Author: Mike Halford

Nashville Predators v Colorado Avalanche

O’Reilly apologizes, but ‘not going to say exactly what happened’ in DUI incident

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Interesting bit here from the Buffalo News on Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly, who on Tuesday made his first remarks after being charged with impaired driving in July.

“After this week it’ll be sorted out and I can comment more on it, but it’s an unfortunate situation,” O’Reilly explained. “I think with the way the Sabres have invested in me and seen light in me, to be involved in a situation like that it’s definitely unfortunate. I would never want to do that, so I definitely apologize to all the fans and just the kids that see the situation.

“I’m not going to say exactly what has happened. That’s going to come out in court.”

Back on July 13, news broke that O’Reilly had been charged by Ontario Provincial Police with impaired driving and leaving the scene following an alleged incident at a Tim Horton’s restaurant.

More:

O’Reilly, 24, from Bluewater, Ont., had been charged with driving a motor vehicle while ability impaired (alcohol) and care or control over 80 mgs.

He was also charged under the Highway Traffic Act with failing to remain at the scene.

According to Middlesex County OPP, a green Chevrolet pickup struck struck a commercial building on Richmond St. last Thursday morning (July 9) just after 4:00am. An employee of the Lucan Tim Hortons confirmed to AM980 that there had been a motor vehicle incident, but was unaware of the driver’s identity.

After the collision, police say a suspect drove the vehicle southbound on Saintsbury Line, before abandoning it and traveling by foot with another, unnamed, male occupant.

The OPP report says the individuals were later found, with police determining the driver had been drinking alcohol.

O’Reilly’s first court appearance — which he wasn’t required to attend — was on Aug. 20, at which time the decision was made to continue the case until Sept. 10, which is two days from now.

In discussing the incident, the former Lady Byng winner said he felt “horrible” about the situation and re-iterated his apology to Sabres fans — but he also left some ambiguity as to what actually happened on the night in question, and how it will be resolved.

“I’m not saying the outcome is set yet,” he said. “But just to be in a situation like that and have it come out the way it’s been spun, it is unfortunate.”

Hanifin hurt, will miss rookie tourney

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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The injury Noah Hanifin suffered during the U.S. Junior evaluation camp will keep him from playing in Detroit’s annual Traverse City prospects tournament, the Hurricanes announced on Tuesday.

Hanifin, 18, was Carolina’s first-round pick (fifth overall) at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. According to the club, the injury isn’t severe and he should be healthy enough to participate at training camp later this month.

That the ‘Canes are exercising caution with Hanifin isn’t a surprise.

Even though he only turned 18 this year and has just his freshman season of collegiate hockey on his resume, the former Boston College standout is expected to challenge for spot on Carolina’s blueline.

“We certainly think with his skating ability and his size, he has the potential to step in and play, but we’re certainly not going to rush him in that regard,” GM Ron Francis told the team’s website recently. “I think if you look at history, a lot of young defensemen take a little longer to develop.

“There have been more and more (defensemen) recently that have been able to step in and not only contribute, but have tremendous success.”

The ‘Canes begin their Traverse City play this Friday against the Red Wings. OHL Sault Ste. Marie blueliner Tyler Ganly has been added to the roster in Hanifin’s absence.

Avs mum on Glencross PTO

Curtis Glencross
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There’s talk veteran winger Curtis Glencross could attend Avs training camp on a professional tryout but, per the Denver Post, the club isn’t saying anything:

The Avs declined to comment about veteran forward Curtis Glencross’ rumored possible signing with Colorado on a professional tryout (PTO) contract. Glencross, 32, finished last season with the Capitals, after being acquired from Calgary.

He made $2.5 million last season. The pride of the NCAA’s Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves, Glencross played with the Avs’ Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla in Calgary.

As mentioned, Glencross made $2.5M in ’14-15, the last of a four-year, $10 million deal he called a “hometown discount.”

It’s a discount he would eventually regret taking.

“I love my time in Calgary and the organization, but you learn that eventually it’s a business and you’re just a number,” Glencross told the Calgary Sun last month.

“If I could do it again … as much as I love (Calgary) and call it home and met great people, at the same time, when it’s time for you to cash in, you have to take advantage and cash in. You can’t take a pay-cut or hometown discount because things change.”

A two-time 20-goal scorer, Glencross saw his production drop last year — just 13 goals and 35 points in 71 games between Calgary and Washington. But in his defense, both places were less-than-ideal fits; Flames bench boss Bob Hartley wanted to rely more on his younger, speedier players and used Glencross less and less as the season went on.

In Washington, Glencross was never able to find his niche in the lineup and ended up a healthy scratch for a couple of playoff games, averaging just 10:25 TOI.

Devil you know: Hynes, Shero bring in tough guy Letourneau-Leblond

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins
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The Devils added some toughness on Tuesday, and a familiar face as well.

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, first brought to the Pens organization by Ray Shero before spending the last two years under head coach John Hynes, was signed by New Jersey to a one-year, two-way deal worth $575,000 at the NHL level.

Shero, of course, is the new GM in New Jersey, having been fired from Pittsburgh last year.

Hynes, of course, is the new Devils head coach, plucked by Shero from Pittsburgh’s AHL club in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

“PL3” logged 34 fights for Hynes in WBS over the last two years, appearing in one game for Pittsburgh at the NHL level. Prior to his time in Pittsburgh, Letourneau-Leblond spent time in the Anaheim and Calgary organizations.

It should be noted this move isn’t just a reunion with Hynes and Shero.

Letourneau-Lebond was originally a Devils draftee, taken in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He went on to appear in 37 games for the Devils, racking up 91 PIM and this unforgettable scrap against Cam Janssen:

Report: Chiarelli to be named Young Stars GM

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Well, isn’t this fitting.

Per a Sportsnet report, Peter Chiarelli — the GM of an Edmonton team filled with young stars — will be named the GM of the Young Stars team set to compete at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

The team will be comprised of North American players aged 23 or younger, though the specific cutoff birthdate for qualification remains unofficial (per an earlier ESPN report, it’s set to be Sept. 1, 1992).

Previously, the NHL and NHLPA confirmed that, should a Canadian or American player be chosen for the Young Stars team, he would have to participate — meaning there’s no holding out in the hope of making the senior team.

Which brings us back to the guy picking the Young Stars.

Chiarelli would, presumably, have two of his own players firmly in the mix: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid. He could also be in a position to select one of his former, and brightest, prospects — Dougie Hamilton, who Chiarelli drafted in Boston, only to later see Hamilton get dealt to Calgary by current B’s GM Don Sweeney.

Here’s our full list of potential Young Stars, from back in January:

Forwards: Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid, Jack Eichel Brandon Saad, Matt Nieto, Sean Couturier, J.T. Miller, Nathan MacKinnon, Sean Monahan, Mark Scheifele, Jonathan Huberdeau, Boone Jenner, Ryan Strome, Johnny Gaudreau, Alex Galchenyuk, Jonathan Drouin, Bo Horvat, Sam Reinhart, Anthony Duclair, Curtis Lazar.

Defense: Hamilton, Connor Murphy, Aaron Ekblad, Jacob Trouba, Seth Jones, Morgan Rielly, Damon Severson, Ryan Murray, Cody Ceci, Derrick Pouliot, Griffin Reinhart, Matt Dumba, Darnell Nurse (another Oiler!)

Goalies: John Gibson, Connor Hellebuyck, Malcolm Subban.

As for GM’s of the other teams, Team Canada has confirmed that St. Louis’ Doug Armstrong will serve as its GM, while Los Angeles’ Dean Lombardi will spearhead the U.S. team.

Related: Will the Young Stars even have a chance?