Tag: press conferences


Blues announce that David Perron will return to team Monday

Despite a rough 2010-11 season, the St. Louis Blues have some reasons to be optimistic heading into next season.

Their offense might not have a genuine superstar, but it’s deep with options from young standouts such as David Backes and T.J. Oshie to newly added veterans Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner. The Blues defense has some question marks, but many expect a lot from young offensive blueliner Alex Pietrangelo. They could even get a better year from their splashy 2010 goaltending addition, Jaroslav Halak.

The biggest mystery for the Blues is the health of another one of their young rising forwards, David Perron. After reaching the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career in 2009-10, Perron’s 10-11 season ended on Nov. 4, 2010 after Joe Thornton hit him right as he left the penalty box. Perron suffered a concussion that he’s still fighting through to this day, while Thornton received a controversial two-game suspension for that check.

It’s possible that he could be quite a few steps removed from being ready to go again, but the Blues announced some fantastic news today: Perron will return to the team and hold a press conference on Monday. This is a promising step in the right direction, although many (including Blues beat writer Jeremy Rutherford) believe that he won’t practice on Monday.

The recovery process for post-concussion syndrome can often be a mystery, but even if this is just a baby step in the right direction, it’s still great to hear that Perron is moving that way.

Bruins-Canucks Game 1 reactions: Claude Julien calls Alex Burrows bite ‘a classless move’

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game One

Raffi Torres scored a goal with less than 20 seconds left to allow the Vancouver Canucks to earn a last-minute 1-0 win in Game 1 against the Boston Bruins Wednesday night. That narrow victory gave the Canucks a 1-0 series lead and an opportunity for fans to celebrate, but that contest didn’t necessarily provide a lot of insight into how this series might work out.

Post-game press conferences are often the place where coaches and players spout cliches and empty compliments to their opponents, with maybe a vague injury update dropped in here and there. That being said, they are often our best opportunity to take the pulse of winners and losers alike. Let’s take a look at some of the Game 1 reactions from both sides.

  • Bruins coach Claude Julien said he didn’t see footage of Alex Burrows biting Patrice Bergeron, but said it was “a classless move” if the allegations are true. (Which they are, of course.)
  • NBC caught up with Ryan Kesler after the game, which you can see in this video. Kesler added another bullet point in his Conn Smythe resume when he created as Johnny Boychuk turnover and then sent a great pass to Jannik Hansen, who set up Raffi Torres for that game-winning tap-in goal.

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  • Tim Thomas was outstanding in Game 1, but Roberto Luongo came out on top in that goaltending duel by stopping all 36 of the shots that he faced. Here’s what he said after Vancouver’s 1-0 win.

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Video: John Tortorella looks to future after Rangers’ first round defeat

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Four

(For a full recap of the Washington Capitals’ 3-1 win over the New York Rangers – a win that makes Washington the first Eastern Conference team to make the second round – click here. Consult this video for footage of Mike Green‘s scary injury and check out this post for Alex Ovechkin‘s outstanding game-winner. Want to see all the goals? This post has all four plus Net Cam highlights.)

Rangers fans are mourning their team’s final meaningful hockey game until October and the 2010-11 season rolls around. Meanwhile, hockey media members might be a bit sad themselves, but it won’t be for the lack of the Blueshirts as a whole. Instead, they’ll miss the occasionally uproarious commentary of head coach John Tortorella.

The outspoken coach was pretty even keeled in his post-game preference today, though. Torts correctly points out that the team could have a bright future considering their improving young players at the NHL level (with prime players such as Marc Staal and newbies like Derek Stepan) as well as promising prospects such as Chris Kreider. Sure, he discussed missed opportunities in this series, but the implication is clear: they might be better equipped to make good on them in the future.

Whether the Rangers go after a big free agent like Brad Richards or not, the team’s growth will still depend upon Tortorella’s teaching skills and their development process. Watch him discuss that future in the press conference video below.

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Blackhawks, Canucks react to Raffi Torres hit on Brent Seabrook


(Do you think Raffi Torres deserves a suspension for his hit on Brent Seabrook or no punishment at all? Vote in our poll to share your thoughts on the matter.)

In my time following controversial hits, there haven’t been many moments when a coach or fellow player criticizes someone on their own team. Maybe they disagree with the nature of a check behind closed doors, but considering how much these people go through together, it’s stunning that it ever happens the other way.

Off the top of my head, there are two examples of slight criticism of a teammate or pupil: Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle admitted that Bobby Ryan’s foot stomp had “no place in the game” while Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference wasn’t very happy with a Daniel Paille hit.

To little surprise, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault defended Torres when asked about the situation. In fact, he didn’t even think it should have been a penalty. Here’s a snippet of his comments, via Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago.

“Hockey is a collision sport, there’s a lot of intensity. I compare that hit to (Ryan) Getzlaf on (Dan) Hamhuis, and (Getzlaf) didn’t even get a two-minute minor. I didn’t think it was a penalty.

“Obviously you never want to see a player get hurt, and I understand where (the league) is going with it, but hockey is a physical game. I think each and every one of us wants it to stay a physical game without players getting hurt, but in a collision sport there’s always going to be injuries.”

Vigneault has a point about the considerable gray area between the Torres-Seabrook hit and the check Getzlaf delivered on Hamhuis, which just shows the increasing level of confusion surrounding the way the league polices its players.

Also to little surprise, Blackhawks players and coach Joel Quenneville weren’t especially happy about the hit. Here’s Coach Q’s direct and angry response, also via Myers.

“Brutal, major, absolutely. They missed it. We could’ve scored four goals on that play,” said Quenneville, who added Seabrook did have to go off at the end of the second period “to settle down. We’re lucky he’s a big Western Canadian kid. Someone else would’ve been on a stretcher.”

Speaking of that “big Western Canadian kid,” Seabrook discussed the hit but was wise to be mostly diplomatic about it.

Seabrook said he didn’t have control of the puck and didn’t see Torres coming.

“I don’t know what I was looking at to be honest with you,” he said.

Torres just came off a four-game suspension – the last two regular-season and first two postseason games – for his hit to the head of Edmonton rookie Jordan Eberle on April 5.

“I haven’t watched the hit yet so I don’t want to comment on it,” Seabrook said. “He’s a hard-nosed guy. He’s been in trouble with the league before for doing the same kind of thing. I’m going to leave it at that and let the league look at it and whatever they do is what we have to deal with.”

It’s hardly a shock that the opposing teams hold differing viewpoints about the hit, but it’s a divisive issue with our readers, too. The league faces a tough balancing act between allowing the kind of physical play that is a hallmark of the game and punishing hits that go over the line.

Maybe one of these days, everyone will actually know where exactly that line is.

Here’s video of Seabrook discussing the hit, again from CSN Chicago.

Gary Bettman blames threat of lawsuit for lack of Coyotes sale, admits time is running out

Vancouver Canucks v Phoenix Coyotes
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If you were hoping that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s press conference would provide new information or a resolution regarding the Phoenix Coyotes sale tonight, you’re about as lucky as the City of Glendale. Still, the league’s biggest power broker did discuss the situation, taking a predictable direction by blaming the Goldwater Institute for holding up the deal and wiggling around a true deadline for a final verdict. (Dave Strader provides a decent summary of Bettman’s statements in this Tweet.)

Bettman acknowledged the possibility of relocation to Winnipeg/other “options” but while he said that time is running out, it’s clear that the league hasn’t given up completely yet. At least from a public standpoint.

Ultimately, we’re left with some morsels of information (or at least illumination) that will be covered in a moment, but it’s important to note that the Coyotes franchise along with the cities of Winnipeg and Glendale will need to wait for an answer. Bettman apparently met with Glendale’s mayor along with Coyotes players, coaches and front office members today, but it appears nothing decisive took place.

Perhaps the most useful bits of information relate to the fact that the purchase price hasn’t changed and any alterations would apparently be up to Matt Hulsizer and the City of Glendale. Bettman said that the team’s next owner will likely handle additional losses from the 2010-11 season. (According to Sarah McLellan’s accounts of the press conference.)

So there’s really nothing new to discuss here, other than the fact that the rumors are obviously given that much more credence since Bettman confirmed the big problems and admitted that relocation is a possibility.

It’s tough to refute the sentiment that the situation looks a little dire for the Coyotes’ future in Arizona, but it’s too early to say what will actually happen. The NHL has given the franchise every chance to remain in the Phoenix area, but it might not be in the cards.

Either way, we’ll keep you updated and provide video footage of the press conference if we get the chance.