Puck Junk Podcast #6 – July 1, 2015


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Podcast #6 is way overdue, but Tim (@TheRealDFG) and Sal (@PuckJunk) finally get around to talking about the end of the 2014-15 season. This week’s topics are:

  • The Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup Championship and Duncan Keith winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP (0:01 to 7:07)
  • The 2015 NHL Awards, including discussion about the Masterton, Lady Byng and Messier Award winners (7:08 to 22:30 — we reference this article here)
  • The 2015 NHL Draft — why it was (or wasn’t) worth watching (22:31 to 42:00)

Total time is 42 minutes, so hit play, make yourself a sandwich and enjoy!


PODCAST INTRO AND ENDING MUSIC CREDITS:

“Iron Bacon” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


7 Incredibly Stupid Blackhawks Items

7 Incredibly Stupid Blackhawks Items

Chicago Blackhawks’ merchandise has finally reached the tipping point, plummeting into absurdity. When I started watching hockey in 1989, it was nearly impossible to find a Blackhawks t-shirt in Chicago. Twenty-six years and three Stanley Cup Championships later, you can hardly walk ten feet without seeing Blackhawks t-shirts,  towels or temporary tattoos for sale somewhere.  One side effect of the team’s success is that the Blackhawks will now license ANY item, no matter how incredibly stupid it is. Here are seven officially-licensed ‘Hawks items that left me scratching my head, wondering why any team would be OK with their logo adorning these.

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Re-imagining the 1990 NHL Draft

This month is the 25th anniversary of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. It was one of the deepest drafts in NHL history. Headlining were four highly-touted forwards and a goalie All five were considered can’t-miss prospects; more on them in a bit. But the two biggest names selected in 1990 were Martin Brodeur and Jaromir Jagr.

So, let us pretend that we could re-do the first round of the 1990 NHL Draft, hingsight being 20/20 and knowing what we know now. Imagine we get a copy of Grays Sports Almanac, a la “Back to the Future: Part II,” photocopy it 21 times, go back in time (the hard part of this scenario), and give a copy to each NHL GM in 1990. Here is how the first round of that draft probably would have looked.

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The NHL’s Big Spenders vs. Big Winners: An Interactive Chart

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Click the above image to activate the bar graph. Not working? Click here.

The tenth year of the NHL’s “Salary Cap Era” has wrapped up. To the surprise of perhaps no one, no team that had the highest-paid roster has won the Stanley Cup in the past decade. The Vancouver Cancucks — who were paid a league-high $70,975,000 in 2010-11 — almost did it when they came within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Above is an interactive chart that displays the highest-paid team and the Stanley Cup-wining team, plus the teams that scored the most goals, that allowed the fewest goals, and that had the best record during the regular season. The chart also notes where each team ranked overall in league payroll for that season.

To learn more, check out the interactive bar graph. ■


SOURCES

Salary data from USA Today (2005-06 to 2013-14) and and NHL Numbers (2014-15).
Special thanks to Hockey’s Cap.


It’s Time to Rename the NHL Awards

trophy_title_imageEvery June, when the NHL doles out its annual awards to the game’s best players, the argument of renaming the NHL’s trophies is always brought up. And not without good reason. Almost all of the awards are named after either players who skated nearly 100 years ago, or are former executives — many of whom did all they could to keep player salaries rock-bottom during the Original Six Era.

That said, it is high time to rename the NHL awards. Here’s a rundown of every major NHL award, why it needs to be renamed and a suggested new name.

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The one you wish you could throw back

YashinWe all have regrets in life. Sometimes it’s no one’s fault but our own; sometimes fate just has a funny sense of humor. It could be a job we took that quickly turned sour; it could be that person you woke up next to the morning after a night on the town, celebrating your team winning the Stanley Cup. Or it could be great hit in a pack of cards that lights up your face…until you read the name. Continue reading

Building the 2015 Chicago Blackhawks: An Interactive Timeline

Click tbe above image to activate timeline. Not working? Click here or here.

The Chicago Blackhawks are a modern-era dynasty, winning the Stanley Cup three times in six years. The journey started way back in 2002, when the team selected defenseman — and future Conn Smythe Trophy winner — Duncan Keith in the NHL Entry Draft.

Solid drafting has been the key to Chicago’s success. Of the 25 players who suited up for the Blackhawks in the 2015 playoffs, 12 were drafted between 2002 and 2013, while seven were acquired in trades and six others were signed as free agents.

For more detail on how this dynasty was crafted, plus a recap of how every player contributed to the ‘Hawks latest championship, check out this interactive timeline. ■

An interview with Michael Rigitano, creator of the Bottle Cap Stanley Cup

Alternate_Headline_ImageBlackhawks fans are a passionate bunch, so it takes something above and beyond your typical jersey or face paint to stand out in this sea of red. But lifelong ‘Hawks fan Michael Rigitano is anything but typical. After the team won the Stanley Cup in 2010, he exceeded the normal boundaries of fandom and descended into something much deeper. On a dare, he built a life-size replica of Lord Stanley’s Cup — using bottle caps. Many, many thousands of bottle caps.

Since then, the Bottle Cap Stanley Cup has had a life of its own. Rigitano — a college student who also teaches children and adults how to play hockey — and his trophy were guests at the United Center and have appeared on TV, on the radio and in newspapers around Chicago. His creation helped raise money for breast cancer research at a Chicago Steel (USHL) game. The NHL even arranged for the “Cap Cup,” as he calls it, to be photographed with the real deal.

I spoke with Rigitano to learn what drove him to undertake such a monumental task.

Sal Barry: I’m going to just cut right to it — why did you make a replica of the Stanley Cup out of bottle caps?

Michael Rigitano:. I was working in a bar in 2010. It all started with a ten dollar bet that I couldn’t make a Stanley Cup out of bottle caps. I ended up winning that money. Continue reading

Free Hawks rally tickets hawked on eBay

ticketThe plan for this year’s Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory parade and subsequent rally was flawed from the get-go.

First, the parade is on a Thursday. A Thursday! Who wants to call in sick to work on Thursday, only to come back to work on Friday and pretend they’re still nursing a summer cold?

The other problem is that the rally afterward is a ticketed event at Soldier Field,  home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears. The rally tickets were free through the Ticketmaster website at noon Wednesday. The 75,000 available tickets sold out in 20 minutes, and — to the disappointment of many Blackhawks fans — were being scalped on eBay moments later. Continue reading