Hockey Happenings: August's Top Stories
10. Where in the world is Stanley?
Since Boston won the Stanley Cup, the trophy has been on the move. From Boston to Slovakia, and Massachusetts to Finland, the Cup has logged major mileage. The Hockey Hall of Fame’s Stanley Cup chaperone has been with it since the beginning, and for those of you who want see to see how each player spends the day with the Cup, check out the Stanley Cup journal here.
9. Sharp stays in Chicago
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp has agreed to a five-year contract extension. Sharp has been playing for the Blackhawks since December 2005, after he was traded from the Flyers. During the 2010-11 season, Sharp played 74 games, with 34 goals and 37 assists (71 points).
8. Fleury and his adventures
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t sit home during the offseason... he decided to go on an African safari. While on the safari, he says he witnessed two lions eating a hippo. He also visited family in France and played in a softball league as first baseman. The world traveler also squeezed in regular workout sessions to stay in shape for the coming hockey season.
7. Hip surgeries sideline two stars
Pittsburgh Penguin Mike Comrie’s career is on hold for now as he recovers from hip surgery. The 30-year-old center played 21 games in the past season, with one goal and five assists. “In wanting to return to play after surgery, I pushed myself too early and that has not helped my recovery,” Comrie said in a statement released by the Penguins. “I will return to the NHL when I am healthy and able to play at the level I have come to expect of myself.” Also recovering after having hip labral surgery is Ryan Kesler. Following the successful surgery, the Vancouver Canucks center should be recovered in 10 to 12 weeks.
6. Ottawa’s celebrations
The Ottawa Senators will celebrate their 20th anniversary on opening night, October 11. The celebration will include the 1992-93 Senators’ team, and a tribute to previous Ottawa teams—the Ottawa Silver Seven and the original Ottawa Senators. The Senators will be playing their first game of the season against the Minnesota Wild. The celebration will continue on January 29, when Ottawa hosts the 2012 NHL All-Star Game for the first time ever.
5. Patrick Kane’s recovery
After his surgery on July 19 to repair a scaphoid fracture, Patrick Kane appears to be on the mend. Kane, with his wrist in a cast, visited a youth hockey camp run by Mike Haviland, the Blackhawks assistant coach. Kane will participate in training camp next month but for now is still spending time working out.
“I’m working out, I’m still doing a lot of conditioning, lot of leg work. You have the odd exercise here and there with your right arm, which is good to keep in shape,” he told reporters at the youth camp. “I’m trying to stay in shape. I felt really good at the time I had surgery. I felt like I was on the way to putting my body in really good shape for the season, so it’s tough when you hear that news, it sets you back a bit. I’m still trying to get there.”
4. Florida Panthers: The Best and the Worst
ESPN has named the Florida Panthers the number one NHL team in the 2011 NHL Organizational Rankings. The ranking was based on the number of prospects and the depth of talent among the 30 NHL teams. The Panthers were also part of another ranking, Fox Sports’ List of the 10 worst sports franchises. Florida was No. 5 (the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers came in at No.1). The only other NHL team listed was the Phoenix Coyotes.
3. Luongo’s regret
Months after the Stanley Cup finals, Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo still regrets what he said about Tim Thomas and his goalkeeping abilities. Luongo told Radio-Canada at a golf tournament in Quebec that “if I could do it over again, I wouldn’t say it. I didn’t think it would create that kind of buzz. After Game Five, I’ve never been that emotional and I got carried away.”
2. Jonas Hiller is back
Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks is free of vertigo symptoms and has been training on and off the ice for the past month. The Ducks goalkeeper is currently in his home country of Switzerland and will be back in Anaheim by September 17, when training camp begins. “I’m very excited about the season. I’m happy to be feeling better and looking forward to getting back with my teammates,” Hiller said in a statement released by the Ducks. “It’s been a long process but I feel great, and I’m ready to help this team win.” The last time Hiller played was March 24, ending his season at 49 games played, 26 wins, 16 losses and a .924 save percentage.
1. Class of 2011
The US Hockey Hall of Fame will induct Chris Chelios, Mike Emrick, Gary Suter, Ed Snider and Keith Tkachuk as the class of 2011 this fall. Chelios played 26 seasons, 11 NHL All-Star games, played in four Olympic winter games (three of them as captain of Team USA) and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Suter played 17 seasons (and won the Stanley Cup with the Flames, won a silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games with team USA and played in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Tkachuk played 19 seasons, five NHL All-Star games, four Olympics (winning silver in 2002 also) and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Emrick has been a play-by-play announcer for almost 40 years, including 13 Stanley Cup finals, the 2010 Olympic Winter games, the voice of the New Jersey Devils from 1993-2011 and several local Emmy Awards. Snider is the founder and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, and also founded the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.
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