Author: James O'Brien

Calgary Flames v Tampa Bay Lightning

Callahan isn’t sure if he’ll be cheered at ‘fickle’ Madison Square Garden


New York Rangers fans will witness a jarring sight on Monday: Ryan Callahan in another team’s uniform.

Their former captain now plies his trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning, who also employ former Rangers Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle. Still, there’s no denying that Callahan’s departure was more controversial (and dramatic), so even he doesn’t know what to expect from the crowd at Madison Square Garden, as New York Newsday reports.

“I’m looking at it as another game. Obviously, it’s a little more than that, but I’m going to try and get the two points and get out of there,” Callahan said. “I don’t know [if I’ll be cheered]. It’s a fickle place there in MSG — that’s what it’s all about there. It’s a great crowd, great fans, and I’m excited to go back and play.”

The 29-year-old played parts of eight seasons with the Rangers, appearing in 450 regular season games and 59 postseason contests.

Whether it was more about term or the dollars, Rangers GM Glen Sather balked at Callahan’s asking price, eventually including him in the splashy trade that landed Martin St. Louis in New York. Callahan eventually signed a six-year, $34.8 million deal with the Lightning right before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent this past summer.

Some Rangers fans might feel some bitterness in that regard, yet it’s likely that his high-effort style left a lasting impression on many others.

It should be interesting to see how he’s received … and probably a pretty fun game to watch on its own.

Brad Richards’ newborn son will be on hand for his 1,000th game

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One member of the Richards family will participate in his 1,000th regular season NHL game on Sunday. The other will attend his first.

Brad Richards shared word that his five-week old son Luca will be on hand for his milestone moment by sharing this ridiculously cute photo of a baby-sized Richards jersey on his Instagram account:


His caption reads “Luca’s first game will be daddy’s 1000th. He is ready to go.”

Richards, 34, will suit up for his 18th game with the Chicago Blackhawks against the Dallas Stars (a team he played 220 games for from 2007-08 to 2010-11).

He currently sits at 876 career points (including nine this season) and told The Guardian that he thinks he has a lot of hockey left in him.

“In one moment you’re so excited and feel like a kid again,” Richards said. “At the same time . .  . you’re kind of like ‘Where did that 1,000 games go?’ And there’s a good chance there won’t be 1,000 more, so you realize time has flown by.”

With an All-Star appearance, Stanley Cup ring, Conn Smythe Trophy and Lady Byng to his name – not to mention nearly $86 million in estimated career earnings – Richards has already accomplished a lot in 999 games.

Perhaps he’ll show us something special in No. 1,000 today?

(H/T to

Hall could return to Oilers’ lineup as soon as Sunday

Montreal Canadiens v Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers announced some tentatively good news: Taylor Hall thinks there’s a chance he could return from an MCL sprain as soon as Sunday.

“I think if morning skate goes as well as I think it will then I’ll be playing,” Hall said.

The Oilers face the Arizona Coyotes tomorrow. Edmonton’s been streaky without Hall much like the Oilers were with him to kick off 2014-15, yet it couldn’t get more obvious that the star winger gives them a huge boost.

With or without Hall, the Oilers remain a work in progress. Dallas Eakins described the team’s defense in such a way, yet it could probably be said for the team as a whole:

Hall, 23, has six goals and 10 points in 11 games so far this season. Here’s what he had to say about his improving health:

Bruins grind out win, claim Marchand didn’t get injured

Carolina Hurricanes v Boston Bruins

It wasn’t pretty, but after fielding questions about their work ethic, maybe that’s half the point. The Boston Bruins gutted out a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, washing away some of the distaste after getting blown out in back-to-back games.

The win may or may not have come at a cost, though, depending upon how injured (or not) Brad Marchand really is.

Head coach Claude Julien seemed quite vague about it, as’s Joe Haggerty reports.

/Pictures a gloomy world in which teams shift from upper or lower-body descriptions to out two weeks with “being less than 100 percent.”

Again, it wasn’t the prettiest effort, as one could argue that the Hurricanes may have matched or exceeded Boston’s efforts:


(Even-strength graph via Natural Stat Trick)

However you spin it, the Bruins have now won seven of their last nine games, which makes for a friendlier narrative than “losing two straight games while being outscored 11-2.”

Maybe most promisingly, Tuukka Rask looked awfully sharp and Milan Lucic drew some strong reviews from Haggerty.

Perhaps this something to build on, even if it arguably wasn’t the all-out effort Boston would have most preferred?

Depleted Ducks: Smith-Pelly (upper body) out for Anaheim

San Jose Sharks v Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks will be without young forward Devante Smith-Pelly thanks to an upper-body injury. The team announced that Chris Wagner was recalled from the AHL with Smith-Pelly out of the lineup.

Smith-Pelly, 22, scored two of his seven points from this season in the last three games. With the Ducks among the several Western Conference teams dealing with the mumps – Corey Perry doesn’t seem like he’ll be back this weekend, according to the OC Register’s Eric Stephens – the young winger will be missed that much more.

Here’s one guess on what specifically is bothering “DSP.”

The Ducks managed a frantic 6-5 shootout win against the Kings on Thursday.

While Anaheim’s health is fading, the Kings seem to be getting more robust, as Robyn Regehr re-enters the lineup.