Tag: Petteri Nokelainen


Armstrong ‘loved’ Montreal, unsure if he’ll be back

Colby Armstrong’s first year with the Canadiens didn’t go exactly to plan on the ice.

Off it, though, it went as well as he could’ve imagined.

“I loved Montreal. There’s a great group of guys here,” Armstrong told the Canadiens website. “My family and I loved this city. Being a part of this team was an incredible experience.”

After two largely forgettable seasons in Toronto, Armstrong signed with the Habs last summer in the hopes of reviving his career. The former 22-goal scorer did have an impact, playing 37 games (2G-3A-5PTS) while averaging over 11 minutes per night, but felt as though he could’ve shown more on his one-year deal.

“It’s unfortunate that I hurt my knee at the end of the year,” he explained. “I was able to come back a little bit early to try and salvage a small part of the shortened season.

“I had some highs and lows, but I believe that I still managed to do a good job fulfilling my role.”

Armstrong was signed in an effort to make the Habs more difficult to play against — which he did, on occasion — and to provide some grit/sandpaper in the bottom six.

Which he also did — on occasion.

The question now is if Montreal chooses to bring him back for 2013-14. Armstrong came to Montreal on the cheap (one year, $1 million), but the team already has 10 forwards under contract next season and decisions to make on RFA Ryan White and UFAs Jeff Halpern and Petteri Nokelainen.

Habs put Nokelainen on waivers

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The Montreal Canadiens have placed Petteri Nokelainen on waivers, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie.

Nokelainen, 27, hasn’t played since last season due to a lingering back issue — but he’s reportedly recovered, hence the move to put him on waivers.

Assuming he clears, Nokelainen will head to AHL Hamilton for a conditioning assignment.

The Finnish center, a former first round pick of the Islanders in 2004, played in 51 games for Montreal last season, scoring 3G-3A-6PTS while averaging 8:35 of ice time per contest.

The Canadiens kept him from going to free agency last summer, signing him to a one-year, $575,000 deal just prior to July 1.

Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Bruins, Habs battle for top spot in Northeast

Montreal vs Boston

Throughout the season, NBCSN will feature the NHL’s fiercest rivalries on Wednesday nights. Tonight the Boston Bruins will head to the Bell Centre for a match against the Montreal Canadiens at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Boston and Montreal had some serious question marks heading into this season, but also plenty of promise and so far the latter has won out. Both of these teams have been fantastic through eight games.

For Boston, the big story has been goaltender Tuukka Rask, who has flawlessly transitioned into the number one gig after Tim Thomas’ decision to take a season off. Perhaps the most encouraging thing about Rask is how he responded to surrendering six goals on 31 shots against Buffalo on Thursday. Rather than letting it get to him, he came right back with a 21-save shutout over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Montreal has also gotten great goaltending out of Carey Price, but that alone hasn’t led the Canadiens to a 6-2-0 start. One of the big differences for Montreal this season has been the rise of rookie forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. The duo has combined to record four goals and 12 points. Their addition has gives Montreal a lot of different offensive weapons and makes them a threat to score at all times.

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The return of 34-year-old defenseman Andrei Markov, who played in just 65 games over the previous three seasons due to injuries, has also been huge for Montreal. He’s finally healthy and already has re-established himself as one of the league’s best offensive defenseman, especially with the man advantage.

The Boston Bruins will counter with the depth that they’ve been known for over the last few years. If anything they’re looking stronger this season now that Nathan Horton is healthy after missing roughly half of the 2011-12 campaign with a concussion. They also have a thriving rookie of their own in 19-year-old blueliner Dougie Hamilton.

Just a point separates these two squads early in the battle for the Northeast Division as both teams look to build off of their strong starts.

Probable goaltenders: MON – Price (6-1-0, 1.70 GAA, .938 SV%) | BOS – Rask (5-1-1, 2.10 GAA, .919 SV%)

Top scorers: MON – Markov and Raphael Diaz are tied with eight points in eight games. | BOS – David Krejci (2-5-7, 8 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Montreal – Forwards: Petteri Nokelainen (back)
Boston – Forwards: Brad Marchand (shoulder), Daniel Paille (eye), Shawn Thornton (concussion), Marc Savard (concussion)

Habs GM Bergevin: “Difficult” for Galchenyuk to make NHL next year

Alex Galchenyuk
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After missing almost all of last season with a torn ACL, Alex Galchenyuk will be hard pressed to make the NHL next season.

That said, he’s going to get a chance.

That was the word out of Montreal on Tuesday as GM Marc Bergevin said third overall pick at the 2012 draft would have a shot of making the big club this fall.

“It will be difficult because he didn’t play much hockey last season,” Bergevin told the Montreal Gazette. “But we’ll see how he does in training camp.”

It’s believed Bergevin’s leaving the door slightly ajar because of how well Galchenyuk fared at the recent U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. He scored a pair of goals and chipped in with an assist, winning over head coach Phil Housley in the process.

“I really liked the compete level,” Housley told NHL.com. “He goes in the areas that are tough to go in. Eventually he worked his way through, and for a young guy that didn’t see a lot of ice last year, he got rewarded in the Sweden game with a goal.”

When healthy, Galchenyuk can be an explosive scorer. He had 31G-52A-83PTS in 68 games during his rookie year with OHL Sarnia, a performance that rocketed him to the top of scouting draft boards — and kept him there, despite the catastrophic knee injury in his sophomore season.

It’ll be curious to see how Galchenyuk fares in the battle for center spots at Montreal’s training camp. Tomas Plekanec, David Desharnais, Lars Eller and Scott Gomez currently sit atop the depth chart, and journeyman Petteri Nokelainen is also in the mix.

Roundup: Sharks, Devils, and Canadiens ink players to two-way deals, Stars buyout Godard

Cam Janssen #25 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center on April 3, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Islanders 3-1.
(April 2, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)
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Here’s a list of minor contracts to chew on:

— The San Jose Sharks have given Matt Irwin a two-way deal worth $650,000, according to Renaud Lavoie. Irwin had 11 goals and 42 points in 71 AHL contests in 2011-12. He’s 24 years old and hasn’t made his NHL debut yet.

Renaud Lavoie also reported that the Montreal Canadiens inked Brendon Nash to a two-way deal worth $575,000 and Petteri Nokelainen to a one-way, $575,000 contract. Nash has no points in two career NHL games.

Nokelainen has 20 goals and 21 assists in 245 career NHL contests. He had six points in 51 games in the 2011-12 campaign.

— The New Jersey Devils have signed Cam Janssen to a two-way deal worth $575,000 at the NHL level, according to The Bergen Record. He had an assist and 75 penalty minutes in 48 regular season contests, but he didn’t log a single minute of ice time in the playoffs.

— Finally, Mike Heika reported that the Dallas Stars have bought out Eric Godard. His two-year deal would have become one-way in 2012-13 with a salary of $700,000, but he will instead cost the Stars $231,000 in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Godard had a goal and no assists in 48 games with the AHL Texas Stars last season.