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Archive for April 8th, 2018

New York Mets issue statement on passing of ”Le Grand Orange” Rusty Staub


The Mets family suffered another loss earlier today when Daniel “Rusty” Staub passed away in a West Palm Beach Hospital after an illness. He was almost as well known for his philanthropic work as he was for his career as a baseball player, which spanned 23 seasons. There wasn’t a cause he didn’t champion. Rusty helped children, the poor, the elderly and then there was his pride and joy The New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. A six-time All-Star, he is the only player in Major League history to have collected as least 500 hits with four different teams. The entire Mets organization sends its deepest sympathy to his brother Chuck and sisters Sue Tully and Sally Johnson. He will be missed by everyone.

Read more: New York Mets

Rusty Staub as a NY Mets player in 1973 by Desert Sun via wikipedia commons

New York Mets

After three seasons in Montreal, the New York Mets made a blockbuster trade for Staub in 1972 in exchange for first baseman-outfielder Mike Jorgensenshortstop Tim Foli, and outfielder Ken Singleton.  He was batting .313 for the Mets until June 3 of that year, when he was hit by a pitch from future teammate George Stone of the Atlanta Braves, fracturing his right wrist. He played through the pain for several weeks until X-rays revealed the broken bone. Surgery was required and as a result, he went on the disabled list and didn’t return to the line-up until September 18, 1972.

The injury never quite healed right and to make matters worse, he was hit by a pitch from Ramón Hernández of the Pittsburgh Pirates (on the left hand this time) early in the 1973 season. But he still led the team in RBIs. In the National League Championship Series against the Cincinnati Reds, Staub hit three home runs and had five runs batted in. In Game 4 he made an outstanding play defensively, when he robbed Dan Driessen of an extra-base hit in the 11th inning. But while making the catch in right field, he crashed into the fence and separated his right shoulder. The injury forced him out of the lineup for Game 5. The Mets went on to beat the heavily favored Reds to win the National League Pennant in 5 games. In the World Series the shoulder injury forced him out of Game 1. But he returned to the lineup for Game 2, but had to throw underhanded and weakly for the remainder of the World Series. Despite the injury, he batted .423 against the Oakland Athletics including a home run and six runs batted in. For the 1973 postseason he batted .341 with 4 home runs and 11 runs batted in.

In 1974 he had an injury free season and led the Mets in hits, runs batted in, and at bats.

In 1975, he set a Mets record with 105 runs batted in—the first Met player to surpass 100 RBIs—which was not matched until 1986, when it was tied by Gary Carter, and not surpassed until 1990 when Darryl Strawberry recorded 108.




MLB Commissioner issues statement on the late Rusty Staub


Rusty Staub waving to crowd after being presented with NY Mets Hall of Fame plaque 2010 photo By slgckgcderivative work, CC BY 2.0, https


Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement today regarding the passing of six-time All-Star outfielder Rusty Staub, who was 73:

“Across his accomplished 23-year Major League career, Rusty Staub earned the respect of fans in Houston, Montreal, New York, Detroit and beyond. Known for his power and patience at the plate, Rusty became an All-Star for three different clubs and a fan favorite. He played a memorable role in the early franchise histories of the Astros and the Expos, and he starred for the Mets in the 1973 World Series.

“Rusty was a superb ambassador for our sport and a generous individual known for community efforts, particularly for the New York City Police and Fire Departments. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Rusty’s family and friends, Mets fans and his many other admirers in the United States and Canada.”




Daniel Joseph “Rusty” Staub (April 1, 1944 – March 29, 2018) was an American professional baseball right fielderdesignated hitter, and first baseman. He played in Major League Baseball for 23 years with five different teams. He was an original member of the Montreal Expos and that team’s first star; though the Expos traded him after only three years, his enduring popularity led them to retire his number in 1993.

Retirement and honors

Staub 10.png
Rusty Staub’s number 10 was retired by the Montreal Expos in 1993.

Staub’s career ended at the age of 41 in 1985. He was only 284 hits shy of the 3000 hit milestone. He was the only major league player to have 500 hits with four different teams. He, Ty CobbAlex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield share the distinction of being the only players to hit home runs before turning 20 years old, and after turning 40 years old. Staub was on the Hall of Fame ballot for seven years from 1991 to 1997. He never received more than 7.9%, and he dropped off the ballot after receiving 3.8% in 1997.

Staub was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1986. In 2004, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Niagara UniversityJesuit High School, where Rusty graduated, annually gives the Rusty Staub Award to the leader of the varsity baseball team. In 2006, Staub was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and six years later, in 2012, he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. On May 26, 2012, the New York Mets featured a Rusty Staub promotional giveaway bobblehead as part of their 50th anniversary celebration.

On April 4, 1986, Staub established the Rusty Staub Foundation to provide educational scholarships for youth and fight hunger.

In 1986, Staub founded the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, which supports the families of New York City police officers, firefighters, Port Authority police, and emergency medical personnel who were killed in the line of duty. During its first 15 years of existence, the fund raised and distributed $11 million for families of policemen and firefighters killed in the line of duty. Since September 11, 2001, Staub’s organization has received contributions in excess of $112 million, and it has played a vital role in helping many families affected by the attack.

Staub went on to work as a television announcer for Mets’ ballgames from 1986 to 1995.

Staub owned and ran two restaurants in Manhattan. Rusty Staub’s opened in 1977, and Rusty Staub’s on Fifth in 1989. Both have since closed.

After his playing career, Staub also served as a goodwill ambassador for the New York Mets and was a vice president for the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, serving as the chairman of the annual Legends for Youth Dinner.

In July 2006, Staub teamed with Mascot Books to publish his first children’s book, Hello, Mr. Met.



On March 29, 2018, Staub died at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, due to multiple organ failures. He was initially admitted with pneumonia, dehydration, and an infection, spending a total of eight weeks in the hospital.




Daily Almanac for Sunday, April 8, 2018: The 98th Day of the Year

Hammerin' Hank Aaron waving to crowd, hit his 715th home run on this date in history; 2013 photo By Chris Evans from, United States, Uploaded by Dudek1337, CC BY 2.0, https















NHL Morning Skate for Sunday, April 8, 2018: Flyers and Avalanche clinch playoff spots; Sedin Twins retire; Six of eight matchups set for 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs; Final game of 2017-18 to decide conference title, playoff matchups

NHL Public Relations



Home Team in Caps

WINNIPEG 4, Chicago 1

BOSTON 5, Ottawa 2

TORONTO 4, Montreal 2

NY Islanders 4, DETROIT 3 (OT)

FLORIDA 4, Buffalo 3

WASHINGTON 5, New Jersey 3

CAROLINA 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT)

NASHVILLE 4, Columbus 2

Anaheim 3, ARIZONA 0

COLORADO 5, St. Louis 2

CALGARY 7, Vegas 1

EDMONTON 3, Vancouver 2 (SO)

Dallas 4, LOS ANGELES 2

Minnesota 6, SAN JOSE 3



Needing a regulation win to clinch the final postseason berth in the Western Conference, the Avalanche received three points from captain Gabriel Landeskog (1-2—3) to defeat the Blues and complete the playoff picture.


* Colorado became the 13th team since 1974-75 to reach the playoffs after finishing last in the overall standings the previous season. Their 47-point differential over 2016-17 matches the fourth-largest year-to-year improvement by any team.

* Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored the first regular-season hat trick of his NHL career to reach the 100-point plateau for the first time and help Philadelphia clinch the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.


* The Flyers took a 4-0 lead following goals six seconds apart by Giroux and Michael Raffl (1-1—2) – a franchise record – as the club advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 39th time in 51 NHL seasons. Only three teams have more appearances in the expansion era: BOS (43), STL (41) and MTL (40).


All four Western Conference matchups and two Eastern Conference series are confirmed for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs:


* After reaching the 2017 Stanley Cup Final as the lowest-ranked team, the Predators (No. 1 Central) enter this postseason as the highest-ranked team and will face the Avalanche (Wild Card 2) in the First Round, their first-ever playoff meeting.

* The Golden Knights (No. 1 Pacific) will play the Kings (Wild Card 1) in their first-ever postseason series. Of the 11 other NHL teams to make the playoffs in their inaugural season, four won their first series: the Toronto Arenas (1918 SCP) and New York Rangers (1927 SCP) did so before the modern era, while the Minneosta North Stars and St. Louis Blues defeated other expansion teams in the 1968 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* The Ducks reached the 100-point mark for the seventh time in franchise history – and fifth straight season – to move into the No. 2 seed in the Pacific Division and set up a First Round meeting with the Sharks (No. 3 Pacific). This marks the eighth all-California series in NHL history and second between Anaheim and San Jose (also 2009 CQF: 4-2 ANA).

* The only matchup decided before Saturday’s games was the first-ever postseason meeting between the Jets (No. 2 Central) and Wild (No. 3 Central).

* The Capitals enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Metropolitan Division for the third straight year and will face the Blue Jackets (Wild Card 1), their first-ever postseason meeting.

* Intrastate rivals will clash for the seventh time in the postseason when the Penguins and Flyers meet in a battle between the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the Metropolitan Division. Philadelphia has won four of the previous six series, including their last meeting in the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals (4-2 W).


First place in the Eastern Conference and the final two matchups in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs will be determined when the Bruins host the Panthers in the final game of the 2017-18 regular season.


* The Bruins (50-19-12, 112 points) sit one point back of the Lightning (54-23-5, 113 points) for the top spot in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Boston will clinch first place with a win of any kind, while Tampa Bay will claim the title if Boston loses in any fashion.


* The No. 1 seed will face the Devils (Wild Card 2) in the First Round, while the No. 2 seed will face the Maple Leafs (No. 3 Atlantic).


* Boston and Toronto have met in 14 all-time playoff series (TOR 8-6), while Boston and New Jersey have met four times (NJD 3-1). Tampa Bay has played two postseason series against New Jersey (NJD 2-0) and has never faced Toronto in the postseason.


The Bruins will play for first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference when they host the Panthers for a rescheduled game at TD Garden tonight – the final game of the 2017-18 regular season.

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Players, coaches, executives and fans from across the NHL expressed sorrow and offered support following the tragedy involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.


* The Jets, Flames and Oilers – three clubs that play approximately 400 miles from the Broncos’ home arena – were among the teams to honor the Humboldt team and community.


* In Winnipeg, players from both teams and on-ice officials stood in unison at center ice during a moment of silence. The Jets and Blackhawks also wore “BRONCOS” name plates on their jerseys for the entire game.

* The Maple Leafs and Canadiens joined forces for a donation to support the players and families affected by the tragedy in Saskatchewan, as did many others within the NHL community. Click here for more information and comments from players past and present – including Hockey Hall of Famer Glenn Hall, a Humboldt native – and a statement from Commissioner Gary Bettman.



* Oilers captain Connor McDavid had two assists in his final game of 2017-18, finishing with 41-67—108. With one contest remaining in the season, he is in line to become the second player in NHL history to lead the League in scoring multiple times before age 22, joining Wayne Gretzky who did so three times.


* Islanders forward Mathew Barzal collected two assists to conclude his first NHL season with 22-63—85 (82 GP), the most assists and points among all rookies. He became the fourth rookie in franchise history to lead the Islanders outright in scoring. His 85 points are third-most by a rookie in franchise history, while his 63 assists are tied for the third-most by a rookie in NHL history – Peter Stastny (1980-81 w/ QUE) and Joe Juneau(1992-93 w/ BOS) had 70 assists apiece in their rookie campaigns.



The penultimate day of the 2017-18 season featured four hat tricks. The campaign began in much the same way, with four players achieving the feat in their season debut – just the second time in NHL history that four hat tricks were scored over the opening two days (also 1917-18).


* Saturday marked the 34th day in NHL history to feature at least four hat tricks, and first since Dec. 15, 2010. Five days have featured at least five hat tricks.


* Overall, there have been 81 hat tricks through 1,270 games. Only five seasons since 1990-91 have seen more three-goal games.


* Flyers forward Claude Giroux concluded 2017-18 with a 10-game point streak (8-11—19) to become the sixth different player in franchise history to reach the 100-point mark in a season (34-68—102) and first since 1995-96 (Eric Lindros: 47-68—115). With one game remaining in the NHL season, he ranks second in League scoring.


* Predators forward Filip Forsberg became the second player in franchise history to score a hat trick in the season finale (Paul Kariya in 2005-06).


* Stars captain Jamie Benn posted his second hat trick this week (April 3 at SJS) to finish the season with seven goals over his final three games.


* Flames rookie Mark Jankowski became the seventh player to score at least four goals in a game, the most in one campaign since 2002-03 (8).



Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves and Kyle Connor scored his rookie-leading 31st goal as the Jets finished the best season in franchise history with a 52-20-10 record (114 points). Winnipeg set club records for overall wins and points, and ended the season with victories in each of their final nine games at Bell MTS Place to establish franchise records for home wins (32) and longest home win streak.


* Hellebuyck concluded the season with a nine-game winning streak – also the longest such run in franchise history – to set the NHL record for overall wins by a U.S.-born goaltender and tie the League benchmark for home wins in a season (30).



After an emotional farewell to fans in Vancouver on Thursday, Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin played their final NHL game. Since making their NHL debuts at the beginning of the 2000-01 season, all 1,465 Canucks games have featured at least one Sedin (1,360 regular season and 105 playoffs). Click here for a detailed look at their careers (with stats through games played April 4).


* ICYMI: The Sedins brought their children to the bench to watch the end of their final game.










Surprising Vegas Golden Knights head into playoffs after record-breaking inaugural season










On-ice achievements, off-ice efforts defined Golden Knights’ historic regular season

NHL Public Relations





After an 8-1-0 start that featured an emotional home-opening victory, the Vegas Golden Knights finished their unprecedented inaugural season with a 51-24-7 record (109 points) and the Pacific Division title.

In doing so, Vegas became the first modern-era expansion team from any of the four North American professional sports leagues to start from scratch and finish first in its division (excluding mergers and all-expansion divisions). With a fifth-place finish overall, Vegas also became the first expansion team from any of the four North American professional sports leagues to start from scratch and finish among the top-five in the league.

The team’s first NHL season was marked by off-ice efforts to help rally a grieving city following a mass shooting on Oct. 1 and on-ice excitement that brought Vegas hockey fans to their feet and into the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The First Month

* The Golden Knights won their first regular-season game when James Neal (2-0—2) and Marc-Andre Fleury (45 saves) – a pair of 2017 Stanley Cup finalists – led the club to victory on Oct. 6 in Dallas.

* Neal scored the winning goal in each of the team’s first three games as Vegas became the first club in the 100-year history of the NHL to begin its inaugural season with a 3-0-0 record.

* The Golden Knights’ home opener began with a ceremony in which first responders accompanied players onto the ice for the first time, a 58-second moment of silence to honor the victims of the shooting and a speech from center ice by defenseman Deryk Engelland, a longtime Las Vegas resident.

* Overall, Neal started 2017-18 with a four-game goal streak (6-0—6) to become the first player in the NHL’s expansion era to score in each of his team’s first four games of its inaugural season.

* Vegas capped its 8-1-0 start with a 7-0 victory on Nevada Day, marking its first five-game winning streak of the season – at the time matching an inaugural season record achieved by two other clubs (1926-27 Rangers and 1979-80 Oilers).

* The club’s historic start was even more remarkable given that Vegas used four goaltenders within its first 10 games (Fleury, Malcolm SubbanOscar Dansk and Maxime Lagace) following a slew of injuries.

* General manager George McPhee and head coach Gerard Gallant used their decades of NHL experience to navigate the challenging situation, putting faith in three rookie netminders: Subban, Dansk and Lagace. The goaltending trio rose to the occasion as Vegas became the 12th team in League history to have three goalies each earn their first NHL win in the same season.


The Streak

* The Golden Knights faced their first on-ice adversity during their first extended road trip, a six-game stretch from Oct. 30 – Nov. 7 that saw them post a 1-4-1 record. After making his NHL debut in the opener of the road trip, Lagace was thrust into the starter role, with Dylan Ferguson – a call-up from the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers – as his backup in a total of eight consecutive games.

* The club returned to T-Mobile Arena to post its sixth straight home win on Nov. 10 before suffering its worst loss of the season on Nov. 14 at EDM (8-2 L). Ferguson made his NHL debut in the Edmonton game, becoming the fifth goaltender to appear for Vegas.

* The loss to Edmonton was a turning point for Vegas. The Golden Knights won their next five games and posted a 17-3-1 record from Nov. 16 – Jan. 2 to move into first place in the Pacific Division and Western Conference.

* That 21-game stretch saw Vegas post its eighth consecutive home win and ended with an eight-game winning streak and 13-game point streak (12-0-1) – both NHL records for a team in its inaugural season.

* The eight-game winning streak began Dec. 14 when Fleury defeated the Penguins – with whom he won three Stanley Cups – in his second start following a 25-game absence. It was Vegas’ 20th win of the season in just its 31st contest.

* The Golden Knights took over the top spot in the Western Conference for the second time on Dec. 19 – they held the position for one day following their fifth win – with a dramatic victory over the League-leading Lightning.


The Finish

* The Golden Knights overtook the Lightning for first place in the entire NHL on Jan. 21 and 11 days later posted their 34th victory to set the NHL record for wins by a team in its inaugural season – with 32 games remaining.

* Over the course of the remainder of 2017-18, the Golden Knights would continue to shatter records for a franchise in its inaugural NHL season, including longest home point streak (10-0-2 from Dec. 3 – Jan. 23), most home wins (finishing with 29), most road wins (finishing with 22) and most overall points (finishing with 109).

* On March 26, Vegas became the third expansion team since 1968-69 – and first to start from scratch – to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (also EDM and HFD in 1979-80). In addition to the Golden Knights, Oilers and Whalers, only four other expansion clubs from any of the four North American professional sports leagues qualified for the playoffs in their inaugural seasons.

* In one of the most memorable games of the 2017-18 season, Vegas retired No. 58 to remember the 58 victims of the city’s Oct. 1 mass shooting before clinching the Pacific Division title off a breathtaking go-ahead goal by leading scorer William Karlsson.

* The Golden Knights became the first modern-era expansion team from any of the four North American professional sports leagues to start from scratch and finish first in its division (excluding mergers and all-expansion divisions, according to Elias).

* With a fifth-place finish overall, Vegas became the first expansion team from any of the four North American professional sports leagues to start from scratch and finish among the top-five in the league (since 1961, excluding 1967-68 NHL season). Elias notes that the 1976-77 Denver Nuggets tied for second place overall in their first NBA campaign after joining from the American Basketball Association.


Top Performers

* The Golden Knights success was backed by career-best performances by 11 different players, most notably forward William Karlsson who finished third in the League with 43 goals (43-35—78 in 82 GP) after posting 6-19—25 with Columbus in 2016-17 (w/ CBJ). Only five players scored more goals while playing on a team in its inaugural season.

Jonathan Marchessault (27-48—75 in 77 GP) finished second in team scoring and second in the League in plus-minus (+36), behind Karlsson (+49). Only seven players in NHL history posted more points for a team in its inaugural season, including only one other who did so after the 1979-80 expansion.

* After effectively managing their early-season goaltending carousel, the Golden Knights settled in with Marc-Andre Fleury starting 42 of their final 53 games. The veteran netminder posted a 29-13-4 record to climb four spots on the NHL’s all-time wins list, finishing the campaign with 404 career wins – three behind Glenn Hall (407) for 10th place.

Erik Haula (29-26—55 in 76 GP), James Neal (25-19—44 in 71 GP) and Reilly Smith (22-38—60 in 67 GP) also hit the 20-goal mark as Vegas tied for fourth in the NHL with 272 goals. Only two teams finished their first NHL campaign with more goals: the Whalers (303) and Oilers (301) both eclipsed 300 goals in 1979-80, teams that featured the top two goal-scorers in NHL history in Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky.

* General manager George McPhee began constructing the Golden Knights upon his hiring on July 13, 2016, selecting Gerard Gallant as the team’s first head coach on April 13, 2017. Calculated decisions at the NHL Expansion Draft, NHL Draft and throughout the season led him to his eighth division title and 11th Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance as a GM. Gallant, meanwhile, has led his club to a division title in each of his past two full seasons as head coach (also FLA in 2015-16).

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