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While playing with the Penguins, McClelland learned a number of tips on how to fight better from Paul Baxter, a fellow southpaw, who went on to become his adversary. McClelland had several highlight-reel bouts with the scrappy Flame, including a dominant knockout victory over his former mentor.

Rink Recollections: Kevin McClelland, 1981-1994

  By Brian D’Ambrosio, Kevin McClelland joined the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1981 assuming that he would be a ‘mucker’ and a ‘grinder’. Two seasons later, he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers and his role changed from ‘grinder’ to guardian. Overflowing with the skillful likes of Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, and Paul Coffey, the team [...]

The Date Changes, but the theme Remains the Same

Snow vs. Torrey

Oh, no they didn’t. Yes, we did. How could you compare Garth Snow against Bill Torrey?   How could you? Torrey was “the Architect” that put together 5 straight cup appearances and 4 wins, for a record across all major sports 19 consecutive playoff series wins. Better than the Jordan Bulls, or the DiMaggio – [...]

Jamie Huscroft: Rink Recollections of a Journeyman’s Career

Jamie Huscroft: Rink Recollections of a Journeyman’s Career

By Brian D’Ambrosio It’s often said that simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. Jamie Huscroft’s formula as a hockey player was simple – and reliable. Play laboriously. Lead by example. Answer the bell. That recipe secured him a spot on the rosters of seven teams, guided him through three hundred and fifty two regular season National [...]

Too Many Rooks Spoil the Group?

Too Many Rooks Spoil the Group?

As we sit here at the dawn of summer, coming off a briefly extended but overall positive season, many writers, bloggers, and pundits have started to offer their ideas of what we will see next.  We’re no exception to that rule. There is a great chance that the forwards and defensemen currently on this team [...]

Hockey Independent Playoff Roundtable: 2013 Conference Finals Predictions

Hockey Independent Playoff Roundtable: 2013 Conference Finals Predictions

With the first game of the 2013 conference finals set to begin in just a few hours, five members of the Hockey Independent writing staff have come together to predict which team will be representing their conference in the Stanley Cup. The contributing authors to today’s piece will be Cris Cohen (New York Rangers), Seth Levin (New Jersey Devils),  Bill [...]

Remember when you all thought Thing 1 was coming home? For DP? HAHAHA

Roberto Luongo? Where’d We Hear That One Before?

For those who faithfully read this blog, you may recall our article from May 23, 2013 titled “Well, that was fun. Now back to work!” The piece identified holes that the Islanders have in their 8th seeded team and a roadmap on how to improve the team at each position in which we saw deficits. [...]

Bailey's Gym?

The Curious Case of Josh Bailey

Josh Bailey was the first ever first round pick of Garth Snows master plan.  Even though there was a draft prior to the ’08 draft, and even though we are told Garth actually doesn’t draft, let’s just go with the premise that a rebuild started with Bailey.  One could argue that the Islanders made the [...]

Well, That Was Fun. Now Back to Work!

Well, That Was Fun. Now Back to Work!

We know it’s been a while since we posted, but we wanted to bask in the rare light of an Islanders playoff appearance by taking in the games, atmosphere, and enjoyment that came with a series that ran one game longer than we predicted which included two embarrassing shutouts, yet somehow left Islander fans with the feeling that [...]

Hockey Independent Playoff Roundtable: 2013 Round 2 Predictions

Hockey Independent Playoff Roundtable: 2013 Round 2 Predictions

With the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin just a few hours from now, five members of the Hockey Independent writing staff have come together to predict each and every first round series of this year’s postseason. The contributing authors to today’s piece will be Cris Cohen (New York Rangers), Seth Levin (New Jersey [...]

Hockey Independent Playoff Roundtable: 2013 First Round Predictions

Hockey Independent Playoff Roundtable: 2013 First Round Predictions

With the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin just a few hours from now, four members of the Hockey Independent writing staff have come together to predict each and every first round series of this year’s postseason. The contributing authors to today’s piece will be Cris Cohen (New York Rangers), Seth Levin (New Jersey Devils),  Bill Philp (Tampa Bay Lightning) [...]

