Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 5 hrs ago
Mike Richards had his contract with the Los Angeles Kings terminated on June 29, with the team claiming that there was a “material breach of the requirements” of his 12-year deal, which ran through 2020.
What was the breach? NBC Sports’ Pierre McGuire indicated there was an incident at the Canadian/U.S. border that prompted the Kings to take action. Then TMZ Sports reported that Richards had been stopped at the border and questioned about oxycodone pills in his possession on June 17.
It’s taken nearly two months, but Richards has finally been charged by the Manitoba RCMP: Possession of Controlled Substance while entering Canada.
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
Nick Dzubnar rushed up the middle of the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive line, lunged and grabbed the leg of quarterback Drew Stanton, bringing him down to the grass.
Granted, his natural inclination may have been to put a shoulder into his jaw, knocking him down, forcing a turnover and then preparing to fight one of his teammates in retribution. But this was a San Diego Chargers’ preseason game. It was a field, not a rink. It was football, not hockey. Although Dzubnar believes his time playing the latter has informed his approach to the former.
Dzubnar is an undrafted rookie linebacker from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which isn’t exactly Linebacker U. Nevertheless, he’s the school’s all-time leader in tackles, which is great considering he almost opted to play another sport.
He caught the hockey bug before and during his time at Mission Viejo High in California. He almost considered a junior hockey career, but he followed his father’s path to Cal Poly instead.
Still, Dzubnar said the tools hockey gave him are the foundation for the kind of football player he’s become.
It was announced recently that Quebec City and Las Vegas have entered “Phase III” of the NHL expansion process, which we assume is the talent portion. Can’t wait to see Bill Foley spinning plates while singing the national anthem …
The markets are now proving their viability to the NHL and its Board of Governors, and the League in turn is letting these potential owners know what’s expected of them. Complicated concepts like “don’t be a complete fraud” and “don’t sell season tickets until we tell you to.”
Obvious issues to add an eighth Canadian team are:
1. Market size: Some believe that with under a million citizens, Quebec City will struggle long-term to fill that great new arena.
That’s a lot of poutine.
From Luke DeCock:
Is Quebec one of them?
Tom Sestito’s NHL journey has been an odd one, right through his professional tryout contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins that was announced on Wednesday.
He punched his way into the NHL, amassing over 300 penalty minutes in three seasons in the OHL, then 202 in the AHL before getting his first NHL game with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He would appear in 12 more before moving over to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2012, because of course.
He played in 21 games with Philly and then it was off to the Vancouver Canucks for three season, including one that seemed to indicate Sestito might actually have something more to offer than pummeling faces. He had nine points in 77 games under John Tortorella, albeit with with 213 PIMs, a career high. (He also picked up 27 PIMs in one second of ice time. Which is a heck of a trick.)
But in the next season, he was persona non grata under Willie Desjardins. He was sent to the AHL, and then the Canucks announced he wasn’t going to play there either:
So now he arrives in Pittsburgh. From the Pens:
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Washington Capitals star center Nicklas Backstrom had arthroscopic hip surgery after last season. All indications are that the surgery went well, and that Backstrom would join the Capitals in training camp.
But appearing in training camp is different than being ready for the start of the 2015-16 season, and Backstrom admitted to Gefle Dagblad 0f Arbetarbladet that he might not answer the bell when the Capitals open against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 10.
“I don’t know if I will be able to play right away when the season starts,” he said.
But Backstrom reiterated that the surgery “has gone well and I hope it stays that way.”
Said the center: “There has been considerable focus on enhancing mobility in the hip again, from the beginning I could not run or anything, because I wanted to wait to get on the ice also very recently.”
He’s back on the ice, which means hopefully his absence at the start of the season is a short one, if there is one at all.
One of the ways the NHL tries to differentiate between the Winter Classic and its Stadium Series games – besides inviting teams beyond the nine seemingly on repeat for Jan. 1 – is through its jerseys and logo designs.
