December NHL News Thread

cshea

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Chicago has removed assistant coach Marc Crawford from behind the bench while they investigate allegations of physical abuse made by former players (Sean Avery and Patrick O’Sullivan).

https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/28214263/blackhawks-investigating-conduct-assistant-coach-marc-crawford
Also, Chris Chelios went on Spittin Chiclets and said Mike Babcock verbally assaulted Johan Franzen who dealt concussions and depression. Anytime any concerns were brought to GM Ken Holland, Holland took Babcock’s side and told the players if they didn’t want to be here, he’ll trade them.
 

kenneycb

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Mike Babcock is Bud Kilmer from Varsity Blues. Only thing that was missing is Toronto going out to play a third period with an injured Mitch Marner behind the bench instead of Babs.
 

TFP

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For "Unprofessional Conduct Inconsistent w/the core values and beliefs of the Stars and NHL"
 

cshea

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Bettman just announced a plan for this stuff at yesterday’s BOG meetings. Dallas is clearly getting out in front of whatever he did.

Sadly these dominos are likely just beginning to fall.
 

NYCSox

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Has to be something that happened at Denver.

Edit: Oops, just saw that it was a recent incident. So yeah I agree with PSK.
 
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cshea

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DV and/or some form of sexual misconduct is my guess. I don’t think they’d be tight lipped about gambling.
 

veritas

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DV and/or some form of sexual misconduct is my guess. I don’t think they’d be tight lipped about gambling.
I feel like the same for domestic violence. There'd likely be a police report, and I'm not sure why they'd go out of their way to say it wasn't a crime if it was DV.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Watching Lighting-Panthers. The arena is empty. Pitiful attendance this season for a team in 2nd place in the Atlantic (30th in NHL).

Sorry, meant to post this in the game thread. Not news,
 
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AMcGhie

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Given that there are (to my knowledge) no police reports, and that he has not made any public statements, I'm leaning towards embarrassing or incredibly unprofessional over wrong or illegal. 100% speculation though.
 

InstantKarmma

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Dallas GM Jim Nill said. “I have got a lot of respect for Jim Montgomery. He's a very good coach. And unfortunately, you know, sometimes in life, the hardest decisions are the toughest. And this is one of them.”

That's like..., deep, man.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Goes both ways-- sometimes the toughest decisions are the hardest, too.
Those decisions are the difficult ones. It is what it is.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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From everything you read from former and anonymous players (mainly on Twitter, I know not a great source) it sounds like minor league hockey in Canada is ground zero for this type of abuse the league is trying to address.
 

cshea

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More on Hall from Friedman:

View: https://twitter.com/friedgehnic/status/1206389391847043072?s=21


People are a bit surprised he hasn’t moved yet. NJD next game is Wednesday and the roster freeze is Thursday so there’s a bit of a pressure point. Arizona is the front runner with a futures based package, they could be haggling over 2018 2nd rounder Kevin Bahl (apparently a 6’7” stay at home guy). Arizona may move on. No other teams named but Friedman reports Devils also have deals on the table that include young, controllable roster players from other teams.

Elsewhere, Kovalchuk is expected to be a free agent shortly. A few weeks ago the Kings told him they were happy to let him continue skating with them but they weren’t going to play him. He had a bonus due on 12/15 which the team paid out. Now he will “leave” the team which allows them to terminate the contract. He becomes a UFA, they don’t have to pay him any actual cash but the cap hit will stay on their books because it is a 35+ contract. He wants to stay in the NHL, we’ll see if anyone gives him a shot on a minimum deal for the rest of the year.
 

tmracht

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With Omsk leaving an offer on the table for Kovalchuk I have to wonder what the deal would need to be for him to stay in the NHL. At a minimum contract maybe he's palatable to a contender with a gaping hole on the RW spot next to an aging playmaking second line center that could absolutely use some secondary scoring. At much more than that I dunno which team ponies up more than the minimum for him and at that point does he settle for a small deal or head back to the KHL.
 

cshea

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With Omsk leaving an offer on the table for Kovalchuk I have to wonder what the deal would need to be for him to stay in the NHL. At a minimum contract maybe he's palatable to a contender with a gaping hole on the RW spot next to an aging playmaking second line center that could absolutely use some secondary scoring. At much more than that I dunno which team ponies up more than the minimum for him and at that point does he settle for a small deal or head back to the KHL.
It’ll probably be situation more than money for him. I don’t think he’ll get more than a minimum deal for the rest of this season.

I’m not sure if you are implying the Bruins should take a look, but I think that ship sailed 2 years ago and he’s currently not a good fit. He’s a righty but plays LW, not sure he’d be a great fit on Krejci’s right side. He’s probably not good enough anymore where you take him and then move someone to their off wing to accommodate him. He’s likely still useful on the power play, but he’d need to be in Pasta or Marchand’s spot to play to his strengths and that isn’t happening. The 2nd unit doesn’t get enough ice time to justify adding him just to boost special teams.

I could see maybe one of the New York teams taking a peak. He has a history with Lou and the Isles could perhaps use a bit of a scoring boost. Not sure he’d mesh with Trotz though.
 

tmracht

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Yeah I don't think it happens again either, there were a few blogs ringing that bell this weekend like Causeway Crowd. Yeah I would love to see Kovalchuk and Trotz that would some pairing.
 

yeahlunchbox

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Well this doesn’t sound good...
Obviously the first and most important thing is Oskar beating this. In terms of what you might be able to expect athletically if he does, this is what Mark Herzlich had when he was at Boston College. He was a first team All American in 2008 and was expected to go in the first round but returned to school, announced the diagnosis May 14, 2009, announced he was cancer free September 29, 2009, sat out the remainder of that season, came back in 2010, but was undrafted. He wasn't the same after, but he still ended up playing a handful of years for the Giants.
 

PedroSpecialK

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The return for NJD:
F Nick Merkley
F Nate Schnarr
D Kevin Bahl
conditional 1st Rd 2020 pick and conditional 3rd Rd 2021 pick

Interesting condition on the 1st rounder(s) but the jist is that NJ gets at least one first and a one third minimum.

View: https://twitter.com/PierreVLeBrun/status/1206691461921685506?s=20


Lots of pieces back for NJD and potentially up to two firsts. No standout, home-run prospects from my eyes... but still, can't argue much with that for a rental - and kudos to Chayka for going for it and not giving up anything off today's roster
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Well this doesn’t sound good...
Shit, this diagnosis always puts a pit in my stomach, having lost a friend to this a few years back. Not to belittle Kessel's cancer but Ewing sarcoma is, unfortunately, in an entirely different class. Survival rate is somewhere around 70%, possibly less for an adult diagnosis (it is more common in children), and significantly less if there is recurrence or metastasis. And the treatment fucking sucks. Chemo, radiation, surgery, the works, and if it's in the wrong spot it can fuck with you in other ways too, along with being more likely to spread.
 

durandal1707

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The return for NJD:
F Nick Merkley
F Nate Schnarr
D Kevin Bahl
conditional 1st Rd 2020 pick and conditional 3rd Rd 2021 pick

Interesting condition on the 1st rounder(s) but the jist is that NJ gets at least one first and a one third minimum.

View: https://twitter.com/PierreVLeBrun/status/1206691461921685506?s=20


Lots of pieces back for NJD and potentially up to two firsts. No standout, home-run prospects from my eyes... but still, can't argue much with that for a rental - and kudos to Chayka for going for it and not giving up anything off today's roster
Makes a lot of sense for Arizona. They've been top 3 in terms of goals allowed this year, but they were 24th in terms of goals per game. Also, the West looks wide open, especially the Pacific Division with the demise of the Sharks.
 

cshea

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Pronman had Arizona as the 17th ranked farm system before the season. Bahl, Merkley, and Schnarr were their 3,5, 7 ranked prospects according to him. The 2 picks are probably the prize. So it’s a bit of a quantity over quality approach from the Devils, but I think teams in general are souring on paying big prices for rentals. It took and extension, and not much else in return, for Ottawa to pry Brannstrom (Top 25-50 kid at the time) from Vegas in the Stone deal. It’s an OK deal for NJ, but it has to feel like a huge wasted opportunity. The original Hall for Larsson “deal is one for one” trade was an all time heist and ultimately they failed to build a winner around him in 3+ years.
 

PedroSpecialK

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That’s the rub really - they had hoodwinked a star for a middle pairing defenseman one-for-one and didn’t win anything with the star.

Having said that, the quantity aspect and the relatively weak Pacific give NJD a shot at a strong trade tree from Larsson- not quite Pederson for Neely + 1st in all likelihood, but a good one nonetheless. Given the Devils were expected to be at least solid this year, tough to lay a lot of blame at Shero’s feet, especially w Hall’s lack of goal scoring production
 

cshea

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EJ Hradek was on one of the NHL Network shows and casually mentioned Boston in passing as a team potentially interested in Kovalchuk.
There’s been some speculation but I think it mostly goes back to the Bruins trying to sign him 2 years ago.

I don’t think he’s a great fit, for reasons stated above. He’s more of a LW than RW, and the Bruins don’t have a PP need for him. He’s also 36 so any contract would be 35+ and thus remains in their cap no matter what. They couldn’t just sign him to a minimum deal and then waive him if it doesn’t work out, they’d be stuck with the cap hit. They are into LTIR so cap space is tight and a $700K or whatever dead charge could prevent or complicate further moves.

He’s probably better than Ritchie but I don’t think it makes a ton of sense for them to sign him. I’d rather they set their sights higher.
 

Maximus

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There’s been some speculation but I think it mostly goes back to the Bruins trying to sign him 2 years ago.

I don’t think he’s a great fit, for reasons stated above. He’s more of a LW than RW, and the Bruins don’t have a PP need for him. He’s also 36 so any contract would be 35+ and thus remains in their cap no matter what. They couldn’t just sign him to a minimum deal and then waive him if it doesn’t work out, they’d be stuck with the cap hit. They are into LTIR so cap space is tight and a $700K or whatever dead charge could prevent or complicate further moves.

He’s probably better than Ritchie but I don’t think it makes a ton of sense for them to sign him. I’d rather they set their sights higher.
I agree with cshea. Tyler Toffoli would be my RW target for Krejci's line. $4.6M cap hit this year and a UFA next year at age 28. Do a Coyle like deal now and if he works out like Coyle did, extend him if possible. We have been looking for a permanent solution at RW on the 2nd line for a very long time.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Wouldn't be the worst option to roll out on PP2. I'd be willing to give it a shot, waive him if he sucks.
 

Haunted

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Would he accept a 1 year deal? I''m definitely against anything beyond this season but a minimum-or-close-to-it deal for the remainder of the season wouldn't be that awful.
 

cshea

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They already did that, but I guess if they do sign Kovalchuk, Ritchie would have to get waived.

I don’t know. He’s better than Ritchie but I just would hope they don’t sign him and think they solved the problem.
 

Maximus

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They already did that, but I guess if they do sign Kovalchuk, Ritchie would have to get waived.

I don’t know. He’s better than Ritchie but I just would hope they don’t sign him and think they solved the problem.
An improvement over Ritchie but isn't a solution to the long standing problem.