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NHL Insider

The night Plante made goaltending history

Thursday, 11.01.2012 / 10:19 AM / NHL Insider Staff

At approximately 7:10 p.m. on Nov. 1, 1959, "just another game" turned into one of the landmark moments in NHL history.

The streaking, first-place Montreal Canadiens (8-2-3) were playing the struggling New York Rangers (2-7-2) at Madison Square Garden.

All-Star Jacques Plante, in goal for the Canadiens, was struck in the face with a shot by Rangers forward Andy Bathgate at 3:06 of the first period.

Plimpton's tryout changed hockey, journalism

Saturday, 10.27.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

By his own admission, writer George Plimpton wasn't much of a skater when he attended Boston Bruins training camp in 1977. But that may have been the least of his worries.

The amateur goaltender and father of "participatory journalism" also was almost 50 years old when he attended Bruins camp on assignment for Sports Illustrated. By then, the legendary writer had made a career of being out of his athletic element. Thanks to "Open Net," his classic book documenting the experience, his mark on the sport endures 35 years later.

Plimpton's first foray into pro sports was chronicled in "Out of My League," which details his attempt in 1958 to pitch against a team of National League all-stars that included Willie Mays. But Plimpton is best known for "Paper Lion," in which he documents his experience playing quarterback for the 1963 Detroit Lions.

'Coached by Claude': Julien raffled off for charity

Friday, 10.26.2012 / 2:30 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien will have a new team and a new challenge Sunday afternoon. He can't wait for it.

Julien will become the coach of the Winthrop, Mass., Squirt B team for one game as part of a charity drive benefitting the Boston Bruins Foundation and Massachusetts Hockey.

"Maybe it's a win-win situation," Julien told on Friday. "They get me to coach them and I get to get some of the rust off."

Claude Julien will lead the Winthrop, Mass. Squirt B team for one game as part of a charity drive benefitting the Boston Bruins Foundation and Massachusetts Hockey. (Photo: Getty Images)

Julien is excited to lend his expertise to the 9- and 10-year-olds fortunate enough to win the "Coached by Claude Raffle," which ended earlier this week after tickets were sold for 12 days at $5 apiece.

Julien will send his new team to the ice at 2 p.m. Sunday at Haverhill Valley Forum in Haverhill, Mass.

"I was approached by our Foundation and they asked me if I would be willing to coach a youth hockey team that would win in a raffle and that would help raise money for minor hockey in the area and also for our Foundation that always gives money to great cause," Julien said. "It was a no-brainer for me."

The Boston Bruins Foundation is a non-profit foundation that assists charitable organizations geared toward children throughout New England. Massachusetts Hockey is a non-profit corporation and an affiliate association of USA Hockey.

"Since we can't be doing what we usually are doing right now, this is an opportunity to give back and participate in the community and keep the situation as positive as you can related to hockey," Julien said. "It was an easy answer for me to give them."

Isles confident Brooklyn move will attract players

Wednesday, 10.24.2012 / 4:49 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow has one fewer question to answer now, and it is a major load off his shoulders.

No longer will Snow have to find his way around one of the most explosive and paralyzing land mines he comes across during the free-agent signing period. He is always asked, "Where will the Islanders be playing in 2015?" The answer he can give is finally a good one.

Owner Charles Wang announced Wednesday that the Islanders will be moving to the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which is less than 30 miles from the antiquated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, starting with the 2015-16 season.

Muller's rise in coaching ranks about accountability

Wednesday, 10.24.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

To understand what Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller is all about, you apparently need to know only one word:


* It's what Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford said he saw from his team last season after Muller took over and led the Hurricanes to a 25-20-12 record, including 20-12-10 after Jan. 1.

* It's the word New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello used when he was asked to describe Muller's best attribute -- both as a player and from what he's seen from him as a coach.

* It's how former Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko described Muller's captaincy in New Jersey from 1987-91.

NHL joins millions in 'going purple' for Spirit Day

Friday, 10.19.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

On Friday, Oct. 19, the National Hockey League will join millions of Americans in "going purple" for Spirit Day, to stand out against bullying and support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. In the observance of Spirit Day, the League is joining the social campaign to promote awareness of the challenges faced in the LGBT community.

