Perhaps jumping back into NHL action would have been ideal for defending Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin, yet Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika caught up with him (and his mentor Sergei Gonchar) to see the bright side of the lockout.
Specifically, Malkin gets the chance to play close to home and for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the team that helped him develop his all-world skills.
“It is special,” Malkin said, with Gonchar translating. “It is something that [does] not happen very often.”
Like Tyler Seguin in the Swiss A-League, Malkin is starting to heat up in the KHL, scoring nine points in his last three games.
It’s not just the quality of play that’s improving, though.
Gonchar explains how far the NHL’s most prominent overseas competitor has come since the last lockout.
“Playing over here, it’s much more enjoyable now than it was,” Gonchar said. “To be honest with you, I’m enjoying it here. For me, it goes either way [if the entire NHL season is canceled]. I like it here. I enjoy my teammates. We have a great team. So I don’t care.”
It doesn’t sound like players such as Malkin and Gonchar are really struggling to make the best of things, then.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.
Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.
It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.
Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.
He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.
Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.
If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.
The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.
The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.