Jimmy Howard

Jimmy Howard likes having Christmas off

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Getting both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off comes off rather particular considering both the NFL and NBA are going full bore with their schedule while the NHL takes two days off for the holidays. Fans might not like having the break away from games, but the players are more than thankful.

One player who’s happy to have time off is new dad and Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. Howard tells Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press having just a couple days off is a huge boost for the players.

“I just think this break is great because it’s the one day of the year I think we deserve to be able to spend time with our families. We’re constantly on the road, going back and forth all over the country, and to be able to get these three days is going to be great for us.”

The Red Wings could use the break after having a miserable trip to western Canada. Losses to Vancouver and Calgary following a narrow win over Edmonton have the Wings happy to get a break before going to Nashville on Monday to face the Predators.

Getting Christmas off is something the fans eager to have hockey to watch is something that leaves them feeling a bit hollow, but hockey players are people too. Cut ’em a break and let them get a fat on egg nog and gingerbread.

Update: Wisniewski tore ACL 47 seconds into ‘Canes debut

James Wisniewski, John-Michael Liles, Elias Lindholm
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Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.

Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.

From the club:

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.

Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.

This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.

Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.

Jordan Weal to make NHL debut for Kings

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Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.

Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.

A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.

“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”

The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.

Related: Jordan Weal is looking to make the leap