Georges Laraque tire

Did somebody loosen the bolts on Georges Laraque’s car tire causing it to fall off while he was driving down the highway?


The answer is yes, according to Laraque.

On Tuesday, the former NHL tough guy tweeted the following picture:


Laraque, currently the executive director of the CHLPA (more on that later), then tweeted that the tire fell off because somebody had loosened the bolts.

The CHLPA, an aspiring union that hopes to represent junior hockey players, explained further on its Facebook page (full statement sic’d):

The CHLPA is happy to know that Georges Laraque was not injured yesterday, Oct 30th, 2012 after the bolts on the front wheel of his Hydrid vehicle were loosened, causing him to lose control of his vehicle on the highway. “I must have a guardian angel” Laraque said, after realizing that he was the victim of vandals in their attempt to sabotage him “It’s disgusting” He said.

Laraque’s Hybrid vehicle was tampered with yesterday, almost causing him to lose control of his vehicle, as well as putting other drivers who were on the highway at the same time as him in harms way.  The seriousness of the situation seems to have escalated over the past few days from random people making threats via prank calls, to loosening bolts on tires so they’ll fall off while driving.

However, Laraque on twitter today, wishes to forget the tragic events of yesterday and would like to wish each and everyone a very Happy Hallowe’en.

We are all very happy to know that Geroges is well and will not be deterred from focusing on what’s really important and that’s education.

On its own, this story would be odd. Combined with reports that CHLPA spokesman Derek Clarke may actually be convicted fraudster Randy Gumbley, it’s beyond bizarre.

If somebody did actually loosen the bolts on Laraque’s tire, why did they do it? And who did it?

Is this real life?

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen