Therrien, Subban downplay talk of a rift, talk of the Islanders eyeing an out-clause with Barclays Center and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Check out the scores and highlights from Friday’s games at NHL.com.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens coach Michel Therrien and defenseman PK Subban denied speculation of a rift between them after Therrien’s comment blaming Subban for giving up a costly goal against Colorado went viral. That fuelled rumors the Canadiens might be shopping the superstar defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on the Subban trade speculation in my Rumors section. Meanwhile, in real Canadiens news…
SPORTSNET: Canadiens center David Desharnais will be sidelined for the next three weeks by a foot injury.
NEW YORK POST: reports the Islanders and Barclays Center “are secretly exploring ways to cut ties or modify the existing terms of their lease.” Sources claims there’s a “little-known out clause” that kicks in following the fourth season of the 25-year lease agreement that either side can use. Jonathan Ledecky, head of the new ownership group taking control of the Islanders on July 1, is rumored to be considering moving the club to Queens (which would require a new arena) or back to Long Island. The Islanders declined comment and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark denies his group wants out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barclays Center certainly isn’t the best venue for watching hockey, as obstructed sight lines are among the factors taking a toll on attendance this season. However, the report suggests the only options are building an expensive new arena in Queens (which could take perhaps a decade) or moving back to a renovated Nassau Coliseum, which will have considerably fewer seats.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs winger Leo Komarov received a three-game suspension for his vicious elbow to the head of New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another farcical ruling by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Until the league and the NHLPA finally get their act together to implement stricter disciplinary measures to address these dangerous hits, expect more of these toothless rulings. And I’m not just singling out Komarov here. This month alone, the league also dropped the ball on Mika Zibanejad’s hit on Tyler Bozak and Anton Stralman’s on Winnipeg’s Bryan Little.
CBS SPORTS: Check out Buffalo Sabres forward David Legwand 160-foot goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
TWINCITIES.COM: Despite rain and warm temperatures, the ice surface at TCF Bank Stadium is good to go for this weekend’s Stadium Series and alumni game between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks.
THE WASHINGTON POST: for the eighth time in nine years, the Capitals are raising their season-ticket prices.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, they had to come up with the money for Taylor Chorney’s new contract somehow. I’m joking, of course. Ticket prices are determined by how much a market can bear.
ESPN.COM: Hall of Fame goaltender Ed Belfour is auctioning off 66 pieces of memorabilia, including his 2002 Olympic Gold medal, to raise seed money to start a distillery with his son.
TSN: Plans to sell advertising space on jerseys for this year’s World Cup of Hockey are on hold. In other news, “prosecutions for crimes that took place during the 2011 Stanley Cup riots have come to a close, with two more men sentenced to time behind bars.”