Watch Jonathan Toews pop the water bottle, snipe it out of mid-air

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Toews (via Bauer/YouTube)

If you’re looking for an idea of how accurate an NHL shot can be, look no further than Jonathan Toews’ latest performance in a commercial promoting the Bauer’s new Nexus N1 stick.

In the commercial, shot at Winnipeg’s MTS Iceplex, Toews places a water bottle on top of the net before unleashing two snapshots. The first shot is to pop the water bottle and send it sailing into the air. The second shot is to pick the bottle out of mid-air, like skeet shooting with a stick and puck.

Your average pickup hockey superstar likely wouldn’t come close to pulling off the trick, but the Chicago Blackhawks’ captain makes it look like a walk in the park. Check it out: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Are Bishop’s days numbered in Tampa Bay crease?

Brian Bishop (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

While there’s considerable attention on the contract status of Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, the Lightning’s goaltending could also be worth watching during the upcoming season.’s Corey Long wonders how long Ben Bishop will remain the Lightning’s starting goalie. While the 28-year-old enters this season as the top dog between the Tampa Bay pipes, Long suggests Bishop is among their most valuable trade assets.

Bishop’s stock certainly rose after backstopping the Lighting to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. He’s currently entering the first season of a two-year contract worth $5.95-million annually. The deal also comes with a full no-movement clause.

Long, however, believes a new contract for Stamkos could force Lightning management to shed salary to ensure sufficient room to re-sign other notables in the near future. Those include defenseman Victor Hedman and forwards Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn. He believes Bishop could become expendable if backup Andrei Vasilevskiy shows sufficient potential in 2015-16.

Should Vasilevskiy blossom into a starter this season once he returns from a blood clot that will sideline him for 2-3 months, the Bolts will likely keep their goaltending tandem intact for the playoffs. Under that scenario, the earliest Bishop could be shopped is at the 2016 NHL Draft next June. Even then, it’ll depend up whether Stamkos is under contract by that point.


Recent rumors claiming at least five NHL teams are interested in Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane provided an early-September jolt to an otherwise slow NHL rumor mill. Kane, 26, is currently under investigation by Hamburg, N.Y., police for sexual assault, though no charges have been filed.

The uncertainty over this situation’s outcome leaves Kane’s immediate future with the Blackhawks murky at best. It’s unknown if Kane will attend training camp while the investigation is ongoing, let alone if he’ll be in the lineup when the season opens next month.

If the Blackhawks brass is thinking about trading Kane, they haven’t taken it up with him yet. He’s entering the first season of his eight-year, $84 million contract, which also contains a full no-movement clause.’s Scott Power reports a source close to Kane claims he hasn’t been approached about waiving that clause.

For now, it appears the Blackhawks are awaiting the outcome of the investigation before deciding on a course of action. Until then, don’t expect Kane to hit the trade block anytime soon.


During the summer of 2014, a feud between San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson and center Joe Thornton spilled out into the media. The spat reached its height when the Sharks announced Thornton was being stripped of the captaincy, fuelling considerable speculation over the big center’s future in San Jose.

Armed with a full no-movement clause, Thornton repeatedly stated he had no intention of requesting a trade. As last season began, the war of words between the two eventually died down.

CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz briefly revisited that squabble during a season-preview profile of the former Sharks captain. He points out the 36-year-old Thornton’s chance for winning a Stanley Cup are fading. With the Sharks missing the playoffs last season, Kurz wonders if the aging center might reconsider waiving that clause if the club falls out of postseason contention in 2015-16.

Thornton and his family have set down roots in San Jose. Earlier this year, he stated his wish to retire a Shark. If he still feels that way over the course of this season, he probably won’t accept a trade to a Cup contender by the trade deadline.


One of the most popular dates on the NHL calendar was revealed this week for the upcoming season. TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie reports the trade deadline for the upcoming season is Monday, February 29, 2016 at 3 pm ET.

Mark your calendars now and start planning your excuses for skipping work or school on that date, hockey fans. And don’t forget to follow for the latest rumors and trade news leading up to the big day.

Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website,, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

Rumor Roundup: Kane’s future with Blackhawks in question

Lyle Richardson
Patrick Kane (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The ongoing sexual assault investigation by Hamburg, N.Y., police involving Chicago Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane is raising questions in the Chicago media about his future with the team. Kane has yet to be charged, but uncertainty over his status has some pundits suggesting the Blackhawks might part ways with the troubled 26-year-old star.

If the investigation is still ongoing when the season opens in October, Barry Rozner of the Chicago Daily-Herald reports it casts uncertainty over his availability for the upcoming season. It will definitely be an unwelcome distraction for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Rozner also wonders if the Blackhawks brass wants Kane back, pointing out they issued the winger a strict warning in 2012 regarding several alcohol-related off-ice incidents. He suggests trading Kane could be among their options, speculating they probably already received inquiries from some rival clubs about his trade status. Read more

Report: Blackhawks have been contacted by five teams about potential Patrick Kane trade

Jared Clinton
Edmonton Oilers v Chicago Blackhawks

There is still no resolution Patrick Kane’s current legal situation, but regardless of the outcome, the Chicago Blackhawks may have some potential trade partners should they be looking to ship out the 26-year-old right winger.

According to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, a league source told him, “at least five teams contacted the (Blackhawks) once the Buffalo News first reported the investigation.”

The investigation involves an alleged incident between Kane and a woman at his Hamburg, N.Y., home and has been one of the biggest stories of the off-season. Kane has not been charged with a crime and the investigation is still ongoing. Read more

What’s holding up Stamkos and Kopitar extensions? The ‘R’ word

Anze Kopitar  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

If you’re Steve Yzerman, you should have had Steven Stamkos signed to an eight-year contract extension more than a month ago. Same goes for Dean Lombardi and his dealings with Anze Kopitar. It’s simple really. These guys are franchise players. Sign them at the going rate for the maximum number of years and get rid of the distraction.

After all, that’s what Stan Bowman did last summer and he killed two potential headaches with one Aspirin. Faced with a similar situation with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks GM needed exactly eight days to get his two stars signed to identical eight-year deals worth $84 million. Cap hits of $10.5 million per times two represented a bold move, but in reality, the Blackhawks got themselves a deal. Had Toews and Kane played out the final seasons of their contracts and gone on the open market separately, they would have cashed in even more. Read more

How Duncan Keith went from job-dodger to bionic Blackhawk – and Conn Smythe winner

Duncan Keith scores the Stanley Cup-winning goal. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It seems ludicrous that there was a time when Duncan Keith refused to get a summer job. After all, it’s pretty clear he’s anything but averse to heavy lifting. But there was a time, right around when Duncan turned 15, that his father, David, thought it might be a good idea for his son to learn the value of a dollar earned.

Impossible, Duncan said. Getting a job would get in the way of training. Training for what, his father asked. Training to be an NHL player was the answer. After all, Duncan had made the proclamation in large letters on a big piece of paper when he was just seven or eight years old, “Duncan Keith will make it to the NHL,” which his parents still have framed at their home in Penticton, B.C.

By the time he was a teenager, Duncan was studying the training methods used by the likes of Jaromir Jagr and Pavel Bure.

“When he told me he had to train, I said, ‘We’ll talk about it when I get home,’ ” David said. “When I got home from work, he was running around the yard with a rope and three tires he was dragging around on the grass.” Read more

Daniel Carcillo says he’s ‘98 percent ready’ to retire

Jared Clinton
Dan Carcillo

With more than 400 games under his belt and two Stanley Cup championships to his name, Daniel Carcillo may be ready to walk away from the professional game.

In an interview on WGN radio’s Kap & Haugh, Carcillo said he has been considering moving on from the game. Currently an unrestricted free agent following a one-year, $555,000 contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, Carcillo, 30, isn’t sure what the future will hold.

“This year has kind of been a little bit different,” Carcillo said. “I’ve prepared myself the past two or three years to kind of do some different things. I’ve always had the vision of leaving the game on my own terms, so, not necessarily that I’m going to do that, but it’s definitely in the forefront of my mind these days.” Read more

Longtime Chicago Blackhawk, former NHL all-star Chico Maki passes away at 76

Jared Clinton
Ron 'Chico' Maki played his entire career with the Chicago Black Hawks. (Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks have announced Ron ‘Chico’ Maki passed away Monday at age 76 while at his home in Port Dover, Ont.

With Maki’s passing, the Blackhawks family has lost one of the longest tenured players in the franchise’s history. Over his 15-year career, Maki suited up for 841 NHL games — all with Chicago. Only eight players in the history of the franchise have represented the Blackhawks in more games than Maki, and he is one of fewer than one dozen players to play 14 years in the Chicago organization.

Over his career with the then-Black Hawks, Maki was selected to the NHL all-star team three times and registered 143 goals and 435 points. While in Chicago, Maki played alongside Hall of Famers Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull and Pierre Pilote. Read more