Ryan Kennedy

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.

Three of the top 10 picks in the OHL draft haven’t signed yet

Ryan Kennedy
Victor-Mete

Minor ripples were made the other day when a Michigan news outlet reported that center Tye Felhaber was unlikely to report to the Saginaw Spirit, the Ontario League team that drafted the talented youngster 10th overall in the spring.

As I found out in talking to insiders, Felhaber didn’t just decide this; the team had quietly known for some time. But since it’s officially out there now, Felhaber becomes the third top-10 pick from the 2014 OHL draft to express reticence in joining the franchise that selected him.

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Which franchise will be the next to win its first-ever Stanley Cup?

Wild-Blues

We recently sorted out our Yearbook predictions for 2014-15, which included projected standings and which team will win the Stanley Cup. Without giving it away, our anticipated winner has been to the promised land before. Which mathematically, should not be surprising. Only 12 of the NHL’s 30 teams have never won the league title and it’s hard to say who will be next. When the Los Angeles Kings won their first Cup in 2012, they broke a streak of futility that had stretched back to 1968 when the team originally entered the league. The following teams would like to join them:

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Nashville signs Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy, but were they the right moves?

Ryan Kennedy
Mike-Ribeiro

The Nashville Predators have made a late splash in free agency, inking veteran centers Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy to one-year contracts. And while the Preds were desperate for pivots after learning of Mike Fisher’s ruptured Achilles tendon, I’m not sure this was the right path.

Sure, Nashville has long struggled with offense and GM David Poile has now made several moves to address the problem: Along with the new pair of signings, he also brought in Olli Jokinen, James Neal and offense-minded coach Peter Laviolette recently. But with the exception of Laviolette, none of these guys are winners.

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Jordan Subban sounds like an incredibly fun teammate

Ryan Kennedy
Jordan-Subban

When the Vancouver Canucks tabbed defenseman Jordan Subban with the 115th overall pick in the 2013 draft, they knew they were getting a bundle of skill with great bloodlines. After all, older brothers Malcolm and P.K. were both in the game and P.K. had just won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top blueliner.

But along with sharing a position, Jordan also seems to have P.K.’s gift of gab, as evidenced by this recent video of the Belleville Bulls blueliner going through the paces at Canucks development camp with a hot mic on:

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Women can do more than just clean up and cheer at hockey games

Ryan Kennedy
ice-girl-Lundqvist

The New York Islanders are credited with bringing the concept of ice girls to the NHL in 2001, but many franchises have since followed suit. San Jose is the latest team and the Sharks are now dealing with a movement to ice those girls before they even get to shovel their first snow scrapings between whistles.

Sure, as Greg Wyshynski of the Puck Daddy! blog notes, they’re mixing in a guy or two on the squad, but he gets to wear a zip-up jacket. The women will sport the bare midriffs that are basically standard-issue in the ice girl game and that’s one of several reasons there is growing animosity towards the concept.

Here’s my main problem with the concept of ice girls (other than the fact teams are infantilizing these employees who most likely drive cars to the games by calling them “girls” instead of “women”): it’s not just the needless and workplace temperature-inappropriate sexualization, it’s the void of other female role models in a hockey context at NHL arenas.

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