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Ryan O’Reilly charged with impaired driving, failing to remain at scene (Updated)


Newly acquired Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly has been charged with impaired driving and leaving the scene following an incident at a Tim Horton’s restaurant, according to Ontario’s AM 980 Radio.


OPP [Ontario Provincial Police] announced Monday that 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.

The Buffalo News has also since reported the incident.

Two weeks ago, O’Reilly signed a seven-year, $52.5 million deal with the Sabres, after he was acquired from Colorado at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. O’Reilly’s Twitter account appears to be have been deactivated; in a screengrab obtained by News 980, O’Reilly posted an image of a green 1951 Chevrolet truck back in May with the caption “Got my new truck.”

Update: On what appears to be O’Reilly’s Instagram account, the same image appears (Note: PHT has blanked out the comments due to profanity.)


O’Reilly is slated to appear in a London, Ont. court on Aug. 20 to answer charges.

PHT has reached out to the NHL and NHLPA for comment.

UPDATE: The Sabres have released the following statement…

“We are aware of the reports regarding the incident involving Ryan O’Reilly last week. We are currently in the process of gathering more information and will have no further comment until we have spoken with all the parties involved.”

Video: John Oliver takes on publicly funded stadiums, including the new arena for the Red Wings


Referencing Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch in his rant, HBO’s John Oliver took aim at publicly funded stadiums for pro sports teams during Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight.

“Two years ago, Detroit got approval to spend more than $280 million in taxpayer money on a new arena project for the Red Wings just six days after the city filed for bankruptcy, even though the Red Wings’ owner is Mike Ilitch, the founder of the Little Caesars pizza chain, who’s worth an estimated $5.1 billion,” said Oliver.

“That’s a little hard to swallow. I mean, sure, not as hard to swallow as a Little Caesars Crazy Bread, with an assortment of Caesar dips, but still pretty hard.”

The Red Wings aren’t the only NHL franchise to tap public funds. The Edmonton Oilers have a publicly funded arena under construction, despite owner Daryl Katz having an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion. (Back in 2012, Katz apologized for threatening to move the team, after negotiations with the city went sideways.)

Meanwhile, down the road in Calgary, the Flames are hoping to get a new rink for themselves, with the assurance that “we’re not going to sneak in here and steal money from the city.”

Related: Ground breaks on new Red Wings arena

‘It was a blast’: Sheldon Souray writes emotional retirement letter


In a letter authored for the Players’ Tribune, retired NHL defenseman Sheldon Souray reminisced about the players, personalities, executives and family members that helped shape his playing career, which has officially come to a close.

He also discussed how he finally got his big break in hockey as a teenager, following a brawl during his minor hockey days in Alberta and how that led him to play in neighboring British Columbia.

From the Players’ Tribune:

I could thank a million more people for making my life so special. I knew this had been coming for a long time, but when I woke up the first morning after officially announcing my retirement, I definitely had a heavy heart. It’s not the spotlight that I’m going to miss. It’s the moments of tedium spent with the boys. When I’m 70 years old and looking back on this wild life, I don’t think I’ll get nostalgic about skating out in front of 20,000 people, as cool as it was. But I will get a little misty for the times me and a few of the boys broke curfew after a terrible loss in Minnesota and sat around the hotel room with a case of beer, trying to solve the world’s problems.

It went fast. It was a blast. I can’t believe it happened.

I was just a wannabe who got to be. What a ride.

Armed with a wicked slap shot, Souray played 758 regular season games in the NHL, scoring 109 goals and 300 points. He also played in 40 Stanley Cup playoff games, scoring three goals and 11 points.

His last NHL game came on May 12, 2013. That summer, he suffered a torn wrist ligament that eventually required surgery the following year.

Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications

OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 26:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the media prior to Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens eliminated the Ottawa Senators by defeating them 2-0 and move to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

It’s on, per TSN:

The NHL began distribution of application materials for parties interested in expansion on Monday. They are due back to the league by August 10. The fee to apply for an expansion franchise is seven figures – north of $1 million U.S. – and only a portion is refundable.

