SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Horton 'long shot' to return in playoffs

Out since the midway point of the regular season with a concussion, the chances of Nathan Horton...

Out since the midway point of the regular season with a concussion, the chances of Nathan Horton returning for the playoffs are fading. (REUTERS)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:26 PM ET

Don't bet your mortgage money on Nathan Horton returning to the Boston Bruins' lineup in the playoffs.

The odds of Horton, out since the midway point of the regular season with a concussion, coming back this year are very long, according to Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. The GM didn't rule out the possibility but it appears the B's will need to make do without Horton in their run for a second straight Stanley Cup.

"I think it's a long shot," Chiarelli said Sunday. "If he were to be cleared at some point, he would need at least a couple of weeks to get back. He's quite far off right now. I know he's skating, but he's having little bouts here and there of post-concussion symptoms."

Horton missed the last 36 games of the regular season with his second concussion in seven months.

Bruins defencemen Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid are both expected to return from injuries in time for Game 1 of their series with the Washington Capitals. Goalie Tuukka Rask, who missed the last 19 games with a groin/ab issue, is questionable for the start of the series.

BOUDREAU SAFE

Looks like Bruce Boudreau won't be fired for a second time this season.

Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray gave Boudreau a vote of confidence Sunday even though the mid-season replacement for Randy Carlyle wasn't able to get the Ducks into the playoffs. Anaheim went 27-23-18 record under Boudreau.

"He's done very well," Murray said. "Bruce has done a good job. Obviously we've had a big second half. We got right back in the game. When it came crunch time, we didn't take that extra step we had to take. Bruce and his staff have done a good job."

Ducks forward Bobby Ryan backed Boudreau as well.

"I think we've got something good to build on," Ryan said. "I think Bruce came in and did some great things for us. I know my confidence was at an all-time high over the last 10, 12 games playing under Bruce. Hopefully things stay together and they give us a chance at it to dig ourselves out of (this) next year."

SAVARD PERMANENT?

Reports out of Montreal indicate that Serge Savard has been appointed as the Canadiens' senior vice-president of hockey operations.

Savard was tasked recently by Canadiens owner Geoff Molson to help find a replacement for fired general manager Pierre Gauthier. Now it looks as though the Hall of Famer will be staying on the job a lot longer.

The Canadiens have not yet hired a replacement for Gauthier but the Radio-Canada report says whoever get the job will report to Savard.

Montreal failed to make the playoffs this season, finishing last in the Eastern Conference.

BRIEFLY

The Columbus Blue Jackets sent forwards Cam Atkinson and Maksim Mayorov to Springfield of the AHL Sunday. Atkinson had two goals and one assist in the Jackets' regular-season finale Saturday .... The Toronto Maple Leafs assigned goalie Ben Scrivens, forward Matt Frattin and defenceman Jake Gardiner to Toronto of the AHL. Forward Jay Rosehill was put on waivers so he could also join the minor-league team ... The Calgary Flames sent winger Akim Aliu to Abbotsford of the AHL. Aliu had two goals and one assist in his two-game callup with the Flames.


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