Team Canada

Connor McDavid to miss 5-6 weeks

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Top prospect Connor McDavid is expected to miss 5-6 weeks with a fracture of the 5th Metacarpal bone on his right hand according to the Erie Otters.

He will not require surgery.

The injury occured Tuesday night during a fight against Mississauga Steelheads center Bryson Cianfrone. McDavid failed to hit Cianfrone with a punch, instead connecting with the glass. The Otters’ captain received a major for fighting and a game misconduct for taking off Cianfrone’s helmet.

It was McDavid’s second career fight and second of this season.

McDavid has 16 goals and 51 points in 18 Ontario Hockey League games this season.

He was a lock to star on Canada’s entry at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, which begin in just over six weeks. Team Canada begins its’ pre-tournament training camp Dec. 11 in Toronto. Given the 5-6 week time frame McDavid could theoretically be ready for the tournament barring a setback.

McDavid is projected to be one of the first two selections at next June’s NHL Draft.

Cherry tells Hockey Canada to “smarten up”

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Outspoken hockey analyst Don Cherry was at it again over the weekend, this time voicing his displeasures at Hockey Canada.

Cherry believes Florida Panthers first overall pick, Aaron Ekblad, should not have been participating in exhibition scrimmages at Canada’s development camp.

Ekblad was concussed during Canada’s 6-2 win over the Czech Repulic on Aug. 5 and sent home early from the camp after consultation with the Panthers.

On Saturday, Cherry, 80, took to Twitter to voice his opinion:

 

It’s often hard to agree with much of what Cherry says these days; however, this time he’s hit the nail on the head. Ekblad, who should make the Panthers roster out of training camp, doesn’t even need to be at such a camp as he likely won’t be released by Florida for the December tournament.

Related:  Get to know a draft pick – Aaron Ekblad

 

Update: Panthers’ Ekblad suffers concussion

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Defenseman Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion Tuesday night during a 6-2 win over the Czech Republic in a scrimmage.

Ekblad, the Florida Panthers’ first overall pick at June’s NHL draft, left in the third period after an open-ice collision with defenseman Lukas Klok.

The 18-year-old was not on the ice Wednesday morning and following practice Hockey Canada updated his status:

The good news is Florida fully expects Ekblad to be ready for its mini camp next month.

“As announced earlier today by Team Canada, D Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion during an exhibition game last night,” said Panthers general manager Dale Tallon in a statement. “We have been in communication with Team Canada and have mutually agreed to hold Aaron out for the remainder of the summer development camp, as a precautionary measure. We will closely monitor Aaron’s health for the remainder of the off-season and expect him to be ready for our rookie camp in mid-September.”

Given that Ekblad is likely to make the Panthers out of camp, it’s doubtful he’ll even be made available for Team Canada by Florida for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, which takes place in Montreal and Toronto.

Related: Get to know a draft pick – Aaron Ekblad

PHT Morning Skate: Berglund’s scoring touch is back

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Patrik Berglund’s Swedish eyes are smiling after scoring six goals in the past eight games, including two against Nashville on Saturday. (The Post-Dispatch)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,200 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s late NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $275. Starts Monday at 7:30pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

With all the injuries the Detroit Red Wings have, they need Jimmy Howard to be their savior. (Detroit Free Press)

That Nail Yakupov is such a bad teammate, you guys. He’s so bad that coach Dallas Eakins loved seeing him come to help out Matt Hendricks when dealing with some Hurricanes in a scuffle. This sarcasm doing anything for you? (Edmonton Journal)

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be erecting a statue for former captain Dave Andreychuk. Winning a Stanley Cup gets you some pretty great perks. (Tampa Tribune)

Give it up to Team Canada women’s team goalie Shannon Szabados who made her ECHL debut. Awesome stuff. (NHL.com)

Big time kudos to the United States Paralympic hockey team that took gold at the Paralympics in Sochi. (USA Hockey)

Finally, check out the video tribute the Buffalo Sabres played for Thomas Vanek who played in his first game in Buffalo since being traded back in late October. Vanek said after the game: “My previous experience when someone else came back, they didn’t do much so I didn’t know what to expect, but I thought it was very nice and very classy of them.” Take that, Darcy Regier.

Eric Staal happy Canada won gold, disappointed to not be part of it

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Canada winning the gold medal for the second straight Olympics was a proud moment for all Canadians. For Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, it was a bittersweet sight.

Staal was a member of the 2010 team in Vancouver and missed the cut for the 2014 team. As he tells Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer, he’s bummed out he couldn’t be in Sochi to be part of the fun.

“I think any player in my position, there’s going to be disappointment you’re not part of that team,” Staal said. “But I think the way they played as a group, as a team, they made the right choices because they got the job done. For me, disappointing you’re not part of that group, but at the same time I know all those guys.”

Staal, 29, says if the pros head to Korea in 2018 he wants to be part of that team. After presumably just missing out this time around, he’ll stand a chance of getting back there then. At least he still has “Had great chemistry with Sidney Crosby in 2010” on his résumé.