NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2020

Wild fire head coach Bruce Boudreau, Oilers winger Zack Kassian receives a seven-game suspension, an update on Jay Bouwmeester, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Melker Karlsson and Timo Meier rallied the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The loss leaves the Jets (63 points) one point behind the Arizona Coyotes for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Jason Zucker scored his first two goals as a Pittsburgh Penguin in a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images).

Jason Zucker tallied his first two goals with the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby collected three assists for the Penguins (76 points), who sit three points behind the first-place Washington Capitals in the Metropolitan Division. The slumping Canadiens (61 points) remain seven points behind the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division.

The New York Rangers picked up their fourth straight win by downing the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1. Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist while Alexandar Georgiev made 36 saves. The Jackets (71 points) hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth while the Rangers are seven points behind them.

Nino Niederreiter and Martin Necas each had a goal and an assist as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2. With 69 points, the Hurricanes sit two points behind the Blue Jackets.

HEADLINES

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild yesterday fired head coach Bruce Boudreau, replacing him on an interim basis with assistant coach Dean Evason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers questioned why this move was made when the Wild have won six of their last 10 games and sit just three points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. General manager Bill Guerin believes the club could benefit from a different voice behind the bench. Considering Guerin also traded winger Jason Zucker earlier this week to Pittsburgh, it appears he’s trying to motivate his club over the remainder of the season. It’ll be interesting to see how the players respond to his move.

TSN: The NHL department of player safety handed Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian a seven-game suspension for kicking Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak in the chest on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kassian’s critics wonder why he didn’t receive a harsher punishment. Perhaps the fact Cernak wasn’t injured explains the league’s rationale behind the decision. Regardless, I believe Kassian’s skating on thin ice. He’s a repeat offender, having been previously suspended seven times by the league, including a two-game suspension last month for roughing Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk. One more suspendable offense after this one could lead to a punishment harsher than the 20-game one he received in 2010.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester had an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator placed in his chest to monitor and control his heartbeat. The Blues will provide another update on his condition next week. Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac incident during a game on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks and had to be revived with a defibrillator.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Former Sportsnet analyst John Shannon said there’s nothing in the CBA that prevents Bouwmeester from returning to action with a pacemaker. Nevertheless, it’s not a certainty that he will.

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson requires surgery on his right knee and could be sidelined for eight weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That timeline means Johnsson won’t return until the playoffs. The Leafs can place him on long-term injury reserve and use the cap savings ($3.4 million) to add a replacement before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Because there’s no salary cap in the postseason, the Leafs wouldn’t have to shed salary when Johnsson returns to the lineup.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights have yet to provide an update on the status of winger Alex Tuch, who injured his left leg against the Blues on Thursday.

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks announced winger Micheal Ferland suffered concussion-like symptoms during an AHL rehab game last night. His last game with the Canucks was Dec. 10.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres placed defenseman Zach Bogosian on waivers. Bogosian has only appeared in 19 games since returning from hip surgery in November.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki suffered a high-ankle injury on Thursday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2020

The Lightning picked up their ninth straight victory, Zach Sanford scored four goals in a losing cause for the Blues, Zack Kassian in hot water again, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up their ninth consecutive win by dropping the Edmonton Oilers 3-1. Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy extended his franchise-record points streak to 20 games. Oilers winger Zack Kassian could get a call from the NHL department of player safety for kicking the Lightning’s Erik Cernak in the chest with his skate during a first-period scrum. Cernak was unhurt in the incident. The Bolts played without Nikita Kucherov, who remains sidelined with a lower-body injury. The Lightning (81 points) move within a point of the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the overall standings.

Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian kicked Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak in the chest with his skate on Thursday (Photo via NHL Images)

 Zach Sanford’s four-goal performance wasn’t enough to prevent the St. Louis Blues from dropping a 6-5 overtime decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Jonathan Marchessault scored twice, including the winning goal, while teammate Max Pacioretty also netted two goals. The Golden Knights (66 points) sit third in the Pacific Division.

Cam Talbot turned in a 44-save performance as the Calgary Flames shut out the Anaheim Ducks 6-0. Mikael Backlund and Mark Jankowski each scored twice as the Flames (66 points) hold the first wild-card spot in the West.

Tyler Seguin’s goal early in the third period proved to be the winner as the Dallas Stars held off the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen made 16 saves in his first game since suffering a neck injury on Feb. 3. Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson left the game with what’s being called a serious knee injury. Stars center Andrew Cogliano played his 1,000th career NHL game. Earlier in the day, the Stars placed winger Alexander Radulov (upper body) on injured reserve while the Leafs placed goalie Michael Hutchinson on waivers.

Craig Smith tallied his first NHL hat trick and Juuse Saros turned in a 31-save shutout as the Nashville Predators blanked the New York Islanders 5-0. With 61 points, the Predators move to within three points of the Coyotes for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk scored and set up two others to lead his club over the Florida Panthers 6-2. Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after giving up three goals on nine shots. The Panthers (66 points) remains two points behind the Leafs for third in the Atlantic Division.

Buffalo Sabres rookie Victor Olofsson scored twice, including the game-winner, as the Buffalo Sabres upset the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. It was Olofsson’s first game since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on Jan. 2. Sabres captain Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists. The Jackets (71 points) hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Washington Capitals overcame a 2-0 deficit to edge the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was held scoreless for the third straight game and remains two goals shy of 700 for his career.

Wayne Simmonds scored twice as the New Jersey Devils tallied four unanswered third-period goals in a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Earlier in the day, the Devils placed defenseman Sami Vatanen (undisclosed) on injured reserve.

A two-goal first period enabled the Ottawa Senators to nip the Arizona Coyotes 3-2, snapping their six-game losing skid. The Coyotes (64 points) cling to the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Shootout goals by Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin gave the New York Rangers a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. Panarin also tallied a goal and an assist in regulation. The loss keeps the Wild (61 points) three back of the Coyotes.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher in the face on Wednesday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2020

Alex Ovechkin reaches another goal-scoring milestone, the Leafs set a team scoring record, the Oilers re-sign Zack Kassian, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 693rd career goal, but it wasn’t enough to prevent his club falling 5-4 to the Nashville Predators. The Capitals capitalized on three Predators’ blunders to take a 4-3 lead into the third period, but goals by Ryan Johansen and Yannick Weber sealed the deal for the Preds. Ovechkin moved past Steve Yzerman for ninth on the all-time goals list, one goal behind Mark Messier.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is ninth on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list (Photo via NHL Images).

Fists were flying as the Calgary Flames picked up a 4-3 shootout victory over the Edmonton Oilers in the latest round of the Battle of Alberta. Oilers winger Zack Kassian and Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk squared off for the second time in as many games, while the most surprising bout featured Calgary center Sean Monahan and Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Andrew Mangiapane scored twice in regulation for the Flames while Monahan potted the only shootout goal. Speaking of Kassian, he signed a four-year, $12.8-million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kassian’s critics will claim his new deal is too much for too long. It’s actually right around where a winger of his skills would be. The $3.2 million salary-cap hit isn’t that bad, nor is a four-year deal for a 29-year-old physical forward with decent offensive ability.

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Dallas Stars 5-3, setting a club record with four-or-more goals (discounting shootouts) in eight straight road games. Auston Matthews and Tyson Barrie each had a goal and an assist for the Leafs. Alexander Radulov tallied twice for the Stars, who learned earlier in the day that winger Roope Hintz is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Quinn Hughes and Tanner Pearson had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks picked up their fourth straight win by downing the San Jose Sharks 5-2. The Canucks (62 points) maintain a three-point lead over the Flames for first place in the Pacific Division.

The Tampa Bay Lightning overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Steven Stamkos led the way with two goals and an assist. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty’s ironman streak ended at 460 games as he sat out this contest with an undisclosed injury.

Adam Henrique scored twice to give the Anaheim Ducks a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, who are 1-5-1 in their last seven contests.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark will miss three-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury.

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 23, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – January 23, 2020

Check out the latest on the Wild, Penguins, Leafs, Blackhawks and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

PENGUINS STILL INTERESTED IN ZUCKER

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports the Pittsburgh Penguins remain interested in Jason Zucker. However, they must find a way to make his contract ($5.5 million annually for the next three seasons) work. He also has a 10-team no-trade clause. Russo believes Zucker’s hometown Vegas Golden Knights are on his “yes list.”

The Pittsburgh Penguins are reportedly still interested in acquiring Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker (Photo via NHL Images).

Russo also speculates defenseman Jonas Brodin (signed through 2020-21, $4.16-million annual average value) would be attractive to clubs seeking a top-four defenseman. Those would include Carolina, Toronto, Florida, and Vegas. The Hurricanes have serious interest, but Russo wonders if Dougie Hamilton’s recent injury could make them change course.

The Wild also possesses an attractive right-shot blueliner in Matt Dumba. His production and defensive play have declined this season. There’s a risk in trading him, as the 25-year-old could regain his form. His poor play this season could also affect his trade value.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also reports the Penguins continue to pursue Zucker. However, the Wild aren’t ready to concede anything just yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Wild fail to climb back into the playoff chase by mid-February, first-year general manager Bill Guerin will become a seller. He won’t just ship out guys like Zucker, Brodin or Dumba for pennies on the dollar, but if he gets a solid offer for one them, I believe he’ll pull the trigger. There are others he could shop, but those three offer the best chance for a return that helps the Wild now and over the long term.

The Penguins made a failed attempt to land Zucker last spring. What could work in the Wild’s favor this time is Guerin joined them last summer from the Penguins’ front office. He’s well aware of Pittsburgh’s best young players and prospects. You can bet a couple of those could be in the asking price.

And no, I don’t see Mikko Koivu waiving his no-movement clause. Eric Staal could be moved if a team that’s not on his 10-team no-trade list comes calling, but I think Guerin would approach Staal to get his blessing.

LATEST ON THE LEAFS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman said there’s a sense around the league the only way the Toronto Maple Leafs move winger Kasperi Kapanen is in a big deal that makes them significantly better. He also thinks the Leafs have been asked about pending UFA defensemen Tyson Barrie, Cody Ceci, and Jake Muzzin.

Friedman doesn’t see the Leafs becoming sellers, so the only way something happens there is is they want to give one of their younger blueliners more permanent minutes. It also sounds like there are some contract discussions between the Leafs and Muzzin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Kapanen won’t be used as trade bait for a backup goalie like the New York Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev. If the 23-year-old winger can fetch them a reasonably priced top-four defenseman, preferably one with term remaining on his contract, I believe GM Kyle Dubas will take that deal.

No surprise they want to keep Muzzin. He’s their best defensive blueliner. With over $68 million invested in 12 players, they have sufficient room to re-sign Muzzin, but it won’t leave much space to fill out the rest of the roster unless they shed salary.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

Nothing’s happening with the Chicago Blackhawks as long as they remain in the playoff chase. Should that change before the trade deadline, Friedman wonders if Florida Panthers head coach (and former Blackhawks bench boss) Joel Quenneville would ask to approach Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith on the virtues of playing in southeast Florida.

Speaking of the Blackhawks, goaltender Robin Lehner still wants to be paid fairly for his services. The pending unrestricted free agent wouldn’t say for sure if a long-term deal is a priority, but Friedman feels he won’t take a lesser annual average salary to get a longer-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Friedman that the Blackhawks won’t become sellers if they remain in the postseason hunt. If they do test the trade market, I still don’t see Keith or Lehner going anywhere. Keith has a full no-movement clause and there’s no hint that he wants out. Lehner, meanwhile, is out-playing long-time Hawks starter Corey Crawford. I think Chicago GM Stan Bowman intends to re-sign Lehner.

