Colin Fraser, Martin Brodeur

The incredible story of Stanley Cup championship books already becoming “available”

When a sports championship is close to being determined, two amusing potential stories develop: 1) an Internet site features premature championship gear and 2) many of us wonder what happened to the T-shirts for the team that didn’t win a title. Chris Peters unearthed an amusing example that sort of blends those two fun go-to stories together, as an Amazon search reveals that the “books” on 2012 Stanley Cup finals victories have already been “written.”

Peters’ findings prompted me to search “The Incredible Story of the 2012 Stanley Cup Champions,” which produced these two results (screen captured in the likely scenario that they’re taken down):

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Now, I was just about to wonder aloud if the 10 limos parked outside Staples Center weren’t the only things guilty of jinxing the Los Angeles Kings, yet Peters generated another search that exonerates Amazon/book publishers from at least that charge.

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Triumph Books is the publisher for at least the would-be Rangers book and the could-be Kings yarn. While the Rangers’ version features The New York Post as “the corporate author,” its Amazon page doesn’t provide any more info. The Kings’ page doesn’t include a clear “author” yet, but there is this blurb.

This commemorative book on the 2012 Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings provides a visual look at the team’s road to championship glory. Through unique words and images, this celebratory book takes readers from the season’s first games and on through the 2011–2012 NHL season and exciting playoff run. Including color photographs and profiles of the Kings’ star players and the head coach, this keepsake book is an essential part of any fan’s collection.

Naturally, I had to find out a little more about Triumph Books (here is their Web site). Their NHL section is robust (Theo Fleury’s momentous memoirs are available, for one) and their About Us section tells it all.

Triumph Books’ dedicated sales and editorial staffs also allow the company to publish instant titles books written, designed, printed, and shelved in stores often within a week of an event with the accuracy, timeliness, and style that few publishers can match.

Considering the fact that there were hypothetical books for the Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers along with the two finalists, Triumph can probably wash their hands of any ridiculous “jinxing” accusations. (We’ll try to find out if this amusing incident is more of a “blunder” by Amazon than anything else.)

In the grand scheme of things, it’s a harmless, fun and weird little window into the world of sports book publishing.

Come to think of it, I must admit that it would be kind of cool if Triumph started printing books for beloved non-champions, too. Can I put in a request for the Charles Barkley-led Phoenix Suns team that almost won a championship first, then? (Can’t get enough “Thunder Dan.”)

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    Bolts avoid arbitration with Namestnikov — two years, $3.875M

    Vladislav Namestnikov
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    Tampa Bay has avoided Friday’s scheduled arbitration hearing with forward Vladislav Namestnikov, agreeing to a two-year, $3.875M deal on Tuesday evening, per ESPN.

    Namestnikov, 23, had a breakout campaign last year, scoring 14 goals and 35 points in 80 games — all career highs. The former first-round pick also appeared in 17 playoff games for the Bolts, scoring a goal and three points while helping the club to the Eastern Conference Final.

    Coming off a one-year deal in which he made $874,125, the diminutive Russian gets a nice pay bump with this latest contract, and a bit of security with the two-year term. He should play a fairly integral role next season, coming off a year in which he finished tied for fourth on the team in goals, with Tyler Johnson.

    But while tonight may be about Namestnikov, it’s another Russian forward in Tampa Bay that everybody now has their eyes on — Nikita Kucherov, the playoff scoring sensation that declined to file for arbitration, but still requires a new deal.

    Given some of the big-money contracts GM Steve Yzerman has handed out this summer — namely those to Steve Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn — the Kucherov negotiations are definitely ones to keep an eye on.

    Talks ongoing between Wild and Dumba, meeting expected soon

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    There’s just one piece of business left for Minnesota this summer — a new contract for RFA defenseman Matt Dumba.

    And it sounds like that piece of business will soon be attended to.

    From the Star-Tribune:

    There have been ongoing talks between Wild assistant GM Brent Flahr and [Dumba’s] agent Craig Oster.

