Mike Halford

Couture hurt

Update: Sharks confirm Couture injury (broken fibula), out 4-6 weeks


Details are beginning to emerge about the injury suffered by Sharks alternate captain Logan Couture.

Per ESPN and TSN 690, Couture suffered a broken fibula that will require surgery, sidelining him for the next six weeks. The news comes after Couture went down in a heap during San Jose’s practice on Thursday and needed help leaving the ice.

The loss will be profound for the Sharks, especially after they got off to a stellar 3-0 start. Couture was the club’s second-leading point-getter (67) and goalscorer (27) last season, setting career highs in both departments. The 26-year-old was also given the “A” to wear on a full-time basis this season, putting him in a leadership group that includes fellow alternate Joe Thornton and captain Joe Pavelski.

Looking at the San Jose schedule, a six-week recovery period would put Couture on target for a late-November return, meaning he could miss as many as 20 games.

Update: Looks as though Nikolay Goldobin, the club’s first-round pick in 2014, has been recalled to replace Couture on the roster.

UPDATE: From the Club…

Logan was injured in practice on Thursday in New Jersey and suffered a fractured right fibula at the ankle.

He will be returning to San Jose to undergo surgery under the direction of Kaiser Permanente’s medical team.

He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

‘This is probably the worst you could have imagined’: Oilers lose to Blues, remain winless


EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The St. Louis Blues picked up their intensity in the second period and handed the winless Edmonton Oilers another loss.

Paul Stastny and Alexander Steen scored in the third period to lead St. Louis to a 4-2 victory Thursday night, spoiling the Oilers’ home opener.

Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored for the Blues, who beat Edmonton for the eighth straight time. Stastny, Steen and Lehtera also each had an assist, and Brian Elliott stopped 24 shots.

“The game in the first period was up for grabs,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “Edmonton was probably a bit more energized, but halfway through the second period we started to get on the grind and took it over. We did a good job at the end of the second period and a great job the whole third period.”

Lauri Korpikoski and Taylor Hall scored and Cam Talbot had 25 saves for the Oilers, who fell to 0-4-0. No. 1 draft pick Connor McDavid was held without a point in his first regular season game in Edmonton.

The Oilers have missed the playoffs the last nine seasons, spending most of the time near the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

“I think the whole fan base is impatient right now and we are feeling that right now,” Hall said. “We don’t want to be down 0-4 to start the year. That’s probably the worst-case scenario. When you looked at it mid-summer, this is probably the worst you could have imagined. We have to find a way.”

The Blues took a 2-1 lead with four minutes to play in the second period as a faceoff win in the Edmonton zone came back to Tarasenko, who blasted in his third of the season.

Steen sent a shot in front that deflected off Stastny and in for a power-play goal at 4:20 of the third to extend the lead to 3-1.

Hall pulled Edmonton back within one a little more than two minutes later, battling for a puck in front before lifting a backhand shot into the net.

However, Steen sealed the win with 2:09 remaining as he sent a one-timer past Talbot for his second of the season.

Edmonton head coach Todd McLellan said the whole team is tense at the moment.

“We have a little bit of a roller coaster thing going on right now where we get a little bit of momentum and then the other team will come back and score and we sag a bit,” McLellan said. “Emotionally, we are up and down quite a bit and that comes from not winning.”

It didn’t take the Oilers long to get on the board, scoring on the game’s first shot as a fortunate bounce off the boards came out front to Korpikoski, who buried it past Elliott 1:36 into the game.

St. Louis bounced back 1 1/2 minutes later as Troy Brouwer‘s shot caromed off the post to Lehtera, who beat Talbot.

The Blues took a 2-1 lead with four minutes to play in the second period as a faceoff win in the Edmonton zone came back to Tarasenko, who blasted in his third of the season.

The Blues play the fourth game of a season-high six-game road swing at Vancouver on Friday. The Oilers head back out on the road to play the Flames in Calgary on Saturday.

NOTE: The last time Edmonton defeated St. Louis was a 3-0 shutout in March 2013. … Blues rookie Robby Fabbri was out with a concussion. Also absent for the Blues was D Kevin Shattenkirk (lower body injury). … The Oilers remained without winger Jordan Eberle (shoulder). … It was the final home opener at Rexall Place, as the Oilers will move into their new rink to start next season.

Here are salary cap details of the Kings-Richards settlement

Mike Richards

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has the skinny on how Mike Richards’ contract settlement with the Kings — which will run until 2032, not 2031 as first reported — will play out, from a cap perspective:

2015-16 is $3.12 million. That’s the cap recapture plus a $1.8 million payout.
2016-17 to 2019-20 is $1.57 million. That’s the cap recapture plus a $250,000 payout.
2020-21 is $700,000.
2021-22 and 2022-23 are $900,000.
2023-24 and 2024-25 are $700,000.
2025-26 to 2028-29 are $600,000.
2029-30 and 2030-31 are $500,000.
It ends in 2031-32 at $400,000.

