Jarome Iginla gave the Colorado Avalanche a 2-0 lead at 5:54 of the third period tonight.
The 2014 NHL Draft could be filled with surprises and intrigue, but it could also be filled with coincidences that make history seem funny.
One such possibility could revolve around Barrie Colts forward Brendan Lemieux. Brendan is the son of former Colorado Avalanche forward Claude Lemieux. We’ve talked about him here before.
During the NHL Scouting Combine, Lemieux interviewed with 28 out of 30 NHL teams and one of those was the Detroit Red Wings. The guy doing the talking for Detroit was none other than Kris Draper, now a special assistant to GM Ken Holland. Draper and Claude Lemieux have a notorious history dating back to 1996.
As Mike Morreale of NHL.com shared, the interview went without any fireworks.
“We had a great conversation,” Brendan said. “He’s a really nice guy. I did not think I was going to get interviewed by them, let alone have it be serious. I thought they were going to walk in, make a few jokes and I was going to leave, but I have nothing but good things to say about their organization. They were extremely professional and they barely brought it up. I tried to joke about it and they weren’t even budging.
“I have no problem playing in Detroit after that interview, for sure.”
Imagine the reaction of Red Wings fans who still see red when they see video of Brendan’s father Claude hitting Draper from behind during the 1996 Western Conference Final.
Somewhere, Dino Ciccarelli is really getting fired up about the possibility of the Wings taking the son of a franchise villain.
No doubt about it, Tyler Seguin made a huge impact in his first two career playoff appearances. Some even think that he’s been good enough to make Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien look bad (even if his team managed to make the Eastern Conference finals without Seguin).
In the rush to crown Seguin the next big thing, it’s important to note that two games remain a small sample. Sure, his six-point start ties him for second place in NHL history for a player’s first two contests, but he has a way to go before he can join the ranks of the all-time best rookie playoff performers.
In a tribute to that sentiment (and also Seguin’s big night), Adam Proteau constructed his top 10 list of all-time rookie playoff performances for The Hockey News. The list includes memorable runs from Ken Dryden, Jeremy Roenick and even current Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney.
First, here are the two active players who made the list:
9. Cam Ward, Hurricanes
Just 22 years old at the time, Ward tasted his first playoff action in 2006 when he replaced Canes starter Martin Gerber in Game 2 of the first round against the Canadiens. Ward never surrendered the role the rest of the way, winning 15 games (including two Game 7s) and claiming the Conn Smythe Trophy as Carolina won its first Stanley Cup.
5. Ville Leino, Flyers
Though Leino played seven playoff games with Detroit in 2009, he was also still considered a rookie in his second playoff season. Leino was a relatively old 26 when he suited up for Philadelphia in 2010, but made the most of it, setting a new league record for playoff rookie assists (14) and tying Ciccarelli’s record for rookie playoff points (21) set in 1981.
Some might have actually ranked Ward higher than Leino because he was arguably even more valuable to his team as he won the Conn Smythe and a Stanley Cup in 2006, but it’s tough to argue with Leino’s overall numbers.
Quite possibly the greatest goalie in NHL history and two scrappy overachievers round out the top three of Proteau’s list.
3. Claude Lemieux, Canadiens
One of the more underrated playoff performers in NHL history, Lemieux first showed his post-season chops as a 20-year-old in 1986, scoring 10 goals (including four game-winners) in 20 games and helping the Habs to another Cup.
2. Dino Ciccarelli, North Stars
A member of the most recent Hockey Hall of Fame class, the right winger was 21 and had only played 32 regular season games when the 1981 playoffs began. He then set a rookie record for post-season goals (14) and points (21) in 19 games for a North Stars team that lost the Cup final in five games to the Islanders.
1. Patrick Roy, Canadiens
The Canadiens legend was just 20 years old in 1986 when he powered the Habs to the Stanley Cup and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP thanks to 15 wins and a 1.93 goals-against average.
People often point the advantage of experience in the postseason, but those 10 players rank among the players who were quick learners. Will Seguin force his way onto later top 10 lists like this in the future? He’ll need to keep his hot streak going to have a chance.
Five people will be officially inducted as the 2010 class of the Hockey Hall of Fame. In the “players” category, the inductees are: Dino Ciccarelli, Angela James and Cammi Granato. Meanwhile, the “builders” who will be inducted are Jimmy Devellano and Daryl “Doc” Seaman.
In these two posts, we’ll provide a quick summary of the accomplishments of the inductees from each group. Keep in mind these aren’t meant to be comprehensive. Instead, these write-ups will provide a snapshot of five great careers. Each individual is listed in alphabetical order.
To read about the two team builders, click here.
- His 608 career goals have been brought into (mostly comical/sarcastic) question lately, but the bottom line is that he scored a ton in his career.
- That goal total might be more important for keeping his points total even; according to hockey-reference.com, he finished his 19-year career with exactly 1,200 career points in 1,232 games played.