New Jersey Devils forward Travis Zajac wants to stay put. His agent claims something was offered to his client earlier this season, but he was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause at that time. His camp will see about the future after the season. Friedman guesses the offer came from the New York Islanders,

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zajac has a year remaining on his contract worth $5.75 million. He’s spent his entire 14-season NHL career with the Devils. Maybe he’ll consider a trade during the off-season if the right club come calling.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 19, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 19, 2020

More scoring milestones for Alex Ovechkin, Jonathan Toews leads the Blackhawks over the Leafs, another solid performance by Blue Jackets’ Elvis Merzlikins, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin tallied his second straight hat trick as the Washington Capitals overcame a 4-1 deficit to beat the New York Islanders 6-4. With 692 career goals, Ovechkin passed Mario Lemieux (690) for 10th on the all-time goal-scoring list and is tied for ninth place with Steve Yzerman. He’s also just the third player to score consecutive hat tricks three times, tying Wayne Gretzky for second place behind leader Joe Malone with four. Ovechkin is just two goals behind Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (36) for the league lead. Devon Toews had a goal and two assists for the Islanders.

Another milestone performance for Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin in a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin just keeps passing milestones on his way to 700 career goals. He needs just three goals to pass Mark Messier (694) for eighth place and should reach seventh-place Mike Gartner’s 708 before season’s end. Toews, meanwhile, poked the bear by mimicking Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov bird-dance goal celebration.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews scored twice and set up two others to lead his club over the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2. Hawks rookie winger Dominik Kubalik scored twice to reach 20 goals on the season, while Patrick Kane picked up his 999th career point. The loss drops the Leafs (57 points) to 10th overall in the Eastern Conference, one point out of the final wild-card spot. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, move to within five points of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Give the Blackhawks credit, they’re not giving up on this season. The Leafs, meanwhile, are starting to look like they did before they changed coaches two months ago. Perhaps a trade is necessary to bolster the lineup or shake them up.

Elvis Merzlikins made 41 saves for his third shutout in four games backstopping the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. Cam Atkinson scored twice and collected an assist. The Jackets (58 points) hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Colorado Avalanche held off the St. Louis Blues 5-3, snapping the latter’s six-game win streak. Nathan MacKinnon and Andre Burakovsky each picked up a goal and an assist while Cale Makar set the Avalanche record for rookie defensemen with his 11th goal of the season.

Connor McDavid scored two goals, Riley Sheahan picked up four points and Josh Archibald three in the Edmonton Oilers’ 7-3 trouncing of the Arizona Coyotes. The Oilers have won five of their last six games. McDavid (76 points) holds a one-point lead over linemate Leon Draisaitl as the league’s leading scorer. Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta was pulled after giving up six goals in 18 shots. Meanwhile, there’s speculation the Oilers are closing in a four-year contract extension with winger Zack Kassian worth between $3.2-$3.5 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Critics will complain that’s too much money for too long for a player whose production is dependent upon his more talented linemates. Nevertheless, the Oilers consider him a faster, more affordable replacement for Milan Lucic, who was shipped to Calgary last summer. Given the steady increase in the salary cap, that projected contract isn’t that bad. However, it would push their 2020-21 salary-cap payroll to nearly $63 million invested in 13 players, with defensemen Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear in line for raises and veteran goalie Mike Smith to be re-signed or replaced.

The Vancouver Canucks sit atop the Pacific Division with 58 points following a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Tanner Pearson, Adam Gaudette, and Jake Virtanen each had two points for the Canucks, who’ve won 11 of their last 14 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks still have their work cut out for them holding a playoff berth in the tightly-contested Pacific. With each game, however, they’re looking more and more like a postseason contender.

