Cheap Colorado Avalanche Jerseys

Fresh snow led to a massive avalanche on a Colorado highway, and it was caught on camera by a driver.

It happened Sunday afternoon on Interstate 70.

The video shows a wave of snow rolling down the mountain and onto the highway.

According to the person who took the video, most of the snow in that avalanche did not make it to the road, and no one was injured.

A second avalanche not long after closed down both sides of I-70 for several hours.

The Colorado Department of Transportation will have teams survey the area Monday morning.

Cheap Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys

How about those Carolina Hurricanes? The team ended 2018 on a high with a well-deserved, well-hustled 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday. With 2019 now in full swing, we look ahead at what promises to be a crucial year in the development of the Canes.

Happy New Year to all our readers! Now, as you all know, the correct way to begin any new year is to make some resolutions. Some of us resolve to lose weight; give up smoking, or to make more time for friends and family. But what about our Carolina Hurricanes – what should their New Year’s Resolutions be?

New Year, New Canes?

Omar doesn’t want much for the Canes:

1. Better Passing: I may not know the numbers off the top of my head, but the ol’ eye test tells me that the passing is just awful. This team would lead the league with just a 20% increase in pass completions.

2. Better Offensive Zone entry: this team is way too skilled to keep dumping and chasing the puck. CARRY IT! Guys like Aho, Foegele, and even Slavin can do this in their sleep.

3. More Post Game win celebrations: this one explains itself!

Anthony speaks perfect sense, and the idea of turning down powerplays to play more 5-on-5 would appear to be an eminently sensible one based on how dire the Canes’ powerpay has been this year:

The Canes New Years Resolutions should be to cut down on own-zone giveaways and immensely increase the power play. I am not sure of the exact stats but it seems I am left clenching up a few times a game when the Canes make a care less pass in their own zone that ends up in the other team’s hands for a good scoring chance. The power play speaks for itself. It has gotten to the point where I wish it was like football and we could just decline the penalty. It seems like a 2:00 minute game of chasing the puck after the other team clears it.

Personally, I believe that Tom Dundon should make the conscious decision to employ the very best coaching and scouting teams he can. Surround Rod Brind’Amour with PP and PK specialists, and take some of the burden off his shoulders. When was the last time RBA smiled? He looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and that lies with Dundon and the team’s finances.

Buyers or sellers?

We asked this question a few days ago – but with the Canes 9 points out of a wildcard spot, is it time for Don Waddell to face up to the harsh realities of the season, give up on a playoff run and sell in the run up to the trade deadline?

Omar is consciously aware of the team missing nine straight post-seasons, and that doing so this year makes it an NHL-record 10th consecutive playoff-less season:

Buyers. Break the cycle. I’m done being the farm team for the rest of the league. Eric Staal, Elias Lindholm, Jeff Skinner, and others keep finding their stride with other teams. Even Marcus Kruger found his way back on an NHL team after being passed on waivers and eventually traded for Jordan Martinook. It’s sickening.

Anthony also wants Waddell to go against consensus:

I want the Canes to be buyers. We need to get some proven talent in to help this team move forward. Even if the Canes’ playoff chances are small, we have enough young talent to build on. Hurricanes need a top six guy that can put the puck in the net. That’s how this team moves
forward, not by continuing to stockpile young players.

My own view is that the team should be buyers – but sensible ones. In recent weeks we’ve looked at lots of potential options for adding scoring, but a move for someone like Sam Bennett could be the catalyst the team needs. And we know that Calgary loves making deals with the Carolina Hurricanes…

Where are we headed?

Where are the Carolina Hurricanes heading in 2019 – rising the standings, or staying stuck near the bottom?

Omar is unsure:

Unknown. But if Tom Dundon’s efforts pay off even in the slightest, this team should be well over 0.500 come next holiday season. Time to break the cycle of madness and insanity known as the Carolina Hurricanes.

Anthony has confidence that few fans of the Carolina Hurricanes possess:

This depends on what acquisitions, if any, are made. If the Canes acquire a top 6 talent whether via trade or offseason signing and the young kids continue to improve, I like us to be sitting in a playoff spot for Christmas 2019. Make some moves, Waddell, and open that checkbook, Dundon.

