<span class="vcard">Mike Halford</span>

New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers

Oft-injured Grabovski (upper body) exits for Isles, won’t return

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Another tough health development for Mikhail Grabovski?

Could be.

On Monday night, Grabovski lasted just 7:45 before exiting the Islanders’ home date against the Coyotes, and was officially ruled out with an upper-body injury early in the third period.

It’s unclear what’s ailing the 31-year-old, or when it occurred — per Newsday, Grabovski went to the Isles’ bench following a opening-period collision — but the fact he left the game entirely isn’t good.

And given his history, it’s really not good.

Grabovski only appeared in 51 of 82 games last year, missing extensive time with a concussion issues and a lower-body ailment. The year prior, in Washington, he only appeared in 58 of 82 games, missing extensive time with an ankle injury.

Prior to tonight, it looked like the veteran winger may have put his health issues behind him, having appeared in all 18 of New York’s games this season.

Grabovski’s in the second of a four-year, $20 million deal with a $5M average annual cap hit.

Video: ‘Canes rookie Hanifin scores first NHL goal

It took a while — 15 games, to be specific — but Noah Hanifin has scored his first big-league marker.

On Monday, Hanifin scored early in the second period to draw the ‘Canes even with Anaheim, 1-1.

It was a banner moment for the 18-year-old. The fifth overall pick at this year’s draft¬† — and, accordingly, one of the NHL’s youngest players this season — Hanifin’s had a tough go of things recently, which included some time in the press box as a healthy scratch.

That said, things seem to be coming around for the former Boston College standout.

Hanifin has eclipsed the 20 minutes-played mark in two of his last three games, and had the memorable marker tonight as the ‘Canes look to snap their current three-game losing streak.

Parise (sprained MCL) resumes skating, ‘getting better’

Zach Parise

Some good news out of Minnesota on the health of injured forward Zach Parise.

On Monday, the Star-Tribune reported that Parise — who’s in Minnestota while the Wild are out on their road trip — has resumed skating, after spraining his MCL 11 days ago in a loss to Nashville.


Parise has missed four games with a sprained MCL in his right knee. As the Wild complete the trip with games at Pittsburgh on Tuesday and at Boston on Thursday, Parise will continue skating at home.

“He’s getting better,” [head coach Mike] Yeo said. “We’ll see where he’s at when we come home from the road trip.”

The Wild have fared very well without Parise, going 3-0-1 over the last four games. But things promise to get more difficult in the coming days, as they’ll finish this current trip with road dates in Pittsburgh and Boston, before returning home to Minnesota on Nov. 21 — when they’ll face Nashville, which employs the same individual (James Neal) that knocked Parise out of the lineup on Nov. 5.

D.C. Reunited: Backstrom, Ovechkin together again

Nicklas Backstrom #19 and Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals talk during the second period against the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center on January 24, 2013 in Washington, DC.
(January 23, 2013 - Source: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America)

The Dynamic Duo is back in Washington.

For now, anyway.

During Monday’s practice, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz put captain Alex Ovechkin on a line with longtime running mate Nicklas Backstrom, suggesting the pair could be back together when Washington plays Detroit on Wednesday night.

“I just wanted to change it up, change the thought process a little bit,” Trotz said, per NHL.com. “I think we can be better in some areas. I haven’t put [Backstrom], Osh [T.J. Oshie] and Ovi together to see how that looks.”

For most of this year, Oshie and Ovechkin have been centered by Evgeny Kuznetsov, while Backstrom — who missed the start of the year recovering from hip surgery — started out with Justin Williams and Marcus Johansson, but has skated with a variety of wingers.

Backstrom and Ovechkin have spent a good chunk of their careers playing alongside each other, and have enjoyed some tremendous success. This includes the banner 2009-10 campaign, when both eclipsed the 100-point plateau.

The reunion could spark Ovechkin to break out of his recent mini-slump. He’s scoreless over the last three games, remaining tied with Sergei Fedorov for most goals by a Russian (483) in NHL history.

In his last two games, No. 8 has mustered just five shots on goal.

Wings sign d-man Ouellet to one-year, $715K extension

Xavier Ouellet

The Red Wings have agreed to terms with blueliner Xavier Ouellet on a one-year, one-way deal worth $715,000, per MLive.

Ouellet, 22, was the club’s second-round pick (48th overall) at the 2011 draft and has played for Detroit in each of the last two seasons, including a career-high 21 last season.

A former Quebec League standout that played for Team Canada at the 2013 World Juniors, Ouellet didn’t crack the Red Wings roster out of camp this year and has spent all of his time with AHL Grand Rapids, where he’s scored six points through 11 games.

Last year, he was named an AHL All-Star while playing for the Griffins.

With this contract, the Wings give Ouellet another year of grooming in the American League, with the opportunity to become a full-time NHLer next season. It’s important to note that, during the 2016-17 season, he’ll no longer be waiver exempt — meaning his chances of staying with parent club do improve.