December 2008 - Hockey Wiretap
Wrigleyville Owners Mad About Obstructed Views
Wrigleyville rooftop owners stopped just short of a lawsuit with complaints that video screens erected for Thursday's Winter Classic in the right and leftfield corners of Wrigley Field would obstruct the view of their own paying customers. Cubs chairman Crane Kenney confirmed that the longtime acrimony between the rooftop owners and the baseball team has spilled over into the hockey arena with threatening letters sent to the club objecting to the 16-by-14-foot screens. "They're not located to block the views of the rooftops," said NHL spokesman Frank Brown, "but out of respect to certain quirks in Wrigley's architecture. They're as out of the way as they can be." Kenney said that the rooftop owners were alerted in June of the possibility of signage or video screens being put up, which will allow the lower bowl fans at the Blackhawks- Detroit Red Wings game to see the puck, otherwise obscured by the boards. "This event fell in [the rooftop owners'] laps and they're upset it didn't fall in their laps as well as they had hoped," Kenney said.
Coyotes Recall Tordjman From San Antonio
Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have recalled goaltender Josh Tordjman from their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, under emergency conditions. Tordjman, 23, has posted a record of 10-12-1 with a 2.70 goals-against average (GAA), a .903 save percentage (SV%) and three shutouts in 24 games with San Antonio this season. Earlier this month, Tordjman was named AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Dec. 7 after going 3-0-0 with two shutouts in three starts during the week. In the month of December, Tordjman has posted a record of 9-2-0 with a 1.90 GAA, a .928 SV% and three shutouts in 11 games. His three shutouts currently rank T-3rd among all AHL goaltenders this season. Last season, the 6-foot-1, 153-pound Tordjman appeared in 43 games for San Antonio, going 22-14-4 with a 2.65 GAA, a .910 SV% and one shutout. He also played in six postseason contests where he registered a 1.85 GAA while posting a 3-3 record. Now in his third season with the Rampage, Tordjman has compiled a 47-44-7 record with a 2.64 GAA and five shutouts in 104 career AHL games. Prior to signing with the Coyotes as a free agent on July 2, 2006, Tordjman spent four seasons (2002-2006) in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with Victoriaville and Moncton. A native of Montreal, Quebec, Tordjman led Moncton to the Memorial Cup Finals in 2006.
Canucks Get LaBarbera From Kings
The Canucks, still missing top goalie Roberto Luongo, acquired Jason LaBarbera from the Kings on Tuesday night for a seventh-round pick in the 2009 draft. LaBarbera will join Curtis Sanford and rookie Cory Schneider, who have been sharing Vancouver's goaltending duties since Luongo was placed on the injured list Nov. 23 because of a groin injury.
Toronto's Joseph Beats Atlanta For 450th Win
Maple Leafs' goalie Curtis Joseph won his 450th game on Tuesday night against the Thrashers. Joseph got his 449th win by beating Vancouver 7-1 on April 5, when he was a member of the Flames. "Wins are the most important measure for goalies, I think. Certainly it's a great accomplishment," the 41-year-old Joseph said. "I think I really read the plays well and really focused in. That's been my problem. Sometimes you're only human, and you learn."
Briere Practices, But Unsure Of Return
Danny Briere has return to practice for the Flyers but isn't sure when he'll return to game action. "I don't have much to report," Briere said. "It's feeling a little better. I can do a little more. It's been 5 days since I last practiced, and it was good to be out there. But I know I'm not talking about playing, that's for sure." Briere has been out since re-injuring his groin Dec. 2 against Tampa Bay.
Ducks Sign McCue To Entry-Level Deal
The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed left wing Matt McCue to a three-year entry-level contract. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed. McCue is scheduled to report to the Iowa Chops, Anaheim?s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). McCue, 20 (7/5/88), appeared in 34 games between the Brandon Wheat Kings and Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season. He scored 5-12=17 points with a +10 rating and 101 PIM between the two teams, setting career highs in assists and points while matching a personal best in goals. Acquired by Medicine Hat on Oct. 16, McCue led the Tigers in plus/minus (+16) and PIM (66). A native of Cochrane, Alberta, McCue played the 2007-08 campaign with Brandon and Chilliwack (WHL), posting 0-11=11 points with 195 PIM in 70 games. McCue, who was acquired by the Wheat Kings at the 2007-08 WHL Trade deadline, finished seventh among WHL leaders in penalty minutes. He appeared in all six of Brandon?s playoff games in 2008, scoring the overtime winner in Game 5 of the WHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Lethbridge. The 6-5, 218-pound McCue played six WHL seasons as a defenseman with Spokane (2003-07), Chilliwack (2006-08), Brandon (2007-09) and Medicine Hat (2008-09). In 220 career WHL games, McCue scored 14-41=55 points with 531 PIM.
