2011 NHL Free Agency Roundup: Centers

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TOP NHL CENTER FREE AGENTS

 

There is no real baseball being played right now, despite what Bud Selig wants us to think.  There is no action in the NBA or NFL with both locked out and barred from their sport.  The only real sport still rolling is the NHL.  With the free agency period a little more than a week and a half old, the top players of the class have been signed to the big contracts, the accompanying pieces have been signed, and we have a general sense of what every NHL team’s line ups come this fall.  It’s time to take a look at where  the top players signed  and what more to expect this NHL offseason.  To see who the top centers are and where they went, continue after the jump.

 

Bryan Vickroy

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In Their Own Words: Madden on Vikings vs. Packers

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By Melissa S. Wollering

While Brett Favre was waffling this off-season, I, John Madden, was eating waffles with maple syrup and little chocolate sprinkles over whipped cream out of that aerosol can thingy. Oh, and I also made people believe my retirement was linked to my ability to never again commentate with Brett Favre at the helm of an NFL team.  Boy, was I wrong.  You know what I’m still right about?  Ace is the place for hardware. And the road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.

Many people believed I would come back to announce only if Favre came back to play.  You know who spread that rumor? The guy who came back to host a primetime version of his Tonight Show on the same network that moved MNF to its sister network and settled for football on Sunday nights.  Now Football Night in America has a bunch of idiots representing them at one desk. I like Tony Dungy, but who thought that putting Costas, Patrick, Olbermann and Harrison together was smart? Gee, don’t worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon. [Read more…]

John Madden hockey, not NFL Interview Profile

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By Paul M. Banks

A lot of people have heard of John Madden, the retired NFL announcer with a severe man-crush on Brett Favre. Not as many have heard of John Madden, the forward signed by the Chicago Blackhawks for $2.75 million away from the New Jersey Devils this past offseason.

Madden is one of the league’s best defensive forwards; winning the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 2001, and finishing second in ‘03, ‘04 and ‘08. Madden played his college hockey for the University of Michigan, where he set the NCAA record for most career shorthanded goals (23) and also won a title on the 1995–96 team. Madden’s teammates at Michigan included future NHL players Brendan Morrison, Mike Knuble, Blake Sloan, Marty Turco, Steve Shields and Bill Muckalt.

Currently, Michigan has more alumni in the NHL than any other school. Just before the season started, I asked Madden about being a UM alum in the Chicago area. “A lot of alumni that I know from Michigan live here, so it’s kind of good, I get to hang out with those guys a bit.” He responded before adding how they sometimes still talk about the championship glory days. “We reminisce, especially the ones that aren’t playing hockey anymore, at least competitively, talk a lot.”

Madden’s addition brings a niche ability to Chicago. He led the NHL, set a Devils’ team record and tied the NHL rookie record by scoring six shorthanded goals during the 1999–00 season. I asked him what the key was to having a great penalty kill.

“I think first of all, it has a lot to do with the coaching- anytime a coach gives you a green light to go on the offense on the penalty kill, but it’s also making good reads, understanding who’s on the ice, who you’re playing with and what their tendencies are. One thing I could say is every power play has their flaws, so there’s always an opportunity.”

Since the Hawks had a colorful, and very news-worthy offseason, Madden’s signing was a bit overlooked. But Madden’s team is certainly not forgotten about, as they’re a trendy national pick to win the Western Conference. “They’re warranted, we have some good hockey players here. Going all the way to game five against Detroit opened some eyes and there’s expectations,” Madden said.