Theo Fleury

Theo Fleury’s accused sexual abuser faces sentencing this week

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Graham James will face a sentencing hearing for allegedly sexually abusing former Calgary Flames star Theo Fleury and another player, but Fleury is adamant that he’s moved on – regardless of what happens with James.

“I have already moved past and I am the victor over sexual abuse,” Fleury said. “And my sole focus and sole purpose in my life — and for the remainder of my life — is to support other victims who have come forth, or are yet to come forth, and have started the journey and the path to healing.”

Fleury’s battle with those abuses was one of the major focuses of his book “Playing with Fire.”

The spirited former NHL player won’t be on hand for the hearings, but some of James’ other victims will be on hand. Retired NHLer Sheldon Kennedy discussed how difficult it will likely be to sit in the same room as James.

“It’s a hard day to face your abuser in whatever type of abuse that is,” Kennedy said. “For so long you think it’s your fault and most of the time these people are in a position of power over you.”

The former hockey coach has already spent three and a half years in prison due to convictions related to similar charges. The Canadian Press reports that some legal experts  believe that James might serve his time in the community since he’s already done time before, which is an idea that incenses Greg Gilhooly.

“In many ways Graham is no different than (serial child killer) Clifford Olson, except that Graham decided to leave his victims alive at the very end after doing what he did with them,” Gilhooly said. “Graham is a serial pedophile, who picked and chose his victim, and then moved on to the next, and the next, and the next. If our court system believes that the sentence he received the first time is adequate, I say the court system is an ass.”

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.