"He's the best rookie in the league this year," stated Canuck head coach Alain Vigneault. "In my mind, there are some other good rookies but he plays like a man right now and has a lot of skill to back it up."
Colorado coach Joe Sacco seemed amused by Vigneault's description of his young star.
"Let me say this first: I wouldn't disagree with Alain," a smiling Sacco responded. "I think that's obviously a strong statement from a good coach who has been around a long time. I agree with Alain. I think, to me, Gabriel certainly has played like the rookie of the year all season long.
RC: Were you surprised by how the players have embraced this project?
PB: A little bit. We knew we had good support and that the NHL community is the best community in the sports world and that they take great care of each other and really stand up for each other. But we were still a little overwhelmed when players started reaching out to us and going out of their way and clearing time and making real efforts to get it done. For example, Stamkos. Stammer and Brian Campbell, the two who are in our most recent PSA. Both, due to conflicts, weren't able to make it to our original scheduling in Ottawa at the All-Star Game. They could have gone on, not gotten back to us and not participated and it wouldn't have been a big issue. And instead, they each emailed and called me separately to see if we could set up something for the next day. So the day of the skills competition, Stammer and Soupy both took time off from their day, from everything else they had to do and went out of their way to schedule a special time to film the PSA. We were not surprised, but very touched by the effort they've put into this."
Jean Beliveau has been released from the hospital.
Montreal Canadiens great Jean Beliveau, who suffered a stroke just under a month ago, has been released from hospital and appears to be on the mend.
Donald Beauchamp, a spokesman for the NHL team, said Beliveau was released from Montreal General Hospital on Friday. He was transferred to a rehabilitation centre.
They want one, you see. The good people of Quebec will pay approximately $400-million for an arena to be built by 2015, in the hope that the National Hockey League will see fit to repatriate the Nordiques after all these years. And the Phoenix Coyotes, a franchise that has bled away in limbo for nearly three years, is the best bet.
And right now, it appears there are three options, and not necessarily in this order: One, the Coyotes are packed up within the next month or so and moved to Quebec City, where la Colisée is hastily renovated with city money, and the party lasts all night and through much of the summer, and those who own provincial liquor distributorships or local bars are eventually able to buy their own islands.
At this weekend's fifth annual Summit Hockey Classic, hockey celebrities and local players will take to the ice to raise money for Summit Youth Hockey, a local nonprofit giving youth the opportunity to play recreationally and competitively.
Shawn Hunwick wound up skipping his Astronomy 101 class Wednesday but he may have a pretty good excuse.
Five days after his college career ended Hunwick, who was never drafted, had a whirlwind day for the ages.
"A crazy experience," said Hunwick, a Sterling Heights native, two hours before game-time. "I hope I get excused from that class.
"It's funny, people are congratulating me and I'm getting all these congratulatory texts. I didn't really do anything. I answered my phone and took the opportunity to come down.
"It's kind of funny."