Mike Green helps his friend get on Winter Classic ice for marriage proposal

On Thursday night, we discussed a thoroughly bizarre wedding that took place during the first intermission of the Boston Bruins-Atlanta Thrashers game. Apparently love is in the air – and on the ice – this week, because another Zamboni-smoothed romance was sealed this weekend.

At least this time around, it seemed charming and didn’t involve a huge bird mascot.

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green will remember the 2011 Winter Classic for more than just a hockey event, as he helped a longtime friend get onto the ice at Heinz Field to make a marriage proposal. The defenseman is known for being a catalyst on the ice for the Capitals’ high-scoring offense, but this time he helped set up a moment that Calgary native Jeff Leachman and Lindsay Gorkof will never forget.

Luckily for everyone involved, Gorkof said yes when Leachman proposed.

“My buddy has been a Pittsburgh Penguins fan for a long, long time – since he was like eight or nine years old,” Green said. “He told me was coming to the game so I arranged for him to be part of the family skate. He said he wanted to ask his girl to marry him so I said why not do it on the ice?”

And so Calgary native Jeff Leachman had the opportunity to ask his girlfriend, Lindsay Gorkof, to marry him on the ice the day before the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Much to Green’s relief, Ms. Gorkof said yes, and everyone was able to celebrate.

“Yeah, she did. I told him that if I get all this set up then she better say yes,” Green said. “It was a pretty cool day, and that was a great way to finish it We had everyone gather around for a photo and then he asked. It was a pretty special moment.”

Senators select Kyle Turris as alternate captain

Chris Neil Kyle Turris Dustin Tokarski
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Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.

Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.

Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.

With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.

Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

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On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.