Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Los Angeles Kings

By: Nick Lanciani

I continue to explore an important element of the game and what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future. While there’s only a finite set of numbers to utilize on the back of a jersey, many teams choose to retire (or honor) some numbers based on extraordinary circumstances, dedication to the organization, or legendary status.

Many thoughts went through my head in each and every consideration. Feel free to agree or disagree- I want to know what you, the fans, consider worthy when evaluating a player, their career, and whether or not their number should be retired by a franchise. I am interested in seeing what you have to say, assuming you are actually a fan of the team and/or player that you argue for or against. Drop us a line in the comments or tweet to @DtFrozenRiver using #DTFRNumbersGame.

For each team, I thought of former and current players that should have their numbers retired now or once they hang up the skates.

UnknownLos Angeles Kings

Current Retired Numbers- 4 Rob Blake, 16 Marcel Dionne, 18 Dave Taylor, 20 Luc Robitaille, 30 Rogie Vachon, 99 Wayne Gretzky

Recommended Numbers to Retire

32 Jonathan Quick

Quick is one of the best goaltenders in Los Angeles Kings history. Period. Also, he has two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings that also happen to be the first two Cups in the entire existence of their franchise, so yeah, Quick’s kind of a big deal in Los Angeles.

Don't you ever wish you could be as slick as Quick?(Photo via nhlpa.com)
Don’t you ever wish you could be as slick as Quick?(Photo via nhlpa.com)

8 Drew Doughty

Drew Doughty is the Rob Blake of our current era for the Los Angeles Kings. It would be only fitting that when Doughty retires someday, the Kings hang up his number as well.

23 Dustin Brown

Brown’s a King for life and helped bring two Stanley Cups in three years to Los Angeles (2012 and 2014). The Kings have many current stars within their organization as a result of the strong teams they’ve put together for the last few years. With the exception of missing the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Los Angeles is still a team to be on the lookout for. Sure it might be a lot of retired numbers one day for the Kings, but it’ll be a lot of meaningful numbers for players that were intrinsically connected to significant events in franchise history.

Anze Kopitar is worthy someday, you guys. I shouldn't have to write anything else. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Anze Kopitar is worthy someday, you guys. I shouldn’t have to write anything else. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

11 Anze Kopitar

Kopitar is a Kings great and he’s only turning 28 on August 24th. At this point I’d be repeating myself to say everything that I’ve already said, so I’ll just stop writing now.

Other Notes

Who knows what numbers may eventually be retired from That 70s Line someday. Many of the Kings players are still under 30 years old, so it’s difficult to predict how well each player will perform in their career, let alone be around with Los Angeles in their career.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Florida Panthers

By: Nick Lanciani

My look at what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future continues. While there’s only a finite set of numbers to utilize on the back of a jersey, many teams choose to retire (or honor) some numbers based on extraordinary circumstances, dedication to the organization, or legendary status.

Many thoughts went through my head in each and every consideration. Feel free to agree or disagree- I want to know what you, the fans, consider worthy when evaluating a player, their career, and whether or not their number should be retired by a franchise. I am interested in seeing what you have to say, assuming you are actually a fan of the team and/or player that you argue for or against. Drop us a line in the comments or tweet to @DtFrozenRiver using #DTFRNumbersGame.

For each team, I thought of former and current players that should have their numbers retired now or once they hang up the skates.

Unknown-2Florida Panthers

Current Retired Numbers- 93 Bill Torrey

Recommended Numbers to Retire

13 Olli Jokinen

Plenty of great players have had brief stints with the Florida Panthers, believe it or not. Pavel Bure, John Vanbiesbrouck, and others were once the main attraction in Florida. Those former star players, however, never spent as much time as Jokinen did with the Panthers.

Granted, Olli Jokinen is no longer a part of the Panthers (and unlikely to ever return at this point in his career), his numerous 60+ point seasons- including three consecutive seasons of 70+ points between the 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 seasons- while in Florida have earned him some recognition once he retires. Although he began his career in Los Angeles, Jokinen really stands out as a product of development while in Florida.

