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#pounditTuesday, March 2, 2021

Hockey

Creditor blasts Evander Kane over ‘serious gambling problem’

Evander Kane

It doesn’t look like Evander Kane’s gambling issues are getting any better.

The San Jose Sharks winger has been sued by one of his creditors in a brutal motion that accused Kane of being a compulsive gambler who is trying to “stiff” his lenders.

The motion, filed by Zions Bancorp, alleges that Kane sold a pair of Rolex watches for $75,000 to pay off gambling debts less than two months before his January bankruptcy filing. The bank also said Kane said in court that he borrowed up to $700,000 to pay for casino debts, and blasted Kane in a statement.

“Kane has a serious gambling problem,” the statement said, via Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. “Kane gambles heavily and makes poor, self-centered financial decisions. He ought not be allowed to continue handling his substantial salary and bonuses, or be allowed to continue gambling and speculating with his income instead of committing it to his creditors. Creditors likely have no confidence in Kane’s ability to administer his estate for their benefit. Zions certainly does not.”

The bank is seeking to change Kane’s bankruptcy declaration from chapter 7 to chapter 11, which is for businesses. A chapter 11 bankruptcy would allow creditors like Zions access to the $29 million remaining on Kane’s contract with the Sharks.

This isn’t the first time Kane has gotten in legal trouble over his gambling debts. Together, this doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Kane’s finances or his ability to responsibly handle them. It’s about as brutal a statement as you’ll see attached to a lawsuit, too.

Photo: Fanny Schertzer/GNU Free License

Artemi Panarin taking leave of absence amid allegations from Russia

Artemi Panarin

Artemi Panarin has given the New York Rangers a much-needed boost since he returned from a lower body injury last week, but the star forward will now have to leave the team amid much different circumstances.

In a news article that was published in Panarin’s home country of Russia on Monday, KHL coach and former NHL player Andrei Nazarov alleges that Panarin beat up an 18-year-old girl at a bar in Riga, Latvia, back in 2011. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the Rangers in the aftermath of the story.

While it is unclear if there is any truth to the allegations, the belief if that the news story was published for political reasons. Panarin has been critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin in the past. Nazarov is a known Putin supporter who once called for the arrest of foreign players who speak negatively about Russia.

Last month, Panarin showed support on social media for those opposing Putin. Brooks says there was fear of retribution.

The allegations against Panarin are serious, which is likely why he is stepping away from the Rangers for an undisclosed amount of time.

John Tortorella once had to offer a graphic description for why Panarin was absent from the Columbus Blue Jackets, but Panarin’s absence from the Rangers will not be related to injury or illness. The NHL may conduct its own investigation of the Russian media story.

H/T Wardo

Lake Tahoe background for Bruins-Flyers game is stunning

NHL Lake Tahoe background

The NHL on Sunday had its second of two outdoor games in Lake Tahoe, and the setting was even more stunning than imagined.

The Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights played on Saturday, though the game got delayed and was played midday and completed late at night. Sunday’s game between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers was played in the late afternoon/evening, and the background was beautiful.

Charlie McAvoy tied the game at two late in the first period with a goal. The backdrop of the mountains was picturesque.

The night sky in the background later in the evening was also gorgeous.

Though the setting was so nice, the game started getting less competitive after Boston scored four goals in the second period.

Avalanche, Golden Knights go nine hours between goals in Lake Tahoe game

Avalanche Vegas Knights nine hours

The Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights made an entire day out of Saturday’s game.

The two teams began their game in the Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday event at Lake Tahoe in Stateline, Nev. at 3 p.m. ET. They suspended the game after the first period due to the sun causing poor ice conditions.

Colorado led 1-0 at the time of the game’s suspension. The game restarted at midnight.

What’s crazy is that exactly nine hours after Samuel Girard scored in the first period, Alec Martinez scored to tie the game in the second period. It was Martinez’s first goal of the season.

The game was being played outdoors on the 18th fairway of the golf course at Edgewood Tahoe Resort, which explains the weather issues.

Goals being scored nine hours apart was almost as weird as seeing a hockey player wearing eye black … in the nightime.

Lindsey Vonn, PK Subban selling Beverly Hills mansion after breakup

Lindsey Vonn PK Subban

Lindsey Vonn and PK Subban announced their breakup a few months ago, and now it’s time to start dividing things up. Accordingly, they are selling a home they purchased in April.

Vonn and Subban have listed their four-bedroom luxury home in Beverly Hills, Calif. for sale at $7.175 million. They purchased the home in April for $6.75 million and appear to believe market appreciation accounts for a 6 percent boost in value.

