Wicked Bruins Fan

December 2004 Archives

All about the pBs

I listened to the Providence Bruins game in Springfield last night. Adam Alper is the road announcer on the radio station. He interviewed Martin Samuelsson during the 1st intermission and Chris Dyment in the 2nd intermission. Dyment has been skating during warm-ups and should be back soon. He has another appointment with his doctor for his back.

The pBruins won 4-2. Keith Aucoin scored the team's first three goals, for a natural hat trick. He also extended his point streak to six games. Brad Boyes and Andy Hilbert both had two assists. Kevin Dallman assisted on the first Aucoin goal. Yorick Treille got the fourth goal, with assists from Aucoin and Milan Jurcina.

Recaps from the Providence Journal both seem to focus on different parts of Aucoin's career.

The pBruins also announced last night that they signed Dan LaCouture for the remainder of the season.

While listening to the game last night, I worked on a pBruins roster for the site. It is a numerical roster at the moment. I may do an alphabetical roster over the weekend. I also updated and finished the Bruins summer roster finally.

On the pBruins site there's the recap from last night's game, the announcement of the Dana Lattery signing, and an update on Patrice Bergeron. There are also new pictures of Brent Thompson at the YMCA and Cody Rudkowsky signing autographs.

Providence plays in Portland at 5:30 tonight and in Manchester tomorrow night. I had ideas about going to Portland today, but maybe if I want to see the pBruins and hockey bad enough, I'll hit Manchester tomorrow night.

Oh yeah, those two

Surfing on the HF Boards tonight, saw this thread created by Rev. Apparently two partners are trying to attract some Bruin talent to Europe.

His most recent project are two Bruins, goalie Andrew Raycroft and defenseman Nick Boynton. There may be a possible spot for them on a team in the Czech Republic.
I guess they have to play somewhere at some point.

Speaking of playing, I kind of forgot that there was hockey on tonight. Even though ESPN2 is showing a tape delayed USA vs. Belarus game and I know the score, it's hockey and I can watch it.

Split Decision

I didn't make it to Providence Sunday because of two reasons. One was the onset of my annual cold. Two was the snow. Oh the snow. The never-ending snow. The snow that continued until today.

The pBruins won on Sunday afternoon and lost in a shootout Monday night. Sunday they played Lowell and beat them 3-2. Jay Henderson had a goal and a fight. Tomas Kurka and Jay Leach had the other goals. During the Patriots game, I turned on the radio to Lowell's AM station that I found randomly one night earlier this month and heard a little play of the game. Of course the play involved Jay Henderson, and I rooted in the prescence of my own home. Monday night they lost to Hartford 3-2. Keith Aucoin and Yorick Treille got the two Providence goals. Brendan Walsh had two fights, Colton Orr and Brent Thompson each had one. Keith and Brad Boyes scored in the shootout.

Tuesday at the Warwick Donor Center, there is a blood drive from 12-6. pBruins Jay Henderson, Keith Aucoin, and Colton Orr will be stopping by from 2-3:30 to sign autographs and take pictures. Stop by if you can.

A day late

Someone (me) is battling a cold, but I did come online last night long enough to check out the Sunday papers. I just had enough energy to type this stuff up before my energy tank was on empty. So Sunday's news a day late.

This NY Post article ('Grinch' Bettman has unified NHLPA) lists three reasons why NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman won't cancel the season, or establish a drop-dead date on January 14th.

The minute the NHL announces cancellation, its 30 teams will be obligated to return all the remaining 2004-05 season-ticket money on which they collect interest. As well, canceling the season at such a relatively early date is not likely to play well with the NLRB when the league petitions for impasse and the right to unilaterally implement; remember, the league has still not presented a full proposal that it could legally implement as a substitute CBA. Finally, the league will not cancel, because once it does, it liberates the PA to schedule competitive events of its own in North America, something the players can't do now for fear of being hit with an unfair bargaining charge from the league.
Ah yes, the beautiful Jeremy Jacobs, making his name heard all around the league.
"...he [Bettman] with Jeremy No Cups Jacobs as his co-pilot, they will be allowed to keep the wheel even as they drive the bus over the cliff and into an abyss so deep, this particular league is likely never to be heard from again."

