• Parise could return to Wild lineup Friday after missing three weeks

    Jared Clinton
    Zach Parise

    After being sidelined for the past three weeks, Minnesota Wild left winger Zach Parise could be back in action Friday evening against the Winnipeg Jets.

    Parise, 31, hadn’t practiced with the team since spraining his MCL in a Nov. 5 game against the Nashville Predators, but was skating alongside the Wild Thursday ahead of their home contest Friday. According to Wild coach Mike Yeo, Parise had been medically cleared and “if [the Wild] had any kind of concerns or uncertainty then we’d hold him out.”

    “Obviously if he’s ready to play, then we think we can probably find a place for him in our lineup,” Yeo told Wild.com. “Today we just experimented with something, we don’t even know if we’ll go with that tomorrow or not. Adding one player gives you so many more options.” Read more

  • McDavid ‘ahead of schedule’ in recovery, but won’t be rushed back

    Jared Clinton
    Connor McDavid (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Once again, the Edmonton Oilers are sitting in the NHL’s basement once again and have won only three of their past 10 games. And while the breakout play of Leon Draisaitl has been lifting the spirits of Oilers fans, GM Peter Chiarelli delivered some news Thursday that’s sure to brighten every Edmonton fan’s day.

    Chiarelli told Sportsnet’s Mark Spector that rookie center Connor McDavid is “ahead of schedule” in his recovery from a broken collarbone that he suffered Nov. 3 against the Philadelphia Flyers. McDavid went crashing into the boards and immediately left the game, and the initial diagnosis was he’d miss anywhere from two to three months. The outlook is much more promising now, however.

    “He’s been in the pool, been lifting weights,” Chiarelli told Spector. “There are no soft tissue injuries, which is important. When you get a break like that, oftentimes there is accompanying soft tissue injuries. That slows down the recovery.” Read more

  • Watch KHLer drop opponent with brutal blindside hit

    Jared Clinton
    Alexander Perezhogin (via KHL/YouTube)

    The KHL has seen its fair share of borderline hits this season, and there was another this past week. In a contest between Sibir Novosibirsk and Avangard Omsk, former Montreal Canadien Alexander Perezhogin, now with Omsk, blew up Sibir’s Viktor Bobrov with a questionable hit.

    The shot came just past the midway mark of the first period on a breakout. A puck had been tipped to Bobrov, but didn’t lead him well enough for him to be able to keep his head up. Bobrov looked down to corral the puck that was near his feet and before he could get his head up, Bobrov was flattened by Perezhogin: Read more

  • A hoser gives thanks for all things hockey on American Thanksgiving

    Ken Campbell
    Jonathan Toews (left) and Marian Hossa  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Today is American Thanksgiving and for the first time this season, all 30 arenas in the NHL are dark. If you’re not in a playoff spot by now, chances are you won’t be when the NHL schedule wraps up in 134 days. But it’s also a day to reflect on your blessings regardless of what side of the 49th parallel you occupy.

    Here are some of mine when it comes to hockey:

    Read more

  • Jakub Voracek and four other fantasy players to buy low

    Matt Larkin
    Jakub Voracek. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

    I told you which players to sell high in fantasy hockey leagues yesterday, but that’s only half the battle. The best way to win a title is to replace your sell-highs with a bunch of buy-lows, underachieving players who should play their best hockey over the final three quarters of the season. You know the drill: if player X always gets 65 points and has just 10 points in his first 20 games, he’s likely to get 55 in his next 60 to balance things out, assuming external factors like injury and age haven’t caused the dip in his numbers. If player X scores on 10 percent of his shots for his career and hums along at one percent so far this year, he’ll probably regress to the mean and shoot closer to his career average the rest of the way.

    I present my five favorite buy-lows in fantasy pools at the moment, ranked in order of how big of a potential return they can net you. This was a fun exercise because, for whatever reason, many big-ticket fantasy producers have struggled early on. I like Anze Kopitar, Sean Monahan, Alex Pietrangelo, Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri and Mark Giordano as buy-lows, and they couldn’t even crack my top five.

    Read more

  • Why the Hurricanes deserve better than being a basement team

    Jared Clinton
    Cam Ward (Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Expectations weren’t high for the Hurricanes this season. In 2014-15, Carolina finished in 25th, had the league’s fifth-worst goal differential and finished in the basement of the Metropolitan Division, even below the veteran-laden New Jersey Devils.

    Faith in the Hurricanes was undoubtedly lower because of the type of up-and-down campaign they had in 2014-15, too. Carolina strung together multiple three-game winning streaks and one four-gamer, but also dropped seven straight twice and began the year on an eight-game winless streak. Add in rumors about the future of captain Eric Staal, goaltender Cam Ward and the ever-present trade talk surrounding former Calder Trophy winner Jeff Skinner, and it’s not hard to see why there weren’t many high on Carolina this season.

    So when the Hurricanes began the year by dropping three straight and followed it up with inconsistent play that included a three-game winning streak and a recently snapped five-game skid, it seemed fitting for the youthful club.

    Here’s the thing, though: this Hurricanes team continues to be much better than they’re given credit for and are deserving of a much better record than what they currently have. Read more

  • Carey Price on the shelf again, expected to miss ‘at least’ one week

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

    After leaving Wednesday’s game, Montreal Canadiens star netminder Carey Price has found himself back on the shelf.

    According to Sportsnet’s John Bartlett, the Canadiens have placed Price on the injured reserve once again and the 28-year-old goaltender is expected to miss ‘at least’ one week. Because Price played 40 minutes of Wednesday’s game and heading into the dressing room after the second frame with a 2-1 lead, Price emerged with the win against the Rangers. It was Price’s third consecutive win since returning to the Canadiens’ lineup on Nov. 20, but now there’s uncertainty about when exactly Price will be back.

    The injury looked as if it occurred in the second frame when he was pushing across his crease. After moving from left to right, Price seemed to tweak his right leg and fell to the ice before finishing the period: Read more