Here are today’s top headlines in the world of hockey:
Capitals, Penguins to play next 10 Winter Classics
Thursday, the NHL announced that the Winter Classic – the annual outdoor game held on New Year’s Day – would be played between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals for the next 10 years.
“What a marvelous day for hockey, to show off our best teams and greatest players to television audiences everywhere,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, forgetting that water also freezes in other regions of the U.S. and in Canada. “Fans across the nation will be able to see Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin – two true stars of the game – go head to head in every Winter Classic until 2021.”
Bettman mentioned that other teams playing in the annual event are “not completely out of the question” should Crosby or Ovechkin be traded or retire.
Millions blinded by Don Cherry’s latest jacket
During Saturday’s Maple Leafs-Red Wings game, over 15 million Hockey Night in Canada viewers were temporarily blinded by Don Cherry’s latest garment – a luminescent, double-breasted polyester jacket that glowed with the power of 5 suns.
Emergency centers were jammed with calls from frantic hockey fans claiming they had gone blind. Fortunately, the effects were temporary. Viewers regained their sight later that evening, but also complained about severe headaches after hearing Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury argue during the second intermission’s “Hot Stove” segment.
Upper Deck unveils new 2011-12 OPC cards
Today, Upper Deck gave collectors a first look at their upcoming set of 2011-12 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards. Hitting stores in late 2011, the cards feature enhanced photography, complete player statistics and an O-Pee-Chee logo that fills 90% of the card’s front.
“For decades, fans of all ages have loved the O-Pee-Chee brand of hockey cards,” said Upper Deck in a press release. “What better way to give collectors that feeling of nostalgia by making the O-Pee-Chee logo even larger than we have in the past. That way, fans can feel like they are collecting the cards of their youth, even though they are not.“
In an effort to increase the desirability of the set, Upper Deck plans to ruin one card in every pack by staining it with wax.
Report: NBC analyst Roenick used to play hockey
Jeremy Roenick, a studio analyst for NBC since 2009, has made countless repeated claims of a professional hockey career – most recently during Saturday night’s San Jose Sharks – Phoenix Coyotes game.
“It’s true. I played in the National Hockey League for 20 years,” said the 41-year old several times during the broadcast.
“Shane Doan – I used to play with him when I was with Phoenix!” said an excited Roenick after seeing the Coyotes’ captain notch a goal against the Sharks. “And I scored my 500th goal with San Jose.”
Roenick also claims to have played with the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers.
During both intermission reports, three rinkside interviews and the postgame show, Roenick mentioned his alleged NHL career 147 times, and talked about his membership in an organization called the “U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.” As of press time, Roenick had no comment about the Coyotes-Sharks game he covered.
Avery puts flaming bag of poo in Brodeur’s crease
In a move that NHL officials are calling “unconventional,” New York Rangers winger Sean Avery left a burning paper bag filled with excrement in the goal crease of New Jersey Devils’ netminder Martin Brodeur.
“Brodeur is full of [bleep], so I thought the bag belonged to him,” said Avery after the game.
Notorious for agitating opponents, Avery set the bag in front of Brodeur during the second period, causing the goalie to smother the flames with his pads while Rangers center Chris Drury scored. However, the goal was immediately waived off by referee Don Van Massenhoven, as it is against the rules to distract the opposing goaltender with open flames or feces.
Neither Brodeur nor the New Jersey Devils have commented on the matter, but reportedly the Devils’ equipment manager has asked for a raise.
Thrashers acquire rest of ‘Hawks in latest trade
In a stunning blockbuster trade, the Atlanta Thrashers have acquired every member of the Chicago Blackhawks from 2010.
“We feel that this gives our team a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup,” said Thrashers’ GM Rick Dudley at a press conference earlier today. Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Antti Niemi are just 4 of the 19 players acquired in the complex, 6-way trade that also included the Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars.
“We believe those guys will fit in well with [Andrew] Ladd and [Dustin] Byfuglien,” said Dudley of his team’s new acquisitions.
In exchange, the Thrashers gave up a package of prospects, future draft picks and Dudley’s first born child.
In other news…
Happy April Fools’ Day!