TV producer who withheld replays of a Flyers goal will return to Penguins telecasts this season


There were a lot of goal review debates last year, but only one in which a television producer became the lightning rod for controversy.

That happened when FSN Pittsburgh producer Lowell MacDonald, Jr. withheld a replay that would have revealed that the Philadelphia Flyers scored a goal on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The TV producer was suspended since January for the strange homer infraction, but Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that MacDonald will be back on Penguins telecasts this season.

MacDonald attended the Penguins’ practice at the Consol Energy Center today and confirmed that he will again serve as producer.

He was suspended in January, after failing to make officials at the NHL’s war room in Toronto aware that a video replay existed that showed the puck crossing the goalie line on a possible shorthanded score by Simon Gagne of Philadelphia.

The on-ice ruling that Gagne’s goal should not count was not overturned because of inconclusive evidence. Had the replay in question been shown before the final decision was made, the goal would have counted.

The Flyers won the game, 7-4.

When you consider the fact that Philadelphia needed a shootout win on the last day of the 09-10 regular season, it’s especially comforting to know that the Flyers at least won that game. Imagine if that move would have cost the Flyers a playoff spot? Something tells me he wouldn’t have been able to get his job back so easily.

MacDonald made a foolish move, but hopefully he learned from his mistake. It could be interesting if the Flyers and Penguins have some goals in dispute next season, though.

Panarin impresses ‘Hawks with his preseason debut

Artemi Panarin
AP Photo

Will Artem Panarin‘s overwhelming success in the KHL translate to North America? The 23-year-old forward has a lot to prove, but his first big test was a success.

Playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, Panarin made his preseason debut in Chicago’s finale on Saturday. He registered two assists while giving his teammates reason to be optimistic about him.

“For not being on the ice he looks really relaxed. He’s great with the puck, has nice moves and I think we’ll see a lot of this,” Marian Hossa told CSN Chicago. “He has unbelievable skill. People here in Chicago are going to have a good time watching this guy dangling.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed by Panarin as well and liked that line as a whole.

The fact that the trio seemed to hit it off quickly has to come as a relief after an upper-body injury prevented Panarin from getting the most out of this year’s training camp. At the end of the day though, the fact that he was able to at least get in one preseason contest is a big silver lining. How smoothly his adjustment goes from here is still a big X-factor, but at least now he’s going into the regular season with a better idea of what to expect.

Panarin is attempting to establish himself in the NHL after leading the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg to a championship last year. He was the team’s scoring leader, topping ex-NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk.

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
AP Photo
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.