Neck injury forces Sheridan to quit - Former England and British and Irish Lions prop Andrew Sheridan is forced to retire because of a neck injury. Michigan AD apologizes for mistakes with QB injury (Yahoo Sports) - ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Roughly 12 hours after embattled Michigan coach Brady Hoke said he'd been given no indication that quarterback Shane Morris had been diagnosed with a concussion, athletic director Dave Brandon revealed in a post-midnight statement that the sophomore did appear to have sustained one. Lewis backs mixed-gender 'Ryder Cup' - The England Test hopeful who turned down Man City - Adam Lyth could have been a footballer, but his exploits as a Yorkshire batsman have put him on the brink of an England call-up. Charles sends Chiefs to 41-14 rout of Patriots (Yahoo Sports) - KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- It made sense that Andy Reid spoke in baseball metaphors after Kansas City whipped the New England Patriots on Monday night, with the Royals poised to end a long playoff drought just across the parking lot from Arrowhead Stadium. Raiders fire coach Dennis Allen (Yahoo Sports) - ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- The Oakland Raiders fired coach Dennis Allen on Monday night four games into his third season. AP source: Raiders fire coach Dennis Allen (Yahoo Sports) - ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- The Oakland Raiders have fired coach Dennis Allen four games into his third season. Chiefs lead Patriots 17-0 at halftime (Yahoo Sports) - KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Jamaal Charles returned from a sprained right ankle to score two touchdowns Monday night, helping the Kansas City Chiefs to a 17-0 halftime lead against the New England Patriots. Chiefs lead Patriots 7-0 after first quarter (Yahoo Sports) - KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Jamaal Charles pronounced himself healthy in his return from an ankle injury, scoring from a couple yards out and giving the Kansas City Chiefs a 7-0 lead over the New England Patriots after the first quarter on Monday night. Clarke 'hiding' over black managers -

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Ilya Bryzgalov takes selfies with fans during Wild game (Photos) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 30, 2014, 3:44 am]
Ilya Bryzgalov was the backup goalie for the Minnesota Wild in their 4-1 exhibition victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.  It’s the preseason. He’s Bryz. He’s bored. Selfie Time! Via ‏‪@jacqueline_blue In the third period, a line of fans stood near the glass at the Wild bench, each one taking a selfie with everyone’s bear-fearing, park-loving goaltending Cosmonaut. Like this one from liblawbs: And this one from ‏‪@tmg135: "WHY YOU HEFF TO BE MAD? IS JUST A SELFIE!" Props to the guy photobombing that fan's Bryz selfie. So many layers ... it's like "Inception." Later in the game, after he had appeared on every Instagram account in the Twin Cities, Bryzgalov tossed his touque on the ice after Jason Pominville completed his hat trick. When asked about all of this after the game, Wild Coach Mike Yeo gave a chuckling “no comment.” Bryzgalov had a bit of a career comeback with the Wild last season, backstopping them to the playoffs. He's looking to latch on with them again this season, although the Wild have four goaltending options when everyone's healthy and not breaking their ankles kicking walls.  Never change, Bryz, you beautiful nut log. Never change. 

Entire Blue Jackets first line out after Boone Jenner injury [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 30, 2014, 1:56 am]
Coming into this season, the Columbus Blue Jackets looked like they could have a formidable first line. The current status of that line? Nathan Horton is out with a degenerative back condition. Ryan Johansen is an unsigned restricted free agent in a brutal, contentious negotiation with the team. And now Boone Jenner will miss “significant time” with a broken left hand, according to Puck Rakers.  Jenner was injured when his hand was hit by a puck in a Sunday practice He’ll be out for at least a month. An actual quote from GM Jarmo Kekalainen: “That’s why we have a second line, a third line and a fourth line." So does this do anything to move the needle on Johansen?    

