It's been a busy few days lately as the hockey world has seen some interesting changes and some interesting things happen. While I'd like to say that this will be a positive look at a few things, I'm going to preface this article by saying that you'll find some good and some bad from the hockey world. There have been some jerseys rolled out by a few teams that we'll give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down to, there will be a tweet that was posted that I found to be incredibly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, and we'll talk about the trades that happened today. It'll be a busy bit of chatter on HBIC today, but we'll have some fun. Let's get to it.
From the Irrelevant Stats Department...I appreciate that some NHL teams tweet out statistics and milestones that are significant achievements made by players. While some are eye-opening, there are some that literally are just useless information. Case in point? The Colorado Avalanche posted this tweet today regarding a milestone that Milan Hejduk is approaching.
Milan Hejduk has 140 career power-play goals and needs just one more to tie Alexander Mogilny (141) for 51st place all-time. #GoAvsGoHejduk is one powerplay goal shy in his career for a share of 51st all-time in playoff goals? Are you kidding me? Look, it's an excellent statistic to track in a team setting, but posting the all-time standing of a guy when he isn't even on the radar of most career powerplay goals is dumb. Hejduk is a great player and I've admired and respected his game for a long time, but this statistic makes it seem like all of his great work is pretty inconsequential. Hejduk deserves more respect than that, especially from the Avalanche where he's done his share of excellent work.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) February 26, 2013
Showing support...The USHL's Chicago Steel showed their support for cancer research by donning these uniforms on February 15 and 16 as they battled the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and the Dubuque Fighting Saints over the weekend. It was good news for the Steel as they took both games in their cancer-support jerseys as they beat Cedar Rapids 4-1 and then dropped Dubuque 7-3. Overall, I don't have an issue with these uniforms. They're different, and they aren't overly garish in terms of their design. Thumbs-up from me on these charity uniforms. What say you?
Follow him...If you need someone awesome to follow on Twitter, might I suggest you follow Dana Heinze, the equipment manager for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Heinze posts pictures of everything he's involved with, making his Twitter feed one of the best that I've come across when it comes to images. For example, here is the tag from one of the recent military warm-up uniforms worn by the Penguins. Notice the Penguins logo with the stars-and-stripes? That's pretty awesome. But he also notes that the Penguins logo on the military warm-up jerseys this season is brown to match the military uniform as opposed to being the normal black-and-yellow logo like it was last year. Honestly, Dana Heinze's Twitter feed is a "must-follow" for all hockey fans with all the images he posts. Find him at @RealDanaHeinze!
Pack your bags...Simon Gagne, who helped the Los Angeles Kings capture the Stanley Cup last season, is going back to his original team as he was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers today. It seemed as though Gagne never really fit into Darryl Sutter's plans this season, so he'll be back in Philly orange-and-black for the remainder of this season.
For Los Angeles, this opens some cap space - something they need - and it allows one of their younger players to step in and get some NHL minutes. I'm not sure why Philly thought they needed Gagne, but he may be able to step in and take Matt Read's minutes with Read out for another five weeks or so. I saw a couple of people mention that this trade could set up a bigger move - Daniel Briere trade? - but I'm guessing Philly isn't going to blow up the team at this point. Then again, who predicted that both Jeff Carter and Mike Richards wouldn't be in Philly long-term?
It could be an interesting run to the trade deadline for the Flyers.
Easy Ryder...The Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars came together for a swap of wingers today as Montreal sent Erik Cole to the Stars for Michael Ryder and a third-round pick. Ryder should fit in nicely in Montreal as a scoring winger, and the cap relief he brings in relation to Cole will give the Canadiens some flexibility going forward. David Desharnais is a free agent at the end of this season, and you have to believe that GM Marc Bergevin will do everything he can to re-sign him.
In Erik Cole, the Stars get a little grittier. Cole's time in Montreal didn't really pan out as a scoring forward, so his move to Dallas where he can play with less pressure on him should allow for him to be more effective. While I'm not sure why the Stars continue to add payroll, they should have a solid lineup of wingers when Ray Whitney returns from injury. Dallas could be dangerous down the stretch if and when they get healthy.
Tomorrow, I'll take a look at the proposed NHL realignment, and I'll have my thoughts about how the playoffs will change if this realignment plan goes forward. What I will say in terms of previewing that article is that we could see those nasty, hate-filled rivalries between teams begin to develop again. That, as you're probably aware, is good for hockey.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!