Larionov, Housley to play in Wings-Preds alumni game as Nashville honors Vokoun

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The winningest goalie in Predators franchise history will soon be honored in style.

Tomas Vokoun — set to appear in Nashville for the first time since announcing his retirement — will be celebrated at Bridgestone Arena during the Red Wings-Predators game on Feb. 28, then participate in an alumni game featuring Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov, Preds assistant coach Phil Housley and a host of others.

Vokoun was a member of the Predators from the expansion draft in 1998 through 2007 (recording a franchise-best 161 wins) and was in goal for some of the team’s finest moments, including its first-ever playoff appearance during the 2003-04 campaign.

The Czech netminder had his best season in 2005-06, recording a career-high 36 wins while posting a .919 save percentage and four shutouts. Vokoun finished fourth in Vezina voting that year — behind Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Brodeur and the eventual winner, Miikka Kiprusoff — and was one of only seven players to receive a first-place Hart vote as league MVP.

As for the alumni game, here is a list of expected participants from both teams, per The Tennessean:

Nashville: Stu Grimson, Jim McKenzie, Blake Geoffrion, Dan Keczmer, Jay More, Scott Nichol, Troy Vollhoffer, J.P. Dumont, Cliff Ronning, Housley and Vokoun.

Detroit: Eddie Mio, Dallas Drake, Petr Klima, Joey Kocur, Mike Krushelnyski, Igor Larionov, Kirk Maltby, John Ogrodnick, Mickey Redmond, Tim Taylor, Sergei Samsonov, Jiri Fischer, Jason Woolley and George Bowman.

Mrazek or Monster? Wings undecided on backup goalie

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The NHL’s latest three-goalie situation has surfaced in Detroit.

With starting netminder Jimmy Howard (groin) healthy and set to make his return Saturday, the Red Wings are undecided on who should be the backup — Petr Mrazek or Jonas Gustavsson:

While carrying three ‘tenders is never ideal, you can forgive the Wings for taking their time with this decision, as there are arguments to be made for both guys.

Mrazek, 22, is the club’s goalie of the future and performed admirably with Howard and Gustavsson (shoulder) out. The Czech backstopper has gone 13-5-1 this year and while his save percentage (.909) and GAA (2.55) aren’t great, head coach Mike Babcock praised Mrazek’s “moxie” for bouncing back after rough outings.

Gustavsson, 30, is far more experienced and while he’s only appeared in three games this year, he did play extensively last season. “The Monster” went 16-5-4 during the regular season and provided nice relief of Howard in an opening-round playoff loss to Boston, posting a .917 save percentage in two games.

It’d be easy for the Wings to send Mrazek down to the American League, as he wouldn’t require waivers and would get plenty of playing time. Gustavsson, meanwhile, would need waivers and there’s a chance he could be picked up by a team looking for depth in goal (like the Rangers, who are without Henrik Lundqvist for up to a month, and could probably stomach Gustavsson’s $1.85M cap hit.)

But, does Mrazek deserve to stick? He could be ready for a full-time spot in the NHL, having already appeared in over 90 regular season and 30 Calder Cup games during his AHL career.

It’s a question Babcock and GM Ken Holland will need to answer, and soon — because nobody likes carrying three goalies.

Report: Mason to undergo knee surgery

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Looks as though Steve Mason will go under the knife to try and solve his problematic right knee, according to CSN Philadelphia:

After multiple MRIs — more than three — the Flyers and Mason have decided they will scope his right knee to find the source of pain and why it’s been locking up on him, a source told CSNPhilly.com.

Mason’s latest injury came Sunday at the bench during a timeout at the Flyers-Capitals game. The 26-year-old goalie went to bench to stretch, then his right knee buckled.

He left the game and did not return while backup Ray Emery picked up a 3-1 victory in relief.

This is the third time since Jan. 6 that Mason has injured his right knee.

Losing Mason for any significant length of time would be disastrous for the Flyers, who have inched back onto the brink of playoff contention — just nine points back of Boston — thanks to a 6-3-1 record over their last 10 games. Mason has been a big reason for the improved play; as Brough wrote in his recent praise piece, Mason’s .924 save percentage ranks 6th in the NHL and puts him ahead of the likes of Semyon Varlamov (.923), Henrik Lundqvist (.922), and last year’s Vezina Trophy winner, Tuukka Rask (.921).

With Mason sidelined and veteran Robb Zepp injured in AHL Lehigh Valley, the Flyers have recalled Anthony Stolarz — the 21-year-old will back up Ray Emery for the time being, beginning with Tuesday’s game in Montreal.

Playing would have put Lundqvist at ‘big risk of having a stroke’

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As much as goaltender Henrik Lundqvist would like to be playing between the pipes to aide the New York Rangers in their battle to secure a playoff spot and perhaps even the Metropolitan Division title, his current vascular injury is not something that he can attempt to simply power through.

“If I would keep playing I’d run a big risk of having a stroke, and that’s why you have to make sure you play this one safe because it’s not a sore shoulder or elbow or something like that,” Lundqvist explained to NHL.com.

With that in mind, the 32-year-old goaltender is committed to waiting until he’s completely healed before he returns. For the next two-to-three weeks he’s limited to light cardio. At that point, his condition will be re-evaluated.

“If it was a sore shoulder I’d probably be playing in a week or something,” Lundqvist said. “Here I just have to listen to the doctors because it’s that serious. I feel great walking around and doing different things, but you don’t want to push this injury as long as it’s there. But my plan is to come back and be super excited and ready to play in the last push of the season and the playoffs.”

He suffered the injury when he took a puck to the throat on Saturday. He stayed in that game and even led the Rangers to a 6-3 victory over Florida on Monday. He started experiencing headaches though and was examined further as a result.

With Lundqvist sidelined, 27-year-old Cam Talbot is trying to fill the void.

Related:

Here are three rental goalies New York could target with Lundqvist out

Rangers’ Lundqvist (vascular injury) tweets health update

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Henrik Lundqvist took to Twitter Saturday to update his health.

Lundqvist suffered a vascular injury after taking a puck to the throat last Saturday. The injury occurred during the Rangers’ 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The 32-year-old said the injury is under control and that he needs rest for it to heal.

The club announced Lundqvist is expected to miss three weeks with the injury.

Lundqvist is 25-11-3 this season with a 2.52 G.A.A. and a .922 save percentage.