Pastrnak is finally signed for six years

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I always feel like a nice contract signing starts the season off well.

It has been a long offseason, with the draft and addition of a new team among other things, we have something more important to worry about.

And that’s the upcoming Boston Bruins season.

This blog is significantly more active and updated during the season with game previews and roundups, news reports, and more. Much more entertaining than the offseason, that’s for sure.

In today’s news, David Pastrnak has finally signed the long awaited contract that has made Bruins subreddit be on their toes.

Six years. $6.66 million per year.

I guess he isn’t a superstitious guy, is he?

This contract comes at a steal for the Bruins; the B’s have 3 of the best forwards in hockey signed at less than 7 million. Pasta’s contact was speculated to be comparable to Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers, who signed an eight year, $68 million contract this offseason.

Pasta recorded 34 goals and 36 assists in 75 games this past season for the Bruins. While this total is 7 points lower than Draisaitl, Pasta also played in 7 fewer games. He spent most of the last season on a line with Marchand and Bergeron, forming one of the NHL’s most productive and compelling lines. Last season, he showed that he is the future of the organization and proved that he has the potential to be a franchise star player.
Little fun fact: Pasta is SECOND (behind Leon Draisaitl) in points by players drafted in 2014, and first in goals scored.

What a stud for being a late first round draft pick in 2014.

I know I’m ready for the upcoming season, I’ve been counting down the days since last season ended.

fear the bear.

^AHC

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NHL and the 2018 Olympics, will it happen?

Online ClassRegistration-3

 

When you think of the Winter Olympics every four years, one of the first sports you may think of maybe Olympic Ice Hockey. Ice hockey is a big sport in many countries, like Canada and Russia.

It’s a wonderful sport, isn’t it? It is.

Recently, news broke out that the current NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman said that the NHL wouldn’t be sending their players to the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Today, I want to discuss why players need to go to the Olympics,

for the better of the sport of hockey.

 

Players want to go and represent their countries.

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Here is a handy graph showing NHL nationalities, as of 2014. (Source)

Since the recent announcement from Bettman, big name players like Alex Ovechkin, have gone against Bettman’s decision, and have publicly stated that “So, I don’t know, somebody (is) going to tell me ‘don’t go,’ I don’t care, I just go.”, as reported by ESPN reporter Pierre LeBrun.

Other players, like Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Henrik Lundqvist, have stated through social media, mostly Twitter, that they do not agree with the decision either and that a “huge opportunity to market the game on the biggest stage (in the world) is wasted.”

Even the NHLPA (National Hockey League Player’s Association) has gone out and have stated that “The players are extraordinarily disappointed and adamantly disagree with the NHL’s shortsighted decision to not continue our participation in the Olympics”.

The Olympics are the one way that a player can have the opportunity to represent their country in a huge event like this, and a lot of players have a great deal of pride for the countries that they represent.

The four-year gap between each Olympics can also make this the last chance that some players can represent their countries.

The decision could cause a drift between the League and the NHLPA, and the decision could prove even to cause players (mostly from Russia, and others) to move to another league temporarily (like the KHL) just to have the opportunity to represent their country on the Olympic stage.

 

Not being there could cause issues regarding Marketing.

The idea of watching a given country is better from a fan’s standpoint, as fans may be more interested in looking at a 2 to 3-week Olympic tourney than looking at a long, 82 game, 31 weeks long NHL regular season.

As stated before, the Olympics are considered the biggest stage in the world for sports and gives the NHL the best opportunity to advertise to new fans. The NHL is not as globally recognized of a league compared to the NBA, at least in revenue, according to Cork Gaines of Business Insider. The NBA makes $152 million, compared to the NHL’s $88 million.

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Here’s how the NHL compares to other leagues. (Source)

The Olympics brings out the best in hockey, and often shows people what hockey is all about, all skill and fast paced, an image that the NHL is trying to lean towards.

The NHL is a league that is focused on growing the game, and not taking the opportunity to grow hockey in a country with little hockey could prove to be a problem. According to the NHL website and their social media outlets, The NHL has taken strides to gain exposure in China (example: Boston Bruins sending two players to the country for marketing purposes), including an upcoming preseason game featuring the Canucks and Kings in Beijing, to prepare for the 2022 Olympics.

 

The Olympics in a new area isn’t new.

Since 1998, the Olympics have had professional hockey players in the hockey tournament of the Olympics. Before then, it was played by amateur athletes, often from college or minor leagues.

To show how different hockey was before 1998, Canada won the gold medal at the 1952 Winter Olympics and didn’t win again for 50 years, in 2002. Amateur players played most of those tournaments. In 1998, Olympic Hockey was also played in a small market, taking place in Nagano, Japan, and Gary Bettman was very instrumental in bringing pro hockey to said Olympics.

Like mentioned before, the NHL is wanting to grow the sport internationally, and they are already taking strides in China, the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics. The fact they aren’t taking the opportunity to show not only South Korea, but the World, about the sport of hockey, is crazy.

Why can’t he do it again?

 

Last, but not least, this could cause a lockout that no one wants.

Because the NHL, NHLPA, and the IIHF cannot agree on one thing, this could potentially be the perfect mix to cause a lockout before the Olympics begin. The union even believes that they will even take the owner’s of the team’s rights away that allow them to send their players to the Olympics themselves. Some owners (like the Capitals’ Ted Leonsis) have discussed sending their players to the Olympics regardless of the decision made by Gary Bettman, according to ESPN.

While the Olympics are an exciting event in general, Men’s Ice Hockey is a vital part of the games. Having no big names in hockey could cause issues regarding fanbases and viewership, and also create drifts between players.

I watch the Olympics every time they happen, and imagining an Olympics without NHL players is something I can’t imagine. It hasn’t even happened in my lifetime.

Yes, I am that young.

fear the bear

^AHC

Repeat of my first game (Boston vs Carolina Preview)

I haven’t been updating in a while, but I have a big reason for that.

COLLEGE.

Luckily, my semester is starting to come to a close, allowing me to post more!

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Not gonna lie, this game brings back some big memories for me. This is the exact match up I watched at my very first Bruins home game last season. Because we lost in a shootout that time, we need this win, not just for my sanity, but for the standings.

The Atlantic Division is looking more and more tough the closer we get to the middle of the season.

The Bruins are coming off of a 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers tuesday night. Shayne Gostisbehere was credited with the winning goal in the shootout, and the Bruins scored 2 goals in the third to bring it into OT. Brad Marchand and David Krejci were credited with the two goals for the B’s.

Defenseman John-Michael Liles was recently announced as being out indefinitely with a concussion. The concussion was caused by crashing into the boards after colliding with a stick during the November 27th game vs Tampa Bay. There is no timetable for his return. Zdeno Chara is also out day to day with a lower body injury, and could return as early as this week.

The Carolina Hurricanes are coming off of a 3-2 loss at the hands of the New York Rangers tuesday night as well. They are currently 9-9-4 on the season, and 7th in the Metropolitan Division.

Here are your projected lineups!

BOSTON BRUINS:

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Matt Beleskey-David Krejci-David Backes
Tim Schaller-Riley Nash-Austin Czarnik
Ryan Spooner-Dominic Moore-Jimmy Hayes

Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller-Brandon Carlo
Joe Morrow-Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Injuries: Frank Vatrano (Foot) Zdeno Chara (Lower Body), Noel Acciari(Lower Body) and John-Michael Liles (Concussion)

Interesting Notes: Zdeno Chara skated on his own before the game against Tampa Bay, but has still been day-to-day. It is not known if he is slated to return to the game vs Carolina.

The fourth line was being juggled around during the game at Philadelphia. Ryan Spooner played a little with the two Davids during the game, but I still expect him to be on the fourth line tomorrow night.

Out of the fourth line, Jimmy Hayes saw a team low 6:26 TOI. For comparison, the next lowest TOI was Dominic Moore, who almost saw twice as much, at 11:48.

Ouch.