I would side with Anthony, in that if Waddell makes the moves the team needs, and Dundon lives up to his promises, the team could easily be a playoff-caliber team by Christmas. One thing is for sure – if the team continues to play like it did yesterday, we’re in for an exciting year.

And with that, we look forward to seeing the Carolina Hurricanes win plenty of games in 2019!

Cheap Calgary Flames Jerseys

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois looks for an open shot as the Calgary Flames' TJ Brodie defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio.

TUESDAY

Calgary Flames (16-9-2) at Columbus Blue Jackets (15-9-2)

5 p.m. MT, Nationwide Arena, Sportsnet West/Sportsnet 960 The Fan

THE BIG MATCHUP

Flames LW Johnny Gaudreau vs. Blue Jackets RW Cam Atkinson

These guys have a lot in common. Both were standouts for the NCAA’s Boston College Eagles. Both are now part of the NHL’s mighty-mite movement, each listed several inches shy of the 6-foot mark. Both are sitting atop their team scoring charts. Gaudreau, 25, contributed a pair of helpers during Sunday’s victory in the Windy City, stretching his current point-streak to four straight. Atkinson, meanwhile, is on a career-best 10-game tear. The 29-year-old has counted 10 goals and a half-dozen assists over that superb stretch. In case you were wondering how these Eagles alums measure up, Gaudreau is (allegedly) one inch taller at 5-foot-9, while Atkinson is listed about 15 lb. heavier.

FIVE STORYLINES FOR THE GAME

DOUBLE FOR THE DADS?

With Guy Gaudreau and Paul Giordano, Keith Tkackuk and Jim Treliving and the rest of their proud papas cheering them on, the Flames opened their Dad’s Trip with a 3-2 squeaker Sunday against the Blackhawks in Chicago. Derek Ryan, son of Tim, sniped the would-be game-winner on a five-minute power-play in the middle stanza, while Ron Smith’s puck-stopping son, Mike, preserved the victory with a highlight-reel scorpion-style save in the third. Their fathers would certainly love to see a sweep of this two-game getaway.

HEY BOYS, YOU’RE IN

Mike Czarnik and Paul Prout will get an opportunity to see their sons — a speedy winger and stay-at-home defenceman, respectively — in action against the Blue Jackets. Flames coach Bill Peters revealed after Monday’s practice in Columbus that both Austin Czarnik and Dalton Prout will be in the lineup after sitting as healthy scratches in Chicago. These are familiar surroundings for Prout, who spent parts of six seasons with the Blue Jackets.

PRAISE FOR PROUT

The 28-year-old Prout has been mostly a spare part this fall, suiting up for just one appearance so far with the Flames — that was way back on Oct. 6 — and logging four minor-league outings during a recent conditioning stint with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. “He’s a great teammate, zero maintenance for the coaching staff,” Peters said of Prout. “He works hard, beyond belief, each and every day, both on the ice and off the ice. He’ll be ready for his opportunity.”

STAYING OR GOING?

One of the hot topics in Columbus — besides, of course, the Ohio State Buckeyes just missing out on the College Football Playoff — is the future of sharpshooting winger Artemi Panarin, due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Blue Jackets are keen on keeping the 27-year-old Panarin, who erased the franchise record for both assists (55) and total points (82) last season, but his contract status could certainly become a distraction as the winter wears on.

THIS N’ THAT

Peters wouldn’t reveal his starting goalie for Tuesday’s tilt … The Blue Jackets, coming off a 3-2 road loss to the New York Islanders, are 4-0-1 in their past five dates in their home barn … The Flames have lost three in a row to the crew from Columbus and have a 3-6-3 record in these matchups since the Blue Jackets moved to the Eastern Conference in 2013 … Blue Jackets pivot Pierre-Luc Dubois has racked up six points — three of each — during a three-game spree.

