Joe Thornton

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Posted by sonny 03/03/2009 @ 05:15

Tags : joe thornton, hockey players, hockey, sports

News headlines
Goalie prospect visits Sharks - San Jose Mercury News
Resnick, who said 24 NHL teams initially contacted him about Gustavsson's services, is a business partner in his sports management group with John Thornton, brother of Sharks center Joe Thornton, which he says already made them familiar with General...
Goshen coach search reopened? - Troy Messenger
By Matt Nascone (Contact) | Troy Messenger The search for a new head football coach at Goshen High School following the resignation of Joe Thornton may take a little bit longer. Pike County Schools Superintendent Mark Bazzell and Goshen Principal Al...
Purdy: Sharks won't be trading Thornton or Pavelski - San Jose Mercury News
By Mark Purdy A sustained, blistering flame tonight could establish Joe Thornton in everyone's mind as the league's best player. Something tells me the Sharks will make a significant trade before next month's NHL draft. All right, so it isn't exactly...
Bruins GM Chiarelli gets extension - MiamiHerald.com
Over the last three seasons, he has overseen the swift rebuilding of a club reeling from the blockbuster Joe Thornton deal in November, 2005 to one which posted the best record in the Eastern Conference this season. While reshaping the roster,...
GM Wilson says Marleau, Thornton staying - Rotoworld.com
Despite rumors to the contrary, GM Doug Wilson says Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton will be members of the San Jose Sharks next season. Wilson does want to make moves in the off-season after the Sharks quick exit in the first round from the playoffs....
Chicago Cubs should be set to rebound - Chicago Tribune
But all it took was a broken-bat single off a pretty good Matt Thornton fastball to bring home the winning run and restore Soriano's good standing among Wrigley's citizenry. So the Cubs and their fans await this weekend's Cleveland series in a good...
Potential Offseason Trades, Part Two: Dany Heatley - Bleacher Report
Please read part one of this series regarding Joe Thornton and the Philadelphia Flyers. I'm sorry to inform you, but the Flyers would never give up both JVR and Sbisa for Heatley, They would want to give up Briere, but if you wanted to do that,...
NHL Awards and Finalists - NHL.com
Joe Thornton became the first Hart Trophy winner to switch clubs during his winning campaign in 2005–06 NHL season, having played for both the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks that year. The voting is conducted at the end of the regular season by...
When stars are iced - Ottawa Citizen
Another example of a franchise moving a star player to reap long-term dividends is the November 2005 trade of Joe Thornton from the Bruins to the San Jose Sharks. Like Heatley, Thornton felt less than fully appreciated by his team....
Business Watch group to target crime prevention - Huntsville Item
The meeting will be facilitated by HPD Community Services Officer Joe Thornton, a trained crime prevention specialist. “This is essentially the organizational meeting,” Thornton said. “Essentially out of this I think they're going to set the tone for...

2004–05 NHL lockout

The 2004–05 NHL lockout resulted in the cancellation of what would have been the 88th season of the National Hockey League (NHL). It was the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded since 1919, and the first time a major professional sports league in North America canceled a complete season because of a labour dispute. The lockout lasted 310 days starting September 16, 2004, the day after the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the NHL and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) that resolved the 1994–95 lockout expired. The negotiating teams reached an agreement on July 13, 2005, and the lockout officially ended nine days later on July 22, after both the NHL owners and players ratified the CBA.

The NHL, led by Commissioner Gary Bettman, attempted to convince players to accept a salary structure linking player salaries to league revenues, guaranteeing the clubs what the league called cost certainty. According to an NHL-commissioned report prepared by former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt, prior to 2004–05, NHL clubs spent about 76 percent of their gross revenues on players' salaries – a figure far higher than those in other North American sports – and collectively lost US$273 million dollars during the 2002–03 season.

On July 21, 2004, the league presented the NHLPA with six concepts to achieve cost certainty. These concepts are believed to have ranged from a hard, or inflexible, salary cap similar to the one used in the National Football League to a centralized salary negotiation system similar to that used in Major League Soccer. According to Bettman, a luxury tax similar to the one used in Major League Baseball would not have satisfied the league's cost certainty objectives. Most sports commentators saw Bettman's plan as reasonable, but some critics pointed out that a hard salary cap without any revenue sharing was an attempt to gain the support of the big market teams, such as Toronto, Detroit, the New York Rangers, Dallas, and Philadelphia, teams that did not support Bettman during the 1994–95 lockout.

The NHLPA, under executive director Bob Goodenow, disputed the league's financial claims. According to the union, "cost certainty" is little more than a euphemism for a salary cap, which it had vowed never to accept. The union rejected each of the six concepts presented by the NHL, claiming they all contained some form of salary cap. The NHLPA preferred to retain the present "marketplace" system where players individually negotiate contracts with teams, and teams have complete control of how much they want to spend on players. Goodenow's mistrust of the league was supported by a November 2004 Forbes report that estimated the NHL's losses were less than half the amounts claimed by the league.

Although the NHL's numbers were disputed, there was no question that several franchises were losing money, as several had declared bankruptcy. Other franchises had held 'fire sales' of franchise players, such as the Washington Capitals. The league does not have large TV revenues in the US, so the NHL is reliant on attendance revenues more than other leagues. Many NHL teams had low attendance totals in preceding seasons, notably the New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes.

Prior to the lockout, in late 2003 the union proposed a system that included revenue sharing, a luxury tax, a one-time five percent rollback in player salaries, and reforms to the league's entry level system. The league rejected this proposal almost immediately because it essentially maintained the status quo in favor of the players. Shortly before the lockout commenced in 2004, the NHLPA offered another proposal to the league that was believed to be similar to their earlier proposal. The league again rejected the union offer, claiming the union's new proposal was worse than the offer they rejected in 2003. At this point, negotiations stopped until early December, when the NHLPA made a highly anticipated proposal based on a luxury tax that increased the proposed one-time rollback in players' salaries from 5 to 24 percent. The NHL rejected the offer and countered with a proposal that the union quickly rejected.

After these negotiations failed, on Wednesday February 9, Bettman declared that if the lockout was not resolved by the weekend, there would be no hope of saving the season. When talks broke off between the NHL and the NHLPA the next day, there had been no progress in negotiations. On February 14, the union offered to accept a $52 million salary cap under the condition that it was not linked to league revenues. The league proposed a counteroffer with a $40 million cap plus $2.2 million in benefits, which the players association refused. The next day, Bettman sent Goodenow a letter with a final proposal of a $42.5 million cap plus $2.2 million in benefits, setting a deadline of 11:00AM the next day to accept or refuse the offer. The NHLPA presented a counter-offer involving a $49 million cap, which the league rejected.

With no resolution by the 11:00 deadline, Bettman announced the cancellation of the 2004–05 season on February 16, 2005, making the NHL the first major professional sports league in North America to cancel an entire season because of a labor dispute. However on February 18, The Hockey News reported that a deal with a $45 million cap had been reached "in principle" with the help of owners and former players Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Lemieux. Both camps immediately denied this report. A 6½-hour meeting took place the next day, but no agreement was reached.

Bolstered by the thought of losing yet another season to a labor dispute, the sides began meeting again in June, with many pundits believing the lockout would end on July 4, 2005. That date eventually came and went, but sources were reporting to media that marathon sessions were taking place. Indeed, the sides met again for ten consecutive days (July 4–13), and a deal was reached "in principle" (meaning the sides have agreed, but nothing is signed) on July 13. According to reports, the July 12 session lasted through the night and until 06:00 on July 13, at which point the talks broke off for five hours, and resumed in time to complete the deal. Both sides wanted to make an announcement that day, as it was the day following the Major League Baseball All-Star Game – the only day in the calendar year when none of the four major North American team sports has an event scheduled.

On July 21, the players association ratified the agreement with 87 percent of its members voting in favor. The owners unanimously approved it the next day, officially ending the 310 day lockout with a $39 million cap for the first year of the CBA.

A Canadian public opinion poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid near the start of the lockout found that 52 percent of those polled blamed NHL players for the lockout and only 21 percent blamed the owners of NHL teams.

This may have been because the NHL put much more effort into the public relations war than did the NHLPA, leading to a large amount of one-sided public feeling on the issue. The NHLPA did not change its position despite public opinion against them and reiterated that irresponsible big market NHL owners were to blame for driving up salaries.

