Cam Tucker

The idea to rename a street after Sidney Crosby is gaining momentum in his hometown

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Sidney Crosby now has two Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals and a Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. And now the idea to rename a street after Crosby in his hometown of Cole Harbour, N.S., is gaining further interest.

According to The Canadian Press, the idea originated from Crosby’s former minor hockey coach Paul Mason, who suggested in the article the name Sidney Crosby Parkway as one idea.

From The Canadian Press:

Lorelei Nicoll, the councillor for Cole Harbour, said Tuesday that she will put forward a motion to look into naming a street after Crosby. Wearing a T-shirt bearing both Crosby’s and the community’s name — along with Cole Harbour’s other famous hockey progeny, Nathan MacKinnon — Nicoll said she would ask for a staff report on a possible renaming.

“Cole Harbour’s very proud,” she said during a city council meeting. “So I ask for council support when that comes up.”

The process could be stymied by administrative orders in Halifax Regional Municipality that suggest renaming a street could only be done when the person being honoured is retired or has fulfilled “25 years or more of volunteer service.” Nicoll said she would see if council would consider making an exception.

During these playoffs, Crosby was a force for the Penguins in their second Stanley Cup championship since his highly anticipated first overall draft selection in 2005. He wasn’t their leading scorer during the post-season, but he led by example, determined for victory.

“[Crosby’s] the consummate leader,” said Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan after his team won the Stanley Cup. “He took this team, and this team evolved because of his leadership.”

Marleau’s future with Sharks once again up for discussion

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 29: Patrick Marleau #12 of the San Jose Sharks addresses the media during the NHL Stanley Cup Final Media Day at Consol Energy Center on May 29, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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In November, Patrick Marleau‘s name was brought up in trade speculation. He would’ve reportedly accepted trades to three teams: Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.

By June, he was still with the San Jose Sharks competing for the Stanley Cup. Ultimately, they fell short of the championship after a six-game series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were simply dominant at times in the final.

Marleau has spent his entire career in San Jose — 1,411 regular season games and 1,036 points. In his 18 seasons, he had been through the worst and the best with that franchise, from a historical playoff collapse to making the final for the first time in Sharks’ history.

After being mentioned in trade talk earlier in the season and with the off-season now here, Marleau faced questions once again about his future in San Jose.

From CSN Bay Area:

“Yeah, I have a contract for next year, so looking forward to it,” Marleau said.

Is it his first choice to be a Shark? “Yeah.”

It was concise – not atypical for Marleau – but still not overly convincing.

There were signs throughout the postseason, too, that perhaps Marleau and DeBoer weren’t exactly seeing eye-to-eye. During the Kings series, DeBoer suggested that he and Marleau didn’t always agree on his role. In the Western Conference Final, the coach responded to a question about how he decides whether to play Marleau as the third line center or second line wing.

At the age of 36, Marleau has one more year remaining on his contract, as he indicated. It comes with a cap hit of $6,666,666 and a no-movement clause. 

He scored 25 goals and 48 points in the regular season and 13 points in 24 playoff games.

Related: Trade talk: Preds aren’t done shopping, latest on Marleau, Drouin

‘All indications’ point to pending UFA Okposo hitting free agent market

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 07:  Kyle Okposo #21 of the New York Islanders looks on before a face off against the Philadelphia Flyers on April 7, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Islanders 5-4.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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As NHL free agency approaches, Kyle Okposo, a three-time 20-goal scorer who just turned 28 years old, appears closer to hitting the open market.

This past season with the New York Islanders, Okposo scored 22 goals and 64 points in 79 games and is only two years removed from a single-season, career-high 27 goals. Given his age and production, Okposo should be in line for a substantial raise from the $4.5 million salary he earned this past season.

And because of age and production as a talented scoring winger, he could be a popular free agent target for teams around the league.

From Pierre LeBrun of ESPN:

It’s no surprise, but pending UFA Kyle Okposo is all but certainly headed to the free agent market. At 28, the winger is just entering his prime years, so expect there to be some fairly huge interest in him come July 1. Okposo was second in points on the New York Islanders this past season, with 64 (22-42) in 79 games. His agent, Pat Brisson, did recently chat with Isles GM Garth Snow, but it doesn’t sound like anything developed. “All indications are that we’re headed to free agency with Kyle,’’ Brisson said Monday.

