Tag: polls

NHL Commissioner Bettman

Vote for the biggest winners and losers of NHL realignment


While there’s still some red tape to take care of, Dec. 5 marked a big day for the NHL as the Board of Governors approved a four-conference realignment. Naturally, this will lead many to name “winners” and “losers,” so let’s take it a little further by crowning the biggest ones.

Food for thought: Jesse Spector opines that losers are hard to find. The NHL’s press release dictates that leading factors in realignment revolved around travel, rivalries and even time zones. Dirk Hoag punched up the numbers to find out how realignment might affect teams from a travel standpoint.

Feel free to make your judgment based on whatever factors you’d like, though.

Poll 1: Which team is the biggest winner?

Poll 2: Which team is the biggest loser?

Islanders display new third jerseys; What do you think?


The New York Islanders tend to do things their way, for better or worse. Sometimes that means barring journalists from covering their team, other times they blaze a new trail by signing a goalie for 10+ years or making another netminder their general manager. In the case of their latest third jerseys, the Islanders went back in time ever so slightly.

While the latest third jersey trend was to roll out baby blue duds, the Isles jumped on the previous trend of going black. We already asked how the general concept sizes up to some of their worst looks ever, but now you can see what they look like on an actual Islanders player. Here are a few highlights from the Islanders’ third jersey gallery (view the full things here).


source:  (John Tavares)

source:  (Matt Moulson)

If you want one more look, here’s a shot of a big chunk of the team wearing the new duds. Now that you’ve had a chance to assess them, let us know how you feel about the third jerseys in the comments and in this poll.

Movember poll: Who owns the best ‘active’ mustache in the NHL?

2011 Heritage Classic - Alumni Game

Want an appropriate time to do something ridiculous? Make sure it’s in the name of charity. Huge Czech defensemen wearing pink bunny suits to hospitals and countless people making boob jokes to benefit breast cancer research/awareness are just two examples of that practice. Yet if you want a go-to example of what hockey players are doing right now, simply look at the area between their lips and noses.

Yup, it’s “Movember,” one of the strangest charitable movements in a jam-packed arena of weird benefits. With that in mind, PHT wants to know: who is the modern mustache champion* in the NHL?

The contestants

source: APGeorge Parros via The Associated Press

Notes: Parros just shaved it for Movember, but by my estimation, it’s already grown back by this writing. In fact, it’s likely stronger, thicker and maybe even a bit angry now. He’s a Princeton grad so don’t discount the possibility of a sentient ‘stache.

source: APMike Brown via AP

Notes: Tell me what your eye is drawn to in this photo. If you said “the puck” instead of Brown’s majestic handlebar, then you’re either a liar or a potential enemy.

source: APPaul MacLean via AP

Notes: The first contestant from the “coaches” division is a legit contender. Anyone who attributed the Ottawa Senators’ surge to Jason Spezza is wrong; it’s clear that the team is spurred on by MacLean’s mustache. His ‘stache has forgotten more about hockey than we’ll ever know.

source: Getty ImagesDaniel Carcillo via Getty Images

Notes: It’s doubtful that Carcillo’s “Luigi ‘stache” has much of a chance in such a stacked field. This is really just a thinly veiled attempt to add variety to the ranks of “Carcillo’s missing teeth” photos.

Dave Lewis

Notes: Check out a photo of that questionable fashion choice here.

source: APJoel Quenneville via AP

Notes: Sure, he came into Chicago with plenty of solid coaching experience, but let’s face it. The Blackhawks snapped into shape because they feared the “Q-Stache.” Can you blame them?

Bill Clement

Notes: Hearing his voice in NHL 12 scratches a nostalgic itch, but EA Sports really needs to digitize that glorious nose critter. (Click here to see it in its glory.)


As impressive as this list is, it’s easy to imagine an oversight or two. For that reason, there’s an “other” category for write-in candidates. Just keep in mind this poll is all about players or personalities still working prominently today.

* – Here’s a few reasons why we opted against going all-time:

1. Lanny McDonald would have dominated the poll to a ridiculous degree.

2. The research required to analyze the staggering amount of ‘staches from the ’80s would have dragged this thing beyond November.

3. There are already plenty of great sources for historic nose critters; Greatest Hockey Legends counted down the top 10 of all-time, for instance.

Poll: Who will be the last NHL team with 0 points?

Miikka Kiprusoff

The NHL season is a week old today. It’s too early to assume that we’ve genuinely learned anything, even if some teams are putting some tantalizing appetizers on the table.

To give you a sense of the parity in the league – and the prevalence of the “charity point” – there are only two teams who haven’t earned a single standings point yet: the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets. Before you snicker too much at those Canadian clubs, it’s important to note that the Flames have played in just two games and the Jets’ only game of the season was that fun-killing loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Meanwhile, four NHL teams have already played in four contests, including the league-leading Pittsburgh Penguins (3-0-1 for seven points).

