Canadiens rookie Slafkovsky suspended 2 games for boarding

montreal canadiens
Dave Reginek/Getty Images

NEW YORK — Montreal Canadiens rookie forward Juraj Slafkovsky was suspended by the NHL for two games on Wednesday for boarding Matt Luff of the Detroit Red Wings.

The incident happened in the third period of Montreal’s 3-2 shootout win at Detroit on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old Slafkovsky, the first overall pick in the 2022 draft, was assessed a major and game misconduct for driving Luff head-first into the boards with a check from behind.

Slafkovsky, who had three goals in 10 games this sesaon, will forfeit $10,270 in salary. He will miss Montreal’s game Wednesday night against Vancouver and Saturday’s home game versus Pittsburgh.

Slafkovsky is eligible to return when Montreal hosts New Jersey on Tuesday.

Scroll Down For:

    Canadiens’ Anderson suspended 2 games by NHL for boarding

    Montreal Canadiens
    Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

    NEW YORK — Montreal forward Josh Anderson was suspended for two games by the NHL on Sunday for boarding Vegas’ Alex Pietrangelo the previous night.

    The play occurred midway through the third period of the Golden Knights’ 6-5 win over the Canadiens on Saturday night when Anderson hit Pietrangelo into the side boards from behind after the defenseman had already given up the puck.

    Anderson received a boarding major and game misconduct penalties on the play, resulting in an ejection for the latter.

    He will miss the Canadiens’ games at Detroit on Tuesday night and against Vancouver on Wednesday.

    Canadiens get Beaudin from Blackhawks for Hills

    Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
    1 Comment

    MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens acquired defenseman Nicolas Beaudin from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for center Cam Hillis.

    Beaudin had two goals and four assists in 22 games over three seasons for Chicago. The Quebec native was the 27th overall pick in the 2018 draft.

    Hills, the 66th pick in 2018, made his NHL debut with Montreal last season.

    Canadiens’ Carey Price still experiencing knee pain

    Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

    MONTREAL — When it comes to playing again, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has a long way to go.

    There are some important steps along the way, too.

    Sidelined by a lingering knee injury, the 35-year-old Price is on long-term injured reserve, and there is no timetable for his return. Price said Monday that his focus has gravitated toward his daily life and not ending his 15-year run in the NHL.

    “We’ll have to take it step by step. I don’t have a plan to retire right at this moment,” he said. “Right now, my goal is to just be pain-free from day to day. I’m still having some issues getting up and down stairs and carrying my kids up and down stairs is difficult.

    “So my first priority is just to get my body in a place where I’m pain-free in my day-to-day living and go from there.”

    Price helped Montreal reach the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, and then suffered numerous setbacks in returning to the game. He underwent knee surgery and sought help from the NHLPA/NHL player assistance program last year for substance abuse.

    He won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in June, which is awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication.

    Price appeared in just five games last season. He then had a second opinion on his knee injury in Pittsburgh and the suggestion was another surgery.

    The veteran goaltender said he was “not fond” of the idea and called the procedure “intrusive.”

    “The surgery is called OATS,” Price said. “Basically, they’re taking a plug of cartilage and bone from a lower area in your knee and placing it in the cartilage-damaged area. It’s pretty serious and the success rate is above 50% and from a pessimistic perspective it’s like, `Well, there’s 50% chance that it could not work or 30% chance or whatever.’

    “It’s something, unless I was in dire need of to get through my life, that maybe I would consider at that point but right now I’m looking at my young kids and to play with them day to day is the most important thing for me.”

    For now, Price is continuing to rehab the injury – a lengthy, tedious process that hasn’t been successful as of yet.

    “That’s been the real frustrating part but I’ve talked to several people that had this type of injury and it’s taken over a year for them to start feeling normal,” Price said. “So I’m still holding out hope. There’s a possibility of another injection but we’ll have to see. We just have to continue trying to solve a problem but that surgery is a bit worrisome for me.”

    There are no spaces with Price’s name anymore in the Canadiens’ locker room at the Bell Centre. It’s a telling change for Montreal veterans like Brendan Gallagher, who lived the highs and lows of the team’s recent history alongside Price.

    “It’s different looking down and not having him in here. He was really the focal (point) of this team, this organization for so many years,” Gallagher said. “It’s different but I’m just fortunate to have spent the years that I did with him and he made me look good on many of nights. I’d never say that to his face but I owe him one or two.”

    Price thinks of himself as being in a “gray area” when it comes to being a part of the team. He was introduced to a standing ovation at the Bell Centre as a non-playing Canadien during the season opener on Oct. 12. The fifth overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft said he is still trying to find a balance between staying close to the team as an injured player and respecting his teammates’ space.

