Author: James O'Brien

Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe’s son says his health is ‘definitely headed in the wrong direction’


Gordie Howe’s son Mark provided The Hockey News with a bleak update regarding the health of “Mr. Hockey,” noting that the 86-year-old’s condition has rapidly declined in the last 10 days.

“Things are definitely headed in the wrong direction,” Mark said.

Gordie Howe suffered a stroke on Oct. 26, but for some time, it seemed like he was fighting back from those issues.

Unfortunately, that stroke seems to have exacerbated other health issues for the hockey legend, as his son Mark noted to The Hockey News:

Mark Howe also said there have been several other health issues that have complicated the situation. The pain Gordie Howe is suffering in his back, pain that he was able to tolerate better before the stroke, has elevated his blood pressure, “to scary numbers,” according to Mark. “We’re definitely at a Catch-22 area right now,” Mark said. “And when you put it all together, it’s not the rosy picture we had two weeks ago, without a doubt.”

His family isn’t giving up all hope for a recovery, but this latest update is discouraging.

Click here for more details.

Report: Sens’ MacArthur avoids suspension for check on Flames’ Bouma


Ottawa Senators winger Clarke MacArthur won’t be fined or suspended for his illegal hit to the head of Calgary Flames forward Lance Bouma, Sportsnet’s Damien Cox reports.

Here’s video of the check, which drew a two-minute minor penalty on Saturday:

MacArthur, 29, has a suspension on his resume, but it was a two-gamer that came way back in October 2011.

If Cox is correct, only that minor penalty will come from Saturday’s hit, although apparently it still drew some derision from Senators fans:

Wild activate Parise, place Brodin on IR


The Minnesota Wild activated star forward Zach Parise off IR on Sunday, making it highly likely that the winger will return from concussion issues against the Winnipeg Jets.

Reports indicated that Parise could return today after head coach Mike Yeo noted that he’s been “progressing well” from concussion issues.

Defenseman Jonas Brodin was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 11 in part to make room for Parise. There are rumors that Brodin might rank among the Minnesota players who are dealing with the mumps, although that hasn’t been confirmed. (The team merely describes it as “an illness.”)

Parise, 30, has 10 points in 11 games this season. He last played on Nov. 4. Minnesota’s on a two-game winning streak after Saturday’s 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars.

The Jets have been playing surprisingly good defense/enjoying unexpectedly strong goaltending early in 2014-15, so Parise’s presence will be welcomed by the Wild that much more.

Stars are baffled by ongoing home woes

San Jose Sharks v Dallas Stars

More than a week has gone by since Dallas Stars defenseman Trevor Daley vented about his team’s home struggles, yet they remain seated at one measly win at the American Airlines Center.

In what’s shaping up to be a hotly contested Central Division and Western Conference in general, the Stars are letting precious points slip away. They’re just 1-4-4 in Dallas after an uneven (if uninspired) 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

The last four in their record could be the spot of both hope and frustration. On one hand, those are four points the Stars left on the table in regulation; on the other, it shows that they’re a few bounces from at least being above .500 in Dallas.

The Stars haven’t really pinpointed a specific issue at home, as they mostly spoke broadly about working harder to the Dallas Morning News.

“I think half of it is hoping it and half of it is wanting it, and it has to be 100 percent getting it done,” Jamie Benn said. “I think we’re making strides forward from the beginning of the year.”

The “good” news is that the Stars aren’t playing at home today, as they face the Blackhawks in Chicago. (That second part could be pretty bad news.)

Related: plenty of stories about Dallas struggling

Stars GM isn’t shocked by early woes.

Owner preaches patience.

Daley perplexed by home struggles, version one.

Callahan isn’t sure if he’ll be cheered at ‘fickle’ Madison Square Garden

Calgary Flames v Tampa Bay Lightning

New York Rangers fans will witness a jarring sight on Monday: Ryan Callahan in another team’s uniform.

Their former captain now plies his trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning, who also employ former Rangers Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle. Still, there’s no denying that Callahan’s departure was more controversial (and dramatic), so even he doesn’t know what to expect from the crowd at Madison Square Garden, as New York Newsday reports.

“I’m looking at it as another game. Obviously, it’s a little more than that, but I’m going to try and get the two points and get out of there,” Callahan said. “I don’t know [if I’ll be cheered]. It’s a fickle place there in MSG — that’s what it’s all about there. It’s a great crowd, great fans, and I’m excited to go back and play.”

The 29-year-old played parts of eight seasons with the Rangers, appearing in 450 regular season games and 59 postseason contests.

Whether it was more about term or the dollars, Rangers GM Glen Sather balked at Callahan’s asking price, eventually including him in the splashy trade that landed Martin St. Louis in New York. Callahan eventually signed a six-year, $34.8 million deal with the Lightning right before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent this past summer.

Some Rangers fans might feel some bitterness in that regard, yet it’s likely that his high-effort style left a lasting impression on many others.

It should be interesting to see how he’s received … and probably a pretty fun game to watch on its own.