National Hockey League
NHL News Wire
  • Sunday, January 25, 2015
    All-Star notebook: Johansen, Foligno take center stage
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Before this weekend, Columbus Blue Jackets forwards Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno were household names, but only in the 614 area code.

    • But this weekend, as the unofficial hosts of the All-Star Game in Nationwide Arena, Johansen and Foligno -- both first-time All-Stars -- had their coming out parties on a grand stage.

      Foligno was named to captain one of the NHL's teams, a huge honor typically reserved for the game's elite players.

      It put him at center stage for the league's televised "fantasy draft" of players on Friday, and made him a constant presence throughout the weekend, something the hard-working, checking forward has rarely tasted.

      "I was nervous, for sure," Foligno said. "My first time being an All-Star, first time being around a lot of these guys, and to be honest, you just want to fly under the radar and feel it out as you go.

      "I just decided, you know what, I'm going to embrace this. I enjoyed every minute of it. I can't tell you how humbled I am by it."

      Johansen, who had two goals and two assists, was named MVP of the game in fan voting.

      He had 30 goals last season and is on pace for a career-high points this season, and the word is spreading.

      "(Johansen) is a great player," Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos said. "I think people are starting to pay attention to him. Maybe he flew under the radar a little bit last year, but he's a tough guy to play against when he's on his game."

      --When the Blue Jackets take the ice, score a goal or win a game in Nationwide Arena, they fire a cannon in celebration.

      If you're not ready for it ...

      "It gets me every time," Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf said.

      They fired it yesterday when the Team Foligno -- on which both local players played -- scored goals. That means 12 blasts.

      "I don't like that," Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty said. "I don't think anybody does. It's not good when we come here. It scares me, still."

      --Philadelphia Flyers LW Jake Voracek had six points, matching an All-Star record set by Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux in 1988. "It's a little different," Voracek said. "Voracek and Lemieux, right? I had three secondary assists, so I wouldn't get too excited about it."

      --Johansen won a 2015 Honda Accord for being named MVP.

      --Next year's All-Star Game is set for Jan. 30-31 in Nashville.

  • Sunday, January 25, 2015
    Teams combine for 29 goals in NHL All-Star Game
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The NHL's first All-Star Game in three seasons became the highest-scoring mid-season classic in the league's history.

    • New York Islanders center John Tavares became only the sixth NHL player to score four goals in an All-Star Game, leading Team Toews to a 17-12 win over Team Foligno before a sold-out crowd of 18,901 in Nationwide Arena.

      "It's pretty cool," Tavares said. "It's something you don't really think about going into a game like this. You get your opportunities, but I was just happy to put them in.

      "It's pretty special, and certainly one (game) I won't forget."

      Philadelphia right winger Jakub Voracek (three goals, three assists), Boston center Patrice Bergeron (one goal, four assists) and Chicago center Jonathan Toews (one goals, four assists) each had five points for Team Toews.

      Voracek joins Mario Lemeiux -- three goals, three assists in 1988 -- as the only players to put up six points in a single All-Star Game.

      However, Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, who had two goals and two assists, was named the game's most valuable player through on-line voting.

      "It was like a road-hockey game with my buddies," Johansen said. "But it was a lot of fun.

      "To have this opportunity all weekend in front of our fans ... it's something I'll remember for a very long time."

      The previous record for most goals in a game was 26, set at the 2001 All-Star Game in Denver's Pepsi Center, when stars from North America beat stars from the rest of the World, 14-12.

      The teams combined for 92 shots on goal, zero hits and zero penalties.

      "It's not the style I'm used to playing," Foligno said. "But, boy, when the game slows down you really get to see what some of these guys can do, the skill that these guys have and the way they work the puck."

      The teams were shaped via "fantasy" draft on Friday, with Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews selecting one team and Columbus Blue Jackets left winger Nick Foligno drafting the other.

      Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos and Chicago's Patrick Kane each had two goals and an assist for Team Foligno.

      The game was tied 4-4 after one period before Team Toews pulled away with seven goals in the second period.

      All told, the six goaltenders stopped just 19 of 92 shots, a .734 save percentage.

      "I feel for the goalies, I do," Los Angeles center Anze Kopitar said.

      Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped only 9 of 16 shots in the second period for Team Foligno. The seven goals allowed in one period is an All-Star Game record.

      Fleury heard it from the Nationwide Arena crowd behind him for the entire 20 minutes, too.

      It was Fleury, after all, who helped Pittsburgh oust the Blue Jackets in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season.

      "It was so long, probably the longest 20 minutes of my career," Fleury said. "We are at this game to have fun, but at one time, it was frustrating.

      "Normally, I'll be quick out of the game (pulled by his coach) way before giving up seven goals."

      The other player targeted by the home crowd was New York Rangers left winger Rick Nash, who spent the first nine years of his career in Columbus before requesting a trade in 2012.

      Nash was booed every time he touched the puck. When he scored a second-period goal on Fleury, the crowd wasn't sure what to do.

      NOTES: Tampa Bay C Tyler Johnson was a late scratch from the game because of a groin injury. Calgary rookie LW Johnny Gaudreau was elevated from the rookie group to join the game. ... The previous player to win NHL All-Star Game MVP honors in front of his home fans was former Canadiens RW Alex Kovalev in 2009 in Montreal. ... The game featured performances from multi-platinum selling recording artist Fall Out Boy, rock band O.A.R. and power-pop band Locksley.

  • Sunday, January 25, 2015
    Blackhawks place Versteeg on LTIR, recall Rasmussen
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Chicago Blackhawks placed forward Kris Versteeg on long-term injured reserve and recalled forward Dennis Rasmussen from their AHL affiliate in Rockford, Ill., on Sunday.

    • Versteeg, who hasn't played since the Jan. 1 Winter Classic, must miss a minimum of 10 games with the designation, although he has already missed nine. Versteeg has nine goals and 18 assists this season and is still tied for second on the team with a plus-14 rating.

      The 24-year-old Rasmussen has eight goals and eight assists in 44 games with Rockford this season. Rasmussen signed as a free agent out of Sweden on June 10, 2014.

  • Sunday, January 25, 2015
    Lightning's Johnson to miss All-Star game
    By The Sports Xchange

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson will not play in Sunday's NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, because of a lower-body injury.

    • Johnson was reportedly injured during a Jan. 12 game against the Philadelphia Flyers but played in the Lightning's final three games before the All-Star break.

      Per NHL rules, Johnson, who has 17 goals and 48 points this season, will be able to play in the Lightning's next game, Tuesday at Carolina, if he is able because he made the trip to the All-Star game.

  • Sunday, January 25, 2015
    Blue Jackets entertain home crowd at All-Star skills event
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- One Columbus Blue Jackets player stole the show and another ruled the day.

    • The NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday night at Nationwide Arena delighted a partisan, sold-out crowd with high-end skill and high-end hijinks.

      "We wanted to put on a show and have a good time," Blue Jackets left winger Nick Foligno said. "We accomplished both. I'm pretty sure everybody has a blast tonight."

      The star of the show was Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, who won the Breakaway Challenge with three moves that brought Nationwide to life and lit up Twitter, which is how the winner in one event was determined.

      The teams for this event -- and for Sunday's 60th NHL All-Star Game -- were selected by draft on Friday, with Foligno selecting one club and Chicago's Jonathan Toews picking the other.

      Johansen's performance helped Team Foligno win the event 25-19.

      Other winners:

      --Tampa Bay's Jonathan Drouin was the fastest skater (13.103 seconds).

      --Chicago's Patrick Kane won accuracy shooting (13.529 seconds).

      --Nashville's Shea Weber, in his second attempt, had the hardest shot (108.5 mph).

      Weber's shot fell just short of the record (108.8 mph) set in 2012 by Boston's Zdeno Chara.

      "One more chance," Toews said. "I'm sure he could have broken the record. I don't think there's anyone who shoots the puck as hard as him, and he showed that tonight."

      All of the individual champions were first-time winners in their events, but nobody took over like Johansen.

      In his first attempt, Johansen started in on Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford before pulling to a stop at the hashmarks and taking off his Blue Jackets sweater to reveal an Ohio State No. 5 sweater underneath.

      The Buckeyes won the first College Football Playoff two weeks ago and held a celebration rally Saturday that drew 45,000 to Ohio Stadium.

      "It was a no-brainer for me," Johansen said. "I had a jersey at home, so I figured I throw it on and have some fun with it."

      Johansen's second attempt appealed to fans' emotions.

      He again stopped short of Crawford, but this time he circled back, pulled a kid out of the crowd and carried him down the ice to the puck, letting him score the goal.

      The kid was Cole Vogt, the 7-year-old son of Blue Jackets medical trainer Mike Vogt, who Johansen goofs around with in the dressing room.

      "I thought it would be cool to give Voter's kid a memory he can look back on and think is pretty cool," Johansen said.

      On Johansen's third attempt, he involved six other players from Team Foligno to form a Flying V -- a "Mighty Ducks" movie reference -- before he skated in for his attempt.

      That 1992 movie counts as nostalgia for a 22-year-old.

      The only player who wasn't warmly welcomed at Nationwide Arena was New York Rangers forward Rick Nash.

      Nash spent the first nine years of his career in Columbus before requesting a trade in 2012. He was sent to the Rangers months later and is booed every time he plays at Nationwide.

      There were plenty of laughs throughout the night.

      Philadelphia's Jake Voracek mocked Johansen's second shootout move just a few minutes later, convicing diminutive Calgary forward Johnny Gaudreau to be his "kid" for an attempt.

      Voracek said it was an easy sell for Gaudreau, but if he didn't go along ...

      "I was gonna put on a Rick Nash jersey, to be honest," he said.

      The game wasn't purely for giggles, though.

      The NHL will use this weekend to experiment with new technology aimed at enhancing advanced stats.

      At the skills competition and in the All-Star Game, Sportvision microchips -- shaped like basic Band-Aids -- were to be embedded into every player's sweater and in each of the pucks.

