Snipe City is a hockey column written by 36 Crazyfists vocalist Brock Lindow and PUCKHCKY founder Matt Marini.
Brock: Hey Snipers!!!!! The playoffs were as good as ever and even though my Flyers took an early first round exit it was great to have them take the Caps to at least game 6 and show that the future is bright in Philly!!!
It’s important to send out our respects to the family of Gordie Howe who passed away last month. What a legend and it was really cool seeing all the old footage of him and hearing the stories of his tenacity on and off the ice that ESPN & NBC Sports have been showing. R.I.P. Mr Hockey.
Summer hockey camps are in full swing and since baseball and soccer are clogging up my sports watching options, I’ve been hanging down at the rink watching the up and comers get their work in and I’m stoked to say Alaskan hockey is alive and well up here and I’m happy to see how many more opportunities the kids have these days!
Been watching the number one draft pick Austin Mathews doing his camp up in Toronto and if his highlights transpire to his NHL game it’s gonna be a fun year to watch the young star up in Toronto.
Quite an eventful past month or so its been in the NHL wouldn’t you say? First off, lets give a belated congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a great Stanley Cup victory! I will be the first to admit, I had the Pens nowhere near the top of my list to win the Cup. What a truly great performance up-and-down the line-up. Its kinda hard to not say something great about pretty much everyone on the team and the individual contributions each player made in the run to victory, so Ill just point out a couple that really stood out to me. Goalie Matt Murray. Are you kidding me? This kid was fantastic – and I dare say kid because he is just 22 years old! Murray was the Pens 3rd-round pick in 2012, and now he has a Cup! While Murray did have a couple sketchy games along the way, he always snapped back and was strong in his following outing. I think the other guy that needs to be mentioned is Phil Kessel. How many times have you heard people ripping on Kessel the past few years??? This is the definition of a guy that got no respect, or very little anyway. Until Now. Kessel was on fire pretty much the entire playoffs and amassed 22 points in 24 games as a member of the now famous HBK (Hagelin, Bonino, Kessel) line. The HBK line was phenomenal and a huge reason the Pens are the champs. Congrats again Pens.
On to other news!! First…the draft. Leave it to the Columbus Blue Jackets to throw a wrench into the plan, of course right? In case you don’t know, the ENTIRE hockey world was set on the first three picks of this draft 100%. They were to be Matthews, Laine, and Puljujarvi. Matthews being the stud center, and the two Finns as complete right-shooting power-forward types. So, what does Columbus do? You guessed it, they did not take Puljujarvi. They took the number 5 rated guy Pierre-Luc Dubois to everyones surprise and did not trade back (to get an extra pick ala the Red Wings every year!) to do it! So of course this move plopped NHL-ready sniper Puljujarvi into the lap of who??? The Edmonton Oilers of course!!! The team that keeps getting franchise level players year after year after year after year. OK Ill stop, but jeez how much luck can one team have? Of course since then, the Oil did make a couple huge moves, which we will touch on in a bit. Regardless of all these shenanigans, Auston Matthews, Patrick Laine, and Jesse Puljujarvi are going to be complete studs in the NHL for sure, and a bunch of other prospects look very promising so check em out on YouTube, etc. Thanks for keeping us all on our toes there Columbus!!!!
Another very interesting development at the draft was a deal that the Arizona Coyotes and the Detroit Red Wings made. The impetus of this deal was when Pavel Datsyuk of the Wings decided it was time to retire from the NHL, with one year remaining on his contract. Because Datsyuk is 35+ his contract counts against the salary cap no matter what, even though no “real” money will be paid to him. This obviously put the Wings in a bad spot since Dats carries a $7.5 million-dollar salary cap number. So what to do? The Wings needed to find a team that actually needed help getting to the salary cap floor, in stepped the Coyotes. The beauty part of the Datsyuk deal for the Coyotes is obviously they get to count the $7.5 million towards their cap number without paying it out! So here’s how it went down – a prospect named Jakob Chychrun (Chick-rin) who was supposed to be picked in the top-10 spots fell to the Red Wings at pick 16. Chychrun was on the Coyotes short-list of guys they wanted, and the Coyotes also owned the 20th pick. Somehow the stars aligned and both teams were able to each get what they wanted, while helping each other out. How it shook out was this: The Wings dumped Datsyuk’s contract and flipped picks with Arizona. Arizona then selected Chychrun. The Wings picked at 20 and also received a second-round pick from the Coyotes, plus the contract of Joe Vitale. Very interesting deal for both teams.
Matt: Time to discuss the MEGA-MOVES that have happened this summer!! WOW, it has been a crazy time already with more “big-name” players being moved to new teams in the last month than I can ever remember. Here is a list of major transactions that have happened……ready?
Freddie Andersen to the Maple Leafs – Looks like the Leafs have their (and PUCK HCKY guy!) goalie.
Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils with defenseman Adam Larsson going back to the Oilers! Crazy Trade.
Brian Elliot to the Calgary Flames – Seems the Flames have their man in net too. Great move Calgary!
Steven Stamkos resigns with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Not a shocker here..8 years/$68 Million or something.
PK Subban to the Nashville Predators with Shea Weber going to Montreal!!!! WOWWOWWOW. I cant believe this happened still. Not sure who got the better of this deal, both guys are great. This is a true blockbuster trade.
Milan Lucic signs for 7 years in Edmonton…oh yeah for $42 million!!!
Kyle Okposo signs for the same “Lucic” money and term with Buffalo. $6 mil a year for Okposo??!!!
The Florida Panthers are going completely nuts and re-tooling their defense as well as signing some new forwards… PLUS they are re-signing their own restricted free-agents to long-term deals. The Panthers are totally going for it. This is gonna be a fun team to watch….they got new uniforms too!
Chicago could not afford Andrew Shaw, so Shaw bolted to Montreal to the tune of nearly $24 million!! Crazy loot for Shaw, I mean I like him, but $24 million?? The Hawks were also forced to move Teuvo Teravainen to the Hurricanes – not because they wanted to, because they had to. The Canes also took on the brutal contract of Bryan Bickell in order to give the Hawks some much-needed cap space. Whether or not the Canes intend on actually playing Bickell remains to be seen, but stealing a talent like Teuvo is well worth it.
Those are the major moves so far with plenty more to come I’m sure! Keep your eyes on the hockey news as you never know what will happen next!
Also, do not forget about the World Cup of Hockey that happens in September. This will be a fantastic time for any and all hockey fans. Over at PUCK HCKY we are currently creating a line of “PUCK GIRLS” with famed hockey pin-up artist Rob Ullman for the World Cup. Stay tuned for those, as well as a line of other Ullman girls each representing your favorite team-colors!!
Lastly, we finally have PUCK x 36 Crazyfists REAL HOCKEY JERSEYS in stock!! These babies are the real-deal, super high-quality jerseys. Something cool to hold you over while the boys make a new record!!! See below, and go to: www.PUCKHCKY.com
to get yours!!!
Hope you’re all having a killer summer and we will be looking forward to the World Cup in September, see you then.
Keep your head up,
Brock & Matt