Patrick Kane and Auston Matthews take part in the ceremonial puck drop with Ellie Johannson, the young daughter of the late USA Hockey executive Jim Johannson. The Stars & Stripes Showdown in Plymouth on a Sunday was held in his honor, with proceeds partially benefitting her college fund. Also taking part: Jim Johansson's brother John, wife Abby, father Ken and sister Judy.
Sunday's Stars & Stripes Showdown exhibition game in Plymouth, Mich., features over two dozen NHL players honoring the memory of Jim Johannson, the USA Hockey executive who passed away in January. Proceeds will benefit the Legacy Fund founded in his name, as well as the college fund for his two-year-old daughter. Among the players: Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Austin Matthews, Seth Jones and Dylan Larkin, who was instrumental in organizing the event.
What's next for the New York Islanders? Should they blow up the team, post-John Tavares? The Toronto Maple Leafs quickly rebuilt through some high draft picks when Lou Lamoriello was there, so what about Lou's Islanders? The general manager said the Islanders aren't a "breakdown" team like the Leafs were. "In Toronto, we had to really break it right down and get to the core, see who wanted to be a part of it for different reasons. I think it's different here. There's more talent here, at this given time, from the original core. It's not a break down. It's finding out how high the level is of the players that you do have," he said on NHL Network Radio on Thursday. "Over half the team will be who was here before, going into the second year, as well as this first year. It's not a case of breaking down."