Mike Halford

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

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Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.

Crowded crease: Flames to carry three goalies, Ramo starts opening night

Dallas Stars v Calgary Flames

Several teams around the NHL have been keeping an eye on what Calgary will do with its three-headed goalie monster.

Sounds like they’ll have to keep watching.

The Flames are planning to keep all of their netminders — Karri Ramo, Jonas Hiller and Joni Ortio — to open the year, per the Calgary Sun.

The Flames also announced that Ramo will be the opening-night starter when they take on the Canucks Wednesday, with Hiller his backup and Ortio a healthy scratch.

It’s pretty clear nobody’s happy with the current situation.

“The only good thing about three goalies is that it’s giving you another subject of conversation,” Hartley said, per NHL.com. “That’s about the only good thing that comes out of it. At the same time, it’s our situation. we’re going to work with it and see what will happen.”

Hiller, who was involved in a three-man goalie situation in Anaheim, knows that it can be an uncomfortable situation.

“Three ways, I think it always gets a little difficult in practice and stuff,” he said, per the Sun. “I have no clue what the plan is, but we’ll make it work and try to get the guy who plays the best chance that he can be successful playing, and see that the other two guys can stay in shape and be ready if they get a chance.”

Calgary was backstopped by the Ramo-Hiller tandem last year, and fared well — well enough that Ramo was brought back on a one-year, $3.8 million deal on the opening day of free agency.

Hiller is also now on a one-year contract — in the last of a deal that pays $4.5 million annually — and Ortio, thought by some to be the organization’s goalie of the future, would need to pass through waivers before heading to the club’s AHL affiliate in Stockton.

And that’s why the Flames have three goalies.

Pens lose Dupuis (lower body) for 4-5 weeks

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins
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Pascal Dupuis can’t escape his health issues.

Dupuis, who’s missed over 100 games the last two years with various ailments, will now be sidelined for 4-5 weeks with a lower-body injury, per the Penguins.

Dupuis’ injury is not related to previous health issues — a torn ACL and blood clotting — but it will keep him out for a fairly significant length of time. The Penguins play 11 games in the opening month of October, and three more in the first week of November.

The 36-year-old winger had been working with a variety of linemates during the preseason, but was frequently paired up with center Nick Bonino. The hope for Pittsburgh is that Dupuis can return to full health and replicate some of the success he had during his last full season — the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, in which he scored 20 goals and 31 points in 48 games.

 

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games

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One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.