- In 141 playoff games played, Ciccarelli scored 73 goals and 45 assists for 118 points and registered 211 PIM.
- To call Ciccarelli a tenacious competitor is an understatement; he finished his regular season career with 1,425 PIM.
A few other things
Ciccarelli played more than 1,200 games with five different teams and accomplished a ton, although his off-ice issues and lack of a Stanley Cup victory kept him from earning an induction until this year. He is one of just 18 players to eclipse 600 goals and 45 players to pass 1,200 career points. Ciccarelli made four All-Star teams in his career.
- Frequently represented Team Canada in women’s hockey competitions … including in roller hockey.
- Joins fellow inductee Cammi Granato as the first women to be inducted into to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
- Won four world hockey championship gold medals: in 1990, 92, 94 and 97.
- Won a medal in 12 world championships overall, with a whopping eight MVP awards.
- MVP of the now-defunct COWHL in 1991.
- Other Hall of Fame inductions include: IIHF Hall of Fame, Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and Black Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame.
A few other things
She was compared to NHL players as such: “the aggressiveness of Mark Messier with the goal-scoring ability of Mike Bossy.” I guess she wasn’t half-bad, eh? It’s also been noted that she played every position, including goalie.
- Earned a gold medal (1998) and silver medal (2002) in the Olympics as a part of Team USA.
- Won one gold and eight silver medals at the IIHF World Women Championships.
- Will join Angela James as the only women to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
- Was also inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame at the same time as James.
- Won the 1996 USA Hockey Women’s Player of the Year award.
A few other things
Granato is the sister of current Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach and former NHL player Tony Granato. She even earned an invitation to the New York Islanders’ training camp by then-GM Mike Milbury in 1997, although she declined it.
Aside from Dino Ciccarelli, the 2010 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees were a bit of a surprise to the PHT staff and hockey blogosphere as a whole. In case you don’t remember, the real-life inductees included Ciccarelli, Cammi Granato and Angela James as players along with Jimmy Devellano and Daryl “Doc” Seaman as team-builders. Contrast that list with the one we came up with by combining our choices with 10 respected hockey bloggers: we chose Ciccarelli, Joe Nieuwendyk, Adam Oates and Doug Gilmour.
Ciccarelli earned widespread acclaim for his attitude (Pat Verbeek might have been the “Little Ball of Hate” but Ciccarelli would have earned that nickname too) and his impressive 608-goal career.
Well, now that Ciccarelli is about to enter the Hall of Fame, the scrappy goal scorer admits that his total goals might be one or two lower. Apparently he took credit for a couple goals scored by his former teammate Ron Wilson, according to a story in the Globe and Mail.
“He stole a couple of goals I scored,” Wilson explained. “I know it. … That’s the days before you had replay, you know? And you’re arguing, you shot from the point and the guy’s not within 15 feet and he’s saying, `that went off my stick.“’
During his playing days, Ciccarelli could often be found battling in front of the net. Listed generously at five-foot-10, the native of Sarnia, Ont., was willing to do just about anything to score.
Sometimes he would do anything to bolster his stats, too. All kidding aside, Ciccarelli earned the respect of Wilson and many others by playing way over his not-so-tall head.
The story details the bonds formed between two groups entering the 2010 HOF: Ciccarelli and team-builder Devellano comprise one while James and Granato share memories both as rivals and as champions (literally and figuratively) of women’s hockey.
Devellano can tease Ciccarelli a bit about a decision he made that was very much out of Ciccarelli’s hands.
Devellano has spent nearly 30 years working as an executive for the Detroit Red Wings. One of his first moves as general manager was drafting Steve Yzerman with the fourth overall pick in 1983 — a surprise to Ciccarelli at the time because he thought the North Stars intended to take Yzerman with the No. 1 selection (they drafted Brian Lawton instead).
“If that happened, maybe the North Stars wouldn’t have ended up in Dallas,” said Devellano. “With you and Steve playing together, you might have saved the North Stars.”
Ouch, who knows what kind of career Ciccarelli might have enjoyed playing alongside Stevie Y? (Then again, there might have been less goals to go around.)
The James-Granato bond is more direct, as the two played against each other as respective leaders of the U.S. and Canadian women’s national hockey teams.
As they discussed the honour of becoming the first women to enter the Hall, they couldn’t help but reflect back on the first ever world women’s championship in 1990. James and the Canadian women beat Granato’s U.S. squad 5-2 in the gold medal game before a sellout crowd at Ottawa’s Civic Centre.
It was unlike anything either of them had ever seen. With the Canadian fans singing in the dying moments, Granato found herself smiling on the bench even though her team was about to lose.
“At that point, I was just so happy women’s hockey was being viewed that way,” said Granato.
While I admit that it was a bit surprising to see some of the inductees, that doesn’t mean that they lack the requisite accomplishments to justify inclusion. Congratulations to all of the inductees. We’ll have more on them tomorrow, as the group will be officially enshrined on Monday.