Eagleson shunned from ’72 Summit Series celebrations

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All these years later, Alan Eagleson is still making headlines. The former executive director of the NHLPA (a position now held by Donald Fehr) is being forced to mark the 40th anniversary of his greatest triumph, the 1972 Summit Series, at home alone.

From The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle:

The ’72 series made him a household name. And then, two decades later, came his dizzying fall – dozens of charges of embezzlement, fraud, racketeering and professional misconduct. He pleaded guilty to reduced charges in 1998 and spent six months in Mimico medium-security prison. Considering some accusations involved skimming pension and disability benefits for retired players, it’s little surprise some don’t want him at the party.

According to Mirtle, the “some” that don’t want him at the party are Phil Esposito, Brad Park, and Dennis Hull.

The rest, including Bobby Clarke, think the 79-year-old deserves an invite.

“This pissing around with Eagleson, that to me just broke the team,” Clarke said. “You don’t do what they’re doing to a team member. That’s not my version of a team. The majority of players feel the way I do, but these two guys have threatened to destroy the team. … Eagleson is part of that team, maybe the biggest part of anybody.”

It’s a tough situation. Sort of like the debate over whether Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. Does the good outweigh the bad? Has a high enough price already been paid?

Anyway, here’s an interview with Eagleson halfway through the ’72 Series and shortly after Vancouver fans booed Team Canada in Game 4.

Video: Ovechkin rocks custom skates for Russian Heritage Night

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As promised, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin rocked a pair of custom skates in honor of Russian Heritage Night on Thursday.

On his right skate, he paid tribute to the United States with a custom design, and paid tribute to his home nation on his left skate while taking the pre-game warm-up prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He’ll be auctioning off the skates, as well.

From CSN Mid-Atlantic:

The skates were painted by noted custom shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber, whom Ovechkin personally selected. The skates feature the U.S. and Russia flags as well as the Capitol Building and Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Video: Crosby slash leaves Methot’s finger bloodied and injured (Updated)

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Sidney Crosby has made news lately for his goal scoring and his use of the stick.

He speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt the other night, and on Thursday he delivered a slash to Senators defenseman Marc Methot, who has since not returned to the game.

The slash rendered a finger on Methot’s left hand bloodied and injured. It certainly didn’t look good as Method (calmly) skated to the bench.

There was no call on the play.

Updated: Methot won’t return to this game.

Show me the money! Nylander sets Leafs rookie record with latest assist

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Toronto’s talented rookies were back at it again Thursday, as William Nylander and Auston Matthews combined to set up the Maple Leafs’ first goal versus the New Jersey Devils.

Nylander added the second assist on the power play goal, giving him 35 helpers on the season.

That’s significant for a couple of reasons: He extends his point streak to 10 games, which sets a new Leafs rookie record. And the assist reportedly secured him another entry-level bonus:

Not bad.

Gibson (lower-body injury) will play again this regular season, says Carlyle

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The Anaheim Ducks have been without goalie John Gibson for almost two full weeks because of injury, but head coach Randy Carlyle provided reason for optimism on Thursday.

Per reports, Gibson took part in practice and Carlyle has said that his No. 1 netminder will play again during the regular season. Anaheim has nine games remaining on its schedule.

That’s good news for Anaheim heading into the post-season.

While Gibson has been out, Jonathan Bernier has stepped beyond his back-up role and provided solid goaltending for the Ducks during the stretch drive — which should also be a bonus for this club with the playoffs quickly approaching.

Bernier has wins in six of his last seven starts. In nine games this month, he has only twice allowed three goals or more.

The Ducks have fought their way back into contention for the Pacific Division with a recent surge that has coincided with San Jose’s current skid — only four wins in their last 10 games and four straight losses.

Related: Career back on track, Bernier hopes he can re-sign in Anaheim