National Hockey League
NHL News Wire
  • Evgeni Malkin (knee) to make season debut Tuesday
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 11, 2022

    Evgeni Malkin will make his 2021-22 debut Tuesday night after the Pittsburgh Penguins activated him from injured reserve.

    • Malkin, 35, underwent knee surgery in June and has been recovering since. The Russian winger and longtime linemate of Sidney Crosby has not played since a playoff game on May 26, after initially being injured in March and missing six weeks.

      The 2012 Hart Trophy winner has 1,104 points (424 goals, 680 assists) in 940 games over his 15-season career with Pittsburgh.

      The Penguins play at the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night. Pittsburgh is coming off a loss to the Dallas Stars that snapped its NHL-best 10-game winning streak.

      --Field Level Media

  • Wild give D Jon Merrill three-year extension
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 11, 2022

    The Minnesota Wild inked defenseman Jon Merrill to a three-year, $3.6 million contract extension on Tuesday.

    • Merrill was an impending free agent following this season, so the deal will keep him in Minnesota through 2024-25. He signed a one-year contract with Minnesota in free agency last July.

      In 33 games so far this season, Merrill has three goals -- already matching his career high -- and eight assists along with 51 blocked shots.

      The Wild are the 29-year-old's fifth NHL team following stints with the New Jersey Devils (2013-17), Vegas Golden Knights (2017-20), Detroit Red Wings (2020-21) and Montreal Canadiens (2021).

      Merrill has scored 77 points (15 goals, 62 assists) in 438 career games over nine seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: G Tuukka Rask returning to Bruins
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 11, 2022

    The Boston Bruins are bringing back goaltender Tuukka Rask for the rest of the season on a prorated one-year, $1-million contract, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

    • He is expected to earn $545,000 based on the number of games remaining in the season.

      The Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League released him from his professional tryout contract with the team earlier Tuesday, although he didn't appear in any AHL games since signing with Providence on Thursday because they were postponed due to COVID-19 protocol.

      Rask, 34, had played out an 8-year, $56-million contract and was an unrestricted free-agent as he worked his way back from July surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.

      "I feel great ... I don't have to think about (the hip) locking up on me again and creating that pain," Rask said last week.

      Rask had been informally practicing with the NHL's Bruins, who host the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. Considering that Boston is amid a stretch of five games in eight days, Rask is likely to return to action soon.

      Jeremy Swayman (8-5-2, 2.20 goals-against average, .920 save percentage) and Linus Ullmark (9-5-0, 2.58, .917) have split goaltending duties this season for Boston. The Boston Globe reported Swayman is likely to be sent to Providence.

      Rask played in just 24 of Boston's 56 games last season, posting a 15-5-2 record with two shutouts, a .913 save percentage and a 2.28 goals-against average.

      He started all 11 playoff games for the Bruins, whose season ended in the second round with a loss to the New York Islanders in Game 6 of the series.

      Rask is 306-163-66 with 52 shutouts, a 2.27 GAA and a .921 save percentage in 560 games (540 starts) with Boston since making his NHL debut in 2007.

      He holds Boston's franchise record for most games played and wins by a goaltender.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL names four coaches for All-Star festivities
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 11, 2022

    The NHL named the four divisional head coaches Tuesday for the Feb. 4-5 All-Star weekend in Las Vegas.

    • Andrew Brunette of the Florida Panthers (Atlantic), Jared Bednar of the Colorado Avalanche (Central), Rod Brind'Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes (Metropolitan) and Peter DeBoer of the Vegas Golden Knights (Pacific) were selected based on having the highest winning percentages in their respective divisions through Monday.

      The All-Star skills competition will take place on Feb. 4, followed by the All-Star Game the following day.

      The All-Star rosters, as voted on by the fans, will be revealed Thursday at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN's "SportsCenter" and Sportsnet's "Hockey Central."

      --Field Level Media

  • Knights' Jack Eichel practices for first time since surgery
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 11, 2022

    Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel skated Tuesday in his first practice since November spinal surgery.

    • Eichel, wearing a red non-contact jersey, joined his teammates for the optional morning skate in Las Vegas.

      Eichel, 25, had been rehabilitating in Charlotte, N.C., following an artificial disk replacement in his neck.