    The two are expected to meet face to face in Calgary at the Hockey Canada camp.

    Dumba, the former No. 7 overall pick, just wrapped his entry-level deal, coming off a campaign in which he set career highs in games played (81), goals (10) and points (26).

    He also notched a pair of assists in the Wild’s six-game loss to Dallas in the playoffs.

    Dumba, 22, did see his name surface in trade talks this season. There was a report in late January that he was the return piece in a potential swap for Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, and he’s been tied to teams looking for a blueline upgrade.

    A good puck mover with offensive skills — and a right-handed shot — Dumba is definitely a commodity. What’s more, logic suggests the Wild could opt to move him, given the long-term financial commitments to fellow defensemen Ryan Suter (signed through 2025 at $7.53 million), Jonas Brodin (2021 at $4.16M), Jared Spurgeon (2020, $5.18M) and Marco Scandella (2020, $4M).

    Minnesota has some other young defensive prospects in the system, too.

    There’s former Gophers standout Mike Reilly, Miami of Ohio product Louis Belpedio and Gustav Olofsson, the 46th overall pick in ’13 that’s been honing his game in AHL Iowa (and made his NHL debut last season).

    The Wild are in control of the Dumba situation and can slow play negotiations, possibly while re-exploring trade scenarios. Don’t forget the Bruins are still in search of the “transitional” defenseman they desperately want.

    But should things go the expected way and Dumba re-signs in Minnesota, the Star-Tribune said a bridge deal is the “likeliest” outcome.

    Journeyman enforcer Rosehill signs with Scottish team

    Paul Bissonnette, Jay Rosehill
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    Noted pugilist Jay Rosehill has followed in the footsteps of his fellow tough guys, and will try his hand overseas.

    Specifically, in the United Kingdom.

    On Tuesday, the EIHL’s Scottish-based outfit in Braehead — the Clan — announced it had signed Rosehill for the upcoming campaign. The move comes after the 31-year-old spent each of the last two seasons with Philly’s AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley.

    Though he’s slowed down in recent years, Rosehill has long been known as an extremely active fighter. At no time was this more evident than during the ’08-09 campaign, when he fought a staggering 33 times (yeah, thirty-three) while playing for AHL Norfolk.

    Rosehill last played in the NHL during the ’13-14 campaign, scoring two goals in 34 games for the Flyers — while racking up 90 PIM.

    Here’s an example of some of his most famous handiwork:

    As mentioned above, the EIHL has landed a few notable ex-NHL fighters. Cam Janssen, Kevin Westgarth, Paul Bissonnette and Tom Sestito have all played there.

     

     

    Veteran d-man Foster retires, moves into coaching

    UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 13:  Kurtis Foster #26 of the Minnesota Wild looks on during their NHL game against the New York Islanders on December 13, 2005 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.  The Wild defeated the Islanders 4-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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    Kurtis Foster, who appeared in over 400 games during a 10-year NHL career, is hanging up his skates to enter the next phase of his hockey life — coaching.

    Foster, 34, has rejoined his former junior team in OHL Peterborough as an assistant coach, per the Examiner. The decision comes after Foster spent the last three years playing overseas in the KHL and, most recently, in the German League.

    The 40th overall pick in 2000, Foster is often remembered for a horrific leg break while playing for Minnesota during the 2007-08 campaign, in which his femur was shattered by Torrey Mitchell after Mitchell tried to prevent an icing call.

    The severity of the collision and Foster’s injury — he underwent emergency surgery, nearly bled out and almost lost his leg — prompted an immediate rule tweak from the NHL, and has since been viewed as a catalyst for the league’s adoption of no-touch icing.

    Impressively, Foster recovered from the broken femur to post a career-high 42 points in 74 games with the Lightning in ’09-10.

    In addition to the Wild and Bolts, Foster spent time with the Thrashers, Oilers, Ducks, Devils and Flyers.