As long as the NHL faces a concussion lawsuit from former players, you can expect NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to get his back up about the issue of fighting. And if that means he has to go to the same age-old clichés about its place in the game and provide nebulous information, so be it.
That was the case when Bettman was asked about it in an interview with an online broadcast of Sports Illustrated Now. Bettman was responding to questions about a letter he received from Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who accused the league of appearing, “dismissive about the link between head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the game of hockey.” Blumenthal, who is a member of a Senate subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security, posed nine questions to Bettman about how the league handles concussions and whether he believes there is a link between CTE and hockey. Blumenthal asked for a response by July 23 and Bettman complied.
The American roster is going to need an adjustment before September’s World Cup after it was announced Tuesday that Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ryan Callahan will be forced to miss the tournament.
Callahan, 31, underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a labral tear in his right hip, and the expected recovery time for the surgery is five months, meaning Callahan isn’t expected to return to action until November, at the earliest. In all likelihood, the veteran winger could be out until at least December and maybe longer depending on what type of time is needed to get him back up to game speed before his return. All that is to say that not only have the Lightning lost a piece of their roster, but so has USA’s World Cup squad.
Luckily, there are still months to go before the tournament, and it’s not as if USA was at the bottom of the barrel when they were picking Callahan for their World Cup team. There are a number of players who could replace Callahan on the roster, and here are five of the top candidates: Read more
The most significant injury — and the one with the longest recovery time — the Pittsburgh Penguins will have to deal with after the post-season appears to be one to a player who didn’t even see the ice in the Stanley Cup final.
The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that Daniel Sprong, who played 18 games with the Penguins this past season, will be out 7-8 months following off-season surgery on his right shoulder. The 19-year-old started the season with the Penguins and earned his way onto the roster out of training camp, but after re-joining the team following his time with the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders the rookie fell injured during practice as one of the Penguins’ ‘Black Aces’ in the post-season.
The 7-8 month timeline for return means it’s unlikely Sprong finds his way onto the NHL roster before the second half of the 2016-17 season and means he could be out until after the all-star break. Read more
The post-season injury lists for the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks will begin filtering out over the next few weeks, but the strangest tale of all may have already been revealed.
During his end of season meeting with media, Penguins center Nick Bonino said that he had to battle through some serious situations during the final two rounds of the post-season. Bonino said that during the Stanley Cup final he was dealing with an infection in his elbow that had him on medication and a fever so high — over 101, according to Bonino — that he had to be kept away from his family.
“They were going to shut me down for the year,” Bonino said. “I was on a ton of antibiotics, getting IVs every day at the hospital. The doctors did a really good job keeping my elbow healthy. I don’t think I practiced the whole (Stanley Cup final). Guys were ripping me for it because I could just play games, didn’t have to practice anymore. I rested up and then we got it done…I was quarantined in the hotel, I wasn’t even living at home. They didn’t want me around the baby.” Read more
Tomas Hertl’s injury became one of the Stanley Cup final’s storylines as the 22-year-old was suddenly out of the lineup come Game 3 and was continuously said to be day-to-day by San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer. But with the post-season over, there’s finally some clarity when it comes to Hertl’s injury situation.
It was announced Monday that Hertl sustained an injury to his right knee, which is the same knee that was injured in a knee-on-knee collision with the Los Angeles Kings’ Dustin Brown in December 2013.
The injury in the Stanley Cup final came when Hertl was hit along the left wing boards midway through the third period of Game 2 by Pittsburgh Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist. Immediately after he was hit, Hertl left the ice and when the NBCSN cameras showed the Sharks winger on the bench, he was flexing his knee and grimacing in pain: Read more
SAN JOSE – Perhaps when Logan Couture accused Sidney Crosby of cheating in the faceoff circle, it was a desperate ploy. But, hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. The Pittsburgh Penguins had just won the first two games of the Stanley Cup final and Crosby was eating them alive in the faceoff circle.
Whatever the intent, it’s worked. Prior to Couture’s comments after Crosby won a crucial draw in overtime that led to the game-winner, Crosby had won 26 of 40 faceoffs for a mind-boggling success rate of 65 percent. But in Games 3, 4 and 5, Crosby was a combined 37-44 in the faceoff circle for a success rate of just 45.7 percent.
Marc Savard has now been traded twice without having played in a single game.
The injured 38-year-old center was dealt Friday – the second time in less than a year – in a move made strictly because of salary cap implications. Savard is now a member of the New Jersey Devils, leaving the Florida Panthers for minor-leaguer Paul Thompson and center Graham Black, a 23-year-old prospect.
Peter DeBoer’s San Jose Sharks will be facing elimination — and the prospect of watching the Stanley Cup slip away — Thursday evening, and if reports are to be believed, it will make for the third game in a row that Tomas Hertl is out of the lineup. DeBoer isn’t about to rule Hertl out, however.
According to reports out of the Czech Republic, Hertl’s home country, the winger won’t be able to get back into action this season due to a knee injury, which would be the same ailment that kept him out of Games 3 and 4 of the series. Asked about Hertl’s status, though, DeBoer wouldn’t budge from his previous stance that the 22-year-old is day-to-day and could return at any moment.
“(There has been) improvement every day that I’ve seen him…I term him as day-to-day,” DeBoer said. “This time of year, guys find an inner strength and play with injuries. I mean, that’s just what these guys do at this level. I’m not ruling him out for any games.” Read more