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Posted On Wednesday, 03.07.2012 / 9:48 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Report: Rangers cut ties with Avery

It appears as though the New York Rangers have cut ties with 31-year-old forward Sean Avery for good.

According to ESPNNewYork.com, Avery was informed on Tuesday that he would not be on the postseason roster for the Rangers' American Hockey League affiliate in Connecticut and told he no longer needed to report to the rink for practice or games.

Avery, who was twice waived by the Rangers this season, was last placed on waivers on Dec. 30, 2011, three days before the Rangers would visit Philadelphia for the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic. Since he wasn't claimed by any NHL team, he returned to the Connecticut Whale but of late has been scratched indefinitely. He last appeared in a game for the Whale on Jan. 27. 
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Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 5:04 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Souray back in Edmonton

Sheldon Souray downplayed his first game back in Edmonton since Jan. 28, 2010.

Souray's difficult tenure with the Oilers organization ended this past summer, when the club bought out his contract. He had spent all last season in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears after the Oilers told Souray they had no use for him in Edmonton and didn't want to take up a spot with their own AHL team.

Souray signed with the Stars in July and has had a solid comeback season, posting 6 goals, 14 assists and a plus-14 rating in 61 games.

"It's just another game, to be honest," Souray told reporters Friday in Edmonton. "I do have some family and friends here, but otherwise, it's business as usual. There's not even that many guys left that I played with ... I'm more concerned about where we're going as a team and how important this game is to us.

"Things happen. It was a little messy in people's eyes and that's just the way it was. But a lot of time has passed since then, and everyone has moved on."

Souray's former Oilers teammates had good things to say about him.

"I can only say positive things about him," former defensive partner Ladislav Smid told reporters "He was a really good teammate, a really good guy. He helped us big time. He's got good leadership skills and I sat next to him (in the locker room) for a season and he was a great guy. I was really young back then and he was helping me along the way."

Said Edmonton coach Tom Renney: "He's a big, strong man and is imposing as heck, he's intimidating and he's all those wonderful things that you want in the game. There's always a time in a player's situation where the crosshairs don't quite line up and maybe you handle it wrong, and maybe you wish you hadn't or vice versa. It doesn't matter. He's not here, but he's had a pretty good year."

Here are the likely lineups for the Stars and Oilers when they hit the ice Friday in Edmonton (9:30 p.m. ET, TSN):

STARS
Loui Eriksson - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Jamie Benn - Steve Ott - Adam Burish
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Ryan Garbutt - Tom Wandell - Tomas Vincour

Stephane Robidas - Sheldon Souray
Mark Fistric - Trevor Daley
Alex Goligoski - Philip Larsen

Kari Lehtonen will start in net, with Richard Bachman the backup.

OILERS
Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky
Lennart Petrell - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Ben Eager
Ryan Jones - Eric Belanger - Darcy Hordichuk

Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Ryan Whitney - Nick Schultz
Andy Sutton - Corey Potter

Nikolai Khabibulin will start in net, with Devan Dubnyk the backup.
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Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 4:35 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

McLellan back on ice with Sharks

While San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan was conducting his first practice in five days on Friday, there's no guarantee he'll be behind the bench when his team hosts the St. Louis Blues on Saturday at HP Pavilion.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said McLellan was conducting practice as part of the post-concussion protocol. The medical team then would provide further tests, and only then will his availability be determined.

McLellan has missed the past two games. He was hit by a stick in Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild, and has been suffering from concussion-like symptoms. In his absence, assistant coach Jay Woodcroft has been running the bench.
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Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 2:41 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Flyers' van Riemsdyk to miss 4-6 weeks

Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren announced Friday that forward James van Riemsdyk will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a broken bone in his left foot.

The surgery, which includes the insertion of a plate, will sideline van Riemsdyk for 4-6 weeks.

Van Riemsdyk left Thursday's victory against the New York Islanders midway through the first period after blocking a shot from the point by defenseman Milan Jurcina. Van Riemsdyk would skate one more shift, his fifth of the game, before exiting for good.

