Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers

Toronto wants to host the Winter Classic


In a bit of breaking news, it’s come to light that the Toronto organization would like to host a Winter Classic. In related news, water is wet and the Boston Bruins are good at hockey.

There are rumors aplenty that Detroit has the inside track for next year’s Winter Classic—but for now, they are just rumors. Gary Bettman addressed some media members yesterday and narrowed it down to cities that haven’t already hosted a Winter Classic and teams that could handle the climate requirements. In other words, there are 25 teams that are hopefully that they can make some kind of pitch to the league. If they can play a game in Las Vegas, then owners would surely want to find a creative way to get in on the action.

One of the ideas floating is that the Toronto Maple Leafs would like to throw their hat into the ring. Brian Burke, as blunt as ever, was straight to the point with QMI Agency today: “We would love to host a game and the league knows it.”

There isn’t a lot of gray area in that statement, is there?

Of course, the players would be all over the chance to play in an outdoor game as well. Leafs rookie Nazem Kadri spoke to reporters, “It’s something that I’ve always watched. I think it would be cool for Toronto to get in on something like that.”

There are about 23 guys on 29 other teams that would agree that it would be fun “to get in on something like that.”  Either way, it’s good to know that the Leafs would be willing participants if the NHL tapped them on the shoulder.  After all, there was that .0001 percent chance that they wouldn’t be interested.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?