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Panthers D-man Ekblad expected to return Friday

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 4:24 PM / News

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad is expected to return to the lineup Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks at BB&T Center.

The 2015 Calder Trophy winner has missed the past four games with an upper-body injury. Ekblad was cleared to practice Wednesday.

"I feel good now," Ekblad told the Panthers website. "There were a lot of people helping me and on my side to help me get back in. I feel good and I feel prepared to play at any time. … The biggest thing to focus on now is the fact that I'm better and ready to play."

Canadiens goalie Price could miss another 3-4 weeks

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 4:14 PM / News

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price could be out for another 3-4 weeks recovering from a lower-body injury, general manager Marc Bergevin said Thursday.

Bergevin said Price's recovery was going slower than expected but he did not have any setbacks in his rehabilitation.

Price has been out since Nov. 25. If he misses three more weeks, he could return Feb. 12 against the Buffalo Sabres. If its four weeks, it could be Feb. 19 at home against the Philadelphia Flyers.

"It's been slower than we expected," Bergevin said. "Injuries … everybody's body is different, heal quicker, slower. His position is very demanding for his injury. So it has gone slower. ... We don't have a time frame. We hope to have him back. But he's not here. We have to move forward without Carey."

Blackhawks trade Garbutt to Ducks for Sekac

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 12:59 PM / News

The Chicago Blackhawks acquired forward Jiri Sekac from the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday in a trade for forward Ryan Garbutt.

Sekac, 23, has one goal and two assists in 22 games this season. In 91 NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens and Ducks, he has 10 goals and 26 points.

He is in the final season of his contract and can become a restricted free agent on July 1, according to

Lightning say there's no timetable for Drouin trade

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 12:49 PM / News

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said Thursday he's "actively and aggressively" attempting to pursue a trade for suspended forward Jonathan Drouin but he won't be pressured to adhere to Drouin's trade demand.

Yzerman said he has yet to find a taker for Drouin, 20, and there is no timetable for a trade.

"This is obviously not the position we had envisioned," Yzerman said. "Going back to the start of the year, going back to last year and the draft and what not. But for various reasons here we are and we'll deal with it."

The Lightning suspended Drouin indefinitely without pay Wednesday for failing to report to an American Hockey League game between the Syracuse Crunch and Toronto Marlies.

Rangers agree to terms with free agent forward Paille

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 12:36 PM / News

Free agent forward Daniel Paille agreed to terms with the New York Rangers on Thursday, general manager Jeff Gorton announced.

Financial terms were not released, but TSN reported Paille agreed on a two-way contract worth $575,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the American Hockey League. He will travel with the Rangers to Raleigh, N.C., for their game Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes but it's unclear if he'll play, coach Alain Vigneault said.

Paille, 31, was with the Chicago Blackhawks during training camp on a professional tryout agreement before he was cut. He signed with Rockford, the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate, had one goal and four points in 31 games. He also helped Canada win the Spengler Cup in December.

Oilers' Ference to have season-ending hip surgery

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 12:04 PM / News

Defenseman Andrew Ference will have season-ending hip surgery, the Edmonton Oilers announced Thursday.

Ference, 36, has played six games this season, none since Nov. 27. He's in the third season of a four-year contract with the Oilers that has an average annual value of $3.25 million, according to

Ference was named captain in 2013 after signing with the Oilers as a free agent. He had the role taken from him this season when the Oilers opted for four alternate captains: Ference, and forwards Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Avalanche's Beauchemin latest to deliver late heroics

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 11:29 AM / News

For the third time in five days, a tie-breaking goal was scored in the final minute of regulation.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin was the latest to do it, scoring with 31.7 seconds remaining in a 2-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. It was Colorado's fifth win at the Pepsi Center in its past six home games.

Alex Tanguay, who tied the game at 9:32 of the third period, assisted on the game-winning goal by Beauchemin, who has 13 game-winning goals in 721 NHL games with the Avalanche, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens. It is his second game-winning goal this season; he scored the deciding goal against the New York Islanders on Dec. 17.

There have been nine tie-breaking goals scored in the final minute of regulation this season and defensemen have scored five of those goals, including two in as many days.

Toronto Maple Leafs induct three to Legends Row

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 9:45 AM / News

As the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club prepares to celebrate its Centennial anniversary next season, it was announced today that three of the greatest players in club history will be inducted into the team’s Legends Row monument. Dave Keon, Turk Broda and Tim Horton will be honoured with statues to be unveiled in October. The three Hockey Hall of Fame members will join previous inductees Ted Kennedy, Darryl Sittler, Johnny Bower, Borje Salming, George Armstrong, Syl Apps and Mats Sundin on Legends Row.

Keon and representatives from the Horton and Broda families will be honoured in a pre-game ceremony Saturday night as the latest Legends Row inductees are introduced to fans when the Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at Air Canada Centre.

Around the League notebook: Wednesday, Jan. 20

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 9:11 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Dmitrij Jaskin scored what stood as the game-winning goal after dancing through a group of Detroit Red Wings defenders to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 victory. The Blues now are 5-1-3 in their past nine games, including wins in five of their last six.

* At 28-15-7 (63 points), the Blues moved into a tie with the idle Dallas Stars (29-13-5, 63 points) in terms of points for second place in the Central Division. Dallas, however, holds three games in hand and owns the regulation/overtime win tiebreaker (DAL: 27, STL: 25).

* Brian Elliott made 29 saves to earn his fifth win in his past six starts and improve to 10-5-4 with a 2.03 goals-against average, .938 save percentage and one shutout this season.

* Ty Rattie, a second-round selection (No. 32) in the 2011 NHL Draft, scored for the third time in his last four games after going without a goal in his first 18 NHL games.

Lightning suspend Drouin for missing AHL game

Wednesday, 01.20.2016 / 7:36 PM / News

The Tampa Bay Lightning suspended forward Jonathan Drouin indefinitely without pay Wednesday for failing to report to an American Hockey League game between the Syracuse Crunch and Toronto Marlies.

Drouin, the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, has been with Syracuse since Jan. 2. A trade request made on his behalf by his agent in November was revealed the next day.

Tampa Bay said it will have no further comment.

Drouin's agent, Allan Walsh, released a statement that said in part, "We proposed to Tampa that Jonathan not play in the next few AHL games but continue practicing with the club to avoid any potential injury from preventing an imminent trade. Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Lightning refused this reasonable request, however, Jonathan was not willing to accept this risk."

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