Former Cub Great Jenkins Looking Forward To Winter Classic
Ferguson Jenkins, former pitcher for the Cubs, is looking forward to the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. A native of Chatham, Ontario, he was a junior B defenseman as an amateur. "I played until I was about 17, just before I signed a contract with the Phillies," Jenkins said Monday. "That was the fun part, playing hockey and going to arenas. It should be a lot of fun to be a part of the [Winter Classic]." "I started skating when I was 4 years old, and I got into a league when I was 9 or 10," he said. "I didn't get into baseball wholeheartedly until I was about 16, when I started to pitch. I wasn't a scoring machine when I played hockey, but I did score some goals. "When I look back, I probably picked the right sport. I don't know if hockey would have been my second choice. Maybe basketball. But as a kid growing up in Canada, every kid plays hockey."
Blues' Kariya Says He Has 2 Injuries
St. Louis winger Paul Kariya revealed Monday that there are two injuries plaguing his left hip. There is a problem with a labrum area of the hip socket as well as a quadriceps muscle tear that had muscle coming off the bone. "There's two injuries there," Kariya said. "It was tough to differentiate between one and the other and what was giving me the pain. They're two different things, but they're in the same area and as an athlete, to try and figure out what's hurting you when they're inches apart, it's difficult."
MRI Reveals Lidstrom's Ankle Isn't Broken
Nicklas Lidstrom doesn't have a broken ankle, according to a second MRI that came back negative on Monday morning. The Red Wings' defenseman did not practice but said he could try to skate on Tuesday and play against the Blackhawks. "We'll see tomorrow," Lidstrom said Monday. "It's day-to-day right now. We'll see if the swelling goes down a little bit, and it feels better tomorrow. I couldn't skate today ... That's good that nothing is broken, but it's still real swollen."
Canadiens Win 3,000th Game
Maxim Lapierre scored the final three goals of the game as the Canadiens defeated the Panthers to record their 3,000th regular season victory. They have the most regular season wins in NHL history. "There are nights like this," Lapierre said. "There are nights you're alone with the goalie and nothing goes in and other nights where it seems the puck always finds your stick at the right time. That's what happened tonight." The hat trick was the first of Lapierre's three-year NHL career.
Islanders' DiPietro Out Again With Injury
Islanders' goalie Rick DiPietro lasted only one game before another injury forced him out of the lineup.
Lemieux Signs Two-Way Deal With Sharks
Claude Lemieux signed a contract with the Sharks on Monday after spending the past month with their top minor-league affiliate.
Officials: Deceased Rangers Prospect Took PEDs
Alexei Cherepanov, who died after losing consciousness during a Russian Superleague game two months ago, had reportedly been taking banned substances.
Capitals Retire Gartner's No. 11
The Capitals retired Mike Gartner's No. 11 on Sunday night, before their game against the Leafs.
Franchise-Record Ninth Straight For Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Sunday night for its franchise-record ninth straight victory.
Avs' Stastny To Have Surgery Tuesday
Colorado center Paul Stastny will have surgery Tuesday to repair his fractured right forearm, according to coach Tony Granato.
Sabres Put Gaustad On Injured Reserve
The Sabres placed center Paul Gaustad on injured reserve Saturday because of an upper-body injury and recalled left wing Tim Kennedy from Portland of the American Hockey League.
Blues' Kariya Could Miss Remainder Of The Season
St. Louis Blues LW Paul Kariya will have surgery on his left hip and could miss the rest of the season.
Kings Unlikely To Trade For Goalie
Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi said Friday that he isn't currently looking for a goaltender.
Flyers' Timonen, Hartnell Injured
Flyers' defenseman Kimmo Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell suffered injuries in Friday night's loss to the Blackhawks.
Lidstrom Leaves Game, Doesn't Return
Red Wings' captain Nicklas Lidstrom injured his ankle in the first period on Friday night and did not return in the team's game against the Predators.
DiPietro Finally Returns For Islanders
Islanders goalie Rick DiPetro returned to the team on Friday night against the Maple Leafs after a 27-game absence.
Chicago Wins 8th Straight To Match Franchise Record
The Blackhawks beat the Flyers 5-1 on Friday night, the clubs' eighth straight win, matching a franchise record.
Julien: Bergeron 'Doing Better'
Bruins' coach Claude Julien on Friday offered some positive news on injured center Patrice Bergeron, noting some improvement in his condition.
Isles' Guerin Scores 400th Career Goal In Win Over Leafs
Veteran Bill Guerin scored twice on Friday night to record his 400th career goal as the Isles defeated the Maple Leafs 4-1.
Blackhawks Activate D Johnson From IR
The Blackhawks on Friday activated D Aaron Johnson from IR.
Kings' Rookie Doughty Is Making Impact
Los Angeles rookie defenseman Drew Doughty is making a huge impact on the ice for the team this season.
Canucks Hotly Awaiting Sundin's Arrival
Mats Sundin has yet to touch down at the Vancouver International Airport, but fans are already hotly awaiting his arrival.
Flyers' Prospect Giroux Is Awaiting His Turn
Claude Giroux, one of the Flyers' top prospects, is leading the AHL's Phantoms in scoring and awaiting his turn in Philadelphia.
Pogge: I Was Pretty Nervous Before They Dropped The Puck
Justin Pogge won his NHL debut on Monday, helping the Leafs win their fourth in five games.