Chicago ‘expecting’ Finnish phenom Teravainen to join team this season


And so begins the Teuvo watch.

On Monday, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville confirmed reports his club expects Teuvo Teravainen — the Finnish prospect taken 18th overall at the ’12 NHL Entry Draft — to join the ‘Hawks at the end of the SM-liiga season.

“I’m expecting him to come here when his season’s done,” Quenneville said, per ESPN Chicago. “We’ll see after that.”

Teravainen, 19, is considered to be one of the best players currently outside the NHL. He starred for the gold medal-winning Finnish team at the ’14 World Juniors — making the All-Star team while leading the tournament in scoring — and has been on a tear in club team Jokerit ever since, scoring 26 points in his last 19 games.

Here’s more, from ESPN:

Teravainen appeared in two preseason games with the Blackhawks before joining Jokerit this season. Bowman said recently Teravainen’s play had improved since he left Chicago.

“I think when he left here in October, he was a little bit of a slow start,” Bowman said. “He had missed some games while he was in training camp with us. It took him a little bit to get going. I think he started playing well in December, and, ever since the world junior tournament, he’s been dominating.

“He’s been scoring every game. He’s the leading scorer of the team even though he hasn’t played as many games as other guys.”

It sounds as though Teravainen’s availability is solely dependent upon Jokerit’s season. According to an ESPN source, the Finnish national team has given him “its blessing” to join the ‘Hawks this year, rather than compete for Finland at the World Hockey Championships.

As such, many eyes will be on Jokerit over the next week, or weeks. It’s season could be finished as early as March 16 or could run as late as April 26, depending how it does in the playoffs.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.

On a new contract, Avs don’t dress Stuart in opener

DENVER, CO - MARCH 14:  Brad Stuart #17 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on as he skates against the Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center on March 14, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Flames 3-2.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.

“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”

Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.

The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.