Category Archives: Blues Jerseys 2021

Jay Bouwmeester Jersey

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A year ago about now, Jay Bouwmeester was struggling on the ice as he came back from hip surgery and his playing future was in doubt. Once back to full health, the veteran defenseman became part of a shutdown pairing with Colton Parayko and signed a one-year contract extension right before the Blues began their Stanley Cup playoff march.

This season, at age 36, he’s kept right on going. He’s third on the team in ice time (21:26 per game), behind only Alex Pietrangelo and Parayko. (Only two players in the league, Boston’s Zdeno Chara and Chicago’s Duncan Keith, are older than Bouwmeester and recording more ice time.)

Has Bouwmeester thought about another season yet?

“I feel good,” he said Friday. “If I feel good, I’d like to continue to play. Last year, I was in the same boat, in the last year of my contract, and we approached it like, we’ll see how it goes and see what happens. In February, I talked with Doug (Armstrong, the Blues’ general manager) about if I wanted to do an extension. This year is different, we’ll see how it goes.”

One difference is that, since he has a one-year contract, he can’t sign an extension until after Jan. 1. Last year, he was coming off a multi-year deal and could sign a new deal once he entered the final year.

“It’s not a big deal,” Bouwmeester said. “Last year, I went through a lot of different scenarios. As long as you feel good, you want to keep playing. We’ll see what happens.”
Brouwer in?

Blues coach Craig Berube wants to get newly signed forward Troy Brouwer into the lineup as soon as he can. But the decision on when that game will be is out of his hands as Brouwer, who is from Canada, waits for his work visa.

As of the end of practice on Friday, Brouwer hadn’t gotten it, and that potentially could idle him for the weekend. The visa doesn’t have to be in his hands, but it does have to be issued.

While the official roster on Thursday night had Brouwer wearing No. 22, he said he would be wearing No. 36 for the Blues, as he did when he was with the team in 2015-16. Brouwer has worn 22 at several stops in his career, including last season in Florida. But as a Blue, he feels like he’s No. 36.

“I thought maybe it would be cool to have a new number for every team I went to,” Brouwer said. “Then I had such good success here (with 36), I thought I’d keep it in Calgary, and that didn’t pan out. So I changed my number again. Coming back to the Blues, I see myself as 36 on the Blues.”

Based on practice on Friday, if Brouwer does get in, Klim Kostin would come out.

Zach Sanford’s four-point game Thursday against Calgary surpassed his previous best, a three-point game vs. Chicago on Oct. 27, 2018. The link between them? The Blues were wearing their third jersey, the powder blue Winter Classic uniform. Sanford wore the retro 1990’s jersey on Thursday, so his two best games in terms of points have come at Enterprise Center, but neither wearing the team’s usual home jersey.

Doug Gilmour Jersey

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Where were you on March 24, 1994, when Dave Andreychuk took a pass from Doug Gilmour and slipped it by goalie Arturs Irbe, sending Maple Leaf Gardens into a frenzy?

Maybe you remember, maybe you don’t (or, third option…maybe you weren’t alive yet). But that moment was special because it was the last time anyone wearing the blue-and-white Maple Leaf celebrated a 50-goal season.

Netting 50 goals is a feat reserved for elite goal scorers. It’s tougher now than it’s ever been, in a league that continues to grow faster and more skilled across the board.

Keep this in mind: only two players (Alex Ovechkin and Leon Draisaitl) have scorer 50-plus the past six seasons; when Andreychuk scored 53 in 1993-94, he was one of eight players to hit the half-century mark that season.

But this could be the year Toronto breaks its streak and has a player join the scoring elite. Auston Matthews, the Maple Leafs’ 22-year-old cornerstone center, is the player who can get it done.

Before going further, I must first acknowledge that John Tavares was only a few bounces away from scoring 50 for Toronto last year. He finished with an impressive 47 goals — good for third in the NHL — but that came with a career-high 286 shots and a 16.4 shooting percentage, his highest rate in a non-lockout year.

