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

Matt Hendricks

Oilers put Hendricks (foot) on IR

Edmonton put veteran forward Matt Hendricks on injured reserve Monday with a foot injury, and recalled Andrew Miller from AHL Bakersfield.

Hendricks, 34, had gotten off to a fairly decent start with the Oilers before missing Sunday’s win over the Canucks. Chosen as an alternate captain while Jordan Eberle (shoulder) is out, Hendricks was averaging over 15 minutes per night — even getting a twirl on the top line next to Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — and scored his first point of the season in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over Calgary.

As for Miller, the 26-year-old has shown good offensive flair. Last year he scored six points in nine games while making his NHL debut; this year he has three points in four games for the Condors.

Goalie nods: Avs park struggling Varlamov, Berra to face Ducks

Semyon Varlamov
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Patrick Roy isn’t happy with his team.

And it sounds like he’s really not happy with his goaltending.

The Avs head coach announced that, for Friday’s tilt in Anaheim, backup Reto Berra will get his first start of the year, replacing struggling No. 1 Semyon Varlamov.

The decision to park Varlamov comes with the Russian ‘tender boasting some ugly numbers: 5.06 GAA, .841 save percentage and one big ol’ hook after just 35 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to the Bruins, during which he allowed five goals on 19 shots.

Berra took over for Varlamov against Boston, his first action of the year. He stopped all five shots faced.

All things considered, this is a tough spot for Berra. The Avs aren’t playing well, having lost two of their first three, and the Ducks are an angry team, having started the season slow themselves (0-2-1).

Anaheim is also looking to bust out offensively, having scored just once all season.

For the Ducks, Frederik Andersen will get the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Martin Jones, he of the .987 save percentage and perfect 3-0 record, goes for San Jose. He’ll be up against Cory Schneider, who has missed New Jersey’s last two games due to the birth of his son.

James Reimer and Sergei Bobrovsky start as the Leafs visit Columbus. Bobrovsky is certainly one to watch; despite having “zero confidence” right now, he’ll make his fifth straight appearance as the Blue Jackets aim to avoid starting 0-5.

Cam Ward and Jimmy Howard square off as the ‘Canes take on the Red Wings. Howard has been terrific to start the year, and currently boasts a .977 save percentage.

— Winnipeg goes with Ondrej Pavelec in its home opener, while the Flames come back with Karri Ramo. Ramo hasn’t played since allowing four goals on 44 shots to Vancouver in Calgary’s season-opener nine days ago.

— After Brian Elliott beat Edmonton last night, the Blues are will start Jake Allen in Vancouver. The Canucks are likely to go with Ryan Miller, who’s played every minute this year but has looked rock solid in doing so. Also helping Miller’s cause is the fact that backup Jacob Markstrom is still out injured, and the replacement backup is AHLer Richard Bachman.

Darcy Kuemper gets his first start of the year for Minnesota, after Devan Dubnyk beat Arizona last night. Jonathan Quick is likely for L.A.

World Cup: McLellan to coach Oiler-centric Team North America

Todd McLellan
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The North American team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey will have a decidedly Edmonton feel.

On Friday, the squad — to be comprised of players aged 23 and younger — announced that Oilers head coach Todd McLellan would serve as the bench boss for the tournament.

The announcement was made by McLellan’s boss in Edmonton (general manager Peter Chiarelli, also serving Team North America’s co-GM), and in conjunction with the unveiling of the club’s management staff.

Which, you guessed it, also has Oiler ties.

Adam Graves, who won a Stanley Cup with Edmonton in 1990, has been named as special assistant to Chiarelli and fellow co-GM Stan Bowman. Graves, currently working in a business operations role with the Rangers, will work alongside player personnel directors Pat Verbeek and Paul Fenton, and director of hockey ops Ryan Jankowski.

Verbeek and Fenton are considered two of better assistant GMs in hockey.

Verbeek serves under Steve Yzerman in Tampa and previously worked in a scouting capacity; Fenton is regarded as one of the league’s best right-hand men, having spent the last 10 years as David Poile’s assistant in Nashville.

Jankowski, a former assistant GM with the Islanders, currently works as Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel.

Oh, and just to continue with the Edmonton theme from above, the Oilers link to Team North America extends beyond coaching and management.

Last month, NHL.com projected that two of their star youngsters — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid — would make the team, while defensemen Griffin Reinhart and Darnell Nurse are also eligible for selection.

Nine days into regular season, Jets finally set to open at home

Twenty-nine of the NHL’s 30 teams have played at least one game at home this season.

Tonight, No. 30 will get its long-awaited shot.

The Winnipeg Jets — who opened the season with road dates in Boston, New Jersey, Brooklyn and MSG — will play their first game of the year at the MTS Centre on Friday, when they host the Flames.

“It’s very exciting because this crowd gets really into it and we’re off to a really good start to the year,” Matthieu Perreault said, per the Free Press. “Much different than last year so we’re excited about this game and this homestretch here.”

The Jets did get off to a good start — going 3-1-0 on the road — and now have a big opportunity with a six-game home stand.

That said, it’s not like it’ll be a cakewalk. As far as home stands go, Winnipeg’s got a toughie — after tonight’s game against Calgary, the Jets will host St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Regardless, Winnipeg is right to be optimistic and happy with its start. Definitely better than last year, when the Jets stumbled to a 2-5-0 record and lost three of their first four at home.

Bolts’ Nesterov has hearing for hit that hospitalized McKenzie

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To nobody’s surprise, Tampa Bay defenseman Nikita Nesterov will have a disciplinary hearing for his illegal check from behind on Dallas’s Curtis McKenzie.

The hit, which occurred during Thursday’s game at Amalie, sent McKenzie to hospital in “excruciating pain,” per Stars head coach Lindy Ruff.  Nesterov was given a five-minute major and game misconduct.

Nesterov doesn’t have a disciplinary history with the league, largely because he has a small body of work. He played in just 27 games last year, his first in the NHL, and was making only his second appearance of the season against the Stars on Thursday.