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Maatta to stay with Penguins for remainder of season

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 10:16 AM / News


The Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday announced defenseman Olli Maatta would be remaining with the team for the remainder of the season.

Maatta, 19, has a goal and two assists in nine games while averaging 15:03 of ice time per game.

"Based on his play, we believe this is the best decision for Olli and the Penguins," Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero said.

Taken by the Penguins with the 22nd pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, Pittsburgh had to decide prior to Maatta playing his 10th game -- which will be Friday against the New York Islanders -- whether to keep him in the NHL or return him to his junior team, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League and delay by one season the start of his three-year, entry-level contract. Due to his age and the fact that he was drafted from a Canadian Hockey League team, Maatta is ineligible to play in the American Hockey League.


Sabres' Scott offered in-person hearing

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 9:20 AM / Department of Player Safety News


Buffalo Sabres left wing John Scott will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit on Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson during the teams' game Wednesday at First Niagara Center.

Scott was offered the opportunity for an in-person hearing as required by provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any suspension that can exceed five games.

At 5:49 of the third period, Scott came across the ice and hit Eriksson in the neutral zone after Eriksson had moved the puck. Scott received a match penalty for illegal check to the head, as well a five-minute fighting major for an altercation with Boston's Adam McQuaid that followed the play.


Daily Primer Oct. 24: Bruins try to cool off Sharks

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The San Jose Sharks will be the visitors Thursday night at TD Garden, but they'll be the better-rested team when they meet the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US).

The Sharks spent Wednesday in Boston practicing and resting, while the Bruins were on the road beating the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 -- but losing Loui Eriksson, who left in the third period after a high hit by John Scott in the third period.

At 8-0-1, the Sharks are the only team that has not lost a game in regulation. They're coming off a 1-0 shootout victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.

Here's a look at all of Thursday's action:


Prospector Files: Slattery, Sheehy pacing Elite League

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospector Files

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Each season the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League has attracted many of the top scholastic standouts eligible for the upcoming NHL draft.

"I have watched the Elite League for eight years and I don't think I've seen a bad game," NHL Central Scouting's Greg Rajanen told NHL.com. "The players really compete hard knowing there are many junior, college and NHL scouts in the stands."

Two players creating quite a stir in the league this year are left wing Mitchel Slattery of Hill-Murray High School and right wing Tyler Sheehy of Burnsville High School. Slattery, who is committed to St. Cloud State for the 2015-16 season, recently was upgraded to a "B"-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for Minnesota high school players. Sheehy is a "C"-rated prospect.

Slattery, a 5-11.5, 185-pound senior for Team Northeast (12-9-0), finished the regular season second in goals (18) and third in points (31) in 21 games. He had nine multiple-point games. The league playoffs are scheduled Friday through Sunday at New Hope (Minn.) Ice Arena; the championship game is Sunday.


Nick Schmaltz following in brother's footsteps

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Nick Schmaltz knows the perfect role model from which to build his hockey resume.

That would be his brother Jordan, who happened to be a 2012 first-round pick (No. 25) of the St. Louis Blues.

"I look up to him and am happy for what he has accomplished so far with his career," Schmaltz said of his older brother. "It's pretty unique to have a brother be such a good player so I take advantage of that and learn from his experiences. I hope I can achieve some of the goals that he has already."

It isn't by accident that Nick basically has followed the same path as Jordan, playing for the under-16 Chicago Mission and now with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League. He's also committed to the University of North Dakota, where Jordan is now starring as a sophomore defenseman.


Olympic veteran Koivu relishes idea of one more run

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Saku Koivu has so many Olympic medals he isn't quite sure where some of them are kept.

He said he thinks "one or two" of his four are in California, while the rest are at home in Finland. Like a lot of modest athletes, he doesn't have them on display, perhaps because that's usually what players do long after their careers end and they have time to reflect.

"I'll probably put them in a nice place after we're done playing," Koivu said. "Right now I haven't found a place for them yet."

Koivu's international experience is so extensive he was elected to the International Olympic Committee as an athlete representative in 2006 and carried the Olympic torch during the run-up to the Summer Games in London in 2012. The only thing that has prevented him from having five Winter Games appearances already is a bout with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma early in his career.


Bruins' Eriksson hospitalized after hit

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:20 AM / News

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO - Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson spent the night in a Buffalo hospital for observation following a hit from Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott during a 5-2 win on Wednesday night.

At 5:49 of the third period, Scott came across the ice and hit Eriksson near the red line after Eriksson had moved the puck. Eriksson went down to the ice after the high hit, was helped off the ice and did not return.

"Loui is staying overnight in Buffalo for precautionary reasons," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a statement. "He is expected to return to Boston on Thursday."

Scott was assessed a match penalty for illegal check to the head. He was also penalized for fighting Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid, who was given a minor for instigating and a misconduct to go along with a fighting major.


Islanders' Okposo building on playoff performance

Wednesday, 10.23.2013 / 7:10 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo would be the first to tell you he struggled through much of last season. The Islanders' first-round pick (No. 7) at the 2006 NHL Draft had four goals in 48 regular-season games, a huge dip from the 24 goals he scored in 79 games in 2011-12.

Things changed during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the Islanders trailing 3-1 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against the Pittsburgh Penguins, forward Matt Moulson was hit hard by Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen in the neutral zone. Okposo, knowing his team needed a lift, challenged Niskanen to a fight.

Okposo landed a couple of early right hands to Niskanen's face, leaving a cut under his left eye. Fourteen seconds after play resumed, Colin McDonald scored to make it a one-goal game. Just over five minutes later, Matt Martin got the Islanders even. Okposo scored the game-winner midway through the third period, then scored two more goals in the series before the Islanders were eliminated in six games.

"It was kind of the moment and I thought we could use a little spark," Okposo recalled to NHL.com at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday. "It just kind of happened. I didn't even really see the hit, I just saw he kind of got hurt a little bit, so I wanted to jump-start the boys."


Stars' Garbutt suspended five games for charging

Wednesday, 10.23.2013 / 6:07 PM / Department of Player Safety News


NEW YORK -- Dallas Stars forward Ryan Garbutt has been suspended for five games, without pay, for charging Anaheim Ducks forward Dustin Penner during NHL Game No. 125 in Anaheim on Sunday, October 20, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Garbutt will forfeit $14,743.60. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.


Flames to keep Monahan for remainder of season

Wednesday, 10.23.2013 / 4:35 PM / News

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Calgary Flames rookie center Sean Monahan will stay with the team for the remainder of the season.

Monahan, the sixth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, leads the team with six goals, and his nine points are second. He's averaging 15:46 of ice time per game, but the past two games he's seen more than 19 minutes of ice time.

"We always tell players, they make the decisions," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said. "The players decide, and in Sean's case Sean decided. Through his performance through those first nine games he demonstrated he can play in the League."

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Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1