NEW YORK – Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal has been suspended for five games, without pay, for kneeing Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand during NHL Game No. 438 in Boston on Saturday, Dec. 7, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 11:06 of the first period. Neal received a minor penalty for kneeing.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Neal will forfeit $128,205.15. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
TORONTO -- Kevan Miller's first career NHL goal at 15:58 of the second period proved to be the game-winner and led the Boston Bruins to a 5-2 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Sunday night.
Miller's slap shot from the blue line beat Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier cleanly. The goal came in just his fourth career game.
"Very happy that old guy finally scored," Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said jokingly. "It was great. You see the excitement on his face. I remember when I scored my first goal and it's just such a great feeling. Anytime you can help contribute to a team win it's a lot of fun."
Miller was in the Bruins' lineup because of injuries to defensemen Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk.
"He's been pretty solid,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Miller. "He's been that from the beginning. I've said that from the beginning. He's been thrown into the fire. ... I'm happy with how he's handled the whole situation."
An injury forced Miller out of the game with 2:21 left in the third period, when he was hit from behind into the boards by Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. No penalty was called on the play. Julien said the injury shouldn't impact him playing in their next game.
The Maple Leafs got on the scoreboard first at 12:20 of the first period, when center Peter Holland scored on a rebound of a Jake Gardiner shot. Gardiner's initial shot went off of Bruins goalie Chad Johnson and to the far post, where Holland collected it and put it in the back of the net for his third goal of the season.
The Bruins tied the game at 5:14 of the second period on the power play, when Carl Soderberg scored his fourth goal of the season. Soderberg was alone in front of the net and Reilly Smith connected on a pass from the faceoff circle, where Soderberg one-timed it past Bernier.
"[The Maple Leafs] did a good job of throwing pucks to the net and crashing the crease and that's something we talked about between periods and we wanted to do," Krug said. "The first power play goal is a result of that. Carl made a great finish in front after two great passes, so those were very important goals for us."
The Bruins took the lead for good when Krug scored on the power play at 6:47 of the second. It was Krug's eighth goal of the season.
The Maple Leafs' troubles on the penalty kill have mounted in the past eight games. They've given up at least one goal while down a man in each game and have allowed a total of 13 power-play goals in that span.
"I thought we did a pretty good job other than the two clears that cost us," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "The one [Phaneuf] tried to go up the middle with it versus up the wall, pressure situation, and they kept it in. The other was Mason Raymond. We had clear possession of the puck and he tried to go up the wall and they cut it off. Those two specifically came back to haunt us."
Miller's goal late in the second made it 3-1, but the Maple Leafs were able to cut the deficit in half in the third, when Jay McClement scored his first goal of the season 37 seconds into the period. McClement scored on a rebound of his initial shot to beat Johnson.
Jarome Iginla added to the lead with his sixth goal of the season with 4:00 left in the third to make it 4-2. The goal was reviewed to see if it was kicked in, but replay confirmed it was a good goal.
"I think that really we put the puck in the net," Carlyle said of Iginla's goal. "I think [Phaneuf] stopped the puck from going across the line and when he went to clear it he threw it off the back of Bernier. Definitely Iginla did direct the puck; the puck was directed by his skate. It went through and we had it on the goal line in desperation just trying to get it out of there."
Patrice Bergeron added an empty-net goal with 11 seconds to play. Johnson made 30 saves for Boston; Bernier had 35 for the Maple Leafs.
"I think it's my fifth game right now and I definitely feeling more comfortable the more games I'm playing here," Johnson said. "I think getting in a couple more games within a week's period time or a couple weeks is nice, and tonight I felt really good."
The Bruins lost defenseman Dougie Hamilton in the first period due to a lower-body injury.
"He's going to fly back homeand he'll be evaluated by our doctors," Julien said. "Right now it doesn't seem like he's going to be playing with us for this coming week. It doesn't look good for as far as the original diagnosis. He's probably done for at least a week."
The Bruins' four-game road trip continues on Tuesday against the Calgary Flames. The Maple Leafs host the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.
Bs say "Thank you
to the Greatest Fans on Earth
RIP STOMPIN’ TOM
Canadian country-folk legend Stompin' Tom Connors, who was responsible for "The Hockey Song," also known as "The Good Old Hockey Game," died yesterday. He was 77.
Connors passed away from what a spokesman described as natural causes.
Dubbed Stompin' Tom for his propensity to pound the floor with his left foot during performances, Connors garnered a devoted following through straight-ahead country-folk tunes that drew inspiration from his extensive travels and focused on the everyman.
He was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, on Feb. 9, 1936 to an unwed teenage mother. According to his autobiography, "Before the Fame," he often lived hand-to-mouth as a youngster, hitchhiking with his mother from the age of 3, begging on the street by the age of 4. At 8, he was placed in the care of Children's Aid and adopted a year later by a family in Skinner's Pond, Prince Edward Island. He ran away four years later to hitchhike across the country.
