After a couple of quiet preseason days we saw some action last night from rivalry games and players battling for roster spots.
The highlight of the night, from the Canucks-Sharks game, was Aaron Volpatti dropping Brad Winchester with one punch. Winchester skated right into the shot and then sat on the ice for a few moments before being escorted off with help. He returned in the third period.
Jersey and Philly saw multiple fight as well. Stephane Veilleux and Harry Zolnierczyk picked up majors, somehow. It was a quick one that could have been called double roughings, but still a worthy clip to watch thanks to an amazing save by Martin Brodeur. Brad Mills and Zac Rinaldo dropped the gloves later on in a fight controlled by Mills.
Since our last blog post:
The Flames Letourneau-Leblond was handed a suspension for the remainder of the preseason, as well as one regular season game.
Letourneau-Leblond drew the ire of disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan with a boarding minor on the Vancouver Canucks' Matt Clackson. The Flames forward doesn't have a past record of these kinds of hits nor was Clackson injured on the boarding infraction.
Longstanding heavyweight Jody Shelley of the Philadelphia Flyers was given a suspension for his boarding major on the Toronto Maple Leafs' Darryl Boyce. Shelley was suspended the remainder of the preseason with the addition of five regular season games.
Shanahan explained the rationale for a lengthier suspension was that Shelley was suspended twice last year for checks from behind and that Boyce suffered a broken nose as a result of the hit.
Midway through the second period of the Toronto Maple Leafs-Philadelphia Flyers preseason game, Jody Shelley delivered a nose-shattering boarding hit on the Leafs' youngster Darryl Boyce. As Boyce lay on the ice injured, Jay Rosehill called Shelley's dance card and the two engaged in a very entertaining, high action slug-fest. They threw toe-to-toe, Rosehill with lefts and Shelley with rights, before settling into the lock-out bombing match.
If Darryl Boyce and "nose" sound familiar, it's because last year Boyce had an entire nostril cut open when he was checked into the camera porthole along the glass.
Rosehill on the hit and engaging Shelley:
“The fact is not whether it was a dirty hit or not, a guy on my line went down,” Rosehill said.
“With our team, guys like that are going to have to answer to somebody.”
It's hockey season! The NHL preseason started Monday with four games on the schedule. The Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Ottawa Senators 4-2, but Jared Cowen stood out from the pack, dropping the gloves against Dion Phaneuf and netting a pair of goals.
Cowen picked up an instigator penalty, although he was surprised by it:
"Well, he took a run at (defenceman Tim) Conboy and I just sort of moved toward him," said Cowen.
"I didn't think he was going to drop them that fast, but he dropped them, so I guess I got the instigator but I didn't have my gloves off yet.
"It was fine, though. It was OK. Just rushed me a bit."
We logged and recorded a good amount of video from all the rookie tournaments and games.
The last on the list is a catch-all for any games not included in the first three tourneys.
If you're looking for a highlight, check out Conor Stokes vs Benn Olson.
The 2010-11 QMJHL season was marred by a series of questionable, late hits that left players suffering concussion.
Nothing seems to have been learned. The opening weekend of the 2011-12 season saw more checks from behind and hits to the head.
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies center Anthony Verret was left with a quadruple fracture to his face and damge to his ocular nerve after a hit from Gatineau Olympiques defenseman Guillaume Rousseau. No penalty was called.
Update Sep 12 9am: It has been announced that Alexander Galimov has lost his fight for life and passed away due to the severe burns he suffered during the crash.
Update Sep 10 9am: Despite previous statements, Lokomotiv president Yuri Yakovlev has announced at a press conference that the team will not play this year.
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl are determined to see out the season.
They were hit by tragedy on Tuesday when the plane carrying them to their KHL season-opening game in Minsk crashed killing all bar one of their playing and coaching staff including former NHLers Karel Rachunek, Ruslan Salei, Karlis Skrastins, Pavol Demitra and Josef Vasicek and head coach Brad McCrimmon.
And the survivor, Alexander Galimov is in hospital battling for his life with reported 90% burns to his body and major damage to his respiratory system.
But the nature of the tragedy goes deeper, they weren't just hockey players. They were fathers, brothers and husbands.
The KHL season has been put on hold until September 12 and however difficult it will be, Lokomotiv want to be part of it.
The summer of tragedy continues this morning with the news of a plane crash in Russia. The plane was transporting a local hockey team coached by former Detroit Red Wings assistant bench boss, Brad McCrimmon. Unofficial at the moment, 36 people are reported dead, that number is expected to rise as details come in.
McCrimmon, 52, head coach of the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, was one of the two assistant coaches with the Detroit Red Wings last year. He is a former Wings player and hadhelped coach them for three seasons. A former Red Wings prospect, Swedish goalie Stefan Liv, is also on the Lokomotiv team. Former Wings defender Ruslan Salei, who played for the Wings last year, is on the team, too.
The team was heading to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where it was to play Thursday against Dinamo Minsk in the opening game of the season of the Kontinental Hockey League. The league is made up of several ex-Soviet nations.
Former NHL players Salei, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins, and Josef Vasicek all play for Lokomotiv. This is the latest slice of tragic news following the deaths of tough guys Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak - all within the past four months.
Update: The AP is reporting 43 are now confirmed dead.
The ministry said the plane was carrying 45 people, including 37 passengers and eight crew. The ministry said all but two people were killed in the crash.
It wasn't immediately clear which players were on board the Yak-42 on Wednesday.