The Florida Panthers have brought in another free agent on a professional tryout.
After it was reported Thursday that defenseman Adam Pardy would be given a tryout, the Panthers are now bringing former Minnesota Wild forward Justin Fontaine to training camp on a PTO, according to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.
Fontaine, 28, spent the last three seasons with the Wild, scoring five goals and 16 points in 60 games last season. His career high in points is 31 from the 2014-15 campaign and 13 goals from his rookie year.
The Panthers have been busy signing their core group of young forwards to long-term contracts, but Fontaine may be able to add depth up front if he shows well in training camp.
Last season, Fontaine went through his share of difficulties.
He was a healthy scratch — former Wild coach Mike Yeo sent him to the press box and challenged him to be more consistent in his play — after having been previously forced from the lineup with a sprained left MCL.
Those who tuned in Thursday to watch Finland and Sweden reignite their hockey rivalry were treated to the first three-on-three overtime session of the World Cup of Hockey experience — even if it was just an exhibition game.
Olli Maatta scored the winner for Finland with 43 seconds remaining in the extra period, as he beat Jhonas Enroth with a wrist shot over the glove and to the top corner to finish off a two-on-one rush.
Sweden dominated puck possession during the three-on-three showcase but couldn’t beat Pekka Rinne, who made 18 saves in Finland’s 3-2 victory.
Fans of the Vancouver Canucks will be happy to know that free agent acquisition Loui Eriksson scored his first goal of the exhibition schedule, with his Canuck teammate Daniel Sedin adding an assist.
Eriksson, who signed on July 1 for six years and $36 million, and the Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, are expected to form the top line in Vancouver this upcoming season, with the Canucks in desperate need of goal scoring.
Despite a third-period comeback attempt from the Czech Republic, Russia was able to hold on for a 4-3 victory in their pre-tournament game Thursday.
Russia jumped out to a two-goal lead in the second period, thanks in part to a goal on a perfect shot from Vladimir Tarasenko.
Czech forward Vladimir Sobotka, who had an assist in the first period, left the game and was reportedly hospitalized with a clavicle injury.
However, reports following the game indicate the injury isn’t serious, which would be good news for the Czechs.
As expected, veteran NHL forward Paul Gaustad has retired from professional hockey. He made the announcement on his Instagram page Thursday afternoon.
In his social media post, he thanked his wife, family and friends for their support throughout the course of his career.
“After 14 years as a professional hockey player, I have decided to move on to the next chapter of my life and career. It has been an honor and a privilege to play in the AHL and NHL, and I am forever grateful for the amazing friendships and memories I’ve made during this journey,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Thank you to my talented teammates and coaches for helping me throughout the years. I will always remember and cherish our time together. And, of course, I want to express my appreciation to the incredible organizations I played for, as well as the fans in Rochester, Buffalo and Nashville that supported us.”
Gaustad, originally selected 220th overall in the 2000 draft, entered the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres during the 2002-03 season.
He joined the Nashville Predators in the midst of the 2011-12 season and finished his career with 727 regular season games played. He scored 89 career goals and 231 points.
Czech Republic forward Vladimir Sobotka has reportedly been hospitalized with a clavicle injury, perhaps even a fracture, according to Sergey Demidov, an NHL.com correspondent based out of Russia.
The injury is said to have occurred during Thursday’s World Cup exhibition game between the Czech Republic and Russia.
There has been no further injury update provided as of right now.
Sobotka has spent the last two seasons in the KHL, with Omsk Avangard. However, there has been talk this summer that Sobotka could perhaps return to the NHL and the St. Louis Blues.
Sobotka joined the Blues in 2010, after beginning his NHL career with the Boston Bruins.
Updated: As per Tom Gulitti of NHL.com, Czech head coach Josef Jandac said the injury to Sobotka is not serious, and he might play in Saturday’s pre-tournament game versus Russia.
The city of Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Blades will pay tribute to the legendary Gordie Howe with ‘Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day’ on Sept. 25.
Howe, who was born in Floral, Sask., which is just southeast of Saskatoon, passed away on June 10 at the age of 88. Tributes quickly poured in from all areas of the hockey and sports world for the man also known simply as Mr. Hockey.
From the Blades:
The City of Saskatoon has officially proclaimed September 25th, 2016, as Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day. The day will begin at 9:30am at Sasktel Centre where a private ceremony will take place for the Howe family to have Gordie and Colleen’s ashes interred at the Gordie Howe Statue. The Blades will then escort the Howe family to the newly christened Gordie Howe Bridge on Circle Drive South.
The Blades, later that afternoon, will then take on the Swift Current Broncos in their second game of the WHL regular season. Earlier this week, the Blades unveiled a special tribute jersey for the occasion.