Teuvo Teravainen

Richards signing hasn’t deterred Teravainen


Going into this summer, one of the big questions facing the Chicago Blackhawks was who they could get to serve as their second-line center. The fact that they were close to the cap complicated matters, but their problem was solved when Brad Richards agreed to join them at the discounted price for $2 million for the 2014-15 campaign.

One of the perks of that signing is that it allows the Blackhawks to take some pressure off of 19-year-old forward Teuvo Teravainen, who was a potential fallback option. Now it’s possible that Teravainen won’t make the team at all and instead get some seasoning in the minors.

That might not be a bad thing for him as he has very little North American experience, but it’s not what Finnish league standout wants.

“My goal is to play NHL and I’m going to go to training camp and try to get it,” Teravainen told NHL.com’s Brian Hedger.

Originally taken with the 18th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Teravainen had nine goals and 44 points in 48 games with Jokerit Helsinki last season. He then came over to North America where he played in three games with Chicago and five with the AHL Rockford IceHogs.

Although he was originally penciled in as a center, Teravainen is happy to serve as a winger if it means making the team. Even still, it will be a tough battle for him as Chicago currently has 12 forwards signed to one-way contracts and that doesn’t include Brandon Saad.

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen