Deslauriers, Sexton join Anaheim’s AHL affiliate

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On Tuesday, the Anaheim Ducks signed Jeff Deslauriers and Dan Sexton to professional tryout contracts with their AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals.

Both players are under contract to Anaheim for the 2012-13 season, so these were essentially procedural moves to get Deslauriers and Sexton some action prior the (potential) start of the NHL season.

Neither had been playing during the locko0ut.

Deslauriers, 28, was taken 31st overall by Edmonton at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and briefly nabbed the Oilers’ No. 1 goaltending gig in 2009-10, posting a 16-28-4 record with a 3.26 GAA and .901 save percentage.

He signed in Anaheim prior to the 2011-12 season, and is expected to challenge Viktor Fasth for the backup gig in this year.

Sexton, 25, spent all of last year with AHL Syracuse after playing 88 games for the Ducks between 2009-11.

The two-year deal he signed in 2011 is structured so that it’ll be a one-way deal this season, meaning he’ll earn his NHL salary ($550,000) no matter what.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.