Ken Campbell

Ken Campbell, The Hockey News' senior writer, is in his second tour with the brand after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native once tried out for the Ontario League's Wolves as a 30-year-old. Needless to say, it didn't work out.

Gordie Howe improving: ‘We will never give up on Gordie,’ his son says

Ken Campbell
Wayne Gretzky Gordie Howe

The son of Hall of Famer Gordie Howe confirms that his father’s recent recovery is going so well that there are plans for him make a public appearance with Wayne Gretzky in February.

Marty Howe confirmed his father is due to appear at the Kinsmen Celebrity Sports Dinner Saskatoon alongside Gretzky Feb. 6. Howe, who had strokes in October and November and has severe dementia, has been at his daughter’s home in Lubbock, Texas, but could be ready to leave soon.

“As long as he keeps improving and doesn’t have another setback, we feel he should be well enough to travel,” Marty said in an email to thn.com. “We will never give up on Gordie and giving up is something Gordie has never done.” Read more

Panthers co-owner: “I’m not putting a gun to (anyone’s) head”

Ken Campbell
Florida Panthers (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

You have to give the Florida Panthers credit for having chutzpah. They’re in the process of convincing the politicians in their city that a hockey team few people watch or care about is the driving force behind all the business the arena creates and that it would be a white elephant without them there. They’re also adamant that a team that has only once in 16 years turned a profit can do so if only it gets help with its arena lease.

And they might just be successful in doing it. Read more

Why the Montreal Canadiens should retire Saku Koivu’s No. 11

Ken Campbell
Saku Koivu (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images/NHL)

Truth is the Montreal Canadiens had planned to honor former captain Saku Koivu months ago. But seriously, when are these guys going to give us a break? This will be the second time in a week hockey fans will have to have their boxes of tissue at the ready while watching a pre-game ceremony.

That’s what happens, though, when you produce as many great players as the Canadiens have and you’re as good as this organization is at keeping their legacies alive. It’s been two decades since this organization has won a Stanley Cup so perhaps we should cherish these ceremonies while they last, but something tells me the Canadiens could have a tribute night devoted to 2004 first-round pick Kyle Chipchura and it would be memorable and special. Read more

Even without a Cup, Montreal will always think of Koivu as a champion

Ken Campbell
Koivu Habs featured

(Editor’s note: This chapter originally appeared in Ken Campbell’s 2008 book, Habs Heroes, The Greatest Canadiens Ever From 1 to 100. In that work, Koivu was ranked 41st, and with him being honored by the Canadiens tonight at the Bell Centre we believed it apropos to repurpose this tale.)

When Saku Koivu stepped on to the Bell Centre ice for a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs Nov. 3, 2007, he made history. It wasn’t exactly the kind he’d prefer to make, but it placed him firmly in the annals of team lore.

That night marked Koivu’s 663rd career game as a Canadien, making him the longest-serving player in franchise history not to win a Stanley Cup. Prior to that night, the designation belonged to Shayne Corson, who was along for the ride when the Canadiens won the Cup in 1986, but was not on the roster and did not meet the requirements to have his named etched on the trophy. Read more

KHLer Jeff Glass: ‘Players are getting hosed right now’

Ken Campbell
Jeff Glass (Photo by Yuliya Dmitrieva/KHL Photo Agency via Getty Images)

Former Canadian World Junior hero Jeff Glass is on his fifth team in six seasons in Russia and he has seen a lot of both the good and bad of the Kontinental Hockey League. But with the Russian ruble in a freefall and the league in disarray, this is the worst he’s ever seen it.

With boots on the ground, or at least skates on the ice, Glass puts a face to the stories that have been circulating throughout the hockey world about the KHL lately. Glass, who backstopped the 2005 Canadian junior team to a gold medal, but never played in the NHL, said he is thankful for the opportunity the KHL has given him to continue playing and make lucrative money, but it seems to him the whole thing is teetering on the brink of collapse. Read more

Power Rankings: Soaring Ducks on pace for 120 points

Ken Campbell
Ducks

Only two teams in the past 10 seasons have finished with 120 points or more, but the Anaheim Ducks are on pace to join the 2009-10 Washington Capitals and the ’05-06 Detroit Red Wings.

Now the bad news. Both those teams lost in the first round of the playoffs. There might be some concern the Ducks are peaking too early, but it’s tough to lose when the only playoff team you face during a seven-game winning streak is the Winnipeg Jets. Their torrid pace has put the Ducks at the top of thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.) Read more

Kings might want to flip the switch anytime about now

Ken Campbell
Joffrey Lupul and Jonathan Quick (Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

If the Stanley Cup playoffs were to begin right now, the Los Angeles Kings would be in them by the skin of their teeth. They would have limped into the post-season with four losses in their past five. They would enter the tournament with their most productive players in terrible slumps – Anze Kopitar with one goal in his past 13 and Jeff Carter with one in his past 12. Nobody is talking about Drew Doughty as a candidate for the Norris Trophy and Marian Gaborik has alternated between being injured and ineffective.

They’d be preparing to play one of the league’s hottest teams, one that has nine wins in it’s past 10. That team would be the Chicago Blackhawks and we all know what happened when they faced each other last spring. Read more

Dennis Seidenberg on Jonathan Toews: NHL can’t win on this one

Ken Campbell
Dennis Seidenberg and Jonathan Toews (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

You’d have to think Stephane Quintal knew there would be days like these when he agreed to replace Brendan Shanahan in the top job in the NHL’s department of player safety. Quintal is truly between a Hawk and a hard place today. Whether he and his department decide to further discipline Dennis Seidenberg for his hit on Jonathan Toews Thursday night, he’ll be criticized.

If he allows Seidenberg off the hook, which looks like it will be the case, he’ll be accused of allowing stars to risk injury by not penalizing dangerous hits on vulnerable players. If he applies further sanctions to Seidenberg, he’ll be accused of trying to remove hitting from the game and turning it into the No Hitting League. Read more