A lot of people end up in graduate school without knowing particularly what they want to do when they grow up. Ron Mason was working on a doctorate in education at the University of Pittsburgh when he had a radical idea. What a life decision it turned out to be.
"I didn't really think much about coaching, even though I loved the game and thought I knew it pretty well," Mason said about his future after a decorated career as a player at St. Lawrence University. "When I was at graduate school, I was on my second year of working on my doctorate, I said, 'You know, this school is kind of wearing me out. Maybe I should try something different.' I told my wife I wanted to be a hockey coach, and she sort of just laughed because I had no real experience coaching."
Mason decided to give it a try and began applying for jobs. He had two offers, one at Merrimack College and the other at Lake Superior State University, which was about to be a fledgling program at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics level.
He accepted the job at Lake Superior State and began a coaching career that would span four decades. Mason became one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history, and Monday he will be enshrined in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Detroit.
The 2014 Sochi Olympics will be truly special for the Russian hockey team.
It's not only because the games will take place in their homeland, where not one of 150 million fans will settle for anything less than the gold medal. The other reason is because Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk and the rest of the team will be looking for revenge against their historic rivals from Canada.
The embarrassment of a quarterfinal loss at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where the hosts routed the Russians 7-3, will not be forgotten until it is avenged.
Malkin discussed the brutal loss and the opportunity for redemption in Sochi.
Hamilton Bulldogs forward Sven Andrighetto hails from Zurich, Switzerland, but his goal has been to play in the National Hockey League since as far back as he can remember.
"As soon as I knew the NHL existed, I wanted to play there," said Andrighetto, who was a third-round pick (No. 86) by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2013 NHL Draft. "It's the best League in the world, obviously. I want to be a part of that. I want to be one of the best players in the world. It's everyone's dream."
And the kid is all-in to make that dream a reality. They're hockey cliches, but Andrighetto, 20, repeats his mantras with authority: work hard, be ready to learn, get better every day.
Forgive him, though, if he doesn't bank on it until he actually sets his skates on the ice Mar. 2 at BC Place, when the Vancouver Canucks play host to Ottawa in the 2014 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic.
MacArthur has come too close in the past only to see his hopes dashed, not once, but twice.
The Senators left wing holds former Buffalo Sabres teammate Maxim Afinogenov accountable for his first missed opportunity to play outdoors in 2008, when Buffalo welcomed the Pittsburgh Penguins to Ralph Wilson Stadium in the inaugural Winter Classic.
"Yeah, I got sent down the day before that game, and called up the day after that game," MacArthur said Thursday after the Senators unveiled their 2014 Heritage Classic uniforms. "Afinogenov had like a groin injury, or a 'so-called' groin injury, so he ended up playing in that game, and then I came back the next game."
"I'm like, 'Wow, what a cool experience,'" MacArthur said. "And it started snowing, and it was just, for the guys that were in that game, you take that picture and the whole ordeal, it was pretty neat.
"Yeah, I would have loved to have been there, even just to be up to do the warmups and be a part of the whole thing would have been nice, but that wasn't the way it went down, so hopefully this is the one."
The St. Louis Blues are considered one of the toughest teams to play against in the NHL because of their physical, grinding style that compliments their collection of highly skilled players.
Ryan Reeves is a big part of the physical identity for the Blues, and not just because he's willing to drop the gloves. Dallas Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin found that out in the first period of a game Saturday, Nov. 22 against the Blues at Scottrade Center.
OTTAWA / TORONTO – The National Hockey League (NHL®), in association with the Vancouver Canucks® and Ottawa Senators®, today unveiled public ticket availability details and the jerseys that will be worn for the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ on Sunday, March 2 at BC Place in Vancouver.
Tickets to the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ go on sale to the public on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET via Ticketmaster.ca/NHL or 1-855-985-5000.
It's Thanksgiving in the United States, but three Canadian teams and the Nashville Predators will take the ice Thursday night.
In a game that will be televised on the NHL Network in the U.S., the Vancouver Canucks begin a four-game road trip against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-U.S., RDS, SNET-VAN, SNET-OTT).
Ottawa returns home from a three-game road trip that saw it secure two victories, including a 6-4 win against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.
"Tomorrow's an opportunity for us to come home, play a very good team in the Vancouver Canucks, and we're going to have to be ready to play," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "We need to come out and play hard."
Here's a closer look at the action in the NHL on Thursday:
To dismiss New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins, an Original Six matchup with roots that go back to 1926, as anything but a rivalry just because they don't reside in the same division is to fail to fully grasp the sheer intensity associated with anything that's New York vs. Boston.
The Rangers and Bruins could be two teams fighting for their Stanley Cup Playoffs lives or trying desperately to avoid the cellar, but to former Rangers goalie Mike Richter, standings and status are moot. Richter recalls his second career road game, an afternoon affair against the Bruins and veteran Rejean Lemelin at the old Boston Garden on Jan. 13, 1990. He faced 37 shots in a 3-2 victory less than 24 hours after a piece of ice hit him in his eye during practice and resulted in a scratched cornea that required him to wear an eye patch for 12 hours.
Richter grew to embrace the essence of the Boston sports fan, especially in the atmosphere created inside the old Garden. Never mind that the Rangers played in the Patrick Division and the Bruins in the Adams Division. This was old-school hockey with Original Six flavor between two teams represented by fan bases that don't exchange holiday greetings.
No European country in the past nine years has seen more top prospects drafted into the National Hockey League than Sweden.
And within Sweden is a junior hockey team that has produced at least one NHL Draft pick in each of the past 16 years: Frolunda. No other club team in the country can match that streak of pipeline popularity. Over that 16-year stretch, in fact, 48 players have been chosen, almost twice as many as Djurgarden (27) and Brynas Gavle (26).
This year's group of budding prospects from Frolunda's team in Sweden's under-20 league is also sure to please.
2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic rink build is underway. WATCH NOW ›