Vonn, a former Olympic gold medal-winning skier, and Subban, an NHL player, met in 2017. They announced a year later that they were dating. The two got engaged in 2019 and had plans to marry last year, but that was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They ended up announcing their breakup in late December with identical statements.

Vonn, 36, retired from skiing in 2019. Subban, 31, is a defenseman for the New Jersey Devils. He is in the second-to-last season of an 8-year, $72 million contract he signed with Montreal in 2014.

Funny video: Even Junior Team USA member couldn’t believe they won

Team USA Hockey juniors

Team USA won the IIHF World Junior Championship with a 2-0 win over Canada at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday, and even one of the team’s players couldn’t believe it.

As Team USA lined up to receive their gold medals for their win at the event, NHL Network cameras captured the players’ reactions. One of the young players was even heard saying “are you shi–ing me?” about the team’s win. One of the announcers humorously replied, “Nope. No we are not.”

Nope, it’s not a fantasy. Team USA won the World Junior Championship.

This marks the fifth time the U.S. won the World Juniors and fourth time they won gold by beating Canada in the championship.

Zdeno Chara gets bonuses in contract with Caps after leaving Bruins

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara’s longtime Boston Bruins career came to an end on Wednesday as the veteran defenseman announced he had signed with the Washington Capitals.

Chara, who has been in the NHL since 1997 and spent the last 14 seasons with the Bruins, said in an Instagram post that the team decided to move on from him. The 43-year-old decided to sign a 1-year, $795,000 deal with the Caps because he wants to keep playing.

“Recently, The Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision. Unfortunately, my time as the proud Captain of the Bruins has come to an end,” Chara wrote as part of his Instagram post.

Though Chara’s contract is for under $800,000, he could turn that into seven figures based on some incentives.

He gets $230,000 if he plays in 10 games and receives larger bonuses if the team reaches the playoffs and wins the Stanley Cup.

Chara is a former Stanley Cup champion, 7-time All-Star, and won the Norris Trophy in 2008-2009.

Photo: Lisa Gansky/Flickr via CC-BY-SA 2.0

NHL’s Canadian teams set to play at home in 2020-21

The NHL has delivered an update that will come as good news to the Canadian teams.

In a statement, the NHL announced that it believes it has reached an agreement with Canadian health authorities to allow the league’s seven Canadian teams to play in their home arenas this season. That had been a significant question because the health authorities reportedly wanted the seven teams to play in a bubble at one location.

The NHL announced they will have a 56-game regular season. All the games will be intradivision to limit travel due to COVID-19. That means the Canadian teams will only face each other this regular season.

Video: Lightning fans go nuts celebrating Stanley Cup win

Tampa Bay Lightning logo

Tampa Bay Lightning fans went nuts celebrating the team’s Stanley Cup win on Monday night.

Lightning fans gathered outside Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. to watch Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 2-0 to capture their second Stanley Cup in franchise history. The fans were absolutely loving it.

Here are some more videos and photos of Lightning fans going crazy in Tampa.

Many of those fans looked too young to remember the Stanley Cup the team won in 2004, explaining why they were so ecstatic. Plus, when the team goes from elimination to championship in consecutive years, the title is generally even sweeter.

Lightning used Virginia basketball team as Stanley Cup inspiration

Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup

The Tampa Bay Lightning completed the big turnaround from 2019 to 2020, and they gave credit to Virginia as a source of inspiration.

The Lightning were the best team in the regular season last year by far. They had 128 points, which was 21 more than the next closest team and more than any other team in NHL history. They won the Presidents’ Trophy and had the top seed in the playoffs. Then they went out and got swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Blue Jackets.

Going from best in the league to being swept in the first round was embarrassing and led to jokes and apologies. Similarly, Virginia was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and then got embarrassed by becoming the first No. 1 seed to ever lose to a No. 16 seed. But in 2019, Virginia came back to win March Madness.

Kevin Shattenkirk, who signed with Tampa Bay last year, said the team used Virginia’s turnaround as inspiration.

“We fought it the first 10-15 games. We were finding our identity. Guys were still dwelling on the sweep against Columbus. And then once we realized we had a brand new team here, lot of new faces … we looked at the Virginia men’s basketball team and what happened to them and used that as a source of inspiration as well. Everyone wanted to make this happen and had that hunger,” Shattenkirk said in a postgame interview with NBC.

Just like Virginia, Tampa Bay came back from an embarrassing postseason exit to win the championship the following season. Winning it all in the bubble circumstances made the championship even more memorable for Tampa Bay.