Rumors were swirling about next year’s outdoor games for quite some time, but now it’s just about official. There will be two during the 2009-10 season. The first will take the traditional Winter Classic spot on New Year’s Day 2011 and will feature a bout between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at Heinz Field. Canada will receive a second outdoor game, with the Montreal Canadiens visiting the Calgary Flames at McMahon Stadium sometime in February.
The Winter Classic is one of the league’s flagship moments, transcending the sport with casual fans as much as – if not more than – the All-Star Game and Stanley Cup finals. Some people might be upset that the Winter Classic will feature Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin’s teams, but I look at it as more or less inevitable.
And, really, if the event keeps drawing eyes and widespread media attention, then the New York Rangers of the world will get their due. So, just relax hockey diehards. Justice will come your way soon enough.
Meanwhile, the rest of us can just enjoy the show.
The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”
The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.
The NHLPA released a similar statement.
It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.
We’re starting to find out some details now:
How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?
Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.
Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.
Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.
According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.
Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.
And here’s a statement from TSN: