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Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Montreal Canadiens Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:37:35 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Buffalo Sabres Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:20:11 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Carolina Hurricanes Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:14:54 PDT)

What We Learned: What do players really owe their NHL teams? (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 18 Aug 2014 05:58:12 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Most Disappointing Summer Series: Florida Panthers Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 17 Aug 2014 14:20:13 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment Series: Los Angeles Kings Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 16 Aug 2014 13:24:22 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: New Jersey Devils Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:00:36 PDT)
(Ed. Note: There’s entirely too much sunshine in the summer. So your friends at Puck Daddy are offering a month of thrown shade and perpetual gloom. Behold, our Summer of Disappointment series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to recall the biggest bummer moments, teams and players in franchise history! Please wade into their misery like a freezing resort pool, and add your own choices in the comments!) By Greg Wyshynski, Puck Daddy Editor (and Jersey native) Most Disappointing Team: 1995-96 New Jersey Devils I was tempted to put the 1988-89 Devils here, which was a team that followed their first-ever playoff appearance with a fifth-place clunker that saw their point total drop by 16, with mostly the same roster. But at least that playoff team was one that needed to qualify in the last game of the season. It’s not like they, you know, won the Stanley Cup or anything ... The 1995-96 Devils were, on the other hand, defending Stanley Cup champions and hence their failure to make the playoffs the following year – becoming the first NHL team to go from top of the playoffs to out of the money since 1970 – was the franchise’s greatest disappointment. Devoid of the chemistry they showed in 1995, lackluster seasons from key players and a Cup hangover that lasted through December. Just an ugly season, and not just because they traded for Esa Tikkanen. Most Disappointing Devil: Neil Brady I wanted to keep this one to homegrown Devils and not ones acquired in trades, because, seriously, Esa Tikkanen. So the most disappointing Devils is then an indisputable bust named Neil Brady. He was awesome in juniors with Medicine Hat, including 83 points in 72 games one season. The Devils saw him as a dynamic forward that could slot behind Kirk Muller for years to come, and drafted him No. 3 overall in 1986. As one Devil at the time once relayed to me: Brady showed up in camp and was winded during the most basic drills, and the veterans let him know about it. Confidence shattered, Beef O‘Brady would play 29 games with the Devils before being shipped to the expansion Ottawa Senators. He scored their first-ever goal had a career-high 29 points in 57 games. Alas, he would play only 89 games total in the NHL, spending the majority of his veteran playing days in the IHL. So he was a huge bust, but no biggie – it’s not like Vincent Damphousse or Brian Leetch were on the draft board at No. 3. Oh, right, they were. Le sigh … Most Disappointing Moment in Devils History: Niedermayer leaves No, not the Stephane Matteau goal. Three Cups, including one the following season, should have stitched up that pulsating wound. Not to mention Adam Henrique in 2012. No, not Parise leaving for Minnesota, but it comes close. No, not Kovalchuk leaving for Russia, because at the end of the day, cap recapture is a thing and the Devils got out under a contract that was toxic in the new CBA.  No, the most disappointing moment was Scott Niedermayer leaving to play with his brother. To set the scene: It was after the lockout. Scott Stevens was likely headed to retirement, due to post-concussion syndrome. Niedermayer was about to inherit the mantle as the Devils’ franchise defensive player. They offered him five years and $1 million annually more than the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim did. ($7.8 million per season!) But they couldn’t offer Rob Niedermayer. So Scotty left to play with his bro and won a fourth Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. The Devils have yet to win one without Scott Niedermayer on the roster. Most Disappointing Devils Transaction: The Doug Gilmour Trade The word is “disappointing,” not worst. Worst could be Sean O’Donnell for Willie Mitchell, in hindsight. Or, you know, Esa Tikkanen. But for many of us, getting Gilmour was the first time the Devils were ever the belle of the trade deadline ball. It was the first time the Devils acquired a star offensive player near his prime (with due respect to Peter Stastny, Bernie Nicholls and Neal Broten). The full Feb. 1997 trade was Dave Ellett, Doug Gilmour and a 3rd round selection (previously acquired - Andre Lakos) from Toronto to the New Jersey Devils for Jason Smith, Steve Sullivan and the rights to Alyn McCauley. Ellett was a pylon. Gilmour played 83 games for the Devils, scoring 75 points. But he had four points in 10 playoff games in 1996-97, before scoring five in six games in the 1998 loss to the Ottawa Senators, proving you can take the boy out of the Battle of Ontario, but yadda yadda yadda … The other side of the trade featured Smith, who would go on to have a solid NHL career as a stay-at-home defenseman; Sullivan a spark-plug offensive player for the next decade; and McCauley, while never reaching his potential due to concussions, ended up as a serviceable forward for the Leafs and the Sharks. In hindsight, it was a move the Devils still should have made. But Gilmour simply never fulfilled the promise of that jaw-dropping acquisition. Most Disappointing Devils Coach/Executive: John MacLean He went from scoring the most important goal in Devils history to being its most hapless head coach, lasting 33 games and nine wins before getting the axe in 2010-11. Most disappointing, overwhelmed, terrible … really, pick your poison. Most Disappointing Devils Fashion Choice: No Black Jersey

