Sergei Gonchar

Ruff says Gonchar ‘out for a while probably’ after puck in face

Sergei Gonchar’s departure from the Dallas Stars’ 3-2 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks could leave them without another defenseman for an extended period.

Gonchar left the game in the second period with what was initially called an upper-body injury. Stars coach Lindy Ruff updated his situation after the game as Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News shared.

“He’s all right,” said Ruff of Gonchar. “He took a puck to the face and isn’t feeling well, so he has to stay out for a while probably.”

That’s not exactly descriptive, but the Stars are already shorthanded on the blue line. Trevor Daley (sprained ankle) and Stephane Robidas (broken leg) are two members of their top-four on defense who are out and now Gonchar makes three.

At least Gonchar’s injury doesn’t sound too bad at the moment. As we’ve seen in the past, however, things can change.

Sharks name Pavelski captain; Thornton, Couture alternates

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton
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Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.

The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.

Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.

Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.

The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.

Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season

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.