David Poile

‘Huge disappointment’: U.S. GM Poile (facial surgery) won’t go to Sochi

The architect of the American Olympic team won’t be on hand to see it play.

Nashville GM David Poile — who spearheaded the USA Hockey selection committee — won’t be traveling to Sochi due to multiple injuries suffered after taking a puck to the face in Minnesota last week.

“[It’s a] huge disappointment,” said American head coach Dan Bylsma.

Here’s more, from The Tennessean:

Poile was struck in the face with a puck prior to the team’s morning skate last Thursday before a game against the Wild. He was carted out of the arena on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital via ambulance.

According to a team release on Friday, Poile underwent two successful procedures on his nose and eye areas and had stitches to repair facial lacerations. He remained in the hospital in St. Paul over the weekend for observation.

According to the Preds’ Twitter feed, Poile is currently “resting comfortably” in Nashville. Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero, who had been working with Poile in selecting the American team, will serve as the country’s general manger in Sochi.

UPDATE: Poile has released a statement through the Preds website

“I first want to thank everyone who has reached out to me since suffering this injury. The outpouring of support and comfort has been overwhelming. My priority is to adhere to the advice and counsel of the medical team and, as a result, I will not be traveling to Sochi to be with Team USA during the Winter Olympics. Serving as GM of the U.S. Olympic Team has been the opportunity of a lifetime and I am forever grateful to USA Hockey.

“However, it is not possible for me to travel at this time, but I will remain in contact with Ray Shero, Brian Burke, Jim Johansson and our coaching staff during the Games. Team USA is in great hands and I will be there in spirit. I wish all the best for our players, coaches and entire group as they begin play in the 2014 Olympics and go for the gold.”

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.

Fabbri primed to make Blues in significant role

Jason Demers, Robby Fabbri
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With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.

During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.

“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.

“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”

The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.

Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.