Happy Kevin Hayes Day, NHL (Trending Topics) (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 15 Aug 2014 07:13:43 PDT)
Tomorrow is Aug. 16, and many Blackhawk fans know all too well what that means.   In yet another case of something that happens every once in a while (though perhaps not as often as one might expect), a former college player has decided he doesn't want to play for the team that drafted him, and will instead hit the open market if that club cannot sign him before the end of Aug. 15. As far as the Blackhawks are concerned, they have basically no chance of signing former Boston College star and 2010 first-round pick Kevin Hayes before that date. There have been a lot of reasons for this decision by Hayes advanced, and a few of them sound fairly credible. He's a right wing, for one thing, and the Blackhawks have more than enough help on that side between Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Kris Versteeg, and Ben Smith. Further, Chicago had previously drafted Hayes's older brother Jimmy (a Toronto second-rounder) who spent a few seasons toiling in the Blackhawks system, not really getting a prolonged shot at the NHL, before being traded to Florida last season. Depending upon whom you believe, the divorce might not have been that amicable. There's also the matter of Kevin Hayes probably feeling like he deserves at least a half-decent shot at the NHL, given that he torched college hockey for 65 points in 40 games this past season, playing alongside Hobey Baker winner Johnny Gaudreau, who had the single most impressive college season since Paul Kariya put up 100 points in 39 games in the early 1990s. Hayes, in fact, should have been a Hobey finalist along with his linemate, because his 65 points were second only to Gaudreau's in the whole country, but for the Western contingent of college hockey voters having a hard-on for now-Kings prospect Nic Dowd, who had 25 fewer points than Hayes. The Blackhawks, though, weren't going to give him that shot, because of the depth reasons listed above, and because they're already in a bit of a cap crunch (insofar as they're already over the limit). And so it was that Hayes has always appeared likely to try to move on to another team by simply waiting out the CBA's signing period for graduated college players. The reports basically all summer out of Chicago have screamed, “This kid isn't signing here.” So the question becomes which team is likely to sign him, and obviously it's tough to nail down the answer. The long-running favorite in the minds of many is Calgary, which long ago drafted and this spring signed both of Hayes's linemates, Gaudreau and center Bill Arnold. Hayes has, in the past, called the two players his best friends . It's difficult to put into words just how badly these three players, playing together for the vast majority of this past season, torched college hockey. The stats themselves tell a pretty simple story: In the 26 of BC's 40 games they played as linemates, the three combined for 54-70-124. Absolutely ludicrous production from three guys who were probably in the top six players in all of college hockey last season. And the thing is, it would be easy to dismiss any of their production as being the result of Gaudreau simply being awe-inspiring (he is), but they actually worked exceptionally well together overall. Gaudreau was certainly the creative dynamo who could do things no one else could. Arnold was the steadfast rock of two-way hockey who enabled the free-wheeling style of his two linemates. And Hayes used a completely revamped game — following a career-threatening injury at the end of 2012-13 that required a few surgeries — to be the real skull-cracker of the set, not with simple physical hockey, but because he just skated at teams and then went through them and scored. In fact, another reason Hayes wasn't a Hobey finalist was because of the impression among those who didn't see BC very often was that his scoring this season was Gaudreau-driven. And while playing with the best player in NCAA hockey over the last two decades or so doesn't hurt, those who saw Hayes a lot last year — for me, it was 15 times live — know that wasn't the case. Even before they were put together on Dec. 6, Hayes put up a “mere” 21 points in 14 games by lugging inferior linemates to success. Thus, with Gaudreau, his points per game went up by just 0.19, a little less than 13 percent. Point being: He was a star no matter who he played with. This misconception probably comes from Hayes having only posted 67 points in his career prior to this past season, in 102 games. Nearly doubling your career output in a single season usually draws out the doubters, but the numbers suggest he wasn't lucky, and the actual game-watching suggests he wasn't merely a product of Gaudreau. The improvement came because he realized that at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, he didn't have to try to finesse his way around guys who were as much as three or four years older than him. That was youthful hubris; he brought so much skill to the table as a freshman, sophomore, and junior, that he thought it was all he needed to rely on. I don't know what it says about a player who needs three years, and some disciplinary problems, to get his head on straight and realize he can just bully opposing players. But Hayes got there eventually, and in doing so succeeded on an absurd level. He knows he can go through anyone based on his high skill level and physical size. He's also pretty safe in his own zone, and in fact was deployed as a defenseman for a time earlier in his college career, when BC simply ran out of healthy bodies to put on the blue line. He didn't expose himself too badly there. One thing he's not, however, is suited to play an “energy” role. He's big and he can throw the body around if need be, but that's not his game and asking him to play it is a misuse of talent. In short, he's a big, heavy, high-scoring, 22-year-old left-shot right wing (and occasional defenseman) who can take a draw if needed, who isn't afraid to play physical, who has the upside to play in the top-six. There should be a line of teams around the block for him. And all that sounds like Calgary is the most ideal scenario for Hayes, who as a right wing would probably be able to slot in very nicely indeed with the Flames' NHL depth down that side. Their current No. 2 natural right winger — i.e. not a guy converted from the left side — is Brian McGrattan, and no, that's not a typo. The thing with signing college free agents is that even if they don't become NHL players they're a way to stock your AHL club with players without giving up any other assets of note. Sometimes, teams will even trade guys who are unlikely to sign to teams to which they might be more amenable in exchange for something as simple as a late-round pick, because at least then you're getting something back. Most recently, Calgary did this with borderline NHLer Corban Knight, who didn't want to play for the Panthers after a four-year career at North Dakota. As a result, other teams have emerged as suitors as well, as you might expect. We've heard rumors that the New York Rangers are considered a possible landing spot, and that makes sense. For one thing, Hayes played with Chris Kreider early in his Boston College career, and for another, the cash-rich Rangers love dipping into the college free agent pool whenever possible (they most notably added Union defenseman Mat Bodie, Vermont two-way star Chris McCarthy, and RPI scorer Ryan Haggerty this year alone). Hayes would be another great addition in Hartford, if nothing else. Then there's the Boston Bruins, themselves no strangers to signing college kids (Michigan State's Torey Krug is probably the recent poster boy, but getting Minnesota's Blake Wheeler after he refused to sign with Phoenix is another, more applicable example). Hayes played for Boston College. He grew up in Dorchester, cheering for the Bruins. The storyline-related fit is natural, even if the hockey one is square peg in a kind-of-rectangular hole. Then there's the idea that Florida, also not-inactive on the NCAA free agent market, would be in the conversation because they're the team that has his brother. And they don't have the best right wing group in the world either. It also wouldn't be shocking to see a few other teams make a go of it, like San Jose or Minnesota or Tampa, all of which are quite practiced at signing college free agents with a certain amount of glee. But whichever team gets him, they're getting a prospect of good quality who seems capable of contributing at the NHL level, in some way, right this second. For a lot of teams, he'd probably jump right into their organizational top-five or so. Were I a betting man, though, I'd push a lot of money onto the “Calgary” option, because it really does seem like the best fit. Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here .

