Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Chad Ruhwedel (concussion) skating with the Penguins Thursday morning.

Ruhwedel was wearing a non-contact jersey though. He won't play in Game 7 Thursday night, but if the Penguins advance then there is a chance he'll be available for the Stanley Cup Final.
May 25 - 12:26 PM

The Pittsburgh Penguins have plenty of Game 7 experience to lean on going into the winner-takes-all end of the Eastern Conference Final.

After all, this is the Penguins' third Game 7 in their last five series. "I think our guys have it in perspective," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "They understand what a seven-game series is all about. All you can do is control what you can and do your very best to have success." Pittsburgh needed seven games to advance to the Stanley Cup Final last year too. We'll see if history repeats itself with another Game 7 victory for the Penguins.
May 25 - 11:28 AM

The Philadelphia Flyers have until June 1 to sign Sam Dove-McFalls to an entry-level contract or they'll lose his exclusive rights.

The Flyers took Dove-McFalls with the 98th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He's primarily a center, but he spent time during the 2016-17 campaign serving as a winger. "It can only be beneficial for me to play both positions, it'll help me be more versatile for when I get to the next level," Dove-McFalls said. "Some guys play one position their whole career, they have to play there, otherwise they're not able to play their game, so I think it's only good for me that I spent some time playing the wing this year." He had 17 goals and 53 points in 65 QMJHL games in 2016-17. He's added another five goals and 12 points in 18 playoff contests.
May 25 - 11:21 AM

Mike Hoffman argued the Ottawa Senators can enter Game 7 without any pressure weighing on them.

"There’s no pressure on us. They’re the ones that are favored," Hoffman said. "For us, we just take it as another hockey game. We know it’s a Game 7 and there’s a lot of us that haven’t played in one of those at this level. But, we know the game plan, sticking to our system and trying to shut them down as best we can to give ourselves the best chance (to win)." It's true that not many people thought the Senators would get this far, so even if they loss Thursday night this will be seen as a remarkably good season for them. All the same, that's likely not much help right now as the thought of being just one win away from playing in the Stanley Cup Final is likely tough to just brush aside. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if the Senators are indeed the team that play as if they have less pressure on them, given that the Penguins are the ones that have more experience to lean on.
Source: Ottawa Sun
May 25 - 10:53 AM

Zack Smith will likely be tasked with trying to contain Penguins star Evgeni Malkin in Game 7.

Malkin had three assists in Game 5 and found the back of the net in Game 6. Smith took some of the blame for that Game 6 marker. "That was my mistake," said Smith. "As soon as I tried to strip him on the outside ... as soon as I did that I knew it was the wrong move. He’s probably their best player right now. He protects pucks so well, you just have to stay between him and the net at all times. You can’t (rush) the puck like I tried to do on that one." Smith will take that lesson into Game 7 Thursday night.
Source: Ottawa Sun
May 25 - 10:49 AM

When it comes to hiring assistant coaches, bench boss Doug Weight prefers people that have NHL playing experience.

"I’m not afraid to say it, it’s something I’m looking for and chasing," Weight said. "But that being said, I’m not just hiring guys who play 15 years or 20 years. You have to sit with them, you have to see how they view the game, how they are, how they view the players, how I view the game." Weight, who of course had a long NHL career, recently hired his former teammate Luke Richardson to serve as an assistant coach. Weight is also believed to be considering Kelly Buchberger and Scott Gomez as candidates to join the coaching staff.
May 25 - 10:44 AM

Although Wild coach Bruce Boudreau is mad with the way Minnesota's season ended, he believes the team is good enough to go far in the playoffs as is.

