Speculation over the NHL renaming its trophies, Keith Ballard retires, Alex Semin heads to Russia and much more in your morning coffee headlines.
Check out the highlights below from last night’s NHL action.
NHL Injury Update
NHL.COM: Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (lower body) will be sidelined for three weeks.
THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis suffered a broken jaw in last night’s win over the New York Rangers.
Notable NHL Headlines
TORONTO SUN: Questions about renaming the NHL’s individual awards have reportedly been informally discussed by league officials.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m against this. Yes, I know, it sounds good renaming the Hart Trophy after Wayne Gretzky or the Norris Trophy after Bobby Orr, but are we going to do this every time a player changes the game like they did? In another fifty years, will there be calls to change the trophy names again?
Most of the major awards were named for the men who built the National Hockey League. Every hockey fan worth their salt knows the Hart Trophy goes to the MVP, the Norris to the top defenseman or the Art Ross Trophy to the top scorer. What’s next? Do we change the name of the Richard Trophy to the Ovechkin Award? The Vezina Trophy (named after Canadiens goalie Georges Vezina) after Martin Brodeur or Dominik Hasek?
Renaming the trophies won’t do anything to boost the league’s popularity. Instead of wasting time discussing trophy names, league officials could make better use of their time finding ways to actually improve the on-ice product.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Wayne Gretzky is pulling for Blackhawks star Patrick Kane to break his 51-game points streak.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s streak currently sits at 23 games, so he’s got a long way to go to top Gretzky’s record. Given the emphasis on defensive hockey in today’s game, it’ll be even tougher for Kane to reach that mark.
CBS SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens yesterday placed Alexander Semin on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Semin has reportedly agreed to terms with the KHL’s Magnitogorsk Metallurg.
EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers placed defenseman Mark Fayne on waivers yesterday for the purpose of demoting him to the minors. He’s currently earning $3.6 million per season with the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Fayne, Nikita Nikitin and Ben Scrivens, the Oilers have over $13 million riding the buses in the AHL this season.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: A year after suffering a concussion, former Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard has retired.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In 604 NHL games with the Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild, Ballard collected 175 points.
TSN: Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. insists his franchise isn’t relocating. “We have one of the best arena deals in the league, if not the very best. We’ve been there almost 20 years. That’s our home. That’s where we’re going to stay.”
THE PLAYERS’ TRIBUNE: Former NHL player Patrick O’Sullivan documents the years of abuse suffered at the hands of his father.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a tough read, but a necessary one. O’Sullivan reached the NHL in spite of his psychotic father, not because of him.