NHL's Brendan Lemieux Suspended Five Games ... For Biting Opponent

The NHL has suspended Los Angeles Kings winger Brendan Lemieux for 5 games ... after the league ruled he did, in fact, bite his opponent last weekend.

Lemieux was involved in a scrum with Senators star Brady Tkachuk last Saturday at Staples Center ... when, at one point, Tkhachuk accused the L.A. player of ripping into his hand with his teeth.

Video from the play shows Tkachuk was pissed over the incident -- showing his bloody hand to refs and screaming, "He f***ing bit me!"

After several days of investigating, the NHL announced Tuesday night Lemieux did take a chunk of skin out of Tkachuk -- and now, he'll have to pay for it.

The league revealed Lemieux will be forced to sit out 5 games, and he'll also have to cough up around $40k of his salary.

Lemieux -- the son of ex-NHLer Claude Lemieux -- had been having a solid season for the Kings, scoring 4 goals in 14 games.

As for Tkachuk, who's the son of former NHL star Keith Tkachuk, we're sure he's thrilled over the punishment ... 'cause after the altercation over the weekend, he called Lemieux a "brick head," a "bad guy," and "a joke."

Evander Kane Claims He's Fully Vaccinated Dodges Fake Card Questions

"SERVED MY TIME"
San Jose Sharks

No need for Evander Kane to have a fake COVID-19 vaccine card now -- at least that's what he's claiming -- 'cause the NHL star says he's now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The 30-year-old pro faced the media as he was assigned to the AHL's San Jose Barracuda on Tuesday ... and naturally, he was asked about allegedly getting busted for submitting a bogus COVID-19 vaccine card to the NHL.

Kane was suspended as a result of the investigation ... and now that he's back after being waived by the Sharks, he was given the chance to clear the air -- but dodged the hell outta the question.

“You'll have to refer to the NHL statement they put out via suspension," Kane said. "I served my time, did my 21 games and now I'm back."

Kane has faced a number of issues this season -- he was accused of betting on games and sexually and physically abusing his estranged wife, which he's adamantly denied.

NHL's Evander Kane Claims Ex Faked Pregnancy ... Wants Mental Exam

Evander Kane's divorce case has just taken another nasty turn ... the NHL player is now claiming his ex faked a pregnancy the last few months, and he's asking a judge to order her to take a mental exam to prove she's fit to care for their daughter.

It's all in new court docs, obtained by TMZ Sports, in which Kane says his estranged wife, Anna Kane, has been lying to him about her pregnancy since July.

The San Jose Sharks star claims up until earlier this month, he had believed Anna was pregnant with their second child, which was due in February 2022.

Evander says Anna had spoken about the baby often, and he says he had seen her belly grow with his own eyes throughout the last several weeks.

Evander, though, says after he reviewed recent medical bills -- it was brought to his attention that Anna had actually had an abortion way back in July.

Evander is accusing Anna of pretending to be pregnant for months ... going as far as wearing "some sort of pregnancy belly" to deceive him and cause him mental trauma.

Evander says all of it is so deeply disturbing, he's worried about the potential impact it might have on the couple's daughter -- and he's now requesting the court step in and give him full custody of their girl while also ordering Anna to undergo an examination to prove she's mentally stable.

For her part, Anna said in her own court docs that she did have the abortion in July, and acknowledged "I was less than forthcoming with [Evander] with regards to my decision."

She admitted in the docs that she "did not inform [Evander] or the court that I was no longer pregnant." She did deny, however, wearing any sort of prosthetics in an attempt to look pregnant.

Anna also claimed in her docs she is mentally stable and is fully capable of caring for the couple's daughter -- and is asking the court to deny Evander's requests.

Evander has been granted temporary custody of the child -- with a hearing on the matter slated for December.

As we previously reported, Anna and Evander's relationship has been contentious since she filed for divorce back in July ... with both parties accusing each side of heinous things.

NHL's Kevin Hayes Honors Brother With First Goal ... Giving Puck to Nephew

Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes scored his first goal of the season Tuesday night ... and celebrated by pointing to the sky honoring his late brother, Jimmy, in an emotional moment.

It was Hayes' first home game of the 2021 season since Jimmy's tragic death in August ... and the 29-year-old made the most of it with a goal during the second period of the Flyers' OT win against the Calgary Flames.

Hayes immediately looked up and pointed to the sky and placed his hand on his chest after securing the goal ... with broadcasters acknowledging, "he scored for his brother."

