Chicago star Duncan Keith: “Practices tire me out more than games”

Ryan Kennedy
Duncan Keith (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

The first time Duncan Keith played in the Olympics, he returned to Chicago with a gold medal and then helped the Blackhawks win their first Stanley Cup in nearly 50 years while averaging about 27 minutes of ice time in 104 total NHL games between the regular season and playoffs. Last year he earned his second Olympic gold with Canada and would have won his third Cup had the Hawks not lost a heartbreaking Western Conference final to Los Angeles (admit it, New York…). You would think the compressed NHL schedule in those Olympic years would be tough to shoulder, but Keith sees things the opposite way.

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NHL’s opening salvo in concussion lawsuit battle with former players a clear case of victim-blaming

Adam Proteau
Bernie Nicholls (Getty Images)

As reported Thursday by TSN, the NHL has made its first significant legal reply in regard to the 2013 lawsuit filed by former players who believe the league seriously mishandled its approach to concussions and head trauma. And one only need give the reply a quick perusal to recognize it as the worst kind of victim blaming.

Filed in November of last year, the players’ lawsuit – now backed by a group of some 40 former NHLers including retired L.A. Kings star Bernie Nicholls and Toronto Maple Leaf Gary Leeman – alleges the league didn’t provide adequate protection from head injuries before a head trauma research committee was formed in 1997, and that, beyond that point, the results of that committee weren’t properly shared among players. Responding via legal documents filed in a Minnesota federal court this week, the NHL contends players forced to retire prematurely due to concussions should have realized on their own the risk they were taking and what could happen to them.

“Publicly available information related to concussions and their long-term effects, coupled with the events that had transpired – i.e., the players incurring head injuries – should have allowed (players) to put two and two together,” the NHL said in court filings obtained by TSN.

So let me get this straight – the league whose commissioner in 2011 said it was premature to link fighting in hockey with chronic traumatic encephalopathy is the same league that’s now saying players ought to have known what was up all along with head trauma in the sport because they should’ve read magazine and newspaper reports the league was questioning the veracity of? Does this make sense to anyone? Read more

Horvat, Klingberg, and Clendening register first career goals

Bo Horvat

Amidst all the other accolades rookies Bo Horvat, John Klingberg, and Adam Clendening may receive, you can be certain that one thing they’ll never forget is there first NHL goals. For each, that marker came on Thursday night.

Horvat, the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft, has only suited up for seven games for the Vancouver Canucks due to a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the first month of the season. It was lucky number seven that provided the former London Knight with his first tally: Read more

Update: Leafs snub fans by refraining from post-game salute

Ken Campbell
James van Riemsdyk and Cody Franson (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

Even when the Toronto Maple Leafs do something right, they find a way to mess it up. On a day when people should be talking about how they put the brakes on a three-game losing streak with an impressive win, the narrative will surround how a bunch of pampered millionaires stuck it to the paying public.

Here’s what happened. On the heels of perhaps the most negative scrutiny they’ve faced from their fan base all season – including a fan throwing a Maple Leafs sweater on the ice during a 9-2 loss to the Nashville Predators Tuesday night, the Maple Leafs had an inspired effort, one of their best of the season, and defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night. Read more

Once again, Alex Ovechkin does what he does best – score eye-popping goals

Alex Ovechkin (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin has built a mile-long list of highlight reel goals – and he added some more footage to the collection with a dazzling, nearly end-to-end rush against the Colorado Avalanche Thursday that was the deciding marker in a 3-2 Washington victory.

The Caps’ captain picked up the puck at his own blueline, swiftly carried it down the ice, deked Avs defenseman Jan Hejda and tried to fire the puck on his backhand at Colorado goalie Reto Berra; the puck went past the net, but it rebounded right back to him, and Ovechkin made no mistake from close range on his forehand, even at a difficult angle and Hejda on his heels: Read more

Canadiens boost blueline depth by dealing Rene Bourque to Ducks for Bryan Allen

Adam Proteau
Rene Bourque (Getty Images)

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has been one of the NHL’s busier wheelers-and-dealers of late, acquiring veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar from Dallas for Travis Moen last week and adding to the changes Thursday by dealing out-of-favor winger Rene Bourque to Anaheim in exchange for blueliner Bryan Allen.

That the soon-to-be 33-year-old Bourque was a goner from Montreal is no surprise; the team waived and demoted him to the American League earlier this month after being frustrated once again with his lack of production and engagement during the regular season. He bought himself some time last spring with eight goals and 11 points in 17 playoff games for the Habs, but after only posting a pair of assists in 13 games this season, Bergevin had seen enough. 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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