Jun 082012

The Thursday June 7th edition of PuckChatter~Radio

Chris Block answers (in come cases; or tries to) listener questions on topics ranging from Joel Quenneville’s dysfunctional coaching staff, the Bowmans, Adam Clendening, Derek Boogaard, the NHL Finals, update on Block’s door woman, first date horror story, the Chicago Blues Festival, express lanes, the upcoming draft and to his ascension to the role of relationship and romance adviser.

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Chris Block will be the guest this Sunday night on Hockeenight.com‘s PuckCast previewing the NHL draft.

Aug 312011
“Maggie” – photo credit: SI Vault

“Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an’ what’s the reason for?
“Not us,” says the angry crowd,
Whose screams filled the arena loud.
It’s too bad he died that night
But we just like to see a good fight.
We didn’t mean for him t’ meet his death,
We just meant to see some sweat,
There ain’t nothing wrong in that.
It wasn’t us that made him fall.
No, you can’t blame us at all.” – Bob Dylan

By Rich Lindbloom

The recent deaths of Bob Probert. Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien have stirred a hornet’s nest in the minds and hearts of hockey fans and critics. Hockey’s numerous detractors are quick to point out the accumulative effects of getting pummeled by an opponent leads to serious brain damage. They claim it is barbaric for modern day hockey to tolerate fighting to appease the blood thirsty fans who are packing the modern day equivalent of the Roman Coliseum.

Ian Brown had an excellent article on NHL enforcers last week that was a great read. Even more interesting than the article, were the numerous replies elicited by his piece. I read over 50 of the replies, finding the majority of them condemned fighting in the NHL. One dad said the “goon” aspect of hockey is why he has steered his son into other sports. Another response to the article stated, “the relatively violence free, international hockey grows in popularity and is a joy to watch.” Someone else decried that it seemed like every team has one dummy (Domi – in his words) on the team. Continue reading »

May 132011

Current ESPN and TSN hockey analyst Matthew Barnaby was arrested on Friday in Amherst, New York, just outside of Buffalo.

Barnaby is charged with four criminal counts and aggravated mischief, according to a Buffalo News report.  Police were called to a residence at 6:15pm eastern tonight.  Barnaby had already left the scene by the time police arrived but was arrested a short time later.

Barnaby will spend tonight in jail and is scheduled to be arraigned Saturday on charges of criminal mischief, criminal trespass, harassment, criminal contempt and aggravated harrassment.

Two women were involved in the alleged incident.  The exact location of the incident has so far been kept off the record to protect the identities of the two victims.  Amherst Police told WIVB.com that they found “serious” damage to the property and Barnaby continued to harass the two women by phone after he left the scene.  The report stated the women were uninjured.

Barnaby spent one season with the Blackhawks, playing in all 82 games in the 2005-06 season.  He scored 8 goals and 20 assists while also posting a team-leading 178 penalty minutes during a Hawks’ 65 point season.

He’s most know for his seven seasons in the Buffalo Sabres organization (92-99), followed by three in Pittsburgh, parts of two in Tampa Bay, three with the NY Rangers and a brief stint in Colorado after a late season trade from New York in 2004.

Then on July 2, 2004, Barnaby inked a 3-year $5.4 million contract with the Chicago Blackhawks despite the fact a 2004-05 NHL work stoppage was a foregone conclusion and pending uncertainty of an expected salary cap, the first of its kind in the NHL.  The Hawks also signed Curtis Brown that day and Jassen Cullimore (4 years, $10M) a few weeks later.  Cullimore had just won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay.  Interesting fact, all three of those contracts would eventually be bought out.  Barnaby and Brown agreed to buyouts after just one season.  Cullimore was traded to Montreal where the Canadiens immediately negotiated a buyout of his deal.  (Montreal did this because it actually cost them less than it would have to keep Sergei Samsonov under contract.  But Chicago wanted him, or at least was desperate enough to give Samsonov a try, so that’s how that came about).  The Hawks carried a $456,000 cap hit from 2006-10 for the Brown buyout and $443,000 for four seasons due to the Barnaby buyout.

After accepting the Hawks’ $2.4M buyout, Barnaby signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Stars for $625,000 and was introduced to the Dallas media at a press conference along with new Stars; Darryl Sydor, Jaroslav Modry, Jeff Halpern and Eric Lindros.

Post-concussion syndrome ended Barnaby’s career after that one season in Dallas.  He retired in July of 2007 at the age of 34.

Barnaby is the current ESPN hockey analyst alongside Barry Melrose.  He amassed 2,562 penalty minutes and 300 points (113+187) in 832 regular season games.

An ESPN spokesperson, when asked for comment by USA Today, said “We just learned of this so it would be inappropriate for us to comment.”

Curtis Brown finally sold his former Chicago residence last October, for 160,000 less (1.4M) than he paid for it in 2004.  Craig Adams rented the Lakeview home while he was a Blackhawk.  Brown first put the house on the market in 2007 for $1.79M.

Barnaby update – 11:15a.m. 5/14/11:

The Buffalo News has just posted a report (with a photo of Barnaby leaving the courthouse this morning) on this morning’s arraignment included with more details of Friday’s incident.

Barnaby plead not-guilty to all counts.  There was no physical altercation between Barnaby and the two women, Barnaby’s ex-wife and another women, believed to be a non-relative friend of his ex-wife.  The court issued a strict no-contact order against Barnaby which prohibits Barnaby from having any contact with the two women, even through a third-party.

The criminal mischief count is a felony charge that could carry a prison term of up to four years if convicted.

— In other news, former Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard passed away Friday.  He was 28.

According to reports, Boogaard was found dead early Friday evening by relatives at his homein Minneapolis.  No other details were made available.  The news broke late Friday night.

Update:  10:30a.m. 05/14/11

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said they won’t have a cause of death today.

Two very good stories on Boogaard and the little known right now on his passing are up now.  Both are written by Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  Russo is the paper’s Wild reporter and covered Boogaard’s five seasons with the Wild.  He was also a friend of Boogaard.  In early March while in New York covering Wild games, Russo was an in-studio guest on NHL Live and mentioned he was going out for coffee with Boogaard after his show appearance.

Here are Russo’s stories


Personal blog:  http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/121826023.html

NY Rangers statement:  http://rangers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=562775

Minnesota Wild statement:  http://wild.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=562780

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released this statement:

The news that we have lost someone so young and so strong leaves everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened. The NHL family sends its deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Derek Boogaard, to those who played and worked with him and to everyone who enjoyed watching him compete.

Boogaard played his final game on December 9, 2010 for the Rangers in a game at Ottawa.  Boogaard suffered a serious concussion in a fight with Senators defenseman Matt Carkner at 17:29 of the first period. Boogaard never skated another shift.

You can watch the fight here.

Boogaard always claimed he suffered the concussion not from the big right hand Carkner connected on but when his head hit the ice.  Marian Gaborik was one of Boogaard’s closest friends in hockey.