Some injury news and updates to pass along:
Nashville forward Patric Hornqvist has resumed skating after suffering a knee injury in late January.
The 26-year-old Swede only appeared in five games for the Preds before landing on IR, and the team has missed his offensive production mightily.
Hornqvist had 1G-3A-4PTS prior to getting hurt and is a three-time 20-goal scorer, potting a career-best 30 in 2009-10.
Nashville has the league’s worst offense (1.77 goals per game) and is hopeful Hornqvist will return to practice next week.
Chicago Blackhawks agitator Daniel Carcillo has also returned to the ice.
Carcillo has been out of the Chicago lineup since suffering a knee injury in the team’s opening game of the season, but recently began skating with fellow injured ‘Hawk Steve Montador (concussion).
Carcillo remains on IR, but the club is optimistic he can return to full practice in the near future.
“He’s doing good,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Tribune. “Danny is still not in our practices yet, but hopefully at some point this week he might get injected into our practices.”
Washington forward Brooks Laich — who has yet to dress for the Capitals this season — has been cleared for practice contact, according to Katie Carrera of the Washington Times.
The 29-year-old center injured his groin while playing for Kloten of the Swiss league during the lockout.
Caps head coach Adam Oates brought Laich along on Washington’s latest road trip — the Caps won 6-5 in OT in Florida on Tuesday, and will now to go Tampa Bay and New York (Rangers) — and the club is hopeful he can participate in practice while they’re on the road.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?