Bruins trade Tim Thomas to the New York Islanders

Late afternoon today the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders have confirmed that goaltender Tim Thomas is now the property of the Isles.

Thomas, 38, who led Boston to a first Stanley Cup in 39 years with a stellar performance during the 2010 NHL playoffs, has been traded for a conditional 2nd round pick in 2014 or 2015 to the Bruins. The Bruins will get this draft pick only if Thomas plays for the Islanders or any team they may decide to trade his rights to. Thomas has not played yet this season.The Bruins were not paying him as he was suspended. The Isles won’t have to pay him either if Thomas stays at home.

The transaction is definitely cap-related. The Bruins clear cap space the equivalent of Thomas’ 4-year 20M$ contract and the Islanders needed to be over the floor by tomorrow as they needed to get insurance against not being cap compliant the entire season.

In case you are wondering the Bruins did not need to get the OK from Thomas to be traded as his no-trade clause was no longer in effect since the end of last season.

Pierre Lebrun from TSN has already reported that the goaltender has no intention of coming back to the game this season. If that is the case the Islanders will either let the contract expire and that will be the end of it or ”toll” it for next year, meaning that the Isles would defer the contract instead of letting it expire.

The experts seem to agree that this is a good transaction for both teams.

 

 

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Interview with Tanner Richard!

ImageToday, I had time to conduct an interview with Tanner Richard. Tanner is a 19 year old forward playing for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League. He was drafted in the 3rd Round (71st Overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Even though he was born in Markham, Ontario, Canada, but he represents Switzerland on the national stage. Even though he is relatively young at just 19, he has played pro in both Switzerland and Canada. Before we get into the interview, just the usual promotion stuff. Follow me on Twitter @hkyblogger and follow Tanner @TRichard27. “Like” us on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog

Like usual, we are in bold.

First off, how has your day been?
Well, seeing how I’m laying in bed sick and have been since Friday night, my day has been kind of miserable. It’s frustrating having to lay here in bed and not be able to do anything. Missing 2 practices and a big game makes it even worse.
 
So many of our readers might not know who you are, so a little bit about yourself? Maybe a cool fact?
Hmm.. Well I’m a Swiss kid playing hockey in Canada just trying to make it to the big leagues and live the dream. Cool fact, I speak 4 languages. English, German, pretty good French, and then Italian. Italian I understand a fair amount, but my speaking level I’m still working on.
 
What kind of player do you consider yourself? (scorer, grinder, playmaker etc.)
I would say I am a playmaker and I think my stats form the past would say the same. Although lately I have found a bit of a scoring touch. I hope to keep up both parts now.
 
Was hockey your only sport that you played growing up?
No. Growing up in Switzerland where soccer is the country’s first sport, it’s kind of like hockey here. Almost every kid tries hockey, well there it’s vice versa. I played soccer for a few years but decided to stick to hockey.
 
So many players that I interview don’t go through the OHL, instead, they go through other junior leagues like the WHL and NCAA. So what’s the OHL like?
I don’t know too much about the NCAA, I mean I’ve gotten the chance to talk to some guys but don’t know too much. I would say the OHL is a bit similar to the WHL. After all, they’re both in the CHL. The main difference I would have to say is the travelling though. I have a few buddies in the WHL and they travel a lot more than we do. They go on like 2 week road trips and stuff and have beds in their team bus, we don’t have that. Some of the OHL teams I think have a few bigger road trips than we do in Guelph, that’s because we’re located really well. Our longest road trip this season was 4 days. In those 4 days we played in Peterborough-Ottawa and Kingston.
 
Take us back to the Draft. What happened, your emotions and emotions?
The Draft is definitely one of the highlights of my life so far. Just being at an event like that is something I’ll take with me through my whole life, be able to tell my children about and just never forget. Not just the getting drafted part, but just being at an NHL event like that, I remember on the morning of the first draft day we had a meeting and players like Brendan Shanahan, Mathieu Schneider, and Ryan Nugent Hopkins were there. They just shared some stories and talked about what to expect. And than once you get drafted you get welcomed by the whole staff of the organization. It felt amazing to be welcomed as a new member of the organization and still now is highly motivating to get to the next level. Being able to share the experience with my family and a few relatives and close friends, made it that much better.
 
What’s it like in the off-season?
I don’t know how it is here in the off season. But for me, in the off season I go back home to Rapperswil, Switzerland- my hometown. I train with the pro team there. Back home, as a player you are obligated to do the off season training as a team, it’s not individual like here. We have 2 training sessions a day. One is usually for strength, and than the other will be balance, cardio, skills development or something like that. Summer is really tough, but that’s where you get to be a better player than you were the season before. You can work on your puckhandling skills, your skating, your strength, your shot.. So many things!
 
What do you miss most about home during the season?
For sure my family and friends. Here after the weekend games we usually get one day off or so so a lot of the guys go home and still can spend time with their family and friends, but for me that’s not really the case. I’m fortunate enough though, to have my mom, my brother and my father come over once per season for a week and a half. All at separate times so I really value that time I get to spend with them.
 
So you represented Switzerland during the 2012 WJHC, what was that like?
The WJC12 in Calgary was the highlight of my hockey career to this day. It was so amazing. Being able to play in the Saddledome in front of a sold out hockey crazy crowd was breathtaking. Being the underdog, and the fact that Canada has rivalries with Sweden and especially Russia, the fans cheered their hardest for us. I remember a few times where I got goosebumps when the crowd would cheer “Go Swiss Go” or when we would score a goal and the place went nuts.
 
What has been your highest point of you career so far?
Scoring the OT winner for Switzerland at the WJC12 in relegation round against Denmark to keep our team from getting relegated.
 
Lowest point?
Losing to Russia in the quarterfinal game in Ufa at the WJC13. 
 
How did you persevere from that?
Losing to Russia in that game after a shootout was the most heart breaking hockey moment of my career. When you want something so bad, and you’re so close to success but than it all turns around and you lose, that really destroys you. We were ahead 3-2 and than they tied it up with 90 seconds to go. We than had a few good chances in OT and could have just as well beaten them in the shootout, except we didn’t. 90 seconds away from advancing to the semi finals and we would have been guaranteed to play for a medal. I’m sure for a Canadian that’s normal, but as a Swiss player being that close to a medal, you don’t have those opportunities all that often. Also the fact knowing this was my last shot with the junior National team, made it a bit worse because there’s no shot at it next year. For many of the guys there will be, but not for me, I’m too old now, my time is up.
 
I like to ask some random questions just to show the human side of hockey players and to make the interviews memorable. So here’s a few:
 
Favourite type of food?
I love a great steak, but being form Europe and being so close to the Italian border I’m fortunate enough to be able to eat some of the best Spaghetti and Pizza in the world.
 
What’s on your iPod right now?
The last few months I’ve really been listening to a lot of Drake, I’d love to see a concert of his some day.
 
Every hockey team does pranks. What’s the best you’ve seen or were part of?
This summer at Tampa Bay’s development camp, I remember a guy put a coat hanger in the back of my pants and than when we went out for the scrimmage all the fans started laughing and I didn’t know why until one of the trainers let me know why. That was pretty embarrassing  he got me good. But I have 6 months to come up with something to get the guy back who got me! 🙂
 
Other than that just little things in the room, shaving cream in one of the player’s pockets. Cutting up a guys skate laces, hiding their sticks. On road trips the big thing is to lean water buckets on top of the door so when you open the door it spills all over you.  Unfortunately that ended up ruining one of the guy’s laptop this year.Also tornadoing guys’ hotel rooms and hiding the mattresses outside or on the balcony and stuff like that. All just little things that are in good healthy fun. I usually don’t take part in that kind of stuff though, I’ll more often just sit back and laugh at the guy who got pranked!

 

Subject you hated most in school?
Science, I was terrible. Every class it would just be a battle to get through the lesson.
 
Last question. Any advice for aspiring hockey players?
-Work harder than the guy next to you. Hockey doesn’t owe you anything, but you still get a chance, make the most of it. 
-Have fun, play every shift like it’s your last and get better every day.
 
Thank you for your time. 

Trade Analysis – Wild vs. Rangers

The trade earlier in the day between the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild that saw Mike Rupp being exchanged for Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri was really a trade that you see near trade deadline time – a playoff bound team acquires a veteran from a basement dwelling one in order to add depth and experience to their roster for a deep playoff run. Obviously, it is too early to start preparing for the playoffs and the Rangers are definitely not a bottom conference team. But who’s to say that the Wild don’t have the eventual playoffs push that they will endure at the end of the season in the back of their mind? As I said, it is too early for that, but it is a possibility as too why this trade was done. The more likely explanation – the Wild need for more grit, and protection for some of their big scoring guns, such as Mikael Granlund, or Miiko Koivu, which is something that Rupp can supply immediately to the lineup. For Powe, it is unlikely that he would get much playing time on a Rangers team that is already deep with grinding forwards, but maybe the hard working motto of New York is just what he needs. Meanwhile, Palmieri is having a pretty decent year in the AHL, with 21 points in 40 games for Houston, and could be the “sleeper” in the trade. Most people think of added minors players to trades, useless, but you never know what can happen in those cases. Regardless, Rupp’s immediate readiness gives the Wild my edge in this trade.

