Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Geographically Correct

For years, we've known that the Phoenix Coyotes actually play in a city other than Phoenix. Glendale is the neighbourhood where one finds the Arena, home to the Phoenix Coyotes, and there has always been some contention about the geographical identifier attached to the team. The team has finally done the right thing, though, as they've rebranded themselves as the Arizona Coyotes for the 2014-15 season. The team will now represent the entire state rather than a city in which they actually didn't play.

"We are very excited to announce our franchise name will change to Arizona Coyotes for the start of the 2014-'15 NHL season," Anthony LeBlanc, the club's co-owner, president and CEO, said in a statement. "Becoming the Arizona Coyotes makes sense for us since we play our games in Glendale and the city is such a great partner of ours.

"We also want to be recognized as not just the hockey team for Glendale or Phoenix, but the team for the entire state of Arizona and the Southwest. We hope the name 'Arizona' will encourage more fans from all over the state, not just the valley, to embrace and support our team."

The only changes that fans will notice will be the shoulder patch. The current patch will be replaced by a brand new patch that will be unveiled during the first preseason game next season. Other than that, the brick-red Coyotes jerseys won't change with the name change. Oh, and the shoulder patch for the alternate uniform will also change. So there will actually be two patch changes for next season unless the Coyotes are retiring the black alternate. There was no news of that happening, though, so I'll assume that both patches will change.

Hope For The Best

With the Russian officials in Sochi making it very clear that there will be no safety concerns in Sochi for the upcoming Olympic Games, Hockey Canada's Bob Nicholson was asked today about a contingency plan if something were to happen before the Games began, prompting the NHL to pull its players out of the Olympics over safety concerns. This is a very valid question as the NHL has expressed that they would re-evaluate their participation if something were to happen.

Mr. Nicholson's response was very candid. "Our contingency plan would be everyone around this room today," he said while speaking to reporters at Rogers Arena. "We have none."

So that pretty much kills any thought of a Spengler Cup-like team going into Sochi and playing as Team Canada. I'm actually surprised by this move as Hockey Canada knew from the very beginning that there could be a chance that the NHL scrapped their involvement if things went off course in Sochi in terms of the safety of the players. And while I do think it's prudent that Hockey Canada not put any players' lives at risk over a hockey tournament, you'd think that they would be working behind the scenes to ensure a Canadian team participates, especially since Canada is the defending gold medalist.

Either way, Hockey Canada's first priority should be the safety of its athletes. Everything else comes second.

That's Why They Acquired Him

Kudos goes out to Edmonton's Ben Scrivens for his amazing performance tonight. The Edmonton Oilers tied a franchise record for shots-against in giving up 59 shots to the San Jose Sharks, and Scrivens simply stopped them all to set a new NHL record for most saves in a regular-season shutout. Scrivens, who stopped 20 shots in the first and 22 more in the second period, broke the 54-save shutout record set by Phoenix's Mike Smith against Columbus in 2011-12.

It should also be noted that the 59 saves were the most since Quebec's Ron Tugnutt made 70 saves in a 3-3 tie at Boston on March 21, 1991. Dwayne Roloson of the New York Islanders previously held the high mark with 58 saves in a 4-3 overtime win over Toronto in 2009-10. Not bad at all for the guy that the Kings basically dealt to Edmonton just to make room for Martin Jones.
I'm completely on-board with Mr. Willis. Simply an amazing performance tonight! Well done, Ben!

Fairly Obvious Things

The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks tonight by a 5-2 score.
Water, surprisingly, is still wet.
The sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

No surprises there, right?

That's all for me tonight. It's already late, and this is being posted late thanks to the Board of Directors meeting I attended tonight. Tomorrow, The Hockey Show will get back to its normal format where we talk hockey for an hour, so tweet or call and we'll get you on the air!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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