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
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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.