Tag Archives: national hockey league

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Week 1 NHL Panic Rankings

Its too early for power rankings. If you’re doing power rankings after 2 games you’re getting ahead of yourself. How do you really know who is the best and who is the worst? Or the most “powerful”? The first place team in the NHL is the Montreal Canadiens with 6 whole points. Lets give it some time and do the panic rankings instead!

You won’t make the playoffs in October, but you can miss them.

by: Adam Pyde - @Adam_Pyde

Welcome to the Panic rankings. I’m going to do my best to make this into a weekly feature where I focus on 10 teams/players/happenings in the NHL and rank them on the panic scale.

Warning: Humour and Hot Takes follow.

10. New York Rangers

First Derek Stepan breaks a fibula. Now Dan Boyle breaks his hand. A team that won because of their depth last year has had that very aspect depleted. They got rocked by the Leafs 6-3. Lucky for them they are in the worst division in hockey and can keep themselves above water on that fact alone.

9. Edmonton Oilers
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They’re bad again. Lost the first game of the season. Sweater thrown on the ice. Lose to Vancouver. The defense is C+ and they for whatever reason put their best left handed defenceman in the AHL for one bad pre-season game. That Nikitin contract, oof. Good luck against an actual big boy team.

8. People who watched Chicago-Dallas on Thursday night
(Click here for highlights)

That game might have been the fastest regular season game ever. I lost weight just watching it. That game was being played on such a different level than any others that night it made the rest of the NHL games look like AHL contests.

7. In-arena reporters
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You gotta be careful now. The fans are coming for you! You’re under attack! The Russians have come and they’re attacking in Columbus! And in Philadelphia they’re getting touchy. Just trying to convince you to let your guard down. Might be time to invest in some bear mace.

Read the full Panic Rankings at Talking Baws

recap

NHL 2014 Preview: Complete NHL Recap

The NHL season has kicked off! FINALLY! But wait, are you ready? Have you read extensive previews? What about perfect predictions? What about mind blowing observations that will make you the smartest guy at the water cooler or the call-in show?

Behold! The 2014 total NHL Preview! Everything is perfect. Don’t believe? Then go read every article and see for yourself!

By: Adam Pyde - @Adam_Pyde

Enjoy all my hard work!

NHL 2014 Preview: Metropolitan Division Off-season Report Card
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Who’s going to make the playoffs? Who improved? Will the Penguins be actually good? Can the Isles or Devils return to the playoffs? Can the Rangers repeat their surprise run to the Stanley Cup Finals? Will Columbus or Philadelphia hold onto their playoff spots? Will the ‘Canes become relevant?

NHL 2014 Preview: Atlantic Division Off-season Report Card
Atlantic
Can the Leafs or Senators return to the playoffs? Are the Bruins still top dog or will the Lightning take over? Can the Red Wings continue their playoff streak? Will Buffalo or Florida outsuck the rest of the NHL again? Can the Canadiens build off their deep playoff run?

NHL 2014 Preview: Central Division Off-season Report Card
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Have the Blues done enough to overcome the Blackhawks? Are the Stars for real this season? Can the Wild hold it together? Were the Avalanche smoke and mirrors? Will the new-look Predators take a playoff spot? Just how bad are the Jets going to be?

NHL 2014 Preview: Pacific Division Off-season Report Card
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Can the Kings do it again? Will the Ducks be able to overcome a roster overhaul? Was last season an aberration or the real Canucks? Which Albertan team will be better? Will the Sharks identity crisis make them better or worse?

NHL 2014 Preview: Top 5 Players to be Traded
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Who’s days are numbered where they are? Trade requests? Expendable? Are they worth trading for or are they overrated products of their systems?

You also get to read me totally whiff on Bobby Ryan.

NHL 2014 Preview: Top 5 Players Ready for Breakout Seasons
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What players are set to break out? Who will have a star making season? Who is coming up on make or break territory? What is missing from a few players chances to become that star?

NHL 2014 Preview: Top 5 Players to Take a Step Back
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What breakout players aren’t likely to repeat their terrific seasons? How hard will they fall back to earth? Why was last season all smoke and mirrors?