No major point streaks, but Torey Krug had two assists to start a 2 game point streak, and David Krejci had a goal last night to start a 2 game point streak as well.

CAROLINA HURRICANES:

Jeff Skinner-Victor Rask-Elias Lindholm
Sebastian Aho-Teuvo Teravainen-Lee Stempniak
Phil De Giuseppe-Derek Ryan-Andrej Nestrasil
Joakim Nordstrom-Jay McClement-Viktor Stalberg

Ron Hainsey-Justin Faulk
Jaccob Slavin-Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin-Matt Tennyson

Cam Ward
Michael Leighton

Injuries: Jordan Staal (Concussion), Eddie Lack (Concussion), Bryan Bickell (Multiple Sclerosis) and Brock McGinn (Upper Body)

Interesting Notes: Viktor Stalberg is currently on a two game goal streak, scoring 2 goals in the game against the Rangers. In the past two games, Viktor has 3 goals with no assists.

Jordan Staal was announced two days ago as out with a concussion. In his place, the Hurricanes called up Phil DeGiuseppe from the Charlotte Checkers (AHL).

To be honest with you, I kinda forgot that Lee Stempniak signed with the Hurricanes. Mr. 19-games-with-the-Bruins has 4 goals and 6 assists on the season.

Regardless of the team, I love seeing AHLers being called up. It just shows that the AHL is doing something right when it comes to development. It must also make the players themselves feel good as well.

In the last meeting with the Hurricanes, the 2-1 shootout was won by the hurricanes with a GWG by Boston College product Noah Hanifin.

The Rise of Co-Ed Spirit Squads

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*Before you decide to read this post, I want to say I have absolutely NOTHING against NHL ice girl squads. They are great people, and represent organizations well. This post is to point out a great idea that could help the future of the NHL entertainment wise. Thank you and enjoy!*

When I was a young girl, the first thing that popped into my mind when I thought of women in sports was Cheerleaders. By cheerleaders, I thought of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders that would hop onto the field at halftime, and dance to the same routine over and over again.

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(photo credit)

With the rise of feminism since then, more and more females have entered the Sport industry, leading to the creation of the NWHL and WNBA, and being able to see more females pop up in professional front offices all over the country.

However, one thing still hasn’t changed.

Ice Girls. 

Spirit Squads, like the Ice Girls, are considered the cheerleaders of the NHL. They typically take care of the on ice intermission activities (games), handing out programs, and also working with the community. Some of them (like Dallas Ice Girls) dance on a platform in the middle of the crowd preforming a small routine in the lower bowl. They are essentially the face of the organization that isn’t the players. They are the ones that interact with the crowd to get the fans pumped up for a win, and give the fans a memorable experience to want to come back again.

The job can be a fun one, but why aren’t men included in this amazingness?

Hockey teams all over North America are starting to transition an Ice Girl squad, in favor for a co-ed spirit squad, essentially doing the same job specifics, but with a different group of people.  The Washington Capitals have started a squad simply called the “Washington Capitals Spirit Squad”, which entails throwing shirts, and pumping up the “energetic” sold-out crowd at the Verizon center. As of right now, the Caps are the only NHL team in the league to have a co-ed spirit team like this.

The co-ed spirit squad is becoming popular in the minor leagues, like the AHL.

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Texas Stars (AHL affiliate to the Dallas Stars) have a spirit team called the Ice Patrol, a group of around 15 people who take care of the giveaways offered at games, and also the on ice intermission games (like sumo races and soccer). The Ice Patrol also manages watch parties for away games, and the kids zone with temporary tattoos. The Ice Patrol replaced their version of the Ice Girls, and allows more people to be given the opportunity to be part of the spirit team, and also probably make old people comfortable at games again.

Lets be real, if you are a 50-something year old man watching a bunch of girls in yoga pants and a sports bra, you are going to probably be looked at as a pervert.

Just saying.

But women don’t want to be perceived as this.

Women want to be looked like professionals, showing how hard we have gotten our life to be where we are. Someone I know in the sport industry is the head of their own department, which is a department full of women.

