NHL Halloween 2016: Grown men dress in costumes (Gallery)

One of the few delights throughout the long NHL season is the Halloween parties teams have and seeing our favorite NHLers get creative with their costumes.

We dug around the interwebs to find as many players in costume this year at their team’s Halloween celebrations and they did not disappoint.

Without further ado, enjoy the gallery of ghouls and goblins from what is NHL Halloween 2016.

Continue reading

Harrison Browne on coming out as transgender, dealing with backlash (Puck Daddy Q&A)

Earlier Friday, ESPNW broke the news that Harrison Browne of the Buffalo Beauts will be the first transgender athlete in North American professional team sports. The NWHL opens their second season tonight with the Harrison taking the ice for the first time as his true self.

His journey began a few weeks ago when he asked NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan for permission to change his name from Hailey to Harrison and all pronouns associated from ‘she’ to ‘he.’ The league was happy to oblige. The next step was to go public.

We had the chance to chat with Harrison shortly after the announcement. His openness, hope and courage is something we can all learn from.

PUCK DADDY: When did this start circulating through your mind? And when did you finally say, and what made you say, ‘Ok, I’m going to ask [NWHL commissioner] Dani Rylan if I can do this because it feels right to me?’

HARRISON BROWNE: There was always a nagging feeling whenever I’d be addressed as my previous name ‘Hailey.’ Also when I’d read articles on the game play [that] say, ‘Oh, she had a great game. She scored this many points.’ It didn’t sit well.

In my private life I’ve been known as ‘he’ and ‘Harrison.’ It just came to a point where I was kind of like, well, I have this…status, and I was thinking I was kind of living a little bit of a lie; I have a mask on to the public. I just thought it was time to align those two.

I saw an article on Chris Mosier in [ESPN] the Body Issue and he said that he was trans. He had a medical transition, but he’s saying that you can play the sport you love and still be authentic to who you are. I saw that this summer and it really set the wheels in motion for me to try to align my life, without the physical transition, and that’s why I decided to contact Dani to just do the minor thing like change my name and change my pronouns because that’s all I can do right now. That’s why I decided.

Continue reading

Puck Daddy Summer Series: Weird NHL Recap

[Ed. Note: Some lists chronicle the best in hockey. Others the worst. Others the most memorable or greatest or essential. What Puck Daddy’s 2016 Summer Series seeks to do is capture those indefinable, quirky, oddities that occur every season. Moments that defy prediction or, in some cases, logical explanation. Welcome to WEIRD NHL.]

Another August has come and gone, and the Puck Daddy Summer Series is officially in the books. We want to thank all of our writers for putting in their time during the offseason to help out.

So, let’s get weird, one last time … at least today. This is the NHL we’re talking about. (Guardian Project, anyone?!)

Weird Anaheim Ducks by Jen Neale of Puck Daddy

Weird Arizona Coyotes by Sarah Hall of Five For Howling

Weird Boston Bruins by Cornelius Hardenbergh and the staff of Stanley Cup of Chowder

Weird Buffalo Sabres by Chris Ostrander of Two in the Box

Weird Calgary Flames by Ari Yanover of Flames Nation

Continue reading

Oilers shakeup Hockey Ops; hire Keith Gretzky, part with Howson, Dellow

In the dog days of the offseason, the Edmonton Oilers decided to give their Hockey Operations department a good shake to get out all the cobwebs (minus Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe).

The first announcement was the hiring of a Gretzky as Assistant General Manager. Not THAT Gretzky; it’s Wayne’s younger brother, Keith.

As showcased by the picture above, Keith Gretzky is being reunited with his former boss in Boston, now-Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli. While working for Chiarelli with the Bruins, Gretzky served as a scout for two years before taking the post as the Director of Amateur Scouting for the next three. His biggest draft success for the Bruins thus far has been David Pastrnak.

Gretzky replaces “Lucky Bill Scott” as AGM. MacTavish bestowed the moniker upon Scott as he sent the man to win the Connor McDavid draft lottery for the Oil. He did just that, but appears his luck has run out, more or less. According to TSN, after two years as AGM, Scott is being moved to the positions of Director of Salary Cap Management and Assistant to the President of Hockey Operations (a position held by Chiarelli).

Continue reading

NWHL free agency deadline looms, USWNT players unsigned

The NWHL could be facing its first labor battle as the deadline for free agency nears a close on Sunday, July 31.

