Report: NCAA suspends Ducks prospect one year for alleged ties to NHL agent

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On Friday, the NCAA suspended Wisconsin freshman Nic Kerdiles for the entire 2012-13 campaign for violating its code of amateurism.

Now, details of the suspension are beginning to leak — and it appears a high-profile NHL agent could be at the center.

According to Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal, sources claim the NCAA acted on photos involving Ian Pulver — one of the heads of the Pulver Sports agency — and Kerdiles, selected by Anaheim in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

More, from the Journal:

Multiple sources in the NHL and college hockey indicate the NCAA acted on photos and postings made public via social media that involve an agent and took place leading up to the NHL Entry Draft in June.

It’s not clear what specific issues led the NCAA to rule against Kerdiles, an 18-year-old from Irvine, Calif., but the Bucky’s 5th Quarter website culled a photo from an agent’s Twitter account that showed Kerdiles and two of the agent’s clients holding glasses that advertised a specific energy drink.

The photo could be construed as Kerdiles being marketed by the representative as well as being used to promote a specific product.

The agent who posted the energy drink photo, Toronto-based Ian Pulver of Pulver Sports, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment Monday.

As mentioned, the photo in question was procured by Bucky’s 5th Quarter, a SB Nation blog. It shows Kerdiles posing with fellow draftees Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk while holding BioSteel products, a line of performance sports drinks.

Bucky’s 5th Quarter also obtained a second photo — through the Facebook account of Alyonka Larionov, daughter of Pulver agent Igor Larionov — showing Kerdiles at dinner with Pulver, Galchenyuk, Igor Larionov, John Walters (another Pulver agent) and Bruins forward Tyler Seguin.

Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said the school is appealing Kerdiles’ suspension, but declined to give any further details.

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