The day after learning that former teammate Evander Kane had accused the Jets organization of not having his back, the Jets’ players were once again forced to comment on Evander Kane.
“It is frustrating to have to speak about somebody who’s no longer with us,” said Blake Wheeler, per the Winnipeg Sun.
Similarly, captain Andrew Ladd said: “We’ve moved on. And maybe he should, too.”
Dustin Byfuglien was not made available for comment. It was Byfuglien who reportedly threw Kane’s clothes into the shower last February, an incident that led to the end of Kane’s time in Winnipeg.
Coach Paul Maurice admitted today that he knew Kane had wanted out all along.
“I was aware that Evander probably would like to have played somewhere else, and had a full understanding that when that contract expired he would be somewhere else,” Maurice said.
“In the end, I guess it was a difficult marriage that separated amicably.”
We’ll see how amicable Jets fans are actually feeling when the Sabres visit MTS Centre on Jan. 10.
For the first time this season, Carolina rookie Noah Hanifin will be a healthy scratch. The Boston College product is expected to sit tonight in Detroit, according to FOX Sports’ Michelle McMahon.
Carolina coach Bill Peters explained his decision as just wanting to “freshen him up, that’s all it is.”
Hanifin was the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft. The 18-year-old is one of four players from that draft (and the only defenseman) still playing in the NHL, the others being Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, and Daniel Sprong.
McDavid and Eichel were always considered locks to stay up. Sprong was a surprise, but apparently has done enough to stick with the Penguins.
Hanifin has played eight games for Carolina, so the Hurricanes must decide soon whether to keep him or send him down to the AHL, a la Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen.
Hanifin has not looked out of place in the NHL. His possession stats are solid and his ice time has ranged from a low of 14:41 to a high of 20:30. He has two assists.
Hanifin could play his ninth game Thursday in Brooklyn. If he plays a 10th, his entry-level contract will officially kick in.
Tonight in Vancouver, the Montreal Canadiens can join the 1993-94 Maple Leafs and 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres by starting the season with 10 straight victories.
The Canucks would like to stop them, for two good reasons.
“You don’t want to go in the record books on the other side, so I think there always is motivation,” said coach Willie Desjardins.
“It’s our chance, too. We haven’t won at home. It gives us a chance to turn our season around a little bit as well.”
The Canucks (3-2-3) blew another third-period lead Saturday versus Detroit, eventually falling 3-2 in overtime. It was the third time in the young season that they’d led after two and failed to hold on for a victory.
On the bright side, Vancouver’s only lost twice in regulation.
At any rate, expect the Canucks’ individual ice time to once again be monitored closely tonight. Desjardins conceded this morning that the Sedins’ workload has been a bit more than he’d like.
As such, the so-called “kid” line of Bo Horvat centering Jake Virtanen and Sven Baertschi has been broken up. Every forward combination against the Habs will include at least one veteran.
“I like playing four lines,” said Desjardins. “I’ve always liked to. That’s something I want to do. I’m hoping that tonight, with the lines the way they are, I expect to play all the lines and gives guys a chance to show what they can do.”
Related: Desjardins defends benching of Canucks kids
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed Sergei Gonchar!
To coach their defensemen.
According to a club press release, Gonchar will “work with Pittsburgh’s defensemen at the NHL level and throughout the Penguins’ system. He will also scout European tournaments on behalf of the team.”
Gonchar, 41, had a preseason tryout with the Penguins, but failed to make the team as a player.
Derrick Pouliot is the top-rated defensive prospect in the organization. The 21-year-old is currently in the AHL.
Pouliot was the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft, the same year the Pens selected Olli Maatta.
Brian Dumoulin, 24 and Adam Clendening, 23, are two other young d-men in Pittsburgh.
It sounds like the youngest player in the NHL will remain in the NHL past his nine-game audition.
“If you’re asking me today, it looks that way,” Penguins GM Rutherford told the Tribune-Review when asked if Daniel Sprong had done enough to stick with the team.
The alternative is to send the 18-year-old back to junior, which would delay the start of his entry-level contract.
Sprong has one goal in six games. He’s averaged 10:13 in ice time and has 11 shots.
“We’re just looking at what’s best for the team and what’s best for him,” Rutherford said. “I believe he can help our team.”
Related: ‘Canes face tough call on Hanifin, as do other teams with their rookies