puckburglar

Making lemonade from puck burglary: Chris Pronger says he’d auction Cup finals puck for charity

1 Comment

When Chris Pronger decided to nab the game puck after the Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, people called him everything from a scamp to a scoundrel.

He’s probably still a scamp for doing so – chances are, ‘Hawks fans will continue to boo him like they did on Sunday – but it sounds like the goofy scenario might actually end up benefiting a good cause. Pronger told Frank Seravalli of Philly.com that he would be willing to auction the puck off to the highest bidder and then give the proceeds to the charity of that bidder’s choosing.

Pronger discussed the fact that he would probably put it up on eBay to do so, although he was then reminded that Chicago-based restaurant Harry Caray’s was willing to pay $50,000 for the controversial piece of sports memorabilia.

“I have it,” Pronger said. “It’s tucked away somewhere. It’ll wind up on eBay at some point. All proceeds will go to the person that buys its charity.”

Chicago won that game, 2-1, to take a 2-0 lead in the series. The Flyers went on to win the next two games at the Wells Fargo Center before Pronger tried to take the puck again after the Blackhawks’ win in Game 5.

Pronger made headlines as the puck thief, so much so that a Chicago establishment – Harry Caray’s, a restaurant named after the late Cubs broadcaster – publicly offered $50,000 for the puck Pronger swiped.

“If they want to give me 50-grand, I’ll donate it to charity,” Pronger said. “You get me their name and number and I’ll do it.”

It would be very cool if that silly scene ends up being more than a bit of in-series gamesmanship. We’ll let you know if that happens.

(Puck burglar illustration by Deven “Gray” Hoover from Couch Tarts.)

Therrien refutes report that Price is likely done for the season

Leave a comment

Contrary to a report by La Presse newspaper, Montreal head coach Michel Therrien says that Canadiens goalie Carey Price could still play again this season.

“We know what’s going on with Carey,” Therrien told reporters today. “It takes more time, obviously, than we were expecting. Like I said, he’s working extremely hard and he’s put in a lot of hours to make sure that he’s going to make that comeback. The fact that he’s working extremely hard is not to make sure that he’s going to look good this summer on the beach; he wants to come back and play for the Montreal Canadiens.”

That being said, Price does not appear close to a return. He’s yet to practice with teammates. He’s yet to even skate in goalie gear.

The Habs have 27 games left to get back into a playoff spot. They close out the regular season on April 9, less than two months from today.

Related: With Price possibly done for the season, Scrivens has Dubnyk-like opportunity

With trade deadline approaching, Canucks announce Edler out 6 weeks, Sutter 6-8 weeks

Washington Capitals v Vancouver Canucks
1 Comment

The Vancouver Canucks announced today that they’ll be without defenseman Alex Edler (fractured fibula) for six weeks and center Brandon Sutter (broken jaw that required surgery) for six to eight weeks.

So basically those two are gone for the remainder of regular season, save for possibly a few games at the tail end of the schedule.

For a bubble team that doesn’t boast a ton of depth, the injuries are significant. Edler leads the Canucks in ice time, averaging almost 25 minutes per game. Sutter, arguably their best defensive center, already missed a big chunk of games earlier in the season following sports-hernia surgery.

But GM Jim Benning still isn’t giving up on the playoffs. Yesterday, he went on Vancouver radio and suggested the Canucks could actually be buyers at the trade deadline.

Benning only has a couple of weeks to decide what to do with pending unrestricted free agents defenseman Dan Hamhuis and winger Radim Vrbata. The trade deadline is Feb. 29.

The Canucks, currently just two points back of Nashville for the final wild-card spot, have a pair of winnable games coming up. They host Toronto Saturday and Minnesota Monday.

Related: Preds entering key (and tough) stretch before trade deadline

Jets activate Pavelec from IR, send Hellebuyck back to minors

Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Winnipeg’s goalie of the future is off to continue his development in the AHL.

On Friday, the Jets activated veteran netminder Ondrej Pavelec from injured reserve and, in a subsequent move, sent rookie netminder Connor Hellebuyck back to their affiliate in Manitoba.

Hellebuyck, 22, arrived in Winnipeg with great fanfare, having starred for Team USA at the 2015 Worlds while being named an AHL All-Star as well.

This was his first-ever stint with the Jets, and it went OK — Hellebuyck posted an 13-11-1 record, .918 save percentage and 2.34 GAA — but he did struggle of late, getting hooked in two of his last three outings.

Now, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Pavelec.

His numbers prior to getting hurt weren’t any better than Hellebuyck’s — .906 save percentage, 2.82 GAA — and there will be considerable rust to knock off, given he’s been out since late November with a knee issue.

There’s also the long-term implication.

Pavelec, a lightning rod for criticism over the last few seasons, has one year left on his five-year, $19.5 million extension, meaning he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in July of ’17.

It could be his last season in Winnipeg (assuming he’s not bought out of the final year of his deal), which makes one wonder what GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has in store.

It’s also worth noting there’s a third goalie in this equation: Michael Hutchinson, who’s a pending RFA.

Kuznetsov passed concussion test, expected to play Saturday

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, from Russia, celebrates his goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Washington. The Capitals won 5-3. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP
2 Comments

Feel free to breath a sigh of relief, Capitals fans — Evgeny Kuznetsov is okay.

“During the end of the third period, Evgeny underwent and passed all tests pertaining to the league’s concussion protocol evaluation,” the Caps said today in a statement. “We expect him to take the morning skate tomorrow and play against the Stars later that night.”

Kuznetsov left last night’s game versus the Wild in the third period after appearing to take the butt-end of Mikael Granlund’s stick to the face.

Kuznetsov leads the Caps with 54 points.