The next two quotes are from a Philadelphia article.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) agreed to a lengthy chat with ESPN.com last week and was asked whether Congress might get involved in the lockout. McCain's response: "I don't think there's anything that the federal government or somebody like me can do except maybe a little friendly persuasion. This is a labor-management dispute, and for government officials to interfere in labor-management disputes, there has to be some transcendent national interest."
Gary Bettman is on the verge of becoming the first commissioner in the modern era of sports to see an entire season canceled. Legend has it that the Roman emperor Caligula canceled the ludi circenses (circus games) in 38 A.D. after the Senate locked out the gladiators in a dispute over the gold the gladiators would be paid to take on the lions at Circus Maximus.

Ottawa Senator defenseman Curtis Leschyshyn reminds us of optimism, as well as some of his other teammates. "You've got to be a little bit optimistic because there's still a light at the end of the tunnel. But it's not a lantern, it's more like a candle flickering in the wind."

Some local AHLers playing in Lowell, have articles in their NHL city. Lock Monsters (aka Hurricanes) Eric Staal and Ryan Bayda both had articles the past two days. Want to know more about the Carolina Hurricanes? Read these twenty questions to learn more about the franchise.

I did read the Globe article that had Joe Thornton's comments and that's all I really have to say about that because I can't hold a single thought right now.

More to come tomorrow. Like the Providence Bruins and the World Juniors.

Christmas Night

Earlier today, I was checking out the HF Boards and saw that the Russia vs. USA game was going to be televised on ESPN2 at 8:30 tonight. A very nice Christmas treat for hockey fans.

Prior to the game, they showed some highlights from the Canada vs. Slovakia game. Of course they showed that little superstar Patrice Bergeron. He and Sidney Crosby combined for four goals and three assists. Canada beat Slovakia 7-3.

Andy Brickley was one of the announcers for the game. USA got out to a 2-0 in the first period, Chris Bourque scoring one of the goals. Russia came back to tie it 2-2, one of those goals being a penalty shot. After the first period, it was tied 3-3 with three goals coming in 40 seconds.

It was 4-4 in the second period when USA took a 5-4 and held on for the rest of the game. Both Chris and Ray Bourque were interviewed in the 2nd intermission. It was really good hockey to watch and fast paced too.

ESPN2 is televising the USA games for the preliminary round. Their next game is Monday night against Switzerland.

Merry Christmas Eve

Santa came early around here. He possessed me to go buy a digital camera yesterday, which I did, because my mom promised she would get me one for Christmas. I heart my digital camera too much right now. I'm beginning to annoy my mom with the constant picture-taking. But I'm practicing, ya know? I have to learn this thing by Sunday for Providence.

Merry Christmas from Nickariffic!

Hope you all have a good holiday!

Sully Yoga

Jackie MacMullan has an article about Coach Mike Sullivan in today's Globe, and about his other coaching job during the lockout. It's a good article. He does yoga. Also, it offers a little somber reminder.

When a grim Sullivan left the ice after watching his team squander a 3-1 series lead to its heated rival, he was convinced the only way to put the horrific memory behind him was to move on, play the next game, and start anew.

It is almost Christmas. The next game hasn't come. The sting of the collapse against Montreal lingers.

"It's tough," Sullivan acknowledges. "I feel like we have some unfinished business. That's a feeling I lived with all summer."

Didn't need that reminder, did we? The absence of hockey actually hasn't made me think of that "p" word. The Lightning still won the Cup right?

Time for a coffee from Dunkin Donuts.

Getting nothing for Christmas

I wasn't expecting to see any news today, especially news like this.

The NHL has called a Board of Governors meeting for Jan. 14 when it's expected commissioner Gary Bettman will get the stamp of approval from owners to cancel the 2004-05 season because of the ongoing lockout.
When I informed Heather, she pointed out, "he needs to wait til nick's bday?" That's just mean Gary. May I also point out that it will be a week before my birthday? Gary needs to re-examine my wishlist because a cancelled 2004-2005 season was not on it.

I wonder what the NHLPA will do next, and if it will be before the NHL's meeting.

