I took the last couple of days off for a couple of reasons. First, I got a pretty decent sunburn from the incredible weather over the weekend when I was playing in the softball tournament. The 30+ Celcius (approximately 90F) temperatures finally arrived and had nothing but clear blue skies to operate in, making the sunburn factor high. Secondly, the nice weather has encouraged me to spend more time in the pool and less time indoors. Air conditioning is nice and everything, but there's nothing like summer in the pool. Lastly, it's been all quiet on the hockey front aside from the KHL and NHL jostling for compensation over players who can't decide where they want to play. Let's take a look at some of the stories I opted to avoid over the last few days.
- The recent report from the Bertuzzi-Moore civil case that is taking place is that head coach Marc Crawford did not order Todd Bertuzzi to attack Steve Moore. Moore, of course, broke his neck, and has never played in the NHL again. In fact, it was said that Bertuzzi acted in "direct disobedience" of his coaches, and skipped a line change after killing off a penalty moments before the attack happened. However, given the charges that could potentially be handed out to Crawford if found guilty, this seems to be a cop-out. Former Canucks GM Dave Nonis testified that he recalled Crawford stating that he had told Bertuzzi to get off the ice, but Nonis stated that this recollection by Crawford came in the "weeks afterwards", not hours or days later. More to come on this one. It could get ugly.
- Free agent Mats Sundin is apparently not interested in becoming a New York Ranger despite some reports. Here's an update for Sundin's agent, JP Berry: no one cares.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins' blueline took a hit this week as defenceman Ryan Whitney had surgery to correct a chronic foot condition. It has been said that recovery time could be anywhere from three to five months, meaning Whitney could first see the ice in January if it takes the maximum time to recover. Mark Eaton will need to step up while Whitney is out.
- Former NHL player Alyn McCauley has joined the coaching staff of the Queen's University Golden Gaels hockey program in Canada. A series of knee injuries forced McCauley's premature retirement at the age of 31 as a player, but he has now decided to take his hockey knowledge behind the bench as an assistant coach. Congratulations on your new position, Mr. McCauley, and good luck to the Golden Gaels this season!
- The Edmonton Oilers will retire Glenn Anderson's number this season, raising his famous #9 to the rafters to join Al Hamilton, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, and Grant Fuhr in Rexall Place. I expect a jersey patch, so I'll keep my eyes on this one for more additions to the Patch It Up articles. Anderson was lights-out in the playoffs during his time with the Oilers, ending his career in fourth-place in terms of career playoff points. Congratulations, Mr. Anderson!
- The AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins unveiled a brand-new alternate jersey yesterday, and I was slightly underwhelmed by its monotony. I liked the Penguins' third jersey from last season, but I guess with the NHL Penguins going light blue this season, the AHL Penguins followed suit. Full story here from the WBS Penguins site.
- Aaron Scholder, a commentor on the Uni Watch blog, found this screenshot from NHL '09 by EA Sports that shows the Montreal Canadiens wearing two variations of a 100-year Centennial patch. Great find, Aaron! Also to be noticed is the old-style mask on the goaltender in the picture, as well as the old-style helmet on the player. Great attention to detail in this new game, it appears.
- The New York Islanders officially hired Scott Gordon as their new coach, filling the last coaching vacancy in the NHL. Again, I think this is an excellent hiring as Gordon has been extremely successful throughout his coaching career, most recently in Providence. Snow and Gordon know each other from their time together as the goaltending tandem for the Quebec Nordiques, so I doubt there will be any "differences in philosophies" when it comes to Gordon handling this team.
- Field hockey is continuing over in Beijing, and here are the men's standings up to 10am CST on August 19: Pool A has Spain out in front (4-0-1, 12pts), followed by Germany (3-0-2, 11 pts), South Korea and New Zealand tied for third (2-2-1, 7 pts), and Belgium and China tied for fifth-place (0-3-1, 1 pt). Pool B has the Dutch squad leading the way (4-0-1, 13 pts), Australia in second (3-0-1, 10pts), Great Britain in third (2-1-1, 7 pts), Pakistan in fourth (2-3-0, 6 pts), Canada in fifth (1-3-1, 4 pts), and South Africa in sixth (0-5-0, 0 pts). The men's classification matches start tomorrow, and I'll have more updates as to who finished where tomorrow.
- The women's side of the field hockey draw is as follows: Pool A has the Netherlands in first place (5-0-0, 15 pts), China and Australia tied for second (3-1-0, 9 pts), Spain in fourth position (2-3-0, 6 pts), South Korea in fifth position (1-4-0, 3 pts), and South Africa in sixth spot (0-5-0, 0 pts). Pool B sees Germany sitting atop the standings (4-1-0, 12 pts), Argentina and Great Britain tied for second (ARG - 2-0-2, 8 pts; GBR - 2-1-2, 8 pts), the United States in fourth position (1-1-3, 6 pts), Japan in fifth spot (1-3-1, 4 pts), and New Zealand in sixth spot (0-5-0, 0 pts). Korea will play Japan in the 9-vs-10 match, while Spain and the USA meet up in the 7-vs-8 match today. The rest of the teams will tangle tomorrow, and I'll update the games then.
- Rachel Hunter, ex-wife of musician Rod Stewart, and Los Angeles Kings' forward Jarret Stoll are engaged to be married. Hunter, 39, and Stoll, 26, met at a hockey game in 2006, and will be married in the upcoming spring. The move to LA for Stoll will work out well as Hunter has a modelling and acting career in Los Angeles. No word on whether or not Stoll will be as successful as another former Oiler who moved to California who married an actress, but I somehow doubt it. Congratulations to Miss Hunter and Mr. Stoll on their upcoming nuptuals, and best of luck to both of you!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!