FLAMES LINEUP

Forwards

Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Elias Lindholm

Matthew Tkachuk – Mikael Backlund – Sam Bennett

Andrew Mangiapane – Derek Ryan – James Neal

Austin Czarnik – Mark Jankowski – Garnet Hathaway

Defence

Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin – Travis Hamonic

Dalton Prout – Rasmus Andersson

Goaltenders

Mike Smith

David Rittich

BLUE JACKETS LINEUP

Forwards

Artemi Panarin – Pierre Luc-Dubois – Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno – Boone Jenner – Josh Anderson

Brandon Dubinsky – Alexander Wennberg – Oliver Bjorkstrand

Lukas Sedlak – Riley Nash – Markus Hannikainen

Defence

Zach Werenski – Seth Jones

Ryan Murray – Markus Nutivaara

David Savard – Scott Harrington

Goaltenders

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

INJURIES

Flames — RW Michael Frolik (lower body), D Michael Stone (blood clot), D Juuso Valimaki (foot)

Blue Jackets — None.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Power play

Flames: 21.6% (21-for-97, 13th)

Blue Jackets: 16..7% (14-for-84, 23rd)

Penalty kill

Flames: 76.2% (26th)

Blue Jackets: 79.5% (15th)

— Wes Gilbertson

Cheap Buffalo Sabres Jerseys

Cheap Buffalo Sabres Jerseys

Phil Housley’s decision to place Jason Pominville on a line with Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner (a relatively unpopular move at the time) has certainly paid off, hasn’t it? Since skating as a trio for the first time against the Los Angeles Kings on October 20, they have combined for 16 goals and 22 assists in eight games.

As it stands, Skinner, Eichel and Pominville are on pace for 87, 93 and 77 points on the year, respectively. In all likelihood, that projection won’t hold up through 82 games (at least not for all three of them), but at the moment, their line is one of, if not the most effective in the NHL.

That’s all great, right? Well, here’s the potential problem; the Sabres’ offensive production essentially starts and stops with their first line. To date, they’ve accounted for just under 53-percent of the team’s even-strength goals, and just under 49-percent of their all-situation tallies.

It’s working to an extent for now as the Buffalo currently hold a record of 7-6-2, but at some point this season, they’ll need more production in terms of secondary scoring. Since the ceiling for this team going into the season was a wild-card playoff spot (for most fans, anyway), let’s compare the Sabres’ current scoring distribution to the four wild-card teams from the 2017-18 season.

As a refresher, the NHL wild card teams last season were the Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings, and Colorado Avalanche. We’ll start by simply looking at even-strength scoring in general. Of those four teams, the Blue Jackets had the highest proportion of their goals come at even-strength at 82.2-percent on the year. The Avalanche had the lowest mark with just 71.9-percent of their marks coming at even-strength. Comparatively, the Sabres are actually pretty close to the mean in that regard with a current pace of 74.4-percent.

Here’s where things get a bit concerning. Out of the four teams we’re using for a basis of comparison, the Avalanche had the highest rate of even-strength scoring come from their top line at 32.9-percent. As perhaps the most effective team in terms of scoring depth last season, only 25.8-percent of the Devil’s even-strength goals came via their top trio. Those numbers pale in comparison to the Sabres’ aforementioned mark of 53.1-percent. The 20-point delta between Buffalo and last year’s Colorado team is at least moderately alarming.

Another important thing to consider here is the contribution rate from the blue line. Last year, the disparity was relatively wide among the wild card teams. Columbus led the way, with an incredible 20.1-percent of their 5-on-5 tallies being scored by defensemen. New Jersey, Los Angeles and Colorado all hovered between 15-17 percent which compares favorably with the Sabres current ratio of 15.6.

On a semi-related side note, Columbus was the only wild card team with a positive team Corsi rating at 5-on-5 last season, which is mildly interesting.

So to recap, every single one of the four teams we’re using as samples had at least half of their even-strength goals come from members of their bottom-nine forward group. The Sabres’ current 34.3-percent pace from lines two through four simply won’t cut it moving forward.

Let’s be clear; this isn’t a call to split up the first line. Quite the opposite, actually. It’s a recognition that the Sabres’ current scoring distribution is likely unsustainable if the team hopes to qualify for a playoff spot this season. For a team that is deeper, at least on paper, in comparison to last season, their reliance on Eichel, Skinner, and Pominville to carry the offensive load is unacceptable.

In the Sabres’ 9-2 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, the top line got a whole lot of support with only three players not appearing on the score sheet. Conor Sheary busted his eight-game goalless drought with two goals this weekend. Kyle Okposo has also exhibited some additional pep in his step, so it appears as though their line, centered by Casey Mittelstadt is starting to gain at least a little chemistry.

If the bottom-nine continues to sputter, Jason Botterill may feel inclined to pluck someone from Rochester to help get things going. While Victor Olofsson is playing extremely well right now, a veteran call-up like C.J. Smith or Danny O’Regan might be more fitting in that scenario, especially given Botterill’s notoriously patient approach toward player development.

This next stretch of games will tell us a whole lot about just how much the team has progressed thus far. The Sabres’ next six opponents have a combined record of 47-24-9, and you can bet that they’ll struggle if the Skinner-Eichel-Pominville line is still being leaned on to produce over 50-percent of the team’s offense.

Cheap Florida Panthers Jerseys

The Florida Panthers put goaltender Roberto Luongo on injured reserve Sunday, one day after a right knee injury knocked the veteran out of his team’s season-opening loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The move will sideline Luongo for at least a week and means that James Reimer will likely start Florida’s home opener Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Panthers did not update the severity of Luongo’s injury Sunday. Luongo was hurt when teammate Frank Vatrano fell into him during Saturday’s second period.

Reimer will be backed up, at least in the short term, by Michael Hutchinson.

Florida signed Hutchinson over the summer in an effort to stockpile goalie depth, a move that Panthers coach Bob Boughner said was critically important.

Hutchinson was 43-39-11 in 104 games over five seasons with the Winnipeg Jets.

Cheap Chicago Blackhawks Jerseys

As the countdown to the Chicago Blackhawks 2018-19 season continues, we’ll take a look at one player who best wore the same number as there are days left until October 4 when the season kicks off against the Ottawa Senators.

The Chicago Blackhawks 2019 regular season is rapidly approaching. Well, rapidly as in it’s been just twenty-four hours since we last had this discussion.

Yesterday, we detailed Scott Darling at no. 33 and his long road to the NHL.

Today, as there are 32 days until the start of the season, we’ll look at one Chicago Blackhawks player who wore no. 32 in years past.

Before we begin, it’s necessary to acknowledge the overwhelming encouragement from the Chicago Blackhawks’ following on Twitter to use this day to talk about Chicago Blackhawks Legend Michal Rozsival.

And, as much as it’s fun to joke about Rozsival’s role on the roster, he was an instrumental piece of the puzzle that made up the 2013 Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks.

He had a strong veteran presence on the team and, at the time, still was a defenseman who could and would make smart decisions. Playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs at 35 years old, Rozsival’s TOI (time on ice) was over 19 minutes. Additionally, his +/- was +9 on the playoffs and +18 in the regular season.

People tend to forget the role he played (before he became the Rozsival we all think of today) however one role I’ll never forget belongs to a different no. 32.

Kris Versteeg was a strong contender to be chosen as our no. 32 feature. Versteeg was fast, feisty and annoying for opposing teams. Additionally, when he scored in the NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field back in 2014 he became the first player to score at Soldier Field, the United Center and Wrigley Field.

Top that, Patrick Kane.

However, Versteeg needs to have more of a story than that to truly earn the rights to being our 32 feature.

That said, his musical talents truly were unparalleled to other Chicago Blackhawks leading up to that point.

So barring any more unwarranted rambling about past Chicago Blackhawks, I’d like to introduce you to our player of the day, NHL All-Star John Scott.

Chicago Blackhawks’ John Scott

John Scott came to the Chicago Blackhawks before the 2011-12 season. Coming off a cup win in 2010, the Blackhawks saw many key role players depart because of salary cap constraints.

Key players, as in Adam Burish, Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd.

Scott was a guy who was supposed to help replace some of the physical roles played by guys like Burish and Eager, especially. He largely did just that as his physicality and ability as an enforcer were both keys to Blackhawks teams during his time in Chicago.

For example, there was a game in which Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenseman Deryk Engelland raised his elbow, left his feet and hit Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger in the head.

Kruger never saw it coming and went on to miss games with a concussion.

Kruger didn’t see Engelland coming, however Engelland should’ve seen Scott coming. Watch this clip and see just how fast Scott jumps into the play.

I don’t think John Scott let Engelland get a punch in.