Puck Daddy’s NHL 2014-15 Emoji Preview: Boston Bruins [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 9:45 pm]
(The 2014-15 NHL season is nearly upon us, and attempting to handicap the winners and losers can sometimes leave us speechless. So we decided to break down all 30 teams with the next best thing to words: Emojis!)   Last Season In Emojis  Last Season, In Summary  The Boston Bruins had some new division mates in the revamped Atlantic Division, but the story ended the same way as it has in the (R.I.P.) Northeast Division. A 54-19-9 (117 pts.) not only helped the Bruins win their fourth division title in six years, but also their first Presidents’ Trophy since 1990. The NHL’s new divisional playoff format, coupled with the realigment had the Bruins facing the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round. After dropping Game 1, Boston won four straight to set up a meeting with hated rival Montreal, their sixth playoff series against the Canadiens since 2002. The series was controversial and emotional and ended in disappointment for the Bruins, as Montreal moved on with a 3-1 victory in Game 7. Boston had built up a 3-2 series lead, but managed to score only once in the final two games. General manager Peter Chiarelli faced a salary cap crunch over the summer, one that left most of the roster from 2013-14 back for 2014-15. There still might be another move or two in the cards, Last Season’s Definitive Highlight  Shake Milan Lucic’s hand the right way or he will threaten to kill you. Off-Season Transactions Chiarelli wanted to bring Jarome Iginla back for another year, but the two sides couldn’t agree to an extension and the Bruins GM decided against dismantling his roster had a deal been struck. He would head back west, signing in Colorado on a three-year, $16 million deal. Also leaving was Shawn Thornton, a fan favorite, who headed south with a two-year, $2.4 million contract. Finally, Chad Johnson had a solid year spelling Tuukka Rask and moved on to the New York Islanders, inking a two-year, $2.6 million deal. There were no major additions to the Bruins’ r

Barclays Center already starting to feel like home for Islanders [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 8:43 pm]
BROOKLYN — There was a lot of the same during Friday night’s New Jersey Devils/New York Islanders preseason game. The Islanders blew a two-goal lead and the Devils ended up losing in a shootout. Just like old times! There was one difference, however: the venue. For the second straight preseason, the teams dropped the puck at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the Islanders will soon call home.  After 43 years and four Stanley Cups, this season marks the final one at Nassau Coliseum for the Islanders. The second-oldest arena in the NHL has been outdated for a long time, and after owner Charles Wang tried and failed several times to revamp the barn once known as “Fort Neverlose,” the option for Brooklyn was presented and the decision to move was made. There are bigger concourses inside Barclays Center; more food and drink options and other enhancements, including a GQ-sponsored barber shop, that will make the experience better for both fans and players. “It’s nice to enjoy the new locker rooms and new [amenities],” said forward Colin McDonald. “We don’t have that at the Coliseum.” As fans get used to heading to a new building for games, so too will players, like defenseman Travis Hamonic, who used a Luke Bryan concert trip earlier this month to scout ways to commute to Barclays Center. (He said he’s leaning toward taking the train over fighting traffic.) "Looking back on last year, it was a neat experience just because everything that was going on around here, but moreso now that it’s close," Hamonic said. "We’re 12 months away from starting the real thing here. I don’t know if it’s just in our head or what, [but] it did feel a little more like home." There are also the subtle on-ice differences from the Coliseum to Barclays that only the players will notice.  “The big thing that I’ve noticed is the dark seats,” said Hamonic, "[in] the Coliseum there’s light blue seats. It might seem like a minute detail — and not a lot o

Alex Ovechkin arm tattoo is party now (Photo) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 8:11 pm]
Denis is from Penza, Russia. It’s subtle, but he appears to be an Alex Ovechkin fan. These photos appeared on Instagram (via Barstool) and show a tribute to the Washington Capitals star that extends from the shoulder to the elbow. It depicts Ovechkin in his Russian national team jersey, which he’s worn during his greatest team achievements as a pro, a.k.a. winning gold at the IIHF world championship. Denis decided on “skating away from the nipple,” which was bold. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey: It's time to join a league today! ] FYI, if any of you intend to punch Denis in the face, make sure you hit him from the right side, because we imagine that arm can’t defend anything … 