"It was a big goal," Hayes said about the tribute during the post-game press conference.

"Trainers got the puck for me. I'm going to give it to Jimmy's son Beau and it'll be one I remember forever."

ONE TO REMEMBER
Philadelphia Flyers

Kevin was devastated by his older brother's death on Aug. 23, saying the day after, "I lost my best friend, my brother."

"My whole life it has always been Jimmy and Kevin or the Hayes brothers."

"Our world lost someone special and I don’t know if I will ever be the same but till we meet again, I LOVE YOU JIM!"

Jimmy -- who played 7 seasons in the NHL for several teams including the Chicago Blackhawks -- was found dead at his Milton, Mass. home. The toxicology report confirmed fentanyl and cocaine were in his system.

Jimmy is survived by his wife, Kristen, and his two sons, Beau and Mac.

Staples Center Call Me Crypto.com Arena ... Iconic Venue Getting New Name After 22 Years

Staples Center is no more ... the iconic building that the Lakers and Clippers have called home since 1999 is getting a new name -- Crypto.com Arena.

Officials announced the stunning name change Tuesday night ... explaining the rebrand will take effect on Christmas Day next month.

The new name will stick for the next 20 years as part of the new agreement, officials say ... and the new deal will all reportedly cost the cryptocurrency app around $700 MILLION.

Of course, the announcement was hardly met with joy from L.A. fans -- as the building has only been known as Staples Center for YEARS to Kings, Sparks, Lakers and Clippers fans.

Still, officials were pumped over the move nonetheless ... sending out a mock of how the new signage will look on the top of the building in 2022.

In the announcement of the new deal, officials also promised "large-scale, premium branding and signage throughout the interior and exterior" of the new Crypto.com Arena.

As for how Kobe Bryant's family is reacting to the news -- considering Staples has been dubbed "The House That Kobe Built" -- Vanessa Bryant shared a photo of the building on social media following the announcement, putting a crown emoji on her late husband's head.

Panthers' Joel Quenneville Head Coach Resigns Over Role In Blackhawks Sexual Abuse Scandal

Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville has resigned from his position ... this after he admitted to bungling the handling of sexual abuse allegations during his time as the Chicago Blackhawks coach.

The NHL announced the move Thursday night ... explaining after Quenneville had a meeting with league commissioner Gary Bettman, both parties were in favor of the Panthers' bench boss stepping down.

"All parties agreed that it was no longer appropriate that he continue to serve as Florida's head coach," Bettman said in a statement.

"We thank the Panthers' organization for working with us to ensure that a thorough process was followed."

Quenneville was the coach of the Blackhawks back in 2010 ... when a player -- who later ID'ed himself as forward Kyle Beach -- claimed he was sexually assaulted by the team's video coach.

Beach said in a civil lawsuit filed in May 2021 that the coach, Brad Aldrich, told Beach he wouldn't play in the NHL if he turned down the coach's sexual advances -- so Beach claims he was forced into a sexual encounter with the man.

Aldrich has not denied having a relationship with Beach, though he's claimed the encounter was consensual.

Beach says despite bringing the issue up to Blackhawks brass ... he didn't feel enough was done to remedy the situation -- and after a lengthy investigation into the case, the NHL agreed.

Bettman hit the Blackhawks with a $2 million fine last week ... saying it was a "direct and necessary response to the failure of the Club to follow-up and address the 2010 incident in a timely and appropriate manner."

The NHL's probe, meanwhile, also revealed Quenneville did have knowledge of Beach's claims at the time ... which was damning for the coach, who had previously denied knowing about the allegations until 2021.

As a result, Quenneville stepped down from his role -- and Bettman says the two will have to have another meeting if he ever wants to get back into the league.

"I want to express my sorrow for the pain this young man, Kyle Beach, has suffered. My former team, the Blackhawks, failed Kyle and I own my share of that," Quenneville said in a statement. "I want to reflect on how all of this happened and take the time to educate myself on ensuring hockey spaces are safe for everyone."

Beach said on Twitter on Thursday night he's healing and is grateful for all of the support he's received this week amid the news of the scandal ... but he added the Blackhawks are still trying "to destroy my case in court."

NHL Player's 'F*** You!' Caught On Hot Mic ... During Flyers Game

Marshawn Lynch wasn't the only one caught on TV droppin' F-bombs this week ... 'cause broadcast mics picked up an NHL player's "F*** you!" during a game Wednesday -- and it was LOUD.

The cussing was captured during the first period of the Philadelphia Flyers' tilt with the Edmonton Oilers ... and it could be heard crystal clear on television.

No word yet on who unleashed the profane remark ... but it appeared to happen because of an on-ice collision between a Flyers player and an Oilers player.

Shortly after the two guys got tangled up ... the F-bomb could be heard in the arena -- and it didn't take long for social media to notice it, and laugh about it.

Of course, it's the second time this week the F-word has made it on national airwaves ... with Lynch saying "what the f***" on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" Manningcast on Monday.

Unclear if anyone's been fined or reprimanded in either case yet ... but, hey, let's try to watch our mouths here -- kids are watching!!

Blackhawks Player In Sex. Assault Probe Speaks ... In Tearful Interview

3:58 PM PT -- 10/27 -- Kyle Beach -- who was "John Doe" in the Blackhawks' sexual assault investigation -- is speaking out on the team's findings ... saying, "I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I cried some more."

Beach gave a tearful interview to TSN on Wednesday ... opening up on the challenges he faced when higher-ups failed to punish Aldrich after he reported the allegations.

"It made me feel like he was right, and I was wrong," he said.

"The only way to describe it, was I felt sick, sick to my stomach. Nothing happened. His life was the same as it was the day before. To see him with the team, with the Stanley Cup. It made me feel like nothing. Like I didn't exist. It made me feel like I wasn't important."

Now that the Blackhawks have revealed the findings of the independent investigation, Beach says he feels "great feeling of relief, and vindication."

"I really felt like there were lies told. And it was important and special to have the truth come out."

The Chicago Blackhawks were just slapped with a massive $2,000,000 fine ... after the NHL said the organization failed to adequately investigate an alleged sexual assault involving a team coach and a young player back in 2010.

The NHL announced the financial penalty on Tuesday ... and it all dates back over a decade ago, when word got back to Hawks team brass that a player on their team -- who hasn't been identified publicly -- claimed he was sexually assaulted by the team's video coach.

The player -- identified as "John Doe" in a civil suit he filed in May 2021 -- claimed the coach, Brad Aldrich, said he wouldn't play in the NHL if he were to turn down the coaches sexual advances ... so, fearing losing his career, the player says he had a sexual encounter with Aldrich.

It's important to note ... Aldrich hasn't denied having a relationship with Doe, however, he's steadfastly said the encounter was consensual.

After the team found out, they assembled all of the bigwigs, including the president, senior VP, general manager, and head coach, among others, to discuss how to handle the situation.

Shockingly, despite the serious allegation, team officials decided to focus their attention on the team's play on the ice ... as they'd just advanced to the Stanley Cup finals.

The "investigation" was kicked to human resources ... though the NHL says it doesn't appear enough was ever done to address it.

FYI, the Blackhawks ended up winning the Stanley Cup that season.

Fast forward to June 2021 ... a Chicago area law firm was hired to look into the organizations handling of the situation, and their investigation determined the organization screwed up, essentially failing to investigate, despite the extremely troubling allegation.

Enter the NHL ... who as a result, levied the multi-million fine against the Blackhawks.

"Today’s fine represents a direct and necessary response to the failure of the Club to follow-up and address the 2010 incident in a timely and appropriate manner,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

“And, this response should send a clear message to all NHL Clubs and all NHL personnel that inappropriate acts must be addressed in a timely fashion."

Bettman says the organization knows they screwed up, and they've taken a number of steps to ensure they're better in the future.

“We acknowledge that the Blackhawks have taken responsibility and ownership for what transpired, and have already implemented new preventative measures."

Those changes include hiring outside counsel to dig into the 2010 incident, overhauling the club's policies, and educating staff on how to properly handle similar allegations.

The commissioner also noted that should any of the senior-level staff wish to return to the league (none of them are currently in the NHL), they will require approval directly from Bettman prior to their hiring.

The Blackhawks also released a statement accepting responsibility for the screwup, writing, "It is clear the organization and its executives at that time did not live up to our own standards or values in handling these disturbing incidents."

"We deeply regret the harm caused to John Doe and the other individuals who were affected and the failure to promptly respond. As an organization, we extend our profound apologies to the individuals who suffered from these experiences. We must -- and will -- do better."

As for the alleged victim ... Doe's civil lawsuit remains open.

Originally Published -- 10/26 1:45 PM PT

CBJ's Elvis Merzlikins Stars Fan Taunted Me Over Teammate's Death ... Team Investigating

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins says a Dallas Stars fan crossed the line before Monday night's game ... claiming he was taunted over the death of his teammate Matiss Kivlenieks -- and now the team is investigating.

Merzlikins -- who was friends with Kivlenieks before his tragic passing in July -- says he was walking out of the tunnel before taking the ice in Columbus when a fan in a Stars sweater started heckling him.

The 27-year-old addressed the incident with reporters after the 4-1 win, saying he truly believes the nasty remark resulted in karma on the ice.

KARMA IS COMING
Columbus Blue Jackets

"I was expecting a shutout because I believe in karma," Merzlikins said. "There are some stupid people in this world. It was really bad what happened in the tunnel when I was walking out. There was a fan from Dallas who (provoked) me about Matiss."

"After the first period, the three posts that I got, I really believed in karma. I saw that he was really there."

Merzlikins says he did not respond to the fan or get upset over the comment ... adding, "stupid people don't really come in my head."

The Jackets and Nationwide Arena security are now reportedly on the hunt to track down the fan behind the taunting ... and when they find him, we're sure a punishment will follow.

P.K. Subban Hits Knicks Game W/ Mystery Woman 10 Months After Vonn Split

P.K. Subban appears to be firmly back in the dating world after ending his engagement with Lindsey Vonn ... 'cause he was spotted out with a mystery woman at the Knicks game Wednesday night.

The NHL star cruised to Madison Square Garden with the woman by his side ... and while they never held hands or showed any kind of PDA publicly -- it's clear they showed up and left together.

SUBBAN'S SPECIAL GUEST
@adamglyn

No word on who the woman is or how the two met ... but it's the first time P.K. has been linked to a woman since his split with Vonn back in Dec. 2020.

The high-profile couple broke things off after dating for about 2 years ... with Vonn saying at the time, "We will always remain friends and love each other immensely."

Vonn has been spotted out in public with businessman Diego Osorio ... though it's unclear if they're an official couple.

Subban, meanwhile, didn't have much to say after watching the Knicks beat the Celtics in a double-overtime thriller on his off night from his Devils team ... only telling a camera guy, "I gotta get home now!"

No lies from the P.K. there ... the Devils do play against the Capitals on Thursday night in New Jersey!

NHL's Marcus Foligno Throws Wild Superman Punch ... To Kick Off Epic On-Ice Fight

NHL winger Marcus Foligno looked less like a hockey player and more like a UFC fighter Tuesday -- 'cause he threw a WILD Superman punch to kick off an epic on-ice brawl.

Foligno and Jets defenseman, Brenden Dillon, dropped the gloves in the first period of Minnesota's game against Winnipeg ... and it didn't take long for Foligno to try the famous MMA move.

Just seconds into the tilt, the Wild forward leapt into the air and threw the punch ... but fortunately for Dillon, it just barely missed.

The two -- known as some of the best fighters in the NHL -- then traded blows for a few seconds ... with Foligno at one point connecting with a HEAVY uppercut.

The guys were ultimately separated by the refs after about 30 seconds ... and based on the reaction of the two, Foligno clearly felt he won the scrap.

Both guys were hit with penalties for fighting ... though they each returned.

Foligno ended up getting the last laugh on Dillon -- the Wild won in crazy fashion in overtime, 6-5.

But, thankfully for all of us, the Jets and Wild play again on Nov. 26 -- round 2 between Dillon and Foligno coming then?

Evander Kane Suspended 21 Games ... For Breaking NHL COVID Protocol

Evander Kane will not be allowed to play for the Sharks for the first quarter of the season ... the NHL just banned the star forward 21 games for violating the league's COVID-19 protocol.

League officials announced the suspension in a statement Monday ... though they did not specify what rule he broke.

Of course, Kane had been reportedly under investigation for allegedly submitting a fake COVID vaccine card to the NHL ... but the league only said in their statement Monday that Kane was being barred "for an established violation of, and lack of compliance with, the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 Protocol."

The league added that Kane will not be paid during the suspension ... with his forfeited cash going to the league's Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Kane will now not be able to re-join the Sharks on the ice until their Nov. 30 game against the New Jersey Devils.

The NHL also revealed in its statement it could not substantiate the domestic violence claims that his estranged wife, Deanna, had levied against him in recent court docs.

"There will be no further comment," league officials said.

The news comes just 1 month after the NHL announced it found no evidence that Kane had gambled on his own games -- something his ex alleged he had done in the past.

For his part, Kane had vehemently denied those claims before the NHL cleared him.