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Winnipeg Jets (and Jets 1.0 and Thrashers) Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 14 Aug 2014 13:32:46 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: San Jose Sharks Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:26:42 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Edmonton Oilers Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:31:06 PDT)

Fantasy owners must be aware of goalie trends (NHL)
(Tue, 12 Aug 2014 09:15:00 PDT)
It's no secret that goaltenders can make or break a fantasy team's championship aspirations.

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Minnesota Wild Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:00:49 PDT)

What We Learned: Is this the Red Wings' last stand? (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 11 Aug 2014 07:26:46 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Arizona Coyotes Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 10 Aug 2014 08:44:15 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Ottawa Senators Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 09 Aug 2014 07:20:26 PDT)

Minor league hockey's massive makeover could cause NHL shockwaves (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 09 Aug 2014 06:01:55 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Most Disappointing Summer Series: Washington Capitals Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:00:40 PDT)

2014-15 Preview - Part 4 (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 08 Aug 2014 02:51:00 PDT)
Corey Abbott previews Washington, Anaheim, Arizona, Calgary and Edmonton.

Kings to honor Robitaille with statue (The SportsXchange)
(Thu, 07 Aug 2014 11:31:16 PDT)
The Los Angeles Kings will honor Luc Robitaille with a statue in Star Plaza at Staples Center as part of their Legends Night Series, the team announced Thursday. Robitaille, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame who scored 668 goals in a career that saw him spend 14 of his 19 NHL seasons with the Kings, is scheduled to be honored prior to the March 7 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Robitaille currently serves as president of business operations for the Kings. The statue, to be created by renowned artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany, will join other iconic sculptures of celebrated Los Angeles sports superstars including Wayne Gretzky and Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Colorado Avalanche Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:13:33 PDT)

Ekblad concussed; Pens re-sign Sutter; 2014 USA Hockey HOF class announced (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:12:08 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Boston Bruins Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 05 Aug 2014 13:35:41 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Dallas Stars Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 05 Aug 2014 11:04:49 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: New York Islanders Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 04 Aug 2014 08:48:42 PDT)

What We Learned: Why PK Subban is perhaps too selfless (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 04 Aug 2014 07:16:57 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: St. Louis Blues Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 03 Aug 2014 10:51:26 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Calgary Flames Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 02 Aug 2014 11:05:17 PDT)

Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: New York Rangers Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:30:01 PDT)

Lindros finally a HOFer; Spaling, Pens avoid arbitration; hottest NHL logo (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:16:26 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. . @PKSubban1 @canadiensmtl is not only the best black player in #hockey , he might be the best player. What an incredible talent! — Larry King (@kingsthings) July 31, 2014 • Hopefully P.K. Subban’s agent submits this as part of his arbitration case Friday, should things get that far. • Will the $5.25 million salary arbitration offer the Montreal Canadiens submitted for Subban be remembered by the defenseman down the line? [ CBC ] • Meanwhile, Subban’s agent said he wasn’t instructed by his client to make him the league’s top-earning blue liner. [ PHT ] • The Philadelphia Flyers announced that John LeClair, Eric Desjardins and Eric Lindros will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame this season. [ Flyers ] • Nick Spaling and the Pittsburgh Penguins avoid arbitration and agree to a two-year, $4.4 million deal. [ Penguins ] • Paul Stastny’s signing in St. Louis means the Blues have employed a trio of Stastny’s. [ Post-Dispatch ] • The Vancouver Canucks changing jerseys again? Can Johnny Canuck make it on the front of the jersey this time? [ Nucks Misconduct ]  • Barry Trotz will put his stamp on the Washington Capitals forward group, thanks to the fact he’ll have some options to play with. [ Japers’ Rink ] • Paul Bissonnette on his uncertain future: "There's a stalemate right now where some are either at the cap, maybe a little bit below it or over it where they want to make moves, but teams are waiting. I find that one or two trades are going to spark more movement." [ Arizona Republic ]  • How did the biggest trades from last season work out for each team? [ Grantland ] • An unofficial list of Ottawa Senators marketing slogans, including, “This Town Needs a REDnema.” [ Welcome to Your Karlsson Years ]  • Kevin Hayes is going to hit the open market after failing to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks. Should the Vancouver Canucks get involved in the sweepstakes? [ Canucks Army ] • Kale Clague has a cool name and he’s also ready to make an impact with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings. [ Buzzing the Net ]  • Time’s running out for Max Reinhart to make an impact with the Calgary Flames. [ Flames Nation ] • Who’s the most frustrating player in fantasy hockey: Cam Ward or Mike Green? [ Dobber Hockey ] • What is the hottest logo in hockey? It’s a bit of a throwback. [ Hockey By Design ] • Finally, the NHL on FOX commercials from the 1990s are probably something we'll never see again:

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