
they’ve invited to do some extra physical testing following the conclusion of
the scouting combine today.
There also has been talk that the Devils are interested in Swedish center
Mika Zibanejad, who might be a reach at No. 4, but is viewed as top 10
pick.
Conte estimated the team will test 30 players before leaving Toronto and
then probably another 20 when they get to St. Paul in the week prior to the
draft. With most of the scouting staff in town already, the Devils will hold
organizational meetings here with general manager Lou Lamoriello to
formulate their plan for Minnesota.
Bergen Record LOADED: 06.04.2011
571276     New York Rangers


New York Rangers still likely must wait until July 1 to pursue Dallas Stars
All-Star Brad Richards


By Jesse Spector


With free agency now less than a month away, the Rangers' sights remain
set on All-Star center Brad Richards, and despite reports to the contrary
Thursday, it still appears that the Blueshirts will have to wait until July 1 to
get their man.
Richards scored 28 goals with 49 assists for the Stars this season, and
Dallas has exclusive negotiating rights with the playmaker until he becomes
an unrestricted free agent on July 1. GM Joe Nieuwendyk told reporters in
Texas Thursday that he does not expect the Stars to be able to re-sign
Richards due to their muddled ownership situation.
"He's not going to sign with us unless we have the ownership situation
resolved, and it doesn't look like that's going to happen," Nieuwendyk said.
"So we would like to see if we could get something for his rights and allow
another team to have a chance to sign him, but a lot of that is up to Brad
and his agent."
Richards' no-movement clause remains in effect, and it is unlikely that he
would accept a trade in order to then turn around and spurn the acquiring
team. The 31-year-old has been long rumored to be interested in a reunion
with John Tortorella after they won the Stanley Cup together in 2004 with
Tampa Bay.
The Rangers' main competition for Richards is believed to be the Toronto
Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings, but it remains possible that Vancouver
businessman Tom Gagliardi could buy the Stars and bring stability to the
organization by the end of the month. A source told the Daily News
Thursday that Gagliardi "is pretty well in place now," and The Dallas
Morning News reported on Tuesday that Gagliardi's exclusive negotiating
window to buy the team had been extended.
Regardless of how the Dallas ownership scenario plays out, Richards is
widely seen as wanting to test the open market on July 1, which means four
more weeks of speculation. Over the weekend, supermodel Hilary Rhoda -
Rangers winger Sean Avery's reported girlfriend - posted a picture on
Twitter of Richards sitting next to Avery and ex-Ranger Aaron Voros on
vacation in Jamaica, only adding to the intrigue.
The Rangers tried to trade for Richards at the February deadline to help
their playoff push, but scoffed at Nieuwendyk's astronomical asking price.
New York Daily News LOADED: 06.04.2011
571277     New York Rangers


Rangers VP Gordie Clark on Erixon trade, draft


Friday June 3, 2011 11:00 AM By Arthur Staple


Clark took me through the process the Rangers undertook to pick up Tim
Erixon, whom he called "a top-four D-man."
"When you go through a draft, even after it's done, you keep tabs on the
guys you liked but just didn't get, for one reason or another," said Clark, the
Rangers' VP of player personnel who has run their draft for the last three
years. "If we'd gone D (in 2009), there's a pretty good chance we would
have taken Tim with that (19th) pick."
The Rangers chose Chris Kreider 19th and Erixon went 23rd to the Flames,
who could not sign him, as GM Jay Feaster explains here. So the Rangers
went to work, sending prospect Roman Horak and two second-round picks
in the draft later this month for Erixon and a fifth-rounder.
"It's a nice trade for Calgary," Clark said, "because they get a prospect
who's ready to turn pro and a couple of pretty high picks. For us, it's a
ready-made player -- you don't have to wait to see how he turns out. We
know right now he's a top-four D-man, he's played with men for three years.
He's ready to step in right now.
"When you go back and check in on him, you see he's gotten bigger,
maybe a little smarter on the ice. He's a very cerebral player back there. He
really sees the play coming at him, he sees all the options and most times
he chooses the right play."
As for the upcoming draft, where the Rangers pick 15th, Clark said the
team has options in a field that is pretty even among the top 7-8 players but
then drops off a bit.
I'll have more in Sunday's paper from Clark, who has helped transform the
Rangers' draft operation and been a key cog in the team's move towards
youth.
Newsday LOADED: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571278     NHL                                                                      was the 2009 Detroit Red Wings, who had a 2-0 series lead but lost to the
                                                                                    Pittsburgh Penguins.
                                                                                    LA Times: LOADED: 06.04.2011
Canucks' Manny Malhotra cleared to play in Game 2
Vancouver center has been out since March 16 because of an eye injury.
He feels he can contribute.


By Helene Elliott


Reporting from Vancouver, Canada — Two days between games can seem
like an eternity during the Stanley Cup finals. But the timing might be right
for Vancouver Canucks center Manny Malhotra to play for the first time
since he suffered a devastating eye injury March 16.
Malhotra, a faceoff specialist and locker-room leader, practiced Friday and
said he'd been cleared to play in Game 2 against the Boston Bruins on
Saturday at Rogers Arena. However, he was forced off the ice last week
after making rapid progress and said the unpredictable course of his
recovery leaves his status as day to day.
"I don't want this to be a sideshow," he said after the Canucks practiced at
the University of British Columbia. "This is not me wanting to have a
sentimental shift out there, be a part of it all. It's a fact that I feel I could
contribute something to the team. But more importantly, we're on the right
track."
General Manager Mike Gillis denied reports that Malhotra recently
underwent emergency surgery but said the 31-year-old had endured
"multiple little, small procedures throughout this entire time" that are
common for victims of eye injuries. Malhotra, struck in the left eye by a
deflected puck, was not expected to return this season.
Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who sustained an undisclosed injury
early in the second period of Vancouver's 1-0 victory in Game 1, did not
practice Friday. Instead, former Bruin Andrew Alberts was paired with
Christian Ehrhoff. Coach Alain Vigneault cautioned against reading much
into that, but Vigneault usually deploys the same lineup in games as in
practices.
Alberts has appeared in three of the team's 19 playoff games.
"It's never easy to sit out," he said. "As long as the team's winning, I'm
happy for them. … It's nice to work hard and finally get a shot here,
hopefully."
The Canucks used 13 defensemen during the season and nine during the
playoffs without missing a beat.
"Our back end, they're the backbone of our team," Henrik Sedin said. "We
rarely played with our top six defensemen — whoever they are. I can't even
really tell you. We've got nine defensemen that can play."
Take two
Both teams talked Friday about what they intend to do differently in Game
2.
After scoring one goal in their last two games, the Bruins are eager for
production from their top line of Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Milan
Lucic, which had 13 fruitless shots at Roberto Luongo on Wednesday. The
Bruins also want to blunt the Canucks' quick transition game.
"The neutral zone, we weren't getting pucks deep. That's what was giving
them the speed that they want, the counterattack that they wanted," Boston
center Patrice Bergeron said. "We're going to make a better job, especially
in the neutral zone, at putting pucks deep and having a better forecheck."
The Canucks want to sustain the high tempo they established in the third
period after shaking off the rust of a week between games, and to connect
on the power play. They were foiled six times by the Bruins' penalty-killing
box formation.
"We've got to get more movement," Sedin said. "I thought we moved the
puck well and we got the looks that we wanted to, but we didn't get guys
moving in and out like we wanted to out of the box. We were standing in
their box and keeping it outside. That's pretty easy to defend if you do that."
Teams that had a 2-0 lead in the finals have won the Cup 42 of 46 times
since the best-of-seven format was adopted in 1939. The last exception
571279     NHL


Buyer Emerges for the Dallas Stars


By KEN BELSON


The long search for a buyer of the ailing Dallas Stars may be nearing an
end, solving another financial headache for the N.H.L. Tom Gaglardi, a
businessman from Vancouver, British Columbia, is expected to pay roughly
$250 million for the team and half of the lease to the American Airlines
Arena, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.
The sale must be approved by a bankruptcy court in Fort Worth. Banks and
other creditors trying to recoup money they lent Tom Hicks, the team’s
owner, might argue that the Stars could fetch more money. The sellers of
the team, however, are expected to argue that a full and fair auction has
been held.
The N.H.L. must approve the sale of the team, which is expected to be
completed in July. The structure of the sale is largely complete, though
some legal issues remain.
The Stars improved on the ice this season, but they did not qualify for the
playoffs for the third straight season. The team has been losing millions of
dollars a year under Hicks, who was forced to sell the Texas Rangers and
his share of the Liverpool soccer team last year.
Unlike the Atlanta Thrashers, a money-losing team that is planning to move
to Winnipeg, the Stars are expected to remain in Dallas, where they have
played since 1993. The league is still trying to find a buyer for the Phoenix
Coyotes. The lead minority owner of the Devils, Raymond Chambers, is
also trying to sell his stake in the team.
New York Times LOADED: 06.04.2011
571280     NHL                                                                   suggested, has forced teams to expend energy guarding against the man-
                                                                                 advantage predations of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler.
                                                                                 But in Game 1, the Canucks were at least as good as Boston at equal
Even Strength Has Been the Bruins’ Big Advantage                                 strength. Vancouver’s Raffi Torres scored the game’s only goal, with less
                                                                                 than 19 seconds left, at equal strength.

By JEFF Z. KLEIN                                                                 “I think they beat us at the five-on-five game,” Julien said. “Special teams
                                                                                 wasn’t an issue, but five on five, they were no doubt a better team.”
                                                                                 It would be a mistake to infer too much from such a close game — the first
If the Boston Bruins come back from their early deficit to win the Stanley       1-0 opener in the Stanley Cup finals since 1984, decided by the latest go-
Cup, they will probably do so by defying the hockey bromide that you             ahead goal since 1992.
cannot succeed without a good power play.
                                                                                 But if the Canucks are able to stay on an even footing with Boston while the
The Bruins’ power play has been missing in action this spring. In the first      sides are even, it could take away perhaps the biggest advantage the
round against Montreal, the Bruins became the first team in N.H.L. history       Bruins have.
to win a playoff series without scoring a power-play goal. They have struck
at a 7.5 percent rate during the postseason, 14th among the 16 playoff           SLAP SHOTS
teams.                                                                           Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis did not practice Friday and was termed
Things have become so dire for Boston with the man advantage — Mark              day to day by Coach Alain Vigneault. Hamhuis sustained an undisclosed
Recchi has now skated almost 50 power-play minutes this spring without           injury that sidelined him in the second period after hip-checking Milan Lucic
registering a point — that Coach Claude Julien has resorted to moving his        and being cross-checked in the head by David Krejci. He is third among
6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara off the point and parking him in front of        Vancouver defensemen in ice time, second in plus-minus and fourth in
the net to create screens.                                                       scoring. Earlier in Game 1, he knocked Lucic over with a huge body check.
                                                                                 “It’s the first time I’ve ever actually been hit like that and gone all the way
“Obviously, on the power play he’s given us a different look — I thought he      over,” Lucic said.
did a pretty good job,” Julien said of Chara on Thursday, the day after the
Bruins lost Game 1, 1-0, while going 0 for 6 with the man advantage. That        New York Times LOADED: 06.04.2011
figure includes a fruitless stretch of 1 minute 32 seconds with a two-man
advantage.
But all the talk about the Bruins’ power play — and hockey discourse in
general — ignores the crucial fact that most of the game and most of the
scoring take place with teams at even strength.
That explains why the Bruins are in the finals, seeking a road victory
Saturday that would send the series to Boston all even. The Bruins have
been outscored on the power play this spring by 13-5, but they have
shellacked their opponents at even strength, outscoring them, 52-32.
“We’ve been able to apply a lot of pressure five on five, and most of the
game is played five on five, so it’s great that we’ve been able to be so
successful,” Bruins forward Milan Lucic said this week.
Consider the benefits of such equal-strength dominance.
In the regular season, 80 percent of all ice time in N.H.L. games was played
with the sides even (a little more than 60,000 minutes of the almost 75,000
total minutes played).
Excluding empty-net goals, 6,721 goals were scored. Of those, 4,729 came
at even strength (70.4 percent), 1,816 on the power play (27.0 percent) and
176 (2.6 percent) while short-handed.
Equal-strength play has remained just as overwhelmingly important in the
playoffs.
About 4,320 of this year’s 5,358 postseason minutes, or 80.6 percent, have
been played with the sides even.
The goal breakdown, again excluding empty-net goals: 328 at equal
strength (72.2 percent), 119 on the power play (26.2 percent) and 7 short-
handed (1.5 percent).
Small wonder, then, that the Bruins have come so far with a weak power
play.
Certainly the power play can be vital to a team’s chances.
“Special-teams play is game changing, momentum changing and strategy
changing,” said Mike Bossy, the Islanders sniper of the 1970s and ’80s who
scored 384 even-strength and 181 power-play goals in 752 regular-season
games.
“When a team’s power play is hot, it often makes the opposing team
readjust their style of play and the players they use on the ice,” Bossy said.
That has been especially true of the Vancouver power play this spring, with
Daniel Sedin alone scoring as many man-advantage goals as the entire
Bruins team.
The Canucks’ 17 power-play goals have helped bail them out of a middling
performance at even strength (33 goals for, 29 against) and, as Bossy
571281     NHL


Oilers’ Brule Saves Bono’s Day


By JOANNE C. GERSTNER


Usually, it’s not advisable to pick up hitchhikers. It’s right up there with
Mom’s stern warnings about not taking candy from strangers.
But maybe, just maybe, an exception can be made when you realize the
hitchhicker, walking along the roadside in West Vancouver, B.C. is Paul
Hewson, aka U2’s lead singer Bono.
Edmonton Oilers center Gilbert Brule and his girlfriend, Kelsey Nichols,
were going to take their dog for a walk in a park Tuesday, when they
noticed a familiar-looking man walking in the rain alongside the road.
Brule joked he looked like a dead-ringer for Bono. Curiosity got the best of
them, they turned the truck around to get a second look at the hitchhiker.
“I didn’t want to stop, but they waved and G yelled ‘that’s Bono’,” Nichols
told the Edmonton Journal. “I didn’t believe him so I kept driving.”
It was indeed Bono and his assistant, who happily climbed into the
backseat of their truck and sat next to Bella, the couple’s German Shepard.
Bono and his assistant had gone out for a walk, and got caught in the rain.
Bono was grateful for the lift, and offered the couple tickets to U2’s show
the next night in Edmonton. Brule was supposed to go to Game 1 of the
Stanley Cup in Vancouver, but the decision was clear: U2 tickets from Bono
win over hockey.
The couple, along with Brule’s mom, attended the show and had backstage
passes. Bono autographed their passes, writing “Thanks for the ride” for
Nichols and “My hero Gilbert” for Brule.
Bono told the story of his hockey hitchhiking adventure to the crowd
gathered Wednesday in Edmonton for U2’s “360? concert tour stop.
“I like people who play ice hockey, they stop for hitchhikers, I know this from
experience,” Bono told the crowd in a monologue at the start of the show. “I
was hitchhiking in Vancouver yesterday, actually I was! And this guy and
his girlfriend picked me up. He was cool, an ice hockey player, his name
was Gilbert Brule as it happens, I’m so grateful I’ve decided I want to be
Gilbert Brule.”
Bono continued the hockey motif in his remarks.
“Larry is more like the Mark Messier of the band, the dude gave us our first
and only job,” Bono said. “On my left, the Grant Fuhr of this band, need I
say more? On the bass Adam Clayton Jr…On my right, now who might he
be? He’s kind of great, the Great One. Who am I talking about? The Wayne
Gretzky of U2. On lead guitar – The Edge!”
New York Times LOADED: 06.04.2011
571282      NHL                                                                    shots and not just dumping and chasing but also hitting and getting to the
                                                                                   puck first.
                                                                                   Heart versus paycheck. The Olympics is about your country. It’s where you
Olympic Gold, or the Stanley Cup?                                                  live, almost always where you were born and grew up, and where you will
                                                                                   live again after your career. It’s your life. Your N.H.L. hockey team is a city
                                                                                   where you play and are paid. The fans are probably great, the contract is
By ANDREW PODNIEKS                                                                 excellent, and the career situation beyond complaint, but at the end of the
                                                                                   season, how many Canucks or Bruins will remain in Vancouver or Boston
                                                                                   all summer and all their lives?
The Sedins said it. Patrice Bergeron said it. Ryan Kesler said it.                 Semantics. The fairest way to compare the two championships is to look at
                                                                                   what has happened since 1998 when N.H.L.’ers started to play for the
With the grueling, two-month marathon that is the Stanley Cup playoffs now
                                                                                   International Olympic Committee. The Czechs won that first year, and the
in its final phase, the top players for Vancouver and Boston are saying that
                                                                                   Swedes won in 2006, and Canada has won twice, in 2002 and 2010.
winning the Stanley Cup is bigger than winning Olympic gold.
                                                                                   Many of the players on these four teams have also won a Stanley Cup.
Say what?
                                                                                   Fast-forward to when these players are 60 years old and ask them which is
This is perhaps an A-1 example of what one might call situational bias. In         the preferred honor, gold or Cup. They might choose their words wisely and
other words, their views are shaped by where they are and who they’re              say the Cup is more satisfying and the gold more fulfilling (or vice versa!),
talking to more than by their true feelings. At the Olympics, they no doubt        but in the end, what you do for your country is always the greater
said gold was the biggest prize they could hope to attain. If they were 19         achievement. Always, and by definition. Just ask Ken Morrow. Lake Placid
and at their first N.H.L. training camp, they would say making the team            or Islanders, Ken? Which is it?
would be the highlight of their career.
                                                                                   We all know the answer to that one.
Bu wait — are they right about this Stanley Cup thing? Both the playoffs
                                                                                   New York Times LOADED: 06.04.2011
and the Olympics feature a puck, a sheet of ice and two nets, but honestly,
which is the more coveted prize in hockey?
In truth, comparing the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Olympics tournament
is like comparing apples and oranges, but it’s worth a shot anyway.
Time. The playoffs are two months of hell. Vancouver or Boston could play
25 games in the postseason before it wins the Cup, and this after 82
regular-season games and more in the preseason. These are the most
intense, physical games a player can subject himself to. The Olympics lasts
about two weeks and features, at most, seven games these days. Indeed,
this is one of the defining differences between the events.
Skill. Let’s face it: the Olympics blows the Cup out of the water for quality of
content. Any chance Aaron Rome, Tanner Glass or Johnny Boychuk will be
in Sochi? Sorry, boys, but no. To get to the Olympics, you have to be one of
the 20 best players in your country, and that is a quality that takes 20 years
of training to accomplish. You can win a Cup simply by being a trade
deadline acquisition, a summer free agent signing or a postseason call-up
from the minors.
Opportunity. If you are a good player on a good team, you will have
perhaps 10 to 15 chances in your career to win the Stanley Cup. It’s true
that with 16 of 30 teams making the playoffs (remember when it was 16 of
21? Wow, that was easy), not even the best teams make it every year, but
with greater player movement, players can more easily pick and choose
what team to play for as well. In the Olympics, you can play for one team —
your home nation. And how many times in a career can you be considered
one of the best 20 of an event that occurs only once every four years?
Two? Three?
And if you want a chance for Olympic gold, you have to play for one of five
countries: Canada, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden or the United
States. Perhaps one might add Finland and Slovakia to the list out of
respect, but only the first five have won gold in 90 years of Olympic hockey.
Consider Vancouver defenseman Jannik Hansen, who had such a
sensational third period in Game 1 of the Cup finals. He might well be the
finest hockey player produced by Denmark, but what are his chances of
winning Olympic gold? Zilch. In fact, when was the last time Denmark
competed at the Olympics? Try never. So, what does Hansen dream about
more — a Cup win or Olympic gold? Ditto for the excellent and opposing
German defensemen, Christian Ehrhoff and Dennis Seidenberg.
Game action. The differences between a Stanley Cup-deciding game and
the final Olympic game for gold are enormous. The Olympic game is all
about speed, making smart plays at top speed, making quick transition from
offense or defense, or vice versa. It’s about lightning quick puck movement,
eyes-in-the-back-of-the-head passing, quick release. There is no more
skilled game than at the Olympics.
But — and it’s a big but — the Cup final game is a kind of war one would
never see internationally. It’s the culmination of preparation that started the
previous September and has been honed and fine-tuned for nearly 10
months. It is a battle where cuts and bruises, torn this and pulled that, are
no excuse. It’s about physical endurance and going through a wall, blocking
571283     NHL                                                                    days later, and flew home to Montreal - for his 18th birthday - on Friday
                                                                                  night.

NHL prospects show off their body work
                                                                                  By Monday, he will be in Boston for Game 3, before going to Ottawa for the
                                                                                  Senators' combine on Tuesday. (The Senators hold the sixth overall pick
By JAMES MIRTLE                                                                   and won't get Huberdeau without moving up.) It's a little absurd when you
                                                                                  add it all up, especially given so many teams are skeptical of the data the
From Saturday's Globe and Mail                                                    NHL's combine produces anyway.
                                                                                  But that's a price prospects - even those slotted well after the big three - are
                                                                                  eager to pay.
They puke, they hurt, but combine is a chance for 18-year-olds to display
their fitness in front of general managers and scouts                             "We didn't get a lot of rest," Huberdeau said of the five Sea Dogs at the
                                                                                  combine. "We're for sure a little bit tired, but that's hockey."
The young man didn't look well.
                                                                                  More now than ever before.
His arm was around his stomach, his other hand near his mouth, but the
questions kept coming from reporters around him and he gamely tried to            Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.04.2011
keep answering them.
But Matthew Nieto, a shifty left winger from Long Beach, Calif., who was a
rookie at Boston University this season, was going to be sick.
Welcome to the NHL's scouting combine, where more than 100 human
guinea pigs blow their brains out trying to impress scouts and general
managers in two hours of strenuous physical testing that more often than
not results in losing their breakfast.
The 18-year-olds are often so eager to catch someone's eye, they don't
mind the poking and prodding - or even puking - side of their introduction to
the pros.
"I think it made me stronger, as a person, going through a lot of that," Nieto
said, revealing just how far from home he was when he noted his
introduction to the game came on wheels.
"Coming into the weekend here, I expected it to be a gruelling experience
and it was."
Of the many prospects taking part in the NHL's testing, the top five or six
drew the vast majority of interest on Friday as teams prepare for the entry
draft three weeks from now in Minnesota.
The projected top three - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jonathan Huberdeau and
Gabriel Landeskog - are especially in the spotlight, with the trio headed with
one or two others to Boston for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final and an
appearance on Hockey Night in Canada with Don Cherry.
That's become an annual rite of passage, although what's changed is just
how well prepared - often professionally - the players are for the next step.
Many train for months for the combine in order to improve their results, and
their physiques showed it Friday, with even the biggest of the big men - 6-
foot-7, 250-pound defenceman Jamieson Oleksiak - looking like something
out of Men's Health magazine.
Others, like Nugent-Hopkins, obviously still need to fill in, but the good news
is that the NHL has become a league where small, skilled, young players
can make a bigger impact than they did 10 years ago.
Especially given how much training even the lightweights do.
"The game's definitely changed," said Nugent-Hopkins, who despite a poor
showing on the bench press Friday is expected to go first overall to the
Edmonton Oilers. "There's a lot of strength involved right now. But I know
there's been lots of great players who couldn't lift much."
The combine itself has undergone its own transformation, with portions of it
turned into a made-for-television event by TSN for the second year in a row
as more and more league events evolve into hockey content.
Soon there could be on-ice aspects to the affair, with the NHL mimicking
the NFL's annual testing session.
The increasing demands associated with being a top draft-eligible player
mean that in addition to being fairly well known before they ever step to the
draft podium, many will go through not only an NHL combine but several
others run by individual teams.
That can result in a gruelling schedule for rising stars like Huberdeau, who
won the Memorial Cup in Mississauga six days ago, went to Saint John for
the Sea Dogs' parade Tuesday, was in Toronto for the combine a couple of
571284      NHL                                                                         Vigneault had Malhotra skating with winger Jeff Tambellini and Victor
                                                                                        Oreskovich, although he warned not too read too much into his line
                                                                                        combinations and defence pairings.
Canucks' Malhotra returns to practice                                                   "As we move forward here, we're probably going to play a little bit more four
                                                                                        lines, maybe not to the extreme we did during the regular season, but I
                                                                                        would like to get that line out there a little bit more," the coach said. "If
By MATTHEW SEKERES                                                                      Manny does play, obviously he's one of the best faceoff guys in the league,
                                                                                        so he would be used a little bit more in our end, without a doubt."
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
                                                                                        Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.04.2011

Vancouver centre takes necessary step to returning from a career-
threatening eye injury
Besides the fact he was centring the fourth line in practice, the first thing
you noticed about Manny Malhotra on Friday was his injured left eye.
It didn't look good. It looked more swollen and irritated than his previous
appearance on a Stanley Cup final podium last weekend. It was nearly
closed, and one wondered how he was seeing anything out of it.
And yet, he has been cleared to play.
Or so it was Friday. He may not be cleared to play Saturday, because as
Malhotra and the team have gone to great lengths to stress, his injury is
"day-to-day."
They've also done their best to confuse. Or at least head coach Alain
Vigneault has. He was the guy who said Malhotra was cleared to play last
Saturday, only to be contradicted by general manager Mike Gillis 72 hours
later.
Vigneault, according to Gillis, misspoke because "cleared for contact"
normally means "cleared to play," except for in this case, because
Malhotra's injury is so unique. But Vigneault disputed that characterization
Friday, and even reiterated what his boss had tried to correct.
"He's cleared for physical contact, which is cleared to play," Vigneault said.
"Nothing has changed."
But something did change.
Malhotra underwent a minor procedure on his eye earlier this week,
something akin to a tune-up, something doctors told him would be routine
during his recovery. He missed practice last Tuesday, after indicating he
would participate, because he felt it wasn't "proper" to hit the ice. He
admitted he was breathing heavier Friday, after three days of inactivity, and
that his timing needed work.
Malhotra said he would take the morning skate Saturday before a
determination is made on his playing status for Game 2 against the Boston
Bruins. He doesn't want to be a "sideshow" - although that is exactly what
this has become, mostly because the Canucks can't get their talking points
straight - and he's not interested in being uniform for the sake of
sentimentality.
But time is running short, and if Malhotra doesn't return soon, there might
not be a series to return to. The Canucks forward recognizes that, and
admitted getting this close to playing, and perhaps missing out, is driving
him.
"It kind of weighs into it a little bit, but at the same time, I realize the severity
of the injury, I realize the intensity of the moment," he said. "I realize the
intensity of play has picked up since I last played. This is not me wanting to
have a sentimental shift out there and be part of it."
Malhotra said he didn't want to interrupt the team's focus, or be a distraction
to his teammates. Beloved by his mates, the Canucks consider a Malhotra
comeback inspirational, and believe he could contribute simply by being in
uniform.
"On the ice, he'll kill penalties and take faceoffs," said Daniel Sedin, listing
two Malhotra specialties. "But it's more about the locker room ... he's one of
the guys you care about."
Vigneault said he would like to play his fourth line more frequently in Game
2, perhaps because counterpart Claude Julien uses his more regularly, and
could wear the Canucks down by doing so. No one on Vancouver's fourth
unit played more 2 minutes 30 seconds in Game 1, whereas every player
on Boston's fourth line played at least 5:15.
571285     NHL                                                                    plan carefully. But it bodes well that their price range of $39 to $129 a seat
                                                                                  for season tickets has not scared off buyers. The average ticket price is a
                                                                                  little more than $80, which means revenue of about $1.3-million a game,
NHL team takes shape in Winnipeg                                                  which could put the team in the top 15 teams and eliminate the need for
                                                                                  revenue sharing.
                                                                                  The number of private boxes will go to 55 from 48. Also rising are the
By DAVID SHOALTS                                                                  boxes' price - tripling, in fact - to an average of $180,000 a year. Chipman
                                                                                  met with a group of suite holders the morning after the Thrashers sale was
From Saturday's Globe and Mail                                                    announced and said some customers had concerns but not cold feet. True
                                                                                  North already has a long waiting list to replace anyone who takes a pass.
                                                                                  The new logo, colours and team name will not be announced until the
Does True North keep GM Dudley and coach Ramsay? What will be name
                                                                                  season-ticket drive is finished, probably next week at the earliest. The most
and colours? Then there's signing free agents
                                                                                  popular suggestions for colours are the blue and red of Winnipeg's last NHL
It started with the new press box.                                                team, the Jets, while the Moose's colour scheme of gold, green and black is
                                                                                  getting some support. Jets also seems to be the favourite in the name
Once the reporters covering the Manitoba Moose saw construction start on          game, although Chipman is noncommittal.
a new box that ran almost the length of the MTS Centre, as soon as the
American Hockey League team's season ended a couple of months ago,                One thing that will not happen is raising the MTS roof to add another 2,000
they figured there finally was something concrete behind all that talk of an      or 3,000 seats. Brown says True North's market studies show adding that
NHL team moving to Winnipeg.                                                      many seats would outstrip demand.

