Content provided by Player News - Thursday, December 26th, 2013
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|Report: Tomas Hertl won't play in Olympics||12-26-2013|
|Tomas Hertl C SJ|
Tomas Hertl is slated to have surgery on his knee next week.
|"The swelling is pretty extensive still," Sharks GM Doug Wilson said on Monday. "We'll know more hopefully in the next week or so. The projection is probably a minimum of a month right now ... but we are prepared that it could be longer." The head coach of the Czech Republic's Olympic team, Alois Hadamczik, told ISport.cz that Hertl won't play in Sochi, but an exact timetable for his recovery is still unclear. We should know more about his status after his procedure.|
|Hawks want Patrick Sharp to make Team Canada||12-26-2013|
|Patrick Sharp RW CHI|
The Chicago Blackhawks would like to see Patrick Sharp make the cut for Canada's Winter Olympic team.
|"You know there's lots of talk and who's going to make it, with so many good players from Canada. But he's done everything he can in his power to show Team Canada what he can do," said defenseman Duncan Keith, who is widely believed to be a lock to represent Canada at the Olympics in February. "He's versatile, can play center or wing, and he's got that going for him as well. Obviously he's been huge for us here." Sharp has been hot recently with 10 goals in his last 14 games and 12 points in his past eight outings. He has 36 points in 39 matches this year.|
|Ryane Clowe says he's ready to play||12-26-2013|
|Ryane Clowe LW NJ|
Ryane Clowe (concussion) feels ready to return, but it's unclear if he'll play on Friday.
|He has skated in only six games this season and he hasn't played since Oct. 13 because of a concussion. The Devils' brass will probably decide on his playing status after the team's morning skate.|
|Bryce Salvador feels he's ready to return||12-26-2013|
|Bryce Salvador D NJ|
Bryce Salvador (foot) has declared himself fit to play.
|Now the decision of when he will be back in the lineup will be up to New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello and coach Pete DeBoer. Salvador hasn't played since Oct. 22 because of a fractured foot.|
|Eric Gryba's ice time has increased of late||12-26-2013|
|Eric Gryba D OTT|
|Eric Gryba logged a season-high 21:14 of ice time in Monday's 5-0 win over Pittsburgh.||He has topped 20 minutes just three times this season, but two of them have come in his past two outings. Gryba has four points, 60 hits and a plus-7 rating in just 19 games this year.|
|Matt Carkner ranks among top 10 for PIMs||12-26-2013|
|Matt Carkner D NYI|
|Matt Carkner ranks ninth in the league in penalty minutes with a total of 77.||He has accomplished that feat in 28 games, while contributing three assists and a minus-8 rating.|
|Preds' Hendricks still hasn't made his mark||12-26-2013|
|Matt Hendricks C EDM|
|Matt Hendricks has recorded three points and 47 penalty minutes in 33 matches this campaign.||He also has 67 hits on the year, but he's better off being left on the waiver wire at this time. Hendricks is playing in the first season of his 4-year, $7.4 million deal with Nashville.|
|Frazer McLaren has been scratched by Toronto||12-26-2013|
|Frazer McLaren LW TOR|
|Frazer McLaren has a been a healthy scratch for Toronto's last four games.||He has compiled 62 penalty minutes in 20 games this season, which is the only reason why he should be on your fantasy radar. However, there are probably better options available at this time.|
|Oilers' Ryan Smyth has been ice cold||12-26-2013|
|Ryan Smyth LW EDM|
|Ryan Smyth hasn't been able to muster much offense since the end of November.||He hasn't scored a goal since Nov. 19 and he has found the back of the net just four times on the year. In his last 13 games, he has contributed just three assists and they all came in one contest against Colorado on Dec. 5. Smyth has produced 11 points and a minus-11 rating in 29 outings and he shouldn't be on your fantasy radar right now.|
|Marc Staal will join Rangers on road trip||12-26-2013|
|Marc Staal D NYR|
Marc Staal (concussion) will travel with the Rangers on the team's upcoming five-game road trip.
