Joe Yerdon

Penguins’ Neal out at least two more weeks

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Penguins fans are going to have to wait a bit longer to see James Neal back in action.

According to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the goal scoring winger will miss at least two more weeks with his upper body injury. Neal was placed on injured reserve on October 15 after re-aggravating an old injury.

To the Penguins’ credit, Neal’s injury hasn’t slowed them down much in thanks to the play of, you guessed it, Sidney Crosby.

They’re 7-1-0 on the season and only the San Jose Sharks have scored more goals (39 to Pittsburgh’s 31). Crosby, meanwhile, leads the league in points with 17 and is tied with four players atop the league in goals with seven.

Neal was injured on October 3 against the New Jersey Devils, the Pens’ first game of the year, and played just 3:49 of that game.

Goodbye beard: Sharks’ Burns shaving for charity

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Brent Burns is ditching his wild outdoorsman look, but for a good cause.

According to the Sharks, the defenseman-turned-forward will be getting rid of his famous hair and beard on November 1 to raise money for the Defending the Blue Line and Katie Moore Foundation charities. He’ll be getting a buzz cut and shaving off his full, wildman beard in an effort to raise money for both non-profits.

From now until Halloween, the Sharks are hoping to raise $5,000 for each charity and with how famous his look has become, it probably won’t take too long to meet their goal.

To make things even more crazy, one of Burns’ Sharks teammates will get to do the honors of shaving him.

“I’m sure there will be a long line of guys wanting to cut my hair,” Burns said with a laugh. “With this disaster on my face, I figured that maybe some good can come from it and we can help a couple of deserving causes.”

This sounds like a job for Tomas “Teenage Mutant Ninja” Hertl.

Report: Panthers ready to trade just about anyone

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Now that the Florida Panthers have new ownership, they’re reportedly ready to shake things up.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports new owners Vincent Viola and Douglas Cifu aren’t happy with the team’s slow start and are ready to move any of their veteran players. Who can be had for the right price? Pretty much anyone.

Forwards Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall, Shawn Matthias, Brad Boyes and Marcel Goc are among those available along with Tom Gilbert and Dmitry Kulikov, just to name a few.

The Panthers are 3-6-0 to start the season which in the Eastern Conference puts them a short winning streak away from being a playoff team. They’re just four points back of third place Montreal and six back of Atlantic Division leading Detroit and Toronto. In other words, it’s too soon to be throwing in the towel.

That said, new owners looking to do business their way isn’t anything new and GM Dale Tallon could have new marching orders.

As it is, they’ve got a solid young core with 2013 Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau, 2013 first-round pick Aleksander Barkov, defenseman Erik Gudbranson, and goalie Jacob Markstrom. Building off of them has likely been the plan all along.

Roman Hamrlik to announce retirement

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After 20 NHL seasons, Roman Hamrlik is calling it a career.

According to reports from Europe, Hamrlik will retire from hockey.  Roman Jedlicka in the Czech Republic says he’ll make his announcement official in Montreal at a press conference next week.

After so long in the NHL, Hamrlik has had a distinctive career. He was the No. 1 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 1992, the franchise’s first ever draft pick. He played with seven different teams over his career going from Tampa to Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, the New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, and New York Rangers.

He showed he was worthy of his lofty No. 1 pick status right away. In his fourth season, he posted career-highs in goals (16) and points (65) with the Lightning. In his first 18 seasons, he scored 20 or more points each year. He finished his career with 155 goals and 638 points in 1,395 games.

From Yahoo!’s Sean Leahy, here’s video of the day Hamrlik was drafted by Phil Esposito and the Lightning in ’92.

Philadelphia’s offense is historically bad

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The start of the season for the Philadelphia Flyers has been less-than great. They’re currently 1-7-0 with just two points, fewest in the league. Their offense isn’t getting things done and it’s happening at a historically bad rate.

Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer shares a brutal factoid for Flyers fans to revel in about their miserable start.

Thursday’s 4-1 loss to visiting Pittsburgh marked the eighth straight time they had failed to score more than two goals since the season started. That’s the first time that has happened since 1964, when the Boston Bruins did it in the first nine games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Even the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils aren’t having that much trouble scoring goals in bunches this season.

The Flyers have just two players who have more than one goal scored this season (Tye McGinn, Brayden Schenn) and just eight players in all who have even scored a goal at all. Oddly enough, both the Devils and Sabres also have just eight goal-scorers on the season.

Perhaps what they say about bad news coming in threes is true.