      "Bit of an emotional moment for me," Eichel said. "Just another step in the process. This was like a kid on Christmas waking up in the morning, getting the opportunity to get back on the ice with the guys. ...

      "Just with everything that I've been through, it seems like things are getting back to normal for me, so that's what I wanted all along. It felt really good to be here and really feel like you're, I guess, part of the group."

      At the time of his surgery, Eichel said he expected to return within three months and be back at full strength in six months. He is uncertain when he will resume game action.

      "I wouldn't say there's really a target date at this point," Eichel said. "I think it's ... see how you feel and see how you progress and how confident and comfortable you are. I think at that point, you'll know. ...

      "I feel like I'll know mentally and physically and emotionally when I'm ready to go. The team and the organization has been so supportive not putting a hard date of when I need to be back or when they expect me to be back. Just very low pressure. You have different milestones you want to meet during this process."

      Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said, "Nice to see him. At the same time, you want to temper your enthusiasm, because this is just the first step."

      Eichel was traded to Vegas from Buffalo on Nov. 4 following a lengthy holdout, after he had clashed with Sabres management about his health care. He was adamant about having the artificial disk replacement, while Buffalo wanted him to have fusion surgery to repair his herniated disk.

      Eichel is in the fourth year of an eight-year, $80 million deal. The Golden Knights reportedly absorbed his $10 million cap hit for the current season.

      The No. 2 overall draft pick in 2015 out of Boston University, Eichel racked up 139 goals and 355 points in 375 games for the Sabres.

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Wings hire Nicklas Lidstrom as VP of hockey operations
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 11, 2022

    The Detroit Red Wings hired franchise legend Nicklas Lidstrom as vice president of hockey operations Tuesday.

    • The seven-time Norris Trophy winner and four-time Stanley Cup champion played his entire 20-year career in Detroit from 1991-2012. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

      Lidstrom, 51, will be involved in all aspects of hockey operations for the Red Wings, who have not been to the NHL playoffs since the 2015-16 season.

      Executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman, Lidstrom's teammate from 1991-2006, announced the hiring.

      --Field Level Media

  • Islanders coach Barry Trotz, D Ryan Pulock enter protocol
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 11, 2022

    The New York Islanders placed head coach Barry Trotz and defenseman Ryan Pulock in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol Tuesday.

    • Trotz, 59, missed the team's 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 1 following the death of his mother.

      The Islanders have not played since then and are scheduled to return to the ice Thursday night at home against the New Jersey Devils.

      Trotz is in his fourth season with the Isles and has compiled a 125-79-30 record, including 10-12-6 this season.

      Pulock, 27, has two assists in 12 games this season. He has 127 points (33 goals, 94 assists) in 302 games since the Islanders drafted him with the 15th overall pick in 2013.

      --Field Level Media

  • Tuesday's Hurricanes at Flyers game postponed (COVID)
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 11, 2022

    Tuesday night's scheduled game in Philadelphia between the Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes was postponed due to COVID-19 issues with the Flyers.

    • It is the seventh postponed game for Carolina and the fourth for Philadelphia.

      The Flyers put Rasmus Ristolainen on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list on Tuesday, a day after fellow defenseman Justin Braun was added. Captain Clade Giroux now is off the list, but defenseman Ivan Provorov and forward Travis Konecny remain in the protocol.

      The Hurricanes said Tuesday that defenseman Jaccob Slavin entered the protocol.

      Both teams are scheduled to return to action on Thursday -- the Hurricanes at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Flyers on the road against the Boston Bruins.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL roundup: Matt Grzelcyk logs 5 points as Bruins top Caps
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 11, 2022

    Matt Grzelcyk had a goal and four assists as the Boston Bruins recorded a 7-3 road win over the Washington Capitals on Monday.

    • It was a milestone night for Grzelcyk, who had never before recorded even three points in a game during his six NHL seasons.

      David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each scored two goals and added an assist for the Bruins, the second consecutive two-goal game for each of the forwards. Craig Smith had a goal and an assist, while Anton Blidh and Taylor Hall each had two assists. Erik Haula also scored for Boston.

      Conor Sheary scored twice and T.J. Oshie added a goal for the Capitals, who are 0-2-2 in their past four games.

