Picture courtesy of: @KnublesKnights

Caps owner Leonsis says “Scratch Hunter” signs should’ve been permitted


Prior to Washington’s 4-3 OT loss to Carolina on Tuesday night, a group of Capitals fans dubbed Knuble’s Knights flashed their “Scratch Hunter” signs — referring to Caps head coach Dale Hunter, who has made veteran alternate captain Mike Knuble a healthy scratch several times this season.

The signs caused quite a stir and were eventually taken down by Verizon Center staff — but they shouldn’t have been, according to Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.

From Ted’s Take:

Here is the short, simple truth: A couple of players saw a sign at ice level during warm-ups that they felt was disrespectful toward our coach. One of the players asked one of the bench personnel to see if he could get them to take it down. One of our arena employees thought he was being helpful, and asked the fans to take it down. By the accounts that have been shared with me, the fans were cordial and respectful.

In actuality, the sign did not violate any of our policies (e.g., profanity, political, commercialism or obstruction) and should have been permitted.

In related news, I just bought Apr. 8 in the “When will Hunter go back to junior?” pool.

Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.


‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.