Around The Rink – Thursday, October 14th

You can look at today as being “old faces in new places” day in the NHL. While Simon Gagne makes his joyous return to Philadelphia as a member of the Lightning, don’t expect the reception to be quite as warm for Mike Modano when he shows up in Dallas as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. That’s a rather rude way to crash the Stars’ home opener, wouldn’t you say? Here’s tonight’s schedule and, as always, all times listed are Eastern.

7:00 pm

Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia

Simon Gagne makes his return to Philly and will get  a warm reception from fans just so long as he doesn’t skate out on the ice dressed as Michael Irvin or Santa Claus. Brian Boucher is expected to start for Philly while Twitter’s favorite goalie Dan Ellis goes for Tampa Bay.

Carolina @ Ottawa

Daniel Alfredsson will play in this one for Ottawa while Sergei Samsonov may be in the lineup for Carolina. Ottawa has to start turning things around or else things will start getting especially ugly there. Not so much from a fan anger point of view, but in a “holy crap we need to sell tickets” kind of way.

8:00 pm

St. Louis @ Nashville

Anders Lindback and Joel Ward helped the Preds steal one on the road in Chicago last night and now get to deal with a Blues team playing very well, backed by the outstanding play of Jaroslav Halak. I don’t suppose they’re taking notice of him in Montreal, do you?

8:30 pm

Detroit @ Dallas

It’s Dallas’ home opener and Mike Modano will be in attendance for it… As a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Don’t suppose that things could be more bittersweet there. Luckily for Dallas, they’ll get to deal with Chris Osgood in goal for the Red Wings.

Edmonton @ Minnesota

Hey it’s the home opener that Mike Modano could’ve been a part of if he decided he wanted to be a member of the Wild. Well then… So much for that. Edmonton looks to continue their solid start while Minnesota plays their first game since returning from Europe.

9:30 pm

Florida @ Calgary

One of a handful of times we can call a game the “Olli Jokinen Bowl” as the Panthers pay a visit to Jokinen in his new-old digs in Calgary. Which Calgary team shows up to play will be interesting to see. Florida has been snake bitten by bad luck to start the year. With Miikka Kiprusoff in goal, things only figure to be that much harder for the Panthers.

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    Blackhawks F Katchouk will be 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 Sunday.

    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.

    Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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    TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

    The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

    “This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

    Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

    Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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    TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

    The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

    “Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

    The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

    Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.