Kevin Bieksa

“Bieksa’s Buddies” charity hockey game sells out in two hours

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It only took two hours for fans in Vancouver to snap up 5,000 tickets for a charity hockey game being put on by Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa.

Just in case you were wondering if the NHL lockout had killed hockey’s popularity in Canada.

The “Bieksa’s Buddies” game on Oct. 17 at the University of British Columbia will feature current members of the Canucks like Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Dan Hamhuis, Manny Malhotra, Max Lapierre, Cory Schneider, as well as former Vancouver defenseman Willie Mitchell.

And as you might imagine, there’s not expected to be much defense played out there.

“It’s not playoff hockey,” Bieksa told the Vancouver Sun. “It’s a charity game and, more than anything, it’s entertainment. I’m encouraging guys to be creative out there, have some fun and don’t backcheck too hard. So for the Sedins, just play your normal game … be creative but don’t backcheck.”


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.