Steve Zipay on Twitter
|He has resumed skating while he recovers from a concussion he suffered on Dec. 7 and joining the team suggests that he could be practicing shortly, which is the next step.|
|Daniel Carcillo got back into lineup Monday||12-26-2013|
|Daniel Carcillo LW CHI|
|Daniel Carcillo was a healthy scratch for three consecutive contests before he got back into the Los Angeles lineup on Monday.||He played 10:02 in the Kings' 5-2 loss to Dallas and he was credited with two hits. Carcillo has skated in 26 games for Los Angeles this season and he leads the club with 57 penalty minutes. He also has 54 hits and two points.|
|Mark Fraser has been relegated to press box||12-26-2013|
|Mark Fraser D NJ|
|Mark Fraser has been a healthy scratch for Toronto's past three games.||He has a good source of penalty minutes and he had a good plus-minus rating last year, but he hasn't played well in 2013-14. Fraser has 31 minutes in the sin bin in 18 appearances, but he he also has a minus-7 rating and his spot on the roster has been usurped by rookie blueliner Morgan Rielly.|
|Filip Forsberg paces Sweden to a WJC win||12-26-2013|
|Filip Forsberg C NAS|
|Filip Forsberg notched a goal and two assists to propel Sweden to a 5-3 win over Switzerland in World Junior Championship play on Thursday.||Forsberg recovered from a concussion in time to be loaned to Sweden for the tournament. He has one goal and four helpers in 12 games with Nashville this campaign. Christian Djoos (WAS), Oskar Sundqvist (PIT) and Andreas Johnson (TOR) also scored for the Swedes in the victory.|
|Andre Benoit has cooled off offensively||12-26-2013|
|Andre Benoit D BUF|
|Andre Benoit has been averaging 20:48 of ice time per game this season.||He's seen 2:38 of average ice time per match on the power play. Benoit has 12 points in 35 games, but he's produced just one point, a goal, in his last 15 outings.|
|Winnipeg brings up D Julian Melchiori||12-26-2013|
|Julian Melchiori D WPG|
Julian Melchiori has been summoned from the minors by Winnipeg.
|He has skated in 18 games with the St. John's IceCaps of the AHL, where he's posted five assists and 14 penalty minutes.|
|Jets move Grant Clitsome to injured reserve||12-26-2013|
|Grant Clitsome D WPG|
Grant Clitsome (undisclosed) has been placed on injured reserve.
|He hasn't played since Dec. 17. At one point Clitsome was thought to be out with an illness, but it isn't clear if that is the reason why he's still sidelined.|
|Jon Gillies backstops USA to win at WJC||12-26-2013|
|Matthew Ford RW EDM|
|Jon Gillies made 23 stops in a 5-1 win over the Czech Republic to win Team USA's 2014 World Junior Championship opener.||Riley Barber (WAS), Will Butcher (COL), Hudson Fasching (LA) Jaccob Slavin (CAR) and Vince Hinostroza (CHI) scored for the United States in the victory. Their next game will take place on Saturday versus Slovakia.|
|Sabres' Grigorenko, Zadorov star for Russia||12-26-2013|
|Mikhail Grigorenko C BUF|
|Mikhail Grigorenko produced a goal and an assist in Russia's dominant 11-0 victory over Norway in World Junior Championship action on Thursday.||The Sabres gave him permission to play in the tournament because he wasn't seeing much action in the NHL. Fellow Buffalo prospect Nikita Zadorov and Edmonton draft pick Anton Slepyshev potted two goals apiece for Russia in the contest.|
|Anthony Mantha nets hat trick in WJC debut||12-26-2013|
|Anthony Mantha RW DET|
|Anthony Mantha registered a hat trick to help lead Canada to a 7-2 win over Germany to open the 2014 World Junior Championships.||The Detroit Red Wings prospect has been a scoring machine in the QMJHL this season, with a league-leading 35 goals and 73 points in 32 games with the Val-d'Or Foreurs. Tampa Bay draft pick Jonathan Drouin collected three assists in the contest, while Derrick Pouliot (PIT) and Connor McDavid earned a pair of helpers each. 2014 top prospect Sam Reinhart notched a goal and an assist in the game. Canada will play the Czech Republic on Saturday next.|
|Darren Helm (shoulder) might return Saturday||12-26-2013|
|Darren Helm C DET|
Darren Helm (shoulder) should be available to play on Saturday.
|He has been sidelined since Dec. 4 because of a shoulder injury, but the Red Wings expect to have him back in Florida. Stay tuned for updates after the team resumes practicing.|
|Justin Abdelkader should be back on Saturday||12-26-2013|
|Justin Abdelkader LW DET|
Justin Abdelkader (concussion) is projected to be back in Detroit's lineup on Saturday.
|He was hoping to get clearance to return Monday, but he didn't get the green light. We'll keep him as sidelined for now and let you know if his status changes.|
|Nathan Horton may play early next month||12-26-2013|
|Nathan Horton RW TOR|
Nathan Horton (shoulder) is on track to make his Columbus debut sometime in early January.
|"I don't know when it's going to happen," coach Todd Richards said. "But I'll tell you this: He's prepared. He watches our games, even though he's not playing. He has a pretty good idea of what we want to do. There's a level of professionalism there. You can tell he's been somewhere (with a winning culture)." Horton will need some time to get back up to game speed once he makes his long-awaited return to action. When he does play it might be alongside Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno or R.J. Umberger.|
|Blue Jackets ink prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand||12-26-2013|
|Oliver Bjorkstrand RW CLB|
Columbus has signed Oliver Bjorkstrand to a three-year, entry-level contract.
|He has amassed 25 goals and 31 assists in 32 games to rank himself fourth in WHL scoring with 56 points. "Oliver Bjorkstrand is a talented player with a tremendous work ethic, and we believe he has an extremely bright future," Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement. "He is enjoying a breakout season in the WHL this year, and is one of a group of young players in our organization that we are very excited about." He is currently playing in his second year with the Portland Winterhawks and was taken in the third round of the 2013 draft.|
|Flames coach likes progression of his goalies||12-26-2013|
|Reto Berra G COL|
Calgary goaltenders Reto Berra and Karri Ramo are still adjusting to hockey in North America, but they have been making some positive strides.
|"Very happy with their progression," coach Bob Hartley said. "They're two great guys. They want to learn, they want to contribute to the team success. They get along great together. We're trying to give them streaks where if they play well, we ride them." Ramo has been seeing more action than Berra of late, but Berra improved to 3-0 in the shootout with a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Monday.|
|Mike Green feels like he's finding his game||12-26-2013|
|Mike Green D WAS|
Mike Green has dealt with some consistency issues this season.
|"I was fighting it for a little while," said Green, who has two goals and 18 points in 34 games. "But I think I'm coming into my own again. I think it's just taken some time to get my feel in the game. Sometimes you go through those stretches. It's definitely gone on a little longer than I've wanted, but I feel I'm improving." He didn't have a goal this year until he scored two in December, but coach Adam Oates wants to see him making less careless errors.|
|Loiselle looks forward to Bozak's return||12-26-2013|
|Tyler Bozak C TOR|
Assistant GM Claude Loiselle is looking forward to seeing Tyler Bozak's potential return to the lineup on Sunday against Carolina.
|"Bozak is our best faceoff guy," said Loiselle. "And when you don't win draws either on the power play or on the penalty kill, you end up spending a lot of time chasing the puck instead of controlling it. When he comes back, it simply allows other guys to drop down and play in positions they might be more comfortable with. He will be a welcome addition when he returns." Bozak should return to his regular spot between Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk when he's able to return, which gives him some fantasy value. He hasn't played since Dec. 3 because of an oblique injury.|
|Rob Scuderi hopes for better test results||12-26-2013|
|Robert Scuderi D PIT|
Rob Scuderi had a bone scan on his fractured ankle on Wednesday.
|If the results are favorable then he's expected to resume taking full contact in practices. "I feel very good," Scuderi said. "I felt very good a couple of weeks ago. I was disappointed that the medical tests didn't turn out the way I felt. But there's nothing you can do. It's disappointing, but you roll with it. We're here again, and I'm hoping that the extra time will have paid off." He hasn't played since Oct. 26, but could be inching closer.|
|Scott Hartnell earns his 500th career point||12-26-2013|
|Scott Hartnell LW CLB|
Scott Hartnell picked up his 500th career point in Monday's 4-1 win over Minnesota.
Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News
|He hasn't scored a goal in his past nine games, but he has contributed three assists in his last four appearances. Hartnell produced 37 goals and 67 points in 2011-12, but if he continues at his current pace then he won't come close to those numbers. We expect him to be more productive than he's been so far, but don't look for him to light it up like he has in the past.|
|Mike Mottau could get a shot after break||12-26-2013|
|Mike Mottau D FLA|
Mike Mottau has been a healthy scratch for 13 of Florida's past 14 games.
|He hasn't played since Dec. 3, but he might get a chance to dress when NHL play returns after the Christmas break. Erik Gudbranson might be out for a month after undergoing orbital bone surgery, which opens up a roster spot. Alex Petrovic, Matt Gilroy, Ryan Whitney or Colby Robak could also be options for the Panthers.|
|Daniel Paille (concussion) may return Friday||12-26-2013|
|Dan Paille LW BOS|
Daniel Paille (concussion) could be ready to return on Friday.
|He has missed Boston's last seven games due to a concussion. Paille is a good fourth-line player, but he doesn't have any fantasy value in that role.|
|Zemgus Girgensons has been making progress||12-26-2013|
|Zemgus Girgensons C BUF|
Zemgus Girgensons has three goals and four assists in his last 11 games.
|He had one goal and six points in his previous 25 matches. The 19-year-old rookie has taken on a larger role with the club since Ted Nolan took over behind the bench. He logged a season-high 22:01 of ice time in Monday's 2-1 overtime win over Phoenix. Girgensons has potential but it will take time for him to develop.|
|Matt Ellis set to play in Spengler Cup||12-26-2013|
|Matt Ellis LW BUF|
According to Rochester's website, Matt Ellis was on his way to Switzerland on Wednesday to join Buffalo's AHL affiliate for the Spengler Cup.
|Ellis has one goal in five games with Buffalo this year and 10 points in 25 contests with the Rochester Americans.|
|Johan Larsson joins Rochester in Switzerland||12-26-2013|
|Johan Larsson LW BUF|
Johan Larsson was reportedly en route to Switzerland on Wednesday to join the AHL's Rochester Americans for the Spengler Cup.
|The team's website reported the news. Larsson has played 18 games with the Sabres this year, where he's recorded one assist and 33 hits. He's unlikely to be back with Buffalo when they return from the NHL's Christmas break on Friday against Toronto.|