Per an earlier Friedman report, here’s how the cap hits would’ve gone had L.A. bought out Richards last summer:

2015-16: $1.2M
2016-17: $1.7M
2017-18: $2.7M
2018-19 and ’19-20: $4.2M
2020-25: $1.5M

The league has defended the Richards settlement, saying it does not believe there’s any cap circumvention at play, adding it has been monitoring the situation closely.

“If the settlement was simply a disguised way to get favorable cap treatment, we certainly would have considered it to be a circumvention and acted accordingly,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “But this wasn’t that. Far from it. There is absolutely zero concern that anything that transpired here could in any way be considered a ‘circumvention’ of the CBA.

“Anyone who believes to the contrary is clearly not privy to the facts.”

It remains to be seen how teams that were “screaming bloody murder” will respond to this latest development.

Isles score four on vaunted Preds D, win second straight in Brooklyn

John Tavares

NEW YORK (AP) — Slowly but surely, the New York Islanders are getting acclimated to their new home.

John Tavares and Nikolay Kulemin scored in the third period and the Islanders held on to beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 Thursday night.

Anders Lee and Kyle Okposo scored in the second period to tie the score for the Islanders after they fell behind, and Thomas Greiss finished with 44 saves. Tavares and Lee also had an assist and Mikhail Grabovski added two as New York won its second straight and improved to 2-0-1 in its new Brooklyn home.

“You’ve got to find ways to win,” Tavares said. “You won’t always have your best. We were able to beat one of the best teams in the West. You look at their team. It was a good way to battle back and find a way to win.

“Our crowd has been great. Fans have been great. They have brought energy and passion.”

Austin Watson, Filip Forsberg and James Neal scored for the Predators, who lost for the first time after opening the season 3-0-0. Pekka Rinne had 24 saves.

The game was Nashville’s first at Barclays Center, the Islanders’ new home after spending the franchise’s first 43 years at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

Tavares’ goal with 8:11 left in the third period gave the Islanders a 4-2 lead. It was his third in three games at home this season.

Neal pulled the Predators within one less than three minutes later, but they couldn’t get the tying goal past Greiss.

“It was our best game of the year by a mile,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “Worst result.”

Watson opened the scoring 2:14 into the game with an unintended assist from New York defenseman Marek Zidlicky, who redirected the Nashville left winger’s jam shot into the net.

The unassisted goal was the first of the season for Watson. It also highlighted a first period in which the Predators outshot the Islanders 17-7.

Forsberg doubled Nashville’s lead 4:22 into the second period with his second of the season. The sequence began with Neal carrying the puck into the offensive zone and taking a shot that Greiss stopped, but the puck bounced over the New York goalie and Forsberg poked it into the net.

“That’s probably the best game of the four,” Nashville captain Shea Weber said.

Lee made it 2-1 just 40 seconds later with a wrist shot that beat Rinne.

Okposo tied it with a 4-on-4 goal with 8:04 remaining in the second. He corralled a loose puck in the defensive zone and then skated up the ice and outwaited Rinne before whipping a shot into a semi-vacated net.

“It was a broken play,” Okposo said. “(The puck) hit a skate and I caught it. (I) tried to beat my guy up the ice (and) I just tried to make (Rinne) hesitate a little bit. There’s not a lot of room on the net to shoot at and I was able to get it past him.”

Kulemin stuffed a rebound of a shot by Brock Nelson past Rinne to put the Islanders up 3-2 at 6:42 of the third.

NOTES: Predators C Mike Fisher skated in his 950th NHL game. … New York D Thomas Hickey and G Jaroslav Halak missed their fourth straight game with upper body injuries. … The Islanders scratched F Steve Bernier. … Nashville scratched Anthony Bitetto, Viktor Arvidsson and Victor Bartley. … The announced attendance was 10,542, which included members of the Italian State Police.

Video: Bolts’ Nesterov tossed for hitting from behind (Update: McKenzie hospitalized)


Bit of nastiness in the second period of tonight’s Bolts-Stars game in Tampa Bay.

Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov, playing in just his second game of the season, was given a major penalty for checking from behind — and a game misconduct — after hammering Dallas forward Curtis McKenzie late in the second period.

McKenzie was clearly shaken up on the play, and needed help leaving the ice. The Stars did not immediately update his status.

The Stars exacted a measure of revenge for their injured teammate moments later. Jason Demers scored on the ensuing power play, Dallas’ second PPG of the night and Demers’ first of the season.

The marker gave the Stars a 4-1 lead, which they carried into the third period.