I had a ridiculously busy day at work today, but the weekend is finally here. It seemed to take forever to get here, but the weekend is finally here. There's lots of of hockey being played this weekend as playoff races in the NHL and AHL are determining who is going to the big dance. The KHL Playoffs are into their semi-finals. The NCAA men's hockey tournament started today and continues over the next couple of weeks. This is one of the better times of the year for hockey fans because no matter what level of hockey you follow, there are playoffs or tournaments happening. And out of that, there are always news stories and pictures to check out. Here are HBIC's thoughts as this week closes.
- The Los Angeles Kings made an interesting announcement this week. According to this news article, the Kings are planning to wear their alternate jerseys throughout the playoffs when playing at home. The "Back In Black" theme will be in place throughout the playoffs for as long as the Kings are in the playoffs. If you're interested in picking up a Kings alternate jersey, the Team LA store has them at a reduced price!
- A couple of affiliation switches were the big news from the AHL this week. The Springfield Falcons were informed by the Edmonton Oilers that they would not renew their affiliation with the Falcons, leaving the Massachusetts team without an NHL affiliation. Enter the Columbus Blue Jackets who signed a one-year deal with the Falcons with an option for 2011-12. The Falcons jerseys go from this design to this design under the new affiliation next season. As you can see, Columbus' primary logo is on the shoulder, and a star has been added on the forearm area. The colours are also reflective of Columbus' colour scheme.
- The second switch involved the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks don't have an affiliate as it stands, and were looking for an AHL partner. With Columbus moving their affiliation to Springfield, the Syracuse Crunch ended up with no affiliation next season. The Anaheim Ducks filled that void with the announcement that they will partner with the Crunch next season. There have been no announcements on changes to jerseys or anything, so we'll see if this Ducks-Crunch affiliation makes any changes to the Crunch's uniforms.
- Great story out of Quebec where it was announced today that former NHL head coach Pat Burns would have a new arena named after him at Stanstead College. It was tough to watch footage of the now-frail Burns at the press conference. Burns is suffering from lung cancer, and has decided to opt out of chemotherapy and treatment for the terminal illness. The only three-time Jack Adams Award winner in the NHL, Burns guided the 2003 New Jersey Devils to a Stanley Cup Championship, and compiled a 501-350-175 coaching record after serving as a police officer before he began coaching full-time. HBIC wishes all the best to Pat Burns and his family, and I hope that he stays with us for a lot longer than what he has been told. He deserves that much, and probably a lot more.
- I said I wouldn't talk about the rumours of NHL teams to Winnipeg, but it says a lot when a media outlet like The Hockey News starts to light fires. According to Ken Campbell, if the Ice Edge bid for the Coyotes falls through (which is looking more and more likely), it appears that billionaire John Thomson gets the first shot at owning the Coyotes. And if that happens, apparently the Coyotes are returning home. I'm going to stick with this mantra: until it happens, it's all just fantasy and speculation. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!