Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.
It began in late July, when Minnesota Wild left winger Thomas Vanek made a surprising appearance at a federal government building in Rochester, N.Y., where the Austrian national had once played for the American League’s Americans. Vanek was co-operating with investigators in a gambling probe and no charges were laid against the hockey player.
But with one of the men charged in the case pleading guilty to money laundering on Thursday, Vanek’s name is back in the news.
Jake Smith thought he was good. The North Bay Battalion goaltender had just deflected Aaron Laishram’s wrister away from the net, so he skated off the celebrate the shootout victory with his teammates. But he celebrated too early.
What do advanced stats folks say about small sample sizes?
Through 10 games, Colorado Avalanche center and 2014 Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon was still without his first goal of the season, but last night against the New York Islanders he potted two – and I expect more to come now.
Former Boston Bruins tough guy Stan Jonathan will face a trial stemming from a hunting incident on Six Nations land in 2012.
Nathan Horton, Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky and Sergei Bobrovsky. That’s a lot of core to have on the shelf but the Columbus – oh wait, add Mark Letestu to the IR – Blue Jackets are doing what they – also, James Wisniewski, are you kidding me? – uh, can.
Spirits were high in Columbus this summer after the franchise’s second-ever playoff berth ended with its first-ever post-season victories, even if the Jackets fell to Pittsburgh in the first round. But it seems the only spirits present now in Ohio are phantoms of the operating table, as the Jackets have been killed by injuries throughout the lineup. Along with the players mentioned above, players such as Ryan Murray, Matt Calvert, Nick Foligno and Cam Atkinson have also missed time.
When Edmonton’s Taylor Hall and Nashville’s Ryan Ellis were in junior, they played for some of the most dominant Ontario League teams in recent history, winning back-to-back Memorial Cups with the Windsor Spitfires in 2009 and 2010. And while those squads also featured Adam Henrique, Zack Kassian and Cam Fowler, it was Hall and Ellis that stirred the drink.
The pair reunited in Edmonton last night and despite giving up three inches and almost 25 pounds to Hall, Ellis destroyed his old buddy with an open-ice hit as the Oilers winger tried to break past him on the rush:
When is an 18-year-old not an 18-year-old? When he finds himself analyzed by the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement.
New York Rangers rookie Anthony Duclair has been a revelation this season, putting in great work at the Traverse City prospects tournament and then parlaying that into a superb showing at training camp. The youngster has his first NHL goal under his belt and now the question is whether the Blueshirts will keep him on Broadway all season long.
Except the normal nine-game rule doesn’t apply here.
On the eve of the new season, I was talking to Boston coach Claude Julien about the importance of Zdeno Chara to his younger defensemen. The behemoth captain naturally gave a boost of confidence to his mates when he was out there and one of the beneficiaries was Torey Krug. The young offensive defenseman had a pretty sweet rookie campaign for the Bruins and Julien expected Krug to have a big opportunity to continue that success this season. Then Chara went down with a knee injury.
Now, Krug has been sidelined with a broken finger that will keep him out of the lineup for two to three weeks. With Kevan Miller also on the shelf and Johnny Boychuk traded to the Islanders, the Bruins defense corps is in dire need of reinforcements. Do they have the right personnel?