Calling Colton Orr up to the Maple Leafs sends all the wrong messages

Ken Campbell
Colton Orr

Just so we all have this straight, Buffalo Sabres fans are chided for cheering for their team to lose games so it can guarantee itself a chance at drafting a generational talent who could alter the course of the franchise. Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs are being hailed as “classy” for calling up a player who can barely play at the American League level for the last game of the season?

All right, carry on then.

The Maple Leafs have called up Orr, a player to whom they’ve already paid almost $6 million in exchange for eight goals in 231 games and are paying $925,000 to play for their AHL team this season, as some kind of thank you for everything he has done for them. We can only imagine what the send-off would be if Orr had actually done anything to help the Leafs win a game over the years. Read more

Deveaux hires the most high-profile defense attorney in Sweden

Ken Campbell
Jared Cowen (left) vs. Andre Deveaux  (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Police in Sweden still have not spoken to former NHLer Andre Deveaux concerning his alleged on-ice attack on another player last week, but his lawyer claims to know where Deveaux is. And that lawyer just happens to be the most high-profile defense attorney in the country, one who at one time represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on his sexual molestation charges in Sweden.

Deveaux, who has been arrested in absentia in Helsingborg, has hired Leif Silbersky, a Stockholm lawyer who has gained a reputation for handling high-profile cases in that country. Reached at his office in Stockholm by thn.com, Silbersky did not want to discuss the case. “I’m not going to tell you anything,” Silbersky said. “Call me after Easter. Goodbye.” Read more

Ex-NHLer Andre Deveaux faces criminal charges in Sweden, proving hockey can’t always protect its “protectors”

Adam Proteau
Andre Deveaux as a member of the New York Rangers in November of 2011. (Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

The news former NHLer Andre Deveaux would face criminal charges in Sweden for a blind-side, stick-swinging attack on an opponent prior to a playoff game last week isn’t entirely unexpected. Once video of the incident surfaced, there were bound to be severe repercussions for the 31-year-old, and it’s looking like being released from his contract (as he was Monday) will be the least of Deveaux’s concerns.

The day after his release from Swedish League team Rogle BK, Deveaux had a warrant issued for his arrest, the TT news agency reported. Swedish prosecutors saw what we all saw – Deveaux inexplicably charging VIK Vasteras HK player Per Helmersson as his back was turned in warmups, winding up with his stick, swinging it baseball-style at Helmersson’s ankles, then clubbing him in the head – and decided a hockey punishment wasn’t nearly enough. And they were right. There was no major injury on the play, but what if that massive slash had shattered Helmersson’s ankle and decimated his ability to play at peak form for the rest of his career? In effect, Deveaux was gambling with an opponent’s career – and as it turns out, his own career.

You can argue whatever you like about whether or not Deveaux had been provoked in an earlier playoff game between his team and Helmersson’s, but that is missing the point. This is another cautionary tale, and it’s the one hockey’s fundamentalist old-schoolers don’t like to talk much about: the culture of the game can push you to levels of hyper-aggression you never thought possible, but there’s a Rubicon you can cross – and once you do cross it, the game’s gatekeepers won’t always be there to protect you. Read more

Former NHLer Andre Deveaux goes haywire, attacks opponent in ugly Swedish League incident

Adam Proteau
Andre Deveaux in his brief stint as a New York Ranger in the 2011-12 season. (Mike Stobe/NHL via Getty Images)

Well-traveled center Andre Deveaux played 31 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers from 2008-2012, but he will likely be known from this point on as the man who snapped before a Swedish League game and brutally attacked an opponent with a blind-side attack that included a baseball-type swing of his stick.

Deveaux’s Rogle BK team was set to take on VIK Vasteras HK Thursday in Game 4 of a playoff series that would determine which team would go on to play in Sweden’s top division. But in warmup, Deveaux suddenly went after Vasteras captain Per Helmersson from behind, slashing him viciously in the leg, and then taking another clubbing swing at Helmersson’s head before he tackled him and pushed him to the ice: (video via Reddit user kaugesaar) Read more

Lightning star Steven Stamkos gets into a fight – well, a wrestle – with Bruins’ Brad Marchand

Adam Proteau
Steven Stamkos grapples with Brad Marchand. (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos doesn’t fight often, but when he does – well, as he showed Sunday in a brief, Greco-Roman wrestling-like encounter with Boston winger Brad Marchand, the Bolts’ captain still doesn’t throw a lot of punches.

The host Lightning were tied 1-1 with Boston midway through the first period Sunday when, after bumping into each other in the Bruins zone, Marchand and Stamkos both dropped their gloves and made a priority out of going after each other. But be warned: if you’re hoping for machine-gun fisticuffs from watching the following video (via SportsnetCanada) of the run-in, you’re going to come away disappointed: Read more

KHL goaltender ejected after repeatedly punching crease-crasher in the face with blocker

Jared Clinton
Alexander Salak punches a downed opponent. (via KHL/YouTube)

NHL fans may remember goaltender Alexander Salak from the time he spent with the Florida Panthers or Chicago Blackhawks. For KHL fans, Salak can now be remembered for the time he got kicked out of a playoff game for repeatedly punching crease-crashing winger Maxim Yakutsenya in the face.

Salak, who plays for Sibir Novosibirsk, got into the altercation with Mettalurg Magnitogorsk’s Yakutsenya less than halfway through the first period of the third game of the second round series between the two teams. After Yakutsenya fell into Salak’s crease, the netminder began to tee off on Yakutsenya’s face with his blocker. The two continued to tussle for almost half a minute before Sibir defenseman Vitali Menshikov pulled Yakutsenya off of Salak. You can watch the full wrestling match below: Read more

Eight-year-old Russian kids involved in brawl during post-game handshake

Adam Proteau
Two teams of eight-year-old Russian kids fight on the ice. (image via Youtube user tatpressa)

On Valentine’s Day in Kazan, Russia, two teams of eight-year-old kids got together to play a hockey game. After it was over, the teams formed queues for the handshake line – and that’s where things quickly disintegrated into a brawl.

The squads – “Ak Bars 2″ and “Wave” – squared off at the Vatan Sports Complex. And although there was no immediate tensions before the handshake line formed, something set off one young player from each side almost immediately, and within thirty seconds of the first fight breaking out, the melee had spread throughout the ice and involved many, if not most members of each team: (video via Youtube user tatpressa) Read more

Penguins, Capitals get into heated brawl – that spills onto Pittsburgh’s bench

Adam Proteau
Caps goalie Braden Holtby makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Patrick McDermott/NHL)

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals are division rivals whose rivalry has ramped up since stars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin entered the NHL in 2005-06 – and after Wednesday’s game included a brawl that spilled onto the Pens’ bench, the emotion of the rivalry is as hot as ever.

The Metropolitan Division teams got into a skirmish at center ice near the halfway point of Wednesday’s game in Washington, and within a matter of seconds, it erupted into a battle that jumped the boards and into Pittsburgh’s bench: (Video via SportsnetCanada) Read more