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Old 03-18-2007, 04:17 PM   #876
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Default The buzz on Bertuzzi's big return this week

Is the return of this knuckle dragger all hype since the guy hasn't been or done shyt since his episode.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...703180688/1053

The Red Wings received a phenomenal piece of news this past week, learning that their newest teammate will be joining the lineup perhaps as soon as four days.



The Wings are convinced Todd Bertuzzi finally has strung together enough pain-free practices to play with them, and he'll do so at some point during the three-game home stand that begins Thursday.

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Bertuzzi's addition can hardly be overestimated, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Henrik Zetterberg's recovery from an inflamed disk. The Wings hope he will be able to resume playing before the regular season ends April 7.

In Zetterberg's absence, Bertuzzi will reinforce the lineup. Whether he ends up playing with fellow big man Robert Lang, or with Pavel Datsyuk while Zetterberg is out, Bertuzzi will add size and bite. He is dangerous with the puck and ferocious without it; Chris Chelios, who has a colorful history of one-on-one battles him, tells a vivid story of one particularly run-in.

"I remember the knee in the neck that I took from him," Chelios said. "I fell down and he ran into me in the face-off circle. He caught me perfect, gave me a stinger. I remember how that hurt. That's what 240 pounds will do as opposed to 185 pounds -- you have to worry about that element of physical presence that he adds. He's got a knack for catching you. He's big and has speed and with the size of him, you better be aware of where he is."

Bertuzzi can wear down opposing defensemen over a seven-game playoff series, especially under the new rules that limit methods of containment.

"In the old days, you could just put the lumber to Todd -- cross-check him, slash his ankles, slash his arms," Mathieu Schneider said. "But now you really have to try to outsmart a guy like that -- get to the puck right before he gets to it and lift his stick. He's very, very hard to defend against."

The additions of Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder will give the Wings what they lacked last season, and what led them to bubbly celebrations in 1997, 1998 and 2002: balanced forward lines. If everyone is healthy, the Wings will be able to load a scorer onto every line.

"That's something that whenever you've looked at how successful this team has been," Kris Draper said, "it's always been because we've had four good lines. That's the exciting thing."

It isn't just the Wings who are excited. Bertuzzi hasn't played in the NHL since Oct. 18, when he was with the Florida Panthers, who ended up giving up on him and shipping him to Detroit on Feb. 27 for a prospect and smartly protected draft picks. He started practicing with the Wings on March 1, and eagerly awaits being a part of their games.

"I'm really excited about coming into this system here," Bertuzzi said. "I think this system, more than any other system out there, benefits me. They play a high-tempo style of hockey, and their main asset is their puck possession, and that's the key for me, is having the puck."

There's another reason for Bertuzzi's giddiness, and that comes from a roster so impressive it's clear Bertuzzi won't be expected to carry the Wings.

"They are where they are because of everyone in this dressing room," Bertuzzi said, "and I'm just coming in to try to give them that one more step that they think they need in order to contend in the playoffs. It's exciting for me that a team like this, with the history of this team, was willing to take a chance on someone who hasn't really played this year."

There has, rightfully so, been a great deal of wondering about just how effective Bertuzzi will be after not playing for five months. Bertuzzi says he still got a lot of game left in him. The demonstration is about to begin.
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:29 PM   #877
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Default The little man levels modano and Robidas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn05Q5yxmPY
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Old 03-18-2007, 05:02 PM   #878
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Default Fighting-in-last-5-minutes rule creates more problems

More on the 5 min instigator

http://www.startribune.com/1330/story/1060755.html

On March 8, Derek Boogaard, wearing stylish eyeglasses and a debonair suit, watched in fear as Wild trainer Don Fuller attended to a dazed Marian Gaborik, who had just been given a rough ride into the boards by Boston defenseman Andrew Ference.

A sore back kept Boogaard, the Wild's enforcer, off the ice that night. At that moment, Boogaard wished he could turn in his suit for a Wild sweater so he could mop the ice with a couple of Bruins.

