Faulk, Gardiner highlight US preliminary Worlds roster


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.

Seguin, Giroux highlight Team Canada roster for Worlds


Canada won’t be lacking for offensive weapons at this year’s World Hockey Championships.

Two of the league’s top-12 scorers — Dallas’ Tyler Seguin and Philly’s Claude Giroux — will wear the red and white in Prague from May 1-17, Hockey Canada announced on Tuesday. Seguin and Giroux were part of the original 19-man roster set for the tournament; Canada can register up to 25 players as teams are eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The rest of the Canadian roster looks like this…

Goalies: Martin Jones, Mike Smith

Defense: Tyson Barrie, Brent Burns, Aaron Ekblad, Jake Muzzin, David Savard

Forwards: Seguin, Giroux, Matt Duchene, Cody Eakin, Jordan Eberle, Tyler Ennis, Taylor Hall, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan O’Reilly, Jason Spezza, Tyler Toffoli.

Team Canada will be coached by Todd McLellan.

Looks like Vermette could be a healthy scratch for Game 1 versus Preds


By the looks of it, Antoine Vermette could be a healthy scratch for the Chicago Blackhawks when they open their first-round series versus the Predators tomorrow in Nashville.

From today’s practice:

From CSN Chicago:

Vermette has had a tough go in his time with the Blackhawks; he’s been moved around the lineup, from center to wing, and is still looking for his first goal with his new team. So as the Blackhawks prepare for Game 1 against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday, is Vermette on the outside looking in?

“We’ll see,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We know he’s got some experience there in the middle. Depth is something organizationally you need and some guys are ahead of other guys now based on performance. We’ve got to make decisions.”

An interesting development, to say the least. The ‘Hawks gave up a first-round draft pick and defensive prospect Klas Dahlbeck to get Vermette, a pending unrestricted free agent, from Arizona. That’s a lot to pay for a rental, only to make him a healthy scratch in the first game of the playoffs.

On the other hand, Vermette has no goals and just three assists in 19 games for the ‘Hawks. His possession numbers have also been poor.

“We always say it doesn’t matter how much money you make or who you are: your performance is going to dictate everything you get and everything you’re going to earn,” Quenneville said.

Maloney on Doan: ‘We certainly want him back’


With the Coyotes going through a rebuild there have been questions surrounding the future of captain Shane Doan in Arizona.

Doan has one year remaining on his four-year, $21.2 million dollar contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

On Monday, Coyotes GM Don Maloney made his feelings clear.

“There’s a lot of life left in his game and we certainly want him back,” Maloney said.

The 38-year-old has spent his entire 19-year career with the Winnipeg/Arizona franchise.

Doan had 14 goals and 36 points in 79 games while registering a minus-29 rating this season.

He told reporters on Monday he intends to take some time to talk things over with his family before deciding his next move.

“I don’t think there’s a timeline on it,” Doan said of making a decision on his future. “It’ll be discussed with my family and my wife and everything that’s kind of going on with the team.

“We’ll see how it goes. I mean I’m still a pretty big believer in a lot of the guys around here.”

Doan was asked if he could see himself asking Maloney to trade him.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t even really want to think too much about that.”

That’s said, he’s not prepared for a long rebuild either.

The Coyotes have missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons after falling in five games to the L.A. Kings in the 2012 Western Conference final.

Report: Penguins’ Letang (concussion) is done for the season


The Pittsburgh Penguins, now fighting for their playoff lives, will be without defenseman Kris Letang for the remainder of the season, according to a report that surfaced Friday evening.

From Dejan Kovacevic of DK on Pittsburgh Sports:

Kris Letang will not play again for the Penguins this season, “even if we make a deep run in the playoffs,” general manager Jim Rutherford told after tonight’s game at Consol Energy Center.

And from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

If the Penguins earn a playoff spot, it is “not likely” defenseman Kris Letang will play, general manager Jim Rutherford said.

Letang has been out since March 28 because of a concussion that occurred after a hit into the boards by Arizona’s Shane Doan.

“Based on his present condition,” Rutherford said, “it’s not likely he’d return this year.”

On March 28, Letang was hospitalized after taking a hit from Arizona Coyotes veteran forward Shane Doan and diagnosed with a concussion.

Related: (Video) PHT Extra: What’s ailing the Pittsburgh Penguins

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