Author: Mike Halford

Video: Landeskog tossed for illegal check to Marchand’s head


Gabriel Landeskog‘s night has come to a premature end in Boston — the Avs captain was given a 10-minute match penalty for an illegal check to the head of Boston forward Brad Marchand.

The incident occurred early in the second period. Marchand was given a two minute roughing minor in retaliation for the hit, but didn’t leave the game and continued taking regular shifts.

Per the NHL rule book, the match penalty means Landeskog is “automatically suspended from further competition” until the incident has been reviewed.

Landeskog has never been suspended over the course of his five-year career, but was fined for throwing a punch at Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu at the end of a game against the Wild last season.

Video: ‘Canes goal (interference) disallowed, but overturned on Peters’ challenge

In most instances, coach’s challenges for goalie interference have been used to erase what was called a goal on the ice.

Tonight in Carolina, it went the other way around.

A goal that was initially disallowed because of goalie interference was reversed, thanks to the first successful challenge of the year from Bill Peters.

From the NHL’s Situation Room Blog:

At 8:17 of the first period in the Wild/Hurricanes game, Carolina requested a Coach’s Challenge to review the “Interference on the Goalkeeper” decision that resulted in a “no goal” call.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that Carolina’s Jay McClement was propelled into Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk by a defending player before the puck crossed the goal line. The decision was made in accordance with Note 2 of Rule 78.7 (ii) which states, in part, that the goal on the ice should have been allowed because “the attacking Player was pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – good goal Carolina Hurricanes.

Thanks to the call, Andrej Nestrasil was credited with his first goal of the campaign, and Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

Report: Stoner expected to enter plea in illegal bear hunt case

Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks - Game One

Anaheim defenseman Clayton Stoner is expected to enter a plea on Friday relating to five chargers for an illegal grizzly bear hunt, the Canadian Press reports.


[Stoner] faces five charges for a hunt in 2013 on British Columbia’s central coast.

Wildlife groups and First Nations leaders have been outraged that Stoner killed the bear, named Cheeky.

Charges against Stoner, who hasn’t lived in his Vancouver Island hometown for years, include knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting licence.

Charges against Stoner were initially filed in September, nearly two years after pictures of him hoisting the grizzly’s severed head first appeared online.

Stoner, who at the time of the hunt was playing with the Minnesota Wild, identified himself as an avid outdoorsman that “grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia.”

In a statement released by the Wild’s PR team, Stoner said he conducted himself in a legal manner.

“I applied for and received a grizzly bear hunting license through a British Columbia limited entry lottery last winter and shot a grizzly bear with my license while hunting with my father, uncle and a friend in May,” he explained. “I love to hunt and fish and will continue to do so with my family and friends in British Columbia.”

But authorities had a different take.

From the Vancouver Sun:

The legal argument is that Stoner did not meet those conditions due to living out of the province as a professional hockey player. At the time of the hunt, Stoner played for the Minnesota Wild but joined Anaheim as a free agent in 2014.

“All five charges are directly related to the residency requirement,” [conservation office Detective-Sergeant Cynthia] Mann said.

Stoner has come under fire in the weeks since the charges were filed. In mid-October, a group of animal activists protested outside a Ducks home game at the Honda Center.

Welcome Matt Duchene to the trade rumor mill

Matt Duchene

Something interesting and potentially huge brewing in Colorado — could the Avs be trying to move Matt Duchene?

The first smoke came from ex-Denver-Post-turned-Bleacher-Report columnist Adrian Dater who, in a series of tweets, suggested there’s a major shakeup brewing for the underachieving Avs, and that Duchene could be player that’s dealt.

Dater also posted a Q&A with Colorado GM Joe Sakic who, you’ll recall, pulled off a blockbuster move at the draft by sending Ryan O'Reilly to Buffalo.

In speaking with Dater, Sakic sounded like a guy listening to any and all offers coming his way.

“You’re always talking with teams and you’re always wanting to listen in on anybody,” he explained. “If there’s a deal that makes sense for your organization, you’re going to do it.

“You don’t want to move some guys, but you’re always listening.”

Next up?

Hockey insider Bob McKenzie, who had this to say on TSN 1050 Thursday afternoon, when asked why the Avs would entertain the idea of trading Duchene:

“I think it would probably be A) they feel like they have more surplus up front, and they desperately need defensemen.

“And B) I’m not sure the coach is a huge fan.”

Rumors have zeroed in on Duchene because the other big ticket Colorado was thought to be shopping, Jarome Iginla, put a spike in trade talks.

On Wednesday, Iginla — who has a no-movement clause — told Dater he “would not approve of any trade this season.” The decision to stay put makes sense, given one of the reasons Iginla signed a three-year deal with Colorado in the first place was to get some stability.

So, back to Duchene.

At 24, he’s got quite the resume — a four-time 20-goal scorer that’s won gold at the ’14 Olympics and ’15 World Championships. He’d certainly fetch a bounty in return and while he’s got a pretty hefty contract (five years, $30 million, a $6M cap hit), those aren’t the types of numbers rival GMs would balk at.

Especially if they believe Duchene’s best years are still to come.

So yeah, the Avs will be an interesting team to watch over the next two weeks, and not just because of the Duchene rumors. They’re also one game into a season-long seven-game road swing, a trip that could make or break the club.

Oh and hey, guess who had his first three-point effort of the season in Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Philly, giving the Avs a winning start to the trip?

Yup. Matt Duchene.

Maurice, Bondra, Burke named to Team Europe staff for ’16 World Cup

Jansen Harkins; Scott Kosmachuk
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On Thursday, Team Europe bolstered its coaching and scouting staffs for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

The most notable addition is Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice, who’s been named as one of Ralph Krueger’s assistants, per team president Franz Riendl.

Maurice, a veteran of over 1,200 NHL contests with three different organizations, is a good fit for the European squad, having spent the ’12-13 campaign in the KHL coaching Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

As for the other staff additions, Team Europe added five individuals to its scouting team, highlighted by former NHLers Peter Bondra and Sean Burke.

Bondra, who served as Slovakia’s national team GM from 2007-11, was one of the greatest Slovak players in NHL history and still sits second on the Washington Capitals’ all-time goalscoring list.

Burke, a longtime NHL netminder, spent the last six seasons in Arizona, working as both an assistant to GM Don Maloney as well as a goalie coach — a position he’s received high praise for.

Joining Bondra and Burke on Team Europe’s scouting staff will be Lorne Henning, the former VP and assistant GM in Vancouver; Vaclav Nedomansky, one of the most decorated Czech forwards in international hockey history and Rick Olczyk, currently Ron Francis’ assistant GM in Carolina.

All five of the new scouts will work under Team Europe GM Miroslav Satan.