Sidney Crosby

Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him

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Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson is earning $5 million this season after making $10.5 million over the previous three years alone. That’s enough to afford a person a comfortable lifestyle, but bad loans taken out by his parents have cost him dearly, based on a report from the Columbus Dispatch. That led to Johnson filing for bankruptcy on Oct. 7.

“I’d say I picked the wrong people who led me down the wrong path,” Johnson said. “I’ve got people in place who are going to fix everything now. It’s something I should have done a long time ago.”

NHLPA executive director Don Fehr said “it’s heartbreaking” when players go broke, but there’s not much that can be done to prevent it other than teaching athletes about the potential dangers they face. Unfortunately, Fehr noted, it’s the people that they are close to that often end up victimizing them, per TSN’s Gord Miller.

That was reportedly the case with Johnson, according to the Dispatch:

Sources close to Johnson have told The Dispatch that his own parents — Jack Sr. and Tina Johnson — are among the “wrong people” who led him astray financially.

In 2008, Johnson parted ways with agent Pat Brisson, who represents some of the National Hockey League’s biggest stars, including Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

With no agent and little knowledge of how the financial world works, Johnson turned over control of his money to his parents.

Tina Johnson borrowed at least $15 million in her son’s name against his future earnings, sources told The Dispatch, taking out a series of high-interest loans — perhaps as many as 18 — from nonconventional lenders that resulted in a series of defaults.

Johnson has cut off all contact with his family, a source said.

“I’ve seen lots of instances of parents riding their kid’s coattails around,” an NHL executive familiar with the case said. “I’ve never seen a case as ugly as this one, where the parents took such advantage of their kid.”

It got to the point where Johnson’s paychecks were being consumed before he even received them, but Johnson was reportedly initially unaware of what his parents were doing. In 2011, his parents took out a loan of $1.56 million with a 12% interest rate against Johnson’s contract and used that money to buy a Manhattan Beach home near their son. Johnson thought his parents got the money from the will of a deceased relative, according to a Dispatch source. That’s just one example of the loans that were taken out on his behalf and it wasn’t even the single biggest loan.

Blue Jackets president John Davidson knows about Johnson’s situation and said the team is with him as he gets through this.

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers host Flyers on Rivalry Night

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the New York Rangers host the Philadelphia Flyers at the Madison Square Garden at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The last time the Philadelphia Flyers faced the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, New York knocked them out of the playoffs with a 2-1 win in Game 7 of a first-round series. Considering the Rangers’ long run to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, it’s easy for some to forget how close they were to falling to Philly … but the Flyers probably haven’t forgotten.

Both proud franchises are stumbling a bit coming into “Rivalry Night.”

The Rangers are technically ahead of the Flyers in standings points (18 to 16), yet they’ve required two more games to get there; ultimately they’re both in the same spot.

The Rangers are on a three-game losing streak, including Monday’s 5-1 loss to former captain Ryan Callahan and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Most troubling is that New York only has one win in its last six games.

Things might not seem as dire for Philly – its current slump was preceded by three straight wins – yet the bottom line is that both teams have a lot of work to do at this point in the 2014-15 campaign.

In and out of the lineups

Wednesday serves to be a challenge for red-hot Flyers forward Brayden Schenn. He has three goals and seven points in the last five games, and with Claude Giroux on the shelf, Schenn is getting a shot at first-line duty between R.J. Umberger and Jakub Voracek.

Voracek’s been outrageous so far this season, with 26 points in 16 games. That ties him for the NHL scoring lead with Sidney Crosby, who has played in one extra contest this season.

There’s a chance that Andrew MacDonald and Luke Schenn may return to the mix for Philly tonight, although head coach Craig Berube seems to be betting against that.

With Henrik Lundqvist struggling mightily, perhaps Cam Talbot can right the ship much like he did early last season? He’s getting his first start in six games tonight.

***

Will either team start to get it together tonight? Maybe, maybe not … but it could be an especially hostile edition of “Rivalry Night.”

Video: Letang’s fake shot, sweet pass tricks Price

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Steve Downie got credited with his third goal of the season in the first period of tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, but it was defenseman Kris Letang that did most of the work.

Letang faked a shot that tricked Carey Price, which presented Downie with a wide open net after he was fed the puck.

That was just one sequence in what has been a night to forget for Montreal and Price. With 20 minutes left to play in regulation time, Pittsburgh has a 4-0 lead thanks to goals from Downie, Beau Bennett, Brandon Sutter, and Sidney Crosby.

Video: Rangers’ defenseman Dan Boyle saves a goal

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who is goalless in his last seven games, nearly scored the game’s first goal tonight against the New Your Rangers. However, Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle managed to clear the bouncing puck from the crease.

Replays:

Bernier’s strong effort can’t save Leafs vs. Penguins

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Jonathan Bernier kicked out 39 of 41 shots tonight, but that wasn’t enough for the Maple Leafs as Pittsburgh still ended up earning a 2-1 win.

Bernier deserves credit for more than just the quantity of saves he made tonight. He had to make some big stops with perhaps the best example coming late in the second period when he squashed Evgeni Malkin’s golden opportunity:

Malkin was ultimately held off the scoresheet, but Pascal Dupuis found a way to best Bernier twice. Of course, being reunited with his old linemate, Sidney Crosby, helped.

Toronto defenseman Cody Franson scored at 6:31 of the third period to extend his point streak to five games and make things interesting, but it proved to be too little, too late.

The Maple Leafs’ three-game winning streak has come to an end while Pittsburgh has now won eight of its last nine contests.