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.

Nicklas Backstrom’s PED ordeal ends with settlement, sanity prevails

Ken Campbell
Nicklas Backstrom  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Almost 11 months after Nicklas Backstrom’s drug scandal ordeal began in Sochi, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have acknowledged what everyone seemed to know all along – that the Washington Capitals center was the victim of an honest, but costly mistake.

And, as a result, he’s getting his wrist slapped and we all move on.

The three bodies issued a joint statement Thursday that they had reached a settlement in the dispute, which was to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Read more

Losing Whalers, gaining U.S. NTDP an upgrade for Plymouth

Jack Eichel  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

There have been a lot of proposed names bandied about for Flint’s new Ontario League team that will hit the ice next season. I’m kind of partial to Hurricanes. After all, that’s what the team was named the last time Peter Karmanos played a key role in a city losing its Whalers.

The Plymouth Whalers, who began their life as the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors in 1989, then became the Detroit Jr. Wings, then became the Detroit Whalers and have been in Plymouth since 1997, were sold today to a group that plans to move the team to Flint in time for next season. The purchase still has to be approved by the OHL, which is expected to do so at its next board of governors meeting Feb. 2. Read more

Rangers vs. Islanders gives New York fans reason to cheer again

Ken Campbell
Islanders-Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Denis Potvin, we can only presume, still sucks. But that’s about the only thing that has remained constant in the rivalry between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders over the past couple of decades.

Until tonight, that is. When the Islanders visit the Rangers for the second time this season, it will represent the first time in, well, forever that the two franchises have been relevant and contending teams. The Rangers are only the hottest team in the NHL right now, coming off their first-ever California sweep and having won 13 of their past 14 games. The Islanders, by contrast, have been consistently strong this season and sit on top of the Metropolitan Division standings – albeit with the Rangers being five points behind and having three games in hand. Read more

Power Rankings: Rick Nash and King Henrik propel Rangers to top spot

Ken Campbell
Rick Nash (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

Go to the head of the class and collect your gold star if you predicted at the beginning of this season that Rick Nash would be returning to Columbus as an All-Star Game selection.

Nash is going, which he should, and Henrik Lundqvist is not. No matter, the Rangers don’t mind. They swept California for the first time since it became a three-game road trip and have won 13 of their past 14, outscoring their opponents by a  51-22 margin.

For that reason, the Rangers find themselves atop the Power Rankings for the first time this season. (The last rankings, which were done Dec. 22, are in parentheses.)

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Four-year deal for Sergei Bobrovsky a good one for both sides

Ken Campbell
Sergei Bobrovsky Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

When Ryan Johansen was involved in his infamous contract imbroglio during training camp, both Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen and team president John Davidson were unwavering in their stance. They both stressed they were willing to pay big-money and long-term contracts to players who had earned them.

And that’s exactly what they’ve done. Hours before taking the ice Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Blue Jackets announced they had signed goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to a four-year contract extension worth $29.7 million. That came weeks after the Blue Jackets locked up winger Nick Foligno to a six-year deal worth $33 million.

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Soo Greyhounds rookie GM swings for the fences with blockbusters

Ken Campbell
Nick Ritchie (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

More than two decades ago, with his team sitting on top of the NHL standings, New York Rangers GM Neil Smith made three blockbuster trades on deadline day that moved three core players out and brought four veterans into the fold.

“And how did that all work out?” asked Kyle Raftis, the first-year GM of the Ontario League’s Soo Greyhounds.

Like Smith did in 1994, Raftis has a team that’s in first place. Like Smith, Raftis saw that his team was good, but probably not good enough to win a championship. And like Smith, Raftis swung for the fences at the trade deadline. Read more

J.P. Parise remembered as a tenacious player, hockey factory mastermind

Ken Campbell
J.P. Parise  (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)

J.P. Parise will be remembered by most hockey fans for two things: Almost decapitating referee Josef Kompalla in Game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series and being the father of NHL star Zach Parise.

In reality, of course, he was so much more than that. Parise, who died Wednesday night at the age of 73 after a long battle with cancer, will be remembered as an industrious NHL player who got the most out of his abilities and willed his way to an NHL career that lasted almost 900 games. More importantly, he’ll be remembered as the man who revived the hockey program at Shattuck St-Mary’s, a small prep school in Faribault, Minn., that became a hockey factory after Parise began coaching there in 1996.

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Jean-Paul Parise: a life well lived

Ken Campbell
Jean-Paul Parise spent most of career with the Minnesota North Stars and played on Canada's 1972 Summit Series team. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Editor’s note: Jean-Paul ‘J.P.’ Parise, retired NHLer and father of Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise, passed away Wednesday at age 73 after a battle with lung cancer. A few months ago, after J.P. learned his diagnosis was terminal, he gave a heartfelt interview to THN senior writer Ken Campbell. It appears below. We send our deepest condolences to the Parise family.

The voice at the other end of the line that’s usually so robust and enthusiastic is, on this day, weak and raspy. The person behind it is, at times, a little incoherent. But it’s the voice of a fighter. Anyone who has cancer will tell you there are good days and there are bad days. As far as days go, this one could be better. A lot better.

Jean-Paul Parise just 
arrived home from the hospital. Chemotherapy ravaged his immune system, and he developed a rectal abscess that had to be surgically removed after he contracted C-difficile, which he got the first time he was in the hospital from all the antibiotics. During his surgery, he contracted it again.

“I’m sitting here feeling like s—,” Jean-Paul said. “My Lord Jesus, I have never, ever suffered so much in my life. In my life. This friggin’ chemo. You ask how it is? Well, on a scale of one to 10, it’s 12-and-a-half.”

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