Scott Brown, director of corporate communications and hockey operations           "There are no plans to build another 2,000 or 3,000 seats," he said.
for True North Sports and Entertainment Ltd., said the new press box was
                                                                                  Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.04.2011
planned long before the company bought the Atlanta Thrashers. The
existing press box had too many seats with obstructed views. But, he
allowed, "this talk of the NHL maybe sped this process up a little bit."
Now that the return of the NHL to Winnipeg is a reality, Brown, True North
chairman Mark Chipman and the rest of the staff are speeding up the
process on many fronts. Since True North already had staff and an arena in
place for the Moose, it had a running start at moving the Thrashers to
Winnipeg. In the 15 weeks before NHL training camps open in September,
much has to be done. The tasks range from a decision on whether to retain
Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley and his staff, including head coach
Craig Ramsay; selling season tickets and luxury suites; choosing a team
name, logo and colours; moving the Moose to St. John's; setting a payroll;
and minor renovations of the MTS Centre to bring it up to NHL standards.
Plus there is the work that means the most to Winnipeg hockey fans -
signing restricted free agents like Andrew Ladd, Anthony Stewart, Blake
Wheeler and Zach Bogosian.
"It is a little overwhelming right now," Chipman said. "But we had a plan in
place, what I would call an execution plan for who is doing what, and we're
all doing those things now. I'm comfortable everybody has those
assignments and we're well on our way."
Most of the work being done this week bears the mark of careful planning.
For example, the domain name for True North's season-ticket campaign
website, www.driveto13.com, was purchased in February. Then there is the
campaign itself.
It was True North's idea to sell 13,000 season tickets, with commitments of
three to five years from buyers, before the NHL's board of governors votes
to approve the sale on June 21. This was not a condition demanded by
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, even though he warned Winnipeggers:
"This thing isn't going to work very well if this building isn't sold out every
night."
A look at the NHL collective agreement shows this was a canny move by
True North. There are two conditions in the agreement for a team to qualify
for a full share of the league's revenue-sharing plan: revenue growth in the
current season above the league average from the previous season, and
ticket sales of at least 80 per cent of your arena's capacity.
There is no doubt True North will sell 13,000 of the arena's 15,000 seats.
The first three days of the ticket campaign saw 7,158 sold by Friday night to
Moose subscribers, before the public gets a crack at them on Saturday.
Those 13,000 seats represent 87 per cent of the MTS Centre's capacity. So
Chipman and his partners will know that for the next three years they have
a great chance of getting a full share from the revenue pie, which could be
$15-million (all currency U.S.) or more a year.
Chipman protests this was only a happy byproduct of a well-thought-out
business plan. "That was not done on purpose," he said. "The goal was set
to ensure success with our own business model."
With the smallest arena in the league and the smallest city in the league
(metropolitan population 750,000), Chipman and his partner in True North,
David Thomson, whose family company owns The Globe and Mail, have to
571286      NHL                                                                       Pohl kicked around North America for a while, playing in the ECHL and the
                                                                                      AHL, before returning to the Czech Republic to join Vitkovice HC this past
                                                                                      year. By then, Krejci was an established NHL player.
'Really sneaky' Krejci drives Bruins' offence                                         This year, coming off off-season surgery, he had a respectable regular
                                                                                      season - 62 points in 75 games, but only 13 goals. Playmaking, not scoring,
                                                                                      is his traditional strong suit, but in these playoffs, he's found the range, and
By ERIC DUHATSCHEK                                                                    against the Lightning, managed a hat trick in one game, the first Bruin to do
                                                                                      so in two decades, or since Cam Neely. Krejci has 10 goals already, tied
From Saturday's Globe and Mail                                                        with Tampa's Martin St. Louis for the playoff lead.
                                                                                      So what's working differently, or better?
Quiet, unassuming centre works well on line with Horton, Lucic                        Krejci says it's all about the chemistry that's developed among him, Horton
                                                                                      and Lucic.
Not much is known about David Krejci outside Boston, and even in the hub
of hockey, he is a bit of a mystery man. Krejci is the No. 1 centre and the           "I think as a line we're way better than as individuals," Krejci said. "I think
No. 1 scorer on a Bruins team trying to deliver the club's first Stanley Cup          we know each other pretty well. We have a good chemistry on and off the
championship since 1972, and as such should be a far more celebrated                  ice. We read off each other pretty well. We know what the other guy can do
personality than he is. But in a town that adores Tim Thomas, gushes over             on the ice and try to take it to our advantage."
Zdeno Chara and loves the two players patrolling the wings on Krejci's line -
Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic - the smallish, quiet puck distributor tends to         Tomas Kaberle, a fellow Czech, has been with the Bruins only since the
be overlooked.                                                                        trade deadline, but played with Krejci on a variety of national teams. Citing
                                                                                      Krejci's professionalism and demeanour, Kaberle pays him the ultimate
But if the Bruins are going to make it interesting against the Vancouver              compliment: "Whenever we play world championships or Olympics, he's a
Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup final, it will be because Krejci has taken            nice guy, a solid guy in the dressing room and obviously a great player as
on a leading role in the series, same as he has throughout the playoffs.              well.
Some players are quietly important that way, and for proof, consider that
last spring the Bruins were moving along nicely in the playoffs until Krejci          "He's low-key, not flashy. He just shows it on the ice."
dislocated his wrist in a collision with the Philadelphia Flyers' Mike Richards
and was lost for the rest of the series.                                              Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.04.2011

Without Krejci, the Bruins unravelled and made history by becoming only
the third NHL team to blow a 3-0 series lead and lose. Philadelphia went on
to play for the Stanley Cup.
Statistically, the Bruins don't have a line to match the Sedins and Alex
Burrows, though Krejci's unit comes closest. Krejci has what television
analyst Keith Jones calls "sweet hands." It was Krejci's pass, through a
seam, to Horton that set up the only goal in a seventh-game 1-0 win that
eliminated the Tampa Bay Lightning last round. Players such as Horton and
Lucic, who drive hard to the net, are effective only if somebody's there to
give them the puck.
Someone like Krejci.
"He's really sneaky," Bruins defenceman Dennis Seidenberg said of Krejci.
"When he carries the puck, he makes sharp cutbacks and it makes it really
tough for people to angle him off. With that skating ability also comes a
pretty good skill set with his hands, and good vision, which you saw in
Game 7, the way he passed the puck. He really knows how to find the open
area and distribute the puck to the open guy to score goals.
"He's very quiet. He doesn't like to speak up much, but when you get him
one on one, he likes to have fun and talk a lot."
Krejci's English is good now, but it wasn't always so. He grew up in Kladno,
Czech Republic, with the goal of playing in the Czech league and, if things
worked out, perhaps on the national team.
"Obviously the biggest dream was to play NHL," Krejci said, "but I never
knew if I could make it."
The Bruins liked him enough to select him with the 63rd pick in the 2004
entry draft and convinced him to play junior hockey for the Gatineau
Olympiques, who were coming off a trip to the 2004 Memorial Cup.
"I just said I'm going to try the first year, we'll see how it looks," Krejci said.
"I may come back."
Although he took some English classes at home, the language barrier was
an issue.
"When I came over, I couldn't even answer when they said, 'How are you,'"
Krejci said. "I didn't know what to say back. It took a while. But English is
not that hard as some other languages."
Still, it was a challenging time for a teenager so far from home, and Krejci
admitted: "I got homesick a few times. I was living with another guy [fellow
Czech Peter Pohl], he's actually my best friend. He helped me a lot. We
played the first year together. We lived together. Without him, it would be
way hard. I don't know how it would end up."
571287     NHL


Burrows knows he has to be smarter


By Eric Duhatschek


VANCOUVER-For the first time since he was exonerated by the NHL for
putting the bite on Boston Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron, Alex Burrows
appeared Friday for a question-and-answer session with press.
Burrows, who plays with the Sedin twins on the No. 1 line for the Vancouver
Canucks, said he wasn't worried about the telephone interview he had with
NHL disciplinarian Mike Murphy, who conducted the hearing.
"I've had a few calls from the league over the years," Burrows
acknowledged. "They've always been great. I really respect those people.
They have a tough job and they have tough decisions to make."
Burrows said he's enjoyed the last couple of days, waiting for the Stanley
Cup final to resume with Vancouver holding a 1-0 best-of-seven series lead.
"It's the Stanley Cup finals and I've been working all my life to be in this
position. Obviously, with the last incident, the league's made a decision and
I've moved on. Now, I'm focusing on a big game tomorrow."
Burrows took four penalties in the series opener and head coach Alain
Vigneault suggested one - a goalie interference call - was largely
unwarranted. The contact, in that case, did appear to be incidental and the
Canucks have said they reached out to the NHL to get a clarification about
why those calls are made if Tim Thomas is always leaving the crease to
stop the puck.
Thomas's counterpart, Roberto Luongo, changed his style this season, to
play deeper in the net, and Vigneault implied it had to do with avoiding
incidental contact.
According to Burrows, the answers were expected to come late Friday.
"At the same, I've got to be aware, around the net, to make sure I can't
bump the goalie," he said. "That's his ice if he's already there. I have to be
smarter and make sure I don't put my team down a man."
And Burrows had a funny answer about how he was spending all his down
time. Vancouver has played only once in the past 10 days and thus, the
players have had unusually high number of days off.
"I've been managing my fantasy baseball team," Burrows said. "I know
Roberto's team has been struggling. I've been putting in the works and the
hours, so I'm succeeding."
Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 06.04.2011
571288      NHL                                                                       31 blocked shots, 26 of which missed the net, and 61 hits - 31 by the
                                                                                      Bruins.
                                                                                      One mistake, one goal, but you can be sure the Bruins have forgotten it by
Cup final opener was a game for the ages                                              now and so have the Canucks.
                                                                                      It's what this beautiful game is all about.
By RED FISHER                                                                         Montreal Gazette LOADED: 06.04.2011


Can we agree that the playoffs - and particularly the Stanley Cup final - are
the most exciting time of the season?
The reason: they don't come with guarantees.
The Vancouver Canucks were runaway winners of the Presidents' Trophy,
yet they've had their problems, particularly in the first round when they
needed an overtime goal in Game 7 against Chicago - after winning the first
three games.
It is a time for the unexpected, the good, the bad and the ugly - such as the
Los Angeles Kings' 6-5 overtime loss at home in Game 3 of their series with
San Jose after taking a 4-0 lead. Who could ever imagine that the Sharks
would score five times in less than 17 minutes?
How do you suppose the New York Rangers felt after taking a 3-0 lead into
the third period - and losing 4-3 in double-overtime to the Washington
Capitals? Disappointment? Shock?
That was then and this is now, and what we can surely agree on only hours
away from Game 2 in this Canucks-Bruins final is that Vancouver's 1-0
victory in Game 1 is as high as the bar gets, with the winner coming with
only 19 seconds remaining in regulation. It doesn't . it can't get any higher
than that, starting with the goaltending from Roberto Luongo and Tim
Thomas.
Everything about it still resonates.
The only disappointing part of it is that while fans across this land and in the
United States were treated to hockey at its very best, far too much attention
has been given to the face washings involving Patrice Bergeron and Alex
Burrows at the end of the first period, following which Boston's splendid
centreman accused the Sedin twins' linemate of biting his finger. Bergeron
insisted it happened, Burrows said "I don't think so," which means it
happened.
The NHL, on the other hand, decided "there was no conclusive evidence" it
happened, so no supplemental punishment was necessary. What followed
was a barrage of cute suggestions from media people, such as the "the
league's bark was worse than its bite."
Whoa!
The incident was nothing more than a blip on the screen in a game for the
ages. If it had occurred during the regular season, a fine or a suspension
probably would have been added to the four minutes Burrows received. Not
in a Stanley Cup final, however. The Bruins aren't whining about it and the
Canucks are happy they'll have Burrows in the lineup tonight.
Bergeron's reaction made the most sense.
"It's the league's decision," he said. "It's there. He did it, but I'm over it. I'd
like to just move on here. We're here for the right reasons, and we want to
win."
Translation: "Drop the puck! Let's play hockey," which is precisely what
you'd expect from a quality player such as Bergeron.
Listen up, folks. Vancouver and Boston are in the Cup final because after
three punishing rounds they demonstrated they deserve to be playing for
the big prize. Both teams have had bad nights getting there, but they won
when it counted, and on Wednesday they showed why. It was nothing less
than a classic. It's difficult to imagine they can match it in any of the
remaining games.
All that's certain is that this series is far from over, no matter who wins
Saturday night. Boston is still playing despite losing the first two games of
the first round at home to the Canadiens. Vancouver has a one-game lead,
but nobody has to remind the Canucks they're facing the best in the East.
Luongo and Thomas showed what they're made of in the opener. They
were their teams' best players on Wednesday, which is why only one goal
was scored on a combined 70 shots - and not until there was less than
onethird of a minute remaining in regulation. The teams also combined for
571289     NHL                                                                     there was already a deal in place,” said Kincaid, president and CEO of
                                                                                   Level5 brand marketing.
                                                                                   With the Canadian rights effectively hived off from the North American deal,
Judge rejects NHL deal with Molson-Coors                                           Kincaid suspects Molson-Coors would still be interested in U.S.-only rights.
                                                                                   “If I was Molson-Coors I’d still want to be pursuing those rights, if only as a
Josh Rubin                                                                         competitive block,” said Kincaid.
                                                                                   Earlier this year, Labatt signed long-term sponsorship deals with the
                                                                                   Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks; its parent corporation Anheuser-
An Ontario judge has tossed out the National Hockey League’s “monster”             Busch-InBev also has deals with 21 of the NHL’s 24 U.S.-based teams.
$375-million North American sponsorship deal with Molson-Coors, saying             Those teams offer Labatt or AB/InBev products in their arenas, and feature
the league already had a Canadian agreement with the company’s archrival           them in advertising campaigns.
Labatt.
                                                                                   When the league announced in February that it had signed a North
The decision Friday by Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould to            America-wide agreement with Molson-Coors, NHL Chief Operating Officer
toss out the biggest sponsorship deal in NHL history comes as the league is        John Collins said “this is a monster deal.”
in the midst of the Stanley Cup final between the Vancouver Canucks and
Boston Bruins.                                                                     The $375 million included roughly $100 million in rights fees, another $100
                                                                                   million in guaranteed advertising buys, and $100 million in “activation”
The judge said that Molson-Coors suspected that the league had already             money, which would include promotions such as including miniature
reached a deal with Labatt when it decided to negotiate its own agreement.         Stanley Cups in cases of beer, promotions at restaurants, those “fan
Molson-Coors and the NHL reached a seven-year deal for North American              experience” tents at all-star games and drafts, or even trips to NHL events
sponsorship rights in February. The judge ruled the NHL had already                like the Stanley Cup or draft.
agreed in November to have Labatt as Canadian sponsor.
                                                                                   Toronto Star LOADED: 06.04.2011
“In my view the NHL should not be entitled to profit from its breach of its
agreement with Labatt. Labatt should be entitled to its bargain and to its
unique marketing position resulting from the agreement to be the Canadian
sponsor of the NHL for the next three years. In my view, there should be an
injunction preventing the NHL and Molson from proceeding with their
agreement so far as the Canadian rights are concerned,” Newbould ruled.
His ruling quoted an internal Molson-Coors e-mail saying the company
entered into negotiations with the NHL “with great suspicion” because it had
heard the league already had an agreement with Labatt.
“Molson. . . was aware that there could be litigation from Labatt and
obtained an indemnity from the NHL expressly referring to litigation or
threatened litigation by Labatt,” Newbould wrote in his ruling. “It was not
satisfied with the oral assurances from the NHL and took an indemnity to
reduce the risk that it chose to run.”
Newbould also shot down Molson-Coors’ suggestions that it was blameless.
“I have some difficulty with the concept of Molson being an innocent third
party,” Newbould wrote.
Labatt released a statement Friday evening indicating it believes its deal will
now be enforced.
“We are pleased that Budweiser’s sponsorship of the NHL will continue,”
said Labatt Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Charlie Angelakos.
“Budweiser and hockey are a natural fit. We look forward to a very
productive relationship with the league through the 2013-14 season and are
actively looking for opportunities on a team and grassroots level to reinforce
that connection.”
Labatt is owned by international brewing conglomerate Anheuser-
Busch/InBev, and brews AB-InBev brands Budweiser and Bud Light for the
Canadian market.
Molson-Coors, meanwhile, said it was considering its options.
“We’ve received the decision and counsel is reviewing it to determine
whether or not we’ll appeal,” said Ferg Devins, chief public affairs officer for
Molson-Coors Canada.
The NHL wouldn’t comment on the decision.
One legal expert not involved with the case said it appeared from the ruling
that there wasn’t much wiggle room for an appeal.
“I think there will be an appeal just because. It’s clear that the deal with
Molson was much more lucrative for the league. But I see this decision as
very solid,” said John Russo, a partner at Mississauga commercial litigation
firm Pallet Valo.
Marketing expert David Kincaid, who helped put together Labatt’s first
national deal for Canadian rights in 1997, was surprised by the ruling.
“It’s certainly not what I was expecting, but the internal e-mails that were
quoted, those are new facts. Molson basically entered into this knowing
571290     NHL                                                                 DC: It looks like he’s giving birth. It’s like the scene from Alien when “it”
                                                                               bursts out of the stomach. We can’t decide what “it” is because we don’t
                                                                               know. Is it a shark? Is it a whale?
Canuck nuts commit crimes of fashion                                           DG: Aren’t graphics supposed be to be obvious, clear? It’s abstract. It has
                                                                               that fin. I think it’s a shark.

David Graham and Derick Chetty                                                 DC: Dolphins have that, too.
                                                                               Toronto Star LOADED: 06.04.2011

The Canucks are the fashionistas of the NHL. Over the years, they’ve rarely
worn the same look twice. Vancouver’s fans have taken to the streets and
populated home games with a variety of the club’s different jerseys, which
is why Star fashion writers Derick Chetty and David Graham sat down to
consider Canucks sweaters through the ages:
Hockey stick jersey
1 — Hockey Stick: “Boring” 1970-78
DC: Boring. It looks like Pac-Man if it was round. Like early video-game
graphics.
DG: (incredulously) They hired someone to come up with that, to put the tip
of a hockey stick in the square?
DC: Here’s the boring category: check!
DG: I have B.O. — Yay!
DC: And I’m wearing a jersey that doesn’t breathe.
Jersey 2: The famous V
2 — The Famous V: “I’d wear it. It’s slimming.” 1978-1985
Dc: He’s like some super hero. It’s like from the Watchman. It’s very much
the Watchman. I’m pretty sure one of the characters wore this bright yellow
thing.
DG: But is that a jersey that anyone wore?
DC: This one could be quite fashiony. There’s nothing there to say it’s
associated with hockey. I love the colourful vees.
DG: If he’d only worn it belted with heels and he could be going to the
disco.


3 — Yellow and Black: “Gee, how clever, they just reverse the colours.”
1985-1989
DC: Finally some fashion colours: mango, pimiento.
DG: What is waving the white hanky mean? Look at me?
DC: Like you can miss them in those colours?
4 — Bright White: “Oh, he’s got a tattoo on his head” 1989-1997
DC: With these colours it’s sort of Daffy Duck. Or it’s sort of Disney.
DG: Is that thing eating him?
DC: It’s a hockey puck (about the logo, which is actually a skate). Those
lines are to show the speed of it, like it’s almost got wings.


5 — Dark Blue: “It is scary, I suppose.” 1997-2007
DC: It’s all perception: We’re making fun of this and this could be the most
normal thing. But people who aren’t into fashion, when they saw someone
dressed to go to a fashion show, they would think, what a clown. There’s no
difference
DC: I’m looking at that. It’s the Anna Della Russo (Vogue Japan writer) of
the hockey world. Or is it (Italian fashion writer) Anna Piggi?
DC: I like the navy blue. If that’s dark, they could look quite menacing on
the ice. Especially with that dark and the red, I’m getting a little Freddy
Krueger vibe. It looks black, like a black and red.


6 — Return of the Royal Blue: “Yah dude, it’s a boy.” 2007-today
571291     NHL                                                                      Interestingly, Vigneault suggested Luongo used to be out of his blue paint
                                                                                    more, but that the team “fixed” that. Certainly, the Vancouver netminder
                                                                                    was strong in Game 1 — he didn’t have to be brilliant — and has now
Cox: Slow developing final needs to get rolling                                     registered a shutout in three of the four series openers in which his team
                                                                                    has played this spring.
                                                                                    Thomas has had an up-and-down spring, giving up four goals or more in
Damien Cox                                                                          five of 19 starts. But he was excellent in Game 1, wherever he happened to
                                                                                    be standing when he made stops.
                                                                                    He just needed to make one more.
A long, long time ago, when Novak Djokovic was still unbeaten, Shaq had
just started twittering about retirement and Colin Campbell had just lost his       Toronto Star LOADED: 06.04.2011
job and in so doing become the happiest man in the hockey world, there
was this Stanley Cup final ...
Right. The final. You know, those games they play in and around the
combine.
So where were we?
Seems like forever ago that Alex Burrows was munching on Patrice
Bergeron’s finger and Raffi Torres was the only one among 36 Vancouver
and Boston skaters who could figure a way to put the puck in the net.
Okay, maybe not forever ago. But the good news is that the final between
the Bruins and Canucks should start picking up a little pace now, with a
game Saturday and then a switch to Boston for Games 3 and 4 on Monday
and Wednesday, respectively.
Vancouver may insert Manny (The Miracle) Malhotra into the lineup for
Game 2, and either Keith Ballard or Andrew Alberts on defence in place of
the injured Dan Hamhuis. The Bruins could use Shawn Thornton in place of
Tyler Seguin, but given the fact they were shut out by Roberto Luongo and
didn’t manufacture much on offence when they didn’t have the man
advantage, keeping Seguin in the mix might be wise.
Burrows will play, but lest we forget, his interaction with Bergeron was only
one of the controversies in which he was embroiled in Game 1. The other
had to do with a second period tripping call he was assessed for getting his
stick on Boston goalie Tim Thomas, who was out of his blue crease at the
time and thus, in the minds of some (Vancouver fans), open to be assaulted
in any way imaginable.
Uh, not quite. If you can’t trip a defenceman or a forward, you can’t trip a
goalie, wherever he may have wandered off to. And my goodness, Thomas
does like to wander. And challenge. And do somersaults and triple gainers
in his crease. The textbook he learned to play from had but one rule: stop
the puck by any means necessary.
While Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault was looking for “clarification” on
what Thomas can and can’t do outside his crease, Thomas wasn’t
apologizing for drawing a penalty on Burrows.
“I went to make the first stop, then the puck was going off to the side,” he
said. “I was retreating back to the centre of my net, felt resistance behind
my leg, and I was actually just going with it. I was going to basically flip
around, flip my body around, to be able to at least have a chance to stop
that rebound that went to the side of the net.
“I didn’t know if it was my guy or their guy or who. I was backing up and
there was something behind my leg. It sort of put me off balance. I just play
my game. It’s not always in the blue. Sometimes it is. You got to do what
you got to do.”
Thomas felt as though he understood his rights quite well.
“Basically I have the right to go anywhere there’s open ice,” he said. “If I’m
set, I have a right to that ice. If I’m out of the paint and I’m set, I also have
the right to get right-of-way to get back to the crease. That’s the way I
understand it.”
Burrows, whose team had a 5-on-3 advantage when he took the penalty,
didn’t seem to dispute that interpretation on Friday.


