Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Six

Was Mason Raymond injured on a dirty hit? Canucks believe so

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During tonight’s Game 6 that saw Boston beat Vancouver 5-2 to force a Game 7 on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET on NBC), the Vancouver Canucks saw their lineup depth take a shot in the early stages of the game.

Canucks speedy forward Mason Raymond was injured thanks to a hit from Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk on what appeared to be a rather innocuous play in the corner. Raymond was helped off the ice by teammates and was later taken to Mass General Hospital to be examined. While the play itself didn’t seem to be too dangerous or dirty, it’s shaping up that Raymond will miss out on Game 7.

Here’s video of the play in question.

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After the game, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault had no update on Raymond but TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted that the Canucks are not too happy with what happened.

No specifics on Mason Raymond injury,but I’m told it’s bad. More to come. Canucks furious over the hit because the puck was nowhere near

We’re sure that some fans will think that the Canucks could be politicking here and perhaps even crying wolf but given that Raymond was taken to the hospital and the grave seriousness in how the injury is being described, it leads us to believe that things are really bad with Raymond.

All that aside, taking a look at the hit we can see that it was delivered late but not in the same sense that Aaron Rome connected with Nathan Horton as Boychuk and Raymond were already engaged. Guys are taught to finish their checks and that’s what it appeared Boychuk was doing… It just happened that Raymond was in a very awkward position going into the corner.

With the Canucks as angry as they are, we have to assume the NHL may take a look at the play and see if there’s something objectionable enough to warrant action on Boychuk, but it would seem right now that we likely won’t see anything come of it.

Raymond’s loss to the lineup is a big one as he’s played well alongside Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins on the Canucks second line. Jannik Hansen took Raymond’s spot on the second line after he was knocked out of the game. Hansen played well with those two so it’s not unreasonable that he’ll be back on that line again in Game 7 provided Raymond is as hurt as reported. As to who might jump back into the lineup with Raymond out, Jeff Tambellini would be the likely choice.

The Canucks shouldn’t need added motivation going into a Game 7, but if Raymond is out and they feel it was a dirty hit, they’ve got that little bit of extra juice for their game now.

Devils’ Merrill undergoes shoulder surgery, out four months

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 04: Jon Merrill #7 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Detroit Red Wings at the Prudential Center on January 4, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. The Red Wings defeated the Devils 1-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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New Jersey d-man Jon Merrill, who struggled through an injury-riddled campaign, has undergone successful shoulder surgery with an expected recovery time of four months, the club announced on Wednesday.

Merrill, 24, only appeared in 47 games this year, first missing time with an arm injury, then suffering a shoulder ailment late in the year.

There was no clear indication if the two ailments were related, but Merrill’s arm injury was on the right side, and surgery was on his right shoulder.

A former University of Michigan standout taken 38th overall in 2010, Merrill enjoyed solid rookie and sophomore campaigns in New Jersey. His second year was especially solid — 14 points in 66 games, averaging over 20 minutes per night — and he boasts good size, going 6-foot-3, 205 pounds.

Based on the four-month timetable for recovery, Merrill will likely miss parts of New Jersey’s training camp and preseason action.

Max Talbot mulling European options for next season

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After a 10-year career with over 700 games played and one Stanley Cup, Maxime Talbot could be done in the NHL.

Per RDS, Talbot — who’ll hit unrestricted free agency on July 1 — has “some options in Europe” for next season, and is contemplating a move overseas.

In his prime, Talbot was a gritty, hardworking forward with decent touch around the net. He scored double-digit goals four times, including a career-high 19 in ’11-12.

The 32-year-old split last season between Boston and its AHL affiliate in Providence, scoring seven points in 38 games at the NHL level.

Talbot did acquit himself very well with the P-Bruins — 21 points in 26 games — and has some experience playing abroad, having suited up for Finnish League club Ilves Tampere during the lockout.

Based on how things went last year in free agency, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Talbot land in Europe.

The likes of Maxim Lapierre, Curtis Glencross and Marcel Goc all failed to score NHL contracts last summer — Lapierre and Goc proceeded to sign overseas, while Glencross opted to retire.

 

Ex-‘Hawks coach Suhonen takes Austrian national team job

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13:  Thomas Raffl #5 of Austria celebrates with his teammates after Thomas Hundertpfund #27 scored a goal in the first period against Tuukka Rask #40 of Finland during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group B 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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Alpo Suhonen, who became the first European-born NHL coach in over 50 years upon taking the Chicago gig in 2000, has been named the new bench boss of the Austrian men’s national team, per IIHF.com.

Suhonen, 67, takes over from former NHL defenseman Dan Ratushny, who was splitting duties between Team Austria and Lausanne of the Swiss League.

Suhonen takes over the national team at a critical juncture. Austria finished a disappointing fourth at the 2016 World Hockey Championship Division 1 tournament — meaning the country finished 20th overall. As the IIHF websites notes, that’s the worst finish for Austria in 86 years of WHC competition.

Looking forward, Austria does have a chance to make amends this summer, when it will play a series of contests to prep for Olympic qualification.

Suhonen inherits a roster with decent NHL pedigree as Thomas Vanek, Michael Raffl and Michael Grabner are all eligible to participate.

That said, Vanek was named to Team Europe’s initial 16-man roster for the World Cup of Hockey, and it remains to be seen how that will impact his national team commitments.

Datsyuk’s agent acknowledges offer from KHL’s SKA, but no deal yet

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) celebrates his empty net goal against the Edmonton Oilers in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit Monday, March 9, 2015. Detroit won 5-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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Gennady Timchenko, the billionaire chairman of KHL club SKA Saint Petersburg, reportedly believes there’s a “good chance” that Pavel Datsyuk will be playing for his team next season.

But according to Datsyuk’s agent, Dan Milstein, there’s only been an offer from SKA. Nothing has been signed yet. There could still be offers from other KHL teams for his client to consider.

And at any rate, Milstein insisted once again that Datysuk won’t be making any decisions until he speaks with the Detroit Red Wings in mid-June, after the 37-year-old returns from a family vacation.

Milstein passed along that update to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, plus a few other Wings reporters.

Related: Datsyuk ‘wants to make sure the Wings have options’