LNN: Hilary Knight’s Legacy, Reynolds Speaks About the Sens, and New Information About Hockey Canada
It’s the Monday edition of Links, News and Notes!
The Ottawa Senators earned a split on the weekend with a special-teams fueled win on Saturday over the Detroit Red Wings, and a tight loss on Sunday vs. the Minnesota Wild. They’re 6-2-1 in December, and have clawed their back into the fringes of the play-off race. With three big games left before the Christmas break, the importance of this week’s games is high. While we bide our time before Tuesday’s match-up with the Winnipeg Jets, let’s check out what’s going on around the rest of the hockey world:
- Future owner of YOUR Ottawa Senators Ryan Reynolds did an interview with a high school class last week, where he expressed lots of interest in owning the Sens, and lots of enthusiasm about the direction of the franchise. This has to happen, right?
- Here’s a cool story about the legend Hilary Knight’s impact on girls’ hockey in the US, and how she’s now playing alongside kids who grew up idolizing her.
- Speaking of women’s hockey, it was announced on Thursday that the next Women’s World Hockey Championship will be held in Brampton, Ontario.
- A warning: the next few stories deal with some pretty heavy subject matter. I don’t really know how to transition from the fun stuff to this, but I thought I’d put out that warning.
- It’s been a scary few weeks for Alex Pietrangelo, whose four-year-old daughter became very seriously ill from the flu over American thanksgiving. It looks like she’s on the road to recovery now, and the Golden Knights defenseman is back from his leave of absence. My thoughts are with his whole family, and I hope this serves as a reminder not to question players taking time away from hockey for personal reasons. They’re human beings and they deserve that much.
- 18-year-old Abakar Kazbekov of the OHL’s London Knights has died after falling from an apartment building. The London Knights postponed their game on Saturday after learning of the news. No foul play is suspected.
- Hockey Canada has continued their much-needed overhaul, electing a new board of directors.
- Finally, an update on the sexual assault scandal related to the 2018 Canadian World Junior team, with all the trigger warnings that come with any discussion of that topic. Yesterday, the Globe and Mail reported on a court filing by the London police that includes a lot of new information about the alleged assault. The article is paywalled, but Rick Westhead’s twitter thread on the topic presents most of the relevant information. I also wanted to highlight two points that I think are worth mentioning./
- The woman told the police that an “older, well dressed man” was with the hockey players at the bar where she met them. This person allegedly bought the players drinks, poured liquor into her mouth, and made suggestive comments toward her. Though we cannot say anything definitively, the reporting seems to suggested the gentleman in question may have been affiliated with Hockey Canada as he is “identified as a person whose ‘occupation’ requires him to attend ‘functions such as this.’”. The court filing further alleges that someone at Hockey Canada warned one of the players that the police had been contacted about the assault, prompting him to harass the survivor on social media. I point this out to highlight just how deep these problems run, and how many people at Hockey Canada seemingly were complicit in what happened in 2018.
- The NHL has been saying recently that their independent investigation into the alleged assault is pretty much done, but that they plan to coordinate with the London police before releasing their findings. This court filing gives us an idea of how that police investigation is going. It’s been two months, but it sounds like they have reasonable grounds to believe the assault happened and are likely to be pressing charges. This could provide some hope that the NHL might take this seriously, and that there might be a resolution in a criminal court.