Friday, December 26, 2014

The Holiday Edition of Favorite Hockey Memes


Happy Holidays everybody! I am working on a post of best hockey moments of 2014. If you have a suggestion, please feel free to leave free to leave a comment or send it to stickhappensblog@gmail.com. 

 Here's the Holiday edition of favorite hockey memes....



THIS will be my Christmas tree next year! 


Not exactly a meme...but a favorite Simpsons' couch gag!

Found this on Pinterest...enough said...
Yes, I have to include at least one meme about NHL Refs....



So, is that how NHL Ref Brad Meier got his job????

I HAD to include this one in regards to the Wild's goaltending mess...
Of course, I HAD to include this one from Minnesota Hockey Magazine (courtesy of @mnhockeymag on twitter).





Monday, December 15, 2014

Does Josh Harding have a future with the Minnesota Wild?

Before the season started, I wrote in one of my first blog posts on whether or not Niklas Backstrom has any kind of a future with the Minnesota Wild. (See the post here.)

Well, now that same question can be asked about Josh Harding.

During his career with the Minnesota Wild, he has missed significant time. He missed the entire 2010-11 season due to a torn ACL and MCL in one of his knees suffered during a pre-season game against the St. Louis Blues.  In September 2012, he announced that he had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. (Harding is the first and only known professional athlete to be playing with the autoimmune disorder that attacks the central nervous system). Harding has missed significant time the past two seasons due to issues related to his treatment. Harding hasn’t played a game in a Wild sweater since December 31, 2013. 

In 151 career games with the Wild, he has a 60-59-11 record with a career 2.45 GAA and .918 SV%.

Right before the start of training camp back in September, it was announced that Harding broke his foot in a “non-hockey related incident.” As a result of that injury, Harding ended up being suspended. (Harding is not the first Wild player to be suspended over a non-hockey related injury. James Sheppard was suspended for the 2010-11 season after breaking his knee cap in an ATV accident in Colorado.)

On November 17, Harding was activated off of injured reserve and placed on waivers. He ended up clearing waivers and being sent down to the Iowa Wild. Fans had hoped there would be a possibility that Harding would eventually be called up to the Minnesota Wild—depending on the health/play of goaltenders Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper.

Fast-forward to November 29, Harding made his second start for the Iowa Wild in their game at Charlotte and played the first two periods. He didn’t come out for the third period, leading to speculation to what happened. Last week, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune wrote that Harding ended up in the hospital due to dehydration related to his MS. According to Russo, “Harding is expected to be sidelined indefinitely and won’t play again until this is figured out.” (startribune.com Dec. 9, 2014). How long that might be? Nobody knows at this point. I think the fans would like to see him play with the Wild this season. However, that is looking like a long shot. 

At this point, what is Harding’s future with the Minnesota Wild? He is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. The big thing going against Harding right now is his Multiple Sclerosis and he has missed a lot of time due to issues with his illness. Time will only tell what will happen with Harding. Is there a team that is willing to take a chance on him? Maybe. Right now, I think Chuck Fletcher may have to make the tough decision and let Harding go via free agency at the end of this season. 

What are your thoughts?? 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

News from around the NHL…

Daniel Alfredsson participating in pre-game skate after
 signing 1-day contract to retire as an Ottawa Senatory
Earlier this week, Daniel Alfredsson signed a one-day contract with the Ottawa Senators and announced that he was retiring after an 18 year career. Alfredsson spent 17 years as a member with the Senators before spending his last season playing with the Detroit Red Wings. On Thursday night, he skated in pre-game warm-ups—donning his Senators’ #11 jersey one last time—before taking part in a ceremonial face-off. During the course of Alfredsson’s 18 year career, he scored 444 goals and 713 assists in 1,246 games played. He was also a member of the Swedish Olympic hockey team that won gold back in 2006 in the Olympics in Turin, Italy. 

George Parros (and that mustache)
Also announcing his retirement from the NHL was George Parros. Parros, (who possessed one of the best mustaches in the league) announced his retirement on Friday. Parros played for the Los Angeles Kings (who originally drafted him back in 1999), Colorado Avalanche, Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers, and the Montreal Canadiens during the course of his 9-year career in the league. According to Hockeyfights.com, Parros had participated in more than 100 fights and had 15 career goals. 

The Mumps (sorry, I had to include this….)
Well, the Mumps have been going around the league. For the most part, the virus had been going around the Western Conference (mostly Anaheim, Minnesota, and St. Louis). Recently, Tanner Glass (from the New York Rangers) and the Wild’s Ryan Suter are the two most recent players to have been diagnosed with the Mumps. 

Scandella signs a new deal—then gets a fine from the league.

On Nov. 29 shortly before the start of the Wild-Blues game at the Xcel Energy Center (which I attended), it was announced that the Wild came to terms with defenseman Marco Scandella on a new 5-year deal worth $20 million.

Wild on the ice for warm-ups before their game with the Blues

Scandella was fined by the league $2755.38 for an illegal hit to the head on the Blues TJ Oshie, in which Scandella received minor penalty. From what I saw at the game and on replays later, it looked like Oshie was skating with his head down (I also think he embellished a bit). Oshie has had problems with concussions, but he also returned to the game. This is NOT the first time Oshie’s been hit with his head down. I think he should try looking up a bit while carrying the puck (that’s just my opinion).

However, during that SAME game, the Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk made a dangerous hit from behind on the Wild’s Ryan Carter. Shattenkirk received a 5-minute major, a 10 minute misconduct penalty, and was tossed from the game. In looking at the NHL website on Monday, I saw NOTHING in regards to Shattenkirk getting any kind of a disciplinary hearing from the league. I think the NHL Department of Player Safety is a joke since Scandella was fined for a minor penalty, but did absolutely NOTHING in regards to a dangerous hit from behind by Shattenkirk.