Alain Vigneault

Lockout (kind of) pushed Canucks coach Vigneault into parents’ basement

Alain Vigneault has taken the Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup finals and, lately, he’s lived in his parents’ basement at the age of 51.

He has the lockout to blame for that — but it’s not because his financial situation has gotten so bad that he had no where else to turn.

“A lot of people were saying: ‘Boy, the lockout must really be affecting you money-wise if you have to go back and live with your parents,'” Vigneault said in a Vancouver Sun report. “For a while, it was a running joke. I was doing some renovations on my home and I had to move back in with my parents.

“I wasn’t supposed to be here. Training camp was going to start and I would be in Vancouver and the renovations would get done while I was away. Then the lockout appeared and I was here and had to move back in with my parents.”

Vigneault said his parents seemed pretty happy about it, although he’s not use to being back home in Gatineau, Quebec during the hockey season.

Compared to some of the other lockout stories we covered, this one might be viewed as a little more lighthearted. However, it’s worth adding that, beyond the players, owners, and coaches, there are others who have been financially hurt by the lockout, some of which didn’t have a lot to start with.

As sports business commentator Tom Mayenknecht put it back in September, “It is the part-time employees, those who are relying on a little bit of an extra bump to meet ends on their a car payments or on their mortgages.

“We’re talking about waitresses, bartenders in pubs that have a big spike when there is NHL hockey being played.”

For Vigneault’s part, like so many others, he hopes this lockout ends soon.

“I swear to God, I miss you guys,” he told the Vancouver Sun’s Iain MacIntyre, while referring to the media. “I’m looking so forward to getting back and having one of those special pre-game press conferences with you guys. I can’t wait to do that again.”

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.