Category Archives: NHL

How to Lose Free Agents and Alienate Veterans

Step 1: Honor a child with your captaincy!!!

Straight from the WWL: Blackhawks name Toews Captain. You got to be shitting me.

When in the hell did this practice become an option? I assume the vast majority of NHL players grew up in the same leadership environment as I did; when it comes to choosing the C, the options begin and end with the most experienced players. And now the NHL is adopting a practice that spits in the face of this successful, and logical, method. This shit is ass-backwards. Fuck grassroots development, the NHL is dictating a new definition of leadership from the top-down.

I’ll admit Toews seems like a swell chap. World Junior hero, Stevie Y-comparable, Chi-town savior, whatever. This declaration is fucked. If I had been named captain of my high school team as a FRESHMEN, veteran rebellion would soon follow. And I would completely understand. Sure, these guys are more mature, older, seasoned, all that jive but the old-school (Read: Proper. In this case anyways) way is still instilled
in these guys. There’s no way they ain’t feeling slighted. Brian Campbell especially.

Supposedly BC, who has experience as an NHL C, took less money to play in ChiTown. Sure, he was probably excited to play with the CHI 88s, but there had to be something more to the equation, especially for a dude who made his wishes to play near home (SW Ontario) well-known. Now he has no chance of ever leading this team and is stuck with the Hawks for 8 years, assuredly receiving diminished credit the whole time. I mean, the BC era and the Toews leadership era will begin on the same October night. Raw, raw deal my friends.

Why are the Blackhawks doing this? I mean, the past experiments should be enough to dissuade. Sure, Stevie Y is the shit, but he didn’t evolve into the player we all remember until Bowman showed up, and didn’t deliver his first cup until he was in his late 30s. Vinny was stripped of his C after one season and was rocking the A when the Bolts took the cup in 04. Granted, Crosby led his team to the Finals in just his
second season, but I feel the lack of Free Agent action is a more telling side effect of infant captains. Sure, they resigned some important pieces but were fucking inept on the FA market. This team is once again devoid of veterans and therefore more likely to falter come playoff time. Chitown is shaping up like Pittsburgh West. Being progressive ain’t worth it.


Filed under Brian Campbell, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, Jonathan Toews, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Steve Yzerman

THE Conducive Free Agent Signing

In honor of America’s birthday, I give you the chin of Rolston.

Now that the majority of the fireworks have gone off, the big names have changed teams, and the TSN crew has left us in peace, it’s time to predict what Free Agent will deliver the Stanley. While the signings of Wade Redden, Brian Campbell, and Marian Hossa certainly grabbed the most headlines, I feel their additions do not have the potential to enhance their new clubs enough to improve on last season’s result*. While the Blackhawks future looks sweet, they won’t be making any noise this year, at least not Bobby Hull noise**. The Rangers can’t win it all without a charismatic, transcendent leader, so the Redden signing is a mute point and the Red Wings can’t improve on last season’s result. Ahhhh, yessss. Claiming Hossa’s deal to be the most conducive Free Agent signing is just lazy. And boring.

To be the most conducive (to victory if you haven’t figured it out yet) Free Agent signing of 08, you must have signed with a playoff team, be decent at your craft, and most importantly, be loaded with intangibles***. The man that fits the bill best…Brian Rolston, the man of the 4 year-20 mill deal with the New Jersey Devils.

B-Roles will add even more defence to the Devils’ front line, provide reliable special teams, and bring one of the bangingest slap shots in the history of man to the Swamp. Plus, aside from his professional gifts, Roles is loaded with intangibles, the most valuable being his phenomenal facial hair. Seriously, the man’s chin beard alone warrants an MLB roster spot and his stuble makes Rick Nash’s groupies question their lives. Just outstanding growth.

Although giving a 4 year deal to a 35 year old dude is somewhat questionable, this fabricated award isn’t about the future. It’s about the here and now, and I’m predicting a John Elway like end to Martin Brodeur’s career in 2009, allowing Marty to ride into the sunset with as many sister-in-laws as he likes. And he’ll probably enjoy a celebratory sixer with Brian Rolston****.

*THIS YEAR. To the point of the Cup.

