One of the international heroes of the Olympic hockey tournament is finally making his way to North America to play pro hockey. Switzerland sniper Roman Wick inked a deal with the Ottawa Senators today and will compete for a spot with the team. Sens GM Bryan Murray had glowing regard for Wick’s game which shined on the biggest stage in the Olympics.
“We hope that we’ll give (Wick) an awfully good look through training camp this season,” said Murray. “He looks like a candidate to play in the NHL at some point. Whether he’ll have to start in Binghamton, that will be the question. He’ll answer that with his performance in camp.
“But he’s a guy with talent and skill … (he) was an outstanding player for Switzerland in the Olympic Games in big, big games. Based on that alone, you have to take a real serious look at him.”
If you think the Senators are jumping on Wick after only being impressed with his play in the Olympics you’re probably only half-right. Or maybe three-quarters right. Either way, it’s not totally accurate.
Wick was drafted back in 2004 by the Sens in the fifth round. He stayed in Europe and never made his way to North America and, as often happens with some lower-round European draft picks, it’s not worth the trouble to give up the professional life at home and end up potentially riding buses in the AHL in North America. Murray is banking on the “moxie” factor to hope that Wick can do the same thing with the Senators, be it in Ottawa or Binghamton in the AHL. Then again, it’s worth a one-year two-way contract to see if you can find a potentially special player. If he plays how he did for Switzerland in the Olympics for an entire season, he could do just that.
Mike Ribeiro isn’t playing in Game 3 for the Nashville Predators against the San Jose Sharks, and it doesn’t appear to be for health reasons.
Well, his production hasn’t been very healthy.
The polarizing playmaker has only mustered a single assist and zero goals in nine playoff games; Ribeiro hasn’t scored a point against the Sharks so far.
Ribeiro isn’t exactly known for his offensive acumen, either, so there’s not much motivation to keep him in the lineup if he isn’t producing offense. Ultimately, it’s easy to see why he’s a healthy scratch.
Pontus Aberg looks to make his NHL debut via this big playoff game while Craig Smith is believed to play.
It should be interesting to see how Nashville responds to this challenge.
The Nashville Predators hope to get back in their series now that the San Jose Sharks are visiting “Smashville.” Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars and Blues jostle for a 2-1 lead in St. Louis.
You can keep up with Game 3 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders (which is in progress) right here and on NBCSN.
Game 3 of Sharks – Predators is on USA Network and can be streamed via the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Finally, Game 3 of Stars – Blues airs on NBCSN. Keep an eye out for notes if there’s overlap with Bolts – Isles (which would bump it temporarily to NHL Network), but either way, you can stream the action below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Jonathan Drouin‘s strong playoff play has been a big story for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but his health is in question after taking a huge hit on Tuesday.
As you can see from the video above, Drouin was shaken up by an enormous check from New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey. It’s believed that Drouin went to “The Quiet Room” to see if he suffered a concussion; PHT will pass along whatever information becomes available.
(NHL teams aren’t exactly forthcoming with this information.)
The Islanders actually ended up with a power play from the fallout, as Hickey’s hit didn’t earn a penalty. The general reaction is that it wasn’t a dirty hit, yet some might disagree with that sentiment.
Update: Drouin didn’t come out during the beginning of the third period. He did, however, return midway through the final frame.
The NHL named the three finalists for the 2016 Foundation Player Award on Tuesday: Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano, New York Islanders forward Matt Martin and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.
The awarded is handed to “an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community.”
The winner gets to hand $25K to the charity of his choice.