Pat Burns checks into hospital

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Pat Burns.jpgI’ve said my piece about allowing Pat Burns into the Hall of Fame early (at least, if voters deem him worthy in the first place) because it always seems extra-tragic when someone is inducted posthumously. I don’t think I’m the only person who was hoping that such a thought would not come to the forefront again so soon, as the former Stanley Cup winning coach’s health continues to sadly deteriorate. The CBC reports that Burns was recently admitted to a hospital.

Former NHL coach Pat Burns, stricken with terminal lung cancer, has been admitted to hospital in Florida, according to reports.

Burns was hospitalized outside Tampa, Fla., on Sunday – his 58th birthday – according to Montreal sports radio station CKAC.

Jeez, on his birthday? That’s not cool at all. I’ll leave you with this quote from Burns’ recent press conference, in which he looked disconcertingly frail (and was honest about his grim health situation) but also positive about the big picture.

“As your life gets closer to the end, you realize that your body gets weaker, you mind works harder but your heart gets softer. You get closer to family, you get closer to God, and there are things that you realize along the way.

“I probably won’t see the final project,” Burns told guests at the gathering, including former colleagues, players and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“But I know one thing, is that when I’m looking down, j’espère que je vais regarder et voir un jeune Mario Lemieux ou Wayne Gretzky apparaître (I hope I will see a young Mario Lemieux or Wayne Gretzky appear).”

Let’s hope he won’t be “looking down” from up high anytime soon. Best wishes to Burns and his family.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
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Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.