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Posted On Monday, 11.07.2011 / 4:20 PM

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

Sports hernia surgery puts Wolski on shelf

New York Rangers left wing Wojtek Wolski will undergo surgery for a sports hernia Wednesday and is expected to miss about four weeks.

The 25-year-old has been battling groin problems since training camp, but Wolski left the Rangers' game against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday and has not played since.

With just 2 assists in 6 games, it's been a disappointing season for Wolski, who was given the first crack at playing with Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards. Injuries and ineffectiveness forced coach John Tortorella to shuffle Wolski around, and now surgery will keep him on IR.

The procedure will be performed by Dr. William Meyers at Core Performance Physicians in Philadelphia.
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Posted On Friday, 11.04.2011 / 1:32 PM

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

Tortorella: Rupp will require arthroscopic surgery

Rangers coach John Tortorella told reporters Friday that forward Mike Rupp will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee next week. A timetable for Rupp's return will be determined after the surgery.

Tortorella also said that Wojtek Wolski, who re-injured his groin in Thursday's 2-1 shootout win over Anaheim, is expected to have an MRI and is definitely out for Saturday's game against Montreal. That means Sean Avery will make his season debut with the Rangers after clearing re-entry waiveres and getting recalled earlier in the week.

Backup goalie Martin Biron missed practice due to a death in the family, but will be back for Saturday's game. Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start against the Canadiens.

Tortorella said there was no further update on the status of Marc Staal (post-concussion symptoms). He reportedly used the word "indefinite" when asked about Staal's health status.

The Rangers could make a subsequent move to replace Wolski on the roster should he be out for an extended period, but they've done nothing as of yet. They also haven't officially announced the signing of defenseman Anton Stralman, who reportedly agreed to a one-year, $900,000 contract on Thursday.
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Posted On Friday, 11.04.2011 / 1:22 PM

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

Kovalchuk's status remains uncertain for Saturday

The Devils still don't know the extent of Ilya Kovalchuk's lower-body injury or if he'll be able to play Saturday at home against Winnipeg.

"We're going to evaluate him today and get a report tonight and probably, it'll be more, see how he feels tomorrow morning," Devils coach Pete DeBoer told the reporters in attendance at the Devils optional practice Friday.

Kovalchuk left Thursday's game in Philadelphia late in the third period. He told reporters he thought it was a muscle pull. Kovalchuk did not return for overtime and did not participate in the shootout, though he said he did think about it.

"I tried and it wasn't good at all," Kovalchuk said.

Devils goalie Martin Brodeur confirmed that he will start Saturday against the Jets. Brodeur admitted he felt some soreness in his right shoulder following Wednesday's 5-3 loss to Toronto (his first game since suffering the injury three weeks earlier), but it went away and he felt fine during pre-game warm-ups in Philadelphia.

Johan Hedberg did not practice for the Devils after complaining of back pain following his 4-3 shootout victory Thursday. And defenseman Andy Greene, who sat out Thursday's game with a lower-body injury, will participate in the morning skate Saturday. He'll be re-evaluated afterward.
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Posted On Monday, 10.31.2011 / 2:22 PM

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

Devils activate Brodeur from IR

The New Jersey Devils have activated goaltender Martin Brodeur off injured reserve, and have assigned goalie Keith Kinkaid to AHL Lowell.

Brodeur has been out since injuring his shoulder in the first period of a game Oct. 13 against the Los Angeles Kings.

He could be in the net Wednesday, when the Devils host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In Brodeur's absence, backup Johan Hedberg has gone 3-3-1, but has lost two straight.


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Posted On Friday, 10.28.2011 / 5:01 PM

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

Markov close to returning to practice

According to Canadiens coach Jacques Martin, Montreal's top defenseman is ready to make a big step in his quest to return to the lineup.

Martin told reporters today that Andrei Markov is about 1-2 weeks away from practicing with the team.

Markov hasn't played since Nov. 13, 2010, when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He was just seven games into his return from surgery on the same knee the previous spring.

Markov has been in Florida rehabilitating under the supervision of Dr. James Andrews.
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Posted On Friday, 10.28.2011 / 4:53 PM

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

Report: Oilers' Whitney injured

Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney, who missed the first four games of the season with an injury, now could miss up to three weeks with a different ailment.

The Edmonton Journal is reporting Whitney will miss about three weeks with a sprained knee suffered in Tuesday's win against the Vancouver Canucks. The injury likely happened when he got tangled with teammate Corey Potter in the first period and limped off the ice. He played six shifts, but just one after the halfway point of the first.

Whitney missed the final 47 games of last season, and the first four this season, recovering from an ankle injury.

He made his season debut Oct. 18, and in four games was scoreless with one shot.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 12:35 PM

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

Gudbranson likely staying with the Panthers


Florida Panthers announced Thursday that rookie defenseman Erik Gudbranson will stay with the team beyond his ninth game, which is Thursday night in Ottawa.

That is significant because once a player plays in his 10th game, the clock begins ticking on his entry-level deal. So, by keeping Gudbranson around, Florida will burn the first year of the rookie's three-year deal.