Scott earned himself a reputation as one of the best enforcers in the league all because he wanted to stand up for his teammates. He wanted to fire the guys on the bench up.

John wanted to have their backs.

He recalls his first fight in the AHL as something he’ll never forget. So much so that he wrote about this experience (and so, so much more) in his Players Tribune piece, titled “A Guy Like Me.”

We’re ready to go out onto the ice, and my coach looks around the room. Then he looks right at me, dead in the eyes.

“Scott. Do. Not. Fight. D.J. King.”

I’m like, “Who the h*ll is D.J. King?”

His eyes are bulging now, like, “D.J. King is a billed heavyweight. D.J. King is a freaking animal.”

So what I did was … I fought D.J. King.

And what he did was … he busted me right in the jaw.

At that moment, I realized, Oh, okay. Wow. This is what it feels like to get really hit. But somehow, I was able to keep my feet and kind of win the fight. My teammates went nuts.

And then I realized another thing: Oh, okay. Wow. This feels good. Not my face. That feels bad. But it feels good to make my teammates go nuts.

From that point on, Scott was an enforcer. It wasn’t because that’s who he was as a player (all his life he was a rock-solid stay at home defenseman) however he saw it as a way to move up the ladder.

In fact, he never even saw himself as someone who had a shot at making the NHL. He played college hockey at Michigan Tech University on a scholarship.

By the team he graduated, he had an engineering degree, a wife and an offer to play in the American Hockey League.

Not a bad four years there, John.

Scott promised his wife he’d try it for three years. If he didn’t make it, he’d sign a contract with the real world and take his engineering to an office in Ontario.

In those three years, Scott eventually got his chance and broke into the NHL. He’d spend the next 10 years across seven different NHL organizations.

John made some memories in Chicago, but the story which transpired while with the Arizona Coyotes is one which needs to be told.

John Scott: The All-Star

Back in 2016, the NHL All-Star captains were decided by an online fan vote.

A small number of fans, and then a very big number of fans, voted for enforcer John Scott win the fan vote as a captain.

Though it may have started as a joke, it really wasn’t one. It isn’t as if John Scott won the lottery and was randomly awarded this on pure coincidence. However, in a lot of ways this was how people around the National Hockey League viewed John.

Scott, much like me, felt otherwise:

I’m not some random person off the street, and I didn’t win a golden ticket to “play hockey with the stars.” I won an internet fan vote, sure. And at some point, without question, it was a joke. It might even finish as a joke. But it didn’t start as one. It started with a very small pool, out of a very small pool, out of the very, very smallest pool of hockey players in the world: NHLers. That was the vote. A fan vote, an internet vote — but a vote from among the 700 or so best hockey players in North American professional sports.

And John Scott was one of those 700 best people in the world.

And he didn’t get there by coincidence. On the contrary, he worked hard for years to get there. He skated every day seemingly since he could stand to get there. He played through injuries to get there. He made it through long, cold bus rides. He studied on team busses while teammates laughed and yelled watching Adam Sandler movies.

He endured most things imaginable to get to be one of those 700 players.

“But I’m one of them. And that means a lot to me.

It means a lot to my family.”

So, while this sounds like a feel good story, the NHL found a way to make it far from that.

The NHL All-Star game is one filled with the best talent in the world on full display: dangles, snipes, 100+ mph slap shots and crazy skills competitions.

Put simply, the NHL didn’t think that Scott belonged. They didn’t bother beating around the bush, either.

“At first, when it became clear that I was going to win the All-Star fan vote, I understood the league’s position. They didn’t mince words — This is not a game for you, John — but I understood all the same. Honestly, on some level, I agreed.”
However, Scott worked his whole career to get to where he was and that cannot be understated. Playing in Arizona at the time, he found himself in an incredible situation. The team was supposed to have a dumpster fire of a season, but by some twist of fate they came out fighting and shocked a lot of people around the league. John described the locker room as one full of underdogs.

Of course, he fit in perfectly. Not only did he fit in, he brought value to the team not only because of his ability as an enforcer but more-so by his personality and veteran presence in the locker room.

So, given all of this, what happened next in the John Scott story came to a shock to everyone involved. Retrospectively, knowing what he know about how the NHL operates, it probably shouldn’t have. I’ll let John tell it:

“I see our GM open the door.
He’s not smiling.

“Hey, John, can we talk for a second?”

We head down the hall a few steps, into the stick room of all places, and he shuts the door.

And then he tells me point blank.

“You just got traded.”

Nope. No way.

“You’re s******* me.”

I hear him perfectly the first time, but I need him to say it again.

“We just traded you to Montreal. Yeah.”

My mind is racing a mile a minute. I know exactly what’s happened.

Still, I can’t help myself.

“Are you f****** kidding me?”

Enforcers don’t get traded midseason when their team is winning. If you know the league, you know that it just doesn’t happen.

“I’m not sure what to say, John. This is how it goes. We’re trying to make our team better. We had a chance to get a player, and we took it.”

I’ll keep the rest of the conversation private, because I’m a professional. But you can fill in the blanks. It is, as we say in this business, emotional.

What I saw happen is this: John Scott, an NHL enforcer was winning a fan vote to be an All-Star. This came off not only as a joke to hockey fans, but as a joke to sports fans as a whole. It made the NHL look like they didn’t have rules.

This was apparent when they told him to tell fans to place their votes elsewhere. They told John that the game wasn’t for him.

So, after fans weren’t persuaded by his request, Scott was traded. Not only was he traded, he was traded out of the division in which he was winning the fan vote. Furthermore, the Canadiens (whom he was traded to) immediately sent him down to the AHL.

A successful NHL enforcer was traded midseason for no clear reason. Then, he was sent down to the minors.

Once again, for no clear reason.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie has information which doesn’t quite help the NHL’s case, either.

“Prior to this, John Scott was asked by both the National Hockey League and the Arizona Coyotes to reconsider his decision to accept a spot on the team that was awarded to him by a fan vote,” McKenzie told James Duthie, TSN’s host. “He refused to do that.”

Then, to make matters worse, McKenzie told Duthie that it was Arizona who wanted him in this trade, not the Canadiens.

“I can tell you that the Montreal Canadiens had no interest whatsoever in getting John Scott in this trade. The Arizona Coyotes wanted him to be included. You can draw your own conclusions from that. A lot of people have conspiracy theories. Whatever the case may be, but it was Arizona who wanted him in this trade, not the Montreal Canadiens.”

As McKenzie said, you can feel free to draw your own conclusions from that. That said, there’s a very good portion of fans who don’t think this was all a coincidence at all. Though there’s no clear proof of this, it’s a very curious case that doesn’t quite sit right with me, to say the least.

Nevertheless, John Scott ended up playing in that game. Despite trades. Despite being told he wasn’t made that game. Despite being asked, “Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?”

Well, John answered that pretty clearly.

Who knows. I like to think so. But I know they’ll be there for me — for their big, goofy dad — no matter what. They’ll be there, in the stands, cheering me on — wearing their Scott jerseys, and watching me try my best, have some fun and fulfill a dream I’ve had since I was, well, their age.

Regardless of what happened behind closed doors, Scott played in that game and made memories that will last a lifetime. His time in Chicago was short-lived, however I’ll always remember him for standing up for Marcus Kruger that night in Pittsburgh.

That, and for winning the ALL-Star game MVP, celebrating with his family and tallying a couple of goals in the game as well.

Additionally, if you haven’t read John Scott’s piece for the Players Tribune which a majority of these quotes are pulled from, I encourage you to do so.

Only 32 days until Blackhawks hockey!

Cheap Boston Bruins Jerseys

Finalists from across Massachusetts were belting and duking it out at the T.D. Garden Wednesday for a chance to sing the anthem on home ice.

The Boston Bruins announced they were looking for performers after their star-spangled singer retired last season. Those auditioning do not have to fill the tux, but they do have to fill the shoes of Rene Rancourt.

The 78 year old performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “O Canada” before each home game in a tux and bow tie for 41 years.

The team launched a search for singers on their website last month. The contest resulted in 600 video submissions. They whittled it down to 52 who were all invited to perform for a live audition at the T.D. Garden Wednesday.

Michael DeAlmeida of Fall River was one of the finalists. He said getting the email to attend the audition, after some frustration uploading his submission, was a dream come true.