J.P. Parise battling cancer; Kraft Hockeyville U.S. bound; taxpayers off hook for Quebec arena (Puck Headlines) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 5:19 pm]
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Just having a great taco night with an old friend all the way from Cali!!!! @Ryan_Kesler @Formula_Four— Eddie Lack (@eddielack) September 28, 2014 • Eddie Lack has found a way to cope with his separation anxiety related to Ryan Kesler. [Twitter] • Zach Parise continues to battle on the ice as his father and former-Minnesota North Star, J.P., fights Stage-4 lung cancer. [Star Tribune] • Kraft Hockeyville, a Canadian staple, is coming to the U.S. to make over hockey rinks across the nation. [AdWeek]  • This past Friday Islanders fans got a look at their future in Brooklyn with a pre-season game in Barclays Center. The arena isn't perfect for hockey, but they'll make it work. [Islanders Point Blank] • If Quebec were to be awarded an NHL expansion franchise, the taxpayers would not be on the hook for the new arena...maybe...possibly...allegedly. [Globe and Mail] • Larry Brooks can't believe the NHL is just catching on to the analytics craze in the information age. [NY Post] • Another analytics blogger is off the market. Congrats to Corey Sznajder on the new job with an unnamed NHL franchise. [Shutdown Line] • Mulling over the possibilities of the World Cup of Hockey, and what went right the last time the NHL had one. [Awful Announcing] • Cory Schneider chats about replacing a legend in New Jersey, comfort in his current surroundings, and other things. [The Hockey Writers] • The Stars and Blues played a pre-season game in Kansas City over the weekend. The local fans did not disappoint. Shall we add KC to the list of possible expansion markets? [Kansas City Star] • Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has high hopes for his franchise. He wants to turn the Bolts into 'the Green Bay Packers of the NHL'. What's the Tampa Bay equivalent of the cheese-head? [Raw

Ville Leino released from Bruins tryout; Europe next? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 4:47 pm]
The Boston Bruins released Ville Leino from his professional tryout contract on Monday, and we’re sorta bummed about it. It appears that Leino is going to go down as one of the biggest busts in recent NHL history. He parlayed a 53-point season with the Philadelphia Flyers into a six-year, $27-million deal with the Buffalo Sabres, back when Terry Pegula thought that throwing money at the problem would result in a Stanley Cup. He went on to score 46 points in 137 games, and was a healthy scratch last season before getting the last three years of his deal bought out.  But face it: The downfall of Ville Leino was because (a) he was handed an absurd contract that any of us would have signed and (b) the team that gave it to him made the still-baffling decision to slot the winger as their No. 2 center, and he fared about as well as asking Adam Sandler to play Hamlet. So Leino gets cut from his free-labor contract with the Bruins and … now what? Europe would seem the best option. He played six seasons in SM-liiga before moving over to Grand Rapids and the Detroit Red Wings, and played his last season with Jokerit, who is now part of the KHL. Maybe a year and change over there, and then back to the NHL when he’s 32? Seems like he needs to recharge his reputation as much as he needs to reclaim his game.        

Avalanche re-sign Brad Stuart before his 1st game as an Avalanche [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 3:59 pm]
The Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Brad Stuart to a 2-year contract extension on Monday, and rightfully so. Who among us can forget his performance for the Avalanche in … uh … when … er … that preseason game recently? OK, it’s not unprecedented that a team signs a new acquisition before he laces’em up for them. Clearly the Avalanche like what they’ve seen from Stuart so far, after trading a second and sixth for him from the San Jose Sharks; so they inked the 15-season veteran to a 2-year, $7.4-million deal.  He’ll be a top-pairing defenseman with Erik Johnson this season, and a physical presence that blocks shots. His possession numbers aren’t stellar in comparison to his teammates, at least during his time with the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks, but he brings much-needed experience to that blue line. Here’s what Johnson said about him: "He's a really steady influence," said Erik Johnson, who is playing with Stuart as the Avs' top pairing. "He won a Stanley Cup in Detroit and has been on a lot of winning teams. He's approaching mid-30s, but he really skates well out there. If you can skate in the league you're going to be around for a long time, and he can definitely move." Moving is great. Defending is better. Watching Stuart get turnstiled by the Los Angeles Kings last postseason doesn’t inspire much confidence that he’s worth either top-pairing minutes or a $3.6 million AAV, but maybe they see something in that Johnson/Stuart pairing what warrants it. Granted, that’s something you might want to test in the regular season before signing him to an extension, but hey, Joe Sakic got in early on the Brad Stuart sweepstakes. 

