Niklas Kronwall

Kronwall (puck to the mouth) will be game-time decision

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Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall will be a game-time decision tonight versus Ottawa, but not because of the concussion he suffered last week that’s kept him out of the last two Detroit contests.

Nope, from the when-it-rains-it-pours file, the 32-year-old apparently took a puck to the mouth during the morning skate and is off to see a dentist this afternoon.

Rookie blue-liner Xavier Ouellet, who made an impressive NHL debut Monday versus San Jose, has been recalled from AHL Grand Rapids in case Kronwall can’t play.

The Wings will definitely be without defenseman Jonathan Ericsson tonight; he’s out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury.

San Jose’s Sommer becomes winningest coach in AHL history

RoySommer
San Jose Sharks
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Roy Sommer etched his name into the record books on Wednesday night.

Sommer, who’s been the coach of San Jose’s minor-league affiliate for the last 18 seasons, recorded his 637th win at the American League level to surpass Hockey Hall of Famer Fred “Bun” Cook as the winningest coach in league history.

More, from the Sharks:

Sommer ranks 1st in the AHL in games coached (1,388) and now victories (637) with the 4-2 victory over the Ontario Reign (AHL affiliate of the LA Kings). In the AHL, he has coached 120 players who have gone on to play in the NHL, including 95 who have spent a portion of their careers with the San Jose Sharks.

In all, 20 players who have dressed for the San Jose Sharks this season played for Sommer in the AHL at one point in their career.

Sommer, 58, was a former Maple Leafs draftee that appeared in three career NHL contests, all with Edmonton during the 1980-81 campaign. He transitioned to coaching immediately upon the end of his playing career and, prior to taking San Jose’s minor-league gig, spent two years as an assistant with the Sharks from ’96-98.

Report: 2017 NHL Draft will be held in Chicago

The NHL hockey draft board is complete at the end of the first round at Prudential Center, Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Associated Press
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It looks like the city of Chicago will be hosting the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The team and the league are expected to confirm the news during an official press conference later today.

The draft has never been held in the Windy City.

It may be a little early to project which team will pick first in 2017, but it certainly doesn’t look like it’ll be the ‘Hawks.

The last time they drafted first overall, they took this guy:

This also marks the first time since 2011 (Minnesota) that a Western Conference team will play host to the draft.

Last year’s draft was held in Sunrise, Florida while this year’s edition will be held in Buffalo.

Hockey reporters everywhere will be thrilled about an additional work assignment in Chicago.

Here’s what some of them are saying:

 

PHT Morning Skate: Jagr doesn’t understand why Peyton Manning would retire after winning the Super Bowl

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Jaromir Jagr doesn’t believe Peyton Manning should retire. (ESPN)

Victor Hedman wrote about “How We Play Hockey in Sweden” for The Players’ Tribune.

–Did the Senators make a smart move by acquiring Dion Phaneuf? (Sportsnet)

–And if you have a Maple Leafs jersey with Phaneuf’s name on the back, the Sens want to dispose of it:

–Watch the highlights from yesterday’s game between the Rangers and Penguins. (Top of the page)

–A Zoolander tribute to Coyotes center Martin Hanzal. (Puck Daddy)

Steven Stamkos had a run-in with the paparazzi in Montreal. (Bardown)

Sidney Crosby‘s confidence could be dangerous for the rest of the league:

Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms

at Pepsi Center on February 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
Getty Images
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.

After beating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory in Arizona on Wednesday, despite being without Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Derek Dorsett, who was scratched from the lineup due to illness, as per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy.

It was only a few days ago, following a home loss to the Calgary Flames, that it felt like the Canucks’ playoff hopes were essentially dashed. They fielded their healthiest lineup in months and couldn’t score and couldn’t win.

Two quick wins later, they’re two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West, despite getting outshot in Arizona.

Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.