Henrik Lundqvist

Lundqvist still in Sweden, still not playing

When Henrik Lundqvist left New York for Sweden three weeks ago, many figured he’d soon be playing in the Swedish Elite League.

Yet as of Thursday, he was still without a club — and antsy about the lack of work.

“Nothing has changed. I’m not going to play for Frolunda unless things change,” Lundqvist told the New York Post about joining his hometown club. “The longer I have to wait, obviously the more I want to join my brother [Joel] on Frolunda, but right now I’m sitting tight.”

(That would be Lundqvist’s identical twin brother, Joel. That’s right, ladies — there are two of ’em.)

Much of Lundqvist’s frustration comes from the Swedish league’s reluctance to sign locked-out NHLers.

Even though an anti-trust ruling by the Swedish Competition Committee forced the SEL to allow the signings of such players, teams haven’t exactly jumped at the opportunity.

Matt Duchene, Viktor Stalberg and Alex Steen are the only prominent signings thus far, with Swedish stars like Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Backstrom opting to join other leagues.

This trend sent Lundqvist into a Twitter frenzy on Wednesday:

“Trying to understand why the Swedish hockey league is the only league in the world which doesn’t want to see NHL players give back to the clubs which raised them.”

“Seeing many of our best players all around Europe and not in Sweden is for me personally a sign of weakness, not strength.”

“Is the NHL strike really a problem for the Elite League or should it be viewed as a glorious opportunity instead?”

(H/T to Puck Daddy, Linus Hugosson for translation.)

If he’s unable to latch on with Frolunda, it’s going to be awfully curious to see how Lundqvist reacts to such an extended break once NHL play resumes.

Though he’s coming off arguably the finest year of his career, he’s also now on the wrong side of 30 and hasn’t played a competitive game since May 25.

Uh oh, Marian Hossa might be injured after awkward fall

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa, left, talks to center Jonathan Toews during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

Video isn’t yet available, but My Regular Face’s GIF captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

Report: Wild will tab John Torchetti as interim head coach

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As many expected, the Minnesota Wild will make John Torchetti their interim head coach, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.

(He’s not the only one to report as much, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie also stated that he’s likely to take the job.)

The team itself hasn’t made an official announcement about Torchetti, and the reasoning is probably simple enough: he’s coaching their AHL affiliate the Iowa Wild on Saturday night.

Torchetti is no stranger to the NHL, although he’ll probably be frustrated if this opportunity doesn’t turn into a full-time gig. He was also an interim head coach for the Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers.

As of this writing, the Wild are in a three-way tie for the first spot outside of the West’s wild card mix, although they could sink a bit depending upon how Arizona and Vancouver handle the one game they have in hand on the Wild.

More importantly, Minnesota’s currently three points behind Nashville for the final wild card spot.

That’s not an impossible goal for Torchetti. For whatever it’s worth, Sports Club Stats gives Minnesota a 34.7 percent chance to make the playoffs.

(Note: photo via the Iowa Wild.)