Marian Hossa, Viktor Stalberg back in Chicago’s lineup; Corey Crawford out with flu

The Chicago Blackhawks will see some lineup shuffling for tonight’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets – and for the most part – the news is good. (The source for such mixed news is Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily Herald.)

Good news: Marian Hossa and Viktor Stalberg are expected to play for the Blackhawks in tonight’s game. Hossa missed Chicago’s last 10 games with what many thought (but the Blackhawks did not confirm) was a knee injury. He told Sassone that the Christmas break helped him heal a bit more.

Bad news: Red-hot goalie Corey Crawford won’t play in the game because he’s battling flu-like symptoms right now. That means that beleaguered would-be starter Marty Turco will take the reins for the first time since December 13th. Former Boston Bruins goalie Hannu Toivonen was reportedly called up to serve as Turco’s backup.

Patrick Kane update: He won’t play in tonight’s game, but did skate today. Sassone reports that Kane hopes to play through an entire practice on Monday before deciding whether or not he can play in Saturday’s game in St. Louis. He’s missed eight games so far with the injury.

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.