**I, like you, have no idea what that means. But I hear dudes with traitorous sons are in constant agony. Fuck you Brett.

***Which again allows me to provide bullshit justification.

****Most likely beer but possibly Sister-in-Laws. Never gets old, Marty.

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Filed under Brian Campbell, Brian Rolston, Hockey, New Jersey Devils, NHL

Mad Cappin’: Northeast Style

The big winners of 07’s Free Agency. So excited they actually began to look alike. To a horrifying degree.

Being that the NHL’s Free Agent Signing Period begins in three days (On Canada Day!!! How demeaning!!), I figured I’d use my limited knowledge to analyze the NHL’s Northeast Divisions’ cap situation*. It’ll be similar to a TSN special, but with a heightened self-awareness of inferiority.

Boston Bruins

Current Number of Dudes Under Contract for the 08-09 Season: 19

Current Cap Number: $46 Million

Most Expensive Dudes: Zdeno Chara @ 7.5 million, Mark Savard @ 5 million, Patrice Bergeron @ 4.75 million, Manny Fernandez @ 4.33 million, Glen Murray @ 4.15 million

Dudes’ Take of Current Cap Figure: 55.9%

Will Savard and Hossa be recreating the magic of 05 in Boston? It’s almost certainly possible.

Wild speculation has the Bruins buying out Murray and signing Marian Hossa, a move that would reunite the old Atlanta teammates (Marc Savard had a career year in 05-06) in a more conducive environment. If Hossa could help Savard get 97 points in Atlanta, I’d say 150 isn’t out of the question in Boston. Also, when the hell did this Manny Fernandez signing occur? Don’t they have like 4 competent goaltenders within the Boston organization (Toikkenen, Auld, Thomas, Rask)? Fuck buying Murray out, get rid of that Fernandez clown and promote Tuuka Rask. Leafs’ fans haven’t suffered enough.

Buffalo Sabres

Current number of Dudes under contract for the 08-09 season: 16

Current Cap Number: 39 million

Most expensive dudes: Thomas Vanek (wow Kevin Lowe’s wheelings and dealings are simultaneously alienating fans in two cities) @ 7.14 million (for the next 5 years too. Wow), Derek Roy @ 4 million, Jochan Hecht @ 3.525 million, Jaroslav Spacek @ 3.33 million, Maxim Afinogenev @ 3.33 million

Dudes’ Take: 54.7%

Who is this wonderfully coiffed young man? While it’s Thomas “7.14 million” Vanek, or the Christopher Columbus of Restricted Free Agency. Enjoy the next five years, Sabres’ fans!!

That Vanek deal is looking awful. He’s one of the Top 10 highest paid in the Eastern Conference and he racked up 64 points last year. In a full 82 game season. Plus he has a child out of wedlock!!! All this money has and gone to his head!!! Take him Edmonton!!! But seriously, was keeping him the right move? Too early to tell, but in Buffalo, Kevin Lowe voodoo dolls must be at a premium. Also, will Campbell return to Buffalo? They got some room to make something happen, but it may come down to him or Maxim, whose contract ends after this season. Personally, I’d go with BC. Highly compensated Europeans haven’t worked out too well in Buffalo (I’m using Vanek as precedent. It’s not too early too tell. He’s a colossal bust)

Montreal Canadiens

Current number of Dudes under contract for the 08-09 season: 17

Current Cap Number: 41 million

Most expensive dudes: Andrei Markov @ 5.75 million, Roman Hamrlik @ 5.5 million?, Alex Tanguay @ 5.25 million, Saku Koivu @ 4.75 million, Alexei Kovalev @ 4.5 million

Dudes’ Take: 62.8%

Will Scandinavia follow their victory of 08 with a similar result in 09? Haps’ fans keep your fingers crossed, since it may be the last chance for Scandinavian success in Montreal.

It’s got to be pretty sweet to have your highest paid players either be mediocre or above the age of 33. Nice long-term strategy, Mr. Gainey cuz your fucked after this year. The Canadiens only have 5 players signed beyond this season and they will have to deal with the Free Agenting of Higgins, Komisarek, Kovalev, Tanguay, Koivu, and Ryder after this season. Whose without a chair? Could Canadian teams’ supposed purging of their European captains spread to Quebec? Will Kovalev make the decision easier and retire to a life of exorbitant luxury in the Russian Superleague? Will there be any dough left for Price in the summer of 10? They better make things happen this year because the future of their team in its current form is non-existent.

Ottawa Senators

Current number of dudes under contract for the 08-09 season: 14

Current Cap Number: 40 million

Most Expensive Dudes: Dany Heatley @ 7.5 million, Jason Spezza @ 7 million, Daniel Alfredsson @ 4.4 million, Mike Fisher @ 4.2 million, Martin Gerber @ 3.7 million

Dudes’ Take: 67%

Would Alfy be willing to accept fewer dollars to stay with his boys?

I really love the long term deals of Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. They will look better the more time passes too. That being said, they have a number of questions confronthing them both this summer and next. Concerning this season, what defenceman will they choose to retain: Mezjaros or Redden? For next summer, they must decide whether or not Gerber is the goalie of the future or look elsewhere for help. And more importantly, they will have to decide whether or not to resign Alfredsson. His current contract is a fucking steal but I doubt he’d be willing to resign for anything less than 6 million/year, which is completely fair considering his career production. This is potentially crazy shit; all 4 of the European Captains within Canada could be on the way out in the next two years. Sundin and Naslund could both be gone this summer and Alfy and Koivu are Free Agents next summer for teams that are either financially committed to younger talent (Ottawa) or more likely to resign younger talent (Montreal with Higgins, Ryder, and Komisarek). This is all very ironic considering European leadership has peaked within the NHL with Nicklas Lidstrom’s captaining of the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings. Though predicting the success of one team based upon the nationality of another’s captain is questionable, Detroit’s victory would allow teams to squash any uncertainties surrounding their captain’s ability to lead by pointing to the success of Lidstrom. Considering this new get out of jail free card with the increasingly xenophobic Canadian media, the timing of these player’s potential exits is very odd. Or it could be a coincidence. We’ll have to wait and see. Anyways, it’ll be interesting to see where these great players end up in the next couple years.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Current number of dudes under contract for the 08-09 season: 18

Current Cap Number: 40 million

Most Expensive Dudes: Bryan McCabe @ 5.75 million, Pavel Kubina @ 5 million, Tomas Kaberle @ 4.25 million, Jason Blake @ 4 million, Vesa Toskala @ 4 million

Dudes’ Take: 57.5%

Jason Blake: Not the worst contract on the Leafs, but certainly in the Top 3. The Leafs take pride in that skill, dominating the Northeast leaderboard with 3 of the worst 4 contracts in the division. It’s difficult to place, however, considering the parallel shittiness of McCabe and Vanek.

And finally onto the team most likely to be analyzed, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their most highly compensated players are pretty comical considering that 4 of the top 5 payed are defensive players. Funny. Besides that, puzzling is the only way I can describe the contract of Jason Blake, or the the man most likely to be around in 2011-2012 (based solely on his contract. Only guy signed that long) Tucker is living the high life right now; guy could be living pretty doing shit for five years on the 1 mill/year the Leafs are paying him. Is the 2nd worst buyout in the Eastern Conference, behind the enviable situation of Mr. Alexei Yashin. Anyways, the big question revolves around Sundin’s future in Toronto. Is he coming back or not? I think he should go. Coming back would diminish his legacy. Leaving now would sollidify his position as a victim of the incompetency of JFJ and the rest of the idiotic Leafs’ management. Go to a contender, win a cup, and be celebrated like Kevin Garnett.

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Filed under Boston Bruins, Brian Campbell, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, Marc Savard, Marian Hossa, Mats Sundin, Montreal Canadiens, NHL, Ottawa Senators, Saku Koivu, Thomas Vanek, Toronto Maple Leafs

The Embarrassing NHL Draft

Greasy mop: check. 170 pounds: check. Incapable of proper tie technique: check. This guys like me 4 years ago.

