NHL roundtable: Kane's reputation, head contact rule, more
Sam Page: Can his reputation be salvaged? Of course—just look at Kobe Bryant’s current retirement tour. I think I said something similar before the season, but whatever your opinion of Patrick Kane, nothing that happened during this season was going to change your mind—this statement from the league included. If anything, the release will further divide opinion. If you are a fan, you might take this exoneration on its face as proof he was innocent all along. If you’re suspicious of Kane, you’ll likely be annoyed the league would even take a stance on his innocence.
Michael Blinn: I think you hit this one squarely on the head, Sam. Folks seems to have dug their heels in one way or the other and there’s not a whole lot of room for debate between them. As for his reputation, I suppose that depends which side of the hill you’re on, but I do think there’s going to be a large contingent of people who will always be there to remind others of his past—and that’s not a bad thing. The league, however, probably did more damage to its own image than it did anything, positive or negative, to Kane‘s with that poorly worded release.
MB: I don’t think the issue is the in-game penalty, but the inconsistency when it comes to supplemental discipline. How Bruins defenseman John-Michael Liles was cleared for his forearm shiver to the head of Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov, or Blues forward Ryan Reaves escaped any kind punishment for launching himself at Chicago’s Christian Ehrhoff on Wednesday is kinda mystifying to me. I get that discipline needs to operate in a vacuum, but there has to be some kind of precedent to start leaning on, no?
SP: If Karlsson can handle the ice time over the long-term, why not? But I tend to think anything over 25 minutes will start to take a toll, especially on defensemen who rely on their skating. Even Ryan Suter confessed to gliding when his ice time was pushing 30 minutes, and the ill affects showed up in his stats.
The guy is clearly worn out. That's on Cameron, who seems to think that 25 minutes of A play and five minutes of C+ play from Karlsson is better for the Sens than 25 minutes of A+ play.
MB: You know what’s better than novelty, Sam? Nostalgia. It seems to me that the alumni games have grabbed the most traction and filled the stadiums almost as well as the main events. Give me the old-timers lacing them up and strapping them on again while being as quotable as ever. Give me a North Stars jersey and an old-school Jason mask and I'm happy.