Predators Vs. Kraken Fans Throw Violent Uppercuts ... In Wild Brawl In Stands

9:51 AM PT -- Cops tell TMZ Sports ... the combatants were stopped and questioned, though none of the men wished to move forward with charges, so no arrests were made.

The Predators vs. Kraken game Thursday looked more like a Mike Tyson fight -- at least in the stands -- 'cause fans of the two teams got in a wild brawl where they threw HEAVY uppercuts at each other.

The scrap all went down at some point during Seattle's 4-3 win over the Preds in Nashville ... when two guys kicked off an insane melee by throwing hands.

Two separate witnesses filmed the fight ... and you can see in the clips, it appeared to begin when a Kraken fan began throwing right hands at a Predators' fan's face.

At some point, though, the Preds supporter was able to break free ... and he threw some huge uppercuts of his own that appeared to land flush.

Another man came into the scrum several seconds later and landed a big punch on the Predators fan ... but, eventually -- and thankfully -- everyone was held back before more damage could be done.

Unclear if the guys were injured, or if they were arrested. We've reached out to cops, but no word back yet.

Originally Published -- 8:10 AM PT

Las Vegas Golden Knights Unveil Insane On-Ice Show ... Before Kraken Game

What happens in Vegas certainly shouldn't stay in Vegas -- at least when it comes to pregame hockey shows -- 'cause the Golden Knights unveiled a wild one on Tuesday, and it was INSANE!

Just minutes before the Knights opened their season against the Seattle Kraken ... the team showed off a virtual masterpiece on their ice to hype up the home crowd.

The show started with a giant octopus circling underneath the rink, while a knight mascot skated above it.

Eventually, the squid busted through and put the knight in danger ... and the optics of it all looked like a scene straight out of a Hollywood movie.

The knight, of course, ultimately came out on top of the giant creature ... which sent the crowd into a frenzy and absolutely lit up social media.

The pregame juice seemed to help the Knights too ... 'cause Vegas ended up winning the season-opener against the Kraken, 4-3.

Next home game is slated for Oct. 20 against the St. Louis Blues ... good luck topping this show there.

NHL 4 Players Unvaxxed League-Wide ... Gary Bettman Says

The NHL is damn near 100% vaccination status -- with commissioner Gary Bettman announcing just 4 players league-wide have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Commish shared the big news prior to the start of the 2021-22 season on Tuesday ... applauding the "great collaboration and cooperation" between the players and players' association.

"Our vaccination rate is incredible," Bettman said. "4 players, not 4% of players. All of our officials are vaccinated. All of the personnel that come into contact with the players are vaccinated."

FYI, there are 32 NHL teams with roughly 23 players on each squad. That's 736 players ... and again, only 4 aren't vaxxed.

Bettman gushes over the whole league's efforts throughout the pandemic ... saying everyone was on board over the past 2 years -- including the bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, where there was not a single positive COVID-19 test.

"Everybody banded together to do the right thing," Bettman added. "Maybe that's why hockey is the ultimate team sport."

The league is still dealing with some issues surrounding the virus, however -- San Jose Sharks star Evander Kane is reportedly under investigation for allegedly submitting a bogus COVID-19 vaccine card.

On top of that, several Seattle Kraken players were placed in COVID-19 protocol before getting cleared to play in the franchise's first-ever game.

But, just 4 players unvaxxed?? That's pretty remarkable.

Report: Evander Kane Accused Of Fake COVID Vaxx Card ... NHL Investigating

More troubling allegations for Evander Kane -- the NHL star is now being accused of using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card ... which is not only against league rules, it's also illegal.

The NHL is currently investigating whether Kane -- the 2009 4th overall pick -- submitted a bogus vaxx card to league officials, according to the AP and Front Office Sports.

FYI -- the league implemented strict guidelines for unvaccinated players during the 2021-22 season ... forcing those who haven't got the jab to stay at the team hotel, practice facilities or arena on road trips.

On top of that, unvaxxed pros will not be allowed to have guests in their hotel rooms ... and teams will be allowed to suspend players who aren't able to participate in team activities for COVID-19-related reasons.

Worth mentioning ... the NHL recently stated the majority of players are already vaccinated.

The new Kane investigation adds to a growing list of allegations made against the San Jose Sharks left winger -- as we previously reported, his estranged wife recently accused him of sexually and physically assaulting her ... which he's denied.

Kane's ex also accused him of betting on his own NHL games, which he's also denied. The league also investigated those claims, but he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Kane is currently away from the team as the league investigates the other claims.

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