NHL notes: Sharks defenceman caught snuggling with Tiger's ex

David Backes, of the St. Louis Blues, defends against Douglas Murray, of the San Jose Sharks,...

David Backes, of the St. Louis Blues, defends against Douglas Murray, of the San Jose Sharks, during this year's NHL playoffs. (AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:21 PM ET

A Swedish newspaper has linked San Jose Sharks defenceman Douglas Murray with Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods' ex-wife.

According to Expressen, Murray and Nordegren were spotted hugging and being affectionate at the Rose Nightclub in Stockholm last week. But Murray told the paper he was not romantically involved with Nordegren.

"We are only friends,"Murray told Expressen. "We are not dating and we have never dated. We have friends in common and we have only known each other for a couple of weeks."

But when asked if the friendship could evolve into something more intimate, Murray offered "no comment."

Nordegren was married to Woods for nearly six years. They divorced in 2010 after Woods admitted to having affairs during their marriage.

Swedish-born Murray failed to score in 2011-12, recording just four assists in 60 games with the Sharks.

AULD OFF TO AUSTRIA

Goodbye Ottawa, hello Salzburg.

Former Ottawa Senators goaltender Alex Auld, who played all of 14 games last season while serving in a backup role, signed a one-year contract with EC Red Bull Salzburg of the top Austrian league.

"Alex Auld is a highly talented goalie and a strong character," Salzburg coach Pierre Page said on the team's website. "He believes in the Red Bull hockey model and that his stint in Salzburg will help him to take another step in the right direction."

Auld, essentially a career backup in the NHL, has compiled a 91-88-2-32 record since breaking into the league in 2001-02 with the Vancouver Canucks. In addition to making two stops in Ottawa, he's also played for Florida, Phoenix, Boston, Dallas, the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens.

FLAMES' PICK GOING TO SCHOOL

Calgary Flames first-round draft pick Mark Jankowski will start his university education a year earlier than expected.

The 17-year-old centre from Stanstead College in Quebec, picked 21st overall last month, will play at Providence College. He had indicated earlier he'd play for Dubuque of the USHL next fall before moving on to Providence before the 2013-14 season.

Jankowski was a surprise pick in the first round -- he was ranked 43rd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting -- and one scout told QMI Agency that "the kid will never play in the NHL. He's scared of his shadow."

CANUCKS ADD TOUGHNESS

The Vancouver Canucks signed minor-league tough-guy Guillaume Desbiens Monday, bringing him back to the organization after a short stint with the Calgary Flames.

Desbiens played 59 games with Abbotsford of the AHL, recording three goals, 11 assists and 114 penalty minutes. He also played 10 games with the Flames, going pointless with 25 PIMs.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound winger, taken 116th overall by Atlanta in the 2003 draft, previously played 13 games with the Canucks.


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