NHL 2014 Preview: Top 5 “Change of Scenery” Players
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Which players are going to benefit the most in a new city? Which new signings are going to prove their worth and rebound? Which trades are going pay off? What players are going to make their managers look savvy?

NHL 2014 Preview: Top 5 Bounce Back Players
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Take a quick look at players coming off bad years that should be primed to comeback and have good years. While the title says 5, I actually include 8! That’s 8 for the price of 5. How can you not read it now?

NHL 2014 Preview: Top 6 Stupid Myths in Hockey
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The NHL is full of myths. What are these dumb myths? This highly intelligent article will educate you and expand your brain thinking abilities in the realm of hockey so you won’t fall for shenanigans and silliness anymore!

NHL 2014 Preview: Top 7 New Signings Under Pressure
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Which players are under the most pressure? Who holds the most potential to bust and be an expensive waste of space? What hope do these players have? What was the general manager thinking?

NHL 2014 Preview: Top 10 Absolute Worst Contracts
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Which players hold the 10 worst contracts in the league? A better question… what teams were dumb and gave out the 10 worst contracts in the NHL? Just how bad are they? Is there any hope for these teams/players/fans at all?

NHL 2014 Preview: Made Up Summer Awards
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What teams are the winners of my completely fictional awards? Who is improved? Who is bad? Which teams are on hallucinogenic narcotics? Who looks the nicest?

NHL 2014 Preview: Preseason Awards Predictions
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Who is gonna get which piece of hardware? Who will score the most? Be the best defenceman? Stop pucks the best? Use the best coaching voodoo? Which team will be the absolute best and give fans eternal bragging rights?

I loved writing these! I hope you enjoy them too!

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NHL 2014 Preview: The 10 Absolute Worst Contracts

The NHL season is thankfully underway! What better way to celebrate than passing judgement on which players are bad and signed to the worst contracts this season? Dash a little optimism and break a few hearts before your team has a chance to do it for you!

Trust me when I say picking out the 10 worst contracts in the NHL was a lot harder than you think. I had a list of 22 and got seriously stumped at 18. And that was after I decided they needed to have at least 3 seasons remaining.

I feel like I Nathan Horton might be #1 on next years edition.

By: Adam Pyde - @Adam_Pyde

Author’s note: Don’t hold a player being on this list against them. Hold it against the dumby manager who thought it was a good idea. If Talking Baws wanted to grossly overpay me then you can sure bet I’d accept it!

10. Ryan Callahan, 6 years left, $5,800,000 annually.

General Manager Steve Yzerman has done such a good job in Tampa Bay that you want to forgive him of the odd misstep, but you really can’t in a salary cap world. Or at least not for long.

High cap hit. Lots of term. Brand new contract for a player with a body continually breaking down. Callahan has only played three of his six big league seasons at anything close to resembling a full year. His level play was already showing signs of falling off for the Rangers to boot.

Maybe removing him from New York where they’ve played a more grinding, heavy system in his career can shave some of the miles off his legs and keep his joints glued together. If not, this contract is going to look even worse before you know it when he’s bouncing between the third and fourth lines as a 31-year-old.

9. Ryan Miller, 3 years left, $6,000,000 annually.
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Reason #1: He’s been on the decline since 2011 and couldn’t even be average behind a team as good as the St. Louis Blues, a team that is significantly better than the Vancouver Canucks.

Reason #2: He’s getting 6 million a season in a market where the Canucks essentially bid against themselves to drive up the price they paid for him while a better, or at least equal, goaltender in Jonas Hiller signed for significantly less in Calgary.

Reason #3: There will be trade talk and buyout chatter before this contract is even a year old once Eddie Lack outplays him by Christmas.

Reason #4: Lack, the better goaltender, will end up being traded. All for whatever reason this signing made sense.

8. Vincent Lecavalier, 4 years left, $4,500,000 annually.

Ray Ferraro thought teams were high when they were fighting to sign him. Why would teams be high to sign a player who put up 20-17-37 in 69 games?

He just completed the first season of his contract and the Philadelphia Flyers were already desperately trying to trade him this summer. When they realized he was damn-near untradeable, they considered buying him out.

After one season.

That one season came where they signed him after he got bought out by his previous team.

He stands to be a buyout candidate after this season for financial details and cap implications, which will make him the first player to be bought out twice. Woof.