      Avalanche 4, Kraken 3

      Nicolas Aube-Kubel had two goals, Nazem Kadri had a goal and an assist and Colorado rallied to beat Seattle in Denver.

      Devon Toews also scored, Pavel Francouz stopped 23 shots and Andre Burakovsky had two assists for the Avalanche, who have won five straight.

      Jared McCann and Marcus Johansson each had a goal and an assist for the Kraken. Colin Blackwell also scored and Philipp Grubauer had 31 saves against his former team.

      Kings 3, Rangers 1

      Cal Petersen made 22 saves and Los Angeles downed visiting New York for its fourth win in five games.

      Phillip Danault, Blake Lizotte and Adrian Kempe scored and Trevor Moore had two assists for the Kings.

      Mika Zibanejad scored and Alexandar Georgiev made 36 saves for the Rangers, who had won four of their previous five.

      --Field Level Media

  • Stars coach Rick Bowness fined for bench tirade
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 10, 2022

    The NHL fined Dallas Stars coach Rick Bowness $25,000 Monday for his outburst at the end of Sunday's 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues, which included Bowness swinging one of his players' sticks and slashing the stick around the vacated bench area.

    • The Stars led Sunday's game most of the way before the Blues went on the power play in the final minute. As St. Louis scored a goal, the Stars were called for another penalty, allowing the Blues to continue with a man advantage and score the game-winner to complete a stunning comeback.

      Bowness was further enraged by an allegedly missed holding-the-stick penalty call against a Blues player during that sequence.

      "If you're watching the game, you saw what happened," Bowness said. "They clearly pulled Miro (Heiskanen) down. Clearly grabbed his stick and pulled him down. That's my opinion. They got lucky."

      The fine money will be added to the NHL Foundation.

      --Field Level Media

  • Blue Jackets suspend F Gregory Hofmann
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 10, 2022

    The Columbus Blue Jackets suspended forward Gregory Hofmann on Monday after he didn't return to the team after an excused leave of absence.

    • "Gregory was given permission by the club to step away for personal reasons and informed us today that because of those reasons he has decided not to return," Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement. "Obviously, we are disappointed, but we have no other recourse than to suspend him."

      The 29-year-old Hofmann has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 24 games this season. He last appeared for the Blue Jackets on Dec. 14.

      Columbus hosts the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Jets place F Nikolaj Ehlers in COVID protocol
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 10, 2022

    Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers entered the NHL's COVID-19 protocol Monday.

    • Ehlers joins three teammates in the protocol: defenseman Dylan DeMelo, center Jansen Harkins and goaltender Arvid Holm.

      Ehlers is third on the Jets with 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists). He was scoreless with four penalty minutes in a 7-1 drubbing suffered against Colorado on Thursday.

      The Jets are scheduled to play at Detroit on Thursday, the opener of a five-game road trip.

      Ehlers has 328 points (149 goals, 179 assists) in 449 career games with Winnipeg, which selected him No. 9 overall in the 2014 draft.

      --Field Level Media

  • Avalanche's Gabriel Landeskog enters COVID protocol
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 10, 2022

    Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog entered the NHL's COVID-19 protocol Monday, the same day he was named the league's First Star of the Week.

    • Landeskog recorded seven points (four goals, three assists) in his last three games. The forward highlighted that stretch with his fourth career hat trick in the Avalanche's 7-1 romp over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

      The 29-year-old Swede has 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 26 games this season.

      Landeskog has 547 points (232 goals, 315 assists) in 713 career games since being selected by Colorado with the second overall pick of the 2011 NHL Draft.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHLPA files grievance over Evander Kane's contract
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 10, 2022

    The NHLPA filed a grievance Monday over the termination of Evander Kane's contract by the San Jose Sharks.

    • The Sharks officially terminated the veteran forward's deal Sunday night after placing him on unconditional waivers Saturday. Kane went unclaimed.

      The Sharks claim that Kane breached his NHL Standard Player Contract by violating the American Hockey League COVID-19 protocol. He served a 21-game suspension for submitting a fake vaccination card and was assigned to the AHL's San Jose Barracuda.

      Kane was fully vaccinated before being reinstated, the team said. However, he traveled home to Vancouver while in COVID protocol last month in a violation of league rules, according to reports.

      He was in the fourth season of a seven-year, $49 million contract signed in May 2018. He will forfeit $22.8 million. NHL contracts are guaranteed.

      Kane, 30, is an unrestricted free agent and has reportedly garnered interest from many teams.

      Kane led the Sharks in goals (22) and assists (27) while appearing in all 56 games last season.

      He has 264 goals and 242 assists in 769 career games for the Atlanta Thrashers (2009-11), Winnipeg Jets (2011-15), Buffalo Sabres (2015-18) and Sharks.

      --Field Level Media

  • Lightning-Devils, Senators-Oilers games postponed due to COVID
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 9, 2022

    Due to COVID-19-related issues affecting the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers, Monday night's Tampa Bay at New Jersey and Ottawa at Edmonton games have been postponed.

    • Two additional games set for Monday, the Columbus Blue Jackets visiting the Montreal Canadiens and the Minnesota Wild at the Winnipeg Jets, were also postponed due to attendance restrictions stemming from the pandemic in certain Canadian cities.

      Makeup dates for the Blue Jackets-Canadiens, Wild-Jets and Lightning-Devils matchups have not been scheduled.

      The Senators-Oilers game has been rescheduled for Saturday at Edmonton.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL roundup: Devon Toews' OT goal caps Avalanche's rally
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 9, 2022

    Devon Toews scored at 1:12 of overtime, Cale Makar and Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist each, and the Colorado Avalanche rallied from three goals down to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Saturday night in Denver.

    • Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher also scored, Mikko Rantanen had four assists and Nazem Kadri had two assists for the Avalanche, who have won four straight.

      Pavel Francouz stopped 18 shots in relief of Darcy Kuemper to help Colorado win its 11th straight home game. The Avs trailed 4-1 until late in the second period.

      Auston Matthews scored two goals, Alexander Kerfoot had a goal and two assists, Nick Ritchie also scored and Jack Campbell made 44 saves for Toronto.

      Toews got the winner when Kadri dropped a pass to him at the top of the right circle and he beat Campbell through the pads. It was his sixth of the season.

      Rangers 4, Ducks 1

      Ryan Lindgren scored twice, and Jarred Tinordi scored the tiebreaking goal as New York rode a big night from its defensemen, dominated the third period and recorded a victory over host Anaheim.

      New York won for the fourth time in five games. Tinordi and Lindgren scored during a stretch when the Rangers took the first 18 shots of the third and outshot the Ducks by a 20-3 margin in the final 20 minutes. Lindgren sealed the win by getting an empty-net goal with 31 seconds remaining, achieving his first career multi-goal game.

      Isac Lundestrom scored for the Ducks, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

      Blue Jackets 4, Devils 3

      Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice -- including the game-winner in the third period -- for host Columbus, who salvaged a split of a home-and-home by edging New Jersey.

      Bjorkstrand also scored the first goal for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the fourth time in their last 15 games (4-10-1). Boone Jenner and Yegor Chinakhov also had goals for Columbus.

      Nico Hischier, Jimmy Vesey and Marian Studenic scored for the Devils, who beat the Blue Jackets 3-1 on Thursday and are 4-2-0 since returning from the holiday break.

      Sharks 3, Flyers 2 (OT)

      Tomas Hertl recorded a hat trick, including the game-winner 24 seconds into overtime, to lift San Jose Sharks over host Philadelphia.

      Hertl now has 20 goals this season. Brent Burns registered three assists and Timo Meier had two assists for the Sharks, who won their second in a row. Sharks goaltender Adin Hill stopped 29 shots. San Jose is missing captain Logan Couture (health and safety protocol) and injured players such as goaltender James Reimer, Jacob Middleton and Erik Karlsson.

      James van Riemsdyk scored both goals for the Flyers, who dropped their fifth straight. Martin Jones made 44 saves. The depleted Flyers continue to compete without numerous key players, who are injured or in the league's health and safety protocol.

      Blackhawks 2, Golden Knights 1

      Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves as Chicago snapped a six-game winless streak by beating Vegas in Las Vegas.

      It was the 502nd career victory, third all-time in NHL history, for the popular Fleury, who was facing the Golden Knights for the first time since being traded to Chicago last July. The Golden Knights honored the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, who went 26-10-0 with six shutouts last season, with a special tribute video before the opening faceoff.