Following the Islanders’ second-round playoff loss to Tampa Bay, GM Garth Snow emphasized the importance of trying to bring back three key pending unrestricted free agents, including Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin, but admitted that would be a challenge.

From analytics to patience with young players, has Randy Carlyle ‘evolved’ as a coach?

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05:  Head coach Randy Carlyle of the Toronto Maple Leafs watches the game against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on February 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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There was a common trend with the Toronto Maple Leafs when Randy Carlyle was behind the bench.

Based on Stats.hockeyanalysis.com, the Maple Leafs were at the absolute bottom of the league in Corsi For percentage at five-on-five play in his two full seasons he coached there.

Yes, they made the playoffs in 2013. But did so with a league-worst Corsi For rating of 44.1 per cent. The following season, they didn’t make the playoffs, finishing 30th at 42.9 per cent. In the 2014-15 season, Toronto finished 27th in that category. Carlyle lasted just 40 games that season.

The analytics don’t paint a favorable picture of Carlyle’s time in Toronto.

In addition to low possession numbers, his teams from the 2013 and 2013-14 seasons had some of the highest PDO ratings (shooting percentage plus save percentage) in the league.

Carlyle told reporters on Tuesday, as he was officially introduced as the next head coach of the Anaheim Ducks, that there is a place in the game for analytics and, “It’s proven that there are positives that come from it.”

“The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup with a dramatic speed game. They moved the puck and skated off the puck,” Carlyle told reporters.

“You’re going to see a lot of copycats following that lead. From a personal standpoint, I’ve always taken on the attitude that the least amount of time you can spend in your own zone the better off you usually are. Your chances of having success are going to go forward. There are things I did 10 years ago that I wouldn’t do today.”

Known for being a demanding coach, Carlyle said he’s mellowed “dramatically.”

“There’s a time and place to be somewhat volatile. There’s a time and place when people need a kick in the pants or a pat on the back. They need support,” he said.

Another key point from Carlyle’s press conference? He suggested on more than one occasion the possible injection of youthful players into the lineup, as well as showing patience with young players.

He used the development of Cam Fowler in Anaheim and Jake Gardiner in Toronto during his tenures as examples. There were times when Gardiner seemed to find his way into Carlyle’s doghouse, but he has said, at least publicly, that he was just fine with Carlyle’s tough approach.

Among the youthful players that appear ready to make an impact in Anaheim is 20-year-old defenseman Shea Theodore, a former first-round pick. He appeared in 19 regular season games in 2015-16, scoring three goals and eight points. They also have 20-year-old forward Nick Ritchie, the 10th overall pick from 2014, who appeared in 33 games this past season, scoring twice with four points.

“You have to show patience with young players,” said Carlyle. “They are a big part of today’s game. In the salary cap era, every team is going to add two or three young players. That’s the reality of the business.”

A number of Ducks players — Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Fowler, Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa — have played for Carlyle before, either in Anaheim, or in the case of Kesler and Bieksa, with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose during the second lockout.

Ducks GM Bob Murray said he eventually reached out to a few of those aforementioned players about Carlyle, adding the response he got was “unbelievably supportive.”

Time will tell if that sentiment continues.

“If you’re not prepared to evolve as a coach, you’re going to get lost in the shuffle,” said Carlyle. “I paid close attention and have done my homework on what’s going on in the league.”

 

‘We’ll be lucky to see him before trade deadline’: Ducks’ Thompson out with ruptured Achilles tendon

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 25: Nate Thompson #44 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the Nashville Predators  during the second period in Game Six of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 25, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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Last June, surgery revealed Nate Thompson had further damage to an injured shoulder,which would keep him out of the Anaheim Ducks lineup until the beginning of December.

A year later, he has now suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.

It will keep the rugged 31-year-old forward out for several months, perhaps until next year’s NHL trade deadline.

Once he returned from his shoulder injury, Thompson played 49 regular season games, scoring three goals and six points for the Ducks.

He also appeared in seven playoff games for Anaheim this year, scoring twice before the Ducks were eliminated by the Nashville Predators.