Mike Halford

Jason Demers, Justin St. Pierre
AP Photo

Stars announce Demers (shoulder) out at least six weeks


Jason Demers‘ regular season is over.

His entire season might be done, too.

On Thursday, Stars head coach Lindy Ruff announced Demers would miss at least the next six weeks with a shoulder injury suffered Tuesday in Montreal, per the Morning-News.

The veteran d-man left the contest during the second period following an awkward fall. He was seen after the game wearing a sling on his right arm.

With four weeks remaining in the regular season, the most optimistic outlook for Demers is that he’s able to return to help Dallas in the playoffs — though that’s entirely dependent on how far the Stars go.

Demers, 27, plays a pretty big role on the Dallas defense, averaging just under 21 minutes per night while sitting second among blueliners in points, with 23. His seven goals put him just three back of John Klingberg for the lead among Dallas d-men.

Speaking of Klingberg, he’s also currently out of the Dallas lineup with an injury of his own — though he’s currently listed as day-to-day. The Stars are also without Jordie Benn, who’s out for roughly another week with a lower-body ailment.

To fill the void, Dallas called up Stephen Johns from AHL Texas yesterday.

NHL suspends Nurse three games, says he ‘intentionally targeted Polak in retaliation’


Oilers blueliner Darnell Nurse has been suspended three games for jumping San Jose blueliner Roman Polak during Tuesday’s game in Edmonton, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced.

“It is important to note that at no point during this altercation does Polak drop his gloves, throw a punch, or do anything other than to attempt to defend himself from the attack,” the DoPS explained in its video. “As Nurse began throwing punches without warning, Polak is a defenseless and unwilling combatant.”

The video noted Nurse “manages to throw and land around eight punches” on Polak.

The DoPS also made a point of mentioning the retaliatory aspect of this incident. Prior to getting jumped by Nurse, Polak was engaged with Oilers forward Matt Hendricks, which resulted in Hendricks crashing violently into the end boards.

Though replay showed Polak wasn’t at fault for the crash, Nurse went after him anyway, with the DoPS saying it believed he “intentionally targeted Polak in retaliation.”

As a result, Nurse will now miss Edmonton’s next three games — at Minnesota, versus Arizona, versus Nashville — and will be eligible to return on Wednesday, Mar. 16 against St. Louis.

Nurse will also forfeit $13,924.74 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Report: Landeskog to have hearing for cross-checking Despres (Video)


Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog has a date with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, per TSN.

Landeskog, who cross-checked Ducks blueliner Simon Despres in the head/neck area during Colorado’s 3-0 win on Wednesday night, will reportedly have a disciplinary hearing for the infraction — which didn’t draw a penalty, and didn’t knock Despres out of the game.

At first glance, those two facts might make the hearing seem curious.

But then, you have to consider that Landeskog has a history with the DoPS.

Earlier this season, he was given a two-game suspension for hitting Boston forward Brad Marchand; last season, he was fined for a late-game altercation with Wild captain Mikko Koivu.

UPDATE: Hearing is official and will happen today, per the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

Sharks sign ‘premier point producer’ Labanc to entry-level deal


Kevin Labanc, who leads the OHL with 119 points in 59 games this year, has signed a standard, entry-level contract with the Sharks, the club announced on Wednesday.

“Kevin has become one of the premier point producers in the OHL and has elevated his game to new heights this season,” GM Doug Wilson said in a release. “His smart, crafty play with the puck has made him a dangerous offensive player, but with the help of Barrie’s Head Coach Dale Hawerchuk, his game has improved physically and in the defensive end as well. We’re excited to see his continued development with our organization.”

Labanc, 20, was taken in the sixth round of the ’14 draft. This marks the second straight year he’s racked up 100-plus points for Barrie — last season, Labanc racked up 107 in 68 games while playing alongside the likes of current Devils rookie Joseph Blandisi, and Winnipeg prospect Brendan Lemieux.

No hearing for Reaves following Ehrhoff hit


St. Louis forward Ryan Reaves won’t face any supplemental disciplinary hearing for his big hit on Chicago d-man Christian Ehrhoff from Wednesday night, per the Tribune.

Reaves’ hit, which came in the first period of St. Louis’ eventual 3-2 shootout win, earned him a five-minute charging major and game misconduct.

Ehrhoff left the game momentarily, but did return to finish with 17 shifts for 11:45 of ice time.

Reaves managed to avoid punishment despite having run afoul of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety lately. Late last month, he was suspended three games for ‘dangerously’ charging San Jose d-man Matt Tennyson from behind.