Former Vancouver Canucks enforcer – and Pavel Bure bodyguard – Gino Odjick was admitted to the psychiatric ward of a Quebec-area hospital this past weekend, according to a report by The Journal de Montreal (translated and expanded upon by QMI’s Marc De Foy). This came shortly after burying his father, so it’s been a trying week for Odjick.
De Foy reports that the 43-year-old is showing “worrisome signs of post-concussion syndrome” and provided an untrue bit of optimism:
But Odjick isn’t out of the woods yet. Case in point: the false statement he made to me during our interview.
“With Marc Bergevin’s help, Michel Therrien got me an appointment with Dr. Vincent Lacroix, head team physician for the Canadiens,” he said. “I’ll take tests at McGill University.”
I checked with Dr. Lacroix and Therrien, and the story wasn’t true.
“First I’ve heard of it,” Dr. Lacroix told me before the Canadiens-Devils game Monday.
De Foy ultimately concludes that Odjick is a “deeply confused man in dire need of help,” regardless of the cause of his issues.
The Vancouver Province details what seemed like a very different man not that long ago, as Odjick (second from the right in this post’s main image) was on hand for Bure’s jersey retirement this season:
Odjick looked happy and dapper during a public appearance at Rogers Arena on Nov. 2 when his buddy Pavel Bure had his number retired by the Canucks. He received a loud ovation from the crowd during his introduction. Odjick was a huge fan favourite during his playing days, when he served as Bure’s protector and took a regular shift.
Odjick appeared in 605 NHL regular season games, generating a whopping 2,567 penalty minutes, including 371 in 70 games during the 1996-97 season with the Vancouver Canucks.
The New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings prefer to lean on workhorse goalies Cory Schneider and Jonathan Quick respectively, but Sunday presents a change of pace.
In the Kings’ case, Jhonas Enroth is playing in part because of (what Los Angeles hopes is) a minor injury to Quick.
It’s true that the under-sized goalie sports a mediocre 4-4-1 record, but he’s given the Kings legitimate chances to win games considering his impressive (especially for a backup) save percentage of .925. Perhaps he can earn a few more reps if he plays well in what may be a tight game?
Speaking of earning more reps, Keith Kinkaid must continue to work to prove that he’s able to make the jump from AHL goalie to at least an NHL backup. The Kings aren’t likely to make it easy for him, either.
Avalanche at Sabres: Semyon Varlamov vs. Robin Lehner
Bruins at Red Wings: Possibly Tuukka Rask vs. Petr Mrazek
Blues at Lightning: Best guess – Brian Elliott vs. Ben Bishop
Flyers at Rangers: Steve Mason vs. (possibly) Henrik Lundqvist
Bummed out on this holiday? Look on the bright side: at least you’re not as sore as Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic likely is right now.
Not long after suffering three defeats at the hands/fists of Evander Kane, Petrovic likely lost another bout to Nashville Predators tough guy Anthony Bitetto.
(Note: some might consider this more of a draw, for what it’s worth. You can watch that latest fight in the video above.)
Hey, at least Bitetto didn’t taunt Petrovic after their fight …
It was a rough night for the Panthers overall, as they suffered a gruesome injury or two and fell to the Predators by a score of 5-0.
Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day, and so are rumors about hockey fans bundling up for outdoor games next season.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman went over two possible outdoor matchups coming for 2016-17 during Saturday’s Headlines segment.
A smart move for a potential game in Winnipeg: Imagine the Jets hosting a game in Winnipeg in February? Ilya Bryzgalov almost turned off his TV in protest.
Instead, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports that the Jets are likely to host the Edmonton Oilers in October. That would be a smart logistical move, as long as it isn’t too hot.
(Also, playing it then would hopefully increase the odds of the mainstream sporting public seeing Connor McDavid in an outdoor game.)
Toronto’s turn: Friedman reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to host the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 Winter Classic (or at least an outdoor game), almost certainly on New Year’s Day 2017.
The two teams combined for a great Winter Classic at Ann Arbor in 2014, so that could be a fun time.
Keep in mind these are reports (and well-placed ones at that) rather than official announcements for the NHL. These things could always change.
Related: Could the Penguins host the Flyers outdoors next season, too?
“Costly victories” may have been one of the themes of Saturday night, as some teams paired impressive wins with worrisome injuries.
The good news is that, in each case, it appears that the early word is optimistic about those players (Tyler Seguin got stitched up in the Stars’ win, for example).
The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly readying to recall Anton Khudobin on Sunday after John Gibson suffered an upper-body injury during a collision with Chicago Blackhawks forward Richard Panik.
Again, so far the hope/expectation is that this might not be a major issue:
The pessimistic take would be to wonder “Uh oh, is the Ducks goalie carousel starting again?”
Frederik Andersen has seen some runs as Anaheim’s No. 1 guy, so maybe this issue is a reminder that the Ducks may be better off keeping both Gibson and Andersen around … at least while they can.