NHL notes: Betts back to Flyers

Canadiens forward David Desharnais tries to check Blair Betts at the Wells Fargo Center in...

Canadiens forward David Desharnais tries to check Blair Betts at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Penn., Jan. 25, 2011. (PAUL BERESWILL/Getty Images/AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:17 PM ET

The Montreal Canadiens returned forward Blair Betts to the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday, four days after picking him up on waivers.

The Canadiens contend Betts was injured -- he failed his physical with Montreal -- so they were able to sent the gritty veteran back to Philly thanks to one of the NHL's wordy by-laws. In a nutshell, it says that a team claiming a player on waivers can refuse to take him on if they find out he's hurt after the fact.

"While it is clear that both clubs have acted in good faith in this unique situation (i.e. a waiver claim), I am not prepared to dispute the conclusion of the Montreal Club doctors that Mr. Betts was physically unfit to play at the time of the claim," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Therefore, it is my decision that, per league by-laws, the appropriate resolution to this matter is to restore the parties to the position they were in prior to the waiver claim on Oct. 5."

Betts had a bum shoulder last season but told the Montreal Gazette that it's healed. He told the Gazette he has a lower-body injury, which kept him out of the Canadiens' season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

BOUCHARD BANNED TWO

Minnesota Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard has been suspended two games for his high-stick on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert Saturday.

Bouchard had a telephone hearing with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan over the stickwork but wasn't expected to get any further punishment.

Bouchard was given a double-minor for high sticking after an incident on a faceoff late in the second period that left Calvert in need of some stitches and dental work. But video seems to show that Calvert lifted Bouchard's stick into his own face.

Still, Jackets coach Scott Arniel was livid about the play.

"It's definitely an attempt to injure," Arniel said. "Our whole bench saw it. Their whole bench saw it. We want to talk about getting hit from behind and shots to the head, but we allow a guy to stay in the game after taking a baseball swing at a guy's face? That's a joke."

VOKOUN SET TO START

Washington Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun is expected to make his season debut Monday.

Vokoun, signed as a free agent during the summer to take over the Caps' starting job, served as backup to Michal Neuvirth in Washington's season opener Saturday, a 4-3 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes. And he wasn't very happy about it.

But Vokoun will get his first chance to shine in the Caps net against the against the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to the Washington Post. Thus endeth the budding goalie controversy in Washington.

SARICH SAFE

Cory Sarich headed to St. Louis Sunday just as confident his big hit on Matt Cooke was clean as he was when he laid out the Pittsburgh Penguins the previous night.

"Usually, you hear stuff on that right away," the Calgary Flames defenceman said Sunday.

Sarich spent his day worry-free.

"We considered it to be a 'full body' check with no targeting of the head," Gary Meagher, senior vice-president public relations and media, said via e-mail Sunday. "Also, while there was some head to head contact, the body was the principal point of contact."

DUCKS GET D-MAN

The Anaheim Ducks acquired defenceman Kyle Cumiskey from the Colorado Avalanche, sending blueliner Jake Newton and a seventh-round pick in 2013 the other way.

If Cumiskey, who played 17 games with the Avs last season, dresses for 45 games the pick will be bumped to a fifth-rounder in '12.

The 24-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., had one goal and seven assists in 2010-11. He's played a total of 132 NHL games, all with the Avs.


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