NHL notes: Order of Hockey in Canada receives first group
|St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott watches the puck while making a save against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period of their NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia March 1, 2012. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)
Long-time NHL rivals Jean Beliveau and Gordie Howe are among the first group to receive the newly created Order of Hockey in Canada.
Beliveau, Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Gordon Renwick will be honoured at a gala in Toronto June 25, Hockey Canada announced Tuesday.
A 10-time winner of the Stanley Cup, Beliveau is considered to be the great Montreal Canadiens player ever. He had a legendary rivalry with ex-Detroit Red Wings great Howe, Mr. Hockey. Howe played for 33 years and at one time was the NHL's career scoring leader.
Gretzky, the NHL's all-time leading scorer, set more than 60 NHL records during his 20-year career. Campbell-Pascall played for the Canadian women's team from 1994 to 2006 and is the only captain to lead a Canadian team to two Olympic gold medals. Renwick was a key player in establishing the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, now Hockey Canada, at the international level.
Hockey Canada created the program that will "annually honour a select number of individuals whose role or service in the game is recognized as extraordinary."
RANGERS INK PROSPECT
The New York Rangers signed first-round draft pick Chris Kreider to an entry-level contract Tuesday.
Kreider, a standout centre with the NCAA-champion Boston College Eagles who was taken 19th overall in 2009, will report to the Rangers Wednesday and be eligible to suit up in the post-season. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder had 23 goals and 22 assists in 44 games with Boston College this season.
Kreider signed a three-year contract with the Rangers but the first year will be burned when he plays in the post-season. That could come as soon as Thursday, when the Rangers open against the Ottawa Senators.
P.A. BEING HEARD
Negotiations between the agent for soon-to-be free agent forward P.A. Parenteau and the New York Islanders are expected to resume in the coming days.
"Now that the New York Islanders season is over, we are looking forward to start negotiations with the club," Parenteau's agent, Allan Walsh, told ESPNNewYork.com. "P.A. has made it clear he wants to remain with the Islanders. He has assumed a leadership role with the club. He's proven to be a great fit on one of the top scoring lines in the league and has great affinity for the organization that gave him the opportunity to play regularly in the NHL"
Parenteau had a career-high 67 points (18 goals, 49 assists) this season and is in line for a significant raise from the $1.25 million he made in the final year of his contract.
GORDON COACHING U.S.
Scott Gordon, an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs, will be back as coach the United States team at the world championship next month.
It will be Gordon's third consecutive appearance behind the U.S. bench at the annual event. The Americans lost in the quarterfinals to the Czech Republic last year and didn't make it out of the qualifying round in 2010.
The Americans will open the tournament May 4 against France in Helsinki, Finland.
STAMKOS OUT, RNH IN
Newly-minted 60-goal scorer Steven Stamkos won't play for Canada at the world hockey championship.
Stamkos won't play because of a left shoulder injury he suffered during the regular season. An MRI done earlier this week showed there was no structural damage in his shoulder.
On the plus side, the Edmonton Oilers confirmed that forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play for Canada. Nugent-Hopkins had 18 goals and 34 assists in 62 games this season, his first in the NHL.
Injured Washington Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth tried to practice Tuesday but couldn't make it through the entire session. With Tomas Vokoun all but ruled out for Game 1 with a groin injury, it appears third-string goalie Braden Holtby will get the call against the Boston Bruins ... Detroit Red Wings forward Dan Cleary, who sat out the final two games of the regular season with a knee injury, says he will play Game 1 against Nashville. Darren Helm (sprainded MCL) could play, too, but appears more likely to dress for Game 2.