Roberto Luongo certainly loves the warm weather of Florida as the occasional beachball has been spotted in his net. I'm only kidding, just wanted to make you laugh. No hard feelings, Lu. (Robert Mayer, USA TODAY Sports)
Roberto Luongo certainly loves the warm weather of Florida as the occasional beachball has been spotted in his net. I’m only kidding, just wanted to make you laugh. No hard feelings, Lu. (Robert Mayer, USA TODAY Sports)

1 Roberto Luongo

By the time Roberto Luongo will begin considering retirement, he will have likely spent ten years of his career with the Panthers (split over two stints). He is the winningest goaltender in franchise history, having surpassed Vanbiesbrouck in 2006. While it’s likely the Vancouver Canucks will find a way to honor Luongo’s career after all is said and done, Luongo’s heart, soul, and greatest fans reside in Florida.

Other Notes

The Florida Panthers are still a young organization. I’m sure we’ll see them retire a number or two within the next ten years or in at least ten years- like Jonathan Huberdeau’s.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Edmonton Oilers

By: Nick Lanciani

The exploration of an important element of the game continues. I take a look at what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future. While there’s only a finite set of numbers to utilize on the back of a jersey, many teams choose to retire (or honor) some numbers based on extraordinary circumstances, dedication to the organization, or legendary status.

Many thoughts went through my head in each and every consideration. Feel free to agree or disagree- I want to know what you, the fans, consider worthy when evaluating a player, their career, and whether or not their number should be retired by a franchise. I am interested in seeing what you have to say, assuming you are actually a fan of the team and/or player that you argue for or against. Drop us a line in the comments or tweet to @DtFrozenRiver using #DTFRNumbersGame.

For each team, I thought of former and current players that should have their numbers retired now or once they hang up the skates.

200px-Logo_Edmonton_Oilers.svgEdmonton Oilers

Current Retired Numbers- 3 Al Hamilton, 7 Paul Coffey, 9 Glenn Anderson, 11 Mark Messier, 17 Jari Kurri, 31 Grant Fuhr, 99 Wayne Gretzky, 3542 Rod Phillips

Recommended Numbers to Retire

94 Ryan Smyth

Smyth absolutely adored Edmonton and Edmonton fans absolutely adored Smyth, it’s only logical that the Oilers retire his jersey. *Disclaimer, they may already be doing so, please don’t hurt me if they are. I’m just putting him under this category as his number is technically not retired yet.

As for anyone else… Lolololololololololololol. Although I guess maybe Chris Pronger’s number 44 is just about the only other jersey number that comes to mind right now. Maybe that’s just because he shut me down too many times in NHL 2001. Then again, it looks like we might have to start taking the Oilers seriously again for the first time in years.

With that said, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Connor McDavid are at least three more current Oilers with decent chances of seeing long careers in Edmonton that result in seeing their numbers rise to the rafters. Nail Yakupov on the other hand…

Down the Frozen River Podcast #11- The 2015-2016 Regular Season is Underway!

The Down the Frozen River crew talks about the first few days of the 2015-2016 regular season. Also discussed, Milan Lucic and Dustin Brown’s actions, John Tortorella, Raffi Torres, fighting in hockey, Zack Kassian, and some of the matches from week one of the 2015-2016 regular season.

Surprisingly not mentioned this week- Zach Boychuk, Pete Blackburn, DJ Bean, and Brunch. Pardon our slight audio issue, we hope to have that fixed next time. As always, thanks for listening.

Join the conversation, make a suggestion, or ask a question for our next podcast using #AskDownTheFrozenRiver or #DTFRPodcast on Twitter- your thoughts might make it on our show (and we really mean it this time, because we’re going to have a new segment for your thoughts next time)! <– We said that last statement last week but this time we really, really, mean it. Please interact with us.

October 8, 2015 – Day Two

Last night’s Game of the Night between the New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks ended in a Blueshirts‘ 3-2 winner.  Center Derek Stepan, assisted by Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider, scored the eventual game-winner with less than a minute left… in the first period.  The Hawks could only muster a goal 6:55 into the second period for the remainder of the game.  Although they lost, Chicago put 34 shots on goal (compared to New York‘s 27), but the Blueshirts made sure one more of their’s counted.