“I got to make sure I can’t bump the goalie,” he said. “That’s his ice if he’s
already there. At the same time I have to be smarter and make sure I don’t
put my team down a man.”
The best way to attack a wandering goalie, of course, is to take advantage
when he’s moved out of position or is being over-aggressive. Even on
Torres’s winner, Thomas was moving out of his net, whereas a classic
butterfly goalie would have been deeper in his crease at the time.
571292     NHL                                                                      Not everyone is a fan. Broadcasters Glenn Healy and Don Cherry have
                                                                                    both publicly berated the green men for going over the top.
                                                                                    The lime ones naturally had a deft response during the San Jose series:
Canucks taking the Force with them to Boston                                        They donned plaid jackets and waved around a cardboard cutout depicting
                                                                                    Cherry dressed as one of them.

Kenneth Kidd                                                                        At the league’s insistence, however, the pair has had to tone down some of
                                                                                    their antics, which used to include Sully doing handstands against the glass
                                                                                    surrounding penalized players.

VANCOUVER—The Boys in Green are heading to Beantown.                                “Oh, and we’re not supposed to agitate the players,” says Force.

“Sully” and “Force,” who in their lime-green body suits have been taunting          As if.
Canuck opponents from the stands all year long, will be bringing their
unwelcome presence to Boston for Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup                   There are, of course, some other occupational hazards, such as struggling
finals, thanks to the supportive hand of a travel website.                          into their bodysuits in the parking lot outside Rogers Arena. That can be
                                                                                    chilly.
“It’s incredible,” Sully says in an interview, dressed in his civvies before
changing into lime spandex for a press conference Friday.                           The suits also tend to restrict their vision, and a trip to the men’s room
                                                                                    would pose serious wardrobe challenges, one reason they don’t drink
“We’re pretty stoked. The MasterCard was pretty stacked from Nashville              anything during the four hours before a game.
(where the pair travelled last month for a playoff game against the
Predators). I’ve been making the minimum payments.”                                 So, yes, they can get pretty dehydrated — especially if a match drags into
                                                                                    overtime.
Although they’ve become huge promoters of all things Canuck, Sully and
Force aren’t attached to the team, so until now they’ve been operating on           “We might call it quits after we hoist the Stanley Cup,” says Force. “That
their own dime, doing paid appearances at bar mitzvahs and the like                 would be the coolest way to wrap it up.”
between charity events.                                                             Sully’s not quite so sure. “I’m not completely sold,” he says. “But we’ll see.”
What they won’t do is give out their real names — although it has been              Toronto Star LOADED: 06.04.2011
reported they are Ryan Sullivan and Adam Forsythe. We can say that
twenty-something Sully is wearing a Cote d’Ivoire soccer jersey with Didier
Drogba’s name on the back, and a Baltimore Orioles baseball cap with the
old logo — “the chubby chicken,” Sully calls it.
Force is sporting a baseball cap bearing the logo of the now-defunct
Hartford Whalers, who used the same blue and green palate as the
Canucks.
Both are broadcast media grads from the British Columbia Institute of
Technology.
“I love to chirp at all of the players,” says Force, who usually gets to do that
next to the penalty box at home games.
“We’re going to do everything we can to absolutely screw with the Bruins,”
says Sully, although he concedes (half-playfully) that he will be “shocked if I
return home with all my teeth intact.”
In Boston, they’ll be just behind Bruins goalie Tim Thomas for two periods
each game. Face value of the tickets: $210 per for Game 3, $260 for Game
4, though the actual cost of the ducats — bought in the last couple of days
— would be a healthy multiple of that.
The travel package was put together by Travelzoo Inc. after the company
was approached by Canucks fan and adman Scot Keith, best-known for his
pro bono work for Hockey Canada producing the “Relax” ads aimed at
overzealous hockey parents.
Although they’re now fixtures at Canucks home games, Sully and Force
had first hoped to take their act to a Seattle Seahawks NFL game in 2009.
But when Sully’s suit didn’t arrive in time, they opted instead to try their luck
at a Canucks game, using the season’s tickets of the roofing company
where they once worked.
An institution was born.
“We’re just a couple of idiots in green suits,” Sully once said. “Nobody
thought it would get this big.”
The pair now has more than 150,000 fans on Facebook and 27,000
followers on Twitter.
Among their more legendary hijinks: Waving a doctored picture of country
music’s Carrie Underwood wearing a Canucks jersey. She’s married to
Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators.
They also made fun of Predator (and former Canuck) Shane O’Brien by
pretending to shake up a martini, a nod to O’Brien’s reputation as a partying
man about town.
They won’t hint at what’s in store for Boston, insisting they mostly
brainstorm an hour or so before any game.
571293     NHL                                                                  “You need great goaltending to be where we are right now,” said Vigneault.
                                                                                “Roberto has given us that. I feel right now he’s playing some of his best
                                                                                hockey — I’ve been here five years — that I’ve seen him play. We
Five questions heading into Game 2 of the Cup final                             obviously need that at this time of the year.”
                                                                                Will Tim Thomas draw an interference penalty?

Kevin McGran                                                                    Having not been able to play an actual hockey game for two days, the
                                                                                Canucks played head games, insinuating that hitting Tim Thomas — the
                                                                                wandering minstrel of goalies — is fair game when he wanders out of the
                                                                                blue paint. They went so far as to suggest Thomas was unduly interfering
Concerts having taken over the Rogers Arena, both the Boston Bruins and         with them, not the other way around.
Vancouver Canucks departed for the hockey rink at the University of British
Columbia for practice on Friday.                                                “Basically I have the right to go anywhere there’s open ice,” said Thomas.
                                                                                “If I’m set, I have a right to that ice. If I’m out of the paint and I’m set, I also
An institute for higher learning was perhaps appropriate, since both teams      have the right-of-way to get back to the crease. That’s the way I understand
have had only one game to learn about each other. Given the physicality of      it.”
Game 1, the after-the-whistle scrums and the nail-biting finish, the two
teams were a quick study.                                                       We’ll see if the refs see it the same way.

“Vancouver is a fast-paced team,” said Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron.         What has happened to Johnny Boychuk?
“They’re coming hard. They’re a good team. We’re expecting that. We got
to make sure we’re ready for that.                                              As bad a playoffs as many believed Tomas Kaberle was having, how about
                                                                                Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk? He has been on the ice for the last
“We have to play better. I guess we played an okay game for 59 minutes          seven goals scored against the Bruins and has been criticized for a
(but that) was not good enough. We’ve got to be better. We’ve got to            mistimed check on Ryan Kesler that led to Vancouver’s winning goal in
increase our tempo, find a way to get that win.”                                Game 1.

The Canucks have a few roster changes to deal with. Defenceman Andrew           “At this time of the year, I’m not going to come in here and criticize my
Alberts may be in the lineup in place of Dan Hamhuis, while Manny               players,” said Julien. “We’re going to deal with it internally. I think what we
Malhotra remains day-to-day.                                                    have to do here is regroup as a team and play better.

“For both teams, obviously, it’s a very important game,” said Canucks           “I think if you ask him, he knows he probably could have played that last
coach Alain Vigneault. “Without a doubt, they’re thinking about coming in       goal a lot better. We all know that, but we all need to move on right now.”
here and getting at least a split. We’re thinking about keeping home-ice
advantage.”                                                                     Toronto Star LOADED: 06.04.2011

Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final is set for Saturday night. Here are some
issues both teams can sink their teeth into after the Canucks, literally and
figuratively, took a bite out of the Bruins in Game 1.
Will there be on-ice retribution for Alex Burrows?
The Canucks forward stands accused of having bitten the finger of
Bergeron (who, oddly enough, does not stand accused of having issued a
stinky-glove face-wash). There was no supplemental discipline from the
league.
The Bruins say they’re over it. “What’s more important for us is to prepare
for the next game instead of putting our attention on something that’s
already been ruled,” said coach Claude Julien. “Let’s move on.”
We’ll see. Maybe the biting controversy will help generate viewers. But one
thing is for sure: the Bruins don’t want to be remembered as finger food.
Will Zdeno Chara take another faceoff?
He took one in Game 1. He won it. It came on the power play, where he
now stands like a Slovakia wall in front of Roberto Luongo. The Canucks, it
seems, are going to let him.
“When you have such a big body like that in front of net, there’s no sense in
getting in a pushing match,” said Vigneault. “We let Roberto (Luongo) play
where he is. He can’t look on top of him because he’s so tall. He’s got to
look around him.”
The Bruins’ power play remains otherworldly awful. They have just five
goals in 67 opportunities, an atrocious 7.5 per cent success rate. The
trickery of putting Chara in the slot hasn’t helped.
The Canucks, meanwhile, have scored 17 times in 66 chances (25.8 per
cent success). The Bruins would be wise to change things up, if only for
change’s sake. Either that, or start declining penalties.
Will the Bruins score on Luongo?
We’re pretty sure it won’t happen on the power play, so if it does happen, it
will be at even strength. The Bruins’ 47 goals in 5-on-5 situations well
outstrip Vancouver’s 31.
But Luongo made history with that Game 1 shutout — the first shutout in a
Stanley Cup final debut since the Leafs’ Frank McCool did it against Detroit
in 1945.
571294     NHL                                                                     Props to the ‘Peg
                                                                                   Maloney knows it could have been his team headed to Winnipeg and
                                                                                   though he’s not saying he’s relieved it isn’t him, the Coyotes GM is pleased
Looks deceiving at NHL combine                                                     NHL hockey is returning to Manitoba.
                                                                                   “Obviously on one hand, we love Phoenix and I think we can make it work,
By Rob Longley ,Toronto Sun                                                        although not overnight,” Maloney said. “The idea of going to a hockey
                                                                                   market and a full building every night (in Winnipeg), there’s an appeal to
                                                                                   that.

TORONTO - Gabriel Landeskog turned heads at the NHL scouting combine               “But I think it’s tremendous. I think Winnipeg almost lost its identity when
on Friday with a physical presence that gave the appearance that he could          the Jets left, the whole province really. Now they are back to being a big
have been playing in the NHL for years.                                            city.”

And then there was top-ranked Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who looked like he               Maloney says that Phoenix and Winnipeg have their own separate
might have been cutting out on recess to participate in the testing.               challenges to become viable NHL businesses.

So what is an NHL general manager to do if he has got a shot at either hot         “Getting younger players that are free agents to commit to Winnipeg is the
shot prospect, as the Edmonton Oilers will do with the first pick overall at       biggest thing and that’s not a challenge in Phoenix,” Maloney said. “The
the NHL entry draft on June 24?                                                    challenge for us is to get more people to the games to support the payroll
                                                                                   and get it where it has to be.”
“You look at some of these guys and it’s like they are ready to step into the
NHL this week,” Pheonix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said after             Quick hits
Day 1 of the combine’s fitness testing at the Toronto Congress Centre.
                                                                                   Perhaps worn down from the Memorial Cup, Huberdeau struggled in the
“Then there’s the top dog and it’s like, holey smokes, (Nugent-Hopkins)            bench press portion of the testing but wasn’t going to pass on the exercise,
looks like with a stiff wind, he might end up 20-feet away. But he also may        no matter how weary he was. “I won’t say because I played in the Memorial
be the best hockey player.”                                                        Cup I won’t do it. I might do bad, but I will do it.” Last year’s top pick, Taylor
                                                                                   Hall, you may recall didn’t participate in the testing after leading Windsor to
Landeskog, the Kitchener Rangers captain, is a player who likely will make         the Memorial Cup ... Former Leafs strength coach Matt Nichol was on hand
an immediate impact by whoever selects him while Nugent-Hopkins, the               working as TSN’s “fitness expert.”
consensus seems to be, might need another season in junior.
                                                                                   Toronto Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011
“It’s not a knock on Nugent-Hopkins at all,” a scout for a team who will pick
in the top 15. “There is nothing wrong with sending a talented kid like that
back to junior for another year to mature physically.”
Nugent-Hopkins is the first to acknowledge he has work to do physically,
but most NHL teams would be willing to wait for the weight, especially after
the promise of the 106-point season he finished off in Red Deer this past
season.
“I’m not a big bench-press guy as you can probably tell,” Nugent-Hopkins
said with a laugh and a little relief after finishing his session. “I don’t have
the biggest chest out there. I’m trying to put on the weight and put on some
strength. That’s all I can do.”
Memorial days
There is a great deal of buzz around the combine about the handful of Saint
John Sea Dog players projected to go high in the draft. Led by Jonathan
Huberdeau who is rated No. 3 among North American skaters, four players
from the Memorial Cup champions could go in the first round based on the
final rankings by NHL Central Scouting.
The big win last week in Mississauga won’t hurt, but there can also be a
danger to over emphasizing the performance.
“Just because you saw them last doesn’t mean they have to be viewed
higher,” Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee said. “It
has to be a balanced approach. If you are doing your job right, you are
putting them where they are supposed to be.
“Having said that, (the Memorial Cup) is a great experience. You want kids
to play in those kinds of games. It’s the intangible side of the ledger.”
Scrum killer
A scrum with an athlete can meet a quick end for any number of reasons. A
bad loss. A bad question. A bad attitude.
But when Matthew Nieto looked dumbfounded over a routine question
following his testing session, the dead air was for a different reason.
“I don’t feel too well,” the Boston University prospect said after a long
pause. “I might have to puke a little bit here.”
Let’s just say, the answer to the question wasn’t worth waiting around.
Then there was big defenceman Dougie Hamilton, who got it over with
before he faced the interrogation.
“It didn’t take me too long to puke after I got off the bike,” the Niagara Ice
Dog said. “I just held it in and headed to the garbage can.”
571295     Ottawa Senators                                                           least, we’ve got a guy who can contribute, kill penalties and be a character
                                                                                     guy. We can find places for guys like that.”
                                                                                     Ottawa Citizen LOADED: 06.04.2011
With Sens contract in his pocket, rugged Zack Smith keeps focus on Calder
Cup


By Ken Warren,


BINGHAMTON — One way or another, it rarely takes long for Binghamton
Senators centre Zack Smith to hear his name called at the Broome County
Veterans Memorial Arena.
Or any other arena in the American Hockey League, for that matter.
Before Friday’s Game 4 of the Calder Cup finals against the Houston
Aeros, Smith was tied for fifth in AHL playoff scoring, with six goals and 12
assists in 20 games. Those numbers include the hat trick he delivered in a
7-1 romp over the Charlotte Checkers in Game 3 of the semifinals and an
assist on the lone Binghamton goal in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Houston in
Game 3 of the finals. He also had one of Binghamton’s few scoring chances
in the opening two periods, beating the Houston to the outside with a burst
of speed before being stopped by Aeros goaltender Matt Hackett.
Smith also makes himself noticed on the penalty front, the edge in his
hitting game often crossing the referees’ fine line between what’s legal and
what’s not. During Wednesday’s game, he was tagged for a roughing call,
his hit on Houston’s Patrick O’Sullivan deemed a split second late, running
his playoff penalty minute total to 30, second only to Hamilton’s Ryan
White.
You won’t find Binghamton coach Kurt Kleinendorst complaining about the
Smith parade to the penalty box. Like most coaches, Kleinendorst has a set
of buzzwords and catchphrases that he often uses. When the topic is
Smith, “honest” and “solid” are commonly used.
“You have to live with his penalties, because his penalties, you know,
they’re not hooking penalties,” says Kleinendorst. “His penalties are
aggressive penalties. If he’s going to play the right way, he has got to finish
his checks. You’ve got to give him a little bit of rope. We’ll kill those
(penalties). It’s amazing how you can kill off those types of penalties.
“In every regard, he’s a solid player. We use him killing penalties, on the
power play. He takes key faceoffs. If he’s not engaged, he’s not an effective
player. I will try to get him out there as much early (in the game) as
possible, because he needs to be engaged right way.”
From an Ottawa Senators perspective, that’s an intriguing comment. Smith,
who played 55 games with Ottawa this season, was primarily used as a
fourth-line player by former Senators coach Cory Clouston, meaning he
usually played somewhere between six to 10 minutes per game. He had
four goals, five assists and 120 penalty minutes with the Senators, including
a spirited fight with Boston’s Nathan Horton in a late-season game.
After signing a two-year, $1.4-million contract with the Senators last week
— his first guaranteed NHL contract — the organization has sent the
message that they see him as a major part of the team’s youth movement.
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about (the contract),” says Smith,
who turned 23 in April. “But at the same time, it doesn’t change anything.
Winning the Calder Cup is still the most important thing and what has been
on my mind the most. I’m obviously happy with the deal and obviously
they’re happy with me, so that was a bonus.”
Whether Binghamton ends up winning or losing the AHL finals, Smith can
effectively say goodbye to the city, after spending the past two seasons
riding the shuttle from here to Ottawa, pushing to eventually become an
impact player in the NHL.
“They tell me to play the same game (in Ottawa as in Binghamton), but I
play more minutes here and I’m playing different roles,” he says. “The game
does change a bit. I can’t expel the same amount of energy that I do in
Ottawa in one shift, that I do here. But playing here, I’m in better shape. I
feel I handle the puck better and I’m playing with a lot more confidence.”
Kleinendorst suggests that Smith could one day be a dominant big-league
player.
“Eventually, you would hope that over time he would be able to move into a
role up there,” he says. “He has the potential to do that, but that’s a little bit
of a different stage. Will that ever happen? I’m not sure. But at the very
571296     Philadelphia Flyers                                                     Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 06.04.2011


Flyers let go of top goalie prospect Eriksson


By Tim Panaccio


By most accounts, 21-year-old goalie Joacim Eriksson was the Flyers’ top
prospect in their farm system.
Well, that’s no longer the case.
General manager Paul Holmgren confirmed the stunning news on Friday
that the organization willingly allowed Eriksson’s signing rights to expire this
week.
Hockeybuzz.com first reported it earlier on Friday.
The Flyers can re-draft Eriksson again later this month in Minnesota. Their
first pick in the NHL draft won’t come until the third round.
Given Eriksson was the Flyers’ seventh round choice in 2008 (196th
overall), chances are, he won’t go much higher if he re-enters this summer.
“He didn’t play much this year and didn’t develop,” Holmgren said. “That’s
just that way it goes sometimes when you draft European players. It’s
disappointing, but that is the chance you take when you draft them.”
“You only get two years and they need to develop the way it should be.
That’s part of the process sometimes. Is it great? No. It’s the nature of the
business right now.”
Last month, the Flyers signed Finnish beanpole goalie Niko Hovinen – he’s
6-foot-7 – who had been originally drafted by Minnesota in 2006 and was
left unsigned.
Holmgren said Hovinen’s signing directly impacted the decision to allow
Eriksson to go unsigned, adding that the Flyers think Hovinen has a
developmental edge on Eriksson at this point.
Eriksson played just 17 games for Skelleftea, but was not competing at the
highest level in Sweden and was not expected to be NHL-ready for another
two years. He was promoted to Elitserien this year, but was not the starter.
That the Flyers gave Hovinen a contract tells you that they think he’ll be in
North America sooner. Still, Eriksson was arguably the Flyers’ top prospect
in what some believe is a shallow wading pool of organizational depth.
What this move also seems to reinforce is that Sergei Bobrovsky is very
much the Flyers’ future No. 1 ahead of every other goalie in the system. At
one point last summer, there was strong debate within the organization as
to whether Eriksson could upstage Bobrovsky.
As everyone knows, Bob made the Flyers’ roster out of training camp.
Holmgren said it made no sense to sign Eriksson if they had no place to
play him right now. He was not expected to replace either Johan Backlund
or Brian Stewart with the AHL Phantoms this season, either.
“Your choice is you sign the guy, give him money and hope he develops,”
Holmgren said. “Or you just wait. See what happens if they become free
agents. Minnesota drafts Hovinen … it doesn’t happen, he goes back in the
draft and nobody drafted him.
“Then this year he became a hot commodity. He started to come on. That’s
just the way it is. When you draft kids at 17, sometimes it works out and
sometime it doesn’t.”
At the moment, the Flyers have just five picks in this month’s draft.
They are expected to either deal for an established goalie at the draft or, a
less likely option, sign a goalie out of free agency.
Most observers think the Flyers will make a trade at the draft for proven
starter, who can buy some time for Bobrovsky to develop down the road.
Loose pucks
Also going unsigned was defenseman Simon Bertilsson, a 2009 third-round
pick. His case was a bit different, as Bertilsson has been plagued by both
shoulder and knee injuries since being drafted and that appears to have
impeded his development.
571297     Pittsburgh Penguins


Pens GM Shero looking at making moves


By Rob Rossi, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW


General manager Ray Shero will look at "available options via trade" for any
of the Penguins' impending unrestricted and restricted free agents who
haven't been re-signed by the NHL Entry Draft at Minnesota later this
month.
He described talks with representatives for the potential free agents — 10
unrestricted and two restricted — as requiring "more conversations to be
had."
» Though NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Wednesday that the
2011-12 salary cap could extend to near $63 million, Shero does not
believe the boost will be significant enough to alter the Penguins' offseason
plan for retaining their free agents or being major players on the open
market. For next season, the Penguins are committed to nearly $56 million
with 17 players on NHL contracts.
» The Penguins will hold professional scouting meetings Monday and
Tuesday, and Shero will attend general managers meetings at Boston on
Wednesday. In between, he will be trying to lock down the services of
assistant coaches Tony Granato and Todd Reirden. Shero said he would
like to extend each assistant's contract "within the next week or so." Head
coach Dan Bylsma signed a three-year extension during this past season.
» Centers Evgeni Malkin and Dustin Jeffrey are each "on schedule" with
their recoveries from respective surgeries to repair torn right-knee
ligaments, Shero said. Malkin is expected to be ready for training camp,
and Jeffrey should resume normal hockey activity by October.
» Shero on the changing of the guard from Colin Campbell to Brendan
Shanahan at the NHL discipline czar position: "I dealt with (Campbell) a lot
over the five years, and I personally like him a lot. It's a tough, tough job. He
always acted in good faith. I enjoyed my time dealing with him even though
I didn't always agree with all of the suspensions. He's a real good person. It
appears the role is changing a bit, and we'll see how it shakes out in the
future. I've found (Shanahan) to be very (smart), very informed and very in-
tune with the players."
Tribune Review LOADED: 06.04.2011
571298     St Louis Blues                                                          syndrome is subsiding. Although David Perron has also made progress, the
                                                                                   Blues forward still isn't symptom-free.
                                                                                   St Louis Post Dispatch LOADED: 06.04.2011
Hockey Guy: Shanahan headed for bigger things?


