On Saturday, Chicago White Sox all-star pitcher Chris Sale was scratched from his start and sent home because he refused to wear the team’s throwback uniform. It went beyond that, of course. Sale reportedly went into the clubhouse and cut up his own jersey, along with those of his teammates.
Sale’s gripe? The collar on the jersey was uncomfortable and he was adamant that he would not wear it. Sale was eventually suspended for five games by the team.
It was a bizarre story, but one that could plausibly play out in any team sport. In the NBA, for instance, many players complained when the new sleeved jerseys were introduced.
In hockey, the basic design of the jersey has been largely the same for the past 100 years. There isn’t much that can be done that could throw a player into a fit of uncomfortable rage. The aesthetics of hockey jerseys on the other hand, they have at times been a cause for concern.
Here are five NHL jerseys players should have refused to wear.
Defenseman Slava Voynov won’t be suiting up for Russia at the World Cup of Hockey.
The Russian Hockey Federation released a statement Monday acknowledging that Voynov will not participate in the tournament, and named Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov as Voynov’s replacement on the Russian blueline. Switching Nesterov in for Voynov comes after weeks of back and forth between the RHF and NHL centering on Voynov’s eligibility to play at the tournament.
Voynov, 26, remains suspended by the league following domestic violence charges regarding an October 2014 incident. Voynov has remained suspended by the league since the day of the charge. Voynov pleaded no-contest to the charge in July 2015, resulting in a 90-day prison sentence, after which he was taken in by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Voynov then chose to leave the U.S. willingly and head back to his native Russia.
However, even amidst the controversy surrounding Voynov’s selection to the World Cup roster, the RHF has been trying to get Voynov cleared to play at the tournament. Read more
It certainly doesn’t look as though either Bill Foley or George McPhee has the patience to slowly build their expansion team into a contender. Everything both of them said when McPhee was named GM of the team pointed to transforming this franchise into a contender sooner rather than later.
McPhee will certainly have a better chance at doing that than his predecessors. The expansion draft rules will give the team a chance to ice a competitive roster in the short term. By being able to protect only seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie or eight skaters and one goalie, some of the other 30 teams in the league will be forced to expose some legitimate NHL talent. But when you’re looking at, in a best-case scenario, the No. 8 forward, the No. 4 defenseman and the No. 2 goalie on each team’s depth chart who are third-year pros, the pickings might not be quite as spectacular as you might think.
Less than 24 hours before the free agency period begins, several NHL teams got to work on some housekeeping Thursday. Six teams placed players on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout. The NHL’s buyout window closes at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday.
There had already been some notable buyouts, including the Canucks’ Chris Higgins, the Wild’s Thomas Vanek, and the Blue Jackets Fedor Tyutin.
The Blue Jackets got back to work on Thursday, buying out the final year of right winger Jared Boll’s contract. Boll, 30, scored one goal in 30 games in 2015-16.
As the July 1 opening day of the 2016 NHL unrestricted free agent market approaches, speculation is heating up over potential destinations of the top free-agent stars.
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, and Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in bidding for Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos. He also thinks the Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins could join them.
On Sunday, Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News cited a report in the Toronto Star claiming the Sabres reached out to the Stamkos camp to gauge his interest in coming to Buffalo. Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, meanwhile, reports the Canadiens will chase Stamkos, though they face long odds of signing him.
Entering the 2016 NHL draft, the trade speculation is ramping up on several notable NHL stars.
Topping the list is Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban. The trade chatter reached a fever pitch on Thursday when Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning admitted he contacted Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin to inquire about Subban. Meanwhile, Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli claimed he looked into acquiring the Habs blueliner but the asking price was too high.
The Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey reports Bergevin insists he’s not shopping Subban but he can’t prevent rival clubs from calling about the defenseman.
The Los Angeles Kings made a big splash last off-season when they acquired Milan Lucic from the Boston Bruins for Martin Jones, Colin Miller and a first-round pick, but it looks like Lucic’s tenure as a King will be one-and-done.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBruin reported Wednesday afternoon that Lucic, 28, has decided to head to free agency come July 1. Not long after LeBrun’s initial report, he added that Kings GM Dean Lombardi confirmed Los Angeles has not been able to come to terms with the hulking winger and that Lucic and his agents have officially been given the go-ahead to begin talking to the league’s 29 other teams about a potential free agent deal.
By hitting the open market, Lucic is almost certain to be one of the two or three highest-paid players in the current free agent crop. It’s a mortal lock that Steven Stamkos will sign the biggest deal of any free agent, but Lucic, along with Kyle Okposo and David Backes, is in a good position to earn himself a huge payday. Read more
Upon being traded to the Los Angeles Kings, Vincent Lecavalier said his time in the NHL would come to a close following one final playoff push. That push lasted all of five games, but the veteran center followed through on his word that his career was coming to a close, making his retirement official Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement released through the Kings, the 36-year-old said that he has informed the team of his decision and will now devote his time to his family.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the people who have helped me along the way and shared this journey with me,” Lecavalier said in the release. “First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents, my wife, Caroline, my brother Philippe, sister Genevieve and my entire family. I could not have accomplished anything without your love and support.” Read more