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murph

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roberto-luongo-iginla
Mar 9, 2014; Sunrise, FL, USA; Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) watches a goal by right wing Jarome Iginla (not pictured )against Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo (1) in the third period at BB&T Center. The Bruins won 5-2. Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Some trade deadline afterthoughts while watching the Bruins-Panthers game Sunday night:

–Seeing Roberto Luongo as a Panther again really has me in a time warp and feeling a bit old. So much has happened in my own life since he last donned what was a different Panthers jersey in 2006. But all that maybe some day gets told in a tell-all book that nobody will care about. For now, let’s think about what’s happened for Luongo since then and what may happen in the remaining six seasons on his contract that will pay him $4.5 million per season.

To read more:

http://www.xnsports.com/2014/03/10/murphs-musings-luongo-good-fit-panthers-trade-deadline-afterthoughts/

 

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deadline

In the words of one-hit wonders Timex Social Club: “Look At All These Rumors!” With the NHL trade deadline at 3 PM ET Wednesday, the rumors ramped up on Tuesday but thankfully the trades did too and goalies seemed to be the catch of the day on the trade menu.

To read more click here:
 

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ryan-callahan-trade

Just hours after Marty St. Louis and Canada beat the United States to advance to the gold medal game last Friday, former NFLer Boomer Esiason who co-hosts the ‘Boomer and Cart Show’ on CBS New York tweeted this:

“Marty, Marty , Marty in a good way? Hard to believe.”

Then just over 24 hours later Esiason tweeted this:

“Its coming and it will be huge. Surprising, shocking, inevitable, and all about business. $$$ #NHL#tradedeadline

On Monday, Esiason explained whom he was referring to when he said “Marty” making sure his New York and New Jersey listeners didn’t think he meant Devils netminder Martin Brodeur who is also the subject of trade rumors.

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team-canada-gold-medal

As if we all needed another reminder that hockey is — and until another country can produce as many quality and winning players – Canada’s sport. What Canada did in their semifinals and gold medal wins at the 2014 Men’s Olympic hockey tournament can only be described as the type of dominance that we haven’t seen at the Olympics or international level since the Russian Red Armyteams owned the international hockey scene. That’s why it’s no surprise to have just read these stats from the NHL public relations department’s always-resourceful “Morning Skate” email:

“With the win, Canada became the first country to earn back-to-back gold medals since the Soviet Union in 1984 and 1988.”

To read more:

http://www.xnsports.com/2014/02/23/murphs-musings-canada-hockey/

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Feb 15, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Latvia forward Mikelis Redlihs (24) attempts to poke the puck in the net as Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30), Sweden forward Jimmie Ericsson (42) defend in a men’s preliminary round ice hockey game during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Shayba Arena. Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 15, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Latvia forward Mikelis Redlihs (24) attempts to poke the puck in the net as Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30), Sweden forward Jimmie Ericsson (42) defend in a men’s preliminary round ice hockey game during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Shayba Arena. Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The seedings are set for the qualification and medal rounds of the Men’s Olympic hockey tournament and Sweden, United States, Canada and Finland all earned byes and automatic spots in the quarterfinals. Of those four the United States appear to be the most dominant and hottest team right now as they have used a balanced attack, strong defense and solid goaltending to go 2-1-0-0 through the first three games. Right now, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if USA and Canada end up in a rematch in the semifinals if all top four seeds were to advance from the quarterfinals. But as history has proved, things don’t always go as planned and upsets can occur. Here’s this scribe’s take on who out of the top four seeds is the most likely to be upset in the quarterfinals.

To read more, click here: 
 

 

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Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Came away with some interesting tidbits on my weekly show “Murphy’s Hockey Law” this Saturday. NHL Vice President of Player Safety & Hockey Operations Damian Echevarrieta joined me to give a behind the scenes look on how suspensions and fines are determined. He also gave some interesting insight into what he agreed was one of the toughest decisions he and NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Development and Director of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan have had to make and that is the 15-game suspension handed down to Shawn Thornton in December. As Echevarrieta pointed out, suspending a guy they want other players to emulate was very difficult.

“The thing that really killed us is that we love Shawn. We think he’s the kind of hockey player that gets it. He has respect for his opponents; he plays a really hard physical game but he plays within the limits. So it was tough to suspend a guy that we a lot of respect for and that we use as a poster boy to say you can still play tough hockey and we’re not ruining the game for guys like Shawn Thornton in the league. So that was difficult for us because everybody thinks we came down hard on that guy and we’re actually big fans of his.”
To read more:

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sedin
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL roster freeze went into full effect Friday at 3 p.m. and there was not the flurry of trade activity many in the media were expecting. But while all was quiet on the trade front, the chatter around the league went into full Olympic mode. One of the big debates for years now has been whether or not NHLers should be participating in the Winter Olympics. But when the NHL and NHLPA ended the lockout of 2012-13 and agreed on a new CBA, they both agreed that the players would participate in the Sochi games and then reevaluate for South Korea in 2018. But as of late, it doesn’t appear that most owners and teams are upholding the spirit of that agreement.

On Thursday, Flyers owner Ed Snider didn’t hold back when asked what he thought of NHLers traveling to Sochi or any Olympic tournament mid-season.

To read more:

http://www.xnsports.com/2014/02/09/murphs-musings-nhl-teams-respect-olympic-agreement-players/

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sam-gagner
Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner. Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

It was another busy day of NHL trade rumors Thursday with the Olympic roster freeze Friday at 3 p.m. ET. Many expected that the freeze would serve as another trade deadline before the official one on March 5 but as of Thursday night there hadn’t been any major deals this week. Still that doesn’t mean teams aren’t talking and trying to get ahead of the rest of the pack by pulling off an impactful trade before the Olympic break.

CBC Hockey Night In Canada analyst Elliotte Friedman reported over a week ago that the Los Angeles Kings search to jumpstart their putrid offense had turned their goal-starved eyes on Oilers forward Sam Gagner despite numerous reports the Kings would be in hot pursuit of unrestricted free agents to be Thomas Vanek (Islanders) and Matt Moulson (Sabres). Well on Thursday those talks intensified according to AJ Jakubec of the Team 1200 in Ottawa.

To read more:

http://www.xnsports.com/2014/02/07/murphs-musings-oilers-kings-verge-trade/

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andrei-markov
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tis the season for trade rumors and furthermore rumors of trades that could only be pulled off in a video game. Such was the case last Thursday when Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reported that the Avalanche and Canadiens were discussing a possible deal that would send defending Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban to the Avalanche in exchange for draft picks and prospects. That story sent the twitterverse into chaos as Habs fans and hockey media like yours truly wondered where Chambers heard these “reports.” The reality is the Canadiens are very unlikely to trade the Olympian blue liner and if they were to deal him to Colorado, it would take AT LEAST Nathan MacKinnon.

But while Chambers clearly didn’t do his research on whatever scoop he was given and paid dearly for it, getting slammed on Twitter, one has to wonder if he mixed up highly skilled defensemen on the Habs roster? Since that story was printed, two reliable NHL sources have told “Murph’s Musings” that while the Canadiens have had talks with Markov on a new contract and could still sign the unrestricted free agent to be, they are entertaining trade offers for the Russian Olympian.

To read more:

http://www.xnsports.com/2014/02/03/murphs-musings-habs-listening-to-trade-offers-on-andrei-markov/

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Michel-Therrien-Marc-Bergevin
Photo: Eric Bolte – USA TODAY sports

No matter whom you cheer for, there is nothing like being in Montreal when the Canadiens are winning or in the playoffs. The Habs haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1993 and yet a mid-season winning streak can make a winter day with sub-arctic temperatures seem like spending a beautiful summer day sipping a pint of your favorite beer on a Crescent Street terrace. As the Canadiens go, so goes the city of Montreal and that’s why when they’re losing there is nothing like being part of the media in Montreal.

What most fans and media accept as part of the ebb and flow of an NHL season can be viewed as the end of times in Montreal and right now many fans and some media are treating this current Canadiens’ mid-season slump as such. I can tell you this city is in an uproar with some calling for a trade, some for general manager Marc Bergevin’s head, and the majority for head coach Michel Therrien’s head on a platter. As I write this, the city is on pins and needles wondering what will happen if the Canadiens fall to the Hurricanes at the Bell Centre Tuesday night. The Habs enter the game riding a four-game losing streak in which they’ve been outscored 19-5 and been embarrassed in their last three games, the most recent a 5-0 dud to the Capitals on home ice Saturday night.

To read more:

http://www.xnsports.com/2014/01/28/murphs-musings-habs-showing-theyre-still-rebuild/

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