The 22-year-old van Riemsdyk has missed 20 games this season, including 15 due to a concussion, which sidelined him from Jan. 14 to Feb. 16. He has 11 goals, 24 points and 24 penalty minutes in 43 games this season.
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Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 2:32 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Anderson trying to stay in shape while finger heals

Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson on Thursday spoke to the media for the first time since badly cutting his finger while preparing a meal last week.

The cut required surgery to repair a severed tendon in the pinkie finger on Anderson's right hand. The right-handed Anderson said he's still unable to hold a stick.

"I really don't care to talk about the details of it all," Anderson said at Scotiabank Place on Thursday. "(It was a) freak accident. Happened in the kitchen. Leave it at that. Something you learn from. Unfortunately, it was a costly mistake."

In Anderson's absence, Robin Lehner, 20, will make his third straight start in goal when the Senators host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday (7 p.m. ET, TSN).

"All I can do right now is make sure I stay in shape," said Anderson. "I'm able to go out there and skate with my gear on, so that's the main thing right now -- just keeping my legs (in shape) and keeping everything strong so that when I do have a chance to come back, I'm physically ready to go.

"The pain factors into it, and we don't want to reinjure it. So there's a lot of things to take into consideration, but holding a stick is one of the main things that enables me to do my job."

Anderson said he knew right away that he had a big problem.

"I knew it was severe when it happened," he said. "I knew it wasn't the end of the world. I knew I had an issue, I knew I needed to take care of it. My main concern was just to get the help I needed right away, get the right people involved right away to make sure the road to recovery happened as soon as possible."

Anderson, who is tied for fifth in the League with 29 wins, is uncertain how long he will remain sidelined.

"Hard to say. Timeline is wide open right now," he said. "All I can do is make sure I stay in shape. Go out there and skate with my gear on, keep my legs, keep everything strong so that when I am ready to come back, I am physically strong.

"Right now, it's still the opening stages of everything. One hundred-percent recovery is obviously not going to happen in the short-term. To be able to play is the main thing right now, and there is no timeline on that right now. There's improvement every day."
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Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 12:53 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Coyotes sign WHL top scorer Shinnimin

The Phoenix Coyotes on Friday signed free-agent Tri-City Americans center Brendan Shinnimin to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The undrafted Shinnimin leads the Western Hockey League with 117 points. His 52 goals are tied for second and his 65 assists are third.

"Brendan attended our 2011 training camp last September and has had a terrific season to date," said Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney. "His offensive statistics are impressive, yet it is his character, work ethic and competitive level we are excited to add to our organization."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Shinnimin was named the Canadian Hockey League's Player of the Month for February, when he had 20 goals and 43 points in just 14 games. The 21-year-old had 11 multi-point games last month, helping lead the Americans to a 10-3-0-1 record.

In 258 career games, spanning four seasons with the Americans, the Winnipeg native has 125 goals and 316 points.
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Posted On Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 3:03 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Herman Liv visits Red Wings practice

The Detroit Red Wings had a special visitor at practice Thursday -- Herman Liv, the 5-year-old son of former goaltending prospect Stefan Liv, who was one of 44 people killed in the Lokomotiv team plane crash in Russia in September.

The Liv family -- mother Anna, Herman and 3-year-old son Harry -- have been visiting from Sweden and staying with Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson for the past month. Ericsson and Stefan Liv became close as teammates with the Wings' AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

"It's nice for them to get away, to get off the focus at home," Ericsson told reporters. "It's been a lot for them, throughout everything. So it's nice to think about something else for a while.

"The kids are fine. They're too young, I think. But Anna has her up-and-down days, of course. So it's nice to think about something else and do something else for a while."

Liv was a 2000 fourth-round pick of the Red Wings but played just one season in North America, 2006-07, which he split between Grand Rapids and the ECHL's Toledo Storm. The rest of his career was spent in his native Sweden. This season was going to be his first playing in the KHL.

Fellow Swede Nicklas Kronwall, who played on Swedish national teams with Liv, said Herman, "Reminds you non-stop of Stefan."

"You're happy to see them and it's fun to see the kids running around," added Kronwall. "They're just like him."

Kronwall said he had only good memories of Liv.

