Hornqvist injured by Shea Weber's shot

Hornqvist.jpgThe Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes faced off last night in
what could be a first round primer. The Predators weren’t just playing
to test their merit against a potential playoff opponent, they were
trying to hold off those teams behind them. A win was needed, especially
if Detroit won (which they did) and after last night’s 5-2 loss to the
Coyotes, the Preds have fallen down to 6th in the conference.

That’s
the least of the worries, it looks like. Leading scorer Patric
Hornqvist was injured in the second period when he was struck by a Shea
Weber shot. If you are unsure on how hard Weber can shoot, please go no
further before
watching this.

From
John Glennon of the Tennessean:

“He’ll be
evaluated by our doctors,” Predators Coach Barry Trotz said.
“I don’t know if he had X-rays or not. I’m not going to answer that and I
don’t need to answer that.”

Ok then. Obviously,
we’ll try and stay updated on the severity of this injury as he is
evaluated today.

If you are looking for someone to blame, look no
further than Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck. How such a
great blogger be to blame, you ask? Well, he thought it would be just
hilarious
to write up an April
fools post last week
, stating that Steve Sullivan had been
‘seriously injured’ when struck by a Shea Weber shot.

I bet
that’s really funny now.

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    Devils’ Merrill undergoes shoulder surgery, out four months

    NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 04: Jon Merrill #7 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Detroit Red Wings at the Prudential Center on January 4, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. The Red Wings defeated the Devils 1-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    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.

    Max Talbot mulling European options for next season

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    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.

     

    Ex-‘Hawks coach Suhonen takes Austrian national team job

    SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13:  Thomas Raffl #5 of Austria celebrates with his teammates after Thomas Hundertpfund #27 scored a goal in the first period against Tuukka Rask #40 of Finland during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group B game on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    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.

    Suhonen inherits a roster with decent NHL pedigree as Thomas Vanek, Michael Raffl and Michael Grabner are all eligible to participate.

    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.

    Datsyuk’s agent acknowledges offer from KHL’s SKA, but no deal yet

    Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) celebrates his empty net goal against the Edmonton Oilers in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit Monday, March 9, 2015. Detroit won 5-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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    Gennady Timchenko, the billionaire chairman of KHL club SKA Saint Petersburg, reportedly believes there’s a “good chance” that Pavel Datsyuk will be playing for his team next season.

    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.

    Related: Datsyuk ‘wants to make sure the Wings have options’