Vladimir Krutov - Getty Images

Vladimir Krutov passes away at age 52


Russian hockey lost a legend today. Vladimir Krutov passed away at age 52 due to a stomach hemorrhage this morning.

While Krutov never really staked his claim in North America in the NHL,his legacy internationally is well known.

Krutov won two Olympic gold medals and five World Championships with the Soviet Union as a member on the legendary “KLM line.” While teamed up with Igor Larionov and Sergei Makarov, Krutov dominated international play with 164 points in 123 games. Those three players would combine with Vyacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov to make up one of the most dynamic five-man lineups in hockey called “The Green Unit.”

Krutov played one season with the Vancouver Canucks in 1989-1990 scoring 11 goals and adding 23 assists teaming up with Larionov. While Larionov stuck with Vancouver and ultimately won Stanley Cups with Detroit, Krutov headed back to Russia the following year. Krutov was inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2010.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.