NHL notes: Lucic to be heard
|Ottawa Senator Matt Carkner fights Milan Lucic from the Boston Bruins during first period action on Dec. 14, 2011. (Tony Caldwell/QMI Agency)
Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic will have a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety Monday.
The league wants to talk to Lucic about the hit he delivered on Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo during the second period Saturday. Lucic was given a major penalty for checking from behind on the play.
Lucic felt the play was legal so, clearly, he isn't expecting any supplemental discipline.
"I felt like I made every effort to take him out laterally and looked at the video and slow-mo'd it and looked at the point of contact, and there were no numbers. It was all shoulders," Lucic told the Boston Herald. "You can see even him, his body rotating because I took him from the right side."
Rinaldo wasn't hurt on the play and wound up fighting Boston's Nathan Horton seconds later.
When the Montreal Canadians promoted Randy Cunneyworth, a unilingual Anglophone, as interim head coach Saturday, the decision caused an uproar among Quebecers.
Cunneyworth's linguistic capabilities became a hot topic minutes after his hiring.
The president of Imperatif Francais (French Imperative) called for a boycott of Molson beer products, as the group led by Geoff, Andrew and Justin Molson own the team. The spokesperson for the Ligue Quebecoise contre la francophobie canadienne (Quebec league against Canadian francophobia) called the hiring a "francophobic provocation."
It was the Francophone media establishment that led the debate, however.
A commentator with Quebecor's French-language sport network suggested the hiring is but one of several decisions over the past several years that have shown contempt for Quebecers. Rejean Tremblay claimed the organization has systematically "eradicated" top-level French Canadian talent.
"The less French-Canadian players there are," he argued, "the less problems (the owners) will have with the media, the more (the owners) will be able to control information and the team's image. The Canadiens are the blood and oxygen of an entire part of Quebec society."
Montreal-based sports historian Matthew Barlow said he understands where these feelings come from.
"You've got a French-Canadian team with no French Canadian stars being coached by a guy who doesn't speak French," he said.
Injured Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux was back on the ice Sunday, although he wore a non-contact jersey for the team practice in Denver.
Giroux, who is on injured reserve with a concussion, told reporters after the workout that he felt good on the ice. Giroux is eligible to come off IR on Wednesday but that probably won't happen.
"He looked good," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "To get him back on the ice I think is a lift for everybody. He's an extremely important part of our team, and to see him back on the ice, that's a positive."
Rookie forward Sean Couturier was released from hospital today and is day-to-day with a head injury, according to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. Couturier was hurt Saturday against the Boston Bruins but the Flyers still don't know if he has a concussion.
The Tampa Bay Lightning sent defenceman Evan Oberg to Norfolk of the AHL, just one day after calling him up. Oberg didn't dress for Tampa's win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday ... The Minnesota Wild called up forwards Jed Ortmeyer and Chad Rau from Houston of the AHL. The Wild also put Casey Wellman on IR and sent Cody Almond to Houston.