It's Wayne Gretzky's birthday today, and there are no games scheduled in the NHL. There are, however, a surprising number of links to pass along considering it is now the All-Star break and there was one game in the NHL last night. Enjoy while you can, because tomorrow this post could resemble Christian Bale in The Machinist.
Vancouver Canucks News & Notes
Mark Spector, noted Canucks detractor, does a 180 and says a lot of fairly nice things about the team in his latest column. [Sportsnet]
Roberto Luongo has been playing pretty incredible hockey for a few months now, and claims that he has never felt mentally stronger. At this point in his career he's seen just about everything. [The Province]
More on Luongo, who's making a habit of posting dominant numbers in January. [Canucks Army]
Cody Hodgson is putting up better numbers in his rookie season than both Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler (he's also on a much better and deeper team than they were). [Vancouver Sun]
The Vancouver Sun wants YOU to grade the performance of each and every Canuck to this point in the season.
Henrik Sedin is listed at 20/1 odds to be picked first in the ASG fantasy draft. If Daniel Alfredsson ends up picking first, you could make worse bets. [The Province]
NHL News & Notes
Below is Scott Gomez's last goal in the NHL. How has he gone nearly a full calendar year without getting at least a lucky bounce, a deflection, a puck off the skate, something?!
After the embarrassing loss to the Habs, Mike Babcock had this to say: [Ansar Khan]
"I'm not going to look at the video of this at all, I'm going to go out and drink, actually, is what I'm going to do.''
Deadspin suggests that Tim Thomas' time in Boston may be coming to an end. Bullshit. This White House thing may be a PR nightmare for the club, but they're really just going to let go of their Conn Smythe-winning goalie who recently set the record for save percentage and is in the midst of another stellar season? [Deadspin]
To save you some time, Justin Bourne has amassed all the Tim Thomas hate into once handy blog post. [Backhand Shelf]
Why the NHLPA rejected realignment. [Puck Daddy]
Cam Charron explains why the Edmonton Oilers' rebuild isn't working. I tend to agree; sure they're drafting future stars, but you still need the supporting cast, and what they have now will not cut the mustard. [Legion of Blog]
The Cannon talks about an "Occupy Nationwide" movement happening in Columbus, to protest the continued employment of those in positions of power within the organization. [The Cannon]
Last Saturday Matt Hendricks caught an Alex Ovechkin shot off the ear, and it split his ear in half. The link includes a photo, and it's not for the squeamish. [PHT]
Remember when I posted about the Tampa Bay Lightning mascot spraying an obnoxious Bruins fan with silly string? The mascot was fired for it! [SB Nation]
Today in NHL History
[Jan 26, 1980] The Islanders & Whalers play a penalty-free game.
[Jan 26, 1961] The Great One is born somewhere in Brantford, Ontario to Walter and Phyllis Gretzky.