Stamkos has a shot at 50: Take 5

HNIC's senior online reporter Tim Wharnsby dishes out the latest news, buzz and inside information from the hockey world.
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, right, has a shot at reaching 50 goals faster than all but two players in NHL history. ((Mike Stobe/Getty Images))

1. Savard doesn’t remember the hit

While waiting for his flight from Pittsburgh to Boston on Monday afternoon, Bruins centre Marc Savard talked to the Boston Herald about the headshot he absorbed from Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke on Sunday afternoon.

"[I have] headaches, my head’s been pounding," he said. "I just want to get back to Boston and get in my bed. I’ll see our own doctors [on Monday], then I’ll get some rest and we’ll take it from there.

"I don’t even remember taking the shot. I remember generally most of the game, but up around that point I totally don’t remember any of it.

"[Bruins trainer] Donnie [DelNegro] said I was out for a good 15-20 seconds. I remember seeing bright lights right after, and that was about it. I kind of remember waving as I went off. I knew where I was then, I guess, but I don’t remember much of it at all.

"I’ve seen the hit once [on Sunday night]. But I just wanted to go to bed. So I haven’t really examined it. I don’t remember it at all. But from what I saw, it didn’t look, I don’t know, like a very safe play or a smart play by him."

Cooke did not receive a penalty on the play. Reaction around the NHL has been that Cooke, who was suspended a total of four games in the past 14 months for questionable hits, was that the headshot by Penguins forward was a dirty play. The league has not ruled on whether Cooke will be suspended for the hit because the Penguins don’t play again until Thursday.

2. League sues former Coyotes owner

The NHL has filed a lawsuit in New York against former Phoenix Coyotes Jerry Moyes, whose attorney told the Arizona Republic that Moyes may countersue.

The league seeks at least $61.6-million US because it contends that when Moyes purchased the NHL team in 2006 he agreed not move the team for at least seven years and would not sell the team to a buyer who would relocate the Coyotes without the league’s consent.

The NHL claimed Moyes reneged on that agreement when he stopped paying the club’s bills in the fall 2008.

A year ago under Moyes, the franchise filed for bankruptcy and planned to sell the Coyotes to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who planned to relocate the team in Hamilton.

The lawsuit seeks $10 million the league spent in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, $20 million the league expects to lose running the Coyotes this season and $11.6 million owed to creditors. Among other damages, the suit also seeks $8 million that may be owed to former Phoenix head coach and managing partner Wayne Gretzky.

3. The incredible Steven Stamkos

We have Sid the Kid for Crosby and the Great Eight for Alexander Ovechkin, maybe it’s time that Steven Stamkos gets a fancy handle. How about Young Lightning in a Bottle?

Just look at the elite company the 20-year-old Stamkos has kept in the past 13 months. His current 16-game point streak is the longest in the NHL by a player this young. His 56 goals since Feb. 17, 2009 has him tied with Crosby during the same period and only three behind Ovechkin.

If Stamkos, who has scored 40 goals in 64 games this season, can score 10 more times and in Tampa Bay’s remaining 18 games, he would become the third youngest to score 50 goals and 100 points in an NHL season.

Wayne Gretzky was the youngest at 19 years, two months to score 50 with the Edmonton Oilers in 1979-80. Los Angeles Kings forward Jimmy Carson was 19 years, eight months when he checked in with 50 goals in 1987-88.

4. Crosby turned down Late Night

When the Buffalo Sabres visited the New York Rangers on Sunday, Olympic silver-medal winning goalie Ryan Miller stayed behind for an appearance on the NBC’s Today Show on Monday.

Sidney Crosby, the guy who scored the gold-medal goal on Miller, turned down an invitation to do the top 10 on The Late Show with David Letterman last week when the Penguins were in Manhattan last week.

The New York Post reported that the league was "miffed" at Crosby for spurning the publicity opportunity. Both both the NHL and Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson denied that was the case.

"I talk to the league on a regular basis, and the league couldn't be more thrilled having Sidney Crosby do all the stuff he does," Brisson told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

5. Trotz one shy of reaching the Club 400

If the Nashville Predators can notch a victory in Atlanta against the Thrashers on Tuesday, head coach Barry Trotz would reach the 400-career win mark.

He would become only the ninth coach in NHL history to win 400 games with one team (Scotty Bowman has accomplished the feat twice).

The others include: Al Arbour, NY Islanders (1,500 games, 740-537-223); Billy Reay, Chicago (1,012, 516-335-161); Toe Blake, Montreal (914, 500-255-159); Lindy Ruff, Buffalo (966, 473-354-139); Glen Sather, Edmonton (842, 464-268-110); Dick Irvin, Montreal (896, 431-313-152); Bowman, Montreal (634, 419-110-105); Jack Adams, Detroit (964, 413-390-161); Bowman, Detroit (701, 410-193-98).