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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 1:04 PM

By Louie Korac - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Redden set to make NHL return for Blues

ST. LOUIS -- The last time Wade Redden suited up in a National Hockey League uniform, it was difficult to imagine at the time it would take that roughly three years to put on a jersey again.

The 35-year-old, who signed a pro-rated one-year, $800,000 contract with the Blues last week, will make his return to the NHL when the Blues host the Nashville Predators on Thursday night (8 p.m. ET).

Redden, whose last game was in a New York Rangers uniform on April 11, 2010, is likely to skate with Alex Pietrangelo on the Blues' top pairing tonight.

The wait is finally over, and Redden is glad to put the ordeal with the Rangers behind him after spending the last two seasons in the American Hockey League with the Connecticut Whale.

"It's been a while, but I've obviously been playing still," said Redden, whose last NHL points ironically came against the Blues when he scored a goal and added an assist on March 18, 2010. "The AHL is not the same level, but it's still a pretty good league. It's obviously a lot different atmosphere and I'm looking forward to being a part of it tonight again."

Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 1:00 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Hurricanes, Sabres

Here are the projected lineups for Thursday night's game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres:


Jiri TlustyEric Staal – Alexander Semin

Jeff SkinnerJordan StaalZac Dalpe

Drayson BowmanJussi JokinenChad LaRose

Patrick DwyerTim BrentKevin Westgarth

Tim GleasonJustin Faulk

Jay HarrisonBobby Sanguinetti

Joni Pitkanen - Jay Harrison

Cam Ward

Dan Ellis

Scratches: Jeremy Welsh, Zach Boychuk, Joe Corvo


Thomas VanekCody HodgsonJason Pominville

Marcus FolignoTyler EnnisDrew Stafford

Steve OttMikhail GrigorenkoNathan Gerbe

John ScottJochen HechtPatrick Kaleta

Robyn Regehr - Tyler Myers

Andrej Sekera - Jordan Leopold

Christian Ehrhoff - Alexander Sulzer

Jhonas Enroth

Ryan Miller

Scratches: Matt Ellis, TJ Brennan

Injured: Ville Leino

Gerbe has been cleared to play after off-season back surgery and will join the lineup tonight, paired with Ott and Grigorenko.

"Nathan's got a natural goal-scoring touch, so I think he's got some finish to him," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "He's got real good speed and we're hoping he can create a little bit of offense for us."

Enroth makes his first start of the season in goal for Buffalo. In two career games against Carolina, Enroth has a 0.49 goals-against average.

Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 12:54 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Stars, Blackhawks

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for Thursday night’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.


Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa

Patrick SharpDave BollandPatrick Kane

Bryan BickellAndrew ShawViktor Stalberg

Brandon BolligMarcus KrugerMichael Frolik

Duncan KeithBrent Seabrook

Johnny OduyaNiklas Hjalmarsson

Nick LeddyMichal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Ray Emery

Injuries: Daniel Carcillo (lower body), Steve Montador (upper body)

Scratches: Sheldon Brookbank, Jamal Mayers

Notes: Chicago, which beat St. Louis 3-2 in its-home opener on Tuesday at United Center, is 3-0-0 to start the season for the first time since 1972-73. Through their first three games, the Hawks have killed off 90 percent of opposing power plays, allowing just one power-play goal, tying them for the second-best PK in the League. Chicago is 2-0-0 on the road so far this season. The Hawks and Stars split their four meetings last season with each team winning once at home and once on the road. Seabrook currently leads the league in blocked shots with 13.


Loui Eriksson - Derek Roy - Jaromir Jagr

Ray WhitneyCody Eakin - Michael Ryder

Brenden Morrow - Vernon Fiddler - Eric Nystrom

Ryan GarbuttTom Wandell - Reilly Smith

Alex Goligoski - Stephane Robidas

Jordie Benn - Trevor Daley

Brenden Dillon - Philip Larsen

Kari Lehtonen

Christopher Nilstrop

Scratches: Colton Sceviour

Injuries: Aaron Rome (groin)

Notes: Dallas split the two games on its first road trip of the season, losing at Minnesota on Sunday but prevailing 2-1 in Detroit on Tuesday. The Stars did not practice on Wednesday since mechanical issues with the team's plane forced them to spend Tuesday night in the Motor City. They did not arrive back in Dallas until Wednesday evening. Stars second-year head coach Glen Gulutzan flipped Eakin, who had been centering Dallas' fourth line, with Wandell, who had been skating on the second line, against the Red Wings and the move paid off as Eakin assisted on both Stars goals, which were scored by Ryder, who led Dallas with 35 goals last season.

Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 12:50 PM

By Matt Sitkoff - Contributor / - NHL Live blog

Cisco NHL Live checks in on Rangers-Flyers tilt

The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers square off on the NHL Network tonight and Cisco NHL Live, 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, will have you covered, with Deb Placey and EJ Hradek.'s Adam Kimelman and CSN Philly Insider Tim Panaccio will be live from the Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Philadelphia to preview this big Atlantic Division matchup.

Teams all over the NHL are dealing with the injury bug, and today EJ will give his take on the players that cannot be replaced. With 10 games around the League tonight we'll preview them and have live updates from all the great matchups.

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 Thoughts of the Day, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Thursday.

Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 12:18 PM

By Ben Raby - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Wolski to top line, Neuvirth to start for Caps

WASHINGTON – The Washington Capitals will have a different look Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens, with Michal Neuvirth making his season debut and Wojtek Wolski expected to see time on Washington’s No.1 line.

The Capitals are 0-2-0 for the first time since Oct. 1996.

“I feel cold, but, you know, this is job I picked and I’ve got to handle it,” said Neuvirth, who dressed as Braden Holtby’s backup for the first two games this season.

“I’m trying to stay positive and happy. I felt good during practice… and I’m ready to go.”

Neuvirth played in 24 games for HC Sparta Praha in the Czech Republic this fall, and appeared in 38 games for the Capitals last season. He has a 4-0-1 lifetime record against Montreal with a .939 save percentage, 1.82 goals-against-average and a shutout.

“Obviously I’ve just coached against him and I know that’s a very good goalie,” Oates said after Thursday’s morning skate. “I’ll like seeing him wearing my sweater.”

Here are the projected lineups for the Capitals and Canadiens:


Wojtek WolskiNicklas BackstromAlex Ovechkin

Matt HendricksMike RibeiroTroy Brouwer

Jason ChimeraJay BeagleJoel Ward

Marcus JohanssonMathieu PerreaultJoey Crabb

Karl AlznerJohn Carlson

Tom PotiMike Green

Roman HamrlikTomas Kundratek

Michal Neuvirth

Braden Holtby


Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisErik Cole

Rene BourqueTomas PlekanecBrian Gionta

Brandon PrustAlex GalchenyukBrendan Gallagher

Travis MoenRyan WhiteColby Armstrong

Andrei MarkovAlexei Emelin

Josh Gorges – Tomas Kaberle

Francis BouillonRaphael Diaz

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 11:26 AM

By Pete Jensen - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Ekman-Larsson on track to elite fantasy d-man status

The Phoenix Coyotes already sport a top-15 fantasy defenseman in Keith Yandle, but could soon see another one of their blueliners join the elite ranks at the position as early as this season.

The Coyotes already sport a top-15 fantasy d-man in Keith Yandle, but could soon see Oliver Ekman-Larsson also join the elite ranks at the position. (Photo: Getty Images)

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the Swedish blueliner who burst onto the scene last season with 13 goals (5th among NHL defensemen) made an early statement on Wednesday night in the Coyotes' first win of 2012-13. The 21-year-old exploded with a well-rounded stat line (2 G, 1 A, plus-3, 2 PIM, 1 PPP, 6 SOG) against the Columbus Blue Jackets, proving he can serve as a remedy for Phoenix's often inconsistent offense on any given night.

Through three games, Ekman-Larsson (3:59 PP TOI/G) has even logged more time with the man advantage than Yandle (3:42), a significant upgrade after the youngster saw just over two minutes per game in such situations last year. This may only be an early trend, but the fact that Ekman-Larsson is being given such valuable minutes indicates Dave Tippett has big plans for the d-man moving forward.

Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 10:13 AM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Wild recall defense prospect Brodin

The Minnesota Wild have recalled one of their top defense prospects, Jonas Brodin.

The 19-year-old was the No. 10 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. He was a member of Sweden's gold-medal winning team at the 2012 World Junior Championship and had been playing in Sweden until joining Minnesota's American Hockey League affiliate, the Houston Aeros, for the 2012-13 season.

Brodin suffered a broken clavicle in a Nov. 2 game against Oklahoma City and returned to action Wednesday night.

It's possible Brodin could made his NHL debut Friday when the Wild visit the Detroit Red Wings. In a blog Thursday, Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Michael Russo speculated that would depend on the health of Jared Spurgeon as well as what the Wild want to do with fellow prospect Mathew Dumba, who is still with the team but hasn't played in any of Minnesota's first three games.

Star Tribune reporter Rachel Blount reported Brodin was paired with Clayton Stoner at practice on Thursday.

Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 9:46 AM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Pens reshuffle minor-league depth with pair of deals

The Pittsburgh Penguins spent Thursday morning reshaping their depth with a pair of trades involving minor leaguers.

In the first, the Penguins obtained Chad Kolarik from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Benn Ferriero. In the second, Pittsburgh moved defenseman Carl Sneep to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick.

Kolarik, who turns 27 later this week, is the second-leading scorer on the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League, putting up 16 goals and 35 points in 41 games. Selected by the Phoenix Coyotes (No. 199) in the 2004 NHL Draft, Kolarik has made six NHL appearances, going without a point in two games with the Columbus Blue Jackets and registering an assist in four games with the Rangers in 2010-11. He missed the 2011-12 season with a knee injury.

Ferriero, 25, had four goals and 18 points with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. He has played in 92 NHL games, all with the San Jose Sharks between the 2009-10 season and the 2011-12 season.

Sneep, 25, started the 2012-13 season in Wheeling of the ECHL, scoring three goals and 15 points in 29 games. He also played one game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before the trade. Sneep, a second-round choice of the Penguins in 2006, has made one NHL appearance, registering an assist in that game.

The Penguins will receive the Stars' seventh-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft if Sneep plays 10 or more regular-season games with Dallas. It is also conditional on Sneep passing a physical by Friday.

Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 9:16 AM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Avs' O'Reilly, Russian team mutually part ways

Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly, a restricted free agent, has left Russian team Metallurg Magnitogorsk after the player and Kontinental Hockey League team mutually agreed to terminate his contract Thursday.

The news comes jhours after Avalanche forward Steve Downie was ruled out for the season because of a knee injury that will require surgery.

According to, the club released O'Reilly from the deal because of fears he would return to North America at some point after the KHL signing window closes on Jan. 31. O'Reilly signed a two-year deal with Metallurg last month, but it contained an out clause allowing him to leave if offered more money by a NHL franchise, according to the report.

“Ryan did not rule out the possibility of a new contract overseas during February and he understood that this course of events would affect Metallurg’s preparations for the playoffs,” Metallurg said in a website statement.

In fact, according to, Metallurg already has a replacement lined up for O'Reilly.

"Ryan behaved honorably in allowing us to find another player to replace him," team vice president Gennady Velichkin told R-Sport. "We've been looking for a player to replace O'Reilly for a long time and we've already found him."

O’Reilly had five goals and four assists in 12 games for Metallurg, but reportedly reaggravated a foot injury in a game against Traktor Chelyabinsk on Wednesday.

Now, the focus turns to O'Reilly's future in Colorado.

With the injury to Downie, the Avalanche could use some more firepower on the forward lines, and the team's leading scorer from last season would certainly provide that.

O'Reilly, 21, had 18 goals and 37 assists in 81 games last season, more than doubling the 26-point campaigns he put up in each of his first two seasons in the NHL.

Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 9:00 AM

By Ian McCoshen -  Special to / - Ian McCoshen Draft blog

McCoshen talks USHL prospects game win

Ian McCoshen is in his third season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2.5, 207-pound defenseman, No. 21 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, has six goals, 22 points and a plus-23 rating in 27 games this season.

On Wednesday, McCoshen participated in his second straight USHL/NHL Top Prospects game in Muskegon, Mich. He didn't register a point but did deliver some big hits and had three shots on goal. After the game, McCoshen submitted his monthly blog for recapping the event.

Hello, hockey fans!

It was nice to come away with a big win in the USHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday, 2-1. After getting to Michigan on Tuesday, it was nice to just get acquainted with my teammates and then get on the ice for practice to kind of sort things out.

In the locker room prior to the game, our coaches reminded us that we were at the game for a reason, and that this was a time to prove it. We wanted to be loose, but it's also pretty intense because it's kind of a pressure situation for some of the guys.

I think, compared to last year when some guys looked at this as kind of an all-star type of game, this year had a different feel to it. I felt you had to be on your toes or else something was going to be created off a turnover. So, it was a good game overall.

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Every D-man who comes from Sweden has watched him play. He was my idol growing up and he's the reason I started to play 'D.'

— Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom
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