On Monday, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma told reporters that forward James Neal has suffered a concussion, and won’t travel with the team on its upcoming road trip through Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida.
Neal, 25, was injured during Friday’s 2-1 shootout win over the Rangers following this third-period hit by New York defenseman Michael Del Zotto:
Neal left the game with 8:42 left and didn’t return. Del Zotto wasn’t penalized on the play and later told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he was bracing himself during the collision.
“I think they just dumped [the puck] in, and I knew I was going to get hit on the forecheck,” he explained. “I just tried to kind of reverse hit and brace myself. I’m not sure exactly what happened.”
On Saturday, it was learned the NHL wouldn’t be scheduling a disciplinary hearing for Del Zotto.
Neal, who has no previous history of concussions, is Pittsburgh’s third-leading scorer this season with 18G-14A-32PTS.
He’s coming off a 2011-12 season in which he scored a career-high 40 goals and was named to his first NHL All-Star Game.
Mike Weaver has retired. The 37-year-old defenseman made the announcement today via the NHLPA.
“What an enjoyable experience to do something you love for 11 years in the NHL and 15 years in professional hockey,” said Weaver in a release. “I could never have imagined this. Hockey is more than just a game to me. Thanks to the Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens.
“I would also like to thank the fans who brought the energy and excitement every night to the arenas. When the game starts, your teammates are who you trust, rely on and respect the most. Thank you to all my teammates for all the memories that will last a lifetime.”
Undrafted out of Michigan State, Weaver ended up playing 633 games in the NHL, plus 28 more in the playoffs.
Dylan Larkin — despite being just 19 years old — will begin the season on the Detroit Red Wings, a team not normally accustomed to having teenagers in the lineup.
Coach Jeff Blashill confirmed the news this morning. Larkin could apparently start on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.
Larkin, the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, had three goals and one assist in five preseason games. A natural center, he’s shown the potential to one day step into the kind of “big-time” role that Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have played for so long in Detroit.
“You have to give our scouts credit,” former coach Mike Babcock told ESPN in May. “We got a great pick where we picked. How high end is he? How soon?”
Related: Coaching change ‘one of the reasons’ Larkin signed with Wings