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Added August 29th, 2016 by Ian

Russian hockey player Damir Ryspayev handed lifetime ban

Goonery still appears to be alive and well in professional Russian hockey as defenceman Damir Ryspayev of Barys Atana, a team in the Kontinental Hockey League, has been hit with a lifetime ban after going berserk in a recent preseason game. Ryspayev was originally handed a lesser punishment, but Kunlan Red Star of Beijing appealed it and the league then decided to throw the book at him after reviewing the video evidence of the violent incident. Ryspayev lost his marbles in an August game against Kunlan in a preseason tournament.

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Added July 4th, 2016 by Ian

NHL rocked by big trades prior to free agency frenzy

The NHL’s free agency period didn’t kickoff until July 1st, but there was a whirlwind of activity in the few days before it began. The biggest unrestricted free agent this summer was expected to be 26-year-old centre Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning as several teams were interested in his services and were willing to pay upwards of $10 million per season. However, Stamkos did the sensible thing and re-signed with Tampa for eight years at a total of $68 million on June 29th.

There were also two huge trades that day as the Montreal Canadiens sent defenceman PK Subban to the Nashville Predators for defenceman Shea Weber. This deal had many Canadiens fans up in arms since Weber is four years older than Subban and is under contract until he’s 40 years old. Subban’s deal expires when he’s just 33. Weber’s annual earnings use up $7,857,142 of the salary cap though while Subban’s is $9 million per season. Subban is the highest-paid defenceman per season and is entering the third year of an eight-year $72 million deal. Weber is entering the fifth year of a 14-year deal worth $110 million.

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Added July 4th, 2016 by Ian

2016 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees announced

The 2016 inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame were recently announced and include former forwards Eric Lindros and Sergei Makarov as well as goaltender Rogatien Vachon and coach/general manager Pat Quinn, with Quinn being inducted posthumously. The Hall of Fame’s 18-member selection committee said the induction ceremony will take place at Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame this November 14th. Lindros, Vachon and Quinn were born in Canada while Makarov hails from Russia.

Lindros was the first-overall draft pick in 1991 when he was selected by the former Quebec Nordiques from the Oshawa Generals junior club. However, the youngster made headlines when he controversially stated that he wouldn’t report to Quebec. His stance divided the nation and his rights were eventually traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. The centre from London, Ontario was a dominant NHL player during the 1990’s. He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1992/93 and won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 1994/95 when he scored 70 points in just 46 contests. He then had a career-best 115 points the next season in 73 games.

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Added July 4th, 2016 by Ian

Toronto Maple Leafs hope top draft choice Auston Matthews lives up to billing

Eighteen-year-old centre Auston Matthews of Scottsdale, Arizona became the seventh American-born player to be drafted first overall when the Toronto Maple Leafs selected him on June 24th. The Leafs had the top pick at the NHL Draft in Buffalo, New York after finishing dead last in the league in the 2015/16 season and then winning the draft lottery back in April. There’s just one other native from Arizona playing in the NHL at the moment that’s Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers. However, he was raised in Canada.

Matthews, who was born in San Roman, California, spent last season playing in Switzerland with Zurich SC and scored 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points in his 36 outings and helped the team to the league’s best regular-season record. Matthews was one of a record dozen American-born players to be taken in the first round of an NHL draft while there were 11 Canadians selected. This is the first time ever that more Americans were chosen in the first round than Canadians. A record three Canadians were taken from the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).

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Added June 28th, 2016 by Ian

NHL hands out 2015/16 awards

Added June 28th, 2016 by Ian

NHL opens up shop in Las Vegas

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