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FTB: good and bad news for Leafs prospects in Russia

and yes, what happened with the Chicago investigation.

Russia v United States: Preliminary Round Group B - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship
EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 25: Rodion Amirov #27 of Russia skates against the United States during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Place on December 25, 2020 in Edmonton, Canada.
Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Yes, we’re going to talk about the Chicago scandal and give all the details from yesterday, but I just wrote a whole post about it over at Raw Charge so you’re going to get some light-hearted Leafs prospect news first. By the way, for a more thorough look at what happened with the investigation yesterday, go check out my post at Raw Charge. Raw Charge, proud sponsor of Raw Charge.

So first up is Dmitri Ovchinnikov. His icetime in the KHL has slowly been climbing as his team in Sibir finds more and more trust in him. In fact, he was given the Man of the Match hat for an assist in a shootout victory. That’s nice of them.

In bad Russian prospect news, Rodion Amirov has been out for a while (you might have heard Brigs talking about this recently) and finally today we got some sort of information beyond him getting scratched every night. Unfortunately, he’s “not even close” to a return.

Not Russian, but Joe Miller was named alternate captain for the Chicago Steel.

Similar to the Leafs Friday night game against the San Jose Sharks where they travelled to the US for a game on Saturday, the Leafs are travelling from Minnesota on Saturday, Dec 4th before playing in Winnipeg the next day. Presumably the team asked for a later start time (8pm ET) in order to make it through customs. The Jets aren’t on a back-to-back during that time and they’re on a homestand so they’re probably fine about it.

Okay, the Chicago scandal. The internal investigation run by Reid Schar listed a number of executives on the Chicago team that were part of the coverup and downplaying of the sexual assault on John Doe by Brad Aldridge. As a result, all executives from the 2010 team are now gone from the organization, with Gary Bettman looking into punishments for Florida’s Joel Quenneville and Winnipeg’s Kevin Cheveldayoff, who were named as knowing of the assault and part of the coverup. Marc Bergevin, who was director of player personnel at the time, was not mentioned but is in the last year of his contract with Montréal. Stan Bowman, who was fired by the team (he “resigned” or was “let go”) was also removed as GM for Team USA at the Olympics.

Here are stories on this from Second City Hockey, Chicago Times, and The Athletic.

Kyle Davidson, who is VP of hockey strategy and analytics, is now the GM of Chicago almost by default. He joined the team in 2010 as an intern. It’s unclear what month he joined, May, June, or later, but he’s in the position now. Let’s see what other blatant hiring stunts they try to pull next or if it was just Bowman trying to cover his ass.

As always, none of this could’ve happened without the victim stepping forward, Rick Westhead and Katie Strang believing them and taking on the story, and us supporting all their work. Investigative journalism only has two people working it in the NHL, with the vast majority of reporters more interested in the connections and perks, so the more we can support Westhead, Strang, and any new investigative journalists in the future our sport will only be better for it.

Finishing up, here’s John Tavares and Brigette Lacquette posing with Team Canada’s Olympics outfits by Lululemon.

This is the COVID protocol list for Chicago as Toronto comes to town. A reminder that those on Covid protocol don’t have to speak to the media about prescient issues regarding their team, especially if they’re the last two remaining players from the time of said issues.

Ladies, gentlemen, and friends, we got him! Shea Weber is not on LTIR, he is retired. Trigger the cap recapture!

And finally, 3v3 hockey in a mall in Egypt!