Jackets recall Bourque from Springfield


Olli Jokinen may not be the only player suiting up for his third team this season.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have added Rene Bourque on emergency recall from the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.

The Jackets play host to the Colorado Avalanche tonight.

Columbus acquired Bourque, who started the season with the Montreal Canadiens, from the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.

The 33-year-old appeared in 30 games for the Ducks scoring two goals and six assists to go along with a minus-4 rating.

Bourque had two assists in 13 games with Montreal prior to being waived in November. He also dressed in four AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs scoring two goals and two assists.

The Ducks acquired Bourque in exchange for defenseman Bryan Allen on Nov. 20.

Columbus won its only other meeting against Colorado 4-3 on Jan. 4.

Blues’ Jokinen raves about time in Toronto


Olli Jokinen will make his St. Louis Blues debut tonight against a team he spent two weeks with in the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Jokinen, who had an assist in six games while averaging 14:18 in ice time, was dealt to the Blues on Monday just 14 days after Toronto acquired him in a trade with Nashville.

Despite his short tenure in Toronto, the veteran was impressed with how the Leafs’ organization takes care of its players.

“It was amazing to see in two weeks: Everything is first-class. It’s actually a great place to play,” said the 36-year-old per The Canadian Press.

Jokinen was particularly impressed with the meals and facilities at the players’ disposal.

“Everybody says it’s like the New York Yankees in baseball playing in Toronto,” he said. “I liked the two weeks. I don’t know why the free agents don’t want to sign here.”

As Jokinen joins his 10th NHL club in St. Louis, he said he didn’t mind the media spotlight in Toronto and offered up a little advice for his former mates.

“The guys have tendencies when things go well, they like to go read stuff about themselves,” Jokinen said. “They get in this cycle that they have to read about themselves all the time. But one [piece of] advice for the players that play in a Canadian market, or any market: At the end of the day, all that matters is what the coaches say, management says and your teammates. That’s it. And your wife. I think that’s all you need to do.”

Jokinen is also appreciative of Leafs GM Dave Nonis for keeping his word.

“A couple of weeks ago when I went [to Toronto] from Nashville, I talked to him on the phone and he was saying that he’ll try to do everything possible to move me to a playoff team, and he was a man of his word,” Jokinen said. “They could’ve done anything: They could’ve put me in the minors, they could’ve told me to stay home, ‘We just ate your salary.’ It was a very respectful move by Dave.”

In 54 games this season split between the Predators and Leafs, Jokinen has three goals, four assists and 28 penalty minutes.

Slumping Preds lose Nystrom (lower body) for one month


Losers of five straight, the Nashville Predators got more bad news on Friday as Eric Nystrom was ruled out for four weeks with a lower-body ailment.

Nystrom, 32, was hurt during Tuesday’s loss to New Jersey and held out of last night’s defeat to the Isles. A checking forward that played largely in a fourth-line role, Nystrom had seven goals and 12 points in 60 games this year, averaging over 13 minutes per game.

With Nystrom out, the Preds look as though they’ll roll with a fourth line of Paul Gaustad, Taylor Beck and Gabriel Bourque. It’s possible the team could fill Nystrom’s roster spot by recalling someone from AHL Milwaukee, possibly Viktor Stalberg.

Lawyer: Ribeiro to ‘vigorously fight’ $1M lawsuit alleging abuse of ex-nanny (Updated)


The lawyer representing Nashville center Mike Ribeiro — who’s currently being sued by a former nanny — said his client will “vigorously fight” the lawsuit, which is seeking more than $1 million in damages.

“In consideration of the people involved, especially the Ribeiro family, the National Hockey League and the Nashville Predators, I don’t plan to discuss the facts surrounding these allegations in public,” Brian Lauten said in a statement, per the Tennessean. “I can say that the Ribeiro’s plan to vigorously fight this lawsuit.

“At the same time, Mike will maintain his focus on doing all he can to help Nashville win its first-ever Stanley Cup.”

The lawsuit, first brought to light on Wednesday by TMZ Sports, includes claims of assault by Ribeiro on the plaintiff, resulting in unspecified injuries. The plaintiff reportedly worked as a nanny for Ribeiro and his family while he played for Dallas in 2012 (Ribeiro’s wife was accused of verbal attacks in the lawsuit, per TMZ.)

More, from the AP:

In the lawsuit obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, the plaintiff alleges Ribeiro caused “bodily injury” and asks for more than $1 million in damages along with other relief.

The lawsuit was filed the lawsuit July 24 in Collin County District Court in Texas.

UPDATE: Additional information from AP

The lawsuit contains no specific details except alleging Ribeiro caused “body injury” when he acted “intentionally, knowingly and recklessly.” Her attorney Larry Friedman told The Associated Press on Thursday that his client was sexually assaulted by Ribeiro soon after she had graduated from high school, though she did not immediately go to authorities because she was “terrified.”

“My client was and is a young girl, and no young girl should be subjected to that kind of behaviour, the kind of conduct by an adult that she’s complaining about,” Friedman said.

Ribeiro addressed the situation on Thursday, but wouldn’t comment on the situation, forwarding all inquiries to Lauten.

“It’s not new news for me,” Ribeiro said. “For a lot of people it is, but it’s been for a while now. So it’s not a concern for me to try to get focused. I didn’t have a bad game the last game because of it.

“I’m really trying to get focused for tonight and helping the team get out of this slump. It’s a big game for us and that’s where my focus is.”

The Predators issued the following statement, per the Tennessean:

“We have been made aware of a complaint against Mike Ribeiro, dating back to his playing time while he was in Dallas.

“Mike has indicated that the charge is without merit and is prepared to vigorously defend himself. We will allow the legal process to move forward without further comment.”

Ribeiro is in his first year with Nashville, having signed last summer after Arizona bought him out of his contract due to “behavioral issues.” In a recent Sports Illustrated piece, the 35-year-old admitted to using drugs and alcohol during his time with the Coyotes.

Preds ‘out for a little revenge’ versus Isles

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Losers of four straight, the slumping Nashville Predators are hoping to get back on track tonight versus the New York Islanders.

The last time these two teams met, Feb. 19 on Long Island, the Preds fell behind 3-0 in the first period and went on to lose 5-2. They’ve won just two games since.

“They outplayed us in New York that game,” defenseman Roman Josi said, per NHL.com. “They won that game, so we’re obviously out for a little revenge. We know they have a fast team. They’ve got a lot of skill up front, they play an up-tempo game. We’ve got to be ready and our start’s got to be better than it was the last couple games.”

In the last two weeks, Nashville has seen its lead atop the Central Division go from six points to four, plus the St. Louis Blues have added two games in hand.

The Isles, meanwhile, enter tonight’s game with just two wins in their last six.