georges laraque

It’s Georges Laraque vs. Brian Burke in the battle of coyote fur-trimmed jackets


The Toronto Star reports a simmering feud between former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque and Toronto GM Brian Burke over sales of a Maple Leafs team jacket trimmed with real coyote fur.

Laraque wrote Burke a letter asking him to reverse the organizational decision that endorses the jacket.

“Coyotes and other animals trapped for their fur often suffer for days before dying of exposure, frostbite, shock or infection,” Laraque wrote in his letter, sponsored by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). “Mother coyotes, desperate to return to their young, often chew off their own limbs in an attempt to free themselves.

“On fur farms, animals are kept in cramped, filthy cages before being bludgeoned, gassed or even skinned alive.”

Laraque also released the letter publicly, a move that rankled Burke.

“Georges is a good man, and passionate in his views,” Burke told The Star. “I respect him, but I do not share his opinions on this topic.

“I had assumed the letter was a personal one, and was not impressed when I learned the media also received it.”

Burke said the Leafs won’t change their mind on the issue.

The jacket is made by Canada Goose and still advertised online at Real Sports Apparel, though a call placed by The Star revealed the store had sold out with no plans to order more. PETA claims it has sent several letters to Canada Goose over the years urging the company to reconsider its use of fur.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.