By JEFF GORDON | Posted: Friday, June 3, 2011 12:00 pm


Could former Blues star Brendan Shanahan someday become
commissioner of the National Hockey League?
This is not a ridiculous thought. His rapid ascension within the NHL front
office since his retirement has been impressive.
P-D hockey scribe Jeremy Rutherford had the same thought when
Shanahan’s latest promotion was announced. While becoming the league’s
disciplinarian will be a difficult and at times unpleasant task, it will be good
preparation for ever bigger challenges.
Shanahan will get to prove that his love of the sport supercedes any
loyalties (or feuds) that developed during his outstanding career.
Here is how the hockey media viewed Shan The Man’s latest move up the
ladder:
Nicholas J. Cotsonika, Yahoo! Sports: “The man who organized the
Shanahan Summit during the 2004-05 lockout, a brainstorming session that
led to rule changes that transformed the game, he became the NHL’s vice-
president of hockey and business development. It was a feel-good job –
running the research and development camp, coming up with the Fantasy
Draft and a new format for the All-Star Game, giving input on player safety,
supplemental discipline and other issues. But that was really an
apprenticeship to prepare him for this. Now he has to be the bad guy, now
he has to make people feel bad, now he has to take the bad with the good,
and he knows it.”
Mike Zeisberger, Toronto Sun: “Because Shanahan isn't far removed from
his playing days, he understands the dilemmas the players face. With Rob
Blake also in the hockey operations department, it gives the league some
new, fresh voices. At the same time, does Shanahan really understand
what he's getting into? Just look at the way (Colin) Campbell has been
slagged for his decisions. He's even had his integrity questioned in recent
years. Second-guessing from the media is fine, sure, but some of the
personal attacks Campbell has been forced to absorb are ridiculous.”
Scott Burnside, ESPN.com: “The challenge for Shanahan will be to bring
order to the Byzantine world of NHL discipline. It will be up to Shanahan to
communicate to GMs and players exactly what is going to be tolerated and
what is not, especially as it relates to blows to the head and reckless plays
that endanger other players. One thing Bettman made clear is he is
expecting that there will be harsher supplemental discipline under
Shanahan, and that is a welcome message.”
Stu Hackel, SI.com: “There’s also the newly created Department of Safety,
of which Shanahan in now the titular head. Some may wince at that name,
thinking it sounds like a bureau overseeing highway construction or traffic
enforcement — if not the French Revolution’s Committee on Public Safety,
which protected the new republic from internal and external enemies by
using the guillotine as its preferred instrument of deterrence. Folding
discipline into the whole issue of player safety is in interesting move and if
there’s a sincere effort to make the game safer through changes in player
behavior, this could be something of a revolution, too.”
AROUND THE RINKS: Blues defenseman Roman Polak has clearly
established his value as a physical, hard-nosed defensive defenseman. So
locking him into the nucleus for five years made total sense . . . On the
other hand, it would make less sense for the Blues to trade for the
negotiating rights to Brad Richards, a pending unrestricted free agency. The
Stars franchise is in ownership limbo and that team will not try to retain him.
Richards is the one impact offensive UFA coming available, so the price will
get extremely high. The Blues, like the Stars, are for sale. This franchise is
in no position to bid for him. The Leafs, on the other hand, will go "all in" to
get him . . . The NHL's coaching carousel is spinning at warp speed. Among
the candidates for the Ottawa job are former Blues players Craig
MacTavish and Paul MacLean. Among the candidates for the Stars opening
is Predators assistant coach Peter Horacheck . . . Canucks Roberto Luongo
is now three games from winning the Stanley Cup and shutting up critics for
good. His Game 1 shutout in the Cup Finals was a classic . . . Sidney
Crosby is working out again, which is a good sign that his post-concussion
571299     St Louis Blues                                                          Look for the Blues to explore the trade market to add to their roster. Anyone
                                                                                   interested in Paul Stastny? The Blues would have to shed some dollars to
                                                                                   take on his contract.
Ownership limbo likely to handcuff Blues in free agency                            St Louis Post Dispatch LOADED: 06.04.2011


By ROGER HENSLEY | Posted: Friday, June 3, 2011 9:30 am


QUESTION: Given the Blues’ ownership situation, do you believe the team
will have the funds necessary this offseason to sign a legitimate free-agent
goal scorer? If so, who is out there that you think could be in their price
range?
JEREMY RUTHERFORD
Until the team is sold, or Dave Checketts comes up with new investors who
have more resources, the Blues can’t afford a “legitimate” free-agent goal
scorer. Outside of Paul Kariya’s three-year, $18 million contract in 2007, for
which I’ve given Checketts big props in the past, the Blues have not proved
they have the financial ability to sign a key free agent. Why now would
ownership, which is said to be losing money and doesn’t know when a sale
will be finalized, pony up and become a player in the free-agent market?
On top of that, there’s only one name in the upcoming free-agent market
that fits the description of a “legitimate” goal scorer, and that’s Dallas’ Brad
Richards. And not only is he going to cost $8 million per year, but teams
may have to give the Stars a bundle in a trade just to acquire his
negotiating rights before July 1. Other potential free agents are
Washington’s Jason Arnott, LA’s Michal Handzus, Tampa Bay’s Simon
Gagne, Carolina’s Erik Cole, Nashville’s Joel Ward and Boston’s Michael
Ryder. So there’s not a lot to be had in this year’s market, and until the
Blues clear up their ownership situation, I don’t see them being as involved
as many fans would like.
DAN O’NEILL
Given the Blues ownership situation, there is a better chance of Maria
taking Arnold back than of the Blues taking on salary. Their goal this
summer will be to get the players they have signed. They will not be signing
free agents, not substantial ones anyway. Doug Armstrong perhaps can be
creative and package some draft picks – the Blues have a number of
secondary picks – in order to make some trades. That is the best fans can
hope for.
That said, I’m not sure a goal scorer is the biggest need here. The Colorado
trade changed the landscape on this team. I would like to see them add
size on the backline, and a secondary scorer, which might be more
plausible.
JEFF GORDON
Stars center Brad Richards could really help boost this team to a new level,
but he is the star of the free-agent class and almost certainly to be well
beyond what this team can afford. Beyond him, not a lot of big difference
makers seem likely to hit the market. Perhaps the Blues could take
advantage of a team looking to move salary at some point. This team has a
bit of budget space, but wisely John Davidson and Doug Armstrong are
focused on locking in the team’s nucleus.
ANDY STRICKLAND (TrueHockey.com, KFNS)
Goal scorers will be at a premium this summer as this group isn’t
characterized as a strong free-agent class. The ownership question is one
that’s on everyone’s mind. Any hope of a new ownership group being in
place less than a month from now is unrealistic. The fact that Doug
Armstrong has yet to be given a hard budget number for next season is
discouraging.
There are some decent players that could be available though. Obviously
NHL clubs still have time to get their players signed before they hit the open
market on July 1. Brad Richards is the cream of the crop but is more wishful
thinking for Blues fans. Others that interest me are Flyers’ forward Ville
Leino, who will be looking for a contract in the $4.5 million range, Bruins
forward Michael Ryder, who earned $4 million this season, and Avalanche
forward Tomas Fleischmann, whose season was cut short because of
blood clots. Fleischmann is a very good player and his agent tells me he’s
been medically cleared. He could be had for a decent price.
571300     St Louis Blues                                                           Belleville News-Democrat LOADED: 06.04.2011


Polak gets new deal from Blues


By NORM SANDERS - News-Democrat


St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong likes to reserve long-
term contracts for players that define themselves.
Armstrong believes defenseman Roman Polak is at that stage, which is why
the team signed Polak to a five-year contract extension Thursday worth
$13.75 million instead of opting for a short-term deal.
The Blues also are believed to be close on a three-year contract extension
for forward Vladimir Sobotka.
"I use that word 'define' and 'definition' for our younger players, and I have a
strong belief of what he's going to be," Armstrong said of Polak. "He's going
to be a primary shutdown defenseman and he's proven he can do that role.
He's going to being playing in our top four (defensemen). We know the
minutes he's going to log and there's real definition in his game right now."
Another thing the 25-year-old Polak does well is add stability to the Blues'
back end.
He's a big defenseman who can move bodies and kill penalties, but also is
a strong skater who can move the puck.
"My belief is to reward those guy that have to do the real dirty work,"
Armstrong said. "When you have to expose yourself nightly to shot blocking
and playing that physical. ... I was glad we could put some security toward
Roman.
"Now he can just go out and play that hard-style game we need him to be
successful."
The 6-foot, 1-inch, 227-pound veteran had three goals, 12 points and 33
penalty minutes last season.
In 227 games with the Blues, Polak has eight goals, 49 points and 143
penalty minutes. He was the Blues' sixth-round pick in 2004.
Polak missed 26 games this season, undergoing wrist surgery after
suffering a skate cut by Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby.


Armstrong was asked about the Blues' ability to provide long-term contract
with the team up for sale.
He spoke about the desire to keep Polak under contract during the prime of
his career, rather than offering another two-year agreement and then
dealing with the possibility of losing him to free-agency.
"We think Roman has defined himself and we think he was going to be a
very attractive player if he got to free agency," Armstrong said. "We didn't
exactly want to have to find out what that value may be."
Will a move like this affect the Blues' signings of other restricted free agents
like forwards T.J. Oshie, Matt D'Agostini and others, or their ability to look at
unrestricted free agents?
"You deal on a year-to-year budget," Armstrong said. "We're not projecting
out five years because after this season the collective bargaining
agreement is going to be expired and they're going to come up with a new
set of parameters that they're going to work under.
"I was very comfortable in the breakdown with how the contact is paid out. It
fits in on what we're looking to this year and it also reflects Roman's true
value moving forward."
Sobotka, acquired in a trade with Boston prior to last season, had seven
goals and 29 points in 65 games with the Blues. He eventually assumed the
defensive checking center role after Jay McClement was traded to
Colorado.
"He's an excellent young player that really has all the qualities that we want
in our organization, some tenacity and competitiveness," Armstrong said.
Contact reporter Norm Sanders
571301     Tampa Bay Lightning


Bolts' Yzerman named Bay area's top sports executive


By JOEY JOHNSTON | The Tampa Tribune


TAMPA --
Even after a breakthrough season for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who
finished one victory from the Stanley Cup finals, first-year general manager
Steve Yzerman was preaching perspective.
"We're not where we want to be," Yzerman said. "It's a positive start. But
there are always ways to improve. You never really relax and feel
comfortable about things."
For a brief moment on Thursday night, though, Yzerman enjoyed some
well-deserved praise.
Yzerman was named the Tampa Bay area sports Executive of the Year
during the inaugural Sneaker Soiree at TPepin's Hospitality Centre. The
event, presented by the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, was organized to
honor excellence in the Tampa Bay sports business world.
Award winners in 16 categories were announced.
Yzerman, who was Team Canada's executive director and oversaw the
nation's gold medal-winning team in the 2010 Winter Olympics, might need
to clear his mantle for another award. He is a finalist for the NHL's GM of
the Year — along with Vancouver's Mike Gillis and Nashville's David Poile
— which will be presented on June 22 in Las Vegas.
He had similarly formidable competition for Thursday night's honor.
Yzerman was selected ahead of Bucs general manager Mark Dominik,
whose team transformed from 3-13 to 10-6, and Rays president Matt
Silverman, who heads the business side of an organization that won two AL
East titles in the past three seasons.
Award nominees were selected and voted upon by the Tampa Bay Sports
Commission's board of directors, with two awards decided with online
voting from fans. Rob Higgins, the commission's executive director, said the
event's proceeds will benefit youth sports.
"It's hard not to notice the strength of the decisions that each of our local
sports properties are making off the field, and there (wasn't) anything being
done to honor these success stories," Higgins said. "Our overall event
concept was our version of the ESPY's meets your local high school pep
rally."
Tampa Tribune LOADED: 06.04.2011
571302     Tampa Bay Lightning


Exit interview: Sean Bergenheim says Game 7 vs. the Bruins was "the
biggest disappointment for me"
In this installment of the exit interviews done while Tampa Bay Lightning
players cleaned out their lockers, wing Sean Bergenheim, whose nine
playoff goals made him one of the big stories of the postseason, describes
the disappointment of not being able to play in Game 7 with the Bruins and
how he sees, or doesn't see (for now) his contract situation playing out.
On what kept him out of Game 7: I don't think there's any point saying what
it was. It was something that prevented me -- I wasn't able to skate. We,
definitely, with the training staff, did everything if not more thsn what we
could do to try to get me back in there. It seems that every hour of the day I
was in some kind of treatment. I felt we did everything we could to get me
back there but it wasn't enough. We did different kinds of massages and
therapies that's not only going to help the problem area but is going to
loosen things up around it. Eventually, the thing was that I wouldn't be able
to help the team. It wasn't a nice game to watch from the stands, that's for
sure.
On how he was hurt: It was just something that was there the previous
game and just became worse and I couldn't go.
On getting tangled up with Dennis Seidenburg in Game 5, when he was
hurt: No, that was just a Charley horse. I got a Charley horse but that
wouldn't keep me out. That hurt but it's something you play through.
On looking good in warm-ups for Game 7: Yeah, when it was controlled.
But I think in games when you can't control how you skate, I think it was just
I couldn't go. It was too painful, and I think if I would have played I definitely
would not have been able to play later on. It was unfortunate.
On how difficult it was to watch: You want to be part of that game so much,
help the team and do whatever. Watching it, it was just so frustrating. Yo9u
can't do anything. You see everybody else battling, and I don't think I've
been as nervous about a game, watching a hockey game like that in
probably, I can't remember. I hope I don't have to do that again.
On returning in 2011-12: Obviously, I've thought about it and I've really liked
it here a lot. But that's something we haven't talked with the team. If they
want me back, they'll contact my agent and that's how it always goes and
we'll see. But like I said, I like to play for this organization. It's a very good
organization. It's a good team, the teammates we have, the coaching staff,
it's a great thing for a player to be part of.
On his postseason: I think (my name) is out there more now than what it
has been before. It felt obviously good to be able to help the team. And,
again, my line, we did a good job and, obviously, a lot of the guys,
everybody did a very good job. What we did I thought helped the team and
we feel good about that.
On his criteria for picking a team: That's too early for me to comment on. I
haven't thought about ... I can't really answer that. We'll see. There's not
five or six teams that want me right now. I'm a Lightning, still, and July 1,
that's when I can talk to other teams. Hopefully, it won't go there but we'll
see.
On Tampa Bay being a destination for players: Definitely. I think a lot has
happened to this organization this year. It's been a great turnaround from a
few bad years. It's such a great place to live and to play hockey. I see many
players want to play here.
On dealing with emotions of the season: It is hard. After that game I would
say it was probably the biggest disappointment for me, personally. I know a
lot of guys feel the same way, losing that game, because you come so
close to being able to play for the Stanley Cup. Everybody felt that we could
have won it. You play for a team where everybody is close in here and you
don't know what the team is going to look like next year. But we really have
a special, special feeling amongst this group.
Posted by Damian Cristodero
St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 06.04.2011
571303     Toronto Maple Leafs


Leafs, Rangers, Kings and Wings interested in Richards


Kevin McGran


Could Brad Richards be a Toronto Maple Leaf sooner, rather than later?
A look through the list of impending unrestricted free agent centres with the
attributes GM Brian Burke is looking for puts Richards at the very top.
He’s only 31 and not just a proven winner, but a leader and a Conn Smythe
Trophy recipient. He’s big and he can score. In short, he’s everything the
team has lacked in a No. 1 centre since Mats Sundin left in 2009.
And now, he’s available, sooner than anticipated.
The Dallas Stars — a team without an owner — announced they would try
to trade his rights before July 1 — essentially trying to get something for a
player they risk losing for nothing once July 1 rolls around.
It’s believed the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings
and the Maple Leafs — all big-market, big-money teams with holes to fill —
are all interested in the native of Prince Edward Island.
Richards earned $7.8 million (U.S.) last year. The front-runner is believed to
be the Rangers, given Richards’ history with coach John Tortorella. They
won a Cup together in Tampa in 2004.
Burke denied through the Canadian Press Twitter feed that he had acquired
Richards negotiating rights with an emphatic, “No, no, no, no.”
A day earlier, he was interviewed on NHL Network about whether he’d try to
go after negotiating rights of a player under contract and gave a
contradictory answer.
“I haven’t ruled that out,” he said at the beginning of the answer, but added
at the end: “It’s not something we’re in the process of looking at.”
Richards has said his first choice was to stay in Dallas, but without an
owner, that seems unlikely.
“We have had talks with Brad throughout the year, and he’s not going to
sign with us unless we have the ownership situation resolved, and it doesn’t
look like that’s going to happen by the start of free agency,” GM Joe
Nieuwendyk told the Dallas Morning News.
“So we would like to see if we could get something for his rights and allow
another team to have a chance to sign him, but a lot of that is up to Brad
and his agent.”
Richards, however, has a no-movement clause. He waived it once before,
when he allowed himself to be traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
His agent, Pat Morris, said he may not allow it again.
“Accepting a move to another team creates an obligation, and you have to
be pretty sure about that obligation,” Morris told the Morning News. “I think
Brad has to do what’s best for himself and keep his options open.”
It wouldn’t be the first time an impending UFA was traded in the month
leading up to his free agency, but would be the first time one with a no-
movement clause was traded.
Mats Sundin famously wouldn’t allow himself to be traded by the Leafs to
Montreal on draft day in 2009 a deal that would have landed Toronto
Montreal’s first-round pick along with Mikhail Grabovski.
The pre-July 1 strategy worked in 2009 when the Calgary Flames traded
Jordan Leopold to Florida for the final few days of Jay Bouwmeester’s
contract, then used the exclusive bargaining window time to lock up the
defenceman to a long-term deal.
The strategy has its pitfalls. Last year, the Philadelphia Flyers traded
defenceman Ryan Parent to the Nashville Predators on June 19 last year
for the last two weeks of Dan Hamhuis’s contract. The Flyers and Hamhuis
couldn’t come to an agreement and Hamhuis signed with the Vancouver
Canucks as an unrestricted free agent.
Toronto Star LOADED: 06.04.2011
571304     Toronto Maple Leafs


Are the Leafs interested in the Brad Richards sweepstakes?


Kevin McGran


Could Brad Richards be a Toronto Maple Leaf sooner, rather than later?
A look through the list of impending unrestricted free agent centres with the
attributes GM Brian Burke is looking for puts Richards at the very top.
He’s only 31 and not just a proven winner, but a leader and a Conn Smyth
Trophy winner. He’s big and he can score. In short, he’s everything the
team has lacked in a No. 1 centre since Mats Sundin left the team in 2009.
And now, he’s available, sooner than anticipated.
The Dallas Stars — a team without an owner — announced they would try
to trade his rights before July 1 — essentially trying to get something for a
player they risk losing for nothing once July 1 rolls around.
It’s believed the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings
and the Maple Leafs — all big-market, big-money teams with holes to fill —
are all interested in the native of Prince Edward Island.
Richards earned $7.8 million last year. The front-runner is believed to be
the Rangers, given Richards’ history with coach John Tortorella. They won
a Cup together in Tampa in 2004.
Burke was tied up with the NHL scouting combine and could not be reached
for comment.
“We have had talks with Brad throughout the year, and he’s not going to
sign with us unless we have the ownership situation resolved, and it doesn’t
look like that’s going to happen by the start of free agency,” GM Joe
Nieuwendyk told the Dallas Morning News.
“So we would like to see if we could get something for his rights and allow
another team to have a chance to sign him, but a lot of that is up to Brad
and his agent.'”
Richards, however, has a no-movement clause. He waived it once before,
when he allowed himself to be traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
His agent, Pat Morris, said he may not allow it again.
“Accepting a move to another team creates an obligation, and you have to
be pretty sure about that obligation,” Morris told the Morning News. “I think
Brad has to do what’s best for himself and keep his options open.”
It wouldn’t be the first time an impending UFA was traded in the month
leading up to his free agency, but would be the first time one with a no-
movement clause was traded.
Mats Sundin famously wouldn’t allow himself to be traded by the Leafs to
Montreal on draft day in 2009, a deal that would have landed Toronto
Montreal’s first-round pick along with Mikhail Grabovski.
The pre-July 1 strategy worked in 2009 when the Calgary Flames traded
Jordan Leopold to Florida for the final few days of Jay Bouwmeester’s
contract, then used the exclusive bargaining window time to lock up the
defenceman to a long-term deal.
The strategy has its pitfalls. Last year, the Philadelphia Flyers traded
defenceman Ryan Parent to the Nashville Predators on June 19 last year
for the last two weeks of Dan Hamhuis’s contract. The Flyers and Hamhuis
couldn’t come to an agreement and Hamhuis signed with the Vancouver
Canucks as an unrestricted free agent.
Toronto Star LOADED: 06.04.2011
571305     Toronto Maple Leafs


Leafs scouts getting busy 0


By Rob Longley ,Toronto Sun


TORONTO - With three picks in the top 35 spots, the 2011 NHL Entry Draft
can’t begin soon enough for Maple Leafs head scout Dave Morrison.
He heads a department that didn’t have a first-round pick last year, after all,
and works for a boss who isn’t shy about making a big deal.
But before the draft, which takes place June 24-25 in St. Paul, Minn.,
Morrison and his staff have plenty of work to do. And that includes their own
version of this week’s NHL scouting combine which wraps up Saturday at
the Toronto Congress Centre.
Morrison said on Friday that the Leafs will work out 40 of the top 100
prospects already in town in a special session at the Mastercard Centre on
Sunday.
“We’ve got a bunch of kids coming for a quick follow-up for us,” Morrison
said as Friday’s physical testing was getting under way. “They will do a
quick medical and what we call a fitness assessment to augment what they
are doing here.
“There will be a lot of stretching and balance exercises. What we do is
something a little different just to help us to get a better picture.”
Led by the two first-round picks and a high second-rounder, the Leafs are
expected to not only get three players in the top 35 but 11 overall as it
stands now.
General manager Brian Burke could alter that if he’s able to make a trade
for a veteran in the days leading up to the draft, but Morrison and his staff
are expecting a busy and productive couple of days.
“I worked for Brian in Vancouver an I learned early on with him that you
have to be prepared for anything,” Morrison said. “We’ve put a couple of
different scenarios together.
“Brian has said it publicly: If we can (move up) to get somebody we want,
we will do it. But by the same token, if it’s not there and we don’t make a
deal we will be quite happy to pick with the picks that we have.”
With minimal expectation that the players selected will be in the lineup next
season, Morrison said the Leafs are unlikely to draft for immediate need.
“You have to take the best player because even though players are making
it quicker now than they did perhaps years ago, but normally it takes a guy
a few years to get there and by that time our needs may have changed,”
Morrison said.
“Our job really, is to get the best available NHL talent and then Brian and
management can use that for assets. You hope they play for your team but
at some point if they don’t the goal is to make your team better.”
So if Burke deals some of those high picks away for a proven player, will his
head scout be crushed?
“One hundred per cent no,” Morrison said. “It’s the big team that has to win.
If we can do something to make the big team better, I’m all for it.”
Toronto Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011
571306     Vancouver Canucks


Uncertainty about Malhotra, Hamhuis
Canucks coach shuffling with stacked deck


By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency


VANCOUVER - Given the number of injuries his Vancouver Canucks have
endured this season, Alain Vigneault has been forced to shuffle his deck
almost as much as the blackjack dealers at the nearby Edgewater Casino.
That's not about to change in the Stanley Cup final.
With question marks dangling over the heads of defenceman Dan Hamhuis
and forward Manny Malhotra, Vigneault's juggling act likely will extend into
Game 2 Saturday at Rogers Arena.
The Canucks have used 13 different defencemen dating back to the
beginning of the season, which makes their first place finish overall that
much more impressive.
Hamhuis did not practise Friday, so the consensus is he will not be in the
lineup Saturday against the Boston Bruins. That was not confirmed by the
tight-lipped Vigneault, who would say only that Hamhuis and Malhotra (eye)
are day to day.
If Hamhuis can't go, many observers figure Andrew Alberts will get the nod,
especially since he lined up alongside Christian Ehrhoff during Friday's
workout.
One aspect that Alberts brings to the table is familiarity with the Bruins,
having played for Boston from 2005 to 2008.
"There are only about four guys left from when I was there but I do know
some of the tendencies of the guys who are left," Alberts said.
Should he get the call, Alberts might be used to clear out any Bruins who
might be loitering in front of the Vancouver net. At 6-foot-5, he could handle
most of the players on the Boston roster.
Except for 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara, that is.
Bruins coach Claude Julien has been putting Chara in front of the opposing
net on the power play in an attempt to create chaos for the opposing
goaltender. For Alberts, trying to move his former teammate out of goalie
Roberto Luongo's way might be futile.
"He's too big," Alberts said with a laugh. "You either have to block the shots
coming through or tie up his stick. But once he claims his spot, he's there to
stay."
Meanwhile, there is as much uncertainty about Malhotra as there is about
Hamhuis.
Having been out since mid-March with an injured left eye, Malhotra
appeared eager to return for Game 1. But an apparent setback left him
sitting in the press box for the Canucks' 1-0 victory, leaving Canucks fans to
wonder if he had played his final game of 2010-11.
Now the door for his potential comeback appears open again, especially
after he returned to the ice Friday from a three-day absence.
But before Canucks fans start pencilling Malhotra's name into the lineup,
know this: His left eye appeared to be much more closed on Friday than it
was six days ago.
"I'll see how I feel after our morning skate and we'll make a decision at that
point," Malhotra said. "From one day to the next, things have changed. I
didn't feel proper to go on the ice so I took a couple of days off.
"I obviously don't want this to be a sideshow, We always talk about (it) in
our dressing room ... the whole is much greater than the individuals."
If Malhotra and/or Hamhuis are not able to play, Vigneault won't panic. Far
from it. When you've shuffled the deck as much as he has this season,
lineup juggling is just a part of everyday life
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011
571307      Vancouver Canucks


Bieksa faces tall task in Chara


By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency


VANCOUVER - Defenceman Kevin Bieksa is used to having his hands full
in front of the Vancouver Canucks net.
Battling with 6-foot-9 Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara in front when
the B's are on the power play takes it to new heights.
"A lot of the guys are taking runs at him, trying to check out the big guy, see
what he's made out of," Bieksa said. "It's fun to play against him. We're
going to play hard against everybody. When you're playing against the
biggest and the strongest guy in the league, you want to test yourself.
We're going to be physical every chance we get."
"Obviously, it's a little bit different from being on the point. But I think the
main purpose of the whole thing is the same: You have to be willing to do
whatever it takes," Chara said. "All five guys have to do their jobs on the
power play to be successful."
With the Bruins power play just 5-for-67 in the playoffs (0-for-6 in Game 1),
Boston coach Claude Julien put Chara in front of the opposition net during
the Eastern Conference final to screen the opposition goaltender.
Bieksa said there are certain qualities a player needs to be effective in front
of the net like Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom, recognized as
one of the best around the blue paint.
"The guys who want to be there in front. Some guys are standing there just
to be there because they're told to and there's other guys who want to be
there," Bieksa said. "A guy like Holmstrom wants to be there. You're not
going to move him and he's got a great stick for tipping shots. When a guy
has a really good stick in front, you really have to respect him.
"It's definitely an art."
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011
571308     Vancouver Canucks


Bieksa suddenly blooming


By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency


VANCOUVER - Kevin Bieksa has gone from fringe prospect to the linchpin
of the Vancouver Canucks defence corps.
When asked how far his game has come since making his professional
debut with the Manitoba Moose in the spring of 2004, Bieksa could only
chuckle
"It has improved obviously," said Bieksa, who has five goals and nine points
in 19 Stanley Cup playoff games heading into Game 2 of the final Saturday
at Rogers Arena. "It has been seven years. I've kind of taken the approach
that I want to get better every year and I've learned from a lot of the great
players I've played with. I understand the game a lot better than I did before
and it's just part of growing up."
When he rolled into Winnipeg after completing his college career at Bowling
Green University, little was known about Bieksa and he wasn't even
registering on the Vancouver Canucks radar screen.
But the Moose were struggling and Bieksa got an audition and made the
most of it.
Fast forward to 2011 and Bieksa plays on the Canucks' top pairing and is
just three wins away from sipping out of the Stanley Cup.
Sharing the experience with guys he learned the ropes with in the minors --
such as Ryan Kesler and Alexandre Burrows -- has heightened the
experience.
"It's special for sure to get to this point," said Bieksa, a fifth-round pick
(151st overall) in the 2001 NHL entry draft by the Canucks. "To start in the
organization from the bottom and work your way up and to do it with two
guys the whole way, it's extra special. We're obviously pretty close friends."
It's funny how things work out.
Many had Bieksa on the trading block this season, but coach Alain
Vigneault instead made him an alternate captain and the Grimsby, Ont.,
product flourished on a pairing with Dan Hamhuis.
Now Bieksa figures to be one of the hottest commodities among
defencemen on the free-agent market on July 1 -- provided the Canucks
don't get him signed to an extension after the final.
"I had a couple of good years early in my career and it took some time to
get back (to that level)," Bieksa said. "I really had to start thinking the game
more. At the beginning of my career, like most people, you rely on your
physical ability -- your skill, your strength and all that stuff. If you have that
and you're thinking the game, you can be that much better."
Two veterans also helped Bieksa take the next step in his progression.
"Willie Mitchell was a big help for me," said Bieksa, who will turn 30 June
16. "He was my partner for two years and we talked a lot. He's a student of
the game and helped me with body position, where to have your stick, how
to bait guys into going where you want to. And watching Mattias Ohlund,
too.
"You take in everything like a sponge early in your career and you try to get
better. That's what I did."
Vigneault talked Friday about the evolution of Bieksa's game.
"His intentions are so good and he's so competitive, that sometimes he gets
a little ahead of himself," Vigneault said. "Sometimes when you try to do a
little bit too much and instead of it working out well, sometimes it turns out
the other way. All year long, he hasn't chased the game. He has read the
play well, offensively and defensively and with his competitive nature,
you've seen what the end results are.
"He has been one of the best defencemen throughout the playoffs and the
regular season."
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011
571309     Vancouver Canucks                                                       "It's the Stanley Cup final, so as long as you get a to be a part of it, it's a
                                                                                   pretty special experience," Bolduc said. "We're just happy to contribute, one
                                                                                   minute, two minutes. As long as we're dressed, and we're playing, we're
Lots of sitting for Canucks' checkout line                                         happy no matter what they need from us.
                                                                                   "I don't mind being a grocery stick on the best team in the league."

