<span class="vcard">James O'Brien</span>

2015 NHL All-Star Weekend - Media Day

Seguin blasts ‘party animal’ claims, says Bruins gave up on him

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In another great column by an NHL player in “The Players’ Tribune,” Tyler Seguin bared his soul – and at times, his teeth – regarding the trade that sent him from the Boston Bruins to the Dallas Stars.

While he explains that he let his play do the talking after the trade, Seguin took this opportunity to get some things off his chest. The rising star blasted critics of his character, stating that the Bruins parted ways with him for business reasons, not because he was some “immature, unfocused party animal.”

That business talk might imply that Seguin was going the hyper-professional, water-under-the-bridge route with his column, but not in every regard. At minimum, he was quite candid regarding his belief that Boston management quit on him.

Now that it’s all completely in the past, I can give you my honest answer. Do I think the Bruins gave up on me too early? Yes, I 100-percent believe that.

I had hoped to stay in Boston for a long time. I even put a deposit down on a house there just months before I was traded. I never got to move in.

But time has given me more perspective. Just about every professional athlete has an experience in which they learn firsthand that they indeed work for a business. The Boston trade was mine.

While the 22-year-old hasn’t enjoyed the team success with the Stars that came often (and early) with Boston, his individual game has only grown since that trade, as he’s developed an elite one-two punch alongside Jamie Benn.

Again, if you’d like to read up on his perspective, click here.

* – Former pro Sean Avery’s insight on a rookie’s financial pressures also ranks as a fascinating read.

Update: Aaron Ekblad’s in the All-Star Game, Johnny Gaudreau doesn’t get bumped up

Florida Panthers v Buffalo Sabres
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Update: Contrary to an earlier report, it appears that Aaron Ekblad will appear in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game while Johnny Gaudreau will be limited to the skills competition. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston clarified as much.

Ekblad takes Erik Johnson’s spot among All-Star defensemen while Sidney Crosby’s slot will simply remain empty (rather than being filled by Gaudreau as originally expected).

***

Before you split hairs about the likes of P.K. Subban not getting the call, note that some players probably didn’t want it at this point. As Johnston points out, a lot of players are already on vacation, so the league is making a logical decision in using players who are already planning on being there anyway.

Ekblad, 18, is tied for second on the Florida Panthers in scoring with 25 points and is averaging 22:04 time on ice per night. Gaudreau, 21, is third on the Calgary Flames with 35 points, almost defying the nickname “Johnny Hockey” in that he’s enjoyed about the opposite first campaign of his Cleveland Browns counterpart.

Even though Gaudreau isn’t getting the nod after all, it wouldn’t be surprising to see both as All-Star fixtures going forward.

Former Devils exec files $2.3M lawsuit against Lamoriello

Lou Lamoriello
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Former Devils Arena Entertainment President Rich Krezwick filed a $2.3 million lawsuit against New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello on Thursday, according to the Bergen Record’s John Brennan.

It all seems to stem from issues Krezwick alleges Lamoriello had with him leading up to his 2013 firing (when Devils ownership changed hands).

There are some eyebrow-raising allegations in this article, which is worth a read, especially if you even have a passing interest in the affairs of the Devils’ long-standing executive. Lamoriello has been at the helm since 1987, so it’s not surprising that he’s made an enemy or two, whether Krezwick’s claims are true or not.

Of all the bits that Brennan brought attention to, this anecdote provides quite the animated mental picture:

Krezwick was fired in August 2013, and the suit alleges he learned of his fate at a staff meeting of 100 employees when his replacement, current arena executive Hugh Weber, was introduced to the staff. The suit claims that Lamoriello was “smiling and laughing” as Weber was introduced, since it was then clear that Krezwick was being terminated.

Five other Devils executives were let go a few weeks later, again to Lamoriello’s amusment, according to the suit.

“Lamoriello physically positioned himself in a chair at the base of the employee elevator of the [Prudential Center] so that he could watch these individuals pass by with their boxes of personal belongings in order to leave the building directly after they were fired and to laugh as they passed by, as to take credit for their firing,” the suit claims.

Well, wow.

Here’s an artist’s rendering of the scene.

Travis Morin inks two-year extension with Stars

New Jersey Devils v Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars announced that they signed Travis Morin to a two-year contract extension on Friday. As usual, they didn’t provide terms for the deal.

The 31-year-old serves as a decent emergency injury option at the NHL level, even if he’s easily been most effective with the Texas Stars in the AHL.

He topped AHL scorers in 2013-14 with 88 points in 66 games. Morin was also effective in the AHL playoffs, collecting nine goals and 13 points for 22 points in 21 postseason contests.

That hasn’t really translated to the NHL level, at least not yet.

In small snippets during three seasons, Morin has one assist in 12 NHL games, including five pointless games with Dallas in 2014-15.

Regardless, he provides the organization with some depth and useful experience at the AHL level, so it makes sense that they’re keeping him around.

Penguins reveal Crosby received ‘injection’ for injury, could play Wednesday

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The 2015 NHL All-Star Game will be without the league’s biggest star in Sidney Crosby thanks to a lower-body injury. The Pittsburgh Penguins elaborated on that issue quite a bit more than teams normally do on Friday.

The team announced that Crosby, 27, suffered his injury during a Jan. 10 game against the Montreal Canadiens. He received “an injection” at some point to try to play through the pain, which has persisted since then.

The Penguins revealed that he’s expected to resume skating on Tuesday with the goal of either playing against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday or the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

This might seem mundane for those who don’t follow injury updates with regularity, but for those who do, it’s eyebrow-raising stuff.

Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a simple theory: the team has been feeling the heat regarding another injury-related All-Star absence for Crosby:

Crosby played pretty well in the games immediately following Jan. 10.

He collected three assists versus Minnesota on Jan. 13, two goals and an assist against the New York Islaners on Jan. 16 and one more tally against the New York Rangers on Jan. 18. He didn’t collect a point in Pittsburgh’s last two contests, although he did generate seven shots on goal.

Whatever way you slice it, Crosby (and Evgeni Malkin) receive a hearty break close to the midway point of the 2014-15 season. Considering how banged up they seemingly were during the 2014 playoffs, this could come in very handy.

Even if it means dealing with some griping.