Top 5 Off-Season Deals

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  1. P.K. Subban Gets his Deal in Montreal

Love him or hate him, there’s absolutely no question that P.K. Subban will be a superstar defenceman in the NHL for years to come.  Canadiens fans had to sit through 24 hours of panic before learning that Subban and the Canadiens had come to an agreement after 1 day of arbitration….and what a deal it was.  8 years for $72 million for an average of $9 million per season makes P.K. the highest paid defenceman and 3rd highest paid player in the NHL behind only Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, which leaves one to ask; How much does Sid the Kid make?

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  1. Spezza Traded to Dallas

Hockey fans in southern Ontario cheered out with glee on July 1st with the knowledge that they’d rarely, if ever, have to watch Jason Spezza giggle his way through another post-game interview.  After a number of tenuous seasons on a “rebuilding” Senators club Spezza wanted out and was absolutely thrilled when he woke up knowing he was Dallas Star.  Not only does Spezza get out of star vacuum in Ottawa, but he will now be lacing up alongside future superstars Tyler Sequin & Jamie Benn, as well as Ales Hemsky, Patrick Eaves and a host of fresh faces brought in by Jim Nill in the off-season.

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  1. O’Reilly Avoids Arbitration

Heading into salary arbitration can be a nasty mess, creating lasting tensions between team ownership, management and the player.  So it was with great fervor the Colorado Avalanche General Manager Joe Sakic announced that they’d come to terms with star forward Ryan O’Reilly in the lobby as they awaited arbitration.  O’Reilly had a career season in 2013-14 leading the Avalanche in points as well as setting career highs in goals (28) and points (64) as well as winning the Lady Bing Award, receiving 2 penalty minutes in 80 games played.  The Avs are thrilled to have locked O’Reilly up for the next two seasons, and O’Reilly is thrilled with the $12 million he’ll collect during that time.

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  1. Richards Signs in Chicago

After a disappointing season on a Rangers team seemingly full of underachievers there was no doubt that Brad Richards was actively shopping for a new address this summer.  So when his agent let him know that the Chicago Blackhawks were interested he jumped at the chance and signed a 1 year, $2 million deal.  It’s definitely a great move for Richards but also solidifies one of the best top 2 lines in the game as he’ll fit nicely centering the 2nd line flanked by the super speed of rising star Brandon Saad and perennial sniper Marion Hossa.  Let’s hope the aging Richards will be able to keep up and help his star winger (Hossa) cross the 1000 point plateau this season.

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  1. Kesler Waives his N.T.C. to Anaheim

 If there was one thing that was hard to believe about the 2013-14 NHL season it was the significant decline in play of every single player on the Vancouver Canucks and utter failure (who’d a thunk it) of coach John Tortorella to get the star studded roster to live up to their potential.  What wasn’t hard to believe was the trade demand by forward Ryan Kesler, and though they couldn’t close any deals at the trade deadline, Canucks management finally found a deal they liked with a team good enough to persuade Kesler to waive his no trade; the Anaheim Ducks.  After being knocked out of the playoffs by eventual champion LA Kings, the Ducks decided to open their coffers and take on Kesler’s $10 million salary over the next 2 year in an effort to bolster their overall team defence.  Only time will tell how this union will end.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Adult Tournament Season Recap

Hello friends!

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I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything, but for those of you who know me and our business you’d know we just worked our way through an extremely intense month of Adult Hockey Tournaments.  Each spring, typically starting on the last weekend of March and wrapping up on the first weekend of May, Canadian Hockey Enterprises runs 23 adult recreational hockey tournaments in Banff, Ottawa, London, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Chicago, Niagara Falls, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, Atlantic City, Kelowna, Montreal, Quebec City and Lake Placid.  Needless to say we rack up a lot of air miles in April!  It’s an incredibly busy and stressful time for everyone in our office, but it’s also extremely rewarding as the bulk of our work from September to March comes to fruition during the tournament season.  Whether teams have been coming for 20 years or it’s their first time, we have great opportunities to connect face to face with our customers and seeing the smiles on their faces during the games makes all of the effort worth while.  So I asked some of the staff to share some of the more memorable stories they had from this past month and I’ll be posting the stories throughout the next couple of weeks.

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Mike McCabe thought he was a lucky man when he found out he was heading to Chicago April 2 – 6 to run our Chicago tournament once again. There were 16 teams heading to the windy city  from Phoenix to Finland and everywhere in between, and for those lucky enough to get an extra day off work, some teams were able to catch the Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild game on the Thursday night.  But what Mike didn’t know was that his luck would pale in comparison to Dan Walper of the Great Canadian Oilers from Delisle, SK.  The Oilers were enjoying a sneak peak of this years Central Division Championships, having a couple of cool refreshing beverages along with a full United Center crowd.  It was anything but  typical Thursday night for the boys from rural Saskatchewan but it got even stranger with the announcement of the night’s 50/50 draw, as Dan looked at his ticket with a shocked expression having realized he’d won!!!  His team didn’t get to take home a trophy, but at least Dan had $14 000 to bring with him, and I’m sure every cup winner would trade him in a heartbeat.

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Stories like these are what make this job exciting and what inspire us to come up with new and exciting tournament ideas for our teams to take advantage of.  Over the year’s we’ve slowly introduced new locations such as Chicago and Phoenix that have proven to be extremely popular, while some other destinations like Denver and St. John’s have fizzled out.  We want to know where YOU want to go and will be running an ongoing survey as we share some of our stories.  The top 2 locations from this posts survey will continue on for the next 4 or 5 posts until we have solid evidence that teams want to go _______!   So make sure you vote for your preferred location on each post so we can set up the tournament of your choice.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterrpises

 

 

 

 

NHL is Back!

The NHL officially started it’s first full season in two years and even though there’s still some bitter contempt left over from yet another lockout, as hockey fans will know, it’s hard to contain my excitement for a full NHL season.  With just 3 days of hockey done already there’s already a number of very interesting story lines beginning to unfold so I thought I’d take a second and go over a few of them.

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1. Parros Goes Down

It’s very early on in the season but already the “fighting in hockey” debate has risen to the top of the hockey media stew.  The full line brawl during the pre-season game between the Leafs and Sabres got the conversation started as Leaf star Phil Kessel tried to chop the legs off Sabres goon John Scott.  I’ve already posted my thoughts on this event here, but it was obviously just the tip of the fighting debate iceberg.  What really got the debate going was when the new Habs protector George Parros was removed from the ice on a stretcher during their opening game against Leafs, last years league leader in fighting majors.  

Parros smashed his chin off the ice when both he and Leafs tough guy Colton Orr lost their footing during their second fight of the game.  Kind of a freak event, but as Don Cherry points out here, Parros is a smart guy (Princeton graduate) and knows full well that if you fight, there’s a good chance you’re going to get hurt.  That said, players on both benches were equally uneasy  and as circus-like as the Bell Centre atmosphere was throughout the game and especially during the fights, you could hear a pin drop as the Canadiens trainers began strapping Parros to a stretcher.  

In a league that’s been plagued with concussions and even deaths of some enforcers, the NHL is pretty clear when it comes to fighting.  “It’s what is special about our game,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, adding, “We don’t go out of our way to market or promote that, it is what it is and happens when it happens and while some people would prefer not to see it in the game, other people enjoy seeing it.”  The only rule added regarding fights this year was a 2 minute penalty for players who remove their own helmets during a fight, which they’ve already figured a way around and obviously was no help to Parros.  It will be interesting to see if there are any further steps taken to help protect players as the season continues.

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2. Patrick Roy goes Patrick Roy!

In a story line I had completely overlooked Patrick Roy returned to the NHL with the passion and exuberance only he can deliver.  As the new head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, Roy’s début was going extremely well holding a 6-1 lead over the Anaheim Ducks nearing the end of the 3rd period.  But with just 6 seconds left Anaheim’s Ben Lovejoy threw a questionable knee-on-knee hit on Avalanche prospect Nathan McKinnon that sent Roy off the rails.  Having just witnessed what he perceived as an attempt to injure last year’s first overall pick when the game a fat lady away from being over, Roy took exception and supposedly Lovejoy a few choice words on his way back to the bench.  This set off Boudreau who snapped back, a couple squirts from a water bottle from perennial pest Corey Perry (a former CHE camper) and Roy snapped and almost flattened Boudreau in the process.  A quick $10000, some words of wisdom from coaches around the league and a couple of interviews later and it seems like Patrick Roy is exactly where he wants to be: right in the center of the NHL spotlight.  Looks like the Colorado Avalanche might actually be worth watching this year.

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3. Leafs Nation!

There’s no one guarding their spot on Bay Street yet, but Leafs fans everywhere are ecstatic with their teams play thus far.  Though their two wins have been marred with controversy resulting from their rough and tumble playing style, there are plenty of reasons for leafs fans to be excited.  Phil Kessel seems to be in great shape and on point, which has paid off as they resigned him to an 8-year, $64 million contract extension.  Off-season acquisitions Dave Boland and Jonathon Bernier have both played pivotal roles in their quick start and seem to be settling in with their new team.  We’ve yet to see how David Clarkson performs in the blue and white during the regular season (on 10 game suspension for leaving the bench during this altercation), but he’s certainly bought the respect of his teammates and the fans by stepping up to protect the Leafs smaller, more talented players.  Like everything in the big smoke, it’s a great mix of new and old, skill and toughness, size and speed and if Randy Carlyle can somehow keep the suspensions to a minimum, they might just make a consecutive playoff appearance, which is great for Leafs Nation!

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Regardless of how you feel about last year’s lockout, October is always a great time of year for hockey fans as the season gets rolling and we get to see familiar faces in unfamiliar uniforms.  But most importantly, it’s just plain old fun to watch good hockey!  This year Canadian Hockey Enterprises has 5 tournaments with the option to see an NHL game including two games featuring the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks: on November 15 – 17 in Montreal you can see the Canadiens vs. Rangers, on March 28 – 30 you can see the Senators vs. Blackhawks in Ottawa, or see the Canucks vs. Ducks in Vancouver.  The on the weekend of April 3 – 6, teams can see the Coyotes battle the Oilers in Phoenix, or Blackhawks vs. Wild in Chicago.

Give our office a call and I’ll fill you in on the details.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises