Leafs coach on red-hot Kadri: ‘You guys just want to anoint him, don’t you?’

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If you like analogies, how about this one: Nazem Kadri is the Toronto Maple Leafs’ answer to Tony Romo.

No, this doesn’t mean he’s dating Jessica Simpson or Carrie Underwood. Instead, his head coach Randy Carlyle echoed Bill Parcells’ fun-killing line with this comment on Kadri’s hot streak to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

“You guys just want to anoint him, don’t you?” Carlyle said.

Parcells memorably said “put away the anointing oil” when Romo was experiencing his breakthrough Dallas Cowboys season in 2006.

(Let’s pause for inevitable jokes about Kadri throwing back-breaking interceptions/botching extra points.)

Kadri, 22, can relate to Romo in needing to persevere early in his career. His path is different,* but much like Romo, he’ll probably soon understand how it feels to have his highs and lows chronicled by a market obsessed with his sport.

The young forward has 23 points in 23 games after a one-goal, one-assist performance in Monday’s 4-2 win against the New Jersey Devils. Kadri has produced four goals and five assists for nine points during a five-game point streak.

He might just have a chance to keep things rolling and become a fixture in Toronto like Romo is in Dallas. Let’s just hope he stays away from Los Cabos, Mexico, though.

* – Kadri was the seventh pick of the 2009 NHL Draft; Romo went undrafted and played for obscure Eastern Illinois in college.

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.