Bobby Clarke

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Habs’ Domi using special sticks to further diabetes awareness

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Tuesday’s matchup between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

Hockey players are creatures of habit. Their lives are ruled by routine. Sleeping, eating, training, each day is meticulously planned out. For Max Domi, that’s his life as well, but as a Type 1 diabetic there’s even more he has to worry about on a daily basis.

The Montreal Canadiens forward has been living with diabetes since he was 12 years old. The routine of making sure Domi gets the right doses of insulin, constantly checking his blood sugar levels, ensuring he’s eating the right foods, properly hydrating, and taking the right natural supplements to help his immune system, along with trying to maintain his talent as a professional hockey player is his life. It’s the reason why his recently released book is titled, “No Days Off: My Life with Type 1 Diabetes and Journey to the NHL

“Everything I do is calculated, it’s for as reason, it’s different, and something I put a lot of time and effort into,” Domi told NBC Sports this week. “I’m still adapting and making changes with doctors and trainers.”

When Domi was younger, he wasn’t as strict with staying on top of dealing with his diabetes. He wanted to be like other kids, but not keeping to his new routine affected his play on the ice. One day, he told himself that if he wanted to move up the ladder in hockey and one day play in the NHL he would have to make changes.

Domi had already seen what could be possible if he was smart about treating the disease. When he was 13, he met Philadelphia Flyers legend Bobby Clarke, also a Type 1 diabetic, at the International Silver Stick tournament in Whitby, Ontario. Given that his father, Tie, was an NHLer, the younger Domi was used to meeting famous people. But his interaction with Clarke had a profound effect on him. From then on, he understood that it was possible to play hockey at a higher level even with such a dramatic shift in his daily life.

When Domi was diagnosed, his family didn’t know much about the disease and didn’t understand what went into the care. They soon learned how much their lives would change.

“It was a culture shock for my entire family, which I think a lot of families can relate to,” Domi said. “You kind of get hit by a truck and it’s very overwhelming. You just take it in stride and you get better and better, and it gets easier and easier every day. You just learn about all the different aspects of the disease. There’s a lot of different variables. It’s an extremely complex disease and it’s not something you can just flip the switch on or off.

“You’re on 24/7, and from the day you’re diagnosed you’re always learning. I’m still learning today and I’m playing at the highest level of my sport as possible and I’m still making mistakes and I’m still learning from them every single day. It speaks to how complex this disease is, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s with you and you can’t take a second off.”

Along with the book, Domi has also designed a special Bauer stick that he is using for Montreal’s 13 November games to further raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes. 

Some of the specific elements on the stick include the skylines of Montreal and Toronto, his hometown; his caduceus tattoo; the names and number of every Canadiens player who has their jersey retired within the Bauer logo; the names of Clarke, Mats Sundin, his idol, and his service dog, Orion, who was trained as a puppy to detect through scent when Domi’s blood sugar levels are off; and the title of his book.

Bauer Hockey

There are a limited number of sticks, with some being distributed as prizes through Domi’s social media channels and the rest auctioned off to benefit the forward’s charity, The Max Domi Fund for Type 1 Diabetes.

“I know when I was a kid I always wanted rare sticks like that and sticks that were one-of-one, so it’s pretty special,” he said.

Since meeting with Clarke a decade ago, Domi has wanted to use his platform to make a difference in the lives of fellow Type 1 diabetics. When he meets with kids who have the disease the most common question he gets is how he can play hockey at such a high level while dealing with it every day. He’e sure to emphasis with them and their parents that what they have to go through isn’t easy and everyone has a different path.

As he becomes the face for the disease to many, Domi is eager to continue the fight.

“It’s amazing the tight-knit community we have and how much we can help one another and make a difference in this community,” he said. “We’re all trying to find a cure. We’re all trying to make our lives a lot easier, and that’s what we’re doing and that’s my main goal with this whole thing — to help as many kids out as possible and show them you can have a dream in your life and you can do whatever you want.

“You can still have Type 1 diabetes and it’s not going to get in your way and you can turn it into a positive one way or another.”

Kathryn Tappen will anchor tonight’s studio coverage with Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter. John Forslund and Mike Milbury will have the call from Bell Centre in Montreal, Que.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Report: Flyers promote Ron Hextall as GM, Holmgren to president

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The Philadelphia Flyers front office will have a new look to it very soon.

The Flyers have called a press conference at 11:30 a.m. ET to announce front office promotions. According to Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com, the announcement will be to promote Paul Holmgren as the team president and Ron Hextall as the new general manager.

This news comes as a bit of a surprise as it was less than a week ago it was announced Holmgren was staying on as the GM. Instead now he’s moving on up and Hextall takes over. Perhaps the rash of GM openings around the league pressed the Flyers into action if they wanted to retain Hextall.

Hextall has been an assistant GM since 2006. After seven years with the Los Angeles Kings in that role, Hextall became Holmgren’s assistant GM with the Flyers in July 2013. He’s been preparing and ready for a job like this for some time now.

Holmgren has been the Flyers GM since 2006-07 when he took over for Bobby Clarke. He’s been in the Flyers organization since 1995-96 when he was the head of pro scouting and then moved up to assistant GM in 1997-98.

Video: Ilya Bryzgalov’s Winter Classic mask is the most Philly thing ever

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Ilya Bryzgalov has already endeared himself to all of us thanks to 24/7, but now he’s giving it up for the fans in Philly with the mask he’ll be wearing for the 2012 Winter Classic.

Instead of opting for Rocky Balboa and Benjamin Franklin, he’s running with Philly sports icons Reggie White, Mike Schmidt, “Dr. J” Julius Erving, Bobby Clarke, and Joe Frazier. If this mask was any more Philly it’d have a crazed Danny DeVito eating a sandwich from Geno’s/Pat’s/Tony Luke’s while playing flip cup. This is pretty cool just the same.

PHT Morning Skate: Turris excited to go to Canadian market

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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.

Kyle Turris talks about his excitement to play with the Ottawa Senators—and a Canadian market. He better produce quickly or all of that added exposure could turn into a heavy burden. (Senators Official)

Now that the Senators hope they’ve landed their No. 2 center with Turris, the Derick Brassard trade rumors to Ottawa should be a thing of the past. (QMI Agency)

Pat Hickey returns! This time, he’s telling us that Jacques Martin was just a scapegoat for the troubles in Montreal. (Montreal Gazette)

Unfortunately, it looks like the hockey world has yet another racial controversy on its hands. This time, we look to the OHL for the alleged insults. (Buzzing the Net)

Bobby Clarke has plenty of ideas when it comes to the concussions around the NHL. You know, because he was so anti-violence when he was a player. S/T to Kukla’s Korner. (PhillyBurbs.com)

Speaking of Flyers captains of the past, are Eric Lindros and the Flyers organization ready to bury the hatchet once and for all? (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Adrian Dater doesn’t care about scoring. He says the NHL game is better than ever. (Denver Post)

Here’s what Evgeni Malkin had to say after his hat trick against the Sabres: “My first shot, I scored. Second shot, I score again. It’s a lucky day for me.” Yeah, it’s all luck Geno. (Post-Gazette)

The GM is getting booed at Nationwide Arena and beat-writers are calling the playoffs a “pipe dream.” Needless to say, things could be better in Columbus (Puck-Rakers)

Bad news for the San Jose Sharks. Martin Havlat had some issues trying to make a line change on Saturday night and was seen leaving the arena with a cane. Here’s why: (CSN Bay Area)

Clarke willing to shake Lindros’ hand at Winter Classic

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Bobby Clarke versus Eric Lindros is one of the most infamous and heated feuds in hockey history. But could it be coming to an end this December?

Clarke seems to think so.

Prior to the Flyers hosting the Rangers at the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic on Jan. 2, there’ll be an alumni game on Dec. 31 in which both Clarke and Lindros will play as teammates. The two haven’t spoken since Clarke acrimoniously sent Lindros to the Rangers back in 2001, but the former Philly GM seems ready to let bygones be bygones.

“As far as I’m concerned, (the feud) is over,” Clarke told the Burlington County Times. “I couldn’t be bothered one way or the other. He helped the Flyers, why shouldn’t he be with the Flyers? I’m not mad at him. I’ll shake hands with him. It’s not going to affect my life one way or the other if he doesn’t (reciprocate).”

Yep, sounds like he’s totally over it. No hard feelings there.

To be fair, Clarke v. Lindros was one of the ugliest, nastiest personal feuds in NHL history. The fact that was played out in the media only made it worse, and probably played a large role in why it still resonates today.

If you’re unfamiliar with the gory details, here’s a fairly concise recap from CBC:

Eric Lindros won an NHL MVP award in 1995 and led the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup final in 1997, but he quicky fell out of favour with Flyers GM Bob Clarke, who publicly questioned the towering forward’s toughness as he missed time with concussion problems.

The feud boiled over in 1999 when Lindros suffered a collapsed lung during a game in Nashville. Flyers trainers failed to diagnose the injury and were ordered to put Lindros on a plane back to Philadelphia. Lindros got to hospital only at the insistence of his hotel roommate, Keith Jones, leading Lindros’ father to write the team a letter saying his son would be dead had he listened to the Flyers’ medical staff.

After being stripped of his captaincy the following year, Lindros refused to re-sign with Philadelphia in the summer of 2000 and demanded that Clarke trade his rights to Toronto. The GM refused and Lindros sat out the following season, during which a defiant Clarke said, “I don’t give a s— if [Lindros] plays another game.” Eventually, though, Clarke gave in and shipped Lindros to the New York Rangers.

Clarke has maintained it was Lindros and his family that had a problem with the Flyers, not the other way around.

“I haven’t spoken to him,’’ Clarke said. “When he first went to the Rangers, he wouldn’t speak to me. But no big deal. The Lindros family caused the Flyers a lot of grief. (Eric) was bitter at us. They were the ones who were resentful, not me.’’

For the record, Lindros has stated he’s ready to bury the hatchet.

“I can’t wait to get back there, see them and play for the fans again. Looks to be a great event,” The Big E said in an email to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. “It was very nice of Bob to say some of the things he has said, and I too look forward to catching up with him.”