Mike Halford

Canada v Belarus - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Quarter Final
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Jackets re-sign towering blueliner Yevenko

Columbus liked what it saw of Oleg Yevenko in the AHL this year.

So, the Jackets are bringing him back for another.

On Monday, the club announced that Yevenko has been re-signed to a one-year, two-way deal after appearing in 48 games with AHL Lake Erie this season.

Yevenko, 25, is best known for his size: 6-foot-7, 230 pounds.

He’s a former UMass-Ahmerst product that played for his native Belarus at the 2015 World Hockey Championships. After his time in school, Yevenko briefly caught on with the Flames’ AHL affiliate in Adirondack last year, before moving to the Columbus organization.

Yevenko has one goal and three assists this season for the Monsters.

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    Goalie nods: Treutle makes first NHL start for Coyotes

    during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on February 18, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.
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    Niklas Treutle, the former German League standout signed by Arizona last summer, will make his first-ever NHL start tonight as the Coyotes host the Ducks in Glendale.

    Treutle, 24, made his NHL debut last month with a 10-minute relief appearance after Louis Domingue got the hook against the Blues.

    The Coyotes are coming off a disastrous road trip that ended with a 6-0 whipping in Pittsburgh, so it’s not surprising they’ll rest Domingue — a rookie that’s been pressed into starting duties this year with injuries to Mike Smith and Anders Lindback — and give Treutle a look.

    Unfortunately for Treutle, his first start comes against a red-hot Ducks team that’s surged up the Pacific Division standings. They’ll start Frederik Andersen in goal.

    Elsewhere…

    — After Corey Crawford beat the Red Wings last night, Scott Darling gets the start against Boston. Tuukka Rask is likely for the B’s.

    — It’s Jonas Hiller versus the in-form Robin Lehner as the Flames take on the Sabres in Buffalo.

    Michal Neuvirth, who appears to be Philly’s No. 1 netminder at the moment, starts again tonight against the visiting Oilers. Cam Talbot starts for Edmonton.

    — Marquee matchup brewing in Pittsburgh, as Henrik Lundqvist will go for the Rangers. The Pens are expected to give Marc-Andre Fleury the nod.

    — After Jonathan Bernier lost in Washington last night, Garret Sparks starts for the Leafs. Devan Dubnyk is likely for the visiting Wild.

    Craig Anderson‘s still hurt, so Andrew Hammond will make the start tonight against Tampa Bay. The Bolts, as per usual, are going with Ben Bishop, who on Wednesday was named to Team USA for the World Cup of Hockey.

    — The Isles will give Jaroslav Halak the night off, and give Thomas Greiss the nod. The host Jets will go with Michael Hutchinson.

    — Speaking of nights off, Cory Schneider gets one as the Devils will start Keith Kinkaid in Nashville. Pekka Rinne is likely for the Preds.

    Calvin Pickard gets the start tonight, after the Avs parked struggling No. 1 netminder Seymon Varlamov. Veteran Roberto Luongo goes for the visiting Panthers.

    Martin Jones versus Ryan Miller as the Sharks take on the Canucks in Vancouver.

    Ben Scrivens versus Jonathan Quick as the Habs take on Kings in L.A.

    After 13-game absence, Brodin (broken foot) back for Wild

    Minnesota Wild v Anaheim Ducks
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    The Minnesota Wild will get a key blueline piece back tonight when they take on the Maple Leafs.

    Jonas Brodin, who’s missed the last 13 games with a broken foot, will draw back into the lineup for the first time since Feb. 4.

    Minnesota heads into tonight’s action holding the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, yet even on points (68) with ninth-place Colorado. So, needless to say, Brodin’s return comes at a crucial time of the season.

    “I did a lot of rehab, and workouts, and I’ve been on the ice a couple of times here,” Brodin said, per the Wild website. “I feel I’m in good shape, and I’m ready to get back.”

    Prior to getting hurt, Brodin had six points through 50 games and was averaging over 20 minutes per night. It’s expected he’ll be paired with rookie Mike Reilly tonight.

    Price ‘pretty confident’ he’ll return to Habs this season

    Carey Price
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    After a string of bad days, it’s been a pretty good last 24 hours for Carey Price.

    Yesterday, Price was named to Team Canada’s preliminary roster for the 2016 World Cup, despite having missed over three months with a lower-body injury.

    Today, more good news — Price revealed he’s “pretty confident” he’ll return to play at some point during Montreal’s final 18 games of the regular season.

    “I don’t know when I’ll be back at practice. I’m just continuing the process, and slowly progressing,” Price said on Thursday, per CBC. “The last couple of weeks, I feel I’ve turned the corner, and me skating in full equipment shows that.”

    There was a fair bit of media hoopla in Montreal today, and not just because Price spoke to the media. Prior to, he was taking shots from injured Habs forward David Desharnais, a session Price said felt “great.”

    Price also lent credence to the notion this injury wasn’t as severe as some made it out to be. He said surgery was never on the table, and echoed some of the comments made earlier by GM Marc Bergevin, who said he was “convinced if [Price] played a position other than goalie, he would be playing hockey right now.”

    The reigning league MVP agreed.

    “The nature of my position, it was just bad for goaltenders,” Price said, per NHL.com. “It’s the only way to explain it. It’s never been an option to get surgery, so that’s that. Time was going to be the only option to let it heal fully, and it’s obviously taken longer than expected.”

    Montreal heads into Thursday’s action six points back of Pittsburgh for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Habs are in L.A. tonight for a date against the Kings.

    Two more Devils — Blandisi, Smith-Pelly — fined for diving

    NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 23: Jesper Fast #19 of the New York Rangers checks Joseph Blandisi #64 of the New Jersey Devils into the boards during the first period at the Prudential Center on February 23, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The Devils have an embellishment problem.

    On Thursday, two more New Jersey skaters — Joseph Blandisi and Devante Smith-Pelly — were fined for diving, making them the third and fourth members of the team this season to be punished for the infraction.

    (Before you all start freaking out, yes, it is true that Smith-Pelly’s fine came as a result of his actions as a Canadien. Accordingly, the fine will be included in Montreal’s accumulation totals.)

    From the league:

    Blandisi was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 847 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 16. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 13:14 of the second period during NHL Game No. 893 against the New York Rangers on Feb. 23. Blandisi drew a minor penalty for interference to Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath and was assessed a minor penalty for embellishment on the play.

    Smith-Pelly was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 512 at Minnesota on Dec. 22. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 6:16 of the second period during NHL Game No. 902 at Washington on Feb. 24. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom received a minor penalty for slashing on the play.

    The Devils are going to be a really interesting team to watch moving forward, because bench boss John Hynes is now in danger of becoming the first coach to receive a fine for diving/embellishment since the citation program was brought into effect at the start of last season.

    After the fourth player warning, coaches are subjected to a $2,000 fine. Blandisi is No. 3 — in December, Devils forward Jordin Tootoo was punished for diving/embellishment and, in January, fellow forward Bobby Farnham was dinged.