Plus Tavares’ shift starts are almost a 50/50 split between the offensive and defensive zone, which lessens his opportunity compared to someone like Matthews, who starts in the offensive zone more than 60 percent of the time.

Speaking of Matthews, let’s dive in on his quest to become Toronto’s first 50-goal scorer in more than a quarter century.
Almost on pace despite recent slide

After his usual hot start to the season — Matthews is a prolific October scorer, with 36 goals in 46 career games — a recent five-game goalless stretch pushed Matthews off the 50-goal pace.

During his drought, which lasted from Nov. 27 through Dec. 4, he took 21 shots but couldn’t buy a break. Finally, on Saturday against the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, Matthews broke through with a pair of tallies.

“I’ve just got to keep shooting the puck,” he told Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas, “and eventually it’s gonna go in.”

That sounds like a reasonable plan. Matthews shoots more than anyone else on the Maple Leafs and, wouldn’t you know it, he scores more as well. And he has the support of his coach to keep on keepin’ on, which is always a good thing.

“I didn’t think about (Matthews’ slump) one second,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said after the St. Louis game. “Full confidence it’s going to fall in for him. He’s too good a player for it not to.”

With 19 goals through 32 games, Matthews is on pace for 48.7 goals over a full 82-game slate.

Of course, health is not something to take for granted; especially considering Matthews has missed 34 games over the past two seasons. But it’s impressive that he’s still almost on track for 50 goals despite his recent skid.
Toronto’s power play runs through Matthews

One could argue that Toronto’s power play runs through Tavares, given his usual position in the middle of the slot as part-time facilitator, part-time traffic cop. But when it comes to getting pucks on net and producing, no one shoulders more of the load than Matthews.

Sometimes he snipes from his power play perch, inside the faceoff circle to the left of the goalie.

Sometimes he bull rushes the net, unaccounted for, and chips the puck top shelf like he’s getting it out of a sand trap.

Wayne Babych Jersey

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During their illustrious history, the St. Louis Blues have had 26 players wear number 10. Ron Schock was the first player to wear number 10 for the Blues.

Schock spent two seasons with St. Louis, and he is best known for scoring the double OT goal in game seven against the Minnesota North Stars. That goal sent the Blues to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season.

During the ’90s the Blues had a couple of good players wear the Bluenote with number 10 on the back. They include Dave Lowry; Lowry spent five years with the Blues and played 311 games.

Esa Tikkanen had a brief cup of coffee with the Blues. He played 54 games with the Blues spread out over two years.

Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuck spent one season with the Blues, first wearing number 12, but after Tikkanen left, he switched back to his familiar number 10.

The 2000s have seen the most successful players wear number 10. Former Captian Dallas Drake wore number 10 during 2001-00 and through the 2006-07 season with the Blues.

Andy Mcdonald spent six years in the Bluenote, Brendan Morrow spent one year, and current Blue Brayden Schenn has spent the last two seasons wearing number 10.

Although all these players have worn number 10, the greatest player to wear number 10 was Wayne Babych. Babych spent six years with the Blues, after being drafted in the first round third overall during the 1978 draft.

During his rookie season with the Blues, Babych would set rookie records (since broken) for goals (27), assists (36), and points (63). Babych was put on a line with a couple of other young players in Bernie Ferderko and Brian Sutter.

Not a bad line to be put on your rookie season, Babych would spend his first two seasons on a line with Ferderko and Sutter but would be moved to the second line in his third season.

The move paid off as he would set his career highs with 54 goals and 96 points. Babych would sign a new four-year contract extension during the offseason, but the extension would not pay off for the Blues.

Babych not only had a cannon of a shot, but he was also a power forward that was not afraid to drop the gloves with some of the biggest heavyweights in the league, which lead to the downfall of his career.

During the preseason after signing his new contract, he dropped the gloves with the toughest player in the league at the time; Jimmy Mann. Before the two could get going, a linesman grabbed Babych by the arm and tore his rotator cuff.

After surgery and a lengthy rehab, Babych was never the same superstar player he was before the injury. This injury would follow him for the rest of his career, and he would never put up the same numbers he had in his first three years.

Vaclav Nedomansk Jersey

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They included Hayley Wickenheiser, who has numerous records to her name.

She’s the all-time leader in scoring at the Olympic Games and women’s worlds and has won more medals than any other women.

Wickenheiser won a record four Olympic golds and was twice named MVP (2002 and 2006), with no female ice hockey player having appeared at more Winter Olympics than her five – she even managed a softball appearance at the Sydney 2000 Summer Games.

She was also Canada’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony in 2014 and joined the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes’ Commission.

In 2018, Wickenheiser was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs as assistant director of player development.

“It was not a common thing for a little girl to play hockey in my small town, but my mom and dad believed that a girl could do anything a boy could do,” Wickenheiser said.

Vaclav Nedomansk became one of the best hockey players in Czechoslovakia, averaging nearly a goal a game during his pro career.

Internationally he appeared in every tournament for his country between 1965 and 1974, including two Olympics and nine world championships.

Other individuals recognised for their contribution to the sport were Sergei Zubov, Guy Charbonneau, Jim Rutherford and Jerry York.

Outgoing International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) President René Fasel said: “I stand here as IIHF President for the last time.

“For 25 years I have had the honour of coming to Toronto for the Hockey Hall of Fame ceremonies, and during that that time the IIHF and the Hall have had a special relationship.”

Rick Meagher Jersey

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En marge de son intronisation au Temple de la renommée du hockey, lundi, voici 10 faits à rappeler concernant Guy Carbonneau:

Il a entamé sa carrière dans la Ligue nationale de hockey (LNH) avec le Canadien de Montréal en portant le numéro 20 pendant deux matchs lors de la saison 1980-1981 puisque Doug Jarvis était à l’époque celui qui utilisait le 21.

En 1981-1982, Carbonneau a terminé au premier rang des pointeurs chez les Voyageurs de la Nouvelle-Écosse, club-école du Canadien dans la Ligue américaine. Il avait obtenu 94 points en 77 matchs.

«Carbo» a inscrit ses deux premiers buts dans la LNH le 23 octobre 1982, dans une victoire de 9 à 5 du Canadien contre les Nordiques de Québec au Forum de Montréal. Il avait conclu ce match avec trois points et un différentiel de +4.

Plus de 10 ans se sont écoulés entre ses deux seuls tours du chapeau en carrière. Il a d’abord réalisé l’exploit en janvier 1983 contre les Kings de Los Angeles, puis en décembre 1993 face aux Blues de St. Louis.

Parmi les huit buts gagnants qu’il a inscrits en séries éliminatoires, il y a eu un filet marqué en infériorité numérique, le 25 avril 1985, dans une victoire de 3 à 1 contre les Nordiques au Colisée de Québec.

Carbonneau n’a été puni qu’une seule fois pour s’être battu en 231 matchs éliminatoires et c’était lors de la finale de la Coupe Stanley contre les Flames de Calgary, le 22 mai 1986, dans une bagarre générale au terme de la quatrième partie.

Dix des 26 filets inscrits par «Carbo» lors de la saison 1988-1989 ont été des buts gagnants. Seul Joe Nieuwendyk, des Flames, en a obtenu plus que lui (11) cette année-là.

Le Québécois était passé bien près d’obtenir le trophée Frank J. Selke pour une troisième saison consécutive en 1989-1990, mais il avait été devancé tout juste par Rick Meagher, des Blues.

S’il a surtout été reconnu pour ses talents défensifs dans la LNH, Carbonneau a complété sa carrière junior en récoltant 182 points, dont 72 buts, en 72 rencontres avec les Saguenéens de Chicoutimi en 1979-1980.

Une cravate chanceuse portée par Guy Carbonneau, entraîneur-chef du CH pendant les séries éliminatoires de 2008, a été vendue 100 000$ lors d’un encan à la criée durant le 33e tournoi de golf annuel du Canadien.

Red Berenson Jersey

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Buy Photo Michigan goalie Zach Nagelvoort keeps an eye on the puck as teammates and Penn State players fight for control during the second period of U-M‘s 4-1 loss in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Penn State‘s Max Shuart and Michigan‘s James Gobetz race for the puck during the second period of U-M‘s 4-1 loss in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan and Penn State meet after U-M‘s 4-1 loss in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan‘s James Sanchez celebrates after getting the puck past Penn State goalie Peyton Jones during the second period of U-M‘s 4-1 loss in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan goalie Zach Nagelvoort blocks the puck with his pads during U-M‘s 4-1 loss to Penn State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan coach Red Berenson listens to questions after U-M‘s 4-1 loss to Penn State in the Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan‘s Cutler Martin controls the puck during U-M‘s 4-1 loss to Penn State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan‘s Adam Winborg tries to get the puck past Penn State goalie Peyton Jones during the closing seconds of U-M‘s 4-1 loss in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan coach Red Berenson listens to questions after U-M‘s 4-1 loss to Penn State in the Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan‘s Evan Allen maneuvers around Penn State‘s James Gobetz during the first period in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan‘s Evan Allen tries to sneak the puck past Penn State goalie Peyton Jones during the first period in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan‘s Alex Kile and Penn State‘s David Thompson fight for the puck in front of Penn State goalie Peyton Jones during the first period in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan goalie Zach Nagelvoort saves a shot during the first period against Penn State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Penn State celebrates the goal of Liam Folkes (26) during the first period at the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals game against Michigan at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Ohio State‘s Sasha Larocque and Michigan State‘s Logan Lambdin get separated during a fight in the third period of MSU‘s 6-3 loss in the Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan State and Ohio State players scramble for control of the puck during the second period of MSU‘s 6-3 loss in the Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan State #10 Sam Saliba celebrates with teammates after scoring on Ohio State during the first period of MSU‘s 6-3 loss in the Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan State goalie Ed Minney dives to try and stop the puck shot by Ohio State during the third period of MSU‘s 6-3 loss in the Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Ohio State and Michigan State players at mid ice after Ohio State won 6-3 during Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Ohio State‘s Nick Schilkey, left, and Michigan State‘s Villiam Haag get tangled up while fighting for the puck during the first period of MSU‘s 6-3 loss in the Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan State‘s Villiam Haag celebrates a goal as Ohio State goalie Matt Tomkins reacts during the first period of MSU‘s 6-3 loss in the Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan State men‘s hockey coach Tom Anastos looks down as he listens to two of his players talk about their 6-3 loss to Ohio State during Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Michigan State men‘s hockey coach Tom Anastos looks down as he listens to Rhett Holland talk about the 6-3 loss to Ohio State during Big Ten quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press

Keith Tkachuk Jersey

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ST. LOUIS — It seems the hockey success within the Tkachuk family may keep flourishing forever.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer and former St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk is one of only four American born players to score at least 500 career goals in the National Hockey League. That talent has since carried on.

Keith and his wife Chantal Tkachuk have three children together.

Matthew, the oldest, currently plays for the Calgary Flames in the NHL and leads his team with 10 goals and 20 points. He’s quickly become known as a dirty net-grinder, who is always finding a way to put one in around the crease.

Brady, the middle child, has been flourishing in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators. At just 20 years old, he has eight goals and 14 points this season. That’s the third most on the Senator roster.

He’s been projected to rank in the top 30 best wingers in the league this season by NHL analysts.

Both players are known for their large statures, and physical presence on the ice. Just like their dad.

But, the talent doesn’t end there Taryn Tkachuk is the youngest in the Tkachuk family, and she chose a bit different route.

She ditched the ice, and hit the turf. Taryn began playing field hockey in seventh grade, and has only improved since.

She up her junior season with a third consecutive visit to the field hockey state finals for Villa. While her team may have lost this year, Taryn’s numbers only show success.

In the 2019 season, Taryn tallied 43 goals, 29 assists, and 115 points. That was at least 51 points more than any other field hockey player in the state of Missouri this year. Not a single athlete was even close to touching her numbers.

And on Monday, Taryn committed to play field hockey at the University of Virginia.

Taryn said one of the best parts of her journey has been having a supportive father who gives insight to her performance in games. She appreciates it even if it doesn’t always line up with field hockey rules and regulations.

Both Taryn and her parents agree that the biggest factor in her athletic development over the years have stemmed from her upbringing with two gritty older brothers.

From playing roller hockey in the front yard, to battling in the basement. She said it all made her tougher.

If you’ve watched Keith, Matthew, and Brady Tkachuk play hockey, then you’ve likely seen their physical style of play on the ice.

All three are known for their strong presence on the boards, in front of the net, and on the puck. It’s ingrained in their blood.

While field hockey may not be as physical of a sport, Taryn doesn’t miss a beat. Her father said her aggressive presence is what differentiates her from her peers on the field.

Taryn has a year left playing for Villa before continuing on to the University of Virginia. But even then, she still has a bigger plan in mind.

The goal is to play field hockey for team USA, just like her brothers did.

Jorgen Pettersson Jersey

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Jörgen Pettersson och Peter Forsberg är den ende svenske spelare som snittat över en poäng per match under sin första NHL-säsong.

– Jag snittade nästan en poäng mina fyra första år i NHL. Det var inte många som trodde jag skulle lyckas där med min spelstil. Och själv hade jag aldrig ens sett en NHL-match förrän jag debuterade där 1980, berättar Jörgen.

Från början var ledare och lagkompisar skeptiska. På den tiden var det få spelare från Europa överhuvudtaget i NHL.

– På träningslägret var vi 80 spelare uppdelade i fyra lag. Jag vann skytteligan. De andra såg direkt att St Louis hade värvat en kille som kunde göra laget bättre. Sedan fick jag ändå inte spela de första matcherna i serien, men så fort jag fick chansen gjorde jag mål. Även då jag spelade i fjärdekedjan. Så snart var jag inne i laget.

Debutsäsongen gjorde han 37 mål och totalt 73 poäng. 37 mål är fortfarande den näst bästa noteringen av svensk rookie i NHL, bara Mikael Renberg (38 mål) har gjort fler.

Men hur klarade du våldet?

– Min första match var en träningsmatch i en liten, mörk jävla hall, mot Detroit. På väg ut på isen sa vår lagkapten Brian Sutter till mig: ”nu är det allvar, de kommer testa dig, men släng inte klubba och handskar. Blir det något så slå till dem med klubban direkt”. Och jag tänkte: ”vad fan har jag gett mig in i”.

Han skrattar och säger: ”men sen var det lugnt” för att omedelbart tillägga ”men det är klart att de försökte köra över oss européer i varje byte”.

Det låter inte så lugnt?

– De värsta slagkämparna gav sig ändå inte på oss. De slogs med varandra.

Jörgen hyllar också en tuff svensk som inte ens backade för de värsta busarna i ligan.

– Många svenskar som var tuffa i Sverige, var inte så tuffa i NHL, där tog de det väldigt lugnt. Men inte Mats Hallin. Han var verkligen en tuffing där också. Där borta stoppade inte domarna slagsmål, som hemma i Sverige, i NHL sa domarna bara ”let them go”. Hallin slogs med spelare som fajtats hela livet.

Enda gången Jörgen kunde tycka det var lite obehagligt var bortmatcher mot ökända Philadelphia Flyers.

– Det var speciellt att möta Flyers. De ville köra över motståndare i varenda byte. Det märktes redan på folk i vårt omklädningsrum före matcherna i Philadelphia, det var alltid en speciell stämning där.

Annars tycker Jörgen att stämningen var som värst kring hockeymatcher när han spelade bortamatcher i Stockholm med Frölunda, som lagkompis till Anders Broström.

– Broström var känd som en buse, men först och främst var han en mycket bättre spelare än han fått credd för. Han var en offensiv back som gjorde 17 mål en säsong i elitserien. Men han var hatad på Hovet. Ståplats kallades apberget och det var ett väldigt liv när vi mötte både AIK och Djurgården. ”Bros” själv har sagt att det var med glimten i ögat, Men nej, säger Jörgen och fortsätter:

– Det snackades om glimt i ögat. Men det var hat. Det var folk som kastade stenar på spelarbussen när vi åkte därifrån. Det var inte roligt.

Jörgen hyllar Anders Broström.

– Han var duktig och han är fantastiskt snäll. Som en nallebjörn. Jag vet att Frölunda har regler för vilka som får tröjan upp i taket. Men han är den populäraste spelaren i Frölunda under alla år och fick jag bestämma så skulle nummer 9 upp i taket.

Både Pettersson och Broström fanns med i landslagssnacket inför OS i Lake Placid. Jörgen Pettersson är inte typen som gnäller över något, men detta har han svårt att släppa. Tommy Sandlin var då både tränare för Modo och förbundskapten för Tre Kronor.

– Frölunda ledde serien och vi gick till final det året. Modo var i botten, men fick med sju spelare till OS. Vi fick inte med en enda. Sandlin var känd för många isövningar och sa att det skulle bli bättre flyt på träningarna med flera Modospelare. Jag hade spelat flera landskamper innan dess och året efter flyttade jag till NHL.

Jörgen var på betydligt bättre humör efter förra säsongen, då båda hans lag hade blivit mästare.

– Det var fantastiskt att både Frölunda och St Louis blev mästare. Båda var dessutom värdelösa tidigare under säsongen. Det var grymt att se hur de kom tillbaka. Frölunda blev som ett nytt lag efter CHL-guldet, det var som att det gjorde att varenda gubbe blev 50 procent bättre.

Jocelyn Lemieux Jersey

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On connaît beaucoup moins le Jocelyn Lemieux qui est passé à un cheveu de tout perdre après une dégringolade rapide au moment de sa retraite. C’est ce Jocelyn Lemieux qui se confie sans pudeur dans un mini-documentaire diffusé ce soir à RDS pendant les entractes du match entre le Canadien et les Coyotes.

Lemieux avait l’idée de revenir à la maison et d’être un bon père et un bon mari, après 13 ans à arpenter les villes d’Amérique du Nord pour jouer au hockey. St. Louis, Montréal, Peoria, Sherbrooke, Chicago, Hartford, New Jersey, Calgary, Phoenix, Long Beach, Springfield: Lemieux s’était promené. Si bien qu’au moment d’accrocher ses patins, sa femme avait rencontré quelqu’un d’autre.

«Dans un sens, c’est comme si j’avais encore été échangé, mais là c’était ma femme qui m’échangeait, en dira Lemieux. C’est un peu plus dur à prendre.»

C’est là que la spirale s’est enclenchée. Le couple avait acheté une maison en Arizona. Lemieux voyait cet investissement immobilier comme sa bouée de sauvetage. L’éclatement de la bulle technologique lui avait déjà coûté la moitié de ses économies. Le krach boursier de 2008 a fait le reste.

À un certain moment, raconte-t-il, il a dû expliquer à son fils de 12 ans, en pleurs sur le chemin vers l’école, qu’il n’y avait pas 10 $ dans le compte de banque. Il n’y avait plus de lait dans le réfrigérateur.

Sa soeur Carole poursuit: «D’avoir à assumer de nouvelles responsabilités dans l’insécurité, il avait beaucoup de douleur, il souffrait énormément. Il s’est mis à prendre une médication quotidienne.»

«Ma façon de m’évader était de prendre une bonne quantité d’antidouleurs pour m’engourdir la tête un peu, pour arrêter de penser au cauchemar que je vivais à l’époque.»

Jusqu’au jour où Lemieux a lancé un signal de détresse à sa soeur. Il n’en pouvait plus. Il avait trop mal. Il craque en parlant d’elle dans l’un des moments les plus poignants du documentaire. «Je me souviens quand ma soeur Carole, délicatement, m’a dit: “Il me semble que tu prends beaucoup de pilules. Avec de la boisson en plus.” Elle a été tellement délicate et efficace. Elle a trouvé les mots.»

Lemieux s’est retrouvé à l’hôpital. S’il est encore là pour raconter son histoire, c’est qu’il a changé de vie. Il est revenu vivre au Québec, il a cédé sa maison à la banque, et surtout, il a plongé dans son rôle de père. Un documentaire à voir ce soir sur les ondes de RDS.

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Allentown officials are reluctant to rezone three riverfront parcels known as Lehigh Landing for manufacturing and other light industrial uses because of potential truck traffic and a variety of existing permitted uses it believes are more appropriate for the area.

Charles Street Capital, which transformed the former Schoen’s Furniture building on the 600 block Hamilton Street into an office building and the Bell Hall restaurant, wants to build a roughly 50,000-square-foot light industrial structure divided into smaller spaces on about 3.6 acres just south of Bucky Boyle Park, north of the America on Wheels museum and adjacent to a PPL power sub-station along Front Street.

It’s also considering a body shop, repair garage or something else automobile-related on the parcel closest to the museum and an auto restoration business across the street.

The property is zoned urban commercial, which prohibits auto-related businesses, manufacturing and warehousing. Jeff Brown, principal of Charles Street, said Tuesday at a planning commission meeting that the PPL facility makes residential, retail and office uses a tough sell.

“We’re just looking to match the zoning with what we think is the best use of the land,” Brown said.

The rezoning request is the first step in a complicated redevelopment process. Last December, Charles Street signed an agreement of sale with the Allentown Commercial & Industrial Development Authority, which owns the property. That agreement is contingent upon the property being transferred into the Neighborhood Improvement Zone using a land swap mechanism that was created in 2017 but has not yet been used.
READ MORE: Developer wants Allentown Lehigh Landing site added to the NIZ, putting swap process to the test »

The agreement of sale expires next year, so Brown was hoping to build momentum and get the planning commission’s blessing Tuesday on the rezoning request, which would also require approval from City Council.

Both Brown and Scott Unger, executive director of ACIDA, expressed frustration that they had not received copies of a planning staff report or a zoning supervisor’s written opinion of the rezoning request ahead of Tuesday’s planning commission meeting.

In his Nov. 20 letter, Zoning Supervisor Frederick Andrayko wrote that he disagreed rezoning was necessary to support a viable commercial development given the “myriad of uses” allowed in the urban commercial district. He said he also was uncomfortable rezoning because Charles Street didn’t have specific tenants lined up yet, and many permitted uses in the business light industrial zone could spawn significant truck traffic.

“We should know what the applicant has in mind for a proposed use,” he wrote. “The answer of a shell building in not enough information.”

Complicating the project further: The new Riverside Drive being built along a former railway to accommodate the proposed Waterfront development will intersect Front Street in front of the Lehigh Landing site.

In a report dated Tuesday, planning staff wrote that heavy truck traffic potentially caused by the Charles Street development “may not bode well in promoting riverfront-related activities.”

It also rejected the developer’s argument that rezoning would provide a buffer between the auto-related uses on the southern end of the block and some industrial-zoned area to the north, noting the presence of the city park in between.

Brown argued that while the project would need to accommodate large trucks, traffic would be limited by the relatively small footprint of the building. He also said the project would include on-site parking.

Unger, who also heads the Allentown Economic Development Corp., noted the regional supply of small-footprint manufacturing and flex industrial space is not meeting significant demand.

“Those spaces tend not to be huge drivers of truck traffic,” he added. “Yes, it’s speculative, but … quite honestly, I don’t know of a better class of uses that’s going to be reasonably and practically attracted to this site. We can draw up plans and say what we’d like to see there, but in the absence of relocating PPL’s equipment, that’s a significant challenge to many types of real estate developers being attracted.”

The planning commission granted Charles Street’s request to table the rezoning discussion until next month’s meeting so it could review and respond more thoroughly to the staff reports.

Brown said after the meeting that the rezoning is necessary to obtain financing for the speculative project and move forward with a broad marketing effort. He’d only seek a zoning variance if he secured a lease commitment from a specific user.