Author: Ryan Dadoun

Patrick Kane
AP Photo

Report: DNA results leave more questions in Patrick Kane case


The results of the DNA tests taken from a rape kit from an investigation into Patrick Kane are now available, according to the Buffalo News. The newspaper’s sources said that Kane’s DNA was found on the alleged victim’s shoulder and under her fingernails, but not on her genitals or undergarments.

“The absence of DNA and semen, in itself, does not prove that there was no rape,” Buffalo attorney Florina Altshiler told the paper. “It proves that there was no ejaculation, or possibly, that the perpetrator wore a condom.”

Altshiler, who previously served as a sex-crimes prosecutor in Alaska, is aware of cases where condoms were used in sexual assaults. However, the county’s former DA, Frank J. Clark, told the Buffalo News that incidences of rapists using condoms are “extremely rare.”

Clark also believes this information “could be a game-changer.”

It’s worth noting that while Altshiler, Clark have both followed the Kane case closely, neither of them possessed direct knowledge of the DNA results. The attorneys for Chicago Blackhawks star and his accuser as well as Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III all declined the Buffalo News’ request for comment on the DNA evidence.

As for the reported DNA that was found on the accuser, the Buffalo News sources’ said that might have been the result of casual contact. However, Clark noted that DNA found under the fingernails still could be evidence of a sexual assault.

And as Altshiler told the News, “There are different levels of sexual crimes … you don’t necessarily have to show that there was penetration in order to have a sexual assault.”

Meanwhile, Kane and his accuser are still reportedly attempting to negotiate a settlement, but that would only apply to the civil case.

Oscar Klefbom signs seven-year deal with Oilers

Oscar Klefbom
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The Edmonton Oilers are taking a significant risk, but it’s one that could pay off nicely.

Defenseman Oscar Klefbom has officially agreed to a seven-year contract extension, per the team’s website. That follows yesterday’s report that the two sides were close to reaching a deal of that length.

The Oilers didn’t release the financial terms, but ESPN’s Craig Custance reported on Saturday that the contract would come with an annual cap hit of $4.167 million.

That would make Klefbom’s deal comparable to the six-year, $25 million contract Adam Larsson signed in July. Both defensemen are 22 years old and were first round picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

In each case, the young blueliner is getting paid based more on his potential than past results. If the two defensemen develop as their respective teams hope, then those cap hits will look very good in a few years. However, Klefbom has only played in 77 NHL games so far, so the potential that this move could backfire is very real.

Klefbom will join blueliner Andrej Sekera along with forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Benoit Pouliot as Edmonton players signed through at least 2018-19. The six players come with a combined annual cap hit of roughly $31.7 million starting in 2016-17.

Ryan Whitney announces his retirement

Ryan Whitney
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Roughly a month and a half away from the 10-year anniversary of his first NHL game, Ryan Whitney announced that he’s decided to hang up his skates.

“Today I am retiring from the game of hockey,” he said in a statement. “It’s impossible to put into words how much I love this sport. My mind has been flooded with so many amazing memories all day. From early morning rides to the rink with my dad, to having the privilege of representing my country in the Olympic Games, it truly has been a wonderful journey.

“Unfortunately my body broke down on me sooner than I had hoped. I’m 32 years old and you’re likely to find stronger and more stable ankles and feet on the residents at your local nursing home.

“I will miss my teammates and bring around the locker room the most. My best friends are guys I played this game with. I share so many different memories with all of them that span over 20 years. That is what makes hockey so special.

“It is remarkable how quickly it went by. There were many ups and obviously plenty of downs, but I wouldn’t change a thing because it all made me into the person I am today. I dreamt of playing in the NHL my entire life and I’m forever thankful to everyone who helped make my dreams come true.”

Whitney was taken with the fifth overall pick of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins and early in his career he was a great offensive defenseman. He tied sixth among blueliners in points with 59 in his 2006-07 sophomore season. He followed that up with a 40-point campaign in 2007-08, but that would be his last full season with the Penguins.

Pittsburgh traded him to Anaheim in February 2009 in exchange for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi. Just over a year later, the Ducks sent him to Edmonton along with a sixth round pick in exchange for Lubomir Visnovsky.

It wasn’t long after that second trade that his career started to unravel. From 2010-11 through 2013-14 he only participated in 127 NHL games. Last season he played primarily in the KHL.

At the end of the day, he’s retiring after scoring 50 goals and 259 points in 481 contests.

Snider expects big things from Flyers despite missing playoffs

Ed Snider
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Missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons hasn’t dampened Flyers owner Ed Snider’s enthusiasm when it comes to the 2015-16 campaign.

“Quite frankly, I’m looking for big things,” Sniders said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I think we’re going to turn things around. I think we’re going to be a playoff team this year.”

Aside from replacing bench boss Craig Berube with new head coach Dave Hakstol, the Flyers have made some noteworthy, but not major moves this summer. However, the complimentary players that Philadelphia did bring in, like backup goaltender Michal Neuvirth and defenseman Evgeni Medvedev, do help address some areas of concern from the 2014-15 campaign. More importantly though, Snider thinks they already have the core to compete.

“That same team last year that did not make the playoffs, made the playoff the year before,” he said. “It’s not like they’re chopped liver. We have a good team. We have some good stars with (Claude) Giroux and (Jake) Voracek. We have second-level guys that are getting older and more mature … (Sean) Couturier and (Wayne) Simmonds. I expect a lot from these players.”

Couturier in particular is a player they need more from — at least from an offensive perspective. While he’s earned a lot of praise for his defensive work, the 22-year-old has yet to reach the 40-point mark in a single season despite appearing to have a substantial amount of offensive upside when he was drafted. Along with Brayden Schenn, Couturier could be the difference between Philadelphia being a mediocre and good team offensively this season.

Bickell has lingering vertigo symptoms

Bryan Bickell
AP Photo

Bryan Bickell has been participating in the Chicago Blackhawks’ training camp, but that unfortunately doesn’t mean he’s completely over the vertigo symptoms that plagued him during the Stanley Cup Final.

“There [are] still symptoms over the course of different situations but I’m working on it every day to get better and better and hopefully it leaves sooner than later,” Bickell told CSN Chicago. “You just want to be out there. Then [over] the course of the summer you think things are getting better, then you kind of take a couple steps backwards. But I think these last couple weeks we’re taking the right steps and just need to stick with the system that’s working and hopefully it doesn’t have to take a couple steps backwards. Just keep moving forward.”

Bickell’s an important part of the Blackhawks’ supporting cast, especially after Chicago parted ways with forwards Daniel Carcillo, Kris Versteeg, Patrick Sharp, Antoine Vermette, Brad Richards, and Brandon Saad over the summer. That being said, Bickell also left something to be desired last season.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville thinks the 29-year-old can be “that power forward every team craves,” but he still needs to become more consistent. We did see a glimpse of what he’s capable of during the 2013 playoffs when he had 17 points in 23 contests. That didn’t carry forward into the 2013-14 campaign though and it remains the high water mark of his career.