James O'Brien

Patrick Kane

Warm greeting from ‘Hawks fans gives Kane ‘chills’


A day after a very poorly received Chicago Blackhawks press conference, things went a lot better for Patrick Kane & Co. at training camp on Friday.

The crowd of about 4,000 people reacted warmly to Kane’s presence at Compton Ice Arena at Notre Dame, according to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.

“That’s a pretty cool reaction, especially given the circumstances,” Kane said . “You didn’t really know what to expect. I thought it was one of those things when you’re going on the ice you don’t know what’s going to happen. To hear that reaction from the crowd definitely gave me chills. It was an exciting moment.”

Harrington posted this Vine, so see for yourself:

On Thursday, Kane didn’t really answer many questions while Chicago denied claims that they’ve handled the situation in a “tone-deaf” way.

Puck Daddy shares more reactions from Blackhawks fans.

Clitsome fails physical, unlikely to play for Jets

Grant Clitsome

Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice said that Grant Clitsome failed the team’s physical and is unlikely to play hockey next season, TSN’s Michael Remis reports.

The 30-year-old defenseman’s 2014-15 season was cut short because of a back injury that eventually required surgery, and it’s likely that is still the issue for him.

Winnipeg dealt with quite a few injuries on defense last year, yet they made big steps forward without Clitsome.

In all honesty, the team is probably comfortable moving on without him, whether this setback keeps him out for the 2015-16 season or perhaps even longer.

PHT Morning Skate: Tom Hanks, Martin Short and OHL

7th Annual Backstage At The Geffen Gala

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Plenty of bits in Elliotte Friedman’s latest “30 Thoughts” column, with one of the more intriguing bits being the Los Angeles Kings’ easier said than done goal of knocking Drew Doughty‘s ice time down from 29 to 25 minutes per game. Bold prediction: split the difference and expect 27. (Sportsnet)

As far as CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty is concerned, many (now-former) Boston Bruins were simply “too soft” in 2014-15. (CSNNE.com)

The five greatest moments of Simon Gagne’s career. (The Hockey News)

What we can gleam from the NHL’s first games ever. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

The lion really sells Jonathan Bernier‘s new mask:

Someone wants to make a fourth Mighty Ducks movie, but Disney apparently isn’t particularly interested. (BarDown)

From the “Um, What?” files: Martin Short and Tom Hank cheer on … the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs?

Yes, McDavid is already piling up highlights

Connor McDavid

When Connor McDavid isn’t getting hit hard enough to frighten the most reactive worry warts among Edmonton Oilers fans, he’s creating all sorts of offense in the “pre-pre-season.”

McDavid and fellow high draft pick Leon Draisaitl put on a clinic on Wednesday, combining for seven points as the Oilers’ group of rookies beat the University of Alberta Golden Bears 6-3 in what amounted to a hockey friendly.

The best clip was one of McDavid’s three assists, as he set a goal with this no-look beauty:

Yeah, that’s one of those “man among boys” moments, like watching Jonathan Toews during his second NCAA season.

One could contend that McDavid will likely need to feed pucks into smaller windows during 2-on-1 situations in the NHL than during this nice bit, but still:

McDavid discussed the impressive turn out (more than 14,000 fans at Rexall) and the latest exhibition after last night’s win:

Does this ratchet up your anxiety to see McDavid face competition that’s at quite a higher level than the University of Alberta (sorry, Golden Bears)?

Well, that’s sort of the point, so get excited.

Report: Isles sign Nelson for three years, $7.5M

Brock Nelson

New York Islanders fans can go to sleep, because Brock Nelson Watch is over.

The two sides hashed out a deal with training camp looming on Wednesday. It will be for three years and $7.5 million, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

The Islanders confirmed that the contract is for three years, but they didn’t provide financial details.

If the $7.5 million total is accurate, that constitutes a $2.5 million cap hit for the 23-year-old forward who enjoyed a breakout 2014-15 season.

As the 30th pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, Nelson is coming along nicely, and this contract could be pretty friendly to the Islanders if he keeps making gains in the right direction.