      Jujhar Khaira and Riley Stillman scored goals for Chicago. Ben Hutton scored for Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights, who lost for the third time in their last four games. Robin Lehner finished with 19 saves and had a personal six-game winning streak snapped.

      Predators 4, Coyotes 2

      Roman Josi collected one goal and an assist to lead Nashville past Arizona in Glendale, Ariz., for its fourth consecutive win.

      Mattias Ekholm, Yakov Trenin and Tanner Jeannot all scored first-period goals while Ryan Johansen added two assists for the Predators, who are on an 11-1-1 run. Goaltender Juuse Saros made 38 saves to cap a perfect three-game road trip.

      Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse replied for the Coyotes. Goalie Karel Vejmelka stopped 25 shots.

      Bruins 5, Lightning 2

      David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each netted two goals as Boston snapped Tampa Bay's nine-game home point streak, toppling the host Lightning.

      Anton Blidh found the net for the second time, and Taylor Hall notched two assists for the Bruins, who have chalked up points in nine of their past 10 road games (8-1-1).

      Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point each scored to give them three-game goal streaks, and Andrei Vasilevskiy (19-6-3) saved 25 of 29 shots but failed to win for the second time in his past 11 starts (9-1-1).

      Stars 3, Penguins 2

      Roope Hintz scored with 3:46 remaining in the third period as host Dallas snapped Pittsburgh's 10-game win streak.

      The Stars overcame an early two-goal deficit before Hintz caught Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry out of position just 1:15 after Joe Pavelski tied the game.

      Denis Gurianov also scored, Jason Robertson had three assists and Jake Oettinger made 27 saves to send the Stars to their fourth straight win.

      Panthers 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT)

      Anthony Duclair scored with 2:07 remaining in overtime to give Florida a road victory over Carolina in Raleigh, N.C.

      Duclair intercepted Brady Skjei's pass in the neutral zone and then joined Jonathan Huberdeau on a two-on-one rush. Huberdeau then passed to Duclair cutting in front of the net where he fired a wrist shot inside the left post for his 14th goal of the season.

      Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and Huberdeau had a goal and assist for Florida, which moved into a tie with Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division. Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves for his 16th win of the season.

      Wild 3, Capitals 2 (SO)

      Frederick Gaudreau scored the winner in the shootout as Minnesota rallied past Washington in St. Paul, Minn., spoiling a record night by Capitals goaltender Zach Fucale.

      Kevin Fiala also scored in the shootout and Kaapo Kahkonen made one save in the shootout and Washington missed on its other attempt. Kahkonen finished with 29 saves in regulation and overtime.

      Fucale set franchise and NHL records by opening his career with 138:07 scoreless minutes. That string was snapped as Mats Zuccarello scored on a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle with 35 seconds remaining in regulation and an extra attacker on the ice, tying the score at 2-2 and forcing overtime.

      Kings 4, Red Wings 0

      Cal Petersen earned his first shutout of the season as host Los Angeles rode a dominant first period to defeat Detroit and win its third game in its last four.

      En route to his second career shutout, Petersen made 21 saves, his biggest a third-period glove stop on Pius Suter during a breakaway chance.

      Phillip Danault, Drew Doughty, Adrian Kempe and Trevor Moore each scored, and Dustin Brown collected a pair of assists. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 38 shots for the Red Wings, who have lost three of four games and seven of their last 10.

      --Field Level Media

  • Sharks place Evander Kane on waivers to terminate contract
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 8, 2022

    The San Jose Sharks placed forward Evander Kane on unconditional waivers Saturday for the purpose of terminating his contract.

    • Other NHL teams can claim Kane in the next 24 hours. Should he go unclaimed, the Sharks will terminate the rest of his deal.

      Kane is in the fourth season of a seven-year, $49 million contract signed in May 2018.

      "The San Jose Sharks have informed Evander Kane that he has been placed on unconditional waivers with intent to terminate his contract for breach of his NHL Standard Player Contract and for violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols," the team said in a statement.

      Kane, 30, served a 21-game suspension for submitting a fake vaccination card and was assigned to the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League.

      Kane led the Sharks in goals (22) and assists (27) while appearing in all 56 games last season.

      He has 264 goals and 242 assists in 769 career games for the Atlanta Thrashers (2009-11), Winnipeg Jets (2011-15), Buffalo Sabres (2015-18) and Sharks.

