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.
When super draft prospect Connor McDavid broke his hand in a fight in November, the number of hot takes on the matter scorched the media landscape. Everyone was expected to weigh in and NHL players were not immune.
Boston Bruins power forward Milan Lucic was one of them and, given his appetite for truculence, his response was no surprise.
“You definitely respect the fact he’s willing to step up for himself,” Lucic said. “On another point, not contradicting or going against what Don Cherry was saying, it’s good to see that a player of his caliber has that fire.” Read more
If I may mangle a hockey truism for a second, the Stanley Cup can’t be won in Carolina on a Thursday, but it can be lost there.
The Anaheim Ducks had given up 13 goals in their past three games, all of which were losses. So stopping the skid in Raleigh was important for a number of reasons. The fact sophomore goaltender John Gibson played such a big role in the 2-1 victory was also a great sign for a team that holds down first place in the Pacific Division and yet has gone a little under the radar.
Swift Current, Saskatchewan is home to around 15,500 people, making it the smallest market in all of major junior. But that hasn’t stopped the local Broncos from forging an illustrious history in the Western League, with alumni such as Joe Sakic, Geoff Sanderson and Brent Sopel, plus two playoff titles and a Memorial Cup championship in 1989.
The town has a movie theater and that’s the main source of non-hockey entertainment for the Broncos. Draft prospects Jake DeBrusk and Glenn Gawdin both cited Dumb and Dumber To as their favorite recent flick, but these kids have shown a lot more promise than Harry and Lloyd.
When the Detroit Red Wings met up with the Edmonton Oilers in early January, more was at stake than two points in the standings. According to Gunnar Nordstrom of Sweden’s Expressen, that’s when Henrik Zetterberg and Anton Lander got together and decided to help financially bail out their old Swedish club, Timra IK.
If the playoffs began today, three Canadian franchises in the Western Conference would be vying for the Stanley Cup. In order of least to most surprising, you have Vancouver, Winnipeg and then Calgary. The fact any of these teams is in the playoff picture (while Los Angeles and Minnesota are on the outside looking in) is mildly news, but the fact the Flames are making noise has been one of the good storylines of 2014-15.
When goaltender Jonas Hiller signed with Calgary in the summer, it seemed like he just needed a place to prove himself again. Now he’s thriving and the Flames are, too.
Well, I’m writing this week’s Hot List in Toronto because the Beanpot tournament in Boston was postponed due to weather. Not fun, but at least I can try again in two weeks. In the meantime, the Five Nations tournament just wrapped up in the Czech Republic, with Russia winning and Team USA boasting the highest scorers in Matthew Tkachuk (Keith’s kid) and Jack Roslovic. Below you’ll find some of the best performers from that shindig plus other prospects from around the hockey world.
Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien has been in the news a lot recently thanks to his unique methods of doing laundry, but let’s not forget his impact on the ice for the Jets. The mammoth defender has been back up at the wing recently and tore it up offensively on the weekend, but does he actually like playing forward?
When the Toronto Maple Leafs brought 2014 first-rounder William Nylander over from Sweden last month, they were giving the talented teen a chance to escape a bit of a gong show with his Modo team back home, while also learning the rigors of the North American game in the AHL.
Five games and two points into his career with the Toronto Marlies and Nylander is still adjusting.
“It’s getting better,” he said. “A little more time and it will be like normal.”