Daily Cupcakes - News from Around the NHL - March 21st, 2012


Colorado Avlanche 's Shane O`Brien is trying to be a leader in the locker room.

At a point in the season when veteran experience is the commodity a Stanley Cup Playoff contender can't get enough of, the Colorado Avalanche have a valuable presence protecting their blue line in Shane O'Brien.

With eight games remaining and the eighth-place Avs locked in a frantic battle for one of the final Western Conference berths, the 28-year-old from Port Hope, Ont., can draw upon his past experience in stretch runs with Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Nashville. O'Brien has suited up for 40 postseason games with those clubs, making it as far as the second round each of the past three springs.

"I just tell the boys that there's nothing to save it for here -- we've got to dig in every night, leave it all out there," O'Brien told NHL.com during Colorado's recent East Coast road trip. "We're in a situation where we can't take nights off and we can't take shifts off. Anything I can do to help the boys realize how desperate and urgent we have to be, hopefully that will help us down the stretch here."

A fair number of articles about Graham James today. He was given two years.

She also knew there would be anger. There is no sentence "that the victims, and indeed many members of the public, will find satisfactory," she said, noting that the maximum penalty is 10 years. "What happened to Mr. Fleury and Mr. Holt is every child’s worst nightmare, and every parent’s worst nightmare." But then she added: "It is trite, but important to note that the Canadian criminal justice system is not one of vengeance."

The anger came quickly. "This sentence today is nothing short of a national travesty," Mr. Holt and Mr. Fleury said in a statement after the ruling.

"The sentences don’t come close to the damage that it leaves in its wake," added former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy, also one of Mr. James’s victims. "At least he’s going back to jail."

You can read their statement from after the sentence was given here:

I stand here today, on behalf of not only myself & my cousin Theoren Fleury, but as a voice for Everyman. For all the young boys, the old men & the ones that got stuck somewhere in between because of the most devastating type of abuse; sexual abuse inflicted on us by someone in a position of trust & authority. Theo and I were two of those who got stuck in that middle place between boy & man; we made some terrible choices & watched the life we were meant to lead spiral down the drain.

No longer.

Theo and I speak to men all over and we tell them: YOU, like us, are not alone; the effects are far-reaching & sometimes feel never ending, but there IS a place & time for healing. It is NOW. I stand here today, a Victor over sexual abuse & I along with Theo, offer you our voice.

Theo Fleury is quick to say that this case wasn't about him anymore:

"That’s why I got myself in a place of strength and peace and happiness before I went to Winnipeg to start this whole process. At the end of the day, the whole exercise was about exposing the system.

"The fact that he wore a ski mask in the courtroom? That tells me, tells the world, that ‘I’m still doing this stuff.’ If not, why not show your face?

"The hardest thing for reporters, for people, to understand is that I have no emotion attached to this. I am in recovery. I am a victor over what happened to me.

"I gotta tell you, man, I never, ever, attached any emotion to anything that was going on in the court system. I’ve been too busy responding to the 100 emails a week I get from victims. Through this whole thing, I got an education in the legal system, so when people send emails about going through the process, so I can let them know exactly what’s going to happen to them.’’

Fleury thanked supporters for their emails of encouragement he’s received as the wait for a ruling on this case ground on.

Micheal Sgarbossa is getting an award.

Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (Scoring Champion): Michael Sgarbossa, Sudbury Wolves

For the first time since John Tavares of the London Knights in 2008-09 the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy will be presented to an individual winner with Michael Sgarbossa of the Sudbury Wolves who led the league with 102 points in 66 games becoming the second member of the Sudbury Wolves to ever win the scoring title following Mike Foligno in the 1978-79 season.

Finally, will the Avs be seeing Patrick Roy in the fall? Behind the Montreal Canadiens bench, that is.

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, turns out that Martin Leclerc of Radio-Canada.ca and NHL.com is the first off the mark with news that a deal is done between the Montreal Canadiens and former Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy that will see the fiery Quebec Remparts owner/coach/GM take over the Habs' reins next fall.

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