March 9, 2012
NHL notes: Green gets three
By QMI Agency
Injury-plagued Washington Capitals defenceman Mike Green, who has been limited to just 20 games this season, will miss another three games.
But this time it's due to a suspension handed down Friday by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
Green was banned -- and will forfeit more than $85,000 in pay -- for an illegal hit to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning rookie forward Brett Connolly Thursday. He wasn't penalized on the play but Shanahan took a look at it anyway.
"Green raises his arm and drives his left arm into Connolly's head with significant force, making it the principal point of contact and causing it to impact the glass," Shanahan said. "When Green decides to commit to this check, Connolly is already bent over. Green sees Connolly in this position, he then slows down, waits, loads up and targets Connolly's head."
Green is considered a repeat offender by the league.
TOEWS 'FEELS GOOD'
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews skated with his teammates Friday for the first time since being knocked out of the lineup with a concussion Feb. 19.
Toews took part in the morning skate before the Blackhawks played the New York Rangers and afterwards said he felt "pretty good," even though he's still unsure when he might play again. The injury has already forced him to miss nine games.
"I feel like I've been off the ice doing nothing for three weeks, but considering that, the last two days on the ice I'm a lot better than I thought I would be," he said. "I feel positive about that."
Toews added that his concussion was not made worse by the car crash he was involved in Feb. 23.
"A lot of people kind of want to tie that in there with this injury," he said. "But I guess as they say, 'when it rains, it pours.' It was kind of a rough week and it kind of threw that in there with it. It wasn't too much fun."
WILD STAYING COURSE
The Minnesota Wild won't clear out the hockey operations office at the end of the season, according to a report in the Pioneer Press.
A source told the Press that the Wild will keep general manager Chuck Fletcher and coach Mike Yeo for the 2012-13 season, despite the team's free-fall in the standings.
Minnesota was first overall on Dec. 10 but has gone 9-22-7 since then, largely due to injuries. The Wild has used an NHL-high 44 players this season.
Fletcher is in his third season with the Wild while Yeo is in his first year as the team's head coach.
Rumours of Alexander Radulov's return to the Nashville Predators have heated up after his KHL team was eliminated from the playoffs Friday.
Puck Daddy's Dmitry Chesnokov tweeted that Radulov would only offer a "no comment" when asked if he will be staying with Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
Radulov bolted for the KHL in 2008 after playing 145 games over two seasons with the Predators and still has one year left on his contract with Nashville. He has 44 goals and 51 assists in the NHL but has 206 points over his last three seasons with Ufa and led the league in scoring this year.
Radulov's agent, Jay Grossman, told The Tennessean that there was "no change in his status," as of Friday afternoon.
Blackhawks forward Ben Smith will have surgery on March 15 to repair a right hip labral tear and a hernia and will be out of action for four months. Smith has two goals in 13 games with the Blackhawks this season ... Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow was activated off injured reserve Friday and could play Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks. Morrow hasn't played since Feb. 2 due to neck and back injuries ... Washington Capitals winger Alex Semin was reportedly dropped to the fourth line for Friday's practice. Caps coach dale Hunter said he was "just trying different line combinations" and the move wasn't a demotion.