But in reality, Boogaard's intimidating presence in the lineup would have meant nothing. Ference boarded Gaborik with 2 minutes, 10 seconds left, meaning there was no way Boogaard would have gotten another shift from coach Jacques Lemaire.

Players who instigate a fight in the last five minutes earn a one-game suspension and $10,000 fine for their coach.

That could explain why referee Kerry Fraser did skilled Bruins center Marc Savard a favor by giving him a double minor for jumping, then throwing haymakers at Pavol Demitra, instead of the two minutes for instigating, five-minute major for fighting and 10-minute misconduct Savard deserved as trouble broke out following Ference's check.

Boogaard said he thinks it's time the NHL eliminates the last-five-minute instigating rule because it gives opponents license to go after star players during that time.

"The players should decide the game, not other people," Boogaard said. "Some guys say that rule's not in the back of their heads, but it is. It's probably never good to cost your coach 10,000 bucks."

No kidding. Just ask Kyle Wanvig, whose career with the Wild effectively ended when Lemaire wrote that $10,000 check for Wanvig instigating a fight with Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik late in a December game last season.

Boogaard's contention that the rule should be eliminated comes on the heels of NHL general managers recommending that players should draw an automatic two-game suspension for their fifth instigator penalty, rather than their third.

Anaheim GM Brian Burke said he feels it will give players more freedom to protect star players, although, only Philadelphia's Ben Eager has been suspended this season for three instigators.

"I still won't play the last five minutes," Boogaard said. "Back in the day, guys came into the league not-so tough and when they left they were tough. Now I don't respect a lot of these guys. They come into the league soft and they leave soft.

"No matter how much [the NHL] says, 'Oh, we like fighting,' if they liked it so much, why are they putting all these rules in? It's a joke."

Wild GM Doug Risebrough said, "I would be in favor" in eliminating the rule.

"I never understood that one," Risebrough said. "To me it was an overreaction to an incident that happened in Calgary."

The incident Risebrough is referring to occurred March 20, 2004. With three seconds left in a Nashville victory, then-Flames coach Darryl Sutter put out four tough guys -- Krzysztof Oliwa, Rhett Warrener, Robyn Regehr and Mike Commodore, with Regehr, a defenseman, taking the draw.

Predictably a brawl ensued, including a fight between goalies Tomas Vokoun and Miikka Kiprusoff.

After the game, incensed Predators coach Barry Trotz said, "They had four puppets out there to do something. ... We're trying to clean up the game and [Sutter] keeps putting it back in the 1930s."

Risebrough said, "The league felt it had to show a punishment, but it doesn't limit the potential of another problem. In fact, it might create a new one."

And that's going after stars such as Gaborik in the last five minutes.

Draft revamp

TSN reported last week that the draft order will be revamped in June, where instead of just the Stanley Cup finalist and champion picking 29th and 30th respectively, the conference finals losers will pick 27th and 28th.

In the report, the six teams, including the Wild, that voted against the change were listed, something that angered Risebrough.

"Amazing the league gets all cranked always when they hear stuff leaks out," Risebrough said, sarcastically. "They say, 'We'll find out. We'll find out.'"

Risebrough voted against the change because "the playoffs are often a crapshoot where an underdog can take off who didn't necessarily have that great a season. There are 28 games max in the playoffs. There are 82 in the regular season. Isn't 82 a better determinant of a team's success than 28?"

Spying Saskin?

After getting off the NHL Players' Association player-rep conference call that resulted in Executive Director Ted Saskin being put on paid leave for allegedly spying on players' e-mails during the lockout, Wild defenseman Nick Schultz said former teammate Dwayne Roloson and Chris Chelios had a right to say, "I told you so."

For two years, Roloson and Chelios led a faction of players who wanted to unseat Saskin for improper conduct.

"Finally, [players] got the information, the information that we tried to get out two years ago," Roloson, now the Oilers' goalie, said.

But Roloson said, "Ted's still there. He's not acting as our union head, but he's still there." Roloson hopes a search committee's put in place "to get the right guy to get the union being strong and unified like it was."

Stick check

Blaine's Brandon Bochenski had bounced around the past year, but he appears to have found a home in Boston. In 18 games with the Bruins, the former North Dakota standout has nine goals and 17 points.

He uses the same curve and looks a lot like former 300-goal scorer Ray Sheppard.

"He's got the long stick that Sheppard had, he's got the upright skating style and he shoots wristers," teammate Jason York said. "You never see him shoot slappers, like Sheppard.

"You know what it is? He's got an elusive wrist shot. A lot of guys will kind of snap it a little bit and he kind of sweeps it. He's a shooter."

Etc.

• Brian Rolston's latest slap shot goal against Vancouver's Roberto Luongo came from the blue line and tied Tuesday's game late before the Wild won it in overtime. Asked if Rolston's in his head, Luongo said, "He's in the top of the circle and he has the hardest shot in the league. He doesn't have the hardest shot in the league for nothing."

• After Islanders forward Chris Simon's slash to the face of the Rangers' Ryan Hollweg, Marty McSorley told the Edmonton Journal, "The first thing my wife Leanne said was, 'Should I shut the phone off?' McSorley was suspended 23 games in 2000 for clubbing Donald Brashear.

• Anaheim's Teemu Selanne, 36, is the only player in NHL history to record back-to-back 40-goal seasons after the age of 35: "Somebody told me that. That doesn't make me feel very good. It makes me feel very, very old."

A variety of sources was used in compiling this report.
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Old 03-18-2007, 05:54 PM   #879
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Originally Posted by Bronx33 View Post
Is the return of this knuckle dragger all hype since the guy hasn't been or done shyt since his episode.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...703180688/1053

The Red Wings received a phenomenal piece of news this past week, learning that their newest teammate will be joining the lineup perhaps as soon as four days.



The Wings are convinced Todd Bertuzzi finally has strung together enough pain-free practices to play with them, and he'll do so at some point during the three-game home stand that begins Thursday.

Advertisement
Click here to find out more!
Bertuzzi's addition can hardly be overestimated, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Henrik Zetterberg's recovery from an inflamed disk. The Wings hope he will be able to resume playing before the regular season ends April 7.

In Zetterberg's absence, Bertuzzi will reinforce the lineup. Whether he ends up playing with fellow big man Robert Lang, or with Pavel Datsyuk while Zetterberg is out, Bertuzzi will add size and bite. He is dangerous with the puck and ferocious without it; Chris Chelios, who has a colorful history of one-on-one battles him, tells a vivid story of one particularly run-in.

"I remember the knee in the neck that I took from him," Chelios said. "I fell down and he ran into me in the face-off circle. He caught me perfect, gave me a stinger. I remember how that hurt. That's what 240 pounds will do as opposed to 185 pounds -- you have to worry about that element of physical presence that he adds. He's got a knack for catching you. He's big and has speed and with the size of him, you better be aware of where he is."

Bertuzzi can wear down opposing defensemen over a seven-game playoff series, especially under the new rules that limit methods of containment.

"In the old days, you could just put the lumber to Todd -- cross-check him, slash his ankles, slash his arms," Mathieu Schneider said. "But now you really have to try to outsmart a guy like that -- get to the puck right before he gets to it and lift his stick. He's very, very hard to defend against."

The additions of Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder will give the Wings what they lacked last season, and what led them to bubbly celebrations in 1997, 1998 and 2002: balanced forward lines. If everyone is healthy, the Wings will be able to load a scorer onto every line.

"That's something that whenever you've looked at how successful this team has been," Kris Draper said, "it's always been because we've had four good lines. That's the exciting thing."

It isn't just the Wings who are excited. Bertuzzi hasn't played in the NHL since Oct. 18, when he was with the Florida Panthers, who ended up giving up on him and shipping him to Detroit on Feb. 27 for a prospect and smartly protected draft picks. He started practicing with the Wings on March 1, and eagerly awaits being a part of their games.

"I'm really excited about coming into this system here," Bertuzzi said. "I think this system, more than any other system out there, benefits me. They play a high-tempo style of hockey, and their main asset is their puck possession, and that's the key for me, is having the puck."

There's another reason for Bertuzzi's giddiness, and that comes from a roster so impressive it's clear Bertuzzi won't be expected to carry the Wings.

"They are where they are because of everyone in this dressing room," Bertuzzi said, "and I'm just coming in to try to give them that one more step that they think they need in order to contend in the playoffs. It's exciting for me that a team like this, with the history of this team, was willing to take a chance on someone who hasn't really played this year."

There has, rightfully so, been a great deal of wondering about just how effective Bertuzzi will be after not playing for five months. Bertuzzi says he still got a lot of game left in him. The demonstration is about to begin.

Booooooooooo!!!
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:00 PM   #880
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I agree, get rid of the instigator rule altogether. I can see the point of the 5 minute thing, but I think it gives guys a free shot, knowing they could do something if they wanted to and hands would be tied as to retaliation.

Speaking of, Rycroft should get suspended for fighting last night, right? It was in the last 2 minutes of the game. Or was he not instigating?
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:02 PM   #881
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I get the Avs game tonight
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:55 PM   #882
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What a lucky man you are to have gotten to see that one tonight! My only regret is that the streak was snapped.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:13 PM   #883
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What a lucky man you are to have gotten to see that one tonight! My only regret is that the streak was snapped.
It's ok Mt...Paul will tell you that the two points was more important. And he'd say it all without his false teeth.

The instigator rule does need to go. It's far too subjective. You'll have a guy like Sean Avery take a run at Paul Kariya...a clear cheap shot...and when Darcy Hordichuk tries to fight him...he turtles...and earns a power play.

By the by Mt...the instigator rule doesn't apply when both guys want to fight...be it in the final two minutes or the first. Most guys answer the bell...Steve Moore did. Other guys like Pink Panties like to run guys from behind...see his hits on Chelios...Jackman...and a dude on the Wild.

In all honesty...nothing bodes better for teams in the west that may face the wings in the playoffs than Pink Panties skating with them. He's a flat out choke artist. It is what it is.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:59 PM   #884
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You're right, he would, Pendejo.

Ok, I thought that was how it worked with the instigating, but I could have sworn I heard some announcer say once there was no fights after the 5 to go mark. He must have had it wrong too, or I was half asleep. Either is possible. I still agree, the rule needs to go.

Break a leg, Clodd....literally.
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Old 03-19-2007, 03:39 PM   #885
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]How 'bout them Avvies

--'fraid to say it too loud for fear of invoking some evil hockey spirits...

Last night I have to work on a project on the computer downstairs so I'm making due by listening to the NHL broadcast. Game ends and "We're going to Overtime". So I can't stand it, hit the save button, go upstairs, switch to Altitude. And....

OVER.

C'mon Milan! I want to win and all but 19 seconds? I can't haul my ass upstairs in 19 seconds!!

(Replay was still sweet though....)
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:33 PM   #886
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Stars are mad at the Preds for not celebrating Mike Modano's 503rd goal.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2804125

Stars president Jim Lites couldn't believe the lack of acknowledgement by the Nashville Predators when Dallas forward Mike Modano tied and then broke the record for goals scored by an American-born player Saturday, according to a published report.

"Their owner, management, public relations people, coaching staff -- I think they all failed the game," Lites told the Dallas Morning News. "It's because of people like Mike Modano that they even have a team in Nashville. He has helped pioneer the game in the South, and for him to be treated like that in a milestone moment ... it's just a horrible thing."

Lites' disdain for the Nashville organization wasn't just limited to the events surrounding Modano's record.

"I understand it's a competitive situation, but we're also working together to sell the game," Lites told the paper. "They get more money from revenue sharing than any team in the league, they voted against the new schedule because they wanted to have an easier schedule for themselves. They take and take and take and take and never give back, and I'm sick of it."

Modano's two goals Saturday gave him 503 for his career, breaking Joe Mullen's record. Modano's accomplishment was never mentioned over the PA system at Nashville Arena.

------------------

Hmmmm, maybe the Predators are still a little sore from when Modano said that Nashville should be contracted?

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/indepth/cba...ntraction.html

At the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, Dallas Stars forward Mike Modano said he thought that Nashville and Carolina should be contracted.

