This week on The Hockey News Podcast, with senior writers Ken Campbell, Ryan Kennedy and Matt Larkin:
– Artemi Panarin takes a leave of absence from the New York Rangers in the wake of what the Rangers call a “fabricated story” of him assaulting an 18-year-old woman in 2011. Is there any validity to the allegations? Is the Putin government strong-arming Panarin? What happens to the Rangers’ 2020-21 season now?
– Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews continue to post unbelievable numbers this season. Have they officially arrived as the Gretzky/Lemieux and Crosby/Ovechkin pillars of this generation? Does playing in the North Division detract from the statistics this season?
– The Pegulas have now owned the Buffalo Sabres for 10 years. The Sabres are in danger of tying an NHL record with 10 straight playoff misses. Will the franchise ever succeed under this ownership?
– Sidney Crosby after 1,000 games: where does he rank among the all-time great players?
– Should the NHL stage more outdoor games that are heavy on aesthetics and light on attendance like the Lake Tahoe experience?
– Listener mailbag, including: is coach Claude Julien’s job in jeopardy in Montreal?