Thursday night will be a special one for Seth Jones.
Jones, Nashville’s first-round pick (fourth overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, will make his professional debut and celebrate his 19th birthday as the Preds take on the Blues in St. Louis.
“It’s obviously a great thing that I’m here,” Jones told NHL.com. “I’m looking to move forward every day, and it starts today.
“I know [the NHL] is going to be very intense. I got a taste in preseason and I know it’s coming a little bit. You don’t really know until you get out there.”
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound rearguard is one of just a handful of ’13 draftees starting the year in the NHL (others include Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, Florida’s Aleksander Barkov, Carolina’s Elias Lindholm, Calgary’s Sean Monahan, Buffalos’ Rasmus Ristolainen and Dallas’ Valeri Nichushkin).
But whereas others might get just a nine-game audition, Jones appears primed to spend the full year in Nashville.
“Unless we make some deals or something like that, I think he’s here for good,” head coach Barry Trotz told The Tennessean. “I think that’s our commitment. He’s proven that at this point in time. I don’t see him going anywhere.”
Tonight, it appears Jones will pair with Mattias Ekholm on the Preds blueline,
Alumni rosters announced for Bruins-Habs at Gillette Stadium
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)
The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.
The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.
Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.
“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”
The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.
The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.
Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.
The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.
According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.
“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”
In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.