Phoenix releases former top prospect Brule


We may have seen the last of 27-year-old Gilbert Brule. The Phoenix Coyotes have released him, according to TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie.

Brule was taken with the sixth overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and has gone on to play in 299 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, and Phoenix Coyotes. However, he has struggled to stay in the NHL over the last few years and he recently refused to report to AHL Portland.

It was at that point that Brule surprised Coyotes GM Don Maloney by telling him that he wanted to end his hockey career.

Maloney initially suspended him and warned that he would terminate Brule’s contract “unless he has a change of heart very, very quickly.” That obviously didn’t happened.

If Brule does decide to keep his career going though, he might end up in Europe. He was reportedly close to signing with a KHL club before he inked a one-year, two-way deal with Phoenix for the 2013-14 campaign.

Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.


‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.