James O'Brien

Jamie Benn

Benn to get his feet wet for Stars on Tuesday

A lot is riding on new additions to the Dallas Stars, but ultimately, they go as far as Jamie Benn and other stalwarts can take them.

The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner is one of a handful of Stars who elected to undergo hip surgery during the off-season, so there’s some question about where he’ll be at.

The team might get an idea of his progress on Tuesday, as Benn (and fellow hip surgery recipient Ales Hemsky) will see some pre-season action against the St. Louis Blues.

That’s great news all-around, although head coach Lindy Ruff admits that he isn’t sure that Benn is fully healed.

“I think he is close. I think there is a comfort level where he is,” Ruff said. “100 percent? I don’t know. That’s putting a number on it, and it’s hard.”

Ruff stated that he’ll evaluate both players after Tuesday’s game to weigh the pros and cons of giving them more reps vs. more rest.

Flyers: Couturier (upper body) is day-to-day

Sean Couturier

It seems like Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier is getting a little bruised and battered during the pre-season.

Most recently, the Flyers announced that Couturier is day-to-day with an upper-body injury on Monday.

That might not be the only thing that’s ailing the 22-year-old, as Flyers beat writers including CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio batted around the idea that the two-way forward may have also hurt his knee/lower body at some recent point:

NHL teams seem content with throwing up smoke screens about injuries more or less all year round now, so maybe the most useful thing to key on is “day-to-day.”

With the regular season rapidly approaching, Couturier’s health will be one of the Flyers’ issues to monitor.

Sens sign defenseman Fraser to a 1-year, 2-way contract

Mark Fraser, Shawn Thornton

OTTAWA (AP) The Ottawa Senators have signed defenseman Mark Fraser to a one-year, two-way contract.

The deal will carry an annual value of $800,000 in the NHL and $125,000 in the American Hockey League.

Fraser, 28, spent time with both the New Jersey Devils and the AHL’s Albany Devils last season, recording four assists and 55 penalty minutes in 34 games with New Jersey. The Ottawa native had three points (one goal) and 45 penalty minutes in 18 games with Albany.

Fraser will add depth to the blue line after the Senators suspended young defenseman Mikael Wikstrand for leaving training camp and returning to Sweden.

Drafted by New Jersey with a third-round pick (84th overall) in the 2005 draft, Fraser has played in 219 NHL games with the Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers.

Fraser appeared in two preseason games with Toronto on a professional tryout before being cut.

Oilers, City of Edmonton make #SpiderMable’s wish come true

spidermable does it
via Edmonton Oilers Twitter feed
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In a wonderful gesture that echoed the Bay Area’s “Batkid,” the Edmonton Oilers and City of Edmonton teamed up to make one child’s dream come true on Monday.

The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada learned that Mable Tooke – or #SpiderMable – wanted to battle crime while she battles cancer.

The Edmonton Police beckoned Spider Mable by noting that Oilers captain Andrew Ference was “kidnapped” by the diabolical Mysterio.

The Ference family begged for her help:

Wisely, #SpiderMable loaded up for a big day with a tasty breakfast:

Who needs web-slinging when you have a SPIDER-LIMO?

Spider-Man pitched in to help, too.

You really can’t have a superhero without a sweet theme song, by the way.

Ultimately, #SpiderMable saved the day, and captured many hearts along the way. Here are some additional photos from the Oilers:


PTO again: Avs give Glencross a shot

Travis Ewanyk Curtis Glencross

If at first your PTO does not succeed, try again. The saying goes something like that, right?

The Toronto Maple Leafs cut Curtis Glencross from his tryout on Sunday, but he didn’t need to wait long for another opportunity, as the Colorado Avalanche gave him a PTO today.

Granted, this would be more of a feel-good story if the 32-year-old received a guaranteed contract rather than having to jump through more hoops, but at least it shows that he wasn’t without a chance for very long.

As far as the Avs go, this might prove to be quite an impediment for fellow PTO invite Jack Skille:

Glencross discussed his recent challenges as a father of three with TSN this past weekend:

“You just like to have something set in stone so you can get your family back together and get back to what you’re comfortable with in everyday life,” says Glencross, who has a four-year-old, three-year-old and six-month-old. “But right now the focus is trying to make this hockey club and doing what I can to do that right now.”

It’s tough not to pull for the guy to at least land a full-time gig.