Hockey Season 2012

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Erik Redburn
Hockey Season 2012


Erik Redburn

Not long before the next winter (fall and spring) marathon session begins, so might as well open another.

Winnipeg is back in the big league (though still stuck in the Eastern conference for some dumb reason) and Victoria BC has a major junior franchise again and St John's NFL has an AHL team again, and Vancouver is once again leading the charge to bring Stanley back to its rightful place.


But first some sad news that hasn't gotten any notice here yet:

"Russian plane crash kills Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team"

"Tragedy-hit Lokomotiv pulls out of top league"

Quite a loss, thankfully rare, including a number of well known names like ex-Flames and Flyer star Brad McCrimmon and ex-Blues star Pavol Demitra, among many others.  Too many.



A civil case pitting former NHL player Steve Moore against Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks could finally see the inside of a courtroom late next year.

The target date for the Ontario Superior Court trial to begin if necessary is Sept. 24, 2012 if Bertuzzi is still an active player, and Oct. 22 if he's not, according to court documents viewed by CBC.

Court-ordered mediation between the sides has failed to lead to a settlement.

Moore, now 33, has never played again since getting hit from behind in a March 8, 2004 game by Bertuzzi, who was on the Canucks. Moore was in his first full season with the Colorado Avalanche.

Bertuzzi, now 36, is entering his 16th NHL season.

Read more:

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Don Cherry blasts former tough guys for opposing fighting


The outspoken star of Hockey Night in Canada's Coach's Corner criticized three former National Hockey League tough guys on Thursday, calling them "pukes" for their alleged anti-fighting views


"You people that are against fighting, you should be ashamed of yourselves," Cherry said between periods of Thursday's game between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs on CBC-TV.


"You should be ashamed of yourself for doing something like that."


He specifically took shots at retired players Chris Nilan, Jim Thomson and Stu Grimson, who Cherry said have publicly suggested that the league's brawlers are more likely to turn to substances.


Nilan has denied ever saying he was against fighting.


"The ones that I am really disgusted with, and I hate to say this when the kids are listening . . . are the bunch of pukes that fought before: Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson. (They say) 'Oh, the reason that they're drinking, (taking) drugs and alcoholics is because they fight.' You turncoats. You hypocrites," Cherry said.


"If there's one thing I'm not it's a hypocrite. You guys were fighters, and now you don't want guys to make the same living you did."

It's time for Cherry to hang up the skates. Nilan responded on twitter today saying that he nevver said the things Cherry attributed to him, that he deserves and apology from HNIC and Cherry, and that those who can't play, coach. Hey-o.



Shanahan should suspend Cherry for 10 games. Smile

Time to bring a new ex-coach in for Coach's Corner.

ETA: On both CBC and on TSN's facebook page, the comments tend to be running against Cherry at a rate of at least 4 to 1.


Apparently Stu grim reaper Grimson is a family man now with a law degree. And apparently some of his fights with tough guy Domi were not the grudge matches they appeared to be. New Grimson must be a real disappointment as far Cherry is concerned.


I live in winnipeg, and i can say that i've never been so pumped for the season to start since i was 15 years old.  The positive energy during the pre season games was unbelievable, people are seriously losing their minds (and their voices from cheering so loud!) over the jets being back, myself included.

luckily i was able to split season tickets with some friends so i will be able to be there in person for at least the next four years to go ape shit cheering for the little team that could.  The only thing that scares me is a possible repeat of the years that saw the jets lose in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual stanley cup champs year after year with edmonton rebuilding a helluva team...

i don't know what it is, i hate the military shit, i hate corporate hockey, but i can't help but love the jets.  it's hard to explain unless you're from winnipeg i guess.



Three former NHL players criticized by Don Cherry on a recent episode of Coach's Corner have called the comments he made about them "baseless and slanderous" and are considering legal recourse.

Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson were called "turncoats" and "hypocrites" for their respective stances on fighting in hockey by Cherry, the bombastic star of the popular Hockey Night In Canada intermission segment.

In response, the trio released a statement early Tuesday through the Nashville offices of Grimson, now a lawyer:

"During CBC's broadcast of Coach's Corner on Oct. 6, 2011, Don Cherry inserted himself into a prominent debate involving the recent deaths of three (3) NHL players, drug addiction, alcohol abuse and mental illness. In doing so, Mr. Cherry targeted the above-named individuals, some of whom have suffered from such diseases, as a result of views they previously expressed. Mr. Cherry's comments were more than inappropriate; they were baseless and slanderous. Furthermore, Mr. Cherry's subsequent attempt to qualify his comments on Oct. 8, 2011, was entirely ineffectual. Mr. Cherry's conduct throughout has demonstrated a complete lack of decency.

