Tag Archives: Brad McCrimmon

SPOTLIGHT: MARK HOWE

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

Though three of the four inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night played with the hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, it was former New England and Hartford Whalers left wing/defenseman Mark Howe who stole the show.

Leading a quartet of greats to the podium that also included goalie Ed Belfour and forwards Joe Nieuwendyk and Doug Gilmour, Howe ended his five-minute speech by fulfilling a request of his Hall of Fame father, Gordie “Mr. Hockey” Howe. Not long after Mark retired in 1995 following a 21-year pro career that ended with the Detroit Red Wings, for whom his dad started his record 32-year run, Gordie told his son he had had just one unfulfilled wish.

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BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – WADE REDDEN, YEAR TWO

BY: Bruce Berlet

Despite spending a pleasant summer in picturesque Kelowna, British Columbia, with his wife and young daughter, Wade Redden experienced a bit of an unsettling offseason, proving again that money can’t buy you complete happiness.

First, Redden had a chat with New York Rangers coach John Tortorella, who, not surprisingly, told the 13-year NHL veteran that he didn’t fit into the Blueshirts plans despite a strong finish to his first season in the minors with the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale. In fact, Redden wasn’t invited to Rangers training camp because if he got injured, his $6.5 million contract would count against the salary cap, meaning the Rangers would have to release and/or trade other players.

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FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

BY: Bruce Berlet

After a stellar first season with the New York Rangers, it has been a difficult 12 months for Marian Gaborik.

First, the right wing who signed a five-year, $37.5 million free-agent deal with the Blueshirts on July 1, 2009 saw his goal production plummet from 42 to 22 last season as he battled injuries while trying to find a center to work with on a consistent basis. But that disappointment and angst paled in comparison to what transpired in the past four months.

On May 13, Rangers left wing/enforcer and close friend Derek Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment, the victim of an accidental overdose of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone. Boogaard was 28.

On Wednesday, the 29-year-old Gaborik was trying to come to grips with the tragic death of another of his best friends, former NHL standout center Pavol Demitra, one of 43 people killed in the crash of a plane carrying the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. Demitra was 37.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

I can still picture New York Rangers center Artem Anisimov, then with the Hartford Wolf Pack, standing with Alexander Vasyunov after he was named the No. 1 star and his former Russian linemate the second star in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Lowell Devils at the XL Center on Nov. 21, 2008.

Anisimov and Vasyunov, a speedy wing, had played together at different levels for a decade, often on the same line, with the elite Lokomotiv Yaroslavl teams before heading to North America after being born only a month apart and drafted just four spots apart in the second round of the 2006 NHL draft by the Rangers and rival New Jersey Devils. The XL Center game was their first meeting overseas, and they had plenty to celebrate and catch up on after the final horn sounded before heading their separate ways again.

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RUSSIAN TRAGEDY

There isn’t much to say other than that the hockey world is in shock after the news of a plane crash that happened near the city of Yaroslavl in Central Russia. According to Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry, the crash has claimed the lives of at least 43 people, the majority of which are the members of the Kontinental Hockey League club, Lokomotiv.

There were New York Ranger connections to several of the players who were killed. Alexander Karpotsev, a member of the 1994 Rangers’ Stanley Cup team was a coach on the team. Karel Rachunek was a defenseman who played parts of two seasons in New York and Jan Marek who was selected by the Blueshirts in round 8 (#243 overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Continue reading

FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

After two deflating seasons on Broadway fraught with boos and negative press, no one could have blamed Wade Redden for exiting the NHL stage left for more pleasant endeavors like the impending birth of his first child.

But chats with longtime friends/teammates such as Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and former Hartford Whalers defenseman Curtis Leschyshyn and Brad McCrimmon helped convince Redden that if he still had the will and opportunity to play that he shouldn’t hang up his skates and sticks just yet.

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