Brad Richardson

NHLPA to “honor its commitment” to Hockeyville winner

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The NHLPA says it will “honor its commitment to hockey fans in Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario, and will proudly participate in the Stirling Minor Hockey NHLPA Day on Saturday, October 13, 2012.”

An exhibition game between Toronto and Columbus was originally scheduled for Oct. 3 in nearby Belleville after Stirling-Rawdon was named the winner of Kraft Hockeyville 2012.

However, the cancellation of the preseason due to the lockout meant the game would be postponed until next year.

“Towns like Stirling-Rawdon are the heart and soul of our game and as players we wanted to honor our commitment by supporting local hockey and fans in this community,” said Los Angeles forward Brad Richardson in an NHLPA release. “Even though we are currently locked-out, we know that hockey lives on in small communities like this one, and we look forward to what will be a very fun day in Stirling-Rawdon on October 13th.”

So good news for the 2,000 residents of Stirling-Rawdon.

And for the NHLPA, yet another PR jab at the NHL.

Senators select Kyle Turris as alternate captain

Chris Neil Kyle Turris Dustin Tokarski
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Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.

Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.

Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.

With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.

Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.

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.