There are going to be a lot of familiar last names at the 2014 NHL Draft, but one of them might pop up for a familiar team.
Barrie Colts forward Brendan Lemieux is of interest to the Colorado Avalanche. Brendan’s father, Claude, has a bit of history with the franchise as he was part of the 1996 Stanley Cup-winning team.
As Mike Chambers of The Denver Post writes, Claude’s connections with former teammates Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic might help lead to Brendan putting on an Avalanche sweater in Philadelphia.
“Whether it’s my dad’s relationship with Patrick or my relationship with Patrick, they’re not going to base their decision around that,” Brendan Lemieux said Tuesday. “It’s bigger business nowadays, and I know they’ll draft the best player available and what they need. I’m looking forward to whichever team picks me, but if I go to Colorado at No. 23, I won’t be disappointed at all. It will be a dream.”
Brendan is the 28th-best North American skater according to NHL Central Scouting. He had 27 goals and 53 points in Barrie this season and was a teammate of potential top pick, defenseman Aaron Ekblad.
The possibilities of seeing Claude’s son land on a team he’s got history with are juicy. Obviously the Avalanche connections are there, but with New Jersey and Montreal picking late in Round 1, seeing him chosen by them makes for a great story as well.
You don’t suppose the Detroit Red Wings might be interested if he slips into the second-round, do you?
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.
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.
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.
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.