• NHL suspends Sharks’ John Scott two games for leaving bench

    Adam Proteau
    John Scott (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    As expected, the NHL handed out its first suspension of the season for a regular-season on-ice incident Monday, hitting San Jose Sharks winger John Scott with a two-game ban for leaving the bench to start a fight with Ducks winger Tim Jackman Sunday.

    As the NHL department of player safety made clear in a now standard video explanation it hands out after each suspension, Scott left the bench on a legal line change, but made no effort to play the puck and instead instigated a fight with Jackman. Scott himself admitted he had no intent to join the play and was strictly interested in throwing fists: Read more

  • Pens’ Olli Maatta diagnosed with thyroid tumor, but full recovery expected

    Adam Proteau
    Olli Maatta (Getty Images)

    Pittsburgh Penguins sophomore defenseman Olli Maatta heard the words nobody wants to hear at any point in their lives, let alone at barely 20 years of age: doctors discovered a tumor that could be cancerous. Fortunately for the native Finn, the overall diagnosis sounds far less ominous: he’ll have surgery next week to remove the tumor, which is on his thyroid; he’s healthy enough to play until he goes under the knife; and he’s expected to return to action within a month.

    “Even if (the tumor) is found to be cancerous, we do not expect that he will need radiation or chemotherapy, and we anticipate a complete recovery,” said Penguins team physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas. “In all likelihood, Olli will go on to live a healthy life and this should not affect his ability to play hockey long-term.”

    Maatta didn’t seem at all fazed when he spoke with reporters after the announcement, and that’s in part because he first learned about the tumor three weeks ago. He’s already had a physical challenge after undergoing shoulder surgery in May, and although this is an altogether different type of ailment, he appeared ready at a press conference Monday afternoon to move ahead and take this one on: Read more

  • Rumor Roundup: Staal, Stewart still highly sought after

    Eric Staal

    Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal reportedly has no intention of waiving his no-trade clause, but that hasn’t kept his name out of the rumor mill.

    TSN’s Darren Dreger reports there’s no change in Staal’s commitment to the struggling Hurricanes, who enter this week as the NHL’s only winless team. Dreger claims the Toronto Maple Leafs, who inquired about the Hurricanes’ captain in the offseason, remain interested in him. Read more

  • Semyon Varlamov sued by ex-girlfriend for alleged abuse

    Matt Larkin
    The lawsuit against Semyon Varlamov seeks more than $1 million in charges, according to TMZ.  (Getty Images)

    The spotlight shone on Kings blueliner Slava Voynov last week after he was arrested on domestic violence charges, but it’s shifted back to Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov now. Varlamov’s ex-girlfriend, Evgeniya Vavrinyuk, has slapped him with a civil lawsuit stemming from last year’s domestic violence incident.

    Last fall, misdemeanor assault charges against Varlamov, which could’ve resulted in jail time, were dropped. Denver prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the charges because they believed they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt Varlamov assaulted Vavrinyuk Oct. 29, 2013. District attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimsborough insisted “that’s not to say we don’t believe our victim,” however.

    Now, Vavrinyuk will look for justice a second time against Varlamov, as TMZ Sports has learned of the lawsuit, in which she will seek more than $1 million, according to TMZ’s sources.

    The suit, filed in Colorado by attorney Keith Fink, contains scathing and serious allegations. Stick tap to Pro Hockey Talk, who obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which can be read here. It corroborates TMZ’s reports and alleges Vavriynuk “feared for her life.” The suit describes the alleged assaults in disturbing detail. Here’s an excerpt chronicling the first alleged assault. To warn you, the content is graphic:

    Read more

  • Dallas Stars’ Seguin, Benn are taking their costume competition to the Shredder

    Jared Clinton
    Tyler-Seguin

    P.K. Subban’s Thriller-inspired Michael Jackson costume was one of the best of this young Halloween hockey season, but he only had to worry about looking good himself. When it comes to a group costume, the Stars’ Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Cody Eakin, and Brenden Dillon may take the cake.

    Inspired by a few action heroes of yesteryear made anew, the foursome of Stars young guns took on the look of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Read more

  • Hockey Canada gesture leaves Stamkos nearly speechless

    Jared Clinton
    Steven Stamkos (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

    A broken tibia didn’t just derail Steven Stamkos’ 2013-14 season, it robbed him of the opportunity to represent his home country at the Olympics.

    While there’s no telling the impact Stamkos may have been able to make during the Sochi games, his scoring ability surely would have been a welcome addition to Team Canada. Though he fought valiantly to rehab his injured right leg in time for the tournament, he was unable to reach full speed in time, and Team Canada named Martin St-Louis as his replacement. Read more

  • Power Rankings: Kings taking regular season seriously (Rest of league: ‘Yikes!’)

    Ken Campbell
    Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    The Los Angeles Kings are blowing their cover. In previous seasons, the Kings never seemed terribly interested in blowing the doors off the NHL during the regular season, instead being content to watch teams raise their division championship and President’s Trophy banners while they hoisted a Stanley Cup pennant.

    That’s all changed in 2014-15. The Kings are taking the regular season seriously in the early going and are steamrolling their way through the league. If this keeps up, expect to see them at or near the top of thn.com’s Power Rankings for most of the season. (Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.) Read more

  • Soothsayer Tyson Nash foresees Justin Hodgman’s first NHL goal

    Jared Clinton
    Justin Hodgman (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

    At 39 years old, Tyson Nash has done a bit of everything. He suited up for nearly 400 games in the NHL, played a handful of contests in Japan, and has made the transition to broadcasting rather successfully, working alongside Matt McConnell to call Arizona Coyotes action for Fox Sports.

    On Saturday night, Nash tried his hand at a new talent: fortune-telling. That’s right, the former St. Louis Blues and Coyotes bruiser may have found an eerie new calling.

    In the Coyotes matchup on Saturday, a game against the visiting Florida Panthers, Nash said he had a feeling rookie Justin Hodgman would tally his first NHL marker at some point during the third period. Nash didn’t have to wait long for his prediction to come true: Read more