A Bruin arrived at my door today

Bruins goalie Andrew Raycroft arrived on my porch sometime this afternoon.

In a box. From the shop at NHL.com.

It is Andrew Raycroft's debut as an action figure. It's a McFarlane figurine and a really cool one at that. Andrew comes with his own net and crease. His pads and blocker have "puck marks" on them. The jersey almost looks real.

If you don't have one and want an Andrew Raycroft of your very own, it's $14.99.

Nickariffic: The Launch

This is the official unveiling of Nickariffic.com. As of now, there isn't a whole lot here at the moment.

If there wasn't a lockout right now, the Boston Bruins section would have a roster, calendars, probably statistics, as well as stuff I was planning to do during the summer. However, since there is no NHL hockey, I'm going to have to update the lockout roster and maybe I'll toss up the what-would-have-been Bruins schedule if there wasn't a lockout since I still have them on file. Maybe a few additional fun things too.

Without the Boston Bruins, this site could get boring fast. However, the focus will be the Providence Bruins as long as they're playing. I'm going to get their ever-changing roster up, as well as their calendar, among a few other things.

I had blueprints for a whole Nick Boynton section of the site, since he influenced the name. But I'm not in a huge rush to get that started. It'll come in due time though.

There is a gallery which only has Red Sox World Series Championship parade pictures at the moment. Boston Bruins, as well as some recent Providence Bruins, will be upcoming in the next couple of weeks.

You may notice some changes in the next couple of weeks as I get used to having my own site, as well as organizing everything and adding things. Hopefully I won't break the site by doing so. I haven't broken it yet, so I think I may be in the safe zone.

If you come across any problems along the site, please let me know. I think the comments should work fine as I've figured out the new version of Movable Type and all it's fancy stuff. If you have any suggestions too, feel free to drop me an e-mail.


The Providence at Hartford game is on CN8 tonight on Comcast. I am very happy about that little fact. I came across that last night while looking through the viewing guide, with a feeling that CN8 would have a game on. I like being right. Because it's hockey on tv and it's Providence! Can't get better than that.

Note: Found out from this HF Boards thread that for those of you who don't have Comcast, you can see the game at 10 on Fox Sports Network after the Celtics game. It will be a tape delay.

I haven't forgotten about Brad Richards and his injury. He is going through further tests, which includes an MRI to figure out what is wrong. Here's hoping he gets well soon.

One hour until game time.

pBruins news

The pBruins won 3-2 in Hartford last night.

The pBruins signed Tomas Kurka today. The Providence Journal was so smart, that they were already speculating the signing in today's article.

The P-Bruins may add another veteran player to the rsoter. Yesterday was the deadline for those wishing to return from Europe to play in the AHL. Speculation centered around left wing Tomas Kurka, who has logged three seasons with Lowell and is headed back to North America from his native Czech Republic.
The pBruins will host Springfield tomorrow and will visit Hartford again on Saturday. Then they are off until after Christmas.

Maybe in celebration of my last final exam tomorrow morning, I will go to the game.

In other news, former pBruin Peter Hamerlik has gone to Slovakia and Brad Richards was injured in Russia and is heading back to the States.

A little of everything

Your mouse is about to get a workout. That is if you have nothing to do and want to read lots of NHL articles. I picked out some amusing (and sometimes important) quotes for viewing pleasure.

Local stuff...

Boston Globe- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell's article about yesterday.

Kevin Paul Dupont's article gives us the cold hard facts. Call me the unbridled optimist I know I am, but it's here, with everything looking and sounding its absolute worst, that I now feel this whole mess is about to turn.

Boston Herald- Stephen Harris kept busy writing not one, but two articles. "It's not the players' fault, not one bit,'' mused Bruins president Harry Sinden while watching a practice at the B's Wilmington practice rink last season. "It's all our fault.''

Now it's sitelines time...

NY Post- Bettman deserves ax

Bettman may have thought his adjusted rollback proposal under which a huge majority of the players would suffer less of a hit than under the PA's plan would split the union, but as is always the case, he has no idea how players think. In taking the offer of a giveback, misrepresenting it as acknowledgment of the PA's acceptance of the Levitt Audit and attempting to turn the more modestly paid players against the league's highest-paid athletes - the NHL proposes a graduated giveback rate under which players making over $5M per have their salaries slashed by 35 percent - Bettman only further solidified the union.
Toronto Star- NHL deal is there to be made For the first time in more than two years, there are concrete reasons to believe the NHL will play this season.

Tampa Bay Online- The NHL's Top Seller Is Now Fan Indifference

Owners on Tuesday rejected a players' proposal that included an unprecedented salary rollback. Players rejected a counteroffer. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and union chief Bob Goodenow exchanged Christmas glares. 'Tis the season. There was no talk of a drop-dead date for saving it.

Hey, guys, do us a favor.

Drop dead now.

St. Petersburg Times- Make a deal or go away! Just shut up! [The headline alone caught my attention.]
On the other hand, if a cap is so good, why stop at salaries? I also want to see a cap on ticket prices. I want a cap on whining about empty seats until a team has reached the playoffs three seasons in a row.

I want a cap on the size of goaltending equipment. I want a cap on the number of stitches a guy who can barely skate can inflict in a season. I want a cap on clutching and grabbing. I want a cap on the number of garbage bins on the press box elevator at the Times Forum.

I want a cap on Bettman, and I want it to say "flunky."

Toronto Star (again)- Bettman enraged about leak
"If I find out who leaked the document, there won't be much reason for you to be talking to that person because their career in the NHL will come to an abrupt end rather quickly," Bettman said.
[In the words of Matt Damon in Ocean's Twelve, "ooooh." [Everytime I see that in the trailer, it cracks me up.]

Toronto Star (again)- Six players get a shot at the NHL

The six winners of Making the Cut were Dominic Noel (Toronto), Jordan Little (Edmonton), James Demone (Vancouver), Michael Mole (Ottawa), Kevin Lavallee (Montreal), and Matt Hubbauer (Calgary). They have invitations to the respective team's training camp next season.

The show averaged 457,000 viewers an episode, in line with CBC's top shows. However, that was 30 per cent below expectations, which may hurt its chances at renewal.

If the show does come back, Keenan would like to see it taken outside Canada's borders.

"With only three weeks notice we got an incredible number of talented players, strictly from Canada," he said. "Imagine what we could get if it was open to Europeans and Americans."

They should definitely consider an American version. Reality shows could use something sports related, don't you think?


I'm sitting here, fresh back from my first final exam, relaxing, awaiting any NHL news at all, and I'm bored. You can benefit from my boredom with a couple of pictures, an update on a Bruin and former Bruins, and some articles.

Picture of Glen Murray. Picture of Sergei Gonchar. I should mention here that I did watch some of the WorldStars/Russia game last night. A couple conclusions I came to were: the ice surface was bigger and the difference was definitely noticed; Sergei Samsonov really needs a Russian linemate in Boston to work magic with; I can still recognize Bruins players by the way they skate. Samsonov, Gonchar and Martin Lapointe played in the game.

According to the transfers section at eurohockey.net, Ian Moran has been released (or left) Sweden last week. (I check that site almost daily. It's good to know who goes overseas and who comes back.)

The Ferraro twins (Peter and Chris) have signed with the Syracuse Crunch.

- On the eve of destruction?
- NHL making huge mistake
- Players' offer shocks Iginla
- After today, real NHL talks can start

I wonder if it's a good sign that the NHL and NHLPA still aren't out from their meeting, being almost 4 o'clock now.

Oh Providence

Providence beat Binghamton 3-2. Brad Boyes scored two goals, and Ben Guite had the third. Boyes and Brendan Walsh each had fights. Patrice Bergeron missed some time in the first period, injury related, but came back. Hannu Toivonen was between the pipes. I can't wait to see him playing in Boston, which will be... um, when exactly? Cody Rudkowsky was back-up, accompanied with a stopwatch and clipboard. Chris Dyment (back), Martin Samuelsson (foot), Pat Leahy (knee), and Pat Aufiero (healthy) were scratched.

I haven't been to Providence since Nick Boynton was a pBruin. That was a long time ago. I figure at least three years. We bought tickets at the door and got seats in the first row in the section next to Providence's bench. Arrived just as warmups started and had at least two sticks tapped at me during warmups.

Waited in line after the game for Jay Henderson and Chris Dyment as they were the two selected for the post-game autograph session. Both were dressed and wearing their jerseys. Jay commented on the picture that we got autographed, as did Chris. (Comments are funny.) Hung around outside just long enough to accomplish one mission, which was to use up the last couple of pictures on my roll of film. But then ended up accomplishing two missions. Still have a few other missions unaccomplished and that just means I have to go back to Providence again. Also, saw Patrice leave with his sticks and equipment bag to join the Canadian National Team.

Other things for today:

- Kevin Paul Dupont's Pro Hockey Notes
- Recap of Hull's appearance on Saturday Night Live

- Peanuts cartoon featuring hockey (I think I may have to print that out.)

Now, it's time for me to go study.

First half of the weekend

Providence beat Hartford 3-2 Friday night. Jayme Filipowicz scored the game winner (his first goal of the season) at 18:54 of the third period. Patrice Bergeron and Andy Hilbert had the other goals. Dan LaCouture returned to the lineup. Aucoin was signed for the remainder of the season.

Tonight Providence lost in Worcester after a shootout. Colton Orr scored his first goal of the season. Aucoin scored in the shootout. Bergeron got the only penalties in the game.

Hannu Toivonen started Friday. Cody Rudkowsky started tonight (he used to play for Worcester a few years ago). Wonder who will start tomorrow. They play Binghamton tomorrow. I'll be there. I remembered Jason Spezza will be there, too.

Now for the NHL stuff. You know, that league that is MIA right now.

Players react to proposal - article by Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, with quotes from former Bruins/current Wild player Brian Rolston.

"Obviously, you look at your contract and it's a lot of money," said Rolston, who signed a three-year, $9.4 million deal with the Wild. "I'm in a great position and I'm certainly not complaining about the money that I make or anything like that, but you look at it and I'm going to be giving back $750,000 a year. Before, I wasn't optimistic at all that we were going to play this season. But then when I saw what we were going to put on the table, I thought I can't imagine we're not going to play. I think it got everyone's attention.

"I really can't imagine that the owners aren't going to look at this and feel that it's favorable for them. In terms of public opinion, that's a big number, and I think public opinion does mean a lot. The way the game is and needing the game to grow, it makes a big difference. I think what we did is very significant. The fans understand we're serious about making something happen. [The owners] think it's significant because we're going to have another meeting. Some teams it doesn't help, as far as rolling back salaries. Like the Bruins, they don't have any salaries in the first place to roll back."

Um... a little dig there, Brian? Bruins have eleven players under contract right now. I think those count as salaries. Nancy, couldn't get a current Bruin to comment?

Keeping with the Rolston/Minnesota Wild theme, the rest of the Wild aren't sold on the NHLPA's offer either. As for teams on the other side of the spectrum, they are the Senators and the Sabres and their both willing to take hits. Note that Sabre Chris Taylor is the lowest paid player in the league.

His $350,000 salary is the lowest of all 592 NHL players under contract for 2004-05. Nobody else makes less than $400,000. With the rollback he would forfeit $84,000.

"Doesn't mean there's a lot left, does it?" Taylor said Friday night while driving to Blue Cross Arena to skate for the Rochester Americans against the Milwaukee Admirals.

"I have so much fun playing hockey. If I make $260,000 playing in the NHL, I'll play just as hard as if I'm making $350,000."

The NHLPA should make him the poster player for their proposal. And he commented on his way to play a game?

Meanwhile, NBA and MLB reps are confused about the NHLPA's pay-cut offer.

Brett Hull was on Saturday Night Live talking about the lockout during their Weekend Update segment. To quote Amy Poehler, "Brett Hull would rather play hockey than marry a dude."

News from the day that was

The summary of the meeting between the NHL and NHLPA. The next meeting is now scheduled for Tuesday, December 14th.

The specifics of the major elements in the NHLPA's proposal. One element is a 24% rollback of player salaries.

A statement from league commissioner Gary Bettman. The NHL plans on presenting a counter-proposal.

Former Bruins and twins Peter and Chris Ferraro were released from their Swedish team. They both played for Providence. Peter played 51 games with Boston.

