Video: Dryden on why hockey should ‘give up the fighting, but keep the fight’


In an interview set to air following tonight’s Montreal-Boston Rivalry Night game on NBCSN, Bob Costas and Hockey Hall of Famer Ken Dryden discuss a myriad topics, including the hot-button issue of fighting in hockey.

Here’s a snippet:

The Costas Tonight interview, set to air on Thursday, Mar. 13 at 12:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and live online (click here), also touches on a number of other issues related to both current-day NHL news and Dryden’s storied career with the Canadiens, during which he won six Stanley Cups.

Topics include…

Dryden on ability to attend law school in the midst of his NHL career: “Imagine that you come out of Cornell, and the Montreal Canadiens are the team that has drafted you…you say to them, ‘I’m not sure, I really want to go to law school, I guess this isn’t going to work out,’ so the first year it didn’t. Then we spoke again…here was the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens saying, ‘OK, let’s work it out.’ And it was Sam Pollock that allowed that approach…because if I had to make a choice at that time, it would have been law school, and I never would have played (in the NHL)…this gave uniqueness a chance.”

Dryden on selecting the best hockey player of all time, and importance of history in sports: “The greatest player is the best player when you were 10 years old. When Bobby Orr was 10 years old [watching hockey], Gordie Howe was ‘10 feet tall.’ Gordie Howe could shoot the puck ‘1,000 miles-per-hour.’ Gordie Howe could skate ‘100 miles-an-hour.’ Bobby Orr grows up to skate faster than Gordie Howe, but in his head, Gordie’s moving 100 miles an hour. The greatest players have a sense of history…the worst is when you have a superstar in any sport who doesn’t have a sense of history, who thinks the game began with them and will end with them…it’s awful, because there is a disrespect that comes through.”

Dryden on Canada’s gold-medal game victory over Team USA in 2010 Winter Olympics: “In Vancouver, one team wanted deeply, deeply to win. The other team needed to win.”

Dryden on success of 1972 Summit Series for Canada and Soviet Union: “What did the Soviets want? They wanted to win the series. What did they need? They needed to show that hockey could be played at the highest level in a different way. What did Canadians want? We wanted to win eight straight, 10-0 every game. What did we need? To win the series. We both ended up getting what we absolutely needed out of that series.”

Related: Orr tells Costas there ‘should be a policeman’ to protect skill players

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

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One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

— Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

— GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

— Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

So there’s that. What’s next?

At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

So, consider the similarities now:

— Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

— Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

— Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

— Both are Overhardt guys.

— The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

— Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.