      --Field Level Media

  • Oilers place 5 players, 6 staff in COVID protocol
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 8, 2022

    The Edmonton Oilers placed five players and six members of their support staff in COVID-19 protocol on Saturday.

    • Among the five players was Kailer Yamamoto, who was ushered from practice on Friday after a rapid test returned a positive result.

      Fellow forward Brendan Perlini, defensemen Evan Bouchard and Slatter Koekkoek and goaltender Ilya Konovalov joined six support staff of the traveling party in the protocol.

      Captain Connor McDavid, fellow forward Derek Ryan and defenseman Tyson Barrie entered protocol on Wednesday. They are eligible to return on Sunday for the Oilers (18-14-2), who are scheduled to host the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Devils place F Nathan Bastian in COVID protocol
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 8, 2022

    New Jersey Devils forward Nathan Bastian will miss at least Saturday's game at the Columbus Blue Jackets after being placed in COVID-19 protocol.

    • Bastian, 24, has five goals and two assists in 29 games this season for the Devils (14-16-5).

      He recorded an assist in nearly 17 minutes of ice time in Thursday's 3-1 victory over visiting Columbus.

      --Field Level Media

  • Penguins add Bryan Rust, Brock McGinn to COVID protocol
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 8, 2022

    Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Bryan Rust and Brock McGinn entered the NHL's COVID-19 protocol Saturday.

    • Both players missed Saturday afternoon's game against the host Dallas Stars.

      Rust, 29, has 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 15 games this season. He has seven goals and four assists over his last three games since returning from a lower-body injury.

      McGinn, 27, has recorded 13 points (nine goals, four assists) and had played in all 33 games this season.

      "Rust tested positive this morning. McGinn tested positive yesterday," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Saturday.

      Due to the confirmed positive tests, both will miss at least five days past the date they tested positive. That will keep McGinn out for at least the next two games and Rust for the next three.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hockey community mourns death of high school player
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 8, 2022

    The NHL and hockey organizations around the country are joining to mourn the death of a Connecticut high school player who died after sustaining an on-ice injury.

    • Teddy Balkind, a sophomore at St. Luke's School in New Canaan, Ct., died Thursday after he fell to the ice during a junior varsity game at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Ct. Another player was unable to stop and collided with Balkind, cutting his neck with his skate.

      Balkind was taken to Greenwich Hospital and was pronounced dead.

      "Our community is mourning," St. Luke's head of school Mark Davis said in a statement issued Friday. "Yesterday, we lost a precious young man in a tragic accident. Both St. Luke's School and Brunswick School are in shock as we work to support our students and families. St. Luke's singular focus at this moment is to care for our devastated community."

      The larger hockey community issued statements of support, with players putting their sticks outside their front doors and teams outside their locker rooms to honor Balkind.

      "Our local community and the entire hockey world is hurting over the unimaginable loss of Teddy Balkind this week," the Bridgeport Islanders of the American Hockey League posted to Twitter on Saturday. "Our prayers and most heartfelt condolences are with his family and his many friends, and his St. Luke's teammates and opponents."

      The news hit especially hard for Cam Atkinson, a forward with the Philadelphia Flyers who was born and raised in Connecticut.

      "I'm heartbroken for the Balkind family and everyone who knew and loved Teddy," Atkinson posted to social media, sharing a photo of his stick by his front door. "We're sending our love to the St. Luke's and Brunswick communities. A horrible tragedy playing the game we all love #sticksoutforteddy."

      --Field Level Media

  • Connor McDavid popular pick to win third Hart Memorial Trophy
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 7, 2022

    Connor McDavid is the odds-on favorite to win the Hart Memorial Trophy but that isn't scaring the public away from the Edmonton Oilers' star captain.

    • McDavid is vying to be named the league's most valuable player for the third time, and he's the +200 favorite to do so at BetMGM and DraftKings. Despite the short odds, McDavid is being backed by 39.9 percent of the bets and 76 percent of the money wagered on the award at BetMGM.

      That makes McDavid the biggest liability at the sportsbook despite being the heavy favorite.

      He was a unanimous winner last year, sweeping all 100 first-place votes available from the Professional Hockey Writers Association. He joined Wayne Gretzky (1982) as the second unanimous Hart winner in league history.

      McDavid entered Friday tied for the league lead in points with teammate Leon Draisaitl at 53. While Draisaitl leads the NHL with 26 goals, McDavid is No. 1 in assists with 34.

      Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is second at +350 at both sportsbooks, while Draisaitl is being offered at +400 by DraftKings and +600 at BetMGM. However, it's Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, a finalist last year, who is second at BetMGM with 20.4 percent of the total bets.

      Ovechkin is second with 6.3 percent of the money wagered on the Hart market, while Draisaitl has been backed by 7.1 percent of the tickets and 4.7 percent of the money. Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, another 2021 finalist, is being backed by 4.4 and 1.0 percent, respectively with +1200 odds after opening at +700.

      Matthews (+300) is also vying with Draisaitl (+250) and Ovechkin (+350) to win the Rocket Richard award as the leading goal scorer. Matthews is six goals behind Draisaitl, but Toronto has played two fewer games and Matthews missed the first three games of the season after leading the league with 41 goals in 52 games last year.

      The race for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender is much tighter among three top candidates who have emerged.

      Toronto's Andrei Vasilevskiy and the New York Rangers' Igor Shesterkin are co-favorites at +450 at BetMGM ahead of Toronto's Jack Campbell, whose odds have shortened from +2500 at the start of the season to +650. Colorado's Darcy Kuemper (+4000) is being backed by a book-high 14.8 percent of the bets, while Shesterkin has been supported by 18.1 percent of the money and is the book's biggest liability.

      Campbell is being backed by 8.3 and 10.8 percent, respectively. He's also the +400 favorite at DraftKings ahead of Shesterkin (+450) and Vasilevskiy (+600).

      The James Norris Trophy awarded to the best defenseman also appears to be a three-horse race.

      Colorado's Cale Makar is +250 at BetMGM and +400 at DraftKings. That's ahead of the Rangers' Adam Fox (+330, +400) and Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman (+600, +500).

      Makar is the overwhelming leader with 53.6 percent of the bets and 70.0 percent of the money wagered at BetMGM. He's also the book's biggest liability in the market.

      --Field Level Media

  • Wild's Kirill Kaprizov out vs. Capitals, possibly longer
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 7, 2022

    Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov has been ruled out of Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals, coach Dean Evason announced.

    • Kaprizov sustained an upper-body injury after being hit along the boards by Boston's Trent Frederic midway into the second period of the Wild's 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Thursday. Frederic was assessed a minor penalty for boarding and a fighting major against Minnesota defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.

      "He's seeing the docs, getting looked at here today," Evason said Friday of Kaprizov. "... Just that (he's) definitely out (Saturday) and we hope for the best-case scenario or the best positivity that we play (Saturday) and then we've got some time off to not only heal him up but other people as well."

      The Wild will host Washington on Saturday before returning to action against the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 14.

      Signed to a five-year, $45 million contract in September, Kaprizov has recorded team-best totals in assists (26) and points (40) in 32 games this season. His 14 goals are one shy of the club lead (Ryan Hartman).

      Kaprizov, 24, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie last season when he had 27 goals and 51 points in 55 games. The forward received 99 of 100 first-place votes.

      --Field Level Media

  • Oilers F Kailer Yamamoto enters COVID protocol
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 7, 2022

    Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto entered the NHL's COVID-19 protocol on Friday.

    • Head coach Dave Tippett said Yamamoto left practice after a rapid test came back positive.

      Yamamoto, 23, has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 34 games this season.

      Edmonton's 2017 first-round draft pick has 64 points (27 goals, 37 assists) in 139 career contests.

      The Oilers aren't scheduled to play again until Monday against the visiting Ottawa Senators.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL postpones two more games in Canada
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 7, 2022

    The NHL postponed two more games Friday due to coronavirus-related attendance restrictions in Canada.

    • Saturday night's game between the Ottawa Senators and host Vancouver Canucks, and the Jan. 15 game between Ottawa and the host Winnipeg Jets will both be rescheduled.

      With the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, capacity at indoor sporting events is currently limited in Canada, depending on the province.

      Public health orders in British Columbia limit the attendance to 50 percent capacity in Vancouver. Manitoba, Winnipeg's province, also has a 50 percent cap.

      --Field Level Media