“I want to be like Curt Schilling when he first came to the Red Sox,” DeAlmeida said. “His motto was, ‘Why not us?’ and I come up here from little Fall River like, why not me?”

DeAlmeida and the other contestants had 90 seconds to sing either the United States, Canadian national anthem or portions of both for the audition.

The judges will be making their decision passed on vocal quality, stage presence and level of comfort. Instead of picking just one winner, they will pick a pool of performers who will be called on to sing during the season.

Cheap Winnipeg Jets Jerseys

An arbitrator has awarded Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba a one-year, $5.5 million contract for the 2018-19 season, the league announced Sunday.

Winnipeg has 48 hours to accept the ruling or turn it down and make Trouba an unrestricted free agent.

Trouba, 24, was one of five restricted free agents on the Jets to file for arbitration earlier this month, including Connor Hellebuyck, Adam Lowry, Brandon Tanev and Marko Dano.

Trouba had a hearing in Toronto on Friday.

Trouba had 24 points during an injury-plagued season with the Jets.

The 6-foot-3, 202-pound defenseman scored a career-high 33 points in 60 games during 2016-17. He sat out training camp and the start of the season over a dispute with the team, before signing a two-year, $6 million contract that expired on July 1.

Trouba was the Jets’ first-round pick at ninth overall in the 2012 draft.

Winnipeg has arbitration hearings pending with Tanev and Dano next week. The team re-signed Lowry to a three-year, $8.75 million contract and Hellebuyck to a six-year, $37 million deal.

Cheap San Jose Sharks Jerseys

The San Jose Sharks have re-signed defenseman Dylan DeMelo to a two-year, $1.8 million deal.

The 25-year old had a career-best 20 points — all on assists — in a career-high 63 games. He also had an assist in 10 playoff games.

“Dylan proved last season that he’s ready to be a full time NHL player and really blossomed towards the end of the year and into the playoffs,” general manager Doug Wilson said in a release announcing the signing Saturday. “His skating ability and strong play in both ends make him a valuable part of our blue line.”

DeMelo, selected by San Jose in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL draft, has totaled three goals and 29 assists in 133 games over parts of three seasons with the Sharks.

Cheap Ottawa Senators Jerseys

The Ottawa Senators are investigating an issue that prompted the wife of team captain Erik Karlsson to file an order of protection against the fiancee of teammate Mike Hoffman, alleging that she harassed the couple, including remarks about the death of their child.

In the May 4 application for a peace bond that was obtained by multiple media outlets, Melinda Karlsson alleges that Monika Caryk has harassed Karlsson and her husband online since November 2017.

“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead … uttered that she wished I was dead and that someone should ‘take out’ my husband’s legs to end his career,” the document said.

The Karlssons’ child, their first, was stillborn in March.

The Senators issued a statement Tuesday that read, “We are investigating this matter in cooperation with the NHL and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the safety and privacy of our players and their families.”

Melinda Karlsson’s application added that “Monika Caryk has posted over 1,000 negative and derogatory statements about me as a professional.”

Reached by the Ottawa Citizen, Hoffman denied the allegations.

“There is a 150 percent chance that my fiancee Monika and I are not involved in any of the accusations that have been pursued [that are] coming our way,” he told the newspaper. “We totally understand there’s no place for cyberbullying.

“We’ve offered to cooperate and do anything it takes to find out who is doing this, and support [the Karlssons]. Obviously this is a tough time that they’re going through, and we want to find out who is doing this, because for some reason it’s coming into our court, and it’s 150 percent that it’s not us. We have nothing to hide. We’re willing to cooperate in any way to solve this and figure it out and prove that it wasn’t us.”

According to Canada’s Department of Justice website, a peace bond is a protection order that requires a person to keep the peace and be on good behavior, and is used when that person appears likely to commit a criminal offense, but there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offense has actually been committed.

Karlsson and Hoffman have been teammates on the Senators since 2011-12. Hoffman, 28, has scored more than 20 goals the last four seasons. Karlsson, 28, is a four-time All-Star and two-time Norris Trophy winner. His contract is up after next season, so he has been the subject of trade speculation.

The Senators came within one game of going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017, losing to the Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Last season they tumbled to the second-worst record in the league.