Good luck with that: Vancouver mayor wants Canucks to help pay for riot bill

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It’s never a dull moment in Vancouver. As if things weren’t crazy enough in Vancouver hearing about how the city council wanted the NHL to step in and do things that their police force are supposed to handle, the mayor is now getting in on the action.

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson has had his hands full in trying to help get the city straightened out after the riots that erupted in the city following Vancouver’s Game 7 loss to Boston in the Stanley Cup finals. With the bills piling up to help pay for the clean up and repair of the city’s buildings, the cost is immense and he’d like to see the Vancouver Canucks help pick up part of the tab.

Megan Stewart of The Province has the story about how Mayor Robertson would like to see Canucks ownership help chip in.

“That’s definitely an open discussion and one that we need to have with the Canucks and the league [to] make sure that it’s equitable, that the costs related to big celebrations are borne by everyone who is benefiting,” said Robertson, speaking to reporters Tuesday after the Vancouver Police Board met to discuss the police department’s own internal review into the riot. Robertson sits as chairman of the police board.

“It’s been a difficult conversation in the past and there hasn’t been willingness, but given what’s happened, I’m hopeful that there is some receptiveness with that going forward,” he said.

“I haven’t asked yet. Those are discussions that are going to happen, though.”

Considering the city council already stepped in it knee-deep in calling out the NHL for not doing enough to help out with the riots as they happened, coming forth to ask for money from one of the NHL’s member organizations seems like an added slap in the face.

The guys at Kurtenblog also think that the mayor and the city are trying to have their cake, eat it, and have someone else pay of it through all this.

But seriously — shots fired at the NHL, then potential demands for the Canucks to foot cleanup costs? Isn’t this the same Vancouver City Council that anointed April 27 “Canucks Day“? With the flag raising and the framed proclamation and the obligatory Green Men cameo?

There’s even a photo of the mayor meeting with the Canucks owner while sporting a Canucks jersey.

We understand that having to pay for your citizens acting like hooligans and ruining the city comes at a cost that a city shouldn’t have to ever deal with. Riots stink and riots that happen because of an unwelcome sports conclusion stink and are stupid. Having the city continue to try and pass the buck and the blame to the NHL and to the team that calls the city home, perhaps the city council and the mayor would be better off not having a team in Vancouver at all.

They have to know they have a team there with a rabid fan base that has a history of lashing out in a destructive manner. While the expense of having all your police out in force hurts the wallet in the meantime, having to pay out for overtime is less costly than having to pay for overtime and to help rebuild and repair the city after morons tried to destroy it. The city doesn’t like having to pay for it, but a little more forethought and a lot more police should’ve been their priority when thousands decided to gather at the arena in hopes of a celebration.

Penguins re-sign Ruhwedel to a two-year deal

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The depth of the Pittsburgh Penguins defense faced the ultimate test this spring, winning a Stanley Cup despite the absence of Kris Letang.

Among those depth blueliners asked to come in and help fill the void left by injuries on defense was Chad Ruhwedel. And on Thursday, Ruhwedel re-signed with the Penguins to a two-year deal.

The Penguins announced that this new deal has an average annual value of $650,000 — a modest raise from his one-year, $575,000 deal for last season, but still certainly affordable for a Pittsburgh team that needs to get restricted free agents Brian Dumoulin, Justin Schultz and Conor Sheary under contract.

In his first season with the Penguins, Ruhwedel split his time between Pittsburgh and the AHL team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He scored twice with 10 points in 34 games with Pittsburgh, and then appeared in six postseason games as injuries continued to mount on the blue line.

His last game of the postseason came on May 19 versus Ottawa. He was diagnosed with a concussion, which was the result of a hit from Bobby Ryan in Game 4.

 

NHL announces 2017-18 regular season schedule

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The NHL released next year’s schedule on Thursday — one that cemented the league wouldn’t be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Games are scheduled right through the Olympic window, which runs from Feb. 9-25. You can view the entire schedule here.

