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Kings place center Mike Richards on waivers

Monday, 01.26.2015 / 9:10 PM / News

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Mike Richards' locker was cleaned out and already taken by right wing Jordan Nolan at the Los Angeles Kings' practice facility Monday. The space was literally about five feet from where Richards sat for his introductory press conference four years ago when he was traded to the Kings.

The quick removal might seem cold, but it was the only option left for Kings general manager Dean Lombardi, who put Richards on waivers. Lombardi could no longer justify paying the underperforming Richards, especially with the pending unrestricted free agency of right wing Justin Williams, center Jarret Stoll and defenseman Robyn Regehr.

"That's the thing we've got to work through," Lombardi said. "Mike, in his career, he's shown he can be a .330 hitter and get you 80 RBIs and be an All-Star player. So maybe at this stage, maybe it's not there. But I still think he's capable of being a .280 hitter and do a lot of those things that only he can do. Basically, right now he's batting .200. But I don't see any reason why he can't get back to that. He's got to do what he's got to do."

Other teams have until Tuesday morning to claim Richards. Otherwise, he will be sent to Manchester of the American Hockey League to work on his game.


Penguins' Crosby to return soon; Malkin out awhile

Monday, 01.26.2015 / 6:49 PM / News

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby will return soon, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Johnston said Monday.

Crosby missed the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game because of a lower-body injury sustained against the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 10. Since that 2-1 win, Crosby has seven points (three goals), but he has been held scoreless in Pittsburgh's past two games, losses to the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks.

Johnston said Crosby has to wait a certain number of days until he can return after receiving an injection. Crosby has reached that number of days, according to Johnston, and will be available to return sometime shortly after the Penguins play the Winnipeg Jets at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday.


Avalanche's Johnson out 3-8 weeks after knee surgery

Monday, 01.26.2015 / 6:20 PM / News

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson had knee surgery Monday and is expected to miss 3-8 weeks.

Johnson missed the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game and other festivities over the weekend. It would have been his first appearance.

Johnson is tied for first among NHL defensemen in scoring with a career-high 12 goals this season.


Wild assign Kuemper to AHL for conditioning stint

Monday, 01.26.2015 / 4:51 PM / News

The Wild has assigned goaltender Darcy Kuemper to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL) on a conditioning assignment.

Kuemper, 24 (5/5/90), is 13-12-2 with a 2.62 goals-against average (GAA), a .904 SV% and three shutouts in 29 games with Minnesota this season. He stopped all 14 shots faced in a relief effort at Detroit on Jan. 20 after missing the previous seven games with a lower-body injury.


Blue Jackets goalie Bobrovsky to miss 4-6 weeks

Monday, 01.26.2015 / 4:27 PM / News

The Columbus Blue Jackets' hopes of returning to the Stanley Cup Playoffs just hit another roadblock with the announcement Monday that goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to miss 4-6 weeks because of a groin injury.

Bobrovsky was injured Jan. 21  against the Winnipeg Jets, an injury that initially kept him out of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

In 33 games this season, Bobrovsky is 16-15-2 with a 2.85 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.

The Blue Jackets, who have been beset by injuries all season, are 14 points behind the Boston Bruins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

"I don't know how many (wins) we need, but we've got to get every one we can," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "... It starts [Tuesday against the Washington Capitals]. That has to be our approach."


Maple Leafs' Phaneuf out with upper-body injury

Monday, 01.26.2015 / 3:43 PM / News

Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf sustained an upper-body injury prior to the All-Star break and is week-to-week, interim coach Peter Horachek said Monday, according to the Maple Leafs website.

Phaneuf had played in all 48 games for Toronto this season. The 29-year-old defenseman has two goals, 22 points and 85 penalty minutes.


Islanders' Okposo out because of upper-body injury

Monday, 01.26.2015 / 3:01 PM / News

New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo will miss approximately 6-8 weeks because of an upper-body injury, coach Jack Capuano told the Islanders website on Monday.

Okposo, who plays right wing on the Islanders' top line along with center John Tavares, is second on the Islanders with 44 points in 46 games and third with 14 goals.


Sharks sign Jevpalovs to entry-level contract

Monday, 01.26.2015 / 3:00 PM / News

SAN JOSE - San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has signed free agent forward Nikita Jevpalovs to an entry-level contract.

Jevpalovs, 20, has recorded 71 points (38-33=71) and 24 penalty minutes in 45 games with Blainville-Boisbriand of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The Armada's alternate captain currently ranks 2nd in the league in goals and 4th in points in his third QMJHL season. His nine game-winning goals lead the league, while he ranks 6th in power play goals (13).

"Nikita is a big-bodied forward who has a good combination of size and scoring ability," said Wilson. "He has represented his country numerous times and impressed against some of the world's top young talent and we're excited to add a young forward with his skill set to our organization."


Sabres' Zadorov suspended for missing practice

Monday, 01.26.2015 / 2:57 PM / News

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team will suspend defenseman Nikita Zadorov, who missed today's practice, for failure to report to the team on time following the NHL All-Star break.

"We anticipate Nikita joining the team at some point during this week's western road trip," said Sabres General Manager Tim Murray.


Predators goalie Mazanec recalled from AHL

Monday, 01.26.2015 / 2:46 PM / News

Nashville, Tenn.Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has recalled goaltender Marek Mazanec (MAIR-ehk muh-ZAN-ehk) from Milwaukee (AHL).

Mazanec, 23 (7/18/91), has gone 5-0-0 during the Admirals' franchise-record nine-game win streak, posting a 1.22 goals-against average, a .947 save percentage and a shutout in that span. He is tied for fifth in AHL shutouts (3), and for ninth in wins (13). On the season, the Pisek, Czech Republic, native is 13-8-3 with a 2.41 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage.

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Quote of the Day

The fans love it, and it looked like they were having fun. It was great to see this city [Columbus]. They had been waiting a couple years for this game. They did it right.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos after the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday