Cam Tucker

Video: Brown rocks Tavares with open ice hit, drops the gloves with Mayfield

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Tempers flared between the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

Lightning forward J.T. Brown rocked Islanders star John Tavares with an open-ice hit early in the second period. As you might expect, there was a response. Scott Mayfield skated right after Brown, and the two dropped the gloves for a lengthy fight inside the Bolts’ zone.

Mayfield was also given an instigator penalty and a misconduct.

Meanwhile, the Islanders trailed the Lightning 4-0 at the end of two periods.

IIHF president Fasel says ’50-50′ chance NHL participates in 2018 Olympics

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23:  (l-R) Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban #76 of Canada pose with the gold medals won during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match against Sweden on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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There is still no decision or agreement about whether NHL players will participate in the 2018 Olympics, but the Jan. 15 deadline set forward by the IOC is approaching.

While the IOC has decided not to pay for the transportation and insurance cost of NHL players participating in the Olympics, which has become one of the contentious issues in this whole process, IIHF president René Fasel told reporters that he had spoken with the Russian Olympic Committee and was told the committee would pay for the travel and insurance costs of Russia’s players if necessary.

Keep in mind that Alex Ovechkin has already stated he’ll participate in the Olympics, even if the NHL doesn’t come to an agreement to send its players.

Meetings between the league and the IIHF are expected for this week.

From the Canadian Press:

League officials will meet with the International Ice Hockey Federation in New York on Wednesday. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the NHL hopes to learn if any traction has been made between the IIHF and the International Olympic Committee with regard to potential sticking points for participation at the Games in South Korea

When it comes to NHL participation in the Olympics, Fasel believes it’s a “50-50” chance right now.

“At the end, it’s also a political decision and, you know, I understand Gary Bettman. It’s not so easy. There are some owners that they say, ‘Listen, to shut down the league for two weeks in February, 2018, it’s not an easy thing to do,'” said Fasel.

“Some players coming back, they are injured, they are out of shape. It’s just before the start of the playoffs — I mean, couple months before the start of the playoffs. If you have a very good player who is injured, I can understand that for some owners, that could be an issue. On the other hand, I think it’s very important for our sport of hockey that the best players are in the Olympics.”

The New York Islanders certainly know about having a star player injured at the Olympics.

John Tavares suffered a partially torn MCL during the 2014 Sochi Olympics and wasn’t cleared for full activity until three months after the injury.

The IOC paid his salary during his absence from the Islanders lineup — after that club’s GM Garth Snow sounded off on the IOC and IIHF, saying, “It’s a joke. They want all the benefits from NHL players in Olympics and don’t want to pay when our best player gets hurt.”

Related:

Bettman: Discussions about NHL participation at 2018 Olympics ‘not on the front-burner’

Daly: NHL could skip 2018 Olympics and return in 2022

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson joins Seattle arena group

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up prior to the game against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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There has been another twist in the ongoing Seattle arena story.

The day after leading his team to a win over the Patriots, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson announced via Twitter that he has joined Chris Hansen and his partners with the investment group working to build a brand new multi-purpose arena that could be the home for an NBA franchise or possibly an NHL expansion team in the city’s SoDo neighborhood.

“I’m excited to announce I’ve partnered w/ the Sonics Arena Group to help bring the @NBA & @NHL to the best fan base in the world,” Wilson tweeted from his verified account.

A Super Bowl champion with the Seahawks, Wilson’s star power and popularity with sports fans in that market could be a major boost to the investment group as it looks for permission from the city to move forward with this project.

The latest from King 5 News:

The Hansen group’s effort to build a new arena is currently in limbo, with the city council refusing to approve a street vacation in SODO that is needed for building the proposed arena. In the meantime, Mayor Ed Murray announced the city is seeking bids from groups to remodel Key Arena in Seattle Center, the former home of the Sonics.

When asked whether Wilson was expected to campaign at City Hall to get the project done, one source replied, “He is prepared to do that.”

Last month, in a major turn of events in this story, it was reported that Hansen and his investment group offered to forgo public funding for the arena project.

The very next day, another report from King 5 News stated that the mayor’s office was exploring the idea of renovating Key Arena, the old home of the Sonics before the team left Seattle.

Monday’s news certainly adds another element to this whole saga. It also shows the Hansen investment group is making a strong push to try to get something done with the city, which would be vital to the prospects of getting an NHL team in Seattle.

“We’re not paying a lot of attention to Seattle,” said commissioner Gary Bettman, per NHL.com.

“If they ever put a shovel in the ground and actually build a building instead of just talking about one we might pay attention. But it’s not something we’re monitoring. We’re not focusing on future expansion at this point and we’re not focusing on Seattle over anywhere else.”

Related:

Tim Leiweke could play role in redevelopment of Seattle’s KeyArena

Bettman rejects notion that the NHL is waiting for Seattle

Sabres ‘need more from Evander Kane,’ says Bylsma

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 01: Evander Kane #9 of the Buffalo Sabres warms up to play the Edmonton Oilers at First Niagara Center on March 1, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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Dan Bylsma issued a challenge to Evander Kane following Saturday’s loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Kane took two penalties Saturday, including a hooking infraction in the offensive zone in the third period, and was removed from the top line in a 4-2 loss to New Jersey.

He was also in penalty trouble the previous night against the Devils, which resulted in an overtime loss for Buffalo.

Bylsma didn’t have much to say on the subject. But the message from the coach was clear: “Need more from Evander,” he told reporters, when asked about the decision to move Kane off the top line.

In four games, Kane has yet to record a point, with 10 penalty minutes. He did miss 11 games with broken ribs from a scary fall into the boards. The injury and lack of production represents a bad start to the season on the ice for Kane, who has been tied to trade speculation for months.

Among the teams previously rumored to have interest in Kane are the Vancouver Canucks.

From Elliotte Friedman during Hockey Night in Canada:

“He came back the other night. There were a lot of scouts in there watching Buffalo that night. You know, Vancouver’s been talked about but I think what Buffalo is finding out is the return, the offers, just aren’t there.”

The Sabres have now lost four in a row. They play the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

A perfect 10: Carey Price shuts out Red Wings

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 13: Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens stands during the anthem prior to a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 13, 2013 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Canadiens 5-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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MONTREAL (AP) Carey Price made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-0 on Saturday night to extend their winning streak to four games.

Phillip Danault, Paul Byron, Shea Weber, Andrew Shaw and Max Pacioretty scored to help NHL-leading Montreal improve to 13-1-1. Shaw added two assists for his first multipoint game with the Canadiens.

Jimmy Howard gave up five goals on 25 shots for Detroit before being replaced by Petr Mrazek at the start of the third period. Mrazek made 12 saves in relief. The Red Wings dropped to 8-7-1.

Montreal has opened with 10 straight victories at Bell Centre, a franchise record for consecutive home victories to start a season. The previous record was established in 1953.

Danault, playing in just his second game at center, got Montreal on the board at 4:17 of the first period. After Shaw’s initial shot squeaked by Howard, Danault had a tap-in. Danault has five goals in 15 games this season, after scoring four goals in 53 previous career NHL games.

Byron made it 2-0 just a few minutes later. He went top shelf on a breakaway after the puck bobbled on Niklas Kronwall at the blue line.

Weber capped Montreal’s dominant first period with a power-play goal with a minute left, giving Howard no chance on a blistering one-timer from several feet inside the zone. Weber has five of the team’s 10 power-play goals this season.

Shaw put the game out of Detroit’s reach at 15:13 of the second period. Eight seconds into Montreal’s third power play of the evening, Alex Galchenyuk‘s slap shot from the point went off Shaw’s left skate and in for the winger’s first goal since the season opener on Oct. 13.

Pacioretty made it 5-0 at 16:49 of the second.