Predators defenseman Kevin Klein may not exactly be the first guy you think of when it comes to Nashville hockey, but playing abroad in Denmark has made him a star there.
Joshua Cooper of The Tennessean spoke with Klein’s sister, Laura, and finds out he’s the biggest thing to happen to Denmark’s AL-Bank Ligaen Herlev Eagles maybe ever.
“They had pictures of him made so they could sell them, that he signed. He would always get interviewed after the game in front of the VIP people. There was this huge spray-painted sign saying, ‘Welcome Klein No. 18,’ and fans would chant his name,” Laura said. “He wasn’t given everything, but the fans supported him to the fullest, not even knowing who he was. They just knew he was (an NHL) hockey player.”
His performance in the playoffs last year helped earn him a five-year, $14.5 million extension from the team.
In Denmark, his points are normal (a goal and two assists in eight games) but his penalty minutes have skyrocketed with 29 (he had just four all last season). Sticking up for your teammates will do that.
Maybe playing in a small league elsewhere does have its perks when you’re not an NHL superstar.
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?
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.