As concern grows among NHL players regarding participation in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, Mike Smith announced he wouldn’t be bringing his family with him when he represents Team Canada.
“They’re not gonna go. It’s not worth it,” Smith explained, per Coyotes game host Todd Walsh. “For myself, it’s about thinking if she’s [wife Brigitte] OK when I’m not with her. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just the way it is.”
Smith, one of the three goalies named to the Canadian squad, has two children with a third on the way, and is one of the first players to openly acknowledge he’s leaving his family behind over security concerns. It’s worth noting that his wife is a former competitive skier that represented Canada at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino.
“From everything I’ve heard, the Olympic village will be very secure and once we’re over there, I’m sure everything will be fine,” Smith said. “But obviously with what’s gone there on leading up to the Olympics, there’s always some concern.
“The Olympics are supposed to be an exciting time, and one that so many athletes train so hard for. When there’s that extra baggage of security concerns and other things like that, it’s obviously frustrating.”
According to a report from the Washington Post, Russian security officials are hunting down a trio of potential suicide bombers, one of whom is believed to be in Sochi.
Earlier this week, Washington captain and Russian team member Alex Ovechkin appeared on NBC’s Today Show, and said the Olympics won’t be dangerous.
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.
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: