Team USA summer roster out; look for an experienced world junior squad

Noah Hanifin of Boston College (Tom Sorensen/USA Hockey)

Team USA was almost shockingly young at the world juniors in 2015, so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that the Americans lost to Russia in the quarterfinal, mainly due to a rash of unnecessary penalties. But the wound of that loss could become vital scar tissue for the 2016 squad.

Because USA Hockey just released its preliminary summer camp roster and it is heavy on experience.

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KHL expansion coming to China in 2016-17?

Jared Clinton
KHL logo

The KHL has had some financial troubles over the past year, but that hasn’t stopped the league from eying expansion. The primarily Russian league has already put down roots in Finland, Ukraine, Latvia, Croatia and Kazakhstan. So what’s next? China, of course.

According to Pro Hockey Players Association agent Darryl Wolski, the KHL will be looking to expand to Beijing, China by the 2016-17 season. The move to China for the KHL is something that has been speculated about for quite some time, especially with the 2022 Winter Olympics potentially being held in Beijing. Read more

Brandon Saad ‘not worried about getting paid’ as restricted free agency looms

Jared Clinton
Brandon Saad is part of the new core that has emerged for the Chicago Blackhawks to build around. (Bill Smith/Getty Images)

One of the big reasons why the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup – and one of the causes for concern when it comes to issues of the salary cap – comes in the form of a 22-year-old power forward who has carved out a spot for himself in the Blackhawks’ top six: Brandon Saad. But Saad, set to be a restricted free agent this off-season, is trying to quiet any rumblings that he won’t be in the Windy City next season.

Saad, who was drafted in the second round, 43rd overall by Chicago, has been talked about over the past few months as a major possibility for a big money offer sheet, a tactic rarely used by rival GMs but one that could put the Blackhawks under immense salary restraints. That doesn’t seem like much of a concern for Saad, though, as it doesn’t look as if the young winger is concerned about getting a paycheck. Read more

Timonen plans to head back to Philadelphia, seek job with Flyers

Jared Clinton
Kimmo Timonen (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Kimmo Timonen had the perfect capper to his outstanding 16-year career: he won the Stanley Cup. But even after hoisting the sport’s grandest prize in a Chicago Blackhawks uniform, Timonen made no mistake that he plans to head back to Philadelphia and added that a place with the Flyers could be in the cards for him.

That’s not to say he isn’t retiring, however. Make no mistake, Timonen has played his final game in the NHL and will retire within the next few weeks. But in an interview with CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio, Timonen said that once he gets back to his home, which is actually in South Jersey, he’ll take some time to decide what his next step will be, but that could very well mean a spot inside the Flyers organization. Read more

Jackets’ Johansen throws shade at departing NCAA free agent Reilly

Ryan Johansen (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

American collegiate defenseman Mike Reilly told the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday he would not be signing with them despite the organization drafting him in the fourth round (98th overall) in 2011. And via a pointed message on social media shortly after the news, Blue Jackets star center Ryan Johansen told Reilly he wouldn’t be missed in Columbus. Read more

Panthers’ Jaromir Jagr calls his shot: the Cup is coming to Florida in 2016

Jaromir Jagr (Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images)

There may not be a player who has become more universally adored as his career has worn on than Jaromir Jagr. That’s not without reason. Everything he does, Jagr seems to be having a blast and, at 43, he pulled his best Babe Ruth impression and called his shot, saying the Florida Panthers will be bringing home the Stanley Cup in 2016.

In a tweet sent out by Jagr shortly after Chicago’s Stanley Cup win, the surefire Hall of Famer posted a picture of himself with Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and congratulated the two on their 2015 Cup victory. But he doesn’t want them to get too comfortable, because he’s coming for that Cup with the Cats next season. Read more

Newspaper headline congratulates Chicago Bears on Stanley Cup victory

(via Reddit)

While the NFL’s Chicago Bears haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1985, their Stanley Cup drought stretches even longer because, well, they play football and not hockey. That’s why a headline in The Korea Times has been catching some eyes and raising some questions.

The newspaper’s sports section ran a story from the Associated Press in their Wednesday edition regarding the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victory. The story itself covers off the Blackhawks’ win, Chicago’s “dynasty” status and the career-capping Cup victory for Kimmo Timonen. While the good intentioned bit of coverage of the Stanley Cup final is a great thing for the game, not so great is the headline, which stated the Bears had clinched the NHL’s top prize:

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Johnny Oduya played through elbow tear following Game 3 injury

Jared Clinton
Johnny Oduya winces as several members of the Lightning look on (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images Sport)

In Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final, Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya, already logging big minutes as one of the Blackhawks’ top-four blueliners, was tripped up by Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and fell awkwardly to the ice. Soon thereafter, he left to the dressing room and barely played the rest of the evening.

When he did get into the game, it looked as though he was using only one arm, poking at the puck instead of being able to play it effectively. Come Game 4, however, Oduya was back in the lineup and playing one of the biggest minute regulation games of his post-season, skating nearly 26 minutes in a 2-1 Chicago victory.

He continued with the big minutes in Games 5 and 6, logging close to 50 minutes over the final two games of the series as the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. As such, it comes as somewhat of a surprise to learn that Oduya, following the knock from Kucherov, was playing through a tear in his elbow that he said left his arm feeling as if it had no power. Read more