      The chips will enable the league to measure how fast a player skates, how sharp a turn he takes, how fast the puck moves, etc.

      The league plans to use the technology in every game next season and provide information to every club.

  • Saturday, January 24, 2015
    Flames' Gaudreau added to All-Star roster
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NHL decided Saturday night to fill the vacant spot on the NHL All-Star Game roster left by injured Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby with Calgary Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau.

    • Gaudreau already was in Columbus, Ohio, to participate in Saturday night's skills competition.

      On Friday, there were reports that Gaudreau would be named to take the vacant spot left by Crosby's injury absence, but then the league determined that it would not replace him.

      That changed again Saturday night just before the start of the skills competition when Gaudreau was officially added to the team captained by Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews.

      In 46 games this season for the Flames, Gaudreau has 13 goals and 22 assists.

  • Saturday, January 24, 2015
    NHL notebook: World Cup of Hockey returns in 2016
    By The Sports Xchange

    On the eve of the 60th All-Star Game, in Columbus, Ohio, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr announced on Saturday the return of the World Cup of Hockey.

    • "Our goal -- the NHL and the NHLPA -- is to create the most complete, entertaining and comprehensive tournament possible," Bettman said. "We want to make this tournament as great as it can be. This is just the first step."

      The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be held at Toronto's Air Canada Center, beginning on Sept. 17 and running as late as Oct. 1.

      It will involve eight 23-player teams. Six nations will field teams: Canada, the United States, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden.

      The two other teams will be put together by patchwork. One will feature the best European players from countries not otherwise invited, and the other will be comprised by the best North American players 23 and under.

      Bettman said the plan is to play the World Cup every four years, rotating with the Olympic Games.

      ---The NHL set its outdoor calendar for the 2015-16 season.

      The events were officially announced Saturday by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman during the 2015 NHL All-Star weekend in Columbus, Ohio.

      The Boston Bruins will host the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1, playing the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Sadium in Foxborough, Mass. Gillette Stadium is 68,756-seat home of the New England Patriots.

      There also will be two 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Games. On Feb. 21, the Wild will host the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus. On Feb. 27, the Colorado Avalanche will host to the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies.

      ---A day after announcing star center Sidney Crosby would miss the NHL All-Star Game due to a lower-body injury, the Pittsburgh Penguins sent out an update clarifying his situation.

      Crosby received an injection to treat the injury suffered Jan. 10 against Montreal, according to the release.

      Crosby is expected to resume skating Tuesday and could return to the lineup Wednesday at Washington or Friday at New Jersey.

  • Saturday, January 24, 2015
    NHL announces 2016 outdoor games
    By The Sports Xchange

    The National Hockey League set its outdoor calendar for the 2015-16 season.

    • The events were officially announced Saturday by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman during the 2015 NHL All-Star weekend in Columbus, Ohio.

      The Boston Bruins will host the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1, playing the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Sadium in Foxborough, Mass. Gillette Stadium is 68,756-seat home of the New England Patriots.

      There will also be two 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Games with the Minnesota Wild and the Colorado Avalanche playing hosts in the course of six days in late February.

      On Feb. 21, the Wild will host the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus. On Feb. 27, the Colorado Avalanche will host to the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies.

      "It's a great day. It's a great day for our fans, the State of Hockey, our community and the whole organization and franchise," Matt Majka, the Wild's chief operating officer, said Saturday at a news conference. "We've worked at it for a long time. The league has made it clear what they expected from us to be in a game like this. We worked on it, and now here we are. It's exciting."

      Majka was asked why TCF Bank Stadium was chosen instead of Target Field.

      "Honestly, the league makes that decision, but we had a difficult choice here ourselves because we have two great venues in this market that could host this game and these events," Majka said. "So the league worked hard on it with both venues. I know how much Target Field wanted it as well, as did TCF Bank Stadium. In the end I'm sure it was a very tough choice for the NHL.

      "The sightlines are great for a hockey game. They have radiant heat in various parts of the stadium, they have some great premium spaces, so we're thrilled. And it's a big venue 50-plus thousand, and we believe we'll fill it.

      "I do believe that the size difference between the two venues was clearly a factor. There are 10,000 extra seats at TCF Bank Stadium. I don't think that was the only issue, but it is an issue to be sure."

      Added Norwood Teague, University of Minnesota's athletic director:

      "We always love anything at TCF. It helps the brand, it gives us national exposure. Anytime you have your teams on national TV or teams are in your stadium, it always helps build the brand. We let them (NHL) know we wanted to have it, and we mean that. So we're excited about that part of it. You've got to be positive and say 'we want it' and we did that definitely.

      "Our sightlines are very good for football and for hockey. The way that we're slanted, we're a newer stadium, so we have a lot of steepness to our venue, we have a lot of club seating, we have great concessions. We're a new stadium so that always helps with the architecture and things that were put in place there."

      It is the first outdoor game for both the Wild and Avalanche. Detroit has played in a pair of Winter Classics, while the Blackhawks have played in two Winter Classics, including the 2015 version against the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park, and a Stadium Series game at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears.

      While both Detroit and Chicago have played in two Winter Classics, Boston is the first club to host two Winter Classics. The Bruins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 version at Fenway Park, winning a thrilling 2-1 decision in overtime. The Canadiens will be making their Winter Classic debut and are just the second NHL team from Canada to play in the Jan. 1 showcase. The Toronto Maple Leafs played the Red Wings in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2014.

      The Coors Light NHL Stadium Series was launched during the 2013-14 season by the NHL and featured four games, all of which were played in sold-out stadiums. Yankee Stadium hosted two games, while the other games were played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Soldier Field.

      There is one Stadium Series Game this season -- played on Feb. 21, when the San Jose Sharks play host to the Los Angeles Kings at Levi's Stadium.

  • Saturday, January 24, 2015
    NHL, NHLPA reveal 2016 World Cup of Hockey
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The NHL's participation in future Olympic games is still up in the air, but the league is not done sending its best players to international events.

    • Not by a long shot.

      On the eve of the 60th All-Star Game in Nationwide Arena, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr announced on Saturday the return of the World Cup of Hockey.

      "Our goal -- the NHL and the NHLPA -- is to create the most complete, entertaining and comprehensive tournament possible," Bettman said. "We want to make this tournament as great as it can be. This is just the first step."

      The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be held in Toronto's Air Canada Center beginning on Sept. 17 and running as late as Oct. 1.

      It will involve eight, 23-player teams. Six nations will field teams: Canada, the United States, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden.

      The other two teams will be put together by patchwork. One will feature the best European players from countries not otherwise invited, and the other will be comprised by the best North American players 23-and under.

      "We wanted to be creative," Bettman said. "We had to be creative, because we obviously don't have enough time to stage a qualifying tournament.

      "We'll look at this. We'll see how it goes. But we think it will be exciting."

      The league estimated that 150 NHL players would be involved.

      "I grew up watching the World Cup," Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane said. "I think it'll be really competitive, and I think we all take a lot of pride in playing for our country and being a part of something like this."

      Each country will play three pre-tournament exhibition games, followed by a three-game round-robin tournament.

      The top four teams will meet in single-elimination semifinals, with the final two countries playing in a best-of-three final.

      If the final takes three games to settle, the tournament would end Oct. 1, roughly one week before the NHL season opens.

      "Usually when the public hears about Gary and I talking, we're fighting about something," Fehr said. "I'm happy that we could come together on this and get this done."

      Bettman said the plan is to play the World Cup every four years, rotating with the Olympic Games.

      Bettman said the announcement would have "no bearing" on whether the league participates at the next Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea in 2018.

      Also on Saturday, the league announced its 2015-16 outdoor schedule.

      Montreal and Boston will meet on Jan. 1, 2016 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., in the Winter Classic.

      There will be two Stadium Series games: Minnesota will host Chicago on Feb. 21 at TCF Bank Field on the University of Minnesota; and Colorado will host Detroit on Feb. 27 at Coors Field.

      Bettman also said the sliding Canadian dollar has caused the NHL to project the 2015-16 salary cap at $71.7 million, up from $69 million this season.

      Earlier in the season, the league projected a $73 million cap for next season.

  • Saturday, January 24, 2015
    World Cup of Hockey to return in 2016
    By The Sports Xchange

    The World Cup of Hockey will be back on the international calendar in 2016, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Saturday.

    • The next edition will take place in September 2016 in Toronto, with more than 150 NHL players expected to take part.

      The two-week tournament will feature eight teams comprised of the world's best hockey players competing for the championship. The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the National Hockey League Players' Association and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation.

      "We are thrilled to partner with the NHLPA in planning and producing what we expect will be the world's best international hockey tournament," Bettman said. "The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will highlight not only our global reach, but also the skill and passion of the world's best athletes. We would like to thank our international partners -- the IIHF and their members -- for their cooperation in helping to make this event a reality."

      The last World Cup of Hockey was played in 2004, with the final also in Toronto. Canada defeated Finland in the championship game. The only other World Cup of Hockey was in 1996. The United States upset Canada in a three-game final, winning the final two games in Montreal after dropping the opening game at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

      "We expect the 2016 World Cup of Hockey to be the most competitive tournament of its kind, with the world's top players and best athletes," said Don Fehr, NHLPA executive director. "We look forward to working with the NHL, and the IIHF and its federations on this extraordinary event. We expect that this is the initial step in a series of events that will elevate our game over the next few years, including a World Cup in 2020."

      The 2016 tournament will feature national teams from six countries: Canada, the reigning Olympic champion, the United States, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden and Finland. The other two teams will be new to the competition: Team Europe and Team North American Youngstars.

      Team Europe will feature players from across Europe outside of the four European national teams already in the tournament. Slovakia, Switzerland, Denmark and Germany will likely provide the majority of the players on the roster, but others will likely come from countries with developing national team programs, but established NHL stars, like Slovenia (Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings) and Norway (Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers).

      The players for Team North American Youngstars will be selected from a pool of the best young hockey players from Canada and the United States. Those players age 23 and under will be available for selection exclusively by Team North American Youngstars.

      Each of the eight teams will feature 23 players, 20 skaters and three goalies. The teams will be split into two groups and play a round-robin competition before moving on to a one-game semifinal round. The final round will be a best-of-three format between the two semifinal winners.

      Each national association will select its own team and must announce at least 16 members of its roster, including at least two goalies, no later than March 1, 2016, with the balance of each team's roster to be announced no later than June 1, 2016.

      The NHL and NHLPA will jointly name each of the management teams for Team Europe and Team North American Youngstars. Those management teams will select the rosters for those teams.

      The tournament will be played on NHL-sized rinks using NHL rules and officiated by NHL officials.

      It is anticipated that the initial portion of training camp for each team participating in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey will begin Sunday, Sept. 4.

      "The return of the World Cup of Hockey is great news for hockey fans everywhere and especially for fans in Toronto and Canada," Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of MLSE and NHL Governor, said in a statement. "This event will not only shine a spotlight on this great game and its stars, but it will also bring a very positive economic impact for the city and its businesses. We're thrilled to be selected as host for the World Cup."

  • Saturday, January 24, 2015
    Devils GM Lamoriello being sued for $2.3 million
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former Devils Arena Entertainment President Rich Krezwick filed a $2.3 million lawsuit against New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello on Thursday, according to multiple reports in New Jersey.

    • Krezwick alleges Lamoriello, who has been with the Devils since 1987, had him fired in 2013 when Devils ownership changed.

      According to John Brennan of the Bergen Record, Krezwick was fired at a staff meeting of 100 employees when his replacement, Hugh Weber, was introduced.

      "Lamoriello physically positioned himself in a chair at the base of the employee elevator of the (Prudential Center) so that he could watch these individuals pass by with their boxes of personal belongings in order to leave the building directly after they were fired and to laugh as they passed by, as to take credit for their firing," the suit claims.

      The suit also claims that in July 2012, Krezwick was offered a four-year deal worth more than $700,000 a year to take over as president and chief executive officer of MetLife Stadium, where the NFL's New York Jets and New York Giants play. Krezwick said he turned down the offer when he was promised a multi-year contract with the Devils, but when the by Jeff Vanderbeek to Joshua Harris and David Blitzer, he was fired.

  • Friday, January 23, 2015
    All-Star teams selected at fantasy draft
    By The Sports Xchange

    Captains Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks selected their teams for the NHL All-Star Game at the fantasy draft at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on Friday night.

    • Foligno chose his Blue Jackets teammate, center Ryan Johansen, with the first pick.

      Toews took Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel with the second pick followed by Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber and Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek.

      Foligno took Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith as his third pick followed by Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar.

      Below are the full rosters for each team for Sunday's All-Star Game:

      Team Toews:

      Forwards: Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks), Rick Nash (New York Rangers), John Tavares (New York Islanders), Vladamir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues), Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins), Patrik Elias (New Jersey Devils), Tyler Johnson (Tampa Bay Lightning), Filip Forsberg (Predators), Kessel, Voracek, Toews.

      Defenseman: Brent Seabrook (Blackhawks), Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers), Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild), Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames), Justin Faulk (Carolina Hurricanes), Weber.

      Goaltenders: Corey Crawford (Blackhawks), Roberto Luongo (Panthers), Jaroslav Halak (Islanders).

      Team Foligno:

      Forwards: Patrick Kane (Blackhawks), Steven Stamkos (Lightning), Claude Giroux (Flyers), Bobby Ryan (Ottawa Senators), Radim Vrbata (Vancouver Canucks), Zemgus Girgensons (Buffalo Sabres), Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers), Johansen, Kopitar, Kessel, Foligno.

      Defensemen: Drew Doughty (Kings), Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets), Brent Burns (San Jose Sharks), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Arizona Coyotes), Keith.

      Goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins), Brian Elliott (Blues).

  • Friday, January 23, 2015
    Penguins update Crosby's injury status
    By The Sports Xchange

    A day after announcing star center Sidney Crosby would miss the NHL All-Star Game due to a lower-body injury, the Pittsburgh Penguins sent out an update clarifying his situation.

    • Crosby received an injection to treat the injury suffered Jan. 10 against Montreal after trying to play through the injury the past two weeks, according to the release.

      Under league rules, Crosby, who has 15 goals and 36 assists in 43 games this season, won't be able to play Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets because he is missing the All-Star Game.

      The release also said that Crosby is expected to resume skating Tuesday and could return to the lineup either Wednesday at Washington or Friday at New Jersey.

      Pittsburgh's other star center, Evgeni Malkin, has also been ruled out of Sunday's All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, but there has been no announcement on his injury status.

  • Friday, January 23, 2015
    Stars re-sign AHL star Morin
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Dallas Stars signed center Travis Morin to a two-year contract extension Friday.

    • Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

      Morin, 31, has played in just five games for Dallas this season but has a team-leading 31 points (14 goals) in 30 games for Texas, Dallas' development affiliate in the American Hockey League.

      Last season, Morin led the AHL with 88 points (32 goals), earning the Les Cunningham Award as the league's top player.

      A former ninth-round pick by Washington, Morin joined the Stars in 2010. However, he has played in just 12 NHL games.

  • Friday, January 23, 2015
    Some big stars missing from All-Star weekend
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No Sidney, no Geno, no Bob and no Henrik.

    • Between a rash of injuries and the conspicuous absence of NHL superstars, the 2015 All-Star Game on Sunday in Nationwide Arena might better be dubbed the Some Stars Game.

      Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins' superstar, pulled out of the game late Thursday, citing a lower body injury, even though he played 23 minutes and appeared healthy a night earlier in a shootout loss to Chicago.

      Crosby, who has played in only one All-Star Game during his 10-year career, is ineligible to dress in Pittsburgh's first game out of the break, the NHL said.

      Earlier in the day on Thursday, teammate Evgeni Malkin, who did not play Wednesday, announced that he would miss the midseason classic.

      "I know they wanted to be here," said goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguins' lone representative this weekend. "Obviously, they're taking time to heal up.

      "It's a little disappointing to not have my teammates with me, but I'm trying to make the best out of it."

      Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson (lower body), Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard (groin) and Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne (knee) have all pulled out of the game in recent days.

      Meanwhile, some of the NHL brightest stars -- Detroit's Pavel Datstyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, the New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist and Montreal's P.K. Subban -- are absent.

      "As much as some guys need the break, I think it's important that you be here," Anaheim forward Ryan Getzlaf said. "This is a big even for the league, and you want to have all the superstars here at the same time.

      "But at the same time, your loyalties, first and foremost, lie with your hockey team and being able to perform in the second half of the season. Sometimes, a three- or four-day rest could be huge down the road."

      The league had such a difficult time finding replacements -- most players left off the initial rosters make plans to travel immediately after the last game before the break -- that it elevated Nashville's Filip Forsberg and Florida's Aaron Ekblad from rookie invites in the skills competition to players in Sunday's game.

      This is nothing new, of course.

      In 2012, Washington's Alexander Ovechkin skipped the All-Star Game in protest of a three-game suspension levied by the league.

      In 2009, Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and Datsyuk were suspended one game for skipping the All-Star Game without proof of injury.

      "It’s kind of an obligation," Ovechkin said Friday during media day. "We have to help the fans, because they want to see not only Capitals or Columbus, they want to see everyone together, all the best players together, playing one game. It's fun."

      St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott -- who took Bobrovsky's spot on the roster -- made a huge sacrifice to be in Columbus this weekend.

      When the league contacted him on Thursday, he was just getting settled for a four-day vacation on the Turks and Caicos Islands.

      He's expected to arrive late Friday.

      "You can't really deny this," said Elliott's teammate, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. "You don't know how many times this is going to happen in your career.

      "Some guys have the luxury of knowing their going to be here every year. But in 20 years, you don't want to say you skipped an All-Star Game because you wanted to stay on the beach for an extra day or two."

  • Friday, January 23, 2015
    Relaxed Nash returns to Columbus for All-Star game
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Those who knew Rick Nash during his 10 years in Columbus could detect a notable difference in his visage -- and his bearing -- when he met the media at the outset of NHL All-Star Weekend on Friday.

    • Nash appears leaner now, but the difference goes beyond physical appearance. He made his inglorious exit from Columbus in a monster trade during the summer of 2012. Since then, he has played two-plus seasons for the New York Rangers, rediscovered his scoring mojo, gotten married and welcomed a baby boy to his young family.

      There is a certain serenity about Nash, 30. It is unmistakable. He was always comfortable in his own skin. But now, it seems, everything makes sense.

      "I've done a lot of cool things in my life -- I know I'm really fortunate -- but this is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me," Nash said. "There's nothing that can top having a family."

      Nash will take part in the skills competition Saturday and will serve as an assistant captain for Team Toews in Sunday's All-Star game. He said he has been looking forward to the event in Columbus, and in Nationwide Arena, where he was once showered with cheers by Blue Jackets fans.

      Then, in the middle of the 2011-12 season, he asked for a trade, in part to help the Jackets rebuild. That lost him a lot of fans in his adopted hometown -- he still maintains a home in central Ohio and plans to settle here upon retirement -- and he has been booed lustily whenever the Rangers have visited.

      Asked how he would be received in Nationwide this weekend, he said, "My gut is boos. Yes, that's my gut."

      Asked if he is hopeful that the boos in Columbus will subside someday, if not Sunday, he said, "I think I'm over the boos. I don't think it affects me anymore. I feel like I've put a lot of work into this city and this organization. I feel like I've put half of my career into Columbus and tried to build hockey the best I can in the area. It seems to be taking off pretty good."

      Nash is proud of that. He was very close to the late owner, John H. McConnell. He spoke at McConnell's memorial service at Nationwide Arena in 2008. He has been thinking about McConnell, who wanted to spotlight the city of Columbus through professional sports.

