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.
Team Canada’s veteran lineup was too much for the young Americans to handle today in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where the Canadians rolled to a convincing 5-1 victory as the preliminary round of the World Championship got underway.
The United States actually opened the scoring, on a first-period, power-play goal by Patrick Maroon. But Taylor Hall quickly tied it, and soon after that, Brendan Gallagher gave the Canadians the lead. Matt Duchene, Boone Jenner, and Brad Marchand added the insurance goals for Canada.
Keith Kinkaid was in goal for the Americans, Cam Talbot for the Canadians.
Auston Matthews logged 16:56 in ice time and registered three shots for Team USA, who play Belarus tomorrow.
The Canadians are off until Sunday, when they’ll take on Hungary.
The New York Rangers announced this morning that forward Oscar Lindberg has undergone a “successful simultaneous bilateral hip labral repair.”
That’s a long way of saying he had hip surgery.
The Rangers say the expected recovery time for Lindberg is six months, meaning the 24-year-old is likely to get a late start to next season.
In 2015-16, his first full season in the NHL, Lindberg had 13 goals and 15 assists in 68 games. However, he was a regular healthy scratch down the stretch.
“I thought Oscar was playing well,” head coach Alain Vigneault said in March. “But when Rick Nash came back, we had 13 healthy forwards. It’s just the way it slotted out.”
In the playoffs, Lindberg dressed for just two of the Rangers’ five contests (Games 4 and 5 versus Pittsburgh).
Related: Rangers sign Lindberg
Of all the available coaching gigs, Minnesota’s seems to be the most muddled right now — there’s still no word on the status of interim bench boss John Torchetti, and GM Chuck Fletcher has reached out to both Randy Carlyle and Bruce Boudreau.
Now, the Star-Tribune is reporting Fletcher has also contacted another pair of veteran coaches: Marc Crawford and Guy Boucher.
Crawford, fresh off a four-year stint in the Swiss League — where he coached coveted draft prospect Auston Matthews in Zurich — is gunning for an NHL return, and would even accept an assistant coaching position to get his foot back in the door.
Related: Marc Crawford coaching in Detroit? Hey, could happen…
Boucher, also coming off a stint in the Swiss League, wants back in the NHL as well. He was in the running for a pair of gigs last offseason — Toronto, which ultimately went to Mike Babcock, and New Jersey, which ultimately went to John Hynes.
An interesting wrinkle with the Wild’s coaching search? Per the Star-Tribune, it sounds like coaches might be asking as many questions of Fletcher as Fletcher is of the coaches. The longtime GM has come under fire recently for the club’s current roster makeup, which forced owner Craig Leipold to give Fletcher a public vote of confidence during the playoffs.
College free agent Drake Caggiula is expected to pick a team shortly, possibly even today.
The University of North Dakota winger had originally shortlisted six teams, according to a report. Those teams were Philadelphia, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Chicago and Buffalo.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie said this morning on Edmonton radio that the Canucks are “maybe” the front-runners to land the 21-year-old. Vancouver signed Caggiula’s teammate, defenseman Troy Stecher, a couple of weeks ago, and Caggiula’s linemate, Brock Boeser, was drafted by the Canucks in the first round last year.
Recently, Boeser told Postmedia that he was trying to convince Caggiula to sign with Vancouver, where there will be plenty of opportunities for young forwards in the next couple of years.
If it’s not the Canucks, McKenzie said he’s heard the Oilers have a “puncher’s chance” of getting Caggiula.