Bad news for Red Wings as Franzen hits long-term IR with concussion-like symptoms

Jared Clinton
Johan Franzen (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Detroit Red Wings left winger Johan Franzen came into the 2015-16 with high hopes — not for his goal total, point total or defensive play, but that he would be able to get through the season without suffering through any headaches or symptoms stemming from his concussion history.

But Franzen and the Red Wings got the worst possible news Thursday. After being sidelined for more than a month with symptoms that appeared related to his history of concussions, Detroit officially placed Franzen on the long-term injured reserve, which calls into question whether he’ll ever hit the ice again.

Coming into the season, Franzen, 35, was recovering from a concussion that saw him sidelined for 49 games in the 2014-15 campaign. The concussion came on a collision in the neutral zone in a game against the Edmonton Oilers in January 2015. Franzen struggled to get cleared for contact before the campaign began, but was finally given the go-ahead to participate in full team activity in training camp. Read more

‘Too early to say’ when Carey Price will return, says Canadiens coach Therrien

Jared Clinton
Carey Price (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Montreal Canadiens backup netminder Mike Condon has done tremendous work as Carey Price’s injury replacement, but you can’t fault Canadiens fans for wondering when their all-star goaltender is going to be back between the pipes.

Wednesday, for the first time since his injury, Price took part in full practice, but there’s still no timeline on when the 28-year-old reigning Hart Trophy winner can return to full duty. Price told TSN’s John Lu that the lower-body injury occurred in the contest against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 29, but would not “reveal when it happened or whether it’s a new or old issue.” Price was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 1.

In speaking with’s Arpon Basu, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said they’re going to take a patient approach with getting Price back into action. Read more

Finnish goalie ejected for bloodying opposing player with slash to the face

Jared Clinton
Teemu Lassila being held by a linesman after slashing Josh Gratton (via YouTube)

Finnish goaltender Teemu Lassila has accomplished a lot in his career. He has been a medalist in Finland’s Liiga, he’s won goaltender of the month honors in the KHL and he’s even captured World Championship gold. But when the 32-year-old netminder retires, one of the plays he’ll likely be best remembered for is an ugly slash to the face of an opponent.

In Wednesday’s Liiga game between Lassila’s TPS Turku and Porin Assat, Lassila was out to play the puck behind his net with former NHLer Josh Gratton skating towards him. Lassila beat Gratton to the puck and was able to move it up the boards, but after getting a slight bump from Gratton, Lassila swung his stick violently and caught Gratton in the face with the back edge of the paddle: Read more

Olli Maatta only out 3-4 weeks after scary collision with boards

Jared Clinton
Olli Maatta (Getty Images)

Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maatta will miss between 3-4 weeks after he suffered what the Penguins are calling an upper-body injury following a violent collision with the boards Tuesday night.

The injury, which was gruesome to watch, came when Maatta slammed hard into an opening door on the Minnesota bench after he was given a shove by Wild winger Nino Niederreiter. The impact left Maatta down on the bench wincing in pain and he had to be helped down the Wild’s tunnel by the training staff of the Penguins. After making his way back to the dressing room, Maatta was reportedly taken to the hospital on a stretcher.

Maatta, 21, remained in hospital Tuesday night and for much of the morning Wednesday, but was released shortly before noon when his 3-4 week timeline for return was announced by Penguins GM Jim Rutherford. Read more

Blues can’t catch a break, lose two more key players in Parayko and Lehtera

Jared Clinton
Colton Parayko (Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images)

Another day, another St. Louis Blues player on the injured list.

The Blues, who have suffered injuries to a number of key players this season, may be without center Jori Lethera and defenseman Colton Parayko for Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, marking two more man games lost in what has been an injury-riddled season in St. Louis.

Lehtera took a stick in the throat from Brandon Saad in the first period Tuesday in the Blues game against the Columbus Blue Jackets and was ruled out of the remainder of the game. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford, Lethera was taken to hospital by ambulance, but his status was not updated post-game. Read more

Olli Maatta hit from behind, falls into bench door. Suspension for Niederreiter?

Matt Larkin

Didn’t last season give Olli Maatta a career’s worth of bad luck already? The talented young Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman, 21, dealt with cancer, a case of the mumps and a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery.

The Pens eased Maatta back into this season, playing him only 16:46 a night in his first 17 games, but at least he was healthy. He chipped in a pair of goals and four points, too.

Then came this unfortunate accident Tuesday night, in which, after a shove from Minnesota’s Nino Niederreiter, Maatta fell into the Consol Energy Center boards just as Wild backup goalie Darcy Kuemper opened the bench door.

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Jordan Eberle doesn’t think Oilers are finished. Here’s why

Matt Larkin
Jordan Eberle. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Could anyone have drawn up the Edmonton Oilers’ 2015-16 season worse to this point? Expectations weren’t particularly high for the struggling franchise, yet the hockey gods have still managed to crush its dreams again.

Few prognosticators had the Oilers making the playoffs after nine consecutive misses, but this season was still supposed to be different in its own way. New GM Peter Chiarelli instantly put his stamp on the team. Coach Todd McLellan replaced Todd Nelson. The Oilers signed blueliner Andrej Sekera and defensive pivot Mark Letestu. They traded for D-man Griffin Reinhart, goaltender Cam Talbot and left winger Lauri Korpikoski. Most importantly, they drafted Connor McDavid. And then…

Right winger Jordan Eberle injured his shoulder at the end of the pre-season. Edmonton started the season 0-4. Top puck-moving defenseman Justin Schultz injured his back Oct. 25. Korpikoski sustained an undisclosed head injury, clearly a concussion, the game after that on a hit from Minnesota’s Matt Dumba. Neither Oiler has played since then, though both are close to returning.

And then, just as Eberle prepared to rejoin the lineup and seriously bolster Edmonton’s top six, McDavid went down with a broken collarbone two weeks ago.

“He went in really hard, and you knew he was struggling, but he got up and picked up his stick, and I didn’t really think much of it,” Eberle said. “It was the end of the period, and you expect him to come out the next, and then he didn’t. And then you get down there and you find out the severity of the injury. It’s tough. Connor has shown he’s that player who’s been touted. It definitely hurts our team.”

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Panthers’ Dmitry Kulikov to miss at least one week with lower-body injury

Jared Clinton
Dmitry Kulikov (Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

For the Florida Panthers to make the post-season, everything has to go right in 2015-16. They’re a talented group, but not one that can afford to lose key members to injury for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, the Cats will have to deal with just that.

In Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Panthers blueliner Dmitry Kulikov suffered a lower-body injury that will put him on the shelf for at least a week, according to the Miami Herald’s George Richards. Richards added that Kulikov is scheduled to undergo an MRI, but the extent of the injury, or just how long Kulikov could be out, is uncertain at this point. It could be just one week, but there’s the possibility he could be on the sideline longer.

The injury appeared to come on a hit from Lightning winger J.T. Brown, who crunched Kulikov into the boards early in the second period of Saturday’s game. Kulikov looked to be skating gingerly following the hit from Brown and didn’t take a single shift after leaving the ice post-hit: Read more