Matt Hendricks

Sturgeon Slayers / Twitter

Dustin Byfuglien, Matt Hendricks spend day off capturing monster fish (Photo)

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The Winnipeg Jets had some down time on Tuesday after beating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 for their first victory of the season. Matt Hendricks and Dustin Byfuglien took advantage and spent the day fishing — and boy did they come home with a catch.

With help from fishing company Sturgeon Slayers, the Jets teammates took to the Fraser River in British Columbia and caught this monster.

The players couldn’t take it home because sturgeon are a threatened species, so the monster was released after posing for some photos.

Of course, this accomplishment didn’t happen without a bit of grumbling from some Jets fans. They were upset that Byfuglien, who sat out Monday’s game in Edmonton with a lower-body injury, was fishing instead of remaining in his hotel room covered in bubble wrap and hot towels. Head coach Paul Maurice, however, did not care.

“He had treatment. [He] did what he needed to do. [It’s a] soft-tissue issue,” Maurice said on Wednesday via the Winnipeg Free Press. “None at all. Just a little bit jealous, but no issue at all.”

Byfuglien will take the morning skate in Vancouver on Thursday but will not play against the Canucks. He’s considered day-to-day. Hendricks has been on injured reserve since the start of the season.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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U.S., Canada open with big wins at Worlds

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It was smooth sailing for the Americans and Canadians in their respective opening contests at the 2015 World Hockey Championships.

The Americans were led by a pair of goals from captain Matt Hendricks to cruise to a 5-1 win over Finland, while Canada got three point efforts from Nathan MacKinnon and Jason Spezza to beat Latvia 6-1.

Highlights from the U.S. romp:

New Nashville signee Steve Moses opened the scoring for the Americans with a great solo effort late in the first period. Nick Bonino and Dan Sexton had the other goals, while Connor Hellebuyck stopped 29 of 30 shots for the win.

Canada had five different goalscorers in its romp: MacKinnon, Spezza, Tyler Toffoli, Matt Duchene and captain Sidney Crosby, who converted on a penalty shot. It was an easy victory over a Latvian team that was woefully overmatched; the country’s lone NHLers, Zemgus Girgensons and Ronalds Kenins, aren’t participating in the tournament.

Faulk, Gardiner highlight US preliminary Worlds roster

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Unlike Team Canada, the United States’ preliminary roster for the for the 2015 World Hockey Championships doesn’t feature star power up front, but the team’s defense is shaping up nicely.

Jake Gardiner, Justin Faulk, and Torey Krug were among the 15 players on USA Hockey’s initial list. The American squad will also contain a fair amount of NCAA talent, including Hobey Baker finalist Mike Reilly. Meanwhile, Mark Arcobello will play for his fifth team since the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

Here is Team USA’s roster so far:

Goal: Alex Lyon

Defense: Faulk, Gardiner, Krug, John Moore, Connor Murphy, Reilly

Forwards: Arcobello, Matt Hendricks, Dylan Larkin, Trevor Lewis, Jeremy Morin, Steve Moses, Dan Sexton, Ben Smith

The tournament will run from May 1-17.

Oilers’ Hall returns to Edmonton for further evaluation

The Edmonton Oilers have sent forward Taylor Hall home from the team’s six-game road trip for further evaluation on his left ankle the club announced Sunday.

Hall missed his fifth game due to the injury on Saturday night.

As Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press points out, Hall and Benoit Pouliot, who missed his second game due to injury on Saturday, account for a quarter of the Oilers’ goals this season.

“That’s an excuse, right? We’re not going to use it, but it is reality: We do miss those guys,” said Matt Hendricks following Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Leafs. “They play big minutes for us and are big offensive guys for us. But we’ve got to find ways to put pucks in the net.”

Hall has 11 goals and 30 points in 42 games this season.

The Oilers continue their road trip Monday night in New Jersey.

Oilers waive Joensuu, assign Marincin

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The Edmonton Oilers have placed Jesse Joensuu on waivers with the purpose of reassigning the forward to the American Hockey League the club announced Sunday.

Joensuu has two goals and four points to go along with 14 penalty minutes and a minus-8 rating in 20 games with the Oilers this season.

The 27-year-old was a healthy scratch in four of the last six games, but got into the Oilers lineup for Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues as a result of an injury to Matt Hendricks.

In a separate transaction, defenseman Martin Marincin was assigned to the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons.

The Oilers 2010 second-round pick (46th overall) had an assist in 12 games to go along with a minus-4 rating with Edmonton this season.

Marincin, 22, was a healthy scratch in the Oilers last two games.

Edmonton gets back to action on Monday when they play host to the Arizona Coyotes.