Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lamoriello Leaves Devils, Joins Leafs



New Jersey Devils president and Providence College Hall of Famer Lou Lamoriello resigned from his position this morning after a total of 28 years with the Devils organization. He was announced hours later as the new general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Lamoriello’s NHL tenure in the Garden State included three Stanley Cup Championships, five Eastern Conference titles, and nine Atlantic Division Championships. New Jersey fashioned a record of 1,093-779-268 (.578) during the regular-season and 136-116 (.540) in the post-season with him at the helm, according to the team website. The Devils won the Stanley Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003 with Lamoriello in charge, and also made appearances in the Stanley Cup Final in 2001 and 2012.

Lamoriello served as Devils head coach on several occasions, including the second half of last season when he was partnered with Adam Oates and Scot Stevens as New Jersey missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fourth time in five campaigns. He led the Devils to a 32-14-4 mark in 50 games in 2005-06 as head coach.

Lamoriello was replaced in May as Devils general manager by Ray Shero, although he still retained the title of president.

Prior to joining New Jersey in 1987, Lamoriello served as Providence’s athletic director and was also commissioner of the Hockey East Association. He was Providence’s hockey coach for 15 seasons, and compiling a .578 winning percentage (248-179-13) with the Friars, according to NHL.com. A 1963 Providence graduate who lettered in both baseball and hockey, he guided the Friars to a dozen post-season tournaments in a row as coach, including the 1983 NCAA Final Four.

Lamoriello was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builders’ category in 2009, followed by his induction into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame three years later.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ducks Extend Kesler's Contract



The Anaheim Ducks signed forward Ryan Kesler (Ohio State) to a six-year contract extension yesterday. The Livonia, Mich. native tallied 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points last season in 81 NHL regular-season contests, and then added 7-6—13 points in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games as the Ducks fell one game short of the Stanley Cup Final.

Kesler, who spent two years with the U.S. National Team Development Program before enrolling at OSU, posted 11-20—31 points in his lone NCAA campaign with the Buckeyes in 2002-03. He turned pro the following season after being drafted 23rd overall that summer by the Vancouver Canucks, with whom he spent 10 seasons and came within a game of a Stanley Cup championship in 2011.

He also prepped with Manitoba (AHL) before becoming a full-time NHL player, and joined Anaheim last summer in a trade that included Vancouver's 3rd round choice in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Kesler, who has also skated for the United States in two Winter Olympic Games, where he earned a silver medal in 2010, has put up 202-238—440 points and 669 penalty minutes in 736 NHL regular-season outings. He also has 19-32—51 points in 73 Stanley Cup Playoff appearances, per NHL.com.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Three Former NCAA Players Involved in Sharp Trade


Three former NCAA players were involved in Friday’s NHL deal that sent Patrick Sharp (Vermont) and defenseman Stephen Johns (Notre Dame) from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Dallas Stars in exchange for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt (Brown).

Sharp, a member of Chicago’s Stanley Cup championship clubs in 2010, 2013 and 2015, has tallied 249 goals and 277 assists for 526 points in 745 NHL regular-season contests with Chicago and the Philadelphia Flyers, and 43 goals and 81 points in 129 Stanley Cup Playoff appearances with both clubs. The Winnipeg native posted 25-28—53 points in 65 outings with UVM from 2000 to 2002, and was drafted 95th overall by Philadelphia after his freshman campaign with the Catamounts.

Johns, from Ellwood City, Pa., had 4-17—21 points in 71 games in his first professional season in 2014-15 with Rockford (AHL). A [product of the U.S. National team development program, h e played four seasons at Notre Dame, notching 15-42—57 points in 164 outings with the Fighting Irish. Johns also served as an assistant captain as a senior, in Notre Dame’s first season as a member of Hockey East.


Garbutt has tallied 30-40—70 points in 198 career NHL regular-season contests, all with Dallas, plus three goals in six Stanley Cup Playoff outings. The Winnipeg native skated with Brown from 2005 to 2009, collecting 29-29—58 points in 116 games with the Bears.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

BC Alumni Skate in Comm Ave Charity Classic; Hanifin Signs with Hurricanes



So far it’s been a busy hockey weekend concerning former Boston College players.

On Friday, the inaugural Comm Ave Charity Classic was held at Boston University’s Walter Brown Arena and raised $55,200 to benefit the Compassionate Care ALS Foundation.

The event was largely the brainchild of former BC players Pat Mullane and Andrew Orpik, and was held in honor of former BC football player Ron Perryman, BC baseball player Pete Frates, BC sports information director Dick Kelley and all those affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Current and former professional players from both BC and BU such as Johnny Gaudreau, Chris Kreider, Cory Schneider, Jay Pandolfo, and Charlie Coyle faced off on Commonwealth Avenue, along with NHL Hall of Famer Ray Bourque. Coyle tallied a hat trick in BU’s 7-5 victory.

In other news, former BC defenseman Brendan Buckley has accepted an assistant coaching job at the University of Connecticut. Buckley skated for the Eagles from 1995 to 1999, and then played eight seasons in the American Hockey League and four years in Europe.