Pierre McGuire would fire coaches that rely on analytics for player review [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 3:11 pm]
In reading and hearing so many hockey analytics naysayers over the last year, we’re convinced that the divide between the sides isn’t as enormous as it appears. Provided one side stops being so short-sighted and presumptive about the other. To wit: One of the constant reactions from anti-stats people is that they’re somehow “replacing” good ole fashioned game watching. Which they aren’t, at all – they’re augmenting what’s seen during games, seeking to guide coaches and scouts in what to look for in evaluating the performance of a team or player. What is the other team doing when he’s on or off the ice? Where is he starting the majority of his shifts, and what has he produced despite that advantage or disadvantage? And so on. So we’re not going to label Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports analyst and Penguins general manager honorable mention, as an anti-stats guy, despite the negative reaction his words on TSN 690 last week have received. They came to light in a Jack Todd piece on fancy stats published Monday, in which McGuire was quoted as saying: “Any coach that uses analytics to show a player what he did right or wrong,” McGuire told TSN Radio 690’s Mitch Melnick, “should be terminated on the spot.” [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey: It's time to join a league today! ] We were curious about the context there, so we dipped into the podcast archives and listened to the back and forth: Q. “We gotta still be quite a ways away from at time when a coach is going to talk to a player after the game and is going to use analytics to explain what he did right or what he did wrong.” PIERRE: “Any coach that does that should be terminated.” Q. “HUH?!” PIERRE: “You heard me. You challenge me all you want. Videotape is what they need to see. Players don’t think about, ‘If I block this shot, my analytic number is going to go five percent.’ Or ‘if I get five shots on goal, my analytic number is going to go up 10 percent.’ They have to l

What We Learned: The self-inflicted idiocy of David Clarkson [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 1:24 pm]
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)  You'll recall that David Clarkson missed the first 10 games of last season because he did a dumb thing: He left the bench to join in the fracas caused by John Scott trying to fight Phil Kessel. Not the best way to start a contract that, at the time of its signing was widely viewed — and then over the following 82 games repeatedly verified — as being the worst in the league by a pretty wide margin. Between suspension and injury last year, Clarkson ended up missing a whopping 22 of the Leafs' season; and when he was on the ice he served as a horrible drag on pretty much everyone. But okay, this kind of thing happens a lot. Guy signs a big new contract (in Clarkson's case it's seven years at $5.25 million per against the cap) in a high-pressure climate like Toronto and stumbles a bit. Maybe you can even accuse the guy of trying to do too much, and that's why he was so bad. Yeah, you don't want a big-money player playing only 60 games, nor scoring just 11 points in those 60, but it happens. So the Toronto media — bafflingly — seemed willing to forgive and forget for the horrible disappointment this nearly $37 million man brought to His Hometown Team The Toronto Maple Leafs. There were plenty of stories ahead of training camp that Clarkson was now focused completely on turning things around. Then the Leafs started practicing. Just a little while into into pre-camp workouts (which, it seems to me, kind of counts as camp), he picked up a minor injury and missed a few days. He came back in a preseason game against the Sabres on Friday night and even picked up a goal and an assist But then this other thing happened. Early in the third period, for no readily apparent reason whatsoever, Clarkson saw fit to clash a little bit after a

Torey Krug, Reilly Smith agree to discount deals with Bruins [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 1:08 pm]
The strongest hockey-related thing in Boston isn’t Milan Lucic or Zdeno Chara. It’s the salary cap ceiling. How else to explain the humbling of defenseman Torey Krug and forward Reilly Smith in their restricted free agent contract decision with the Boston Bruins? Krug wanted somewhere between $1.5-2.5 million on a short-term deal. Smith had 51 points in 82 games, and was angling for a healthy raise as well.  On Monday, the Bruins announced they both signed 1-year, $1.4-million contracts. That sound you just heard was Peter Chiarelli actually snapping a limb in the arm wrestling match with his young players. Smith was positioned to get slightly more than that, considering his output last season. Jaden Schwartz just received a $2.35 million AAV contract with the St. Louis Blues, for comparison’s sake. But it’s Krug that might be skating with a rubber ducky right now, considering the bath he just took. Add up the bonus money, and his rookie contract was worth $1.704 million annually. So not only is Krug taking less than that, Krug is taking less than his reported contract demand to the Bruins. Evidently, KHL threat money ain’t worth what it used to be… Look, the objective here was to get these guys in as soon as possible, without blowing up the cap for this season. The Bruins are win-now. Yes, both will be RFAs next season and, yes, they’re going to have more leverage with arbitration rights. But this could be the last ride for this gang anyway, with Carl Soderberg, Gregory Campbell, Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid all going unrestricted and now having Smith and Krug up as RFAs along with Dougie Hamilton. It’s worth the extra headaches next summer if it means this roster can remain intact for a run this season. Kick the can for later, try to win the Cup now.  

