James Wisniewski regrets making obscene gesture toward Sean Avery, ‘hurting’ his team


Honestly, I thought the NHL went overboard in handing New York Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski a two game suspension for making the international gesture for fellatio toward Sean Avery. Sure, it was childish and embarrassing, but isn’t that how you’d describe just about every post-whistle scuffle and bit of trash talking? He simply translated that nonsense into a hand gesture.

Sure, it’s not as ridiculous as giving Sean Avery (Wisniewski’s “victim” besides THE CHILDREN) a six game suspension for using high school gossip lingo to talk about his ex-girlfriend, but handing out the same punishment for a hand motion as the league does for a dangerous hit sends a strange message. It actually reminds me of the general theme of the documentary “This Film was not yet rated”; NHL executives give violence a ton of rope but cringe at the slightest hint of sex.

(Then again, while violence is inherent to the sport, sex isn’t really a part of hockey. At least, I hope not.)

Regardless of my feelings on the subject, Wisniewski expressed the fact that he regrets what he did to Chris Botta of NHL Fanhouse.

Back in the lineup after watching his team in a loss in Washington and overtime loss in Pittsburgh, Wisniewski did not want to leave it unclear just who was wrong on Monday.

“You can’t do stuff like that,” said Wisniewski, who had a goal and two assists in his first two games of the season. “You have to keep your emotions cool. You have to keep your emotions in check. People are watching. You have to be professional. You have to be responsible for your actions.”

Considering Wisniewski’s troubles the last couple seasons – he was also suspended eight games for a regrettable charge on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook last season – so maybe this bit of shame will inspire him to clean up his act. The Islanders are actually off to a good start, as they’re currently tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins at six points (and they’ve played in one less game, too). Having a focused Wisniewski could be a great asset for the Islanders, who are considerably banged up already this season.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
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Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.