Winnipeg Jets' Eric O’Dell (58) celebrates after scoring with Zach Bogosian (44) as Phoenix Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) looks on during first period NHL hockey action in Winnipeg, Canada, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Trevor Hagan)

Crashing Coyotes have nothing left to say

1 Comment

After finally getting an owner and with it a fighting chance to stay in Glendale, the Phoenix Coyotes got off to a 14-4-3 start this season. In the roughly two months that have followed, very little has gone right for them.

They fell to 21-15-9 after Winnipeg’s 5-1 victory last night. The Coyotes have consequently earned just two points in their last six games and have allowed 21 goals over that span.

They’ve been so bad for so long that there really isn’t much left to say.

“We’re talked out here,” coach Dave Tippett admitted, according to the Arizona Republic. “More meetings than you can shake a stick at. It’s about doing now, and we’ll see who can do.”

Tippett added that certain players have been making the same mistakes over and over again.

A two month slump can be demoralizing for any team and be the cause of a failed season, but for Phoenix its potentially even more problematic. This is an organization that needs to prove that hockey can work in Glendale by drawing in fans.

Getting an ownership group in place was critical, but if the Coyotes fail to make the playoffs or slump to the point where they’re playing in meaningless games after the Olympic break, it might hurt their efforts.


Phoenix president says ‘we need stronger support’ in response to attendance figures

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
Leave a comment

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.