Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

Video: Canucks’ anthem singer takes spill during junior game


Vancouver Canucks anthem singer Mark Donnelly was doing what he does best Friday night belting out O’Canada during a junior hockey game.

However, Donnelly added a slight twist to his routine, skating around the ice while singing. He was going fine until he failed to notice the red carpet rolled out for a pre-game ceremony.

Donnelly fell mid-anthem, but didn’t miss a beat despite struggling to get back to his feet.

Have a look:

I guess the players aren’t the only ones in preseason form at this time of the year.

McDavid to play in Buffalo in October… For his junior team

Connor McDavid

BUFFALO — Connor McDavid will get a chance to show fans in Buffalo what he’s all about… Just not as a member of the Sabres. Not yet, anyway.

The Sabres announced they’ll be hosting an Ontario Hockey League game between McDavid’s Erie Otters and the Niagara Ice Dogs on October 22. McDavid was on hand at First Niagara Center for the announcement along with Otters GM Sherry Bassin as well as coach Kris Knoblauch.

“I’ve been to a couple Sabres games,” McDavid said. “I was here last year and it’s a pretty nice spot. The fans are crazy here – they’re great. I’m really excited to play here with my team.”

McDavid said it’s crossed his mind about what it might be like to play for the Sabres, but said his focus for now is on the season ahead with the Otters.

“Right now it’s all about getting back with the Erie Otters and having a good training camp, preseason, and a good start to the year,” McDavid said. “That’s what it’s all about and you’ve just got to worry about yourself. Then maybe when we get a little closer to the draft and the season’s over I think you start picturing which organization you’ll play with. But right now it’s all about having a good year.”

Both McDavid and Jack Eichel will have a chance to play in Buffalo this year. Eichel will be part of the USA All-American Prospects game in September. You can’t beat having both of the top prospects in next summer’s draft get a chance to see what it’s like to play in Buffalo when the Sabres could wind up with one of the top picks.

Canadiens’ Bozon back on ice

Kootenay Ice v Kelowna Rockets

After suffering from meningitis and being placed in a medically induced coma in March, Montreal Canadiens prospect Tim Bozon is back where he wants to be, on the ice.

It’s been a long summer for Bozon, who told the Montreal Gazette recently that he had “to do two times more than normal” in order to prepare for the upcoming hockey season.

Bozon spent four weeks in a Saskatoon hospital, then returned home to France where spent another three weeks at a rehab center working on things such as his speech.

“I didn’t see the time go by with all that I did every day,” Bozon told the Gazette of his summer, which has flown by. “I live near the beach and I didn’t go once. So it’s a lot of sacrifices like that. But that’s what had to be done if I wanted to continue to hope and live my dream.”

His hard work paid off as last month as Bozon suited up for France at an Under-23 tournament in the Czech Republic.

Originally a third-round pick of the Habs’ in 2012, Bozon fully expects to be at the team’s rookie camp next month.

The toughest part of Bozon’s summer has been to recover the nearly 40 pounds he lost while in sick, but thanks to his dedication in the gym Bozon is now back to 194 pounds, just five pounds shy of his playing weight of last season.

As for what’s next?

“I just want to be the player I was — even better — have a big season then and see what happens,” Bozon said.

Bozon has one year of junior hockey eligibility left, which means he will likely return to Kootenay of the WHL where in 50 games last season the 20-year-old scored 30 goals and 62 points. There is a chance he could make the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, as well.

Related: Bozon’s condition to improve, but he still ‘faces a long recovery’

Habs’ St. Pierre heads back to KHL


Journeyman Martin St. Pierre is on his way back to Europe.

(The KHL, specifically.)

St. Pierre, who played his first NHL game in four years last season, has left the Montreal organization and signed with Croatian-based KHL club Medvescak Zagreb, the team announced on Friday.

St. Pierre, 30, spent almost all of last season with AHL Hamilton but did get a game with the Habs in November against St. Louis — marking the first time he’d participated in a NHL contest since suiting up for three with Ottawa during the 2009-10 campaign.

A former junior scoring star — he racked up 110 points with OHL Guelph in 2003-04 — St. Pierre has bounced around both North America and Europe over the last nine years, spending time with the Chicago, Boston, Ottawa, Columbus and Montreal organizations. He’s also spent time in the Finnish, Austrian and Russian leagues — his last stint in the KHL came in 2010-11, when he played a handful of games for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.

Drouin grew by spending extra season in juniors

Jonathan Drouin

The 2012-13 QMJHL Halifax Mooseheads were a superb team with top prospects Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon leading the charge. They were taken with the third and first overall picks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft respectably and that’s where their careers began down different paths.

MacKinnon earned a spot with the Colorado Avalanche and won the Calder Trophy while the Tampa Bay Lightning decided to return Drouin to Halifax. Without MacKinnon to back him up, Drouin was still a dominate presence, scoring 29 goals and 108 points in 46 regular season games. He was even better in the playoffs with 13 goals and 41 points in 16 contests, although it wasn’t enough to save the Mooseheads in the QMJHL semifinals.

“I’m more mature as a person. I think I grew a little bit being one of the older guys on the [junior] team, seeing things you didn’t see when you were 16 or 17,” Drouin said, per the Lightning’s official site. “A lot of things were tough for me. It helped me grow as a person. Not winning was the toughest thing.”

Lightning director of player personal Stacy Roest noted that Drouin’s conditioning was better in 2013-14 and that led to him getting a lot faster.

Now 19 years old, Drouin is in a much better position to make the Lightning and potentially follow in his former linemates’ footsteps by winning the Calder Trophy.

“It’s one of my goals to win the Calder one day. But I also want to go far in the playoffs, which is an even better feeling,” Drouin said.