Tag: Jonathan Cheechoo

Alex Ovechkin

PHT Morning Skate: Notes from Olympic camps

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Alex Ovechkin got to play the part of fashion model for Team Russia as they unveiled their hockey jerseys for the Winter Olympics. There’s a lot of red going on. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Dustin Byfuglien is at Team USA’s camp and eager to earn a spot on the American blue line. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Patrick Kane is digging Team USA’s chances at gold in Sochi. (CSNChicago.com)

Phil Kessel says he’s a “different player now.” Does that mean he’s going to be an even more dynamic scorer? (Toronto Sun)

There’s another goalie out there eager to put his Vancouver drama to rest. At least Cory Schneider wound up in New Jersey where there hasn’t been much going on lately at all. (Fire & Ice)

Who’s the Brady Anderson of hockey? It’s always been Jonathan Cheechoo to me, but Down Goes Brown has a few other great candidates. (Grantland)

Jason Spezza isn’t sweating not being invited to Canada’s Olympic camp. Besides, getting snubbed in 2006 was way more egregious. (Senators Extra)

Speaking of Spezza, he’s ready to play with or without the Senators’ captaincy. (Ottawa Sun)

Rangers forward Derek Stepan believes he’ll get a new deal done before the season starts. (Ranger Rants)

Scorers who got rich thanks to Joe Thornton

Jonathan Cheechoo, Joe Thornton

Hockey fans own plenty of go-to punching bags, but Joe Thornton’s supposed playoff woes are a near-universal favorite. There’s at least one group of people who are unlikely to bash Jumbo Joe, though: the wingers he made rich.

With Thornton’s 1,000th game in the books, here’s a look at some of the guys who should’ve given him a serious cut of their checks.

Sergei Samsonov: More than half of the speedy Russian’s career goals came in Boston. That is not a coincidence. It’s possible that Samsonov received so many chances to turn his career around because people dreamed that he’d find his old magic, but that magic came from someone else.

Glen Murray: Murray went from a solid 29-goal scorer with the Los Angeles Kings to a two-time All-Star with the Bruins, where Thornton helped him score a career-high 92 points. Murray never topped 62 without Jumbo Joe.

Jonathan Cheechoo: “The Cheechoo Train” is the most obvious example of The Thornton Effect. Cheechoo won the 2006 Maurice Richard Trophy after he scored 56 goals thanks to Thornton’s gigantic year. Now he’s relegated to minor league indignity.

Patrick Marleau: Obviously, Marleau was a great player before Thornton – the player who was drafted ahead of him in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. Still, his game jumped to a higher level with Thornton; the speedy forward posted a career-high 44 goals on a line with Jumbo Joe in 09-10. Even if they haven’t always lined up together, Marleau benefited from easier defensive matchups – all five of his highest goal scoring years came after the Thornton trade.


Thornton’s Hall of Fame worthiness is up to debate, but making average guys into stars (and stars into superstars) shows that he deserves a lot more respect.

Former Rocket Richard Trophy winner Jonathan Cheechoo put on waivers

Minnesota Wild v St. Louis Blues
1 Comment

After a two week stint showing his skills to the St. Louis coaching staff, Jonathan Cheechoo was waived by the Blues for the purpose of sending him to the AHL affiliate in Peoria. The news doesn’t come as a huge surprise for fans or those around the organization, yet it’s still shocking to be reminded of the fall from grace for the former San Jose Sharks’ sniper. Only five short years ago he was setting the Sharks’ franchise record with 56 goals in a single season.

Now, the Blues are the fourth organization in fourteen months that have chosen to leave Cheechoo off of their active NHL roster. Jeremy Rutherford from the St. Louis Post Dispatch explains how it went down for Cheechoo and what the move means for the Blues:

“Cheechoo, 31, who led the NHL in goals with 56 in 2005-06 with San Jose, had a quick start to training camp. But he didn’t score in the exhibition games and he appeared a step slow on the scoring opportunities that he did have. Still, Cheechoo is expected to give the Rivermen some veteran skill and provide the Blues with some much-needed offensive depth this season.”

The move to an AHL leadership may be the role Cheechoo is made for at this point in his career. His career has been in a downward spiral since the magical 2005-06 season. He still managed 60 goals in 145 games over the next two seasons, but that was as good as it was going to get. Since being traded to the Senators as part of the Dany Heatley deal, he’s been waived by the Sens, subsequently bought-out at the end of the season, released by the Stars after a short professional tryout, returned to the Sharks organization for an AHL season, and finally signed a two-way contract with the Blues this offseason.

How the mighty have fallen.

You have to give it up to Cheechoo for accepting this new role at this point in his career. After signing a $15 million contract in 2006, props to a man who’s willing to take the buses and play for an AHL salary. In the grand scheme of things, it’s great to pull in six-figures to play a game for a living—but there’s no question that it must be a different world for the former all-star.

The Blues expect Cheechoo to go down to the AHL and help provide veteran leadership for the prospects to hope to make the NHL one day. The invaluable experience he brings to the team, can only help the younger players who are looking to fulfill their potential with the Blues organization. If he can build on the 47 points he scored for the AHL’s Worcester Sharks in 55 games last season, he may even find himself as a midseason call-up this season.