Yet you expect the organization that Modano doesn't even think deserves to exist to honor him? Take some of the money that you can no longer overspend on the likes of Bill Guerin & Scott Young and buy a ****ing clue.
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:47 PM   #887
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Stars are mad at the Preds for not celebrating Mike Modano's 503rd goal.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2804125

Stars president Jim Lites couldn't believe the lack of acknowledgement by the Nashville Predators when Dallas forward Mike Modano tied and then broke the record for goals scored by an American-born player Saturday, according to a published report.

"Their owner, management, public relations people, coaching staff -- I think they all failed the game," Lites told the Dallas Morning News. "It's because of people like Mike Modano that they even have a team in Nashville. He has helped pioneer the game in the South, and for him to be treated like that in a milestone moment ... it's just a horrible thing."

Lites' disdain for the Nashville organization wasn't just limited to the events surrounding Modano's record.

"I understand it's a competitive situation, but we're also working together to sell the game," Lites told the paper. "They get more money from revenue sharing than any team in the league, they voted against the new schedule because they wanted to have an easier schedule for themselves. They take and take and take and take and never give back, and I'm sick of it."

Modano's two goals Saturday gave him 503 for his career, breaking Joe Mullen's record. Modano's accomplishment was never mentioned over the PA system at Nashville Arena.

------------------

Hmmmm, maybe the Predators are still a little sore from when Modano said that Nashville should be contracted?

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/indepth/cba...ntraction.html

At the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, Dallas Stars forward Mike Modano said he thought that Nashville and Carolina should be contracted.

Yet you expect the organization that Modano doesn't even think deserves to exist to honor him? Take some of the money that you can no longer overspend on the likes of Bill Guerin & Scott Young and buy a ****ing clue.


Yeah but NSH and FLA are so deep in $$$ problems - that relocation or contraction maybe the only viable solution.
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Old 03-19-2007, 05:08 PM   #888
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Yeah but NSH and FLA are so deep in $$$ problems - that relocation or contraction maybe the only viable solution.
PriModano is entitled to his opinion, but don't don't expect an organization who you say should be disbanded to celebrate you when you hit a milestone.
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Old 03-19-2007, 05:23 PM   #889
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Stars are mad at the Preds for not celebrating Mike Modano's 503rd goal.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2804125

[B] "It's because of people like Mike Modano that they even have a team in Nashville. He has helped pioneer the game in the South.
So does that mean Mike Modano was the reason they couldn't sell any tickets in Minnesota?

So does that mean Mike Modano is responsible for Canada not being able to hold onto their franchises? I think they've been wondering who to blame. Madanno. Who knew?

Bwahahahahhahaha....
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Old 03-20-2007, 01:21 AM   #890
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Calgary didn't make any kind of announcement or make a big deal when Sakic scored his 600th in their arena.

I guess the Avs should be whining about the lack of acknowledgment.
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Old 03-20-2007, 08:38 AM   #891
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jagr beat the pens.... damn that jagr... where's kris beech when you need him........
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:46 AM   #892
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Calgary didn't make any kind of announcement or make a big deal when Sakic scored his 600th in their arena.

I guess the Avs should be whining about the lack of acknowledgment.
While Super Joe is a legitimate Canadian Icon, how could that possibly compare to Dorothy PIONEERING hockey in the south?

Silly.
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:34 PM   #893
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PriModano is entitled to his opinion, but don't don't expect an organization who you say should be disbanded to celebrate you when you hit a milestone.
You know what's even more ironic? Didn't the Dallas franchise strip the Pioneer of Hockey in the South of his C in the off season and stitch it to "the future" Brendan Morrow? Tsk Tsk. How disrespectful.
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:49 PM   #894
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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=200808&hubname=nhl

Robidas was knocked unconscious on the play late in the third period of Saturday night's 3-2 win by the Predators at Nashville.

Robidas, who was coming to the defence of star centre Mike Modano, was assessed a minor for charging on the play, and Tootoo received a double-minor for roughing.

