Here is the word from beat writers around the NHL today:
- Bad news out of Anaheim, as Joffrey Lupul may need back surgery. The Ducks can’t really afford to lose Lupul with Selanne out until Mid-January.
- Maybe Thomas Vanek isn’t producing offensively but Lindy Ruff is happy with his game. Are we sure the guy behind the Buffalo bench for 2009-10 is really Lindy Ruff? I know he’s made a point of being calm, but I am starting to get worried he may be an impostor.
- Miikka Kiprusoff gets the night off tonight for Calgary. Good move by coach Sutter. The Flames are going to make the playoffs and he needs some rest.
- Aaron Ward has cleared waivers and the Hurricanes have lost Michael Leighton to Philadelphia. They didn’t want Leighton because they chose Legace over him and Ward isn’t getting claimed at his straight up salary.
- Apparently Nikolai Khabibulin is undergoing surgery on his back. Not a good sign, as back surgery almost never means a quick return. Some Oilers fans are suspecting that he will be out for the season.
- No Jarret Stoll tonight for Los Angeles. He has a groin injury but it doesn’t seem serious.
- Alex Tanguay and Jeff Halpern are healthy scratches tonight for Tampa Bay. Coach Rick Tocchet has to do something as this team cannot score.
- The Wild game isn’t on television tonight in Minnesota. Blame Versus.
- Jaroslav Halak won’t say whether he did or did not request a trade from Montreal. That almost always means he did. Gainey is said to be asking for a fair return–nothing too exorbitant, so something should get done soon.
- P.A. Parenteau has cleared waivers for the Rangers. He’s headed back to Hartford and will probably be the first call-up if need be.
- Jason Spezza’s knee injury last night in Toronto was worse than Sens fans hoped and the center is slated to miss about 4-6 weeks. Now, it wasn’t like Spezza was having a good season but he’s still the team’s most talented passer and centerman. Without Spezza, the importance of Alexei Kovalev continuing to turn it around is magnified.
Note: Tomorrow’s guest on the IllegalCurve.com Radio Show: Agent Jay Grossman