St. Louis Blues

Devils to celebrate 20th anniversary of first Stanley Cup title

13 Comments

The New Jersey Devils will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1995 Stanley Cup title the weekend of March 7-8, when, according to the club, “more than 20 players and coaches” will reunite.

The Saturday will feature an alumni game at AmeriHealth Pavilion; Sunday, there will be a ceremony prior to the Devils taking on the Flyers at Prudential Center.

“We are all looking forward to welcoming the coaches, players and staff, as well as their families, from our first championship team back here to New Jersey,” said Devils GM Lou Lamoriello in a release. “That was a team with tremendous character, with great coaches, great players and quality individuals.  They set the standard to which all of our other teams have been compared to.”

It wasn’t announced who, exactly, would be in attendance for the reunion. The ’95 team, coached by Jacques Lemaire, featured Martin Brodeur in goal, with Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens, and Ken Daneyko on defense, and Claude Lemieux, Stephane Richer, Neal Broten, and John MacLean leading the forwards.

The Devils, making their first ever Stanley Cup Final appearance, swept the favored Red Wings in four games.

Report: Pens made offer for Winnik prior to Lapierre trade

13 Comments

Say this for Jim Rutherford — he’s putting in work.

Having already made one significant deal in acquiring David Perron earlier this month, the Pens GM obtained another forward on Tuesday night by getting Maxim Lapierre from St. Louis in exchange for Marcel Goc.

And, it seems, Lapierre wasn’t the only forward Rutherford was in on.

“The Pittsburgh Penguins, a week ago, made an offer on Daniel Winnik,” TSN’s Darren Dreger reported last night. “Obviously, it wasn’t good enough for Dave Nonis and the Maple Leafs to bite.”

Winnik, 29, is having a fairly solid year with the Leafs this season, having appeared in 46 of 48 games while sitting eighth on the team in scoring with 20 points. A big body — 6-foot-2, 210 pounds — the well-traveled journeyman seemed like an ideal fit for Rutherford, who as repeatedly said he’d like to increase secondary scoring, most notably in his bottom-six forward group.

“If we could get some more offense from our fourth line, that would be good,” Rutherford said on Tuesday night after last night’s trade.

Safe to say that, despite the Perron and Lapierre acquisitions, Rutherford could still very well be in the mix to made more deals.

NHL on NBCSN: Penguins kick off Rivalry Night vs. Capitals

3 Comments

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Washington Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Verizon Center at 8:00 p.m. ET tonight as part of a back-to-back set of games on NBCSN on Wednesday. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have held up their end of the bargain in maintaining one of the NHL’s most organic rivalries, yet they’re waiting for the Washington Capitals to fully rebound to the form that had hockey fans daydreaming about perennial playoff matches between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

The two teams will renew acquaintances on Wednesday night, as “Rivalry Night” presents quite the appetizing double-header of games.

It’s unclear if Crosby will be able to play tonight, as he’s targeting either Wednesday or Friday as a return date from the lower-body injury that caused some controversy.

The Penguins showed that they can still win down some key players last night, as they cooled the hot Winnipeg Jets 5-3 on the strength of Kris Letang’s impressive five-assist output. With Patric Hornqvist back in the mix, it’s still a group that demands respect from opponents.

Washington shouldn’t be short on respect for the Penguins anyway, as Pittsburgh had won eight straight regular season matchups before a Dec. 27 win by the Caps.

After a stretch in which they earned a point in all but one of 19 games (going 14-1-4), the Capitals are struggling right now, dropping four straight losses. They fell 4-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, even with Sergei Bobrovsky on the mend for quite some time.

On the bright side, Ovechkin has been scoring at a very nice clip. While he didn’t generate a point last night, Ovechkin went into the All-Star break on a three-game multi-point streak (five goals, one assist). With both teams dealing with similar fatigue challenges, Ovechkin could very well be that much tougher to handle.

The Penguins followed Tuesday’s win by trading Marcel Goc for Maxim Lapierre, so we’ll see if the pest makes his Pittsburgh debut tonight.

Thomas Greiss went for the Penguins last night, so one would expect Marc-Andre Fleury to be in Pittsburgh’s net. Similar logic would indicate that Justin Peters may get the nod for Washington, although Braden Holtby’s been enough of a workhorse that both possibilities seem reasonable.

There’s enough on the line that the two squads can really start to rekindle the rivalry tonight. It probably wouldn’t take much to fan the flames there, after all.

PHT Morning Skate: Saying goodbye to Martin Brodeur (plus a brutal Sidney Crosby typo)

11 Comments

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.

After a brief jaunt with the St. Louis Blues, Martin Brodeur is hanging up his leg pads and taking a front office job. Let’s take a look at some of what’s been said and written about the departing legend in a special Marty-heavy edition of the PHT Morning Skate.

Martin Brodeur: By the Numbers. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Brodeur retired to take a job in the Blues’ front office. Shouldn’t he be getting such a gig with the New Jersey Devils instead? (In Lou We Trust)

Patrick Roy’s take on Brodeur retiring. (Puck Daddy)

Apparently the Blues gave Brodeur a very “St. Louis” goodbye message. (St. Louis Game Time)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Wednesday at 7:30pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

NBCSN shared two videos on Brodeur last night.

First, here’s a collection of reactions from players and coaches:

Finally, Mike Milbury and Keith Jones share some memories:

***

A few non-Brodeur bits really quick …

This is, um, regrettable.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman wants to be an all-around threat.

Trade: Pens acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc

63 Comments

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Maxim Lapierre from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Marcel Goc Tuesday night.

Lapierre had two goals and nine points to go along with 16 penalty minutes in 45 games with the Blues this season.

The 29-year-old will likely slot in as the Penguins’ fourth line center. He is expected to make his debut for Pittsburgh on Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals.

Goc had two goals and four assists to go along with a minus-2 rating in 43 games this season with the Penguins. The 31-year-old was a reliable faceoff man for Pittsburgh winning 54 percent of his draws.

Both players are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents following this season.