Finally, Noah Hanifin, who started as a 17-year-old freshman at BC last season, will not return to Chestnut Hill after signing with the Carolina Hurricanes earlier today. Hanifin was the fifth overall selection, and the first blueliner, at the NHL Entry Draft last month in Florida. He tallied five goals and 23 points in 37 outings during the 2014-15 campaign.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

NHL Free Agency Period Off to Furious Start


 
The National Hockey League’s free agency period started off with a bang on Wednesday, including a number of (now) former NCAA players.
Phil Kessel (Minnesota) was involved in a nine-player deal that sent him from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Pittsburgh Penguins, while 2015 second overall draft choice Jack Eichel (Boston University) signed a three-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres after winning the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey's best player in 2014-15.
Paul Martin (Minnesota) jumped from Pittsburgh to San Jose, while Kevin Hayes (Boston College) moved from the Florida Panthers to the Boston Bruins. Erik Condra (Notre Dame)) signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning after playing five seasons for the Ottawa Senators, Joe Whitney (Boston College) went from the New Jersey Devils to the New York Islanders, and Matt Bartkowski (Ohio State) is leaving Boston for the Vancouver Canucks.

An updated list of free agency signings can be found here.
Earlier this week, Kevin Bieksa (Bowling Green) was traded from the Canucks to the Anaheim Ducks for a second-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
In addition, Wisconsin goaltending recruit Luke Opilka will apparently sign with the St. Louis Blues, while Colorado College defenseman Jacob Slavin has inked a deal with the Carolina Hurricanes after two seasons with the Tigers, according to USCHO.com.

Lastly, NHL.com is reporting that Martin St. Louis (Vermont) has retired after 16 NHL seasons and 1,033 regular-season points with Calgary, Tampa Bay, and the New York Rangers. St. Louis guided UVM to the 1996 NCAA Frozen Four, and later won the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Trophy, and the Ted Lindsay Award in 2003-04 while also leading the Lightning to its first Stanley Cup title that same season.

ADDENDUM: St. Louis today traded T. J. Oshie (North Dakota) to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a draft choice and two players, including goaltending prospect Pheonix Copley (Michigan Tech).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Former BC Netminder Clemmensen Retires


Former Boston College goaltender Scott Clemmensen has concluded his professional playing career.

The Urbandale, Iowa native has retired to become the goaltending development coach with the New Jersey Devils, with whom he spent most of his 14-year playing career, including his final three National Hockey League games this past season.

Clemmensen, 37, finished with a 73-59-25 record in 191 NHL regular-season outings with New Jersey, Toronto and Florida from 2001 to 2015. He also registered seven career shutouts to go with a 2.79 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound netminder served three separate stints with New Jersey, and compiled a record of 32-19-6 in 68 games with four shutouts and a 2.60 GAA with the Devils. His best NHL campaign came in 2008-09 when he fashioned a 25-13-1 mark in 40 appearances with New Jersey.

Clemmensen, the first Iowa native to play in the NHL, put together a 99-35-10 record (2.52, .899) with 13 shutouts in 145 career NCAA games at BC from 1997 to 2001. As a senior, he went 30-7-2 and led the Eagles to the Beanpot and Hockey East tournament titles, along with BC's first national championship since 1949. He also held the Hockey East record for most league wins with 52 victories, and in 2009 was chosen as Hockey East's All-Time Unsung Hero as part of the league's 25th anniversary celebration.

He was drafted by the Devils in the eighth round (215th) overall in 1997 after completing his junior career with Des Moines (USHL).

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ruggiero, Hay Elected to Hall of Fame


Former Harvard University blueliner Angela Ruggiero was one of five players selected Monday for the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2015. She was the only female skater inducted alongside former NHL stalwarts Sergei Fedorov, Phil Housley, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Chris Pronger.

Ruggiero, a native of Harper Woods, Mich., lettered with the Crimson in 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2004. She won the Patty Kazmaier Award as the nation's top NCAA Division I women's player as a senior, and also led Harvard to a 109-13-5 overall record during her career, according to the Crimson athletics web site.

A first-team All-America and ECAC selection in each of her four seasons in Cambridge, Ruggiero ranks sixth all-time on Harvard's scoring scroll with 96 goals and 157 assists for 253 points. She was also a member of four U.S. Olympic medal squads from 1998 to 2010, including gold the first time, and also helped Team USA to world championship crowns in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011, according to NHL.com.

Ruggiero also became the first woman to play in a professional game in North America at a position other than goaltender. She skated in one game with Tulsa (CHL) in 2005 and drew an assist while playing alongside her brother, Bill, a goaltender.

Also inducted into the Hall on Monday in the builders' category along with Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, Jr. was former Colorado College forward Don Hay. The Saskatoon native was a two-time WCHA First All-Star Team selection (1957, 1958), and a two-time NCAA West First All-America choice (1957, 1958), according to the Hall's web site. He also helped the Tigers to the 1957 NCAA title, and tallied 60-94--154 points in his two campaigns in Colorado Springs. He is also the first former Tiger inducted into the Hall, according to Colorado College's athletic web site.

Hay later went on to play eight seasons with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he won a Calder Trophy (1960) and a Stanley Cup (1961). He later served as part owner and team president of the league's Calgary Flames, before spending 15 years as HOF Chairman and CEO.