"He was always one of those guys you hung out with, went to dinner with," said Kronwall. "One of those guys you always wanted to be around because you were having a good time. He'd always make you smile. You'd always be in a good mood around him.

"It's tough looking back, especially when you see (his kids)."
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Posted On Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 2:41 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Potential lineups for Islanders, Flyers

Here is what the teams could look like when the Islanders and Flyers skate tonight in Philadelphia.

The Flyers didn't practice line combinations, but with a healthy Danny Briere and coming off a mostly solid effort in a 1-0 loss in San Jose Tuesday, coach Peter Laviolette could stick with the same lineup Thursday.

The Islanders will stick with the same lineup they used Tuesday against Washington, which means rookie forward Nino Niederreiter again will be a healthy scratch.

Here are the likely lineups for each team:

ISLANDERS
Matt Moulson - John Tavares - PA Parenteau
David Ullstrom - Frans Nielsen - Josh Bailey
Michael Grabner - Casey Cizikas - Kyle Okposo
Matt Martin - Marty Reasoner - Jay Pandolfo

Mark Streit - Steve Staios
Travis Hamonic - Andrew MacDonald
Milan Jurcina - Mark Eaton

Evgeni Nabokov will start in goal, with Anders Nilsson the backup. The last time Nabokov faced the Flyers, he stopped all 45 Flyers shots in regulation and overtime, and then two more in the shootout in a 1-0 Islanders win.

FLYERS
Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
Matt Read - Maxime Talbot - Wayne Simmonds
James van Riemsdyk - Brayden Schenn - Jakub Voracek
Zac Rinaldo - Sean Couturier - Danny Briere

Matt Carle - Braydon Coburn
Kimmo Timonen - Pavel Kubina
Nicklas Grossman - Andrej Meszaros

Ilya Bryzgalov will make his seventh straight start for the Flyers, with Sergei Bobrovsky the backup.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
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Posted On Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 1:30 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Wild sign prospect Coyle to three-year deal

The Minnesota Wild on Thursday signed 2010 first-round pick Charlie Coyle to a three-year, entry level contract. No financial terms were disclosed.

The East Weymouth, Mass., native started this season as a sophomore at Boston University. But after representing the United States for the second straight year at the World Junior Championship, Coyle joined the defending Memorial Cup-winning Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he's played on the same line with fellow Wild prospect Zack Phillips, who's sixth in the QMJHL in scoring.

Coyle and Phillips have been a potent tandem, with Coyle scoring 12 goals and adding 12 assists in just 16 games.

“Point-wise I think obviously we’re both doing pretty good and we’re winning so I think it’s working for everyone,” Coyle told the Wild's website of playing with Phillips. “I think we complement each other pretty good. Hopefully we stick together. I think we work well together."

Coyle had four goals in six games with Team USA at the World Juniors after going 3-11-14 in 16 games for BU.
Coyle was originally a first-round pick by San Jose, but was dealt to the Wild on draft day last June along with Devin Setoguchi and a first-round pick that turned out to be Phillips in exchange for defenseman Brent Burns.
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Posted On Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 12:56 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Flyers' Briere to play tonight

Danny Briere will be in the lineup Thursday for the Philadelphia Flyers when they host the New York Islanders tonight.

Briere took a hard hit during Tuesday's game against San Jose and fell head-first into the boards, but was on the ice with the rest of his teammates during Thursday's morning skate.

"Luckily I don't think I ran into the boards too hard," Briere told CSNPhilly.com following the practice. "Sometimes I think that the impact is just as important or more important than how awkward you come into the boards. It did look bad, but somehow I was able to roll. Not so sure it's the best way, to tuck my chin in and roll, but it worked out. So I feel fortunate to escape with nothing too major on that play."

With his head healed, Briere must be hoping his stick will follow. He'll take a 17-game goal drought into Thursday's game. He hasn't scored since registering a hat trick Jan. 7 against the Ottawa Senators. He also missed six games in that span with a concussion.

"I only know one way to get out of a slump -- it's to keep working and keep plugging away," Briere told the Philadelphia Inquirer following Tuesday's game. "That's the only thing I can do, and at some point, I expect good things to happen."
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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres