Vancouver not only victor

The Flyers and Penguins were both winners when Mats Sundin spurned the Atlantic Division-leading Rangers and signed with Vancouver on Thursday for a reported $5 million.

Though 37, Sundin is still a top-six forward and he would have helped the Rangers' woeful power play. New York entered the weekend with just a 14.9 percent success rate on the power play.

By the way, the hottest ticket in Toronto these days is the Feb. 21 matchup against the visiting Canucks and the Leafs' former captain.

Playoff preview?

Detroit sent a message with its 6-0 win over upstart San Jose on Thursday: Don't think it will be easy dethroning the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Down the road, San Jose, which has the NHL's best record, could face Detroit in the Western Conference playoffs.

"Our guys, when they're excited, they can play pretty good," Wings coach Mike Babcock said with a bit of understatement, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Money matters

The weak economy is affecting the NHL. According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, at least 17 of the 30 teams are slashing ticket prices.

Some of the discounts are to try to sell tickets as holiday gifts; some are just to get fans into the building. Period.

The deepest discounts are being offered by the New York Islanders, Atlanta Thrashers and Florida Panthers, three teams having attendance problems.

For instance, the Panthers are offering $42 tickets for $17 and giving fans free parking, a combo meal, and a $5 gas card.

What, no free kids' watches?

Spectrum flashbacks

Today's date - Dec. 21 - was an eventful one for Flyers goalies in the Spectrum's history.

According to Ike Richman, vice president of public relations for Comcast-Spectacor, the Flyers registered three Spectrum shutouts on the date:

1967 - Bernie Parent blanked Minnesota, 6-0.

1969 - Parent stopped Pittsburgh, 4-0.

1991 - Ron Hextall shut down Minnesota, 3-0.

You could look it up.

- Sam Carchidi