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Price's delayed return damages Canadiens' Cup hopes

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 7:30 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

The window for the Montreal Canadiens to end the longest Stanley Cup drought in franchise history is closing more and more by the day, yet the team is currently in a holding pattern.

General manager Marc Bergevin announced Thursday that goaltender Carey Price would not be ready to return for at least another 3-4 weeks from a lower-body injury that has kept him out since Nov. 25. The news essentially guaranteed that Bergevin will not be pushing all his chips to the middle of the table to go for the Stanley Cup this season.

Price's return would come far too close to the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 29 for Bergevin to know if his most important player, one he called the best player in the world, will be on top of his game and, more important, durable enough to withstand the rigors of an extended run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Time change for Ducks at Capitals on Friday

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 6:33 PM / News

ARLINGTON, Va. -– The National Hockey League announced today the start time for the Washington Capitals home game on Friday against the Anaheim Ducks has been changed from 7 p.m. to 5 p.m. due to the severe snowstorm impacting the Washington, D.C., area and in light of Metro’s service changes.

All tickets for Friday’s game, originally scheduled for 7 p.m., will be honored for the new start time.

Lucic enjoys L.A., wants to re-sign with Kings: report

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 5:51 PM / News

Milan Lucic, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, emphatically told he wants to re-sign with the Los Angeles Kings.

"I hope it's here, just because of how great everything has gone and [how] good the transition has gone," the left wing told Pierre LeBrun in remarks published Thursday. "I truly, truly deep down in my heart hope that I do get to remain a King after this season."

Lucic has 12 goals and 17 assists in 45 games in his first season with the Kings. He was traded to Los Angeles by the Boston Bruins on June 26 for goalie Martin Jones, defenseman Colin Miller and the 13th pick in the 2015 NHL Draft (defenseman Jakub Zboril).

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."

NHL announces celebrity coaches for 2016 ASG

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 3:00 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – NHL fans and country music stars Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Charles Kelley and Chris Young will serve as celebrity coaches for the 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Sunday, Jan. 31, the National Hockey League announced today. The 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game will broadcast live at 5 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. CT on NBCSN, CBC and TVA Sports.

Bentley, Gill, Kelley and Young will join NHL head coaches Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers, Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars, Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings and Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals behind the bench.

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.

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