Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today they have agreed to terms with defenseman and two-time Stanley Cup champion Michal Rozsival on a one-year contract, which runs through the end of the 2015-16 National Hockey League season.
Rozsival, 37, notched 13 points (1G, 12A) in 65 games with the Blackhawks last season en route to the 2015 Stanley Cup championship. He also tallied one assist over 10 playoff games. Rozsival has totaled 33 points (2G, 31A) in 134 tilts with Chicago over the past three seasons, including the 2013 Stanley Cup championship.
The Vlasim, Czech Republic, native has recorded 293 career points (66G, 227A) over 890 career games with Pittsburgh, the New York Rangers, Arizona and Chicago. Rozsival was selected by Pittsburgh in the fourth round (105th overall) of the 1996 NHL Draft.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
Few seem to like the fact the Chicago Blackhawks have invited Patrick Kane to their training camp. That seems clear, based on the columns and headlines and general commentary.
The Hawks are OK with it, needless to say, and clearly Kane is OK with it, as are his advisers. The NHL? That’s unclear, although it seems at least possible the league really wasn’t consulted at all, or told the club this decision was theirs to make. Hawks president John McDonough only said the team spoke to Kane’s "legal representatives" about the decision, and that was it.
So just the Hawks and Kane’s lawyers, both highly motivated to get him into camp regardless of any impact that may have on the league or the sport.
Those who passionately say Kane shouldn’t be there argue their case on two points.
First, they would argue it is an affront to women and the ugly problem of violence against women to allow Kane to get on with his life while it’s being decided whether he should be charged with rape.
It’s a fair argument. But he hasn’t been charged, and may never be charged.
from Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune,
Tone deaf for an organization that always seems to play the right notes.
Particularly stunning was McDonough's characterizing the Hawks' three Stanley Cups in six years as a "Camelot'' era.
Seriously? "Camelot'' after refusing to comment on a sexual assault investigation?
The legal process is real and serious. Kane's fate hangs by it.
The upcoming season with many personnel changes was something for another day.
from Melissa Isaacson of ESPN,
Is it drinking? Is it lack of maturity? Lack of judgement? Lack of ability to understand how the world works, since he was discovered as that genius at age 14 and has never been “normal’’ and learned what normal young men do?
It’s over now—nobody cares what his issues are. Get it straight, or get out.
When he walked off the dais at Notre Dame, Kane sure didn’t look like a three-time Stanley Cup winner. He looked like a little, beaten loser.
-Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times where you can read more on Kane.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane says he has the utmost respect for the legal process, and is confident that he’ll be absolved of all wrong doing.
added 4:32pm, Wath the John McDonough statement below...
I am watching the training camp press conference of the Chicago Blackhawks and t in attendance where Chicago Blackhawks president & CEO John McDonough, vice president/general manager Stan Bowman and head coach Joel Quenneville. Patrick Kane is also at the conference.
John McDonough says Patrick Kane will join the team at training camp.
Patrick Kane apologizes for the issues, will not comment on legal process but confident he has not done anything wrong and it will be proven.
More tweets added below at 3:33pm,
Left unanswered is why someone — a team, a teammate or the league — did not step in earlier, and tell Kane that he is no longer a man-child, but a 26-year-old man in danger of careening into a world of hurt, for himself or for others.
-Michael Powell of the New York Times where you can read more on Patrick Kane.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
It all starts with Kane, of course. The Hawks’ summer of celebration turned into a summer of silence last month when Kane became the subject of a police investigation, and now a grand jury. The Hawks still have not said whether or not Kane — who is entering the first year of an eight-year, $84-million contract — will be at camp. They haven’t even announced a camp schedule or a media day yet. It’s a big decision, and one on which the Hawks are obviously spending a lot of time.
Kane has not been charged with a crime, but will the image-conscious Hawks trot Kane out there with his teammates in front of the public as if nothing’s changed? Will they try to keep him away from the media circus his presence will surely create? Will they have him actually address the situation publicly for the first time? The safe and prudent thing to do is to keep Kane away from the team and have him work out on his own until the investigation reaches some sort of resolution, for better or worse. It might cost him the preseason. It might even cost him some of the regular season. But, at this stage of the investigation and at this stage of the season, the risk of having Kane on the ice is far, far greater than the reward.
There is no good answer here. Kane’s presence, fairly or unfairly, would be a massive distraction. And even without him there, Kane’s status will be the dominant story line of camp, and for the foreseeable future.
more on the Blackhawks...
from Scott Powers of ESPN,
Marcus Kruger was patient with the Chicago Blackhawks throughout the offseason; he put aside his desire for a long-term deal and ultimately agreed to a very cap-friendly one-year contract.
Kruger’s agent J.P. Barry is hopeful the Blackhawks will reward his client for that in the future. Kruger, who was a restricted free agent, agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract on Friday. He’ll become a restricted free agent again after the 2015-16 season.
“The reality is you do the deal now,” Barry said by phone on Monday. “Everybody knows, Chicago knows, he wants to be there. He wants to continue the discussion of a long-term deal. There’s a lot of good faith. From our standpoint, the strategy now is for Chicago to work hard to open up cap room and do an extension later this year.”
from Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune,
Kane’s very serious situation puts his team’s pursuit of a second straight Stanley Cup and fourth in seven years in serious doubt, which puts your greatest joy as a fan in serious trouble.
However large, there is a loud group of fans blindly defending Kane from the start. That’s the way it sounds to me.
Those vocal fans are representing Kane more than Kane has publicly defended himself, more than Kane’s lawyers have, more than Kane’s family, more than Kane’s hockey team. His agent talked … and hedged.
People condemning Kane don’t know what happened.
People championing Kane don’t know what happened. But here you are.
Why? How? I don’t get you.
Do you think you owe it to Kane?
Do you think he will be your friend?
Let me make clear: A fan’s feelings or a team’s championship hopes aren’t more important than determining whether a crime has been committed.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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