Mike Halford

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 29: Phil Di Giuseppe #34 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 29, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Hurricanes 3-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Promising ‘Canes rookie Di Giuseppe (concussion) out indefinitely

One of the bright spots in Carolina this year has been the emergence of its rookies, led by the likes of Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce, Jacob Slavin, Brock McGinn and Phillip Di Giuseppe.

But now, that bright spot’s been dulled a bit.

Di Guiseppe has been diagnosed with a concussion and will be out indefinitely, per the Raleigh News & Observer. Injured Saturday night against the Predators, Di Guiseppe — the 38th overall pick at the ’12 draft — could be out of action for a while, which is a disappointment after he showed some real offensive prowess in his first-ever stint with the ‘Canes.

Recalled from AHL Charlotte early last month, Di Guiseppe made his NHL debut on Dec. 5 and proceeded to score eight points through his first 14 games at the big-league level, averaging over 12 minutes per night.

A former University of Michigan standout, Di Guiseppe had been skating on a line with Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner.

Avs: Johnson injury ‘short term,’ Stuart (back) and Berra (ankle) out longer than expected

Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche

Of the three Avalanche players Patrick Roy gave health updates for yesterday — Erik Johnson, Brad Stuart and Reto Berra — it’s fair to say Johnson’s the most integral.

So, we can start with the good news.

Johnson, who left Monday’s win over Los Angeles with a lower-body injury, will only be out “short term,” per Roy.

“It could be five, 10 days, 12 days,” he told the Denver Post. “Short term.”

There’s no denying the impact Johnson has on the Avs (and, the impact his absence would have.) The 27-year-old sits second on the team in TOI per game, at 23:30, and leads all blueliners in goals, with seven.

Johnson’s injury also puts a bigger pinch on the Colorado defense.

Stuart, one of the most veteran presences on the club, hasn’t played since Nov. 10 with a back injury. There was some optimism recently that a return was close, but Roy said Stuart “still has pain in his leg, coming from his back,” which essentially tapped the brakes on any timetable for a comeback.

As a result, the club grabbed Columbus d-man Andrew Bodnarchuk off waivers yesterday.

Finally, there’s Berra.

After suffering an ankle injury while playing hallway soccer prior to a game in late December, Semyon Varlamov‘s usual backup skated this week and suffered pain afterward.  While Roy said it wasn’t a setback, he did acknowledge Berra may be out longer than expected.

If so, Calvin Pickard‘s stint with the Avs will be longer than expected as well.

Sill to have disciplinary hearing after boarding McQuaid


Washington forward Zach Sill will face the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his hit on Boston d-man Adam McQuaid from Tuesday night.

The DoPS made the announcement this morning, just hours after Sill knocked McQuaid out of Washington’s 3-2 win at TD Garden.

The incident, which occurred in the second period, wasn’t penalized — much to the chagrin of B’s fans in attendance, and numerous people on social media, who requested the NHL review the play.

Not all thought the hit was that severe, however:

Patrice Bergeron, who was on the ice at the time and quickly grabbed Sill in the aftermath, didn’t mince words about what he thought.

“I thought it was a bad hit. It was one of those where it happens fast. From my angle, I guess, it was a bad hit, you know,” Bergeron explained, per CSNNE.com. “There was no point, no need for hitting him like that. It’s definitely tough to see Adam go down as hard as he did.”

The Bruins have yet to update McQuaid’s condition. He was not on the ice for this morning’s practice, listed with an upper-body injury.

NHL on NBCSN: ‘Hawks, Pens meet again after Tuesday’s OT thriller


Last night’s Pittsburgh-Chicago game — a 3-2 win for the Blackhawks in OT — was a pretty exciting affair.

So why not do it again?

Well, that’s exactly what NBCSN’s got tonight, as the two teams will flip locations (the United Center) but look to carry over the back-and-forth action that made Tuesday night’s game so compelling.

REMINDER: You can catch the game on TV, or online using NBC Sports’s Live Extra.

Chicago’s Artemi Panarin was the hero yesterday, with his second goal of the game coming at the 3:47 mark in OT. It put the Russian rookie at 13 goals on the season and kept him firmly in the conversation for this year’s Calder Trophy.

It also won him further accolades from his head coach.

“He’s been great for our team, with what he brings with his energy, as well as skill,” Joel Quenneville said, per NHL.com. “That line has been so effective for us, and him and [Patrick Kane] are together and share the puck at the appropriate moments.”

While Pittsburgh failed to extend its winning streak to three games last night, it did send the game past regulation — and that’s important. The Pens have now garnered at least a single point in six of their last seven games, points they’ll need in order to claw back into playoff position.

Pittsburgh heads into tonight’s action sitting one point back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The club will undoubtedly look to captain Sidney Crosby to continue his solid play of late — with a goal last night, Crosby now has five in four games, his first four-game goal streak since 2010.

NHL unveils ’16 All-Star Game jerseys


We now know what John Scott and company will be sporting in Nashville at the end of the month.

On Wednesday, the NHL released its jerseys for the 2016 All-Star Game, which will be played on Jan. 31 at Bridgestone Arena, home of the Predators.


Each All-Star jersey features the official NHL Shield infused with the Predators’ gold in the crest. For the on-ice version of the All-Star jersey, the crest has been constructed with reflective material which glimmers in certain light as a salute to Nashville’s vibrant night-life scene. The black and white color scheme in each jersey shares the colors of the keys on a piano to celebrate the city of Nashville’s “Music City” nickname.

The All-Star jerseys will feature numbers and letters designed as modern interpretations of traditional country music poster lettering, which has been a defining aesthetic of Nashville. The numbers for the on-ice versions of the All-Star jerseys also will have the same reflective material as the crest. The tri-star mark, which appears in the neck gusset as well as on the pant, is a tribute to the Tennessee state flag and the Predators and a symbol of the elite athletes participating in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star festivities. Each All-Star jersey will feature two full-color shoulder patches – the player’s home team logo and the NHL All-Star logo.

It’s worth noting that each player will receive a dark and light version of the jersey, as a function of the new All-Star format.