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Hockey Happenings: September's Top Stories

Sarah Sotoodeh |
September 25, 2011 | 11:51 a.m. PDT

Associate Sports Editor


Toews' younger brother was recently acquired by the Hawks. (Wikimedia Commons)
Toews' younger brother was recently acquired by the Hawks. (Wikimedia Commons)
It's been a busy month in the NHL, as teams prepared for preseason play. Read on to see what I think are this month’s top ten.

10.  To Tweet or Not To Tweet? 

The National Hockey League has issued a social media policy that calls for all its players and hockey operations staff to have a “blackout period” with social media. Players cannot use social media two hours before opening face off and not until after they finish any post-game interviews. Hockey operations staff cannot use social media starting at 11 a.m. on game days.

Discipline will be enforced if a player or personnel “have an effect prejudicial to the welfare of the League, the game of hockey or a member club, or are publicly critical of officiating staff,” according to the statement released on September 15 explaining the new policy.

9.  The Toews Brothers

Jonathan Toews, captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, is not the only Toews in town. His younger brother, David was recently acquired by the Blackhawks, and is set to play with its AHL affiliate team, the Rockford IceHogs. To learn more about their childhood and growing up in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, click here.

8.  Good Doing

Yes, hockey players are tough and often get bloodied after a fight during a game, but that’s not all. They are also pretty decent human beings. Take Patrick Eaves, forward for the Detroit Red Wings, who teamed up with the Michigan Humane Society to help save lives. Recently, he was part of a contest where people raised funds for the MHS Mega March for Animals, and the top five that raised the most were able to meet Eaves and watch a Red Wings practice. Just another reason why hockey players are great role models. 

7. Who is Captain?

Several teams around the league have recently announced their newly chosen captains. Here are the most recent announcements:

-David Backes, 27, (right wing) for the St. Louis Blues

-Mark Streit, 33,  (defenseman) for the New York Islanders

-Ryan Callahan, 26, (right wing) for the New York Rangers

-Chris Pronger, 36, (defenseman) for the Philadelphia Flyers

6. Marc Savard and the Stanley Cup

Marc Savard. (Dan4th Nicholas via Creative Commons)
Marc Savard. (Dan4th Nicholas via Creative Commons)
Marc Savard hasn’t had a good year, but it just might get a lot better. Savard played only 25 regular season games with the Boston Bruins because of several concussions. Although he didn’t play in any playoff games, the Bruins have petitioned to have his name on the Stanley Cup, even though a player has to play in 41 games in the regular season and at least one game in the playoff finals to have his name engraved. His future in hockey is unknown, as is whether or not he will fully recover from his injuries. The addition of his name on the Cup has not yet been announced, but Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he is certain it will happen.

5.  Safety First

The Vancouver Canucks are just one of the 30 teams to have implemented the curved glass system for their rink. The mandate required all teams to have the new system in for the 2011-12 season. According to the announcement, the new curved glass system “uses a curved piece of acrylic glass in combination with movable post to shield the crowd and protect the player from blunt force trauma.”  The glass was designed to prevent a player from stopping suddenly, since the movable posts absorb some of the energy from a hit.

4.  No Captains...Yet.

If we're talking about teams that have named their captains, we should mention those teams that don’t have a captain yet. The new season is just around the corner, and these teams still have no leader:

-New Jersey Devils (captain Jamie Langenbrunner traded in January 2011)

-Colorado Avalanche (captain Adam Foote retired in April 2011)

-Buffalo Sabres (captain Craig Rivet waived by the Sabres in February 2011)

-Florida Panthers (captain Bryan McCabe traded to the NY Rangers February 2011)

3.  Pacio-ready

After cracking a vertebra in his neck and sustaining a concussion in March, Montreal Canadien left winger Max Pacioretty is ready to play again. Pacioretty has only played in two scrimmages and no preseason games yet, but told reporters he is lucky to have recovered so quickly from his injuries.

“Half the battle of coming back from an injury is mental, if not all of it,” he told NHL.com. “So in that situation I wanted to show myself that happens one out of a million times when you’re in front of the net. It hit me in the ribs in the perfect place. So it was just to get rid of the fear, and I think it’s the same thing with my neck. I want to get my nose dirty and give some hits so I can be mentally ready to go out there in a game.”

2. Mike Modano: Hockey Great

On September 21, Mike Modano, 41, announced his retirement from hockey after playing 22 seasons. The hockey great, who was born in Livonia, Michigan, played with the Dallas Stars (for most of his career) and the Detroit Red Wings after being drafted in 1988 by the Minnesota North Stars. Modano signed an honorary one-day contract with Dallas so he could retire as a Star. He holds the record as the all-time American-born player in NHL history with 561 goals and 1,374 points. 

Watch Modano react to the support from the Dallas fans here.

1.  Wayne Simmonds Incident

The hockey community is rallying behind Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, who was the target of racism during the September 22 preseason game against Detroit Red Wings. While on the ice for his shootout, someone in the stands threw a banana on the ice.  The game took place in London, Ontario, Canada, where, even though it is the Flyers’ home away from home, the crowd was rooting predominantly for the Red Wings.

“I don’t know if it had anything to do with the fact that I’m black,” Simmonds told the media after the game.  “I certainly hope not. When you’re black, you kind of expect (racist) things. You learn to deal with it.” 


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