Hockey Lost A Legend

There are a few staples of hockey history I feel everyone should know. Examples include the Miracle on Ice, the 1972 Summit Series, Richard Riots, and a general knowledge of the dynasties over the years.

The head coach of the best one has recently passed.

Al Arbour coached the New York Islanders for a total of 19 different seasons, most notably during the Islanders dynasty during the early 80s. He won four straight Stanley Cups starting with the ’79-’80 season until the ’82-’83 season. Combined with a trip to the ’84 Finals, he led the team to 19 straight playoff series wins, a record that still stands, and especially during the salary cap era (where the Blackhawks have a ‘dynasty’ with three championships in six years) will never be matched.

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Arbour’s last full season was in 1994 with 1,499 total games coached. In 2007, Islanders coach at the time Ted Nolan took a back seat to let Arbour coach number 1,500. The Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. He finished with the second most wins and games coached of all-time following Scotty Bowman. He won three Stanley Cups as a defenseman with three different teams (Detroit, Chicago, Toronto). He was elected in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.

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Arbour passed at the age of 82.

Friday Dump-and-Chase:

In the next chapter of the saga that will never end, the University of North Dakota officially announced the process for the voting of a new nickname. UND announced the process and dates for voting on the remaining options of Fighting Hawks, Nodaks, North Stars, Roughriders, and Sundogs. The ‘no-nickname’ option has been completely eliminated, as that option would be unofficially keeping the Fighting Sioux name that was deemed hostile and abusive by the NCAA.

One of my future columns will discuss my thoughts about the saga. Look for that before the season officially begins. The vote will take place in October and will be voted on by students, alum, faculty, donors, and season ticket holders of all sports.

Lastly, the Chicago Steel fell 5-2 to Sweden’s Djurgarden in the Junior Club World Cup semifinals. They will play at 5 a.m. Sunday morning against the host team of Avto, the same team that the Steel beat 6-1 Thursday and ended with a brawl. Should be an exciting rematch.

That’s the end of the shift. Have a great weekend!

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U.S. Club Team Brawls In Russia

It was quite the scene at the Junior Club World Cup earlier today.

Taking on host team Avto (Russia), the USHL’s Chicago Steel earned the victory 6-1 in front of 5,500 in attendance. However, the score isn’t the reason people are taking notice.

Most hockey fans are aware of “The Code” when it comes to fighting, No such code was exhibited; just pure emotion.

As for pucks actually going into the net, Wisconsin commit Max Zimmer scored two. Ohio State commit Tanner Laczynski also had a great game with three assists.

Not many people are aware of the Junior Club World Cup, so I’ll just give you the quick rundown. The tournament is in its fourth year and pits junior teams against each other from all over the world. The United States hasn’t won the tournament, but has earned a medal in the last three tournaments. The Waterloo Black Hawks earned the silver medal in 2012, losing to Canada’s Sudbury Wolves of the OHL. The Dubuque Fighting Saints and Sioux City Musketeers received Bronze the next two years.

The Chicago Steel breezed through the group portion going undefeated and will face Sweden’s Djurgarden in the semifinals. The game is at 5 a.m. Friday, so get the coffee going.

One-Timers:
The AHL schedule has been released.

Saint Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund out approximately four months, as he needs shoulder surgery.

Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano likes his gig as he signs a six-year extension worth $40.5 million.

That’s the end of this shift. Thanks for reading!

Former SCSU Player To Coach Sweden in World Cup

Sweden recently announced former Saint Cloud State defenseman and assistant coach Rikard Grönborg as head coach for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Grönborg has been a mainstay with Sweden’s national teams, with his coaching pedigree includes two U20 World Junior Silver Medals, World Championship Gold and Bronze Medals. He was also the assistant coach during the Olympics in Sochi, where his team earned a Silver Medal.

While details are still thin regarding this installation of the World Cup of Hockey, slowly and surely more details are being released. Eight teams will be competing from September 17th until October 1st, 2016. The teams will be the United States, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Russia, Team Europe (players from European countries that aren’t the aforementioned), and North American Youngstars. The event will be hosted in Toronto, Canada.

The World Cup of Hockey has been dormant since 2004, which happened to be the last NHL sanctioned event before the lockout that killed an entire season. It is still unknown whether the NHL will okay its players to go to the 2018 Olympics, so this may be the only international competition NHL players may have. The NHL controls the timing, the regulations, and (more importantly) the revenue. Also, ESPN will be showcasing the event. So… look forward to that…

Don’t be surprised if this is the first time you see ads on jerseys.

One Timers:

Sports Illustrated recently published a list of the “Seven Wonders of the Hockey World”. While some of them are fairly easy to predict, it was nice to see College Hockey get some love. Matthews Arena, the current home of the Northeastern Huskies, made the list.

The North Star College Cup, a yearly hockey tournament featuring four of the five Minnesota Division I college teams, recently announced a slight change in the dates the tournament will be held. The first two years of the tournament were a Friday/Saturday affair. This season, it will be a Saturday/Sunday tournament. First game will feature Saint Cloud State playing Minnesota State at 1 p.m. and defending champion Bemidji State facing the University of Minnesota at 4 p.m. The consolation game will be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday with the championship game to follow.

Lastly, logos were leaked for this year’s Stadium Series games. Puck Daddy has a mock up of the designs for the Wild, Red Wings, and Avalance. The Stadium Series has always had a unique twist on uniforms. This is no different.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

Team-by-Team School Breakdowns

If you’re like me and can’t wait for the college hockey season (exhibition games only 40 days away), head on over to the College Hockey reddit page. Right now, redditors are in the middle of doing 60 Teams in 60 Days feature. Reading the rundown of all the teams and facts about the school has really gotten me excited for the season. The teams are sorted by conference. Here is a rundown by conference:

Big Ten: Done, except for Michigan State

WCHA: Done

ECAC: Brown was today, remaining teams go until 9/4

Arizona State 9/5 (will go into more about my feelings about ASU in a future blog)

Atlantic Hockey: 9/6-9/16

NCHC: 9/17-9/24

Hockey East: 9/25-10/6

Some school write-ups are better than others, but I’ve learned something about every school from them. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series. Gets me excited until puck drop!

One-Timers:

Minnesota Wild Assistant Coach Darryl Sydor entered a treatment center in California for at least 30 days after drunk driving and child endangerment charges. Sydor’s blood alcohol content was .30 and was pulled over while driving his 12-year-old son to a hockey practice.

Bidding closed last Friday for 2017 Regionals. Regional sites for this coming year are in Albany, Worcester, Cincinnati, and St. Paul. It should be announced sometime in the next month or two. With the recent push by some of the bigger schools to put regionals back on campus, it will be interesting to see the bids, especially in the Midwest region.

That’s all for now. I have a few ideas for future posts as well as other staples I’ll do during the season. Thanks for checking it out. I hope you stick around!

Welcome to Clearing the Zone!

Hello, hockey fans. Clearing the Zone is on the web.

My plan for this blog is to discuss news, results, opinions (and probably suspensions) regarding NHL and College hockey.  I chose the title “Clearing the Zone” because of the goals my favorite teams allow just seconds after they failed to move the puck outside of the blue line. Clearing the zone in hockey allows for the defense to regroup and alleviate the pressure of the opposing team.

In the same essence, that is how I’m going to treat the blog. This isn’t going to be 100% about any specific thing. This will be a one-stop resource for everything hockey related, but taking a step back, regrouping and looking at all sides of the topic. Feel free to follow me on @moarclappers on Twitter and let me know of any news or topics you’d like discussed. Thanks for stopping by.

Weldie