Author: Ryan Dadoun

Stanley Cup Final: Game 6

Jonathan Toews talks about the Patrick Kane situation


Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was recently on TSN 1290 in Winnipeg when the subject of Patrick Kane came up — sort of. Kane was the topic being referenced but neither the interviewer or Toews used his name in this particular exchange.

In the interest of giving what Toews said proper context, here is the full transcription of the question and answer, per the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc:

If you have difficulty reading it in that format, here is it again:

Host: “Jonathan, I do want to ask you one question about being the captain of the Blackhawks. Obviously, most people are aware of a situation that has been developing regarding one of your star teammates. Obviously, I won’t ask you to comment on anything like that but when something like that happens during the offseason does your focus as far as dealing with your teammates as well as the media change going into training camp as the captain of the team?”

Toews: “I think you just have to have confidence that things like that will resolve themselves over time. For the time being, you stay together as a team. You support your teammate … uh, teammate, teammates that are maybe going through a rough patch. You saw it last year with some rumors that spread around through social media about several guys in the locker room. It’s not the first time we’ve seen situations like that and eventually you deal with it internally and you stay together as a team and you’re confidence as individuals and as a group that everyone kind of stays together. At the end of the day we always say to each other that what is said and what is done within the locker room is the only thing that matters. We don’t let anything going on on the outside affect the way we do our jobs and the way we come to work together as a team. Again, I get a lot of credit because I have the ‘C’ on my sweater but I think we have a great group of guys who understand what it takes to be a leader, what it takes to be a part of a good team. Clearly it’s more than just what happens on the ice. There’s always a lot of things being said and things going on off the ice but no matter hwat, we do a good job of sticking together.”

Kane is under police investigation for allegedly raping a woman. He hasn’t been charged with a crime at this time.

A recent Chicago Sun-Times report suggested that the organization feels “disrespected” by Kane and that other teams have inquired about his availability. However, the Blackhawks have not asked him to waive his no-trade clause.

Related: Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane?

Voynov detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Slava Voynov

Slava Voynov has been moved from jail to an unspecified detention facility by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Voynov, who is a Russian citizen, will have a hearing with an immigration judge, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times reported that the Los Angeles Kings have declined to comment on this latest development.

Voynov began his jail sentence on July 7 after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

The 25-year-old defenseman hasn’t played in the NHL since Oct. 6 because he was suspended by the league.

He has also been recovering from a ruptured Achilles, but LA Kings Insider stated back in July, “the expectation, based on multiple conversations with those in hockey operations, is that he’ll be a part of the blue line when he recovers from a ruptured Achilles. There are still major impediments in the way of him putting on a Kings jersey again.”

Los Angeles lost defensemen Andrej Sekera as an unrestricted free agent this summer and Robyn Regehr has retired, but the Kings did sign Christian Ehrhoff to a one-year, $1.5 million deal.

Calgary presents Ryan Wilson with PTO

Ryan Wilson

After missing the vast majority of the 2014-15 campaign due to a shoulder injury, it seems Ryan Wilson hasn’t been able to secure a new contract this summer. He might still end up on an NHL roster though as he’s been invited to attend the Calgary Flames’ training camp on a tryout basis, per the team’s website.

Wilson originally signed with the Flames back in 2008 after going undrafted. However, he didn’t play for Calgary before being dealt along with Lawrence Nycholat and a 2009 second round pick (Stefan Elliot) to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Jordan Leopold. Wilson went on to score seven goals and 67 points in 230 games with the Avalanche.

The 28-year-old defenseman was coming off of a three-year, $6.75 million deal, but this has been a particularly difficult summer for veteran players as teams have been more disciplined than usual in light of the relatively modest cap increase for the 2015-16 campaign.

That’s created openings for the Flames and other teams to extend tryouts to players like Wilson, but it’s hard to see how he would fit into their plans. Calgary has a deep blueline that features Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Wideman, T.J. Brodie, and Kris Russell. Throw in the fact that Ladislav Smid and Deryk Engelland are slated to come with $3.5 million and roughly $2.9 million annual cap hits this season and there just doesn’t appear to be room for another established blueliner barring an injury.

Interviewer: Raanta’s rooting against Hawks quote is real, but needs context

Antti Raanta

A report from Ilta-Sanomat claimed that goaltender Antti Raanta hoped that the Nashville Predators would sweep his Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the 2015 playoffs. Raanta has since denied making those comments, but the man who interviewed him, Juha Luotola, says he has it on tape.

At the same time, Luotola feels that the quote being passed around lacks context as it was just one line from a talk that lasted hours.

“Antti was frustrated after Chicago send him [a] second time [to the] AHL and he told me truly how he felt,” Luotola said, per CSN Chicago. “Statement looks bad if you read only one line from story. It’s easy to [be] misunderstood and get away from the full story. But I also know that Antti didn’t mean that in bad way. It was just his way to explain how frustrated he was: bad feeling last couple hours and after that, he was happy to be a part of team again.”

Luotola also noted that the goaltender had a lot of great things to say about his time with the Blackhawks.

Although Raanta had a 1.89 GAA and .936 save percentage in 14 games last season, he ultimately lost the backup job to Scott Darling. Chicago dealt him to the New York Rangers in exchange for Ryan Haggerty this summer.

Caps’ Backstrom won’t rush return from hip surgery

Nicklas Backstrom

Nicklas Backstrom is “not in a rush” to return from hip surgery and his status for the Washington Capitals’ season opener is very much in question.

“I’m going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing,” Backstrom told the Washington Post. “I’m not going to play on 90 percent. We’ll see how it goes. We don’t know yet.”

The Washington Capitals forward has been skating since the start of August and is feeling much better, but he realizes that he’s still very much in the recovery process and it’s hard to put a timetable on it.

When he’s healthy, Backstrom is Washington’s top center and one of the best playmakers in the world. He led the NHL with 60 assists in 2014-15 and has finished in the top-three in helpers on five separate occasions. The 27-year-old is projected to once again skate alongside Alex Ovechkin on the top line.

If he’s not healthy for the start of the season, then it will be interesting to see how Washington alters its lines in the short-term. Evgeny Kuznetsov is penciled in as the second line center, so we might see the sophomore play with Ovechkin in Washington’s first game.