Monkey Off Their Backs: Predators vs Kings Recap

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Finally. Finally the Nashville Predators came away with a win in a shootout. Finally goalie, Pekka Rinne, gets his first win of the season. Finally Nashville played Predator-like hockey. Sure there are still issues to be resolved in the Predators game play, but their showing late in the 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings has to be a breath of fresh air for Nashville.

The Predators jumped on the defending cup champs early. With just 0:58 seconds off the clock, Brandon Yip took a feed from Gabriel Bourque and snapped it right into the net. Nashville would hold on to the lead until the 13:08 mark when a fluke of a goal would cost them. After a shot went high and banked off the glass behind the net, the Kings’ Dustin Brown was able to find the rebound and score the goal while everyone else was still looking for the puck. The next two periods, and overtime, would go scoreless, but not for lack of effort. It seemed that especially in the third period, both teams picked up the intensity and started playing desperate hockey. Well, if you can call three shots on goal in the third period desperate for the Predators. Neither team could break through, so it was no surprise that the ensuing shootout would go eight rounds.

In the shootout, David Legwand started Nashville out on the right foot by sinking his shot and giving the Predators the 1-0 lead. Shots were then traded between the Kings’ Mike Richards and Dustin Brown and Predators’ Craig Smith, making the shootout 2-2 after three rounds. The tie would keep going in the sixth round when both LA’s Anze Kopitar and Nashville’s Gabriel Bourque would score on their respective tries. Then, in the eighth round, after a miss by the Kings’ Simon Gagne, the Predators’ Sergei Kosititsyn would seal the deal and give Nashville their first shootout win of the season.

Here are my thoughts after the game:

1. Think Outside the Box
I’m not talking figuratively. I’m literally talking about the penalty box. At one point in the first period, the Predators had as many penalty minutes as they did shots. That is unacceptable! Nobody can expect to consistently win games, if someone is always taking a penalty. And I’m not talking about “good” penalties here. I know that sometimes a player has to take a penalty to prevent a sure goal, but the penalties committed in the first period last night by the Predators were not smart. The fact that defenseman, Scott Hannan, was in the box three times during the course of the first period should tell you something. The LA Kings’ twitter account made a joke about there being free pizza in the penalty box. I don’t care if there is a free car; the Predators have got to stay out of there!

2. Skate and Stop
If you know me at all, then you’re not surprised when I say that I am a huge Patric Hornqvist fan. I love how he plays the game. He is someone who is not afraid at all to skate to the front of the net, stay there, and do what he can to score a goal. The Predators need more Patric Hornqvists, especially considering his absence right now. I did see a slight improvement last night on traffic to the net. What I didn’t see, however, was anyone willing to stay there. Several times I would see a Predator player skate down to the front of the net, stay there for a couple of seconds, and then skate to somewhere else on the ice. I don’t know if they got bored, or scared, or what, but when there is nobody there to pick up rebounds, you are missing prime scoring opportunities. It’s also not just about depositing the rebounds, but when you have someone standing there, screening the goalie, it allow shots from the point to get though.

The biggest victory to come out of last night’s game was not the two points the Predators received for the win, it was the fact that the Predators’ Pekka Rinne finally got the monkey off his back. I know that wins are important, but I think the way that Rinne played with last night will not only pay dividends to his own confidence but will also pay off for the team. How Pekka plays is part of the backbone of Predator hockey. Maybe now Nashville can find their identity again as the scrappy team who plays for a solid sixty minutes. If, and notice I did say if, the Predators can use this momentum and focus on fixing the lingering problems (like passing and shooting in the offensive zone), they may be able to rid themselves of the slump they fell into.

Nashville has one more game out on the west coast during this road trip. They will move on to San Jose to take on the Sharks Saturday night. I’m more interested in how they play in this game, having now found a bit of their groove. Can they continue to improve? That will be the true test.

Interview With Jon Matsumoto!

jonWe have a new interview to present to you guys! We’d like to welcome Jon Matsumoto. Jon was drafted in the 3rd round (79th overall) by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He has played for the Flyers, Panthers, and Sharks organizations. You can follow him on Twitter: @Matsy11. You can follow me @hkyblogger and you can “like” us on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog . Without further to do here is our interview!

 
We are in bold.
 
So first off, how has your day been?
My day has been great, first day back at practice, getting ready for the sprint to the finish here. Went for a walk through the woods with Rooney(my dog) and just ate some pesto chicken. I’d say that’s a pretty solid day. 
 
What’s a day in the life of Jon Matsumoto?
To be perfectly honest, like I say on my twitter profile (shameless self promotion @matsy11) I am relatively boring human being. I go to the rink in the morning, grab some lunch on the way home and then either run errands or just relax. If we don’t have a game the following day I like to get in a mini workout after dinner. 
 
So some of our readers might not know too much about you, so maybe a little bio or a cool fact or something?
Grew up in Orleans, Ontario. Got to play close to home for the Cumberland Grads of the CJHL, off to school at Bowling Green and then started my pro career. 
 
Your last name is very unique. What ethnicity are your parents?
My father is of Japanese descent and my mother is of German descent. Both born in Canada.
 
Is there anyone you like to model your game around? (Past or present)
Always trying to learn new aspects to my game, certain things are easier to pick up such as a shootout move or a deke. While other intangible things such as competition level and positioning are tougher to emulate. Pavel Datsyuk I believe is one of the most complete players and obviously has enviable qualities.
 
Who’s your roomie on the road?
Currently it is Travis Oleksuk (Give him a shout out as well @toleksuk11)
 
What kind of player do you consider yourself? (Enforcer, scorer, dangler, etc.)
I consider myself a scorer, but I am always trying to improve.
 
What do you miss about home during the season?
Probably Tim Horton’s and all sorts of other delicious Canadian treats. (All Dressed Ruffles, Crispy Crunch, Bit’s and Bites, Sesame Snacks)
 
During off-season, how do you spend your time?
Working out a ton. My fiancee and I are kind of nomads at this point, so it is related to our location. But beaches and baseball games are usually common activities. 
 
Off to more random and personal questions. This is where many readers get to REALLY learn about you.
So you say your dog is extremely smart. What breed is it, and how is it smart?
We are not sure, he was part of a group of strays that a few members of my San Antonio Rampage adopted last year. He was house broken in less than a day. 
 
What’s on your iPod right now?
Currently I am into a lot of country and house music. As a side note I have a thing for Canadian artists not matter how much bad press they receive, like Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion etc. Call it misplaced national pride perhaps?
 
Who on the team has a horrible taste in music?
I give James Livingston (@jameslivy)  a hard time about his music but I can’t really complain about it.
 
Last movie you saw?
This is 40.
 
Worst subject in school?
Statistics.
 
Favourite pre-game meal?
Al dente penne, with chicken in a 3:1 blend of alfredo to tomato sauce. 
 
Snack you shouldn’t really eat but end up eating a lot of anyways?
Ice Cream, but they give it to us at our pre-game meals on the road. So that doesn’t count right?
 
iPhone, Blackberry, or Android?
I have an iPhone. Had the original iPhone and have tried to stay loyal to Apple.
 
Every team does pranks. Best one you’ve done or seen? 
Wacey Rabbit (@waceyrabbit20) got me last year by texting me from a random number and telling me that the GM wanted to talk to me at the front of the bus. Other good ones are the shaving cream in a towel, taking the deodorant label and putting it on the hairspray can, taping guys clothes in a ball and a cup of water/Gatorade under the helmet.  
 
What has been your highest point of your career?
NHL: Scoring my first goal.
AHL: Winning the longest playoff game ever, defeating the Chicago Wolves in double overtime last year.
 
Lowest point?
I had Mark Grady as a coach in Juniors and he told me: “Don’t let the highs get too high and the lows get too low.” I try and live by that and not let myself get too low.” 
 
How did you persevere from that?
Using his advice.
 
Advice for aspiring hockey players?
“Don’t let the highs get too high and the lows get too low.” I try and live by that and not let myself get too low.” – Mark Grady
 
Anyone suggest I interview?
Anybody I gave a shout out to.
 
Thank you for your time.
Photocreds: AHL.com