All things considered, there are certainly a lot worse times for goaltender Steve Mason to be dealing with a lower-body injury.
The ailment prevented him from being the starter or backup on Wednesday, but thanks to the All-Star break he doesn’t have to worry about another game until Feb. 2. And by the sounds of it, if he’s not back for that contest, he might not miss much more than that.
“It’s not too serious,” Mason told CSN Philly. “We’re in the stretch here where we have a little bit of time to take advantage of some rest. That’s what we’re doing.”
We’ll have to see if this proves to be a bigger deal than it’s being portrayed, but it is worth noting that he was at least on the ice Wednesday morning. Philadelphia has also returned goalie Jason LaBarbera to the minors, per the team’s Twitter feed.
That brings the Flyers back down to two goaltenders, but of course the decision to reassign LaBarbera could be more of a reflection of the All-Star break then it is of Mason’s status. This makes LaBarbera available to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms over the weekend and after that the Flyers can recall him if needed.
While the NHL’s All-Stars play and the remainder of the league rests, Kyle Clifford will be taking another step forward in his road to recovery.
The Los Angeles Kings announced that the 25-year-old forward has been assigned to AHL Ontario for a conditioning stint.
Clifford has been out since Dec. 6 with an upper-body injury due to a high hit from Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman. Once Clifford is ready to return, the Kings will be close to full strength, with the notable exception of Matt Greene (shoulder), who isn’t expected to return this season.
Clifford has never been a major piece of the Kings’ puzzle, but since breaking into the league in 2010, he’s been a consistent presence in the lineup as a bottom-six forward.
The league has decided to hold a hearing with Dennis Wideman after the All-Star break in response to him knocking linesman Don Henderson to the ice during Wednesday’s game, but in the meantime the Calgary Flames defenseman has been suspended indefinitely, per TSN’s Darren Dreger.
As you can see in the video above, Wideman appeared to shove Henderson on his way back to the bench, but the blueliner argued it was “completely unintentional.” That’s an important distinction because rule 40.3 calls for an automatic 10-game suspension for players that apply physical force to an official, but only if such action was deliberate. So the league’s final judgment could ultimately be a reflection on whether or not they buy Wideman’s version of events.
Henderson spent the night in the hospital. He went through the concussion protocol and was dealing with neck pains and nausea.
Calgary’s next game will be on Feb. 3 against Carolina. If Wideman is suspended for 10 games, then he won’t be eligible to play until Feb. 23 versus Los Angeles.
If you told John Scott that you voted for him to get into the All-Star Game because you thought it was a funny idea, he probably wouldn’t be surprised.
He’s well aware that, as he put it, “at some point, without question, it was a joke” and he knows that he doesn’t deserve the title of All-Star, but that doesn’t mean he feels like he’s deserved the treatment the league has given him as a result of the fan vote.
Scott opened up about those feelings and shared firsthand insights about his hockey journey to this point in an article for The Players’ Tribune. It’s a detailed and great read that you really should check out, but here’s a small excerpt that’s at the heart of why Scott ultimately decided to go along with the fans’ wishes to see him play:
But at the same time: this isn’t Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’m not some random person off the street, and I didn’t win a golden ticket to “play hockey with the stars.” I won an internet fan vote, sure. And at some point, without question, it was a joke. It might even finish as a joke. But it didn’t start as one. It started with a very small pool, out of a very small pool, out of the very, very smallest pool of hockey players in the world: NHLers. That was the vote. A fan vote, an internet vote — but a vote from among the 700 or so best hockey players in North American professional sports.
And I’m one of them.
Scott in some ways literally fought his way into the NHL, but he’s not an NHLer because he likes to fight. He’s an NHLer because he’s passionate about the game and is willing to take on the role that he feels benefits his team.
The All-Star Game is ultimately there to entertain the fans and the vote is the fans’ way of expressing what they find as entertaining. And in picking Scott, intentionally or not, it’s created an underdog for a game that usually doesn’t have those and has allowed us to gain insight on a man that most only knew for the role he played on the ice.
Related: NHL shop runs out of John Scott All-Star shirts
Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman knocking linesman Don Henderson to the ice during Wednesday’s game caused the official to be hospitalized until 5 am, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Francis.
Henderson went through the concussion protocol and was dealing with neck pains and nausea.
As you can see in the video above, Wideman was on his way back to his bench when he appeared to shove Henderson in the back. It is worth noting that Wideman had been hit awkwardly into the boards shortly before the incident with Henderson.
Wideman defended himself by saying, “I was just trying to get off the ice. And, at the last second, I looked up and saw him.”
Still, others like TSN’s Gary Lawless have argued that Wideman’s actions fall under rule 40.3, which would lead to him getting a 10-game suspension. Here’s an excerpt from his argument:
Officials in the field of play need to be protected. There can’t be any grey area here.
Wideman might be a good guy with a clean past. He might have been a little groggy from the hit he took in the corner. The first doesn’t matter and the second can’t be verified.
He didn’t just bump into Henderson. He put his hands on his back and shoved him to the ice.
Wideman wasn’t penalized as a result of the incident. As far as supplemental discipline goes, the NHL is expected to come to a decision today, per TSN’s Darren Dreger.