Tag: NBA

Video: Bissonnette kicks it up a notch in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


You can always count on Paul Bissonnette to take things to the next level whether it’s through his Twitter or Instagram feed.

Well… he’s done it again. This time with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:

Bissonnette, who is currently an unrestricted free agent after spending five seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes, calls out Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers and Super Bowl champion, Russell Wilson in the video.

Rodgers was quick to offer his critique:

Perhaps if he can’t land another NHL contract, a movie career is the next logical step for Bissonnette.

Bissonnette is just the latest NHLer to take the challenge, earlier this month Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby joined in.

Pete Frates is credited with starting the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Frates was diagnosed with the progressive neurological disease, which slowly affects those suffering from the illness of the use of their muscles, in March 2012. Since then Frates has organized several charity baseball games to raise money for ALS awareness, but its’ his latest creation the Ice Bucket Challenge, which has really taken off.

For those interested, here’s the link to donate to the ALS Association (United States) or ALS Canada.

Jagr explains Bruins’ strategy: Make ‘Birdman’ beat you


Before the 2013 Eastern Conference finals began, Milan Lucic made an entertaining comparison between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Miami Heat. It makes sense, then, that Jaromir Jagr used the NBA to explain how the Boston Bruins swept the Penguins, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Seth Rorabaugh reports.

“It’s like basketball. If you have a good player, you want to double team them. Look at other guys to beat them,” Jagr said. “If you’re going to play against LeBron James, you’re going to put two guys on him. Let ‘Birdman’ (Chris Andersen) beat you.”

If you even loosely follow the NBA, you probably have Shaq’s “Birdman” chant in your head right now. If not, check Pro Basketball Talk for the latest on the colorful role player (pictured in this post).

In case you’re wondering, Lucic told NHL.com’s Matt Kalman that he’s not sure which NBA team the Bruins might be.

(One guess: maybe the Ben/Rasheed Wallace-era Detroit Pistons? It really is a tough call.)

NHL looking to NBA, NFL and MLB for CBA guidance


Noteworthy tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger, who reports that the NHL Board of Governors is discussing the recently negotiated CBAs of the NBA, NFL and MLB in today’s meetings in Pebble Beach.

We wondered a few weeks ago if the NHL might look to the NBA for CBA ideas. Specifically, we wondered about the so-called “amnesty clause,” which allows each team to rid itself of one bad contract. The team is still responsible for paying the player’s salary, but the cap hit is gone.

That would be a minor detail though. There are bigger things to take from the NBA’s deal.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun predicted last week that, like the NBA managed to do, “the NHL will try to reduce the players’ share from the current 57 percent to below 50 percent. That’s the most direct and impactful way of minimizing player costs in the next CBA. The NBA deal’s limit on term for contracts will also interest NHL owners.”

PHT’s NHL primer for disenchanted NBA fans

jordan statue

Hello and welcome to ProHockeyTalk! This is a blog covering the game of ice hockey. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

We realize today must be an especially difficult one for you as the NBA season was supposed to tip off. Is that the right term, tip off? The only other basketball term we know is chest pass and “the NBA season was supposed to chest pass” doesn’t sound right.

Anyway, we thought it’d be a nice gesture if we introduced you to the game of hockey. Oh sure, there are plenty of other sports to keep you occupied like professional football, college football, high school football, Pop Warner football or Canadian football, if you’re desperate. But there’s a chance you might want to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. So here’s a quick Q&A to get you up to speed on the wonderful game of hockey.

Who is the best team in the NHL?

The Boston Bruins won last year’s Stanley Cup (given annually to the NHL playoff champion), but they’re off to a bad start this year. In fact, they’ve been overtaken in their division by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

So, the Maple Leafs are the best team?

Hahahaha, no. They’ve probably got another two, maybe three weeks left in them. The teams you want to focus on are Pittsburgh, Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Boston, San Jose, Detroit, Los Angeles, Buffalo and Tampa Bay. Yeah, 11 teams. There’s a lot of parity in hockey.

Who is the LeBron James of the NHL?

If you’re talking about the most supremely talented player with unparallelled skill, that would be Sidney Crosby. If you’re talking about the most polarizing player with a knack for coming up small in the biggest moments, that would be Roberto Luongo. Some people actually call him “LeBrongo.” Seriously.

