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Blue Jackets activate Gaborik, Wisniewski

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 4:28 PM / News


The Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday activated forward Marian Gaborik and defenseman James Wisniewski off injured reserve and they will be available when the team completes a home-and-home against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday at Nationwide Arena.


Maple Leafs adjust to life in front of the cameras

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- When the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday at Air Canada Centre (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC), it will be a warm-up act for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1.

Part of that process leading up to the Winter Classic for each team is to be a part of HBO’s "24/7" documentary series. That means having cameras following them around to practices, meetings, games, even their home life.

For Maple Leafs players and the coaches, it calls for an adjustment to their normal routines.

"It's unusual," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "It's not normal what we're living right now. I've talked about white noise and I've talked about distraction and this is just another one for us. It's hard in some ways to blame people for not paying attention to it or not being attached to it, but on the other hand we have a job to do.”

The HBO cameras started following the Maple Leafs on Dec. 4. Since then, they have gone 4-5-0.


Assault charge against Colorado's Varlamov dropped

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 4:04 PM / News


A misdemeanor assault charge against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov was dropped Friday at the request of prosecutors.

The judge dismissed the case against Varlamov, 25, after prosecutors filed a motion Friday to dismiss the remaining misdemeanor assault charge because further investigation led prosecutors to believe they could not prove the case at trial.

"That's not to say we don't believe our victim," district attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said in the Denver Post. "It became clear we didn't have a belief we could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt."

Varlamov was arrested on Oct. 30 for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend.


Sharks rookie Hertl out at least one month: report

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 3:09 PM / News


San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl will miss at least a month following a knee-on-knee hit from the Los Angeles Kings' Dustin Brown in a game between the teams Thursday, according to CSNBayArea.com.

The report said the prognosis was confirmed by a team source and Hertl was undergoing an MRI to determine the specific damage to his knee.


Split from Toews has seen Kane produce at new level

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 2:47 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks still haven't found a prototypical center for their second line, but they have a great way to compensate.

The answer is simple.

Rather than keeping right wing Patrick Kane with captain Jonathan Toews on the top line, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville prefers to split them up. Kane goes to right wing on the second line, Marian Hossa plays right wing on the top unit, and usually it works to great success.

Since splitting from Toews about 10 games into the season, Kane's production got even better. He enters the Blackhawks' game Friday against the Vancouver Canucks (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN) second in the NHL in scoring with 46 points, five behind the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby.


Penguins' Orpik feeling better, but no return date set

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 2:37 PM / News


Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik practiced with the full team Friday for the first time since he sustained a concussion Dec. 7. However, he's not ready to put a timeline on a return to the lineup.

Orpik has been skating on his own since Dec. 13 and passed a baseline concussion test Thursday which allowed him to take part in full-contact practice drills that day with teammates Deryk Engelland, Tanner Glass and Rob Scuderi.

"I did some contact [Thursday]," Orpik said after practice Friday. "… I got through that and felt pretty good [Friday]. We're going from there."

Orpik was hurt when he was pushed to the ice by the Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton, who then punched Orpik while he was down. The NHL Department of Player Safety suspended Thornton for 15 games. Thornton is appealing the suspension.


Rangers, Islanders excited for Yankee Stadium game

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Players on the New York Rangers and New York Islanders admit their respective teams are in dire need of points at the moment. Heading into their game Friday at Madison Square Garden, they sit fifth and eighth, respectively, in the Metropolitan Division.

But as they continue their historic rivalry at Madison Square Garden, it's also impossible to ignore the fact that these two teams are less than six weeks away from playing Jan. 29 at Yankee Stadium as part of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

"It's starting to pick up a little bit," Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh told NHL.com. "It's getting closer. There's a little bit of talk starting to come up. It just seems like every outdoor game seems to get a little bit better. They find a way to kind of create more atmosphere for the fans. I'm expecting big things at Yankee Stadium. The venues putting them on are state-of-the-art buildings and historic buildings. It's pretty exciting."


Perron hoping Oilers can follow Blues' path

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 1:15 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

As the days slowly got closer to the one when David Perron would have to face his former team for the first time since being traded, the Edmonton Oilers forward admitted there would be plenty of foreign feelings.

"I'm not even sure how it's going to be, to be honest," Perron said earlier this week. "What I know is the day of and the night before I'm going to try and make it as normal of a game as possible so I can focus on the actual game itself."

Ready or not here come the St. Louis Blues, the franchise that selected Perron with the 26th pick of the 2007 NHL Draft and with whom the Sherbrooke, Quebec native spent the first six seasons of his NHL career. Perron had 84 goals and 198 points with the Blues.

The teams will play for the first time this season Saturday (10 p.m. ET, CBC) at Rexall Place, and Perron is stoked about it.


Veteran defenseman Kubina announces retirement

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 9:41 AM / News


Defenseman Pavel Kubina, a 14-year NHL veteran and Stanley Cup winner with the Tampa Bay Lightning, has announced his retirement.

Kubina last played in the NHL during the 2011-12 season, which he split between the Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers. He played briefly last season in the Swiss-A league.

"Making my way to the NHL and playing in the best league in the world for 13 seasons has been a dream come true. I will be forever grateful for the experiences and friendships that I have gained over the course of my career, including capturing the Stanley Cup in Tampa in 2004," said Kubina. "Thank you to Phil Esposito for drafting me and giving me a chance to play for the Lightning. I also would like to thank my family and friends for their support throughout my hockey journey."


Super 16: Flames, Sabres work from similar positions

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

When Jay Feaster was removed from the position of general manager of the Calgary Flames, it meant there were now two such openings in the NHL because the Buffalo Sabres have yet to replace the departed Darcy Regier.

Though it is the same position and the two franchises are relatively close to each other in the League standings, there are a lot of differences about the two jobs and the situations make for an interesting contrast.

Neither franchise has been very successful of late, though the Flames reached the Stanley Cup Final a decade ago and the Sabres soon followed with back-to-back Eastern Conference Final appearances. Each made significant trades last season to signal a full-scale rebuild, trading their captain and other key players for prospects and draft picks.

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I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game