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.

Why can’t baseball players act more like hockey players?

Ken Campbell
Toronto Blue Jays celebration  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

In the spring of 2002, back in the day when mastodons roamed the earth and the Toronto Maple Leafs were good, Alex Mogilny sat dumbfounded at his stall in the Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs had just defeated the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs, again, to advance to the Eastern Conference final.

As bedlam surrounded him, Mogilny wondered aloud, with a genuine look of bewilderment on his face, “Why is everyone so excited? We’ve only made it halfway through the playoffs.” You had to forgive Mogilny. It was the end of his first season in Toronto and he wasn’t accustomed to people getting so excited after watching their team almost come close to just about winning something.

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Former Nordiques CEO Marcel Aubut leaves post with Olympic committee amid harassment investigation

Ken Campbell
Marcel Aubut (Bernard Weil/Getty Images)

Former Quebec Nordiques CEO Marcel Aubut has stepped down as president of the Canadian Olympic Committee and chairman of the Canadian Olympic Foundation amid a sexual harassment investigation.

“Mr. Marcel Aubut has learned of allegations concerning remarks he allegedly made to a colleague,” Aubut said in a statement. “He has offered his unconditional support to those responsible for investigating the remarks attributed to him and setting the record straight. This is a normal process that should be completed by mid-October.” Read more

Fates of Quebec City and Las Vegas now rest in hands of 10 powerful men

Ken Campbell
Centre Videotron (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Just think, only 69 more sleeps until the good folks of Las Vegas and Quebec City find out whether they’re going to be watching their very own team by 2017-18. Maybe. After making their presentations to the executive committee of the board of governors, both parties now wait to see whether the board will make a decision whether or not to grant them expansion franchises at its Dec. 7-8 meetings in Palm Springs.

In business parlance, they’re known as Dog and Pony Shows and that’s pretty much what Tuesday’s presentations were. The presentations represent the third stage of the expansion process for the NHL and they’re slick and refined, but the reality is that there’s really nothing in those presentations that the members of the executive board already don’t know. This part of the process is basically a formality. To be sure, the members of the executive board are not going to make a recommendation to the board of governors based on a one-hour presentation.

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Meet Nic Petan: Hockey’s newest fourth-line specialist

Ken Campbell
Nic Petan  (Photo by Ken Andersen/NHLPA via Getty Images)

WINNIPEG – There was a time not long ago when players on the fourth line were specialists. And their specialty, more often than not, was to go out and punch people in the face. But the Winnipeg Jets might just have a different kind of fourth-line specialist this season in rookie Nic Petan.

Actually, Petan has two recent trends in hockey working in his favor as he tries to earn a spot on the Jets by bypassing the minors. The first is that there is a place in the game now for players who are 5-foot-9 as long as they have some skill, which Petan has in abundance. The second is the advent of 3-on-3 overtime, which begins this season.

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Todd Ewen’s family donates brain to Canadian concussion study

Ken Campbell
Todd Ewen (Photo by Mike DiGirolamo/Getty Images)

Family and friends will gather later today in St. Louis for a private funeral to celebrate the life of former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen. Some 800 miles away, Dr. Charles Tator is waiting for Ewen’s brain to arrive in hopes that it will provide some clues that will bring something positive from his suicide. has learned that the Ewen family has agreed to donate Ewen’s brain to the Canadian Sports Concussion Research Project, where it will be examined for signs of possible brain degeneration or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It is an initiative spearheaded by Tator, which will now have the brains of 19 former athletes. Tator hopes to examine at least 50 brains of former athletes. The majority of the brains Tator has for his study are of former Canadian Football League players, but there are some hockey players, most notably Steve Montador, who died last February at the age of 35.

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The Metropolit Brothers: one pro hockey player, one convicted felon

Glen Metropolit (Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s a sunny summer morning in Toronto and Glen Metropolit is back home. Well, not exactly. Home is actually a little west of the Starbucks where he’s sitting. To be in an upscale coffee shop at all has to be considered a triumph for him. That’s because Glen grew up in a neighborhood called Regent Park, which was one of the most notorious and densely populated projects in Canada.

Constructed in the late 1940s, it was established to narrow the divide between the poor and the well off. The social experiment ended in disaster. Just a stone’s throw from the financial district where billions of dollars flow every day, Regent Park was once described by a local newspaper this way: “Living here is like getting kicked in the teeth.” The area has been gentrified in recent years and now includes mixed income housing, but back in the day it epitomized the dead end street for the disenfranchised. Glen’s 83-year-old grandmother still lives in Regent Park, but when he comes back to visit in the summer he couch surfs at the homes and apartments of his old friends in the area. He’s used to that, since he moved about 50 times when he was a kid, by his estimation, including foster homes.

Glen’s cellphone rings as he sips his coffee. It’s his younger half-brother, Troy Metropolit. As the two make plans, Glen says his brother’s name at the end of every sentence. “So, what time are you free, Troy?” “Should I pick you up at your girlfriend’s place, Troy?” The name sounds foreign coming from his mouth, given Glen just saw his brother in June for the first time in 16 years, when he was 25 and Troy 22.

“I can’t believe I can just pick up the phone and talk to him whenever I want to,” he says. Read more

Patrick Kane ‘circus’ takes another strange twist. What should we make of it all?

Ken Campbell
Patrick Kane (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

My goodness, aren’t we learning so much about the criminal justice system lately? Thanks to the Patrick Kane investigation, we’ve learned that rape kits are put in boxes, not bags. We’ve learned that there doesn’t appear to be any New York state laws around the fabrication of evidence presented to a civilian. And we’re learning that when DNA evidence surfaces that is favorable to the accused, it must be turned over by prosecutors to the accused’s attorneys.

What a lot of people are still having a difficult time with, though, is the concept of due process, for both the accused and the alleged victim. More than a month after an alleged incident took place in Kane’s Buffalo home, the Chicago Blackhawks star has been charged with nothing.

But that has not stopped wild speculation from running rampant on both sides. It has not prevented a disturbing case of victim blaming. It has not stopped some from declaring Kane either guilty or innocent despite the absence of facts.

And it has not prevented some of the most bizarre things from happening, all of which came to a head Friday when Erie County district attorney Frank A. Sedita III revealed that the apparent evidence tampering of the rape kit that surfaced Thursday was “an elaborate hoax” perpetrated by the victim’s mother. Read more

Ekman-Larsson shooting to become best in Sweden and NHL

Ken Campbell
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Before Oliver Ekman-Larsson can even think about being the best defenseman in the NHL, he has to be the best defenseman in his own country. Heck, he’s not even the best defenseman in his own blueline pairing for Sweden. But Larsson is shooting for the title, both literally and figuratively.

When Sweden chooses its World Cup team, it will have some vexing decisions to make on its defense corps, but one of them will not be whether or not to include Ekman-Larsson. And there’s probably a good chance that whoever coaches the team will not duplicate the actions of Par Marts, who sat Ekman-Larsson out for the entire semifinal of the Olympics in Sochi and for the first two periods of the gold medal game. After starting the tournament as Erik Karlsson’s defense partner, Ekman-Larsson played fewer than 24 minutes total in Sweden’s final four games in Sochi. Ekman-Larsson started the tournament strongly with Karlsson, but was a fixture on the bench when Alexander Edler returned from his two-game suspension to start the tournament.

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