"In light of the damaging and inflammatory nature of Mr. Cherry's comments, Messrs. Grimson, Nilan and Thomson are considering further recourse."


Cherry has been getting worse in his old age.  I can't remember the last time i seen him even smile or not be a rampaging fool, swatting mclean's hands out of the way, voice cracking, messing up almost every players name, freaking out about every military death and not giving a shit about the people we're killing, etc.

They should ditch don and let mclean do the show with another ex-coach.


Sidney Crosby appears to have cleared a hurdle in his recovery from a concussion, with the Pittsburgh Penguins announcing through their Twitter feed Thursday that the captain is wearing a black helmet along with his teammates at practice.

"I'm cleared for full contact. It's a good step in the right direction," Crosby said after practice. "We'll see how it goes for the next little bit."

Crosby had been wearing a white helmet since training camp as he took part in non-contact drills with teammates.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Does anyone else miss Howie Meeker?


Golly gee whiz, sure.


Winnepeg is in the East because there wasn't time to re do the schedule.  Next year, they will be in the west, and some team-- and I really hope it is Detroit, will move over to the east.

I like the Leafs so far, but that third period last saturday was a little disconcerting.    Adding Lombardi should bring up the penalty killing average to, well, at least average.  And there seems to be a power play now.  If that comes up to average too, then we're playoffs bound.


A 15-year-old hockey player in Manitoba was forced to parade around the dressing room with water bottles tied to his genitals, the teen's parents alleged Wednesday in an effort to end hazing rituals in minor hockey.

The parents described their son's hazing experience in a CBC News interview on Wednesday, a day after the Manitoba Junior Hockey League suspended the Neepawa Natives' coaches and 16 players for hazing incidents involving five team members.

The team was also slapped with a $5,000 fine, the largest fine the league has ever issued, according to its commissioner.



The victim has missed more games than the perpetrators.


Pogo wrote:

Does anyone else miss Howie Meeker?


Yes. I always trusted his opinion of the game. He didn't dwell on the side shows and feuds, like Cherry does so often. With Meeker it was plays, plays and more plays. He was good at ordering up video on the fly and illustrating the set plays and clever opportunism of dishmeisters and their complementary snipers when artfully undressing the D and handcuffing goaltenders for a finale. I think that as far as Meeker is concerned, there are no other aspects of the game worth discussing.


The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is reopening its probe into a hazing incident involving the Neepawa Natives after several players recanted earlier evidence.

The league has also indefinitely suspended Natives assistant coach Brad Biggers, who was previously suspended for five games in connection with the hazing that took place the week of Sept. 26.

The hazing incident involved tying water bottles to the genitals of rookie players.


for me the bigger question is why the hell is it okay that the team is called the neepawa natives and using the chicago blackhawks logo?  I don't know anything about the team, but i'm assuming they're not primarily FN people.  


Hazing in all places comes into the public forum from time to time because the nature of it is for one cohort to ramp up what happened to them when it comes their turn to do it to someone else.  That happens in school initiations, sports hazing, and as we saw, in the military. 

Proponents say it creates unit cohesiveness.  I think that's complete horeshit and always has been horseshit.  You create unit cohesiveness by everyone doing their best at the job, and creating mutual respect through recognition of those accomplishments.

Hazing is about being able to humiliate another person and I don't think that creates any kind of comraderie or cohesiveness in a group. 

Quite the contrary. 

I hope those responsible find themselves in a lot of difficulty.


Former junior hockey coach and convicted sex offender Graham James has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two of the players he coached in the 1980s and early '90s, including former NHL star Theoren Fleury.

James entered the guilty pleas in a Winnipeg courtroom on Wednesday afternoon. He and his lawyer appeared in court via video link from Montreal, where James currently lives.

James will be sentenced in Winnipeg on Feb. 22, 2012, the CBC's Marisa Dragani reported from the courtroom.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Milbury should know better than to put his hands on a kid. Very dumb. 

And this kid from Buffalo playing for the Hawks - who does he think he is? Anyway?


Well I for one appreciate Brendan Shanahan's video updates informing us hockey fans of the reasons for player suspensions. They are brief and to the point and amount to so much,

Yep, it was an illegal hit to the head alright. And Elbows Magoon will receive a stiff fine of a few hundred bucks and a full week off from gladiator duties!

One stern word from the league and an easy week off, and they are right back out there to do it again.



What about Jordin Tootoo getting suspended for the Lucic hit on Miller?  That's what it amounted to.  Tootoo tried to avoid Miller, Lucic didn't. None of it makes sense.

I thought Shanahan was a standup guy, but obviously his attempt to level big suspensions at the start of the season had General Managers and or owners on the phone to him, and then he lightened up.