By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency                                                     Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011



VANCOUVER - End of the bench or "grocery stick?"
It's the decision seldom-used fourth-liners, or guys who have been
benched, have to make.
It's a decision the fourth-liners for the Vancouver Canucks had to make in
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final and, given the benefits of the schedule,
likely will have to make again for Game 2.
Grocery stick applies to the guy who settles in to that spot on the bench
right between the defencemen and the forwards. The players come and go
on either side of the guy and he doesn't have to move. He divides the two
groups, like a grocery stick on the conveyor belt at the supermarket. It's a
taunt some players use.
"I've heard it here and there. We try not to get too familiar with it," Canucks
forward Jeff Tambellini said with a laugh.
He played just four shifts in Game 1.
"It is funny," Tambellini said. "I heard that first from one of our tough guys a
couple of years back. He didn't play a shift. Had him on the bench. He didn't
touch the ice. He sat right in the middle the whole game. I like to move
around, get up, get going. Some guys just plant themselves."
Tambellini, Andre Bolduc (three shifts, one minute 39 seconds) and Victor
Oreskovich (four shifts, 1:54) hardly played in Game 1. Vancouver coach
Alain Vigneault, benefiting from eight days off from the end of the Western
Conference final to the Cup final, knew his big horses would be fresh and
opted to play them a lot. Forward Daniel Sedin played 23:01, up almost
three minutes over his playoff average. Centre Ryan Kesler was at 24:23,
up more than a minute from his playoff average of 23:15.
That meant the fourth line sat. With two days off between Games 1 and 2,
it's likely Vigneault will have the luxury of going with three lines again in
Game 2, which is a big advantage when you have high-end talent at your
disposal like he does.
The Boston Bruins have been at their best when they have had the chance
to play a lot of 5-on-5 and roll four lines, so the schedule would appear to
be a bigger benefit for the Canucks. The best-of-seven final will settle into
the every-second-day mode for Games 3 and 4 in Boston Monday and
Wednesday.
"Our fourth line hadn't played very much in the round against San Jose and
in the first game," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said Friday.
"In the first game, I think it's mostly (because) we had been off for eight
days. I knew our guys were real fresh. I just played them. The fact that we
had three other days in between that first game (and Game 2) enabled me
to play them a lot.
"I think as we move forward here, we're probably going to play a little bit
more four lines, maybe not to the extreme we did during the regular season,
but I would like to get that line out there a little bit more."
Boston coach Claude Julien used all 18 of his skaters in Game 1. Daniel
Paille was the least used with nine shifts and 5:15 of ice time. Next was
rookie Tyler Seguin with 11 shifts and 6:21.
The longer the series goes, being able to use fourth lines becomes a bigger
advantage. When the prospect of overtime loomed in Game 1, Julien even
started working some of his depth guys into the rotation so his bigger guns
could be fresh.
The Bruins would like to see the likes of the Sedins continue to be used a
lot, all the better to have Bruins defencemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis
Seidenberg wear them down.
In the meantime, the Canucks dusters will bide their time and pick their
spots.
As for Bolduc, he is an end-of-the-bench guy.
571310     Vancouver Canucks                                                       Birthplace: Nesbitt, Man.
                                                                                   Age: 27
Rome ready for increased role                                                      Height: 6-foot-1
                                                                                   Weight: 218 pounds
By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency                                                           Position: Defence
                                                                                   Chosen by Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round (104th overall) of the
                                                                                   2002 entry draft
VANCOUVER - All signs point to Aaron Rome taking on a larger role in the
second game of the Stanley Cup final.                                              Career NHL stats: 131GP, 2G, 10A, 12P, 110PIM
Although coach Alain Vigneault said Dan Hamhuis (leg) was "day-to-day"             2010-11 stats: 56GP, 1G, 4A, 5P, 53 PIM
and told the media not to put any stock in the line combinations or defence
pairings the Vancouver Canucks used Friday during their skate at the               2011 Stanley Cup playoffs: 12GP, 1G, 0A, 1P, 18 PIM
University of British Columbia, it's looks like Rome will be paired with Kevin     Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011
Bieksa for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final against the Boston Bruins.
That would mean more minutes for Rome and a large dose of the Bruins'
top trio of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton.
"Obviously, you want to play the most minutes you can. It's exciting," said
Rome, a 27-year-old who is in his second season with the Canucks.
"Injuries are part of the game, it gives opportunities to other guys. It's tough
to see a guy like Dan go down, he's such a good player, a good person and
a big part of our team. But we've done a good job of filling those holes all
year.
"We have so many interchangeable parts on this team. Guys step in and it's
like we don't miss a beat. Our guys have a lot of confidence in the six to
eight D we have playing on a regular basis and even some of the callups
that have been playing with us this year."
Rome hails from the tiny farming community of Nesbitt, Man., and he's
proud of his small-town roots.
"My parents have a 1,000-acre grain farm, but my dad has rented it out for
the last eight to 10 years," said Rome, who played minor hockey in Souris
and still spends his summers in Brandon. "They still live on the farm."
Over the years, Rome has played for a pretend Stanley Cup on the outdoor
rinks but actually living his childhood dream has been everything he
imagined -- and then some.
"It's crazy. Sometimes you have to pinch yourself," Rome said. "You can't
believe that you're here. There were tons of nerves, but I didn't have as
many as I thought I would. It was like Christmas before the first game,
because we had to wait -- you were counting down the sleeps to the first
game.
"It kind of took you back to your childhood. I was focused on the first shift,
getting involved and then letting my instincts take care of the rest."
It has been an up-and-down season for Rome, who started off as the odd-
man out, worked his way into the rotation and held down a variety of roles --
even during these playoffs.
"Getting a chance to play more as the season progressed has been
awesome," he said. "At the start of the playoffs, I played one game against
Chicago at forward, and then playing right off the bat in the second series
against Nashville and working my way in, it has been a lot of fun. It helps
you savour it more and enjoy it more because you worked a little bit harder
to get to this position."
To be blunt, Rome has earned the additional ice time.
"He has been one of our most consistent Ds as far as reads, moving the
pucks, (making) high percentage plays within his limits and he's a good
physical presence out there," Vigneault said. "When the opportunity is there
to play the man, he does and we're really happy with how he has played."
Bieksa and Rome were paired together earlier this season when Hamhuis
was out with a concussion.
"There will be no problem if that's the case," Bieksa said. "They are different
players, obviously. Aaron is pretty predictable with what he's going to do out
there. Very steady, good defensively and he's good when he has to be.
We'll talk a lot, communicate and we should be fine."
---
Aaron Rome
571311     Vancouver Canucks


Burrows bit off more than he could chew


By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency


VANCOUVER - Alex Burrows has chatted to NHL disciplinarians on a
regular basis over the years, so much so that he probably has their
numbers on speed dial.
We're not suggesting that Burrows should be lumped in with the likes of
league bad boys Sean Avery and Matt Cooke. Indeed, in a lot of ways, the
Vancouver Canucks first-line winger has cleaned up his act.
But when he does display an emotional hiccup such as his biting incident
involving the Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup
final, it usually means a subsequent conversation with the likes of NHL
senior vice-president Mike Murphy.
"I've had a few calls with the league over the years," Burrows said Friday,
speaking for the first time since NHL officials decided not to deliver any
supplemental discipline for his part in Bite-Gate.
"They've always been great. I really respect those people. They have a
tough job. They have tough decisions to make."
Burrows and Murphy spoke Thursday.
"At the end of the day, (Murphy) did a good job," Burrows said. "I respect
his decision. He was great. That's all I can say about it."
Burrows apparently left teeth marks in one of Bergeron's gloves during a
first-period scrum Wednesday.
While Burrows and the Canucks are putting the biting episode them, that
doesn't mean there are not significant issues facing the forward heading
into Game 2 on Saturday.
At the top of Burrows' "to-do" list: Stay out of the penalty box, a place
Burrows ended up on a regular basis in the Canucks' 1-0 victory in the
opener.
Burrows was slapped with four minors, including one for getting tangled
with Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. Burrows appeared to be nudged into
Thomas, who was out of his crease.
"I haven't had any (clarification) so far," Burrows said. "I will probably get it
later.
"At the same time I've got to be aware of where I am around the net. I've
got to make sure I can't bump the goalie. That's his ice if he's already there.
"I have to be smarter and make sure I don't put my team down a man."
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011
571312     Vancouver Canucks                                                       Because here’s the big secret: Alex Burrows, the man who saved their
                                                                                   season with both goals in Game 7 against Chicago, is one hell of a hockey
                                                                                   player. His teammates, and his coaches, know it.
Alex Burrows Canucks’ fearless foil to Sedins, for opponents                       “You talk about perseverance, hanging in there, finding a way to get
Remarkable story of how a minor leaguer scrapped, skilled his way onto top         yourself to be a player,” said Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. “He’s a
line of No. 1 NHL team                                                             very big part of our team. He's done that through hard work. He gets the
                                                                                   game. He understands what you need to do out there.”
                                                                                   What you need to do out there, often, isn’t pretty. Some of it isn’t very
By Cam Cole                                                                        subtle, either. But some of it is. And that’s the most amazing part of Alex
                                                                                   Burrows’s game: that a guy with his background could think his way onto
                                                                                   the line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin — who “communicate like dolphins,”
                                                                                   as he put it — and figure out how to complement them better than anyone
VANCOUVER — Love him (Vancouver does) or hate him (most everyone
                                                                                   ever has.
else outside of Pincourt, Que.), Alex Burrows has made himself into one of
the National Hockey League’s most interesting stories.                             He plays the way they play, with half their skill.
Not irresistible, mind you. Just interesting.                                      When he talked about it the other day, you could see how much was
                                                                                   instinct, and how much was observation and intelligence.
The 30-year-old winger’s list of transgressions amounts to a sort of Claude
Lemieux starter kit, and those who point out that his most heinous crimes —        “I think it was more when I watched them play before getting matched with
hair pulling and biting — leave him just one scratching incident short of a        them,” Burrows said. “I watched them play three or four years with different
catfight have solid, if legally inconclusive, evidence on their side.              linemates, from Trevor [Linden] to Matt Cooke to Taylor Pyatt to Anson
                                                                                   Carter — even previous to that when I wasn’t on the team, they played with
Oh, and there’s the Stephane Auger accusation, too; Burrows’s 2010
                                                                                   Jason King and Trent Klatt.
allegation that the referee told him before a game that he was going to get
him, and in the end called the penalty on him that cost the Canucks a              “I remember at the time I was playing with Kes, and we had some success
game. You don’t hear that uttered every day, out loud.                             at shutting down lines as a third line, more of a grinding style of game, and
                                                                                   when they split us up, Kes went with Mats [Sundin] and Demo [Pavol
So he will never win the Lady Byng Trophy, or be guest of honour at the
                                                                                   Demitra], and I went with the twins.
annual Referees’ Benevolent and Protective Society gala. And maybe,
because of all that — the sneaky little plays, the chirping, the play-acting —     “Obviously, I knew playing with them you’re going to get points. But the
he’s never going to be able to separate himself from the downside long             biggest thing was I needed to keep working hard, get on the forecheck, get
enough to be recognized for the player he has become.                              them the puck as much as I can, go to the net and bring a checker with me,
                                                                                   and create a little bit of space for them.
Undoubtedly, he is one of the reasons the Canucks are, shall we say, less
than universally beloved among their hockey peers, as you might deduce             “There’s only one puck on the ice, and it’s all about the law of averages. If
from Chicago forward Dave Bolland’s post-Game 1 bashing of Burrows                 they get the puck 20 times a game when they have space, with time to
(“Typical: pulling hair and biting people. Sort of like a little girl”) and        settle the puck down where they can make those plays that nobody else in
Edmonton defenceman Ryan Whitney’s take on the Canucks’ run (“This                 the league can make, saucer passes all over the ice, they’re going to create
team is so easy to hate, it’s unbelievable. I’d say 90 per cent of he guys in      chances.”
the league want nothing to do with seeing them win. There’s no doubt their
team is pretty amazing, but just who makes up that team makes them so              Burrows, if he cared enough to get his critics to look past the mayhem that
tough to like, it’s frustrating to see them do this well.”)                        follows him around, can be pretty spectacular himself. He just doesn’t.

The thing is, the sports world has always had room for all kinds, even             If the Canucks aren’t Canada’s team, he said, he can live with that.
villains.
                                                                                   “We want to win for my teammates, the organization and the fans,” he said.
And if that is the role for which Alex Burrows is cast — or has cast himself       “What happens outside doesn’t really impact my preparation or how I feel if
— he’s quite okay with it. He plays the game, on the ice and with the media,       I win the Cup or if I don’t. Obviously, I’d like to bring the Stanley Cup to
with a twinkle in his eye. He’s having a ball playing at a level he must have      Canada because I’m Canadian ... but at the same time I don’t really care a
long thought was out of reach.                                                     whole lot about what people in Calgary or Edmonton or Quebec think.”

He has dragged himself up, through hard work and relentless, cussed                Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011
peskiness, from ball hockey and the depths of the East Coast Hockey
League, to be the needed foil to the Sedin twins on the No. 1 line on the No.
1 team in the NHL.
Chowing down on Patrice Bergeron’s glove at the end of the first period of
the Stanley Cup final opener Wednesday, with the Boston Bruin centre’s
index finger still in it, may not have been to everyone’s taste, but thanks to
the Canucks’ penalty killers, it didn’t cost a thing. He doesn’t seem to have
lost any sleep over the criticism he has faced the last couple of days.
“They've been great actually,” Burrows said Friday. “It's the Stanley Cup
finals. I've been working all my life to be in this position. Obviously with the
last incident, the league's made a decision. I've moved on.”
If he ever had uncertainty about whether he’d be suspended for The Bite,
he wasn’t showing it.
“Well, I've had a few calls with the league over the years,” he said,
deadpan. “I really respect those people. They have tough decisions to
make. At the end of the day [senior VP Mike Murphy] did a good job. He
was great. That's all I can say about it.”
What Burrows provides on the flip side of his occasional scrape with the law
is valuable, and widely overlooked, and the Canucks will take it the same
way they’ll accept Raffi Torres playing “a little outside the box” in return for
the energy and fear factor his big hits create.
571313     Vancouver Canucks                                                        “He has been such a huge part of our team all year, one of the main
                                                                                    reasons why we're here and why we got in the playoffs and why we won the
                                                                                    Presidents' Trophy,” Canuck defenceman Kevin Bieksa said. “For him not to
Manny Malhotra should be back with Canucks in Game 2                                be able to participate … it hurts you a lot. But it looks like he might have the
                                                                                    opportunity to play.”
Injured faceoff ace back practising Friday with the team
                                                                                    Winger Raffi Torres, who has known Malhotra since their minor hockey
                                                                                    days in Greater Toronto, said: “It's amazing to see his recovery and the
                                                                                    positive influence he's had on us all through the playoffs. And now to
By Iain MacIntyre                                                                   maybe play in these finals is incredible.”
                                                                                    Malhotra's presence around Canuck players has been so regular and the
                                                                                    trajectory of his recovery so encouraging,, that his appearance in the lineup
VANCOUVER — It is a game of emotions. Hockey is not much good
                                                                                    has became inevitable. But no one thought this possible after his surgery in
without them.
                                                                                    New York when Malhotra called a team meeting and told players he was
When the Vancouver Canucks leap on to the ice late Saturday afternoon for           done for the year and they'd have to win the Stanley Cup without him.
the second game of the Stanley Cup final, and U2's music blares and
                                                                                    “It was one of those moments when it's really somber in the dressing room,
towels wave and pulses race amid the thunder of this moment, chances are
                                                                                    and the fact it was a guy like Manny made it extra tough,” Bieksa recalled.
no one will have as many emotions coursing through him as Manny
                                                                                    “After that talk, I don't think anyone expected him to be back here skating
Malhotra.
                                                                                    with us, let alone playing. So obviously, we're really happy for him.”
On March 16, a puck ricocheted into his left eye socket and Malhotra feared
                                                                                    “It was very emotional,” defenceman Keith Ballard said. “I can't imagine the
he might never see clearly again. Two weeks later, he underwent major
                                                                                    mental struggle it has been for him every day. To have him on the ice, it's
surgery in New York and few days after that had the courage to tell National
                                                                                    so exciting. You could see it the first day he came out with us in a track suit.
Hockey League teammates, some in tears, that he wouldn't play hockey
                                                                                    Imagine what it means … if he gets the chance to play. I can only imagine
again this season. And that there were no guarantees for the next one.
                                                                                    how much that would mean to him.”
Malhotra has been with his teammates all along. But come Saturday, he
                                                                                    Hopefully, Malhotra will tell us Saturday.
should be one of them again.
                                                                                    Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011
The 31-year-old centre, who helped recast the Canucks' identity with his
leadership and professional ideals, was expected after Friday's practice to
return from his devastating injury Saturday against the Boston Bruins.
Malhotra is day-to-day. How sick are you of hearing that?
But it's one of the truest things said by Canucks coach Alain Vigneault,
whose statement last Saturday that Malhotra was cleared to play was later
contradicted by general manager Mike Gillis.
Saturday could be different than Friday for Malhotra.
But if he doesn't play Game 2, he should still play soon.
It is merely timing and conditioning that are his issues now, not his eyesight
— even after the mystery “procedure” he had Tuesday blew up into
something worse in rumours and speculation that filled the information
vacuum needlessly created by the Canucks.
Malhotra is back. And that is amazing.
“I realize the severity of the injury,” Malhotra, his eye looking puffier than it
did a week ago, told reporters at UBC when asked about the chance to
participate in the Stanley Cup final. “I realize the intensity of the moment
and realize the intensity of play has picked up since I last played. [But] this
is not me wanting to have a sentimental shift out there and be a part of it all.
It's the fact I feel that I could contribute something to the team.”
What Malhotra can contribute is faceoff dominance and penalty killing and
more fourth-line minutes than anyone else has lately for the Canucks, who
used three lines in Wednesday's 1-0 Stanley-Cup-opening win.
But he'll also offer experience and guile, hopefully poise and maybe even
further inspiration to a team that is only three wins away from Vancouver's
first Stanley Cup since 1915.
Malhotra practised Friday mainly with Victor Oreskovich and Jeff Tambellini.
Cody Hodgson, the Canucks' most regular fourth-line centre in the playoffs,
didn't even get to sit at the grownups' table. He skated with the Manitoba
Moose extras.
“I'll see how I feel after the morning skate and we'll make a decision,”
Malhotra said. “I didn't want this to be a sideshow. We always talk about in
our dressing room that the whole is much greater than the individuals. We
have a very strong focus in the room. It's where it needs to be and I don't
want anything to sidetrack that.”
He needn't have worried. The story became a sideshow at times, anyway,
partly because nature abhors a vacuum.
But it never came close to derailing the Canucks. They are too strong for
that.
571314     Vancouver Canucks                                                      Lucic, who led Boston with 30 goals in the regular season, acknowledged
                                                                                  he and his linemates are under pressure to produce.
                                                                                  "Yeah, obviously I had a breakout year scoring as much as I did with 30
Bruins in catch-up mode vs. Canucks, but used to it                               goals and leading the team in points," Lucic said. "You know, coming into
Being down in a series nothing new for Boston in these Stanley Cup                the playoffs, obviously you want production. You want to step up and get
playoffs                                                                          big goals and make big plays.
                                                                                  "But also in my game, in my role, I bring a lot of other elements to our line
                                                                                  and to the team. I think that's what makes our line so productive, is that
By Brad Ziemer                                                                    we're just not all about scoring; we can go out there and maybe create
                                                                                  momentum off hits and having a strong forecheck, doing other things like
                                                                                  that."
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks have not trailed in a series in                 The Bruins seem concerned with the Canucks' speed and need to try and
these playoffs, but playing from behind is nothing new for the Boston             find a way to slow the game down.
Bruins.
                                                                                  "The neutral zone, we weren't getting pucks deep," Bergeron said. "That's
The Bruins opened the playoffs by dropping the first two games of their first-    what was giving them, I guess, the speed that they want, the counter-attack
round series with the Montreal Canadiens at home before rallying to win in        that they wanted. We're going to need a better job, especially in the neutral
seven games. Following a second-round sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers,           zone, at putting pucks deep and having a better forecheck."
the Bruins opened the Eastern Conference final by losing Game 1 at home
to Tampa Bay before finishing off the Lightning in seven games.                   The Canucks also see some room for improvement in their game. They
                                                                                  were especially disappointed with their power play, which has been so good
So if the Canucks think the Bruins are in panic mode following Wednesday          in the playoffs. It went 0-for-6 in Game 1.
night's 1-0 loss in the opener of the Stanley Cup final, they are sadly
mistaken.                                                                         "I think overall we can be better," Bieksa said. "We won the game 1-0, we're
                                                                                  happy with the win, but I think there is definitely areas we can be better at.
The Bruins have been there, done that.                                            The power play can be a little cleaner.
"You know, like everybody else knows, in the playoffs a win is a win, a loss      "But it's tough to get shots through in the playoffs, everybody is blocking
is a loss," Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara said Friday after both teams            shots. You've got the goalie and four guys in front of him. You need
practised at UBC. "You have to regroup after each game. Can't be getting          movement, you need to create open lanes and we didn't do enough of that
too high or too low. You lose a game, you have to move on, get ready for          in the first game."
the next one. You know, it's just one of those things. You have to kind of
park it and move on."                                                             Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011

The best-of-seven series resumes at 5 p.m. Saturday at Rogers Arena
(CBC, Team 1040).
Still, the law of averages certainly suggest the Bruins need to win Game 2.
Teams that have fallen down 2-0 in best-of-seven Stanley Cup finals have a
record of 4-42.
"Obviously, we want to get back in this series," said Boston centre Patrice
Bergeron. "It's very important. We approach the next game always as the
most important one. Now it's about Game 2. It's the biggest game right now
of the series. It's always like that."


The Bruins outshot Vancouver 36-34 in Game 1, but conceded that stat is a
little misleading. The Bruins acknowledge the quality of their shots simply
wasn't good enough. Too many came from the outside and the Bruins hope
for more offensive zone time and more traffic in front of Vancouver goalie
Roberto Luongo in Game 2.
"We managed 36 shots on net," said Boston coach Claude Julien. "That's
just a number. The scoring chances are what you have to look at. I think we
can be better in regards to that."
The Bruins are in search of goals. They have managed only one in their last
two games.
Boston desperately needs production from its top line of Nathan Horton,
David Krejci and former Vancouver Giant Milan Lucic. That trio likes to
dump pucks in and bang the opposition defence, but in Wednesday night's
series opener the Canucks did a good job of getting the puck out of their
zone quickly.
"We are just trying to move the puck out of our zone as quick as possible,"
said Vancouver defenceman Kevin Bieksa. "We know they want to get the
puck down low and crash and bang. For us, if we can get back there first
and make that first pass, it eliminates that whole area of their game."
Bieksa may have to do that Saturday without regular shutdown defensive
partner Dan Hamhuis, who was hurt Wednesday night and did not practise
on Friday. Bieksa skated with Aaron Rome in Friday's practice.
"They are different players," Bieska said of Hamhuis and Rome. "There are
some similarities. I think Aaron is pretty predictable with what he is going to
do out there. He's very steady, good defensively, he's physical when he has
to be. We'll talk a lot out there, we'll communicate. We'll be fine."
571315     Vancouver Canucks


Manny whammy: Malhotra back practising with Canucks today


By Brad Ziemer


VANCOUVER — The Manny Malhotra saga took another twist as the
Vancouver Canuck centre practised with the team today at UBC.
Malhotra hadn't skated since Monday but returned today and took most of
the reps at fourth-line centre, indicating there is a chance he could actually
play Saturday in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston
Bruins (5 p.m., CBC, Team 1040).
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault continues to describe Malhotra's status as
"day to day."
Malhotra suffered what was announced as a season-ending injury March 16
when he took a deflected puck in the left eye. He practised full out with the
team last Friday, Saturday and again Monday, and both he and the
Canucks said Saturday he was medically cleared to play, raising hopes that
he might be in the lineup for Game 1.
But when he didn't skate on Tuesday those hopes were dashed.
Meanwhile, it looks like Andrew Alberts, not Keith Ballard, will play on
Saturday if defenceman Dan Hamhuis can't play. Hamhuis, who was injured
when he hip-checked Boston winger Milan Lucic early in the second period
of Game 1, did not practise today and the team has made no comment on
his injury.
Alberts practised today alongside Christian Ehrhoff. The other two
defensive pairings were Aaron Rome with Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo with
Alex Edler. Ballard and rookie Chris Tanev skated as the extra pair.
Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571316     Vancouver Canucks                                                       playing at his best when he got pucks behind their D’s, played a real
                                                                                   physical game. Made it real hard on the other team’s D. That’s what we
                                                                                   expect him to do here.”
Canucks’ Victor Oreskovich is once again enjoying hockey                           Oreskovich and the fourth line aren’t getting many minutes. He played only
                                                                                   four shifts and saw just 1:56 of ice time in Game 1.

By Brad Ziemer                                                                     But he’s not complaining. He’s back playing the game he loves again and
                                                                                   competing for the Stanley Cup. Sometimes he has to pinch himself.
                                                                                   “We need three wins here,” he says. “I can’t imagine what it’s going to feel
VANCOUVER — When Victor Oreskovich decided to embrace hockey                       like if we pull this off. I am very excited, the energy in the city is crazy. It’s a
again a couple of years ago, the sport didn’t exactly hug him back.                lot of fun to be a part of this.”

Far from it.                                                                       Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011

Many teams didn’t want anything to do with a young man who had been
drafted in the second round and then walked away from the game.
“There was that perception of me that was like, ‘What’s wrong with this kid,
he’s a quitter,’ ” the Vancouver Canucks winger said Friday. “But I guess in
a sense I was and I don’t blame teams for not wanting me or not being
interested in having me at camp.”
But Oreskovich wouldn’t change a thing in his strange, circuitous route to
the Stanley Cup final.
“Stepping away from the game allowed me to gain an appreciation for it,” he
says. “For a while there I really wasn’t enjoying playing. It’s a game, it’s the
best game on Earth and I wasn’t taking it for that. Stepping away allowed
me to get my priorities straight and gain that appreciation back.”
He’s never appreciated it more than right now.
“It just makes it feel so surreal, that feeling of being here in the Stanley Cup
final, coming from a place where I wasn’t even playing hockey,” he says. “I
don’t think anyone, including myself, ever would have expected this. So it’s
an honour to be here and every day I have to be very thankful.”
Oreskovich looked like he was destined to be a NHLer when the Colorado
Avalanche selected him late in the second round of the 2004 draft. The
native of Whitby, Ont., accepted a scholarship to Notre Dame University in
Indiana and played two years of college hockey before leaving school to
play major junior in the Ontario Hockey League.
But after a season and a half with the Kitchener Rangers, Oreskovich was
tired of the game and felt he had to get away. In the fall of 2007 he returned
to Notre Dame, this time without a scholarship, to continue working on a
finance degree he had started when he was playing hockey for the Fighting
Irish. This time, he didn’t go near the rink.
“I didn’t skate, didn’t touch my gear, nothing, for about 18 months,” he says.
“And I decided to come back.”
That was early in 2009.
“I can still remember the first time I stepped on the ice,” he says. “My dad
was there and he was the guy who pushed me my whole life and was
instrumental in my hockey career. It was kind of fitting that he was out
there, but I just remember it actually came back a lot quicker than I thought
it would.”
Getting his game back was one thing, getting a team to take him back quite
another. He and agent Pat Morris figured the Florida Panthers might be a fit
as they were being coached by Peter DeBoer, who had coached
Oreskovich in Kitchener.
He got a tryout and after a short time in the minors was called up by the
Panthers. Oreskovich played 50 games for them in the 2009-10 season.
“Pete gave me a great opportunity, I had a good camp and things worked
out tremendously well,” he said. “Really, I can’t thank Pete enough.”
Oreskovich, 24, became a Canuck in the draft-day deal last summer when
the Canucks acquired he and defenceman Keith Ballard from the Panthers
in exchange for Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and a first-round pick.
He spent more time with the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose
this season than the Canucks. He played only 16 regular-season games
with the Canucks, but has already appeared in 13 of Vancouver’s 19 playoff
games. Coach Alain Vigneault likes the speed and size the 6-3, 220-pound
Oreskovich brings to the team’s fourth line.
“What he brings is the speed element,” Vigneault said. “He’s a natural right-
winger. He’s got size. I think in the Chicago series, you saw Victor probably
571317     Vancouver Canucks


Alberts in on Canucks’ blue line for Hamhuis? It's a good bet, says Ehrhoff


By Elliott Pap


VANCOUVER — It was a highly unusual move for the playoffs, especially
this year with the Vancouver Canucks guarding their injuries and lineup
intentions as if they were vital to world peace.
Then it happened. Christian Ehrhoff, who plays defence for the Canucks,
actually admitted post-practice Friday that the team would have “another
guy coming in” for Saturday’s Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final (5 p.m.,
CBC, Team 1040) because fellow defenceman Dan Hamhuis would be out.
He went even further to say that, yeah, he thought that guy coming in would
be Andrew Alberts.
It was a tell-tale comment and one that hopefully doesn't get his knuckles
wrapped by the boss. Only minutes earlier, head coach Alain Vigneault,
who is the boss, told an assembly of sports journalists that Hamhuis was
day-to-day and that he (Vigneault) had no intention of disclosing who might
play in Hamhuis's absence — if Hamhuis was indeed absent.
“Even if I had decided, I wouldn't tell you,” said Coach Vee. “Don't put
anything into the lines or the defensive pairs you saw today.”
Well, why not? The Canucks usually play the way they practise and Alberts
was paired Friday with Ehrhoff, Aaron Rome was in Hamhuis's spot
alongside Kevin Bieksa and Alex Edler remained with Sami Salo. A fourth
pairing of Keith Ballard and Chris Tanev looked suspiciously like extras.
“It looked the same to me as it looked to you guys,” Ehrhoff smiled when
asked if he expected Alberts to be by his side in Game 2 against the Boston
Bruins. “So, yeah, that's what I think at this point. We skated together in the
practice and I think that's how we're going to start out.
“I'm not concerned about him being rusty,” added the German. “When you
have a chance to play in the Stanley Cup final, you're going to be ready to
play, no matter how long it's been since you stepped on the ice. Obviously
I'll try to help him early in the game and try to get him in the game as quickly
as possible.”
Alberts last played in Game 3 of the Nashville series on May 3. He's
dressed only three times during the Canucks' playoff run and averaged
11:21 of ice. He's also been down this road before — in Game 4 against
San Jose — when it was expected he'd suit up after both Ehrhoff and Rome
went down thanks to big hits from Shark forward Jamie (I Finish My
Checks) McGinn. Instead, Vigneault went with Ballard and Tanev.
“It was disappointing, but we got the 'W' so I was happy about that,” Alberts
said Friday. “I'm not sure of Dan's status. I haven't been told I'm playing for
sure. I practised with Hoffer so we'll see what happens. I hope I'm playing
and I think am. It's nice to finally get a shot here, hopefully.”
Alberts admitted it hasn't been easy playing spectator when everyone else
was playing games. He turns 30 on June 30, so this isn't about apprenticing
anymore.
“It's never easy to sit out, but as long as the team is winning, I'm happy for
them,” Alberts explained. “You try to do what you can in practice to help
guys out on and off the ice. You want to bring a positive influence. If you're
being negative, you're just going to bring the guys down and we don't want
that in our locker room.”
One reason Alberts has played so little has been the emergence of Rome.
The latter was long thought to be No. 8 on the depth chart — assuming full
health — but he's impressed Vigneault and remained in his lineup, bumping
both Ballard and Alberts to the press box.
“Aaron has been one of our most consistent d-men as far as his defensive
reads and moving the puck,” said Vigneault. “He's stayed high-percentage
and played within his limits. He's a good physical presence out there. When
the opportunity is there to play the man, he does. We're really happy with
how he's played.”
Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571318     Vancouver Canucks


Vancouver native Lucic's sorry, but he's busy with Bruins
Notebook: 'I'll be back here in the summer, so they can see me as much as
they want, says rugged winger


By Ian Walker


VANCOUVER — Milan Lucic has a message for all of his friends and
family: If he hasn't returned your text or phone call from the past couple of
days, it's nothing personal.
As you could well imagine, the east Vancouver native has had to limit the
number of distractions as the Boston Bruins prepare for Game 2 of the
Stanley Cup final against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on
Saturday (5 p.m., CBC, Team 1040).
“You know, obviously I'm from here, so people are definitely going to want
to see you and want your time,” said Lucic. “But this is the most important
time of year. After this series, I'll be back here in the summer, so they can
see me as much as they want.”
It's a delicate thing, balancing the demands of loved ones and being
responsible to the team.
“I think it's a give-and-take.” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “You
have to understand that he's in his hometown. Certainly you want to please
those people to a certain extent, but at the same time you don't want it to be
a detriment to his preparation and rest and everything else. He does a little
bit of both: Get the rest that he needs and does as much as he can to
please the people from around here.”
It's not the first time Lucic's faced such a challenge. The 22-year-old won a
Memorial Cup with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, who played host to
Canadian junior hockey's biggest tournament in 2007.
BOY OH BOY: Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk has come under fire
from the Boston media after being on the ice for the team's past seven
goals against. Worse yet, it was his aggressive play on Ryan Kesler that led
to Raffi Torres's heroics in Game 1.
Boychuk attempted to play the body on the Canucks centre at the Bruins
blue line, but lost the one-on-one battle, leaving Torres to skate into the
zone alone for the tap-in goal with 18.5 seconds left in regulation.
“Let's put it this way, at this time of the year, I'm not going to come in here
and criticize my players,” said Julien, when asked about the play of his
defender dating back to the Bruins series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“So I'm not going to answer that question as far as we're going to deal with
it internally. I think what we have to do here is regroup as a team and play
better. Right now I'm not going to stand here and start answering questions
about people criticizing individuals. I'm going to stay with the team concept.
“I think if you ask him, he knows he probably could have played that last
goal a lot better. We all know that, but we all need to move on right now.”
IN THE ZONE: Zdeno Chara is an impressive 100 per cent in the faceoff
circle in the playoffs. Yes, you read that right. The towering Bruins
defenceman is 2-for-2 on draws this post-season, most recently beat Ryan
Kesler during a four-minute power play early in Game 1. Chara also beat
Montreal's Mike Cammalleri in Game 6 of the Bruins' opening-round series
against the Canadiens.
The Bruins captain did not take a faceoff in the regular season, but was 1-1
in 2009-10, making him perfect in the circle over the past two years.
Chara has won 12-of-19 draws over his career, with most of them coming
while a member of the Ottawa Senators. The two faceoffs he’s taken this
spring are the only two he’s had in the playoffs during his career, according
to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“I used to take those in Ottawa,” said Chara, who is being used in front of
the net on the Bruins power plays. “It's just one of those things that
sometimes I was used for those faceoffs. I don't know, it's been awhile
obviously. But, you know, when there's need, I don't mind it.”
Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571319     Vancouver Canucks                                                      after sitting out the first two series of this playoffs. He was able to step in
                                                                                  and play the way that he did. He was professional about it. He wasn't
                                                                                  pouting that he wasn't in the lineup. He wasn't being a bad guy because he
Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin’s real welcome to the NHL a welcomed playoff           wasn't in the lineup. He understood what was going on.”
moment                                                                            Four more wins and there'll be no debating Seguin's “Welcome to the NHL
                                                                                  Moment.”

By Ian Walker                                                                     Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011



VANCOUVER — It's called a “Welcome to the NHL Moment” and most
players have at least one of them during their rookie season. Basically, it's a
specific point in time they'll never forget and will look back on with great
affinity once their career is over.
For some it's lining up against a childhood hero, while for others it's getting
crushed with an open-ice hit coming through the neutral zone with their
head down. Then again, it could be skating out for warm-up only to realize
you're the only one on the ice after the rest of your teammates remained in
the tunnel for a practical joke. Or just simply, one's first goal or fight.
Either way, Tyler Seguin swears he didn't have one this season. Well, at
least until a couple a weeks ago, anyway.
It came early in the first period of the Bruins' 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay
Lightning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final.
“I heard before that players have that one thing, but mine would have to be
a Welcome to the Playoffs Moment,” said Seguin, following the Bruins
practice at UBC's Thunderbird Arena on Friday. “On my second shift,
Tampa scored two goals against my line.”
A sly smile splashed across the 19-year-old Brampton, Ont., native's face
as he recalled the memory, before adding it wasn't all bad as he scored a
goal on his next shift in what was his NHL post-season debut. He then
followed it up with two goals and two assists in Boston's 6-5 victory two
nights later in his second playoff game.
One year ago, Seguin was in Toronto among the dozens of top junior
prospects at the NHL's combine. He and Taylor Hall were the two big
names, with one of them making history only a few weeks later.
We all now know it was Hall who went No. 1 in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Still, it was Seguin who was the big winner. The 6-foot, 185-pounder is
playing on hockey's biggest stage while Hall's Edmonton Oilers will be lucky
to make the playoffs next season.
“I think back then, Hall and I were saying the same thing, obviously going
number one would have been a privilege and still is, it's saying you're the
best of your age in the world, but in the end we both kept saying that our
dream or goal has never been to go first overall, it's to win the Stanley Cup,”
said Seguin, who has three goals and six points in eight playoff games. “I
wouldn't trade it.”
Not that it was easy.
Seguin may not have even made the Bruins and could very well have been
back with the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers this season if not
for Marc Savard's concussion. Seguin played 74 regular-season games,
scoring 11 goals and recording 22 points in limited minutes. His ice time
declined further as Boston entered the stretch drive and he was relegated
to a black ace through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
“Tyler was in maybe a different position I think than Taylor Hall, where he
came to a team that obviously had a lot of veterans established,” said
Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “I guess his presence in our lineup wasn't
maybe as easy as it would have been in other circumstances. But what I
liked and admired about Tyler is that he wanted to be part of a winning
team. He was certainly willing to pay the price and learn throughout the
season. His attitude has been great. He's definitely bought into what we're
trying to do with him, to make him a real great hockey player in the future.”
Seguin was front and centre as Julien drew up drills on the whiteboard
during Friday's practice and could be seen getting advice from veteran Mark
Recchi, who at 43 is only two years younger than his teammate's dad.
Recchi has been a shoulder to lean on since training camp and a voice of
reason when times got tough.
“He had a lot of expectations coming in, a lot of people around him and I
think he's dealt with it real well,” said Bruins winger Milan Lucic. “Our
leadership group and our veteran players have helped him mature
throughout the season. I think a sign of that was you see how he responded
571320     Vancouver Canucks                                                       Hodgson has been with the main group throughout the playoffs, although
                                                                                   that could change if fellow centre Manny Malhotra is deemed healthy
                                                                                   enough to take all the practice reps.
ruins’ Seidenberg not slighted that Canucks getting all the Nowitzki love          “It was just numbers,” Vigneault said. “Cody will be back with the group
Notebook: NBA superstar came out for fellow German Ehrhoff’s                 here. It would have been too many numbers. Our players get a better skate
team during Game 1                                                                 and those guys [the Moose call-ups] get a better skate when the numbers
                                                                                   make more sense.”
                                                                                   The Canucks have a game day skate scheduled for Saturday morning at
By Elliott Pap,                                                                    9:30.
                                                                                   Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011

VANCOUVER — It appears that Dallas Mavericks basketball star Dirk
Nowitzki is rooting only for the Vancouver Canucks, despite the fact the big
German has countrymen on both the Canucks and Boston Bruins.
During a Game 1 television timeout Wednesday, Nowitzki had this to say on
the Rogers Arena in-house video screen: “I'm Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas
Mavericks and I just want to wish the Vancouver Canucks, and especially
my boy Hoff, [Christian] Ehrhoff from Germany, all the best in the Stanley
Cup.”
There was no mention made of Dennis Seidenberg, the Bruins' German
defenceman, which perhaps played to the Vancouver home crowd. But
according to Ehrhoff, there won't be a similar message waiting for
Seidenberg when the series shifts to Boston for Game 3 on Monday.
“Dirk is rooting for us,” declared Ehrhoff following practice Friday at UBC. “I
don't know what Seidenberg thinks. Dirk is rooting for us and that's all that
matters.”
Naturally, Seidenberg was asked whether his feelings were hurt. Nowitzki
apparently wasn't even aware that another German was playing in the
series.
“I don't know what I'm supposed to say to that,” responded an amused
Seidenberg. “I follow him a lot. Obviously, he's a superstar. I still think he's
a great player. It doesn't change anything.”
LOUIE, LOUIE: Like the rest of his teammates, Canucks netminder Roberto
Luongo is rolling merrily along. He's 10-3 since Game 7 of the Chicago
series and 6-1 since Game 6 vs. Nashville. His playoff goals against
average is a sublime 2.17 and his save percentage is .927.
Luongo has had hot stretches before but never this deep in the playoffs.
Asked by a reporter if he felt it was the best he has performed in his five
seasons with the Canucks, he was stumped.
“I don't know,” replied Bobby Lou. “That's a tough question to answer. I
think, given the fact right now that we're in the Stanley Cup final, I mean, I
think as a team this is the best we've played. I like to include myself in that
as well. I think you measure success in this league obviously by winning.
Right now, we're three wins away from our ultimate goal. That's all I really
can say about that.”
Alas, that was not the reply the reporter was seeking so he followed up by
again asking Luongo for an assessment of his own play.
“Yeah, I mean, I can't answer that,” Luongo repeated. “I've had some good
streaks. I've played well. What can I tell you? I'm in the final. I guess I'm
playing pretty well.”
It's safe to say he guessed right.
HAIR CARE: Canucks forward Chris Higgins has almost reached the two-
month mark since a razor last touched his face. He began growing his
playoff beard even before the playoffs began.
“My last shave? It was right after the last regular season game,” Higgins
said Friday.
The last regular-season game was April 9. He admits he's moved well
beyond the itchy stage.
“We've passed that,” he winked. “Now it's just all in my food and spit and
everywhere. It's disgusting.”
Saved us the problem of bringing it up ...
NO CODY: Rookie centre Cody Hodgson did not skate with the big club at
practice Friday but coach Alain Vigneault claimed there was nothing sinister
about dispatching the 21-year-old to work out with the Manitoba Moose
extras.
571321     Vancouver Canucks


Ryan Kesler is totally into you, Canada


Pass it to Bulis: Posted by Harrison Mooney ?


No Gravatar
Ryan Kesler, pretending Henrik Sedin is Canada.
If there was ever any uncertainty about Ryan Kesler’s commitment to
winning, it left us forever when he suited up for his country at the 2010
Winter Olympics and immediately turned heel. Kesler was so determined to
bring home the gold that thumbed his nose at his NHL affiliations, chirping
and taunting friend and Canuck teammate Roberto Luongo and professing
his abhorrence for Canada, the country in which he plays.
“I hate them,” Kesler said, in the soundbyte of the tournament. He then
proceeded to check “no” on this note Canada passed him in class.
Okay, maybe he was referring to the national hockey team, and not, as
some presumed, the nation, but ’round these parts, one is the other.
Canadians took it personally, especially Canuck fans, many of whom lost
their heads and began crying for Kesler be traded out of town.
It’s probably a good thing those cries were ignored. While some, even
within Vancouver, will never forget or forgive Kesler’s abrasiveness last
February, his play this postseason has likely inspired many Canadians to
changed their opinions on Kesler. And so too has Kesler changed his
position on Canada. From Ian Busby:
Before Wednesday’s Game 1, the usually laconic Vancouver Canucks
centre tried to say he’s a true Canuck during an interview with CBC’s Scott
Oake.
“We love our hockey up here,” the American said. “I say ‘we’ cause I almost
feel Canadian.”
It seems the Livonia, Mich., product is starting to adopt his NHL home of the
past eight years.
Makes sense. Kesler and this country were made for each other. Ryan
Kesler’s heart is probably the only place on the planet where hockey is
taken as seriously as it is in Canada.
Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571322     Vancouver Canucks                                                          "Roberto played sort of the same way (as Thomas) last year," Vigneault
                                                                                      said of the positioning. "We got in trouble because of that. We fixed that this
                                                                                      year."
'Travelin' Tim Thomas troubles Canucks                                                As for Thomas's tendency to charge out of his net, the Canucks believe
                                                                                      they can target it for goals. His challenge on Jannik Hansen left Torres with
                                                                                      an empty net driving backdoor for the winning goal Wednesday.
Associated Press
                                                                                      "We can't take runs at him even though he's outside," Hansen said. "It's a
                                                                                      matter of being careful. If he's out there, there should be room around him
                                                                                      and behind him, so it's something we can take advantage of as well."
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks weren't surprised by Boston
goalie Tim Thomas's outstanding play in the Stanley Cup final opener.                 Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011

They simply took issue with where Thomas played.
Coach Alain Vigneault joined several Canucks in questioning Thomas's
aggressive positioning well outside his crease, complaining specifically
about a tripping penalty to Alex Burrows for bumping Thomas outside the
blue paint.
But as Thomas and Bruins coach Claude Julien both pointed out ahead of
Game 2 Saturday (5 p.m., CBC, Team 1040), the goalie's right to stop the
puck unimpeded is not limited to the crease.
"I have the right to go anywhere there's open ice," said Thomas, who made
33 saves — many spectacular — before Raffi Torres scored Game 1's only
goal with 18.5 seconds to play Wednesday night.
"If I'm set, I have a right to that ice," Thomas said. "If I'm out of the paint and
I'm set, I also have the right of way to get back to the crease. That's the way
I understand it."
There's no doubting Thomas, who joined Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo
as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie, is more
aggressive than most. He relies on his ability to read and react to plays
from his skates, rather than playing the more passive, on-the-knees
butterfly style common today.
Thomas, whose style was labeled "battlefly" by teammate Patrice Bergeron,
also will challenge shooters two or three feet outside his crease, and he's
willing to battle for that position because he knows his 5-11 frame doesn't
take up enough space if he sits back in his net like the 6-3 Luongo.
"I just play my game," said Thomas, who has drawn just three goaltender
interference penalties in 19 playoff games although, like the Burrows call,
not all contact might have been recorded that way. "It's not always in the
blue."
The Canucks don't seem to have a problem with that, as long as they aren't
penalized for being there, too. That appeared to be the case on Burrows'
penalty, but Daniel Sedin wasn't punished for knocking Thomas flat after a
push by Boston defenceman Andrew Ference.
Ryan Kesler, who sets screens on Vancouver's power play, continuously
looked at his skates to make sure he wasn't in the crease.
"I mean, 90 per cent of his saves are outside the blue paint," Vigneault said.
"A lot of times he does initiate contact. That's the way he plays. We're going
to look to get a little bit of clarification."
Vigneault may not like what he finds. As Thomas suggested, Rule 69.4
states that "a goalkeeper is not 'fair game' just because he is outside the
goal crease," and the onus is on the attacking player not to make
"unnecessary contact."
"The rule is pretty clear. You're entitled to your ice," Boston coach Claude
Julien said. "If he steps out and he's got that ice, he's entitled to it. We all
know goaltenders are to be protected. If you're going to say he's out of his
crease, he's fair game, that should be the same thing behind the net."
Julien pointed out the rules are the same for Luongo, which is ironic
because his struggles with congestion outside the crease during last year's
playoffs led in part to the Canucks changing how he plays.
Under new goalie coach Roland Melanson, Luongo is deeper in his net
now, which not only shortens the distances he has to move his size-13
skates, but also keeps him out of traffic.
So rather than worrying about fighting past 6-9 Boston defenceman Zdeno
Chara atop the crease on the Bruins' power play, Luongo only has to worry
about seeing around him. After struggling to recover on rebounds because
he got tangled up with crease-crashing opponents last season, Luongo now
finds less resistance as he slides around on his knees to square up to
second chances.
571323     Vancouver Canucks


Scallen brought NHL to Vancouver, then his world came crashing down




By Greg Douglas,


CENE & HEARD: It was recognition long overdue. "The American who
delivered the Canucks to Canadians" was a headline on the front page of
Wednesday's Globe and Mail. Writer Josh Wingrove interviewed Tom
Scallen, the original owner of the Vancouver Canucks, from his home in
Minneapolis. Now 85, Scallen discussed how he purchased the NHL
franchise for Vancouver in 1969, when local businessmen balked at the $6-
million expansion fee. Scallen's medical supply company -Medicor -owned
60 per cent of the Canucks and, in late 1970, the team issued a stock
offering that raised $3 million. As president of both Medicor and the
Canucks, Scallen transferred the money to Medicor on a shortterm
arrangement. In April of 1973, Scallen's world came crashing down when
he was convicted of securities fraud and issuing a false prospectus.
Scallen was originally sentenced to four years. He appealed and the term
was reduced to two years.
What did not appear in the Globe and Mail story Wednesday were a series
of disturbing incidents in Scallen's life in the 1970s that have never been
published. While he was being delivered from the Vancouver Courthouse to
the medium-security Oakalla Prison by paddy wagon in June 1974, he
persuaded his uniformed escorts to allow him one telephone call. He said
he needed to talk to his wife in Minneapolis. They bent the rules and, under
supervision, allowed Scallen a brief visit to a pay telephone booth, where he
immediately made an unsuccessful attempt at suicide.
For some unexplained reason, Scallen was moved from Oakalla Prison to
the maximum security B.C. Penitentiary. After two months of sharing his life
with hardened criminals and witnessing a prisoner clubbed to death during
recreation hour, Scallen eventually became cellmate No. 7954 at the
Agassiz Correctional Work Camp, a minimum security institution.
The once-respected Minneapolis lawyer worked in the cook shack peeling
potatoes and making stew. His pay was 60 cents per day. The day he was
to be released from Agassiz, there was a move made from within the prison
for guards to catch Scallen in possession of alcohol. He was tipped off and
the sting never happened.
Through the unwavering efforts of Sen. Ray Perrault and newspaper
publisher Erwin Swangard, both deceased, Scallen was granted a parole in
1975 and pardoned in 1982. To this day, Scallen maintains that he was set
up by some of those same Vancouver businessmen who were scared off by
the $6-million NHL franchise fee, several of whom Scallen appointed to the
Canucks board of directors in 1970.
On a lighter note, Scallen always wanted to pass along this message to
retired Canucks play-by-play man Jim Robson: "When Jim used to say a
special hello to all the shut-ins and those who couldn't get out to games, the
inmates would rattle their tin cups against the prison bars. I know. I was one
of them."
Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571324     Vancouver Canucks                                                         Presidents' Trophy," Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa said. "For him not
                                                                                     to be able to participate ... it hurts you a lot. But it looks like he might have
                                                                                     the opportunity to play."
Miraculous Manny appears destined to play                                            Winger Raffi Torres, who has known Malhotra since their minor hockey
Team leader may be in the lineup tonight, but his return seems to be a               days in the Toronto area, said: "It's amazing to see his recovery and the
question of when, not if                                                             positive influence he's had on us all through the playoffs. And now to
                                                                                     maybe play in these finals is incredible."
                                                                                     Malhotra's presence around Canuck players has been so regular and the
By Iain MacIntyre,                                                                   trajectory of his recovery so encouraging, that his appearance in the lineup
                                                                                     has become inevitable. But no one thought this possible after his surgery in
                                                                                     New York when Malhotra called a team meeting and told players he was
                                                                                     done for the year and they'd have to win the Stanley Cup without him.
It is a game of emotions. Hockey is not much good without them.
                                                                                     "It was one of those moments when it's really sombre in the dressing room,
When the Vancouver Canucks leap on to the ice this afternoon for the
                                                                                     and the fact it was a guy like Manny made it extra tough," Bieksa recalled.
second game of the Stanley Cup Final, and U2's music blares and towels
                                                                                     "After that talk, I don't think anyone expected him to be back here skating
wave and pulses race amid the thunder of this moment, chances are no
                                                                                     with us, let alone playing. So obviously, we're really happy for him."
one will have as many emotions coursing through him as Manny Malhotra.
On March 16, a puck ricocheted into his left eye socket and Malhotra feared          "It was very emotional," said defenceman Keith Ballard. "I can't imagine the
he might never see clearly again.                                                    mental struggle it has been for him every day. To have him on the ice, it's
                                                                                     so exciting. You could see it the first day he came out with us in a track suit.
Two weeks later, he had major surgery in New York and a few days after
                                                                                     Imagine what it means ... if he gets the chance to play. I can only imagine
that had the courage to tell National Hockey League teammates, some in
                                                                                     how much that would mean to him."
tears, that he wouldn't play hockey again this season.
                                                                                     Hopefully, Malhotra will tell us tonight.
And that there were no guarantees for the next one.
                                                                                     Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 06.04.2011
Malhotra has been with his teammates all along. But tonight, he should be
one of them again.
The 31-year-old centre, who helped recast the Canucks' identity with his
leadership and professional ideals, was expected after Friday's practice to
return from his devastating injury today against the Boston Bruins.
Malhotra is day-to-day. How sick are you of hearing that?
But it's one of the truest things said by Canucks coach Alain Vigneault,
whose statement last Saturday that Malhotra was cleared to play was later
contradicted by general manager Mike Gillis.
Today could be different than Friday for Malhotra.
But if he doesn't play Game 2, he should still play soon.
It is merely timing and conditioning that are his issues now, not his eyesight
-even after the mystery "procedure" he had Tuesday blew up into
something worse in rumours and speculation that filled the information
vacuum needlessly created by the Canucks.
Malhotra is back. And that is amazing.
"I realize the severity of the injury," Malhotra, his eye looking puffier than it
did a week ago, told reporters at UBC when asked about the chance to
participate in the Stanley Cup. "I realize the intensity of the moment and
realize the intensity of play has picked up since I last played. [But] this is not
me wanting to have a sentimental shift out there and be a part of it all. It's
the fact I feel that I could contribute something to the team."
What Malhotra can contribute is faceoff dominance and penalty killing and
more fourthline minutes than anyone else has lately for the Canucks, who
used three lines in Wednesday's 1-0 Stanley Cup-opening win.
But he'll also offer experience and guile, hopefully poise and maybe even
further inspiration to a team that is only three wins away from Vancouver's
first Stanley Cup since 1915.
Malhotra practised Friday mainly with Victor Oreskovich and Jeff Tambellini.
Cody Hodgson, the Canucks' most regular fourth-line centre in the playoffs,
didn't even get to sit at the grown-ups' table. He skated with the Manitoba
Moose extras.
"I'll see how I feel after the morning skate and we'll make a decision,"
Malhotra said. "I didn't want this to be a sideshow. We always talk about in
our dressing room that the whole is much greater than the individuals. We
have a very strong focus in the room. It's where it needs to be and I don't
want anything to sidetrack that."
He needn't have worried. The story became a sideshow at times, anyway,
partly because nature abhors a vacuum. But it never came close to
derailing the Canucks. They are too strong for that.
"He has been such a huge part of our team all year, one of the main
reasons why we're here and why we got in the playoffs and why we won the
571325     Vancouver Canucks


