Daymond Langkow gets a chance to revive his career

Should they stay or should they go? This is the question that Daymond Langkow and his wife has to ask themselves, after Langkow received a very important call from Jay Feaster, general manager of the Calgary Flames, telling him that they are sending him to the Phoenix Coyotes for winger Lee Stempniak. Langkow had a no-trade clause in his contract that is why he had to make a very crucial decision.

The Calgary Flames did nothing to Langkow but give him some of the best times in his career for the past six seasons. Langkow also posted the best statistics of his career in this team. But this is a great move that he is doing. He is more familiar with Phoenix, where he played for three seasons before. He will reunite with his friend and also a former teammate Shane Doan. With this move, the Coyotes will have more opportunities at center.

But above all else, the most important factor here is that this is a team that wants him. Aside from the fact that the team is willing to take on his contract, which has a year left and which is equivalent to $4.5 million, Don Maloney, the general manager of the Phoenix is looking at a longer term.

It was March 21, 2010, when Daymond Langkow had to call his wife from an ambulance just to tell her not to worry and that he is fine.

Something happened that day during a play and Langkow suffered a fractured vertebra and a damaged spinal cord.

But he was very determined not to let his accident take a toll on his career.

It was not an easy road for Langkow. He may be very determined and optimistic, but he did not foresee the obstacles along the way. Almost the same time last year, Langkow thought he was doing all right and improving. But he realized the hard way that becoming 100% again after a very serious injury is not something that one can recover overnight, it takes a lot of time, a lot of work, and a lot of patience and determination.

And now that he is at his best, this is also the perfect time that he is moving to Phoenix, where he can rise from the ashes. Daymond Langkow is turning 35 this month but he is a very hard-playing, two-way centerman, and it seems like things are working out for Langkow since the Coyotes has a huge hole in the middle.

A Female Hockey Player will Join Battle of the Blades

Tessa Bonhomme, a female hockey player, will skate for the very first in Battle of the Blades, a CBC reality series. Bonhomme is said to join the TV show this fall.

Bonhomme is actually an Olympic gold medalist and also a member of the Canadian national women’s hockey team. According to some sources, Bonhomme will be paired with another Olympic medalist, a gold medalist, figure skater David Pelletier. Their partnership and skills will be tested when the third season of the Battle of the Blades starts this coming September 18.

The CBC reality series really asks professional hockey players to sign up for the show and figure skate with only the best figure skaters of the world.

Some Canadian fans who watched the previous seasons of Battle of the Blades were really amazed by seeing NHL superstars like Todd Warriner and last season’s winner Valeri Bure having all the grace as well as the artistry that best figure skaters show on the ice.

Bonhomme was a member of Canada’s gold medal-winning women’s hockey team during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. And, just like some of her teammates, she has also been a trailblazer for the women’s hockey.

Bonhomme is very excited to take on NHL players and also show them that women’s hockey has come a long way. She also feels that she will be representing the women, as well as every girl that plays hockey in Canada. Bonhomme also believes that she and her partner, David Pelletier, is the team to beat or what others call as the dream team.

Some of the big names who will be joining this season of the Battle of the Blades are former Toronto Maple Leaf Bryan Berard and also the legendary brawler Wade Bleak, who has played for both the Calgary Flames and the Leafs. These Battle of the Blades competitors are not easy beat. They would definitely put up a good fight and this would give fans of the show a very good competition and an exciting show to watch.

Aside from the big names mentioned, there are other great hockey players who signed up for the show as well as big names in the world of figure skating.

All of the teams will be competing for a $100,000 first prize, which will be given to their favorite charity, and the elimination competition series will be shown every Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBC-TV, and the live results will be every Monday, also at 8 p.m.

Adam Larsson Joins The Devils as the No.4 Draft Pick

The No.4 first round pick in the June Draft for the New Jersey Devils is defenseman Adam Larsson who enters a three-year, entry-level contract as announced by general manager Lou Lamoriello on Friday.

The Bergen (N.J) Record report the deal is worth (925,000 per year — the maximum entry-level salary, if he is on the NHL roster. The maximum salary for the AHL would be $70,000.

The Devils had up until 5 p.m. ET Friday to sign Larsson without any stipulations. An extra $100,000 would have to be paid to Larsson’s Swedish Elite League Team, Skelleftea, for an extension of the deadline to Aug. 15, per terms of the NHL/European League Transfer agreement.

Larsson would have had to play for Skelleftea throughout the entire upcoming season due to contractual agreement if the signing had not taken place before Aug. 15.

Both Larsson’s representatives and the Devils were able to reach an agreement late Thursday night.

There are no bonuses other than the signing bonus on the contract that Larsson is able to receive. The Devils have never given out individual bonuses to rookies, according to Lamoriello.

“This young man is as mature as he can get for his age,” Lamoriello said. “He understands what that means, and he doesn’t want to be different than any other players in that (locker) room. He decided to forgo all those bonuses to get his career under way. That’s impressive.”

Lamoriello said “if it’s best for his development, it’s our intention, his intention” that Larsson will be playing in North America this season, either in the NHL or AHL.

Larsson, 18, was the top-rated European player entering the draft. He was the No. 1 overall prospect of the entire draft on some boards.

First Czech NHL player Dies in Plane Crash

The 71 year old Jaroslav Jirik who was the first Czech allowed to play in the NHL during the country’s communist era has died in a plane crash on Monday.

Jirik’s death occured 125 miles from prague in the city of Brno. Immediately after takeoff, the ultralight one-seater crashed at the Brno Medlanky airport and caught on fire, police said.

The cause of the accident is not immediately known, but the president of the Light Aircraft Association of the Czech Republic Jan Brskovsky said that Jirik was an experienced pilot.

Jirik played as a right wing for only three games on the St. Louis Blues team in the 1969-70 season after being cleared to by for the NHL by Czech authorities. Most of his time spent was in the minors with the Kansas City Blues.

Jirik scored 83 goals in his 134 international games for Czechoslovakia, winning the silver medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble and bronze at the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics. He scored 300 goals in 450 games for the Czech league.

“He was one of the leading players in the 1960s,” federation president Tomas Kral said in a statement. “He was an excellent player but also a great character who was still full of energy even after turning 70,” Kral said. “It’s a great loss for Czech ice hockey.”

Jirik went on to coach several Czechoslovak clubs and ran the Swiss national team from 1977-80 following his playing career.

First Czech NHL player Dies in Plane Crash

The 71 year old Jaroslav Jirik who was the first Czech allowed to play in the NHL during the country’s communist era has died in a plane crash on Monday.

Jirik’s death occured 125 miles from prague in the city of Brno. Immediately after takeoff, the ultralight one-seater crashed at the Brno Medlanky airport and caught on fire, police said.

The cause of the accident is not immediately known, but the president of the Light Aircraft Association of the Czech Republic Jan Brskovsky said that Jirik was an experienced pilot.

Jirik played as a right wing for only three games on the St. Louis Blues team in the 1969-70 season after being cleared to by for the NHL by Czech authorities. Most of his time spent was in the minors with the Kansas City Blues.

Jirik scored 83 goals in his 134 international games for Czechoslovakia, winning the silver medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble and bronze at the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics. He scored 300 goals in 450 games for the Czech league.

“He was one of the leading players in the 1960s,” federation president Tomas Kral said in a statement. “He was an excellent player but also a great character who was still full of energy even after turning 70,” Kral said. “It’s a great loss for Czech ice hockey.”

Jirik went on to coach several Czechoslovak clubs and ran the Swiss national team from 1977-80 following his playing career.

Calgary Flames send Robyn Regehr to the Buffalo Sabres

Robyn Regehr made two teams and one all-star player very happy because of one very difficult decision.

The Calgary Flames just sent their veteran player and defenseman to the Buffalo Sabres. This all happened after Regehr waived his no-trade clause. And because of this giant move, the Calgary Flames re-signed their left wing Alex Tanguay to a five-year contract that is worth $17.5 million. This is something that would definitely make Tanguay a very happy man.

Robyn Regehr spent 12 years of his amazing career in the NHL with the same team, the Calgary Flames, this is something that is very hard to find these days, especially since players move from one team to another easily in almost all kinds of sports. Regehr served the Calgary Flames as an alternate captain and he is known to bring a lot of grit to the blue line, although he really does not do much offensively. Jay Feaster, the general manager of the Calgary Flames, expressed his willingness to let go of his no-trade clause during his exit interview.

