Canadiens buy out enforcer Georges Laraque

laraque.jpgWe hinted at it yesterday when the NHL buyout period began, but the Montreal Canadiens made it official this evening that they’ll be parting ways with enforcer Georges Laraque, financially.

Laraque had one year remaining on a US$4.5 million three-year contract.

The buyout is worth $1 million and will be spread out over the next two years, meaning the Canadiens will receive an extra $500,000 cap hit through the 2011-12 season.

What’s screwy about this situation is that the Habs declared in January that they would buy out Laraque which left Laraque always sitting as a healthy scratch on Canadiens game reports. Not that that’s awkward or anything. Of course, for all the good works that tough guy Laraque is doing on behalf of the NHL for charity to help out earthquake-ravaged Haiti (Laraque’s family hails from Haiti), perhaps it’s worth it to keep a guy like that on hand to put on a good face.

Will someone else be interested in Laraque? I’d say that the market for an enforcer who doesn’t quite enforce anymore (28 PIM in a shortened 09-10 season, 61 PIM in 08-09) and is an injury liability (still missed a month of play in 09-10, 33 games in 08-09) that comes with the sort of price tag Laraque was getting from Montreal will be really close to being non-existent.

Then again, with an annual period where you get to buyout players it’s become a sort of annual event, one that should be named. My suggestion: Yashin Festivus, named after Alexei Yashin who the Islanders will be paying off until the end of the 2013-2014 season. We’ll call it “festivus” because much like the Seinfeld holiday, there will be many airings of grievances… Just don’t count on any feats of strength.

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    Goalie nods: With Talbot sick, Oilers give Laurent Brossoit second career start

    San Jose Sharks Bryan Lerg (42) scores a goal on Edmonton Oilers goalie Laurent Brossoit (1) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 9, 2015, in Edmonton, Alberta. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jason Franson)
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    Laurent Brossoit will make his second career start in Saturday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.

    Brossoit will be between the pipes because starter Cam Talbot is ill and missed the morning skate.

    The Oilers are hoping Brossoit isn’t as busy this time as he was in his first career start last year when he turned aside 49 shots in a 3-1 loss to San Jose.

    “I’m a big believer in Brossoit,” said teammate Brandon Davidson, per the team’s website. “He’s done a great job. I played with him in the minors and he competes like no other. He’s tremendously athletic and he did a great job last year when he got the game too. He’s ready and I think he’ll show that tonight.”

    The Jets will go with Ondrej Pavelec, who hasn’t played since Nov. 21 because of a knee injury.

    Elsewhere…

    –The Leafs have yet to announce their start. The Canucks haven’t named one either, but expect them to go with Ryan Miller.

    Craig Anderson will be between the pipes for Ottawa. The Blue Jackets will counter with Joonas Korpisalo.

    –Like the Leafs and Canucks, the Islanders and Hurricanes have yet to announce their starting goaltenders. It could be Jaroslav Halak against Eddie Lack.

    –Expect Pekka Rinne to get the start against the Panthers. Roberto Luongo, who was pulled on Friday, will be between the pipes for Florida.

    Braden Holtby will put his five-game winning streak on the line when Washington takes on Dallas. Kari Lehtonen will look to extend his winning streak to three games.

    –The Ducks have yet to announce their start. The ‘Hawks will turn to Vezina Trophy candidate Corey Crawford.

    Louis Domingue will look to win his second straight game. Martin Jones will get the start for San Jose.

    Gostisbehere sets new rookie record in OT loss to Devils

    Philadelphia Flyers' Shayne Gostisbehere reacts after scoring the first goal of his career during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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    Shayne Gostisbehere is the proud owner of a new rookie record.

    With his goal in the third period of Saturday’s 2-1 OT loss to the Devils, the 22-year-old extended his point streak to 11 games, which is a record for rookie defensemen in the NHL.

    Gostisbehere has an incredible 10 goals and 30 points in 35 games this season.

    Gostisbehere’s goal tied the game at one after Devils forward Joseph Blandisi scored this beauty in the first period:

    Adam Henrique added the game-winning goal in overtime.

    It’s the second straight 2-1 victory for the Devils, who also beat the Oilers by the same score on Tuesday night.

    The Flyers have just one win in their last five contests.

    To add insult to injury, Philadelphia lost Michael Del Zotto to an upper-body injury, per GM Ron Hextall.

    Here’s an updated look at the Metropolitan division standings and Wild Card race:

    standings

    After missing two games because of an illness, Panarin will return to ‘Hawks lineup

    Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) celebrates after scoring an empty-net goal on an assist from Patrick Kane against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, in Chicago. The Blackhawks won 3-1. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
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    CHICAGO (AP) Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin is expected to play Saturday night against Anaheim after missing two games with an illness.

    Panarin participated in Chicago’s optional morning skate, and coach Joel Quenneville says the rookie will be in the lineup against the Ducks.

    The 24-year-old Panarin, who has played on Chicago’s second line with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane for most of the season, is second on the team with 34 assists and 52 points. The Blackhawks dropped both games while he was out.

    Rangers get good news on McDonagh, bad news on Nash

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    Some good news/bad news for the Rangers.

    Exactly one week after suffering a concussion against the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Ryan McDonagh returned to the ice with his teammates this morning.

    The Rangers captain was wearing a non-contract jersey, but “looked good” according to coach Alain Vigneault.

    McDonagh was hurt after taking a punch to the head from Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (above).

    The 26-year-old has missed each of his team’s last three games since suffering the injury.

    McDonagh hasn’t been cleared for contact, but that could happen in the next few days according to Vigneault.

    The news wasn’t as good for forward Rick Nash, who’s been dealing with a bone bruise in his leg.

    Nash has missed each of New York last eight game’s and Vigneault admitted that he’s no longer considered day-to-day.

    He’ll miss at least another week.