2012 World Junior Hockey Championships - Semifinal - Canada v Russia

Bolts want to sign ’12 first-rounder Vasilevskiy, but KHL deal lingers


Interesting note here from the Tampa Bay Times about the future of Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy:

[Tampa Bay GM Steve] Yzerman wants to sign 2013’s [sic: 2012] 19th overall draft pick as soon as his contract with the KHL’s Ufa runs out Wednesday.

But Ufa apparently is dangling a deal that would lock up the goalie, one of Tampa Bay’s prized prospects, for another year.

Vasilevskiy, 19, is considered to be one of the better young goaltending prospects on the planet. He went 14-8-5 with a .923 save percentage and 2.21 GAA in the KHL this season, and appeared in 14 Gagarin Cup playoff games before getting bounced in the Eastern Conference finals by Metallurg.

Assuming Anders Lindback has played his last game in Tampa — and given how badly things went for the pending RFA in the playoffs, that is likely — it’s possible the Bolts could bump Kristers Gudlevskis up to become Ben Bishop’s full-time backup, and give Vasilevskiy the No. 1 gig in AHL Syracuse as a result.

Whether or not that’s enough to lure him away from Russia remains to be seen.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.