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.

Shea Weber finally wins hardest shot, could the Norris be next?

Ken Campbell
Shea Weber  (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

COLUMBUS – All right, so Shea Weber wins the hardest shot competition after finishing as runner-up three times. This is the same Shea Weber who has been a finalist, but not a winner, of the Norris Trophy in each of the past four seasons.

Soooo, if he’s finally removed the hardest shot monkey off his back, it only stands to reason we should be expecting an addition to his trophy case after the season, right?

“I know where you’re going with this,” Weber told thn.com after winning the event with a 108.5 blast, the second hardest shot in the history of the event. “I’m not going there.” Read more

The death of Corsi? It’s only a matter of time now

Ken Campbell
Drew Doughty (left) and Jonathan Toews  (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

COLUMBUS – The pocket protector crowd may be dismayed to learn this, but the Death of Corsi is on the horizon. Push up your spectacles and deal with it, people.

That much has become crystal clear this weekend when the NHL, in conjunction with a company called Sportvision, rolled out technology that will track puck possession, zone time and a host of other data far more accurately and easier to digest than what is currently available.

The process is still in its very early stages, but it involves embedding a microchip in players’ sweaters and pucks that will be coordinated with infrared cameras around the arena that will be able to uniquely identify each tag, which will tell us exactly who was on the ice, who had the puck and for how long. Read more

Time for star players to step up because NHL prepared to ditch Olympics

Ken Campbell
Sidney Crosby and Henrik Lundqvist (Photo by David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS – Now is the time for the best players in the NHL to stand up the way they do when the Stanley Cup is on the line. Because if they don’t push the issue on Olympic participation, the NHL will be more than happy to trash the entire concept.

The NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced the details of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which will be played in Toronto Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016. Both sides spoke of the event in glowing terms and there was much singing from the same songbook. That’s because both sides stand to gain a mother lode of money from a World Cup. The profits for the event are split 50-50 between the NHLPA and the league, meaning they will not be part of Hockey Related Revenues and will have no bearing on the salary cap. Each side is free to take its money and do with it whatever it wants. Read more

Toronto to get All-Star Game and outdoor game in 2017: Source

Phil Kessel  (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

COLUMBUS – The Toronto Maple Leafs will celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2017 with the All-Star Game and an outdoor game, a source with close ties to NHL ownership told thn.com.

And it looks as though the Winter Classic for 2016 will be held in Boston at Gillette Stadium with a game against the Montreal Canadiens. And, of course, the World Cup is scheduled for Toronto in 2016 with eight teams, including an all-star team made up of smaller hockey countries and a team of 23-and-under North Americans. Read more

Filip Forsberg gets that new-car smell in a big way

Ken Campbell
Forsberg and Nuge

COLUMBUS – Filip Forsberg went from having no cars to owning two in record time. The Nashville Predators rookie, who has been bumming rides from teammate Mattias Ekholm most of his first season in the NHL, bought a new Jaguar recently, then won a Honda Accord for being taken last overall in the all-star fantasy draft.

In a recent piece on Forsberg in THN’s Rookie Issue, Forsberg talked about not having a set of wheels. “That might change soon,” he said. Little did he know at the time he was going to have one too many cars before long.

“It was just a really fun thing to be here with the guys,” Forsberg said. “Hopefully I can play in another All-Star Game and move up in the draft in the future. And I get a car out of this. That’s not too bad either.”

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers, who was chosen second last in a fan vote, also received a Honda Accord. No word on whether it was equipped with a block heater.

Both Forsberg and Nugent-Hopkins said they would likely give the new car to a family member, “but you can never have too many cars,” Forsberg said.

Nugent-Hopkins said he expects members of his family back in Burnaby, B.C. will be vying for the prize.

“I’m expecting a few calls from family members lobbying for it,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “We’ll see who gets it.”

Team Foligno makes more coin, but Team Toews has the Cups and gold medals

Ken Campbell
Alex Ovechkin (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

COLUMBUS – We have no idea which team is going to win the All-Star Game Sunday afternoon, but we’re pretty sure which one is buying the drinks.

