Author: Mike Halford

(Video) Sid the Quick: Crosby scores 10 seconds into crucial tilt versus Sens


With their season on the brink of collapse, the Pittsburgh Penguins needed a good start for tonight’s big game in Ottawa.

Ten seconds in, the captain delivered.

Sidney Crosby scored his 28th goal of the year just moments after the opening faceoff, giving Pittsburgh a much-needed lead in a game that looms large in the Eastern Conference wildcard picture.

Here’s the goal:

The Pens didn’t slow down after No. 87’s goal, either. Beau Bennett scored his first in 30 games just five minutes later to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.

Devils won’t give out team awards this year, Lamoriello mum on why

Lou Lamoriello

It’s been an, ahem, unconventional year in New Jersey, so consider that while reading the latest from The Record’s Tom Gulitti:

Gulitti notes the Devils didn’t hand out trophies during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign either; the reason given was that it wasn’t a full season.

As for this season, it’s been both odd and disappointing. The Devils began with one head coach (Peter DeBoer) and, barring something crazy, will finish with three (Lamoriello, Adam Oates, Scott Stevens). They also missed the playoffs for the third straight year, something former captain Zach Parise said he “never would’ve predicted.”

“Just because of the way things are run,” Parise said in early March, per the Star-Ledger. “I hope they can pull off something at the end of the year, or next year, and get back in.”

Your guess is as good as any to why the Devils aren’t handing out hardware. If it’s because Lamoriello and company didn’t want to celebrate a disappointing campaign, that’s fine, but New Jersey gave out trophies last year — Jaromir Jagr won MVP, Andy Greene earned Unsung Hero and Ryan Carter took home the Players’ Player — despite the fact the Devils finished 10th in the Eastern Conference, with just 35 wins.

As is often the case in New Jersey, you can probably chalk this latest decision up to Lou being Lou.

OHL Sarnia names co-owner, ex-NHLer Hatcher head coach

Minnesota Wild v Dallas Stars

Just a few months after purchasing the Sarnia Sting, Derian Hatcher is going behind the bench.

The 16-year NHL veteran, who bought the Sting along with Ottawa center David Legwand in January, has been named the club’s newest head coach — replacing the outgoing Trevor Letowski, another ex-NHLer, who was the Sting’s bench boss for the last five years.

Hatcher, 42, retired in 2008 after developing a reputation as one of the most physical defensemen of his era. He was named a Norris finalists in 2003 and achieved his greatest success in Dallas in 1999, when he became the first-ever American captain to lead his club to the Stanley Cup.

While he doesn’t have much in the way of head coaching experience, Hatcher did work in the Flyers organization in a player development role for a few seasons; he also coached his son, Chase, during the 2010 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament.

Report: Jack Johnson linked to ex-NFLer’s Ponzi scheme

Jack Johnson

More developments in financial saga of Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson — details have emerged that Johnson was used to as a pawn to drum up investment money in an alleged Ponzi scheme operated, in part, by former NFL player Will Allen.

More, from the Palm Beach Post:

Allen, 36, and Susan Daub, 54, ran Capital Financial Partners, which made loans to ranging from $10,000 to $5.6 million to players in the NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball.

They raised $31 million from investors but loaned only $18 million to athletes — and spent some of their investors’ money at casinos and nightclubs, the SEC said.

“The defendants sold investors on the idea of lending money to pro athletes, but we allege that’s not where a large portion of the investors’ money went,” Paul G. Levenson, director of the SEC’s Boston office, said in a statement. “As in any Ponzi scheme, the appearance of a successful investment was only an illusion sustained by lies.”

While the SEC didn’t name any of Allen’s borrowers, it did say the largest one is an NHL player that filed bankruptcy in October — that appears to be Johnson, who last October filed while claiming assets of less than $50,000 and debts of more than $10 million.

Allen filed a lawsuit against Johnson last year and referenced the Blue Jackets rearguard during a deposition in Palm Beach County, also per the Post:

Allen said he first loaned $250,000 to Johnson and charged his standard origination fee of 3 percent, or $7,500.

“I don’t remember him making any payments at all,” Allen said in the deposition.

Even so, Allen agreed to make a larger loan of $1.4 million to Johnson at a one-month interest rate of 12 percent — even though the financially troubled Johnson’s credit score had plunged 100 points.

“I kind of started, to be honest, feeling, not sorry, but like feeling like, you know, we can help him and we can make 12 percent,” Allen said. “I mean, why not, you know.”

The SEC also reported that Allen and Capital Financial loaned $3.4 million to Johnson, only to tell investors — 24 of them, per the New York Daily News — the loan was for $5.65 million.

Allen played for the Giants, Dolphins and Patriots over the course of his 11-year NFL career.

WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild
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Tonight on NBCSN, the Chicago Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference semifinal. You can catch the game live on TV, or watch online using’s Live Extra.


Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

‘Hawks rule out Richards (upper body) for rest of regular season

Kane not ruled out for first round of the playoffs

Niederreiter questionable vs. Blackhawks

NHL on NBCSN: Wild can clinch with a win in Chicago