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NHL Insider

Kings' Robitaille has fun appearing on Disney cartoon

Thursday, 12.06.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

As a Hall of Fame player and an executive for the reigning Stanley Cup champions, life in Los Angeles has been pretty good for Luc Robitaille.

More than 25 years since arriving in Hollywood, the notoriety has afforded the hockey icon some unique opportunities. The latest has the Los Angeles Kings' president of business operations appearing on the season premiere of the popular animated children's program "Phineas and Ferb," shown by the Disney Channel on Dec. 7.

"It was a lot of fun. The guys over there are big hockey fans. It was fun to be there," Robitaille told "These guys made it really easy on me; it was cool."

Robitaille admitted he wasn't familiar with the show, which has had guest appearances from Tina Fey, Michael J. Fox and Kevin Smith. Robitaille agreed to do it at the urging of his assistant, Kehly Sloane, whose son is a big fan. For the creators of the series, which premiered on Disney in 2007, it was a thrill to have the legendary Kings player on the program.


Eight great moments in Montreal Forum history

Thursday, 11.29.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Richard Milo - Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Forever considered as the temple of hockey, the Montreal Forum was the home of the Canadiens for 70 years until they moved to the Bell Centre in 1996.

The Forum served as home for the Habs for 22 of their NHL-record 24 Stanley Cup victories, and 12 times they lifted the Cup on Forum ice.

The Canadiens had so much success at the Forum, its walls were said to be inhabited by the ghosts of the past that helped the home team accomplish some extraordinary feats.

Former general manager Frank Selke asked toward the beginning of the 1950s that a passage from John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields" -- written during World War I -- be reproduced on the walls of the Canadiens dressing room, a passage that would come to define the team's sense of history and success: "To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high."

Holding the torch high was what the Canadiens always took great pride in during their years at the Forum, but the building was actually not meant for them initially.

When it opened on the corner of Atwater Ave. and Ste-Catherine St., the Forum was actually meant to house the Montreal Maroons, the city's other NHL team. But the Canadiens were invited to play the Forum's inaugural game because their own venue -- the Mount-Royal Arena -- relied on a natural ice surface that was not ready for game action yet. The Canadiens would only move to the Forum on a permanent basis two years later, and they would share the building with the Maroons until 1938 when their co-tenants folded.


Carbonneau relished being part of final Forum night

Thursday, 11.29.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Guy Carbonneau knew the odds were stacked against his Dallas Stars on March 11, 1996.

"I'm pretty sure we had a few dollars on the board to see if we could win that game," Carbonneau told

All the motivational money in the world likely wouldn't have mattered that night. The Stars drew the unenviable task of facing the Montreal Canadiens in the final game at the Montreal Forum, which was won handily by the home team 4-1 in front of a standing-room crowd of 17,959.

"You think about it a little bit before, but you know it's going to be a special night," said Carbonneau, who spent his first 12 NHL seasons with Montreal. "There was a lot of support from the fans and a lot of people I knew in the past. Once you get out on the ice, it's not something that you really worry about."


Wild goalie contest ends in tie, to be continued

Wednesday, 11.21.2012 / 8:21 PM / NHL Insider

Believe it or not, the shootout needs overtime.

The contest to determine the Minnesota Wild's new emergency goaltender ended in a tie Sunday, requiring finalists Treye Kettwick and Joshua Swartout to try it again another time.

Each goalie was expected to face eight shooters during the second intermission of an American Hockey League game between the Houston Aeros and Rockford IceHogs at Xcel Energy Center.

But after the first two rounds of four ended even (each goalie was scored on twice), three sudden-death shots were saved by each goalie before the intermission time ran out and the AHL game had to resume.

With no other tiebreaker in place, the Wild will resume the contest at a later date.


Night at The Joe bonded cast of new 'Red Dawn'

Wednesday, 11.21.2012 / 12:30 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

In the new movie "Red Dawn," an update of the 1984 Cold War version, a militia of teenagers is tasked with saving their small town from a North Korean invasion. The result is the kind of non-stop action that made the original so popular. But before shooting their first scene, the film's actors came together for an intense training regimen producers hoped would get them in shape.

"We did six weeks with Navy SEALs and two weeks with Marines," said actor Josh Peck, who in his role as local high school football star Matt Eckert also had a week of gridiron training. "It was hard. I don't know if I'd ever done a pull-up before. Now I can do a lot of pull-ups."

Following their combat training, the "Red Dawn" cast had to find other ways to develop on-screen chemistry. When filming started in Michigan, they did this by making numerous trips to a nearby mall and the local gym. Then, a month into shooting, Peck came up with the perfect way to cultivate camaraderie.

The cast of the new version of 'Red Dawn' found time to bond at a Detroit Red Wings game while filming their action scenes in Michigan. (Photo Credit: Film District)

A longtime hockey fan and Los Angeles Kings diehard, it was only a matter of time before Peck gathered some of his co-stars for a trip to see the Detroit Red Wings play at Joe Louis Arena. Peck enlisted two of his best friends on the set, neither of whom had been to a hockey game before.

