Hockey Critic

24 January

Mario Lemieux announces his retirement

Mario Lemieux, one of the greatest players in the history of the game, announced his retirement this morning. The 40-year-old cited health concerns as his main reason for quitting. "I'm here today to announce my retirement from hockey," Lemieux told a packed news conference at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. "It's always a difficult decision to make for any athlete but the time has come. It's in the best interests of myself, my family and the Penguins." Lemieux was excited to start this season with the Penguins signed several free agents and drafting rookie phenom Sidney Crosby to be at one time, considered as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. [Read More!]
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19 January

Bryan Berard tests positive for 19-norandrosterone

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Bryan Berard has received a two-year suspension from competing in international events for failing a pre-Olympic drug test. Though Berard did not crack the final U.S. Olympic hockey team roster, the random test was conducted because he was a possible candidate for the U.S. team and was named to the initial group of eligible players. Anonymous sources say that a November 12, 2005 drug test returned postive for the banned substance 19-norandrosterone, which is considered an anabolic agent. [Read More!]
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14 January

NY Rangers honour Mark Messier

By all measures, the New York Rangers are a storied NHL franchise. Located in the largest market in North America, this original six NHL team has a rich history and some great players have passed through the "Big Apple". And one the best ever was hockey great Mark Messier who spent 10 seasons there and lead them to the Stanley Cup championships in 1994; which at that time was the team's first Cup in 54 years. Last week in an elaborate 75 minute ceremony, the New York Rangers retired Messier's number vaunted number "11" into the rafters of a packed Madison Square Gardens. It joined those of former teammate Mike Richter, and earlier stars Eddie Giacomin and Rod Gilbert. [Read More!]
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11 January

Thrashers get under Crosby's skin

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Atlanta Thrashers had a monumental home-and-home series that ended with Atlanta laying a thrashing on the Pens. They clearly focused on Crosby, pursuing a physical game and getting under his skin by having him take 12 minutes in penalties in those two games. One of the penalties lead to Ilya Kovalchuk scoring the game winning goal after which he skated by the penalty box and pointed his finger at Crosby. Ilya is no stranger to such tactics - during the 2001 World Junior Championship in Moscow he went nuts after scoring an empty net goal in the gold medal game against Canada. [Read More!]
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