This is going to be a crucial season for Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, the reigning Hart Trophy winner who once again held the hottest stick in the league last year and once again suffered through major playoff disappointment. Will 2013-14 be the one where he and the Caps finally live up to their former hype?
On paper, it would seem that the St. Louis Blues have all the necessary pieces to take home the Stanley Cup come June 2014. Fans and prognosticators both see plenty to like in the current incarnation of the team, with the latter becoming evidenced by publication The Hockey News’ preseason prediction of St. Louis besting Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Finals. But is everything they have heading into 2013-14 going to be enough?
If you’re like us at TheGP, you’re nearing a very significant moment in your hockey fandom. The players you grew up watching are now on the precipice of ultimate retirement. While we’ve seen football, basketball and baseball players come and go, there’s something about the longevity of an NHLer that makes the departure of somebody like Teemu Selanne or Jaromir Jagr far more resonant than some of their peers in other sports. Get ready for a weird year.
Mike Gillis, the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, must have eschewed the Public Relations courses during his academic career as well. As a result, hysteria revolving his handling of Roberto Luongo (which can only be described as a debacle at this point) has reached unprecedented levels.
He may not have been a household name, but Mike Knuble has been one of the top complementary players in the NHL for quite some time. Retirement is a likely possibility for him this year and while his eventual departure from the league won’t garner the same press others like Teemu Selanne and Daniel Alfredsson will, he was still able to forge a fantastic career as one of the NHL’s quietest warriors.
The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its newest members last week and in November will officially welcome two defensemen, one with sublime skill and the other highly physical, an all-time great power forward, an innovative coach and possibly the best female defender ever. And as with every induction year, the rallies of praise towards those selected are met with the cry of foul for those some feel are unjustly snubbed from being immortalized in downtown Toronto.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. After suffering through a terrible stretch of years that saw the Edmonton Oilers make the playoffs just once between lockouts (in 2005-06 no less), change was supposed to be on the horizon. Buoyed by a triumvirate of first overall picks from 2010 to 2012, netting them Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, the Oilers were quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Such reckoning, however, has yet to come – perhaps the result of Edmonton’s concerning lack of depth.
The trade that sent Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks to the New Jersey Devils took a lot of hockey fans by surprise. Now the up and coming star won’t be limited by the indefinite presence of Roberto Luongo in the organization. Will the move behind 41-year-old Martin Brodeur a good one for the netminder in the long-term?
The Canadian Hockey League recently made the bold decision to ban all European goaltenders from playing in the CHL. The decision comes on the heels of what the organization has perceived as decreased opportunities for homegrown netminders. Yes. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds. Nick Faris explains.
There are many qualities the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks have in common, from superstar goalies who have waited in the wings for their chance to lead their teams deep into the playoffs to exceptional depth at every position and well-respected captains ready to do anything to win. They also have, perhaps most importantly, management with a ton of roster patience.