While the NBA and NFL Drafts are must-sees for me, I had never watched the NHL Draft in it’s entirety*. This injustice of my life had to be corrected so last nite, I made the noble attempt. Instead of enjoying the Draft, I stumbled across the reason why no one watches it: no one knows a fucking thing about NHL prospects. Pierre McGuire and Bob MacKenzie are drunken relics who consistently fall back on BS justifications like “he loves to compete” or predicting that Luke Schenn’s future success will be based on his choice of roommate (it was Shea Weber!!!) and billets. Where are the Mel Kipers, the Jay Bilas’, the Mike Mayocks? Those guys know things about the thing their covering. McGuire and MacKenzie are fucking ignorant sloths.

Despite having little to no experience watching ANY of the top 10 draft picks in action, TSN inexplicably refused to use numbers to illustrate why players were going where they were. The only numbers TSN used throughout the nite were point totals. Wasn’t there a goddamn scouting combine? Isn’t there some sort of crazy method of comparing players based on their combine results? Even during the rare occasion when the combine was mentioned, the fucking hacks still fell back on subjective bullshit. Bob MacKenzie justified Colin Wilson at 7 by describing a shirtless Colin**. Zach Bogosian supposedly killed at the combine but there were no examples given as to how. Either the NHL does not release combine results (likely) or MacGuire and MacKenzie are fucking cavemen (a certainty).

Otherness Besides being ignorant turds, the TSN experts also appear to be xenophobic douchebags. Every foreigner chosen is welcomed by fears of defection. Yes, Draft Picks occasionally fail to live up to expectations but just because you’re too lazy and retarded to research foreign players, do not denounce a young man based on his nationality. Seriously, not one minute after Filatov was drafted did fat Bob start foaming at the mouth about Russian homesickness. Just disgusting***.

Speaking of Filotov, I’m seriously skeptical about that guy’s chances of success****. After applauding his English skills, Filotov answered three straight questions with indifferent shrugs. This guys got the fire!!! Sweet pick Columbus. May you forever remain in the bottom 14. 

Sticking with Filotov, the dude seemed incapable of tying a tie. Too much time on the English, I suppose.

Filotov is now my favorite player.

James Duthie asked Wayne Gretzky if he “contends to contend”. Uhhh, yes James.

Stamkos hugged like three rows of people before heading to the stage. Hasn’t he known he’d be number 1 for months now? Doesn’t that leave ample hugging time? Arrogant bastard.

Props to Garth Snow, who has shaken off the early GM jitters, stopped giving dudes 20 year deals, and started using his noggen. The Isle twice traded out of the Top 7 only to land at 9 with 2 extra 2nd rounders with the option of another 2nd rounder or a 3rd rounder. Nice.

Why are random GMs allowed to give shout outs before each pick? Its fucking embarrassing and demeaning. Do the fans at Sullys’ give a fuck if Dean Lombardi is thanking them? I’m going to say no. Plus how could this possibly be thought of as professional. Get up there, announce the pick, and leave. I mean there were fucking two or three introductions going on for one draft pick. Embarrassment. 

*Still haven’t. I bailed after the Top 10. If MacKenzie and MacGuire were pulling shit out of their ass for the best players in the draft, it would have gotten progressively worse. I think watching 10 is a feat in itself.

**He’s ripped. He’s a man. He’s 40.

***Possibly offensive and certainly strange was MacKenzie’s shout out to the Macedonian race. Are we allowed to do that today? Just give props to races? I somehow think Mike Mayock would avoid such behavior.

****Not because he’s Russian either.

Photo, as you can probably tell, courtesy of Getty Images


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Filed under Bob MacKenzie, NHL, NHL Draft, Pierre McGuire, Steven Stamkos, TSN

The Degradation Begins


Sarah Taylor eases the pain

Was just flipping through the channels and happened to land on the 2008 MMVAs. Since it’s a Canadian production, I felt it my patriotic duty to continue watching the Mandy Moore of Music Networks’ (cause, you know Mandy is too wholesome. But thats not really relevant) annual shindig. It’s usually decent and I always appreciate some classy/whorish VJs. Clarish? Whossy? Oh, whossys’ it.

Well, while I was tolerating the Canadian effort, one particular moment brought the fury. Ontario’s most successful moron Jason Spezza* was invited onstage to present some worthless award to some awful Canadian band. While this is commonplace for the MMVAs, the one night where the worst Canadian artists are celebrated by ignorant C-Listers, the introduction music was not. Jason Spezza walked onstage to the HNIC theme. Fucking disgusting. Fucking unfathomable. CTV, you depraved assholes, we realize he’s a fucking hockey player. It was made clear during the VERBAL introduction. Theres no need for HNIC, no need. In two weeks, they’ve transformed the Second National Anthem into a Pavlovian trigger for patriotic rage.  

God, they have wasted no time. What once signified Leafs-Habs, Flames-Oilers, Don Cherry, Bob Cole has quickly been debased to introducing illiterate Centres to hordes of screaming teenagers. Its been two fucking weeks. Jesus. They’re not even going to pretend to respect the song’s history. I mean the MMVAs? Whats next? Baby Blue**?

*According to my buddy. Not sure on the specifics, but the punchline is he’s incredibly stupid.

**Obscure softcore Canadian porn. Yeee Yeee City TV. I mean fuck you CTV.

Pic via MuchMusic Blog

For visual evidence of the blasphemous act, check out Much Axs

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Filed under HNIC, Hockey, Jason Spezza, NHL

Malkin willing to be Mute Phil (if Golf was a team sport)

Unlike Crosby, Malkin will only pose with at least two layers covering his torso

In honor of the US Open, I give you a golf analogy that barely encompasses the Pittsburgh Penguins’ current situation, since Malkin cannot answer countless question about his counterpart due to his inability to speak English. But according to the latest news, it appears Malkin wishes to continue not answering questions concerning the life of his teammate, Sidney Crosby.

The Globe and Mail has just published an article claiming Malkin expects a contract extension to be hammered out soon after the beginning of the upcoming July 1st signing period. Even more shocking, to moronic NHL analysts anyways, I’m somewhat indifferent, is the dough Malkin will be seeking. Unlike previous alarming reports that assumed Malkin would demand a long term contract paying 9-10 million per year, Malkin has milder expectations. Geno will not be seeking Ovechkin type cash from the Pens and claims not be looking for anything greater than Crosby’s recent contract, which pays the Kid less than 9 mill/year. It seems the quiet Russian is happy in Pittsburgh and wishes to atone for his Stanley Cup regression, which was largely contrived by the Canadian media anyways but whatever. Sounds like a loyal dude.

However, all of these polite assertions mean nothing if some NHL GM pulls a Kevin Lowe come July 1. If someone feels Malkin is worth simoltaneously dishing out 10 million/year AND giving up the draft picks necessary to poach, then I doubt Malkin will turn it down. I don’t know who has the cap space to do such a thing, but the ideal situation for Malkin would be a small market team with less media coverage then the Pens. He probably feels pretty bitter about the hypocritical villification he received in the Finals and would pounce at the chance to leave it behind. On the other hand he does appear content to be the Pippen to Crosby’s Jordan* so who knows. All I know is the modest aw-shucking is bullshit. The market will reveal the truth.

But if Malkins anything like me he will probably be willing to take a significant paycut in order to avoid speaking publicly. Go anywhere else, there will be increased public speaking expectations since he would more than likely be the top dog. Stay in Pittsburgh and the Canadian media will continue to blow their wad on the lifeless pap Crosby consistently produces. Though to me, lifeless Russian responses would be a welcome change of pace from the shit that spews from beneath Crosby’s pube stache.

Updatefrom seconds ago, since I have no logical way of extending this post without using boldness: What the shit? I just read an article detailing the Penguins’ true priority this offseason, signing Marian Hossa, who is expecting no less than 8 million per season. Is this competitively possible? Blowing the cap on three dudes with max dollars? Didn’t that ruin many managerial careers in Tampa? This raises some new questions.

First of all, is Geno Malkin delusional or simply naive? He claims to expect a done deal “soon” after July 1st. Is he talking about the Penguins because according to this new development (for me anyway) they seem kind of disinterested in him. What are his expectations based upon? His willingness to play in Pittsburgh…because at this moment, that seems to mean little to Pittsburgh management. But why? I know, because Crosby is a manipulative twerp. After discovering the reasonable nature of Crosby’s contract, for the supposed Savior of the Sport anyways, there must have been some sort of clause worth the paycut.