The WorldStars opened their tour with a win against Riga 2000.

Optimistic or not

Well, it's after midnight which makes it December 9th, which means today is the first time in three months the NHL and NHLPA are going to meet. At least twice this week, someone has asked me when they were meeting. I'm a little ashamed to admit I do have a little glimmer of hope, it being the Christmas season and all, that the lockout will be over and it'll be the NHL Miracle of the Season. Random fact: I have not watched any hockey movies during the lockout. One would think the movie Miracle would be living in my DVD player. But this is where being a Netflix member is handy.

There was a two-page article in the Boston Herald paper Wednesday about locked out local NHLers. Of course it's not online to make life easier. The article, Locked out NHL players wait for thaw [Local NHL skaters keep skills sharp as sides head back to bargaining table] says a group of 10 NHLers "who grew up in the Boston area gathered at Harvard's Bright Hockey Center two days before Thanksgiving wearing jerseys that read 'NHL Players Association - Goals and Dreams'." Among those NHLers were Bruins Tom Fitzgerald, Hal Gill, Sabre Mike Grier, former Bruin/current Star Don Sweeney, and Ranger Mike Dunham. They have been doing skating sessions twice a week in between off-ice workouts. Gill has become "Mr. Mom" taking care of three and a half month old daughter Isabelle when he's not working out in the morning. There are also pictures of Grier, Fitzgerald and Gill. Hopefully the article will be online soon. This was the first part of a two part series. Part two is Bruins management weighing in on its position... Bruins brass get empty feeling [Yet Sinden and Co. believe lockout necessary to save game for future]

Edit/Update sometime after 3 a.m.
The article is finally online, as well as part two. So the links are now above. In the part you just got through reading, and possibly clicking. I'd just thought I'd let you know, instead of making a new post. Carry on.
End Edit/Update

The Providence Bruins beat Albany 5-4 on Wednesday in an overtime shootout. Shootout goals were scored by Andy Hilbert and Keith Aucoin. Cody Rudkowsky stopped all four Albany shooters in the shootout. Rudkowsky started the past three games. Which leads me to this post on the HF Boards that speculates Hannu Toivonen might have suffered a slight concussion last weekend.

- Bruins Bergeron heads to the Worlds Bergeron will be leaving after Sunday's game.

Players participating in the WorldStars European tour will keep updated about the lockout news with their laptops. If there is any (good) news anyway. (I can be a little optimistic.)

The 12 unwritten rules of hockey journalism are in the latest issue of The Hockey News, which arrived at my house Wednesday.

There's a feature about the 1929-1930 Bruins on NHL.com.

The greatest moments in Boston sports might end up the Red Sox vs. well, the Red Sox. The current final four are the Sox World Series win against Bobby Orr's 1970 OT Cup winning goal, and the Sox ALCS win over the Yankees against the Patriots win over the Rams for the Superbowl. This should be interesting.

-Poll: Do you miss the NHL?

Look at all this optimism!

- Bettman puts on an optimistic face
- Both sides optimistic with NHL talks back [But few expect lockout will end any time soon / Details emerge of latest offer from players' union]

Adding another for the optimists... "I don't know. I'm optimistic, but every day that goes by it's getting more difficult to get a deal. They have a lot of work to do," said O'Connell. [Quote from part two.]

Okay, so it sounds like he's more on the fence and just saying he's optimistic.

What are your opinions about the meeting today? Are you optimistic or pessimistic, or perhaps you don't really care (yet)?


Just a bunch of newslinks.


- P-Bruins caught short by Monarchs (article on Friday's game)
- P-Bruins Notebook: Bergeron's absence will create big void
- P-Bruins' best not enough (article on Saturday's game)

- Toivonen a keeper: Goalie blossoming nicely with Baby B's (Herald)
- Bruins keeping a close watch (Globe)

Around the rest of the NHL:

- Hockey, Night Golf Anyone? (Dan Boyle comments on playing abroad)
- Celebs, players team up for fundraising, fun (in Colorado Saturday night)
- Stories, slapshots and lockout lists

Fragment from the Stories, slapshots and lockout lists article that I personally liked was the North End getting recognition from the Philadelphia paper.

