It’s September, meaning NHL training camps will open soon. Check out the latest news in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
ESPN.COM: The NHL is facing a moment of truth over its handling of players who have broken the law.
BLOOMBERG VIEW: The NHL’s education programs for its players regarding sexual assault and domestic violence are inadequate in dealing with those issues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the recent incidents involving LA Kings defenseman Slava Voynov (currently serving a 90-day jail sentence on a domestic violence charge) and Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (under investigation for sexual assault), the league has little choice but to address those issues in particular, and those of players who in general run afoul of the law.
SPORTSNET: Will Phil Kessel become a 40-goal scorer in Pittsburgh skating alongside Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin? Stephen Burtch argues it’s not a certainty.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Citing shot differential and shot-attempt percentage, Burtch makes a compelling case. Still, I think Kessel will benefit from playing with a true first-line playmaking center in Pittsburgh, something he lacked in his six seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
BOSTON HERALD: Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is looking forward to a bounce-back performance after being hampered and sidelined last season by a knee injury and a broken fibula.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Chara’s performance will improve this season, but he’s 38 years old and it was very apparent prior to last season that he lost a step. No matter how well-conditioned you are, age eventually becomes a factor. Chara is still a very good defenseman, but his days as a Norris contender are in the past.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Goaltender Michal Neuvirth credits Czech countryman Jakub Voracek for selling him on the merits of the Philadelphia Flyers. Earlier this summer, Neuvirth inked a two-year deal with the Flyers.
THE WASHINGTON POST: Young center Evgeny Kuznetsov hopes to play his entire career with the Capitals. Earlier this summer, he re-signed a two-year deal with the club.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars are expecting significant improvement from promising winger Valeri Nichushkin, 20, who missed most of last season to hip surgery.
NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes added former Hurricanes players Ray Whitney and Jeff Daniels to their scouting department.
SLAM! HOCKEY: Michael Traikos has a fascinating piece on NHL off-season training regimens. It provides insight into the different stages required to help players recover from the rigors of a long season and to build up strength and conditioning for a new campaign.
JTA.ORG: A biography of NHL vice president and deputy general counsel Jessica Berman, who some are touting as a possible candidate to become the first female commissioner of a men’s professional sports league.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly is widely seen as the heir apparent to commissioner Gary Bettman, but Berman could perhaps move into Daly’s role when he eventually takes over for Bettman.
SI.COM: The New York Islanders, who introduced ice girls to the NHL in 2001, has decided to end that tradition in their move to Barclays Center.