Where Are They Now? 2010 Chicago Blackhawks
Game recaps, Bettman upholds Wilson’s 20-game suspension, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Cam Talbot made 31 saves and rookie defenseman Evan Bouchard scored his first career NHL goal to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.
Speaking of the Capitals, they learned earlier in the day that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 20-game suspension of Capitals winger Tom Wilson, who received the punishment for hitting St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the head during a preseason game. Wilson has seven days to decide if he’ll take his case to an independent arbitrator.
Sidney Crosby and Derick Brassard each collected three points while Patric Hornqvist and Phil Kessel each scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Calgary Flames 9-1. Earlier in the day, the Flames activated defenseman Travis Hamonic off injured reserve.
Boone Jenner and Anthony Duclair each scored twice and Artemi Panarin collected three assists to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues. The loss gives the Blues just two wins and seven points in nine games, raising questions over head coach Mike Yeo’s future behind the bench. They also played without defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who was placed on injured reserve
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues were supposed to be much better than this. Last season, the problem was a lack of scoring depth. This season, it’s lousy defensive play. If they don’t reverse their fortunes soon, Yeo could be relieved of his duties.
Speaking of the Blue Jackets, uncertainty over the futures of pending free agents Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin is among the factors behind the drop in their attendance thus far this season. Attendance is down nearly 1,000 fans per game compared to this point last season and more than 2,000 from the whole of last season.
The Minnesota Wild beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves and Eric Fehr scored a goal and set up another.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of coaches in danger of losing their jobs, this latest defeat does nothing to help Kings’ bench boss John Stevens. Firing him, however, probably won’t help. The aging Kings’ core is struggling in a league trending toward youth and speed.
Jason Dickinson scored twice and set up another in the Dallas Stars’ 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Ryan Getzlaf tallied both goals for the Ducks, who’ve lost their fourth straight game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After getting off to a strong start in October the Ducks are in free-fall approaching month’s end. Their weak puck possession is catching up with them.
Zdeno Chara scored twice and Jaroslav Halak had a 28-save shutout as the Boston Bruins blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0.
The Buffalo Sabres overcame three one-goal deficits to edge the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Jason Pominville potted two goals and Kyle Okposo scored the winner on a power-play with 1:01 remaining in the third period. Max Domi also scored twice for the Canadiens.
Filip Forsberg scored the game-tying goal in the third period and Kyle Turris tallied the winner in overtime as the Nashville Predators squeezed past the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Nico Hischier netted two of the Devils’ goals.
Patrick Kane scored his ninth goal of the season as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the New York Rangers 4-1. Alex DeBrincat also scored and set up another goal. The Rangers also lost defenseman Adam McQuaid to a lower-body injury in the second period.
Third-period goals by Clayton Keller, Brad Richardson, and Lawson Crouse carried the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
SPORTSNET: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green is set to make his season debut tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. Green’s been sidelined by a liver virus.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes recalled goaltender Scott Darling from his AHL conditioning stint.
CBC.CA: Former NHL player Peter Worrell recalls the racist incident that occurred to him during a Junior hockey game in Quebec and how his teammates, coaches, and management helped him overcome it and continue his playing career.
World Cup of Hockey scores plus updates on Evander Kane, Joffrey Lupul & more in your NHL morning headlines.
NHL.COM: Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Telegin and Evgeni Malkin scored and Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves as Team Russia blanked Team Finland 3-0 to advance to the World Cup of Hockey semifinal, where they’ll meet Team Canada on Saturday. Russia’s victory eliminates the Finns and Team North America from further competition. Team Europe will face Team Sweden in the other semifinal matchup on Sunday.
Team USA’s attempt at a face-saving victory against Team Czech Republic fell short by a score of 4-3. Both clubs were already eliminated from advancing to the semifinal. Czech goalie Petr Mrazek made 36 saves and Milan Michalek scored twice in the Czech victory.
USA TODAY: USA coach John Tortorella wasn’t pleased at Phil Kessel’s subtle criticism on Twitter aimed at the team’s management for not selecting him to participate in the tournament. USA GM Dean Lombardi, meanwhile, defended his player selections. “If you’re talking about Justin Abdelkader, Blake Wheeler, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Kesler, David Backes, I’ll take those guys any day…Those guys have big-time heart and when I talk about caring, they’d be the nucleus of caring. They compete. They can play for me any day.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t lack of heart that hurt Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey, but lack of skill. Would they have been better with Kessel, Tyler Johnson, Justin Faulk, Bobby Ryan and Kyle Okposo? Maybe, maybe not, but if you’re going into an international tournament, it makes sense to bring your most-talented players. The Americans didn’t do that.
NBC SPORTS: New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault hopes to reduce 34-year-old goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s workload this season to ensure he’s fresh for the playoffs.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres winger Evander Kane is shrugging off his off-ice legal problems as something that happens to athletes or high-profile people like himself. Kane face misdemeanor charges stemming from an incident in a Buffalo bar in June, plus he’s launched a counter-claim against a woman who filed a civil suit claiming he sexually assaulted her last December. “For me, it’s just trying to stay out of that kind of stuff, kind of picking my spots better,” said Kane. He also said he’s maturing and focusing on the upcoming NHL season.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul will start the upcoming season on injured reserve and faces an uncertain future. Having recently failed a team medical, his playing career appears in jeopardy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some readers on this site questioned why it’s taken so long for Lupul to recover from last February’s sports-hernia surgery, insinuating the Leafs are trying to pull a fast one simply to get him off the roster and remove his $5.25 million cap hit from their books. Put away the tin foil hats, because the reality is Lupul’s long injury history is catching up with him. His body can only take so much punishment before he wears down to the point where he can no longer be an effective NHL player.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes center Dave Bolland failed his physical as expected and will begin the season on LTIR. He’s been battling a combination of injury issues.
NEWSDAY’s Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders center Mikhail Grabovski isn’t cleared to skate due to concussion symptoms.
CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Ladislav Smid will miss the upcoming season due to ongoing neck issues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’ll be on LTIR, meaning the Flames can go over the salary cap by $3.5 million if necessary for this season.
NBC SPORTS: Former NHL defenseman Tomas Kaberle has officially retired as an active player. He last played in the NHL in 2012-13 and skated last season in the Czech Republic. In 15 NHL seasons, nearly 12 of those with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kaberle tallied 563 points in 984 games. He was part of the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup championship team in 2011.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The announcement of the name of Las Vegas’ NHL franchise has been delayed again, possibly until November.
ESPN.COM: Walter Bush, former USA Hockey president and primary founder of the Minnesota North Stars, has died at age 86. “Bush was enshrined into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980, the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000, and the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2009. Awarded the Olympic Order in 2002, he managed the 1959 U.S. national team and 1964 U.S. Olympic team, serving on the U.S. Olympic Committee in 1963.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Bush’s family and friends.
Updates on recent trades, free-agent signings & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC/MIAMI HERALD: The Arizona Coyotes acquired center David Bolland and prospect forward Lawson Crouse from the Florida Panthers in exchange for conditional third-round pick in 2017 and a conditional second-round pick in 2018.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move allows the Panthers to dump Bolland’s contract, which pays him $5.5 million annually through 2018-19. He had a modified no-trade clause, but it obviously wasn’t an issue here.
Injuries hampered Bolland over the past three seasons. The Panthers were unable to buy him out this summer because he’s still hurt. While they could’ve place him on LTIR to start this season, they were obviously keen to get his contract off their books.
It came at a high price, as Crouse was one of the Panthers’ top prospects. He could have a better chance cracking the Coyotes lineup than the Panthers this season or next. This move could turn into a significant payoff for the Coyotes if Crouse blossoms into a star in Arizona. They also have no issue with placing Bolland on LTIR.
SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers have reportedly signed UFA forward Brandon Pirri to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: An affordable gamble by the Rangers. Pirri netted 22 goals with the Florida Panthers in 2014-15. He has a decent scoring touch and can play center or on the wing. While his defensive game needs work, he could provide a nice little boost to the Blueshirts’ offense this season.
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche announced Jared Bednar will be their new head coach. Bednar guided the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters to the 2016 Calder Cup title.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs were seeking a coach who could work well with their young players. Bednar should fit the bill.
NBC SPORTS: The Avalanche are also reportedly bringing UFA winger Rene Bourque to training camp on a tryout basis.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise claims he’s made a full recovery from last season’s nagging back injury and is ready to go for the upcoming season.
NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby was named captain of Team Canada for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Jonathan Toews and Shea Weber are the alternate captains.
EDMONTON SUN: Former Oilers forward and unrestricted free agent Shawn Horcoff isn’t interested in professional tryout offers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In that case, his NHL playing days are probably over.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise could be named the Desert Knights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this point, I don’t care what they call them. Just give them a name so I can stop calling them “the NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise”.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: New Jersey Devils single-game tickets for 2016-17 go on sale today.
Buyout candidates, updates on the Sharks, Flames and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. (more…)
Updates on Milan Lucic and Alexander Radulov plus the latestBruins, Red Wings and Panthers speculation in your NHL rumor mill. (more…)