If he was not kept up, he would have had to have been returned to his junior team, the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League

“He’s played well enough, and it’s a positive that he stays here,’’ Florida GM Dale Tallon told the Miami herald on Weddnesday. “We’ll decide on Friday. But there’s a good chance — we’re leaning toward keeping him. What’s best for his future, for him totally is what’s important. Is it best for him to stay here? At this time, I would probably say it is. He’s been fine. I think he has a presence out there. … It will probably be better for him once we make this decision.’’

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 2:01 PM

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

Potential lineups for Canucks-Oilers

David Booth will make his Canucks debut tonight after he arrived in a trade from the Florida Panthers on Sunday. Gone are Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson, although the latter is still in Vancouver rehabbing and resting.

Expect Vancouver's lines to like this against the Oilers tonight:

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows
Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - David Booth
Manny Malhotra - Cody Hodgson - Jannik Hansen
Dale Weise - Maxim Lapierre - Aaron Volpatti

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Alexander Edler - Keith Ballard 
Andrew Alberts - Sami Salo

Roberto Luongo
Cory Schneider

Look for Edmonton to roll with these combinations:

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Ryan Jones
Magnus Paajarvi - Eric Belanger - Sam Gagner
Ben Eager - Anton Lander - Lennart Petrell

Ryan Whitney - Corey Potter
Ladislav Smid - Tom Gilbert
Cam Barker - Andy Sutton

Nikolai Khabibulin
Devan Dubnyk
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 1:20 PM

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

Sabres, Lightning set for rematch

In the Sabres' 3-0 loss to the Lightning over the weekend, Tyler Ennis was injured in the opening minutes. He did not return and will be out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

That means coach Lindy Ruff needs to shuffle his lines for the rematch Tuesday. Here is what he'll likely start the game with:

Thomas Vanek - Luke Adam - Jason Pominville
Ville Leino - Derek Roy - Drew Stafford
Nathan Gerbe  - Matt Ellis - Patrick Kaleta
Cody McCormick - Jochen Hecht - Brad Boyes

Robyn Regehr - Tyler Myers
Jordan Leopold - Christian Ehrhoff
Andrej Sekera - Marc-Andre Gragnani

Meanwhile, Tampa has won two straight, with backup goaltender Mathieu Garon getting the 21-save shutout in the last game. Coach Guy Boucher said he'll stick with Garon until struggling starter Dwayne Roloson rights himself.

The potential line combos for this game, as they were used mostly in the previous game:

Martin St. Louis - Vincent Lecavalier - Brett Connolly
Ryan Malone - Steven Stamkos - Teddy Purcell
Tom Pyatt - Nate Thompson - Adam Hall
Blair Jones - Dominic Moore - Steve Downie

Eric Brewer - Victor Hedman
Brett Clark - Pavel Kubina
Marc-Andre Bergeron - Matt Gilroy
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 10:45 AM

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

Blue Jackets getting Wisniewski back vs. Red Wings

The Blue Jackets are 0-7-1, the NHL's only winless team. They played those eight games without defenseman James Wisniewski, who signed with Columbus in the offseason, because of an eight-game suspension he received for an elbow to the head of the Wild's Cal Clutterbuck in the preseason.

Not only are the Jackets happy to have him back for Tuesday's game with the Red Wings, but Wisniewski feels just as much joy.

“I’m happier than a pig in … stuff right now,” Wisniewski told The Columbus Dispatch. “Can’t wait.

“One thing I want to tell myself is to make sure I keep my emotions in check (and) not try to do everything myself. It’s a team sport. Obviously one guy isn’t going to go out there and win a game single-handedly, but I’m going to do everything I can to help this team win games.”

The Jackets have allowed 28 goals this season, second-worst in the League. Because of an injuries to Marc Methot (finger) and Radek Martinek (concussion), the Jackets were forced to use a third d-pairing of two rookies -- David Savard and John Moore -- in a 4-3 loss to Ottawa on Saturday.

“We’re not sitting back and waiting for James Wisniewski to be the sole answer here,” coach Scott Arniel said. “But he’s an experienced guy who knows how to play back there. With our defense so banged up right now, we can definitely use him.

“He’s a good, vocal leader, a passionate player. He plays that way, leads that way.”

Wisniewski never imagined things going this badly while he was out, but he said maybe there has been some divine intervention and a plan the Jackets were meant to follow.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “But things happen for a reason. God has his plan.

“Maybe he wants us to have a Cinderella story and come back and win the Stanley Cup after going 0-7-1.”

The Jackets held an optional practice Tuesday, but here are there lineups from Monday:

Vinny Prospal - Derrick Brassard - Rick Nash
R.J. Umberger - Antoine Vermette - Ryan Johansen
Maksim Mayorov - Sammy Pahlsson - Derrick Dorsett
Alexandre Giroux - Derek MacKenzie - Cody Bass

With Wisniewski back, it's expected that one of the two rookies will sit.
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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