It was Claude Lemieux's birthday yesterday.
If he was on your team, you loved him. As for players on the NHL's 29 other teams, well, let's just say Claude Lemieux won't be overwhelmed with birthday cards from former opponents.
Already sporting a Stanley Cup ring from Montreal's magical run in 1986, the right wing from Buckingham, Que., was fitted for a second with the Devils in 1995 thanks to his MVP-winning performance. New Jersey's first Cup win in franchise history came in large part to his services; Lemieux potted 13 goals in 20 games (more goals than he scored all season) to earn the Conn Smythe Trophy:
There are still a few ex-Avalanche players on the market. Andrew Brunette and Scott Hanan being two that are mentioned in this article.
"I’m not sure, it was a tough year," said Brunette, who toughed out a foot injury late in the season and the playoffs. "You don’t want to leave this way but there’s times when the game tells you to leave and you don’t have decision. We’ll see, I’m not sure. I’m going to let it decompress, come up for air and make some kind of decision."
Cory Schneider is trying to reassure fans.
Prominent hockey agent Kurt Overhardt called the NHL’s first bargaining proposal to its players "embarrassing, arrogant, short-sighted and greedy" but Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider, a member of the players’ bargaining committee, cautioned Monday it’s too early to panic.
In the proposal, which came to light Friday in news reports from RDS and the New York Post, the owners want the players to reduce their share of the revenue pie to 46 from 57% in a new collective bargaining agreement while increasing the years of service towards unrestricted free agency to 10 from seven. They also want entry-level contracts to increase to five years from three, restrict the length of long-term deals to five years and eliminate signing bonuses, front-loaded contracts and salary arbitration.
Don't forget to come back later to read Brett's interview with Scott Parker. I've always had an uber soft spot for The Sheriff, and I was not disappointed.