This is showing that the sport industry is becoming more and more female driven.

Women are hockey players. Women are hockey fans. We aren’t just at a game cause we got dragged there. We are there cause we WANT to be.

Women are not just cheerleaders or Ice Dancers.

They are FANS.

Adding co-ed spirit squads opens the door on entertainment in the sport industry for men, changes the image of women in the sport industry, and lastly,

it would get rid of the assumption that women are puck bunnies.

Women and sports doesn’t equal bikinis and calendars.

see you in October

^AHC

 

Lets Talk NHL Expansion.

NHL To Houston

***This is the offseason. There is little to no Bruins news to post about. Because of this, I dabble in new and interesting topics. The Bruins season overview will be posted this week, I am just working on gathering some more info!***

Every couple years, a certain rumor sparks things, and those things can become reality.

The Las Vegas and Quebec City NHL expansion rumor was just that.

For those who don’t know, there was rumors spreading around for the past few years of a team (Arizona, Carolina, etc) relocating to Vegas, and moving to a more feasible market. Apparently a more “feasible” market for Arizona is one state north?

uh, no.

Then Quebec came into the mix.

nordiques

(photo credit)

Basically, they want their team back. They were so confident in their bid, that they already had an arena built. Due to the declining Canadian dollar, it is no longer considered a smart bid from an economic standpoint.

So, where do I stand on expansion?

The NHL needs to move south.

And by south, I mean Texas.

Texas is home to the NHL’s Dallas Stars, the Stanley Cup winner in 1999 and home to Art Ross winner Jamie Benn and former Bruin Tyler Seguin. The Dallas Stars are becoming more and more popular in the state the more it grows. The more it grows, the more transplants we have in our state. I’m talking people from Minnesota, Massachusetts, Canada, everywhere. The market for hockey down in Texas is growing more and more, which could make room for a possible NHL team.

If Florida can have two teams, why can’t Texas? Texas is bigger than Florida…

With this post, I want to propose the idea of bringing hockey back to Houston.

I live in Austin, but we aren’t a perfect market. So, I picked Houston.

The biggest cities in Texas (Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio) all have sports teams (Austin doesn’t have major leagues.), but Houston is the only one of that list of four that doesn’t have ANY type of hockey team.

Here are the teams in Texas:

Dallas: Dallas Stars (NHL), Allen Americans (ECHL)

Austin: Texas Stars (AHL)

San Antonio: San Antonio Rampage (AHL)

Houston: NONE

First things first, Houston is the largest city IN BOTH THE US AND CANADA without an NHL franchise. Houston is bigger than Vegas and Quebec City. (TAKE THAT!)

Hockey is not a new thing to Houston. Houston was home to the Houston Aeros, of both the WHA and AHL. Gordie Howe is one of the familiar names with this WHA franchise, and played with his sons during his tenure in Houston. The team was very successful, winning the AVCO Trophy twice (1974, 1975), but the team was forced to fold in 1978, when the NHL-WHA merger came to be. The AHL franchise came to be in 1994, but was forced to leave after not agreeing on a lease for the Toyota Center, which is where the Houston Rockets of the NBA currently play.

The biggest arena fit to play hockey, the Toyota Center, is the one thing preventing an expansion team from coming to Houston.

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(photo credit)

The Toyota Center is owned by Harris County, the county in which Houston resides. The county has no interest in having an NHL team in the area. Because of this, there has been no formal submissions to consider Houston.

I want to point out, Dallas is a smaller city than Houston, but Dallas has a bigger metropolitan area. The Houston metro area is home to Houston, The Woodlands, and Sugarland, and have a combined population of 6,490,180, and the Dallas metro area is home to Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington with a combined population of 6,954,330. Dallas is home to a team from each major professional sports league (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and MLS). Adding a NHL team to Houston will allow Houston to gain popularity in a growing sport, and also create more jobs in the area.

As for Vegas, there is multiple problems with bringing an NHL franchise to that area.

First, it is not a family friendly area. Vegas is a city full of casinos, gambling, and lots more. This can move families away from wanting to attend games at T-Mobile arena. This can cause a decrease in sales. The arena is on the strip, which doesn’t help.

Gambling is a problem in sports everyday. With Draft Kings lawsuits, there is a reason why there is no sports in that area. Adding a team there would add to the problem. Vegas is a city famous for its gambling and betting, and adding a sport team would just make the situation worse.

Houston is home to two international airports, many hotels, and is equipped to handle a huge influx of tourists in that area. Yes, Vegas has these things too, but Houston is better equipped to handle an addition of a NHL team, because they already have sports in that area. Houston being a family friendly area alone should attract a team better than Las Vegas. I have family in Houston, they have twin boys, and they love the city for their kids.

The United States Dollar is in a better situation than the Canadian Dollar. This would cause problems for the Quebec bid, and is already causing problems for the current Canadian NHL teams.

Like I said earlier,

If Florida can have 2 teams,

If California can have 3,

and Arizona can have 1,

WHY CAN’T TEXAS HAVE TWO

see you in october

^AHC

 

 

 

Taking a Peek at the Bruins Prospect Pool

It’s that time of year to start thinking about the future of this franchise.                lbron

We have free agency getting rid of players. We have the possibility of no playoffs. Everything can happen at any time during the offseason.

One of the bright things about having players leave the Bruins is that we can see new prospects with the big club, and see if what we expected is a reality.

Before I start discussing Prospects all willy-nilly, I want to explain what my qualifications of a prospect is, yours may be different.

  • They didn’t play a significant amount of time in the NHL and went back to the AHL. In this case, players like Frank Vatrano and Colin Miller are not considered prospects in my mind. They have had a great deal of time in the NHL to show their worth to the organization and the fans. Vatrano and Miller have both showed that they belong in the NHL. If they played more NHL games than AHL, they are not prospects.
  • They must be under the age of 26 (not including Goalies). If a player can be placed in the North America World Cup team, I consider them prospects. Players like Matt Irwin and Joonas Kemppainen are not considered prospects.
  • They must be AT LEAST 3 years out of Junior/NCAA. Linus Arnesson and Noel Accari are both at least 3 years out of Juniors, and follow this qualification perfectly, and are considered prospects. 

With that out of the way, lets all take a peek into our Top 5 of the big names in the Bruins’ prospect pool:

Matt Grzelcyk (Defense, Boston University-NCAA): After being in multiple Development camps with the Bruins, Grzelcyk finally signed a 2 year Entry Level Contract earlier this month. Labeled as a offensive defenseman, Grzelcyk had 26 goals and 69 assists (95 points) in his 125 game career with Boston University. Grzelcyk could prove to be a great player to have on the PP, but could be at a disadvantage in physical situations, due to his small size. His skills on the ice and with the puck have allowed him to succeed at the NCAA level, and he just needs to grow to become a permanent fixture in the NHL.

Zachary Senyshyn (Forward, Sault St Marie Greyhounds-OHL): After probably shocking a lot of people at the draft last year, Senyshyn proved that he is improving and ready for a chance to play hockey at the professional level. As an Assistant Captain for his team, he scored 45 goals and 20 assists (65 points) in 66 games this season. This was an increase in his 45 points in the previous season. Senyshyn is becoming a more intelligent player by the minute, and is also a very fluid skater whose presence helps his team at the end of the day.

Jesse Gabrielle (Forward, Prince George Cougars-WHL): I never thought that I would be talking about a late round pick from the previous year so early. In 72 games in the WHL, Gabrielle has 40 goals and 35 assists (75 points), along with 101 penalty minutes on the season. Gabrielle reminds me of Milan Lucic, because they are both phyisical forwards who can produce. He’s gritty, yet skilled, and could be difficult to play against.

Jakub Zboril (Defense, Saint John Sea Dogs-QMJHL): Zboril is an CHL defenseman who is ready for the jump to play hockey at a professional level. Selected by the Bruins 13th overall in last year’s draft, Zboril is showing to the the low risk type of player, but also the one with high rewards later in the future. He plays a great defensive game, and isn’t afraid to use his size to play a physical game.

Seth Griffith (Forward, Providence Bruins-AHL): I wanted to limit myself to one player on the P-Bruins, and I picked Griffith. Even though he made his NHL debut last season, he has yet to become a common player in the NHL. Top five in AHL scoring, AHL First Team Honors, and career highs have allowed fans to see how Griffith has grown since last year. The only problem is finding room for him on the Boston roster. Once we have space after the off season, there should be a spot for him in the lineup. In 51 games in Providence, he had 22 goals and 45 assists, totaling 67 points. He doubled his production in the AHL.

Did I forget someone?

Remember, Jimmy Vesey hasn’t officially signed with us yet, so he doesn’t count.

Let me know of any prospects you guys like to see down in the comments below. Who will see NHL time next season?

fear the bear

^AHC

 

 

 

Let’s Clinch or Die: Boston vs Ottawa

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It’s that time guys.

It’s the last game of the year, meaning if we don’t win this game, the Bruins are gonna die.

Not literally, but you probably know what I mean.

If the Bruins lose this game, and Philly and Detroit both win, there is NO PLAYOFFS.

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lets not end up like last year…

The Bruins are preparing for a tough test at home versus the Ottawa Senators, the one team who beat us out of our playoff spot last season. Ottawa is already mathmatically eliminated from playoff contention. The Bruins have a 17-17-6 record at home, and are looking to make the record a winning one at this final game of the regular season. Ottawa has a 37-35-9 record on the season and sit 11th place in the Eastern Conference.

In the Last meeting between these two teams, the Senators won in overtime at the Canadian Tire Centre with a 2-1 decision. Mark Stone scored the winning goal, and David Pastrnak was the lone Bruin with a goal.

The Bruins are coming off of a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings at home, allowing more breathing room in the standings for a playoff spot. Torey Krug finished with 1 goal and 2 assists (3 points), and was named the first star of the game. The Bruins sit in the second wild card spot, with the Philadelphia Flyers two points behind. For those who want to see the really confusing playoff clinching scenarios for the Bruins, click here.)

The Senators are also coming off of a home win, a 3-1 decision against the Atlantic leading Florida Panthers. Rookie Buddy Robinson scored his first NHL goal, and Jaromir Jagr scored the lone Panthers goal.

Here are your projected lineups!

BOSTON BRUINS:

Ryan Spooner-David Krejci-Loui Eriksson

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Lee Stempniak

Matt Beleskey-Max Talbot-David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano-Noel Acciari-Landon Ferraro

Zdeno Chara-Kevan Miller

Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

John Michael Liles-Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Jonas Gustavsson

Injuries: Chris Kelly (Leg), Brett Connolly (undisclosed), Jimmy Hayes (undisclosed), and Dennis Seidenberg (Lower Body)

Scratches: Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, Tyler Randell

Important Notes: The Bruins officially have 3 30-goal scorers this season, thanks to Loui Eriksson’s goal last night vs DET. Eriksson has three goals and three assists to make a four game point streak.

OTTAWA SENATORS:

Zach Smith-Jean Gabriel Pageau-Ryan Dzingel

Mike Hoffman-Mika Zibanejad-Bobby Ryan

Matt Puempel-Nick Paul-Alex Chiasson

Buddy Robinson-Curtis Lazar-Chris Neil

Fredrik Claesson-Erik Karlsson

Michael Kostka-Cody Ceci

Ben Harpur-Chris Wideman

Andrew Hammond

Craig Anderson

Injuries: Dion Phaneuf (lower body),  Mark Borowiecki (knee),  Kyle Turris (ankle), Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Patrick Wiercioch (Undisclosed), Marc Methot (Undisclosed), and Mark Stone (Undisclosed)

Scratch: Scott Gomez

Important Note: Erik Karlsson has 2 goals and 3 assists, which gives him a 4 game point streak.

fear the bear and WE WANT PLAYOFFS *clap clap clapclapclap*

^AHC