Updates on Patrick Kane, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Phil Kessel, Kyle Okposo, Jonathan Huberdeau, Daniel Cleary, Rich Peverley & Chris Drury.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Multiple sources claim the Patrick Kane rape case is headed to a grand jury. If so, it’s likely Kane and his accuser could be called upon to give testimony.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks still aren’t saying if Kane will be joining his teammates when training camp opens on Sept. 18.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Lightning backup goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy recently underwent surgery to remove a blood clot near his left collarbone. He’s expected to be sidelined two-to-three months. Kristers Gudlevskis or Adam Wilcox could take over the backup role in his absence.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In case you’re wondering why so many NHL players of late are suffering blood clots (Vasilevskiy, Kimmo Timonen, Pascal Dupuis, Tomas Vokoun and Tomas Fleischmann being the most recent cases), check out this informative piece which appeared last February in The Canadian Press.
NBC SPORTS: After working out this summer with former NHL star-turned-vaunted trainer Gary Roberts, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel lost 13 pounds.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel’s supposed “weight issues” certainly didn’t hamper his play during his six years with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but there is a segment of Leafs fans who mistakenly believe the winger was fat and lazy because he didn’t look like a typical hockey player. Losing 13 pounds won’t silence them. If anything, they’ll ask why he didn’t drop the weight while with the Leafs. Regardless, if Kessel truly wants to silence his critics, he’ll go out and enjoy a career-best performance this season skating alongside Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh.
NEWSDAY’s Arthur Staple reports via Twitter there’s no truth to a recent rumor of contract extension talks between the New York Islanders and Kyle Okposo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Okposo is eligible next July for UFA status. I’ll have more on his status later this morning in the Rumors section.
MIAMI HERALD’s George Richards reports via Twitter negotiations are ongoing between the Florida Panthers and restricted free agent center Jonathan Huberdeau. They’ve apparently agreed on number of years and now are hashing out the dollars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In addition to Huberdeau, New York Islanders winger Brock Nelson, Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger and Calgary Flames forward Micheal Ferland are the other notable remaining RFAs.
SPORTSNET’S Elliotte Friedman reports via Twitter hearing former Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson is heading to Boston to skate with the Bruins on a professional tryout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That raises questions about the confidence of Bruins management in potential backup candidates like Malcolm Subban, Zane McIntyre and Jeremy Smith.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings have signed Daniel Cleary to a one-year, $950K contract.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Rich Peverley has announced his retirement as an NHL player and is joining the Stars’ player development department. Peverley’s career was ended due to a heart condition.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best of luck to Peverley in his future endeavors.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers named former player Chris Drury as their director of player development.