However, many doubt the sincerity of the NHLPA since union leaders desired a system that allows big market owners to do exactly that. Also hurting the NHLPA was the fact that its players had very visible high salaries, which removed much sympathy from lower-to-middle class fans. It did not help that Jeremy Roenick and several NHLPA executives had made controversial statements which showed their apparent disdain for owners and fans alike.

Some of the owners, notably the big market teams, were criticized upon refusing to commit to lowering ticket prices if a salary cap was successfully implemented. While some argued that ticket prices were tied to demand, that is exactly what player salaries were dictated by in the past. Yet while the owners chose to create an artificial criteria for player salaries (the cap), they refused to break from the "market demand" system when it came to ticket prices, essentially saying that while the players were taking advantage of owners in an "emotional" business, the owners had no such problem taking advantage of fans. However, reduced ticket prices would result in an increase in demand that would significantly outstrip supply.

The loss of the 2004–05 season meant that there were no results on which to base the order of the 2005 entry draft. The league settled on a lottery system in which all teams had a weighted chance at the first pick, expected to be Sidney Crosby. The lottery was tilted so teams with fewer positive results over the past five seasons had a better chance of landing higher picks. The complete order was determined by the lottery, and the 2005 draft was conducted in a "snake" style, meaning in even rounds, the draft order was reversed. This system was an attempt to compromise between those who felt all teams should have had an equal chance at the first pick and those who felt only the weaker teams should have been in the running.

To ease the transition to the salary cap, teams were allowed one week to buy out players at two-thirds the cost of their remaining contract, which would not count against the salary cap. Bought out players could not re-sign with the same team.

The majority of players who agreed to play in other professional hockey leagues were playing in Europe. During 2004–05 season 388 NHL players played in European leagues. The most popular countries were Russia, with 78 NHL players, Sweden, with 75 NHL players, the Czech Republic, with 51 NHL players, Finland, with 45 NHL players and Germany with 22 NHL players.

Russian Elite league team AK Bars Kazan signed 11 NHL players, including Ilya Kovalchuk, Aleksey Morozov and Vincent Lecavalier while Pavel Datsyuk played for HC Dynamo Moscow, Patrik Elias played for Czech HC JME Znojemsti Orli and Russian Metallurg Magnitogorsk, and Czech superstar Jaromir Jagr played for Avangard Omsk.

Other Czech players returned to the Czech Republic, including Milan Hejduk (HC Pardubice), Martin Straka (HC Plzen), Ales Hemsky (HC Pardubice) and Martin Rucinsky (HC Litvínov).

Swiss Nationalliga A had its own NHL-stars when Canadians Joe Thornton and Rick Nash signed with HC Davos, Daniel Brière and Dany Heatley signed with SC Bern of the Swiss league. This lockout was a real benefit for Swiss Ice hockey.

Swedish superstar Peter Forsberg returned to his original club, Modo Hockey, in a move that he had planned before the lockout. Several other Swedes, including Daniel and Henrik Sedin, joined Forsberg at Modo, while still others joined other Elitserien sides. Some Elitserien games were also being broadcasted by Rogers Sportsnet in Canada.

Finnish SM-liiga had its share of players during the lockout. Notable Finnish players included Saku Koivu (TPS), Olli Jokinen (HIFK), Jarkko Ruutu (HIFK) and Vesa Toskala (Ilves). Teemu Selänne also made a contract with Jokerit but was unable to play during the entire season. Foreign players included John Madden who played 2 games for HIFK, Sean Avery, who had a brief stint with Pelicans. SM-liiga featured two top Goaltenders as Dwayne Roloson played for Lukko and Tomas Vokoun played for HIFK. Finnish Mestis also featured NHL-talent when Sami Kapanen and Kimmo Timonen played for KalPa. Timonen and Kapanen partially owned the team and the duo was joined by Adam Hall who also played for KalPa during the lockout.

Information on the German leagues is forthcoming.

Notable signing in the ELITE Ice Hockey League in Great Britain was Chris McCallister who signed for the Newcastle Vipers. In 2008, McCallister signed for the Vipers for a second time.

Mark Bell, who at the time was playing for Chicago Blackhawks, played for the Norwegian "Eliteserien" club Trondheim Black Panthers.

Most of the NHL players playing for European clubs had contract clauses allowing them to leave for the NHL once the lockout ended.

There were two attempts to form alternative professional leagues in North America during the lockout, but both failed. A revival of the World Hockey Association had been planned since 2002 and was to start play shortly after the lockout was expected to begin. Despite having former WHA star Bobby Hull as commissioner, however, the league never got off the ground. A lack of stable financing undermined plans to sign both locked-out players and top prospects such as Sidney Crosby.

Another league, the Original Stars Hockey League (OSHL), was established in Canada and expected to play four-on-four games between six teams (ostensibly representing the Original Six cities) in various Canadian cities until the lockout was settled. More than 100 players purportedly signed up to play in the OSHL. The league debuted on September 17, 2004 in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. In the inaugural game, "Toronto" defeated "Detroit" 16–13. The next and last game was played in Brampton, Ontario with "Boston" defeating "Montreal" 14–11. However, escalating salary demands by players quickly bankrupted the league. Shortly after its first two games, OSHL president Randy Gumbley announced that the league had received firm commitments from only twenty players, and the league soon folded.

NHL players looking for a place to play clearly preferred stable, established European clubs to upstart leagues that have since been derisively dubbed as "fly-by-night" operations by their critics. A small number of players played for established minor league teams near their families and homes, while others chose to repay the league which gave them a start by returning.

The Motor City Mechanics of the UHL got a major boost during their first year in existence when the lockout officially started. The team signed Detroit Red Wings players Chris Chelios, Derian Hatcher, and Kris Draper. This happened because Derian Hatcher knew the team was playing at Great Lakes Sports City Superior Arena where he often played growing up. Unfortunately because of visa problems Kris Draper never played a game for the Mechanics. Later on they also signed Bryan Smolinski and Sean Avery and were able to roll four NHL players on their opponents. All of the players had some experience or connection to the area.

The ECHL gained some players. Scott Gomez played for his hometown team, the Alaska Aces and won the ECHL's Most Valuable Player award, while Curtis Brown, whose wife is a native of Southern California, played for the San Diego Gulls, and Bates Battaglia joined his younger brother Anthony on the Mississippi Sea Wolves roster. A pair of Nashville Predators teammates, Shane Hnidy and Jeremy Stevenson, both of whom had early careers in the ECHL, returned to the league and found themselves playing against each other in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs, as Hnidy's Florida Everblades faced Stevenson's South Carolina Stingrays in the American Conference quarterfinals.

In addition, many younger players who could be impact players on their NHL rosters stayed down in the American Hockey League for a full season - most notably Jason Spezza, who won the league scoring title and MVP awards - changing the aspect of that league's entire season. A record crowd of 20,103 fans packed the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia for Game Four of the Calder Cup finals between the Philadelphia Phantoms and Rosemont's Chicago Wolves. The Wolves, Rochester Americans, Manitoba Moose, Hamilton Bulldogs, and Bridgeport Sound Tigers (owned by the New York Islanders) each saw attendance figures increase over ten percent from 2003–04 in the AHL, with the Moose average attendance soaring 24.09 percent from the previous year. In the ECHL, the Gwinnett Gladiators, San Diego Gulls, Bakersfield Condors, and Charlotte Checkers also saw similar gains, with the Atlanta Thrashers-affiliated Gladiators receiving a gain of over 20 percent in attendance from the previous year.

However, the lockout negatively affected many minor-league players, where the influx of NHL players forced many to play in lower-level leagues for less money or out of jobs altogether.

In addition, other minor hockey leagues benefited from the lack of competition from the major professional league. The Ontario Hockey League was a particular beneficiary, with teams such as the London Knights and Saginaw Spirit garnering considerable attention. The lack of the Stanley Cup playoffs also created increased interest in the 2005 Memorial Cup tournament with record TV ratings. The Lockout also made it possible for the London Knights to break the longest winning streak and longest unbeaten streaks in Ontario Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League history. If not for the lockout then many of the London Knights players would have been in the National Hockey League, the American Hockey League or the ECHL. Governor General of Canada Adrienne Clarkson mused publicly about the possibility of awarding the Stanley Cup to the best women's hockey team that year. The 2005 Allan Cup in Lloydminster also attracted elevated national media interest.

In the Western Hockey League, the Calgary Hitmen were the most watched team in North America, averaging 10,062 fans per game. Their season total of 362,227 shattered the WHL and CHL records and represented a 33% increase over 2003–04. The Vancouver Giants also experienced a massive increase, finishing second in the WHL with 302,403 fans going through the turnstiles.

The lockout had a substantial effect on international tournaments run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. The most notable effect was in the recent 2005 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Thief River Falls, Minnesota. With the NHL inactive, the top eligible U-20 players were not playing in that league and thus were available to their countries for the tournament. The country that benefitted most as a result was Canada. The Canadians not only ended a seven-year gold medal drought at this competition, they outscored their opponents 41–7 and defeated Russia 6–1 in the final game. Many analysts believe that the Canadian team was the most dominating ever in this tournament, aided in no small part by players such as Patrice Bergeron who could have expected to have commitments in the NHL.

At the time that the 2004–05 season was canceled, it was not immediately clear how the lockout would affect the 2005 World Ice Hockey Championships. Normally, NHL players from teams that failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs participate in this tournament. Since no playoffs were being held, theoretically all NHL players could participate. In reality, however, many NHL players declined to participate, and national teams were naturally reluctant to select players who lacked game conditioning. For all of the teams (including the North American ones), the bulk of the national teams' rosters consisted of players who were playing in Europe.

Canadian sports fans also turned to the Canadian Football League, and the CFL recorded significant increases in attendance and television ratings during the final weeks of the 2004 CFL season compared to 2003, ultimately setting a new record for total playoff attendance. The league was able to hold onto at least some of these gains in 2005.

The Philips Arena requested the Southeastern Conference to move the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament out of their venue because of logistics, because the 55th NHL All-Star Game was scheduled for late January, while the SEC tournament was scheduled five weeks later. The resulting move led to the Bi-Lo Center, an ECHL arena 140 miles to the east in Greenville, South Carolina, hosting the tournament, drawing the ire of the NAACP, who wanted the SEC to ban the venue from hosting tournaments because of its location. Philips Arena was granted the NHL All-Star Game in 2008 as compensation.

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Sidney Crosby

SidneyCrosby.jpg

Sidney Patrick Crosby ONS (born August 7, 1987) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player and captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL). Nicknamed "The Next One", he was one of the most highly regarded draft picks in hockey history, leading many to refer to the 2005 Draft Lottery as the "Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes".

In his first season, he finished sixth in scoring with 102 points (39 goals, 63 assists). By his second season, he led the NHL with 120 points (36 goals, 84 assists) to capture the Art Ross Trophy, becoming the youngest player and the only teenager to win a scoring title in any major North American sports league. That same season, Crosby won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player as determined by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and the Lester B. Pearson Award as the most valuable player as determined by the NHL Players Association. He is the seventh player in NHL history to earn all three awards.

Sidney Crosby began playing hockey on his own in his basement at two years old, where he badly damaged the family's clothes dryer by constantly shooting pucks at it. He learned to skate at three. At the age of seven, he gave his first newspaper interview. At thirteen, the Nova Scotia Minor Hockey Council refused to allow him to play Midget hockey, alongside seventeen year olds. His family sued and lost. At fourteen, he appeared on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Hockey Day in Canada, and scored 217 regular season points to lead his Midget AAA team, the Dartmouth Subways, to second place in the Air Canada Cup. He won both the MVP Award and the Top Scorer Award after scoring 18 points in five games. Sidney attended Shattuck-Saint Mary's Boarding School in Minnesota for the 2002–2003 hockey season. While there, he led the Sabres to the U.S. National Championship.

Crosby was selected first overall in the midget draft by the Rimouski Océanic of the QMJHL. In his first exhibition game he scored eight points, leading his teammates to nickname him "Darryl" (in reference to Darryl Sittler and his ten point game). In his first game in the QMJHL, he scored one goal and added two assists. He was named Player of the Week for two consecutive weeks at the start of the season, and won the honour four more times as the season progressed. He was named Player of the Month three times, and Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Player of the Week three times. By the end of the season, he had been named Player of the Year, Top Rookie, and Top Scorer — the first QMJHL player to earn all three honours at once. He led the QMJHL with 54 goals and 81 assists in 59 regular season games.

In August 2004, Crosby turned down $7.5 million over three years to play for the Hamilton franchise of the World Hockey Association, claiming that he was not ready to leave the junior league yet.

In 2004–05, the Oceanic, led by their top line of Crosby, Marc Pouliot, and Dany Roussin dominated the QMJHL, setting the record for the longest undefeated streak (28 games) and losing only two games in the entire playoffs. The team went to the Memorial Cup finals, but fell in the last game to the London Knights. Despite the physical wear of the tournament, and the certainty of his first overall selection, Crosby attended the NHL prospect combine and impressed scouts, particularly with his personality and self-assurance.

During his amateur years, Crosby caught the attention of several journalists and other players, including Wayne Gretzky. When Gretzky was asked if he thought anyone could break his records, he answered that Sidney Crosby could, and added that Crosby was the best player he had seen since Mario Lemieux.

Crosby is the fifth player to represent Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships as a sixteen year old (in 2003). This feat was previously accomplished by Jay Bouwmeester, Jason Spezza, Eric Lindros, and Wayne Gretzky. Crosby stated that his most memorable hockey moment was winning the 2005 World Junior Championship.

Sidney Crosby was selected first overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 30, 2005. Due to the labour stoppage in the previous season, the 2005 draft was conducted via a weighted lottery based on each team's playoff appearances and draft lottery victories in the last four years. This lottery system led to the draft being popularly referred to as the Sidney Crosby Lottery or the Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes.

Crosby finished his rookie season with the franchise record in assists (63) and points (102) for a rookie, both of which had been previously held by Mario Lemieux. Crosby is the youngest player in NHL history to score 100 points in a single season, and only the seventh rookie ever to hit the benchmark. Overall, Crosby finished sixth in the NHL scoring race and seventh in the NHL in assists. Among Canadian NHL players, he trailed only Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley. While both Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals had solid rookie campaigns, Crosby finished second behind Ovechkin for the Calder Memorial Trophy.

Through his first season, Crosby was accused by opposing players and coaches of taking dives and complaining to officials, which has been attributed to his youth. He became the first rookie to earn 100 penalty minutes and 100 points in the same season, which magnified his reputation for complaining to NHL officials. Hockey analyst Kelly Hrudey compared Crosby to Gretzky, who had a similar reputation as a "whiner" in his youth, and suggested that as Crosby matured, he would mellow out and his reputation would fade.

In his second NHL season, Crosby built on his rookie success. On October 28, 2006, Crosby scored his first NHL hat trick in an 8–2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. His success against the Flyers continued as just over six weeks later, on December 13, he recorded his first six point game of his career (one goal, five assists). After that game, he led the NHL in scoring for the remainder of the season, becoming the first teenager to lead the NHL in scoring since Wayne Gretzky in 1980. Crosby finished the 2006–07 NHL season with 36 goals and 84 assists in 79 games. Being only nineteen years old at the time, he became the youngest player in NHL history to win the Art Ross Trophy and the youngest scoring champion in any major North American professional sport.

At the NHL's annual awards show in June 2007, Crosby completed a rare off-season hat trick, winning the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award in addition to his previously awarded Art Ross Trophy. He became the youngest player in NHL history to win the Lester B. Pearson, and only the second youngest player ever to win the Hart (after Gretzky). Crosby also became the youngest player ever to be named to the NHL's First All-Star Team. Crosby signed a five-year $43.5 million dollar contract extension with the Penguins on July 10, 2007, ensuring he will stay with the Penguins through the 2012–13 season.

Crosby recorded his first Gordie Howe hat trick on December 20, 2007 in a game against the Boston Bruins. His first assist came 55 seconds into the first period. At 8:26 of the same period, Crosby scored to give the Penguins a 2–0 lead. Five minutes and nine seconds into the second period, Crosby fought Andrew Ference to complete the hat trick.

On January 18, 2008, he suffered a high ankle sprain crashing leg-first into the boards in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He missed the 2008 All-Star Game. After missing 21 games, he returned on March 4 against the Lightning and earned an assist. He also played in the two games following the win over the Lightning. After these games, he felt his ankle was not up to shape and decided that he needed more time for it to heal. Crosby sat out of the Penguins' next seven games and returned on March 27, 2008 to help the Penguins defeat the New York Islanders 3–1. In the 2008 playoffs, the Penguins reached the final round for the first time since 1992, but lost in six games to the Detroit Red Wings. Crosby finished the playoffs with 27 points (6g, 21a in 20 games), tying Henrik Zetterberg (13g, 14a in 22 games) for first place.

On October 18, 2008, Crosby scored one goal in addition to three assists to surpass benchmarks of 100 goals, 200 assists, and 300 total points for his career.

Playing in major junior, Crosby competed in two World Junior Championships with Team Canada's under-20 team. As a sixteen-year-old, he was selected to compete in the 2004 World Junior Championships in Helsinki. He became the youngest player to score a goal in the history of the tournament at 16 years, 4 months, and 21 days when he scored against Switzerland in a 7–2 win. Crosby finished the tournament with 2 goals and 3 assists in 6 games, helping Canada to a silver medal finish. The following year, he returned for Team Canada at the 2005 World Junior Championships in Grand Forks. He improved to 6 goals and 3 assists as Canada earned gold.

After completing his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Crosby competed in the 2006 World Championships as an alternate captain for Team Canada. Tallying a tournament-best 8 goals and 8 assists in 9 games, he became the youngest player ever to win a World Championship scoring title. Despite his performance, Canada failed to medal, being shutout by Finland 5–0 in the bronze medal game. Crosby was named the tournament's top forward and to the competition's all-star team.

Crosby's 87 Pittsburgh Penguins jersey was the top seller on the NHL's website from September 2005 to February 2008. In January 2005, an Air Canada baggage handler in Montreal stole Crosby's red Canada jersey from the World Junior Hockey Championship. It was recovered later in a mailbox. His white jersey from the tournament was temporarily delisted from an auction while the red one was missing. It eventually sold for $22,100, which went to youth hockey charities and 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake relief.

Less than a year later, one of Crosby's game-worn sweaters went missing. The jersey he wore in his first NHL game, played against the New Jersey Devils, went missing from his father's luggage during a flight from Pittsburgh to Buffalo. The jersey was later found at the Pittsburgh International Airport between a piece of equipment and a stairwell. Crosby's jersey from his third NHL game was the highest-selling NHL jersey in an auction for Hurricane Katrina relief – it sold for $21,010.

During an online auction held by the NHL and the NHL Players Association to benefit Hockey Fights Cancer, Crosby's game-worn jersey from the first period of the 2007 All-Star Game earned the most money. Crosby's sold for $47,520, more than eight times the next highest price—$5,681 for the jersey worn by Brendan Shanahan of the New York Rangers.

Sidney Crosby was born in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia in 1987 to Troy Crosby and Trina Forbes-Crosby. He has a younger sister, Taylor. During the season, Crosby lives with the Lemieux family in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. In the summer of 2006 he bought his first house in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His father was a goaltender who played for the Verdun Junior Canadiens in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and in the 1985 Memorial Cup. Troy was drafted 240th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 1984, but never played at the NHL level. Growing up, Sidney admired Steve Yzerman and, like his father, was a fan of the Montreal Canadiens. Crosby's number (87) and 2007 contract signing ($8.7 million per year) reflect his birthdate (8/7/87).

From age twelve to fifteen, Crosby attended Astral Drive Junior High School. He was a straight-A student and, according to the vice-principal, "an amazing role model who was really kind to students in the learning centre and to special needs kids." When he was fifteen, Crosby transferred to Shattuck-Saint Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota.

In time for Crosby's first season, Gare Joyce issued a biography, Sidney Crosby: Taking the Game by Storm. The November 2005 edition of GQ Magazine featured him in a series of shirt-less photos. In 2007, Crosby was nominated for Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People list. Crosby holds an endorsement deal with Reebok and designed a fashion line in 2007.

In 2008, Crosby appeared in the documentary film Pond Hockey, where he discusses his experiences of playing pond hockey.

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2005–06 NHL season

The modernized NHL shield logo was introduced for the 2005–06 season. The metallic silver color is said to have been inspired by the Stanley Cup, the trophy given to the playoff champion.

The 2005–06 NHL season was the 88th season of the National Hockey League. This was the season after the non-existent 2004–05 season which was cancelled due to a labour dispute with the NHL Players Association over the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the league and its players. The 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs began on April 21, 2006, and concluded on June 19, with the Carolina Hurricanes defeating the Edmonton Oilers to win their first Stanley Cup.

The 2005–06 regular season was the highest-scoring regular season in NHL history, with 7,443 goals scored. The previous record was 7,311 goals, scored during the 1992–93 regular season.

On July 13, 2005, the NHL, and NHLPA jointly announced that they had tentatively agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement which would allow the resumption of hockey for the 2005–06 season. The agreement was voted on July 21 by NHLPA members, and approved by a nearly 7 to 1 margin. The following day, the NHL's board of governors (owners) voted unanimously to approve the new agreement.

A new logo for the NHL was also unveiled, with "NHL" printed in upward-reading letters to project a vibrant, optimistic image, and having silver as the dominant color to pay homage to the Stanley Cup. Also, new Eastern and Western Conference logos were unveiled before the Olympic break, with red as the dominant East color, and blue as the dominant West hue.

American television also had a new look. OLN took over broadcasting rights after ESPN decided not to renew their rights on cable television. The network, owned by Comcast, had Monday and Tuesday night games during the regular season under an exclusivity clause prohibiting local telecasts those nights in the two participating teams' markets. NBC returned as the NHL's over-the-air partner after ABC parted ways following the 2003–04 season. Comcast high-speed cable internet customers could watch at least seven games a week over the internet as part of the new TV deal.

The rule experimentation was based on the previous season of play in the American Hockey League, and was based on creating a more exciting game and will create more scoring opportunities, and therefore more goals.

Furthermore, a new Competition Committee was formed to discuss future rule changes, and players were invited to participate in the discussion.

The NHL season began on October 5, and for the first time in the league's history, all of the league's thirty teams played a game on opening night. In the first period of each game, all teams wore a jersey (sweater) with a special patch as the league and players association auctioned off those jerseys for the benefit of the Red Cross in both the USA and Canada earmarking the proceeds for Hurricane Katrina victims (the Islanders' ECHL affiliate in Biloxi, Mississippi suspended operations for the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons because of this disaster; furthermore, the NHL had a Stanley Cup tour of ECHL cities to raise additional funds for relief efforts; Hurricane Rita also affected the Minnesota Wild, as their AA affiliates.). On opening night of this season, Jean-Pierre Dumont of the Buffalo Sabres scored the first goal of the regular season, and Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley, of the Ottawa Senators became the first players to score the winning goals for a shoot out in NHL history, both scoring against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Ed Belfour. Their sticks were subsequently sent to the nearby Hockey Hall of Fame.

The All-Star Game, which would have been in Phoenix this year, did not take place (the city will host the event in a future year as a replacement); the league instead took a break in February so that many of its players could participate in the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. The new schedule features more intra-division games in order to promote division rivalries. Consequently, there are whole divisions in the opposite conference that teams never played during the season.

On November 30, 2005, one of the worst trades in NHL history occurred as Joe Thornton of the Boston Bruins was traded to the San Jose Sharks in a four player deal, which sent forwards Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau and defenceman Brad Stuart to Boston. Thornton went on to win the scoring title and to date has consistently been a top 10 scorer. The Bruins missed the playoffs as a result of the turmoil caused by the deal. However, the Bruins were able to sign players like Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard that allowed them to eventually become serious contenders.

On November 26 the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals played the longest shootout to date. Rangers defenseman Marek Malik scored the winning goal in the 15th round, pulling the puck between his own legs to defeat Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig, giving the Rangers the victory by the final score of 3–2.

Three early-season games had to be rescheduled due to various events. Hurricane Wilma had forced the NHL to reschedule two Florida Panthers home games. Their game against Ottawa Senators scheduled on October 22 was rescheduled to December 5, the game against Washington Capitals scheduled for October 29 was moved to December 1. The Nashville Predators-Detroit Red Wings game on November 22 was called off with 7:30 left in the first period after Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer suffered a seizure and had to be resuscitated. It was rescheduled to January 23, 2006, with the game starting 1–0 for Nashville as Greg Johnson's goal from the original date was allowed to stand. The game that was originally scheduled for January 23 at Nashville between the two teams was moved to March 30, 2006.

On January 12, the New York Rangers retired the Number 11 of long-time captain Mark Messier to the rafters of Madison Square Garden. The Rangers would beat Messier's former team, the Edmonton Oilers 5–4 in overtime.

On January 19, Los Angeles Kings veteran left winger Luc Robitaille scored his 550th, 551st, and 552nd goals as a member of the Kings, eclipsing Marcel Dionne's franchise record (550). The 40-year old Robitaille retired at season's end.

The season was rocked with scandal in early February when it came to light that Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet was found to be involved in a $1.6 million illegal sports gambling ring with Mafia ties. Apparently no betting on NHL games was being done, but bets were being placed on college and professional football and college and professional basketball. Although Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky denied any knowledge or involvement in the ring, initial reports stated that wiretapped phone conversations he had proved that he not only knew about the ring, but was trying to find ways to conceal his wife's involvement in it. He was later cleared of these accusations, but long-term implications to his reputation are still unknown. For more information, see Operation Slapshot.

On April 15, in the Nashville Predators' 81st game of the season, Nashville goaltender Chris Mason was credited with a goal when Phoenix Coyote Geoff Sanderson put the puck in his own net. Mason was given the goal as he was the last Predator to have touched the puck. It was the ninth regular season goal scored by a goaltender in NHL history. The last goal of the regular season was scored by Kyle Calder of the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime in a 3–2 victory over the St. Louis Blues, which ended the 2005–06 regular season at 10:50 EDT on April 18, 2006.

The Tampa Bay Lightning narrowly avoided becoming the first team since the New Jersey Devils in the 1995–96 season to miss the postseason after winning the Stanley Cup the previous season.

This season also marked the first time since the 1978–79 season that the St. Louis Blues did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

In the Western Conference, no teams with home-ice advantage made it to the semifinals.

Red-shaded team won the Presidents' Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

Orange-shaded team clinched the other conference.

Yellow-shaded teams clinched the other four divisions.

Green-shaded teams clinched the remaining ten playoff berths.

Numbers in parentheses indicate ranking in conference. Division leaders are automatically ranked 1–3. These three, plus the next five teams in the conference standings, earn playoff berths at the end of the season.

Minimum 1,000 minutes played.

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Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team has been in existence since 1924, entering the league as the first United States-based expansion franchise. They are also an Original Six team, along with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks. Their home arena is the 17,565 capacity TD Banknorth Garden where they have played since 1995, after leaving the Boston Garden which had been their home since 1928. Boston currently has the second most Stanley Cup championships by an American team (5); Detroit has 11.

In 1923, at the convincing of Boston grocery tycoon Charles Adams, the National Hockey League decided to expand to the United States. Adams had fallen in love with hockey while watching, in person, the 1924 Stanley Cup Finals between the NHL champion Montreal Canadiens, and the WCHL champion Calgary Tigers. He persuaded the NHL to grant him a franchise for Boston, which occurred on November 1, 1924. With the Montreal Maroons, the team was one of the NHL's first two expansion teams.

Adams' first act was to hire Art Ross, a former star player and innovator, as general manager. Ross would be the face of the franchise for thirty years, including four separate stints as coach.

Adams directed Ross to come up with a nickname that would portray an untamed animal displaying speed, agility, and cunning. Ross came up with "Bruins." The team's bearlike nickname also went along with the team's original uniform colors of brown and yellow, which came from Adams' grocery chain, First National Stores.

It was on December 1, 1924, that the new Bruins team would play their very first NHL game against the Maroons, playing them at what was the Boston Arena, with the Bruins winning the game by a 2-1 score. But the team only managed a 6-24-0 record (for last place) in its first season, and would play three more seasons in the Boston Arena, after which the Bruins became the main tenant of what would become the famous Boston Garden, while the old Boston Arena facility was eventually taken over by Northeastern University, and renamed the Matthews Arena when the university renovated it in 1979.

In their third season, 1926–27, the team markedly improved. Ross took advantage of the collapse of the Western Hockey League to purchase several western stars, including the team's first great star, a defenseman from Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan named Eddie Shore. The Bruins reached the Stanley Cup Final despite finishing only one game above .500, but lost to the Ottawa Senators. In 1929 the Bruins defeated the New York Rangers to win their first Stanley Cup. Standout players on the first championship team included Shore, Harry Oliver, Dit Clapper, Dutch Gainor and goaltender Tiny Thompson. The 1928–29 season was the first played at Boston Garden, which Adams had built after guaranteeing his backers $500,000 in gate receipts over the next five years. The season after that, 1929–30, the Bruins posted the best-ever regular season winning percentage in the NHL (an astonishing .875, winning 38 out of 44 games, a record which still stands), but would lose to the Montreal Canadiens in the Final.

The 1930s Bruins team included Shore, Thompson, Clapper, Babe Siebert and Cooney Weiland. The team led the league's standings five times in that decade. In 1939, the team changed its uniform colors from brown and yellow to the current black and gold, and captured the second Stanley Cup in franchise history. That year, Thompson was traded for rookie goaltender Frank Brimsek. Brimsek had an award-winning season, capturing the Vezina and Calder Trophies, becoming the first rookie named to the NHL First All-Star Team, and earning the nickname "Mr. Zero." The team skating in front of Thompson included Bill Cowley, Shore, Clapper and "Sudden Death" Mel Hill (who scored three overtime goals in one playoff series), together with the "Kraut Line" of center Milt Schmidt, right winger Bobby Bauer and left winger Woody Dumart. In 1940 Shore was traded to the struggling New York Americans for his final NHL season. In 1941 the Bruins won their third Stanley Cup after losing only eight games and finishing first in the regular season. It was their last Stanley Cup for 29 years.

World War II affected the Bruins more than most teams; Brimsek and the "Krauts" all enlisted after the 1940–41 Cup win, and lost the most productive years of their careers at war. Cowley, assisted by veteran player Clapper and Busher Jackson, was the team's remaining star. Even though the NHL had by 1943 been reduced to the six teams that would in the modern era be — erroneously — called the "Original Six", talent was depleted enough that freak seasons could take place, as in 1944, when Bruin Herb Cain would set the then-NHL record for points in a season with 82. But the Bruins didn't make the playoffs that season, and Cain would be out of the NHL two years later.

The stars would return for 1945–46, and Clapper led the team back to the Stanley Cup Final as player-coach. He retired as a player after the next season, becoming the first player in history to play twenty NHL seasons, but stayed on as coach for two more years. Unfortunately, Brimsek was not as good as he was before the war, and after 1946 the Bruins lost in the first playoff round three straight years, resulting in Clapper's resignation. Brimsek was traded to the last-place Chicago Black Hawks in 1949, (citing a wish to help his brother with a business he was starting), followed by the unfortunate banning of young star Don Gallinger for life on suspicion of gambling. The only remaining quality young player who stayed with the team for any length was forward Johnny Peirson, who would later be the team's television color commentator in the 1970s.

During the 1948–49 season for the Bruins, the original form of the "spoked-B" logo appeared on their home uniforms, with the following season saw the introduction of the same logo that would be used, virtually unchanged, up through the 1993–94 season.

The 1950s began with Charles Adams' son Weston (who had been team president since 1936) facing financial trouble. He was forced to accept a buyout offer from Walter A. Brown, the owner of the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics and the Garden, in 1951. Although there were some instances of success (such as making the Stanley Cup Final in 1953, 1957 and 1958, only to lose to the Montreal Canadiens each time), the Bruins mustered only four winning seasons between 1947 and 1967. They missed the playoffs eight straight years between 1960 and 1967.

In 1954, on New Year's Day, Robert Skrak, an assistant to Frank Zamboni, the inventor of the best known ice resurfacing machine of the time, demonstrated a very early model of the machine at Boston Garden to the team management, and as a result, the Bruins ordered one of the then-produced "Model E" resurfacers to be used at the Garden, the first known NHL team to acquire one of the soon-to-be-ubiquitous "Zambonis" for their own use. The Bruins' Zamboni Model E, factory serial number 21, eventually ended up in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1988 for preservation.

On January 18, 1958, a milestone in NHL history occurred, as the first black Canadian person ever to play in the NHL stepped onto the ice for the Bruins, Fredericton, New Brunswick-born left wing Willie O'Ree. He would play in 45 games for the Bruins, in the 1957–58 and 1960–61 seasons, scoring six goals and ten assists in his NHL career.

During this period, the farm system of the Bruins was not as expansive or well-developed as most of the other five teams. The Bruins sought players not protected by the other teams, and in like fashion to the aforementioned signing of Willie O'Ree, the team signed Tommy Williams from the 1960 Olympic-gold medal winning American national men's hockey team — at the time the only American player in the NHL — in 1962. The "Uke Line" — named for the Ukrainian heritage of Johnny Bucyk and Vic Stasiuk (their linemate, Bronco Horvath, was largely Hungarian) — came to Boston and enjoyed four productive offensive seasons even as the Bruins were struggling overall.

The Bruins then obtained young forwards Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield from Chicago in a deal that turned out to be very one-sided. Hodge and Stanfield became key elements of the Bruins' success, and Esposito, who centered a line with Hodge and Wayne Cashman, would become the league's top goal-scorer and the first NHL player to break the 100–point mark, setting many goal- and point-scoring records. Esposito remains one of four players to win the Art Ross Trophy four consecutive seasons (the other three are Jaromir Jagr, Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe). With other stars like forwards Bucyk, John McKenzie, Derek Sanderson and Hodge, steady defenders like Dallas Smith and goaltender Gerry Cheevers, the "Big Bad Bruins" became one of the league's top teams from the late 1960s through the 1970s.

In 1970, a 29–year Stanley Cup drought came to an end in Boston, as the Bruins defeated the St. Louis Blues in four games in the Final. Orr scored the game-winning goal in overtime to clinch the stanley Cup. The same season was Orr's most awarded — the third of eight consecutive years he won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the top defenseman in the NHL — and he won the Art Ross Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy, and the Hart Memorial Trophy, the only player to win those four awards all in the same season.

The 1970–71 season was, in retrospect, the high watermark of the Seventies for Boston. While Sinden temporarily retired from hockey to enter business (he was replaced by ex-Bruin and Canadien defenceman Tom Johnson) the Bruins' set dozens of offensive scoring records: they had seven of the league's top ten scorers — a feat not achieved before or since — set the record for wins in a season, and in a league that had never seen a 100–point scorer before 1969 (Esposito had 126), the Bruins had four that year. All four (Orr, Esposito, Bucyk and Hodge) were named First Team All-Stars, a feat matched in the expansion era only by the 1976–77 Canadiens. Boston were favorate to repeat as Cup champions, but ran into a roadblock in the playoffs. Up 5–1 at one point in game two of the quarterfinals against the Canadiens (and rookie goaltender Ken Dryden), the Bruins squandered the lead to lose 7–5. The Bruins never recovered and lost the series in seven games.

Boston remained a strong contender through the 1970s (despite losing Cheevers, McKenzie, Sanderson, and other stars to the World Hockey Association), only to come up short in the playoffs. Although they had three 100–point scorers on the team (Esposito, Orr, and Hodge), they lost the 1974 Final to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Don Cherry stepped behind the bench as the new coach in 1974–75. The Bruins stocked themselves with enforcers and grinders, and remained competitive under Cherry's reign, the so-called "Lunch Pail A.C.," behind players such as Gregg Sheppard, Terry O'Reilly, Stan Jonathan and Peter McNab.

Orr left the Bruins for the Hawks in 1976, and retired after many knee operations in 1979. The Bruins traded Esposito and Carol Vadnais for Brad Park, Jean Ratelle and Joe Zanussi to the Rangers. They made the semifinals again, losing to the Flyers.

Cheevers returned from the WHA in 1976, and the Bruins got past the Flyers in the semifinals, but lost to the Canadiens in the Final for the Cup. The story would repeat itself in 1978 - with a balanced attack that saw Boston have eleven players with 20+ goal seasons, still the NHL record - as the Bruins made the Final once more, but lost to a Canadiens team that had recorded the best regular season in modern history, after which Johnny Bucyk retired, holding virtually every Bruins' career longevity and scoring mark to that time.

The 1979 semifinal series against the Habs proved to be Cherry's undoing. In the deciding seventh game, the Bruins, up by a goal, were called for having too many men on the ice in the late stages of the third period. Montreal tied the game on the ensuing power play and won in overtime. Never popular with Harry Sinden, by then the Bruins' general manager, Cherry left the team in the off-season for the Colorado Rockies.

Coupled with front-office dislike of Cherry's outspoken ways, 1979 saw new head coach Fred Creighton - himself replaced by a newly-retired Cheevers the following year - and the coming of Ray Bourque. The defenseman remained with the team for over two decades.

The Bruins made the playoffs every year through the 1980s behind stars such as Park, Bourque and Rick Middleton — and had the league's best record in 1983 behind a Vezina Trophy-winning season from ex-Flyer goaltender Pete Peeters — but usually did not get very far in the playoffs.

By the late 1980s, Bourque, Cam Neely, Keith Crowder and Bob Sweeney would lead the Bruins to another Cup Final appearance in 1988 against the Edmonton Oilers. The Bruins lost in a four-game sweep, but created a memorable moment in the would-be fourth game when in the second period with the game tied 3–3, a blown fuse put the lights out at the Boston Garden. The rest of the game was cancelled and the series shifted to Edmonton. The Oilers completed the sweep, 6–3, back at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, in what was originally scheduled as Game Five.

Boston returned to the Stanley Cup Final in 1990 (with Neely, Bourque, Craig Janney, Bobby Carpenter and rookie Don Sweeney, and former Oiler goalie Andy Moog and Rejean Lemelin splitting goaltending duties), but would again lose to the Oilers, this time in five games.

In 1988, 1990–92 and 1994, they defeated their Original Six arch-nemesis in the playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens, getting some revenge for a rivalry which had up to then been lopsided in the Canadiens' favor in playoff action. In 1991 and 1992, they suffered two consecutive Conference Final losses to the eventual Cup champion, the Mario Lemieux-led Pittsburgh Penguins.

Since the 1993 season, Boston has not gotten past the second round of the playoffs despite the talent of Adam Oates, Rick Tocchet and Jozef Stumpel. The 1993 season ended disappointingly for several reasons. Despite finishing with the second-best regular season record after Pittsburgh, Boston was swept in the first-round by the Buffalo Sabres. During the postseason awards ceremony, Bruin players finished as runner-up on many of the honors (Bourque for the Norris, Oates for the Art Ross and Lady Byng Trophy, Joe Juneau for the Calder Trophy, Dave Poulin for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, Moog for the William M. Jennings Trophy, and Brian Sutter for the Jack Adams Award), although Bourque made the NHL All-Star First Team and Juneau the NHL All-Rookie Team.

In 1997, Boston missed the playoffs for the first time in 30 years, having set the North American major professional record for most consecutive seasons in the playoffs.

The late 1990s also saw the Bruins move from the Boston Garden to their new home, the FleetCenter, now known as the TD Banknorth Garden.

Historically, their most bitter arch rivals have been the Montreal Canadiens, whom the Bruins have played a record 30 times in the playoffs. The Bruins also have a rivalry with the New York Rangers, much like the rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox, although the rivalry with the Canadiens is much more intense.

After a 3-4-1 start, the Bruins fired head coach Pat Burns and went with Mike Keenan for the rest of the way. Despite a fifteen-point improvement from the previous season, the Bruins missed the playoffs in 2000–01 by just one point. Leading scorer Jason Allison led the Bruins.

The following season, 2001–02, the Bruins improved again with another thirteen points, winning their first Northeast Division title since 1993 with a core built around Joe Thornton, Sergei Samsonov, Brian Rolston, Bill Guerin, Mike Knuble and the newly acquired Glen Murray. Their regular season success didn't translate to the postseason, as they lost in six games to the underdog eighth-place Canadiens in the first round.