Rather than throwbacks, these uniforms are typically spiffy takes on their current wardrobe, like the Los Angeles Kings’ white pants or the New York Rangers’ lettering, shiny and chrome like it’s on the way to Valhalla.
This season, the Detroit Red Wings are visiting the Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild are hosting the Chicago Blackhawks, which means four new designs for the Stadium Series. Or three new designs and whatever they do for the Blackhawks’ annual outdoor game. Ah, the spoils of victory and/or the perils of fame ...
According to a recently released Reebok catalogue that was screen-capped by graphic designer Conrad Burry, the Wild, Avalanche and Red Wings will all have new looks for the games.
Here's some gear for Chicago and Minnesota:
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Were it not for injuries, Mark Giordano could have been a Norris Trophy finalist (and likely winner) in each of the last two seasons. He’s a 31-year-old elite defenseman, on a Calgary Flames team that’s clearly ahead of schedule as a contender and has built a formidable blue line in front of average goaltending.
And now, he’s being paid as such: The Flames signed Giordano to a six-year extension worth $40.5 million according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, for a $6.75 million cap hit. He has one more year left at $4.02M AAV for the Flames.
From the Flames:
And that’s the thing with this deal: It pays Giordano what he’s worth now, and maybe for the next three seasons; but at some point in this deal, he’s going to be a 37-year-old defenseman making $6.75 million, at a time when guys like Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau could be looking to have new deals that eat up UFA years.
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Like David Hasselhoff in Germany and “Terminator: Genisys” in China, Mike Keenan is kinda a big deal in Russia.
He hasn’t coached in the NHL since splitting with the Calgary Flames in 2009, but Keenan has been with Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the Kontinential Hockey League for the last three years. He won the Gagarin Cup in 2014 – the only trophy in pro sports named after a Cosmonaut – and led them to the playoffs last season. He is their coach, their leader … a revolutionary, if you will.
You know: Like Lenin.
Right down to the icy glare.
So Metallurg decided to run with this comparison to its logical conclusion: a black and white promo (with jaunty piano music!) for the 2015-16 season starring Keenan as Vladimir Lenin.
Like we said: Not exactly your run-of-the-mill season promo.
One lingering question: What is handing these kids?
Fruit on a stick? Mouthguards? Those lollipops made out of scorpions?
The Kontinental Hockey League opened its 2015-16 season on Monday with the usual bombast that we’ve come to expect from pregame ceremonies, like giant CGI displays on the ice that transform the surface into 3-D objects.
Pfffft … everyone does that.
Seriously, KHL, what you got? What can all that Russian natural gas and oil money buy to entertain the assembled masses in a darkened arena?
KHL: “HOW ABOUT GLOWING LITE-BRITE LASER SKATERS, COMRADE?”
These four glowing skaters – OK, make that three glowing skaters and that one strand of Christmas lights that never seems to work – were a sight to behold, looking like some sort of hockey-centric sequel to “TRON LEGACY.”
They appear on the video at 2:30 and then do their thing until around the 5-mintue mark. Somewhat ironically, the puck is the only thing they didn’t make glow.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 days ago
The “undercover reporter” trend in sports is always good for a chuckle, although it’s impossible to top Matt Harvey asking New Yorkers who the hell he is. That moment when the Mets fan puts it together that the naked guy from the ESPN Body Issue was interviewing him was priceless...
The Boston Bruins unleashed Max Talbot on an unsuspecting Quebecois public this summer, and the results are pretty great. From being called a disgrace to his home province to being called a “dirty hockey player” to perhaps the most biting insult, “old,” Talbot hangs in there with his typical brand of whimsy.
As for the Montreal Canadiens fans that critiqued him … well, calling a guy a “disgrace” and then asking for a photograph is what makes us sports fans, right?
Hopefully the Canadiens return the favor and have P.K. Subban go undercover in Boston OK forget we ever mentioned this dear lord the streets of Beantown would run red with his blood …