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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 3:02 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Hurricanes recall Nash, Welsh; Pitkanen to IR

The Carolina Hurricanes have recalled forwards Riley Nash and Jeremy Welsh from Charlotte of the American Hockey League.

Defenseman Joni Pitkanen has been placed on injured reserve.

Nash was a first-round pick by Edmonton in the 2007 NHL Draft whose rights were acquired by the Hurricanes prior to the 2010 Draft for a second-round pick. He made his NHL debut last season for Carolina, recording an assist in five games.

Welsh is scoreless in two NHL games over the past two seasons. He has 10 goals and 18 points in 47 games with the Checkers.

Pitkanen sustained a lower-body injury in a Feb. 12 game against the Devils. He has a goal, five assists and a plus-8 rating in 12 games this season.

Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 2:57 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: My top-five coaches in NHL history

The game has changed a lot in the past century, and some of the men on this list are reasons that the game has changed the way that it has. But there's one thing that will never change in the NHL, and that's that you won't be able to consistently compete -- or win a Stanley Cup -- without a great coach.

Now, some of you might be surprised that you won't see Toe Blake or Punch Imlach on this list, and while they and a few others were tremendous coaches in the Original Six era, they didn't have the same impact. None of them changed the game or revolutionized it the way the guys on my list did.

Here are my top five greatest coaches in NHL history:

5. Roger Neilson -- Many people will say Neilson didn't win much, and it's true he never won a Stanley Cup as a head coach -- he only reached the Final once -- but Neilson changed the way coaching was done. He was incredibly influential and innovative in ways the game had never seen. He was the first guy ever to study film, his practices were well thought out and much more organized than practices had been at the time, and the guys that played for him, Darryl Sittler, Dan Maloney, guys I played with in Toronto that had played for Roger loved him. They all talked about how creative he was.

One of the best things about Roger was how he would always look for ways to exploit the rule book, like when he famously had his goaltender leave his stick on the goal line after being pulled for an extra attacker because there was no explicit rule against it. They had to make rules to combat Roger's thinking. He was influential for workouts, nutrition and a number of other things, but really his use of video might be his greatest legacy. If you go into an NHL dressing room you can't imagine the money and time tied up in video, and that all started with Roger Neilson.

Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 2:32 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Report: Franzen won't return for Wings on Tuesday

Johan Franzen will miss another game for the Detroit Red Wings when they face the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night, according to reports.

Franzen has been battling a hip flexor and last played Feb. 10 against Los Angeles. He has three goals and nine points in 12 games this season.

Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 2:13 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Vrbata joins Coyotes' list of injuries

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After a week or so of decent health, the Phoenix Coyotes are back down to all hands on deck for Monday's game with the Calgary Flames.

Leading scorer Radim Vrbata is the latest to join the list of the sidelined, suffering an upper-body injury early in Saturday’s 5-3 win over Columbus. Defensemen Derek Morris and David Schlemko are also down and center Matthew Lombardi is close but not quite ready to return from his upper-body injury. That means all 18 healthy skaters will be in the lineup.

Phoenix is 6-2-2 over the last 10 games and has six wins in the last eight games. But the Coyotes don't play again until Saturday in Edmonton and a loss to the Flames would stay with them for awhile.


Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 1:57 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Habs will have Subban, Pacioretty vs. ailing Canes

MONTREAL – Defenseman P.K. Subban and left wing Max Pacioretty will both be in the Montreal Canadiens lineup when they face an injury-ravaged Carolina Hurricanes club Monday night at Bell Centre.

Subban's status was questionable after he missed Sunday's practice with the flu. Pacioretty did practice Sunday after suffering a rib injury in Saturday's 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers, but he wanted to test out Monday morning before confirming he will play against Carolina.

Kirk Muller's Hurricanes aren't as lucky, as left wing Jeff Skinner, forward Tim Brent and defensemen Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason will all miss the game with various ailments.

"We knew before the season that teams were going to face these kinds of situations, so it's an opportunity for guys to step in and do a job," Muller said. "We can't make any excuses, we've just got to find ways to win."


Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 1:55 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Barry's Power Rankings: Pleasant surprises

Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 1:45 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Report: Hiller returns to Ducks' goal vs. Jackets

Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller will return from injury to start Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, according to reports.

Hiller left after the first period of a Feb. 8 game against the Dallas Stars with a lower-body injury. He's 3-2-1 in six starts this season with a 3.69 goals-against average and .872 save percentage.

"He's ready to play, when we decide to play him," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said.

In his absence, first-year NHLer Viktor Fasth has won four consecutive starts and was named the League's Second Star of the past week. Fasth is 8-0-0 overall to start his career and tied for the League lead in victories.

Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 1:39 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Panthers recall Santorelli

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers have recalled center Mike Santorelli from San Antonio of the American Hockey League.

Santorelli began the season with the Panthers and had no points in three games. He also was a healthy scratch three times in the team's first six games before being loaned to San Antonio on Jan. 30.

In seven games with the Rampage, Santorelli had two goals and three assists and a plus-2 rating.

The Panthers face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night and it's uncertain whether Santorelli will be in the lineup. Florida had 12 forwards at its morning skate.

Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 1:35 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Leafs' Kostka learned a lot from Panthers' Dineen

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida Panthers coach Kevin Dineen was instrumental in the development of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Kostka, and Monday night he'll get to see first-hand how well his former player has developed.

The 27-year-old rookie has been one of the biggest revelations for the surprising Maple Leafs this season after spending the last four years in the American Hockey League. Recalled from the Toronto Marlies after the lockout, Kostka not only has stuck around after making his NHL debut in the Maple Leafs' season opener, he has impressed.

Kostka ranks second on the Maple Leafs in ice time behind only captain Dion Phaneuf at 24:16 per game, and leads the team in blocks with 31.

Dineen coached Kosta for two seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10) with the Portland Pirates of the AHL, and again during training camp and the 2011-12 preseason with the Panthers.

Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 12:58 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Leafs use same lineup; Gunnarsson nears return

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Winners of five of their last six, the Toronto Maple Leafs will stick with the same lineup when they face the Florida Panthers Monday night.

The Leafs, however, could have defenseman Carl Gunnarsson back soon.

Gunnarsson, who has missed the last eight games because of a hip injury, took part in the morning skate.

"He's going to be an option for us very shortly," coach Randy Carlyle said. "We'll have to think that one through because we've got some people that have been performing fairly well for us. These are decisions that are tough ones but good ones for the organization going forward."


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Quote of the Day

I think when you build a team, you look at pairs, and I think the pair of [Voracek and Giroux] is very good, certainly one of the top pairs in the League.

— Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek after giving Voracek a multiyear extension Thursday