NHL notes: Skinner skips out on AHL assignment

Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner (53) reacts after a shot by Hurricanes centre Tim Brent...

Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner (53) reacts after a shot by Hurricanes centre Tim Brent got by New York Rangers goalie Martin Biron (43), defenceman Marc Staal (18) and left wing Ruslan Fedotenko (26) for a goal in the second period of their NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York, March 13, 2012. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:38 PM ET

Carolina Hurricanes phenom Jeff Skinner has not reported to the organization's AHL camp.

"He's still back in the Toronto area, training," Charlotte Checkers coach Jeff Daniels told the Hurricanes website Friday.

"He has the team's consent, and we'll see where things go from here.

"If (the NHL lockout) drags on and he decides he wants to play some games, Charlotte will be an option for him."

Skinner was assigned to Charlotte on Sept. 15. The 20-year-old centre was the NHL's rookie of the year in 2010-11.

GOMEZ LEADS ALASKA CHARGE

Montreal Canadiens centre Scott Gomez, 32, is one of three Anchorage natives to attend training camp with the Alaska Aces, but he doesn't anticipate playing games with the ECHL team.

Fellow forwards Joey Crabb, 29, and Nate Thompson, 27, also attended the opening of camp Friday.

Crabb, a former Toronto Maple Leaf, signed with the Washington Capitals during the off-season and intends to play for the Aces during the NHL lockout. He has signed a standard contract with the team while Gomez and Thompson, who has been with the Tampa Bay Lightning the past 2 1/2 seasons, have signed only professional-tryout agreements.

TAVARES OFF TO BERN

New York Islanders centre John Tavares is heading to Switzerland to play, the Bern franchise announced Friday.

Tavares is to join the Swiss team on Wednesday. His Islanders teammate Mark Streit and Nashville Predators defenceman Roman Josi also are with Bern.

Tavares, 22, had 31 goals and 50 assists in 82 games last season with the Isles.

MINSK LURES KANE

Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane has agreed to a contract with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.

Kane signed a six-year deal worth $31.5 million with the Jets just before the Sept. 15 lockout.

The 21-year-old had 30 goals and 27 assists in 74 games last season.

Kane will be a teammate of former Jet Tim Stapleton, who signed with Minsk during the summer.

LEAFS HIRE ST. CROIX

Rick St. Croix was announced Friday as the new goalie coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs, replacing Francois Allaire.

"We trust his knowledge and experience with today's model of goaltender and the Leafs are fortunate to get a person of Rick's calibre," coach Randy Carlyle said in a statement.

St. Croix, 57, was the goaltending coach for the Dallas Stars when they won the 1999 Stanley Cup and was an assistant coach for the Winnipeg Jets from 1987 to 1989. Last season he was the goalie coach for the AHL's St. John's IceCaps.

Allaire quit the Leafs earlier this month, implying that other Leafs coaches interfered with his role.

BRIEFLY

Rene Fasel, who was re-elected Friday as president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, said he expects the NHL will take part in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The league has not announced its intention.


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