In an article published Wednesday on the Yahoo blog Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski talked about how the National Hockey League may be looking to expand to 32 teams. The basis of this was a vote that took place on Tuesday night by the Markham, Ontario city council that rejected a measure to block the building of a 20,000-seat arena with the intention of bringing a team to the Southern Ontario market.
Jason Spezza might be one of the first major injury casualties of the 2013 season. The Ottawa Senators forward will require back surgery to fix a herniated disc he was believed to have injured at some point during the team's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 27th.
Currently, there's no time frame set for Spezza's return, but it's believed he will likely miss at least a couple of months.
Josh Harding's story has been pretty miraculous. The goaltender recently picked up a shutout for the Minnesota Wild in his first game back after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, Harding's start against the Chicago Blackhawks was a bumpy one, earning Harding some time on the bench not even seven minutes into the first period.
As Niklas Backstrom took the cage, the camera followed Harding down the tunnel where he unleashed some anger with his goal stick on the wall. It's tough to see Harding so frustrated given the journey he's taken, so we hope he's able to joke about the situation once things have cooled down.
We sincerely wish Harding the best and hope he's aware of just how remarkable his story is.
The wall and goal stick were unavailable for comment.
The Florida Panthers are off to a dismal start. Six games into the new year the Panthers find themselves staring at a 1-5-0 record, placing them 5th in the Southeast Division and last in the Eastern Conference. The offense is sputtering while the defense and goaltenders are stumbling.
Panthers fans have a right to be concerned. However, are the Panthers really this bad or is their poor start partially due to bad luck?
Tyler Seguin scored two shootout goals in Boston's 2-1 victory over New Jersey. Unfortunately for Seguin, only one actually counted as the first was waved off after a fan tossed a piece of debris on the ice as he was shooting. While the trash didn't appear to interfere with the play, Seguin had to take his shot over again. He buried it - again - much to the delight of the Boston faithful.
It's unclear whether the guilty fan was rooting for Boston or for New Jersey (the game was played in Boston), but it's hard to imagine why someone would think chucking something on the ice during the shootout was a wise idea. It's safe to assume the guilty party probably enjoyed a few drinks at some point during the night and was severely lacking common sense and respect for the game.
One of the first rules of attending a sporting event is that you never should throw things on the playing surface, with a few notable exceptions - hats for a hat trick, a homerun ball from a visitor, etc. In hockey, there's rarely an acceptable time aside from the previously mentioned hats and teddy bears during the infamous teddy bear toss. All of these instances take place after the whistle. It's never appropriate to interfere with the game.
Did Kari Lehtonen just make the save of the 2013 season? We'll see, but he certainly made one that got the hockey world buzzing. After a Jack Johnson shot hit Lehtonen in the arm/shoulder, the puck was on a one-way course to the back of the net.
Not so fast, said Lehtonen, as he spun and backhanded the puck out of the net with his glove. Lehtonen's awareness and reflexes are remarkable here, especially when you consider his margin for error was almost zero. Had he swiped his glove a bit differently, he actually would have assisted the puck in finding the back of the net.
Lehtonen is on a bit of a roll of late. Prior to making this incredible save, he had a bit of fun at Detroit's expense. Upon allowing a goal late in the third against the Red Wings, Lehtonen was quick to remind fans to look at the scoreboard, where Dallas still led 2-1. Classic.
Subban-Watch officially ended this evening, with the Canadiens' defensive hold-out agreeing to a new contract. After his three-year entry level deal, Subban obviously wanted to be paid what he felt he was worth, hence the several weeks of waiting for a contract to get done. The Canadiens wanted a shorter contract to make sure that Subban could live up to his "value," while Subban would have liked to have gotten a longer term deal.
All that holding out gets the Habs the term they wanted, while Subban gets a fluffy salary in his second year. The terms are for $2 million in year one of the deal and $3.75 in the second year, which is a $750,000 increase over the Habs' original $5 million total contract value that was offered in August.
Welcome to the newest feature at Puck Drunk Love - Hockey Fights of the Week. Each week we'll take a look back through the past seven days and try to weed out the best, and sometimes the worst, fights that took place in the NHL. With so many games taking place, it's easy to miss a fight or two. Our goal is to recap what you might have missed when it comes to mitts hitting the ice.
Sit back and relax - We're here to quench your thirst for NHL altercations.
In case you haven't been tuned into the hockey world the past several days, the sport was buzzing when Nail Yakupov scored a huge goal to tie a game against Los Angeles with just over four seconds left to play. He celebrated by sliding down the ice, showing legitimate emotion and excitement. The celebration, one that was applauded and loved by most, was dissected and over analyzed by others.
Show joy out on the ice? Don Cherry says you're an idiot.
When making your MVP predictions for the 2013 NHL season, did you include Patrick Marleau on your list? You can be honest - I didn't either.
Marleau, as well as the bulk of his San Jose teammates, carried rather small expectations into the year following the lockout. For the first time in a long time, seemingly no major outlet considered San Jose to be a true Stanley Cup contender. Now, just a handful of games into the new season, Marleau and his squad are making things look easy and making many NHL experts rethink their predictions.