2010 NHL free agency: Hurricanes sign forward Patrick O'Sullivan

patrickosullivan1.jpgThe Carolina Hurricanes have made a late addition to their roster that could help figure out their dearth of talent up the middle. Former Kings and Oilers centerman Patrick O’Sullivan has signed a one-year, two-way contract worth $600,000 with the Hurricanes. Chip Alexander of Canes Now grabs some quotes.

“He can win a spot,” Rutherford said of O’Sullivan. “Last year was not one of his best but he’s still a young guy who has had a 20-goal season in the NHL. He has a very good skill level.”

O’Sullivan played center for the Oilers but Rutherford said he is capable of playing all three forward positions and the Canes believe he may be best on the wing.

In discussing the contract, Rutherford said, “We want to keep it a two-way so as not to close the door on a (roster) spot. It will make camp even more competitive.”

O’Sullivan has some history with Carolina as he was part of the three-way deal between Edmonton, Carolina and Los Angeles that sent Erik Cole back to Carolina, Justin Williams to Los Angeles and O’Sullivan to Edmonton. Some fans of Patrick O’Sullivan, however, are worried that O’Sullivan could have some problems playing in Raleigh although we’d guess that if he’s signing a contract there, any issues that may have existed before have been resolved.

O’Sullivan immediately slots in as one of the better centers on the team. With Eric Staal leading the way, Brandon Sutter was slated to be the #2 center on the team. If O’Sullivan can bounce back after a miserable season in Edmonton, he’ll provide an immediate return to the Hurricanes. If he continues to struggle, they can send him to the AHL after going through waivers first. The Hurricanes could certainly use an experienced boost at the center position, however.

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    Uh oh, Marian Hossa might be injured after awkward fall

    Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa, left, talks to center Jonathan Toews during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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    The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

    (Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

    Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

    Video isn’t yet available, but My Regular Face’s GIF captures that troubling moment:

    It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

    Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

    Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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    If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

    You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

    The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

    For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

    (Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

    The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

    Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

    Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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    It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

    The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

    The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

    One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

    Report: Wild will tab John Torchetti as interim head coach

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    As many expected, the Minnesota Wild will make John Torchetti their interim head coach, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.

    (He’s not the only one to report as much, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie also stated that he’s likely to take the job.)

    The team itself hasn’t made an official announcement about Torchetti, and the reasoning is probably simple enough: he’s coaching their AHL affiliate the Iowa Wild on Saturday night.

    Torchetti is no stranger to the NHL, although he’ll probably be frustrated if this opportunity doesn’t turn into a full-time gig. He was also an interim head coach for the Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers.

    As of this writing, the Wild are in a three-way tie for the first spot outside of the West’s wild card mix, although they could sink a bit depending upon how Arizona and Vancouver handle the one game they have in hand on the Wild.

    More importantly, Minnesota’s currently three points behind Nashville for the final wild card spot.

    That’s not an impossible goal for Torchetti. For whatever it’s worth, Sports Club Stats gives Minnesota a 34.7 percent chance to make the playoffs.

    (Note: photo via the Iowa Wild.)