Keith Ballard suffers ‘slight concussion’; ‘No time frame’ for return

Maybe the Vancouver Canucks have some kind of hex on them. Perhaps it’s residual bad karma from the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident.

Whatever the case may be, the Canucks blue line is dealing with injury problems yet again this season. New addition Keith Ballard is reportedly suffering from a “slight concussion” after being hit into the boards by Los Angeles Kings center Brad Richardson. Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province shed a little light on the situation.

But in just the Canucks fourth game, Brad Richardson hammered Ballard into the boards. Ballard wobbled off the ice and out of the game. It was revealed Saturday he has what Alain Vigneault called a “slight” concussion.

Slight or not, there is no time frame for Ballard’s return.

So it sounds like Vancouver will be without Ballard’s services for the near future. That’s a tough loss for the slow-starting Canucks, however, if any team can deal with an injured defenseman it’s them. We’ll pass along more news about Ballard’s situation as it comes along.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.