No charges filed in Patrick Kane investigation, no expansion vote scheduled for upcoming NHL meetings and more in your morning coffee headlines.
Notable NHL Headlines.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III announced yesterday his office is closing its three-month investigation into rape allegations leveled against Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and won’t be pressing charges against him. Sedita noted the claim against Kane was “rife with reasonable doubt,” adding Kane never acted like a guilty man.
Sedita said there were “significant material inconsistencies” between his accuser’s claims and those of other witnesses, no proof Kane’s accuser had been penetrated, while the physical and forensic evidence contradicted her claim he raped her in his bed. Kane subsequently released a brief statement reasserting his innocence, thanking investigators and adding he has nothing further to say about this incident.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read Sedita’s full statement here. While the DA won’t be pressing charges, it’s possible Kane’s accuser could bring a civil suit against him.
NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly announced via an e-mail to the Las Vegas Review-Journal the league won’t be voting on expansion during next month’s Board of Governors meeting. Brough suggests the league could be waiting for the city of Seattle to sort out its arena construction issue, for the Arizona Coyotes to sort out its local arena situation, and to perhaps determine if the Florida Panthers can work out a tax relief deal with Broward County.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expansion is coming before the end of this decade, and Las Vegas will almost certainly be a destination for a new team. Whether that team is an expansion franchise or a current one being relocated from Arizona or Florida remains to be seen.
I believe the league wants to put a team in Seattle and was hoping that city would submit a bid earlier this year. I also think they want to bring an NHL franchise back to Quebec, but they’ve got to sort out the logistics. In other words, they want two new franchises in the Western Conference, but they’ve got to also sort out how to bring one to Quebec City without perpetuating the current imbalance between the two conferences.
EDMONTON SUN: The Edmonton Oilers will move Ryan Nugent-Hopkins from the first-line center position into Connor McDavid’s spot on the second line, while sliding Leon Draisaitl into the first-line center spot. McDavid is currently out two-four months with a broken collarbone.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators GM Bryan Murray claimed NHL Senior VP of Player Safety Stephane Quintal ignored his request for a lesser punishment for winger Mark Stone, who received a two-game suspension for elbowing Detroit’s Landon Ferraro in the head. Murray believes the elbow was “very accidental”, but his plea fell on deaf ears.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu celebrates his 10 seasons with the franchise.
VICE SPORTS: Dave Lozo explains why he stopped caring about his favorite team, the New Jersey Devils.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell believes the Winnipeg Jets are bucking analytics and winning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The analytics suggest otherwise.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise (lower-body injury) is expected to miss Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Further word on his status is expected today.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers right wing Rick Nash (back) is questionable for tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs have placed goaltender Jonathan Bernier (lower-body injury) on injured reserved dating back to Oct. 31. He will miss tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings and Saturday’s match-up against the Washington Capitals.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey will see a doctor next week to determine if he needs surgery on his right ankle. If he does, he could miss up to six weeks.