Deja vu: Malhotra skates with team, could play Game 2


By Jason Botchford


Manny Malhotra could play in Game 2.
Back on the ice after three days off and following one more eye procedure
Tuesday, Malhotra said he is again cleared to play and may, depending
how he feels after Saturday's game day skate.
"This is not me wanting a sentimental shift out there to be a part of it,"
Malhotra said. "It's the fact, I feel I can contribute something to the team."
Malhotra, whose eye was more swollen and closed than it was a week ago,
did admit something happened after he practised on Monday. Following
that scrimmage, he took three days off and underwent another procedure
GM Mike Gillis said was minor. Gillis said Malhotra has similar procedures
regularly.
"It's a day-to-day situation and from one day to the next, things had
changed," Malhotra said about what happened after Monday. "I didn't feel
proper to go on the ice so I took a couple of days off."
Gillis said Malhotra is "questionable" for Game 2, adding that it was never in
the Canucks plan for him to play in Game 1. Gillis seemed to muddy the
story Tuesday when he said Malhotra was not cleared play, despite what
both the player and head coach Alain Vigneault had said on Saturday.
So what was it? Is he cleared to play or no?
"As of today, yes," Malhotra said. "I don't want to sound redundant, but it's
going to be a day-to-day process. I've been cleared for contact and am able
to participate in full practice."
Malhotra suggested his vision won't be an issue.
"It's how I feel on a whole," Malhotra said. "As far as my comfort level on
the ice and my conditioning.
"There's a lot of things that are going to go into that decision."
The Canucks would get an instant boost from Malhotra in the lineup. Their
fourth-line centre Alex Bolduc played under two minutes in Game 1.
Malhotra said the fact this is the Stanley Cup is weighing in on his desire to
play as soon as possible.
"At the same time, I realize the severity of the injury and I realize the
intensity of the moment," he said "I realize the intensity of play has picked
up since I last played."
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571326      Vancouver Canucks


Alberts 'gets shivers' at prospect of playing Game 2


By Jim Jamieson


It's the chance Andrew Alberts wasn't sure he'd get, but it appears the big
Canucks defenceman will play in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final against
the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Head coach Alain Vigneault offered all the requisite disclaimers about not
reading anything into practice alignments, but it's pretty clear that Alberts
will draw into the lineup if injured D-man Dan Hamhuis is not able to play.
Hamhuis was hurt early in Game 1 on Wednesday when he hit Boston's
Milan Lucic with a hip check along the boards. He left the game and didn't
practice with the team on Thursday or Friday.
It's a bit of a surprise that Alberts — who hasn't played since Game 3 of the
Nashville series on May 3 — would get the call instead of a faster puck-
moving Keith Ballard. But it appears the coach wants to ramp up the
physical play on
his back end.
“It's huge,” said Alberts about the opportunity to get into his first Stanley
Cup final. “I get shivers just thinking about it. When you're a kid in the
basement shooting the tennis ball around you're always thinking it's the
Stanley Cup finals and you've got the last shot. It's a dream to be here and
hopefully I can attain that goal.”
Vigneault paired the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Alberts with high-skill Christian
Ehrhoff, while Aaron Rome skated in Hamhuis' spot with Kevin Bieksa. The
Sami Salo-Alex Edler pairing stayed the same.
Alberts played in Boston for three seasons, ending in 2008, when he was
traded to Philly. He knows the organization, but said many of the players
have changed since his time there.
“I played with (Patrice) Bergeron, (Zdeno) Chara, Tim Thomas, (Andrew)
Ference and (Shawn) Thornton,” said Alberts. “But it's really a different
team over there.”
Alberts, who's played in three playoff games, said he wasn't concerned that
he hasn't played in more than a month.
“I think I've just got to get out there, you get a hit in you relax a little bit,” he
said. “Just make the simple play and keep the game easy and stay out of
trouble.”
Vigneault said he expects Alberts to use his size and strength if he plays.
“He's a big body, he's a physical presence,” said Vigneault. “Every time
we've used him he's played extremely well and hard for us.”
Ehrhoff has played with Alberts before at times, this season and last, so the
familiarity is there.
“I've probably played with everybody in the lineup, so for me it doesn't make
a difference,” said Ehrhoff. “He brings a physical element to our defence
and he can make solid breakout passes. He's going to be ready. When you
get thrown into
a Stanley Cup final, that's a stage where everybody wants to be.”
jjamieson@theprovince.com
twitter.com/jamiesoncanucks
ICING
Vigneault said Cody Hodgson was absent from the main group because the
numbers were too large, so he practiced with the smaller group.
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571327     Vancouver Canucks


Mavs' Nowitzki backs Canucks for Cup


By JIM JAMIESON


There are two German players in the Stanley Cup final, but NBA star Dirk
Nowitzki is going with Christian Ehrhoff and his team, the Canucks.
The Dallas Mavericks player gave an entertaining scoreboard video tribute
to Ehrhoff and the Canucks during the first period of Game 1.
Ehrhoff met Nowitzki, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks, once in 2003.
“When I was with San Jose in Dallas, they were playing too and I came out
(off the rink) and he was standing there, so I walked up and introduced
myself to him,” recalled Ehrhoff on Friday. “We chatted for a few minutes.
He's a real nice guy.”
Ehrhoff said he’d seen the tribute earlier in the day, but was surprised.
“It was really nice,” he said. “It surprised me a little bit. He obviously knows I
am playing here so it's pretty cool that he sent that message.”
The other German player is Boston defenceman Dennis Seidenberg, who
Ehrhoff knows well and played with as defence partner in the 2010
Olympics.
But Seidenberg said he didn’t feel snubbed by Nowitzki.
“I don't know what I'm supposed to say to that,” said Seidenberg with a
smile. “I follow him a lot. Obviously, he's a superstar. I still think he's a great
player. It doesn't change anything.”
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571328     Vancouver Canucks


Bruins go back to drawing board


By Jim Jamieson, The ProvinceJune 3, 2011


The Boston Bruins know they need to get more quality scoring chances
against Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo in Game 2.
The Bruins trail the Canucks 1-0 in the Stanley Cup final.
They worked on neutral zone play in practice at UBC on Friday and a
number of Bruins players were acknowledging that the need to make life
more uncomfortable for Luongo.
It's tempting to point a finger at the Bruins' leading scorer in the regular
season, Milan Lucic – who has just one goal in eight games – but head
coach Claude Julien said the team needs better performances from the
bottom of the roster on up.
“I think we need more out of everybody, if we plan on winning tomorrow,”
said Julien, following practice. “Milan is capable of that. When he's on top of
his game his skating is good, his presence is good and his scoring chances
are there. Certainly he's a big part of our club and you rely on those guys.”
Boston outshot Vancouver 36-34, but the Canucks had more quality
chances. Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was outstanding, turning all but one
aside.
"We managed 36 shots on net, but that's just a number,” said Julien. “The
scoring chances, we can be better in regards to that.”
Lucic said the Bruins' formula for success hasn't changed since the playoffs
began. They just have to be better at executing it.
“It's been the same since the first series,” said the East Vancouver native. “I
mean, you look at where most of our goals are scored. It's in front of the
net, getting in those dirty areas, getting those rebounds and fighting for
pucks. Their defense does a really good job of battling with who ever's in
front of net.
"Our guys go to the net. For us, we got to get there, create a screen. Like I
said, we got to find those loose pucks, work hard, bear down once we get
those opportunities.”
Lucic's line, with centre David Krejci and Nathan Horton, had Boston's best
chances as a unit and finished with 13 shots collectively. Many of them
were on the power play, which went 0-for-6.
That also must improve, but Krejci said he saw positive signs in Game 1.
“I thought the passes were sharp and we got some traffic, but it just didn't
go in for us,” he said. “But I thought we moved the puck pretty well. We
need to be hard on the puck and get to rebounds.”
Bruins second line centre Patrice Bergeron said doing a better job in the
neutral zone is will help Boston create offensive pressure in the Vancouver
end.
“Well, I think it starts obviously in the neutral zone,” he said. “Once we're in
their zone, we got to find a better way to get to the net and battle for those
loose pucks, but also fight for ice. They're doing a good job of boxing us
out.
"That being said, we have to make sure we're getting in front of net,
creating some havoc, having some better looks.”
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 06.04.2011
571329     Winnipeg


President expects quick sale of remaining NHL season tickets in Winnipeg


By: Scott Edmonds, The Canadian Press


WINNIPEG - The president of the group that owns Winnipeg's new National
Hockey League team says the goal of selling 13,000 season tickets could
be reached by the end of the day.
True North Sports and Entertainment plans to open up the online sale to the
general public on Saturday.
For the last three days, only the 2,000 or so fans who had season tickets to
the AHL Manitoba Moose could buy NHL seats.


As of Friday afternoon, they had scooped up more than 7,100.
True North president Jim Ludlow says he doesn't expect it to take long for
the rest to go.
The as-yet unnamed NHL team was bought by True North from owners in
Atlanta and the company is hoping to sell 13,000 season seats ahead of the
NHL's vote on the approval of the sale later this month.
"There's lots of anticipation, seems to be a lot of demand," Ludlow said
Friday. "It could go fairly quickly."
While the so-called pre-sale was brisk, Ludlow said the team made sure
there were some season seats left for the general public by putting a cap on
the number of tickets Moose fans could buy.
There is no lining up for tickets. All purchases must be made online.
If all 13,000 season tickets do go there will be just over 2,000 tickets
remaining for each game at the MTS Centre. It is the NHL's smallest arena,
holding just over 15,000 people.
But unlike the old Winnipeg Arena, where the Winnipeg Jets used to play
before they left in 1996, MTS Centre has corporate suites, ranging in price
from $105,000 to $197,000 a season. Those help fatten the club's bottom
line.
Ludlow isn't providing any hints about what the new team will be called nor
exactly when the name will be announced, but he said it won't be long.
Many fans would like to see the return of the Jets name.
Other names bandied about include the Manitoba Falcons, which would
assuage those who live outside Winnipeg and feel the name should reflect
the province as a whole, and pay homage to Canada's first Olympic gold-
winning hockey team, the 1920 Winnipeg Falcons.
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 06.04.2011
571330     Winnipeg                                                              Winnipeg in a trade the two began a friendship that far exceeded the
                                                                                 boundaries of hockey.
                                                                                 "He'd be excited and real happy for the people of Manitoba," said Carlyle of
Kind words from Carlyle                                                          Ferguson, who died in 2007. "I'm sure he's upstairs looking down over this
Ex-Jet, Moose GM ecstatic that Manitoba is back in the bigs                      taking that big cigar out of his mouth and with a smile on his face going,
                                                                                 "Ha, ha, ha. They're back."
                                                                                 Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 06.04.2011
By: Gary Lawless


Randy CARLYLE was the face of hockey in Manitoba for close to 20 years
but he knows he's about to have a new role when next he slips into town on
a business trip.
"I guess I'll be the enemy. Yeah, I'm the enemy now," chortled Carlyle from
his summer home just outside of Sudbury, Ont. "I'm excited to come into
the building for the first time and I'm happy for the people of Manitoba, but
at the same time I'll have a job to do. I think the NHL belongs in Winnipeg
and I'm glad they've got their team back."
Carlyle came to the Winnipeg Jets as a player. When Mark Chipman
brought the Moose to Winnipeg he was an assistant coach, but quickly
moved on to hold the head coach and GM titles and even spent a year as
team president.
If anyone knows the inner workings of True North and the personalities of
Chipman and his hockey man, Craig Heisinger, it's Carlyle.
"It's been a long process and they've taken a long look at this and they've
developed a plan," he said. "They've done all their homework and due
diligence and they've made an educated assessment. The feedback they've
got from the people of Manitoba allowed them to move forward. It took five-
plus years to get here and this is the end result."
Carlyle also knows the people of Manitoba and he's both happy for them
and confident in their will to make this work.
"It's great for the community and I think it gives them the respect they
deserve in the hockey world and nationally in Canada," said Carlyle, coach
of the Anaheim Ducks and a Stanley Cup winner in 2007. "Winnipeg has
taken a lot of negative press over the years for various reasons but if you've
lived there and experienced what the people are all about and how hard
they work and how committed they are to their communities and the
province of Manitoba, you get an appreciation for them. One thing I've
always said about Manitobans, 'Just don't tell them they can't.' "
Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault stood behind the Moose
bench for one season before moving to the West Coast and he took time
out from fielding questions about his club's pursuit of the Stanley Cup to
discuss his old bosses.
"I think Winnipeg is going to do great. Working with Mark and Craig for a
whole season, seeing how professional they are, running an American
League franchise in an NHL fashion. The way they treated their players, the
way they treated the staff," said Vigneault.
"I know Mark is a very persistent individual. He had been working a long
time to bring NHL back to Winnipeg.
" I think the fans there are real passionate, love their hockey. There's no
doubt in my mind that it's going to work."
Carlyle says he doesn't care what the team is called.
"I don't really have an opinion one way or another. I can understand why
people would be passionate about the Jets. But I can see on the other
hand, that's an era that's gone by. This is a new era of hockey in Manitoba
and I can see lots of reasons for it to have another name."
Heisinger was an equipment man with the Jets while Carlyle was a player
and the careers of the two men are intertwined.
"I was the guy that converted him from an equipment guy to a hockey
management guy because I just felt his skills were being... not wasted that's
not the correct term. But the one thing about Zinger is if you gave him an
assignment he always found a way to get it done. It wasn't about excuses,"
said Carlyle. "There's no such thing as an excuse for him. He still maintains
that same level of commitment and competitiveness and work ethic."
A Norris Trophy-winning defenceman with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carlyle
was coveted by then-Jets GM John Ferguson and after he came to
571331     Winnipeg


Bettman not welcome at salon
Owner says 'he can suck it'


By PAUL TURENNE, QMI Agency


Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd, and the rest of the boys are welcome to free
haircuts any time, but Gary Bettman, well, he can suck it.
That's the message from Ashley Newton, owner of Vixin Salon and Beauty
Bar on Princess Street, who is proof Winnipeg's NHL games won't be
attended only by men in sports jackets and beer-fuelled college boys.
"Do you think in Atlanta there are two girls in a hair salon talking about
hockey? I don't think so," Newton said while discussing the NHL with client
Lindsey Anderson on Friday.
Anderson got season tickets Thursday, while Newton plans on getting some
Saturday.
"I never thought I'd get season tickets to the NHL, so I'm pretty stoked,"
said Anderson, who was sporting a hoodie from the band Comeback Kids
that was made to resemble a Jets logo.
When Newton heard the big news Tuesday, she decided to decorate the
salon's windows in celebration.


"I just thought it was awesome we got them back and I think we should
support them," she said.
One paint job reads "NHL, welcome back baby," while another one on the
front door invites NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to "suck it."
"I think he's a snake," Newton said. "The booing at the speech he gave (in
Winnipeg Tuesday) is an indication of our feelings towards him in Winnipeg.
I remember going to Jets games when I was little. There's some bitter
feelings there even though I was very young."
Newton made an informal offer Friday that she'd happily give free haircuts
to any of Winnipeg's new NHL players, as well as offering discounts to
season ticket holders.
That courtesy will not extend to the commissioner.
"Gary Bettman isn't welcome in my salon. If he came in I'd tell him to get
out," Newton said.
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011
571332     Winnipeg                                                               Seriously, I suppose it’s even possible the hockey team will get turned
                                                                                  down by the odd corporate client who’s committed to buying space in the
                                                                                  stadium.
NHL season tickets a big-league committment                                       “I hear what you’re saying,” True North’s Ludlow said. “None of us want it to
Winnipeg only market selling ducats for such long terms                           be one to the exclusion of another. The seasons are different. We hope to
                                                                                  find a balance in the community for that.”
                                                                                  The Bombers should be fine as long as they run a tight ship.
By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency
                                                                                  And that means they can’t go another 20 years, not even close, without
                                                                                  winning a championship.

WINNIPEG - So today’s the day we find out exactly how hockey-mad this             Those of us who were around for the NHL’s first run have fond memories of
town really is.                                                                   the two-sport double-header: a Bomber game on an October afternoon, a
                                                                                  Jets game at night.
Now that the NHL pre-sale for Manitoba Moose customers is over, Joe
Public gets his turn.                                                             If both teams are winning, we’ll rediscover how sports-mad this town can
                                                                                  be.
Expect the remaining season tickets to go faster than cans of bug spray at
a midsummer Manitoba nudists retreat.                                             Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011

Even though fans are being asked to do something no other NHL fans have
been: mortgage a small part of their futures to watch big-league hockey.
You may not be aware of this, but in no other city are all season-ticket
buyers forced to make multi-year commitments.
If you want to guarantee your seats, you have to sign three-year to five-year
contracts and hand over an additional $500 to $1,000 just for that right.
When the term is up, expect to be asked to sign up for another.
Yes, the little city that for so long couldn’t is believed to be breaking new
ground, now that it’s getting a second chance to reside in Gary Bettman’s
kingdom.
“My guess would be if there are any clubs doing it, they’re doing it in certain
sections of the building (only),” True North Sports and Entertainment’s Jim
Ludlow told QMI Agency.
“As it relates to the entire building, it’s unique. And creative. And a strong
message that’s going to go back to the NHL.”
Who knows, this might even set a precedent for other cities.
Then again, it could be the price Manitobans, and nobody else, must pay to
prove we can afford to rub shoulders with the big boys on Broadway or Bay
Street.
“You could look at it as a lot to ask,” Ludlow said. “It’s a lot to ask a
community like this to have an NHL team, or a company like this.”
But it’s what True North needs to guarantee its revenue for at least the first
few years.
If the season-ticket count hits 13,000 within days, maybe even hours, as I
suspect it will, we’ll know what we’ve suspected for a while now.
That the appetite for NHL hockey in this town is at a fever pitch.
Maybe unlike anywhere else in North America.
So how would you like to be Jeff Thompson these days?
The man making corporate calls on behalf of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers
and our new stadium has to phone businesses in this town and sell
something other than the NHL.
So how’s it going, Jeff?
“They’re excited and eager to continue,” Thompson said of the Bombers’
corporate partners. “The level of excitement surrounding us is electric. It’s a
great time to be a Winnipegger.”
Apparently, nobody’s telling the Bombers their money is tied up downtown
for the next while.
“We have two different products at two different times of the year,”
Thompson said. “If anything, we actually compliment each other. That’s the
vibe we’re getting.”
Not sure if Thompson was wearing his blue-and-gold coloured glasses at
the time, but he also suggested the mosquitoes wouldn’t be a problem this
summer and neither would the rain.
571333     Winnipeg


