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Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper pitches save-of-the-year candidate

- October 18th, 2014

We’re only a handful of games into the 2014-15 season, but rest assured this paddle stop by Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper will be on every end-of-the-season highlight reel.

With the game tied 1-1 in the third period, Kuemper preserves the score after a cross-ice pass by Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry appeared to deflect off the skate of Wild defenceman Jonas Brodin. It made the diving stop all the more impressive.

Minnesota eventually lost 2-1, but Kuemper’s teammates threw praise the goaltender’s way.

“Kuemper played a (heck of a) game again,” Wild winger Nino Niederreiter said. “He kept us in the game.”

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick sneaks fan autograph during game

- October 13th, 2014

A quickie from Jonathan Quick.

This video, apparently recorded during the pre-season, was posted to YouTube over the weekend and shows the Los Angeles Kings goalie covertly — well, other than the fact he’s being taped — signing an autograph for a young fan while riding the bench.

It’s a nice gesture, but quite apparent he’s trying to conceal it. It makes one wonder what would happen if Darryl Sutter caught him in the act.

With this and the series of selfies with fans by Ilya Bryzgalov, it was a pretty cool pre-season for goalkeepers.

UPDATE: Here’s the ticket Quick signed, according to Twitter user Chris Brassard. He claims to work with the man who took the video.

(h/t Reddit)

Flames minor leaguer slams player’s head onto ice after fight

- October 11th, 2014

To call this a hockey fight is being generous.

Adirondack Flames winger Trevor Gillies straight up laid a beating on Rochester Americans forward William Carrier during Friday night’s AHL action.

It’s seemed Carrier was an unwilling participant, but what made this encounter particularly despicable was what Gillies did at the end of the fight.

Picking up your opponent’s head and smashing it onto the ice?

Not cool.

The good news is Carrier appeared no worse for wear.

Gillies, a 35-year-old journeyman enforcer, received a fighting major, an instigator and a game misconduct for his actions.

Adirondack is the minor-league affiliate of the Calgary Flames.

UPDATE: Gillies is serving an automatic one-game suspension while the AHL reviews the incident. He also released an apology via Facebook.

From the Post Star:

“I would like to apologize to my family back home for embarrassing the family name. To my teammates and the organization and the fans in the hockey community. I crossed the line. Thankfully the kid is okay. I’m not taking this lightly or easily and promise it won’t happen again. If you want to bash me I get it. I will just take my medicine with no response. Again I’m truly sorry Gillies”

UPDATE: The AHL announced Monday that Gillies has been suspended 12 games. He will be eligible to return Nov. 15.

Oilers lose, fan tosses jersey (and cell phone?) onto ice

- October 10th, 2014

A game into the Edmonton Oilers season and at least one fan has had enough.

But this fickle faithful might have thrown a little bit too much caution into the wind.

It appears this fan was so enraged by the team’s season-opening loss to the Calgary Flames on Thursday that he tossed away his cell phone along with his frustrations.

While we’re not sure whether it was a jersey or a hoodie that was lost — or if that’s even a phone — it’s clear that some Oilers followers are losing their patience more quickly.

Last season, you’ll recall, there were multiple incidents involving jerseys being tossed onto the Rexall Place ice surface.

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NHL linesman Scott Cherrey picks up an Edmonton Oilers sweater thrown onto the ice following a Calgary Flames goal at Rexall Place in Edmonton, March 22, 2014. (DAVID BLOOM/QMI Agency)

Back then, the trend started in late December.

This is Game 1.

It’s going to be a long season.

First suspension of NHL season might go to Radko Gudas for this headshot

- October 10th, 2014

Just two days into the 2014-15 season Chris Pronger might have his first assignment as the newest member of the NHL’s department of player safety.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Radko Gudas might get a call from the league after catching Florida Panthers winger Scottie Upshall with his head down Thursday night.

Upshall stayed down on the ice for several moments as he was attended to by trainers. Gudas was not penalized on the play.

There’s a bit of history between both players. Early last season, Gudas was ejected from a game for taking a swing at the Panthers bench with his stick after Upshall sprayed him with a water bottle.