It sounds as if Team Sweden will be minus one of its top defensemen for the first two games of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Mark Stowe, the agent for the Canucks’ Alex Edler, tells News 1130 Sports in Vancouver that his client met with the IIHF over the weekend and that the ruling should be made official soon.
The two games come in addition to the suspension Edler received for his knee-on-knee hit on Eric Staal in a game between Sweden and Canada at the 2013 World Championships this spring.
It’s unlikely the suspension will have a significant effect on Sweden’s chances at the Olympics. Minus Edler, the country remains deep on defense with the likes of Erik Karlsson, Niklas Kronwall, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Swedes are also in a relatively easy group, with the Czech Republic, Latvia and Switzerland.
There’s some speculation the Swedes will opt to leave Edler off the roster entirely, but that seems unlikely to us.
Well, now we know why the Chicago Blackhawks had to sign an emergency goaltender for Saturday afternoon.
The team announced that starting goalie Corey Crawford is going to be sidelined after undergoing an appendectomy in Philadelphia on Saturday.
When the morning began the Blackhawks revealed that Crawford would not be available for their game against the Flyers due to an illness, resulting in backup Scott Darling getting the start. The team then had to sign an emergency backup — 23-year-old Eric Semborski, a former club hockey player at Temple University — to sit behind Darling.
Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry issued the following statement: ““Corey presented this morning with acute appendicitis. He is undergoing an appendectomy today at a Philadelphia hospital. We are anticipating a full recovery and return to play. We will provide details regarding the timeline of his return after we have more information about the surgery.”
In recent years the timeframe for players returning from an appendectomy has ranged from just a couple of days (Ryan Callahan and Jonathan Ericsson) to several weeks. Goaltenders, due to the movements that are required because of the nature of the position, seem to take longer to get back into the lineup than forwards and defenseman.
In the meantime, the Blackhawks will likely rely on Darling to get the bulk of the starts in Crawford’s absence. They will also have an opportunity to make a call up from the AHL.
Crawford has been outstanding for the Blackhawks this season in his 20 starts, currently owning a .927 save percentage. Over the past three years he has developed into one of the best and most consistent goaltenders in the NHL.
After playing in Philadelphia on Saturday, the Blackhawks return home on Sunday to play the Winnipeg Jets and then are back in action again on Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes.
There was some interesting player movement on the NHL’s waiver wire on Saturday afternoon.
First, the Nashville Predators claimed forward Reid Boucher from the New Jersey Devils. What makes that move so fascinating is that the move was officially announced two hours before the two teams played in Nashville.
When the morning started, Boucher was still technically a member of the Devils. After a short walk down the hall to the home locker room, he could very likely be in the lineup on Saturday against his former team.
The 23-year-old Boucher has played in 82 games for the Devils over the past four years, scoring 11 goals to go with 18 assists. He scored eight of those goals a year ago (in only 39 games). He has produced at pretty much every level he has played at so it is probably worthy gamble for the Predators to take.
Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Kings placed veteran forward Teddy Purcell on waivers after a slow start to the season that has seen him record just two assists in 12 games.
The Kings signed Purcell over the summer to a one-year, $1.6 million contract on the first day of free agency.
Purcell, 31, has always been a favorite of the advanced stats community because of his possession numbers and the fact he has usually produced like a top-six forward, but has bounced around the league a little bit over the past couple of years, playing for Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Florida, and Los Angeles since the start of the 2013-14 season.
In 76 games for the Oilers and Panthers in 2015-16 he scored 14 goals and added 29 assists.
The Chicago Blackhawks will be without starting goaltender Corey Crawford on Saturday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers due to an illness. That means his backup, Scott Darling, will get the start in goal. Nothing really out of the ordinary here until you realize somebody has to serve as the backup for Darling.
With Crawford unavailable, and a 1 p.m. ET puck drop preventing the team from making a call up from the American Hockey League, the team needed to scramble to find another goalie.
To fill that vacancy the team announced less than an hour before the start of their game that it has signed Eric Semborski to an amateur tryout contract to serve as Darling’s backup for the day.
If that name does not register with you, it is understandable.
According to the Blackhawks the 23-year-old Semborski “played club hockey with Temple University and for the Empire Junior Hockey League’s Jersey Wildcats.”
He has no professional hockey experience.
Every year you see a handful of situations like this when a team needs a goaltender at the last minute. It is usually a former college player or a team’s junior prospect that is closer to the team at that moment than the minor league team is. It is sure to be an amazing experience for Semborski to get to spend a day in an NHL uniform and take in the game from the bench.
The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are probably hoping nothing happens to Darling over the next two-and-a-half hours.
A growing list of injured players forced the Detroit Red Wings to make a couple of roster moves on Saturday morning before their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Along with placing forward Justin Abdelkader on injured reserve, the team also announced that it has moved moved forward Andreas Athanasiou from the seven-day injured reserve to the long-term injured list.
Abdelkader was injured earlier in the week against the Florida Panthers and is expected to miss two-to-four weeks with an MCL sprain, while Athanasiou, has not played since Nov. 11 with a knee injury. Along with those two the Red Wings are also without Darren Helm, Brendan Smith, Jimmy Howard, Alexey Marchenko and Tyler Bertuzzi.
With those two roster moves made, the Red Wings made a couple of call ups from Grand Rapids of the AHL. Joining the team in Pittsburgh will be forward Tomas Nosek and defenseman Brian Lashoff.
The 24-year-old Nosek has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 11 games for Grand Rapids so far this season. He appeared in six games for the Red Wings a year ago and did not record a point. Lashoff, meanwhile, has been in the Red Wings organization since the 2008 season and has spent the bulk of his time since then playing in the AHL. He has 115 career games at the NHL level, 75 of them coming during the 2013-14 season, but has not played for the big club since 2014-15 when he appeared in 11 games.
He has three points (one goal, two assists) in 18 games for Grand Rapids this season.
After a 6-2-0 start to the season the Red Wings are just 5-8-3 in the 16 games that have followed.