2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Alumni Game

41 years later, Bernie Parent reunited with his mask


On April 8, 1971 something truly bizarre happened: Bernie Parent’s mask was thrown into the Madison Square Garden crowd during a scrum when Parent was with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Parent didn’t have a backup mask, so he had to give way to goalie mask trailblazer Jacques Plante. It was a strange story, but Frank Seravalli reports that Parent will finally be reunited with that mask.

Seravalli reports that the mask first sprouted up in a 2006 auction and now a private collector wants Parent to verify it. Parent will go one step further, though, as he’ll hand-deliver that old mask to the collector, who will eventually give it to the Hockey Hall of Fame once he dies. (Apparently the HHOF doesn’t “accept loans.”)

Parent didn’t expect to even recognize his old mask, yet he told Seravalli that he instantly did. (He’s pictured with his standard model with the Flyers in the photo.) In fact, Parent said that the mask still fits, completing a rather strange story.

“The first thing I wanted to do when I saw the mask was to call Hadfield and say, ‘Thanks,'” Parent said. “It was a huge pain to get a new mask, it takes 6 to 8 months to get a new one molded and cured. You always wonder what happened to it. Now, after 41 years, it’s here. Life is full of surprises.”

(H/T to Joe Pelletier)

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.