Sandis Ozolinsh calls it a career


Arguably the greatest Latvian hockey player ever is hanging up his skates.

Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh, a seven-time NHL All-Star and Stanley Cup champion, announced his retirement from professional hockey on Tuesday, per Latvian news outlet Sporta Centrs.

Ozolinsh, 41, was taken 30th overall at the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by San Jose and enjoyed success with the Sharks — he still holds the franchise record for points by a defenseman in a single season (64) — but garnered his highest accolades with Colorado in the late 90s.

He won a Stanley Cup with the Avs in ’96, scoring 19 points in 22 playoff games, and finished third in Norris voting a year later, behind Vladimir Konstantinov and eventual winner Brian Leetch.

From there, Ozolinsh would bounce around the league with stops in Carolina, Florida, Anaheim (with whom he’d get to another Cup Final) and New York, before taking a year’s hiatus from hockey and returning to the KHL for Latvian club side Dinamo Riga in 2009. In the KHL, Ozolish re-established himself as an elite-level defenseman, appearing in four All-Star Games while making one final appearance for the Latvian national team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, leading his country to a near upset of Canada in the tournament quarterfinals.

Ozolinsh retires as the highest-scoring Latvian NHLer of all time, and will now reportedly turn his attention to the political realm.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
Leave a comment

Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
Leave a comment

Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.