Stars want Ellis ‘to come in and push’ Lehtonen

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While Dan Ellis will head into this season as Dallas’ clear-cut No. 2 behind Kari Lehtonen, it sounds like he’ll have a shot to challenge the incumbent starter.

“I know Danny really well,” Stars goalie coach Mike Valley told the team website. “He’s the type of guy that really understands his role and knows at the same time that his job is to come in and push Kari.

“He has that level of professionalism. He’s been a No. 1 guy, he’s been a No. 2. We’re confident in him.”

Ellis does have some No. 1 experience — he won 23 games for Nashville in 2007-08 and led the team to the playoffs — but he’s been primarily a backup since then, never appearing in more than 35 games in a single season. He struggled as a No. 1 last year in Carolina when Cam Ward went down to injury.

It would also take a serious misstep or injury for Lehtonen to lose the starter’s gig.

The 29-year-old Finn has been the team’s clear-cut No. 1 in each of the last three seasons though, to be fair, there wasn’t much pushing him from behind (Andrew Raycroft, Richard Bachman and Christopher Nihlstorp.)

Ellis says he’s ready for whatever the upcoming season brings.

“I am comfortable everywhere, even going back to the AHL last year during the lockout, playing as a backup, as a 1A or a 1B or playing as a starter,” Ellis said. “I’ve had the opportunity to do them all and I am comfortable anywhere.”

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for assaulting female

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward
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Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for assault on a female, per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Video: Hextall comments on AHL d-man Pyett, who was diagnosed with sarcoma in leg

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Defenseman Logan Pyett of the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and will be out indefinitely.

The team said Friday the 27-year-old Canadian has a sarcoma in his upper leg. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says the club offers “heartfelt thoughts and prayers.”

Pyett signed a one-year contract with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms after being at the Flyers’ training camp. He was selected by Detroit in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL entry draft. He signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers in 2012 and spent two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League.