Jason Brough

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 11:  Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on December 11, 2013 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Parise hoping to avoid back surgery


Zach Parise is hoping he doesn’t need surgery to fix a herniated disc in his back.

“It’s too early to tell, but I’m optimistic that therapy and the rehab is working really well, that we’re going to be able to avoid that,” the Wild forward said, per the Star Tribune.

Parise’s injury caused him to miss the entire first round of the playoffs, no doubt a factor in Minnesota’s six-game loss to Dallas.

But the 31-year-old anticipates he’ll be able to start training sometime in the middle of the summer, and that he’ll be ready for training camp.

“I’m not worried about next year, the start of next year, I’ll be fine,” he said.

Given Parise is signed through 2024-25, with a cap hit of $7.54 million, the Wild will be hoping he’s right, and that this won’t be an ongoing concern.

Parise’s back-diving contract pays him an annual salary of $9 million through 2019-20.

Detroit’s new arena will be called Little Caesars Arena

A scale model shows the proposed Red Wings hockey arena hockey and local area plan with mixed use buildings and parking garages Monday, June 29, 2015 at the preview center for "The District", the new entertainment corridor Olympia Entertainment plans to create around the new hockey stadium, located inside Comerica Park.  (Elizabeth Conley/The Detroit News via AP)

To nobody’s surprise, the new home of the Detroit Red Wings will be called Little Caesars Arena.

From today’s announcement:

The 20-year naming rights agreement averaging more than $6.25 million per year paves the way for Little Caesars Arena branding on the roof of the arena, on the exterior, at entrances and at center ice, among other opportunities. … The agreement is estimated to be the largest investment in a naming sponsorship for a building whose sole professional sport is hockey.

Little Caesars was, of course, founded by Red Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch.

The Wings are scheduled to move into their new home in 2017. Once they do, Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome will become the oldest arena in the NHL, not counting Madison Square Garden, which recently underwent a $1 billion renovation.

The Edmonton Oilers will move into a new building next season.

Related: Flames ‘remain committed’ to arena plan, which city report called ‘not feasible’

Here are PHT’s second-round playoff predictions

Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf knees in front of an empty net after the Ducks' 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators during Game 7 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, April 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The Blackhawks are out.

The Kings are out.

And most surprising of all, the Ducks are out

What’s not surprising? PHT’s first-round predictions did not go so well. Only three of us went above .500, and most of us (not me, of course, I’m really smart) lost our pick to win the Stanley Cup.

Here’s how things stand after round one:

Brough: 5-3
Halford: 4-4
O’Brien: 5-3
Dadoun: 3-5
Tucker: 5-3
Just Flip A Coin: 3-5

As you can see, the virtual coin struggled. But in its defense, it was the only one to pick the Predators to upset the Ducks. (The virtual coin actually grew up in Nashville and went to Vanderbilt. It lives on the internet now, but Tennessee will always be home.)

Anyway, all we can do now is put the first round behind us. We’re not gonna dwell on it. That would be pointless. On to the second round…

Dallas Stars versus St. Louis Blues

Brough: Blues in 5
Halford: Blues in 6
O’Brien: Blues in 6
Dadoun: Blues in 6
Tucker: Blues in 6
Alfieri: Blues in 6
Just Flip A Coin: Stars

San Jose Sharks versus Nashville Predators

Brough: Sharks in 6
Halford: Sharks in 6
O’Brien: Sharks in 6
Dadoun: Sharks in 5
Tucker: Sharks in 6
Alfieri: Sharks in 6
Just Flip A Coin: Sharks (the virtual coin married a girl from the Bay Area, that’s why)

Washington Capitals versus Pittsburgh Penguins

Brough: Capitals in 7
Halford: Capitals in 7
O’Brien: Penguins in 6
Dadoun: Capitals in 6
Tucker: Capitals in 7
Alfieri: Capitals in 7
Just Flip A Coin: Penguins

Tampa Bay Lightning versus New York Islanders*

Brough: Lightning in 6
Halford: Lighting in 6
O’Brien: Islanders in 7
Dadoun: Islanders in 7
Tucker: Lightning in 6
Alfieri: Lightning in 6
Just Flip A Coin: Islanders

*Yes, this series started yesterday. Everyone had to get their pick in before then. Here’s a screenshot from my phone to prove it.


The new Florida Panthers logo has reportedly been leaked

Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers

The new Florida Panthers logo has apparently leaked onto the internet. You can see it below, via Paul Lukas of Uni Watch.

It’s been known for a while now that the Panthers would be wearing new duds next season, and there was informed speculation that the “completely different” design would be military themed.

Panthers owner Vincent Viola is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served in the 101st Airborne Division.

Here’s the logo of the 101st Airborne Division:


And here, apparently, is the Panthers’ new logo:

High stakes in Anaheim: the Ducks ‘understand what’s on the line’ tonight


The Anaheim Ducks entered the playoffs as one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup.

At the very least, not many picked them to go out in the first round. Not after how dominant they looked in the second half of the regular season.

And yet, a first-round exit is exactly what they’ll make if they lose tonight at home to the underdogs from Nashville.

“I don’t think you can ever block out the stakes, we all understand what’s on the line,” Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler told Postmedia. “But you have to prepare like you have all season long. You can’t just block out that it’s Game 7, but you have to focus on the simple things that got you to that point.”

For the first six games, the Ducks-Predators series flew largely under the radar. When Nashville forced Game 7 on Monday, most of the hockey world’s attention was fixed on Game 7 between the Blues and Blackhawks.

Tonight, all eyes will be on Anaheim. And if the Ducks lose — much like if the Blues had lost — there could be consequences.

For the Ducks, a loss would not only mean elimination, it would mean a fourth straight year of getting bounced in a Game 7.

“It’s a different year, it’s a different team with different players, new guys who haven’t been here for what we’ve gone through in the past,” winger Corey Perry told reporters. “You’ve just got to go out and play hockey and not worry about all the other extra (stuff). You’ve just go to go out and play and keep pushing.”

Whoever wins, the San Jose Sharks will be waiting.