2010 NHL free agency: Lightning sign forward Chris Durno

chrisdurno.jpgThe Lightning are at it again. It might be a Sunday morning in late July but that isn’t stopping Steve Yzerman from helping the Lightning fill out ranks on the team as the team announced the signing of forward Chris Durno today to a one-year, two-way contract.

The six-foot-four 205-pounder had four goals and eight points in 41 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season. He played 43 games with the Avs the previous two seasons.

Durno also played in 17 games with Lake Erie last season, recording 10 goals and 18 points.

Durno, a Michigan Tech alum, likely isn’t being counted on for much more than being fourth line depth for the Lightning but at the very least, he’s got a huge cult following now thanks to Maple Leafs blog Down Goes Brown. DGB tells the story of a classic non-battle at Maple Leaf Gardens between Denis Savard and Gary Leeman on Hockey Night In Canada where some shoddy camera work ensures that a young Chris Durno makes his first appearance on television before he ever became a professional hockey player.

In the middle of Leeman and Savard’s dance of futility, the camera pans by a young hockey fan wearing a #8 Leafs jersey that reads “Durno”. This begs two questions: how bad were the camera angles in Maple Leaf Gardens that a small child could block them, and what the heck is a “Durno”? Stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this.

Since nobody by that name ever played for the Leafs, I’m going to assume it’s the kid’s name. A few minutes of google research reveals a journeyman minor leaguer named Chris Durno, who at the age of 28 finally made his NHL debut this year by playing two games for the Avalanche. Chris Durno grew up in Scarborough, would have been nine years old when this game was played, and according to this interview he always wore #8 when he was growing up.

You know what? I’m going to go ahead and make the claim that that’s future NHLer Chris Durno blocking the camera in the middle of this fight!

Commenters confirmed that it was indeed Durno and now he’s an instant legend amongst Down Goes Brown’s army of followers. For a fourth liner/AHL guy, there’s probably not a better way to live in the hockey world. Not everyone can be Paul Bissonette after all.

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    Fight video: Flyers’ Manning vs. Penguins’ Gaunce

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    Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.

    The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.

    With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.

    Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.

    Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.

    Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

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    Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

    Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

    Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

    Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

    Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

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    Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

    It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

    The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

    NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

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    The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

    The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

    Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

    “When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

    In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.