Welcome to the rebirth of The Hot List. From now on, my weekly collection of top prospects will be known as Prospect Need to Know and the format will be a little different. The biggest changes involve star power and flexibility – there will be more of both. If your prospect knowledge is limited, I’ll have you covered with a steady dose of names such as Auston Matthews, Alex DeBrincat and Patrik Laine. If you like to go deeper, there will be categories on sleeper picks, major injury news and, as the season goes on, high risers in the draft rankings. Basically, I wanted to make sure I have a platform that would not limit me in bringing you the most essential prospect news. And for organizational purposes, players will now be listed in groupings, with those already drafted first (after the spotlight player, of course). So let’s get to it and have some fun:
Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin unloaded with both barrels in a scrum with reporters as he detailed the injuries sustained by power forward Zack Kassian in an early-morning car crash on the weekend.
Kassian, who was reportedly not the driver of a truck that smashed into a tree in Montreal, broke his nose and his left foot as a result of the accident. While anyone can get in a car accident, the circumstances surrounding the scene had Bergevin livid. According to one report, the driver may have been drinking.
The Detroit Red Wings dealt with injury issues in the 2014-15 season, losing roughly 160 man games to injury. Already they’re starting the 2015-16 season at a disadvantage, as they’ll be without Pavel Datsyuk for at least the first month of the season, but the injury news gets worse as Danny DeKeyser could be sidelined following an injury in Wednesday’s pre-season tilt with Pittsburgh.
According to Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com, DeKeyser was seen wearing a walking boot on his left foot and using crutches as he got to the team bus Thursday. After an MRI Thursday, it was determined the 25-year-old blueliner will miss 3-4 weeks, setting his timetable for return for late-October or early-November.
The injury occurred on a hit during a Red Wings power play, but DeKeyser finished the shift and took one more stab at getting out on the ice before leaving the game with less than three minutes remaining in the pre-season tilt. Read more
The last thing the Edmonton needed to kick off the 2015-16 campaign was to lose one of their stars, but it appears the injury bug has bitten Oilers right winger Jordan Eberle.
During Tuesday evening’s game between Edmonton and Arizona, Eberle picked up a puck below the Coyotes’ goal line before being shoved from the side. The force of the push sent Eberle shoulder first into the boards and almost immediately it was apparent he was in significant pain. Read more
Family and friends will gather later today in St. Louis for a private funeral to celebrate the life of former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen. Some 800 miles away, Dr. Charles Tator is waiting for Ewen’s brain to arrive in hopes that it will provide some clues that will bring something positive from his suicide.
THN.com has learned that the Ewen family has agreed to donate Ewen’s brain to the Canadian Sports Concussion Research Project, where it will be examined for signs of possible brain degeneration or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It is an initiative spearheaded by Tator, which will now have the brains of 19 former athletes. Tator hopes to examine at least 50 brains of former athletes. The majority of the brains Tator has for his study are of former Canadian Football League players, but there are some hockey players, most notably Steve Montador, who died last February at the age of 35.
The Calgary Flames will be without one of their key cogs for a while as T.J. Brodie will be sidelined three-to-six weeks thanks to a broken bone in his hand that occurred in Monday’s pre-season tilt with the Oilers.
It’s rough that the injury occurred during meaningless pre-season action, but it does give Brodie two extra weeks to recover which means that he likely only misses 3-13 games. The question is just how big of a loss that is to the Flames.
That’s where a stat like WAR is especially helpful. We’ve been rolling out projections based on WAR with our daily season previews using this method and we can apply the same concept to Brodie’s injury. Read more
Nobody ever sees this kind of thing coming. Everyone is shocked. The hockey world collectively clucks its tongue and laments the terrible tragedy. And it almost always involves a player who dropped his gloves and fought for a living. After all, when was the last time a skilled forward was found dead far before his time under mysterious circumstances?
And so it goes with Todd Ewen, who joins the likes of John Kordic, Rick Rypien, Derek Boogaard, Wade Belak and Steve Montador in a club of which nobody wants to be a part, but one whose membership is growing fairly rapidly. Ewen, a former NHL enforcer for four teams, died this past weekend at the age of 49. Police in St. Louis County have confirmed that Ewen’s death is being investigated as a suicide.
Detroit Red Wings winger Darren Helm has had a hard time staying healthy over the past four seasons and already it appears Helm will be missing some time once the 2015-16 campaign gets underway.
At the opening day of Red Wings training camp Friday, Helm, 28, collided viciously with undrafted winger Jerome Verrier, 21.
“They were both going at a pretty high speed and they were both going in an opposite direction,” Holland said. “Somebody went in the wrong lane and they were both going at full speed. Neither had a chance to brace, they just collided.” Read more