Mike Commodore, Eric Fehr

Mike Commodore 64: Commodore USA president would be ‘ecstatic’ if it happened


The momentum keeps building for Mike Commodore to appease the nostalgic video gaming masses by donning the No. 64 as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski deserves a great deal of credit for bringing the situation to the hockey world’s attention and also organizing a charitable drive to encourage Commodore 64 to become a reality. Sure, there are some who have voiced their dissent for the idea, but the consensus (of those who care at all) points toward it being a crowd-pleaser.

Wyshynski points out at least one prominent person who voiced his approval for the idea: Barry Altman, the president and CEO of Commodore USA. Altman must have sensed that dormant nostalgia for the Commodore 64 a little bit earlier than anyone else, because he resurrected the brand (only with modern bells and whistles) on April 5.

To what should probably be little surprise, Altman seems delighted by the free publicity and would be even happier if Commodore ends up wearing that number.

“I can’t even think of words to describe how ecstatic we would be,” said Barry Altman, president and chief executive of Commodore USA.

Altman seems primed to capitalize on the opportunity, if the NHL will allow it and Commodore embraces it. He seems to be taking a wise business approach by simply leaving it up to those parties to determine how much the computer company ends up being connected to the situation.

“This is really a grassroots adventure, where the fans have come together and realized that the name, the company, the franchise and our company all have reached a perfect storm,” Altman said. “If, in fact, he feels comfortable wearing that jersey, the No. 64, obviously it would thrill everyone when he hit the ice.”

Altman said his company has no formal agreement with Commodore, and is not sure how the NHL would embrace the combination, business-wise. It is not believed there are any league rules that would prohibit a partnership between the player and the company.

“We are eagerly awaiting his decision,” Altman said. “We’ve envisioned supporting them in any way that’s comfortable for everybody -Commodore giveaways, Commodore nights, Commodore T-shirts. Again, this is all up to the team, and all up to Mike. Whatever they decide, we’re going to roll with it.”

One could see things getting a little out of hand if Commodore actually became an official endorser of the product (worst nightmare: a tattoo of the old computer, maybe?). That being said, you can’t really blame Altman for trying to take it that far, but we’ll have to wait and see if he even ends up wearing No. 64 anyway. If nothing else, it’s an amusing sideshow during the slow, hockey-free months of summer.

Niemi blanks Pens, notches two assists in Stars debut

Antti Niemi, Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist

DALLAS (AP) — Antti Niemi recorded his 33rd career shutout and assisted on two goals in his Dallas debut, as the Stars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 on Thursday night in the season opener for both.

Ales Hemsky had a power-play goal and an assist.

Rookie Matthias Janmark scored on his first shot on his first shift in an NHL game to make it 1-0. The Stars acquired Niemi and Janmark in trades earlier this year.

Dallas scored on two of five power plays. Jamie Benn, the NHL’s leading scorer last season, had a power-play goal in the third period.

Niemi made 37 saves to improve his career record against the Penguins to 5-1-1. He withstood a flurry in the final minute after Pittsburgh pulled goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for an extra skater.

Fleury had 21 saves.

The Stars are 4-0-1 in their last five home games against Pittsburgh, and have won three in a row overall.

Janmark skated down the slot, took a pass from Hemsky and shot between Fleury’s legs at 1:39 of the first.

The Penguins dominated the latter half of the period, but couldn’t score. Niemi’s best stop was a reaching glove save of Rod Scuderi’s drive from the blue line with less than 3 minutes remaining. Pittsburgh outshot the Stars 10-4 in the first.

Hemsky scored at 5:42 of the second on Dallas’ first power play. His shot from the top of the right faceoff circle went in over Fleury’s right shoulder.

The Penguins again had an advantage in shots, 13-11. Pittsburgh had chances in close, but Niemi turned those away. Midway through the second, John Klingberg cleared away a loose puck from in front of the net.

Seven seconds into the Stars’ fourth power play of the third period, Jamie Benn tipped in Jason Spezza‘s shot from the right point.

NOTES: Dallas acquired Janmark as part of a March trade that sent Erik Cole to Detroit. The rookie had been playing in the Swedish Hockey League. . San Jose traded Niemi’s rights to the Stars in June for a seventh-round draft pick. Also making their Dallas debuts were LW Patrick Sharp and D Johnny Oduya, teammates with Chicago’s Stanley Cup champions last season. . In his first game for the Penguins, Phil Kessel played in his 447th straight game. . Pittsburgh was 0 for 3 on the power play.

Fabbri’s first spoils McDavid’s debut as Blues down Oilers

Robby Fabbri, Justin Schultz
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Robby Fabbri scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period to help the St. Louis Blues beat Edmonton 3-1 Thursday night, spoiling Oilers rookie Connor McDavid‘s NHL debut.

Vladimir Tarasenko had the tying goal for the Blues near the midpoint of the second period, and Troy Brouwer added an empty-netter with 18 seconds remaining in the third. Brian Elliott finished with 23 saves.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in the first period for Edmonton and Cam Talbot had 28 saves.

McDavid, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, took 22 shifts, played 18:07 and was on the ice for Brouwer’s goal. He had two shots on goal, and struggled on faceoffs – winning only three of 13.

Fabbri, a 19-year-old forward — and McDavid’s childhood friend — was also playing in his first NHL game. The Blues’ first-round pick in 2014 was one of three rookies in the St. Louis lineup, joining defensemen Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson.

Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead late in the first period with a fluke power-play goal. He lost a face-off but when Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tried to clear the puck it bounced off Alexander Steen and past Brian Elliott. Nugent-Hopkins was credited with the unassisted power-play goal with 2:38 remaining in the period.

Tarasenko tied it a 9:10 of the second after getting loose on a breakaway with a stretch pass from Alex Pietrangelo and beating Talbot through his legs.

Tarasenko, who signed an eight-year, $60 million extension in the offseason, was the last Blues player to score in his debut.

NOTES: McDavid and F Anton Slepyshev made their NHL debuts for the Oilers. … St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina dropped the ceremonial first puck. … The attendance was announced as standing room-only 19,327.