Sami Salo's injury shrouded in secrecy


Thumbnail image for samisalo3.jpgThe other day we told you about Canucks defenseman Sami Salo tearing his Achilles tendon while playing floor hockey (or rather Floor Ball) this summer. What’s been a bit odd about everything is the lack of details about the injury being offered up by anyone. Salo isn’t discussing it, the Canucks aren’t commenting on matters, and the Vancouver papers are all hunting for anyone to talk about it.

As it turns out, even reports out of Finland, Salo’s home country, are sparse and Canucks blog The White Towel wants to know what’s up with all the secrecy.

Salo has won Olympic silver and bronze representing Finland, but apparently lacks the star appeal of, say, a Steve Nash or Justin Morneau, who if they were to suffer a possible career-ending injury kicking a soccer ball around in the offseason back in B.C. it would be news splashed all over the place.

But a quick scan of the two newspapers from Salo’s hometown of Turku found online, Abo Underrattelser and Turun Sanomat, and the 10 Helsinki papers available online, shows no mention of Salo after the briefest of notices on Friday.

“It’s sad, but Sami’s not big news here,” one Finnish sports reporter said.

The Province tried to contact Salo by phone at his Finnish home, but no one picked up on the other end. It’s understandable the injury-prone D-man doesn’t feel like talking about his 40th injury.

But the Canucks could do a lot more than merely confirm the reports out of Finland before issuing a terse “There will be no further comment from the club or Salo at this time.”

Did the injury occur in June, as the reports say? If so, did the club only find out Friday when local media began calling? Why all the secrecy? Is Salo’s career kaput?

These are all great questions to ask and it makes things a bit frustrating that no one wants to give any answers just yet. It’s not as if they Canucks aren’t losing much here. Salo was likely going to be one of their top four defensemen and his offensive ability makes him a key component to their power play as well. There’s also the whole part about putting the potential trading of Kevin Bieksa into limbo as well.

At the very least, The White Towel was able to have some fun at the expense of online translators when finding a description of Sami Salo.

“Sami Salo is a professional ice hockey sports magazine according to the information seriously injured in training by June.”

I wonder if that magazine’s pages fall out when you pick it up.

Video: Marc Staal was no match for Alex Ovechkin on this goal

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 15: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals looks on against New York Islanders during the second period at Verizon Center on October 15, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
1 Comment

After being held without a point in his first two games of the season, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has now scored a goal in three consecutive games.

That includes his goal on Saturday night in the first period against the New York Rangers.

It’s one that will probably make the personal highlight reel for Ovechkin, but it certainly won’t make the highlight reel for Rangers defenseman Marc Staal.

To say that this head-to-head matchup turned out to be a mismatch would be … well … a bit of an understatement.

As Ovechkin crossed the blue line into the Rangers zone he started to toe-drag around Staal, only to stop midway through and just rip it from outside the circle, using Staal as a screen and beating Henrik Lundqvist for the goal.

It is probably not a good sign when the defenseman has his back to the shooter when the puck is released.

That goal gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead.

Red Wings’ Abdelkader out with lower body injury

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 15: Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Red Wings 4-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

The Detroit Red Wings will be without veteran forward Justin Abdelkader on Saturday night when they host the San Jose Sharks.

The official word from the team is that he is sidelined with a lower body injury.

He will be replaced in the lineup by Andreas Athanasiou. Athanasiou has appeared in three games this season and yet to record a point.

He was not only in the lineup on Friday in the Red Wings in their 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators, but also scored his first goal of the season and played a season-high 17:55.

After scoring 19 goals and recording 23 assists in 82 games in 2015-16 the Red Wings signed a seven-year $29.7 million contract extension.

According to general manager Ken Holland (via Helene St. James) he is expected to be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

Former Canadiens coach Jacques Demers hospitalized

Leave a comment

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Former Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Demers has been hospitalized.

Demer’s director of parliamentary affairs confirmed Saturday that the 72-year-old Demers, a Canadian senator, had been admitted to a Montreal hospital, but couldn’t immediately provide any details.

Demers had a stroke in April. He was at the Canadiens’ home opener Tuesday night, smiling in a wheelchair while handing a torch to captain Max Pacioretty to close out a pregame ceremony.

Demers led the Canadiens to their last Stanley Cup in 1993. He also coached Quebec, Detroit, St. Louis and Tampa Bay in the NHL, and Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Quebec in the WHA.

Ales Hemsky returns to Stars lineup tonight

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 24:  Ales Hemsky #83 of the Dallas Stars skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. The Stars defeated the Devils 3-2 in the shootout.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

When the Dallas Stars take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday evening one of their top forwards will be making his 2016-17 debut.

The team announced on Saturday afternoon that forward Ales Hemsky will be activated from injured reserve after missing the first four games of the season due to a groin injury at the World Cup of hockey.

He is expected to skate on the Stars’ top line on Saturday night alongside Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.

Now 33 years old, Hemsky isn’t quite as dynamic as he was during his prime years in Edmonton, but he is still an extremely skilled playmaker that is a solid fit in Dallas’ system. He is entering his third year with the Stars and has 71 points (24 goals, 47 assists) in 151 games with the team.

With Hemsky now activated and back in the lineup, the Stars also announced on Saturday that veteran forward Jiri Hudler has been placed on IR retroactive to Oct. 15 due to illness.