ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Former National Hockey League forward Andrew Brunette officially retired as a player Thursday, but he won't be out of the game for long.
Brunette was named Hockey Operations Advisor for the Minnesota Wild, an all-encompassing role that will allow Brunette to work directly with Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher, assistant GM Brent Flahr, Houston Aeros GM Jim Mill as well as the coaching staffs in Minnesota and Houston.
"It may be a bittersweet day for Andrew Brunette, but it's a great day for our franchise," Fletcher said. "To add someone with his experience and his intelligence to our hockey operations department … who knows where this takes him? I think he has unlimited potential to do what he wants to do in this game."
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking to break a five-game winless streak when they meet the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and coach Guy Boucher will be going to the back-up goaltender to get matters turned around.
But not because he wants to; because he has to.
Anders Lindback, who has started seven of the past nine games for Tampa Bay, is out ill, so Mathieu Garon gets the call in net. As to the extent of Lindback's illness, Boucher sounded as in the dark as anyone.
"I don't know how sick he is," Boucher said. "I have no clue. I don't know if he'll dress tonight. He's home right now and I have no clue. They're going to call him back and see how he's doing later; it might just be a one- or two-hour thing, but right now we're going with Garon in net. That's what I control; the rest -- it's somebody else's business right now.”
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will be without defenseman Joni Pitkanen for Thursday night's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pitkanen is expected to miss several days after leaving Tuesday's 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils with an injury.
Fellow blueliner Tim Gleason also could be out. He is nursing a lower-body injury after playing 20:07 against the Devils.
Carolina has recalled defenseman Michal Jordan from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. He has yet to make his NHL debut.
In terms of atmosphere, though, it might be the closest thing the Canadiens have to a home game away from home.
As is always the case when the Canadiens play in Sunrise, a large crowd is expected Thursday and it's a safe bet a good portion of those in attendance will be wearing Montreal jerseys and rooting for the road team.
"We're very lucky to get as much support as we do when we come down here," Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said. "It's great to see. The Montreal Canadiens organization has been around for a very long time, the fan base is spread out throughout the world, but it is a little surprising to come here and see so many fans show up."
TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman met with the media after the morning skate to discuss the swap of netminders announced Thursday morning, which sent Lightning American Hockey League prospect Dustin Tokarski to the Montreal Canadiens organization in exchange for Cedric Desjardins of the Hamilton Bulldogs.
"We've had Cedric in our organization before and we know him," Yzerman said. "We think he's a very good -- actually excellent -- goaltender at the AHL level and he played for us for a couple of games. We just think he is more ready to play for us if we need him in here. We know the person; we like him and we think he's a good goaltender."
On Thursday, Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, will celebrate Valentine's Day around the NHL. We'll give out our candy hearts and play a game of make up or break up with teams and players around the League.
We have six games to preview, including a big Southeast Division matchup between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning, at 7:30 p.m. ET on NHL Network. We'll get live updates from our Cisco NHL Arena cameras in Tampa Bay, as well as New York, Carolina and Nashville, to preview other matchups in the NHL on Thursday night.
Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, keep an eye on this Senior Reporter's dance moves in his EJ5: Hradek's Top 5 Finnish players of All-Time, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Thursday.
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Fourteen players took to the ice Thursday when the Montreal Canadiens held an optional skate at BB&T Center.
After the skate, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said he was going with the same lineup as the previous game, a 4-3 shootout victory at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Nabokov was in net seven days ago when the Rangers defeated the Islanders 4-1 at Madison Square Garden. He made 21 saves on 24 shots.
According to the Tampa Tribune, Lightning goalie Anders Lindback sat out the morning skate due to an illness and his availability for Thursday's game is in question.
I was going nuts and I saw [Subban], he was going crazy, and the ref had no idea where to go. [Subban] was skating to me, and I was skating to him and the ref was right in between us and I don't know, I kind of hit him pretty hard, I thought, but those were some emotions and I'm pretty sure he understands that.