"We randomly got to go to a Red Wings game," Peck told "I went with Julian Alcaraz and Chris Hemsworth. I took them both to their first-ever hockey game. It was kind of cool to watch it through their eyes."

The first-timers enjoyed the experience, particularly Hemsworth, an Australian-born actor best known for playing Thor in "The Avengers." Enjoying an exciting game at The Joe was a fun break that offered an exciting outlet for a group that spent its days filming physically demanding action scenes.

"Chris was stunned -- especially at a game that is so fast-paced and takes so much athletic ability. We had a real good time and Joe Louis Arena is awesome," Peck said. "What better way to spend a Saturday night after filming than to go see the Red Wings?"


Wild ride has Brust on cusp of AHL shutout record

Sunday, 11.18.2012 / 3:52 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Barry Brust is less than one period from ousting a Hall of Fame goaltender from the record books one season after his North American career stood at a crossroads.

The 29-year-old goaltender for the Abbotsford Heat has a shutout streak of 231 minutes, 41 seconds. If he can extend it another 18:11 -- the opportunity to do so could come Friday at Texas -- he will break the American Hockey League mark of Johnny Bower, who established the record with the Cleveland Barons in 1957.

"Everything has just kind of fallen into place," Brust told during a lengthy layover in Chicago on Thursday night with his team flying to Rochester.


Wild goalie contest a draw, will need round two

Saturday, 11.17.2012 / 5:01 PM / NHL Insider

Joshua Swartout was there to see how close 51-year-old Paul Duetsch got to suiting up for the Minnesota Wild last season.

Swartout was one shootout away from having the same chance Sunday, but it is going take at least two.

Swartout, a 24-year-old from St. Louis Park, Minn., and Treye Kettwick, a 29-year-old from Minneapolis, were named the finalists in the Wild's contest searching for its new emergency goaltender.

They took part in a celebrity shootout during the second intermission of the game Sunday between the Houston Aeros and Rockford IceHogs at Xcel Energy Center. After 12 rounds, the goalie duel was called a draw, and both agreed to return for a second engagement at a date to be determined.

Last season, Duetsch almost served in that role due to a unique series of events surrounding Minnesota's game against the Nashville Predators on Nov. 23.


'Breakaway' details NHL's influx of Eastern Europeans

Saturday, 11.17.2012 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The stories revealed by Tal Pinchevsky in his debut book "Breakaway" recount the emotions -- both high and low -- and bravery of so many athletes who put themselves and the livelihoods of their own family members on the line to change the course of history and hockey all at once.

In "Breakaway," Pinchevsky, a staff writer for, details the clandestine movements by a few Eastern European players who opened the door to North America and the National Hockey League that so many have walked through since.

The book recounts how players from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union literally broke away from the Cold War and found freedom in North America -- and a hockey community that welcomed them, their families and their unique talents with open arms and checkbooks.


Wild choose finalists in emergency goalie contest

Thursday, 11.15.2012 / 10:00 PM / NHL Insider

The Minnesota Wild are closer to having a new emergency goaltender after holding a contest for the spot on Thursday.

After almost using 51-year-old Paul Deutsch in the role for one game last season, the Wild had 11 goaltenders from around the state compete for the chance to become the team's emergency goalie. Per NHL rules, none had professional experience.

The goaltenders, who ranged in age from 23 to 44, auditioned before a panel of judges that included Deutsch, Wild goalie coach Bob Mason, and Wild TV analyst and former NHL goalie Mike Greenlay.

Treye Kettwick, a 29-year-old from Minneapolis, and Joshua Swartout, a 24-year-old from St. Louis Park, Minn., were chosen as the finalists.


Hockey background helps White dominate ice dancing

Thursday, 11.15.2012 / 10:00 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

Ensconced in a suite at Vancouver's Rogers Arena, longtime hockey player Charlie White had a great seat for the gold-medal game at the 2010 Winter Olympics. So did a group of neighboring Canadians, who shot some icy stares at the Michigan-born White when the United States tied the game with 25 seconds remaining in regulation time. But after Canada won 3-2 in overtime to take the gold medal, White knew he was in the line of fire.

"As soon as they scored, I just jetted out of there. I knew I had it coming," White said. "It was a great game. Being able to see them go at it like that was really cool."

Once the agony of losing in overtime passed, Americans hailed their runner-up hockey team for helping to grow the game in the United States. They did the same for White, whose silver medal with partner Meryl Davis in the 2010 Olympic ice dancing competition has made him among his sport's most prominent ambassadors. It was a huge moment for the University of Michigan student and defending world champion -- one that might not have happened had he not grown up playing hockey.
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I'm very excited about what happened today. We've worked on this deal with Toronto for a month, or over a month. It got a little bit of legs on draft day, but it really heated up last night, and we were able to complete the deal today.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on Phil Kessel, who he acquired from the Maple Leafs in a trade on Wednesday