      "I love coming back to the city," Nash said. "It's always a bit strange coming back for hockey just because I suited up in this rink for nine, 10 years. But it's fun to see the capital of the hockey universe in Columbus."

      Beneath his calm and happy visage, there is probably a part of him that wants to light up Nationwide on Sunday. He is capable of it.

      Nash hit the break with 28 goals, tied with Dallas' Tyler Seguin for the league lead. He is on pace for 52 goals. If he gets there, he will be just the fourth Ranger ever -- after Vic Hadfield, Adam Graves and Jaromir Jagr -- to reach that plateau.

      "It's things coming together," he said. "Linemates clicking and pucks going in. But I'm not really interested in personal goals now. It's team goals I'm looking for at my age."

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015
    Avalanche D Johnson to miss ASG
    By The Sports Xchange

    Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is the latest player to announce he will miss this weekend's NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, due to a lower-body injury.

    • The 26-year-old is tied for first among NHL defensemen scoring with a career-high 12 goals this season. He also has 11 assists.

      Sunday was to be his first at the All-Star Game.

      Johnson joins Pittsburgh Penguins centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as well as goaltenders

      Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings), Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators) and Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets) who have been ruled out of the game because of injuries.

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015
    Penguins' Crosby out of All-Star Game
    By The Sports Xchange

    Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby will miss the All-Star Game on Sunday on Columbus, Ohio, due to a lower-body injury. The Penguins also confirmed a report that center Evgeni Malkin will miss the game with a lower-body injury.

    • Crosby has been playing with the injury and will need about a week to heal, the team said in a statement.

      Malkin was injured Tuesday against Philadelphia and did not play Wednesday vs. the Chicago Blackhawks. The team said it was unsure when he would return.

      "With (Malkin), he won't be ready to play right after the break," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford told the Tribune-Review on Thursday. "It's probably an injury that will take a little time to heal."

      The Penguins return to action Tuesday at home against the Winnipeg Jets. Per NHL rules, Crosby is ineligible to play in that game as he missed no time prior to the All-Star Game absence.

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015
    NHL notebook: Blues G Elliott named All-Star sub
    By The Sports Xchange

    St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott will replace injured Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky on the roster for Sunday's NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio.

    • Bobrovsky sustained a lower-body injury during the second period of the Blue Jackets' 4-0 loss at Winnipeg on Wednesday night. It's not known how long Bobrovsky might be sidelined. The 2013 Vezina Trophy winner was elected to the All-Star team for the first time in his career but will miss the opportunity to play before a home crowd.

      Elliott becomes the third Blues goal in history to make at least two All-Star appearances. He also was on the team on 2012. Elliott joins Blues teammates Kevin Shattenkirk and Vladimir Tarasenko on this year's roster. The 29-year-old Elliott has a 13-5-2 record this season and leads the NHL with a 1.86 goals-against average and ranks fourth with a .930 save percentage. He has three shutouts.

      ---Nashville Predators rookie forward Filip Forsberg has been selected to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, the NHL announced Thursday.

      Forsberg previously had been picked to participate in the All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday. He is the only rookie selected to play in the game.

      Forsberg, 20, leads the Predators and NHL rookies with 40 points (15 goals). He also leads all rookie forwards in average time on ice (17:18). His four game-winning goals are tied for third in the NHL and his plus-24 is third.

      ---Left winger Josh Anderson was reassigned from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the American Hockey League's Springfield Falcons.

      Anderson, 20, was drafted 95th overall in 2012 and recalled on Jan. 15, making his NHL debut against the New York Rangers on Jan. 16. He appeared in four games with the Blue Jackets, registering seven shots on goal, 17 hits and two penalty minutes. Prior to his recall, he collected 4-7-11 and 56 penalty minutes in 37 games with Springfield.

      ---The Minnesota Wild returned defenseman Justin Falk to Iowa of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

      The 26-year-old Falk has played in 13 games for the Wild this season and has 142 career NHL games under his belt, totaling 17 points and 127 penalty minutes for the Wild and New York Rangers. In 21 games for Iowa this season, the 6-foot-5, 222-pound Falk has four points and 26 penalty minutes.

      ---The San Jose Sharks sent center Tomas Hertl, forward Barclay Goodrow and defenseman Dylan DeMelo to the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

      Hertl, 21, has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) and 10 penalty minutes in 48 games this season for the Sharks. As a rookie last year, he had 15 goals and 25 points in his first 32 games for San Jose before a knee injury sidelined him until late in the season.

      DeMelo, 21, has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) and 14 penalty minutes this season for Worcester. The previous season, DeMelo had 24 points (two goals, 22 assists) in 68 games to lead Worcester defensemen in points and assists. Goodrow, 21, has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 31 games for the Sharks this season.

      ---The Los Angeles Kings moved forward Nick Shore and goaltender J.F. Berube to Manchester of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

      Shore has played in three games for the Kings this season and logged one point and two penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut on Jan. 17 against the Anaheim Ducks. In 37 games earlier this season with Manchester, Shore collected a career-best 41 points and 14 penalty minutes and was named to the AHL All-Star game team.

