Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings

Teemu Selanne passes Jari Kurri for 19th all-time in points

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Teemu Selanne’s 22nd goal of 2011-12 did more than just salvage a point for the Anaheim Ducks tonight (the Colorado Avalanche just won 3-2 in thanks to Gabriel Landeskog’s OT tally). It also gave him the 1,399th point of his historic career, placing him alone at 19th place in front of his fellow countryman and idol Jari Kurri.

Kurri released the following statement (via the Ducks PR team):

“I couldn’t be more proud that Teemu is the all-time top NHL scorer from Finland,” Kurri said. “Congratulations to a great player, a great friend and an even better person.”

Fans of Finns can have some fun debates, especially if you’re not the type that looks at mere totals alone. Let me fuel the fire quickly with a few bullet points:

  • Kurri earned his 1,398 points in 1,251 games while Selanne needed 1,328 for 1,399.
  • On the other hand, Kurri was boosted by a) playing his prime years in the high-flying 1980’s and b) spending most of those seasons with some schlub name Wayne Gretzky. (Selanne’s had some great teammates, perhaps most notably prime-era Paul Kariya, but there’s only one Wayne Gretzky.)
  • Kurri has four Stanley Cups to his name; Selanne has one.
  • Kurri was named to eight All-Star games and was probably noted for being more versatile while Selanne has made an impressive 10 All-Star teams.

Tough argument, but a fun one, eh?

Here’s the latest milestone moment:

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Anyway, with 12 games left in Anaheim’s season, Selanne is within reasonable distance of the following greats (note: I took some license with this in hopes of digitally enticing Selanne to come back for another season*).

15. Bryan Trottier (1,425)
16. Adam Oates (1,420)
17. Doug Gilmour (1,414)
18. Dale Hawerchuk (1,409)
19. Selanne (1,399)
20. Kurri (1,398)
21. Luc Robitaille (1,394)
22. Brett Hull (1,391)

Selanne also needs nine goals to tie Lucky Luc with 668 goals while he would need another season to go further than that. Jaromir Jagr will also go toe-to-toe with him in the all-time goal scoring ranks as he currently has five more (664).

The Ducks’ loss to the Avalanche only made their paper-thin playoffs flimsier, but you can’t blame Selanne – you can only hope that he indulges us with one more year.

Oh, and if tonight wasn’t full of enough Finnish goodness, Selanne’s pal and countryman Saku Koivu reached the 1,000 games played mark. Not bad for a guy who fought off cancer, eh?

* Let me make another plea: Please please please please?

Is that not good enough? Stan Mikita would be in reach at 14th place with 1,467 points. Just saying …

Crouse brings the ‘total package’ of size, skill and speed to Coyotes

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL - JUNE 25: Lawson Crouse attends the Top Prospects Media Opportunity at the Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort on June 25, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Lawson Crouse has joined a talented group of young forwards in Arizona, after the Coyotes acquired the 2015 first-round pick from the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

The Coyotes had to take on the contract of injured forward Dave Bolland, but in their minds, it was worth it to get a player like Crouse, who certainly brings size up front at six-foot-four-inches tall and 212 pounds. He had 23 goals and 62 points in 49 games this season with Kingston in the OHL.

“He’s a unique guy because usually when you add a guy with the type of size he has you usually give up a little bit in skating or you give up a little bit in skill,” said general manager John Chayka, as per the Coyotes website.

“He’s a guy that you add the size and he actually enhances that for your entire group. In our opinion, it was a guy that’s rare to find, difficult to obtain. Certainly, once they become established in the league, those players are locked up well into their 30s and then you end up trying to maybe overpay for a player that has these attributes that’s not in the prime of his career.”

Crouse, who turned 19 years old in June, now joins the likes of Max Domi, Dylan Strome and Anthony Duclair as part of Arizona’s group of up-and-coming young forwards. He has familiarity with all three from playing in the OHL or for Team Canada at the world juniors.

“He can fly. He’s fast and he hits and he scores goals. You kinda get the total package,” Strome told Sportsnet.

The Las Vegas Desert Knights? Maybe . . .

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 22:  New Las Vegas NHL franchise owner Bill Foley addresses the media during the Board Of Governors Press Conference prior to the 2016 NHL Awards at Encore Las Vegas on June 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NHL's board of governors approved expanding to Las Vegas, making the franchise the 31st team in the league. The team will start play during the 2017-18 season and play at the newly built T-Mobile Arena.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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There’s been another possible development in the search for a team name for the Las Vegas NHL franchise.

The Las Vegas ‘Desert Knights’ could perhaps be a thing.

Maybe.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Last week domain names were registered that might be an indicator that the NHL team scheduled to begin play in 2017 could be called the Las Vegas Desert Knights.

Last week the domains lasvegasdesertknights.com, vegasdesertknights.com and desertknightshockey.com were privately registered to Moniker Privacy Services, which is the same company that procured the domain name to NHL.com.

DetroitHockey.net first reported the new domain name Thursday morning.

Foley said via text message he had no comment regarding the process when reached by the Review-Journal.

As the Las Vegas franchise continues to hire key members for its hockey operations department, there is growing intrigue when it comes to the search for a new name.

What will this new franchise be called?

The wait continues, and there has been a lot of space dedicated to speculating and discussing the possibilities.

It’s been reported that the expansion franchise could use one of at least three ‘Hawks’-orientated names. Owner Bill Foley also said this summer that Las Vegas can’t use a ‘Knights’ nickname is Canada, because London’s OHL franchise was also named the Knights.

Stay tuned . . .

Las Vegas hires former Panthers director of player personnel Scott Luce

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24:  Director of scouting Scott Luce of the Florida Panthers smiles before day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Scott Luce has gone from the Florida Panthers to the Las Vegas expansion franchise.

The new NHL organization — still searching for a team name — announced Thursday that it has hired Luce as its new director of amateur scouting.

Luce spent the last 14 years in Florida, as a scout and as director of player personnel.

Luce was let go earlier in the offseason, as the Panthers underwent massive change within their front office, with the promotion of Dale Tallon to president of hockey operations and Tom Rowe to GM, and more attention to analytics.

Report: Avalanche bring Rene Bourque in for a PTO

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 27: Rene Bourque #18 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 27, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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After announcing the hiring of Jared Bednar as their next head coach, the Colorado Avalanche have brought in forward Rene Bourque on a professional tryout, according to James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail.

Bourque became an unrestricted free agent at the beginning of July, after his six-year contract worth a total value of $20 million expired. The annual cap hit on his previous deal was $3.333 million.

He spent last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, scoring three goals and eight points in 49 games. He was placed on waivers at the end of February.

During the 2014-15 campaign, he spent time with the Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks and the Blue Jackets, before a back injury sidelined him for the remainder of that season.