James O'Brien

via St. Louis Blues

Report: Ewen’s death classified as suicide


Former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen’s death is being classified as a suicide by police, CTV’s Amanda Singroy reports.

More specifically, Singroy reports that Ewen died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Blues chairman Tom Stillman released the following statement regarding Ewen earlier on Sunday:

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Blue Todd Ewen. Todd was an outstanding individual who called St. Louis home and continued to devote much of his time to the game he loved. On behalf of the entire St. Louis Blues organization, our thoughts and prayers are with the Ewen family during this most difficult time.”

Ewen was a member of the Stanley Cup-winning Montreal Canadiens team from 1993 and also played for the Ducks, Sharks and Blues.

As mentioned in this AP article, former teammates also shared their thoughts on Ewen.

The hockey world has reacted to the sad news, as well:

Lucic: Sticking with Kings would be ‘perfect scenario’

Milan Lucic

The potential scoring line of Milan Lucic, Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik sounds awfully deadly. It also might be short-lived.

Both Lucic and Kopitar will need new contracts after this season, and one would reasonably assume that the Los Angeles Kings view their franchise center as a higher priority than their new winger.

Lucic told Puck Daddy that, ideally, he’d stay with Los Angeles.

“In a perfect scenario, this would be a place I could see myself playing out the rest of my career,” Lucic said on Saturday. “Again, obviously it’s no secret I’m on the last year of my contract and going into a summer where I could potentially be a UFA, but at the end of the day, I’m not too worried about that.”

Is it possible that Lucic was doing a little bit of damage control after acknowledging his childhood dream to play for the Vancouver Canucks to TSN in late August?

It seemingly almost happened before Lucic eventually landed in Los Angeles …

One way or another, Lucic can earn himself a lot of money if he clicks with the Kings … even if they’re not the team that ends up giving him the big bucks.

Sabres’ Legwand knows he’s ‘really old,’ but …

David Legwand
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Playing for the Buffalo Sabres seems to be making David Legwand that much more conscious of being “really old.”

35 doesn’t qualify as such under most terms, but it is a little up there in professional sports, especially for a guy who was suiting up for the Nashville Predators in his late teens.

All of that mileage noted, Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma expects the second pick of the 1998 NHL Draft to remain a “fast skater, an aggressive skater, a smart hockey player.”

“I think I can still contribute and play key roles and do whatever the coaches ask of me,” Legwand said, according to Olean Times Herald.

It all seems oddly fitting that Legwand’s “old legs” are being discussed in prospect-packed Buffalo:

Legwand recalled that day for reporters, as the Buffalo News reports.

“I remember San Jose had the second pick, and my agent looked at me and said, ‘You’re going to Nashville.’ I said, ‘Whoa,'” Legwand said. “Other than that, it was pretty much a whirlwind day. It was exciting, obviously. It’s like it comes full circle to get the chance to play where you’re drafted.”

Many Sabres fans view Legwand as a mere throw-in for the Robin Lehner trade, yet he may pay dividends, and not just on the ice.

Oilers’ Eberle tries to shake ‘loser’ feeling

Jordan Eberle

To some extent, it feels like a broken record: a long-suffering member of the Edmonton Oilers hopes this is the year.

Familiar refrain or not, there are some reasons for Jordan Eberle to feel a little more justified in their optimism this time around.

Most obviously, the Oilers added another key piece to the war chest in Connor McDavid, someone who’s hyped as a better prospect than Sidney Crosby. Maybe just as importantly, they hired Todd McLellan as head coach.

After a series of fairly “green” bench bosses, they have one who’s experienced success. Even better: Eberle experienced success with McLellan, as they enjoyed nice moments at the Worlds alongside Taylor Hall.

Those wins – not to mention those key changes – has Eberle wondering if he’ll finally be a winner in the NHL, as the Edmonton Sun reports.

“It’s been tough, to be honest, five years of this, it grows on you, you start to think of yourself as a bit of a loser,” Eberle said on Saturday. “For me and Hallsy, personally, going to Worlds and winning and having that winning feeling back, was something that I was really, really proud of for myself, proud of him and proud of our team.”

It’s one thing to feel pride for what amounts to a modified group of Canadian All-Stars. Will that finally transfer to success for the Oilers?

If this continues, that loser label will just get tougher to shake.

Hudler insists he’s no babysitter to young Flames

Jiri Hudler, Johnny Gaudreau
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At 31, it probably feels weird for Jiri Hudler to be considered a mentor, but that’s been part of his role with the Calgary Flames lately.

Last season, he was the veteran presence on a fantastic line with fresh-faced forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. So far, Hudler’s been skating with another young gun in Sam Bennett.

It sounds like he’s not crazy about being the “old guy,” as he discussed with the Calgary Sun.

“I don’t feel like their babysitter,” Hudler said. “I’m their friend. I’m trying to play my best game. And for them, I want the best they can do.”

The winger also has himself to focus upon.

His $4 million cap hit expires after the 2015-16 season, and with the likes of Monahan and Gaudreau headed for RFA status, he might not necessarily be in it to see the “kids” grow up.

Then again, being a guy who can take young stars under his wing could also be another bullet for his resume.