Toronto defenceman Mark Fraser told Jonas Siegel from TSN.ca about shot-blocking. “In the moment,” he said, “it’s just a reaction, you just do it. It’s hard to explain why, it’s just the ingrained craziness of a hockey player. Honestly. Some kinds literally do it with their face.”
Scotty Bowman talked this week about Gordie Howe, who turns 85 tomorrow. “He was a terrific player — size, strength, offence, defence, toughness, ability to score, ability to make plays. If you were going to make a model of a hockey player for every category, you wouldn’t be able to get a model better than him.”
On Sunday, Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman fired his coach, Guy Boucher. “Guy is a good man,” said Yzerman. “He’s a good hockey coach. He’s an intelligent guy. He’s a hard worker. It just isn’t working.”
“It was a bit shocking,” said Lightning forward Teddy Purcell, “but we have to have a short memory and move forward. This was a good character test for us.”
Mark Streit of the New York Islanders told reporters this week that his team would try to take “time and space” away from Sidney Crosby — leaving him, I guess, no dimensions in which to operate.
Turns out Alexei Kovalev didn’t retire so much as the Florida Panthers retired him. Having signed up with the Panthers in January, Kovalev, who’s 40, played 14 games for them. He scored two goals, assisted on three others. Then in February the team told him to stay home. “They never really explained to me.” At a Montreal Canadiens alumni game, he told reporters he hopes to play in Europe next season. “I’m not ready for this kind of event. I feel that I can still play the real game.”
On Monday, the media in Calgary waited to talk to Flames’ captain Jarome Iginla to ask him are you being traded?/where to?/how do you feel?/sad?/is it Los Angeles?/any anger, at all?/do you wish you’d won the Stanley Cup?/probably Chicago, then?/why didn’t you win the Stanley Cup?/are you bitter?/does it sting?/will you miss us?/Boston?/what will you miss the most?/Pittsburgh isn’t out of the question, is it?
“Iginla declines to talk with media after Flames’ morning skate,” tweeted Scott Burnside from ESPN.
Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero traded for Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray. “Analytics doesn’t come in to this for me. You can’t measure the heart, the character, the fit on your team you’re looking for.”
“Sad to see Crank go,” San Jose’s Logan Couture twittered about Murray’s departure.
“The more you watch Jake Gardiner,” said former Leafs’ assistant general manager Bill Watters, “the more you see a young Red Kelly.”
A doorman at the Vancouver Canucks’ hotel didn’t recognize Roberto Luongo: “Called me Mr. Kesler which is so weird cuz it pretty much ruined the rest of my life…..”
Vancouver wasn’t scoring with the proverbial man advantage. How to fix it? “We need to be proud that you’re on the power play,” Henrik Sedin said. “It’s a lot of hard work. You can’t go out there and think ‘It’s a power play … we can relax.’”
Tampa Bay signed a young prospect and brought him in to practice with the team. “Standing on the ice feels different than just in the stands,” said Andrej Sustr.
After a Staal brother (Marc) took a puck, hard, above the eye, two others decided that the time has come for them to wear visors. “I just feel like the risk isn’t worth it right now,” said Eric. “Sometimes you feel like you’re invincible, but as many guys have seen, you’re not. Unfortunate injuries can happen. It’s just being smarter.” Jordan: “It’s a smart thing to wear.”
The Los Angeles Kings visited the White House on Tuesday to tell Barack Obama that they’d won the Stanley Cup and would he like to touch it? Going in the team’s proudly Albertan coach, Darryl Sutter, said he wanted to talk to the U.S. president about the Keystone XL pipeline, which he (Sutter) favours. “I’m gonna ask him about it — damn rights I am,” Sutter told The Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek.
Outside, Kings’ captain Dustin Brown was tweeting: “1600 Penn. @whitehouse. Should be a fun day. #barry”
“With playoff MVP Jonathan Quick playing lights out in goal,” said the President in his remarks, “these guys just kept winning game after game after game.”
Captain Dustin Brown put it best before the final game. He said, “I don’t know what 45 years of energy sounds like. But if we play our game, maybe we’ll find out.” And that night at the Staples Center, they found out. And America found out that Southern California actually has some pretty intense hockey fans.
As CTVNews.ca reported, the Kings gave Obama a team sweater, number 44:
The president then shook hands with Sutter before walking away.
Neither Sutter nor Obama has released a statement indicating a discussion on the oilsands took place.
Also on Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings tweeted a salute to a proud moment from their history: “And on this day 16 years ago, Lemieux turtled. Happy ‘Fight Night at The Joe’ Anniversary, #Hockeytown!”
“Is there a psychiatrist out there who can explain why grown men stand and pound on the glass whenever a player comes near?” solicited The Globe and Mail’s Roy MacGregor during a game between Ottawa and New York.
The Montreal Canadiens found a new word, this word, to caption a video of their defenceman launching a bodycheck in 2010 on Boston’s Brad Marchand: “Sub-bang!”
To go with, maybe, a coinage from the week before? “SHANABANNED!” was Sports Illustrated’s headline on the NHL’s decision to suspend Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul for two games for a hit on Victor Hedman.
Not suspended, soon after, for a clobbering to the head of Florida’s Tomas Kopecky was Rick Nash of the New York. People had a hard time understanding that one, Lupul included. “If someone can explain the decisions on what warrants a suspension and what doesn’t, please let me and the rest of guys know…,” he tweeted.
Not a head-hit, Shanahan said in a video released to quell the uproar. “Nash makes initial impact with Kopecky’s shoulder and his nameplate and a result, his arm rises up Kopecky’s back, causing him to lose his helmet and fall forward.”
Ottawa Senators’ owner Eugene Melnyk told the CBC that he though Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke had intentionally chopped Erik Karlsson’s Achilles with his skate. “You know what?” said Melnyk. “I’m going to prove whether it was intentional or not.” He had “forensic doctors” working on the case in Toronto.
You watch. It may be public, it may not be public, but it’s between me and the league. I think it was intentional, but you have to be able to prove it, and from all the television angles that we saw, you can’t see it. It was so fast.
But the force that that skate had to go in through … a sock, a sub-sock, then into your skin, muscle, heath, and then to get to your tendon? Man, either this guy’s really good or very lucky at being able to do that.
Dallas Stars’ defenceman Brenden Dillon answered questions on Twitter. That’s how we know of his favourite pre-game meal (“Sweet Potato, Brown Rice and Chicken Parm”) and rituals (“2 hour nap and tape all three sticks in my stall, nothin too crazy”).
On Monday, Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli said to his counterpart Jay Feaster in Calgary, hey, listen we would really like for you to trade Jarome Iginla to us, we’ll give you defenceman Matt Bartkowski and minor-league forward Alexander Khokhlachev, not to mention how about a first-round draft choice, too?
On Wednesday Boston began to shudder with excitement. The Flames announced Iginla wouldn’t play that night and Bartkowski, too, was a scratch. The Boston Globe’s Kevin Dupont tweeted: “Not sure what it means, but Iginla dining on baked beans, Boston creme pie.” Done deal, everybody thought. Fans leaving the Garden after the Bruins’ loss to Montreal were heard chanting, “Ig-gy, Ig-gy.” On TSN, just after midnight, Aaron Ward announced it was a go.
But no, it wasn’t.
Feaster broke the real news a little later: Iginla was going to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a pair of U.S. college players and a first-round pick.
A Classy Era has come to an End, said The Calgary Sun.
From the prime minister’s BlackBerry: “Jarome Iginla is a class act, a proud Canadian, and an all-time Flames great. Thanks for everything, Jarome.”
“This is not why I came to Calgary,” Feaster said next morning, “to be the guy who traded Jarome Iginla.”
The Calgary Herald remembered when he’d first arrived in town: “a 19-year-old, largely-unknown, rawboned kid with a weirdly square helmet, a penchant for oversleeping and a name that went on forever (Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla).”
In leaving, Iginla joins a select group of players who’ve graced the jersey — Kent Nilsson, Lanny McDonald, Al MacInnis, Mike Vernon, Theo Fleury — that transcend it.
Former Flame Craig Conroy said, “There should be a statue out front some day.”
“What a player. What a person. I mean, what can I say?” said teammate Alex Tanguay.
No-one was too sure what had happened with the Boston trade — including, it turned out, the Bruins’ Chiarelli. He convened a press conference to say that Wednesday, noonish, Feaster had called to say Iginla was his. He heard nothing after that, though, until just before midnight, when he got a second, bad-news call.
“Maybe Iginla was on his way to Boston and Sidney Crosby just yelled ‘Iggy’ again as loud as he could,” speculated Bruce Arthur from The National Post.
“Let’s welcome Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh! #letsgopens,” enthused Mario Lemieux.
Iginla had his own press conference on Thursday, to say thank you and goodbye, just before he left Calgary.
“Hockey goes fast,” he said. “Life goes fast.”