On the road. Five NHL arenas we miss visiting this season and why:

5. FleetCenter (Boston): Walking distance from the North End.

The FleetCenter is so convenient.

It be Friday

I'm sitting here with a can of Diet Coke with Lime and a pound of Italian cookies to my right. I made a little stop at Mike's Pastry in the North End today. I needed sustenance for my five page paper this weekend and Italian cookies are the best. Right? Sure. Why not? That and I was watching the food network last night about holiday cookies and knew I wouldn't have the luxury of making cookies this weekend, and I really wanted cookies.

Oh, right. Hockey.

There's a Bruin in the news. First read here that Sergei Samsonov played in a charity game in Detroit last night. There's a more in depth article here, and another one here with a picture of Coach Kid Rock and Assistant Coach Tara Reid, and a little mention of Samsonov again.

You know, there are a couple ice skating surfaces in Boston, such as Frog Pond where NHLers could go if they wanted to skate but didn't want to rent out ice time for just themselves. (It's only $3.) Hmm, I'd also be willing to pay a NHLer for a refresher lesson in ice skating if there is one or two (or three) players interested. I have a pair of ice skates lying around, that were broken in pretty good last season that kind of fit too.

There is a lot of news today concerning next week's meeting between the NHL and NHLPA. I had a thought earlier about this whole lockout and hopes. Worst case scenario after the meetings is there would be no (NHL) hockey. Nothing different from now. Best case scenario after the meetings is there would be abbreviated training camps and then (NHL) hockey. I am fully prepared to accept whichever scenario happens.

The league accepted an offer yesterday from NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow to attend bargaining sessions in Toronto Dec. 9 and 10. The meetings will take place at the league's Air Canada Centre offices.
Two days? Of bargaining sessions? Are my contacts in right?

Parts of the enhanced NHLPA proposal include:

  • luxury tax
  • 10% salary rollback
  • allowing owners the right to take players to arbitration
  • entry-level salary cap of $800,000 and limited performance bonuses
  • unrestricted free agency age dropping from 31 to 29

Quote from NHL VP Bill Daly:

"I don't want to say I'm surprised the union set up the meeting, because I'm pleased. I just hope they're willing to put forward a good-faith effort with a proposal that will be able to help get something done. I'm disappointed that it took so long, but we're happy they're making the effort."
My response to that? At least one side is making an effort. Rock on NHLPA.

Players cheer news of talks Article getting the opinions from the Binghamton Senators, which I have every intention of seeing next weekend in Providence for the fact that I like me a little Jason Spezza. That's about the only reason why I linked that article.

Speaking of Providence, when I check out the bio page now, and see #2, I'm still expecting to see Steve Munn, and no offense to Jay Leach, but I'm always a little disappointed when Steve isn't there. And Cody Rudkowsky still isn't listed. Here's hoping he's still around on Sunday because I would like to see him when I go to the game. Speaking of goalies, new player profile about Hannu Toivonen.

That'll do.

Bruins on NESN

Classic Bruins games that is...

Dec. 2, 7 p.m. Game: Bruins vs. Capitals, March 7, 1994: Cam Neely scores his 49th and 50th goals - in only his 44th game - of the 1993-94 season.

Dec. 3, 7 p.m. Game: Bruins at Lightning, February 1, 1997: Ray Bourque breaks the Bruins points record (1,340) with one goal and two assists.

The complete schedule can be found at BostonBruins.com. (permanent link when it becomes available)

Mark your calendars

NHL, NHLPA agree to meet Dec. 9

"The letter also confirms that the NHLPA is working on a new proposal which it believes should provide the basis for a new collective bargaining agreement and thus end the owners' lockout," the players' association said in a release.
Let's hope so.
"Almost three months have passed since the players made their last proposal and we have yet to receive a counter-offer from the league," Bob Goodenow, the NHLPA's executive director, said in a statement. "We have been working hard at other creative solutions and believe our new proposal will provide a basis to end the owners' lockout and resume NHL hockey."
Wouldn't that be the greatest Christmas gift ever? I know NHL hockey is all the NHL and NHLPA would have to give to me.