Some dates of note:

• The Penguins will raise their Stanley Cup banner on opening night, Oct. 4, prior to their home date against the Blues.

• The league’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, will play their first game on Oct. 6 in Dallas, and their first home game on Oct. 10 against the Coyotes.

• Detroit will play its first game in Little Caesar’s Arena on Oct. 5, against the Wild.

• Ottawa and Colorado will play a pair of games in Stockholm, Sweden on Nov. 10 and 11.

• Ottawa and Montreal will play the Scotiabank NHL100 Classic outdoors, at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, on Dec. 16.

• The Rangers and Sabres will participate in the annual Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Citi Field.

• From Jan. 26-29, Tampa Bay will host the NHL All-Star weekend.

• On Mar. 3, Washington will host Toronto in an outdoor game at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

Marc-Andre Fleury, now a Golden Knight, will make his return to Pittsburgh on Feb. 6.

Jonathan Drouin, now a Montreal Canadien, will make his return to Tampa Bay on Dec. 28.

Jordan Eberle, now a New York Islander, will make his return to Edmonton on Mar. 8.

Eberle hopes to re-establish chemistry with John Tavares

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Jordan Eberle believes the trade to the New York Islanders will provide him with a fresh start — and possibly the opportunity to play alongside John Tavares.

In a blockbuster Thursday morning, the Oilers dealt Eberle to the Islanders for Ryan Strome.

There is a history between the two talented forwards that famously dates back to the 2009 World Juniors.

Back then, the draft-eligible Tavares was expected to go No. 1 overall in a few months time. Eberle was a first-round pick from the year before. It was Tavares shoveling a backhand shot toward the net and Eberle scooping up the puck and putting it behind the Russian goalie in the final seconds of regulation to send the semifinal game into overtime.

It’s one of the iconic moments in Canadian World Juniors history.

They will be reunited with the Islanders, and potentially on the same line, in order to give Tavares a scoring winger.

“From me, you have to be confident in your ability and confident that you can be in a top-six role. I think I’ve shown in the past that I can score in this league and I’ve had previous chemistry with John,” said Eberle, who scored 20 goals and 51 points for the Oilers this past season.

“Obviously, he’s a very intelligent player and the way that he plays suits my game. Maybe, if that’s where I end up, our games suit each other well.”

Eberle goes from a team that had Connor McDavid, the 2017 Hart Trophy winner, to Tavares, the first overall pick in 2009, an Olympian, and a player with two 80-plus point seasons under his belt.

They are both, as Eberle said, generational players. But with two totally different styles on the ice.

“I think you look at their attributes as players. I think Connor, the first one that sticks out to mind, is his speed. He’s maybe one of the fastest guys with the puck and you have to be able to keep up with that,” said Eberle. “John thinks the game, maybe, better than any other player in the league.

“Each does his thing in their own way, but gets the job done. For me, it’s more of, in my mind, to get ready to the best ability that I can to get into camp and hopefully fit in.”

Welcome Jason Demers to the trade rumor mill

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Florida’s season ended on April 9. Since then, the Panthers:

— Made a coaching change from Tom Rowe to Bob Boughner

Re-instilled Dale Tallon as GM

Lost leading goalscorer Jonathan Marchessault in the expansion draft

Traded Reilly Smith to Las Vegas.

And they might not be done shaking things up.

Per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, defenseman Jason Demers — who was left unprotected at the expansion draft — is now available for trade. The news comes just one year after Demers signed a five-year, $22.5 million deal with Florida in free agency, one of the biggest moves in the club’s defensive overhaul from the season prior.

The 29-year-old was a lineup fixture in Florida last year. He appeared in 81 of 82 games, scoring nine goals and 28 points while averaging 19:37 TOI.

If anything, today’s news suggests Tallon might be trying to undo the work Rowe did during his stint as GM. It was Rowe, don’t forget, that inked Smith to his five-year, $25 million deal last July. Smith went on to have a subpar year — just 15 goals and 37 points — and, in one of his final noteworthy acts as head coach, Rowe called Smith out for his lacklustre play towards the end of the season.