True North eyes 'Hawks AGM
NHL draft looms over front office question


By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency


VANCOUVER - With the True North season ticket drive to 13,000 moving at
a brisk pace and tracking to hit its mark sometime during the weekend, look
for the decisions in hockey operations to soon take centre stage.
To this point, True North has kept the nature of the discussions regarding
decisions in hockey operations private and you can expect that to remain
the same moving forward.
But with the NHL Entry Draft less than three weeks away, the leadership of
the hockey operations department is a priority.
While the results of the meeting between chairman Mark Chipman and
Craig Heisinger remains a mystery, another potential candidate who
surfaced on Friday is Kevin Cheveldayoff, an assistant general manager
with the Chicago Blackhawks who was part of the Stanley Cup run last
season.
In order to speak to Cheveldayoff, True North would first need to obtain
permission from the Blackhawks.
It’s believed Cheveldayoff would likely require a promotion in order to join
True North’s hockey operations staff.
Cheveldayoff has a long history with Chipman and Heisinger from the days
of the International Hockey League.
Cheveldayoff, who was in Toronto for the draft combine, could not be
reached for comment.
Meanwhile, St. John’s, N.L. moved another step closer to becoming the
new home of True North’s American Hockey League affiliate as St. John’s
City Council unanimously approved a the lease agreement (in principle)
with St. John’s Sports and Entertainment.
Moving the Manitoba Moose franchise to Newfoundland requires AHL
board of governor approval and the next meeting is in early July.
Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011
571334     Winnipeg                                                                 Instead, I found myself swept up in the excitement, the enthusiasm for a
                                                                                    much-loved team and the display of solidarity to try to see them stay in a
                                                                                    prairie town on the cusp of losing them.
Emotional Jets assignment                                                           And I understood why my grumpy editor insisted THIS was the story of the
Winnipeg rally to save NHL club in 1996 memorable experience                        day.
                                                                                    Last week, 16 years later, I was back in my hometown when word came the
                                                                                    city would again have a hockey team.
By NADIA MOHARIB, QMI Agency
                                                                                    As citizens took to the streets to play hockey — mock fisticuffs and all —
                                                                                    critics weighed in, already convinced the team wouldn’t get the support
                                                                                    needed.
It was one of my first few weeks on the job as a newspaper reporter.
                                                                                    Others argued Winnipeg wouldn’t be attractive to big-time hockey heroes
And it was busy.                                                                    who could play in much more desirable U.S. and Canadian cities.
The overnight police blotter in Winnipeg — the city dubbed Murder Capital           But in a city where there are still big, old trees and where a house costs
plenty of times over the years — offered up a healthy, albeit unfortunate,          much less than in bigger centres, there is a real sense of back-your-team
dose of crime stories.                                                              community.
There were stabbings, kidnappings, carjackings and such to easily fill the          No doubt, time will prove critics wrong.
pages of the Winnipeg Sun.
                                                                                    Yes, it is pitched into a deep freeze for nine months of the year, with
As a rookie, I was happy to score plenty of material to stack the news roster       mosquitoes — although their plague is exaggerated — making it their
and also added ‘Save the Jets’ rally to my to-do-list.                              mecca for the other few.
My editor, an often-angry man who literally frothed at the corners of his           But the hockey team moving from Atlanta to Manitoba will surely find an
mouth and unconsciously bulged his eyes when he wasn’t pleased, walked              enviable fanbase and score big-time by choosing Winnipeg as its home.
in and quickly showed me I was skating on thin ice.
                                                                                    Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 06.04.2011
“You have the Jets rally and that’s it,” he spat.
“This is a huge story.”
Of course, not knowing much about hockey and how its fans are so rabid
and passionate they are willing to break with rules of good fashion and wear
white pants in public, I argued a bit.
But the editor hurled a few profanities my way while shaking his head,
apparently at the unfathomable reality he had actually hired this dopey
scribe, and sent me kicking and screaming to the rally held as a last-ditch
effort for a city desperate to keep its beloved sports team.
Prone to trying to put myself in the position of story subjects, I tried to grasp
how so many would feel compelled to cram into the decrepit arena — teary-
eyed and all — to chant like cult followers for, of all things, men on skates.
Certain it was nothing but a time-wasting exercise, I joined reporters
standing on a wooden platform at centre ice while the lights dimmed.
The crowd, one minute obnoxious and utterly irritating in its loudness,
hushed in an instant, becoming so quiet even a puck-drop could be heard.
Massive spotlights followed superstar stick-handlers onto the ice as they
one-by-one made their arrival.
Some hoisted children on their shoulders, others shook their arms
triumphantly in the air, and the arena shook.
As they chanted “Save Our Jets,” the vibrations ripped across the rink like
an electrical current, finding its way from my feet into the depths of my
skeptical grey matter.
I still knew nothing about the game and couldn’t care less about the all-
Canadian pastime — but I could not deny the emotion of it all.
I think a tear escaped from my eye, quickly wiped away to maintain an
objective reporter stance, only to be followed by a quiver of my betraying
bottom lip.
My massive cellphone rang (it was early days for mobile phones,) and it
was perhaps one of the team’s biggest fans — a diehard, longtime season-
ticket holder who stayed until the end of every game, win or lose.
“Nadia, can you see me?” my father shouted as I scanned the crowd in
utter disbelief.
“I’m wearing white.”
Yes, he was, head-to-toe, taking the team-colour dress code to extremes a
la the Glad Man.
Needless to say, I did not spot him in the sea of white, where most were
dressed in Jets jerseys and violently shaking pom-poms.
571335     Websites                                                                "The toughest guys are the guys with good sticks in front of the net. Like
                                                                                   Holmstrom," said Vancouver defenceman Kevin Bieksa. "The guys who
                                                                                   want to be there, in front. There are some guys who are just standing there
Sportsnet.ca /Not in his element                                                   because they're told to, and there are other guys who want to be there.
                                                                                   "A guy like Holmstrom wants to be there. You've got to respect him, and
                                                                                   you've got to be close to him."
VANCOUVER -- What the Bruins are doing is disrespectful, when it comes
right down to it, to those players who have spent a lifetime perfecting the        Read between those lines, for a minute. This is what Roberto Luongo said
art.                                                                               after Game 1, when asked to compare Chara's work down low to that of
                                                                                   former Blackhawk Byfuglien:
Take a big defenceman like Zdeno Chara, station in the low slot on the
power play, and expect him to be as effective as guys like Tomas                   "It's not the same," Luongo said of Chara's work. "I think he's a big body,
Holmstrom, Ryan Smyth and Dustin Byfuglien.                                        but at the same time we decided that it's best if we just leave him alone and
                                                                                   let me take care of him."
The Bruins' sad power play numbers will tell you that there just might be
more to the gig than standing in front of the goalie.                              Leave him alone? I don't recall them saying that about Holmstrom and
                                                                                   Smyth over the years.
"You don't just stand there," began Smyth over the phone, who plans to
watch Chara work the top of Roberto Luongo's crease Saturday night in              Mark Spector
Game 2 of this Stanley Cup final. "You try to get in the line of sight of the      Sportsnet.ca LOADED: 06.04.2011
goalies' eyes.
"It's the timing. When the 'D' is going to shoot it, getting your stick right in
front of his eyes. He loses it for a split second. And then you get that
rebound."
It has become the sore point of the Boston Bruins post-season, a power
play so pungent, you wonder how this team got so far on five power play
goals all spring long. It has produced one lonely goal on the road in these
playoffs, and thus, a pathetic success rate of 7.5 per cent after going 0-for-6
in a 1-0 Game 1 loss.
And you'll recall that the Bruins became the first team in the history of the
game to win a seven-game series without a power play goal, in Round 1
versus Montreal.
Mark Recchi continues to hold down a spot on the No. 1 unit, despite the
fact he has not counted a single point on the PP all post-season, and
begging the question as to when Tyler Seguin will replace the aging warrior.
And at practice Friday, Chara continued to be deployed in the low slot. The
problem is, he's just not very good at the gig, like, say, a big power forward
like Milan Lucic might be.
Chara did spend some time tipping pucks after practice, but where
Holmstrom has about an 85 per cent success rate in getting a stick on hard
slap shots in one of those sessions, Chara redirected the puck about 40 per
cent of the time -- and his defencemen were floating in weak wristers.
"It's not that I'm learning it. I was in that role before (in Ottawa as well),"
said Chara, by way of defending his ability to be an effective low-post on
the power play. "Obviously it's a little bit different from being on the point,
but I think the main purpose of the whole thing is the same: you have to be
willing to do whatever it takes.
"You know, whatever position I'm on or in, I just try to do my best."
No one is questioning Chara's will to win. What is at question is the
deployment of a guy with a 105-mph bomb from the point, and the assertion
that he can become an effective crease player while learning on the job in a
Stanley Cup final.
In Game 1 he did not show the ability to re-direct a point blast, nor was he
quick to find a loose puck and jam it home. And, as Byfuglien perfected in
those Vancouver-Chicago series, Chara never once found a way to crash
into Luongo, or fall on the sprawled goalie as hard as possible at the end of
the play.
Smyth doesn't want to come across as criticizing Chara, who is doing his
best to learn an element of the game that a guy like Detroit's Holmstrom
has worked years and years to perfect. But Smyth knows he wouldn't have
any more success trying to learn how to play defence at such a crucial point
in the season.
"The old cliché is, practice makes perfect. It takes time," Smyth said. "I (tip
pucks) every game day, every morning skate. Like Holmstrom does. It
takes time, and it takes practice."
The Canucks, meanwhile, would be happy to see Boston coach Claude
Julien continue to stuff this square peg in a round hole for a few more
games.
571336     Websites                                                                Seguin was all the rage when he popped a goal and an assist in his first-
                                                                                   ever playoff game May 14 against Tampa Bay and then when he exploded
                                                                                   for two goals and four points the next game.
Sportsnet.ca /Sizing up the Sedins                                                 The Bruins' power play, such as it is now, kind of sucks. Seguin might not
                                                                                   be the answer, but we'll never know unless he's given a chance. It's time to
                                                                                   make him the central focus of the power play and see where it goes from
Do Daniel and Henrik need their names etched on the Stanley Cup to be              there.
considered great players?
                                                                                   Mike Brophy
Are we -- members of the media and ardent hockey fans alike -- too hard on
the Sedins?                                                                        Sportsnet.ca LOADED: 06.04.2011

While it is true the measure of the individual hockey player is generally
judged by team championships, there have been countless stars that were
unable to lift their clubs to a title despite doing everything in their power.
But at the end of the day, was Marcel Dionne any less a superstar because
he did not hoist the Stanley Cup? His brother, Gilbert, was a fringe player
who had the good fortune to play on the 1993 Cup champion Montreal
Canadiens. Which Dionne would you rather have playing for your team?
The Sedins bring it every night and yet following a 1-0 win over the Boston
Bruins in Game 1 of this year's Stanley Cup final Wednesday, one of the
hot topics of conversation is how the shutdown pair of Zdeno Chara and
Dennis Seidenberg neutralized the Vancouver Canucks' twin scoring
threats.
True enough, Chara and Seidenberg had a game to be proud of, but the
Sedins hardly mailed it in. Daniel played 23:01 and had eight shots on goal.
Henrik played 22:22 and was responsible for setting his brother up for
countless scoring opportunities. Currently Henrik, the NHL's reigning Hart
Trophy winner as most valuable player in the league, leads all playoff
scorers with two goals and 21 points in 19 games. Not too shabby. Daniel,
a finalist for the Hart Trophy this season, ranks ninth in scoring with eight
goals and 16 points.
There have indeed been times in this year's playoffs when the Sedins were
not as productive as they have been in the past. They certainly had their
share of troubles against the Chicago Blackhawks' shutdown pair of
Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook in the opening round and again in the
second round against Nashville's Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.
In fact, both Daniel and Henrik have been held pointless in exactly half of
their post-season games this year, but it doesn't mean they failed to
contribute in the games they were held off the board. The opposition can
never afford to take their eyes off the twins and when they are being
thoroughly covered, it means other players should be open.
As individuals, the Sedins don't come close to being as dynamic as the
likes of Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin or Pavel Datsyuk, but as a duo,
there isn't another pair of linemates in the league who can read the mind of
their partners like the Ornskoldsvik, Sweden natives. It is absolutely
uncanny how they are able to predict what one another is going to do on
the ice. I guess that comes from playing together virtually every shift of their
entire careers.
We will all continue to analyze their performances on a game-to-game basis
because that's what fans and media do. In terms of points, the Sedins don't
deliver every game, but have you ever questioned their effort? While there's
no question their reputation will be greatly enhanced if the Canucks are
successful in beating the Bruins in the final, for my money these two guys
are among the best who have ever skated in the NHL.
Tyler's time
Isn't it high time for the Bruins to insert Tyler Seguin onto the first unit of
their power play?
After going 0-for-6 in Game 1 of the final which left them operating at a
sorry 7.5 per cent success rate in the playoffs, the Bruins may as well roll
the dice on a kid they drafted second overall last June to be a scorer.
What have they got to lose?
Seguin was a scoring ace in junior with Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey
League. Last season he scored 48 goals and 106 points in 63 games. Of
those 48 goals, 13 came with his team holding the man advantage. He also
had 30 power play assists.
It is true that Seguin didn't make a sudden impact with the Bruins this
season. He didn't come close to having the success other teenage
freshmen such as Carolina's Jeff Skinner and Edmonton's Taylor Hall
enjoyed, but there have been glimpses of potential greatness.
571337     Websites                                                               guy they want, even though he's smaller and less physically mature than
                                                                                  everybody else.
                                                                                  Conversely, teams will look at it and say that they are scared of a high risk
TSN.CA Ray Ferraro / Memorial Cup MVP Huberdeau deserves a break                  defenceman who maybe can't play five-on-five minutes in the NHL, at least
                                                                                  not to begin with, the same thing Ryan Ellis went through in his draft year.

Bob McKenzie                                                                      Murphy will be in my top 10, but whether he gets taken there remains to be
                                                                                  seen.
                                                                                  TSN.CA LOADED: 06.04.2011
Some thoughts from the NHL Scouting Combine on Friday:
When it comes to the NHL Scouting Combine, you always look at all the
different results and the kids coming in.
Rocco Grimaldi is 5'6 and he's absolutely ripped. He has one of the lowest
body fats and he's leading the way in so many areas as the tests unfold in
terms of vertical leap, pushups everything else. The guy is obviously
jacked. He's a tremendous athlete, which is probably not telling the scouts
anything they don't know, because if you are that small, to be an elite world
class athlete then you need to be.
On the flip side, Jonathan Huberdeau is one of the top guys in this draft,
maybe a top three selection. He did two on the bench press, while other
guys are knocking off eight, 10, 12, 15. People can spin the results
whichever way they want because they look at Huberdeau and say 'Only
two on the bench press? Great, he's one of the very best players in the
draft and he's not really strong yet, imagine how good he's going to be
when he gets some strength to him.'
Huberdeau, Zack Phillips and the players from the Saint John Sea Dogs
just finished playing the other day in the Memorial Cup. That's a long
season for a bunch of 18-year-old kids. A long, long year for Huberdeau
started at the Under-18 last August in the Czech Republic. So absolutely he
gets a break for that.
Taylor Hall came here last year after back-to-back Memorial Cups. Hall said
he was banged up, battered, and bruised and he did none of the strength
testing last year. Do you think the Edmonton Oilers backed off because he
didn't do any of the testing? Of course not.
Some would go one step further and say that bench press is a nice thing
that the football combine started and the NHL does it as well, but there are
a lot of strength and conditioning coaches who would tell you that bench
press isn't a great hockey measuring stick. There is hockey strength, which
is mainly core and legs as opposed to a lineman in football where you are
doing a lot of pushing, which is what the bench press is all about.
All it does is give benchmarks to the teams, to know where these guys are
in terms of their overall physical maturity and their conditioning and where
they can go from there.
For a lot of these players, all it means is that they haven't worked out at the
pro style level. As long as the guys see that they have a good attitude and
they are prepared to do it once they understand what's required of them, I
don't think anybody comes out of this terribly disadvantaged because they
didn't lift 150-pounds enough times or they can't vertical leap as well as
some other people.
Number One Pick
I think the Oilers have a decision to make between Red Deer Rebels centre
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Adam Larsson, the big Swedish defenceman.
I think Jonathan Huberdeau, the way that he has played in the second half
of the season, especially the QMJHL playoffs and the Memorial Cup, is at
least going to come into the discussion.
Gabriel Landeskog would be the fourth guy that they will have discussions
on, but for me I think Edmonton has a two-horse race for number one.
Off The Radar
Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers is an offensive defenceman who
was a star for Team Canada at the Under-18 tournament in April. He's an
interesting player.
Murphy is an all out, one-dimensional offensive defenceman. He's dynamic,
but very small and not very physically mature, as he only did two in the
bench press.
Some people are going to love the skill and the daring part of his game
where he just wants to decide it every time, he wants to have the puck on
his stick. Those teams are going to look at that and say that's the kind of
571338    Websites


USA TODAY / Game 2 preview: Bruins at Canucks Saturday night


By Mike Brehm, USA TODAY


Sizing up the Stanley Cup Final matchup as the Vancouver Canucks and
Boston Bruins head to Game 2 Saturday (8 p.m. ET, NBC) in Vancouver:
Situation: The Canucks hold a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series heading
into Saturday's Game 2 (8 p.m. ET, NBC). Vancouver has won its last eight
Game 1s, and it has won Game 2 two times in its first three series this
postseason.
Goaltenders: Vancouver's Roberto Luongo vs. Boston's Tim Thomas. You
couldn't ask for anything more from the Vezina Trophy finalists, who
stopped everything until Raffi Torres scored with 18.5 seconds left.
Who's hot: The Canucks' third line. Even before the Torres goal, Jannik
Hansen and Maxim Lapierre had excellent chances.
Who's not: The Bruins' power play, but that's sounding like a broken record.
It's 5-for-67 in the playoffs.
What the Canucks want to do: 1. Attack with speed. Once they got on track
in the third period, their speed gave the Bruins problems. 2. Play more
disciplined. The Canucks were short-handed too often early on. One of
these days, the Bruins' power play will connect. 3. Make more quick side-to-
side passes. If Thomas is going to make saves outside the crease, force
him to move more.
What the Bruins want to do: 1. Find a way to get the power play going.
Moving Zdeno Chara up front helped. The Bruins had their chances. 2. If
they can't score on the power play, be brilliant on the penalty kill. Both
teams went 0-for-6 Wednesday. Said Bruins coach Claude Julien: "As long
as we're able to stay on even terms with them when it comes to special
teams, we're OK with that." 3. Get the puck in deeper and forecheck hard. If
the Canucks don't have injured defenseman Dan Hamhuis, it could change
up two of their defensive pairings. The Bruins can take advantage of that.
Fast fact: The top-seeded team has opened 2-0 in seven of the last eight
Finals.
USA TODAY LOADED: 06.04.2011
571339     Websites                                                                “Thomas does some incredible things out there,” Schneider said. “He
                                                                                   makes some really tough saves look easy, but he also makes some pretty
                                                                                   easy saves look hard.
YAHOO SPORTS / Luongo tries taking it to the distance this time                    “So Lou tries to find a bit of a balance where he’s just trying to be consistent
                                                                                   and our guys know what to expect from him. … He just looks relaxed. He
                                                                                   looks at ease and comfortable in the paint, just making stuff look simple.
Nicholas J. Cotsonika                                                              He’s not extending himself. He’s not on his back or his stomach or
                                                                                   swimming around. He’s really composed and just playing big and tight and
                                                                                   letting pucks hit him.”
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – With every save, with every victory, the             It’s amazing how quickly things can turn. Knowing that, let’s wait at least a
crisis fades farther into the past and the Stanley Cup comes closer.               little bit longer to crown Luongo or call his comeback complete. But let’s
                                                                                   also appreciate how Luongo, who for so long had all those great regular-
Roberto Luongo is only three wins away now. He led the Vancouver
                                                                                   season statistics but heard how he had never won when it mattered most,
Canucks to a 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Cup final
                                                                                   has made that Chicago series seem like a bump in the road to something
with a 36-save shutout. Coach Alain Vigneault, who benched him in the first
                                                                                   bigger. Let’s listen carefully to something else he said when asked when he
round, said Luongo is playing “some of his best hockey … that I’ve seen
                                                                                   has ever played better, turning an old criticism against itself.
him play.”
                                                                                   “I mean,” he said, “I think you measure success in this league obviously by
Asked when he has ever played better, at least in Vancouver, Luongo
                                                                                   winning. Right now we’re three wins away from our ultimate goal. That’s all I
hesitated. At first, he said: “I don’t know. That’s a tough question to
                                                                                   really can say about that.”
answer.” Pressed, he smiled and conceded: “What can I tell you? I’m in the
final. I guess I’m playing pretty well.”                                           Right now, that’s all there is to say.
I guess so.                                                                        YAHOO.COM LOADED: 06.04.2011
I don’t know if Luongo will give up another goofy goal and lose Game 2 on
Saturday night. I don’t know if all the concerns about him will come back
just like that. I don’t know if he wins the Cup if he will necessarily be
validated as a big-game goaltender, either, because he wasn’t when he
won gold for Team Canada at the Vancouver Olympics last year, was he?
But I know this: Luongo already has shown guts by making it this far.
It looked like it would all fall apart just a few weeks ago. Luongo allowed 10
goals over two games and was pulled twice. He was benched the next
game. He returned to the net only after backup Cory Schneider suffered a
cramp on a penalty shot, and he allowed the losing goal in overtime. The
Canucks blew a 3-0 series lead to the Chicago Blackhawks, the team that
had eliminated them from the playoffs each of the past two years, the team
they had fortified themselves to beat. Vigneault had risked alienating the
Vezina Trophy finalist who was signed through 2021-22.
But since then, Luongo has gone 10-3 with two shutouts and a whopping
.941 save percentage. He won Game 7 in overtime against the Blackhawks.
He helped dispatch the Nashville Predators with fellow Vezina finalist Pekka
Rinne at the other end of the rink. The guy who had never escaped the
second round won his first appearance in a conference final, beating the
San Jose Sharks’ Antti Niemi, the guy who had a 6-0 record in playoff
series. He began the Cup final by outdueling another fellow Vezina finalist,
the Bruins’ Tim Thomas.
Luongo has had his hiccups. He allowed some behind-the-net goals against
the Predators, and he put a puck right onto the stick of Sharks captain Joe
Thornton and watched it end up in his net for the first goal of that series. But
none of the gaffes were fatal, and none seemed to faze him. At least at this
point, most importantly, they have been trending downward.
“A lot of people took that Chicago series and kind of held it against him, but
I think that was more of the exception and not the rule,” Schneider said. “I
think he was just determined to finish out that first series and to come back
from two games that weren’t up to his expectations and to answer all the
critics and all the questions about him, and he’s done that and more.”
Winning games might be easier than winning over the critics for Luongo,
because when he screws up, he looks bad, and when he plays well, he
looks unremarkable.
Under new goalie coach Roland Melanson this season, Luongo has
become more efficient. He has stayed deeper in his crease, which keeps
people from pestering him in front – like former Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien
used to do, like Bruins behemoth Zdeno Chara tried to do on the power play
in Game 1. He has tried to stay more upright, keep his shoulders more
square and move post-to-post more fluidly.
In other words, Luongo is everything Thomas is not. Thomas was more
spectacular in Game 1 even though he made three fewer saves and lost –
because he faced more dangerous scoring chances, but also because he
has the more spectacular style. He comes out to challenge. He flops all
over the place. He seemingly has no pattern and just battles, somehow
getting something in front of the puck.
571340     Websites                                                               It’s not just that he has gotten to know the players – and he has known
                                                                                  basically everyone who has played for the Canucks in their NHL history. It’s
                                                                                  that he has gotten to know the people in and around the game. It’s that he
YAHOO SPORTS / ‘Shooter’ has been Canucks’ stick boy for 50 years                 has gotten to be a part of it, all of it, the lean years and the losses and the
                                                                                  empty seats, the high points and the wins and the chase for the Cup.
                                                                                  *
Nicholas J. Cotsonika
                                                                                  The first time the Canucks made the Cup final, it was 1982. They beat the
                                                                                  Blackhawks in Chicago and went straight to New York to face the Islanders.
                                                                                  Shute went straight to the principal of his school and asked if he could go,
VANCOUVER – From where he watches games at Rogers Arena, just                     too.
behind the Vancouver Canucks’ bench, in the tunnel to their dressing room,
Ron Shute can see the special logo at center ice. It features the number 40,      The principal said yes, of course. So Shute, unable to find a flight out of
celebrating the number of years the Canucks have played in the National           Vancouver, caught a flight out of Seattle. He made friends with an Islanders
Hockey League, also indirectly noting how long they have waited to win            fan and hitched a ride to the rink. When he got there, the Canucks were just
their first Stanley Cup.                                                          finishing their morning skate before Game 1. The players were so
                                                                                  impressed he had made it, they took up a collection and handed him a wad
For Shute, though, the number is 50.                                              of cash to pay for his flight and give him some walking-around money.
That’s right. Fifty. He has spent a half-century with the Canucks, longer         Game 1 went to overtime. Shute remembers running down the tunnel to set
than any other member of their staff, since they were a minor-league team         up for the first OT intermission, only to hear the roar of the crowd and
that played in a little wooden barn. He started as a stick boy at age 13, and     realize that meant the Canucks had lost. They ended up being swept. But in
he’s still a stick boy at age 64 – only they call him a dressing room             a way, that was OK.
attendant now.
                                                                                  “We really were the underdogs, didn’t expect to win,” Shute said. “But it was
His story symbolizes Vancouver’s as the Canucks hold a 1-0 lead over the          just really exciting to be there.”
Boston Bruins in the Cup final – the work, the wait, the journey, the
connection between the community and the team, the childlike dream still          The second time the Canucks made the Cup final, it was 1994. This time
held by grown men, the old memories mixing with the anticipation of what,         the series went the distance. Shute was invited to join the team charter
finally, could come true.                                                         flying family and team officials to New York on the day of Game 7 against
                                                                                  the Rangers.
It hit him early this season, when the Canucks held a pregame ceremony
for the 40th anniversary. They asked him to walk out last with the Canucks’       But the charter was cancelled. The plane needed a part. So Stan
first NHL captain, Orland Kurtenbach, and present a sweater to their newest       McCammon, the Canucks’ president and CEO, chartered a private jet. He
captain, Henrik Sedin.                                                            had room for eight other people. Shute was one of the lucky few who hadn’t
                                                                                  headed home yet and caught a ride. They took off hoping to make the
“When I was walking out there, that’s kind of what came to me – all the           opening faceoff.
years that I’d been doing this and all the different captains,” Shute said. “It
was an acknowledgment of all those years for me, and it just was very             But there were headwinds, and they couldn’t get clearance to land in New
emotional for me at that time. I could hardly keep it together.”                  York, and they had to land in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and they had to wait for a
                                                                                  customs official to come from home to clear them, and they had to hop on
How would he feel if the Canucks won the Cup then? What would it mean             two helicopters for Manhattan. They took off hoping to make the end of the
to him? What would it mean to everyone?                                           second period.
“Everything,” he said.                                                            But there was an electrical storm, and they had to fly around it, and they
                                                                                  didn’t touch down in Manhattan until there were about five minutes left in
*
                                                                                  the game, and the Canucks were losing 3-2. They hopped into waiting
It was the 1960-61 season. The Canucks were playing in the Western                limousines and listened to the game on the radio, hoping for a goal and
Hockey League, then a minor professional league one step below the NHL.           overtime.
It was the Original Six era, and the big clubs would blow through Vancouver
                                                                                  But by the time they got to Madison Square Garden, there was about one
in the fall to play exhibitions.
                                                                                  minute left, and it was too late. The Canucks lost. One of the owners’ wives
On this night the Detroit Red Wings were in town, and 13-year-old Ron             called her husband and asked what they should do. He told them to go to
Shute was in the stands as a fan when one of his schoolmates spotted him.         the airport and wait for the team, and so they did.
The kid needed help. He was the stick boy for the Canucks, and the guy
                                                                                  “Never got in the Garden,” Shute said.
who was supposed to work for the visiting team hadn’t shown up.
                                                                                  After all those years, after all those miles, Shute had come so close to
“I said, ‘What would I have to do?’ ” Shute recalled. “He said, ‘Well, you
                                                                                  seeing the Canucks win the Cup and didn’t even get to see them lose it.
might have to give Gordie Howe a roll of tape or Alex Delvecchio a stick.
                                                                                  Maybe it was better that way, he reasoned. He said the flight home was
You might have to get a glass of water for Bill Gadsby.’ I’m speechless. I
                                                                                  very quiet.
can’t talk. I’m just nodding my head.”
                                                                                  “Nobody was crying or anything like that,” Shute said. “It was just â¦
Shute served as the stick boy for the Red Wings. He said he was in “shock
                                                                                  disappointment.”
and awe.” He saw those legends in real life, and they treated him like a
human being, too. No tricks. No requests for a bucket of steam.                   *
The Toronto Maple Leafs came to town next. Shute’s schoolmate                     This is the third time the Canucks have made the Cup final. This time,
suggested he show up in case the other guy didn’t show up again.                  unlike 1982 and 1994, it isn’t new. It isn’t unexpected. This team isn’t an
                                                                                  underdog; it won the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular-season
“Well, he didn’t, and I did it,” Shute said, “and it just started from there.”
                                                                                  team and is favored to win the Cup.
For 50 years – 40 years since the Canucks joined the NHL in 1970-71 – the
                                                                                  “It’s kind of like you’re writing a book, and you write each chapter, and
job has been essentially the same. It’s a little more complicated now, with
                                                                                  you’re waiting for the ending chapter,” Shute said. “That’s what it would
more support staff and more equipment and more stuff in general, but not
                                                                                  mean for me. I can’t imagine doing this my entire life and never having a
much. As he went through school, as he spent 34 years as a schoolteacher,
                                                                                  chance to be part of a (Cup-)winning team. I think we have a really good
even after he retired from his day job, Shute moonlighted with the Canucks
                                                                                  chance this year, and I’m really hoping that ⦔
as a labor of love, showing up for home games and doing all the humble
duties that need to be done.                                                      He laughed.
Take care of the jerseys and socks. Refresh the food, beverages, tape and         “It would mean everything,” he said.
towels. Clean up the dressing room, set up the bench and the penalty box,
run errands for the players. All the drudgery that he says is no drudgery at      Would it mean the end for Shute? The kid they call Shooter will turn 65 in
all.                                                                              July. He has already retired from his teaching job, and every year he cleans
out his locker and goes home for the summer without assuming the
Canucks will ask him to come back.
But, no. Not yet. He’s really hoping that the Canucks write that last chapter,
but he’s really hoping there’s an epilogue, too.
“It’s been so much fun this year,” Shute said, “even if we win, I think I’d like
to be back next year.”
After waiting 50 years for one Cup, how much fun would it be to go for two?
YAHOO.COM LOADED: 06.04.2011

								
To top