Blackhawks scratch Versteeg

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The Chicago Blackhawks seemed like they were on the verge of scratching Kris Versteeg on Tuesday, yet it turns out they’re doing so against the New York Rangers tonight, instead.

Michal Rozsival and Daniel Carcillo are the other Blackhawks scratches, as’s Tracey Myers notes. Andrew Desjardins gets into Chicago’s lineup in Versteeg’s absence while David Rundblad replaces Rozsival.

Versteeg realized earlier this week that he’s been performing poorly (in more colorful words) so this cannot be a huge surprise. Perhaps it will be the kind of push that inspires him to produce more regularly? That’s certainly the hope.

Sabres’ Kaleta undergoes surgery, out 4-6 weeks


The Buffalo Sabres have lost the services of agitator Patrick Kaleta for the next 4-6 weeks following surgery on a lower-body injury, head coach Ted Nolan confirmed on Monday.

“Anybody that plays as hard as he does and what this team means to him and this organization and the city, he wears everything on his sleeve, boy his heart’s on his sleeve and when you play that way, sometimes certain things are going to break down,” Nolan said, per WGR 550 Radio.

Kaleta, 28, returned to the Sabres lineup this year after spending almost all of last season with a torn ACL. While he hasn’t been overly effective — just three points while averaging 8:38 TOI over 33 games — the New York Post floated Kaleta as a potential trade deadline target for the Rangers:

Remember last January when there was almost universal skepticism — if not revulsion — when Sather acquired Daniel Carcillo from LA? Remember how useful Carcillo was until that moment in Game 3 of the conference finals against Montreal when he became engaged with linesman Scott Driscoll and elbowed his way out of New York?

Well, presented for your (and Sather’s) consideration, another reclamation project right up the general manager’s alley.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta, the notorious pending free agent who, when not injuring opponents with headshots and when maintaining his discipline, is exactly the tough, grinding depth winger so necessary to go deep in the playoffs.

Kaleta’s in the last of a three-year, $3.75 million deal with a $1.25M cap hit. It’s unclear what he would cost in terms of a trade, but Buffalo’s asking price could be significantly lowered if he’s unable to return until the end of March.

NHL on NBCSN: Wild test turnaround against Blackhawks


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Minnesota Wild host the Chicago Blackhawks at the Xcel Energy Center at 8:00 p.m. ET today. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The Minnesota Wild have been showing serious promise lately, but that progress will be tested on Tuesday as they face the Chicago Blackhawks.

A challenge amid a promising start

Assuming he gets the nod, the Blackhawks will test Devan Dubnyk, who is 5-1-0 as a member of the Wild since being traded from the Arizona Coyotes. For all the impressive work the 28-year-old goalie has done in his short stay with Minnesota, it’s worth noting that his wins have come against borderline playoff teams (Calgary, Vancouver) and squads that have often been downright dismal (Edmonton, Arizona).

What happens when Dubnyk and the Wild face one of the best teams (not to mention scoring attacks) in the NHL?

Blackhawks may not be at their best

Chicago is in the middle of a six-game road trip (seven if you count the game before the All-Star break) and (uh oh) just spent two days “bonding” in Las Vegas, so perhaps the Blackhawks are a little more vulnerable than usual. Going 6-7-0 in January argues that they’re not at their absolute best.

That’s good news for Minnesota, as Chicago has handled the season series so far, winning the first three games between these teams by a combined score of 13-6. Niklas Backstrom was in net for all those defeats, so the ‘Hawks will probably get a different look assuming Dubnyk starts this time around.

Daniel Carcillo is eligible to return from his latest suspension in this game. Ultimately, one would assume that the contest is more likely to come down to what stars like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter can accomplish.

Suter, for one, has been pretty banged up lately.


After some tough times, the Wild have at least a glimpse of optimism, but the Blackhawks serve as a useful measuring stick for how realistic their ambitions might be. It should be an intriguing game to watch on NBCSN tonight, then.

Carcillo suspended six games for cross-checking Perreault


Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo has been suspended six games for cross-checking and injuring Winnipeg forward Mathieu Perreault on Friday evening in Chicago, the NHL announced today.

According to the league’s department of player safety, Carcillo’s “forceful” cross-check was “not a hockey play, in the sense that it [had] nothing to do with the puck” and was delivered after the play had been blown dead, at a time when Perreault had “no reason” to expect it and could not protect himself.

The NHL also cited the fact that Carcillo, a repeat offender under the CBA, has been fined or suspended 11 previous times during his nine-season NHL career.

Here’s the full video explanation:

Video: Daniel Carcillo offered in-person hearing for cross check on Jets’ Perreault


It appears Daniel Carcillo will face a lengthy suspension for a cross check he delivered on Winnipeg Jets center Mathieu Perreault on Friday.

Carcillo, a repeat offender in the NHL, has been offered an in-person hearing by the league’s Department of Player Safety. A date and time haven’t been announced. An in-person hearing means the suspension could exceed five games.

The incident occurred late in the second period. Perreault left the game and did not return, appearing to favor his arm. Jets coach Paul Maurice called the incident “vicious cross-check to an unsuspecting player.”

Carcillo spoke about the incident on Saturday.

“It was just kind of a hockey play and it was at the end of a shift,” said Carcillo, as per CSN Chicago. “I must have just caught him between some padding. I’ve been hit there before too… it hurts.


The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: cross-checking. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.