Robidas was carried off the ice on a stretcher and was taken to hospital. He's out at least a week after sustaining a concussion.
Related Info

* Isles' Simon will not face charges

"In reviewing this incident, Stephane Robidas appeared to be initiating a confrontation by approaching Jordin Tootoo," NHL senior executive vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell said in a statement. "While a player is entitled to defend himself, Mr. Tootoo's forceful blow to Robidas' head was an overly aggressive and inappropriate response.



"The fact that Mr. Tootoo's actions resulted in an injury to his opponent also was a factor in this decision."

Tootoo, 24, has three goals, four assists and 104 penalty minutes in 61 games this season. Robidas, 30, has 17 assists and 82 penalty minutes in 71 games this season.

Predators general manager David Poile said the team disagreed with the suspension, but did not plan to appeal.

"Jordin was put in a very difficult situation with Robidas confronting him," Poile said in a telephone conference. "I don't know what he was supposed to do. All he could see was a player coming at him with his arms up and certainly looking like he's ready to enter into some form of confrontation. I think Jordin did what I think everybody would do, and he reacted and threw a punch."
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:53 PM   #895
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Default Staios is done for the year

If the oilers season couldn't get worse...

In and out of the lineup since spraining the medial-collateral ligament and patella (kneecap) in his left knee during practice Nov. 23, Staios aggravated the injury March 7 against Tampa Bay. He hasn't played since.

Staios will miss the team's final nine games, leaving the Oilers' injury-riddled defence short his 677 games of NHL experience and with four rookies in the lineup. No date for surgery is set.

''I feel comfortable with the decision,'' Staios said. ''We've taken some time to think about it and do the right thing.

''It's something that, as a player, you go out there and you realize you aren't right, but you want to be in there. It was frustrating for me.''




Staios, 33, had a streak of 224 consecutive games played ended by the injury when he sat out against the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 24.

Staios had missed a total of 15 games, including Edmonton's last six outings, before the decision was made to have the surgery. Recovery is expected to take four months.

''There's the option of doing rehab (rather than surgery) and then coming back and seeing how it is,'' Staios said. ''I want to take all that sort of risk out of the way. That's why I'm going ahead with the decision.''

With Staios set for surgery and Daniel Tjarnqvist having had a sports hernia repaired this week, the blue-line is being manned by captain Jason Smith, second-year rearguard Matt Greene and rookies Ladislav Smid, Bryan Young and Dan Syvret. Junior call-up Sebastien Bisaillon is also in the mix.

''He's been battling this awhile,'' coach Craig MacTavish said of Staios. ''We have to get it fixed so we can properly evaluate him. How much was it impacting his game?

''He was, clearly, not the same player for at least the last few weeks playing through the injury. Hopefully, this is the thing that will get it sorted out.''

After Smith, who has 859 NHL games on his resume, Staios is the team's most experienced defenceman. Tjarnqvist has 315 games.

Greene, Smid, Young, Syvret and Bisaillon, who made his debut in Monday's 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, have played a combined 191 games.

''It's one of those things where it's a little bit pain, but mostly you just feel it sliding and you don't have the stability,'' Staios said. ''That was a very, very frustrating thing for me.

''I got off to a good start and was really looking to put together a solid season for the team.''

Staios, injured two days after signing a four-year contract extension worth $10.8 million Nov. 21, says he expects to be healthy in time for training camp.

''The timing is right,'' Staios said. ''The sooner the better. Four months sounds like a long time, but I think I'll be on the ice before that.''

Notes: Rookie defenceman Tom Gilbert, out for 12 games with a concussion, skated Tuesday and could be ready to return to when the team opens a six-game road trip in Nashville. . Rookie Mathieu Roy remains out with a concussion, as does forward Jarret Stoll.

Last edited by Bronx33; 03-20-2007 at 07:55 PM..
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Old 03-20-2007, 08:47 PM   #896
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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...rts/columnists

You'd think it would be easy for Chris Chelios to be an annoyance, the 191-pound tick that crawls under people's skin. He's been doing it for 23 years, and in 29 of the National Hockey League's 30 arenas, he's about as popular as finding a cockroach in your beer.

