Author: James O'Brien

Las Vegas

Yay or nay: the Las Vegas Black Knights?


In an interview with HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman, William Foley – the potential owner of an NHL team in Las Vegas – stated his preference for naming the team the “Black Knights.”

While it evokes card games and casinos, Foley explained that the title would be a military tribute of sorts, as Friedman shares. For those who don’t like the idea, the good news is that there would also be a contest for the name:

Perhaps just as interesting: Wayne Gretzky may or may not be involved in the process. Foley described “The Great One” as an unofficial adviser of sorts, while Sportsnet’s John Shannon confirms that Gretzky introduced Foley to business partners.

It’s all interesting stuff, so check it out here.

Penguins doctor: Crosby’s mumps ‘came about as a bit of a surprise’


However you speculate about how the Pittsburgh Penguins handled Sidney Crosby’s case of mumps, they’re at least being fairly transparent about the situation (right now).

The team shared a detailed feature on the situation, including some insight from the team’s head physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas.

“It came about as a bit of a surprise to us,” Dr. Vyas said Sunday afternoon. “Every indication was that he was well protected against the disease.”

Here’s the team’s timeline for Crosby’s mumps, verbatim:

Illness Timeline

Pre-Winter Olympics, 2014

Crosby is given immunization and a booster shot to protect against diseases, including the mumps, prior to leaving for Sochi, Russia.

Nov. 24-28

Entire Penguins team was immunized and tested for mumps as an outbreak continues to grow in the NHL.

Nov. 28 vs. Carolina

Crosby suffered an injury to the right side of his neck – the salivary gland. He was tested with a CT scan and for mumps. All blood tests came back negative. Was given medication to bring swelling down.

Dec. 10-11

When medication for the salivary gland was stopped, Crosby developed swelling next to the injured area. Another series of tests, including mumps, were conducted. The tests showed no indication of an infection.

Crosby showed no symptoms of mumps such as fever, chills or generalized body aches.

Dec. 12 vs. Calgary

Crosby’s swelling and condition worsened. Crosby’s DNA was sent to the CDC for a sophisticated test. He was held out of the game until the CDC test results come back.

Dec. 13 at Columbus

Crosby’s CDC test results came back positive for mumps.

Friday, Dec. 12 is maybe the most interesting day in that timeline, as that’s when the 27-year-old was cleared to practice with teammates. It’s also when this jarring image surfaced:


Yeah, it certainly seems like his swelling had “worsened” by then.

Crosby is now being quarantined by CDC guidelines, yet there’s the concern that mumps already spread through the Penguins team and maybe beyond.

Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last we’ve heard of this, as the league seemingly cannot shake the mumps.

Penguins GM admits he’s worried about mumps spreading


So, uh, now the Pittsburgh Penguins are worried about mumps spreading after admitting that Sidney Crosby has the illness.

That’s what GM Jim Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Shelly Anderson shortly after the team announced the illness of their star player.

This isn’t exactly a promising revelation being that the Penguins allowed Crosby to skate with teammates in his “infectious state.” Naturally, the deflection has already started.

/Cues swollen face photo:


To be fair to the Penguins, it sounds like he got a booster shot for the condition fairly recently:

Is it on the team or just an unfortunate circumstance? Maybe a little of both? Either way, it’s an odd and troubling situation.

We’ll see if other Penguins deal with this issue. They’ve already had their problems with garden variety injuries, so this could be quite the headache.

Want some quick facts about the ailment? Click here.

In other Penguins updates, Rutherford said Olli Maatta’s issue isn’t related to the cancerous tumor he had removed.

Crosby indeed has the mumps, won’t play Monday


Even for hockey’s “shrouding everything in mystery” standards, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ reluctance to admit that Sidney Crosby has the mumps has been pretty odd. They confirmed as much today, shortly after TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported it as such.

Maybe most importantly, the team revealed that his “infectious period” will end on Monday, although he won’t play against the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow anyway.

As PHT noted earlier this week, it was hard to think of anything else upon seeing Crosby’s face:


One interesting tidbit to add:

The real question is: who’s next in “The Year of the Mumps?”

Read more about it here.

Trade: Columbus nabs Morin, Chicago gets Erixon

Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings

A day after winning their sixth consecutive game via a rousing defeat of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Columbus Blue Jackets acquired forward Jeremy Morin from the Chicago Blackhawks for defenseman Tim Erixon.

As you may recall, Morin gave the Blackhawks a simple request after a touch-and-go start to his NHL career: play me or trade me. Obviously, Chicago chose the latter.

Morin, 23, was the 45th pick of the 2009 NHL Draft by the then-Atlanta Thrashers. He generated a point-per-game at the AHL level with the Rockford IceHogs in 2013-14 and has 16 points in 54 career games at the NHL level (scattered since 2010-11).

“Jeremy is a young, strong forward with a very good shot, who has been a productive offensive player throughout his career,” Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said. “Given our depth at defense, this was an opportunity for us to add a very good player with a lot of potential on the other end.”

Erixon, also 23, may have just as much potential as Morin (even though it doesn’t seem like he made the same waves behind the scenes). He went 22 picks earlier in that same 2009 NHL Drafts, being selected by the Calgary Flames. Erixon had almost a point-per-game as a blueliner in the AHL last season (38 in 40) and has 70 games of NHL experience under his belt.

In other words, it seems like a solid trade for both sides.

It sounds like plans are already being made to get the two acquainted with their new surroundings:

People seem to be excited about the implications for each squad, too.

The Blue Jackets may boldly respond: “Why wait?”