Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Excitement in Winnipeg even for just a preseason game

There is a lot of excitement and anticipation in Winnipeg even if it is just an exhibition game.

Fans in the Manitoba capital will be watching the re-born Winnipeg Jets for the first time tonight as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets in a split squad game. The first puck drops at 7:30 PM Central Time at MTS Centre.

The other half of each team will square off at Nationwide Arena in Columbus about 80 minutes sooner.

Even though the game doesn't count, it is a big deal for those that have waited 15 years for real NHL action. All you have to do is see the headlines coming out of Winnipeg and across Canada.

"It's a little surreal. It doesn't feel real yet to tell you the truth," Jets fan Edward Hucarewich said to CTV Winnipeg.

"I'm assuming it's going to be crazy in here. I think it's kind of the fans' first opportunity to show what they bring to the table and the excitement that they have for this team," Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd told CBC News.

CBC News posted two video stories today: "Jets excitement builds" and "Winnipeg prepares for Jets debut".

Yesterday was the start of when the media coverage really began to take off. An example was Global Winnipeg's Tamara Forlanski providing a glimpse at what has been happening in the city over the last few days (see video below).

Game coverage in Winnipeg is on TSN Jets and Sports Radio 1290.

Friday, September 16, 2011

NHL Live returns on September 19th

You know the 2011-2012 National Hockey League regular season is right around the corner when NHL Live is ready to return.

Deb Placey and Bill Pidto will be the regular hosts with EJ Hradek returning as frequent contributor to the show. Leading up to opening night, expect plenty of season previews of all 30 teams with plenty of analysis, the latest news and of course interviews of players, coaches, general managers and hockey journalists from around the league. Fans will once again get the chance to interact with the hosts and guests with their calls, e-mails and tweets.

One notable change from last season is a renovated studio set above the floor of the NHL Powered by Reebok Store.

The season premiere is September 19th at 5:00 PM Eastern Time. You can see it on NHL Network or NHL.com.

video courtesy: NHL Network

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Teemu Selanne to play for Ducks in 2011-2012 season

Many fans especially in southern California wondered if veteran forward Teemu Selänne would play again or retire from hockey. We finally have an answer.

The 41-year-old Finnish superstar announced on a video clip at the Anaheim Ducks official web site he will play at least one more season with the team. According to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, it is for $4 million.

Teemu Selanne signs his new one-year contract with the Ducks (image courtesy: Anaheim Ducks)

Selanne had been working out over the summer following a June 29th arthroscopic operation on his left knee where loose cartilage was removed, he had not made his decision until today to return to the ice. Team physicals will be conducted tomorrow and then full Ducks training camp begins on Saturday at the Honda Center.

With 12 of his 18 National Hockey League seasons spent in Anaheim (including the last six), Selanne has 637 goals and 703 assists during regular season play over his career. He also represented his native Finland five times in the Winter Olympics, most recently in Vancouver just last year.

"I'm very happy that my knee has recovered from surgery and is ready for the season," Selanne said today. "I'm excited and optimistic about what this team can do and thankful to have another opportunity to play in Anaheim."

Selanne will also get at least one chance to make what could be a final visit to the very place he began his NHL career. The Ducks will play the re-born Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on December 17th where fans are expected to give him a rousing welcome and possible goodbye as a player. One of his greatest achievements was accomplished while wearing the uniform of the original Jets, that being all-time NHL rookie records of 76 goals and 132 points during his inaugural 1992-1993 season.

Ducks general manager Bob Murray is thrilled to have Selanne back for another season.

"As he showed again last season, Teemu still has the drive, determination and skill to play at an elite level," Murray said today. "Most importantly for us, his passion comes from not just playing, but playing for the Ducks."

Selanne had 80 points in 73 games last season.


National Hockey League official site (September 15):
Selanne announces, via video, 2011-2012 return

Anaheim Ducks official site (September 15):
He's Back: Ducks sign Selanne to one-year contract
Teemu Selanne's video message

Orange County Register's Ducks Blog (September 15):
Selanne will play with Ducks in 2011-2012

NHL Network's 2011 preseason broadcast schedule

According to the official news release, the NHL Network will provide 80 hours of NHL preseason coverage (live and tape delay).

Seriously, what's up with so many Toronto Maple Leafs games?

(game start times are in Eastern Time)

*delayed broadcast

Ottawa at Toronto, 7:00 PM

Philadelphia at Toronto, 7:00 PM
Calgary at Vancouver, 10:00 PM

Detroit at Pittsburgh, 7:00 PM
Toronto at Philadelphia, 10:00 PM*

Boston at Ottawa, 12:00 AM*
Chicago at Pittsburgh, 7:00 PM

Vancouver at Edmonton, 12:00 PM*
Buffalo at Toronto, 7:00 PM

Minnesota at Pittsburgh, 3:00 PM
Toronto at Buffalo, 7:00 PM
Anaheim at Vancouver, 10:00 PM

Chicago at Detroit, 5:00 PM
San Jose at Vancouver, 9:00 PM

Edmonton at Calgary, 12:00 AM*
New York Rangers at Philadelphia, 11:00 PM*

New York Islanders at Calgary, 9:00 PM

Toronto at Ottawa, 12:00 AM*
Vancouver at Anaheim, 10:00 PM

Detroit at Chicago, 1:00 AM*
Carolina at Winnipeg, 3:00 AM*
Vancouver at San Jose, 10:30 PM

Phoenix at Calgary, 2:00 AM*
New Jersey at Philadelphia, 4:00 AM*
Pittsburgh at Chicago, 8:30 PM

Toronto at Detroit, 1:00 AM*
Nashville at Winnipeg, 4:00 AM*
Detroit at Toronto, 7:00 PM
Edmonton at Vancouver, 10:00 PM

Chicago at Washington, 5:00 PM
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 9:00 PM*