Report: Tomas Hertl (knee) won’t play in Olympics


There’s still no timeline for Tomas Hertl’s return from a knee injury (and upcoming surgery), but the San Jose Sharks rookie is already being ruled out for the 2014 Winter Olympics. That’s the word from Czech national coach Alois Hadamczik by way of TV Nova Sports’ Roman Jedlicka.

This news isn’t that stunning considering the fact that there’s significant doubt he’ll play again in 2013-14, period. That being said, it underscores the concern surrounding the 20-year-old’s health.

No doubt about it, this is a shame for the Czech Olympic team, the Sharks and hockey fans in general. For many, his sensational/controversial between-the-legs move overshadows his other accomplishments, but the forward was a consistent producer overall. He didn’t fall off from a hot start riding shotgun with Joe Thornton this season, collecting 25 points in 35 games.

His Calder Trophy dreams have probably been dashed already, but the Sharks likely just hope that he can recover from this knee injury, even if it means sitting out the rest of this season. At minimum, he won’t be in Sochi, according to this report.

(H/T to the Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno.)

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: