The final score was 5-1 as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Winnepeg Jets but there were no losers in this one. NHL Hockey was back in Winnepeg after a 15 year hiatus, which saw the original franchise move to a desert and figured to be at the end of the line in getting another NHL franchise. Jim Balsille was suppose to bring the next NHL team to Hamilton, Ontario before Gary Bettman put the kibosh on that. Kansas City and their freshly built arena was suppose to fill before Winnepeg got its second chance. So now the franchise that brought us Teemu Selanne, Keith Tkachuk, Alexander Steen and Teppo Numminem is back in business, winners all around.
Don Cherry, never at a loss for words, is in some hot water over some comments he made regarding ex NHL heavyweights Stu Grimson, whose new profession is in law, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson.
“But the ones that I am really disgusted with … the bunch of pukes that fought before: Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson. Oh, the reason that they’re drinking, drugs, and alcoholic because they fight,” Cherry said. “You turncoats. You hypocrites. It’s one thing I’m not, it’s a hypocrite. You guys … you were fighters, and now you don’t want guys that make the same living you did.”
Grimson is looking into legal action through the Nashville based law firm Kay, Griffin, Enkema & Colbert. My suggestion is Stu "the reader" should go back to Stu "the reaper" and give Grapes a good old butt kicking instead of going the legal route.
The Pittsburgh Penguins got off to a hot start and most of it without Evgeni Malkin and all of it without Sidney Crosby. Scary thought how good this team will be when the both of them are healthy. Marc Andre Fluery and Kris Letang have lead the way and Matt Cooke is actually playing good clean hockey.
"Thank you Kessel" a popularized chant in Boston last year directed at the Leafs forward for bearing the fruits of Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton. This year it could be the Leafs fans chanting that as the former fifth overall draft pick in the 2006 NHL draft looks to have a big year and lead the Leafs into the playoffs for the first time since 2003-2004. They will also need big years from defenseman Dion Phanuef and goalie James Reimer who was rewarded this summer with a new 3 year deal and has looked good early if they want to make the playoffs.
Ryan Nugent Hopkins displayed his goal scoring ability beating 3 Penguin players to a loose puck on Sunday to knock in his own rebound and score in his first NHL game. While undersized, RNH has the hockey sense that is NHL ready and should be an effective player this season. Just have to beware of the rookie wall that younger players often hit in the long grind of and NHL season.
The NHL opened its season in Europe with the Los Angeles Kings playing the Rangers in Stockholm, Sweden and the Buffalo Sabres playing the Anaheim Ducks in Helsinki. Teemu Selanne and Henrik Lundqvist were welcomed to loud homecomings.
Brendan Shannahan, Hall of Fame player with 654 goals to his resume along with 2489 penalty minutes makes him the perfect candidate for the role as dean of discipline. His new video explanations for suspensions in a power point presentation fashion show players in the league what is acceptable and what is not. It appears the league is moving toward a complete ban of headshots. Probably one of the toughest jobs in sports Shannahan will have to remain consistent and show clarity in a role that will always draw criticism.