Sabres GM believes concern over scoring decline is media driven, the Panthers could have a new arena deal and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL Injury Update.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators placed center Mike Fisher (lower-body injury) on injured reserve. He’s expected to miss at least four games.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks center Brandon Sutter underwent sports hernia surgery and will miss four-to-six weeks.
Notable NHL Headlines.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: If NHL fans select Arizona Coyotes enforcer John Scott to participate in this year’s All-Star Game, the league says he must attend the game. Scott is currently leading in All-Star fan voting.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scott is on pace to become this year’s winner of the annual Rory Fitzpatrick Award. That’s my fictional award bestowed upon the player who benefits from fans stuffing the ballot box for players who clearly don’t belong in the All-Star Game, thus making a mockery of the voting process. Previous winners include former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Mike Komisarek and Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons. Remember, fans, vote early and vote often! The NHL All-Star Game: an ongoing source of mockery since the 1980s.
YAHOO SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray believes the concern over the decline in NHL scoring is largely media driven.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, the media’s driving some of this, but it is a growing concern around the league. Hence the talk about bigger nets or reducing the size of goalie equipment.
SPORTSNET: The Florida Panthers are reportedly close to a new arena deal with Broward County that will ensure the club remains at its current location.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will certainly alleviate concerns over the club’s future. Now, they need to start icing a perennial playoff contender to attract more fans back into that arena.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs sent goaltender Jonathan Bernier to their AHL affiliate on a two-week conditioning stint.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: They had to do something to boost the flagging confidence of the guy who was supposed to be their starting goalie this season.
PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas received a three-game suspension for a high hit on Ottawa Senators center Mika Zibanejad.
THE WALRUS: A profile of former junior player Sam Berg, son of former NHLer Bill Berg, who has filed a lawsuit against the CHL over its labor practices.