Regardless, he brings much more to the table than your average AHLer. He may not have the 56-goal-scoring hands anymore, but he has more “experiences” to share than just about anyone in the league.

Logan Couture’s contract extension details: Two years, $5.75 million

Logan Couture
1 Comment

Last night we got wind of Logan Couture nailing down a two-year contract extension with the Sharks. Today, San Jose officially announced the deal and with it the details of his contract came forth. Getting last year’s Calder Trophy finalist and 32 goal-scorer signed up to a two-year, $5.75 million deal is a thing of beauty for Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.

Couture is just 22 years-old and putting up 32 goals in his first full NHL season on a team brimming with talent and Stanley Cup hopes is a great thing. Getting him locked up for those two years at a $2.875 million cap hit is incredible. Couture was set to become a restricted free agent after this season and with how tricky that process has become for some teams (look at how Shea Weber and Zach Parise were handled) the Sharks were wise to get something done now.

While there’s still the possibility of labor issues making next season uncomfortable for teams, Couture’s deal is friendly beyond belief for the Sharks. Look at how the other salaries shake out for San Jose via CapGeek. With Couture’s $2.875 cap hit it makes him the sixth highest paid forward. For a guy that scored as many goals and points as Couture did, it’s a steal if he continues to score like that. If he turns into the second coming of Jonathan Cheechoo, then it’s not quite as good.

Still, at 22 years-old Couture is expected to only get better and that means the Sharks have one hell of a bargain on their hands for the next two years. With Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley now gone from San Jose, the pressure to continue scoring falls to Couture. Wilson and the rest of the Sharks brass hope that he thrives being given the opportunity.

Tuesday’s signings and re-signings: Kings keep Richardson, Penguins sign two players

Brad Richardson

Today’s depth signings might not blow you away, but at least there’s one more arbitration hearing you can cross off the schedule after today’s small-time deals. Colorado, Florida, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis all got into the act today and there’s even a former 50-goal scorer in the mix as well.

Los Angeles re-signs Brad Richardson; Two years, $2.35 million

Brad Richardson’s semi-breakout year last season has earned him a sweet new two-year deal with the Kings and he’ll have the room needed to grow next season. Richardson had seven goals and 12 assists in 68 games with L.A. last season but did his part in the playoffs to bust out and get noticed. In the Kings’ six playoff games, Richardson had two goals and three assists and asserted himself well against the Sharks. The Kings are hoping that confident play Richardson had in that series returns for full time duty next season and can give their third and fourth lines a boost. Richardson was due to head to arbitration with the Kings, but with his new deal, they’ll stay out of the courtroom.

Pittsburgh re-signs Dustin Jeffrey for two years, signs enforcer Steve MacIntyre for one year, two-way deal

Dustin Jeffrey took advantage of the time he saw last year while the Pens dealt with countless injuries to their forward units. In 25 games, Jeffrey scored seven goals and added 12 assists and showed some skills that could see him end up on one of the Penguins top two lines next season. As a player who came up in the Pens system, he’s an ideal guy to keep around especially on a two-way deal in his first year. Making $575,000 per year makes him an even better fit.

Steve MacIntyre will help the Penguins fill the hole left by Eric Godard signing in Dallas earlier today. MacIntyre is a vicious fighter and doesn’t offer much skill aside from that. With his deal being a two-way deal, the Pens can call him up and send him down at will. In 34 games last year, MacIntyre had one assist and 93 penalty minutes.

Colorado re-signs T.J. Galiardi and signs Patrick Rissmiller to one-year deals

T.J. Galiardi broke out as a legit two-way player two years ago in Colorado scoring 15 goals and 24 assists while also playing a solid defensive game. Last season, he was injured. Often. In 35 games he had seven goals and eight assists for the Avalanche and Colorado opted to keep him around for one more year. If he stays healthy, he’ll help the Avs get their act together once again.

Patrick Rissmiller, on the other hand, will be the first guy called up from Lake Erie of the AHL and be a depth contributor when called upon. He’s spent the last few seasons in the AHL with Hartford, Rochester, and Chicago. Last season he played in nine games with the Florida Panthers and had one assist.

Florida signs defenseman Tyson Strachan; One year, two-way deal $750,000/$150,000

Tyson Strachan adds a tough, physical defenseman to the Panthers coffers and a guy that’s not afraid to drop the gloves if need be. Last year with St. Louis, Strachan had one assist and 39 penalty minutes in 29 games. With the Panthers needing to add more depth to their blue line, Strachan gives them a younger guy to grow in either Florida or San Antonio in the AHL. With what Florida’s got going on with their roster, expect Strachan to start the year in the AHL and get the call in case of injury.

St. Louis signs forward Jonathan Cheechoo; One year, two-way deal

It’s been just five years since Jonathan Cheechoo scored 56 goals with the San Jose Sharks, but ever since then, his career has fallen on hard times. He was sent to Ottawa as part of the Dany Heatley trade in 2009 and ever since 2007-2008 he’s struggled to find his goal scoring touch that brought him to such great heights in  2005-2006.

Last season he scored 18 goals for the AHL Worcester Sharks after being let go by the Senators and while he’s destined for Peoria in the AHL with the Blues, if everything breaks in a lucky way for both Cheechoo and the Blues he could help their offense. Don’t hold your breath on that though.