Braden Holtby head-bangs his mask off vs. Montreal (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 7:32 am]
After the high stick of delightful Montreal Canadiens pest Brendan Gallagher twisted it sideways, Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby had but one reaction in a game on Sunday: HEAD-BANG’N THAT MASK OFF.  Seriously, that was 1983 Judas Priest concert-level noggin nodding. We imagine he was also making devils’ horns inside his blocker. This is the first time we've seen Holtby's head rock like that without the assistance of Ray Emery's fist ... Alas, NHL rules dictate that if the goalie’s mask comes off and the opposing team doesn’t have an “immediate and impending scoring opportunity,” then play is stopped. Which is a bummer, because Holtby totally looked ready to deflect some pucks with his face and/or his damn hippie hair. Now, we know what you’re saying: This could have just been a ploy to get a stoppage in play with the Montreal on the power play moving the puck around the point. But that would indicate that goalies push the limits of the rulebook for their own gain, and looking at the goalie equipment around the league we know that’s never the case … s/t SwissHab  

Puck Daddy’s NHL 2014-15 Emoji Preview: Buffalo Sabres [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 8:55 pm]
 (The 2014-15 NHL season is nearly upon us, and attempting to handicap the winners and losers can sometimes leave us speechless. So we decided to break down all 30 teams with the next best thing to words: Emojis!) Last Season In Emojis   Last Season, In Summary  Coach Ron Rolston piloted the Sabres into an iceberg, going 4-15-1 to start the season and getting turfed. Longtime GM Darcy Regier followed out the door, with Pat LaFontaine returning to the Sabres as their new president of hockey operations, bringing coach Ted Nolan with him. LaFontaine would later resign, after naming Ottawa Senators assistant GM Tim Murray as his new general manager. The Sabres finished 21-51-10. Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller were traded. The exodus began. All eyes turned to the 2015 NHL Draft, where the Sabres had their own pick and that of the New York Islanders. Last Season’s Definitive Highlight   The new regime takes over. Off-Season Transactions The Sabres added some interesting names for a team allegedly on the tank. Matt Moulson returned on a 5-year deal, citing the way he was treated by the team after being acquired from the Islanders. Josh Gorges was acquired from the Canadiens for a second rounder. Brian Gionta, the Montreal captain, signed a 3-year deal. Andrej Meszaros was brought on for a 1-year deal. Gone were a bought-out Christian Ehrhoff, brawler John Scott and defenseman Henrik Tallinder, among others. Cody Hodgson led the Sabres with 44 points last season and will have a new triggerman in Gionta, who is three seasons removed from his last 20-goal season. Moulson had 11 goals in 44 games with the Sabres last season. Tyler Ennis was second on the Sabres with 43 points in 80 games, including 16 points on the power play. Drew Stafford was the third best scorer last season with 34 points, and he’s in his walk year. Stewart brings some toughness and 20-goal potential. Marcus Foligno gave the Sabres some truculent play, but only seven goals in 74 games. Zemgus Girg

Jaden Schwartz wises up with Blues deal [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 2:07 pm]
The immediate reaction from the hockey world to Jaden Schwartz’s 2-year, $4.7-million contract was that it’ll kick Ryan Johansen’s contract demands down a few notches with the Columbus Blue Jackets. I’m not sure I see the correlation, other than the fact that both players had RFA status and missed part of training camp. Johansen is positioned as a franchise player; Schwartz could be great, but he’s less vital at the moment (some of this has to do with the positions they play). Johansen is seeking a home-run contract; Schwartz seemed happy with a short-term deal. But most of all: The Jackets have over $14 million in cap space; the Blues had $2.783 million before signing Schwartz. He was going to get what the Blues were going to give him, because he wasn’t even eligible for an offer sheet. So rather than extend the charade that he was going to get anything that pushed the Blues over the cap, Schwartz signed for an AAV of $2.35 million. From GM Doug Armstrong to the Post-Dispatch: "So I think he's going to be behind the rest of the group. The good thing is, he's been training hard and he's young, I so I think he'll be able to physically catch up to the group. I think it's his timing and we have new players on the team that he doesn't know. He's going to have to take a crash course into understanding the way they play and how he can complement what they need and they can complement what he needs. I wish he was here obviously 10 days ago, but that's water under the bridge now. We'll get him in here Monday and we have three games left, Ken (Hitchcock) will find out when he's ready to play and hopefully he'll get into a couple of those games." Schwartz had 25 goals and 31 assists last season. Two more seasons like that, and he’ll make bank on his next deal.