Boosted by the surprise late selection of Alex Ovechkin, Team Foligno broke the bank and shattered the NHL’s salary cap with a payroll of $122.91 million, more than $16 million more than Team Toews. The team also picked up $2.25 million in salary when it made a trade to acquire Phil Kessel for Tyler Seguin.

Where Team Toews is lacking at the pay window, however, it makes up for in team achievements. Led by the team captain, teammate Brent Seabrook and Patrik Elias, Team Toews has a total of 10 Stanley Cups, compared to nine for Team Foligno. And when it comes to Olympic gold medals, it’s not even close. Team Toews has 11 of them, while Team Foligno has just five.

Listed below are both teams and the salary cap for each player.

TEAM TOEWS

Jonathan Toews, Chicago – $6.5 million

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim – $6.5 million

Rick Nash, N.Y. Rangers – $7.8 million

Tyler Seguin, Dallas – $5.75 million

Shea Weber, Nashville – $7.86 million

Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia – $4.25 million

Corey Crawford, Chicago – $6 million

John Tavares, N.Y. Islanders – $5.5 million

Roberto Luongo, Florida – $4.53 million

Brent Seabrook, Chicago – $5.8 million

Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis – $1.75 million

Patrice Bergeron, Boston – $6.5 million

Jaroslav Halak, N.Y. Islanders – $4.5 million

Aaron Ekblad, Florida – $3.78 million

Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary – $1.85 million

Mike Hoffman, Ottawa – $750,000

Patrik Elias, New Jersey – $5.5 million

Ryan Suter, Minnesota – $7.54 million

Mark Giordano, Calgary – $4.02 million

Justin Faulk, Carolina – $4.83 million

Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay – $3.33 million

Filip Forsberg, Nashville – $1.46 million

TOTAL – $106.3 million

TEAM FOLIGNO

Nick Foligno, Columbus – $3 million

Patrick Kane, Chicago – $6.5 million

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles – $7 million

Ryan Johansen, Columbus – $4 million

Duncan Keith, Chicago – $5.55 million

Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles – $6.8 million

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay – $7.5 million

Phil Kessel, Toronto – $8 million

Carey Price, Montreal – $6.5 million

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia – $8.3 million

Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg – $5.2 million

Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh – $5 million

Brian Elliott, St. Louis – $2.5 million

Brent Burns, San Jose – $5.76 million

Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis – $4.25 million

Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay – $3.19 million

Jiri Sekac, Montreal – $1.35 million

Bobby Ryan, Ottawa – $5.1 million

Radim Vrbata, Vancouver – $5 million

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona – $5.5 million

Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo – $1.37 million

Alex Ovechkin, Washington – $9.54 million

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton – $6 million

TOTAL – $122.91 million

Steven Stamkos likely to stay in Tampa as NHL’s highest earner

Ken Campbell
Steven Stamkos (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

As of today, it’s looking more like Steven Stamkos is going to remain a member of the Tampa Bay Lighting for a long, long time. The only question now is whether or not he’ll sign the richest eight-year contract in NHL history this summer and become the league’s highest-paid player.

Stamkos, who has in the past been a little coy about his future with the Lightning, was a definitive as he’s ever been about his contract status. In fact, he set off something of a social media firestorm this summer when he retweeted a tweet from Adam Proteau suggesting Stamkos follow the lead of LeBron James and sign with his hometown team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stamkos’s deal with the Lightning expires after next season, but he and the Lightning can announce a contract extension as early as July 1. And that’s clearly what Stamkos wants to do at this point. Read more

Power Rankings: Ducks soar back to No. 1 spot

Ken Campbell
Anaheim Ducks  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

During Anaheim’s win over Calgary Wednesday night, Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen was so dehydrated from the flu that he had to have intravenous treatments between periods. Man, the Ducks must really want to avoid having to play Ilya Bryzgalov.

The win was the fifth in a row for the Ducks, making them one of the hottest teams in the NHL going into the all-star break and putting them, once again, at the top of thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.) Read more