Yesterday, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that according a league source, at least five teams had contacted the Blackhawks to express interest in Patrick Kane. Being a social media veteran, he knew the appropriate course of action after posting the article:
*ducks*— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) September 1, 2015
Lazerus does an excellent job summarizing the situation Chicago faces:
Training camp opens in a little more than two weeks. Will Kane be there, swarmed by local, regional and national press for his first comments since the investigation began? Will he not be there, fueling rampant speculation and uncomfortable questions for his teammates to dance around? Will the Hawks suspend him until the district attorney decides whether to file charges or not, just to be safe? Will the league step in and do it for them, making the Hawks look tentative and weak? And how long might the DA take? Weeks? Months? All year? A black cloud hanging over the Hawks everywhere they go as they defend their third Stanley Cup in six seasons?
Now, we have no idea as to how the reported interest in Patrick Kane was framed or conditioned by those calling Chicago. The report said (at least) five teams would be willing trade partners; it never said when they would be. Perhaps this is undue optimism, but I find it hard to believe a team today would look to acquire Kane before the legal process reaches its end. On this, Chris Peters of CBS Sports agrees, stating that "Clearly, nothing would happen until the investigation concludes." And when it comes to making a phone call to GM Stan Bowman, Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated took the strong stance that "to do anything less than inquire about the availability of a game-breaking player who hasn't yet been charged and who might not be guilty of anything is a dereliction of duty."
So what if those expressions of interest were based on a possible future where Kane isn't charged and the Blackhawks still feel the need to part ways with him? Is any consideration of Patrick Kane by an NHL General Manager "wildly disappointing", as PPP's Scott Wheeler tweeted, or is it due diligence? I'll be transparent and admit to leaning towards the latter.
The legal process has yet to play out, but laying groundwork ahead of time based on What Ifs is the process for GMs. https://t.co/lqZJdaCPYM— Philip Iver (@PhilipAIver) September 1, 2015
And now the news.
Travis Yost makes the statistical case that Patrick Sharp should skate on Tyler Seguin's wing, rather than Jason Spezza's. (TSN)
It's a bit cold, but Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock is right when he says that the Patrik Berglund injury "couldn't come at a better time because it allows us to have preparation for finding his replacement." (ProHockeyTalk)
Speaking of finding replacements, St. Louis is bringing Scottie Upshall to training camp on a PTO. He could be a real solid bottom-six forward for them. If only we needed one of those. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Thrilled to be invited to the @StLouisBlues camp. I believe this team is very close to winning a Stanley Cup and that's exciting!!— Scottie Upshall (@ScottieUpshall) September 1, 2015
I feel like he's said this very sentiment before, but Troy Brouwer is planning to play his game, not TJ Oshie's or anyone else's. Considering the aforementioned Berglund injury, the Blues will almost certainly need his ability to move up and down the lineup. (NHL)
The Winnipeg Jets seem to have finalized their tweaking of the scouting staff. In addition to the promotion of Mark Hillier from Head Amateur Scout to Director of Amateur Scouting, welcome to Kjell Dahlin, Jari Grönstrand and the previously reported Mark White. (Global News)
In his Winnipeg Jets season preview, Puck Daddy thinks the bottom-six might be an issue and that the team is heading for 6th place in the Central. But the highlight: "...it'll be interesting to see if Pavelec can shut critics up for another season. OK, two thirds of a season. OK, maybe a few weeks." (Yahoo! Sports)
The Blues are bringing Upshall to camp, and we have this. According to multiple sources, the Winnipeg Jets are bringing Thomas Raffl, brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl, to training camp on a PTO. Hockey-News.info's headline Google Translates to "The NHL is calling! - Salzburg fears for Austrian team captain!", which makes me wonder what Salzburg has against Winnipeg. (The Hockey Writers)
At least one European scout is not overly impressed by his game:
Really surprised the #jets bring in Thomas Raffl on PTO! No way his skating and agility is NHL-level #preseason— Dennis Schellenberg (@ScoutingFactory) September 2, 2015
And All The Rest
Longtime underrated depth forward Marcel Goc has signed a five-year contract with the DEL's Adler Mannheim. While I'd expect there's probably an out clause or two in there, this does feel like a farewell to the veteran of 699 NHL games. (The Score)
Honey, guess who's coming to dinner? It's generational talent Jack Eichel, who'll be moving in with us next season! The problem with my comical imagining is that I presume Matt Moulson may have discussed this arrangement with his wife first. (Buffalo News)
Now that they're all used to one another, Carolina Head Coach Bill Peters is planning to get a little more creative with the offense. Let's see what he does with Jeff Skinner. (The Score)
Witness the grace and elegant beauty of NHL rookies attempting to figure skate:
The rookies trying their hand at figure skating #NHLPARookieShowcase pic.twitter.com/2Fz5zYyyK8— NHLPA (@NHLPA) September 1, 2015
Connor McDavid was asked what he would need to accomplish in 2015-16 to consider the season a success, and said he didn't have any real numbers in mind. What about you folks? What McDavid points total would be the minimum for a successful rookie season? (NHL)
It's never a very comforting feeling when your General Manager says that contract negotiations with one of the team's superstars aren't even in the same ballpark. Such is life for Dean Lombardi, Anze Kopitar and LA Kings fans. (LA Kings Insider)
In this post-Jeff Reese era, bringing in Michal Neuvirth was a superb move. He even has a preexisting relation with fellow Czech Jakub Voracek, going so far as to say "He was the reason I signed here." (CSN Philly)
And finally, have a look at this shootout beauty former Manitoba Moose forward Colby Genoway scored over in the KHL:
This KHL shootout goal that Colby Genoway scored today, though pic.twitter.com/czogDVR4nY— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) September 2, 2015
Thanks for reading!