Preferred nomenclature: The 'best' first names in hockey

twopowerfulmikes.jpgTwo powerful Mikes (Modano and Ilitch)

I’m one of those people who believe that a name can often shape someone’s life/attitude/personality. Naturally, it doesn’t dictate everything, but chances are your kid might have the deck stacked against them if they have to answer to “Apple” or “Chastity” on the first day of school.

(For some reason, I’ve almost never gotten along with anyone named Josh but nine times out of 10 hit it off with women named Lindsay or Lindsey. Let’s move on.)

NHL.com’s John Kreiser keeps pumping out some off-the-wall but awesome summer reading the last few weeks. He didn’t disappoint on Friday, either, as he released a list of the “best” first names in hockey.

Michael and Robert (and their various derivatives) are by far the most plentiful on the NHL’s all-time player list. There have been more than 200 players named Mike/Michael/Michel (Puck Prospectus put the number at 206) in the NHL, the most of any first name. Robert/Bob/Bobby is next at 194, with Dave/David/Davey a distant third at 134.

bobbyorrfrozenintime.jpgIf you had to assemble the greatest team with any one first name, which would it be? The Als are great (Ovechkin, Mogilny, coach Al Arbour), the Roberts are stout (Bobby Orr and Clarke, Roberto Luongo) and John is a solid hockey name too (Jean Beliveau, Jonathan Toews). Yet while it might not be the boldest move, I’d put my money on the Mikes.

The Mikes — Imagine the dilemma for our coach, Mike Babcock (Mike Keenan has to settle for being an assistant) when it comes to picking a first-line right wing: Does he go with 700-goal scorer Mike Gartner or 573-goal (in just 10 seasons) gunner Mike Bossy. Not a bad dilemma to have. Mike Modano would make a pretty nice No. 1 center, with Mike Bullard on the second line. Michel Goulet looks like a pretty good first-line left wing. My penalty-killing unit could include guys like Michael Peca and Mike Sillinger (and I’d win a lot of faceoffs, too). Mike Ricci adds offense, defense and an element of feistiness.

My defense should get plenty of offense with Mike Green running the show, and with players like Mike Ramsey on the blue line, my one-two goaltending duo of Mike Vernon and Mike Richter should get some assistance. Mike Liut can fill in if one of them gets hurt.

And should my TV crew need some help, I’ll move Mike Milbury from the ice to the broadcast booth to work with Mike Emrick.

Perhaps the best question is: which are the coolest/most rare names? I doubt we’ll see many more Emerson Etems, Vesa Toskalas or P.K. (Pernell Karl) Subbans any time soon, that’s for sure …

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    Burrows on waiving his no-trade clause: ‘I’ve never talked to management or coaches about it’

    Vancouver Canucks' Alex Burrows celebrates his goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)
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    Alex Burrows doesn’t want a trade out of Vancouver and he wants to make sure everyone knows it.

    On Saturday, Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman reported that Burrows was potentially willing to waive his no-trade clause if a deal came up.

    When asked about the report, Burrows went into denial mode.

    “There’s no truth to that,” Burrows told beat reporter Ben Kuzma. “I’ve never talked to management or coaches about it.

    “Last time I talked to my agent was to wish him Merry Christmas.”

    Whether or not Burrows is willing to accept a deal out of Vancouver may be irrelevant.

    The 34-year-old has seven goals and 16 points in 53 games this season, and he comes with a cap hit of $4.5 million dollars next season.

    That’s pretty steep for a guy who’s on pace to score just 25 points this year.

    If the Canucks want to find a taker for his services (assuming he’s willing to go), they’ll likely have to take a good-sized contract back or they’ll have to eat some of his remaining salary.

    Marchand scores fastest goal in Bruins’ history; Datsyuk’s 900th point

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    It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.

    Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.

    (You can see that goal in the video above.)

    Watch that three-goal burst in this video:

    The two teams weren’t done then. Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 while Pavel Datsyuk scored his 900th point to make it 3-2.

    Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.

    Kinkaid blanks Kings, Devils move into playoff position

    New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (1) watches a shot on goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, in Newark N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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    When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.

    Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.

    It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.

    This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.

    That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.

    Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
    Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
    First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP

    So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.

    The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.

    WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings on NBC

    Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green (25) battle for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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    The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.

    It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.

    You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE