'11-12 NHL season: one for the record books?


When Jaromir Jagr left the NHL for Russia three years ago, he did so with the knowledge he was abandoning his quest for a number of personal and league milestones.

The biggest prize? Jagr was one measly point shy of 1,600, which would make him the ninth player in league history to achieve that mark.

Overall, he needs 42 points to tie Joe Sakic (1,641) for eighth place all-time.

I knew about the one point, but I dont pay attention to it, Jagr said. How to explain it? Everything happens for a reason. Thats the way I look at it. Maybe because I went to Russia, I will be a better player even though Im three years older (Jagr is now 39).

Had I stayed here, I would have had different milestones. Playing here just to get the points? Thats not me. I want to play to be happy and help a team. Maybe I could have had 1,800 points by now, but thats not me.

Jagr also needs 47 assists for 1,000, which would make the Czech winger the 12th player in history to hit that plateau.

He needs 10 goals to tie Brendan Shanahan (656) for 11th place all-time. And he needs just three assists to tie Mark Recchi (956) for 13th place all-time. Jagr can also tie Doug Gilmour for 12th place in assists (964) with 11.

Needless to say, Jagrs first year as a Flyer is going to be one of record-breaking proportion. Which has to be doubly painful for the Pittsburgh Penguins, no?
Calgarys Jarome Iginla needs 16 to hit 500. A healthy Daniel Alfredsson in Ottawa needs 11 for 400, while Chicagos Marian Hossa needs 12 for the same total. New Jerseys Ilya Kovalchuk needs 31 for 400. Ex-Flyer Simon Gagne is one of five players looking for a 300th career goal. Gagne, playing in Los Angeles, needs 24.
San Joses Joe Thornton is the only NHL player close to 700 assists. He needs just five while Phoenixs Ray Whitney needs 15 for 600.
Quite a few NHL players should hit the 1,000th game played mark this season, but only one will hit 1,500Detroits Nick Lidstrom will do it in his sixth game to become the 14th player to reach that plateau.
Head coaches
Barry Trotz (Nashville) and Terry Murray (Los Angeles) will each coach their 1,000th NHL game this season. Trotz needs 16 games while Murray needs 17. Murray also needs 14 victories for 500 while Trotz needs 45 to reach 500 wins.
Edmontons Nikolai Khabibulin needs one game to tie Chris Osgood (744) for 18th place all-time and eight wins to tie Sean Burke (324) for 19th place all-time.
Man games lost due to injury
The Flyers had 244 lost games due top injury last season. If that sounds high, consider that four other times since 2001-02, theyve had more than 300 man games lost due to injury. So, 244 looks pretty good compared to that. Heres the breakdown:

2001-02: 213
2002-03: 212
2003-04: 241
2005-06: 388
2006-07: 300
2007-08: 315
2008-09: 330
2009-10: 205
2010-11: 244
And the winner isBrad Richards.
The former Dallas Star wanted to play for John Tortorella, with whom he won a Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay (2004). Richards got his wish in free agency, signing the largest contract of the summer: nine years for 60 million.
Did you know?
Claude Juliens Boston Bruins became the first NHL club to win a Stanley Cup last summer by winning three seven-game playoff series?
No repeats
The last team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions were the Detroit Red Wings, who won back-to-back in 1997 and 1998. Flyers fans will forever remember that because Terry Murrays 1996-97 club was swept by the Red Wings in the final.
No chance
Since winning the Cup in 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes have missed the playoffs four times over a five-year stretch. Had the Canes, with 91 points, gotten one more win last season, they would have made it.
Start over
Time to start over. Again. For the third time, no less.

Obviously, were talking about the ever-disappointing Dany Heatley, who survived the car wreck in Atlanta and asked to be traded to Ottawathen hated Ottawa and asked to be traded again, but wouldnt go to Edmonton and ended up in San Jose ... and didnt want to leave the Sharks, but was not respected in the dressing room by key teammates and had to be traded againand now he finds himself buried in Minnysnowda.

Anyone who thinks hes going to resurrect his career is only kidding themselves. If Heatley had played with any ounce of gumption in the Western Conference Finals against Vancouver, the Sharks would have met Boston for the Cup.
Curved glass
Remember all the fuss made over Zdeno Charas hit on Montreals Max Pacioretty at the player bench last season? It again called into the question the dangerously padded areas at the bench known as stanchions. After months of testing, the NHL has replaced the stanchions this year with curved glass. Additionally, the glass is designed to push back into an absorption post before bouncing back into place.
All in the family
That would be the Sutter family of the Carolina Hurricanes organization. Brandon Sutter scored 14 goals for the 'Canes last season; cousin Brett toiled with the Charlotte Checkers; and GM Jim Rutherford drafted Brody Sutter on the seventh round this past June.
Thanks to NHL.com for some of the tidbits used in this story.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at tpanotch@comcast.net

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