Tonight’s action involves seven games, all played on American soil… er… frozen water.  The Winnipeg Jets are visiting the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. eastern), the Ottawa Senators are visiting the Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. eastern), the Philadelphia Flyers are visiting the Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 p.m. eastern), the Edmonton Oilers are visiting the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. eastern), the Carolina Hurricanes are visiting the Nashville Predators (8 p.m. eastern), the Pittsburgh Penguins are visiting the Dallas Stars (8:30 p.m. eastern), and the Minnesota Wild are visiting the Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m. eastern, NBCSN).

Judging from expected quality of the game, me, and thus Down the Frozen River (Look at all the power I have!), can make only one choice for our Game of the Night.

Pittsburgh Penguins LogoUnknown-5

Thanks in large part to the trade for Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh is expected to have improved this season from last, and tonight will be their first real opportunity to show that where it counts: the regular season.  Another team that has improved, maybe even more so from last season to this season, is the Dallas Stars.  Colby has the Stars taking the Central Division crown after missing the Stanley Cup playoffs by seven points.  While not all of us here at Down the Frozen River are yet convinced of that, we do agree that Dallas has made strong moves toward being highly competitive.

Currently, the Stars are favored in the matchup, but I expect a highly competitive game.  It goes without saying that the Penguins have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in their arsenal, two players that already have significant reputations for scoring.  But Dallas is now the home of Antti Niemi, Johnny Oduya and Patrick Sharp, all of whom have at least one Stanley Cup to their résumé and will want to impose their winning habits early on their new squad.

It should be an excellent game.

Colby’s Corner: Bold Predictions Part 1

Bold Predictions will be a two-part series where I, Colby, will discuss who I think will and won’t make the playoffs this season and why. The first part will be the teams who will make the playoffs and the order I think we will see them in. Now remember, these are my opinions. If you disagree, feel free to leave a comment; we always appreciate feedback.

Eastern Conference

Atlantic                                   Metropolitan                                        Wild Cards

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning           1. Washington Capitals                 1. Columbus Blue Jackets (M)
  2. Montreal Canadiens             2. Pittsburgh Penguins                 2. New York Islanders (M)
  3. Ottawa Senators                    3. New York Rangers
The real surprises in my predictions for the Eastern Conference playoff teams are first, choosing five teams from the Metropolitan, and secondly, Ottawa having the number three division spot.
Five teams from Metropolitan- I chose these five teams because I believe these teams have improved dramatically. With the Capitals and Penguins’ additions this off-season, they will be top two in this division without a doubt. The Islanders’ sliding down to the last wildcard spot was a tough choice of mine; I looked at the teams left from both divisions and felt like the Islanders were the best team left of both divisions.
Ottawa at number three- The Senators deserved to make the playoffspic ottawa bold predictions 1 last season and no one can debate the fact that they were good enough even with their 3rd string (at the time) goalie. This season, with Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond healthy, they should be able to add more points than last season and take that division spot away from the other teams in the NHL.
                                        Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Western Conference

Pacific                                   Central                                    Wild Cards

  1. Anaheim Ducks                1. Dallas Stars                   1. Chicago Blackhawks (C)
  2. Calgary Flames                 2. St Louis Blues               2. Colorado Avalanche (C)
  3. Los Angeles Kings            3. Minnesota Wild

The major surprises I feel in my Western predictions are Dallas at the top of the Central and Colorado getting a wild card spot.

Dallas to the top- Dallas is at the top because of one word: OFFSEASON. The additions of two multiple Stanley Cup pic dallas bold predcitions 1champions—Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya—not to mention another Stanley Cup champion in Antti Niemi between the posts, leaves Dallas with an advantage. So with two number one goalies with experience paired with the young talent of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, there is no way Dallas doesn’t make the playoffs. If Dallas tops their division, I know that GM will be getting a raise, and he’s got an A in my book.

Glenn James/NHLI/Getty Images

Colorado as a wild card- I like Colorado and I like how they have built up their organization. This offseason pic colorado Bold perdictions 1they knew an upgrade was needed at the blue line and they got this with young kids Nikita Zadorov and Brandon Gormely along with veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin. I think with these additions they will be able to protect Semyon Varlamov better and get the puck to bounce in the right direction, giving them a chance at the playoffs again.

                                                                                                      Joe Mahoney / AP

DTFR Looks Better Than Ever: Official Logos Unveiled

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHARLOTTE, NC (October 7, 2015)- Down the Frozen River is proud to present our brand new official logos that were so wonderfully designed by a friend of a friend, Courtney Lee- a student at NC State University!

We asked Lee a few questions about the designing process, her art and her aspirations in general.

IMG_8397
The new Down the Frozen River wordmark that will appear on the website’s header and on related DTFR materials.

Where do you go to school and what are you majoring in?

I recently just transferred to NC State where I plan on majoring in Textile Engineering and minoring in either design or graphic communication.

What is your one of your future goals?

One of my future goals is to have a job that challenges me creatively.

What kind of art do you like to dabble in?

I like to do it all! From painting to creating a 3D model in SolidWorks- I like to think that everything I make can be thought of as art!

Where do you get your inspiration from, in regards to your art?

This may be cliche but everything around me inspires me. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing that inspires me because there are so many things.

Well, we love our new logos- thank you very much for helping us out and making our brand come to life.

Haha, thanks! 🙂

Lastly, do you have a blog or website we could hyperlink to showcase your work?

I don’t have a blog or website, but I’m starting to think that I should make one because you’re not the first to ask haha… Is it possible to give this to you later?

Yes, of course. *We’re all dying to see what other awesome things you create, Courtney, please get on that so we can help show it off!*

IMG_8399
Down the Frozen River’s new circular logo which will appear on all DTFR social media platforms.

And now for a little bit about how these logos came into creation…

First, our founder, Nick Lanciani, jotted down a list of goals back on April 26th, including one about creating a Down the Frozen River logo or having someone create a Down the Frozen River logo.

Then, at the season ending meeting between the three members of Down the Frozen River, Lanciani pitched the idea. DTFR analyst, Colby Kephart, knew someone who knew someone that might be willing to lend her hand.

That’s where the wonderfully artistic, Courtney Lee, comes in!

Through an exchange of communication, the Down the Frozen River crew suggested their basic required elements for a logo 1) it had to include an homage to the first “unofficial” logo (the net) and 2) it could take on a life of its own anywhere from there (with artistic expression highly encouraged)!

After a few rough drafts, including darker, more maroon shades of red, the Down the Frozen River crew came to an agreement on this cardinal red set of logos.

The round logo is meant to represent a crest that would go on the front of a jersey and will be seamlessly implemented into all Down the Frozen River social media platforms. The word mark logo pays homage to the old beat-up driveway hockey net in the “unofficial” logo, while creating a lasting impression of its own and establishing a more formal heading for our website.

Thank you again to Courtney Lee for her exceptional work and helping make Down the Frozen River’s brand come to life.

About Down the Frozen River: Down the Frozen River is a hockey blog that was created in 2014, by a college student with a life long dream of writing about hockey. By October 2014, he was finally able to convince two of his friends to join the crew and since January, all three content creators have been making huge strides in bringing Down the Frozen River to life with the goal of having daily content for hockey fans around the world to enjoy. Down the Frozen River is not affiliated with the National Hockey League or any of its member clubs and is by no means perfect- we’re always working to improve and look forward to hearing your compliments, comments, or complaints. For more information or to just to send us an email in general, please contact downthefrozenriver@gmail.com.

###

October 7, 2015 – Opening Day

The day we’ve been waiting for since June 15th has finally arrived: Opening Day of the 2015-’16 season.  Regardless of whether your team wins their first game by 10 goals or loses by 10 goals, your life is all the better this week because skates are on the ice playing for two points that count ‘for realz’ in the standings (pardon my feeble attempts to be cool… I’ll stop now while I still have a little bit of pride left).

This year’s iteration of Opening Day includes four matchups, one for each North American time zone and evenly split between the two nations.  The season officially gets started at 7 p.m. Eastern when the Montréal Canadiens visit the new-and-seemingly-improved Toronto Maple Leafs (TVAS, SN).  An hour later, the puck drops in the United Center after a banner-raising ceremony as the Chicago Blackhawks host the New York Rangers (NBCSN).  After the conclusion of the HabsLeafs game at 10 p.m. Eastern, SN viewers will be whisked off to Alberta to witness the first rematch of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs waged between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames (the game will also be available for viewing on TVAS2 in Canada).  Half an hour later, the fourth and final game of the night begins in the Staples Center when the San Jose Sharks visit the Los Angeles Kings (NBCSN).

But Connor, whatever shall the Game of the Day be? (That’s right, you just used the word ‘shall.’ How astute of you).

New York Rangers LogoCHl8Si-W8AACHtt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think I’m going to go with the banner raising ceremony and what should be the highly competitive game between the Blueshirts and the Hawks.  As much as it’s been documented that I do not like Chicago, there’s only one defending Stanley Cup champion, and only one banner raising ceremony for them.

Not only is this a special moment for the team and league as a whole, the game should be fairly competitive, and it will be interesting to see Blackhawks‘ 2015-’16 form after their well-documented salary cap management during the offseason.  The other side of the ice is no slouch either, and intends to return to their 2014 Stanley Cup Finalist form with King Henrik in goal.

An added perk of this game is, with it hopefully being pretty competitive, we may get the chance to see some 3-on-3 overtime hockey in a real-game setting.  If it is anything like it was in the preseason, you definitely won’t want to blink.

Best of luck to you and your team this season!

Down the Frozen River Podcast #10- 2015-2016 Season Preview: Central Division

The Down the Frozen River crew wraps up their 2015-2016 season previews by analyzing all of the Central Division team’s offseason moves. Connor hosts the podcast for the first time ever, we get way off topic several times towards the end, and Colby and Nick profess their love for listening to Brunch (which has nothing to do with hockey, but we mentioned it anyway).

Join the conversation, make a suggestion, or ask a question for our next podcast using #AskDownTheFrozenRiver or #DTFRPodcast on Twitter- your thoughts might make it on our show (and we really mean it this time, because we’re going to have a new segment for your thoughts next time)!

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Detroit Red Wings

By: Nick Lanciani

The exploration of an important element of the game continues. I take a look at what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future. While there’s only a finite set of numbers to utilize on the back of a jersey, many teams choose to retire (or honor) some numbers based on extraordinary circumstances, dedication to the organization, or legendary status.

Many thoughts went through my head in each and every consideration. Feel free to agree or disagree- I want to know what you, the fans, consider worthy when evaluating a player, their career, and whether or not their number should be retired by a franchise. I am interested in seeing what you have to say, assuming you are actually a fan of the team and/or player that you argue for or against. Drop us a line in the comments or tweet to @DtFrozenRiver using #DTFRNumbersGame.

For each team, I thought of former and current players that should have their numbers retired now or once they hang up the skates.

Unknown-1Detroit Red Wings

Current Retired Numbers- 1 Terry Sawchuk, 5 Niklas Lidstrom, 7 Ted Lindsay, 9 Gordie Howe, 10 Alex Delvecchio, 12 Sid Abel, 19 Steve Yzerman

Recommended Numbers to Retire

39 Dominik Hasek

If Buffalo could do it, surely Detroit could too.

96 Tomas Holmstrom

Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk have been one of a kind for the Red Wings in the last decade.  (Getty Images)
Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk have been one of a kind for the Red Wings in the last decade.
(Getty Images)

Holmstrom might be a stretch, as you really have to go above an beyond by the Red Wings standards to have your number enshrined above the ice for eternity, but Holmstrom did win four Stanley Cups with Detroit after all.

That’s something that cannot be ignored, especially when it accounts for about 36% of the Red Wings 11 total Cups in franchise history, dating back to 1926.

13 Pavel Datsyuk

If the Red Wings don’t retire Datsyuk’s number once he retires, he might make a few dekes to the rafters himself to hang a banner.

40 Henrik Zetterberg

He’s been instrumental in what it means to be a Red Wing in Detroit’s current model.

Chris Osgood was a phenomenal goaltender for  Detroit and was part of the dangerous duo in the crease during Dominik Hasek's Red Wings days. (Getty Images)
Chris Osgood was a phenomenal goaltender for Detroit. (Getty Images)

30 Chris Osgood

Three Stanley Cups with the Red Wings is certainly remarkable enough to put aside number 30 from ever being in circulation again.

When you ask even an average hockey fan who’s been watching for the last decade to name some iconic goaltenders from Detroit, they’ll respond to you with the names of Osgood and Hasek.

Other Notes

The Red Wings are going to have a lot on their plate when it comes to retiring numbers within the next decade, so I’ll give them some time before I start throwing around Gustav Nyquist’s name or Niklas Kronwall’s name (or whatever).

Down the Frozen River(.com!)