On Monday, Philadelphia Flyers teammates Max Talbot and Bruno Gervais conceded that all good things must come to an end.
In this case, they were talking about La Tournee des Joueurs.
“We want to maintain the quality of the product on the ice and the events around it so that it would be a great experience for the fans,” Talbot told the Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey of his barnstorming circuit, which played in nine different Quebec cities. “We have a small group of volunteers who followed us around who have real jobs, and it was getting hard for them and it was getting hard to maintain the number of players we needed so that we have a good game.”
“We didn’t want to make a promise to go somewhere and not have enough players to have a good show. We didn’t want to have a soft game.”
And with that, the league was done.
Gervais said he was “extremely proud” of what he and Talbot accomplished with La Tournee. The games featured a number of high-profile players — Jason Pominville, Simon Gagne, Brian Gionta, Andrei Markov, Alex Burrows, Corey Crawford — and raised more than $400,000 for a variety of charities.
Gervais and Talbot are currently skating in Montreal with other Tournee participants as CBA talks continue. Both said they’re encouraged by the latest developments, which includes Tuesday’s NHL-NHLPA meeting in New York.
“There’s a deal to be done, but it has to be fair for both sides,” Gervais said. “We don’t want to sign a deal and then find ourselves in the same situation down the line — it doesn’t make sense.
“[But] at least we’re starting to talk the same language.”
Tonight, there’s a big Metropolitan Division showdown at Consol as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Rangers. You can catch the game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET), or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:
Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’
‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds
Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week
Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley seems pretty chill about healthy-scratching Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Lance Bouma. That goes for Monahan and Gaudreau in particular, noting that they’re “great kids.”
Besides … it’s not like they robbed a bank. (NHL.com)
Uh oh, did Nazem Kadri make the throat-slashing gesture to Mark Giordano? See for yourself in the video above. (Puck Daddy)
What should the New York Islanders do with unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo, who’s enjoying a productive contract year? (The Hockey News)
What a playoff berth would mean to the Florida Panthers. (Sportsnet)
Checking in with various teams as the trade deadline looms. (NHL Numbers)
On the Canucks using those Pavel Bure-era jerseys. (Greatest Hockey Legends)
The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.
Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.
(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)
Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.
Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.
As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.
The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.
You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.
Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.
Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.