Hockey Happenings: October's Top Stories
10. The Sweet Life
The New York Rangers got their Christmas present early this year. Their newly renovated dressing room was unveiled this month to the players. The Madison Square Gardens locker room facelift includes a new addition—a full workout room.
"It's a little bit disorganized trying to figure out where we come in and where we go out, but they did a great job," captain Ryan Callahan told NHL.com. "It's awesome in here. There is so much more space. It's high-tech and it's more fan-friendly now, with a little more access to us. We're excited to be back here, back at home, and start playing on home ice again."
Watch a tour of the locker room here:
9. Class of 2011
The Lester Patrick Award was given to Mark Johnson, Tony Rossi, Bob Pulford and Jeff Sauer on October 27 in Minnesota. The award is given yearly to recipients who have made contributions to hockey in the United States.
8. Legends Of The Windy City
Next time you're in Chicago, make sure and visit Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull—their life-size bronze statues, that is. The statues were unveiled at the United Center in Chicago and both hockey legends were at the ceremony.
"It's a great night. The only thing I can say is that it is likely, without argument, the greatest evening of my life," Hull said to reporters. "To have a bronze [statue] depicting me here, where hundreds of thousands of people will walk by and say, 'Yeah, I remember him. Yeah, he could play a little bit,'...it’s good to be something. This is a wonderful tribute to both Stan and I."
"It hasn't sunk in and I don’t think it ever will," Mikita told reporters.
Perhaps the biggest story on the West Coast was the Kings' re-signing of Drew Doughty. Although this is the October installment of Hockey Happenings, Doughty's blockbuster signing came on the last day of September and deserves to be one of the top stories. The 6-foot-212-pound defenseman signed an eight-year, $56 million contract. That means that Doughty will be in LA through 2019. Now that’s something worth celebrating for Kings fans.
6. Crosby Might Be Ready
Fans of the NHL have been patiently waiting Sidney Crosby's return to the ice after his January concussion and it might just be time. Crosby told reporters on October 31 that he will not travel to California for games at San Jose and Los Angeles, but didn't rule out the November 11 game against Dallas. The Penguins' captain has been practicing and skating for the month of October but has not had contact during practice.
5. New York State of Mind
Sean Avery, 31, began October with news that he was waived by the Rangers and sent down to the AHL and now he closed out the month with a spot on the New York roster again. Avery, who played with the Connecticut Whale in the AHL starting on October 4, was placed on re-entry waivers on October 31 and is now part of the team once more. Avery replaced forward Mike Rupp, who is out with a knee injury.
4. Texas-Sized Sale
Businessman Tom Gaglardi is the only person to put a bid for the Dallas Stars franchise and is in the process to becoming the team's new owner. The Vancouver native placed his bid in early September and the deadline to place a bid ended in the end of October. Gaglardi has a long road ahead of him as the sale has not yet been finalized.
"Now that the bidding has been reached, we will continue our due diligence process and will proceed with the Board's ownership transaction review process," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told NHL.com.
On October 21, defenseman Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets pleaded not guilty to charges of boating under the influence after he was arrested on August 31 on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. He passed a breathalyzer test done during the arrest. The four charges are: boating while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, failing to display proper lights, failing to provide enough flotation devices for passengers on board and refusing to provide a urine or blood sample, according to the Canadian Press. Byfuglien's pre-trial hearing will be on February 2.
2. And This Year’s Home of the 2012 NHL Draft is…
The 2012 NHL Draft has found a home and it is... Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the decision on October 27 with the help of the Penguins CEO David Morehouse and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. The Consol Energy Center, the one-year-old home of the Penguins, will host the Draft on June 22 and 23.
1. RIP Rypien
The sad and sudden passing of NHLer Rick Rypien is still tough to process. Rypien committed suicide in August after struggling with depression. He was 27. The Vancouver Canucks honored Rypien by showing a video tribute on October 18 before their game against the New York Rangers and also announced they will be donating $50,000 to BC Children's Hospital Foundation in his name.
Watch the touching tribute here:
Reach Sarah by email here.
Best way to find more great content from Neon Tommy?
Or join our email list below to enjoy the weekly Neon Tommy News Highlights.