Lightning announce Steven Stamkos won’t be traded, Pavel Datsyuk is the top star of the week, Evander Kane suspended and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Jaromir Jagr celebrated his 44th birthday as his Panthers beat the Penguins. The Blackhawks got back into the win column, and the Lightning announced their commitment to Steven Stamkos. Details in your NHL hat trick.
Notable NHL Headlines.
TWINCITIES.COM: Under new head coach John Torchetti, the Minnesota Wild snapped an eight-game losing skid with a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
SPORTSNET: Eric Engels writes a scathing review of the Montreal Canadiens following their lifeless 6-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, accusing the players of quitting on beleaguered head coach Michel Therrien and giving up on the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a fair assessment. The Canadiens are now where the Toronto Maple Leafs were a year ago: quitting on their coaches and just playing out the string awaiting the end of the season. While I doubt the Habs will engage in a massive rebuilding program as the Leafs did, there could be some significant coaching and roster changes in the offseason. The only players I consider untouchable on the Habs are sidelined goalie Carey Price, defenseman P.K. Subban and forwards Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher.
SPORTSNET: Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk was NHL star of the week. New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was second star while Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand took third star honors.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres have suspended left wing Evander Kane one game for missing practice yesterday after partying too hard and too late into the evening following the NBA All-Star game on Sunday in Toronto.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For those who recall Kane’s real and rumored antics in Winnipeg, this will be considered another example of his immaturity. In announcing the suspension to reporters yesterday, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma appeared quite pissed off. Considering Kane’s inconsistent performance this season, Bylsma wasted little time bringing the hammer down on his wayward winger. It remains to be seen, however, what effect it will have upon Kane.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: By making a midseason coaching change and a couple of savvy trades, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford saved the club’s season and perhaps his own job in the process.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford definitely deserves credit for his efforts. Before mid-December, the Penguins were floundering and in danger of falling completely out of playoff contention. By replacing Mike Johnston with Mike Sullivan behind the bench and swapping Rob Scuderi and David Perron for Trevor Daley and Carl Hagelin, the Penguins regained their winning ways.
CSN MIDATLANTIC: Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik could return to the lineup as early as today. He’s missed the last three months with a lower-body injury.
TSN: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Mark Stuart will miss at least a month with a broken hand.
NEWSDAY: New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano is concerned defenseman Calvin de Haan’s lower-body injury, suffered during yesterday’s win over Detroit, could sideline the blueliner for a lengthy period.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Having blazed a trail for player safety, former NHL star Eric Lindros is enjoying his retirement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries (notably concussions) cut short Lindros’ career and kept him from achieving his full potential as an NHL superstar. However, his outspokenness during his career over what he considered a lack of proper treatment for those concussions was responsible for pushing the league toward doing more to protect its players from head trauma. Ultimately, that’s what Lindros could be best remembered for.