Devils prospect Ben Johnson faces two sexual assault charges


New Jersey Devils third-round pick Ben Johnson is facing two separate sexual assault charges, including one stemming from a St. Patrick’s Day party, the Windsor Star reports.

Johnson, 18, was accused of that crime by a 16-year-old woman from Sunday, which encouraged a 20-year-old woman to come forward regarding an incident that allegedly happened three weeks earlier. Both claim that the assaults happened in restrooms of two different restaurants in the Windsor, Ontario area.

The forward played for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires this season.

Here are more in-depth details from the Windsor Star:

Ben Johnson, 18, was arrested early this morning after one of the alleged sexual assaults, which sources say occurred in the washroom of Mynt nightclub during a combined St. Patrick’s Day party and end of season gathering that included other players. He appeared in provincial court this afternoon by video and was held in custody overnight, with bail set at $30,000.

Windsor Police Sgt. Matt D’Asti said police attended the Metropolitan campus of the Windsor Regional Hospital at about 1:50 a.m. Monday and spoke with a 16-year-old girl, who told officers she had been sexually assaulted. Police then arrested the suspect in the 11000 block of Rockland Street just before 4 a.m.

D’Asti said during the course of the investigation, a second woman, aged 20, came forward. That woman told police she had also been sexually assaulted by the accused in the washroom of The Tilted Kilt at 2135 Wyandotte St. W. about three weeks ago, D’Asti said.

The Spitfires essentially provided a “no comment” response regarding the accusations. The Devils selected Johnson 90th overall in 2012’s draft, but haven’t signed him to an entry-level contract.

Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”



Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?