Ville Leino

Regier says Buffalo has no plans to use buyouts

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The Buffalo Sabres aren’t planning to be active during the 48-hour compliance buyout window, according to GM Darcy Regier.

Regier held a press conference on Thursday to address that and a number of other issues, as both he and the Sabres face a very intriguing summer.

Buffalo currently has $14 million in available cap space with 18 players under contract for next season, and could have even more space if they deal leading scorer Thomas Vanek and/or goalie Ryan Miller, potential moves that have been rumored for a while.

On the buyout front, many have speculated forward Ville Leino could be a target.

Leino — who signed a six-year, $27 million deal in 2011 — has largely been a bust. The Finnish forward only scored 25 points in 71 games in his first year in Buffalo, then missed 40 games last season with leg and upper-body injuries.

(That said, Leino did look good in the eight games he did play, scoring six points.)

Despite facing plenty of criticism for signing Leino, Regier has no real need to buy him out. The Sabres are comfortably under the cap, and there is the possibility Leino will improve (or, not get any worse.)

Regier also seems to have the backing of owner Terry Pegula, who said he was on board with the big money deal.

“I think if you probably talk to other owners around the league, they might think that I may spend too much money,” Pegula told Buffalo radio station WGR-AM 550. “You may hear that or whatever, but that’s my style. … You might talk to some of the other owners around the league, and they’ll tell you, ‘Who’s this new owner? What is he, crazy? Why did you give this guy money or that guy?’

“Hey, it’s my decision. It was something I wanted to do.”

So it looks like Mike Ribeiro is a healthy scratch for the Predators

Nashville Predators' Mike Ribeiro (63) gets off a pass as he lies on the ice during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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Mike Ribeiro isn’t playing in Game 3 for the Nashville Predators against the San Jose Sharks, and it doesn’t appear to be for health reasons.

Well, his production hasn’t been very healthy.

The polarizing playmaker has only mustered a single assist and zero goals in nine playoff games; Ribeiro hasn’t scored a point against the Sharks so far.

Ribeiro isn’t exactly known for his offensive acumen, either, so there’s not much motivation to keep him in the lineup if he isn’t producing offense. Ultimately, it’s easy to see why he’s a healthy scratch.

Pontus Aberg looks to make his NHL debut via this big playoff game while Craig Smith is believed to play.

It should be interesting to see how Nashville responds to this challenge.

WATCH LIVE: Game 3 of Sharks – Predators, Stars – Blues

Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) skates with the puck against St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during the first period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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The Nashville Predators hope to get back in their series now that the San Jose Sharks are visiting “Smashville.” Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars and Blues jostle for a 2-1 lead in St. Louis.

You can keep up with Game 3 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders (which is in progress) right here and on NBCSN.

Game 3 of Sharks – Predators is on USA Network and can be streamed via the link below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Finally, Game 3 of Stars – Blues airs on NBCSN. Keep an eye out for notes if there’s overlap with Bolts – Isles (which would bump it temporarily to NHL Network), but either way, you can stream the action below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Video: Jonathan Drouin shaken up by huge Thomas Hickey hit

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Jonathan Drouin‘s strong playoff play has been a big story for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but his health is in question after taking a huge hit on Tuesday.

As you can see from the video above, Drouin was shaken up by an enormous check from New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey. It’s believed that Drouin went to “The Quiet Room” to see if he suffered a concussion; PHT will pass along whatever information becomes available.

(NHL teams aren’t exactly forthcoming with this information.)

The Islanders actually ended up with a power play from the fallout, as Hickey’s hit didn’t earn a penalty. The general reaction is that it wasn’t a dirty hit, yet some might disagree with that sentiment.

Update: Drouin didn’t come out during the beginning of the third period. He did, however, return midway through the final frame.

2016 Foundation Player Award finalists: Giordano, Martin, Subban

Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban walks away after taking with reporters during an end of season availability at the team training facility Monday, April 11, 2016 in Brossard, Quebec. None of the seven Canadian NHL teams was good enough this season to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs, a dismal milestone in the home of modern hockey and the first time it has happened since the 1969-70 season. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
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The NHL named the three finalists for the 2016 Foundation Player Award on Tuesday: Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano, New York Islanders forward Matt Martin and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.

The awarded is handed to “an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community.”

The winner gets to hand $25K to the charity of his choice.