NHL notes: They really like Pavel
|Detroit Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk reacts after scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Newark, New Jersey, December 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)
Pavel Datsyuk is the nicest player in the NHL, according to the results of the latest Sports Illustrated player poll, announced Friday.
The Detroit Red Wings centre was selected on 9% of the 179 ballots.
Phoenix Coyotes forwards Ray Whitney and Shane Doan each polled 7%.
Detroit defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom was fourth at 6% followed by Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis and Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, each at 5%.
CAPS PROSPECT INJURED
Evgeny Kuznetsov's knee injury isn't as serious as feared, the Washington Post reported Friday.
Kuznetsov, the Capitals' No. 1 draft pick in 2010, collapsed on the ice in pain after being hit into the boards in a Kontinental Hockey League game Friday. The 19-year-old, a star player for Traktor Chelyabinsk, was taken off on a stretcher, and preliminary reports indicated he had blown out a knee. But his agent later said Kuznetsov has severe bruising and could be back in three weeks or so.
PANTHERS ACQUIRE VETERAN
The Florida Panthers acquired centre Jerred Smithson on Friday from the Nashville Predators for a 2012 sixth-round draft pick.
Smithson, 33, has one goal and four assists in 53 games this season.
"Jerred is a hard-working, responsible, veteran player who plays well at both ends of the ice," Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said.
Smithson is considered a strong penalty killer and faceoff man.
Antti Miettinen has been placed on waivers by the Winnipeg Jets after waiving his no-movement clause. The winger had four assists in 27 games after being claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning ... The Los Angeles Kings have signed defenceman Willie Mitchell, 34, to a two-year contract extension ... Los Angeles Kings newcomer Jeff Carter will wear No. 77. He wore No. 7 in Columbus, but Rob Scuderi has that number with the Kings.