Last Night’s News 📰
NO. 2 GETS TWO YEARS: Kaapo Kakko, the second-overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft, agreed to a two-year contract with the New York Rangers on Thursday. Kakko, a 21-year-old restricted free agent, recorded 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 43 regular-season games and five points (two goals, three assists) in 19 playoff games.
MATTY JO FOR FOUR: Yesterday, Mathieu Joseph and the Ottawa Senators agreed to a four-year, $11.8 million contract, avoiding the salary arbitration hearing set for Monday. Ottawa acquired Joseph at the trade deadline from the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, posting 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 11 games after joining the Senators.
12 TO THE RAFTERS: Patrick Marleau will have his number retired this season, as the San Jose Sharks’ all-time leading scorer will see his No. 12 raised to the rafters of the SAP Center on Feb. 25, 2023, becoming the first Shark to receive the honor. Marleau spent 21 of his decorated 23-year career in San Jose.
QUIT PLAYING GAMES: Blue Jackets forwards Jack Roslovic and Sean Kuraly, along with former goalie and current broadcaster Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, participated alongside the Backstreet Boys in Dave & Jimmy’s Celebrity Softball Classic on Wednesday. Donations from the Columbus charity event went to the On Our Sleeves movement, which supports children’s mental health.
REPRESENTATION MATTERS: On Wednesday, free agent John Klingberg parted ways with his long-time agent, Peter Wallen. Klingberg has joined Newport Sports Management as he attempts to negotiate a new contract.
Let’s look back at our favorite moments of the week.
Backstreets Back, Alright!
It’s been a great offseason for the Columbus Blue Jackets so far. Forwards Jack Roslovic and Sean Kuraly participated in a charity softball game along with the Backstreet Boys for On Our Sleeves, which supports children’s mental health by Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Roslovic played on a team with Backstreet Boys members Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson, and Howie Dorough. Kuraly was on a team with Nick Carter and AJ McLean. As a bonus, the Backstreet Boys matched the $50,000 raised by the game.
Brothers That Jam Together
Henrik Lundqvist has an extensive resume that includes a Vezina Trophy, a Hart Trophy nomination, and a Radio City Music Hall performance. The man has done it all. Recently, he reunited with his twin brother Joel, and they got the band back together one more time. In an Instagram post, the former goaltender said it had been almost 30 years since they performed together. He was, of course, playing guitar while his twin took over the microphone. Are you interested in booking the band for your upcoming event? Lundqvist recommends contacting their mother.
Jack Campbell, Man of the People
Newly acquired Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell has a new good luck charm, thanks to a six-year-old boy named Levi. During a meet and greet at a shopping mall in Ontario, Levi decided to make a trade and give Campbell a hockey card of himself in exchange for the NHLer’s autograph. The netminder then asked Levi for his signature and said he would keep the card for good luck this upcoming season. Say it with me—Aw!!
The Klingberg Connundrum
John Klingberg was considered by many to be the top defenseman on the market after the unrestricted free agent, who turns 30 next month, scored 47 points (six goals, 41 assists) in 74 games for the Dallas Stars last season. Despite that, he is still unsigned two weeks into free agency and decided to part with long-time agent Peter Wallen on Wednesday.
Klingberg is now with Newport Sports Management, joining recently-paid guys like Matthew Tkachuk and Josh Norris. So why would Klingberg decide to part with his long-time agent, who helped him secure a seven-year, $29.75 million extension with the Stars in 2015? Let’s speculate!
Money is the most likely reason for the change, with Klingberg expecting a hefty payday as the top free agent on the market. The fact that he is still available indicates that he probably set his expectations too high. With defensive deficiencies and entering his 30s, teams may not be willing to pay for an aging blueliner whose defense isn’t his best asset.
With plenty of signings since free agency opened on July 13, including several involving big names and big money, it can’t feel good watching so many other players reach agreements with teams. Maybe Klingberg’s agent was trying to preach patience, and after two weeks of waiting, he ran out. Although patience is a virtue, the longer a free agent remains unsigned, the more likely he’ll have to settle for less.
A Change of Pace
We are not privy to the relationship between Klingberg and Wallen, so this could be due to a falling out over something unrelated to free agency. Or maybe Klingberg wanted to make a change after his player-agent relationship became stale. He might have noticed the extensions players like Tkachuk and Norris got and wanted the agent who negotiated those deals. Like a real-life metaphor for someone stuck inside looking out the window at others having fun.
Original Six Name Game
What’s in a name? Well, a lot, if you’re talking about the franchise handles of the NHL’s 32 teams. The inspiration for team names across the league comes from a litany of places, from fan surveys to local ties that can border on insensitivity (Carolina is the Hurricanes because deadly hurricanes are common in the region) to obvious marketing tie-ins (the Anaheim
It has been true since the dawn of the NHL, as the name of each Original Six franchise carries an origin story. Let’s take a look:
Not only does Art Ross have a trophy named after him, but he also created the Bruins’ team name. As the club’s first GM, owner Charles Adams tasked Ross with finding a nickname that invoked an untamed, cunning animal, so he went with the old English term for a bear. The alliterative element was, presumably, a bonus.
The original owner, Frederic McLaughlin, was an army man whose 86th infantry division was known as the “Blackhawk Division.” They were known as the “Chicago Black Hawks” for the first 60 years of the team’s existence before their name merged into the original one-word spelling.
Detroit Red Wings
Owner James Norris didn’t have any ties to Detroit when he bought the financially-struggling team known then as the Detroit Falcons. So Norris sought inspiration from an organization he’d previously worked with, the Montreal Winged Wheels amateur hockey club, and even created the now-iconic logo. It certainly didn’t hurt that the “Red Wings” name offered a nod to the local automotive manufacturers with whom Norris had hoped to curry favor.
This one’s admittedly obvious, even for those not fluent “en français.” However, the Montreal Canadiens’ widely recognized “Habs” nickname serves as a regional reference to Les Habitants, a group of French settlers who built a settlement along Quebec’s St. Lawrence River early in the 17th century.
New York Rangers
You can thank early New York sports reporters for the Rangers’ name, which came about as local scribes began referring to president George Lewis “Tex” Rickard’s new franchise as “Tex’s Rangers.” The play on the name of the group of Texas lawmen stuck, and the Rangers nickname continues nearly 100 years later.
Toronto Maple Leafs
While modern hockey fans may ridicule Toronto’s hockey team for being named for misspelled yard waste, the Maple Leafs’ moniker comes from some proud and well-meaning origins. Upon purchasing the club, Conn Smythe immediately changed the name to honor Canadian soldiers that fought for their country in World War I while wearing the maple leaf emblem.
- Today’s newsletter was edited by Kyle Knopp, with contributions by Ben Fisher, Kristy Flannery, and Brooke LoFurno.
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