As concern grows among NHL players regarding participation in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, Mike Smith announced he wouldn’t be bringing his family with him when he represents Team Canada.
“They’re not gonna go. It’s not worth it,” Smith explained, per Coyotes game host Todd Walsh. “For myself, it’s about thinking if she’s [wife Brigitte] OK when I’m not with her. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just the way it is.”
Smith, one of the three goalies named to the Canadian squad, has two children with a third on the way, and is one of the first players to openly acknowledge he’s leaving his family behind over security concerns. It’s worth noting that his wife is a former competitive skier that represented Canada at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino.
“From everything I’ve heard, the Olympic village will be very secure and once we’re over there, I’m sure everything will be fine,” Smith said. “But obviously with what’s gone there on leading up to the Olympics, there’s always some concern.
“The Olympics are supposed to be an exciting time, and one that so many athletes train so hard for. When there’s that extra baggage of security concerns and other things like that, it’s obviously frustrating.”
According to a report from the Washington Post, Russian security officials are hunting down a trio of potential suicide bombers, one of whom is believed to be in Sochi.
Earlier this week, Washington captain and Russian team member Alex Ovechkin appeared on NBC’s Today Show, and said the Olympics won’t be dangerous.
At the age of 39, it looks like Eric Boulton still has at least one more campaign in the NHL left in his career.
The New York Islanders announced that Boulton has agreed to a one-year deal for the 2015-16 campaign. The financial terms weren’t disclosed, but it’s a one-way deal, according to Elliotte Friedman.
This will be Boulton’s fourth season with the Islanders, but he’s only played in 48 games with the club. That’s partially due to a hand and lower-body problems, but he’s also been scratched when healthy. When he does play, Boulton serves as an enforcer.
He made headlines in that role during the preseason while he was participating in the Islanders’ training camp on a tryout basis. He attempted to fight Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson, who ended Lubomir Visnovsky’s 2014-15 season, and when Wilson refused Boulton claimed it was because he “was scared to death.”
Capitals coach Barry Trotz countered that by saying that he specifically told Wilson not to fight Boulton. Now that Boulton has signed with the Islanders though, perhaps they’ll get into a sparring match during the regular season.
The Buffalo Sabres have returned defenseman Brendan Guhle to junior, where he’ll play for the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders.
Guhle was the 51st overall pick in the 2015 draft. The 18-year-old had two assists in four preseason games before suffering an injury on a big hit by Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf.
Guhle said Sunday that he was fully recovered from the injury. Hence, the return to Prince Albert.
There are now just five 2015 draft picks left on NHL rosters: Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Noah Hanifin, Mikko Rantanen, and Daniel Sprong.