Jason Brough

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Ty Rattie #61 of the St. Louis Blues warms up prior to facing the Colorado Avalanche during their preseason game at Pepsi Center on September 23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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After losing Paajarvi and Gunnarsson, Blues recall Rattie and Butler

The banged-up Blues have recalled winger Ty Rattie and defenseman Chris Butler from AHL Chicago.

The two “emergency” recalls come after St. Louis — already without Paul Stastny, Jay Bouwmeester and Jake Allen — suffered a couple of new injuries Saturday against the Kings. Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson left the game with an undisclosed injury and Magnus Paajarvi left after this hit by Brayden McNabb:

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is expected to provide an injury update later today.

Rattie, 22, leads the Wolves in scoring with nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points.

The Blues host New Jersey tomorrow.

Hendricks to have hearing for boarding Ekblad

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Edmonton forward Matt Hendricks will have a phone hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for a hit he delivered last night on Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad.

Hendricks was not penalized on the play, though he was immediately challenged to a fight by Logan Shaw.

He was asked about the hit after the game.

“I don’t hit dirty,” he said. “I’ve never been known to hit dirty. I thought it was a clean hit. I’m glad he came back and played. I’d feel bad if he was injured from that.”

He was also asked if the hit on Ekblad was in retaliation for a play earlier in the game when Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson had stepped up into Oilers forward Taylor Hall.

“No, it wasn’t,” Hendricks said. “That’s what I do. That’s my game. I’ve got to forecheck hard. I don’t want to talk about another player, but he was in a position he could have avoided, in my opinion.

Wild’s Reilly could make NHL debut Saturday

Connor McDavid, Mike Reilly
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Mike Reilly seems likely to make his NHL debut Saturday for the Minnesota Wild.

Wild coach Mike Yeo didn’t completely commit to playing the 22-year-old defenseman tomorrow in Dallas, but he made some pretty strong hints that that was the plan.

“I want to see him show us what he’s got … if he plays,” Yeo told the Star Tribune. “At this point, he should be pretty familiar with the type of game we want to play structure-wise, system-wise, our philosophy in what we’re looking for from our defensemen. With young players coming up, you get one chance to play your first NHL game and if [Saturday] is his opportunity, then I want him to take advantage of it and play to make a difference.”

Reilly was originally drafted 98th overall in 2011 by the Blue Jackets. However, the ex-Gopher opted not to sign with Columbus. He chose the Wild instead.

An offensive defenseman, Reilly has five goals and 13 assists in 32 games for AHL Iowa this season.

It’s his defensive play that many still wonder about. As noted by the Star Tribune, Reilly is last in the AHL with a minus-26 rating.

Report: NHL to hold ‘special’ expansion meeting later this month

Nordiques Rally Hockey
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, a “special” meeting will be held later this month in New York where the NHL’s executive committee will discuss the two formal expansion bids from Las Vegas and Quebec City.

“Details of the meeting are limited,” writes Dreger at TSN.ca. “It’s highly unlikely the executive committee will emerge with a formal decision, but the fact the NHL has called this meeting suggests it is inching toward a conclusion. The meeting is designed to be somewhat secretive, so the NHL won’t provide a post-meeting progress report or announce its direction until the process is finalized, which could still be months away.”

Certainly, the ongoing plunge of the Canadian dollar does not bode well for Quebec City’s chances. The loonie is worth just $0.71 USD today. And it may go lower still, with Canada’s resource-dependent economy facing serious headwinds over the next few years.

It would not surprise anyone if the league opted to tell Quebec City thanks, but maybe laterIn the meantime, that would give Seattle the opportunity to get an arena built (or renovated). 

As for Vegas, the big news there is that T-Mobile has purchased the naming rights to the city’s new arena.

“If the NHL comes, we would obviously love it,” T-Mobile’s chief marketing office, Andrew Sherrard, told the Review-Journal. “It would be nice icing on the cake, but it was not a driver.”

Louis Domingue has been ‘really, really good’

during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on December 26, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.
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A rather unlikely player has stepped up to keep the Arizona Coyotes in the playoff race.

Goalie Louis Domingue started the season in the AHL. But an injury to starter Mike Smith, combined with the ineffective play of backup Anders Lindback, gave the 23-year-old a big opportunity.

Last night, Domingue stopped 25 of 26 shots in a 2-1 win over Calgary. His record improved to 5-2-2; his save percentage to .930.

“He’s been really, really good,” Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal told NHL.com. “He was probably our best player the last four or five games. It helps the team, for sure.”

With Domingue’s help, the Coyotes have shaken off their December struggles and ridden a 6-1-2 stretch into second place in the Pacific Division, three points clear of third-place Vancouver.

In a related story, we wonder if GM Don Maloney is still “willing to pay up an asset” to “get a top-end goaltender that’s a long-term value to the franchise.”

At the risk of getting fooled by a small sample size, maybe Maloney’s already got one of those.