Negative reaction to Patrick Kane’s press conference, plus updates on Joe Thornton, Pavel Datsyuk, Evander Kane and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane apologized to the team, his teammates and fans for the distraction his sexual assault investigation has caused during a tense and awkward press conference yesterday at the opening day of the club’s training camp. Seated alongside team president John McDonough, GM Stan Bowman and head coach Joel Quennefille, Kane believes he will be absolved of any wrongdoing but declined to answer questions related to the incident. Media reaction to Kane’s presser was overwhelmingly negative, with many accusing the franchise of being tone deaf by following up Kane’s statement with those recapping last season and touting their excitement for the upcoming one.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one – fan, blogger or pundit – should have been surprised. Because the investigation is ongoing, no one in the ‘Hawks organization is going to speak directly about this. While some critics suggest the Blackhawks would’ve been better off not staging this presser, they would’ve been pilloried by the media if they hadn’t. Still, it should have been better handled. Though McDonough claimed the organization wasn’t tone-deaf to Kane’s situation, his efforts to change the subject suggest otherwise. Bowman could’ve been replaced by a cardboard cutout and no one would’ve noticed, while Quenneville (as one pundit put it) looked like he’d rather be having a root canal.
It wasn’t all bad news yesterday for the Blackhawks. The Tribune’s Chris Kuc reported via Twitter a source claims the club is close to a long-term contract extension for top-two defenseman Brent Seabrook.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton claims he and GM Doug Wilson have overcome their differences from last season, which were often played out in the media.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of unnecessary distractions, the Thornton-Wilson feud certainly didn’t help matters for the Sharks last season. Putting their differences behind them provides one less worry for the retooling club as they prepare for the upcoming season.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk will get an update next week on his recovery from offseason ankle tendon surgery. He’s expected to return to action sometime between late-October and late-November.
CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg will miss the opening days of training camp to an upper-body injury.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres winger Evander Kane is hoping to eclipse 30 goals this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If rookie center and Kane’s likely linemate Jack Eichel turns into the superstar he’s projected to be, the winger could reach his goal.
NEWSDAY: Buried amid the New York Islanders re-signing Brock Nelson and shipping Michael Grabner to Toronto was their signing of UFA forward Steve Bernier to a one-year, $750K ceal.
NBC SPORTS: Free-agent forward Martin Erat has signed with KHL club Avangard Omsk.
CBS SPORTS: Former NHL enforcer Daniel Carcillo announced his retirement.