Roman Hamrlik

Costacos Brothers

NHL Power Rankings: Our favorite classic Costacos Brothers hockey posters

If you’re of a certain age, you probably remember Costacos Brothers posters. Heck, you may have had some up on the walls of your childhood bedroom. The images married sports and pop culture, often dressing up athletes in various costumes to go along with the theme.

Do you remember Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, also known as the Oakland A’s “Bash Brothers,” dressed as the “Blues Brothers,” giant bats and all? Or Lawrence Taylor, with bodies piled around him, dubbed “The Terminator” with lasers shooting out of his fingers? Perhaps you had the one with Karl Malone dressed appropriately to deliver mail?

The posters took off in the mid-1980s and were a big deal for any athlete who was fortunate enough to be a part of one. As Charles Barkley told Amy K. Nelson of SB Nation in 2013, “The poster made you cool. You didn’t make the poster cool.”

We took a dip into the hockey side of the Costacos Brothers poster world and picked out our favorites for this week’s Power Rankings.

1. Ray Bourque

A five-time Norris Trophy winner and stalwart on the Bruins blue line for 20 years, Bourque was clearly suited for the government role of Secretary of Defense. Though, we’re confident that the hockey stick would be a poor weapon in defense compared to that machine gun on the jeep.

2. Luc Robitaille

A play off the Paul Newman movie, here’s Robitaille cozying up next to a Kings-themed motorcycle standing in front of what appears to be an apocalyptic sky behind him. 

3. Jaromir Jagr

“OK, Jaromir, here’s our idea: You’re going to awkwardly stand, full uniform, and look at the camera, letting those bangs out, and you’ll act as a pawn. Czechmate. Get it?”

4. Brett Hull

Hull would definitely fill the “Ice Man” role in a “Top Gun” movie. And you just know he told Adam Oates, “you can be my wingman anytime.”

5. Magic Johnson and Wayne Gretzky

This “LA Story” didn’t end up being as successful as hoped. In the time that “The Great One” and Magic were in Los Angeles together, only the Lakers made the finals, losing both of them. Johnson returned after a four-year retirement in 1995-96, which would turn out to be the final seasons for both in LA.

6. Wayne Gretzky

Wouldn’t you have preferred Gretzky dressed as Wayne Campbell standing in front of a Marcel Dionne’s Donuts instead?

7. Chris Chelios and Jeremy Roenick

The two Blackhawks stars are hanging out in the middle of a lightning storm without a care in the world. They’re basically just here solely to show off their jeans and turtlenecks.

8. Ed Belfour

“The Eagle” put up his best seasons in Dallas, capping it off with the 1999 Stanley Cup. Surely this movie would be more watchable than “The Love Guru,” no?

MORE POWER RANKINGS:
Teams with the best long-term outlook
Looking at the top 2020 free agents
Best 2019-20 free agent signings
The most underrated players
Top MVP candidates

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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.

Roman Hamrlik to announce retirement

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After 20 NHL seasons, Roman Hamrlik is calling it a career.

According to reports from Europe, Hamrlik will retire from hockey.  Roman Jedlicka in the Czech Republic says he’ll make his announcement official in Montreal at a press conference next week.

After so long in the NHL, Hamrlik has had a distinctive career. He was the No. 1 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 1992, the franchise’s first ever draft pick. He played with seven different teams over his career going from Tampa to Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, the New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, and New York Rangers.

He showed he was worthy of his lofty No. 1 pick status right away. In his fourth season, he posted career-highs in goals (16) and points (65) with the Lightning. In his first 18 seasons, he scored 20 or more points each year. He finished his career with 155 goals and 638 points in 1,395 games.

From Yahoo!’s Sean Leahy, here’s video of the day Hamrlik was drafted by Phil Esposito and the Lightning in ’92.

What does Selanne have left to accomplish?

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If Teemu Selanne decides to retire rather than keep his NHL career going at the age of 43, he’ll be hanging up his skates as one of the all-time greats. He has more goals and points than any Finnish player ever, he’s won the Stanley Cup, the Calder Trophy, and was the first player to ever capture the Maurice Richard Trophy.

He’s a future Hall of Famer, but even for a guy like him, there’s always that one extra milestone or accomplishment that’s still out there to be claimed, especially in the NHL with its long and rich history.

So what major accomplishments could Selanne achieve if he decides to extend his career? As part of our Anaheim Ducks day coverage, we’re going to highlight some of the big ones:

— Among Finnish-born players, there’s still one major statistical category that Selanne isn’t the leader in: assists. Jari Kurri has 797 career assists to Selanne’s 755. In other words, Selanne would need to have a pretty good season to surpass Kurri in 2013-14, but that’s certainly not an impossible goal given that Selanne recorded 49 assists as recently as 2010-11.

