Bobby Ryan #9 of the Anaheim Ducks awaits a face off during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on March 31, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 4-0.
(March 30, 2012 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)

Sens GM Murray: Ryan will ‘probably’ play with Spezza, Michalek


Sounds like Bobby Ryan will be getting top-line minutes in Ottawa this season.

In speaking with the Ottawa Sun, Sens GM Bryan Murray said Ryan would likely play in a top three role next season, meaning he’d be with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek, who occasionally played on the aforementioned “SAM” line along with former team captain Daniel Alfredsson, now in Detroit.

“I think he likes to play the left side more than the right side,” Murray said of Ryan. “I know Milan can play the right side pretty well too.

“I would think he’s probably in our Top 3, so therefore probably with Spezz.”

There was some thought Ottawa would keep Spezza and Michalek with Colin Greening — the trio performed well together last season — and put Ryan on a line centered by Kyle Turris, along with newly-acquired LW/RW Clarke MacArthur.

But loading up the No. 1 line appears to be the way Ottawa will go.

In other news, it doesn’t sound as though Murray will be looking to make any more trades in the near future.

“We’ve got bodies, and if we have to do something, we’ll have to go try and go do it,” said Murray. “But I don’t want to give up more kids right now if I can help it.”

Related to Murray’s goal of keeping the “kids” — who are playing on cheaper, entry-level deals — embattled Sens owner Eugene Melynk got more bad financial news on Tuesday, as his plan to build a casino was scuttled by the city.

Melnyk had hoped the casino project would offset the “substantial losses” of the hockey club.

Alexei Emelin was ejected for this hit on Matt Calvert

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Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.

The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.

So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.

You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.

Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.

Injuries continue to dog Lupul as Leafs place him on IR

Joffrey Lupul
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Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.

The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.

This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.

From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as notes.

“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”

Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.

At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.

WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks

Scott Darling, Charlie Coyle
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Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?

We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.

Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.

Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks


Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks


Bolland back in, Bjugstad out with injury for Panthers

Evgeny Medvedev, Nick Bjugstad
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Message sent or not via healthy scratches or not, Dave Bolland returns to the Florida Panthers mix on Tuesday.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, it’s maybe not under the most ideal circumstances, as part of the explanation for his return is Nick Bjugstad‘s absence.

The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that Bjugstad is out tonight against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury that he suffered during a Monday practice.

In fact, as you can see in the tweet above, the young forward was sent home because of the injury.

This forces some shuffling, with Vincent Trocheck moving up to the second line while Bolland centers the third combo as usual.

The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak and visit St. Louis as the second date in a five-game road trip.

This is also the early part of a span in which they play nine of 10 games on the road (counting Sunday’s away win), so a prolonged absence from Bjugstad could sting that much more.