      Berube, also selected for the AHL All-Star game, did not see action during his first stint with the Kings. Before the call-up, Berube had a 19-4-5 record with a 2.05 goals-against average, a .920 saves percentage and two shutouts for Manchester.

      ---The Calgary Flames assigned center Markus Granlund, goaltender Joni Ortio, and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon to the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

      Granlund has played 29 games for Calgary this season, tallying five goals and eight assists. The 21-year-old was drafted in the second round in 2011. Ortio, 23, has played five games with Calgary this season, going 4-1-0 with a shutout, a .931 save percentage and a 1.98 goals-against average. In 27 games with Adirondack, he is 17-8-1 with three shutouts and a 2.52 GAA. Wotherspoon, 21, has 15 points (13 assists) in 38 games for Adirondack this season. He had been recalled by Calgary on Tuesday.

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015
    Flames assign three to AHL affiliate
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Calgary Flames assigned center Markus Granlund, goaltender Joni Ortio, and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon to the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

    • Granlund has played 29 games for Calgary this season, tallying five goals and eight assists. The 21-year-old was drafted in the second round in 2011.

      Ortio, 23, has played five games with Calgary this season, going 4-1-0 with a shutout, a .931 save percentage and a 1.98 goals-against average. In 27 games with Adirondack, he is 17-8-1 with three shutouts and a 2.52 GAA.

      Wotherspoon, 21, has 15 points (13 assists) in 38 games for Adirondack this season. He had been recalled by Calgary on Tuesday.

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015
    Predators rookie Forsberg selected for All-Star Game
    By The Sports Xchange

    Nashville Predators rookie forward Filip Forsberg has been selected to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, the NHL announced Thursday.

    • Forsberg previously had been picked to participate in the All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday. He is the only rookie selected to play in the game.

      Forsberg, 20, leads the Predators and NHL rookies with 40 points (15 goals). He also leads all rookie forwards in average time on ice (17:18).

      His four game-winning goals are tied for third in the NHL and his plus-24 is third.

      Forsberg will join defenseman Shea Weber, goaltender Pekka Rinne and coach Peter Laviolette and his staff at the All-Star Game.

      The Predators (30-10-5) are second in the NHL with 65 points.

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015
    Kings send F Shore, G Berube to AHL
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Los Angeles Kings moved forward Nick Shore and goaltender J.F. Berube to Manchester of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

    • Shore has played in three games for the Kings this season and logged one point and two penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut on Jan. 17 against the Anaheim Ducks.

      In 37 games earlier this season with Manchester, Shore collected a career-best 41 points and 14 penalty minutes and was named to the AHL All-Star game team.

      Berube, also selected for the AHL All-Star game, did not see action during his first stint with the Kings. Before the call-up, Berube had a 19-4-5 record with a 2.05 goals-against average, a .920 saves percentage and two shutouts for Manchester.

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015
    Blues' Elliott named All-Star injury replacement
    By The Sports Xchange

    St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott will replace injured Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky on the roster for Sunday's NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio.

    • Bobrovsky sustained a lower-body injury during the second period of the Blue Jackets' 4-0 loss at Winnipeg on Wednesday night. It's not known how long Bobrovsky might be sidelined.

      The 2013 Vezina Trophy winner has a 16-15-2 record with a 2.85 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and one shutout in 33 games this season. He was elected to the All-Star team for the first time in his career but will miss the opportunity to play before a home crowd.

      Elliott becomes the third Blues goal in history to make at least two All-Star appearances. He also was on the team on 2012. Elliott joins Blues teammates Kevin Shattenkirk and Vladimir Tarasenko on this year's roster.

      The 29-year-old Elliott has a 13-5-2 record this season and leads the NHL with a 1.86 goals-against average and ranks fourth with a .930 save percentage. He has three shutouts.

      Columbus is hosting the All-Star festivities for the first time. Events include the skills competition on Saturday and the NHL All-Star Game at 5 p.m. ET Sunday in Nationwide Arena.

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015
    Sharks assign three players to AHL
    By The Sports Xchange

    The San Jose Sharks sent center Tomas Hertl, forward Barclay Goodrow and defenseman Dylan DeMelo to the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

    • Hertl, 21, has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) and 10 penalty minutes in 48 games this season for the Sharks. As a rookie last year, he had 15 goals and 25 points in his first 32 games for San Jose before a knee injury sidelined him until late in the season.

      DeMelo, 21, has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) and 14 penalty minutes this season for Worcester. The previous season, DeMelo had 24 points (two goals, 22 assists) in 68 games to lead Worcester defensemen in points and assists.

      Goodrow, 21, has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 31 games for the Sharks this season.

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015
    Wild send D Falk to AHL
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Minnesota Wild returned defenseman Justin Falk to Iowa of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

    • The 26-year-old Falk has played in 13 games for the Wild this season and has 142 career NHL games under his belt, totaling 17 points and 127 penalty minutes for the Wild and New York Rangers.

      In 21 games for Iowa this season, the 6-foot-5, 222-pound Falk has four points and 26 penalty minutes.