Evander Kane relieved to be re-signed by the Jets before the lockout began, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins looks forward to playing in Oklahoma, Mark Giordano hopes lockout ends soon, and several Canadian teams begin laying off staff.
WINNIPEG SUN: Kirk Penton reports winger Evander Kane was relieved to sign a new six-year, $31.5 million contract with the Jets, though he found it bittersweet given the uncertainty over a lockout. Penton suggests the new deal should put to rest questions or concerns about Kane’s willingness to play in Winnipeg.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’ll last until someone posts unsubstantiated fourth-hand knowledge on Twitter purporting Kane to be in a bar fight or walking out on restaurant bills (like last season) and then the whole ridiculous process will start up again, especially if he or the team is struggling. Regardless, Kane obviously wants to belong with this team for a long time. Hopefully, he will silence his critics with his play once the lockout finally ends, and establish himself as the Jets franchise player.
EDMONTON SUN: Young Oilers star Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is looking forward to playing for the Oilers farm team in Oklahoma during the lockout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For players like Nugent-Hopkins, it’s a great way to continue playing and honing their skills during the lockout.
CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Mark Giordano is expecting his first child in April, and hopes to be back playing well before then.
OTTAWA SUN: It’s believed some Senators staffers have been sent layoff notices, while others are working four-day work weeks at 80 percent pay. The Montreal Canadiens staff are working four-day weeks, while the Calgary Flames have offered their staff unpaid leave.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The owners and players have plenty of money to ride out a lockout, and fans will be inconvenienced but most aren’t reliant on the NHL for employment. It’s folks like team staff who’ll truly suffer during a lockout.