Sidney Crosby

Crosby backs NHL expansion: ‘Quebec City is the one that sticks out for sure’


Sidney Crosby is in favor of the National Hockey League growing by two teams.

With news that realignment is in the final stages of completion — the NHL’s Board of Governors votes this week — the topic of expansion is gaining traction, mostly in response to the league’s proposal for imbalanced conferences (the Eastern Conference would have 16 teams, the West 14.)

No. 87 is definitely on board with adding a pair of clubs.

“It’s only two more teams. I don’t see it as that big an issue,” Crosby told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The league’s found a way to stay competitive with 30. It can do 32.”

As for where to go?

“Quebec City is the one that sticks out for sure,” he said. “I’ve played in Quebec. I know the city, and I know how much passion they have for hockey. And obviously, with having a team there before and the rivalry with Montreal, I think it would be awesome.”

Crosby does have several ties to Quebec. He played two years of junior hockey for QMJHL Rimouski and his father, Troy, was selected by Montreal in the late stages of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.

Crosby also cited Seattle and Toronto as potential landing spots for the NHL, two areas that have been rumored as targets for quite some time.

(According to the Trib’s Dejan Kovacevic, the Penguins captain is “really into” the topic of NHL expansion.)

The NHL hasn’t expanded since the 2000-01 season, when Columbus and Minnesota joined as the league’s 29th and 30th teams.

The only move of significance since then came in 2011-12, when the Atlanta Thrashers were relocated to Winnipeg — the first time an NHL franchise had moved since the Hartford Whalers relocated to Carolina in 1997.


NHLPA approves realignment

With expected return of NBA, Seattle’s NHL chances improve

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
Leave a comment

Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.