Martin Gerber

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Posted by sonny 04/10/2009 @ 06:09

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News headlines
Sweden beats Switzerland 4-1 at ice hockey worlds - USA Today
At 5:47 of the first, Oduya took a wrist shot from beyond the right circle that was slightly deflected and beat Switzerland goalie Martin Gerber. Loui Eriksson and Mattias Weinhandl assisted. Sweden doubled its lead on a power play at 4:59 of the...
Russia edges Switzerland 4-2 at ice hockey worlds - USA Today
Russia took the lead after 2:19, when Yitali Atyushov was left open in the right circle to slam his shot past Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Martin Gerber. Ilya Kovalchuk and Denis Grebeshkov got the assist. Russia had a perfect record on penalty killing...
Panaccio: Unraveling the Flyers' Goalie Mystery: Part I - Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
Martin Gerber (ANA) Other Notables: 271- Jaroslav Halak (MTL) – dev.; 140. David Tremblay (FLY/gone); 191. Rejean Beauchemin (FLY/gone); 193. Ville Hostikka (FLY/gone) Other notables: 191. Karri Ramo (TB) – dev.; 232. Martin Houle (FLY/gone) Other...
Murray vows to keep Ducks in the thick of things -
Over the years, he's fought off other challenges from Martin Gerber and Ilya Bryzgalov. "Right now, I just kind of want to step away from the game and go as far as possible away from the game of hockey right now and think about something else," he said...
Nothing But Net - Philadelphia Bulletin
Martin Gerber — The 34-year-old split this past season between the Senators and Maple Leafs, going 10-14-1 with a 3.03 GAA. Gerber has actually been to the Stanley Cup finals with three different teams — the Ducks, Hurricanes and Senators — but he was...
Latvia break Switzerland in shootout - Swissinfo
His acrobatics in the third must have impressed Toronto Maple Leaf Martin Gerber, who has been manning the Swiss net throughout the tournament. Gerber saw only 21 shots the whole evening. But for all of Latvia's defensive strength, the Swiss team that...
Changing face of tourism needs new approach - Weekend Post
... made contact with “all the big people”, according to Gerber. Bitou Tourism won a gold award for their stand, where they launched their e-marketing campaign and new website as a way of reaching travellers. Chief executive Dianna Martin yesterday...
Prisuta: Fleury's best will be required - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Ward has been that since relieving Martin Gerber in Game 2 of a first-round matchup against Montreal on April 24, 2006. Since then, he's gone on to win a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe Trophy and all six of his career playoff series....
Don't Call It a Comeback... - Bleacher Report
Martin Gerber was the worst goaltender in Sens history...and that is saying a lot considering the goaltending pedigree in Ottawa. When Craig Billington and Damian Rhodes have you beat you should really just go back to making watches in Zurich....
Clooney: 'Gerber Incident Never Happened' - San Francisco Chronicle
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin George Clooney isn't waiting for a court date to rage about sexual harassment allegations leveled at pal Rande Gerber -- he insists the 2008 incident at the center of the legal spat "never happened." Clooney has been named as...

Martin Gerber

Martin Gerber.jpg

Martin Gerber (born September 3, 1974, in Burgdorf, Switzerland) is a Swiss professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim as their eighth-round pick, #232 overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He was a member of the 2006 Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes.

Gerber began his career in Switzerland for SCL Tigers. Originally playing in the Nationalliga B, Gerber and the Tigers eventually won promotion to Nationalliga A in 1998. In 2001, he was drafted by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and spent the season in Sweden for Färjestads BK in the Swedish Elitserien. He moved to the Ducks organization in 2002 and on October 11, 2002, Gerber played his first NHL game in a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Dallas Stars. He went on to play a total of 22 regular season games that season. He was the backup to Jean-Sébastien Giguère when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003. Gerber played 32 more regular season games for Anaheim in the 2003-04 NHL season. Gerber left the Mighty Ducks afterwards after he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on June 18, 2004, in exchange for Tomáš Malec and a 3rd round pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Gerber returned to both Langnau SC for 20 games and Färjestads BK for 30 games.

Gerber began the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs as the Hurricanes' starting goaltender, but following his struggles in the team's opening series, he was supplanted by rookie Cam Ward, who had been his back-up for most of the season. Ward backstopped the team to a Stanley Cup championship, and in the process Gerber became the second Swiss player in NHL history to win a Cup. David Aebischer was the first in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche.

On July 1, 2006, Gerber signed as a free agent with the Ottawa Senators. He struggled throughout the season and was replaced as starting goaltender by Ray Emery. Emery maintained his role throughout the playoffs, meaning that Gerber has now served as the back-up goaltender for a Stanley Cup finalist for three of the past four seasons with 3 different teams.

In the 2007-2008 season, Gerber began the season as the Senators' starting goaltender when Ray Emery was sidelined after off-season wrist surgery. His play was uneven, and Emery retook the starting job once he was healthy again. After a team nosedive in the standings, and the firing of head coach John Paddock, General Manager Bryan Murray returned as head coach and immediately declared Gerber as the starting goaltender for the remainder of the 2007-2008 season.

Gerber's uneven play continued in 2008-09, and he was supplanted by the newly signed Alex Auld as the Senators' starting goalie. On January 22, 2009, Gerber was placed on waivers by the team after being sent to Binghamton of the AHL.

On March 4, 2009, Gerber was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs to replace goalie Vesa Toskala, who was scheduled for season-ending surgery.

To start the 2007–08 season, he wore an all black mask while his other mask was being painted; he did so well in the black mask that he felt no need to replace it, and wore it for the remainder of the season. Fans have endearingly termed him "Darth Gerber". In response Gerber tried out a new Darth Vader inspired mask design during the 2008–09 season.

In the 2006 Winter Olympics, playing for Switzerland, Martin Gerber was in net against heavily favored Canada and made 49 saves in a 2-0 victory. During the course of the Olympics, Gerber split time with netminder David Aebischer.

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Ray Emery

Ray Emery's controversial mask, worn for only one game in the 2005–2006 season

Ray Emery (born September 28, 1982 in Hamilton, Ontario) is a professional ice hockey goaltender, currently playing for Atlant Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He formerly played for the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has been awarded multiple honours, with the majority being at the minor league level.

Emery, who goes by the nicknames Razor and Sugar Ray, was chosen 99th overall by the Senators in the 2001 NHL entry draft. During the 2006–07 season, Emery secured the job of starting goaltender for the Ottawa Senators in their run to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, on June 20, 2008, the Ottawa Senators waived Emery, and then bought out his contract after a string of off-ice incidents caused the organization to sour on him. On July 9, 2008, it was announced that Emery had signed a one-year, $2M contract with Atlant Moscow of the Russian KHL.

Emery is notable for getting into numerous on-ice altercations, a rarity for an ice hockey goaltender. Emery has been involved in one such incident at the NHL level, fighting two Buffalo players, Martin Biron and Andrew Peters in a line brawl during the 2006-07 NHL season. He was also involved in a much publicized fight with then teammate Brian McGrattan during a Senators' practice in January of 2008, as well as an altercation with Jason Spezza during a practice in the 2007 playoffs, and a "verbal sparring match" with Chris Neil on February 3, 2008.

Emery was born as the eldest of three brothers, Andrew and Nicholas, to Charlene and Paul Emery. He grew up on a century-old farmhouse in Cayuga, Ontario, where he attended high school, excelling in both sports and academics. He played many sports other than hockey, including golf, baseball, and soccer. In ice hockey, he originally played defence, but switched to goaltender at nine years old due to a shortage of goaltenders in his league. Emery was very competitive and was "his own worst critic". Emery, for some time, also had an ambition to become an architect, before he turned to professional hockey.

Emery decided to commit to hockey with the advice of his mother, and tried out for eight different junior teams, from which he was cut. He finally started his junior hockey career in 1998 in Junior C with the Dunnville Terriers of the OJHL. Despite winning three games out of 22 played, Emery was named Rookie of the Year. Emery was drafted by OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 5th round of the 1999 OHL draft. Emery split the 1999–2000 season between the Welland Cougars of the OHA and the Greyhounds in the OHL. In 2000–2001 with the Greyhounds, Emery was involved in four on-ice fights. In 2001, Emery was drafted by the Ottawa Senators and subsequesntly enjoyed his most successful OHL season in 2001–2002. In 2002–2003, Emery moved on to the Binghamton Senators of the AHL for his first professional season. He would win 27 of 50 games and was named to the AHL's All-Rookie team. Emery was suspended twice for on-ice incidents the same season, and such behavior continued into the 2003–2004 season. He was suspended for three games for bumping a referee, and he was involved in an altercation with Denis Hamel of the Rochester Americans, when Hamel admittedly uttered a racial slur. Emery retaliated and was suspended for three games. Emery and Hamel would later be team-mates in Binghamton, and Hamel apologized for "for not thinking about what I was saying, in the heat of a game" The 2004–05 season would be his last in the AHL; coincidentally, that season was wiped out in the NHL because of a lockout.

Emery began his NHL career, in the 2005–06 season, by setting a record for wins to start a career. Emery won his first nine games, moving ahead of Bob Froese, who started the 1982–83 season with eight wins while playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. In March of the same season, Emery won 12 games, tying Bernie Parent's record for the most wins in a month, which Parent set in 1974.

At the beginning of the 2005–06 season, Emery had won nine straight games during the regular season, as the back-up for Dominik Hašek. When Hašek injured his groin during the 2006 Winter Olympics, Emery became the starting goalie. Mike Morrison became the backup, after he was picked up off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers. Emery would be the starting goaltender for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, where the Senators lost to Buffalo in five games.

After the 2005–2006 season the Senators decided not to bring back Hašek, and they brought in Martin Gerber to compete with Emery for the starting goaltending job. Gerber was the starter at the beginning of the season, but due to Gerber's poor play, Emery regained the role of starter in mid-November. On Saturday, February 10, 2007, Emery was suspended three games from the NHL for striking Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre with his stick on his face, after Lapierre crashed into Emery's net.

Twelve days later, after his three-game suspension had ended, Emery was involved in a mêlée between the Senators and the Buffalo Sabres. He and Sabres goaltender Martin Biron left their creases to fight each other. After that fight was finished, Emery proceeded to fight Sabres' enforcer Andrew Peters. Both goaltenders received game misconducts, and Emery had the rare feat (for a goaltender) of receiving two five-minute majors for fighting in the same incident. In total, Emery wound up with a total of 22 penalty minutes (two five-minute majors for fighting, a two-minute minor for leaving the crease, and the 10-minute game misconduct) for this altercation. After the altercation, fans and media have dubbed him "Sugar Ray" in reference to retired boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and Emery's reputation as a fighter.

Prior to the 2007 playoffs, Emery and the Senators won 5–2 against the Montreal Canadiens on March 30, 2007, which was his 100th NHL game. Emery's strong play in the season continued on in the playoffs, as the Senators defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres each in five games en route to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since the team returned to the NHL in 1992, where the Senators lost to the Anaheim Ducks in five games. He became a restricted free agent after the end of the season and filed for salary arbitration, but he agreed to a three-year deal with the Senators worth $9.5 million before the hearings were held.

By the pre-season of the 2007–08 campaign, Emery was injured for a lengthy time, due to a nagging wrist injury which forced him to play only 40 minutes of the pre-season and to miss several games early in the Senators' season. Unspectacular performances by Emery, combined with improved play by Martin Gerber during the first two months of the season, reduced Emery's playing time once he returned. As a result, Gerber was designated as the starting goaltender for the team. In December, Emery was involved in more controversy, as he was sent home by head coach John Paddock from a practice after claiming that he was feeling ill. It occurred one day after he slammed a stick at another practice expressing his frustration stemming for his reduced playing time this season. Emery later explained that he woke up late and missed the start of that practice. The issue briefly fueled trade rumors.

On January 28, 2008, Emery showed up late to another practice in Long Island, New York. Emery said that he mistakenly thought that the session was held at the New York Islanders arena, the Nassau Coliseum, but it was instead held at the Farmingdale Iceworks. There were also reports that Emery had spent the All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas but Paddock simply stated that he arrived in New York from the west. General manager Brian Murray admitted that he had tried to trade Emery, but there were no takers. Due to his recent tardiness, Emery was fined 1/187 of his salary per this year, which was $14,705.88. He turned this fine into a donation to CHEO. In addition, Emery was also involved in separate altercations with Brian McGrattan and Chris Neil during practice sessions. On April 18, 2008 Murray announced to the media in an end-of-season press conference that Emery would not return to the Senators for the 2008–09 season: "My plan is not to have him back." On June 20, 2008, Emery was waived by the Ottawa Senators. Three days later, Emery cleared waivers and became a free agent.

On January 30, 2006, Emery was the target of many critics as a result of a design which was painted on his goalie mask. Emery, an avid boxing fan, wore a mask with a picture of Mike Tyson painted on it. The mask attracted controversy due to Tyson's reputation, notably his past rape convictions. After speaking to the Senators' management, Emery decided not to wear the mask as they both felt it was inappropriate for hockey. He would wear the Tyson mask for only one game, a 5–0 loss against the Boston Bruins. During the 2006 NHL playoffs, Emery wore a new mask featuring Canadian heavyweight boxer George Chuvalo. In the 2007-2008 season Emery's mask also featured Muhammad Ali. Emery finished the season off with Floyd Mayweather on his mask.

Hoping to find another NHL job but only receiving calls from three teams, Emery signed a one-year, $2 million contract with Atlant Moscow of the new Kontinental Hockey League on July 9, 2008. However, as a foreign goaltender, Emery will only be allowed to play in 65% of his team's 56 regular season games due to rules that encourage the development of Russian netminders.

During a game in which he was pulled following the first period, team doctor Roman Sokolov attempted to put a hat on Emery's head. Resisting the action, the two engaged in a verbal dispute which resulted in Emery attacking Sokolov once, and upon being restrained by teammates, chasing him down to assault him a second time.

After the following mid-season break, Emery failed to report back to the team due to a financial dispute. With the devaluation of the Russian ruble during the global financial crisis, this resulted in a devaluation of Emery's salary. Wrongly assuming his contracted salary would be price locked at the US dollar forex equivalent, he has since worked out the dispute and is now back in Russia.

Outside of ice hockey, Emery is known for his flamboyant lifestyle. He has numerous tattoos, which include the initials of his parents, Charlene and Paul, and younger brothers Andrew and Nicholas. He has an African symbol for the number one, his jersey number with the Senators, and his nickname "Razor" written across his chest. He also has a tattoo representing his birth symbol, Libra. He once made a $500 bet with Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, which required Emery to eat a cockroach that had been found on the floor of a Carolina dressing room. He won the bet, and used the money to get another tattoo on his right arm which read, "Anger is a Gift". Emery drives a white Hummer, which was involved in a minor car accident on the Queensway while Emery was racing to the airport, after failing to answer his wakeup calls, to fly with the team to New Jersey. Afterwards, he drove an orange Lamborghini while his Hummer was being repaired. Emery was featured in a TSN broadcast which concerned his wardrobe. It includes 50 pairs of shoes, a dozen watches, and a $4000 suit as well as diamond chains. Emery also owns a python named Brendan, after his childhood friend.

Emery was involved in September 2007 in an incident of road rage towards an Ottawa retiree named Jean Therien, while on a freeway driving to Scotiabank Place for training. Emery claimed that Therien cut him off and is just bitter that he lost the "war of words". Therien said that Emery threatened to kill him, and feared for his life after being forced to stop when Emery blocked the road with his Hummer. Therien claimed to eventually sue Emery for his actions. In March 2009, Emery was charged with stunt driving under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act after being caught speeding in excess of 50 km/h over the speed limit of 100 km/h on Highway 416 in Leeds and Grenville County. His Hummer was impounded by the Ontario Provincial Police and his license was suspended. Prior to his departure for Russia in 2008, Emery told on TSN's show Off the Record with Michael Landsberg that he was stopped by police at least 30 times in two years while driving his Hummer.

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Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes are a professional ice hockey team based in Raleigh, North Carolina. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL), and play home games at the 18,680 capacity RBC Center.

The team was formed in 1971 as the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association, and moved into the NHL in 1979 as the Hartford Whalers, relocating to North Carolina in 1997. They won their first Stanley Cup during the 2005–06 season, beating the Edmonton Oilers four games to three.

The New England Whalers were born in November 1971 when the World Hockey Association awarded a franchise to begin play in Boston, Massachusetts. For the first two-and-a-half years of their existence, the club played their home games at the Boston Arena, Boston Garden, and The Big E Coliseum in West Springfield. However, sagging attendance forced the team to Hartford, Connecticut. On January 11, 1975, the team played its first game in front of a sellout crowd at the Hartford Civic Center Coliseum. With the exception of a period in the late 1970s when the Whalers played at the Springfield Civic Center while their Hartford home was being renovated (due to a portion of the roof collapsing after a blizzard), the franchise was largely located in Hartford.

As one of the most stable WHA teams, the Whalers, along with the Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, and Winnipeg Jets, were admitted to the NHL when the rival leagues merged in 1979. Because the NHL already had a team in the New England area, the Boston Bruins, the former WHA team was renamed the Hartford Whalers. Unfortunately, the team was never as successful in the NHL as they had been in the WHA, recording only three winning seasons. They peaked with their only playoff series victory in 1986 over the Quebec Nordiques and extended the Montreal Canadiens to overtime of the seventh game in the second round, followed by a regular season division title in 1986–87. 1992 was the last time the Hartford Whalers made the playoffs.

The Whalers found it increasingly difficult to compete in a changed financial environment during the 1990s, in part because Hartford was the smallest U.S.-based market in the league. In March 1997, Whalers owner Peter Karmanos announced that the team would move elsewhere after the 1996–97 season because of the team's inability to negotiate a satisfactory construction and lease package for a new arena in Hartford. In July, Karmanos announced that the Whalers would move to the Research Triangle area of North Carolina and the new Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh, become the Carolina Hurricanes, and change their team colors to red and black. Due to the relatively short time frame for the move, Karmanos himself thought of and decided upon the new name for the club, rather than holding a contest as is sometimes done.

For 1998–99 the Hurricanes curtained off most of the upper deck, lowering the Coliseum's stated capacity to about 12,000, but attendance continued to lag. On the ice, however, the 'Canes were now out of the doldrums; led by the return of longtime Whalers captain Ron Francis, Keith Primeau's 30 goals, and Gary Roberts' 178 penalty minutes, they won the new Southeast Division by eight points and made the playoffs for the first time since 1992. Tragedy struck hours after their first-round loss to the Bruins when defenceman Steve Chiasson was thrown from his pickup truck and killed in a single-vehicle drunk-driving accident.

Despite their move to the brand-new ESA, the Hurricanes played lackluster hockey in 1999–2000, failing to make the playoffs. In 2000–01, though, they claimed the eighth seed, which nosed out Boston, and landed a first-round date with the defending champs, the New Jersey Devils. Although the Hurricanes were bounced by the Devils in six games, the series is seen as the real "arrival" of hockey in the Triangle. Down 3–0 in the series, the 'Canes extended it to a sixth game, thereby becoming only the tenth team in NHL history to do so. Game 6 in Raleigh featured their best playoff crowd that year, as well as their noisiest. Despite the 5–1 loss, Carolina was given a standing ovation by their home crowd as the game ended, erasing many of the doubts that the city would not warm up to the team.

The 'Canes made national waves for the first time in the 2002 playoffs. They survived a late charge from the Washington Capitals to win the division, but expectations were low entering the first round against the defending Eastern Conference champion Devils. However, Arturs Irbe and Kevin Weekes were solid in goal, and the Hurricanes won two games in overtime as they put away the Devils in six games. The second-round matchup was against the Montreal Canadiens, who were riding a wave of emotion after their captain Saku Koivu's return from cancer treatment. In the third period of Game 4 in Montreal, down 2–1 in games and 3–0 in score, Carolina would tie the game and then win on Niclas Wallin's overtime goal. The game became known to Hurricanes fans as the "Miracle at Molson"; Carolina won the next two games by a combined 13–3 margin over a dejected Habs club to take the series.

In the Eastern Conference finals, Carolina met the heavily-favored Toronto Maple Leafs. In Game 6 in Toronto, the Leafs' Mats Sundin tied the game with 22 seconds remaining to send it to overtime, where Carolina's Martin Gelinas would score to send the franchise to their first Stanley Cup finals. During this series, several Hurricanes fan traditions drew hockey-wide media attention for the first time: fans met the team at the airport on the return from every road trip, and echoed football-season habits honed for games across the parking lot by hosting massive tailgate parties before each home game, a relative novelty in the cold-weather-centric NHL. Inside the building, CBC's Don Cherry lauded the RBC Center as "the loudest building in the NHL", praise that would be echoed in 2006.

In the Stanley Cup finals, Carolina would face the Detroit Red Wings, thought to be the prohibitive favorite all year. Though the Canes stunned the Wings in Game 1, when Francis scored in the first minute of overtime, Detroit stormed back to win the next four games. Game 3 in Raleigh featured a triple-overtime thriller (won by Detroit's Igor Larionov, the eldest player to score a last-round goal), which sportscasters called one of the best finals games in history. Despite the 4–1 series loss, it had been by far the most successful season in franchise history.

The momentum from the Cup Finals appearance did not last, however, and the next two seasons saw the 'Canes drop into the cellar of the NHL rankings; many of the new fans attracted to the team (and to hockey itself) during the 2002 playoff run lost interest and attendance declined. One of the few positive results of these losing years was the team's drafting of future star Eric Staal in 2003. In December 2003, the team fired Paul Maurice, who had been their coach since their next-to-last season in Hartford, replacing him with former New York Islanders bench boss Peter Laviolette. Weekes remained tough, but the offense was suspect; center Josef Vasicek led the team with a mere 19 goals and 26 assists for 45 points.

The outcome of the 2004–05 NHL lockout led to the shrinking of the payroll to $26 million. The 'Canes, however, turned out to be one of the NHL's biggest surprises, turning in the best season in the franchise's 34-year history. They finished with a 52–22–8 record and 112 points, shattering the previous franchise record set by the 1986–87 Whalers. It was the first time ever that the franchise had passed the 50-win and 100-point plateaus. The 112-point figure was one point behind the Ottawa Senators for the best record in the East, and tied with the Dallas Stars for the third-best record in the league (behind Detroit and Ottawa). However, the Stars had one more win, meaning the Hurricanes finished fourth overall (wins are the first tiebreaker for playoff seeding). Still, it was far and away the Hurricanes' best finish as an NHL team. They also ran away with their third Southeast Division title, finishing 20 points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Attendance increased from 2003–04, averaging just under 15,600 per game, and the team made a profit for the first time since the move from Hartford.

In the playoffs, after losing the first two games of the conference quarterfinal series against the Montreal Canadiens, Laviolette lifted goalkeeper Martin Gerber in favor of rookie Cam Ward. The Hurricanes went on to win both games in Montreal, tying up the playoff series and turning the momentum around, winning the series on a Game Six overtime goal by Cory Stillman. Carolina faced the New Jersey Devils in the conference semifinals, which proved surprisingly one-sided, as the Hurricanes beat the Devils in five games. Stillman struck again, once again scoring the series-winning goal.

In the Eastern Conference finals, the Hurricanes faced the Buffalo Sabres, who had finished just one spot behind the Canes in the overall standings. The Sabres were devastated by injuries, at one point playing without their top four defensemen. The contentious series saw both coaches — Lindy Ruff and Laviolette — taking public verbal shots at each other's team, but in the deciding Game Seven, the Hurricanes rallied with three goals in the third to win by a score of 4–2. Rod Brind'Amour scored the game winner as the Hurricanes reached the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in team history.

The Cup finals were against the Edmonton Oilers, the first time in NHL history that two former WHA franchises had played against one another in the finals. The Canes rallied from a 3–0 deficit in Game 1 to win 5–4 after Rod Brind'Amour scored with 30 seconds left. In Game 2, the 'Canes shelled the Oilers 5–0 to take a two-game lead.

The Oilers won Game 3 in Edmonton, 2–1, as Ryan Smyth scored the game-winning goal with 2:47 left to play. Carolina rebounded in Game 4 with a 2–1 victory, and came home with a chance to win the Cup on home ice. However, game five saw the Oilers come back with a stunning 4–3 overtime win on a shorthanded breakaway by Fernando Pisani. Suddenly the momentum started to turn the Oilers' way. In Game 6 in Edmonton, Carolina was soundly defeated 4–0.

In Game 7, before the second-largest home crowd in franchise history (18,978), the Hurricanes won 3-1, sealing the Hurricanes' first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history. Ward was honored with the Conn Smythe Trophy for the playoffs' most valuable player, becoming just the fourth rookie to be honored with the award. Several Canes raised the Cup for the first time in long NHL careers; Rod Brind'Amour and Bret Hedican had both played over 15 years without winning the Cup, while Glen Wesley — the last remaining Hartford Whaler on the Hurricanes' roster — had waited 18 seasons.

The Hurricanes' Stanley Cup championship marked the first professional major league sports title for a team from the Carolinas. As well, they were the only NHL team in history to lose nine or more games in a year's playoffs, yet still win the Stanley Cup.

The Hurricanes were not able to follow up their success. In 2006-07, the Hurricanes finished third in the Southeast and eleventh overall in the Eastern Conference. This finish made them the first champions since the 1938–39 Chicago Blackhawks to have failed to qualify for the playoffs both the seasons before and after their championship season. In 2007-08, Carolina again missed out as Washington stormed back to take the division title on the last day of the season, leaving the Hurricanes second in the division and ninth overall in the conference, and making the Canes only the second club in NHL history to miss the playoffs for two seasons running after a Cup triumph.

The last player remaining from the Hartford days, defenseman Glen Wesley, announced his retirement after the 2007-08 season. The organization retains many Whaler connections among its off-ice personnel; in addition to executive management and the coaching staff, of whom only goaltenders coach Tom Barrasso was never involved with the franchise in Hartford, broadcasters Chuck Kaiton, John Forslund and Tripp Tracy, and equipment managers Wally Tatomir, Skip Cunningham and Bob Gorman all made the move to North Carolina with the team. Finally, the goal horn from the Hartford Civic Center, a Kahlenberg T-3A, remains in use at RBC Center.

The Hurricanes started off the 2008-09 slowly, with many of the team's star players not quite syncing. On December 3, 2009 Coach Peter Laviolette was fired by the Hurricanes front office as the team was out of the playoff picture and appeared to be fading fast. He was replaced by his predecessor Paul Maurice. The team slowly built momentum as 2009 approached. On March 4, 2009, the Hurricanes reacquired winger Eric Cole from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Patrick O'Sullivan whom the Hurricanes had acquired from Los Angeles in exchange for Justin Williams earlier in the day. It was a pre-arranged 3 team deal.

Since the the trade, the Hurricanes have vaulted into a playoff spot for the first time since 2006. In the process, they have set numerous records. On April 2, 2009 the Hurricanes set a new record for consecutive home victories with 10 against the New York Rangers, and continued their streak against the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 4, 2009 to clinch their first playoff berth since 2005-06. On April 7, 2009 in a 9-0 win against the New York Islanders, the Hurricanes set numerous records. Eric Staal had his fourth hat trick for the 2008-09 season while Cam Ward won his 39th game, both setting new franchise records, and the Hurricanes continued their home dominance, notching their 12th straight at home a new franchise mark that continues, while winning their ninth overall, matching a team record reached twice in 2005-06.

Records as of August 2008.

Updated March 4, 2009.

Note: This list of team captains does not include captains from the Hartford Whalers (NHL) and New England Whalers (WHA).

Retired numbers: The Hurricanes have officially retired two numbers since their move to Carolina, the 10 of center Ron Francis in 2006 and the 2 of Glen Wesley in 2009. The Hurricanes keep three numbers out of circulation without banners: defenseman Steve Chiasson's 3 was unofficially retired following his 1999 death while a member of the team, and the team honors the leaguewide retirement of Wayne Gretzky's 99, as well as the Hartford retirement of 9 for Gordie Howe. The franchise had retired two additional numbers in Hartford, but after the move, the Hurricanes resumed issuing the jerseys 2 of Rick Ley (D, 1972–81) and 19 of John McKenzie (RW, 1977–79).

Hall of Famers: Ron Francis, who captained the team in both Hartford and Carolina and spent fifteen years with the franchise overall as a player before joining its staff in 2006, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007. The only other Hall member to have played in a Hurricanes jersey is Paul Coffey, who spent one and a half seasons in Carolina near the end of his career (as well as, two seasons prior, twenty games in Hartford). In the franchise's history, WHA and NHL Whalers Gordie Howe and Dave Keon are both members, as is Bobby Hull, although he only played nine games in Hartford. In addition, longtime franchise radio play-by-play announcer Chuck Kaiton received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2004, an honor granted by the Hall of Fame.

Note: This list does not include selections of the Hartford Whalers.

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

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Mark Streit

Streit playing for the New York Islanders

Mark Streit (born December 11, 1977 in Englisberg, Switzerland) is a Swiss professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL) and is also the captain of the Swiss national team. He is presently one of only four players in the NHL from Switzerland (the others include goaltenders Tobias Stephan, Martin Gerber, and Jonas Hiller). Streit is one of the few swingmen in the NHL, able to play both as a defenceman and as a forward.

Streit began his career in the Swiss Nationalliga A with Fribourg-Gottéron in 1995–95 as an eighteen-year old. The following year, he transferred to HC Davos and improved to a 25-point campaign in 44 games in 1998–99, his third season with the team.

Garnering attention from North America, but undrafted by an NHL team, he bounced around the minor leagues in 1999–00, playing the majority of the season with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL.

Streit returned to the Nationalliga and spent five seasons with Zurich after his brief North American stint. He helped Zurich to a Swiss championship in 2001, as well as back-to-back Continental Cups in 2001 and 2002. After a 12-goal, 36-point season in 48 games in 2003–04, Streit was drafted in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, 262nd overall, by the Montreal Canadiens at 26 years old (players are typically drafted at the age of 18).

Upon being drafted, he returned to Zurich for one last season and posted a Swiss career high 14 goals, 29 assists and 43 points in 44 games. In 2005–06, Streit made his NHL debut with the Canadiens, appearing in 48 games and recording 11 points. On March 16, 2006, in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Streit was joined by the only two other Swiss players playing in the NHL at the time, Montreal goalie David Aebischer and Carolina goalie Martin Gerber – a historic game for Swiss hockey.

Streit continued to make strides the following season, improving to 36 points in 76 games before emerging as an elite NHL defenceman in his third season with Montreal. In 2007–08, he finished third in league scoring among defencemen (behind Nicklas Lidström and Sergei Gonchar) with 62 points in 81 games. Streit was made the Canadiens' nomination for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded for perseverance and dedication to hockey; he did not, however, make the final cut.

Coming off a breakout campaign, Streit became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2008, and signed a 5-year, $20.5 million contract with the New York Islanders. Upon signing with the Islanders, Streit became the second highest paid Swiss sportsman to Roger Federer, earning more than top national football players. During his first season with the Islanders, he was selected to appear in his first NHL All-Star Game in 2009 as a reserve.

Streit made his international debut at the 1995 European Junior Championships, then appeared in his first of two World Junior Championships in 1996. He scored 1 goal in 5 games as Switzerland finished 9th. In 1997, he scored 2 goals and Switzerland improved to 7th.

In 1998, Streit appeared in his first of ten consecutive World Championships. Playing as the host nation, Switzerland finished a surprising fourth, falling to the Czech Republic in the bronze-medal game. He scored an international career-best 7 points in 7 games in 2005, as Switzerland advanced to the quarter-finals, losing to Sweden 2-1.

Streit competed in his first Winter Olympics in 2002 in Salt Lake City. He scored 2 points in 4 preliminary games as Switzerland finished 11th.

As Streit was named team captain at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Switzerland improved to 6th, topping international giants Czech Republic and Canada in their preliminary games. Streit scored the game winning goal against the Czechs to defeat them 3-2 in the Swiss' second round-robin game, then assisted on the second goal of a 2-0 upset against Canada two days later. Following the stunning Swiss victory over Canada, an incredulous Streit admitted, "I never thought we could do that." In the quarter-finals, Streit scored in the first period to tie the game 1-1, but the Swiss were overpowered by Sweden 6-1.

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2008–09 Ottawa Senators season

The 2008–09 Ottawa Senators season is the modern Senators' 16th season. The team started the season with a new coach Craig Hartsburg and numerous personnel changes after narrowly making the playoffs in 2007–08. However, the team had a losing record under the new coach and he was fired in February, replaced by Binghamton Senators coach Cory Clouston. The team improved its record under Clouston, but not enough to qualify for the playoffs, ending an eleven-year string of qualifying for the playoffs.

It was an off-season of numerous personnel changes. Wade Redden a long-time Senator, accepted a contract with the New York Rangers. Ray Emery and Brian McGrattan, considered bad influences in the dressing room were let go. The Senators resigned forwards Shean Donovan, Chris Kelly and Antoine Vermette and made several free agent signings, including Alex Auld, Jarkko Ruutu and Jason Smith. After an extended period of negotiations with Andrej Meszaros failed to produce an agreement, the Tampa Bay Lightning showed interest in the defenceman, who was a restricted free agent. Unable to provide the draft picks needed to compensate the Senators, a trade was made and the Senators received Filip Kuba, Alexandre R. Picard, and a first-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

On June 5, it was reported that Wade Redden would not sign a $3.5 million per year contract with the Senators. He instead became an 'unrestricted free agent' (UFA) on July 1 and signed a six-year, $39M contract with the New York Rangers. On Friday, June 13, 2008, the Senators named Craig Hartsburg, coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, the new head coach after interviewing Bob Hartley and Peter DeBoer as candidates. Hartsburg signed a three-year agreement with the Senators.

On June 20, the day of the NHL Entry Draft, the Senators placed Ray Emery on waivers and re-signed Chris Kelly to a 4-year, $8.5-million contract. At the draft, the Senators selected Erik Karlsson with their first-round pick (15th overall) and proceeded to select Patrick Wiercioch (42 overall), Zack Smith (79 overall), Andre Petersson (109 overall), Derek Grant (119 overall), Mark Borowiecki (139 overall), and Emil Sandin (199 overall).

On July 1, the Ottawa Senators announced that they have signed goaltender Alex Auld to a two-year contract worth $1 million per season. Auld is expected to serve as a backup to Martin Gerber for the '08-'09 season.

On July 2, the Ottawa Senators announced that they have re-signed forward Shean Donovan to a two-year contract at $625,000 per season. The Sens also announced that they have signed forward Jarkko Ruutu to a 3-year contract worth $1.3 million per season.

On July 5, the Ottawa Senators announced that Antoine Vermette had elected to take the club to salary arbitration. The Senators and Vermette would agree to a two-year deal on July 31.

On July 8, the Senators announced that they had signed defenceman Jason Smith to a two-year, $5.2M contract.

On July 16, the Senators announced that they will host the Detroit Red Wings in their official home-opener on October 11.

On July 17, the Ottawa Senators and CHUM Radio announced that the club and The Team 1200 have signed a multi-year extension to their agreement to broadcast Senators' games. The original 10-year contract expired at the end of the '07-'08 season.

On July 31, the Ottawa Senators and Antoine Vermette avoided going to arbitration by agreeing to terms on a new 2-year contract worth $5.525-million(US). Vermette will make $2.525-million for the '08-'09 season, and $3-million in the '09-'10 season.

On August 29, in a deal similar to the Alexei Yashin trade in 2001, former first-round pick Andrej Meszaros was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Filip Kuba, Alexandre R. Picard, and a first-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (obtained by Tampa Bay in an earlier deal with the San Jose Sharks). Meszaros was a restricted free agent demanding $1 million more per season than the Senators were willing to pay. After Tampa threatened to offer Meszaros an offer sheet with picks as compensation on August 28, the Senators decided to make a deal with Tampa. Meszaros signed a six year, $24 million dollar contract on August 30 with the Lightning.

On September 2, the Senators made a deal with the Vancouver Canucks, and traded their defenseman Lawrence Nycholat for a center/right wing Ryan Shannon. On the same day, they signed another former-Canucks player, Brad Isbister, who was a unrestricted free agent. On September 27, a veteran defenseman Luke Richardson re-signed a 1 year, two-way with the Ottawa Senators for a second season.

On October 2, the Senators played their first-ever game in Europe, a pre-season exhibition game in Gothenburg, Sweden, against the Frölunda HC team, which Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson played for before joining the NHL and during the lockout.

The Senators finished the 2008 pre-season with a record of 4–2–0–0.

The Senators started their season with a pair of games in Stockholm, Sweden. The Senators played the Pittsburgh Penguins twice at the Scandinavium on October 4 and October 5. The teams split the results, the Penguins winning the first in overtime and the Senators winning the second. New Senator defenceman Filip Kuba picked up at least one point in each of the Senators' first eight games of the season, setting the NHL record for consecutive team games with assists from the start of a season by a defenseman. The previous mark of seven was set by Brad Park with the Bruins in 1981–82. All points were assists and Kuba did not score his first goal with the Senators until November 13.

Alexander Nikulin, who had been demoted to Binghamton, threatened to return to Russia unless he was traded. He was traded from Binghamton to the Phoenix Coyotes' AHL affiliate San Antonio Rampage for Drew Fata.

For a game on November 22 versus the New York Rangers the Senators unveiled their new 'third jersey'. Marketed as 'Back in Black', the jersey is primarily black. The Senator's primary logo moves to the shoulders and the nickname 'SENS' is across the front of the jersey.

Prior to that game, the Senators players, the team below the playoff cutoff in the standings for most of October through November, decided to grow moustaches, similar to the playoff beard tradition of teams in the playoffs. The team started growing the moustaches following a loss to the Montreal Canadiens on November 20. The idea originated with Dany Heatley.

On November 27, the Senators waived Luke Richardson, a veteran of nearly 20 years in the NHL. He was not picked up by any other team and retired. He had not seen much playing time with Senators, and had been a 'healthy scratch' several times.

At the end of the road trip on January 8, the club was 13 points behind the eighth and final playoff spot, held by the Buffalo Sabres. The Ottawa Citizen, launched the 'Tavares Cup' similar in spirit to the 'Daigle Cup' of 1993, to keep track of the bottom five teams in the league, all of which had a chance, at least via the draft lottery, to draft the highly-rated junior. At the time of the start of the 'competition', the Senators were within the lowest five teams in the league.

Also on January 7, forward Jarkko Ruutu received a suspension of two games for biting in an altercation with a Buffalo forward on January 6. It was Ruutu's second suspension of the season, after elbowing a Montreal Canadiens forward earlier in the season.

On January 9, 2009, Brian Elliott was recalled by Ottawa from Binghamton. He had been named the AHL's goaltender of the month for December. On January 15, 2009, Senators goaltender Martin Gerber was demoted to the American Hockey League's (AHL) Binghamton Senators to a two-week conditioning stint, was placed on waivers and was assigned to Binghamton on January 27. Elliott started six games in a row and remained with Ottawa.

At the time, the Senators remained near the bottom of the league in 29th place, with the lowest goal-scoring record in the league.

However, only three days later, on February 2, head coach Craig Hartsburg was fired, ending his tenure with the Senators at only 48 games. Following a 7–4 loss to the Washington Capitals on February 1, Hartsburg had called out his team for not playing hard. Binghamton Senators head coach Cory Clouston was elevated to head coach of Ottawa for the balance of the season. Clouston became the fourth head coach to coach the Senators in a year, prompting the media to dub the players as "coach-killers." Assistant coach Curtis Hunt was also let go (he became the Binghamton head coach) and retired defenceman Luke Richardson joined the coaching staff as an assistant.

Late in February and early in March, as the season neared the trade deadline, the team still held out hold of making the playoffs although the team remained over 10 points out of a playoff spot, as the team was winning more often with Clouston. The Senators started making some deals, sending Dean McAmmond and a 2009 first-round pick for Chris Campoli and Mike Comrie. By the trade deadline day March 4, Murray admitted to the media that the club would be 'sellers' and had given up hope of making the playoffs. On March 4, Antoine Vermette was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for goaltender Pascal Leclaire and a draft pick. Martin Gerber was put on waivers three times and was finally picked up by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Although the club improved its record under new coach Clouston, including a 10–5–0 record in March, it was not enough to salvage the season. On March 31, following a loss to the Florida Panthers and a win by the Montreal Canadiens, the club was eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since 1996.

Although eliminated, the team continued to play well, including an eight-game win streak on home ice. By April 8, the team's record under Clouston was 19–10–3 and he was rewarded with a two-year deal to continue coaching the Senators.

After changing coaches and improving play, the Senators were not able to qualify for the playoffs. On March 31, the Senators were mathematically eliminated from the playoff race.

Updated March 17, 2009.

The Senators continued their affiliation with the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League and added an affiliation agreement with the Elmira Jackals of the East Coast Hockey League. In previous years, Elmira had accepted players from Binghamton on a player-by-player basis. The new agreement formalized the arrangement of Elmira as the primary affiliate of Binghamton and the secondary affiliate of Ottawa.

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Vesa Toskala

Vesa Toskala 2006 2.jpg

Vesa Tapani Toskala (born on May 20, 1977 in Tampere, Finland), is a professional ice hockey goaltender currently with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. He is a butterfly style goaltender.

Toskala was selected by San Jose in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft (4th round, 90th overall). The Sharks also took fellow Finn Miikka Kiprusoff in the fifth round. Toskala turned heads with his stellar play in the 1998-1999 season with Ilves of the SM-liiga, where he went 21-12-0 with a 2.14 GAA and a 0.916 save percentage and posted five shutouts. The next season, playing a style that modeled after Markus Korhonen he played with Färjestads BK of the Swedish Elitserien and posted an impressive 2.59 GAA. In one game with Färjestad, Toskala scored a goal. At this point, Toskala was not sure if he wanted to have a career in hockey. Wanting a more stable job, he was going to quit hockey altogether to go to school full-time, before San Jose enticed him to North America.

He holds the San Jose Club record as the only goalie to record a multiple point game as he tallied two assists against Chicago on February 3, 2007.

In his first season in North America in 2000-2001, he played with the Kentucky Thoroughblades of the AHL. Splitting time with second-year-pro Kiprusoff, he played 44 games, going 22-13-5 with a 2.77 GAA and a 0.911 save percentage, quickly adapting to the North American game and played three games for Kentucky in the playoffs. The next year, after the team's move to Cleveland he took over the starting role after Kiprusoff was recalled to San Jose, and in 62 games went 19-33-7 with a 2.99 GAA and a 0.912 save percentage. That season he led the league in games played and saves made (1,845). When Kiprusoff fell to injury, Toskala was called up to back-up Evgeni Nabokov. Toskala received ten minutes of playing time in his first stint in the NHL, where he stopped the two shots he faced.

In the 2002-03 NHL season, Nabokov and San Jose could not settle on a contract and Toskala served as Kiprusoff's backup. When Kiprusoff faltered, Toskala stepped in and played admirably, going 4-3-1 with a 2.35 GAA and a 0.927 save percentage. He earned his first shutout in a 25-save-effort against the Detroit Red Wings. When Nabokov was re-signed, Toskala was sent back to Cleveland, and he struggled going 15-30-2, with a 3.21 GAA and a 0.903 save percentage. Nonetheless, the Sharks brass remembered Toskala's stellar play in the big league, and at the end of the season, they recalled Toskala, meaning the Sharks now had three goaltenders on their roster. Since Nabokov was the established starter, Kiprusoff and Toskala fought for the backup position, and Toskala won the battle when Kiprusoff was traded to the Calgary Flames. When Kiprusoff enjoyed tremendous success in Calgary, leading them to the Stanley Cup finals, many believed that since San Jose had picked Toskala over Kiprusoff, Toskala could be even better. That season, playing in 28 games, Toskala went 12-8-4 with a 2.06 GAA and a 0.930 save percentage. He did not play in the playoffs.

2005-06 proved to be a career year for Toskala; he began as the backup to Nabokov, but after a start on February 8 he posted a record of 17-2-2 leading to a Stanley Cup playoff berth for the Sharks. Toskala's goals-against-average fell from 3.25 to 2.55, while his save percentage increased from 0.872 to .900. This earned him the nickname "The Finnish Horse" from Shark's broadcaster Dan Rusanowsky. Toskala's play earned him several accolades and relegated Nabokov to the role of backup goaltender. On February 27, the Sharks resigned Toskala to a two-year contract extension worth US$2.75 million. Toskala finished the playoffs with 2.45 goals-against-average and a 0.910 save percentage.

Since both Toskala and Nabokov were seen as number one goalies, the Sharks attempted to trade one or the other before the season began. No trade occurred, and Ron Wilson opted to alternate starts between Toskala and Nabokov. Through 71 games, Toskala played in 35 games, starting 31 and posting a 2.45 GAA, along with 3 shutouts. Nabokov got the nod after that, and played in San Jose's remaining regular season and playoff games.

On June 22, the first day of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft weekend in Columbus, Ohio, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson traded Toskala along with forward Mark Bell to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the club's 2007 1st (13th overall, which was later traded to the St. Louis Blues) and 2nd round draft picks, as well as Toronto's 4th round pick in 2009.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Toskala to a four year contract with the team worth 4 million dollars a season in July 2007. He and Andrew Raycroft shared starts until late November, when Toskala's GAA and save percentage improved dramatically. He recorded two shutouts in December, and the NHL named him best goaltender of the month. Toskala is now the Leafs' starting goaltender, who will be backed up by veteran and past Leaf starting netminder Curtis Joseph.

In the 2009 NHL regular season opener on October 9, 2008, the official scoresheet between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings listed Vesa Toskala as the Maple Leafs captain. Coach Ron Wilson stated that the scoresheet was a mistake.

On March 4, 2009, Toskala announced that he would be undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum; the Maple Leafs claimed goalie Martin Gerber off of re-entry waivers to replace him.

Toskala and his wife live in a condo in Toronto. Toskala spent two years in Finland training to be a chef, although he claims that he was not particularly good.

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Source : Wikipedia