Scott Gomez Braden Holtby Scott Hannan

Braden Holtby thinks NHL refs are the bee’s knees


Braden Holtby might just have bought himself a few calls with the nice things he’s been saying about NHL officials.

When the Capitals’ rookie goalie was asked if he was worried about the Boston Bruins crashing his crease during their first-round series, Holtby replied that he’s been through worse in the minors.

“To tell you the truth, the NHL game in front of the net is a lot easier than the AHL game. The refs are a lot more precise in their calls. That’s obviously why they’re in the NHL,” Holtby said, as per the Washington Post. “The AHL there’s a lot of stuff that goes that should be penalties and it isn’t. So that’s one thing that I think I do have to my advantage is that I’ve learned to deal through that…..People always come up saying that it was really physical and it wasn’t. It didn’t seem that way for me. So I think that’s an advantage.”

Holtby went on to say that NHL refs deserve a huge raise and that they’re the handsomest refs in sports.

But in all seriousness, it’ll be interesting to see how strict the referees are with goaltender interference during the playoffs, as it’s been such a hot-button topic this season.

Here’s VP Player Safety, Brendan Shanahan, discussing the topic on a recent episode of NHL Live.

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.

Blues put Berglund on LTIR, use savings to sign Gomez

Scotte Gomez
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As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.

Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.

He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.