“I knew that if I played a tough game – and not many guys did – that would only help in their decision of whether or not to keep me,” says Odgers, who played 12 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and Atlanta Thrashers. “So I erred on the side of scrapping more.”

Rink Recollections: Jeff Odgers, NHL, 1991-2003

  By Brian D’Ambrosio Jeff Odgers played every NHL game as if it were his final. He never took a game for granted –scared that his career could fade away at any moment.  Odgers scrapped and gritted his way onto the roster and he made sure he never provided his coaches with a sufficient reason to [...]

What do you think is in the burgers?

The Rebuild Needs Better Blueprints

When Garth Snow announced the rebuild before the 2008 season, somehow his terrible draft of 2007 was expunged from his resume, and he was FINALLY able to build a team with first round picks that would be a representation of his vision. Nitpickers like us will argue that Snow actually got a 2007 lottery pick, [...]

Honey, I Lost the Kids (part 2 of 2)

Honey, I Lost the Kids (part 2 of 2)

In the first part of this epic, we promised three pieces of evidence to explain how Garth Snow does things with the sole intention of job preservation. We pointed out how he is relatively awful at drafting in part one. Part two will speak to other shortcomings, starting here: Two- Garth Snow uses salary cap [...]

He's a really nice guy.

Honey, I Lost the Kids – part one of two

It’s almost like a reflex when you ask hockey fans about the best way to build a winner “It’s the draft!” Drafting allow you to develop players or trade for established ones. Since the Isles have had no playoffs since 07-08, they’ve been in rebuild mode. We’re going to look at this draft rebuild with [...]

Hey Charles, sell advertising on my ass!

Hockey Myths Exposed – Defensemen Need Time to Develop

Anyone who has watched more than a handful of hockey games gets serenaded with statements that are undisputed in the hockey world, but in reality it doesnt make a lot of sense. We’ve already disproved the myth that power forwards need years to develop in our article “Ninogate,” in which we use the “talent is [...]

Fan Un-Appreciation

Fan Un-Appreciation

Lets start with some basic info. The “authors” of this blog are two former Islander ticket holders. Although we ended our tickets at different times and for different reasons, one thing both of us felt was the lack of appreciation by the Islanders team in taking care of their fans. As a season ticket holder, [...]

Destination Unknown, Part 3

Destination Unknown, Part 3

Part Three: Free Agents aren’t actually Free Chronicling the failures of the Garth Snow regime takes time, energy, and ideally, beer. In fact, watching the Islanders play is best done through a haze of sudsy goodness. We suggest that if you’re looking for a Belgian Style ale that’s full of deliciousness, you’d be good to [...]

Hockey Independent Roundtable: Preseason Stanley Cup Predictions

Hockey Independent Roundtable: Preseason Stanley Cup Predictions

Hello everyone and welcome again to the Hockey Independent Roundtable. In today’s piece, five HI writers will provide you all with their early picks for the playoffs ad the Stanley Cup. This piece will double as Part III of my five-part 2013 NHL season preview. Part I –> Northeast Division Preview Part II –> Eastern [...]

Jay Wells was the epitome of the ‘role player’, a proud participant who never quit or groused, a reliable, solid defensive defenseman. “In 18 years in the NHL, there were not all that many pats on the back,” says Wells. Courtesy photo

Jay Wells: Rugged Defenseman Reflects on Scrappy 18-Year NHL Career

By Brian D’Ambrosio Jay Wells selflessly battled numerous enforcers of substantial note: Bob Probert, Jay Miller, Dave Brown (a few times) and Marty McSorley, among the list. One of the game’s exemplary teammates, his career spanned from 1979 to 1997, a period in which Wells stood up to the roughest individuals to ever to patrol [...]

Bruins Extra: Ryan Spooner, Torey Krug could make an NHL impact sooner than you think

Bruins Extra: Ryan Spooner, Torey Krug could make an NHL impact sooner than you think

Hello everyone, and welcome to the next edition “Bruins Extra”, to be featured here on Hockey Independent after each and every Bruins — be it Boston or Providence — game that hockey writer Benjamin Woodward is assigned to cover. The blog will feature in-depth analysis of individual performances, big moments in the game or any [...]