Jason Brough

Getty

Penguins injuries: Hagelin has concussion; Malkin still out, but making progress

1 Comment

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without forwards Carl Hagelin and Evgeni Malkin tomorrow at home to Calgary.

Head coach Mike Sullivan said today that Hagelin has been diagnosed with a concussion after being forced to leave Saturday’s victory over St. Louis. The 28-year-old winger was well enough to skate by himself this morning, so it seems unlikely that he’ll be out for too long. Hagelin was reportedly injured after taking a hit to the head from Blues forward Alex Steen.

Malkin has not played since Jan. 24 due to a lower-body injury, but he too shouldn’t be out for much longer.

“Geno will not play tomorrow,” said Sullivan. “He was in a non-contact jersey today, but we are very encouraged with his progress.”

Tomorrow will be the fifth straight game that Malkin has missed. The Penguins have gone 3-1-0 without him.

The Pens are also missing forward Conor Sheary, and they will for a while longer. Sheary is on IR with an upper-body injury.

Ribeiro reports to AHL Milwaukee

Getty
1 Comment

When Mike Ribeiro was placed on waivers Friday, some observers doubted whether he’d report to the AHL if he cleared.

Well, he did clear, and after being assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday, he has indeed reported.

As you can see below, the 36-year-old forward arrived at Admirals practice this morning.

The Admirals host Cleveland tomorrow at UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena.

It’s been over a decade since Ribeiro played an AHL game. But as humbling as this demotion may be, at least he won’t have to watch from the press box as a healthy scratch anymore.

On Friday, Predators coach Peter Laviolette explained the situation.

“I think the lineup decisions we’ve been making as of late have found Mike on the outside,” Laviolette said, per The Tennessean. “He didn’t want to finish that way, being in the stands. He had a request for a trade, and we tried to help him with that, so he’s on waivers today to see if there’s somebody that’s going to pick him up.”

Presumably, it’s still possible that the Predators run into injury problems and Ribeiro gets called back up. With a strong performance down in the minors, he might even have his wish granted and get traded.

But it’s also possible that Ribeiro, a pending unrestricted free agent who turns 37 on Friday, has played his last game in the NHL.

Related: Predators get Fiddler in trade with Devils

Gostisbehere to be healthy scratch for third straight game

5 Comments

Even after the Philadelphia Flyers were shut out Saturday against the Kings, one of their most dangerous offensive weapons, Shayne Gostisbehere, won’t get back into the lineup tonight against the visiting Blues (on NBCSN).

It will be the third straight healthy scratch for the 23-year-old defenseman, and the fifth of the season.

The Flyers did manage to get a point off the Kings, falling 1-0 in overtime. The game before, they beat the Canadiens, 3-1.

And though the Flyers failed to score against the Kings — in fact, they only managed 17 shots — head coach Dave Hakstol was happy with how his team played.

“I thought from the drop of the puck we worked hard, we battled pretty hard together,” Hakstol told reporters Saturday. “We played a pretty good hockey game. Guys left it all out there. Top to bottom, it was a good effort.”

There will be one lineup change tonight, as 19-year-old forward Travis Konecny, a healthy scratch the past two games, is expected to replace Matt Read.

But it remains to be seen when Gostisbehere, a Calder Trophy finalist last year, will play again.

“Trying to dress the best roster possible to win hockey games,” Hakstol said. “Point blank.”

Related: A scout’s take on Ghost’s struggles

Pre-game reading: NHLers make their Super Bowl picks

1 Comment

— Up top, watch former NHL goalie Ilya Bryzgalov explain PEMDAS (or, as it’s known in Canada, BEDMAS), which you may or may not remember from elementary school math class. Bryz was a real hit at the All-Star Game this weekend in Los Angeles. He does NOT think a hot-dog is a sandwich.

— It’s the Super Bowl this Sunday in Houston, where the New England Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Pats are only 3-point favorites, and NHLers are split on who’s gonna take it. Roberto Luongo is a big NFL fan, and he’s got a feeling about the underdogs: “I’m taking the Falcons. I don’t know, I think New England’s schedule has been a bit too easy this year, so they haven’t really faced like a juggernaut. I don’t know. I’ve just got a feeling Atlanta is going to somehow pull it out … 32-27.” (NHL.com)

— Flyers GM Ron Hextall explains the thought process behind making youngsters like Shayne Gostisbehere and Travis Konecny healthy scratches: “When these decisions are made, the coaches analyze everything up, down and all around. These decisions aren’t made lightly. They’re made with a lot of thought and I’m happy with those two kids. … It’s what the coaching staff deems the right thing right now and I’m fine with it. In terms of the minutes these kids have played this year, they’ve played a decent amount of minutes. I’m happy.” (Courier-Post)

Not all goalies are thrilled with the timing of the NHL’s decision to make streamlined pants mandatory. But all goalies must wear them starting tomorrow, regardless. The guy in charge of the changes, Kay Whitmore, explained it like this: “We addressed the safety concerns and felt it was the right decision to implement as soon as possible, regardless of the fact that it was midway through the year.” (NHL.com)

— Last year, Andrew Shaw was suspended one playoff game for using a gay slur. Now he’s the Montreal Canadiens’ “Hockey Is For Everyone” ambassador. Said Shaw: “I volunteered to do it. I thought it would be a good opportunity to help out. What I went through last year, you know, I learned from it. Words affect people more than you think. It’s something I learned. With what I learned last year, it’s a good position to be in. I can take what I’ve learned from my experiences and help others learn the value of words.” (Yahoo Sports)

— Could the NHL send players to the Olympics in South Korea and still keep playing games at home? It sounds unlikely, but Postmedia’s Michael Traikos reports: “One of the options being discussed behind closed doors is whether to have a team-by-team policy regarding player participation. That way star players get to attend the Olympics, but teams don’t have to close up shop at a time of the season when the NHL has its least competition.” (National Post)

Enjoy the games!

Related: Bettman argues that Olympic participation hurts NHL product

Hartford’s making a pitch for the Islanders

13 Comments

The governor of Connecticut and the mayor of Hartford are making a play for the New York Islanders.

In a letter to Isles ownership, dated today, Gov. Dannel Malloy and Mayor Luke Bronin wrote, “It has come to our attention that the Islanders may be in the need for a new home after the 2017-18 season. Recognizing that many issues will complicate your decision making, we would nonetheless like to offer Hartford’s XL Center as an option for your interim use. Of course, as we pursue the transformation of the building into today’s NHL standards, we would suggest the building as a long-term solution to your needs as well. We are certainly willing to work with private partners to develop the building you would be proud to call home and to adjust our development plans to the needs of your clubs and fans.”

The Isles reportedly have the option to leave Barclays Center in Brooklyn after next season. They can also be kicked out after the following season (2018-19).

Now, it needs to be noted that the NHL has given no indication that it will approve a move out of the New York market.

“The owners are committed to the franchise, they’re committed to New York and the great fan base that has followed the Islanders,” commissioner Gary Bettman said of the Isles’ situation this past weekend at the All-Star Game. “There are some issues about playing in Barclays that may be fundamental as to the ice system, and that’s not something that can be fixed in the short term. I think, as is prudent, Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are reviewing the situation and looking very seriously at what their options are.”

From the New York Times, on the Isles’ search for a more suitable home:

They reportedly have explored building an arena next to Citi Field in Queens or near Belmont Park. But a new arena, in a metropolitan area that already has four competing for concerts and events, is fraught with logistical and financial problems. Attempts to construct a new outdoor stadium in Queens by the owners of New York City Football Club, the M.L.S. team, have been thwarted by community activists and politicians.

Which brings us back to Connecticut, and this note about XL Center from the Hartford Courant:

Plans are in place for a $250 million renovation that will add a second concourse and get the arena up to NHL standards. Connecticut hasn’t had a professional sports team since the Hartford Whalers left for North Carolina in 1997.

You can read the full letter below, via @newsbell:

c3xc7-xw8aaee8h