Tyler Ennis Jared Spurgeon

Best buds Ennis, Spurgeon off to Switzerland

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Switzerland’s National A League added some more skill on Friday as SC Langnau Tigers announced the signings of Buffalo’s Tyler Ennis and Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon.

Ennis, 22, was in the news recently as he agreed to a two-year, $5.6 million extension with the Sabres just hours before the lockout.

The diminutive center was expected to challenge for Buffalo’s No. 1 center position this year but, with the work stoppage, he’ll now be challenging former Boston farmhand (and Langnau captain) Pascal Pelletier for the same spot with the Tigers.

Spurgeon, 22, heads to Switzerland on the heels of a breakout campaign with the Wild. The offensive defenseman led all Minnesota blueliners in scoring last season (3G-20A-23PTS), playing in a career-high 70 games.

The move to Langnau also represents a reunion of sorts, as Ennis and Spurgeon have been close friends since growing up together in Edmonton, AB.

Image courtesy the Minnesota Star-Tribune. (Link)

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…

Two-for-two: Another successful coach’s challenge as Sens reverse Kane’s goal

Dave Cameron
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Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.

Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.

From the league:

At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.

The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.

As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.