NHL General

Closing the books on the Rick Tocchet gambling ring

A year ago, the Rick Tocchet as head of a gambling ring based in NJ story was huge news, mainly because the Olympics were coming up and hockey is one of the premiere sports in the Winter Olympics. But since then, the molasses that is our legal system (despite what you see on Law and Order) has basically swept the whole story under the carpter.

Not suprisingly, when the news came out over the long memorial day weekend that Tocchet came to a plea bargain in the case, not much was made of it. But, in the interest of wrapping up the case we’ve been following for a year, here’s the final chapter in the Rich Tocchet case.

Tocchet pleaded guilty to promoting gambling and conspiracy to promote gambling. It’s a minor offense that may result in him not having to serve any jail time at all. However, there is no word on whether he will be reinstated into the NHL until the league completes its own investigation. Tocchet helped his cause by emphasizing in his court appearance that he had never bet on hockey.

[6abc]: Tocchet Pleads Guilty in Gambling Ring Case


Odds and Ends: The funniest sportscenter spoof ever

We were all set to lead off Odds and Ends with a story about Joe Thomas skipping the NFL Draft to go fishing with his dad but then a reader sent us this video of an ESPN Sportscenter spoof that has us peeing our pants. It is almost perfect. You have to watch it twice to read the ticker at the bottom but it’s totally worth it.

(Hat Tip: The Big Lead)

In other news…

[WBRS Sports]: Hockey + Cheerleaders + Sex + Lawsuit + Threeway + “more fuckable” – Pics = 9.0

[Detroit Free Press]: Look out Flip Murray, they shootin!

[Encarta]: Bill Nye the Science Guy’s fascinating explanation of the Gyroball

[Battle of the Surfaces]: Exactly what nobody was dying to see

[Star-Telegram]: Moose Johnston’s wife is tough as nails

[Big Show Baseball]: A-Rod is off to such a good start that Yankees fans are even including him in their best of all time lists

And finally, our quote of the day comes from Phoenix Coyotes CEO Jeff Shumway:

Players will say they want to be in Phoenix… That means the weather is good, the golf is good … What they mean is they want to retire in Phoenix. What we need are guys who want to play hockey in Phoenix.

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: K-K-K-Ken c-c-c-coming to C-C-C-columbus?

What’s my job today?

1. Hitchcock Bounced Around
The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t want him coaching the team, so they fired him–then re-hired him as a scout. After last night’s firing of coach Gerard Gallant, the Columbus Blue Jackets seem to think they’ve found their man. The Jackets were granted permission to talk with Ken Hitchcock about a possible head coaching position on Tuesday night–the same night they named assistant Gary Agnew interim coach. Hitchcock has to be scratching his head; he gets booted from a losing team just to be picked out by another club that’s just as bad. Ouch.

2. Coyotes Howl Over Wild
The Phoenix Coyotes gained a much-needed and extremely rare victory over a solid Minnesota Wild team on Tuesday night. Phoenix escaped with the 4-3 win after trailing at one time by a score of 2-0. Coyote Georges Laraque earned two assists and bragging rights over Minnesota’s Derek Boogaard after getting in a scuffle with “The Boogeyman” in the second period. Yanic Perreault and Oleg Saprykin both netted a duo of goals for Phoenix, topping off an awesome all-around performance for the team. Minnesota, who is leading the Northwest Division, received a mediocre performance from goalie Manny Fernandez in the final two periods, stopping 30 out of 34 shots on his way to a defeat at the hands of the last-place Coyotes.

3. Flashbacks for Jaromir, Brenden
Jaromir Jagr showed glimpses of his younger self on Tuesday night, leading his New York Rangers to a victory over the division-leading New Jersey Devils. The veteran scored a pair of key third period goals to provide the Madison Square Garden crowd with a bevy of smiles. Marcel Hossa provided Jagr with assists on both goals. Another fine NHL elder, Brenden Shanahan, scored his 14th goal of the year to put the exclamation point on a game that looked quite similar to the Phoenix-Minnesota contest. Three unanswered goals in the third period were just what the doctor ordered for New York, who will likely remain in a dogfight with the Devils atop the Atlantic Division for most of the year.

Check It Out’s Darren Eliot discusses the pros and cons of having one bona-fide goalie instead of two. Eliot thinks that having one powerhouse netminder is a better option than alternating between a duo, as we’re seeing many teams do nowadays.

Game of the Night: Philadelphia at Anaheim
Flyers are last in Eastern, Ducks are best in western

The Last Shot
The Flyers have announced that captain Peter Forsberg may be in the lineup on Wednesday night against Anaheim. He has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle.