Friday, February 29, 2008

Brian Leetch is honored by the 2011 World Police and Fire Games

On Wednesday night (February 27th) at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, Brian Leetch was honored by the 2011 World Police and Fire Games, which is a non-profit organization made up of both active and retired New York City and Pennsylvania police officers and firefighters. The 2011 WPFG acknowledge role models, athletes and humanitarians with a connection to New York City and wanted to honor Brian as he is "a true New Yorker, a real hockey player, a role model" and had tremendous character on the off the ice. Other honorees included former NY Giant great George Martin and NYC Sports Commissioner Ken Podziha. It was very important for Brian to be on hand for this very special event.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lightning Captain Tim Taylor making strides in his comeback

Tampa Bay Lightning Captain Tim Taylor, a 13-year veteran, has been getting praise across the NHL for his attempt at returning to the ice following hip resurfacing surgery on September 6th, 2007. He is trying to become the first player in a contact sport to play following this major procedure. Taylor has been progressing better than anticipated. Following the surgery, Taylor was barely able to walk and found it difficult and painful just getting out of bed or going to thbe bathroom and now, only five months after the surgery, he took the ice and skated at St. Pete Times Forum on February 12th. With the Lightning 11 points behind Buffalo for the 8th and final playoff spot and only 20 games remaining, Taylor is pushing himself to return to action before the season ends and has been working readily with Lightning strength coach Eric Lawson.

By Stephen Harris / Bruins Notebook Sunday, February 24, 2008

Taylor battling back

Former Bruins center Tim Taylor, one of hockey’s truly classy guys, is attempting to make an amazing comeback.

Last summer he had hip resurfacing surgery. At 39, he knows this will be his final season, yet he has been working hard to see if it’s possible to return for a even a few NHL games with his rebuilt hip. He has been skating for two weeks and hopes to be cleared for full practice a week into March.

“And then when the time comes, we have to sit down and make a decision on the risk/reward in coming back to try and play a few games,” Taylor said. “No one’s ever done it with hockey at this level. I just want to give myself the best opportunity. . . . This is the best I’ve felt in 7-8 years.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ilya Kovalchuk wins 2008 Atlanta Professional Athlete of the Year Award

Congratulations to Ilya Kovalchuk, who took home the 2008 Pro Athlete of the Year Award at the Atlanta Sports Awards Monday night. For Kovalchuk, this has been a season full of accolades and one in which he has become a leader and put the Thrashers on his back: he recently played in the All-Star Game in Atlanta, he has gained notoriety throughout North America for his development into a solid defensive player, and has led the NHL in goals (39) for most of the season (until Washington's Alexander Ovechkin took the lead). Kovalchuk and the Thrashers have really taken off after an 0-6 start and are now only two points behind division leader Carolina. At a relatively young age, this is a great honor for Ilya. By age 24, the former first overall pick of the NHL Draft already has had two 40+ goal seasons and one 50-goal season, and he is a 2-time NHL All-Star. Also, his 241 career goals are the most by any player since he entered the league in 2001. A Pro Athlete of the Year Award is a great accomplishment in any respect, but in a big sports city like Atlanta, it is even more significant for a hockey player to shine so bright.

By Craig Custance Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 02:26 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Kudos for Kovy: Ilya Kovalchuk was named the pro athlete of the year last night at the Atlanta sports awards and said it was a fun experience mingling with other Atlanta athletes. He said he got to meet and chat at length with guys like Brian Finneran, Morten Anderson and Josh Smith. Kovalchuk was honored to win the award, although I’m sure he has his eyes set on bigger things this sesason.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Helenius wins ADT-CHL co-goaltender of the week award

Congratulations to PuckAgency client Riku Helenius, who earned the CHL co-goaltender of the week award this week! Riku has been impressive for the Seattle Thunderbirds; his .917 save percentage and 2.37 goals against average are good for 5th and 9th respectively in the Western Hockey League. Helenius will go for his sixth straight victory tonight when Seattle hosts Kamloops. Tampa Bay has high hopes for Helenius, who Hockey's Future rates as Tampa Bay's #2 prospect in the organization, and has said it is happy to let him continue his development at the Junior level. Most recently, Riku starred in the nets for Finland at the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic; Helenius posted a shutout against Kazakhstan on December 29th.

Published: February 6, 2008

The Tampa Tribune
Erik Erlendsson

GOALTENDER PRAISE: Tampa Bay's top pick in the 2006 draft, G Riku Helenius, was named the co-goaltender of the week for Canadian junior hockey. In two games with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League last week, Helenius went 2-0 with a 0.50 goals-against and .980 save percentage while pitching a shutout in a 4-0 win against Portland.

Helenius entered Tuesday having won five consecutive starts to improve his record to 15-9-6 with a 2.37 goals against average and .917 save percentage in 30 games. The 19-year-old is in his first year as a pro in North America and was signed to an entry-level contract with Tampa Bay in the summer that will begin next season.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Alex Radulov sets two career-highs last night

Alexander Radulov set two career-highs last night in Nashville's 4-2 victory over Columbus at the Sommet Center: his 19th goal surpassed his previous high, set in his rookie year of 2006-07(18) and upped his goal streak to five consecutive games. This is Radulov's second goal-scoring streak of at least three games-he previously had a three-game streak from December 26-29. Radulov currently leads Nashville in goals and is third in points. Alex will go for his sixth straight game with a goal when Nashville faces Phoenix Saturday night in Nashville.

Arnott line piles up points

Recent offense helps Preds climb in West


Staff Writer

At some point in the third period, J.P. Dumont looked up at the scoreboard and saw that Vancouver had been defeated.

Knowing that if his team hung on for a win over Columbus it could move into an eighth-place tie with the Canucks in the Western Conference, Dumont was afforded a brief moment of elation.
The trick now is to hang onto that feeling.

As talk of the playoff race trickled through the dressing room following Thursday's 4-2 win, the theme was evident — with 30 games remaining the Predators control their fate.

"We are kind of lucky right now to be in the position we are in," Dumont said. "We have our own destiny, and it's going to be a great race. We put ourselves in that position, now we have to make sure we finish it."

Doing that may hinge largely on Dumont and his linemates, Jason Arnott and Alexander Radulov.

Behind the play of the trio the Predators have ascended the conference standings and put themselves in contention.

Thursday night was just one example, as it took just seconds for Radulov to put the Predators on the board.

In a nice tic-tac-toe play that started with Dan Hamhuis' pass from the point and continued with a pass off Dumont's stick to the crease, Radulov one-timed a shot past the glove side of Columbus goaltender Pascal LeClaire to give the Predators a 1-0 lead 26 seconds into the contest.

The score set a career high in goals for Radulov, who has 19. It also extended his goal-scoring streak to five games, surpassing his previous career high of four, and setting the tone for the evening.

"It helped give our team momentum and was beneficial to us," Predators Coach Barry Trotz said.