The Montreal Canadiens kept their playoff hopes alive in a 5-4 squeaker over the Vegas Golden Knights. The Habs blew 3-0 and 4-2 leads before Ilya Kovalchuk and Tomas Tatar scored in the shootout. Nick Cousins scored twice for the Canadiens (51 points), who sit six behind the third-place Florida Panthers in the Atlantic Division. Golden Knights center Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist before losing some teeth after catching an errant stick in the mouth.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves backstopping the Florida Panthers to a 4-1 win over the lowly Detroit Red Wings. The Panthers have won four in a row but played without netminder Chris Driedger, who’s expected to miss several weeks with a groin injury. Wings center Dylan Larkin tallied his 100th career goal.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Travis Konecny scored two goals and James van Riemsdyk had three points to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1. Claude Giroux chipped in the two helpers for the Flyers (58 points), who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

The Nashville Predators edged the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Craig Smith’s third-period goal. The Sabres win streak ended at three games while captain Jack Eichel’s points streak ended at nine games.

Jason Zucker had a goal and two assists and Alex Stalock had a 27-save shutout as the Minnesota Wild thumped the Dallas Stars 7-0. With 50 points, the Wild are seven points out of a Western Conference wild-card berth. Stars defenseman Stephen Johns returned to action following a 22-month absence dealing with post-concussion symptoms.

The Ottawa Senators picked up their first victory in 10 games by dousing the Calgary Flames 5-2. Senators goaltender Marcus Hogberg kicked out 40 shots while Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist. Brother Matthew was held scoreless by the Sens.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center David Krejci (upper body) is expected to miss today’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Justin Williams is expected to return to the Carolina Hurricanes lineup today against the New York Islanders.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2020

Game recaps, Dougie Hamilton sidelined by a fractured fibula, Dave Backes on waivers, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli tallied his first career NHL hat trick as his club crushed the Winnipeg Jets 7-1. Nikita Kucherov scored twice, Ondrej Palat collected three assists, and Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his 10th straight win.

Anthony Cirelli’s first NHL hat trick carried the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Winnipeg Jets 7-1 (Photo via NHL Images).

Sidney Crosby scored in overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. He has six points in three games since returning from core muscle surgery. Bryan Rust’s 20th goal of the season tied the game and forced the extra period.

Anaheim Ducks center Sam Steel’s overtime goal lifted his club over the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. It was the Hurricanes’ first game since losing defenseman Dougie Hamilton to a fractured left fibula. Teammate Jaccob Slavin will replace Hamilton at the upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hamilton’s injury leaves a gaping hole in the Hurricanes’ blue line. With 40 points in 47 games, he’s the Canes’ highest-scoring defenseman and was well on his way to a career year. I’ll have more on the Hurricanes in the Rumors section.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly nearing a contract extension with Zack Kassian. The 28-year-old winger is completing a three-year contract worth $1.95-million annually and is due to become an unrestricted free agent in July. It’s assumed the deal will be announced before the trade deadline on Feb. 24. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kassian’s a big-bodied forward with 20-goal potential who plays a physical style and is popular among his teammates. It’ll be interesting to see how much of a raise he receives. It could be a five-year deal worth $4 million annually.

Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson was fined $2,000.00 by the league’s department of player safety under the league’s rules regarding diving and embellishment.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed veteran winger David Backes on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to their AHL affiliate in Providence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Backes played infrequently this season due to his injury history and declining performance. His demotion will clear $1 million of his $6-million salary-cap hit from the Bruins’ books for the rest of the season. Backes could be bought out of the final season of his contract in June.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning placed defenseman Luke Schenn on waivers.

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson will return to the roster tonight after a 15-game absence in part because of an upper-body injury.

NBC SPORTS: Some good-natured billboard trolling between Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers fans has raised over $50K for various charities.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets TSN analyst Kevin Sawyer will address criticism regarding comments he made two weeks ago about an apparent hazing incident involving Jared Spurgeon during the Minnesota Wild defenseman’s junior hockey days. “Favourite story of Jared Spurgeon,” Sawyer began. “He was a 15-year-old. Two months into the season we saran-wrapped him to a pillar in the arena, about six feet up in the air … he was tiny. He looked like he was 12.”