NHL: Vrbata to Czech Republic?


Tampa Bay Lightning forward Radim Vrbata, who was signed to a three-year, $9 million free-agent contract in the off-season is apparently heading home to the Czech Republic to finish the season there according to TSN.CA. Vrbata is expected to clear waivers on Tuesday and will be free for assignment to a Czech team if he chooses to play there. Vrbata scored 27 goals last season with the Phoenix Coyotes last season but only has three goals this season. His salary for this season will go off the Lightning books and they will not be responsible for paying him or having his salary count against the salary cap. Source: TSN.CA

Morning Buzz


Steelers improve to 10-3: Down 13-3 in the fourth quarter, the Steelers score 17 unanswered points to beat the Dallas Cowboys 20-13. Penguins recall defenseman Ben LoveJoy: The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled defenseman Ben Lovejoy from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League. Lovejoy, 24, has posted 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) along with 36 penalty minutes in 24 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He currently leads all Penguins defensemen in scoring and is tied for 11th in the AHL. Lovejoy also leads the team and is tied for fourth in the AHL with a plus-14 rating this season. The 6-2, 214-pound defenseman registered 20 points (two goals, 18 assists) and 63 penalty minutes in 72 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season. Lovejoy performed above expectations in training camp that caught the eye of the front office¬†and¬†Lovejoy has continued to his strong play this season for the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins.¬† DefensemanRead More »

Crosby leads Penguins to 5-2 win


The Penguins dominated from the drop of puck beating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 Thursday night. Pittsburgh has earned a point in 12 of their last 14 games (10-2-2), received big games from Sidney Crosby and right winger Petr Sykora. Crosby the league’s second leading scorer had a four point night recording four assists to give him 14 points in his last 5 games. Sykora who got off to a sub-par start this season had two goals against the Hurricanes and now has three goals in four games. Goaltender Dany Sabourin made 34 saves to record his 6th win of the season

Game Day: Zigomanis, Kennedy out for tonight’s game


Pittsburgh Penguins (14-6-4-32) at Carolina Hurricanes (12-11-2-26) Kennedy, Zigomanis out: I’ve been told within the past 10 minutes that Center Mike Zigomanis who was listed as probable this morning is officially out for tonight’s game. About the Hurricanes: The Hurricanes went 7-9-0 in November which lead to a coaching change on Wednesday. Former Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice will be back behind the bench after coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs for two seasons. Maurice coached the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes for 8 seasons, including reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002. This could be a tough game for the Penguins playing back-to-back games and the Hurricanes will be playing their first game in front of their new coach. Official lineup unclear: Penguins did not have a morning skate today so it is unknown what lines head coach Michel Therrien will go with. Word is we could see Crosby and Malkin playing togetherRead More »

Penguins fall to Rangers 3-2 in shootout


New York 3 – Pittsburgh 2 The Penguins lost their seventh consecutive game at Madison Square Garden and this was a game the Penguins should have won. The Penguins got out to a 2-0 lead. Mark Eaton scored his first goal in 91 games. Eaton jumped into the play and banged home a beautiful pass from Sidney Crosby. Crosby was by far the best player on the ice tonight. Jordan Staal recorded his eight goal of the season in the second period. Petr Prucha (1st goal of the season) and Nikolai Zherdev scored for the Rangers. Prucha had been a healthy scratch for the previous 10 games. A lot of scouts in the building. In the shootout, Markus Naslund, Nikolai Zherdev and Fredrik Sjostrom had shootout goals for the Rangers. Kris Letang was the Penguins only goal scorer in the shootout. Zigomanis, Kennedy injured: Center Mike Zigomanis and right wingerRead More »

NHL Insider Update: The Latest on Jagr & Sundin


Source: Jagr not looking to return to NHL: A source with connections to Jagr tells me “that Jagr is not thinking of returning to the nhl … infact, he’s involved in a very special kind of All-Star game in Russia to take place January 10th Team Jagr against Team Yashin. The KHL is in financial trouble and teams have missed making salary payments but nothing on Jagr or his team not getting paid.” Rangers holding out hope to land Sundin: Sources in New York tell me that the Rangers believe they are among the leading candidates in the Sundin sweepstakes. The Rangers only have $1.7 million in cap space but word is Sundin will join the Rangers for $4 million per season in January if they are able to clear enough salary. The Rangers are shopping Petr Prucha who makes $1.6 million per season. They will have to move anotherRead More »

Morning Skate Update: Fleury expected to return next week


Pittsburgh Penguins (14-6-3-31) at New York Rangers (17-8-2-36) Penguins took the ice at 11:30 a.m. for their morning skate as they prepare for the New York Rangers. Lines are the same as they were for practice this week. Talbot – Crosby – Satan Fedotenko – Malkin – Sykora Cooke – Staal – Kennedy Dupuis – Zigomanis – Godard *Marc Andre Fleury is currently on the ice. Fleury went on the ice after the Penguins to go through his own workout. Fleury will return next week according to source. Ryan Whitney is also skating and looks to be improving every time he steps on the ice. I’m told December 18th against Atlanta or the 20th against the Toronto Maple Leafs are being mentioned as a likely target date for Whitney’s return to the lineup. Photo courtesy of Dan4th

NHL: Hurricanes fire Peter Laviolette


The Carolina Hurricanes will be holding a press conference at 11:30 a.m. to announce the firing of head coach Peter Laviolette. The team is expected to name Paul Maurice the teams new head coach. Maurice coached the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes from 1995-2004. Carolina currently sits 8th in the Eastern Conference at 12-11-2. Photo courtesy of Dan4th