Kukla's Korner Hockey
Social media is riddled with comments from people ripping and defending Kane, demanding justice this way or that, saying Kane’s drinking is to blame, on and on. A Buffalo bar owner has weighed in. So has Kane’s driver, an off-duty cop.
It’s an ugly scene, this battlefield — even if all we can see is smoke from the distant cannons.
Even though Kane has lost a lucrative deal with EA Sports, and his image with teammate Jonathan Toews hoisting the Stanley Cup on the cover of a video game has been replaced by one with Toews alone holding the Cup, Kane is, at this moment, as innocent of a serious crime as you or I.
But here’s one undebatable item, resonating in Hawks fans’ hearts, no backup required: The joy of Chicago’s 2015 Stanley Cup triumph has vanished in the breeze.
-Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times where you can read more on the Patrick Kane case.
from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,
While the 2015 off-season hasn’t been one of big money contracts or jaw-dropping deals, the 2016 off-season is already setting up to be one that sees several perennial all-stars change locales. It’s not just one or two major names that will potentially be hitting the free agent market, either — we’re looking at potential for more than a dozen impact players finding new homes.
Some of the free agents listed below have the potential to sign long-term before free agency hits and several — including Anze Kopitar and Mark Giordano — have already reportedly been talking about new deals. But these are the top 25 free agents who could hit the market next off-season:
8. Kyle Okposo, RW
One would think the Islanders wouldn’t let Okposo slip through their fingers, but if they don’t get a deal done with the power forward, he’s going to be a hot commodity. Okposo has always seemed like a definite threat to breakout and have a 30-goal season, but injuries have almost always gotten the best of him.
His past two years have been near point-per-game performances, including a 27-goal, 69-point 2013-14 campaign in which he played 71 games. It was the best performance of his career and he was heating up in 2014-15 before an upper body injury put him on the shelf. If Okposo can stay healthy, he could be an 80-point player skating alongside John Tavares. His stock will shoot through the roof is he’s healthy all year.
9. Andrew Ladd, LW
The Winnipeg Jets captain is a sneaky-good scorer and probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his production. In the past two seasons, Ladd has scored 47 goals and 116 points in 159 games. That’s quality scoring from a player who could be a first- or second-line winger on a number of teams throughout the league....
Not one but two hockey related emails from TMZ (no I did not sign-up for them, they just send them to me knowing I am a hockey guy)...
A former professional hockey player is suing the NHL -- claiming he was seriously jacked up from several fights during his career ... and blames the league for failing to look out for his health.
The man behind the lawsuit is Cam Severson -- who was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 1997.
In his suit, Severson says he was involved in at least 10 fights during his career ... and specifically calls out an instance during the '03-'04 season where he was so badly disoriented, he skated to the wrong bench afterward and sat down with the wrong team....
Severson says the league glorifies dangerous bare knuckle fist fighting ... and cares about fighting even more than the actual game.
a bit more
NHL God Mike Bossy just got a HUGE assist from a famous rich guy -- Gavin Maloof -- who shelled out a fortune to reunite Mike with a legendary hockey puck ... TMZ Sports has learned.
We broke the story, Bossy lost his famous "50 in 50 puck" -- which he used to score his 50th goal in 50 games back in '81 -- 30 years ago, after his daughter mistakenly gave it away.
The guy who ended up with the puck put it up on eBay back in May -- and when Maloof caught wind of the sale, he tells us he felt compelled to take action to help Bossy get it back.
"I said, 'We need to get this puck. It means a lot to Mr. Bossy,'" Maloof tells TMZ Sports.
from Katie Brown at NHL.com,
The Washington Capitals spent this offseason trying to fix what went wrong in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when they were eliminated by the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round after holding a 3-1 series lead.
Since drafting Alex Ovechkin with the first pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, Washington has been one win from advancing to the Eastern Conference Final three times (2011, 2012, 2015), but the Capitals haven't been able to earn that victory.
