Duncan Keith, Derek Roy

Duncan Keith awkwardly responds to female reporter following loss


Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith had a tough night against Vancouver in their 3-1 loss to the Canucks. Keith was beaten by Daniel Sedin on their third goal of the game and his one means of defending the shot was to slash him.

Keith was asked about the play following the game by Team 1040 in Vancouver’s Karen Thomson. Keith’s reply to her query came off sounding a bit nasty. (audio here)

Thomson: “It looked like maybe there was a penalty that went undetected. You seemed a bit frustrated.”

Keith: “Oh no I don’t think there was. I think he scored a nice goal. The ref was right there. That’s what the ref saw. We should get you as a ref maybe, hey?”

Thomson: “Yeah, maybe! Can’t skate though.”

Keith: “First female referee. Can’t play probably, either, right? But you’re thinking the game like you know it? OK, see ya.”

Some are taking his reply as being a sexist rip job. Others say he’s just a grumpy player giving a sarcastic answer.

Players giving snarky answers after a loss (or even a win if you’re Chris Pronger) is nothing new, but did this cross a line? I’m sure you’ll debate that in the comments politely.

For what it’s worth, here’s how Thomson handled it via Twitter:

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.