While we’ve heard from many people speaking out about head shots around the league, we haven’t heard from many of the league’s youngest stars about what their take on the situation is across the league. Whether or not they’re being asked about it or if they’ve even given it a thought is unknown, but Tampa Bay’s Steve Stamkos is speaking up.
Bolts Report’s Erik Erlendsson caught up with Stamkos to get his thoughts on the state of the game regarding blows to the head. After reading what Stamkos has to say, we’re hoping that this isn’t the last we hear from the league’s hottest rising star when it comes to the big issues around the NHL.
“At the end of the day, in my opinion, we need to respect our opponents a little bit better. It falls on our shoulder. You know what you are doing when you hit a guy, and a lot of people say it’s a fast paced game and for an outsider, it is fast. But for us it does slow down a little bit and you do have that split-second to realize what you are doing.
“Everyone is accountable whether you are getting hit or you are the one enforcing the hit. You have to know where you are on the ice, you have to know who is out there, what the situation is and it’s just been way too many players this year.”
Stamkos went on to cite Sidney Crosby and Brad Richards as big stars that have been affected by blows to the head. He also says that it’s on the players to make sure things improve on the ice and that guys aren’t taking each other out needlessly.
By the way, Stamkos is just 21 years-old. Savvy veteran speak and intelligence from one of the league’s biggest and youngest rising stars. It’s a great and refreshing thing to hear this from Stamkos because the league does have a problem, especially when it comes to player respect in making sure no one seriously injures one another.
While it’s customary to hear from guys after they’ve been injured or after a teammate has been hurt, Stamkos offering up his smart take on this without an incident that hit close to home is fantastic. Let’s hope it’s not the last we hear from him because the league’s biggest stars need to be the leaders on matters like this.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.
Matt Murray was just on another level in Game 3, giving the impression that the Washington Capitals would only beat him with perfect shots.
Jay Beagle got that memo … and maybe added a little element of surprise on top of that.
As you can see from the video above, Beagle beat Murray from an unexpected angle with a pretty resounding goal. It was one of those “Wait, did that just happen?”-type moments.
The Capitals saw their lead go away moments before this post was completed, so it’s now 1-1.
The Pittsburgh Penguins won Game 3 thanks to Matt Murray‘s heroics, but now they must face the Washington Capitals without Kris Letang in Game 4.
(And the Penguins were overwhelmed for much of that last contest with their best blueliner.)
The Capitals, meanwhile, acknowledge the baggage – perceived or not – of the past as they try to tie this series.
It should be a fascinating Game 4, and you can soak in all the drama and action on NBCSN and also stream it via the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
It sounds like the Arizona Coyotes’ youth movement won’t merely be seen on the ice.
ESPN’s Craig Custance reports that the Coyotes will promote 26-year-old assistant GM John Chayka to GM. The team teased a major press conference for Thursday, when that news is likely to be made official.
The presser could be useful for more than the usual quotes and mission statements, as the Coyotes seem like they may parallel the Toronto Maple Leafs in combining an experienced executive, a young up-and-coming thinker and a more empowered head coach.
Dave Tippett is expected to have more of a say in personnel decisions while the Coyotes hope to bring in a Lou Lamoriello-type to assist Chayka, according to Custance.
(Custance’s ESPN Insider article [subscription required] goes in much greater depth, including a comparison to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors rather than the Maple Leafs.)
It’s possible that Dallas Stars assistant GM Les Jackson might come in to help Chayka, although an earlier report suggests that Jackson might stay in Dallas.
Multiple reporters including Puck Daddy’s Josh Cooper back up Custance’s report.
Considering Chayka’s age – he’s primed to become the youngest GM in NHL history – it’s no surprise that people are churning out jokes.
(This post’s author comes with six more years of [life] experience and a resume stacked with impressive video game and fantasy hockey team-building, by the way.)