Mike Halford

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Another injury blow for Florida — Petrovic (ankle) out two months

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The Panthers can’t catch a break.

On the same day they finally received some good news in the health department — Nick Bjugstad is ready to make his season debut, after missing 19 games with a hand injury — the Panthers announced that d-man Alex Petrovic would miss the next eight weeks with an ankle injury, and has been placed on IR.

Petrovic, 24, scored one goal and five points in 16 games this year, averaging just under 18 minutes per night. He was hurt blocking a shot during Florida’s overtime win in Montreal last Tuesday, and hasn’t played since.

With Petrovic out, the Panthers rolled a six-man defensive unit of Aaron Ekblad, Jason Demers, Mike Matheson, Keith Yandle, Mark Pysyk and Jakub Kindl in Sunday’s shootout victory over the Rangers.

It’s possible that Dylan McIlrath, acquired in a trade with the Blueshirts earlier this month, could draw back into the lineup at some point — he hasn’t played since a 6-1 drubbing in Toronto last week.

As for Bjugstad, he’s on target to play in tomorrow’s home date against the Flyers. His season debut is almost certain, given the Panthers sent Jared McCann down to AHL Springfield.

The Panthers are still without the services of former Calder winner Jonathan Huberdeau, who’s out 3-4 months with a lacerated Achilles. Jussi Jokinen also missed extended time earlier this season with a lower-body ailment.

Coyotes say Cunningham in critical condition, but stable, after on-ice collapse (Updated)

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Here’s the latest on the health of Arizona Coyotes farmhand Craig Cunningham, who collapsed prior to a game with AHL Tucson on the weekend:

Cunningham, 26, fell to the ice just prior to the start of Saturday’s game against Manitoba.

More, from Tucson.com:

Cunningham collapsed just moments before the puck was scheduled to drop. He appeared to convulse after hitting the ice.

Medics worked on Cunningham, who was lying on his back, and cut away his jersey. They performed chest compressions before moving him off the ice and into an ambulance.

Late Saturday evening, the Coyotes issued a statement that Cunningham suffered “a medical emergency,” adding he was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

According to Vancouver’s News 1130 sources, it’s believed he suffered a heart attack. Cunningham was born in Trail, British Columbia and spent five seasons playing for Vancouver’s WHL team, the Giants, helping them capture the Memorial Cup in 2007.

Update: The AHL, in conjunction with Tucson, has postponed the Roadrunners’ next two games — scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22 and Wednesday, Nov. 23.

“Craig is a highly respected player and team leader in our league,” said David Andrews, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire AHL family remain with Craig, his family and his teammates.”

Still seeking offense — and now without Hertl — Sharks recall another AHL scorer

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We’re about to get another look at the talent San Jose’s been grooming in the minors.

Just two weeks after recalling sniper Kevin Labanc from the Barracuda, the Sharks have once again dipped into the AHL pool by recalling forward Danny O’Regan.

The move comes with Tomas Hertl (knee) going on IR, an injury that could sideline him for “weeks.”

O’Regan, 22, was San Jose’s fifth-round pick in 2012 and, like Labanc, has been a high-level scorer at nearly every level. He was a point-per-game guy in his four years at Boston University — quite literally, with 154 points in 154 games — and is off to a terrific start in his first professional campaign, with 11 points in 11 games for the Barracuda.

“He’s just really smart, and he’s fast, and he can shoot. He’s kind of the full package,” head coach Roy Sommer said, per the Gackle Report. “He’s a kid, you only have to tell him once and he does it. He’s not a tough teach.”

If Labanc is any indication, O’Regan could be contributing quickly in San Jose.

Labanc has appeared in six games since his recall, scoring his first NHL marker while averaging just under 13 minutes per night. There are minutes available, as the Hertl injury makes for big hole in the Sharks lineup.

And, as mentioned above, this is a team still looking for offense.

The Sharks sit 26th in the NHL in goals per game (2.3), and have scored just four times during their current three-game losing streak.

San Jose opens a five-game homestand tonight, when it hosts the Devils.

Leafs, Wings unveil Centennial Classic jerseys

Toronto Maple Leafs
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The Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings will play outdoors on Jan. 1 — at Toronto’s BMO Field — and we now know what the two teams will look like.

First up, the Leafs unis:

leafscent

Next, Detroit:

wingscent

More on the Toronto gear, from the club:

“The NHL Centennial Classic will be a special moment in our year-long celebration of 100 years of Maple Leafs hockey and this new sweater offers a signature look for the occasion, combining important elements of our club’s past, but also our present and future as it features the new Maple Leaf crest,” said Brendan Shanahan, Toronto Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor. “We look forward to this event being a memorable day for both our fans and our team and this unique sweater will be an important part of those memories.”

Several elements of the uniform pay homage to the team’s past. The words ‘Honour, Pride and Courage’ stitched into the back of the neck of the sweater, similar to the team’s new sweaters, are taken from a famous Conn Smythe quote and represents the values the franchise strives to represent. The horizontal singular band of white across the body of the sweater is reminiscent of the Toronto St. Pats sweater worn from 1922 to 1925, and as a tribute to the franchise’s origin, the pants are adorned with a white Toronto Arenas “T.”

And from the Wings:

The Red Wings NHL Centennial Classic™ uniforms pay homage to the beginnings of the franchise and the NHL’s 100th anniversary season. The color silver is used throughout the uniform as a nod to the League’s milestone season, most notably in a special version of the Winged Wheel front crest that incorporates silver tones into the normally white areas. Additionally, silver is found in the top stripe on both sleeves of the jersey, along with the trim in the uniform numbers.

The silver stripe found on both sleeves honors the 11 Stanley Cup® Championships in Red Wings franchise history. Each individual championship season is listed in the silver stripes, with five championship seasons honored on the right sleeve (1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952) and six on the left sleeve (1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008). The four red stripes on both sleeves are a tribute to the original Detroit Cougars, which prominently displayed stripes in their jersey designs. The pants will also feature a version of the letter “D,” similar to the design worn originally by the Cougars during the team’s 1926-27 season.

Related: Blues, ‘Hawks unveil Winter Classic jerseys

Rangers claim former first-rounder Puempel

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Matt Puempel has a new home.

After being waived by Ottawa on Sunday, Puempel — the 24th overall pick at the 2011 draft — has been claimed by the New York Rangers, per Sportsnet.

Puempel, 23, has appeared in 13 games this year for the Sens, going scoreless with a minus-5 rating. In 52 career NHL contests, he’s scored just four goals and six points.

A former OHL standout, Puempel was a quality goalscoring winger in junior, and carried that over to the American League. In his first full year with AHL Binghamton, he found the back of the net 30 times in 74 games — but that form hasn’t translated to the big league level.

Regardless, there will be eyeballs on Puempel now.

Largely because of who claimed him.

Rangers GM Jeff Gorton has a keen eye for reclamation projects and diamonds in the rough. His offseason acquisitions included getting Brandon Pirri and Michael Grabner on the cheap, and all they’ve done since joining the Rangers is combine to score 16 goals and 24 points through 19 games this season.

Puempel will also give the team some depth at forward after center Mika Zibanejad suffered a broken leg over the weekend. Zibanejad is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with the injury.