Archive for the ‘NHL’ Category

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler will have surgery Friday after suffering injuries to his orbital bone, cheekbone, and upper jaw bone, the team announced Wednesday.

A timetable for his return will be announced following the procedure.

Fowler suffered the injury Monday against the Nashville Predators when he was hit in the face with a puck.

He’s picked up three goals and seven assists in 19 games this season.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins inked general manager Jim Rutherford to a three-year contract extension Wednesday that will keep him with the team through the 2021-22 season.

The 69-year-old is in his 25th year as an NHL general manager and his fifth with the Penguins.

During his tenure with Pittsburgh, he’s helped build the team into a perennial contender, with four 100-plus-point seasons and back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.

“We think Jim Rutherford is one of the best general managers in all of sports and, during his tenure in Pittsburgh, arguably the best GM in the NHL,” Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said in a statement. “His goal every year is to win the Stanley Cup and that kind of commitment to excellence is what drives us all.”

Rutherford won his first Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks is the only other GM to win three championships in the salary-cap era. Rutherford ranks eighth all time among general managers in both wins (850) and games managed (1,834).

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby wasn’t at practice Wednesday as he’s being evaluated for an upper-body injury, head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters.

The circumstances surrounding the injury weren’t disclosed, and Crosby’s status for Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning is unknown.

Wes Crosby

@OtherNHLCrosby

When asked if Crosby could miss tomorrow, Sullivan repeated Crosby is being evaluated for an upper-body injury.

Wes Crosby

@OtherNHLCrosby

Sullivan: Crosby is being evaluated for an upper-body injury. #Pens

He played 21:32 in Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils, second among Penguins forwards behind Evgeni Malkin.

The 31-year-old superstar hasn’t missed a regular-season game since the 2016-17 campaign.

James Sparklin, the Uber driver who posted a video of seven Ottawa Senatorsplayers criticizing their special teams coach, has spoken for the first time since the incident went viral.

“I was not in the right state of mind,” Sparklin said, mentioning he wrestled with the decision and ultimately posted part of the video on YouTube while intoxicated, according to Kelly Egan of the Ottawa Citizen.

Sparklin said he was aggravated about an unspecified incident that happened early in the trip regarding the number of passengers he had to transport, saying he was concerned he wouldn’t be covered by his insurance in the event of an accident.

“What really upset me the most was, if I were to get in an accident, I don’t believe the insurance would cover it. The million-dollar policy would go very fast,” he said.

Uber fired Sparklin for violating its terms of service, and he showed remorse for the incident.

“I didn’t think about my actions at all,” Sparklin said. “I wasn’t trying to get money or anything like that. I got contacted and took it down right away.

“I’m worried about my name getting out, my life being ruined, and my children.”

The Senators players involved in the video have since apologized, and the team has gone 1-1 since it was thrust into the spotlight.

The Boston Bruins have granted goaltender Tuukka Rask a leave of absence relating to a personal matter, the team announced Friday.

The reason for his absence or its potential length is unknown, but general manager Don Sweeney said the matter isn’t health related.

Rask has yet to find his groove in the 2018-19 season, owning a 4-4 record with a .901 save percentage.

It’s a matter of time before Joel Quenneville finds his way behind an NHL bench again, but he’ll do so on his own terms.

Quenneville was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday after 10-plus seasons with Chicago and three Stanley Cups. The 60-year-old definitely wants to coach again and will wait for the opportunity he believes is best, a source told Scott Powers of The Athletic.

There are no current openings, but several teams across the league would jump at the opportunity to add a coach of Quenneville’s caliber. The future Hall of Famer ranks second in NHL history with 890 wins and is coming off the most successful coaching tenure of the salary-cap era.

He’s free to join a new team at any point, though there’s one season left on his contract with the Blackhawks at $6 million.

The Edmonton Oilers surprised some Saturday when they sent former first-round picks Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto to the AHL after the pair combined for just two goals and one assist to open the season.

Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli discussed the decision on Sunday.

“I think, broadly speaking, I’d like them to get more touches,” Chiarelli told Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun. “With Jesse, it’s about getting his confidence back. I thought he had a strong camp and it didn’t translate to the start of the season. You could see some of the frustration in his game, but having said that, there was some maturity in his game too, so we just have to build it back up a little bit. It’s easier to do that down there with more minutes and a little more latitude and margin for error.

“With Yamo, I thought he played pretty well as a complementary player. He was responsible, he supported things without the puck, he was good on the PK. We took him out of the game, he sat a little bit and it was confidence. For him, it’s about finishing, going down there and finishing his opportunities. He did have a lot of opportunities when he was up here and I didn’t want his confidence to struggle either.”

Puljujarvi, the 2016 fourth overall pick, has totaled 32 points in 49 career AHL games, compared to just 29 points in 104 NHL contests.

“He was disappointed,” Chiarelli said about Puljujarvi’s multiple trips between the big club and the Bakersfield Condors. “We’ve done it each year with him, he was disappointed.”

Yamamoto, the No. 22 pick in 2017, returned to the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs last year after a nine-game stint with the Oilers, so this will be his first taste of the AHL.