Author: Mike Halford

Ben Bishop

Video: Does Bishop, the tallest goalie in NHL history, mark ‘wave of the future’ in net?


He’s 6-foot-7 off skates and nearly 6-foot-10 with ’em on, earning him the (pretty apt) nickname “Big Ben.”

We’re talking, of course, about Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop, who over the last two seasons has gone from the answer to a trivia question to one of the league’s most dominant shot-stoppers; after last year’s Vezina finalist nod, Bishop is now playing in his first-ever Stanley Cup Final.

On the Dan Patrick Show, NHL on NBC analyst Pierre McGuire talked about Bishop and how he represents a changing of the guard in goal, in which teams are trending towards bigger, taller ‘tenders.

Jets d-man Brouillette signs in Swedish League

San Jose Sharks v Winnipeg Jets

Former Jets and Capitals blueliner Julien Brouillette has signed on with Swedish League outfit Karlskrona, the club announced on Monday.

Brouillette, 28, spent the majority of last season with Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate in St. John’s, appearing in one NHL contest. Previously, he’d made his big-league debut with Washington during the 2013-14 campaign, scoring two points in 10 games.

An undrafted free agent that worked his way up through the minors, Brouillette will now be part of a Karlskrona team recently promoted to the SHL’s top flight. He was set to become a UFA on July 1.

McCauley, O’Halloran, Pollock, Sutherland named Stanley Cup Final referees

Anaheim Ducks v Phoenix Coyotes

The four referees and four linesmen to work the 2015 Stanley Cup Final have been announced, per the NHL Officials Association.


Wes McCauley, Dan O’Halloran, Kevin Pollock, Kelly Sutherland


Derek Amell, Shane Heyer, Brian Murphy, Pierre Racicot

Some notes about the zebras:

— Back-to-back Cup Final appearances for McCauley and O’Halloran, who both worked the Rangers-Kings series last year. McCauley has since formed a “go-to” tandem with Pollock this postseason, as the pair has been tasked with a number of key tilt, including the Rangers-Lightning Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

— Sutherland is back in the mix after last calling a Cup Final in 2011 (Boston-Vancouver).

— Those cut from the conference finals? Eric Furlatt, Steve Kozari, Chris Rooney and Brad Watson. The latter, of course, was embroiled in controversy after an (alleged) verbal altercation with Montreal’s Brandon Prust in Round 2. Prust, who was tagged with 31 penalty minutes in a Game 2 loss to the Lightning, accused Watson of trying “to play God,” adding that the veteran referee “kept provoking me, he came to the box and called me every name in the book.”

Prust later apologized for his remarks, and was fined $5,000 for what the NHL called “baseless and demeaning” comments, and Watson moved onto to the next round.

— As for the linesmen, only Derek Amell returns from the crew that called last year’s Cup Final.

Report: Ex-Oilers coach Eakins interviewed for WHL Vancouver gig


The Vancouver Giants are talking to some pretty high-profile candidates for their bench boss job.

Having already interviewed former Buffalo head coach Ted Nolan, the Giants have also reportedly (per News 1130) spoken with Dallas Eakins, who was fired from Edmonton midway through last season.

Eakins, 48, has never coached at the junior level before, moving directly to the American League following the end of his playing career. He spent seven seasons in the Toronto organization — as both an assistant with the Leafs and a head coach of the Marlies — before taking the Oilers gig in 2013.

To call Eakins’ tenure in Edmonton a disappointment would be a major understatement. The club went 36-63-14 on his watch, missing the playoffs in ’14 while winning just seven times in 31 games this year before Eakins was (somewhat mercifully) dismissed in December.

As far as WHL gigs go, Vancouver is one of the more prominent franchises. The team plays in one of the largest cities on the circuit and has employed two former NHL head coaches, Don Hay and Claude Noel.

Boudreau mulls line changes ahead of Game 7

Bruce Boudreau

Though he wouldn’t commit to anything, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau is contemplaing mixing up his bottom-six forward group for tomorrow’s Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against Chicago.

Right winger Kyle Palmieri — who has spent most of this series on a line with Andrew Cogliano and Nate Thompson — was replaced by Jiri Sekac on the third line, moving Palmieri onto the fourth with Rickard Rakell and Tomas Fleischmann. Fleischmann had taken the place of Emerson Etem on the bottom line, which has happened on a few occasions this postseason (including Game 5 of this series).

The moves were a chemistry test, according to Boudreau, who suggested he might use these new units as Anaheim looks to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in eight years.

“I wanted to see it in practice today,” Boudreau said, per “We tried that a little bit. I wanted to make sure that if that’s the route we’re going to go, then I wanted to see if they at least had sort of some good chemistry together. We talked about it and we’ll talk about it again [Saturday] morning.

“By no means are those set in stone, those lines today.”