NBCSN to air every Team USA game at Worlds

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Hockey fans wanting to get an early look at Jack Eichel ahead of June’s NHL Entry Draft will be able to do so, courtesy NBC.

On Monday, the NBC Sports Group announced that every Team USA game from the upcoming World Hockey Championships will be televised on NBCSN, as part of more than 40 hours of tournament coverage across television and online digital platforms.

Eichel, the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner, highlights the American roster along with the likes of Justin Faulk, Nick Bonino, Jake Gardiner and Torey Krug.

“As the U.S. television home of hockey, we’re thrilled to present comprehensive coverage for the fifth consecutive year of IIHF World Hockey Championship, the sport’s premier annual international tournament,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “The World Championship is another example of our commitment to hockey, from our near-200 games of regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoff coverage, to our presentations of international hockey at the Olympic, Paralympic and Championship levels.”

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Live coverage begins on NBCSN on Friday, May 1, at 10 a.m. ET, when Team USA faces Finland, the 2014 silver medalist, in the first of seven preliminary-round games, which will all air on NBCSN. Team USA’s preliminary-round matchups also feature a showdown with 2014 IIHF gold medalist Russia, on Monday, May 4, at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN. Last year, Team USA finished second in preliminary-round play before losing 4-3 to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal round.

Full Schedule (all times ET)

Fri., May 1

Team USA vs. Finland NBCSN 10 a.m.

Sat., May 2

Team USA vs. Norway* NBCSN 11 p.m.

Mon., May 4

Team USA vs. Russia NBCSN 10 a.m.

Thur., May 7

Team USA vs. Belarus NBCSN 10 a.m.

Fri., May 8

Team USA vs. Denmark NBCSN 2 p.m.

Sun., May 10

Team USA vs. Slovenia* NBCSN 3 p.m.

Tue., May 12

Team USA vs. Slovakia NBCSN 10 a.m.

Thu., May 14

IIHF Quarterfinals NBCSN 9 a.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals NBC Sports Live Extra 10 a.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals** NBCSN 11:30 a.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals NBC Sports Live Extra 1 p.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals NBC Sports Live Extra 2 p.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals* NBCSN 11:30 p.m.

Sat., May 16

IIHF Semifinals NBC Sports Live Extra 9:30 a.m.
IIHF Semifinals NBC Sports Live Extra 1 p.m.

Sun., May 17

IIHF Bronze Medal Game NBC Sports Live Extra 10 a.m.
IIHF Championship Game NBCSN 2:30 p.m.

*denotes same-day delay

**denotes joined-in-progress

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.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

Rasmus Sandin
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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.