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Predators' Weber skates, 'feels good' after knee injury

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 7:24 PM / News

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber participated in an informal skate Thursday and said he "feels good" after last season ended prematurely because of a knee injury.

Weber, a three-time Norris Trophy finalist and the Predators captain, sustained a subluxed kneecap during Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Chicago Blackhawks. He missed the remainder of the series, which Chicago won in six games, and had surgery in April.

"It's exciting to be back," Weber told the Predators website. "As more and more guys roll in here, it's just going to get more exciting and feel like we're ready to go for the season. It's good seeing familiar faces and try to get back into a routine."

Coyotes sign forward Merkley to entry-level contract

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 5:45 PM / News

Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed forward Nick Merkley to a three-year entry-level contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The 5-foot-10, 191-pound Merkley registered 20-70-90 with a plus-29 rating in 72 games with the Kelowna (WHL) in 2014-15. He led Kelowna and ranked sixth in the league in scoring and finished third in the WHL in assists.

Red Wings' Zetterberg hopes Datsyuk will return soon

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 4:15 PM / News

Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk is recovering from offseason ankle surgery and his longtime teammate, Henrik Zetterberg, is hoping to see him on the ice in the near future.

"I've been talking to him. He went through the surgery, he's doing his rehab," Zetterberg, Datsyuk's teammate since the 2002-03 season, told the Red Wings website after skating at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday. "He's just got to take the time he needs and when he comes back, he's going to be healthy and ready to go."

Datsyuk had surgery June 26 and is scheduled to see his surgeon in a few weeks to determine if he can be cleared for hockey activities.

Flames GM says Smid nearing return after surgery

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 1:38 PM / News

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames defenseman Ladislav Smid is pushing to work his way back into the rotation, general manager Brad Treliving said.

The 29-year-old last played Jan. 19, a month after taking a high hit from then-Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Simon Despres. He had surgery in February on the herniated disc in his neck.

Smid is participating in informal skates at WinSport at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary and is gearing up for a potential return after a recent meeting with doctors in California.

Capitals' Backstrom may miss season opener: report

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 1:14 PM / News

Nicklas Backstrom is recovering from offseason hip surgery and isn't sure if he'll be ready to play for the Washington Capitals in their season opener Oct. 10 against the New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center.

Backstrom skated with several teammates during non-contact drills Thursday. He began skating last month and rehabbing while home in Sweden.

"It's obviously not fun to not know, but on the other hand, I'm not in a rush," Backstrom told the Washington Post. "I'm going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing. I'm not going to play on 90 percent. We'll see how it goes. We don't know yet."

Wild name Chabot goalie development coach

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 11:54 AM / News

The Minnesota Wild has named Frederic Chabot (pronounced Schuh-bott) as the team's Goaltending Development Coach. 

Chabot, 47 (2/12/68), will work with goalie prospects throughout the Minnesota Wild organization, including goaltenders playing for the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League (AHL). The former NHL netminder joins the Wild after serving as the goaltending coach for the Edmonton Oilers (2009-14). Prior to joining the Oilers, he served as a Goaltending Consultant with Hockey Canada and their National Junior Team, helping Canada win a gold medal at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship. Chabot was also an instructor at Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp for three years (2007-09). The native of Hebertville-Station, Quebec, worked as a Goaltending Consultant with Berlin (DEL) in 2008-09, capturing the league championship with the Ice Bears. Chabot also worked with AIK Stockholm (SWE-2) from 2007-09, overseeing goaltending for the entire organization.

Devils captain Salvador announces retirement

Wednesday, 09.02.2015 / 10:40 PM / News

Defenseman Bryce Salvador, who played 13 seasons in the NHL, announced his retirement Wednesday.

Salvador missed the final 67 games of last season with the New Jersey Devils with a bulging disk and nerve damage in his lower back. He became an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"I just think there were a lot of factors over the last two seasons," the 39-year-old told "I could just see that the body wasn't responding as it used to and it was just getting more and more difficult to stay healthy. And the position that I was in, being the captain, this last season it was really tough to be the team leader and not be present. So I just kind of realized that even though I can play, I feel I can play and come back, I just didn't know if I'd be able to make it a full season.

"Knowing that, I just kind of really said, 'Does it make sense to put myself in that situation when the mind is still there and I feel good, but maybe the body is telling me it's time?'"

Salvador served as Devils captain since 2013.

Predators president says he has perennial contender

Wednesday, 09.02.2015 / 8:55 PM / News

The Nashville Predators had the best record in the NHL for a time last season, and their president said Wednesday they are set up to contend for many years as well as any NHL team.

"Where we're sitting right now from a hockey franchise standpoint, we're better poised as a franchise because of the talent we have and how long they're locked up, than we ever have been in the history of the team," Sean Henry said, according to the Predators website. "When you look throughout the League, there's probably not another team that's set up for the next five to eight years to be as consistent as we're going to be.

"Hopefully we catch the magic in that run and win the Stanley Cup, but at least compete for it year in and year out."

Capitals' Orlov 'ready to play' after sidelined for year

Wednesday, 09.02.2015 / 5:15 PM / News

Dmitry Orlov did not play for the Washington Capitals last season after sustaining a wrist injury in the offseason, but the 24-year old defenseman said he is healthy and excited to play in the NHL for the first time since April 2014.

"I can shoot, I can do everything," Orlov told the Washington Post in remarks published Wednesday. "I feel good. I feel fine. I'm ready to play."

Orlov broke his wrist during the IIHF World Championship in May 2014 and was expected to need six months to recover, but complications caused him to need more time. When he was ready to return in April 2015, the Capitals had no room for him.

"Yeah, it's life, it's hard, everybody gets injured," Orlov said. "My injury was longer than expected, so right now, [it] doesn't matter for me what's happened, I just need to be focused on this season."

Stars' Seguin uses football to show knee is healed

Wednesday, 09.02.2015 / 5:08 PM / News

Mike Battaglino - Staff Writer

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin is using the football field to show his injured right knee is 100 percent healed.

Seguin posted a video to his Instagram account on Tuesday showing him catching a pass as part of agility training. The caption read, "Just in case the @dallascowboys need my services at all this year."

Seguin missed 10 games last season with a knee injury sustained on Feb. 13, returning earlier than expected. His 37 goals were fifth in the NHL; his 77 points were seventh.

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Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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