NHLPA files grievance against Tampa Bay Lightning

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Veilleux.jpgThe situation in Tampa Bay, as the team searches for a general
manager, is getting a bit messy as we learn that the NHLPA is planning
on filing a grievance against the Lightning on pending free agent
Stephane Veilleux.

According
to a report by Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune
, agent
Alan Walsh is saying that the team is refusing to pay for a shoulder
surgery for Veilleux because of their claim that the injury is not
hockey related. The injury was first discovered during end of the season
physicals, and a second opinion by Wild doctors diagnosed Veilleux with
a torn labrum.

“They acknowledge when he left Minnesota and was examined
by the Wild doctors in the end-of-season medical [in 2009], he was
fine, so this was not a previous injury,” said Walsh. “And the same
Lightning doctor that detected this problem and became suspicious at
the end of this season cleared him at the beginning of the season
because both shoulders had the same level of strength.”

“Tampa’s
response is,’Yes, our doctor agrees, it has to be fixed now, he
definitely has a torn labrum and he needs surgery, however, it’s not a
hockey-related injury, so we’re not responsible,” Walsh said.

The Lightning are claiming that since they cannot pinpoint an exact
moment that the injury occurred, they say that the injury was perhaps a
result of Veilleux’s frequent ping pong playing. Since the Lightning
claim the injury was not hockey related, then they are not bound by the
CBA to pay for his surgery.

Walsh says the NHLPA is moving forward
with a grievance as soon as possible so that the surgery can happen
sooner than later.

It’s rare that a team will flat out refuse to
pay for a surgery and there’s been instances where the team even covers
non-hockey related injuries. With the team unable to actually prove that
the injury is or isn’t hockey-related it will be interesting to see how
the grievance plays out. Since a torn labrum can happen over time,
through games and games of hitting and flat out just playing hockey,
there’s a good chance a ruling will go in favor of Veilleux.

Even if the Lightning are able to win their case, it’s a losing situation for the team. The Lightning will now have the reputation of a team that won’t take care of their own players. Not exactly what a team needs to have while trying to land quality free agents. It’s not as if Veilleux was injured while snowboarding, and no matter what the team might say there’s no way they can prove he was injured while playing ping pong.

WATCH LIVE: Blues at Sharks – Game 6

ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 23:  Alexander Steen #20 of the St. Louis Blues, Brent Burns #88 of the San Jose Sharks, and Joe Thornton #19 argue with a referee during the second period in Game Five of the Western Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on May 23, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The San Jose Sharks can make franchise history on home ice tonight against the St. Louis Blues. Win, and the Sharks clinch their first ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Lose, and it’s back to St. Louis for a deciding Game 7 in the Western Conference Final.

You can catch tonight’s Game 6 on NBCSN (9 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Tarasenko needs to start ‘playing within the system’: Hitch

On the brink of elimination, Blues turn back to Elliott

The Blues could sure use a goal or two from Tarasenko

Stanley Cup Final to begin Monday

 

‘There’s still lots of room for growth’: Stars GM preaches patience with Nichushkin

Valeri Nichushkin
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Valeri Nichushkin has the tools — listed at six-foot-four-inches tall and 205 pounds with devastating speed. He has the skill.

However, now at the end of his entry-level contract, the 10th overall draft pick for the Dallas Stars in 2013 has endured the highs and lows associated with a young player trying to make his mark in the National Hockey League after a promising rookie campaign.

For starters, his sophomore 2014-15 season was essentially wiped out — he played only eight games for the Stars — by a hip injury that required surgery. He also didn’t get off to the greatest start this season, and coming back from surgery likely played a factor as to why, as he found his way into Lindy Ruff’s doghouse early on.

As a result, was made a healthy scratch.

His bottom line offensive numbers included nine goals and 29 points in 79 games played, and one assist in 10 playoff games for the Stars, as they were eliminated in the second round.

Still, he’s just 21 years old. When playing with top players like Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, he was able to get on a bit of a roll offensively.

Stars GM Jim Nill, speaking on SiriusXMNHL, referenced the difficulty for a young player coming back off surgery, but remains confident in Nichushkin.

“We’re happy with Val,” he said (at around the 5:30 mark).

“Came back this year, got off to a slow start because of that. We thought the last five games of the playoffs, he really started to look like himself. He started to dominate down low and in the corners.

“He is only 21. I know there’s still lots of room for growth, so we’re going to be patient with him. We think he’s a big part of our future.”

 

Coyotes hire new COO

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 09:  Fans line up outside of Gila River Arena before the NHL game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets on October 9, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Jets defeated the Coyotes 6-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes have hired Anaheim Ducks executive Ari Segal as chief operating officer.

The move was announced by the team on Wednesday.

Segal previously served as a special assistant to Anaheim CEO Michael Schulman and as president of business operations for the Ducks’ AHL affiliate in San Diego.

Segal helped with preparations for the new AHL club and recently worked with the NHL in the league’s broadcast media strategy group, evaluating league and team broadcast rights and distribution deals.

Segal previously worked as an associate in the sports practice at McKinsey & Company, a New York-based management consulting firm.

Related: The Coyotes are going in a ‘new direction,’ and that’s an understatement

Jackets re-sign Sedlak, AHL affiliate’s leading playoff scorer

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 20:  Lukas Sedlak #85 of the Columbus Blue Jackets waits for the pass during the game against the Winnipeg Jets on September 20, 2011 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio.  The Blue Jackets defeated the Jets 5-1.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
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Columbus farmhand Lukas Sedlak, who currently sits tied atop AHL Lake Erie’s playoff scoring leaderboard, has signed a one-year, two-way deal, the Jackets announced on Wednesday.

Sedlak, 23, was a fifth-round pick in 2011 that’s spent the last three years in the American League. This season was by far his most successful — in addition to potting a career-best 14 goals, he’s become close to a point-a-game producer in the playoffs, with 11 through 12 games.

“Sedlak has been on a run for us with goal-scoring,” Lake Erie head coach Jared Bednar said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “He’s not a guy who does it for us every night. But he works so hard in all the other areas.”

Sedlak has yet to make his NHL debut, but could be in the mix for a recall next season.