One and done? Wings waiting to hear if prized frosh Larkin will go pro


Dylan Larkin’s stay at the University of Michigan may end up being a short one.

Larkin, the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year, will reportedly soon decide between returning to the Wolverines for his sophomore season, or signing an entry-level deal with the Red Wings — who selected Larkin 15th overall at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

“I don’t know that he’s 100 percent sure,” U of M head coach Red Berenson said, per the Detroit Free Press. “I think he really enjoyed his first year at Michigan. I think he thrived on it. How could it be a better year? Everything fell into place for him at the world juniors and then here. Detroit has opened the door for him, not necessarily to play in Detroit, but to start his development in the minors.

“I would like him to come back and continue to develop his game until he’s more ready to play with men, but that’s going to be up to him and his family.”

With Michigan’s season finished, the Red Wings will reportedly leave the decision up to Larkin, who’s had himself a pretty banner campaign.

In addition to finishing second on the Wolverines in scoring — with 47 points in 35 games — the 18-year-old starred for the U.S. at the World Juniors, drawing rave reviews from Detroit GM Ken Holland in the process.

“He’s a good skater, good two-way player,” Holland said, per MLive. “I think he’s done everything that Team USA would want. I was very impressed with the way he played.”

Given Detroit’s penchant for seasoning prospects in the AHL, it might behoove Larkin to start his pro career now. The likes of Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan all spent extensive time in Grand Rapids prior to becoming NHLers, and we’re seeing a similar scenario unfold now with Detroit’s other highly-touted first-round pick — Anthony Mantha, the 20th overall pick in ’13 — who has 13 goals and 28 points in 54 games this year for the Griffins.

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.

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.