Coyotes’ Klesla leaves ice on stretcher after hit by Kings’ Nolan


Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla was taken off the ice on a stretcher on Sunday after a big hit by Los Angeles Kings forward Jordan Nolan.

Updates: It appears that Klesla is suffering from a neck injury, according to Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan. Morgan reports that he’s alert but remains immobilized. He’s expected to be taken to a nearby hospital.

Klesla, 31, raised his hand while being carted off, according to various reports. Video of the check isn’t available at this time, so here’s a description of the situation from Fox Sports Arizona.

Klesla fell to the ice and his leg twitched for a moment before he lay motionless. With the team’s medical staff attending to him, Klesla was strapped to a stretcher and taken off the ice. No word was available immediately on his condition, but as he left the ice he raised his left hand to tell the crowd he was OK and was greeted with cheers. 

Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette fought Nolan immediately after the 24-year-old forward left the penalty box after serving a roughing penalty he received thanks to an exchange with Martin Hanzal following the hit.

PHT will provide an update regarding Klesla’s condition and share video (if it surfaces) when that information becomes available.

(Photo via the Coyotes’ Twitter page.)

Devils to retire Brodeur’s No. 30

Martin Brodeur
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One of the greatest players in Devils history will soon have his name — and number — in the Prudential Center rafters.

On Tuesday, New Jersey announced that it would retire Martin Brodeur’s No. 30 on Feb. 9 in a ceremony prior to that evening’s tilt against Edmonton.

The decision comes as no surprise.

Brodeur, one of the greatest goalies in NHL history and holder of numerous statistical benchmarks, backstopped the Devils to all three of their Stanley Cup championships, and a surprise Cup Final appearance in 2012.

Widely regarded as the face of the franchise, Brodeur sits second all-time in games played for the Devils and, unsurprisingly, holds every significant goaltending record.

His 688 wins in a New Jersey uniform is a staggering mark, one that may never be broken.

When his No. 30 is raised, Brodeur will join some select company. Only three Devils have ever had their numbers retired: Ken Daneyko’s No. 3, Scott Stevens’ No. 4 and Scott Niedermayer’s No. 27.

Avs keep prized rookie Rantanen, sign Skille after PTO

Mikko Rantanen
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Some fairly noteworthy developments out of Denver on Tuesday, the biggest being that Mikko Rantanen — the 10th overall pick at this year’s draft — has made the Avs’ opening-night roster.

Rantanen, 18, was considered one of the more NHL-ready prospects at the draft but “fell” to the Avs, which proved a good thing — Colorado has a long history of fast-tracking high picks to the NHL, as Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon all made the leap in their draft years.

At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, Rantanen already has big league size. It’s possible he opens the season on a line with center Carl Soderberg, one of the club’s big summer acquisitions.

Elsewhere in Colorado…

For the second straight day, a veteran forward has successfully converted his training camp tryout into an NHL contract.

On Tuesday, the Avs announced that Jack Skille had signed a one-year pact with the club. Skille, 28, is a former first-round pick (seventh overall in ’05) that’s appeared in nearly 250 career NHL contests with Chicago, Florida and, most recently, Columbus.

With Colorado, Skille is expected to fill a bottom-six checking role. As mentioned above, he joins Scottie Upshall as the other forward to successfully turn his PTO into a new deal — yesterday, Upshall signed a one-year, two-way pact with the Blues.