And every suspension seems to have a unique set of rules created for it, so players can be suspended or not suspended based on who they play for or what box office draw they are.

This whole idea of basing suspensions on "intent" is wrong. Did you hit the guy illegally or not?  Whether you intended to or not shouldn't enter into it.  You can't climb inside a players mind to make that kind of determination, hence the gross inconsistencies.



I know. And I get the feeling that they are trying to encourage players to be more careful. Pacioretty's hit to the head on Letang was a good example. In Pacioretty's opinion, a puck carrier should not be allowed free reign to skate unimpeded into the high slot like Letang did without suffering some consequences. It's as if he felt he did nothing wrong, but then qualified it with saying he understands that hits to the head have to be curbed. Letang suffered a broken nose and probably rattled his brain as a result. I was almost glad for him that he came back on and scored the winning goal. 


Fighting in hockey should be stopped because it leads to head trauma that causes progressive brain damage, says an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.


the origins of of hockey violence?

Adam Gopnick, a fellow McGill '80 grad, elaborates on a current thesis regarding its origin as ethnic rivalries in Montreal:

In one way we expect sports to mirror the social arrangement of their society. But sports are a hammer as much as a mirror, breaking social conventions as they invent them. Baseball was shaped by 19th-century Irish and German immigrants to the United States, who gave the game its character, but it later acted as a conduit for Jews and Italians, who entered the game to take on Americanness. Sports preserve the pressures of the era that they're made in, but they alter some of them too. Hockey reflected the social order of late-19th century Montreal, but it disturbed that order too, in healthy and invigorating ways.

For there was a kind of free-valence atomic shell at play in Montreal life at that time. Between the pious French and the prosperous English stood the Irish, who occupied two positions at once, in a way that would prove potent for the making of the winter game. As English-speakers they were in one way aligned with the anglo elite. But they were also Roman Catholics, and that meant they were educated with (and sometimes married to and buried alongside) the French. To be Irish was to have a kind of double identity. On the one hand you belonged to the English-speaking minority and on the other hand you despised your masters in the English-speaking minority; you were a fellow worshipper with the French-speaking majority but at the same time you were reluctant to identify with the French underclass.

When you played hockey, you wanted to beat the Brits at McGill . . . but the way to do it might be to look for help from the francophones across the hall. And so the Irish played a central role, in some ways the central role, in the invention of ice hockey.


RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Congrats Jarome Iginla. Definitely looking Hall-worthy!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Tim Thomas skips visit to White House

Professional sports crossed over into the world of politics yesterday when Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas refused to join his teammates at the White House for a ceremony with U.S. President Barack Obama honouring the Stanley Cup champions.

Thomas explained his absence in a short posting on his Facebook page, writing: “I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.”



Good for Tim Thomas. He's right, they are one and the same private property party pretending to be two for appearance sake. It's a cosmetic government of, by, and for the rich in America.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

CSNNE was doing a piece weeks ago on Andrew Ference’s efforts to recycle and encourage his B’s teammates to live environmentally-conscious lifestyles in their day-to-day existences as hockey players.

Several of Ference’s teammates, like Tyler Seguin and Zdeno Chara for instance, smiled and spoke about the nuanced ways the forward-thinking defenseman had affected them in a positive way. Seguin said he now shops for all his groceries at Whole Foods for the environmentally-agreeable organic foods recommended by Ference, and Chara mentioned taking his bicycle everywhere rather than driving.

But Tim Thomas politely declined when asked his opinions about Ference’s efforts, and admitted “we’ve got pretty opposite viewpoints on that kind of stuff.”

Thomas went on to say – with the wonderful usage of paraphrasing in hindsight – that he didn’t believe in the scientific theories powering the greenhouse effect and global warming. Instead Thomas felt like the efforts behind both notions were being pushed by those interested in growing the current green industry that’s turned into a cash cow in the United States over the last decade.

Tim Thomas, Radical.



Someone's fantasy All-Concussed Team for 2011/12


Crosby - Giroux - E. Kane

JVR  - Backstrom - Briere

Perron - M. Richards - Gerbe

Michalek - B. Schenn - McDonald


M. Staal- Letang

Weber - Pronger

Z. Michalek - Liles





I think he might be over the salary cap by a bit.

All Star game's gonna suck without Crosby and Ovie - one out with a concussion and the other for attempting to cause.


Thomas is also a big glenn beck fan i hear.  Though it doesn't shock me that a hockey player would be into that.  They're bred for conformity, acceptance/submission to authority from the time they're born.


We hear you.

Glenn Beck "I hate 9/11 victims families for asking questions" (and Katrina victims in New Orleans, too) 


Tim Thomas just another conformist sponge for the pro war, pro right wing propaganda. Vacant look in his eyes. He's rilly good at stopping pucks with his head and blocker, though.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I guess no one cares about hockey anymore. Fair enough. The Canucks sent a franchise rookie to Buffalo for, er, playoff grit or something.

The Habs ghosted their horrible season by sending Kostitsyn to Nashville, who are apparently trying to become the Habs circa. 2009. Expect them to land Halak next. A second round pick for Andrei. That makes three plus their first rounder, which will almost certainly be top 5. Hopefully Gauthier won't be the one making the selection. It's very depressing to think that our best chance in improving our team rests in Scott Gomez's inflated salary which one day, we hope, will expire.

Rick Nash didn't go to Toronto, who seem happy to let Winnipeg make the playoffs before them Such class from an original six team.


Habs are worse than Hibs this season. Go figure. Wink

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I'm not sure about that, Caissa. There is an advantage to finishing last in the NHL. Not so in the Scottish Premier League...


Yes I think this year's prospects are fairly impressive. T'would be nice if the Habs grab Dumba, Faksa, Forsberg, or even Grigorenko. And I think Jarred Tinordi is looking pretty good for the Knights. There's our next Hal Gill. He's a plus 41 for them this year. What a turnaround.


Sidney Crosby could be about to become the NHL's most-watched No. 3 line centre.

The Pittsburgh Penguins star will end his second extended concussion-related playoff Thursday to play against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Crosby's return alone would make Thursday a date to circle. But the Penguins also have won nine in a row without the former NHL MVP and scoring champion, and they've closed a once-formidable 10-point gap behind the Rangers to four points in the race for the Eastern Conference's top playoff spot.


I never thought I's say this, but there need to be more no-talent bums sent off the ice on stretchers. If the league and refs are not going to protect the finesse players from flying elbows and head shots in general, then they need enforcers to explain to the no-skills players in easy to understand terms that this is what happens to you when you goon our snipers and dishmeisters. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I might be persuaded to watch the NHL and CFL again if there were an equal number of women as men on every team. That goes for the basketball league as well, whatever it's called. Smile


That's it I think. Women on the team might encourage them to respect one another.

Hey Blake Geoffrion scored his first as a Hab against the Nucks. Go Habs Go!

flight from kamakura

man, the molsons have just ruined the habs.  seriously, everything has come off the rails.  please let them not draft a tiny forward with their guaranteed top 5 pick.

anyway, now that the habs are out, don't really care, though i'd like to see winnipeg do well, especially because people in quebec are starting to get excited about a team returning to that city and a nice little winnipeg run would only increase the excitement.


I think it's become that kind of league, though. Ottawa had a lousy season last year, but it looks like they will be playing this spring unless the wheels fall off with 8 games left.

Habs lost a lot of games this season by one or two goals. And with parity the way it is, missing key players like Markov most of the season or Gionta now has been the diff between winning and losing for them. It's like that for every team. Staying healthy is either in the cards or not. A broken wrist or torn ACL mean pretty much the same thing to a player whether they are 6-5 or 5-7. Mind you I'd rather have a Rene Bourque crashing the net for us than a smaller guy. But players' stats speak for themselves, too. Right now Bourque while ferocious on the ice has been a liability for us. He's going to have to get used to the two-way tighter style of game in the East. His plus-minus is awful.

What every team looks for in a forward is a guy who can skate first and foremost. Habs have always been known for our skillsy forwards who skate like the wind. Scoring ability and vision on the ice are nice, too. And Habs development guys are working with the prospects in the junior and college levels. 

And Habs are a younger team now with potential. They have some good prospects in the skunkworks with speed up front and size at the back. And one or two of these draft picks might even be NHL material. Hopefully Habs scouts will pick one of them.

24 in '15? It's all good.


The Habs lacking scoring punch. I expect another lacklustre season next year.


Caissa wrote:

The Habs lacking scoring punch. I expect another lacklustre season next year.


Caissa they've scored 8 fewer goals than the 1st place Rangers. And the Habs have scored 2 more goals than St. Louis in 1st place overall.

And each of the Flyers, Sens and Caps have allowed a few more goals against. And those teams are in.

I'm thinking we need some minor adjustments. 



How could I be so wrong? -12 on scoring.   Maybe the world isn't coming to an end after all.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

The world is always coming to an end as long as the Cup stays away from its rightful place on Rue Ste-Catherines. Of course, then we know it's here.

Ship Gomez to Hamilton, give Markov the gold watch and pray for Yakupov. Then buy some decent defenders.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Also, Rene Bourque? Quel désastre.


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