Ovechkin turns 30 on Sept. 17, so the time for Washington is now.
"I felt the window to win with him was 10 years old," Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said in July. "He's a fantastic player. He plays hard all the time, and I feel I haven't met my commitment to him, that we would build a team that would be able to win Stanley Cups.
"The difference between winning and losing is just so small, so I do not think our window as an organization is closing."
Ovechkin scored 53 goals last season to become the sixth player in NHL history with six 50-goal seasons. With Ovechkin able to produce at an elite level, the onus is on general manager Brian MacLellan to help the Capitals make the most of Ovechkin's prime.
from Cari Grieb at The Sporting News,
The NHL, like other professional sports leagues, has become mired in controversy over domestic violence and sexual assault without taking a strong stand. Much of this league detachment can be attributed to the media and the Internet, which has overly-sensationalized athlete controversies in the Post-Ray Rice era, and has made fans equally desensitized.
Last September, Commissioner Gary Bettman took an active stance against domestic violence and sexual assault while speaking in Toronto. In the months since, he has expressed no interest in negotiating a domestic violence and sexual assault policy with the NHL Players Association; to the Commissioner’s Office, its current laissez faire approach to discipline is working fine.
The ongoing investigation into rape allegations facing the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane and the lack of action on both the league-wide and team level, illuminates the acute, pervasive issue for America’s fourth most popular professional sport.
Since the commencement of the Kane investigation, the NHL has sat idly by, waiting for a charge to be filed against the three-time Stanley Cup champion before taking any disciplinary action.
NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League announced today the composite schedule for the 2015 preseason, which opens on Sunday, Sept. 20.
Among the highlights of the 15-day, 104-game slate is the New York Islanders launching the first season in their new home, Barclays Center, in Brooklyn. The Islanders will play host to three Metropolitan Division rivals: the Philadelphia Flyers Sept. 21, New Jersey Devils Sept. 23 andWashington Capitals Sept. 28.
from Lyle Richardson of Spector's Hockey,
The dog days of the NHL offseason are now into late-August and training camp is less than a month away. Here’s a look back at some takeaways from some of the notable offseason news.
The behaviour of some NHL stars gave the league a black eye. There’s an enduring belief among hockey fans that NHL players are wholesome, clean-cut young men who don’t have run-ins in the law compared to athletes in other pro sports. For the most part, that’s true, but that myth suffered serious blows this summer due to off-ice incidents involving several NHL players.
Former LA Kings center Jarret Stoll was busted for drug possession in Las Vegas. Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly was charged with DUI. The Los Angeles Kings terminated center Mike Richards contract after he was involved in an incident at the Canada-US border. And the worst of all, the ongoing rape investigation involving Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane.
Of course, we shouldn’t tar all NHL players for the actions of a handful. Still, these incidents are a black eye for a league which likes to promote its players as upstanding, law-abiding citizens.
Threats of an offer sheet can scare a GM into trading a promising free agent.
from Dave Aeikens of KSTP,
Minnesota Wild assistant coach Darryl Sydor was arrested Thursday in Fridley on suspicion of driving drunk with his 12-year-son in the sport utility vehicle, according to Lt. Mike Monsrud of the Fridley Police Department.
Sydor was stopped at 5:15 p.m. on Minnesota Highway 65 and Medtronic Parkway in Fridley while he was on his way to his son's hockey game in Brooklyn Park, Monsrud said.
Sydor's blood alcohol level was 0.30, Monsrud said; he is expected to appear in court Friday on drunk driving and child endangerment charges.
thanks to a tweet from Chad Graff for the pointer
“When I have a chance now, I have to shoot, for sure. You can’t just play the game just for shots. You can make smart plays with a pass.
“But I look at a guy like Ovi (Alex Ovechkin), the best scorer in the world. Everyone knows they have to give it to Ovi.”
-Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers. More on Yakupov from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org