Updates on Patrick Kane, Max Pacioretty, Ryan McDonagh and Dylan Larkin, and a look at how NHL teams are adjusting to a low Canadian dollar.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane was not invited to the NHL’s annual preseason media tour, “when 40 of the top veteran players gather to make television promos that will appear throughout the upcoming season.” Kane is currently under investigation for rape.
**UPDATE** Reports out of Buffalo and Chicago claim Kane’s grand jury has been postponed. Two sources claim the delay may be due to settlement talks between Kane’s attorneys and those of the victim.
JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty seems to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from a knee injury suffered while training in June. Habs coach Michel Therrien cautions he will be surprised if Pacioretty is fully recovered in time for training camp.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That he’s ahead of schedule is a good sign for Pacioretty and the Habs. It suggests he could return for game action perhaps in early- or mid-October.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh says his right foot, which was broken during the 2015 playoff series against Washington, “feels pretty much normal now.” He skated last week without discomfort or restrictions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like McDonagh is good to go for Rangers training camp next week.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings prospect Dylan Larkin hopes to crack the roster this season.
NBC SPORTS: Former Calgary Flames forward Ben Hanowski has signed with “Augsburger Panther of Germany’s top league, the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.”
THE WASHINGTON POST: Will Hobson analyzes the effects the declining Canadian dollar is having upon league revenue and expansion plans. While acknowledging Canadian teams feel the effects, deputy commissioner Bill Daly claims those clubs are better prepared because of hedged revenue streams, plus the current salary-cap system self-adjusts, though he declined to go into specifics. Hedging means “investing some money in financial arrangements in which you agree to buy American dollars at a set exchange rate for an extended period of time.” The lower value of the “loonie” also means it could prove more expensive to bring an expansion franchise to Canada.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve expressed my concern about the effects of the declining Canadian dollar upon the NHL for some time. The league and its Canadian teams appear better prepared compared to the dark days at the turn of the century. Back then, a .65 cent “loonie” spurred talk of several Canadian teams relocating to the US and forced the league into a revenue-sharing scheme to prop up those franchises.
It remains to be seen just how well hedging and revenue-sharing helps those teams if the Canadian dollar remains low for a significant period of time. It will still affect the seven Canadian-based franchises, even with a salary cap in place.