James O'Brien

spidermable does it
via Edmonton Oilers Twitter feed

Oilers, City of Edmonton make #SpiderMable’s wish come true

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In a wonderful gesture that echoed the Bay Area’s “Batkid,” the Edmonton Oilers and City of Edmonton teamed up to make one child’s dream come true on Monday.

The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada learned that Mable Tooke – or #SpiderMable – wanted to battle crime while she battles cancer.

The Edmonton Police beckoned Spider Mable by noting that Oilers captain Andrew Ference was “kidnapped” by the diabolical Mysterio.

The Ference family begged for her help:

Wisely, #SpiderMable loaded up for a big day with a tasty breakfast:

Who needs web-slinging when you have a SPIDER-LIMO?

Spider-Man pitched in to help, too.

You really can’t have a superhero without a sweet theme song, by the way.

Ultimately, #SpiderMable saved the day, and captured many hearts along the way. Here are some additional photos from the Oilers:


PTO again: Avs give Glencross a shot

Travis Ewanyk Curtis Glencross

If at first your PTO does not succeed, try again. The saying goes something like that, right?

The Toronto Maple Leafs cut Curtis Glencross from his tryout on Sunday, but he didn’t need to wait long for another opportunity, as the Colorado Avalanche gave him a PTO today.

Granted, this would be more of a feel-good story if the 32-year-old received a guaranteed contract rather than having to jump through more hoops, but at least it shows that he wasn’t without a chance for very long.

As far as the Avs go, this might prove to be quite an impediment for fellow PTO invite Jack Skille:

Glencross discussed his recent challenges as a father of three with TSN this past weekend:

“You just like to have something set in stone so you can get your family back together and get back to what you’re comfortable with in everyday life,” says Glencross, who has a four-year-old, three-year-old and six-month-old. “But right now the focus is trying to make this hockey club and doing what I can to do that right now.”

It’s tough not to pull for the guy to at least land a full-time gig.

Beleskey welcomes pressure in Boston

Matt Beleskey
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With all the changes in Boston, many will expect free agent acquisition Matt Beleskey to immediately become a go-to guy for the Bruins.

From what he told NHL.com, the gritty scorer wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Yeah, I’d like to take a lot of responsibility for helping this team,” Beleskey said. “Coming in and making a difference, that’s what I want to do. They went out and gave me a great contract, and I was very grateful for that, and I’m going to work hard and do my best to repay them for that.”

The 27-year-old said “I’ve always thought of myself as a 20-goal scorer” when asked about his breakout 22-goal campaign from 2014-15.

While that total was by far his best run of production so far in the NHL (every season with the Anaheinm Ducks), he only managed to play in 65 regular season games.

If he can manage a full season as he debuts with the Bruins – not a guarantee, as he’s never played in more than 70 games – then perhaps he can dodge some of the bumps in the road that often come with changing teams.

Also: he could line up with David Krejci, a talented player who also happens to have something to prove in the opposite way (Krejci’s 2014-15 was as disastrous as Beleskey’s was triumphant).

Perhaps Beleskey knows the deal in Boston. If he works hard and produces, he’ll likely be a fan favorite; if not … well, he’ll likely hear it from fans.

Marc Staal: ‘No weaknesses’ on Rangers defense

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Two

Take a look at the New York Rangers’ defense for a moment, as it’s currently constructed:

Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Keith Yandle, Dan Boyle, Kevin Klein and Raphael Diaz.

What sort of words or phrases come to mind when you see that group?

Just to throw out some guesses, one would assume that words like experienced, expensive and maybe even elite pop up in different minds.

What about flawless?

That’s more or less how Marc Staal assessed the Rangers’ group, as he told the New York Post.

“You look at our lineup, and there’s no weaknesses there,” Marc Staal said. “We’re a very talented group and a lot of different guys bring a lot of different aspects. We compliment each other pretty well.”

Staal is right about the group being fairly versatile. At their best, Boyle and Yandle can bring a lot of offense. Staal and Girardi cover the “defensive defensemen” category while McDonagh provides a nice combination of both.

This group has plenty of critics, however.

In particular, some believe that Girardi and even Staal are overrated. (Granted, Girardi is far and away the more criticized defenseman of the two.)

Ultimately, there’s nothing really wrong with Staal pumping his teammates’ tires, especially since it was likely an off-the-cuff statement.

One can imagine rival fans bringing it up after cringe-inducing gaffes – which even the best blueliners suffer from – more than a few times in 2015-16, at least if they’re diligently trolling Staal & Co.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

Leafs cuts: Marner to OHL, Glencross and Setoguchi are out


Considering the many PTOs the Toronto Maple Leafs threw around, it’s no surprise that their cuts feature more interesting names than usual.

Specifically, the team announced that Devin Setoguchi and Curtis Glencross were released from their professional tryout contracts while 2015 first-rounder Mitch Marner (pictured) was reassigned to the OHL on Sunday.

Setoguchi was not pleased with his efforts on Saturday while Glencross was trying to sell himself as something of a defensive stopper, at least according to an account by TSN’s Jonas Siegel.

Siegel believes that Brad Boyes might have the best chance to make the Leafs of all the PTO candidates:

The prospects of Brad Boyes, who has more than 200 goals to his name, might be the strongest among the group of PTOs. Boyes, for one, has spent nearly all of camp alongside Peter Holland, a lock for the NHL squad, and he’s remained productive in recent seasons, driving possession positively while chipping in with double-digit goal totals and nearly 40 points of offence.

It’s plausible that Setoguchi and Glencross could both find work somewhere, although it doesn’t sound like they enjoyed the greatest showings in training camp.