NHL notes: Jaroslav Spacek calls it quits
|Defenceman Jaroslav Spacek during practice in Brossard, Qye., Dec. 5, 2011. (MARTIN CHEVALIER/QMI Agency)
Unrestricted free agent defenceman Jaroslav Spacek announced his retirement Monday, according to TheFourthPeriod.com.
The 38-year-old Czech, who split last season between the Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes, said he wanted to spend more time with his family and had back issues that were wearing on him. He played 13 seasons in the NHL, recording 82 goals and 273 assists in 880 games with Florida, Chicago, Columbus, Edmonton, Buffalo, Montreal and Carolina.
Spacek told iSport.cz that the Philadelphia Flyers were interested in signing him before the NHL lockout kicked in.
ALL-STAR GAME IS NEXT
The NHL all-star game in Columbus could be axed in the next few days.
According to a report by the Columbus Post Dispatch, the all-star game will be included if, or when, the NHL cuts more games from the schedule. The NHL has already trimmed games through November, along with the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 in Michigan, so the Jan. 27 all-star extravanganza could be the next casualty.
The report also suggested that Columbus could host the 2015 all-star game if the 2013 version is chopped.
The all-star game at Nationwide Arena would have brought $12 million into the Columbus economy, the report says.
NHL lockouts forced the cancellation of the all-star game in 1995 and 2005.
With the players locked out since Sept. 16 after the two sides were unable to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL has cancelled 327 games plus the Winter Classic, which was expected to draw in excess of 100,000 to the University of Michigan's stadium.
Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane bolted from the KHL because the hockey was "different," his agent told the Winnipeg Free Press.
Last week, Kane skated away from Dinamo Minsk of the KHL after just 12 games, a stretch that doesn't include a one-game suspension for a check to the head of Avangard Omsk defenceman Nikita Pivatski.
According to team director Igor Matushkin, Kane "could not adapt to hockey in the KHL" and suggested it was a mutual decision to let the 21-year-old go. Kane's agent, Craig Oster, agreed ... to a point.
"I've spoken to Evander and he just found the hockey to be different," Oster told the Free Press. "The style to be different, the training to be different. I think the coaching was a challenge at times."
Minsk coach Kari Heikkila called out Kane for being out of shape just three games into his tenure with the team. Kane wound up with just one goal and no assists with Dinamo.
Forward Joel Armia, the Buffalo Sabres first-round pick in 2011, suffered a concussion while playing for Finnish team Porin Assat Saturday against JYP Jyvaskyla, according to the team's website. Armia has nine goals and four assists in 22 games this season ... Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri was named the AHL player of the week Monday. The former first-round draft pick had one goal and seven assists in four games for the Toronto Marlies ... San Jose Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss signed with the Hannover Scorpions of the top German league. The 26-year-old German went 9-7-1 as a backup to Antti Niemi last season.