Flyers F Vinny Lecavalier could miss month with non-displaced fracture in lower back
By: The Canadian Press
Dec 8, 2013
PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia Flyers forward Vinny Lecavalier could miss a month because of a non-displaced fracture in his lower back.
Lecavalier has already missed three games due to back spasms. He leads the Flyers with five power-play goals and has scored nine times overall. He is tied for fourth on the team with 14 points in 22 games.
Lecavalier signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract in the off-season. Lecavalier, a 6-foot-4, 208-pound centre, spent 14 years with Tampa Bay.
The Islanders at center ice of Barclays Center
Author: Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images
Barclays Center ice conditions continue to be an issue for the Islanders
By: Jared Clinton
Oct 24, 2016
The arena’s ice on Friday night was called “unplayable” and “bouncy,” and it has less to do with temperatures than it does the piping under the ice.
New York Islanders fans’ gripes about the Barclays Center have been plenty. There’s been complaints about the sight lines, the travel and the building design, in general, and it has left fans hoping for a return to Nassau Coliseum or for an all-new building for their Islanders to call home. The biggest objection to the arena, though, could be one that doesn’t really impact the fans.
Over the past few games, the center of attention for the Islanders hasn’t so much been the on-ice performance as it has been the ice conditions, which have been downright awful, according to the players.
Winger Cal Clutterbuck’s words rang out the loudest after the Islanders’ 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, Clutterbuck called the surface “unplayable” on Friday night, and rearguard Johnny Boychuk added that pucks wouldn’t settle down, meaning players couldn’t do much more than “throw it on net.”
But complaints about the ice can be normal over the course of a season. Combine a string of unseasonable temperatures with a spectator-filled contest and there’s an almost perfect storm for bad, bouncy ice. Trouble is that it hasn’t been a one night issue.
Players were much less outspoken about the conditions following Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Minnesota Wild, but not exactly silent on the ice issue. Captain John Tavares told the New York Daily News’ Peter Botte that he didn’t want to talk about the ice but said it was “a little better” Sunday, while coach Jack Capuano said it was simply something both teams had to deal with.
“We don’t want any excuses,” Capuano said, according to Botte. “Whether the ice is good or bad, both teams have to play on it. I’m sure they’re trying to do the best they can here, and I’ll leave it at that.”
But the issue with the ice goes well beyond the temperature. According to Staple, the team has ice engineer and dehumidifiers that work to keep the rink in its best possible shape, but the biggest issue is literally an underlying one.
When temperatures drop, the issue of warm weather impacting the playing surface will most likely fade away — or at least lessen, given that the sheet should stay much cooler in the winter — but as the season nears its culmination, the temperature could again be an issue and the team’s annoyance with the ice could again come to the fore.
Rumblings about the Islanders’ unhappiness with Barclays Center have been ongoing nearly since the day the puck was dropped to start the 2015-16 season, and they persist to this day. And if bad ice conditions continue without any fix in sight, you can almost guarantee the talk of the Islanders looking for a new home is going to continue.
Stars’ Sharp sidelined after suffering ‘concussion-like symptoms’ following huge hit
By: Jared Clinton
Oct 21, 2016
The Stars don't know exactly when they can expect Sharp’s return, which means yet another player has been added to Dallas’ growing injury list.
The Dallas Stars are going to be without Patrick Sharp, but they don’t know just how long the veteran winger will be on the shelf.
Sharp, 34, was forced to leave Thursday’s game against the Kings during the second period after being walloped along the boards by Los Angeles blueliner Brayden McNabb. Early in the frame, with Dallas on a power play, Sharp took a pass from Devin Shore and stepped over the blueline with Jeff Carter giving chase. In order to sidestep Carter, Sharp moved along the right wing boards where he was met with a solid jolt from McNabb.
No penalty was called on the play, and the replay shows that McNabb caught Sharp about as square on the shoulder as possible.
Regardless of how clean the hit may have been, though, Sharp immediately grabbed his head and was slow to get to his feet. He remained out on the power play for another 20 seconds before leaving the ice, but after heading to the bench, Sharp left the game. The Stars later announced he wouldn’t return due to “concussion-like symptoms,” and Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Sharp’s absence will go beyond Thursday’s game.
“Sharp will be out,” Ruff said, according to Mark Stepneski. “He missed the rest of the game on the hit but I don’t know what the time frame is.”
And even if Sharp is diagnosed with a concussion, that won’t make his timeframe for return any more clear. Unlike other injuries where it’s easier to gauge recovery times, a concussion can sideline a player for a few games or for months at a time.
The good news for Sharp, though, is that he doesn’t have a long history of serious head injures. In October 2010, Sharp, then with the Chicago Blackhawks, was forced out of the lineup with what was at the time called a “slight concussion,” but he returned after missing just one game and hasn’t missed any time with head injuries since.
The timing of the injury is brutal for Dallas, especially after an off-season in which seemingly none of their key top-six players could stay healthy. Already, the Stars are without Jiri Hudler (flu), Ales Hemsky (groin), Cody Eakin (knee), Mattias Janmark (knee) and Jason Dickinson (hip), so losing Sharp — and possibly Patrick Eaves, who also left the contest Thursday after a blocked shot — would be another serious blow to the dynamic Dallas offense.
Through four games this season, Sharp had mustered just one assist but had put 10 shots on goal.
Jonah Imoo and Dusty Imoo.
Author: Ontario Reign Facebook.
Goalie makes surprise AHL debut with his dad as his backup
By: Ian Denomme
Oct 24, 2016
The AHL's Ontario Reign needed two goalies on short notice so turned to 22 year old Jonah Imoo to start between the pipes, while his 46-year-old father Dusty was his backup.
The Los Angeles Kings' goaltending woes resulted in some interesting hockey history on Saturday night.
When goalie Jeff Zatkoff was injured during practice and Jack Campbell needed to be recalled to the NHL, it created not one but two openings between the pipes for their AHL team, the Ontario Reign.
The Reign handed the starter's job to 22-year-old goalie Jonah Imoo on an emergency basis for their game Saturday night against the San Jose Barracuda. Imoo's backup goalie for the evening? His father, Dusty.
Dusty Imoo, 46, is a goalie development coach in the Kings' organization, and got to watch his son's AHL debut up close and personal, in full uniform, on the Reign bench. Jonah Imoo spent four seasons playing in the BCHL and had split last season in the Federal Hockey League and Southern Professional Hockey League before a finger injury and surgery ended his season after just three games.
Imoo stopped 26-of-31 shots and the Reign lost 5-4 in overtime but it didn't diminish the special moment for father and son.
"Old man crying, even as I think about it I kind of well up," Dusty told NHL.com. "It's emotional. It's weird. I watched him play exhibition games with us this season, the rookie games. I saw him put on a NHL jersey and it was all heartwarming to see, but this is different. . . I walked into the dressing room before anyone was there and I see the two jerseys and our nameplates."
Dusty Imoo had a long career playing in professional leagues in Asia, including suiting up for the Japanese national team at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano. His son's career is just beginning but got off to a memorable start.
"I found out I was starting after morning skate," Jonah said. "As I was getting undressed, one of the trainers said, 'Guess who is backing you up tonight?' And he put in another Imoo nametag in the stall next to me. I couldn't believe it. It was pretty surreal."
The Kings, of course, lost Jonathan Quick to an injury in their opening game of the season. With Zatkoff hurt, that mean both Reign goalies -- Peter Budaj and Campbell -- were recalled to the NHL. It means the younger Imoo might be sticking around a little while longer. Though that's probably not the case for dad.
“I don’t think they want a 46-year-old backup for too long," Dusty told Jim Alexander of the Press Enterprise.
Author: Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images
Ducks’ Despres placed on injured reserve, and it sounds like another concussion
By: Jared Clinton
Oct 24, 2016
Simon Despres missed 48 games during the 2015-16 season due to concussions, and it sounds as though he could be facing another long road back from a head injury.
For the second time in as many seasons, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Simon Despres finds himself sidelined long-term and it appears he could be once again dealing with concussion issues.
Nothing has been made official by the Ducks, but TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Sunday that Despres, 25, has been placed on long-term injured reserve by Anaheim and it sure sounds like the issues could be associated to another concussion. According to the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens, Ducks GM Bob Murray has hinted that Despres is battling “similar issues to the concussion-related problems,” and the young blueliner has been forced to miss each of Anaheim’s past five games.
The scariest thing about Despres suffering another concussion is that it isn’t as if he missed simply a game or two due to head injuries during the 2015-16 season.
After taking a high hit from Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in October 2015, Despres was forced to miss the next 42 games as he battled back from a concussion. And after his January return, Despres would only remain completely healthy until late-March, at which point he suffered another concussion that saw him shelved for six games.
“Well, I was sensitive to light,” Despres told Stephens. “Sensitive to noise. More emotional. I had headaches. Dizziness. Close to fainting. Stuff like that…It was a challenge. It was dangerous.”
In the same breath, though, Despres said that he was prepared for the rigors of the new season and said that he believed his hard work in the off-season would help him find his stride again. That’s what makes his return to the injured list so sad for the youngster. Like Ottawa Senators winger Clarke MacArthur, who is attempting to get healthy once again after suffering his fourth concussion in 18 months, Despres has to be wary of his long-term health.
Despres is still an incredibly promising player, and his play during the 2015 post-season showed the Ducks exactly how capable he is. That run to the Western Conference final saw Despres average nearly 21 minutes of ice time per game, post one goal and seven points and shut down some of the game’s top stars. It also earned him a huge off-season raise, as Anaheim inked Despres to a five-year, $18.5-million deal.
There’s no silver lining in this for Despres, to be sure, but it does offer the Ducks a very slight break in terms of the salary cap.
With Despres on the shelf, $3.377 million has opened up in LTIR relief cap space. Anaheim is still trying to sign young blueliner Hampus Lindholm, and while it’s unlikely Despres’ cap relief is enough to make that happen, it does free up some space and mean less salary would have to be shipped out if Anaheim is attempted to swing a deal to free up additional salary room.