Undoubtedly the NHL’s current biggest rivalry, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins will resume their bitter feud on the NHL’s largest regular season stage – the 4th Annual Winter Classic. Led by the game’s two biggest stars, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, the Caps and Pens will square off at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day. The game is so big that it is the current subject of HBO’s critically acclaimed 24/7 series. As the official outfitter of the NHL, Reebok has decided to mark the occasion by dropping their Pro Zig Energy sneaker in Capitals and Penguins colorways. Both styles are currently available to purchase here at Eastbay.
Both sneakers feature black synthetic leather and mesh uppers with a section of patent running above the midsole. Below sits Reebok’s trademark Zig sole in white, which matches the provided laces. For Pittsburgh, a color called Winter Classic Yellow has been used as an accent. The Capitals get Winter Classic Blue, matching one of their team colors.
Available: Reebok Pro Zig Energy Winter Classic Pack
For some it seems like yesterday that Jeremy Roenick spilled his emotions while watching his former team lift the Stanley Cup, but for others the off-season has seemed like an eternity. Either way, fans of hockey are back in business as today marks the beginning of the 2010-2011 National League Hockey season.
In the Eastern Conference, although the NHL wouldn’t approve the 17-year deal New Jersey made with Ilya Kovalchuk, they did give the approval to a 15-year deal that will have expectations for the Devils. However, many eyes will be on the team that had the best record in the league last year, the Washington Capitals. The Capitals were the favorite by many to take the Stanley Cup last season, and their regular season efforts left them above and beyond all others. But, they did suffer one of the most disappointing losses in all of sports this year, falling in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens.
Look for Alex Ovechkin to lead the Capitals deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, and on his way taking on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in what has become one of the most popular events of the NHL season, the Winter Classic. This year’s Winter Classic will take place at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day of 2011. The Winter Classic brings hockey to a larger audience than normal with its outdoor venue, and it also adds a level of real-life innocence to the game that is often lost amongst professional sports. For 2011, the Winter Classic will be a highlight due to the fact that the first Winter Classic in 2008 also featured the Pittsburgh Penguins, who ultimately won the inaugural event behind Sidney Crosby’s shootout goal.
In the Western Conference, of course, the Chicago Blackhawks will look to repeat last year’s Stanley Cup Title, but they will do so without their highly regarded goaltender, Antti Niemi. Niemi joined the San Jose Sharks in the off-season after the Blackhawks decided to let him become a free agent. Of course for the Sharks, they’ll remain one of the top teams in the Western Conference again this season, but as San Jose fans can attest, being the favorite hasn’t held much weight when it comes to bringing home the Stanley Cup.
Let us know who your team is and check out the NHL Collection available at Eastbay.
images via yahoo
San Jose experienced it most recently. Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Chicago did before that. Even Los Angeles had the pleasure of having legendary NHL center Jeremy Roenick as a part of their team over his twenty year hockey career.
Roenick was a fan favorite everywhere he played, in large part because of his hustle. From the time he first stepped on to the ice in 1988 for the Chicago Blackhawks, Jeremy Roenick gave his all every shift, until he decided to take off his skates for the final time as a San Jose Shark in 2009. Jeremy Roenick made an impact on American hockey that very few players have ever done.
For me, Roenick created the ultimate confused young hockey fan. Growing up as the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks fan, yes, both teams, Roenick was somewhat of the best of both worlds as a player you love to hate, and then learn to love. Roenick gave nightmares to the Avalanche in the years when their Colorado era began, and then became the face of the Sharks as his career came to an end. Living as a fan that experienced both dealing with Roenick as an opposing player, and then finding myself cheering for him years later, I can attest to how big he was to the sport of hockey in the United States. He brought a level of excitement that up-and-coming players should aim to bring to the game.
It was announced today that Jeremy Roenick will be honored and inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in Minnesota later this year.
Roenick’s legacy includes stats like being the third-highest US-born goal scorer (513) in NHL history behind only Mike Modano (557) and Keith Tkachuk (538). Jeremy Roenick’s career with Chicago, one of the Original Six, included 267 goals, leaving him seventh on the Blackhawks all-time goals list.
Over his twenty year career Jeremy Roenick scored 1,216 points in 1,363 games, scoring 513 goals and handing out 703 assists. He was voted onto the All Star team nine times in his career, and in International play, helped the USA National team win a Silver Medal in the 2002 Olympics.
Roenick’s commitment to the sport could be experienced this last season while he was announcing the Chicago Blackhawks ended their Stanley Cup drought, Roenick couldn’t hold back the tears, which once again showed his passion for the sport of hockey that he passed along to fans and aspiring players.
image via yahoo
If you thought LeBron James signing with the Miami Heat was a big deal, you might not be a hockey fan. The free agency craze isn’t just for basketball, and the biggest free agent in hockey just inked an unbelievable deal.
According to the Associated Press, in one of the highest dollar and longest contracts, in NHL history, the New Jersey Devils re-signed wing man Ilya Kovalchuk to an awe-inspiring 17 year deal worth $102 million.
Kovalchuk is 27 years old today, and if he plays out the entire contract, he’ll be 44 years old when it’s up. The deal is setup to where Kovalchuk will make $6 million a year for the next two years, then $11.5 million for the following five seasons, then steadily decreasing until the 2020-2021 season when he will play for $500,000 a year for the final five years of the deal.
The superstar has 338 goals and 304 assists in his first eight years in the league. With this deal, the New Jersey Devils will remain the favorite in the Atlantic Division, looking to win their third straight division title.
If the Devils can figure out a way to get passed the Philadelphia Flyers, who took them out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, they have a pretty good shot at winning a title with Kovalchuk inked to this long of a deal. Aside from a deal like this being unprecedented, it ensures that both Ilya, and the Devils are committed to winning a title.
New Jersey fans should be excited, a commitment to excellence like this doesn’t happen often, in fact, never before has a player been signed for such a long term deal.
Last night the Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks delivered the victory that ended a 49 year absence of the Stanley Cup in the city of Chicago. Blackhawk fans and players past and present are likely still celebrating the victory that seemed to be their destiny this season.
You can order both the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks hat and tee shirt now to celebrate this unforgettable season for Chicago Blackhawks hockey.
Available now: Chicago Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup Champions Hat & Tee Shirt