January 11, 2013

Opening Faceoff: Friday, Jan. 11

By Jesse Connolly

Patrice Bergeron notched his first hat trick two years ago today. (Getty Images)

Good reads

  • As ridiculous as it sounds, the lockout isn’t officially over yet. Players are voting to ratify the new CBA over the next day or so.

  • The oddsmakers at Bovada (formerly Bodog, if anyone’s wondering) have released their favorites for each of the NHL’s major awards.

  • Paul Ranger, a veteran of 270 NHL games, is considering staying in the American Hockey League and not pursuing an NHL contract.

Quick hits

  • Speaking of defenseman named Paul, the Houton Aeros have signed 33-year-old Paul Mara for the remainder of the 2012-13 AHL season. The Belmont, Mass., native was coaching at Bourne High after last playing in the NHL during the 2010-11 season.

  • The Worcester Sharks signed Patrick Rissmiller – who’s also from Belmont, Mass. – to a professional tryout agreement.

History lesson

  • On this day in 2011, Patrice Bergeron notched his first career hat trick in a 6-0 win over the visiting Senators. No. 37 did so on just four shots. Tim Thomas stopped all 31 shots he faced.

Today on NEHJ

  • As you all know by now, Friday is all about college hockey ‘round these parts. We’ll have the latest Atlantic Hockey, ECAC and Hockey East notebooks from Allen Lessels, Dan Guttenplan and Andy Merritt, respectively.

  • Also, we’ll be wrapping up our countdown of the 100 Greatest Players from New England.

Entirely off-topic

  • TMZ’s headline, not mine: Sharon Osbourne RIPS Lady Gaga – You’re a hypocritical attention whore. Whoa boy!

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.