Rookie tournament recaps: Sunday, September 12

Since we’re all hungry for something resembling real hockey, here’s the rundown of today’s action at the rookie tournaments going on across North America. That makes it sound sexy, doesn’t it?

Traverse City Tournament – Traverse City, Michigan

Minnesota 5 – Columbus 1

Oliver Gabriel scored first for Columbus, but it was all Minnesota after that. Casey Wellman had a goal and an assist and goalie Darcy Kuemper stopped 24 shots. Columbus has lost both games so far in the tournament, meanwhile the Wild are rolling right along and playing great, something good to see from a team whose farm system is seemingly a bit lacking.

Dallas 4 – St. Louis 1

The Stars’ rookies bounced back after dropping their first game of the tournament nicely, putting up four goals. Tristan King had a goal and an assist for Dallas, meanwhile goalie Tyler Beskorowany made 26 saves in the win. St. Louis’ Josh Shalla had their only goal. Blues prospect Stefan Della Rovere, obtained from Washington in the D.J. King trade got on the board with a fight.

Carolina 1 – NY Rangers 0

Carolina’s impressive tournament continues and in dramatic fashion as Zac Dalpe scored the game-winning goal with under a minute left the third period to give the Hurricanes the win. Mike Murphy stopped 33 shots in getting the shutout for Carolina. Cam Talbot stopped 25 of 26 shots for the Rangers in the effort.

Tampa Bay 4 – Detroit 3 (F/SO)

It was the game that wouldn’t end… Until the 16th round of the shootout. Tampa’s Matt Butcher finally ended the marathon shootout. James Wright had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay while Tomas Tatar continues to be impressive for Detroit adding a goal and assist for the Red Wings.

London Prospects Tournament – London, Ontario

Ottawa 7 – Chicago 3

The Senators were down 3-1 at one point in this game, but rattled off six unanswered goals to take out the Blackhawks. Seven different goal scorers hit the sheet for the Senators while goalie Brandon Foote stopped 26 shots in the win.

Pittsburgh 2 – Toronto 1

Dustin Jeffrey scored the game-winner late in the second for Pittsburgh as the Pens won this one in a lively, fight-filled affair. Brayden Irwin scored for Toronto. Former Northeastern goalie Brad Thiessen got the win for the Penguins while former Cornell standout Ben Scrivens took the hard-luck loss. Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri was held out due to injury precautions.

Young Stars Tournament – Penticton, British Columbia

Edmonton 4 – Vancouver 1

This game was all about the Oilers troika of young stars as Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi all suited up for Edmonton and didn’t disappoint. Paajarvi scored two goals while Eberle scored a goal and an assist while Hall assisted Eberle’s tally to lead the way. How big a deal was this in Penticton to see this collection of talent? A sold-out crowd of 5,200 packed in to watch it. Not bad.

San Jose 4 – Anaheim 1

Experienced rookie Benn Ferriero had three assists for the Sharks as they took out their California rivals. Ferriero, a former Boston College standout, played in more than a handful of games for the Sharks last year and he’ll be hoping to crack the Sharks lineup full-time this year rather than ride the San Jose-Worcester shuttle all season.

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    Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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    The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

    Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

    “Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

    Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

    Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

    Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

    Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

    Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

    Ryan Johansen
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    One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

    You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

    — Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

    — GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

    — Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

    So there’s that. What’s next?

    At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

    Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

    So, consider the similarities now:

    — Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

    — Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

    — Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

    — Both are Overhardt guys.

    — The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

    — Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

    For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

    And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

    And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.

    Flyers’ Gagner to miss another week after Malone hit

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    The nasty blow Sam Gagner took in Monday’s game against Carolina will keep him on the shelf for a little bit.

    On Wednesday, Flyers GM Ron Hextall said the club expected Gagner to be out around a week with injuries suffered on the hit, delivered by ‘Canes forward Brad Malone (per the Inquirer).

    Gagner suffered a fairly significant facial laceration, which forced him from the game entirely. He didn’t practice on Tuesday and, in a corresponding move, the Flyers called up Colin McDonald from the AHL to fill Gagner’s spot on the roster.

    This is the second facial injury Gagner’s suffered in recent years. He’d previously had his jaw broken by an errant Zack Kassian high stick, while he was with the Oilers and Kassian the Canucks.

    Prior to getting hurt, Gagner had two goals and five points in 18 games, averaging just under 12 minutes per night.

    ‘It’s absolutely not true’ — Lemieux denies report of ‘big falling out’ with Crosby

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 5:  Sidney Crosby #87 and Mario Lemieux #66 of the Pittsburgh Penguins share a few words during a break in action against the New Jersey Devils in their NHL opening night game at the Continental Airlines Arena on October 5, 2005 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  The Devils won 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Well, that didn’t take long.

    Just hours after Matthew Barnaby went on the radio and said he’d heard that Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux had had a “big falling out,” Lemieux came out and denied it.

    “It’s absolutely not true,” said Lemieux, per the club’s Twitter account. “It’s silly.”

    Today marked the second time in less than two weeks that the Penguins have been forced to do some damage control.

    Last week, the Penguins insisted that they weren’t actually “mad at each other,” as Evgeni Malkin had put it after a bad loss to New Jersey.

    “He did not mean we are mad at each other,” said Crosby. “He meant we are frustrated.”