People who pose topless should not be trusted to make personnel decisions

WARNING: CONSPIRACY TIME!!! Does Crosby have a say in Pittsburgh personnel moves? DOES HE? He so does, doesn’t he random figure I am directing these questions at. Think about it people, Hossa poses no threat to Crosby’s longterm reign of terror** and his involvement ensures Crosby’s point crown for the duration of Hossa’s contract. If Malkin stays he certainly won’t have the luxury of an All-Star scorer on his wing. Fucking Crosby. I hope Malkin haunts you for years to come, ya traiterous, hairless bastard.

*Sports analogies are awesome and infinetely less controversial than the biblical. I thought better of labelling Crosby Judas

**NOT an alarmist description. Guy spit on autograph seeking, Timbit enthusiasts***


****According to my buddy 

Penguins’ Malkin expects contract extension – Globe and Mail

Pens make Hossa their priority – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review



Filed under Evgeni Malkin, Hockey, Marian Hossa, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby

Death of a Legend

Today, the true repercussions of a Conservative government were revealed. Okay, that’s an overstatement but I am fucking furious right now and I need someone dubious to blame. According to CBC (Damn their news responsibility. Them posting this is like a dumped dude walking around wearing a T-Shirt with his ex-girlfriend and her sleazy new boyfriend on it), CTV has purchased the rights to the HNIC theme, who plan to use it in their TSN broadcasts and Olympic coverage. No issue with the Olympic coverage (though I’m not sure how it’s relevantoutside of hockey), but seeing TSN gain the rights to Canada’s second National anthem is disheartening, infuriating, and fucking brrrruuuutal.

Tons of issues with the network switch. First of all, TSNbroadcasts are classless screaming matches between vapid “personalities”. At least CBC warns its viewers of idiotic commentary withthe Coaches’ Corner intro; I guess “The Hockey Theme”* will be the new indicator. Plus, all these assholes will benefit from the nostalgia invoked by the song despite not deserving a goddamn ounce of favor. TSN fucking employs Matthew Barnaby and Mike Milbury, two of the most unlikable and idiotic men to ever be featured on Canadian television. These are the kind of guys that Grapes would rail against in Coaches Corner.  years. They’ve featured Lenny Kravitz and Brian Adams in their broadcasts. They’re a silver-spooned child whose daddy just bought them a Ferrari. They don’t give a fuck. They don’t deserve the respect or receive the love a Harry Cole or a Foster Hewitt do. Plus, they have Pierre McGuire. Nuff’ said.

Even worse is the amount of times TSN plans to use “The Hockey Theme” this year. According to Wikipedia, which improves my argument, TSN broadcasts 3-4 games per week during the regular season. 3-4!!! What the fuck? Like the NFL, HNIC’s derived from its scheduling scarcity, which creates a perception of superiority. Now that TSN will be rolling out “The Hockey Theme” 3-4 times per week, it cheapens the song infinitely. What was once Jessica Alba has been transformed into Paris Hilton.

More troublesome is TSN’s “Hockey Night”: Wednesday. Sweet. The HNIC theme used to be a starting gun for Saturday night festivities. If those opening notes blared and you were without a beer in your hand, it was either exam time or you were passed out. Wednesday? What the hell am I to do with that? I’ll be asleep by the end of the first game and not nearly as drunk.

Worse than all this selfish shit is the loss of the collective bond the HNIC theme created throughout Canada. Everyone knows it. Everyone grew up with it and up until today, everyone owned a piece of it. Since CBC is a publicly funded company, our tax dollars made HNIC possible. Now fucking CTV owns it. A fucking conglomerate** owns arguably the most important Canadian cultural achievement of the past 40 years. This is like the US selling America the Beautiful to Microsoft or even more apt, having Wal-Mart kill your local convenience store. Awful day.

You may have noticed throughout the rant that I’ve referred to “The Hockey Theme” in the past tense. Well, to me, the Hockey Night in Canada theme was played for the last time on Wednesday June 4th, 2008. It was a great 40 years.

*This is supposedly the actual name of the song, which is total bullshit. The only “Hockey”
 this refers to occurs on a Saturday night.

**Or something other than you and me


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Filed under CBC, CTV, HNIC, Hockey, NHL, TSN