After returning from a back injury to play in his first two games of the season, Ottawa defenseman Marc Methot is back on the shelf.
Head coach Dave Cameron confirmed the news on Friday, telling reporters Methot re-aggravated his old ailment — and doesn’t have a timetable for return. It’s a pretty difficult blow for the 29-year-old rearguard, especially in light of his uncertain contractual status; he and the Sens were in negotiations at the start of the season on an extension but, given how badly this back injury has derailed him this season, one has to think Ottawa’s reconsidering investing big money and/or term.
During the preseason, reports suggested that Methot was looking at a five-year deal worth $5.5 million annually. When the two sides were unable to reach an agreement — Methot’s agent, Larry Kelly, said they were $300,000 apart — it didn’t take long for the veteran defenseman’s name to start appearing in trade rumors, with Detroit and Anaheim said to be two of his suitors.
All told, Methot has missed 29 of Ottawa’s 31 games this year.
Veteran blueliner Brad Stuart will join some select company this evening, as he’ll play in the 1,000th game of his 15-year career.
From the Avalanche website:
One thousand is a lofty number, and it doesn’t come easily to many in the league. In fact, the 35-year-old Stuart will become just the 100th defenseman (293rd player overall) to reach that achievement when the puck drops tonight in the house that the Penguins built.
“It’s a nice accomplishment, something that you don’t really think about when you come into the league,” Stuart said on Wednesday. “You’re just trying to stay in the league and establish yourself, and then as I got closer and closer I realized how it’s a pretty good milestone for someone to play that many games.
“It’s a lot games, but I’ve had a lot of fun and made a lot of good memories.”
The third overall pick at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft — behind Vincent Lecavalier and David Legwand, the latter of whom hit the 1,000 games-played plateau earlier this season — Stuart’s carved himself a nice resume with San Jose, Boston, Calgary, Los Angeles, Detroit and Colorado. He broke in during the 1999-2000 season and was the runner-up to Scott Gomez for the Calder; he also captured a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008.
Good news for Team Canada, and potentially tough news for the rest of the teams at this year’s World Junior tournament.
Having already secured the services of Rangers forward Anthony Duclair, Canada learned on Thursday that Ottawa would release Curtis Lazar — its first-round pick (17th overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — for this year’s tournament, to be played in Toronto and Montreal from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.
Lazar, 19, made the Sens after a strong training camp and exhibition season, and has played well in his rookie campaign. The former WHL Edmonton standout has one goal and seven points through 27 games this year but has seen his ice time dip recently — in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over New Jersey, he played a season-low 8:30 (under new head coach Dave Cameron, it must be noted.)
Regardless, this is a big get for Canada.
Lazar was a standout at last year’s tourney, finishing with seven points in seven games. A physical center that can score goals — he had 41 in his last year of junior — Lazar will bolster a team that’s already deep down the middle with the likes of Sam Reinhart and Connor McDavid in the mix.
Th Lehigh Valley Phantoms scored three goals in record time Wednesday night against the Binghamton Senators.
Petr Straka, Jason Akeson and Andrew Gordon scored 21-seconds apart setting a record for fastest three goals by a single team.
Have a look:
The three goals, on three shots, ended Senators’ starter Andrew Hammond’s night early – he didn’t make a single save in 36 seconds of action.
The Phantoms went on to win 4-2.
The New Jersey Devils have now lost five straight following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night.
The loss was also New Jersey’s fifth straight on home ice.
The 15,379 in attendance at the Prudential Center had seen enough Wednesday electing to boo the home team as they fell to 3-5-4 on home ice this season.
“Obviously, the fans, they were booing. They were disappointed. So were we. Trust me. But, we didn’t deserve that today,” said Patrik Elias, who returned after missing five games with a groin injury. “The effort was there. We were the better team. We understand it, but it wasn’t deserved tonight. I didn’t appreciate it.”
New Jersey had 26 shots on goal through 40 minutes while holding Ottawa to just four shots in each of the first two periods; however, they could not solve Craig Anderson, who made 34 saves for the shutout.
New Jersey has played nine games in the month of December and scored two or fewer goals seven times.
“Everybody gets booed some time. We know when we deserve it,” continued Elias. “We played well. A lot of good things, a lot of positives. It’s just when you don’t score goals, you’re not going to win hockey games.”
The Devils continue their four-game home stand against the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night.