Connors bought his first guitar at age 14 and picked up odd jobs as he wandered from town to town, at times working on fishing boats, as a grave digger, tobacco picker and fry cook.
Legend has it that Connors began his musical career when he found himself a nickel short of a beer at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmins, Ontario, in 1964 at age 28.
Connors' accomplishments included an appointment to the Order of Canada in 1996, and his own postage stamp.
Connors is survived by his wife Lena, two sons, two daughters and several grandchildren.
BOSS JACOB$ HOSTS THE BRUINS AT HIS $TATELY
After Friday’s off-day, the B’s got in a tough practice in Sunrise on Saturday. The team then took a school bus to the Jacobs’ home in Florida, where the family hosted the entire team and staff for dinner and time relaxing before facing off against the Panthers on Sunday.
Does this send a particularly good message to the rank and file that the very man who termed all of the players "rich" and blamed their union for the lock-out was now hosting them on his lavish property that includes stocked ponds and horse-riding venues?
Some of the activities included a polo scrimmage, (Shawn Thornton dropped the mitts with an opposing horse) an equestrian competition, and a fishing derby in which the boys were catching caviar and pearls in the stocked pond. (Mr. Jacobs has a pool, and a pond. The pond might be good for Marchand.)
Dinner was prepared by Wolfgang Puck. (Mrs. Jacobs thought the players might think it's 'cute' to have a chef with the same last name as that 'little thingy they move around the ice.') Post-dinner entertainment was the music of Katie Perry (Mr. Jacobs thought the players might think she's cute.)
The festive atmosphere was somewhat tempered when Mr. Jacobs told the team he had a little something for each player, and upon opening the envelopes that Charlie Jacobs distributed, each player was given a bill for $125 for the meal and entertainment.
Aerial photos of the Jacobs property in FL
BURKIE SPEAKS OUT
AND ON THE 113th DAY, GOD SAID "LET THERE BE HOCKEY," AND THE LOCKOUT ENDED.
After 113 days of the lockout that included a marathon 16-hour negotiation session on Saturday, a tentative deal on a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement has been reached between the National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association.
"Don Fehr and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed to reporters early Sunday morning. "We have to dot a lot of I's and cross a lot of T's. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon."
The next stage is documentation and ratification of the deal with the start date and number of games in the 2012-13 season still to be announced depending on how long the final process takes.
"Hopefully within a very few days the fans can get back to watching people who are skating, not the two of us," said NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr.
According to TSN Hockey Analyst Aaron Ward and TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun, the agreement features the following elements:
- The league coming off their demand for a $60 million cap in Year 2, meeting the NHLPA's request to have it at $64.3 million - which was the upper limit from last year's cap. The salary floor in Year 2 will be $44 million.
- The upper limit on the salary cap in the first year is $60 million, but teams can spend up to $70.2 million. The cap floor will be $44 million.
- The 10-year deal also has an opt-out clause that kicks in after eight years.
- The salary variance on contracts from year to year cannot vary more than 35 per cent and the final year cannot vary more than 50 per cent of the highest year.
- A player contract term limit will be seven years and eight years for a team signing its own player.
- The draft lottery selection process will change with all 14 teams fully eligible for the first overall pick. The weighting system for each team may remain, but four-spot move restriction will be eliminated.
- Supplemental discipline for players in on-ice incidents will go through NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan first, followed by an appeal process that would go through Bettman. For suspensions of six or more games, a neutral third party will decide if necessary.
- Revenue sharing among teams will spread to $200 million. Additionally, an NHLPA-initiated growth fund of $60 million is included.
- The NHL had hoped to change opening of free agency to July 10, but the players stood firm and it remains July 1 in the new agreement. But with a later ending to the season, free agency for this summer will start at a later date.
Also, a decision on NHL participation at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be made outside of the new CBA. While it is likely that the league will participate, the IIHF and IOC will have discussions with the NHL and Players' Association.
"I'm really happy a deal has been reached," Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Sunday morning. "It's exciting to know we will be back playing hockey."
Both sides met face-to-face along with federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh for 16 straight hours from Saturday afternoon through the early hours of Sunday morning to get the deal done. The two sides spent Friday in separate rooms while Beckenbaugh went back and forth to each group searching for middle ground on the unresolved issues between the two sides.
Depending on when a new CBA is reached, the league - according to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun - has 50-game and 48-game schedules drawn up. A 50-game season would start on Jan. 15 and a 48-game season would start on Jan. 19. The existing 2012-13 NHL schedule was already canceled through Jan. 14.
"Everyone is obviously relieved that it's over and done with, for all intents and purposes, and we're able to kind of move on to what we kind of enjoy doing a lot more than this," said Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who was involved in the negotiations.
The NHL and NHLPA had been without a CBA since the previous one expired just before midnight on Sept. 15. The lockout cost the league 510 regular-season games, including the New Year's Day Winter Classic and the All-Star Game in