Sami Salo's injury shrouded in secrecy

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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.

Report: Ekblad cleared by Panthers doctors

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 30:  Aaron Ekblad #5 of the Florida Panthers poses for a 2016 NHL All-Star portrait at Bridgestone Arena on January 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Sanford Myers/Getty Images)
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Aaron Ekblad has been medically cleared by Florida Panthers doctors, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

That’s a big relief for everyone involved after Ekblad was injured while representing Team North America in the World Cup. The injury was originally reported as a “mild” concussion, though it was later called a neck injury.

The 20-year-old has since been back on the ice working out.

“Ekblad is going to be fine,” Panthers coach Gerard Galant said. “You see him out there skating already. I think it was a little scary, but he feels real good. He’s going to skate and see how he feels, but everything looks good.”

The first overall pick in the 2014 draft, Eklbad had already dealt with at least one concussion during his playing career. He suffered one in an international exhibition game during the summer of 2014, just prior to his outstanding rookie season with the Panthers.

Ottawa sends Brown, 11th overall draft pick, back to junior

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Logan Brown celebrates with the Ottawa Senators after being selected 11th overall during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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It didn’t take long for one of the top picks at this year’s draft to be sent packing from training camp.

On Wednesday, Ottawa announced that Logan Brown — the 11th overall selection in June — has been sent back to his junior team in OHL Windsor.

Brown, the son of ex-NHL defenseman Jeff Brown, played in Monday’s exhibition win over Toronto and scored once. He didn’t play in Tuesday’s OT loss to Buffalo.

Though he wasn’t expected to make the team this season, Brown, 18, is considered to be a high-end prospect, which makes his early dismissal a bit curious.

At 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, he has terrific size and the Sens wasted little time locking him in after the draft, signing him to a three-year, entry-level deal in August.

Related: Get to know a draft pick — Logan Brown

Seidenberg expected to sign with Islanders

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 08:  Dennis Seidenberg #44 of the Boston Bruins skates against Mason Raymond #21 of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Four of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 8, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Dennis Seidenberg is expected to sign with the New York Islanders after the World Cup, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

It’s a one-year, $1 million deal, per Dreger.

Seidenberg is currently playing a significant role for Team Europe, a surprise finalist against the heavily favored Canadians.

The 35-year-old defenseman was unexpectedly bought out by the Boston Bruins over the summer. He had two years remaining on his contract, with a cap hit of $4 million.

Seidenberg was a key part of the Bruins’ Stanley Cup champion team in 2011, but injuries limited him to just 61 games last season, and his average ice time fell below 20 minutes for the first time since he was with the Hurricanes in 2007-08.

He’ll likely take on a bottom-pairing role with the Islanders, below Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic, Johnny Boychuk, and Calvin de Haan. He may even be the extra defenseman, pushing the likes of Thomas Hickey, Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, and Scott Mayfield for a spot in the lineup.

Related: Seidenberg shocked by Bruins’ decision

Devils bolster defense, ink Quincey to one-year, $1.25M deal

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New Jersey needed some blueline depth after this summer’s blockbuster Adam Larsson-for-Taylor Hall trade and now, they’ve addressed it.

On Wednesday, GM Ray Shero announced the club signed veteran defenseman Kyle Quincey to a one-year, $1.25 million deal.

Quincey, 31, spent the last four seasons in Detroit, emerging as a regular fixture on defense — but ’15-16 was hardly a positive campaign.

He missed 35 games with a serious ankle injury and, upon his return, never seemed to find his way into head coach Jeff Blashill’s good graces.

Blashill even scratched Quincey in Game 3 of Detroit’s opening-round playoff loss to Tampa, and didn’t provide a reason why — a pretty bold move for a player that, in ’13-14, appeared in all 82 games for the Red Wings, averaging nearly 21 minutes per night.

Overall, this move seems like a pretty reasonable gamble from the Devils. Quincey has his flaws, but the term is short and the money is relatively low.

(Especially considering Quincey’s coming off a two-year, $8.5 million deal that paid $4.25M annually.)

Shero could end up getting a nice return on his investment. Quincey projects  to challenge for top-four minutes in New Jersey, looking to break into a group that features the likes of Andy Greene, Damon Severson, John Moore and Ben Lovejoy.

Jon Merrill, Steve Santini and Brandon Gormley are also in that mix, though likely to be challenging for spots on the bottom pair.