Mike Halford

Winter Classic Hockey

Pens-Flyers outdoor game moved to primetime


The NHL has bumped the 2017 Stadium Series game between Philly and Pittsburgh by a week, in order to get the coveted primetime evening setting.

More, from the league:

The Pittsburgh Penguins will play host to the Philadelphia Flyers outdoors at Heinz Field, home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 as part of the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today.

The new date of the event allows for a night-time setting that will be broadcast in primetime on NBC in the United States and on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada at 8 p.m. ET.

This will mark the second outdoor game to be played at Heinz, following the 2011 Winter Classic between the Penguins and Capitals.

As the NHL notes, the ’17 Stadium Series game will mark the first time that the Keystone State Rivalry between Pittsburgh and Philly will be played at the home of the Steelers.

Wild sign Hobey Baker finalist Petan

Michigan Tech forward Alex Petan (23) and Yale defenseman Ryan Obuchowski battle for the puck during the third period of an NCAA hockey college game at the Desert Hockey Classic tournament, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Alex Petan, the Michigan Tech senior that captured this year’s WCHA Player of the Year award, has inked an amateur tryout contract with the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate, per the Star-Tribune.

Petan, 23, is the older brother of Winnipeg forward Nic Petan, who made his NHL debut this season. The elder Petan is coming off a solid four-year career at Michigan Tech, which culminated with him being one of the top-10 finalists for this year’s Hobey Baker award.

A diminutive skater — listed at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds — Petan led the WCHA in numerous statistical categories this year, including goals (16), points (29), goals-per-game (0.59), points-per-game (1.07) and power-play points (13).

The Star-Tribune reports this ATO doesn’t come with an entry-level NHL contract, though that may still happen.


Subban (neck) returns to full practice, but still has ‘some symptoms’

P.K Subban injured
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Welcome sight at Habs practice on Wednesday, as P.K. Subban fully participated with teammates for the first time since being stretchered off against Buffalo on Mar. 10 — but while he’s back skating, he won’t return to game action tomorrow when Montreal takes on Detroit.

“I have to follow what the doctors say,” Subban said, per the Canadian Press. “I’ve still got some symptoms from the injury and they don’t want me back unless I’m at 100 per cent.”

Subban noted this is the first time in his career he’s missed time to injury, so he’s a bit unfamiliar with rehabbing to get back into action.

He’s missed six games all told with the neck ailment, but appears determined to get back into the Montreal lineup quickly — possibly on Saturday, when the club has a home date against the Rangers.

NHL on NBCSN: Bruins, Rangers tangle on Rivalry Night

Dylan McIlrath, Matt Beleskey
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Tonight on NBCSN, the New York Rangers host the Boston Bruins in a classic Eastern Conference grudge match. You can catch the game on TV, or watch online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.


Some notes ahead of tonight’s affair:

• Boston concludes a 4-game road trip tonight. The B’s were swept in their previous 3 games by the California teams, scoring just 3 total goals.

• The Bruins have not lost 4 straight all season and hope to gain ground on Tampa and Florida in the division race. They have a crucial matchup against the Panthers on Thursday.

• The Rangers also struggled on a recent trip to California (1-1-1 in those games), but bounced back on Monday with a 4-2 win over Florida at MSG. The Blueshirts sit 2 points ahead of Pittsburgh for 2nd place in the Metropolitan.

• Even though the Bruins have lost 3 straight on the road, a major reason for their likely return to the playoffs this season is their performance away from TD Garden. The B’s are just a .500 team at home (16-16-5), but one of the league’s top road teams.

• The Bruins are 3 road wins away from tying the franchise record of 26, set in their Cup-winning 1971-72 season. Tonight is one of 5 remaining road games for the Bruins.

• The trademark of previous Claude Julien-led Bruins teams was their defense – over the first 8 seasons of Julien’s tenure, the Bruins allowed the fewest goals/game in the NHL. That number has slipped considerably this season, but the team has still found success due to a spike in offense – the Bruins are the 3rd-highest scoring in the NHL this season.

Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves against Florida to pick up his first win since February 27 (snapped an 0-3-2 stretch). It was his 32nd win of the season and the 371st of his career. Lundqvist is 1 win away from tying former Bruin Andy Moog for 15th all-time, and he has a realistic chance to finish the season alone in 14th place (former Ranger John Vanbiesbrouck is currently 14th with 374 career wins).

Rick Nash snapped a 14-game goal drought on Monday night with his first goal since Dec. 30. Nash has been injury plagued this season, most recently missing 20 games with a bone bruise. After his best season as a Ranger last year, Nash’s production has suffered in 2015-16.

Brad Marchand has a team-leading and career-high 34 goals this season (T-4th in NHL), though he’s currently riding a 5-game goal drought. He joins a short list players – all with notable tenures in Beantown – that have scored 30 goals in a season for Boston since the lockout.

• The Bruins’ most recent call up is also known for scoring. Massachusetts native Frank Vatrano played college hockey at UMass-Amherst, and his first full pro season has been a success, with 39 goals between the AHL and NHL.

• Leads AHL with 33 goals in 33 games for the Providence Bruins

• Scored 6 goals in 30 games with the Bruins earlier this season (last played Jan. 19).

Eric Staal has only produced 3 points (1 G, 2 A) in his 11 games with the Rangers since being acquired near the trade deadline.

Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello lead the team with 25 and 23 goals respectively, but have both struggled of late.

• Brassard: 3 goals in last 14 games.

• Zuccarello: 3 goals in last 15 games (goal Monday night vs. FLA).



Isles prospect McAdam forgoes senior year, signs ELC

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 30:  Eamon McAdam, 70th pick overall by the New York Islanders, poses for a portrait during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Eamon McAdam, the Penn State goalie taken by New York in the third round of the ’13 draft, has opted to leave school and sign his first pro contract with the Isles, the club announced on Wednesday.


McAdam, 21, completed his third season at Penn State University, posting a 13-8-1 record with a 2.98 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound goaltender’s collegiate career totaled 44 games with a .905 save percentage.

McAdam played three seasons for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League from 2010-11 to 2012-13. He played alongside current Sound Tigers netminder Stephon Williams in 2011-12 and was named Most Valuable Player in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in 2013.

Like many collegiate players that’ve signed in recent days and weeks, McAdam has signed a three-year, entry-level deal, but will begin his pro career immediately by signing an AHL amateur tryout contract. That’ll allow him to suit up for Bridgeport, without having to “burn” a year of his ELC.