Rant: Fighting is good for hockey

I couldn’t have been happier today.

The Penguins blew out the Philadelphia Flyers, 6-1, in embarrassing fashion Tuesday. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s the excitement and anticipation for the rematch Thursday. However, my elation died almost instantaneously after reading Ron Cook’s column in today’s (Wendesday’s) Post-Gazette.

It’s another writer with his own take on the idea of fighting in hockey — something we’ve heard before. In a nutshell, his point is that it’s a shame Dan Bylsma had to sit Max Talbot for Eric Godard, because Godard’s presence was in a response to the type of game Philadelphia likes to play: rough and physical with your occasional fight.

I understand his point and, honestly, by the third fight in 16 seconds I was thinking we need to get back to playing hockey. But if you take fighting out of hockey the result will be far worse.

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Rant: Lee’s whistle, right or wrong?

It’s no surprise that the Montreal fanbase is up in arms today after losing to the Penguins 3-2 last night at home.

Referee Chris Lee disallowed what appeared to be a goal by Scott Gomez with less than six minutes left in the game. The whistle blew at the same time Gomez wacked it in and was met by a resounding thunder of boos from the Montreal crowd — lasting for the rest of the game, almost non-stop.

Fans and bloggers of the Canadiens had gripes against Lee before the game even started. Apparently Lee sent Andrei Kostitsyn to the box against Boston last year, which eventually developed in to a 5-on-3 power play in which the Bruins scored.

That was a mid-January game with Northeast Division impolications. This, however, was a non-divisional game in early December.

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NHL suspends Ovechkin

Colin Campbell finally showed some guts Tuesday, suspending Alex Ovechkin for two games after his collision with Carolina’s Tim Gleason.

It was unclear as to whether or not Ovechkin would receive further punishment from the National Hockey League, other than the game misconduct he served in the game. NHL officials have been rather inconsistent in serving ‘superstar’ players with suspensions and Ovechkin — a player with a track record of running at players with no consequences — presented the league with a prime chance to set an example.

The fact that Ovechkin was rather blatant in his pursuit and hit on Gleason made it a little bit easier for the league to issue a suspension.

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Freaky Monday, crazy injuries in the NHL

Putting personal opinions aside and focusing on the actual play, it appears the National Hockey League has a perfect chance to prove it won’t baby its superstars.

Alex Ovechkin took a run at Carolina’s Tim Gleason, injuring himself and receiving an ejection for the second time in less than a week. Monday’s ejection was for kneeing as Ovechkin clearly stuck his right knee out to prevent Gleason from proceeding out of his own end.

The Caps superstar was ejected Wednesday for boarding in a game against the Buffalo Sabres.

The run Ovechkin took on Gleason was eerily similar to the shot on Sergei Gonchar that enraged many Pens’ fans in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Here’s the video. You be the judge.

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Pens vs. Isles — Crosby vs. Tavares — Rumored for opening game

Several sources are reporting that the Penguins and Islanders will open the 2009-10 season against each other at Nassau Coliseum Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.


Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy and Point Blank both report this.

If it’s true, the National Hockey League and the New York Islanders are constructing a great plan to open the season.  Many want to crown John Tavares as another superstar.  All signs point to him eventually being just that.

As for the Islanders’ organization, the hype over this kid is increasing ticket, merchandise and pretty much everything else sales-wise.  The opportunity to open the season at home against the defending Stanley Cup champions will only further the enthusiasm on Long Island.

Continue reading “Pens vs. Isles — Crosby vs. Tavares — Rumored for opening game”

Free Agency Updates

We’ll list notable free-agent signings here.  For other, more detailed updates, visit Faceoff-Factor.  Those guys are documenting every player all day.

We’ll be shedding light on notable players.

Free Agent Signings

6/30 — Johnny Oduya re-signs with New Jersey.  The deal is for 3 years and worth $10.5 million
6/30 — Rob Blake re-signs with San Jose for one year at $3.5 million
6/30 — Jay Bouwmeester signs with Calgary for five years for a total of $33.4 million

7/1 — Daniel and Henrik Sedin re-sign with Vancouver.  Both contracts are identical: $6.1 million a year for five years
7/1 — Alexei Kovalev re-signs with Montreal for two years, $8.8 million
7/1 — Radek Dvorak re-signs with Florida for $1.7 million a year for two years
7/1 — Marian Hossa signs with Chicago: 12 years, $62.4 million
7/1 — Ty Conklin signs with St. Louis: 2 years $2.6 million
7/1 — Dwayne Roloson signs with the Islanders: 2 years $5 million
7/1 — David Booth signs with Florida: 6 years $25.5 million
7/1 — Mike Knuble signs with Washington: 2 years $5.6 million
7/1 — Donald Brashear signs with the Rangers: 2 years, $2.8 million
7/1 — Scott Niedermayer signs with Anaheim: 1 year, $6 million
7/1 — Eric Cole signs with Carolina: 2 years, $5.8 million
7/1 — Scott Clemmensen signs with Florida: 3 years, $3.6 million
7/1 — Hal Gill a Canadien: 2 years, $4.5 million
7/1 — David Koci signs with Colorado: $575,000, 1 year
7/1 — Mike Cammalleri signs with Montreal: 5 years, $30 million
7/1 — Mike Komisarek signs with Toronto: 5 years, $22.5 million
7/1 — Steve Sullivan remain a Predator: 2 years, $7.5 million
7/1 — Mathieu Garon signs with Columbus: 2 years, $2.4 million
7/1 — Marian Gaborik signs with the Rangers: 5 years, $37.5 million
7/1 — Brian Gionta signs with Montreal: 5 years, $25 million
7/1 — Chris Neil re-signs with Ottawa: four years, $8 million
7/1 — John Madden signs with Chicago: 1 year, $2.75 million
7/1 — Martin Havlat signs with Minnesota: 6 years, $30 million

7/2 — Mark Recchi re-signs with Boston: 1 year, $1 million
7/2 — Nik Antropov signs with Atlanta: 4 years, $16 million
7/2 — Adrian Aucoin signs with Phoenix: 1 year, $2.25 million
7/2 — Mikhail Grabovski re-signs with Toronto: 3 years, $8.7 million
7/2 — Rob Scuderi signs with Los Angeles: 4 years, $13.6 million
7/2 — Jordan Leopold signs with Florida: 1 year, $1.75 million

7/3 — Ryan Clowe re-signs with San Jose: 4 years, $15 million
7/3 — Ville Leino re-signs with Detroit: 2 years, ???
7/3 — PENGUINS SIGN NATE GUENIN: 1 year, $500,000
7/3 — Rangers signs Tyler Arnason and Corey Locke
7/3 — Mikael Samuelsson signs with Vancouver: 3 years, $7.5 million

Elsewhere, Dany Heatley is still supposedly being dealt around by Ottawa.  Yesterday it was reported that Heatley was traded to Edmonton.  That was denied by the winger, who currently has a no-trade clause that he has yet to lift.

Chris & Dan | PPT

Scuderi signs with L.A.

Rob Scuderi

Defensemen Rob Scuderi has signed with the Los Angeles Kings.  The deal is for 4 years and believed to be valued at $13.6 million.  The Penguins are believed to have offered Scuderi a 5 year deal worth $10 million.

This comes after defensemen Hal Gill signed with Montreal yesterday.    Expect the Pens to make a move to sign a defensemen with their remaining cap space.

More to come…..