Another day, another UFA defenseman off the market.
That was the story out of Colorado on Tuesday as the Avalanche re-signed defenseman Shane O’Brien to a three-year, $6 million deal, according to the Denver Post.
O’Brien, 28, has been something of a hockey nomad since breaking in with Anaheim in 2006-07. He’s spent time with the Ducks, Lightning, Canucks, Predators and Avalanche — yes, five clubs in five years — but had something of a renaissance in Colorado last season, tying a career high in assists (17) while putting 114 shots on goal, well above his previous best of 72.
Known for his partying ways (especially in Vancouver), O’Brien seemed to channel his, uh, enthusiasm last year under Avs head coach Joe Sacco, who praised the defenseman’s on-ice leadership skills, among other things.
“From a coach’s standpoint, that’s more important, but if you talk about intangibles, you can talk about O.B.,” Sacco told the Denver Post. “He brings a lot of positive energy, both on the ice and off the ice.”
Colorado GM Greg Sherman also noted O’Brien’s energy in discussing the deal.
“Having Shane under contract further solidifies our blueline,” Sherman told the Avs website. “He brings energy to our lineup and we’re pleased to have signed him to a multi-year deal.”
Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.
Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.
You can also see it up close via this GIF:
Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:
At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.
Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.
The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.
So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.
You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.
Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.
Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.
The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.
This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.
From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.
“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”
Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.
At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.
Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?
We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.
Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.
Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
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Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
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