Detroit fans react to Holmstrom "rumor"

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Homer.jpgAh yes, those pesky sports rumors and the trouble they cause.

Today, ESPN Insider posted an update to their NHL Rumor Central, with this headline:

“Tomas Holmstrom might be changing teams. Gasp!”

If that’s not headline baiting, then I don’t know what is. Unless you subscribe to their Insider access, you’d never know exactly where they got this information from. It’s just a rumor page, and there’s nothing here that is claiming anything to be more than that, but you can understand why Red Wings fans might react a bit violently to this ‘news’.

George Malik of MLive.com’s Snapshots blog called it the “worst rumor ever” and the response on Twitter amongst Red Wings was comical to say the least. It’s like someone suggested that the Detroit Red Wings move to Montana and become the Butte Ice Cowboys. How dare someone suggest that Holmstrom would change teams?

That’s exactly the response that sort of headline is designed to have, and it’s caused countless Wings fans to head on over to see what the big deal was all about.

In reality, ESPN get’s this ‘story’ from a Jeremy Rutherford chat held yesterday on STLToday.com, where he mentioned this:

I heard the scuttle-butt from Chris Kerber [Blues play by play] is that the Blues were
interested in Tomas Holmstrom as a possible Tkachuk replacement. The
Blues definitely need a big body next year.

A couple of things here to note. First of all, the Blues are not out of their minds for thinking about Tomas Holmstrom as a free agent target this summer. As much as Wings fans want to harp on the fact that Homer want’s to finish his career in Detroit and how Ken Holland has stated that they’ll work to get him back next season, things happen. He hasn’t signed an extension yet. It’s just planning on the Blues’ part. Wishful thinking.

So a simple headline on ESPN, and Red Wings fans nearly had a fit. I can’t blame them, really.

Islanders agree to terms with Mathew Barzal on 8-year extension

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Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.

The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.

Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.

“We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”

Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.

“I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.