• Retiring with ‘C’ on your chest is kind of a big deal

    Ken Campbell
    Nicklas Lidstrom (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

    When Bryce Salvador announced his retirement Wednesday, he did so with a distinction not shared by many players. Salvador hung up his skates as the captain of the New Jersey Devils, a testament to both his leadership skills and his enduring excellence.

    It’s not often a player retires as captain of his team. Most times the player either gets shuffled off to another team to finish his career or his play declines to the point where the ‘C’ is taken away from him and given to a younger player. To retire as captain of a team indicates the kind of continuity, reciprocal loyalty and long-lasting relationship you don’t see very often. Read more

  • AHL Logo Ranking: No. 13 – Utica Comets

    Jared Clinton
    Utica Comets logo (via SportsLogos/Chris Creamer)

    (The AHL has undergone a season of change and one-third of the league has changed locations or logos for the 2015-16 season. Leading up to the new season, The Hockey News will be ranking the logos of the league’s teams and offering a brief look at the history of each franchise. See the rest of the rankings in our AHL feed.)

    The Utica Comets were so close to capturing their first Calder Cup in just their second season in upstate New York, but they were run over in five games by the mighty Manchester Monarchs. So where do the Comets go from here?

    During this off-season, Utica has lost both of its starting goaltenders from 2013-14 — Jacob Markstrom will be in Vancouver, Joacim Eriksson left for Europe — and both of its top scorers. Cal O’Reilly, who led the team with 61 points, is off to Buffalo and Brandon DeFazio landed a deal with Boston. Coming in this year, though, the Comets have snagged Blair Jones, who notched 9 goals, 21 points in 33 AHL games in 2014-15. That’s a nice addition for the club.

    Plus, there’s always the youth talent to consider. Hunter Shinkaruk, Brendan Gaunce, Cole Cassels, Dane Fox and Alexandre Grenier are all a year older. For Cassels and Fox, this will be their first taste of the AHL, but they’ve got the ability to contribute enough to replace the losses the Comets have suffered.

    But that still leaves the goaltending issue. In 2014-15, Markstrom was nothing short of incredible, posting a 1.88 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. It’s tough to find a goaltender to replace that kind of puck-stopping in the AHL, but Richard Bachman will have to give it a shot. This past season Bachman posted a 2.38 GAA and .918 SP, but maybe he sees a bump from the quality of players in front of him in Utica. If the Comets want to get back to the Calder Cup final, Bachman might be the key. Read more

  • Watch Vladimir Putin and Russian stars defeat children in exhibition match

    Jared Clinton
    Vladimir Putin and his all-star team take a photo with school children after an exhibition game. (via Russian RT/YouTube)

    Whenever a team of seasoned professional players takes on a team of children, one would expect the kids to put up a fight and, in all likelihood, be allowed to beat their veteran opponents. If that veteran team has Russian president Vladimir Putin, however, those kids don’t stand a chance.

    Tuesday, Putin and a number of current and former Russian stars, including the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Bure and Slava Fetisov, took on a team of players from the Sirius academy for gifted children in Sochi.

    For those wondering how the 63-year-old Putin performed, you’re in luck. In a clip posted by Russian RT, Putin forgets the puck while stickhandling and then flutters a clearcut breakaway attempt on goal. Read more

  • Seattle arena takes step forward as design for potential building approved

    Jared Clinton
    Seattle skyline (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

    It might be too late for Seattle to get in on expansion, but progress is finally being made on getting the arena in place should the city ever make a real push for an NHL club.

    Following a three-hour meeting, Seattle’s Downtown Design Review Board unanimously approved the design of the potential Seattle arena, according to KING 5 News’ Chris Daniels. It was the first time in two years that the board had heard the plans for the building from arena investor Chris Hansen.

    Hansen has long been pursuing an arena in Seattle with the potential of placing NHL and NBA teams in Washington State and having the design approved is a major step toward making it a reality. Read more

  • Rumor Roundup: Kane’s future with Blackhawks in question

    Lyle Richardson
    Patrick Kane (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

    The ongoing sexual assault investigation by Hamburg, N.Y., police involving Chicago Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane is raising questions in the Chicago media about his future with the team. Kane has yet to be charged, but uncertainty over his status has some pundits suggesting the Blackhawks might part ways with the troubled 26-year-old star.

    If the investigation is still ongoing when the season opens in October, Barry Rozner of the Chicago Daily-Herald reports it casts uncertainty over his availability for the upcoming season. It will definitely be an unwelcome distraction for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

    Rozner also wonders if the Blackhawks brass wants Kane back, pointing out they issued the winger a strict warning in 2012 regarding several alcohol-related off-ice incidents. He suggests trading Kane could be among their options, speculating they probably already received inquiries from some rival clubs about his trade status. Read more

  • Former Devils captain Salvador announces retirement

    Jared Clinton
    Bryce Salvador (Brian Babineau/Getty Images)

    Bryce Salvador’s path to the NHL wasn’t an easy one, and after 13 seasons in the league the 39-year-old defenseman is prepared to call it a career.

    Wednesday morning, Salvador made his retirement announcement via The Players Tribune, in a piece titled “‘Til It’s Gone.”

    In the piece, Salvador describes the symptoms of his multiple concussions which caused him to miss the entire 2010-11 campaign. After recounting the story of his struggles with a concussion and damage to his vestibular system — which included his eyes not communicating with one another — Salvador revealed that he was choosing to step away from the game.

    “Today, I am retiring from the National Hockey League,” Salvador wrote. “I achieved my goal of coming back so that my boys would be able to remember me as an NHL player, and now I am content to step away on my own terms. But I am not leaving hockey, and I am not leaving New Jersey or the Devils. This organization never stopped believing in me, even when I was spinning around in office chairs (to heal my vestibular system).” Read more

  • It’s either Winnipeg or Europe for Nikolaj Ehlers this season

    Nikolaj Ehlers

    In terms of drafted prospects, few teenagers could top the season that Nikolaj Ehlers is coming off. The incredibly talented Halifax Mooseheads left winger put up approximately two points per game in the regular season, then paced The Herd with 31 points in just 14 QMJHL playoff games. He also helped Denmark win its first-ever game at the world juniors and was the most electrifying player in the entire tournament.

    So what does he do for an encore?

    Read more

  • Watch Colby Genoway score on full-speed Datsyukian deke in KHL

    Jared Clinton
    Colby Genoway (via KHL/YouTube)

    \There are a lot of reasons fewer shootouts make sense for the NHL, but one thing we’ll miss is the incredible displays of skill in the breakaway competition, like the dazzling move KHL center Colby Genoway pulled off Tuesday.

    In a KHL matchup between Genoway’s Medvescak Zagreb and Metallurg Novokuznetsk, regulation time and overtime solved nothing, so the two squads went to a shootout. After four rounds of breakaways resulted in no final score, Genoway stepped out for Zagreb and scored what could go down as the best shootout goal anyone in professional hockey scores all season.

    Breaking in with full speed, Genoway makes a move as if to cut across the crease before slamming on the brakes, cutting the opposite direction and shelving the puck over Novokuznetsk netminder Filip Novotny. Read more