Boston is the NBA’s most storied franchise, having won 17 championships. Who is the NHL equivalent?

That would be the Montreal Canadiens, who have won 24 Stanley Cups. The Canadiens are one of the most revered franchises in all of professional sports and widely known as the NHL’s classiest organization. Last week they fired their assistant coach 90 minutes before a game.

Has the NHL ever had a similar labor dispute?


What about ethnic diversity? The NBA has tons of international players.

The NHL currently features Canadians, Americans, Russians, Finns, Swedes, Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, Danes, Germans and Belorussians as well as players from France, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway and Poland. The league is welcoming to all ethnicities, though Raffi Torres’ Halloween costume set the ol’ diversity program back a step or two.

Why, what did he do?

He dressed up as Jay-Z.


With face paint.


Yeah, it was kind of a thing.

Is that really racist though?

Let’s not get into that now.

Do they actually let the players fight in the NHL?

Well, they give them five minutes in the penalty box, so technically it’s penalized.

But it still happens?

Oh yeah, lots.

Why do they allow it?

Mostly because the fans like it. But it also holds players accountable on the ice. If they didn’t have fighting, there’d be all sorts of cheap shots out there.

So there are no cheap shots in hockey?

There are still quite a few cheap shots.

Why does hockey have to be so complicated?

What’s complicated about it? There’s a puck, there’s a net, each team tries to put the puck into the other team’s net.

Explain offside to me.

The puck has to enter the zone first.

Which zone?

The offensive zone.

Is offside like icing?

Maybe we could take this offline.

OK, but I’m still not convinced I’ll like hockey.

Look, just give it a try. If you’re not hooked once the Stanley Cup is awarded, we’ll give you a full refund.

But I never gave you money in the first place.

Then what’s the problem? Watch hockey. It’s awesome.

NBA’s Jason Richardson nearly became a hockey star


Jason Richardson is a high-flying, three-point-shooting star for the Orlando Magic but the NBA wasn’t always his first calling. While growing up in Saginaw, Michigan he played hockey as a kid as well as basketball. When you grow up in a place that’s home to an OHL team and a haven for Detroit Red Wings fans, it’s almost automatic that you’ll start off playing hockey.

For Richardson though, hockey wasn’t just a passing fancy and something else to do as a kid, he had a real interest in the game and it came naturally to him. Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel tells us that if things had gone a bit different, perhaps we’d be talking about Jason Richardson the Detroit Red Wing rather than NBA star.

“I really wanted to play in the NHL,” Richardson said. “At the time, I think there were only two or three African-American players. I wanted to be the fourth one.”

While Richardson was growing up, there really was a dearth of African-American players. That’s not the case so much anymore as we’ve seen times change with the rise of Jarome Iginla as captain of the Flames and Dustin Byfuglien in Atlanta as well as the emergence of youngsters like Wayne Simmonds of the L.A. Kings and P.K. Subban with the Canadiens.

What derailed Richardson’s dream?

But finances ended his NHL dream. He was in a family of six children growing up without a father. His mother was the breadwinner, working at Toys ‘R’ Us and Red Lobster while also attending school.

“My feet just kept growing, like size 12 or 13,” said the 6-foot-6, 225-pound Richardson. “It’s hard to find skates that big. You had to get them custom-made.

“We didn’t come from a wealthy family, and there were hard times. My mother always found ways to make ends meet, but some of those skates cost hundreds of dollars.”

It’s an unfortunate truth for anyone growing up that hockey is a costly game to play. Lord help parents whose kids grow up wanting to be goalies because the cost of pads, blockers, and trappers piles on to the cost of skates and sticks. Just think what it would’ve been like to have a 6’6″, 225-pound forward racing around the ice either as a slick-skating forward or a defensive force. Anyone that size in the NHL almost immediately gets noticed.

Stories like this never fail to entertain us because it brings in the whole, “What if?” factor. Think Michigan State, where Richardson went to college, would’ve loved to have him on the ice to win a National Championship? You better believe it and you’d better believe the Red Wings would love to have a forward or defenseman that big roaming the ice for them now. As it is, it’s all a fantasy situation but it’s great to read that even an NBA star grew up wanting to become a NHL star first.