Mike Halford

skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on December 22, 2015 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Ducks 3-2 in overtime.
Getty Images

Horcoff suspended 20 games for PEDs (Updated)


On the heels of an earlier TSN report that veteran Anaheim center Shawn Horcoff was facing a “lengthy suspension,” the NHL has released the following:

Horcoff has been suspended for 20 games, without pay, for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension is accompanied by mandatory referral to the NHL/NHLPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health for evaluation and possible treatment.

Based on his average annual salary, Horcoff will forfeit $357,526.88.

The National Hockey League will have no further comment on this matter.

Horcoff, 37, becomes the first NHLer to be suspended for PEDs this season. Previously, Maple Leafs forward Carter Ashton and Buffalo center Zenon Konopka had both been banned 20 games each for violating the league’s Performance Enhancing Substance Program.

Horcoff’s been a regular lineup presence for the Ducks this year, appearing in 45 of 46 games while averaging 13:38 TOI per night. He played just over 10 minutes in Anaheim’s last game, a 4-3 win in Detroit on Saturday.

Based on Anaheim’s schedule, Horcoff won’t be eligible to return until Friday, Mar. 11, when the Ducks take on St. Louis at Scottrade. That could change, however, as the club still needs to make up a date against Washington that was postponed last week due to a severe snowstorm.

Update 1

Statement from Ducks GM Bob Murray:

“This morning we were made aware of the situation regarding Shawn Horcoff. The Anaheim Ducks organization fully supports the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

“We will also continue to support Shawn as a player and person throughout this process. We will have no further comment at this time.”

Update 2

Statement from Horcoff, through the NHLPA:

“While recovering from an injury I suffered this past fall, I tried a treatment that I believed would help speed up the healing process.

“Although I was unaware that this treatment was not permitted under NHL rules, that is no excuse whatsoever. I should have done my research and I should have checked with the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program’s doctors. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I am sorry.

“Throughout my entire career, I have felt genuinely blessed and honored to play the great game of hockey, and I regret the impact that this may have on my team and our fans.

“I look forward to the day I return to the ice for the playoff push.”

Report: Horcoff facing ‘lengthy suspension’ for off-ice issue (Updated)

<> at Honda Center on November 30, 2015 in Anaheim, California.
Getty Images

Veteran Ducks center Shawn Horcoff is “facing a lengthy suspension for an off-ice issue,” per TSN’s Mike Johnson.

Horcoff, 37, is in his first season with Anaheim following a two-year stint in Dallas. He spent the majority of his 15-year career in Edmonton, where he served as captain from 2010-13.

Horcoff’s been a regular lineup presence for the Ducks this year, appearing in 45 of 46 games while averaging 13:38 TOI per night. He played just over 10 minutes in Anaheim’s last game, a 4-3 win in Detroit on Saturday.



On the move again? Ducks waive Clendening

during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on October 10, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.
Getty Images

Hopefully Adam Clendening owns a good suitcase.

On Tuesday, TVA reported that Clendening was placed on waivers by Anaheim, just 10 days after the Ducks acquired him in the Carl HagelinDavid Perron trade with Pittsburgh.

The Ducks exposed Clendening to waivers without having dressed him for a single game.

Taken 36th overall by Chicago in 2011, Clendening has been all over the place since making his NHL debut with the ‘Hawks last season. After getting recalled from Rockford, making his big-league debut and appearing in four games, he was traded from Chicago to Vancouver, appearing in 17 games as a Canuck and 11 with the club’s AHL affiliate in Utica.

This past offseason, he was traded to Pittsburgh in the Brandon SutterNick Bonino deal, and went on to play in nine games for the Pens, and another six for AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Given he’s still only 23 years old, a right-handed shot and blessed with some offensive talent, it’s possible Clendening will be scooped off waivers. He’s currently on a one-year deal with a $761,250 cap hit.

‘No hard feelings’ from Shero ahead of first game back in Pittsburgh

Ray Shero
Getty Images

Ray Shero accomplished many things during his eight years as Penguins GM — one Stanley Cup, two Finals appearances and nine straight playoff appearances.

Yet despite all that, he was relieved of his duties in May of 2014, paving the way for him to accept the GM gig in New Jersey almost exactly one year later.

Tonight, Shero’s new team will take on his old team at Consol.

More, from the Tribune-Review:

“No hard feelings on my end,” Shero said while driving to the house in Upper St. Clair that he still owns, where his family spent the Christmas break.

Proof came three weeks after his firing, when Shero phoned Rutherford to wish his replacement well. Shero also phoned Mike Sullivan, whom he knows well, to congratulate the Penguins’ new coach on his return to a top NHL job.

Of his first game as a visiting GM in the building he opened, Shero said: “It’s closure more than anything.”

“Not that it’s not there anyway, but if I went back (into Consol Energy Center) as a pro scout, it’s probably not the same thing.”

Shero’s first year in New Jersey has gone very well. Two of his best acquisitions — acquiring Kyle Palmieri from Anaheim, signing Lee Stempniak in free agency — have pushed the club into playoff contention; with a win tonight, the Devils could leapfrog Tampa Bay for the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Shero’s other move of significance, hiring John Hynes as head coach, also has a decidedly Pittsburgh feel. Hynes was the longtime coach of the Pens’ AHL team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and interviewed for the head coaching job after Dan Bylsma was fired (which eventually went to Mike Johnston).

“It was disappointing in a sense that you had an opportunity that you didn’t get,” Hynes said, per NorthJersey.com. “I think anyone that’s in that situation would like to move on (to coach in the NHL), but it was handled well. It wasn’t a bad situation by any means.

“I wasn’t at the right point the right guy for the job and that’s part of coaching.”

Versteeg ‘would not be shocked’ if he’s traded by deadline

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 11:  Kris Versteeg #32 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates during a game against the Anaheim Ducks  at Honda Center on December 11, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Getty Images

With little fanfare, Kris Versteeg has put together a very solid season in Carolina — which, oddly enough, is part of the reason why he might be on the move by the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

“If it happens I would not be shocked,” Versteeg said, per the Raleigh News & Observer. “At the same time, I’ve really enjoyed my time in Carolina and I’d really like to be part of this young team and help them win.”

Versteeg, 29, is in the last of a four-year, $17.6 million deal with a $4.4M average annual cap hit. That hit might seem a little high, but it becomes easier to stomach when you consider 50 percent of his salary was retained in an earlier trade — meaning that $4.4M hit is now down to $2.2M.

What’s more, Versteeg’s a UFA at season’s end, so he’d be an ideal rental-type for a team looking for depth at forward.

Or perhaps more.

With 30 points in 49 games this year, Versteeg’s scoring at a 0.61 ppg clip, the third-highest total of his eight-year career. He’s also averaging a healthy 16:30 TOI per night and, per head coach Bill Peters, can be trusted in a variety of situations.

“Steeger makes a lot of plays, a lot of the little plays in the offensive zone that some guys in the league and on our team can’t make,” Peters explained. “Lot of poise and patience with the puck.”

The other plus for Versteeg is his playoff experience. He’s appeared in 84 postseason games and won a pair of Stanley Cups, scoring 14 points in 22 games en route to the ’10 title.