— Selanne is already the Anaheim Ducks’ franchise leader in games played, goals, and assists, but he could also become the first Anaheim player to ever record 1,000 points in their uniform. Currently Selanne has recorded 961 points as a member of the Ducks, so it wouldn’t take a great season from him to reach that milestone.

— When it comes to games played, Selanne ranks 36th in the NHL’s all-time leaderboard with 1387. If he plays in at least 71 games next season, he’ll rocket up the list and surpass Glen Wesley, along with retired greats like Luc Robitaille and Paul Coffey. The question is where Selanne will end up if he surpasses Wesley and there’s no simple answer. Selanne could end up as high as 20th, but Jaromir Jagr and unrestricted free agent Roman Hamrlik are both ahead of Selanne, so it’s possible for The Finnish Flash to play in a full 82 games and still end up in 22nd place.

— Selanne has 1430 career points, which is good for 15th place on the NHL’s career list. That’s just 37 points shy of Hall of Famer Stan Mikita.

— Perhaps the most interesting thing to watch would be the goal race between Selanne and Jagr. Selanne is 11th on the NHL’s all-time list with 675 while Jagr ranks 10th with 681. Even if Selanne can’t catch up to Jagr though, he is in a position to pass some legendary players like Mario Lemieux (690), Steve Yzerman (692), and Mark Messier (694). Keep in mind that after Selanne and Jagr, the next highest goal scorer on the active list is 36-year-old Jarome Iginla with 530 goals and after that Marian Hossa has 434 goals, so it might be a very long time before anyone else reaches the heights that these two aging stars have achieved.

— An Olympic gold medal. After all, he was invited to Finland’s orientation camp. The best Selanne has ever done in the Olympics was a silver medal in 2006.

Martin Brodeur wins NHL 14 cover vote

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The cover star vote for EA Sports’ upcoming NHL 14 video game came down to a goalie who had an incredible year (Sergei Bobrovsky) vs. one who’s enjoyed an amazing career (Martin Brodeur). The software giant announced that Brodeur won the cover vote on Friday, at the ripe age of 41.

EA Sports also Tweeted what the covers will look like:

source:

It seems like a throwback time for sports video game covers. Michael Jordan graced the cover of two editions of the NBA2K series while Barry Sanders will be the cover star for Madden 25 (at least on the current consoles).

Brodeur is the first goalie to be on the cover of EA’s hockey series since John Vanbiesbrouck took the honor in 1997.

Here’s the reveal trailer:

Brodeur reminds many of NHL 94, but he isn’t a member of the exclusive club of still-active players from that game; that list only includes Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne and Roman Hamrlik.

NHL.com generated a great video as a tribute to the 16-bit era of games, which Brodeur often dominated :

NHL 14 will release on Sept. 10 in North America and Sept. 13 worldwide.

Eastern Conference final team capsules: Pittsburgh Penguins

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A rundown of the East’s top seed, which finished the regular season at 36-12-0.

28th appearance
3 Stanley Cup titles (1991, 1992, 2009)

Studs:

  • Sidney Crosby: 7 goals (T-lead in NHL), 8 assists, 15 points
  • Pascal Dupuis: 7 goals (T-lead in NHL)
  • James Neal: 5 goals, 2 assists, 14 shots on goal in last 2 games
  • Evgeni Malkin: 16 points (T-2nd in NHL) … but only 43.0% on faceoffs
  • Kris Letang: 16 points (T-2nd in NHL, most among defensemen)
  • Paul Martin: 30 blocked shots (5th in NHL)
  • Tomas Vokoun: 6-1, 1.85 GAA (3rd in NHL), .941 save % (2nd in NHL), 1 shutout
  • Team: 6-1 at Consol Energy Center
  • Team: 4.27 goals per game (leads NHL) … highest average since 1992-93 (min. 10 games)
  • Team: 28.3% on power play, 13-for-46 (leads NHL)
  • Team: 89.7% on penalty kill, 35-for-39 (3rd in NHL)
  • Team: 203 blocked shots (T-2nd in NHL)

Duds:

  • Marc-Andre Fleury: 2-2, 3.40 GAA, .891 save%, 1 shutout

Stanley Cup winners with 2009 Penguins (11 players, 2 coaches):

  • Craig Adams, Matt Cooke, Sidney Crosby (captain), Pascal Dupuis, Mark Eaton, Marc-Andre Fleury, Tyler Kennedy, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin (Conn Smythe winner), Brooks Orpik, Dan Bylsma (head coach), Gilles Meloche (asst)

Cup winners with other franchises (1):

  • Chris Kunitz (2007 Ducks)

Seeking first Cup, have played or coached one+ playoff game this postseason (13 players, 2 coaches):

  • Beau Bennett, Tanner Glass, Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Brenden Morrow, James Neal, Brandon Sutter, Joe Vitale, Deryk Engelland, Paul Martin, Douglas Murray, Matt Niskanen, Tomas Vokoun, Tony Granato (asst), Todd Rierden (asst)

Seeking 2013 postseason debut:

  • Robert Bortuzzo (15 regular season games), Dustin Jeffrey (24)

Most career playoff …

  • Games: Chris Kunitz, 95
  • Goals: Sidney Crosby, 40
  • Points: Sidney Crosby, 105

Last playoff …

  • Hat trick: James Neal, May 24, 2013 (vs. Senators, Game 5, ECSF)
  • 4-point game: James Neal (3 goals, assist), May 24, 2013 (vs. Senators, Game 5, ECSF)
  • Short-handed goal: Pascal Dupuis, May 22, 2013 (at Senators, Game 4, ECSF)
  • Fight: Evgeni Malkin, May 7, 2013 (Travis Hamonic, at Islanders, Game 4, ECQF)
  • Shutout: Marc-Andre Fleury, May 1, 2013 (vs. Islanders, Game 1, ECQF)

Playoff trend:

  • The Penguins made the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.
  • The Penguins earned the top record in their conference for the second time (1992-93)

Milestones:

  • With two points, Sidney Crosby (105) will move past Kevin Stevens for 3rd on the all-time points list in Penguins postseason history … Mario Lemieux (172) and Bruins’ Jaromir Jagr (147) are 1-2
  • With three points, Evgeni Malkin (97) will reach the 100-point mark and tie Ron Francis for 5th on the all-time points list in Penguins postseason history
  • In the ECQF, Marc-Andre Fleury tied Tom Barrasso for the most career shutouts (6) by a goaltender in Penguins postseason history
  • Jarome Iginla has played 1,232 regular season games without winning a Stanley Cup, 3rd-most among active players (Roman Hamrlik – 1,395; Shane Doan – 1,246)
  • In the ECSF, the Penguins clinched a series on home ice for the 1st time under Dan Bylsma (1-6)
  • Evgeni Malkin has the most single-postseason points (36, in 2008-09) among active players

2012-13 season

  • Longest win streak: 15 (March 2 – 30), 2nd longest in NHL history (1992-93 Penguins had 17)
  • Longest winless streak: 2 (on five occasions)

Biggest storylines of season & postseason:

  • March 2-30: “The Streak II” or “The March through March” … following the Blackhawks’ NHL-record 24-game unbeaten streak in regulation to begin the season, the Penguins came within two wins of tying the 20-year-old NHL record of 17 consecutive wins (1992-92 Penguins)
  • March 30: A deflected slapshot to Sidney Crosby’s jaw costs the superstar the last 12 games of the regular season
  • Trade deadline acquisitions of veterans Brenden Morrow (Stars), Jarome Iginla (Flames), Jussi Jokinen (Hurricanes) & Douglas Murray (Sharks) helps offset injuries to Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Paul Martin & Kris Letang
  • The Penguins become the only NHL team without an overtime/shootout loss this regular season (5-0) … in the first two playoff rounds, they won their first two OT games (Games 3 & 6 at N.Y. Islanders), but lost in 2OT in Game 3 at Senators
  • May 9: Tomas Vokoun replaces Marc-Andre Fleury in net before Game 5 of the ECQF and posts a shutout
  • May 17 & 24: Sidney Crosby (Game 2) & James Neal (Game 5) score hat tricks in ECSF vs. Ottawa

Award finalists:

  • Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (Perseverance and dedication to hockey): Sidney Crosby

Concussion problems limited Crosby to just 63 games over the previous two seasons. However, he bounced back this season with 15 goals and 56 points in 36 contests.

  • Hart Memorial Trophy (Most valuable player to his team): Sidney Crosby

Despite missing 12 games (jaw surgery), Crosby had 56 points (T-3rd in NHL), 41 assists (2nd in NHL), was a +26 (4th in NHL), played 21:06 per game (6th among NHL forwards)

  • Ted Lindsay Award (Most outstanding player as voted by members of the NHLPA): Sidney Crosby
  • James Norris Memorial Trophy (Top defenseman): Kris Letang

Despite missing 13 games, Letang had 38 points (T-NHL lead among defensemen), was a +16 and played 25:38 per game (7th in NHL)
NHL General Manager of the Year: Ray Shero