Maple Leafs, Rangers, Canadiens all billion dollar organizations according to Forbes

Madison Square Garden

My, what a difference one year and a massive TV contract can make.

In 2013, when American business magazine Forbes released their NHL franchise valuations, only one team was said to be a billion dollar organization: the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.15 billion). That the Leafs were – and still are – the most valued team in the NHL comes to little surprise what with a fan base that continually shells out top dollar regardless of the outcome. It is hockey mecca, like it or not.

But Tuesday, when Forbes released its rankings for 2014, two franchises, the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers, found themselves in the billion dollar club thanks in large part to a friendly bump from the NHL’s league-wide television deals plus some added money from local television contracts. Read more

Jason Demers introduces himself to Stars by levelling Kings’ Stoll with huge hit

Jared Clinton
DemersStoll Featured

There’s a lot that comes with getting traded. For instance, there are unfamiliar surroundings, changed expectations, a different role, and new teammates.

Jason Demers may still be getting used to being in Dallas, but he certainly ingratiated himself to his teammates in his first game with the Stars. With less than five minutes gone in the first period, Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll had to look back to catch a pass when Demers caught him with a nasty hip check: Read more

Miracle on Manchester to a silent Maple Leaf Square, the five greatest NHL comebacks

Toronto Maple Leafs Fans Watching Stanley Cup Game At Tailgate Party In Toronto

In the Swedish third league on Wednesday, one of the most incredible comebacks in hockey history happened.

Down 3-0 in the third period, IFK Arboga scored with just under 12 minutes left in the third period. Then they scored again 20 seconds later. And again nine seconds after that. And once more 30 seconds following their third goal. In less than two minutes, Arboga had erased a three-goal deficit to Grastorps, and held on for a 4-3 victory.

While there are no four-goals-in-two-minutes comebacks in NHL history, these are the five best. Read more

Los Angeles Kings will get salary cap relief during Slava Voynov’s suspension

Matt Larkin
Slava Voynov's salary will no longer count as part of L.A.'s cap hit while he is suspended. (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

Slava Voynov’s domestic violence saga continues, but its direct impact on the Los Angeles Kings was diminished Friday.

Voynov has been charged with one felony count of corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury. The Kings defenseman, 24, allegedly injured wife Marta Varlamova’s eyebrow, cheek and neck seriously enough to require medical attention, and Voynov was arrested Oct. 20.

In a statement Friday, the NHL announced the existing terms of Voynov’s suspension “will be continued indefinitely.” The league also stated, through NHL.com:

“However, in light of the uncertain and potentially extended period of time that the legal process may entail, the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed to permit the Kings to replace Mr. Voynov’s Salary and Bonuses pursuant to the Bona Fide Long-Term Injury Exception under the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

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Alec Martinez not close to returning because “they nearly cut his finger off”

Jared Clinton
Alec-Martinez

In today’s terrible hockey news, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez is going to be out a while longer with a broken pinky because “they almost cut the thing off,” according to coach Darryl Sutter.

That’s right: Martinez was nearly pinkyless after breaking the digit while blocking a shot during a game late last week, Sutter told the Los Angeles Times. Read more

Kings defenseman Slava Voynov charged with felony count of corporal injury to spouse

Jared Clinton
Slava Voynov (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Slava Voynov has been formally charged in connection with an alleged attack on his girlfriend, according to a press release from the Los Angeles Districts Attorney office and a report from Lisa Dillman, a reporter from the Los Angeles Times.

The charge against Voynov is one felony count of corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury. On Oct. 19, Voynov allegedly caused injuries to Marta Varlamova’s eyebrow, cheek and neck. The injuries were severe enough that they required medical attention. While at the hospital, Voynov was arrested for the alleged domestic violence.

Since the arrest and alleged charges, Voynov has been suspended, with pay, by the NHL and has not been allowed to participate with the Los Angeles Kings. Voynov’s attorneys have previously stated that the arrest was on account of, “a misunderstanding,” and that the Kings defenseman did not strike his wife.

The district attorney’s release states that, if convicted as charged, Voynov could face up to a maximum of nine years in state prison. Voynov will have an arraignment hearing on Dec. 1, and the case will remain under investigation by the Rendondo Beach Police Department.

In a statement, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league is aware of the actions the District Attorney has taken and the league, “will review and evaluate before making any decisions.” He went on to say that Voynov’s suspension and its current terms remain intact.

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Prince Albert Raiders’ new mascot is an offensive nod to the past

Adam Proteau
Prince Albert Raiders mascot (CTV Saskatoon)

Teams revisit their past all the time when promoting themselves via a redesign of their jersey, logo or mascot, but the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders have made a sizeable mistake in doing so this season.

To wit: the Raiders unveiled their new mascot this week – an Arabian “raider” character named “Boston Raider” after a tie-in to an area pizza sponsor – which is based on their original logo from the early 1980s:

The new mascot’s appearance does not sit well with a number of people who believe it stereotypes those of Middle Eastern heritage. Rhonda Rosenberg, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan’s executive director, told the Canadian Press she found it plays into discriminatory views of people from the region.

“The idea of a somewhat violent Muslim man is a stereotype that is really difficult for a lot of people to live with,” Rosenberg said. “Mascots are not where we should be depicting cultural groups of people. We just need to look at what values and ideas are being put forward, and whether they are really embodying what we want to be sharing.”

A team spokesman said the franchise never intended to offend anyone, nor does it believe the mascot to be “a negative representation of Middle Eastern people and their culture”. They might not, but in this day and age where society is rightfully trying to be respectful toward all ethnicities, the Raiders’ new mascot is a mistake. What may have been seen as appropriate decades ago isn’t always appropriate today; this is why a song like Ray Stevens’ “Ahab The Arab” – a top five radio hit when it was released in 1962 – is seen as patently offensive now.

Eras and tastes change, and sometimes the past is better left where it is. And if the Raiders are smart, they’ll send their new mascot to join former AHL mascot “Scorch” in the scrapyard.