Shaw hit

Mike Smith vents after being hit again by Shaw


Back in the 2012 playoffs, Chicago’s Andrew Shaw received a three-game suspension for charging into Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith. More than a year later, it looks like that incident still isn’t far from Smith’s mind.

With Phoenix and Chicago’s game on Thursday tied at 4-4 in the third period, Shaw once again nailed Smith with enough force to knock them both down.

That’s not to suggest that the two events are comparable. Shaw raced behind the net and directly into Smith in 2012 while last night’s hit might have even been unintentional contact given that Shaw was positioning himself near the crease when he appeared to be shoved by Phoenix forward Lauri Korpikoski.

Still, Smith took offense and went after Shaw as soon as they were on their skates. As a result, Smith was given a two minute roughing penalty that canceled out Shaw’s minor for goalie interference.

“He has a reputation of two years ago, knocking me out and it was kind of a dirty play back in front again,” Smith said after the game, according to CSN Chicago. “I’ve talked about it numerous times with the league. When we talk about vulnerable hits, that’s a goalie down in front trying to make the save and guy sticks his elbow out. That’s attempt to injure as far as I’m concerned.”

Smith stayed in the game, but suffered a 5-4 shootout loss to the Blackhawks.


‘Hawks, Shaw agree on two-year extension

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”