Dan Carcillo

Dan Carcillo suspended for two games next season for abusing officials in Game 4 loss to Boston

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If nothing else, Philadelphia’s Dan Carcillo sure knows how to liven things up even when his team isn’t even playing.

It feels like it was forever ago that the Philadelphia Flyers were in the playoffs but during Game 4 of the Bruins sweep of the Flyers out of the playoffs, there was an incident that caught the attention of the league.

Flyers agitator Dan Carcillo was suspended for two games next season by the NHL for a situation that developed between the first and second periods of the Bruins 5-1 Game 4 win over Philly.

Operating on the “better late than never” means of getting to work, NHL Senior VP of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy, sitting in for Colin Campbell because the incident happened against Boston, had this to say about what happened.

“Between the first and second period, while off ice and outside the officials’ locker room, Mr. Carcillo engaged in aggressive behavior and inappropriate conduct directed at the officials,” said Murphy. “While Mr. Carcillo acknowledged in the hearing that he regrets his actions outside of the officials’ room, there can be no defense for his conduct.

“I also reviewed the verbal confrontation between Carcillo and linesman Brian Murphy at the players’ bench prior to the start of the second period and have determined that, while the verbal abuse may have been worthy of a penalty, there is no evidence that Carcillo’s action merit supplemental discipline,” concluded Murphy.

The officials that night were Steve Kozari and Stephen Walkom along with linesmen Brian Murphy and Steve Miller. What’s a bit unfortunate here is that there’s no account of what happened either in print or video form as it would be fascinating to find out what, exactly, a player could do or say to get a two game ban from the league. We know that Carcillo is one of the more colorful players in the league so we can only imagine that it was on par with something like what Sean Avery might say when addressing the media about the dating habits of his rival players.

Making things a bit awkward is that Carcillo is a free agent now so whoever ends up signing him in the NHL, should that happen, will have to deal with him being suspended for two games. While we don’t know who will be in the market for an energy line semi-tough guy with a penchant for taking back-breaking penalties, we’re sure they’ll be more than invested and prepared for the hysterics that Carcillo provides on the ice anyhow.

As for how much money the suspension costs Carcillo, we’ll need to wait and see what he signs for over the summer to find out. We’re sure the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund eagerly anticipates his signing to get their first contribution of the 2011-2012 season.

Stanley Cup Final referees: McCauley, O’Halloran, O’Rourke, Sutherland

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 13:  Referee Dan O'Halloran #13 holds up a face-off between the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators during their NHL game at First Niagara Center on December 13, 2011 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Dave Sandford Getty Images)
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From the NHL:

refs

Pretty veteran crew, including three returnees from last year’s final.

Per the NHL, O’Halloran and O’Rourke will call tonight’s series opener from Consol.

After advancing to Cup final, DeBoer had Sharks fans coming up to him with ‘tears in their eyes’

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 29: Head coach Peter DeBoer addresses the media during the NHL Stanley Cup Final Media Day at Consol Energy Center on May 29, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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PITTSBURGH — When Pete DeBoer was hired to coach the San Jose Sharks, he wasn’t totally cognizant of how much heartbreak the fan base had experienced throughout the years.

Now he knows.

“First year in the community, I didn’t realize kind of the baggage that was carried around,” DeBoer said this morning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. “Twenty-five-year season-ticket holders coming up to you with tears in their eyes and crying.”

The Sharks, of course, have never been this far in the playoffs. Prior to this year, they’d made it three times to the Western Conference Final, losing each time.

More painful were the first-round exits. Like in 2009 when they won the Presidents’ Trophy and got knocked out by the Ducks, and two years ago when they led the Kings 3-0 before dropping four straight.

It was only after the Sharks beat the Blues that DeBoer fully realized the “gravity of what they’ve been through” as fans in San Jose, and “how important this is to them.”

Not that he’s satisfied with getting this far.

“The business at hand now is to get off on the right foot, plant the right seeds for this series, impose our game,” he said. “Every series is the same — it’s whatever team can impose their game on the other team the quickest and for the longest. That’s our goal here tonight.”

Related: For Pete DeBoer, San Jose was the perfect landing spot

Kopitar will play for Slovenia in Olympic qualifiers

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Anze Kopitar #11 of Slovenia skates against Russia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar will spend part of his offseason trying to help Slovenia qualify for the Olympics.

RTV Slovenia has the story here.

The qualification games will be played September 1-4 in Minsk. Slovenia is in a group with Belarus, Denmark and Poland. The winner of the group will qualify for the Olympics.

The NHL reportedly has no issue with Kopitar’s participation, even though the league has yet to commit to sending its players to Pyeongchang.

Slovenia made its Olympic debut in ice hockey at the 2014 Games in Sochi.

Kopitar will also represent Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup later in September.

Related: Slovenia beats Slovakia for historic win

Zubrus in, Nieto likely out for Sharks in Stanley Cup Final opener

ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 15:  Dainius Zubrus #9 of the San Jose Sharks skates against Alexander Steen #20 of the St. Louis Blues in Game One of the Western Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on May 15, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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PITTSBURGH — Matt Nieto is healthy, and ready to go.

But it doesn’t look like he’ll go tonight.

The San Jose Sharks are unlikely to make any lineup changes for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh — at Monday’s optional morning skate, Nieto stayed out late with the extras while the guy he’d (presumably) replace in the lineup, Dainius Zubrus, told NHL.com he was in.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer wouldn’t reveal any lineup decisions during his morning media availability, instead talking up both Nieto (for his speed) and Zubrus (for his “heavy” game), adding he liked the versatility the two give the club on a night-by-night basis.

Nieto suffered an upper-body injury in Game 6 of the Nashville series, and missed all of the Western Conference Final.

Prior to getting hurt, he had three points in 11 games — this after a regular season in which he scored eight goals and 17 points in 67 games.