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The Daily: Konecny Rumors; Sharks’ AHLer Ordered to Fight?

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San Jose Sharks player Martin Kaut alleges that a Barracuda coach tried to pressure him to fight in every game he played for the American Hockey League team. Kaut decided to play in Czechia in the upcoming season.

Kaut’s made the accusations in an interview with Robert Rampa of iDNES. Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now didn’t rely on Google translate. He had an independent translation done for his Sharks’ story.

The San Jose Sharks also released a statement denying Kaut’s claims: “We have been made aware of comments attributed to Martin Kaut stating that he was pressured to deliberately instigate a physical engagement with opposing players on the ice. Let us be unequivocally clear that no such direction was ever given or insinuated by the members of the Sharks or Barracuda coaching or hockey staffs.”

Section of  Rampa interview

Robert Rampa: Did they make you fight in the AHL?

Martin Kaut: One of the coaches picked out an opponent for me before each game and I was supposed to fight him.

I remember one time he pointed to [the Calgary Wranglers’] Adam Klapka. Wow, the kid’s 230 pounds, 6-foot-8, and I’m supposed to fight him? My countryman on top of it? Hell no.

Rampa: What did the coach say when you refused?

Kaut: He said that’s why I don’t play in the NHL.

I’ve had three concussions and injured my shoulder twice. If I fought the guys they picked for me, I’d go down and still get hurt. He made me fight anyway, it really bothered me.

I would have fought for any good reason, no question! When the game’s sold out, it escalates, or when you’re defending a teammate. But to fight someone just for the sake of it? I’m supposed to be on the ice to score goals.”

The Sharks acquired Kaut from the Avalanche. He played 19 games for the Barracuda in 2022-23 and nine for the Sharks.

Red Wings Offseason

If you go to the Grand Rapids Griffins’ website, you will see that they currently show 29 players under contract.  Some of those players (Simon Edvinsson, Marco Kasper, Elmer Soderblom, Albert Johansson, Carter Mazur, etc.) have a shot to make the Red Wings. But the Griffins will be sending some players to Toledo.

Red Wings In Case You Missed It

  • Filip Zadina appreciates what the Red Wings did for him, but he believes the Sharks’ situation provides him with a better opportunity for success.
  • Red Wings’ German prospect Kevin Bicker caught Kris Draper’s attention with his blazing speed. Draper knows a little something about the ability to fly up the ice.
  • Ville Husso will be the Red Wings’ No. 1 goalie this season. James Reimer will be No. 2 and Alex Lyon will start in Grand Rapids. But Bob Duff wonders if that could change quickly. Lyon was playing impressively well at the end of the post season

Hockey Now Network

Boston: Jack Eichel said former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy is the reason why the Vegas Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup. Imagine how Bruins fans feel about that. Boston Bruins.

Buffalo: If the Sabres’ goaltending falters, will GM Kevyn Adams act quickly? Mike Augello addresses the question. Buffalo Sabres.

Chicago: Nate Brown writes that Connor Bedard’s signature on the dotted line is the sign of the Blackhawks moving quickly forward in the rebuilding progress. Chicago Blackhawks. 

Colorado: Evan Rawal believes the Avalanche still have holes to fill in their lineup, including the need for a middle six forward and a third pairing defenseman. Colorado Avalanche.

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New York: Oliver Wahlstrom accepts the Islanders’ qualifying offer. New York Islanders. 

Philadelphia: Media is urging the Senators to pursue a trade for Travis Konecny. That may be a good idea. Philadelphia Flyers.

Pittsburgh: Is Drew O’Connor’s arbitration tied to the Erik Karlsson trade?  Pittsburgh Penguins.  

Vegas: Chris Gawlik looks at the Golden Knights’ chances of repeating.  Vegas Golden Knights.