7. Dennis Seidenberg, 4 years left, $4,000,000 annually.

The biggest danger with “defensive” defenceman is that once they lose even a bit of mobility, they’re hooped. It’s a steep decline once their legs start to go. Did I mention that he’s a 33-year-old coming off surgery to repair the MCL and ACL in his right knee. He wasn’t fast before, and he won’t be any quicker now.

Whats worse though, is that the contract for an aging, slowing, defenceman with limited puck skills has cost the Bruins a quality player in Johnny Boychuk because of the cap crunch that his contract helped to largely contribute towards (well, Chris Kelly’s absurd contract too. At least the NHL is being gutless and not penalizing them for Marc Savard as well).

Lucky for him, he’s likely to play significant minutes with Zdeno Chara. That’ll make people think he’s better than he is for at least the next two years. Thats about it.

Read the full article at Talking Baws

1999

How Things Have Changed: NHL Uniforms in 1999

Fifteen years ago was a long time ago. Think about it. Probably a lot of the stuff you thought was cool isn’t anymore (kick scooters), but hey some of it probably still is (Lego, Pokemon, Backstreet Boys). This applies to fashion too. Remember the 90‘s fashion? Especially late 90s when everything had to be shiny or gaudy? Well the NHL was no different.

It used to look ugly. Really ugly, but some of it has come back to look pretty good. Actually it looked good. Nope ugly. Dive in.

By: Adam Pyde - @Adam_Pyde

Anaheim-Mighty-Ducks-Purple-Jersey-1993-2006

We start in Anaheim, where they were very 90s.

Just look at those colours. Teal and eggplant. It looked tacky at the time, but honestly, the look as aged quite well which seems to be the case of most old uniforms. Maybe its my Mighty Ducks movies nostalgia.

“Rabble rabble rabble GET RID OF THAT OLD STUFF! ITS TIME TO MOVE ON! WE NEED A NEW LOOK! rabble rabble rabble”

Then you get new looks, and they usually suck but you buy it and defend it because of team allegiance. But 10 years later people are clamouring for the classic look. And this one was no different.

In fact Anaheim brought it back and the team hasn’t looked so good in the last 8 years. Gone was a 90% black uniform and in came something that really popped. In a league full of boring black and navy uniforms, this was a welcome change.

You’re welcome to bring these back full-time at any moment, Anaheim.

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Next we stop in Boston where, uh, they wore… this.

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Really Boston? Who approved this? Who approved putting one of the greatest defencemen of all time in this? Are you kidding me?

“The hot new trend is a third sweater these days! Let’s make one bright yellow and put Smokey the Bear on it! It’ll sell like hotcakes and look great!”

Awful. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last terrible yellow uniform we’ve seen.

Still, woof. I get Anaheim. That was 1995.

But this? It looks like one of those hilarious minor league sweaters worn on fundraising nights for local charities.

“Come on out to the Garden to support our local boy scouts raise funds for wildfire awareness!”

Luckily for your eyes, the Buffalo Sabres actually were wearing a pretty decent uniform in 1999.

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Not bad. And I would probably like it more if half of the Minor Hockey Associations across British Columbia didn’t feel the need to switch to this design. It’s probably the second best uniform set in franchise history, trailing only behind the classic 1970′s look.

Plus, this sweater accompanied Buffalo’s only trip the Stanley Cup Finals where… oh right. This happened.

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Would you look at that. What a travesty. And of course I’m talking about the Dallas Stars ever ditching those classic green star uniforms.

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Damn. That looks good. Oh so good. And so unique. The Stars used to be the only team in the entire league to wear green in their uniform. No idea why. Green is a great sweater colour.

And look at that design. They are called the Stars, and their uniforms were star designed. And it worked. Good job marketing and design teams!

Similar to the Buffalo Sabres, this was the only sweater that ever got the Stars into the Stanley Cup Finals, and they won. Then the franchise struck futility for years wearing boring black uniforms.

But times are good right now, and its no coincidence its because they’re mean in green again.

Curious of another NHL team that seemed to hate the idea of colour in their uniforms? Why the Los Angeles Kings are they!

To see how things have changed in places like Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix (ew) and Tampa Bay, head over to TalkingBaws for the full article.