ST. LOUIS (AP) Former St. Louis Blues defenseman Rik Wilson has died. He was 53.
The team made the announcement Friday on its web site. The club didn’t list a cause of death.
Wilson was the 12th overall pick in 1980 by St. Louis. He played 235 regular season games and 22 postseason games with the Blues and also had brief stints with the Flames and Blackhawks, retiring after the 1987-88 season.
From the St. Louis Blues:
“The St. Louis Blues and the Blues Alumni organization are deeply saddened by the passing of Rik Wilson. Rik donned the Blue Note with pride and passion during five of his six NHL seasons. He was a valued member of not only the Blues organization but the St. Louis community, where Rik and his family settled following his retirement. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wilson family during this difficult time.”
Daniel Paille will make his New York Rangers debut versus the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.
The Rangers signed Paille earlier this week to what was reportedly a two-way deal worth $575,000 at the NHL level, after he was released from a tryout with the Chicago Blackhawks in September.
In 31 games with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs this season, the 31-year-old Paille scored just once, with four points.
With Paille in the lineup, the Rangers will be without Chris Kreider due to a neck injury, the team announced.
The Rangers are second in the Metropolitan Division, while the Hurricanes, with a win tonight, can move to within a single point of the New Jersey Devils for the final Wild Card spot in the East.
John Tortorella isn’t expected to be behind the bench for the Columbus Blue Jackets when they face the Boston Bruins on Saturday, after suffering two broken ribs in a collision with Rene Bourque during an outdoor practice Friday, the club announced on its website.
According to the Blue Jackets, Tortorella didn’t travel with the team to Boston.
From Aaron Portzline of the the Columbus Dispatch:
He was skating with speed up the left wing during a drill and clipped Tortorella, who was standing along the boards with his head turned. Tortorella twisted in the air and landed on his backside, remaining on the ice for several minutes as medical staff attended to him.
“You never like seeing anyone in pain and that was so unfortunate,” said Nick Foligno, as per the Blue Jackets website.
“I felt so bad for John and for (Bourque). The one thing about Torts is he’s tough – he’s a lot tougher than all of us. When you see him down like that, you know he’s pretty hurt. It was scary.”
This means associate coach Craig Hartsburg will assume the coaching duties, with Torts expected to be out.
As written earlier, this kind of sums up the season in Columbus.
Not only did the Buffalo Sabres lose to the Colorado Avalanche on a goal in the final seconds of regulation, but 20-year-old forward Sam Reinhart was forced to leave the game with an upper-body injury.
Francois Beauchemin scored the winner on a point shot with 32.2 seconds remaining to give Colorado a 2-1 win.
Reinhart, who has 12 goals and 20 points in 47 games this season with Buffalo, left the game after a collision with Avalanche forward John Mitchell in the second period and did not return.
It’s getting crowded behind the Minnesota Wild, now losers in five straight games, in the race for a Western Conference Wild Card spot.
The Wild lost 3-1 to the Anaheim Ducks to conclude Rivalry Night on Wednesday. Scoring woes once again caught up with Minnesota. After getting shut out in back-to-back games before traveling out to California, the Wild managed only one goal on netminder John Gibson and the Ducks.
That goal was courtesy of Jarret Stoll. It was his second of the season, coming less than seven minutes into the game. And that was it. Trailing by a goal, Minnesota was also unsuccessful with a late third-period power play.
The Wild ended the night 0-for-3 on the power play.
Rickard Rakell scored the winner, as he finished off a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play late in the third period, as the Ducks finally broke the game open. Goals were difficult to come by prior to that.
Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk did his best to give his team a chance to win, with 24 saves on 26 shots, including this great glove save on Corey Perry in the second period.
The Wild are now one point up on the Colorado Avalanche for the first Wild Card spot, while the Ducks closed to within five points of Minnesota and two points back of the Arizona Coyotes in the Pacific Division.