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Derek Clarke is not Randy Gumbley, CHLPA insists

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The CHLPA “categorically denies” that Randy Gumbley has “any official position” with the aspiring junior hockey union.

The denial comes one day after various reports suggested that often-heard-from-but-rarely-seen union spokesman Derek Clarke is actually Gumbley, a convicted fraudster.

The CHLPA believes it’s all part of a plot to keep the CHL from being unionized.

“This issue is more than a smokescreen,” the union said in a statement, “it’s a high-handed union busting tactic to undermine the union in the eyes of the players. It’s outrageous!”

It’s been reported that Clarke – the “real Derek,” according to his lawyer – will appear on TSN today to clarify the situation. (We’d sure like to know how CHLPA executive director Georges Laraque could be shown a picture of Gumbley and say it was a picture of Clarke.)

However, the CHLPA says that today’s statement “will be the last statement from the CHLPA regarding this topic” and that it’s “going to focus its resources and energy on organizing in the certification applications already before the various labor boards.”

Update (3:30 p.m. ET):

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.