Even with those very reasonable excuses in mind, the fun and unfair question is: will the Flames or Jets be the NHL’s final team stuck at zero points? Before you decide, you might want to take a look at their near-future schedules.

Jets’ next three games

Oct. 13 at Chicago (8:30 pm ET)
Oct. 15 at Phoenix (7 pm ET)
Oct. 17 vs. Pittsburgh at home (8:30 pm ET)

Flames’ next three games

Oct. 13 at Montreal (7:30 pm ET)
Oct. 15 at Toronto (7 pm ET)
Oct. 18 vs. Edmonton at home (9:30 pm ET)

Looking at their near-future schedules, the Flames have it easier than the Jets and they also start earlier today. If you think the two teams will manage the unlikely feat of losing during regulation of all three of their respective contests, Calgary will have five more home games in a row after that Oilers game while the majority of the Jets’ games are on the road.

If you ask me, the Flames should probably earn a point first. What do you think, though? Vote in the poll to let us know which team will avoid (a largely unfair) title as the last pointless team in the NHL.

Did the San Jose Sharks improve during this off-season?

Sharks Canucks Hockey

Unless you judge success by Stanley Cup victories alone, you’d probably agree that the San Jose Sharks had a solid season, so it was surprising to see the team make such splashy moves this summer. Most instances of dynamic change occur when a) contenders need to shed contracts to stay under the cap ceiling or b) pretenders realize that they’re going nowhere and decide to blow shake the Etch-a-Sketch and start fresh.

Now, it’s true that the Sharks feature many of the same top players. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle are still standout veterans while young players like goalie Antti Niemi and center Logan Couture provide important contributions.

Yet while many of the core members remain the same, some significant supporting roles have changed. Here’s a quick snapshot of their major moves during this summer.


Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi, Ian White, Kyle Wellwood, Kent Huskins, Niclas Wallin, Jamal Mayers, Ben Eager and Scott Nichol.


Brent Burns, Martin Havlat, Michal Handzus, Colin White, Jim Vandermeer, Andrew Murray and James Sheppard.

Sharks players were as taken aback as anyone else as news of the moves circulated this summer, as they told the Mercury News. The ultimate takeaway is that the franchise took action instead of remaining idle – especially in their biggest area of need: defense.

“It shows that we’re not satisfied,” captain Joe Thornton said. “We want to get to the Finals and win the Cup. We’ve fallen short. But with these moves, I’m really excited to see this team play.”


“What we did is not a Band-Aid situation,” McLellan said. “Brent Burns is going to be around for a long time. We hope Colin White and Jim Vandermeer can play for awhile here, too.”

Then again, the Sharks are a little biased when it comes to their own team, so let’s take a temperature of their offensive and defensive units to see if they’ve really gotten better. We’ll skip goaltending because they’ll employ the same Finnish duo as last season (although I must say that it would be surprising if Niemi avoids a regression after his red-hot second half of 2010-11).

source: APForwards

On paper, trading Heatley for Havlat is a clear downgrade, especially since Heatley has two 100+ point seasons on his resume. The thing is, many believe that Heatley’s best days are behind him and Havlat might be a little bit more versatile. Then again, Havlat’s injury history suggests that he comes with his own risks.

The Sharks might actually miss hot-and-cold winger Setoguchi more – at least in some ways. This move leaves Joe Pavelski as the only major Sharks forward who sports a right-handed shot.

Wellwood was actually a pretty solid fit for San Jose, so it was disappointing to see him go … until they signed strong defensive forward Handzus. The Sharks should be very familiar with the Czech-born center since he played all but one game in the last four seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. Adding Handzus was one of the most underrated moves of this summer, as he’ll give the Sharks yet another effective center. He’ll slide into the Manny Malhotra role from 2009-10.

Offensive outlook: Slight downgrade (Havlat is the wild card).


Burns is a lot like Boyle in that he’s adequate in his own end but earns his paychecks thanks to his offensive prowess. It’ll be interesting to see if the two right-handed attacking defensemen pair up with each other very often (beyond power play situations or when the Sharks are down a goal).

While Burns is the highest profile addition, White is a nice value. His foot speed and decision making can be concerns, but he’s a hard-hitting minutes eater with two Stanley Cup rings. That’s not bad for $1 million, which is the same amount they’ll pay middling addition Jim Vandermeer.

The Sharks have an interestingly dichotomous group of D-men. On one side, there’s the graceful guys (Boyle, Burns, Jason Demers and Marc-Edouard Vlasic); on the other, you have the plodding bruisers (Douglas Murray, White and Vandermeer). If you ask me, Burns and White are two shrewd additions that might not make the Sharks a top defensive group like they claim, but an above-average corps nonetheless.

Defensive outlook: Substantial upgrade.


If you ask me, the Sharks should be a slightly better team on paper next season, although the phrase “on paper” has haunted the franchise for years now. What do you think, though? Are they better, worse or did they just make a lateral move? Let us know in the comments.