Patrick Kane attending Blackhawks training camp, Slava Voynov returning to Russia, Islanders re-sign Brock Nelson and much more in your morning coffee headlines.
NHL court docket.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Patrick Kane, who is under investigation for sexual assault, is expected to attend the Chicago Blackhawks training camp, which opens today. The club didn’t officially announce Kane’s attendance, but listed the winger on its training camp roster. A spokesman said all players listed are expected to attend. NHL veterans Jake Dowell, Tomas Kopecky, Daniel Paille, Kyle Cumiskey, Jan Hejda, Michal Rozsival and Lubomir Visnovsky will also attend camp on a tryout basis. Meanwhile, sources say attorneys for Kane and his accuser are working to reach a resolution toward a settlement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether Kane attends camp or not, his situation is bound to be an unnecessary distraction for the club and its players.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Slava Voynov announce yesterday he will attempt to return to his native Russia, rather than face a possibly lengthy deportation process. Voynov, who served jail time after pleading no contest to a charge of domestic violence, won’t contest US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE)efforts to deport him.The defenseman released a statement apologizing to the Kings, the league and the NHLPA.
It was also revealed the Kings intended to terminate the blueliner’s contract. He had four years remaining on a six-year, $25 million contract. However, Voynov’s decision means his NHL contract remains in effect, which could have an impact upon his efforts to play in Russia.
SPECTOR’S HOCKEY: By not terminating Voynov’s contract, the Kings retain his rights if he’s allow to return to the United States. In the meantime, his $4.166 million cap hit won’t count against their cap, as he’s still considered under suspension.
TSN.CA: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson is being accused of “false representation and/or actual fraud” by his lenders in his year-long bankruptcy case. Johnson blamed his parents for his financial woes, but his lenders claim he was working alongside them to secure high-interest loans.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnson earned sympathy from fans, bloggers and pundits after it was revealed his parents cleaned him out. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner is facing up to five charges “under the Wildlife Act related to the trophy hunting of a large male grizzly bear beloved by aboriginals on B.C.’s central coast.” Stoner killed the grizzly on a hunting trip two years ago.
Latest player signings and tryout offers.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL’s James Mirtle reports via Twitter the Florida Panthers have re-signed RFA left wing Jonathan Huberdeau to a two-year deal worth in $3 million annual average salary range.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable deal for both sides. The Panthers get an affordable bridge deal for Huberdeau, who was coming off an entry-level contract.
NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders have re-signed winger Brock Nelson to a three-year, $7.5 million contract. The two sides reached an 11th hour agreement, as the Isles would’ve sat Nelson for the entire season had he not signed when training camp opened today. The club originally offered a two-year, $3 million deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of the reasons behind the Islanders’ seeming unnecessary hard-ball approach, it’s a fair deal for Nelson coming off an entry-level contract, averaging $2.5 million per season. Can’t help but wonder, though, if this standoff leaves a lingering bitterness for Nelson when he’s up for a new deal in three years time, as he’ll have arbitration rights and thus more leverage in negotiations with the Isles.
THOMAS SABO ICE TIGERS NUREMBURG: announced they’ve signed former NHL star Dany Heatley to a one-year contract. Heatley was born in Freiberg, Germany, he possesses a German passport and thus doesn’t count as an import player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My thanks to everyone who sent this in. This signing is an obvious indicator that Heatley’s NHL career is over. Best of luck to him this season in the DEL.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils signed UFA winger Jiri Tlusty to a one-year, $800K contract, and invited wingers Tyler Kennedy and Lee Stempniak to training camp on a tryout basis.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils lacks scoring depth, especially on the wings. If Tlusty can regain his 20-goal form he should provide a much-needed boost. Kennedy or Stempniak could also help if they prove themselves in training camp.
Other notable NHL headlines.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Former Toronto Maple Leafs star Gary Leeman is leading the retired NHL players fight in their concussion lawsuit against the league.
STLTODAY.COM: After struggling in his first season with the Blues, center Paul Stastny is looking forward to a better second season.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes president Don Waddell once again denies speculation the franchise could be relocated once current majority owner Peter Karmanos Jr finds a buyer. “This franchise eventually will get sold, but it’s not leaving Raleigh,” Waddell said.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers will be flying in style this season aboard their own private plane.