Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz will mark an impressive milestone tonight when he stands behind the bench for the 1,000th game in franchise history. Trotz has been the bench boss for every one of those games, making him just the fourth coach in NHL history to spend 1,000 games with a single team. Also on the list: current Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, New York Islanders coaching legend Al Arbour and Billy Reay, who coached 1,012 games for the Chicago Blackhawks. Trotz is also only the seventh coach in the history of the four major professional North American sports leagues to be at the helm for a franchise's first 12 seasons of existence. The others: Lester Patrick of the New York Rangers, Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics, Curly Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers, Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys, Hank Stram of the Kansas City Chiefs and Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns. Also of note: David Poile is the only general manager the Predators have ever had.
Hagman sent to the AHL
Just when you thought the Dion Phaneuf trade couldn’t look much worse, the Calgary Flames assigned veteran forward Niklas Hagman to the AHL's Abbotsford Heat Friday. A quick recap on the Flames’ haul from that blockbuster deal with the Maple Leafs: Jamal Mayers and Ian White are no longer with the franchise, while centre Matt Stajan has managed to contribute a grand total of two points (both assists) to the cause this season while pulling in $3.5-million (which is his cap hit through the 2013-14 season). For Toronto, defenceman Keith Aulie has regressed and is currently playing in the AHL, but Phaneuf is playing some of the best hockey of his career, averaging more than 26 minutes of ice time a night with 12 points in 16 games.
Crosby still making bread
He might not be back from his concussion problems yet, but Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby continues to make bread via an expanded promotional deal with Canadian bakery Dempster’s. The new ad campaign features television commercials and an online game where users see how many pucks they can get into a clothes dryer - just like Crosby did as a youngster in his parents' basement. In conjunction with the new campaign launch, Dempster's is making a $25,000 donation to the Sidney Crosby Foundation, which supports children's charities throughout Canada, including in Crosby's home province of Nova Scotia. While last night was the much-reported return date for Crosby, the Penguins said Thursday he wouldn’t play this weekend. All eyes are now on Tuesday night against the Avalanche as the possible date.
“It's by far the best in terms of likeness. Tragically, it shows the aging process is accelerating.”
-Sen. John McCain on being honoured - not for the first time -with a bobblehead that was distributed to Phoenix Coyotes fans before Thursday night’s game.
“I don’t give a crap what Zenon said, or whatever his name is said.”
- Rangers coach John Tortorella responds to Ottawa tough guy Zenon Konopka’s comments this week about a hit by New York’s Wojtek Wolski that knocked Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson out of the lineup.
Tampa Bay Lightning are chipping away at our escrow 1-3-1 at a time.
- Phoenix forward Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) weighs in on the Tampa Bay defensive scheme controversy.
The number of points Dallas Stars defenceman Sheldon Souray has in 14 games, just one season removed from his banishment to the Hershey Bears of the AHL.
The number of practices Ken Hitchcock said he needed to fix the struggling Blues’ power play after being named coach in St. Louis on Monday.