Minnesota had a 49-25-8 regular season record, but lost in the first round to the St. Louis Blues. "I think we’re good enough where we don’t have to change a lot," Boudreau said. "We were in the top 10 in almost every category in the league, and until March 1, we were in the top five in every category." There will obviously be some turnover as there is every summer, but it's entirely possible that the Wild will avoid making any substantial trades or signings this summer. The Wild are likely to be close to the salary cap anyways once they re-sign their restricted free agents, so it would be somewhat difficult for them to make substantial additions at this time. That being said, you never know, especially this year when the Las Vegas expansion draft throws an uncommon winkle into the offseason proceedings.
May 25 - 10:24 AM

Ladislav Smid has signed with Liberec in the Czech Republic.

Smid missed the entire 2016-17 campaign due to a neck injury. He's a native of the Czech Republic and Liberec is the team he played for prior to coming to the NHL, so this will be a homecoming for him. Smid has 12 goals and 72 points in 583 career NHL games.
Source: Calgary Sun
May 25 - 10:10 AM

Jack Eichel might become the Buffalo Sabres' new captain.

Brian Gionta has held that position, but he's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. If Gionta's gone, then Eichel's main competition for the 'C' would be Ryan O'Reilly. Sabres GM Jason Botterill feels that there's no "one completely right decision" when it comes to picking a captain, but ultimately it will be up to Buffalo's next coach to make the call. With that in mind, it will be a little while before we find out if Eichel will be the new captain.
May 25 - 10:04 AM

The Florida Panthers are hoping to hire a coach before the NHL Draft.

Ideally, they'd have a coach in place before June 23rd. The Panthers are reportedly interested in former Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Predators assistant Phil Housley, Sharks assistant Bob Boughner and University of Denver coach Jim Montgomery. "We started with a big number [of coaching candidates] and we're narrowing it down to six or seven guys," Panthers GM Dale Tallon said, "and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll get it down to two or three and then get the final one prior to the draft."
Source: NHL.com
May 24 - 10:13 PM

Sabres GM Jason Botterill is reportedly interested in Penguins directer of amateur scouting Randy Sexton.

Botterill, of course, came to Buffalo via Pittsburgh, so there's obviously a relationship between he and Sexton. Botterill, who is a rookie general manager, could benefit from having Sexton around because he knows what it's like to be a GM in the NHL. Sexton was the general manager of both the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers.
May 24 - 7:16 PM

Vegas GM George McPhee and director of amateur scouting Scott Luce will be at the 2017 NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo from May 29 through June 3.

"We're going to try and ascertain best practices we've used in other various organizations so I think this year will be a great learning experience for us as a staff," Luce said. "But we want to come out of there with a comfort level with the young players knowing that they have what it takes to be a Vegas Golden Knight. We want high character, low maintenance-type players. It'll be a good learning curve for the entire staff going to the combine and representing our organization." The Golden Knights have the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The expansion draft and the entry draft are just around the corner for the league's newest franchise.
May 24 - 6:41 PM

Matt Cullen will play in his seventh Game 7 on Thursday night against Ottawa.

The 40-year-old veteran wants to keep the potential decision to retire on the back burner, so he is hoping that his perfect Game 7 record remains intact. "These are the games that when you're a kid growing up that you're playing in the backyard, the Game 7s," Cullen said. "So for us as players this is what it's all about. It's a different level of intensity, it's a different level of excitement and when you get it, you move on." He has six points in 18 playoff games this year.
May 24 - 6:30 PM

Craig Smith (lower body) might be ready to play Monday night in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Predators GM David Poile is optimistic that Smith will be OK to play. He hasn't been in the lineup since May 7 because of a lower-body injury.
May 24 - 6:21 PM
Chris Lee - D -

Chris Lee reportedly wants to get a shot in the NHL.

The 36-year-old defenseman has never played an NHL game and hasn't played in North America since 2010, but he just received the silver medal with Canada at the World Hockey Championship after a great season in the KHL. Lee amassed 14 goals and 65 points in 60 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk and he added 21 points in 18 playoff outings. His defense partner in the KHL was Viktor Antipin, who is expected to sign with the Buffalo Sabres. Lee could be a solid low-risk, low-cost signing for an NHL club looking for offense from the back end.
May 24 - 6:00 PM


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