Daily Cupcakes - Links from around the world - December 14th, 2012

Alright, back by popular demand are the Cupcakes. As a word of forewarning, I'll do my best to have hockey links daily, but sometimes it'll be difficult to do.

Did you ever want to know how Sylvain Lefebvre became the head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs? Well, now you can!


“Colorado decided it wanted its own affiliate and they told Joe he could be the head coach and they told me I would be his assistant,” said Lefebvre. “So I knew I was going somewhere with Joe, I just didn’t know where.”

Lefebvre and Sacco resurfaced in Cleveland where the Avalanche unveiled its affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, for the 2007-08 season. The duo was with the Monsters for two seasons before moving to the Avalanche in 2009-10. Lefebvre spent three seasons in the NHL as an assistant to Sacco before being hired by the Canadiens to be the Bulldogs’ bench boss last June.

The Avalanche are known for targeting a certain type of player, and Colin Smith certainly seems to fit that profile.

But Smith, who attended two Edmonton Oilers camps as a walk-on — a development camp and the main training camp when Tom Renney was head coach — will also never be one of those players who will have coaches begging for more. The Colorado Avalanche took him in Round 7 last June, hardly a huge endorsement, but he could be right up the alley of David Oliver, general manager of the Lake Erie Monsters, the Avalanche’s American Hockey League affiliate. He was small when he was an Oiler.

And there’s nothing wrong with being picked that late in the draft.

“You know Kelly Buchberger got picked 188th and he played close to 20 NHL years,” Smith was told by a reporter.

“Really. Hmm, didn’t know that,” said Smith, the former WHL scholastic player of the year, an honours student.

The National Post has an article about a NHL player who won four Stanley Cups and the Vezina trophy twice, and is in the Hall of Fame. He played from 1945 until 1970.

“When I first came to Cleveland, I was making $3,000,” said Bower. “When I got to Toronto, I got about $11,000. The most I got in the NHL was $25,000. That was the last year before I retired. It was a good living for me; better than carrying your lunch kit. Unfortunately, a lot of that money goes to the government.

“Luckily, I had a good wife who took care of the finances, otherwise today I’d be broke.”

The 88-year-old Bower starts to laugh. It was a different time then, for sure. There were no unions. Bower never had an agent. Even if he did, general managers usually refused to meet with them because that was the way that the business was back then. The owners held all the power. The players simply had to go along.

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