Darryl Sutter is none too pleased with Jordan Nolan

Getty
13 Comments

The Jordan Nolan situation has been simmering for quite some time in L.A.

Yesterday, Darryl Sutter turned up the heat.

After noticing Nolan was absent for Thursday’s morning skate — ahead of an eventual 4-1 home loss to Calgary — Sutter called out the 27-year-old forward, voicing his disapproval in the process.

“I couldn’t tell you,” Sutter said of Nolan’s absence, per L.A. Kings Insider. “I went out out on the ice today and I was trying to figure out who the hell wasn’t out there and I figured out halfway through he wasn’t out there, so that’s about as much as I can say.

“You want guys really interested in practicing and playing, right?”

As Kings Insider Jon Rosen notes, Sutter’s been irked with Nolan for a while. The burly winger has missed a good chunk of time with a leg injury, appearing in just six games in February and March.

Nolan’s last appearance came five days ago, when he played 8:48 in a 2-1 loss to the Coyotes.

Back in mid-March, Sutter criticized Nolan’s lack of availability after Nolan took part in a pregame skate against Buffalo (a game in which he didn’t play).

“It’s about time,” Sutter said, per the O.C. Register. “He’s played one game in six weeks. ‘Jordie’ hasn’t played much hockey. This is about what’s right for his career. He’s a 40-to-60-game (per season) player.”

Technically speaking, Sutter is correct. Nolan’s career-high in games played is 64 — back in the ’13-14 campaign — and he’s appeared in 46 this season. That said, he was a lineup regular during L.A.’s first Stanley Cup championship in 2012, appearing in all 20 playoff games.

This situation could be worth monitoring moving forward. Next year will be the last of Nolan’s three-year, $2.85 million extension, one that carries a $950,000 cap hit.

Blackhawks F Katchouk will be sidelined by ankle sprain

blackhawks
Harry How/Getty Images
13 Comments

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

Getty Images
2 Comments

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

tampa bay lightning
Scott Audette/Getty Images
2 Comments

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
Julian Avram/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.