    “Any injured guy will tell you that it’s kind of a weird position to be in,” Price said. “You feel like you’re a part of the team but you don’t feel like you’re a part of the team.

    “I don’t want to be in there every day and using up resources day to day. These guys come in here and they work hard every day. They see trainers every day and I don’t want to impede their progress. I’m not gonna be a part of that process here this season so I feel like I’m in the way. I’ll be around, I miss being with the guys.”

    Training camps open around NHL after another short offseason

    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
    3 Comments

    Training camps open around the NHL after another short offseason, a third in a row squeezed by the pandemic. That doesn’t bother Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon one bit.

    For one of hockey’s best players and his teammates, it’s already time to get back on the ice and defend their Stanley Cup title, less than three months since they knocked off the back-to-back champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

    “I still feel like I just was playing,” MacKinnon said. “I took two weeks off, and then I started skating again. It’s just fun. I enjoy it, and I like the short summer. It feels like the season’s just kind of rolling over again.”

    The NHL rolls into fall coming off an entertaining playoffs and final with the chance to finally get back on a normal schedule. That means full camps for teams that got new coaches and the benefits of a regular routine.

    That means a mere 88 days between Game 6 of the final and the first-on ice practice sessions.

    “We’re kind of used to it now,” Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy said after he and the Lightning lost in the final for the first time in three consecutive trips. “It’s a little harder, of course, because you don’t have that much time to rest. It’s basically a few weeks and you have to get back at it. But, yeah, I can’t complain. You want your summers to be short every year.”

    It was a little longer for Connor McDavid and the Oilers after losing to Colorado in the West final. Despite the lack of downtime, McDavid “wouldn’t trade that in for anything” and aims to make it even further since Edmonton shored up its goaltending situation by adding Jack Campbell.

    A few spins of the goalie carousel ended with the Avalanche acquiring Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers and Cup winner Darcy Kuemper landing with Washington. Joining new teammates, many of whom hoisted the Cup in 2018, Kuemper is not worried about less time off.

    “It was definitely a very unique summer,” Kuemper said. “With how short it was, you start getting back into the gym and you’re kind of a little bit worried that your training’s going to be so short. But you kind of felt like you weren’t getting back into shape. You were already there.”

    NEW COACHES

    The Oilers are one of several teams settling in for training camp under a new coach. Jay Woodcroft took over as interim coach in February but has the full-time job now.

    “Looking forward to a camp with him,” McDavid said. “He did a great job coming in during the middle of the season, but it’s never easy on a coach, for sure. I’m sure there’s things that he wanted to touch on that you wasn’t able to kind of in the middle of the year, so he’ll be able to to touch on all of it this year.”

    The same goes for Bruce Boudreau in Vancouver, 11 months since being put in charge of the Canucks. Philadelphia’s John Tortorella, Boston’s Jim Montgomery, Vegas’ Bruce Cassidy, Dallas’ Peter DeBoer, Florida’s Paul Maurice, Chicago’s Luke Richardson, Detroit’s Derek Lalonde and the New York Islanders’ Lane Lambert are all starting the job fresh.

    CAMP TRYOUTS

    Roughly 40 players are attending a camp on a professional tryout agreement with the chance to earn a contract for the season. James Neal has that opportunity with the Blue Jackets, and Derek Stepan returned to Carolina to seek a job with the Hurricanes.

    The most intriguing situation involves 37-year-old center Eric Staal, who agreed to the tryout with Florida the same time brother Marc signed a one-year contract. Younger brother Jordan was with Eric and Marc on the 18th green at Pebble Beach to witness the occasion.

    “They’re both just super pumped, as was I,” said Jordan Staal, who is the captain of the Hurricanes. “Eric is excited about the opportunity and Marc, as well. Really cool. Really cool thing.”

    EARLY START

    Before the puck drops on the NHL season in North America on Oct. 11, the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks play twice in Prague on Oct. 7 and 8. And those are not exhibitions.

    “We still play two important games,” said Sharks forward Tomas Hertl, who is a native of Prague. “It’s not just preseason where you coming here to warm up.”

    Colorado and Columbus will also play two games in Tampere, Finland, on Nov. 4-5 as part of the NHL’s Global Series.

    And just as the league gets used to a regular schedule, work is ongoing between the league and NHL Players’ Association to stage a World Cup of Hockey in February 2024, which is popular among players even if it knocks the calendar off kilter again.

    “I think they missed out on a huge, huge portion of the international game that’s really going to be missed,” McDavid said. “We need to figure out a way to get an international tournament in as quickly as possible.”