As of the evening of July 30, the league has 17 total spots over four teams left to fill. They could easily fill the paid positions with any number of the unsigned players from the inaugural season, and would have done so by now if it weren’t for players from the US Women’s National Team (USWNT). All 11 returning and three draft picks from the USWNT roster are not under contract.

Waiting until the last hour to sign the USWNT members isn’t something new to the NWHL.

After the league was announced, the players for the USWNT decided to leave the CWHL for the newly formed NWHL that paid it’s players. Free agency closed on August 17 with the NWHL announcing they had filled all their roster spots, but would not disclose any players not previously named. From a league statement: “The NWHL still plans to announce the final team rosters and contract details as soon as the players are ready.”

“Ready” meant freed from the obligations of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). It took over a month before the issues were resolved and the all the new players announced. The season went on as planned and the heavy USWNT-laden Boston Pride went on to win the inaugural Isobel Cup.

Continue reading

MacKinnon humbled by new contract; feels pressure to win

Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic can cross off the highest priority item off his ‘to do’ list this offseason. The team has signed restricted free agent Nathan MacKinnon to a seven year, $44.1-million contract.

In his post-signing conference call with reporters, the 20-year-old MacKinnon seemed humbled by the contract he earned.

“Honestly, it was very weird signing it today,” said MacKinnon. “I hesitated before I sent it back … just thinking about where I’m from and that kind of money is just crazy to me. But I’m very lucky, and I know I’m very fortunate.”

At the same time, he realizes that big money brings big expectations, ones he’s ready to perform to.

“I feel like I have a lot to prove in this league,” said MacKinnon. “I can take my game to a whole other level … I’m really excited to show that next season, especially with this new contract … there is a lot of pressure to perform and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of that.”

Continue reading

Tour T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas: A Photo Blog

LAS VEGAS — T-Mobile Arena sits on the Las Vegas strip surrounded by hotels. For now it’s hosting special events like WWE this past weekend, MMA fights, concerts and is on the verge of getting a brand new tennant.

Since we’re in town for the NHL Awards, we figured we’d take the opportunity to check out the brand new arena. We walked skeptical and walked away absolutely stunned – in a good way – and down right jealous of the new digs in Vegas.

Our tour guide was Director of Event Marketing and Communications for T-Mobile Arena Gina Rotolo. Whenever we brought up hockey, she coyly mentioned, “As of right now, we don’t have a team.”

Here’s a couple photo collages of the many, many picture we took of the inside of the area. We’ll point out some of what we learned and what everything is.

Continue reading

MacLean in, Strombo out as Hockey Night in Canada host: Report

According to Dave Feschuk of The Star, George Stroumboulopoulos is out as host of Hockey Night in Canada.

He will be replaced by the man he unseated just two seasons ago – Ron MacLean.

When Rogers acquired the rights to the NHL for $5.2-billion they decided to shakeup the prolific Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. The show went from owned by the CBC to subleased by Rogers to the public television network for at least four seasons.

Rogers felt the need to put their mark on the broadcast. In 2014, Stroumboulopoulos was named the host of the show. MacLean, who had been hosting since 1986, was relegated to Hometown Hockey on Sundays and the Coach’s Corner segment with Don Cherry (where he stares longingly at the darkness he hopes will engulf him.)

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Continue reading

Ducks’ GM Murray: Carlyle brings accountability, knows how to win

ANAHEIM — By firing Bruce Boudreau and hiring Randy Carlyle, Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray sent a message to players, fans, and media alike: the team must win now.

“The team, this group, has a little window here; three years, maybe, whatever,” said Bob Murray to reporters at Tuesday’s press conference to announce the hiring of Carlyle. “You had to get a guy in here that knew some of the players and knows that it’s time. That knows how to win.”

Murray interviewed several candidates, but as he put it, “everything just came back to Randy in the end.”

Being in this position of rehire the team’s former head coach is one that Murray didn’t want to be in in the first place.

Continue reading

Dani Rylan, NWHL commissioner, opens up about scandalous offseason

In March 2016, the first ‘leaked’ National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) emails made their way to the inboxes of several women’s hockey writers. Others followed. They alleged unpaid debts, mismanagement behind the scenes and general chaos for the first-year league.

How did NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan feel about this campaign?

“Someone has a lot of time on their hands to try and undermine the NWHL and all the hard work we’ve put into this league,” she said in an interview with Puck Daddy. “I would much prefer to actually handle a problem someone has with me rather than hear about it through a blog post.”

What a difference a year makes.

Continue reading