NHL hires first European official

The NHL has hired the first European-trained official, as Swedish
referee Marcus Vinnerborg will make his way over to North America next
season. Vinnerborg will start off in the AHL while making pit stops in
the NHL, with the hope of eventually becoming a full-time NHL official.

Vinnerborg is an accomplished international competition official,
having worked four IIHF World Championships, the Junior Hockey
Championships and most recently was an official for the 2010 Olympic

From the NHL’s press release:

“I am very honored to be the first European to have this
dream-come-true opportunity of working in the NHL,” said Vinnerborg. “I
hope that this will help to lead the way for other European officials in
the future as well. Personally, I look forward to having the chance to
work with, and learn from, the best officials in the best league in the

This is yet another step that the NHL is taking in embracing
international hockey, and not just taking the best players from abroad
for the league’s teams. While there has certainly been some frustrations
between the NHL and international hockey, specifically when it comes to
the Olympics, more and more it’s apparent the league is working to
expand the game as much as possible.

Now, if only we can get rid
of that dang trapezoid.

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    Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

    Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
    1 Comment

    Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

    “We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

    So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

    That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

    The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

    “My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

    That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

    Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen

    Coyotes place towering enforcer John Scott on waivers

    John Scott, Brandon Davidson
    The Canadian Press via AP

    The Arizona Coyotes might not be using John Scott‘s services after all.

    The team waived him this afternoon, per Craig Morgan. It’s possible that the Coyotes are simply giving themselves options as Scott clearing would allow them to send him down quickly at any point until he plays in 10 games or 30 days pass. At the same time, any team looking for a gritty fourth-line forward or third-pairing defenseman might be tempted to claim him in light of his affordable $575K cap hit for the 2015-16 campaign.

    Scott is an imposing presence on the ice at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, but he doesn’t bring much to the table other than his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves. In terms of offensive abilities, he’s among the least capable in the league. In fact, the four points he recorded last season with the San Jose Sharks represented a career-high for the 33-year-old.

    Meanwhile, Dan Cleary went unclaimed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie, setting the stage for him to be reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.