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.
It’s no secret that Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray isn’t exactly pleased with Evander Kane.
Since coming to Buffalo in a blockbuster trade during the 2014-15 season, Kane has found himself in hot water enough times that Murray has said the youngster needs to right his behavior. The most recent incident came when Kane was arrested and charged last week following an incident that allegedly occurred June 24 at a Buffalo nightclub.
“Certainly we don’t like this is twice now he’s been in incidents like this,” Murray said on July 2 following reports of the alleged nightclub episode, via the Olean Times Herald. “It’s not good for the organization, it’s not good for him. He’s going to have to pick and choose his spots when he goes out a lot better than he does, and he’s going to have to behave himself a lot better than he has, obviously.”
However, any changes Kane makes could be too little, too late. That Kane has again found himself in hot water has some believing the Sabres could seek to move the 24-year-old winger, and the chances of that could be improved should Buffalo land top NCAA free agent Jimmy Vesey in mid-August, according to TSN 1040’s Matt Sekeres. But if the Sabres do choose to move Kane, where would he land? Read more
Come Wednesday, Detroit Red Wings netminder Petr Mrazek is likely to become the first player with a scheduled arbitration hearing to actually head to the hearing to settle on a new deal.
Mrazek, 24, will enter arbitration as the goaltender of the Red Wings’ future. He’s already been said to be the No. 1 as the season approaches, and this coming from GM Ken Holland before he’s even locked up the Czech netminder to a new deal. The issue, however, will be that the two sides aren’t just a few dollars apart, but rather have a $4 million gap in what they’ve deemed a reasonable salary going forward.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Mrazek’s camp is asking that Detroit pay him like the No. 1 goaltender he projects to be on a two-year, $10-million contract. The Red Wings countered with a two-year deal worth $2.7 million in the first season and $3.15 million the next. The likely scenario is that the arbitrated salary lands somewhere in the middle, but which side of middle it falls on is going to have an impact on the Red Wings roster as the off-season continues. Read more
The one-for-one swap that brought Adam Larsson to Edmonton and sent Taylor Hall to New Jersey caught just about everyone off guard, and the reaction among many was that the Devils had gotten the better of the deal.
One reason the general consensus swayed in the favor of New Jersey was that Larsson, 23, had yet to transform into the top-pairing blueliner he was projected to be. But the now-Oilers defenseman has faith in his ability, and he believes he can move into a bigger role in Edmonton, make a bigger impact than he had in New Jersey and make the trade look more even than it was believed to be when the deal was completed.
So after logging 22:30 of ice time per game for the Devils this past season, scoring three goals and 18 points and skating as a top-pairing defenseman at the World Championship for Sweden, Larsson intends to take his game to another level.
“I think I can take an even bigger step,” Larsson told media Monday. “There was a lot of focus on defense last year, and penalty kill, but obviously the next step is more offense and hopefully a little more power play time.” Read more
Based on average ice time alone, Danny DeKeyser was already a top-two defenseman in Detroit. The Red Wings rearguard averaged 21:48 of ice time during the 2015-16 campaign, second only to veteran Niklas Kronwall. Come next season, though, expect DeKeyser to top that list.
Tuesday morning the Red Wings and DeKeyser, 26, agreed to terms on a six-year deal worth a reported $30 million, according to CBC’s Tim Wharnsby. The deal will see him become the second-highest paid blueliner in Detroit with only Mike Green, set to make $12 million over the next two seasons, carrying a higher average salary. And while DeKeyser may not be paid as handsomely as Green, it’s a big contract for the 26-year-old and one that locks up the hometown kid long-term in Detroit.
The deal sees DeKeyser more than double his salary, but the big raise won’t come without added responsibility. Already relied upon as second on the depth chart to Kronwall in 2015-16, DeKeyser’s no doubt moving into the top spot this coming season. It’s about time for the Red Wings to make that switch, too. Read more
Andrei Vasilevskiy is already among the best Russian netminders in the world, and it could be just a few short seasons before the Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender is the best option in goal for the Russian national team.
And while being a Russian star usually goes hand-in-hand with occasional reports about the consideration of a contract in the KHL, Vasilevskiy has gotten way ahead of those rumors to make sure no one thinks he could be headed back to Russia.
According to KHL reporter Aivis Kalnins, Vasilevskiy, 22, has said he would “much rather sit on a bench in the NHL than play in (the) KHL.” The Lightning puck stopper added that he didn’t care if contract offers were coming his way now or later, he’d be staying put in the NHL. Not that Lightning fans were worried about Vasilevskiy leaving, but it’s always good to get some reassurance from the team’s future starter. Read more
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop’s mask is one of the most unique in the NHL. Using a technology called GLOW Tech FX, Bishop’s mask is as eye-popping as any in the league, lighting up when the arena goes dark and showing off the mask’s design.
Bishop’s mask was designed by DaveArt’s David Gunnarsson, and the idea behind the original mask was to make the design pop like the neon trail left behind by the motorcycle-style vehicles from the Tron series. The original mask design was a hit and looks absolutely awesome, with the designs looking as good in a bright area as it does in the dark.
So with the World Cup of Hockey on the horizon, Bishop and Gunnarsson decided to team up again. And using the idea that if a design isn’t broke, there’s no reason to fix it, Gunnarsson produced a Tron-style Team USA mask for Bishop that makes use of GLOW Tech FX to perfection once again. Check it out: Read more
St. Louis’ season didn’t end with them hoisting the Stanley Cup, but no one would call it an unsuccessful year. The Blues got over the difficulties they’ve had with the first round of the post-season and broke through to the Western Conference final, where their playoff run ended at the hands of the San Jose Sharks.
During the Blues’ run, they were backstopped by Brian Elliott, who was arguably the MVP of St. Louis’ season. But an off-season of change saw Elliott shipped to the Calgary Flames, which means the Blues chances of replicating the past season’s success will now be up to Jake Allen.
And though Allen has spent the past two seasons as a full-time NHL netminder splitting the crease with Elliott, the 25-year-old netminder has got a lot to prove in his first year as a true No. 1 netminder. In all likelihood, Allen’s season will be the most important individual season for anyone on the Blues roster. Read more
Ahead of their scheduled arbitration date with Brayden Schenn, the Philadelphia Flyers were seeking to lock the 24-year-old up to a two-year deal worth slightly more than $4.3 million per season. Schenn’s request was a one-year deal worth $5.5 million. Turns out the two sides didn’t need arbitration to find a fit.
The Flyers announced Monday that they’ve inked Schenn to a four-year deal, and they even found a middle ground when it came to the salary. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the contract will pay Schenn $5.125 million per season — a total of $20.5 million over the course of the deal.
Schenn’s past production may have some scoffing at the price tag, though. It’s a hefty salary for a player who had only once scored 20 goals in his first four seasons in Philadelphia. But there’s no doubt the hope for the Flyers and GM Ron Hextall is that Schenn’s late-season surge is a sign of things to come and that the young winger will build on his career-best 26-goal, 59-point campaign. Read more