The effort to "go purple" started in 2010 as a response to the young people who had committed suicide in response to extreme bullying. Last year, millions of Americans donned the color to show their support for the cause, including Ellen DeGeneres, Goldie Hawn, Conan O'Brien, and the casts of several TV shows, including "Good Morning America" and "Jersey Shore." This year's official Spirit Day ambassadors include basketball great Shaquille O'Neal, TV personality Maria Menounos, and actor George Takei.

Girls' Hockey Weekend proves success around globe

Tuesday, 10.16.2012 / 2:24 PM / NHL Insider

Deborah Francisco - Staff Writer

The International Ice Hockey Federation is still tallying the numbers from the second World Girls' Ice Hockey Weekend, which took place Oct. 13-14 in countries all around the globe. But the single goal of raising awareness for female hockey was accomplished as hundreds of events in 30 countries took place.

"Not everybody buys into female hockey, but more people are, and this just brought up the awareness of female hockey in a lot of areas," Hockey Canada Director of Female Hockey Joanne Hughes told "It's increasing the profile of female hockey tremendously."

While women's hockey is one of the fastest-growing sports worldwide, it's still unrecognized in many countries and many cities struggle to put together just one female team or league.

Girls' Hockey Weekend growing showcase for sport

Friday, 10.12.2012 / 8:31 PM / NHL Insider

Deborah Francisco - Staff Writer

When Tanya Foley, the women's program manager for the International Ice Hockey Federation, first contacted a group of 14 world hockey leaders in 2011 to gauge interest in a girls' event, she had no idea how popular it would become in just two years.

"It was really funny because we started looking at doing it late-summer last year," Foley told, "I decided to just throw this out there and see what kind of response we got. I expected nothing, and we had 20 nations sign up right away."

Foley's idea was to take what Hockey Canada and USA Hockey were already doing with Esso Fun Days in Canada and Hockey Weekend Across America, as well as similar programs in Finland, and turn them into an international endeavor to recruit girls to the game.

Years later, former Knicks and Rangers maintain bond

Friday, 10.12.2012 / 1:40 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

Any office environment can benefit from a cooperative workplace in which everyone gets along. If that workplace happens to be an arena housing both an NHL and NBA franchise, then winning sure doesn't hurt.


NYR moments part of MSG retrospective

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer
When Madison Square Garden opens its doors following its final round of renovations in November, the redone concourse will include a visual retrospective including great moments in Rangers history. READ MORE ›

During Madison Square Garden's historic spring in 1994, a winning spirit helped to establish a strong bond between Knicks and Rangers players. With both teams enjoying recent success following prolonged playoff droughts, those relationships have been rekindled.

"It's a close-knit family. We have our training center up in Westchester and because both teams live under the same roof there as well as down in the city at the Garden, it's one big family," said Adam Graves, who played 10 seasons with the Rangers and now works in the team's Prospect Development and Community Relations departments. "It's great they're friends. That's where it's special."

The keystone of that relationship was the epic spring of 1994, which saw the Rangers win their first Stanley Cup in 54 years and the Knicks come within one victory of the NBA title. In their respective playoff runs, the two teams crossed paths countless times at the Garden and developed a respect for one another that remains strong almost 20 years later.

"[Knicks] coach [Pat] Riley made sure we were a family. That's the way he was brought up. He came from a big family and he brought that with him. He made sure we all appreciated one another and respected one another and fought hard for one another," said John Starks, a longtime Knicks guard who now serves as the team's adviser for alumni relations and fan development. "With the Rangers, it was the same exact thing. Playing six, seven months together, you develop a close bond. The Rangers were no different than the Knicks. Those guys fought hard for one another and they protected one another."

Great Rangers moments part of Garden retrospective

Thursday, 10.11.2012 / 4:01 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

Since 1879, Madison Square Garden has moved three times and undergone countless renovations, including the final stage of its current facelift, which is scheduled to be completed next month. Through all those changes, the hallowed arena has hosted every conceivable event and some of the most enduring moments in sports and entertainment, earning a reputation as the world's most famous arena.

On Thursday in Manhattan's Madison Square Park, the site of the original Madison Square Garden, some of the people involved in those historic moments came together to mark the opening of a new exhibit commemorating the venue's incredible legacy. They included New York Rangers greats Mark Messier and Brian Leetch, Knicks legends Walt Frazier and John Starks, trailblazing rappers DMC of Run DMC and Mike D of Beastie Boys, boxer Bernard Hopkins, and even former New York governor Mario Cuomo.

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