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NHL Today: Members Of 2018 Canadian WJC Team Asked To Surrender To Police; Parise Close To Returning

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Good morning, my name is Andrew Fantucchio. It’s Thursday, January 25, and here’s what’s happening around the NHL today.

Members of 2018 Canadian Junior Team Summoned By Police:

First reported by Robyn Doolittle of The Globe and Mail, five members of the 2018 Canadian junior hockey team who are alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman have been told to surrender to police in London, Ontario.

In the last few days, five members of that team have taken indefinite leaves of absence from their professional organizations: Dillon Dubé of the Calgary Flames, Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils, Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers and Alex Formenton, whose contractual rights belong to the Ottawa Senators and was playing over in Switzerland.

It is not yet known if the reason for their absences is at all related to the alleged crime. Neither the teams nor the NHL has commented on the matter at this time.

The London Police have announced a press conference scheduled for Feb. 5.

Progress of Islanders and Roy May Not Be Enough To Bring Back Parise:

Patrick Roy has changed the attitude in the New York Islanders locker room.

However, as much progress has been made, Roy isn’t a miracle worker. On Tuesday, some of the Islanders’ bad habits got in the way of a rather well-played game as they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Even still, Roy viewed the loss as a good sign, noting that progress isn’t always made in a straight line.

But it seems no matter how much progress the Islanders and Roy make, it won’t be enough to bring a key piece from the last few seasons back to the team.

According to Michael Russo, Zach Parise is close to making a comeback. Not with the Islanders, but potentially with the Colorado Avalanche.

Utah Ownership Group Asks NHL To Initiate Expansion Process:

The first steps towards bringing a 33rd team to the NHL have been made.

According to Elliotte Friedman, Smith Entertainment Group, the owners of the NBA’s Utah Jazz, have asked the NHL to “initiate an expansion process” in order to bring a franchise to Utah.

The NHL released the following statement in response to the request made by SEG:

“The NHL appreciates the interest expressed by Smith Entertainment Group to bring NHL hockey to Utah. During conversations over the course of the past two years, we have been impressed by Ryan and Ashley Smith’s commitment to their community and their passion and vision for Utah, not only as a hockey market, but as a preeminent sports and entertainment destination. Utah is a promising market, and we look forward to continuing our discussions.”

More From National Hockey Now:

Pittsburgh: Before the Pittsburgh Penguins go out and make any sort of changes to their roster, they must identify what needs to be fixed in the first place.

Florida: Drop the puck, drop the gloves. The Florida Panthers wasted no time throwing hands with the Arizona Coyotes.

Detroit: Patrick Kane and Ben Chiarot are not quite ready to return from injury for the Detroit Red Wings.

Montreal: It’ll be a sellers’ market at this year’s NHL trade deadline, and the Montreal Canadiens are well positioned for it.

Nashville: With Connor Bedard on the shelf, a Nashville Predators rookie has a shot at winning the Calder Trophy.

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