Tag: James O’Brien


Jack Nicklaus drops puck at Columbus’ opener


It’s no secret that hockey players love golf – see Sean Bergenheim’s taunt – but is the feeling mutual? One cannot be too sure, but kudos to the Columbus Blue Jackets for drawing in Jack Nicklaus to drop the puck at their season opener.

Check out video of the ceremony below:

Here are a few photos of “The Golden Bear” looking a little weird in a Blue Jackets sweater:

source: Getty Images

(via Getty)

As you’ll notice, they went with No. 18, as Nicklaus’ Twitter account (yes, he has one) shared:


Finally, one more via the Blue Jackets:


Did anyone ask how he feels about the Blue Jackets’ startling post-goal cannon? Bet he loves it like everyone else …

Preds’ Stalberg (shoulder) skated on Friday


The Nashville Predators’ offseason signings seemed to add more of the same this summer, but inking Viktor Stalberg produced almost universal approval. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to show off his skills for fans yet, but the good news is that Barry Trotz told the Tennessean’s Josh Cooper that Stalberg skated on Friday.

Stalberg, suffered a shoulder injury on Sept. 25, prompting an estimated return window between 3-4 weeks. We’re a little over a week in, so this might imply that he could fall in the shorter end of that range, if not return earlier.

Of course, everyone’s rehab is different, and these situations often lead to many setbacks.

Whenever he can come back, Stalberg could see a significant jump in opportunities from when he played with the Chicago Blackhawks.

He managed some very nice results even when he wasn’t given a substantial role. The best example came when he scored 22 goals and 43 points in 79 games in 2011-12 despite only receiving a little more than 14 minutes per game and about 30 seconds of power play time each night.

Could he become a legitimate producer once he leaves the Blackhawks and gets a more pronounced role elsewhere, like Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien? The Predators are hoping for that much … eventually.

Selanne plans to skip Saturday, play Sunday


The Anaheim Ducks are going to allow Teemu Selanne to skip one of each back-to-back game set, so it appears that will begin with him sitting out Saturday and then playing on Sunday, the OC Register reports.

It’s easy to see why Selanne, 43, chose one over the other. The Ducks play against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday and then visit his first NHL city on Sunday, as Anaheim faces a road game versus the Winnipeg Jets.

Selanne admits that it’s tough to wait in the wings, yet it’s the smart choice.

“The way I look back at last year, I was a little bit stubborn about taking days off and nights off,” Selanne said. “I [will] try to be smarter this season. I know it’s a long season again. Even last year was so tough but it was hard to take days off.”

“The Finnish Flash” is probably free to take off games that aren’t even back-to-backs, but in case you’re wondering, Anaheim’s next set comes during road games against the Montreal Canadiens (Oct. 24) and the Ottawa Senators (Oct. 25). Selanne might be advised to skip that Senators squabble, as that back-to-back set is part of an eight-game road trip.

No doubt, fans who want to see Selanne one last time might end up feeling ripped off, yet that opens the door for other Ducks. Perhaps a younger player will get action when Selanne rests, or maybe they’ll even be able to get Dustin Penner back on track.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

Flames’ Stajan out week-to-week with leg contusion


The Calgary Flames announced that center Matt Stajan is considered “week-to-week” with a deep leg contusion likely suffered during Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals. That opens the door for Joe Colborne to make his Flames debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

Stajan, 29, is entering the last year of a deal that nets him a $3.5 million salary cap hit (yet a cheaper $2.5 million salary in 2013-14).

He played most of 2013 but was injured late last campaign. He also missed 21 games in 2011-12.

Losing the center might not be such a bad thing for Calgary’s rebuilding process, as he might not be a part of the Flames’ long-term plans, anyway. He’d certainly improve his chances if he had a strong campaign, though.

Leafs coach doesn’t want to hear about Kadri getting third-line minutes


The notion that the Toronto media seems like it’s always swarming usually can provide a lot of extra pressure on Maple Leafs players and coaches. It seems like Randy Carlyle is using it as an escape hatch, instead.

When asked about re-signed center Nazem Kadri playing a third-line role, Carlyle made it seem like the media was blowing everything out of proportion.

“I think you guys read a lot more into it … you always look for some form of negativity in one guy or the other,” Carlyle said. “I don’t look at it that way.”

Kadri, 22, essentially gave the “it is what it is” response.

“That’s just something that is going to happen; the juggling of lines,” Kadri said. “I don’t think it’ll be the last time you see it this year. I think every guy is good on this team no matter what role they are given and it means you’ve just got to pick it up a little more to get that ice back.”

There’s obviously plenty of time for Kadri to rise back up in the lineup, but Carlyle will feel emboldened to do things his way as the team keeps winning.

Kadri should look on the bright side: at least this isn’t his contract year.