Mike Halford

Marc Bergevin

Habs apologize for re-tweeting questionable user names


MONTREAL (AP) The Montreal Canadiens have apologized after the team’s Twitter account issued automated responses to messages containing racial slurs and offensive user names.

The Canadiens announced on Twitter early Wednesday that they have corrected what they called a “filtering issue,” saying the problem won’t happen again.

The problem occurred when the Canadiens launched a campaign to thank fans for the team reaching 1 million Twitter followers. Fans who tweeted the Canadiens’ account with a hashtag received automated responses including videos of Montreal players thanking them and a picture of a team jersey with their user name printed on the back.

A number of questionably named accounts — one featuring a racial slur — was included among the responses.

Many of the automated responses have been removed.

Wild put Zucker (concussion) on IR after Rozsival hit


On Wednesday, Minnesota put forward Jason Zucker on injured reserve with a concussion, stemming from the big hit he took from Chicago blueliner Michal Rozsival during Sunday’s outdoor game at TCF Bank Stadium.

Zucker was severely shaken up on the play, which netted Rozsival a game misconduct. The Wild forward needed assistance leaving the ice, and appeared to have struck his head on the playing surface after being checked.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in Minnesota’s loss to the Isles on Tuesday.

Looking ahead, two things to monitor: 1) how long Zucker will be out of the lineup, and 2) if his absence will force Wild GM Chuck Fletcher into making a move by the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

Zucker had a highly productive season last year, with 21 goals in 51 games, and had 22 points through 58 games this year.

To fill his spot on the roster, the Wild have recalled Jordan Schroeder from AHL Iowa.

After 16-year career, Scott Hannan hangs up his skates

Scott Hannan
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Scott Hannan, a former first-round pick that appeared in over 1,000 NHL games over a 16-year career, announced his retirement on Wednesday.

“I was extremely fortunate to play in the NHL with five great organizations,” Hannan said in a statement. “I’d like to thank all of my teammates and coaches over the years who have contributed so much to my career.  It’s also very gratifying to end my NHL career where it started – with the San Jose Sharks.”

It’s fitting that San Jose, Hannan’s home for 11 years, released the statement on his behalf.

“Scott is one of only six players to play in 600 or more games for our club and is an important part of our team’s history,” said Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson.  “He was a player’s player, well respected by his teammates and he truly loves the game.”

In his prime, Hannan was known as a physical, defensive defenseman that could chip in with some offense. His best season probably came in 2004, when he was named to his first and only NHL All-Star Game, then represented gold medal-winning Canada at the World Cup of Hockey.

All told, Hannan played for the Sharks, Predators, Flames, Capitals and Avalanche during his career. The closest he ever got to a Stanley Cup was, fittingly enough, also in 2004, when the Sharks were ousted by the Flames in the Western Conference Final.

Lovejoy injury ‘long term,’ Pens confirm

CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 7: Ben Lovejoy #12 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 7, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
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The upper-body injury suffered by Ben Lovejoy in Saturday’s game against the Bolts will keep him out of the lineup for quite some time, per Pens head coach Mike Sullivan.

“It’s long term. As I said in the past, I’m not going to put a time frame on it, but it’s of the longer term nature,” Sullivan said, per the Post-Gazette. “As he goes through the process of rehab and we think we have a better handle on timeframe we’ll let you know.”

Lovejoy, 32, has been a fixture in the Pittsburgh lineup this year. Prior to getting hurt, he was one of just two defenseman to have appeared in all 57 games this season — Brian Dumoulin was the other — and he’d chipped in offensively, scoring three goals and nine points while averaging just under 19 minutes per night.

With Lovejoy out of the lineup, Pittsburgh went with a six-man defensive unit of Dumolin, Olli Maatta, Trevor Daley, Ian Cole, Derrick Pouliot and Kris Letang in Tuesday’s win over the Sabres. Steve Oleksy has been called up from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but it’ll be worth monitoring Pens GM Jim Rutherford as we get closer to the Feb. 29 trade deadline. Lovejoy’s absence could force Rutherford to add a piece on defense.

Sens extend d-man Wideman: two years, $1.6M

OTTAWA, ON - NOVEMBER 14: Chris Wideman #45 of the Ottawa Senators prepares for a faceoff against the New York Rangers during an NHL game at Canadian Tire Centre on November 14, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
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It’s taken a while, but Chris Wideman appears primed to stick at the NHL level.

Wideman, a longtime scoring ace in the American League, has inked a two-year, one-way extension with the Sens worth $1.6 million, the club announced on Wednesday. The deal carries an $800,000 average annual cap hit, and comes in Wideman’s first full season at the NHL level.

The 26-year-old, a fourth-round pick in ’09, has spent most of his professional career with the Sens’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton, where he emerged as one of the league’s best offensive defensemen. He was given the Eddie Shore award last season as the AHL’s top blueliner, after scoring 61 points in 75 games.

This year, Wideman has five goals and nine points through 44 games, averaging 13 minutes per night.

Wideman had previously been on a one-year, $600,000 deal and was set to become a restricted free agent at year’s end.