Nashville Predators forward Eric Nystrom, left, collides with Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (32), of Finland, after being slashed, resulting in a penalty shot in the first period of an NHL hockey game on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Author: The Hockey News
Wild G Niklas Backstrom hurt his right leg crashing into post in 1st period against Nashville
By: The Canadian Press
Oct 8, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom has hurt his right leg in the first period against the Nashville Predators, knocking him out of the game.
The Wild said after the first period Tuesday night that Backstrom will be evaluated Wednesday for a lower body injury.
Backstrom was pushed back into the post at 11:14 of the first when Wild defenceman Keith Ballard tripped Predators forward Eric Nystrom on a breakaway. Nystrom crashed into Backstrom, knocking him backward with his right leg hitting the post.
The goalie slowly skated off the ice and went to the locker room.
Josh Harding gave up a goal on Nystrom's first career penalty shot.
Backstrom is 0-0-2 this season. He tied for the NHL lead with 24 wins last season.
Oilers introduce first-ever mascot, and it’s a terrifying lynx who lived under Rogers Place
By: Jared Clinton
Sep 26, 2016
The Edmonton Oilers have their first mascot in franchise history, and kids seem to like Hunter, the Canadian lynx, despite the fact he has piercing cat eyes and fangs.
The Edmonton Oilers said goodbye to Rexall Place this past season, leaving behind 42 years of memories and tradition, but with the official NHL opening of Rogers Place only weeks away, the Oilers are looking to start some new traditions.
One of those new traditions includes the introduction of a mascot, the first-ever in franchise history. And while it’s all well and good that the Oilers are trying to get into the mascot game for the first time, the creation the team has introduced is more on the side of terrifying than cute and cuddly.
There are lynxes throughout the Edmonton River Valley, which is said to be where Hunter came from, but the origin story for the mascot goes well beyond him just showing up to work after making the trek to Rogers Place. It includes watching kids play hockey after coming out at night to hunt and him burrowing under Rogers Place until the building was ready.
“During the winter of 2013 I heard many shinny players talking about a new, world-class building that my beloved Oilers were going to play in. I was ecstatic, and knew right then and there that this was my chance to get in on the action,” Hunter’s origin story reads. “On the night before the first shovel hit the ground, I packed up my stuff and made my way to 104 Ave and 104 Street, where I built a secret den under the construction site, watching and waiting for this magnificent building to be completed. Just as the finishing touches were being made to the building, I revealed myself to the Oilers.”
What a pleasant surprise an almost seven-foot-tall lynx with piercing eyes must have been for those lucky few who first got to meet Hunter.
Hunter’s unveiling has been met with, uh, mixed reviews, we’ll say. A fair share have pointed out the connection between Hunter, a lynx, and the Oilers hitting the links early for the past decade, and the eyes and fangs haven’t helped make Hunter look that inviting a furry friend.
However, among the target audience and the people who really matter when it comes to the mascot, Hunter seems to be a hit. More than 2,000 kids were surveyed and Hunter was the most popular choice for the new mascot, and the kids seemed less frightened by his gaze than one would expect.
“Having that mascot character to do the things in the community, especially in the child-centric places, whether it’s festival, hospital or school visits, is going to be a nice piece to engage those future Oilers fans.”
Report: Gaborik will miss World Cup final, out eight weeks with foot injury
By: Jared Clinton
Sep 26, 2016
The Los Angeles Kings were hoping this season could be a rebound year for Marian Gaborik, but instead the veteran winger is starting his season on the shelf after suffering a foot injury at the World Cup.
Marian Gaborik missed the final 28 games of the 2015-16 regular season, and he could be in line to miss 20-plus games to start the new campaign.
If Gaborik is out the full eight weeks, that sets his return at no sooner than the last week of November. That would mean Gaborik is on the shelf for at least the first 20 games of the Kings’ season. If he can’t return to action until December, he’d sidelined a grand total of 24 games.
Gaborik missing time is nothing new, but it’s an especially bad break for him to fall injured for such a great length of time before the regular season has even begun. Gaborik has only played one full 82-game season in his career, and that came during in 2011-12 with the New York Rangers, and seven times in his 15-year career he has played 65 or fewer games in a season due to injury.
The Kings were hoping this season could be a rebound year for Gaborik, as he took a big step back in production this past season. In the second season of his seven-year, $34.125-million deal with Los Angeles, Gaborik scored just 12 goals and 22 points in 54 games. It was his worst rate of production in any season of his career, and that was reflected in Gaborik’s minutes. Usually a top-six player, Gaborik averaged less than 15 minutes per game for the Kings and he was surpassed as part of Los Angeles’ attack by youngsters Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli.
Gaborik had a good showing at the World Cup, notching two goals in four games, and he’ll be sorely missed in the lineup against a high-powered Canadian offense.
Once he returns from injury there’s hope he can produce like the top-six forward Los Angeles needs him to be, but this certainly isn’t the way Gaborik or the Kings hoped the 2016-17 campaign would start.
Tobias Rieder’s contract negotiations aren’t progressing well, according to his agent, and there’s nothing imminent on the contract front for the 23-year-old restricted free agent.
When the World Cup ends, players from the Canadian and European squads will disperse and head to their respective NHL training camps, but Team Europe’s Tobias Rieder won’t be among those readying for pre-season action.
Rieder, 23, has gone the entire off-season without a new contract, and the Arizona Coyotes restricted free agent winger has reportedly decided to forego training camp altogether while he waits for the Coyotes and his camp to come to terms on a new contract. Rieder’s agent, Darren Ferris, told AZCentral’s Sarah McLellan that the he has made a “fair offer” to the Coyotes, and the proposed deal would pay Rieder $5 million over a two-year deal, but Arizona is “unwilling” to agree to those terms.
“Tobi brings a lot of intangibles to that team,” Ferris told McLellan. “I know he’s a fan favorite. He loves Arizona, but it’s disappointing that they’re unwilling to compensate this kid fairly. But at the end of the day, we’re not far apart but they’re not willing to do it at all. I would doubt at this point that I could say that anything’s imminent in getting done.”
Rieder may not have the immediate recognition as some of the other fresh faces in Arizona — players such as Max Domi, Anthony Duclair or Dylan Strome — but he was a steady contributor for the club this past season. In 82 games, Rieder netted 14 goals and 37 points while averaging middle-six minutes. He’s a useful young player, and the $2.5 million price tag isn’t one that breaks the bank, but it’s obviously more than the Coyotes are willing to budge at this point.
Coyotes GM John Chayka would not comment directly on the supposed offer made by Rieder’s agent, but he told McLellan that the inability of the two sides to reach a deal yet is disappointing, especially as Arizona appears to see Rieder as a player who can be part of the core moving forward.
“We feel like we’ve made him some real considerable long-term offers that are right on par with the longest offers we’ve ever made in this organization,” Chayka told McLellan. “We want him to be here and get engaged with his teammates and join the club. But it’s business, too. He’s not the first guy to go through this and probably won’t be the last.”
Asked if the recent trade request by Winnipeg Jets RFA defenseman would have any impact on Rieder’s negotiation, Chayka told McLellan the two situations aren’t alike — or at least Arizona believes so. Whereas the Jets and Trouba haven’t been able to even begin negotiations, the Coyotes and Rieder have at least exchanged offers.
Even with offers on the table, though, time is running out for Rieder to return to the team ahead of the new season. The regular season begins in less than three weeks, and if Chayka and Co. can’t find a way to work something out with the young winger, they could start the campaign — and possibly even spend the season and beyond — without Rieder’s services.
Belleville mayor Taso Christopher and Senators owner Eugene Melnyk
Author: via Ottawa Senators/Twitter
Senators officially announce AHL club is moving from Binghamton to Belleville
By: Jared Clinton
Sep 26, 2016
Eugene Melnyk has purchased the Binghamton Senators and is moving Ottawa’s AHL affiliate closer to home. Belleville’s arena is set to undergo some upgrades before welcoming pro hockey.
The 2015-16 campaign was the first since the 1980-81 season that Belleville went without its OHL Bulls, but the departure of the major junior franchise has opened the doors for minor pro hockey to make its way to the city.
After much speculation that the Ottawa Senators would be moving their AHL affiliate to Belleville in time for the 2017-18 season, the franchise and the City of Belleville made the move official Monday in an afternoon press conference. The franchise, which will maintain the Senators name in the move north of the border, has spent the past 14 years in Binghamton, N.Y., but the move to Belleville helps the Senators keep up with the growing trend of proximity between NHL and AHL clubs.
"Our city has a long a storied history with junior hockey but today we welcome professional hockey to Belleville and our soon to be renovated Yardmen Arena," said Belleville mayor Taso Christopher in a release. "Our city not only gets an AHL team but an incredible working partnership with the (NHL’s) Ottawa Senators and its long time owner Eugene Melnyk. Geographically, our relative proximity to the nation's capital makes this a tremendously exciting partnership that will undoubtedly bring our cities and our hockey fans together, United in Red."
As part of moving the team to Belleville, Melnyk has purchased the AHL franchise and agreed to an eight-year deal to keep the team in Belleville. The agreement includes $18.5 million in renovations to Yardmen Arena which the city will “immediately undertake” in order to prepare the building for its first venture into pro hockey.
"This community has truly earned the return of hockey and I am committed to making the Belleville Senators an integral part of the city,” Melnyk said in a release. “I want to personally thank the Mayor, Councillors and City staff for their hard work in helping bring the Senators to Belleville. This is the dawn of new era of hockey in Belleville and we are excited to be part of it.”
The Senators’ time in Binghamton has been rather up-and-down, especially over the past few seasons. The club has missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, and between 2005-06 and 2009-10 underwent a five-year post-season drought. However, the 2010-11 campaign signalled the end of that tailspin and marked the most successful season in franchise history.
That team, led by Corey Locke, Ryan Potulny and goaltender Robin Lehner and coached by Kurt Kleinendorst, won the Calder Cup, the first in franchise history.
Since that season, though, Binghamton has missed the playoffs three times and been eliminated twice in the first round, both times at the hands of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.