NHL Players of the Week, Mike Richards on waivers, the latest notable injury reports and suspensions, plus the possible beginning of the end of the Corsi stat. 

Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise is named among last week's NHL three stars.

Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise is named among last week’s NHL three stars.

NBC SPORTS: Columbus’ Ryan Johansen, Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Minnesota’s Zach Parise are your NHL stars for the week ending January 25.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings have placed center Mike Richards on waivers. If he clears by noon ET today he could be sent to their AHL affiliate in Manchester.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more coverage on Richards’ situation in my rumors sections. I can’t say I’m surprised by this news. Richards’ stats have been in decline for a couple of years and he’s been the subject of frequent trade speculation. Given his $5.75 million annual cap hit through 2019-20, I will be surprised if a rival club claims him. If Richards is demoted, all but $925K of his cap hit for this season counts against the Kings cap, so they’re not getting much relief. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Because Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby skipped this weekend’s NHL All-Star Game citing a lower-body injury, the league is banning him from playing in tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. Under the CBA, any player selected to the All-Star Game who misses the game to injury, no matter the severity of the injury, is automatically prevented from playing in his first NHL regular-season game following the ASG.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Penguins riding high in the Eastern Conference standings, it’s not as though his absence from tonight’s game will put their playoff hopes in jeopardy. 

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (groin injury) in injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 21.

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders winger Kyle Okposo will miss the next six-to-eight weeks following surgery for an undisclosed upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Okposo is one of the Isles key players so this could be a significant blow to their roster. 

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is out three-to-eight weeks following an arthroscopic knee procedure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could put additional pressure on Avalanche management to bolster their defensive depth. The Avs are just a handful of points out of playoff contention. Losing Johnson could scuttle their postseason hopes.

NEWS 1130: Confirms Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa underwent successful hand surgery and will miss six-to-eight weeks.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo was suspended for eight games by the NHL for boarding and charging Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang during a recent game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rinaldo’s fortunate he didn’t receive 10 games. Another incident like this one and he could face considerably more time on the sidelines. 

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils have placed forward Tim Sestito on waivers.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild have sent goalie Darcy Kuemper to their AHL affiliate in Iowa on a conditioning stint.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: New technology to track puck possession could spell the end of Corsi and other methods of tracking advanced stats.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the technology will simply provide more accuracy to advanced stats, as well as perhaps simplify the numbers for casual fans. Corsi, Fenwick and PDO aren’t going anywhere.