Puck Daddy’s NHL 2014-15 Emoji Preview: Calgary Flames [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 27, 2014, 4:51 pm]
(The 2014-15 NHL season is nearly upon us, and attempting to handicap the winners and losers can sometimes leave us speechless. So we decided to break down all 30 teams with the next best thing to words: Emojis!)   Last Season In Emojis Last Season, In Summary  Despite the 27th overall finish, there were some positives to take out of the 2013-14 campaign for the Calgary Flames. They saw signs of promise from some of their youth, helped by their remodeling of the roster, and saw a decent finish to the season, a 14-10-0 record in the final two months. General manager Jay Feaster was canned in December, with Brian Burke taking over the role until this past June. The 35-40-7 (77 pts.) record helped give the Flames the no. 4 overall selection in entry draft, which they would use on Sam Bennett. Money was spent in the off-season, but nothing to give off the belief that the team can weave their way into a playoff spot, at least not in the Western Conference. Last Season’s Definitive Highlight  The Flames and Canucks were so eager to drop the gloves and fight that they started their goons and went at it from the opening face-off. Not wanting to be left out, former Vancouver head coach John Tortorella tried to get a piece of Calgary boss Bob Hartley in the tunnel.  Off-Season Transactions New general manager Jim Trevling handed one of the strangest contracts of the summer, giving Deryk Engelland $8.7 million over three seasons after a six-goal, 12-point season in Pittsburgh. He did wisely spend some cash filling a need in goal by bringing on Jonas Hiller for $9 million over two years. Mason Raymond had a nice year in Toronto, scoring 19 times, earning him a three-year, $9.5 million deal. Burke likes his teams tough, so of course Trevling would send out a third-round pick to Chicago in exchange for Brandon Bollig. The 27-year old Bollig had signed a three-year, $3.75 millon extension in March. He’s had 11 fights over the past two seasons, according to HockeyFights.

Lightning prank players with fake jersey, much to the disappointment of Radko Gudas (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 27, 2014, 12:49 pm]
The Tampa Bay Lightning will be unveiling their new (black) third jersey on Saturday during Fan Fest. Before the big reveal, the team gave some members of the roster a peek at what the new sweater will look like, or so the players were led to believe. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey: It's time to join a league today! ] It was a prank, and as you'll see, the majority weren't big fans, save for defenseman Radko Gudas: "Is that it?"  "Yeah." "No." That's exactly how 99-percent of the marketing meetings for NHL third jerseys should go. Sadly, we wish the video was longer to see the reactions of the players when told the jerseys weren't the real deal; specifically, the disappointment from Gudas, who we're pretty sure has already found a way to order a dozen. - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy

Lightning prank players with fake jerseys, much to the disappointment of Radko Gudas (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 27, 2014, 12:49 pm]
The Tampa Bay Lightning will be unveiling their new (black) third jersey on Saturday during Fan Fest. Before the big reveal, the team gave some members of the roster a peek at what the new sweater will look like, or so the players were led to believe. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey: It's time to join a league today! ] It was a prank, and as you'll see, the majority weren't big fans, save for defenseman Radko Gudas: "Is that it?"  "Yeah." "No." That's exactly how 99-percent of the marketing meetings for NHL third jerseys should go. Sadly, we wish the video was longer to see the reactions of the players when told the jerseys weren't the real deal; specifically, the disappointment from Gudas, who we're pretty sure has already found a way to order a dozen. - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy

Hockey gods giveth, then taketh away from SHL goalie Bernhard Starkbaum (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 27, 2014, 12:00 pm]
It was only two weeks ago on this very blog that we highlighted an amazing stick save by Swedish Hockey League goalie Bernhard Starkbaum. The Brynas keeper didn’t have the best season opener, but his stop on Frolunda’s Anton Axelsson was one to remember: That'll get the 'ol confidence up, for sure. Fast forward to Friday evening, and while the hockey gods can sometimes give you a hand, they can also quickly make you look the fool. Tending net against Skelleftea, Starkbaum allowed a goal from center that that he soon won’t forget: Usually we see these long-range goals go cleanly in the net or take a bounce and roll over the goalie’s pad or glove. Not so in this case. Poor Starkbaum thought he had it under control, but ended up putting the puck into his net trying to freeze it during a 4-1 loss. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey: It's time to join a league today! ] Niclas Burstrom will never score an easier goal again. Stick-tap Robert Soderlund - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy

Puck Daddy’s NHL 2014-15 Emoji Preview: Carolina Hurricanes [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 26, 2014, 7:59 pm]
(The 2014-15 NHL season is nearly upon us, and attempting to handicap the winners and losers can sometimes leave us speechless. So we decided to break down all 30 teams with the next best thing to words: Emojis!)  Last Season In Emojis Last Season, In Summary  The Hurricanes missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season, finishing seventh in the Metro (and really, really missing the Southeast) with 83 points. It cost coach Kirk Muller his job, and had decades-long GM Jim Rutherford step down.  Last Season’s Definitive Highlight  All Jeff Skinner everything. Off-Season Transactions Not many, beyond allowing a number of UFAs to move on. They brought back defenseman Tim Gleason and signed defensive forward Jay McClement.  Needless to say, it was a good year to have reverse alphabetical order in our previews ...  Jordan Staal’s injury on Tuesday changed the Hurricanes’ chances considerably. His broken leg, putting him on the shelf for up to four months, removes the best two-way forward on the team. He won 54.4 percent of his faceoffs, and the team fell off a possession cliff (5 percent CorsiRel) when Staal was off the ice. His brother, Eric Staal, returns after a disappointing season. He finished with 61 points in 79 games, but his 0.77 points per game average was the lowest since his rookie season. He saw time with Jiri Tlusty (30 points in 68 games) and Alex Semin (42 points in 65 games), another possession driver (55.2 CorsiFor) who dropped from a point-per-game pace he set in his first year in Carolina. Jeff Skinner led the team with 33 goals, a career best mark in what was his best offensive season since winning the Calder. Elias Lindholm clicked with him last season, but he might be pressed into duty as Jordan Staal’s replacement. Another player that could get a look in Staal’s spot is Riley Nash, who had 24 points in 73 games last season. Nathan Gerbe was a great story last season, going from the Sabres’ scrap heap to a 31-point season in

Flyers' Pierre-Edouard Bellemare hopes to lead NHL's French revolution [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 26, 2014, 7:15 pm]
TORONTO -- It didn't take long for Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of the Philadelphia Flyers to realize the difference between playing in the NHL and playing in Europe. “You see that there is less time with the puck, and as soon as you get the puck you’ve got to find a play quick,” he said after the Flyers’ preseason game at Air Canada Centre Tuesday. “If you get the puck and are not aware where your linemates are then it’s hard to make a play.” The 29-year old Bellemare, who was born in Paris, signed with the Flyers in June. As of Friday, he remains on their roster after cuts brought the number of players left in camp to 34. Should he make the team, he’d join a short, but growing list of French players to play in the NHL. How did Bellemare get introduced to hockey as a kid growing up in Paris? Thank his younger sister, Rose-Eliandre Bellemare, a member of France’s 2008 Olympic artistic gymnast team. “My big sister wanted to try hockey, and from there my big brother and I decided that we [would] like to try skating on the rink,” he said. “There was a guy that was a coach in both figure skating and hockey that told my mom that it would be a wise thing to do to put me through hockey. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey: It's time to join a league today! ] “We grew up changing from team to team just because my mom thought that level was not high enough; so we just switched teams because of that. When I was 16, I moved from a team in Paris to a team in Rouen, which is in the north of France, which was the best team. From there it’s been more professional [teams], which is not the level that it is here, but it’s a start. You can only try to learn as much as you can from where you were playing. That’s what I did, not everything in France, but I learned until I thought it was a good idea to leave.” Bellemare first joined Sweden’s Leksands in 2006 and spent three seasons there before leaving for Skelleftea. Internationally, he’s represented France

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