Last Night’s News 📰
TROUBLE BRUIN: Jake DeBrusk reportedly wants out of Boston. Selected 14th overall in the 2015 NHL draft, DeBrusk has struggled this season and was a healthy scratch for the Bruins’ 3-2 win over Vancouver on Sunday. Although he will remain with the team, his agent Rick Valette is hopeful for a forthcoming change of scenery for the 25-year-old winger.
FOOT THE BILL: Speaking of the Bruins, forward Brad Marchand was suspended for three games without pay for slew-footing Vancouver Canuck Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Sunday afternoon. Marchand is expected to forfeit $91,875.00 in salary during his suspension, with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
A NEW DAY IN MONTREAL: After overseeing a significant shakeup that saw general manager Marc Bergevin and others let go while bringing in Jeff Gorton, Montreal Canadiens president and CEO Geoff Molson told the media that Gorton will be around for the foreseeable future. Signed to a long-term deal, the club’s new Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations will guide the organization alongside the yet-to-be-hired GM.
MEMORIALIZING MIKKO: Yesterday, the Minnesota Wild announced that on March 13, 2022, the team will raise Mikko Koivu’s No. 9 to the rafters in honor of the long-tenured captain. Drafted sixth overall by Minnesota in 2001, Koivu went on to become the first Wild player to play in 1,000 regular-season games and is the franchise leader in assists (504) and points (709).
How well do you know Mario Lemieux?
- How many seasons was Lemieux captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins?
- How many total years was Lemieux in retirement before coming back to the league?
- Lemieux scored his last NHL goal against which team?
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Philadelphia Flyers
- New Jersey Devils
- Montreal Canadiens
Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.
Considering the Candidates
On Sunday, the Montreal Canadiens announced that the team fired Marc Bergevin as general manager, Trever Timmons as assistant general manager, and Paul Wilson as Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations. Additionally, Jeff Gorton was brought on to serve as Executive Vice president of Hockey Operations and will oversee the day-to-day responsibilities of the club.
Let’s take a look at three candidates that could be viable options for the Canadiens job, which includes the requirement to be fluent in both English and French.
Martin Madden Jr.
Madden has been with the Anaheim Ducks organization since the 2008-09 season when he was hired as Director of Amateur Scouting. He became the assistant general manager of the team in 2020 and is known for his ability to draft players after the first round that end up contributing in the NHL, such as John Gibson, Ondřej Kaše, and Josh Manson. Madden could give a fresh look to a team that is looking to restock its prospect pool.
Currently serving as Director of Hockey Operations for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Darche fits the bilingual status that is required for the role and has been a part of a management team that has won two Stanley Cups. Since Tampa’s current general manager Julien BriseBois is locked up for four more seasons, this might be Darche’s best chance at a GM job in the near future.
Montreal’s legendary goaltender has already found a coaching career within the NHL, with the Colorado Avalanche for three seasons. Since resigning from the Avs organization in 2016, Roy took two seasons off before he returned to become the general manager and head coach of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). While Roy didn’t leave Montreal on the best of terms the last time he was with the team, there is a potential reunion in the making that could be the shakeup the Canadiens need.
Maybe We’re Not So Different
It’s official, Fenway Sports Group has reached an agreement to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins. And yeah, we know it kinda feels weird, but when you think about it, an owner crossing metropolitan boundaries for their sports properties isn’t all that uncommon—the Kroenke family owns controlling interest in the Colorado Avalanche and NBA’s Denver Nuggets, but also the NFL’s LA Rams. Heck, even the Fenway Group acquired England’s Liverpool Football Club as part of its portfolio.
Plus, are the Penguins and Boston Red Sox really that different? Both franchises have enjoyed their fair share of hardware (five Stanley Cups for the Pens, nine World Series titles for the Sox) and continue to ride the wave of roughly two strong decades of perennial playoff contention. Yep, they might just be more alike than you think.
A Great Career Cut Short
It goes without saying that Mario Lemieux and Ted Williams both stand as giants of their respective sports, not to mention the lofty standing within each’s organization. And yet, both face “what if” questions surrounding careers that could have been even more.
Lemieux battled injuries and Hodgkin’s lymphoma throughout his 17-year career, ranking eighth all-time in points even though he sits at 483rd in games played. Williams was largely healthy over the course of his own 19 years in the major leagues, but military service took three years out of the Splendid Splinter’s prime.
Beloved Fan Favorites
Okay, so every sports franchise has their fan favorites, but few have achieved the universally beloved status earned by Pittsburgh’s Jaromir Jagr and Boston’s David Ortiz during their peak. Jagr, pushing 50 and still playing pro hockey, made mullets fashionable and inspired a small army of dedicated supporters. Meanwhile, the Red Sox slugger affectionately known as “Big Papi” remains a larger-than-life figure in Red Sox lore for his endearing persona and on-field exploits.
Unlikely Heroes Come Up Big
No, Frank Pietrangelo and Dave Roberts don’t hold the same stature as some of the aforementioned franchise greats, but both delivered big when it mattered most.
As a young netminder called into emergency duty in place of the injured Tom Barrasso, Pietrangelo made what’s known in Pittsburgh circles as “The Save,” an incredible glove save on Peter Šťastný in the first round of the 1991 Playoffs to keep the Pens alive against the New Jersey Devils. Thirteen years later, a sparsely used pinch-runner named Roberts stole second base with Boston facing elimination in the 2004 ALCS, sparking a rally that would ultimately lead to the club’s first World Series victory in 86 years.