• THN’s 2014-15 NHL season preview: New York Rangers

    The Hockey News
    The New York Rangers around the Prince of Wales Trophy. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

    2013-14 record: 45-31-6

    Acquisitions: Ryan Malone, Kevin Hayes, Lee Stempniak, Matt Lombardi, Nick Tarnasky, Cedrick Desjardins, Mike Kostka, Dan Boyle, Tanner Glass, Steve Kampfer, Matt Hunwick

    Departures: Darroll Powe, Justin Falk, Brian Boyle, Brad Richards, Stu Bickel, Benoit Pouliot, Anton Stralman, Derek Dorsett

    Top five fantasy players: Martin St-Louis, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello, Rick Nash, Chris Kreider

    Boom, Bust and Bottom Line: The best, worst and most likely scenario
    Boom: A Rangers team that gave the Kings a modicum of resistance before falling in five games in the Stanley Cup final suffered some losses – and made some gains – over the summer. Read more

  • Gary Bettman on expansion to Ontario: If “the Leafs won the Cup, that second team wouldn’t exist”

    Rory Boylen
    Maple Leafs fans outside the Air Canada Centre. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    On Monday, Gary Bettman was at the Canadian Club in Toronto where he was interviewed by new Hockey Night in Canada front man George Stroumboulopoulos and then took questions from the crowd. Some of the discussion focused on the new deal with Rogers and how the game would be presented, the health of the league and collective bargaining. Of course, expansion/relocation was also a point of discussion and Bettman, again, shot down the notion that the league is currently looking at new markets.

    “The fact is this is the most stable our franchises have ever been, the healthiest we’ve been as a league, but we’re not looking to expand right now,” Bettman said. “No teams are relocating. I happen to take my two days on vacation this summer and see this article that came out of the West Coast saying we’re in expansion mode and we’re going to sell four teams. OK, so that disrupted one of the two days having to issue denials. Read more

  • This is the worst flop you’ll see outside of a soccer game

    Ryan Kennedy
    Ryan Hollweg (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

    So it seems like former NHLer Ryan ‘Hollywood’ Hollweg is having himself a tricky start to the year in the Czech Republic. The physical winger for Plzen has raised the ire of the hockey nation with his play, which has sometimes gone over the line and garnered extra discipline, including a 10-game suspension for kneeing Slavia Praha’s Tomas Vlasak.

    But this post is not about that hit, which you will see below. No, this post is about the reaction, where Vlasak’s linemate, Michal Poletin, feigns as if he is going to defend his buddy, then drops like a rock when Hollweg takes a swing at him. But watch the video, specifically at the 40-second mark: Hollweg misses him with the punch!

    Read more

  • Rumor Roundup: Ryan Johansen to KHL & other RFA buzz

    Ryan Johansen (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

    While Ryan Johansen’s contentious contract negotiations with the Columbus Blue Jackets dominate NHL headlines, several other notable young players around the league also remain unsigned.

    Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug and right winger Reilly Smith still await new deals. CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty reports it’s believed Krug and the Bruins have agreed to a one-year bridge term for this season but remain around $750,000 apart. Haggerty speculates Smith also received a one-year offer.

    Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli undoubtedly would’ve preferred re-signing the duo before training camp opened last week, but, as has been well documented, the Bruins lack sufficient cap space to comfortably re-sign the duo.

    It’s anticipated Chiarelli will make a trade before the start of the season to free up the necessary space. Until then, Krug and Smith remain in contractual limbo, unable to participate in training camp. Read more

  • Hurricanes owner values franchise at $420 million, would feel sorry for second Toronto team

    Rory Boylen
    Ron Francis with Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos.  (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images)

    As speculation persists on where the NHL could expand or move to next, rumors of relocation have been swirling around some of the league’s southern markets. Arizona is safe at least for the next few years, but Florida became a topic when one of their owners said the “current business model is not sustainable.” And there’s even been speculation that the Carolina Hurricanes lose piles of money, putting the North Carolina franchise at risk.

    On Monday came news that Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos is looking for an investor to put down money on the team and buy out his controlling interest over time. The catch is, that investor has to value the Hurricanes franchise at $420 million – Forbes values the franchise at $187 million.

    From Rick Westhead at TSN: Read more

  • Agents scratching their heads over Ryan Johansen’s contract demands

    Ryan Johansen (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

    When Columbus Blue Jackets president of hockey operation, John Davidson, sounded off last week over the Ryan Johansen imbroglio, he backed up his stance by saying, “There are agents that can’t understand it.”

    We at thn.com thought we would put that theory to the test. And if our sampling of conversations with 10 prominent agents is any indication, unfortunately for Johansen and his agent Kurt Overhardt, Davidson is right. There are a good number of player agents out there who can’t understand the stance Johansen and Overhardt have taken. (Last week, we spoke to 10 GMs for their views on the stance the Blue Jackets have taken.) Read more

  • Check out Red Bull Munich’s awesome lederhosen look

    Rory Boylen
    Red Bull Munich's lederhosen look. (Pictures courtesy Red Bull Munich's website)

    Germany’s Red Bull Munich wore some excellent jerseys on the weekend that we just have to draw your attention to.

    Now, this isn’t anything new to the team. Munich annually wears a lederhosen-style jersey-pants-socks combination for Oktoberfest celebrations, though they change the design. On Sunday, the team cracked out this year’s look against Dusseldorf – a game which Munich won 4-3.

    How awesome are these jerseys? Read more

  • Ryan Kennedy’s 2015 NHL draft rankings

    Ryan Kennedy
    Erie center Connor McDavid (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

    The excitement is palpable. Even before the 2014 draft had taken place, folks were already talking about 2015, when phenom centers Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel would be eligible for selection. But it goes far beyond those two pivots – there is also Noah Hanifin and Oliver Kylington on the back end to consider, plus a host of skilled forwards and burly power forwards. Here’s my initial take on the top 30 picks for 2015:

    Read more