Jared Clinton has been a regular contributor to The Hockey News since 2014, the same year he graduated from Humber College's journalism program. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he's heard every joke there has ever been about the city, but wouldn't have it any other way.
The NHL has held outdoor games at NCAA, MLB, CFL and NFL stadiums, an MLS pitch will be the site of the Centennial Classic next season and in the pre-Winter Classic era the league has even made an outdoor game work outside of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Even with all those venues checked off, though, the league is still hoping to make one more location work for an upcoming outdoor tilt: Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, the NHL is still eying up Parliament Hill for a potential December 2017 outdoor game. However, the logistics of putting an outdoor game in a spot that would require tens of thousands of temporary seats to be put in place could mean the scenic open-air game could be put on the back burner.
“It’s complicated,” commissioner Gary Bettman told Garrioch of hosting the game on Parliament Hill. “We’d have to know more. It’s complicated and expensive. We’ve been exploring it and doing some homework on it.” Read more
Ken Hitchcock will be back behind the St. Louis Blues’ bench in 2016-17, and, unlike last off-season, the Blues extending Hitchcock’s contract didn’t take much deliberation.
The summer before the 2015-16 season, there was uncertainty surrounding Hitchcock’s future. He was on the hot seat after the Blues flamed out of the post-season in the first round for the third-straight season, St. Louis had spoken with Mike Babcock about potentially stepping in behind the bench and there was belief the Blues could choose to switch things up on their coaching staff. Instead, they stuck by Hitchcock, giving him one more year to prove he could get the job done.
That was the right decision for the Blues then, and keeping Hitchcock around for one more season is the right move now by Blues GM Doug Armstrong. Read more
On the day final World Cup rosters were released, Russia shocked everyone by adding Slava Voynov their roster. The former Los Angeles Kings defenseman is currently suspended by the NHL following a no contest plea to a domestic assault charge, which made Voynov’s addition by the Russian Hockey Federation surprising, but it doesn’t appear his inclusion on the roster will mean he’s playing at the tournament.
During his media availability ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, commissioner Gary Bettman said that Voynov, 26, will not be allowed to suit up at the World Cup because of his current suspension from play in the NHL. The World Cup is a tournament being put on by the NHL and NHLPA, thus the league and Players’ Association can make that ruling.
“He’s been suspended from the league,” Bettman said when asked about Voynov. “The Russian Federation was told that he was not eligible to play in the World Cup. What happens from that moving forward in terms of what somebody may try to do is a different story. But his status has not changed.” Read more
In September 2015, it looked as though Mikael Wikstrand’s career was at an impasse. The 22-year-old defender had mysteriously left Ottawa’s training camp, returned to his native Sweden and was told by then-Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray that the only was his career was going to continue was if he was playing defense for a beer league team.
Nine months later, Wikstrand has signed a four-year contract with one of the SHL’s top teams. It was announced Monday that Wikstrand has inked a four-year extension with Farjestad BK which will see the young blueliner continue his career in the SHL for the foreseeable future. The Senators have not commented on the contract as of this writing.
Wikstrand’s extension with Farjestad is another strange twist in a story that caught many by surprise at the beginning of the campaign and remains a head-scratcher, if only in the sense that Wikstrand was in Ottawa one day and gone the next. Read more
Matt Nieto hasn’t played since Game 6 of the Sharks’ second-round series against the Nashville Predators, but the 23-year-old could be finding his way back into San Jose’s lineup Monday night.
After missing the past seven games of the post-season, including the Sharks’ entire Western Conference final series against the St. Louis Blues, Nieto said he feels as though the upper-body injury he sustained has healed to the point he can play if called upon in the Stanley Cup final. And if the third-year winger is ready to go, there doesn’t appear to be any reason for coach Peter DeBoer to hold Nieto out of action.
“I’m feeling really good right now,” Nieto said, via NHL.com. “I feel like I’m ready to play. The coaches know that, they’ll make decisions and if my name is called, I’ll be ready.” Read more
It’s been nearly a decade since Trevor Daley has been on a team that has gone this deep into the post-season, and with the Penguins having a shot at taking home the Stanley Cup, the 32-year-old defenseman doesn’t want to let his broken ankle keep him out of the series.
Daley’s injury was almost freak in nature. After an innocuous hit from Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ryan Callahan during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final, Daley went down in a heap before crawling to the front of the net on all fours to stay in the play. He was helped off the ice, didn’t return to the contest and coach Mike Sullivan said the following day that Daley’s injury was season-ending. Daley doesn’t feel that’s the case.
“I’m not going to rule myself out,” Daley said, via NHL.com’s Dan Rosen. “There’s no way. That’s keeping me going. I’m enjoying this and I’m not going to rule myself out.” Read more
Regardless of the outcome of the Stanley Cup final, Penguins winger Bryan Rust’s Game 7 performance will be remembered in Pittsburgh for years to come.
Rust, a 24-year-old mid-season call up, scored the opening goal in Game 7 and then netted the game-winner on an ugly side of the net jam play shortly after the Tampa Bay Lightning scored the game-tying goal. Those were his fourth and fifth goals of the post-season, and they came two days following his Game 6 insurance goal that sealed that victory for the Penguins.
But because of his Game 7 contributions, Rust isn’t exactly what one would call an unsung hero. Nor is someone like San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward, who would have been a shoo-in for this list had he not scored four goals in the final two games of the Western Conference final. There are still five players who should be getting more credit, though: Read more
Pascal Vincent has been a mainstay of the Jets since the franchise moved to Winnipeg from Atlanta, and now the 44-year-old Quebec native is turning his assistant coaching gig with the Jets into a spot as the bench boss for the Manitoba Moose.
The Jets announced Friday that Vincent has been named the AHL club’s eighth coach and second since the club returned to Manitoba from Newfoundland.
The position with the Moose opened up following the somewhat surprising release of Keith McCambridge following this past season. McCambridge’s contract was up, and the Jets announced they would not be renewing McCambridge’s contract following the 2015-16 season. Manitoba finished with the third-worst record in the AHL in 2015-16, but also had one of the youngest and most inexperienced rosters in the league. That’s not to mention that McCambridge lost starting goaltender Connor Hellebuyck to the big club early in the campaign. Read more