- Atlanta Thashers GM
Don Waddel on distinguishing between legal and illegal hits:
Waddell: First, body checking is such a big part of the NHL and
it’ll continue to be. We need it to be a big part of the game but there
are a few incidents, every so often, that we don’t like. We have to be
careful with bringing in rules that prevent players from doing their
job of banging bodies. Over the next few days here we’ll talk more
about it and maybe come up with some kind of resolution.
Nichol is practicing — sort of — with the Sharks as he tries to
return from the shoulder injury he suffered from Maxim Lapierre’s hit
“It’s about the strength coming back and the pain going
away. It hasn’t been a week yet and it’s much better than I would have
- Ryan Jones is out four weeks and now we learn that Denis Grebeshkov
is out for 1-2 weeks himself. The players that Oilers and Predators
“swapped” have not had that good of luck with their new teams.
The Preds have lost defenseman Denis Grebeshkov for one
to two weeks with a lower-body injury. He apparently suffered the
injury fairly early in Sunday’s loss to Vancouver, but played
through it for a while.
- Jonas Hiller on putting the puck in the net himself, when he stood
up and the puck fell over the goal line. The play was never blown dead,
and the puck was sitting on Hiller’s pads.
“I thought the puck was slipping,” said Hiller, who made 40 saves in
regulation and overtime. “He was shooting five-hole and I couldn’t find
the puck. I thought it was still slipping through so I tried to put my
skate back so it won’t go in.
“As I saw on the video afterward, it was on my pad and I put it in
myself I guess. I don’t even know exactly what the rule is on that. It’s
a tough one.”
New Jersey d-man Jon Merrill, who struggled through an injury-riddled campaign, has undergone successful shoulder surgery with an expected recovery time of four months, the club announced on Wednesday.
Merrill, 24, only appeared in 47 games this year, first missing time with an arm injury, then suffering a shoulder ailment late in the year.
There was no clear indication if the two ailments were related, but Merrill’s arm injury was on the right side, and surgery was on his right shoulder.
A former University of Michigan standout taken 38th overall in 2010, Merrill enjoyed solid rookie and sophomore campaigns in New Jersey. His second year was especially solid — 14 points in 66 games, averaging over 20 minutes per night — and he boasts good size, going 6-foot-3, 205 pounds.
Based on the four-month timetable for recovery, Merrill will likely miss parts of New Jersey’s training camp and preseason action.
After a 10-year career with over 700 games played and one Stanley Cup, Maxime Talbot could be done in the NHL.
Per RDS, Talbot — who’ll hit unrestricted free agency on July 1 — has “some options in Europe” for next season, and is contemplating a move overseas.
In his prime, Talbot was a gritty, hardworking forward with decent touch around the net. He scored double-digit goals four times, including a career-high 19 in ’11-12.
The 32-year-old split last season between Boston and its AHL affiliate in Providence, scoring seven points in 38 games at the NHL level.
Talbot did acquit himself very well with the P-Bruins — 21 points in 26 games — and has some experience playing abroad, having suited up for Finnish League club Ilves Tampere during the lockout.
Based on how things went last year in free agency, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Talbot land in Europe.
The likes of Maxim Lapierre, Curtis Glencross and Marcel Goc all failed to score NHL contracts last summer — Lapierre and Goc proceeded to sign overseas, while Glencross opted to retire.
Alpo Suhonen, who became the first European-born NHL coach in over 50 years upon taking the Chicago gig in 2000, has been named the new bench boss of the Austrian men’s national team, per IIHF.com.
Suhonen, 67, takes over from former NHL defenseman Dan Ratushny, who was splitting duties between Team Austria and Lausanne of the Swiss League.
Suhonen takes over the national team at a critical juncture. Austria finished a disappointing fourth at the 2016 World Hockey Championship Division 1 tournament — meaning the country finished 20th overall. As the IIHF websites notes, that’s the worst finish for Austria in 86 years of WHC competition.
Looking forward, Austria does have a chance to make amends this summer, when it will play a series of contests to prep for Olympic qualification.
That said, Vanek was named to Team Europe’s initial 16-man roster for the World Cup of Hockey, and it remains to be seen how that will impact his national team commitments.
But according to Datsyuk’s agent, Dan Milstein, there’s only been an offer from SKA. Nothing has been signed yet. There could still be offers from other KHL teams for his client to consider.
And at any rate, Milstein insisted once again that Datysuk won’t be making any decisions until he speaks with the Detroit Red Wings in mid-June, after the 37-year-old returns from a family vacation.
Milstein passed along that update to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, plus a few other Wings reporters.