Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was on all our minds last week. Naturally, talk about the war found its way into hockey circles. Hockey is a global sport. Many of the game’s best players are from Russia, and there are numerous international hockey tournaments, from the annual World Junior Championships and World Championships, to the quadrennial Winter Olympics which just recently took place.
In a life-and-death situation like this, that can impact hundreds of thousands of lives, athletes and sportswriters cannot just “stick to sports.” That said, several prominent current and former NHL players spoke out about the war in Ukraine and what it could potentially mean for Russian hockey players.
Other hockey news this week includes two players reaching career milestones, another player having his jersey number retired, and the passing of one of hockey’s all-time great builders.
Continue reading “Snap Shots: Hockey World Reacts to Russian Invasion of Ukraine”
Matthew Tkachuk vs. Zack Kassian.
Plus, Pekka Rinne’s Goalie Goal and Whalers Night in Carolina!
In this week’s episode of the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast, Sal Barry and Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard talk about the blowup between Zack Kassian and Matthew Tkachuk. Other topics include the New Jersey Devils firing GM Ray Shero — yes, we’re calling it a firing! — the Carolina Hurricanes’ “Whalers Night,” Pekka Rinne’s goalie goal and more.
Show Notes and Links:
Zack Kassian Ragdolls Matthew Tkachuk (video)
Why the New Jersey Devils fired GM Ray Shero now, and what’s next (ESPN)
Martin Brodeur’s Enterprise Commercial (video)
Review of Ken Dryden’s book Game Change (link)
Ilya Kovalchuk’s first goal with the Canadiens (video)
Jeremy Roenick’s Apology (video)
Pekka Rinne’s goalie goal (video)
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG.
Podcast intro and ending music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.
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What makes a trade lopsided? Many hockey fans think it is when one team gets the better players, declaring that that team had “won” the trade. But getting the better players doesn’t necessarily mean that team always wins.
For example, look at the Wayne Gretzky trade. One could rightly surmise that the Los Angeles Kings won that exchange, since they acquired the game’s greatest player in the deal. But consider that the Edmonton Oilers got $15 million in the trade, which allowed them to stay afloat, and won the Stanley Cup in 1990 with some of the assets they received. The Kings raised their profile exponentially with Gretzky on their team, but did not win a Stanley Cup Championship until 2012, long after that trade had any bearing.
That trade doesn’t seem so lopsided anymore when you look at it that way, does it?
With today being the NHL trade deadline, here is a look at five lopsided trades, where one team clearly benefited, while the other got hosed.
Continue reading “Five Really-Lopsided NHL Trades”
When Gordie Howe passed away earlier this month, he left behind a legacy that will never be matched. Sure, Wayne Gretzky surpassed Howe in points, but even Gretzky has repeatedly stated that Howe was the greatest. No other player has skated 26 seasons in the NHL. And while Jaromir Jagr may surpass that record, he would be hard-pressed to play until he was 52 years old.
Howe was the power forward that all other power forwards want to be. He could score and intimidate. He was mean on the ice, and yet his opponents have nothing but kind words to say about Mr. Hockey.
Because his career was so long — 26 years in the NHL and 6 years in the WHA — Howe had many trading cards released during his wonderful career. Here we take a look at some of Mr. Hockey’s best hockey cards.
Continue reading “Career in Cards: Gordie Howe”
Chris Pronger has accomplished everything you would expect from an elite NHL defenseman. He’s won the Stanley Cup, the Norris Trophy and the Hart Trophy. He was the captain of three different NHL teams, was on the cover of two different video games and lead the league in plus/minus two times, for what it’s worth.
Pronger also excelled in international competitions, winning gold once at the World Junior Championships and twice in the Olympics. He was drafted second overall in 1993 and would still be a force on the Philadelphia Flyers’ blue line if not for the injuries that ended his career in 2011.
Naysayers will bemoan the fact that Pronger is still technically an active player — heck, he even got traded back in June — so he has no business being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame until his last paycheck as a player clears. Obviously, Pronger, who suffers from post concussion syndrome, won’t be playing pro hockey again, so there’s really no controversy.
In honor of Pronger’s Hall of Fame induction, here is a look at his NHL career, accompanied by some of the more interesting hockey cards issued during the past two decades.
Continue reading “Career in Cards: Chris Pronger”