The 2002–03 season found the Bruins platooning their goaltending staff between Steve Shields and John Grahame for most of the season. A mid-season trade brought in veteran Jeff Hackett. In the midst of a late-season slump, general manager Mike O'Connell fired head coach Robbie Ftorek with nine games to go and named himself interim coach. The Bruins managed to finish seventh in the East, but lost to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils in five games.

In 2003–04, the Bruins began the season with ex-Toronto Maple Leaf goalie Felix Potvin. Later in the season, the Bruins put rookie Andrew Raycroft into the starting role. Raycroft eventually won the Calder Award that season. The Bruins went on to win another division title and appeared to get past the first round for the first time in five years with a 3–1 series lead on the rival Canadiens. The Canadiens rallied back, however, to win three straight games, upsetting the Bruins.

The 2004–05 NHL season was wiped out by a lockout, and the Bruins had a lot of space within the new salary cap implemented for 2005–06. Bruins management eschewed younger free agents in favor of older veterans such as Alexei Zhamnov and Brian Leetch. The newcomers were oft-injured, and by the end of November, the Bruins team traded their captain and franchise player, Joe Thornton (who went on to win the Art Ross and Hart Trophies). In exchange, the Bruins received Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau from the San Jose Sharks.

After losing ten of eleven games before the trade (while the Sharks won Thornton's first seven games in San Jose), the Bruins came back with a 3–0 victory over the league-leading Ottawa Senators, as rookie goaltender Hannu Toivonen earned his first career NHL shutout victory. When Toivonen went down (for the rest of the season) with an injury in January, journeyman goalie Tim Thomas started sixteen straight games and brought the Bruins back into the playoff run. Two points out of eighth place at the Winter Olympic break, the Bruins fired general manager Mike O'Connell in March and the Bruins missed the playoffs for the first time in five years. They finished thirteenth in the Eastern Conference and earned the fifth pick in the NHL Draft Lottery, which they used to draft U.S. college player Phil Kessel, who dropped out of college early to sign with the team on August 17, 2006.

Peter Chiarelli was hired as the new GM of the team. Head coach Mike Sullivan was fired and Dave Lewis, former coach of the Detroit Red Wings, was hired to replace him while Marc Habscheid and Doug Houda were named associate coaches. The Bruins signed Zdeno Chara, one of the most coveted defensemen in the NHL and a former NHL All-Star, from the Senators, and Marc Savard, who finished just three points short of a 100–point season in 2005–06 with the Atlanta Thrashers, to long-term deals. Bergeron was re-signed by the Bruins on August 22, 2006, to a multi-year contract, keeping the developing player on the team for some years to come.

The 2006–07 season ended in the team finishing in last place in the division. The Bruins traded Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau to the Calgary Flames for Andrew Ference and forward Chuck Kobasew.

The 2007–08 season ended on a bright future for the Bruins, forcing the Canadiens to play a 7-game playoff series; many fans will never forget game 6 which Boston came back to win 5–4. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was injured with a concussion most of the season. Youngsters Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Vladimir Sobotka, and Peter Nokelainian showed promise in the playoffs. They showed that the Bruins could be much more than what they could be. In the offseason The Bruins lost center Glen Metropolit to Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia Flyers. They did however sign winger Michael Ryder and came to an agreement with Winger Blake Wheeler who left the Minnesota Golden Gophers early. Going into training camp the Bruins released fan-favorite Winger Glen Murray and traded defenseman Andrew Alberts to the Flyers, after Alberts not showing too much dedication as a player.

In the 2007 off-season, the Bruins acquired Finnish professional goaltender Tuukka Rask on May 5, 2007. Rask had previously been the property of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his NHL rights were acquired by the Bruins as a result of the deal that sent Andrew Raycroft to the Maple Leafs on June 24, 2006.

Rask recorded his first NHL shut-out in his fifthth appearance for the Bruins, shutting down the New York Rangers 1-0 on January, 31, 2009. It was the first game Rask had appeared in since he played four games in the 2007-2008 season.

After a very disappointing season in which the Bruins played with little passion and the coaching staff showed very little themselves, a shakeup occurred. On June 15, Dave Lewis was fired along with Marc Habscheid (who devised the power play set up). Only Habscheid is staying on with the organization but in different roles. Lewis was hired to be an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings. Peter Chiarelli has said that he didn't like the inconsistent play of the team which played a part in the firings. The Bruins officially announced on June 21, 2007, that Claude Julien, who was fired late in the 2006–07 season from the New Jersey Devils, has been named as the new Bruins head coach. On August 1, 2007, the Bruins hired Craig Ramsay and Geoff Ward as assistant coaches.

The Bruins also unveiled a new logo basically using a serifed letter "B" for the first time since the 1935–36 NHL season, and a brand new shoulder patch, closely based on the main jersey logo used until the 1931–32 NHL season. The New England Hockey Journal's online website displayed the new home and away jerseys for the Bruins. Unlike the other NHL teams, but similar to all of the "Original Six" teams, the Bruins did not make radical changes from their previous designs. Their new uniform design combines several features of many past Bruins uniforms, substituting the new logo, and adding an NHL logo just below the neck opening.

On June 22, 2007, the NHL entry draft took place, which had been called 'not as deep' as previous years; many experts said that none of the draft-eligible players would be playing in the NHL next year, and that the players would need some development time. The Bruins had the eighth overall pick in the draft, and selected Zach Hamill of the Western Hockey League's Everett Silvertips in the first round. On August 8, 2007, the Bruins signed Hamill to an entry-level contract, but rejoined his junior team for the 2007–08 season.

On September 18, 2007, the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL announced they had entered an affiliation agreement with the Bruins for the 07–08 season. This affiliation ended after the 2007–08 season.

During the 2007–2008 season NESN showed the 2 finalist jerseys (one with two yellow stripes on the bottom and the other without) and will be used as a new third "home" jersey starting in the 2008–2009 NHL season. The new "third" jersey, which premiered on November 24, 2008, is almost totally black, and places the "spoked-B" main logo on the shoulders, and uses the 1920s-inspired style of "retro" shoulder logo for home games, in a much larger size, on the front of the jersey.

The 2007–08 campaign saw the Bruins regain some respectability, finishing 41–29–12 (94 points) and making the playoffs. Despite many injuries and questions about their offense, the Bruins pushed the top-seeded Canadiens to seven games in the first round of the playoffs before falling. Their performance, even in a losing cause, rekindled interest in the team in sports-mad New England, where the Bruins had for years been heavily overshadowed by the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. On May 13, the Bruins resigned second-leading scorer Chuck Kobasew to a multi-year extension.

In November the Bruins played their first two Friday evening home games in over 30 years, resulting in a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on November 21, and a week later with a 7-2 win over the New York Islanders. On the day following the victory over the Islanders, the Bruins won a dominating 4-1 game over the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Detroit Red Wings.

During the 2009 All-Star Weekend's "Skills Competition" event in Montreal's Bell Centre, Captain Zdeno Chara made history with the NHL's fastest measured "hardest shot" ever, with a clocked in speed of 105.4 mph (169.7 km/h) velocity. Also Blake Wheeler was name the MVP of the Young Stars game after scoring a hat trick all against Canadians goalie Carey Price.

The number of injured players, such as Andrew Ference and Marco Sturm in the 2008-09 season, has resulted in the Bruins' "player depth" seeing action from their AHL development team, the Providence Bruins being used, as with rookie defenseman Matt Hunwick and forward Byron Bitz seeing success with the NHL team.

Since 1975 the team has been owned by Jeremy Jacobs. Jacobs represents the club on the NHL's Board of Governors, and serves on its Executive Committee. At the NHL Board of Governors meeting in June 2007, Jacobs was elected Chairman of the Board, replacing the Calgary Flames' Harley Hotchkiss, who stepped down after 12 years in the position.

Jacobs is not held in high regard by many Bruins fans, who frequently demand that he sell the team. Since Jacobs owns TD Banknorth Garden, has his Delaware North Companies run the arena's concession stands, and broadcasts games on his New England Sports Network(NESN), fans feel he has little interest in improving the team's performance. In his 35 years as owner, the Bruins have not won the Stanley Cup, nor have they won a playoff series since 1999. This reputation earned him the top spot in ESPN's 2002 poll of "The Worst Owners in Sports", and #7 on their 2005 "Greediest Owners In sports" list.

When Boston television station WSBK-TV began showing Bruins games on television in 1967, the television station's managers wanted to come up with a suitable piece of music to air for the introduction of each Bruins game. Because the Boston Ballet's annual Christmas performance of The Nutcracker had become closely identified with Boston, The Ventures' instrumental rock version of the Nutcracker's overture, known as "Nutty", itself likely being inspired by the somewhat earlier Nut Rocker, was selected as the opening piece of music for Bruins telecasts. The song "Nutty" has been identified with the Bruins ever since, even though NESN, who now airs almost all of the Bruins' regular season and playoff games, has used a piece of original instrumental rock music for Bruins telecasts, that it also uses with all its Boston Red Sox televised games. The song "Nutty" is still sometimes played at the TD Banknorth Garden during Bruins games. "Nutty" has also been covered by a popular Boston Irish rock band, Dropkick Murphys. Dropkick Murphys have also written a song about the Bruins, called "Time To Go", and have performed at Bruins games several times.

In the early 1970s, WSBK ran a weekly highlights show hosted by Tom Larson. The instrumental song "Toad" by the late-60s British supergroup Cream was the opening and closing theme for the show.

On ice, the song "Paree," a 1920s hit tune written by Leo Robin and Jose Padilla, has been played as an organ instrumental for decades, typically as the players enter the arena just before the start of each period. It was introduced by John Kiley, the organist for the Bruins, the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Celtics from the 1950s through the 1980s, and is still played during Bruins' games.

The song "Kernkraft 400 (Sport Chant Stadium Remix)", by the band Zombie Nation, is also a popular song at Bruins games as it is played after every Bruins goal scored on home ice. The very same song is also played in a number of other NHL arenas during off-play moments during a game, but only the Bruins, so far, are using it currently as an "after-goal" song, following the twin foghorn blasts sounded in the Garden for a Bruins home ice goal.

Updated February 9, 2009.

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

The Bruins award a number of trophies of their own, most notably the Elizabeth C. Dufresne Trophy (for the Bruins' player judged best in home games), the Seventh Player Award (for the player performing most beyond expectations) and the Gallery Gods Award (for the player showing the most hustle and determination). Also awarded are the John P. Bucyk Award for community service and the Bruins Radio Network Three-Star Awards for the annual winners of three-star competitions. These trophies are traditionally awarded at the last home game of the regular season.

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Jonathan Cheechoo

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Jonathan Earl Cheechoo (born July 15, 1980) is a professional ice hockey right winger who plays for the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League. Cheechoo was the first member of the Moose Factory Cree First Nation to play in the NHL. He currently is the first Shark and the only First Nations person to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, awarded to the NHL player with the most goals in a season. He shoots right-handed.

Drafted by the Belleville Bulls of the OHL in the 1997 OHL priority selection, Cheechoo had a reasonably strong rookie year in 1997–1998 with 76 points (31 goals + 45 assists) in 64 games, good for third place on his team. In the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, San Jose sent the 2nd overall pick (David Legwand) to Nashville for the third overall pick (Brad Stuart) and the 29th overall pick, which they used to draft Cheechoo. Most had predicted that Cheechoo would be a later-round pick, and San Jose was criticized for picking a lackluster forward who "skated slower forwards than most players skated backwards" instead of the highly-touted Legwand. Presumably, since Cheechoo started playing hockey at a late age, his skating skills took longer to develop.

Cheechoo joined the Bulls for the 1998–1999 season and finished with 82 points (35 + 47) in 63 games. Taking off in the playoffs, Cheechoo scored 30 points (15 + 15) in 21 games. Five of those goals were scored during Game 7 of the OHL Final against the London Knights, a game the Bulls would win 9–2 to secure their first OHL Championship. Although he was now eligible for AHL assignment, San Jose chose to leave him unsigned. San Jose was patient with Cheechoo, knowing he still had room to improve in the OHL. In the following season, Cheechoo had his best year, tallying a team-high 91 points (45 + 46) in 66 games. Cheechoo added 17 points (5 + 12) in sixteen games during the playoffs. His high goal total hinted at his sniping capabilities, and his statistical improvement mirrored his development. Notably, Cheechoo never played a full season while in juniors because of minor injuries he gained from his crash-and-bang style of play. For development, Cheechoo joined San Jose's AHL affiliate, the Kentucky Thoroughblades, in the 2000–2001 season before deciding to give the NHL another go and obtained hockey agent Thayne Campbell.

Cheechoo had a strong rookie season in the AHL with 66 points in 75 games. After going scoreless in the playoffs (in which he was a healthy scratch for two games), Cheechoo rebounded with 46 points (21 + 25) in 53 games (he missed games due to a leg injury).

In 2002–03, after scoring seven points (3 + 4) in nine games with the Cleveland Barons (the relocated Kentucky Thoroughblades franchise), Cheechoo was recalled to San Jose to help revitalize the struggling team. Playing mostly on the third and fourth lines, Cheechoo had a modest 16 points (9 goals and 7 assists) in 66 games. During the 2003 offseason, Cheechoo put himself on a power-skating regime and reduced his body fat to single digits, doing everything from weight work to sprinting exercises to increase his skating strength.

His hard work paid off, as Cheechoo had 47 points in 81 games in 2003–2004. Playing alongside Mike Ricci and Scott Thornton, Cheechoo had two mentors who taught Cheechoo how to be defensively responsible. Also, Cheechoo became one of San Jose's best grinders; his new upper-body strength allowed him to win many battles along the boards. In the 2004 playoffs, Cheechoo had 10 points in 17 games. San Jose was eliminated by Calgary. During the NHL lockout, Cheechoo played with HV71 of the Swedish Elitserien and had 5 goals in 20 games.

In the 2005–06 season, Cheechoo offensive statistics took off, netting a franchise record 56 goals and 93 points. Much of Cheechoo's success was augmented by the Sharks acquisition of superstar Joe Thornton in late November. Before the trade, Cheechoo had 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) in 24 games. In the 57 games after the trade, Cheechoo had 78 points (49 goals, 29 assists). Thornton knew to get the puck to Cheechoo - who had the skill to score the goals.

In the 2006–07 season, Cheechoo got off to a slow start as he, Joe Thornton, and newly acquired power forward Mark Bell, failed to click. However, after a struggling Bell was demoted to the press box in favor of young speedster Milan Michalek, Cheechoo picked it up somewhat, finishing the season with a modest 37 goals and 69 points in 76 games. In the playoffs, it was revealed that Cheechoo played with a broken thumb.

In 2006, Cheechoo signed a 5-year contract extension worth US$15 million. The deal will pay him US$2.5 million the first two years, US$3 million the third year, and US$3.5 million the last two years.

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Brad Stuart

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Brad Stuart (born November 6, 1979 in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who plays for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League.

Stuart was drafted in the first round, third overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks. Stuart scored twice in a 17-second span to force the game into overtime in a 4-3 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings on April 4, 2004. Stuart's feat is the fastest that a Sharks player has scored two goals.

After playing with the Sharks for more than five seasons, Stuart was traded along with Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau to the Boston Bruins for Joe Thornton in November, 2005.

On February 10, 2007, he was traded to the Calgary Flames along with Wayne Primeau in exchange for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew. Boston General Manager Peter Chiarelli cited his inability to agree on a new contract with Stuart, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2006-07 NHL season, as a reason for the deal.

After the end of the season, Stuart signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal to play for the Los Angeles Kings.

The Kings traded Stuart to the Detroit Red Wings on February 26, 2008 for a 2008 second round draft pick and a 2009 fourth round draft pick. On June 4, 2008, he won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Red Wings where he saw time as a top-4 defenceman paired with Niklas Kronwall.

Stuart was an unrestricted free agent after the 2007-08 NHL season and on July 1, 2008 he resigned with the Detroit Red Wings for $15 million over 4 years.

Brad Stuart returned to his home town of Rocky Mountain House on August 17, 2008 with the Stanley Cup to share his celebration with those that supported him.

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Source : Wikipedia