But being painted as the bad guy by many of his peers and by those in the National Hockey League Players' Association head office? Chelios never wanted that. The thing was, he couldn't sit back and do nothing as questions emerged over the hiring of Ted Saskin as the NHLPA's executive director.

So Chelios stuck his nose in where he was told it shouldn't be, and now, 18 months later, the NHLPA is conducting an independent review of Saskin's tenure while putting him on a paid leave of absence for allegedly accessing player e-mail. Does Chelios feel vindicated?

Yes and no. For the 45-year-old Detroit Red Wings defenceman, it was never about him; it was about doing what was best for the union, even if it meant fighting a public battle and bearing the brunt of the catcalls.
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"I'd be lying if I said there weren't bad days," Chelios said yesterday. "I lost sleep and was stonewalled. It hasn't been easy. . . . But being the oldest guy in the league, I was there for Alan Eagleson, for Bob Goodenow and Ted Saskin. I've got nothing to gain from this, aside from doing something good for the young players coming up and because I care about the game.

"It's crazy it could happen again with us."

Chelios leaped into the fray without considering how much personal time and money it would extract. A number of sources have said Chelios, Trent Klatt and Dwayne Roloson -- dubbed the dissidents -- were bad-mouthed by NHLPA executive members and other NHL players because "it was easier to discredit them than answer the questions they were raising."

On those bad days, Chelios found inspiration in a book, The Power of Two: Carl Brewer's Battle with Hockey's Power Brokers. As a player, Brewer was dismissed as an oddball who didn't take well to authority, most notably Punch Imlach, the coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the time.

Brewer had helped establish Eagleson's power base as a player agent, which led to his running the NHLPA. When Brewer learned Eagleson had been abusing the players' pension fund, he fought his former friend and helped put him in jail.

"He paid the ultimate price," Chelios said, referring to how Brewer was ostracized by the NHL. "He couldn't play the game he loved. By no means do I compare myself to him, but I can relate to how he was alienated and later vindicated."

Chelios has been trying to reach out and communicate with those he has disagreed with, one being former NHLPA president Trevor Linden. Before Saturday's game between the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit, Linden and Chelios had a 20-minute discussion that dealt with how quickly Saskin was signed to a five-year, $10-million (U.S.) contract after Goodenow was forced to resign.

"Trevor and I, we're never going to agree on what happened on the issues," Chelios said.

"I don't blame the executive committee [which has since been replaced by an interim committee]. I know those guys only have the best interests of the players at heart. Daniel Alfredsson, he had no knowledge of the e-mails [being accessed so Saskin could monitor his critics]. Trevor said the same thing. They can't condone it. Ted was the one making decisions for them. A lot will come out."

The interim executive committee will hold a telephone conference call tonight to hire a labour lawyer who will advise the players on how they should proceed with regard to Saskin's future.

In the meantime, the independent investigation headed by Toronto lawyer Sheila Block continues to gather information about the manner in which Saskin came to succeed Goodenow and the circumstances that ended the NHL's 2004-05 lockout.

Chelios insisted he's "not at liberty to say" how the players learned their e-mail was being read and blocked. He added, though, that once the investigation is finished, "We'll all be on the same page and we can finally move on."

Chelios insisted he does want to move on. It was never his intent to irritate his fellow union brothers by challenging their integrity or intelligence. But once engaged, he was going to be every bit as tenacious off the ice as he is on it, and that's saying a lot.

So what was his guiding premise?

"I trusted my own judgment," Chelios said. "Every teammate I've ever had knows they can trust me and can count on me. There are a lot of young kids in the game who don't know me. I don't expect them to trust me. But what we did was in the best interests of the PA."

For a bad guy, Chris Chelios looks pretty good these days
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:51 PM   #897
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Thought this should be moved up to the main board since we are rapidly approaching playoff time (and in the thick of the playoff races) and since we are in offseason mode anyway.
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:26 PM   #898
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It's about time.
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:49 PM   #899
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Frickin' Wings. Can't even win one in Calgary to help us out.
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:50 PM   #900
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whooohooo go pens!
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