This same situation already happened to Feaster with Brad Richards in Tampa Bay. So, this is really not new to him and he already knows how to handle such situation.

Possibly, one person who is very pleased with all of these is Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames captain. Iginla could be very excited by the turn of the events since he was the one who really lobbied his team very hard just to re-sign Tanguay.

The management decided to finally re-sign Tanguay, who is now 32 years old and has 686 points over 818 of his career in the NHL games, because they think that he is a better option at his position compared to all of the available and unrestricted free agents or players who will hit the market soon.

Right now, the Calgary Flames can go on and be more aggressive in free agency to find a replacement for Regehr’s spot on the blue line.

And because of Regehr’s flexibility another man is very happy and that is Buffalo Sabre’s general manager, Darcy Regier. He was really very pleased with everything that happened.

Terry Pegula, the Pennsylvania billionaire will fly and personally meet up with Regehr. Regehr has been granted the freedom to aggressively improve the roster as much as he can, and this is really making the new owner, Terry Pegula, very pleased.

The NHL Awards

The NHL Awards was once again hosted by one of the best hosts and one of the most favorite comedians, Jay Mohr.

This event is actually not just all about the glitz and the glamour. This is also a time for reflection on individual performances. This is also a very special time wherein players act humble and most of them are expected to say that personal accolades do not really matter to them, but of course, most people also know that these players are secretly hoping and wishing and praying that their name will be called and win an award.

Although most of the nominated players would say that just being chosen as one of the nominees is already an achievement, but people know that the players’ competitiveness do not end wherever they go, especially during awards nights like this.

These guys, of course, would want to win an award especially since awards like this could boost anybody’s career.

So, how important are these awards? What can an award do to a player’s career? How can it help? How can it improve their career and their lives as a whole?

The answer to the questions can actually be summarized into three things, contract negotiations, respect, and money.

Contract negotiations and awards go hand in hand. In the NHL, individual accolades are used to make the dollars up. A perfect example is how the Vancouver Canucks locked up Ryan Kesler, he is really a very good catch, he is not a 41-goal scorer but he is also an awardee. He already won the Selke, so he is in a different league all together.

Respect is another thing. Hockey is actually not a very big world unlike what other people think. The players, the GMs, coaches, and other people who have important roles in the team are somewhat connected to one another. Having an award can be translated to more ice time or maybe a better treatment from the coaches, the management, and even by the fans.

A player receiving an award is really one of the happiest people in the world since they do not just get the amazing trophy, but they would also get, on top of contract negotiations and respect, a lot of money. And this is something that most people know, this is expected. GMs would really have no problem giving a player bonuses since apart from feeling proud and happy about this, GMs would also want the player to live up to his potential.

Tim Thomas wins Conn Smythe Trophy

Tim Thomas was sitting on the bench of the Boston Bruins one year ago and was watching as the Philadelphia Flyers came back from a 3-0 game in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and abolished the Boston Bruins’ dream.

That was the scenario of the end of a very miserable season for Tim Thomas. During this time Thomas’ effectiveness was actually limited by a hip injury, and also the reason that he lost the number one goalie job to Tuukka Rask.

But all of these happened last year, this was part of Thomas’ game history, painful and yet a very good learning experience and a great motivation for him and for the whole team. Thomas fought back as well as the entire group and this year after a 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7, Tim Thomas proudly raised the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. This championship is also the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 39 years.

Tim Thomas was actually the ninth-round pick of the Quebec Nordiques in 1994, and he did not play his first NHL game until the 2002-2003 Season. He also spent four seasons playing in Europe. With this kind of record, some players would have already stopped trying. But Tim Thomas is different, he is a born fighter.

Thomas is a very aggressive and yet also a very emotional player. His teammates actually described him as a hard-nosed player that gives stand out games and gets the job done at the end. This is the Tim Thomas that everybody knows.

After all the things that the Bruins went through this season, there was no question in anybody’s mind as to who would be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, whether the team wins or loses. It was very evident to everybody.

There was no doubt in anybody’s mind that it would be Tim Thomas and Tim Thomas alone.

People believe that even as the Vancouver Canucks took a 2-0 series, Tim Thomas’ play stood out and became not only the MVP of his team but also the deserving MVP of these playoffs.

Thomas finishes with that very elusive 16th win that only one team would celebrate. He also finishes with a 1.98 goals and a .940 save percentage. He finishes with four shutouts in the playoffs, with two of it in the Final. On top of all these, he has done a lot of things for his team. And it may be a very long and winding road for Thomas but he finally arrived in his dream destination.

Mason Raymond of the Canucks will be out for 3-4 months

Mason Raymond left the Vancouver forward after receiving a brutal hit from Bruins’ defenseman Johnny Boychuk that cause Raymond a back injury – a vertebrae compression fracture.

With this kind of injury, Raymond is definitely not going to be playing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals and most likely the start of the next season. Canucks’ general manager is not giving any comment on the fact that there was no penalty called, not even a supplementary discipline coming from the NHL for Boychuk.

Raymond was helping his team on the first shift which eventually forced a Game 7. He was on the ice for a couple of minutes before being assisted and taken to the hospital.

What happened during the game was Raymond got spun around with Boychuk’s stick right between his legs. He then ended up with his head down between Boychuk’s legs and this is when he delivered Raymond backward into the boards.

Mike Murphy is the one in charge of discipline in NHL, specifically for the Stanley Cup finals which is supposed to be Colin Campbell. But this is not possible because Campbell’s son, Gregory, plays for the Bruins. Murphy confirmed to the Associated Press, through an email, that there would be no suspension given.

According to Gillis, Raymond might not be able to recover fully even until November, and originally there was even a fear that this amazing winger might not be able to walk again.

Gillis added that the whole team delayed its charter flight to Vancouver on purpose, in the hopes that Mason might be able to join them, but unfortunately, according to his doctors he was not stable enough to go with the team and has to stay in the hospital some more.

Raymond who is 25 years old scored 15 goals this season and a 25 last year. He is actually one of the leaders in Canucks with 17 shots for Game 1 to 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. But what the team as well as the fans would miss about him, aside from his presence on the ice, are his speed on both the second line and killing penalties.

Raymond, unfortunately, is going to join a whole bunch of Vancouver players who will not be playing. Aside from Raymond, Mikael Samuelsson, a fellow second-line winger, just had an abdominal surgery, Dan Hamhuis, who is a top defenseman, has not played since Game one of the finals due to an undisclosed injury, and others.

Marchand, Bruins rookie, ready ‘to fight to the end’

Brad Marchand has learned that mornings are the most difficult.  A lot of kids, while playing youth hockey, dreamt of playing in the Stanley Cup Final, this is the moment that people work for all season to make it all the way to Game 7.

And even if you are Brad Marchand, a 5-foot-9 23-year-old rookie of the Boston Bruins, the reality of being in the grind for nine months, nursing different kinds of aches and pains, as well as spending a lot of time flying back and forth all across the continent, you have to remind yourself of all the romanticism.

There is only one day left. So it would be either the Bruins will raise their first Cup ever since 1972 or will the Canucks have their very first championship since they joined the NHL in 1970. For Marchand, this is also the last day for him to show off what he can do. Marchand would definitely be able to help his team, the Bruins.

Bruins’ has Marchand to thank for, for having this kind of opportunity.

Game 6, the Bruins wanted to have a quick start they wanted to score their first goal, to shake Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. The Bruins wanted to rattle Luongo’s confidence as well as his teammates’ trust in him.

Marchand’s made his third goal in four games and his ninth goal of the entire playoffs. And as recorded, only three rookies have ever scored more, Dino Ciccarelli with 14 in 1981 from the Minnesota North Star, Jeremy Roenick of the Chicago Blackhawk with 11 in 1990, and lastly, Claude Lemieux of the Montreal Canadiens’ 10 in 1986.

Marchand made another classic at the end of Game 6 with a gloved left fist he smacked Sedin right in the face. And he did not just do this once, not twice, not three times, but four times. And people asked why he did these. It is because he wants to put Sedin in a no-win situation.

This is the kind of thing that makes Marchand who he is. Marchand, who is a third-round draft pick in 2006, and also the one who had zero goals and just one assist in all of the twenty games for the Bruins last season. He is also the same guy who had enough spunk and told Julien that he would score 20 goals for the Bruins team this season.