Joe Sakic

Following the hot trend, Joe Sakic joins the Avalanche front office


Throughout his career with the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche, Joe Sakic has been a leader and a role model for the players on the ice. As the captain of the  two-time Stanley Cup champion Avalanche, Sakic showed that he’s got the ability to lead the way and do so while under tremendous pressure. Now he’ll use those skills that he had on the ice and put them to use off the ice much like his contemporaries have done as well.

Sakic was named the Executive Advisor/Alternate Governor for the Colorado Avalanche, a front office position that sees him following in the footsteps of Steve Yzerman and Cam Neely as team executives. Yzerman is the GM of the Lightning while Neely is a vice president with the Bruins.

For Sakic, this little bit of news helps boost the spirits in Denver. The Avalanche are currently the second worst team in the NHL and while they’ve done well in their last couple of games, they’re locked in a battle with Ottawa for that spot just outside of the absolute basement behind Edmonton.

While Sakic’s job isn’t like Yzerman’s in that he’s got to help build and shape a team, Sakic will be helping with more of the behind the scenes details and helping get the organization in order. Given how much of a roller coaster it’s been for the Avs the last few seasons, stability like that is invaluable to this team.

With this trend of recent former NHLers coming home to roost in either front office jobs for teams now or with the NHL like Brendan Shanahan and Rob Blake have done, we wonder who might be the next former player to wind up getting a high profile job. Many seem to think that Patrick Roy would be a likely candidate as he’s doing similar work in Canada with junior hockey. Personally, we’d like to see Roy do it just for the colorful quotes he’d provide for us.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.