On top of that, interested parties must demonstrate the ability to pay an expansion fee north of $500 million, prove the viability of their proposed market and evidence the availability of an arena for the team to call home.

Here’s a quick rundown of some groups believed to be interested…

Las Vegas: Spearheaded by owner Bill Foley and the Maloof family, the Las Vegas Wants Hockey group has already orchestrated a successful ticket drive — reportedly receiving cash deposits for 13,200 season tickets — and has a place to play, with the MGM-AEG arena project to be completed next spring. Vegas is the frontrunner for an expansion franchise.

Quebec City: One day after the NHL confirmed it would begin its formal expansion review process, Quebecor — a Canadian media company based out of Montreal — said it would submit an application for expansion.

More, from the Quebecor release:

Quebecor will be the manager of the Videotron Centre for the next 25 years. The state-of-the-art facility in Québec City, which seats 18,259 for hockey, is set to officially open in September 2015. It was designed to meet NHL standards.

TVA Sports, owned by Quebecor, has been the NHL’s official French-language broadcaster since the beginning of the 2014-15 season under a 12-year agreement.

Quebec City has the building and support, but would further imbalance the Eastern-Western Conference setup. There are also potential issues surrounding ownership (see here) and the unstable Canadian dollar.

Toronto: Graeme Roustan, a venture capitalist and biggest shareholder in the company that owns Bauer and Easton, also threw his hat in the ring one day after the NHL’s announcement. Roustan had previously tried to build an NHL-caliber arena in the Toronto suburb of Markham, as part of his long-standing desire to bring a second NHL team to the GTA.

“I will definitely be making an application on behalf of the [Greater Toronto Area],” Roustan told the Hockey News. “I’ve always believed that a second NHL team in Toronto would flourish and I’ve been preparing since 2010 for this possibility.”


Roustan said he will look at all possibilities in the GTA for an arena, including revisiting the possibility of going to Markham. When asked if that would include the possibility of playing out of the Air Canada Centre, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, perhaps as a temporary measure, Roustan said, “We’re going to look at every opportunity to have a franchise in the GTA and if that means a possible temporary location, so be it.”

The NHL has always insisted that the Leafs have no veto on a second Toronto team.

Seattle: Per TSN, the league is expecting to receive “one — if not multiple — applications from prospective groups in the Seattle market.” One group’s already thrown its hat in the ring — the one headed by former Glencore oil trader Ray Bartoszek, who is aiming to build an arena in the Seattle suburb of Tukwila.

The other group tied to Seattle expansion, Chris Hansen’s SoDo neighborhood arena project, still appears to be in limbo regarding the arena’s first tenant. There were talks that construction could get underway with a revised memorandum for an NHL-first team instead of NBA-first but, in May, Hansen said he’d yet to receive a formal offer for an NHL club.

It’s worth noting that NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league has also received interest from Portland and Milwaukee. Kansas City, a market some thought would make a formal expansion application, is now expected not to.

Report: Bieksa was looking at homes in San Jose

bieksa angry face

How close were the Canucks and Sharks to pulling off a trade involving Kevin Bieksa?

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Bieksa and his family recently visited San Jose and looked at homes.

Bieksa waived his no-trade clause to allow for a trade to the Bay Area, but the Canucks and Sharks reportedly could not come to an agreement on which year Vancouver would receive a second round pick.

Friedman reports that executives told him that Bieksa was seeking an extension in the neighborhood of three-years, $12 million because he doesn’t want to uproot his family twice (he’s a UFA after next season).

There are reportedly 10 teams still interested in the defenseman’s services.

Bieksa appeared in 60 games with the Canucks during the 2014-15 season scoring four goals and 14 points while averaging nearly 21 minutes a night in ice time.

The 34-year-old has one year remaining on his five-year, $23 million contract with a cap hit of $4.6 million.