November 22, 2012
NHL notes: Wojtek Wolski enjoying playing in homeland
By QMI Agency
Wojtek Wolski never expected to play hockey in his country of birth.
But with the NHL players locked out, the Washington Capitals forward decided to embrace his Polish roots and sign with KH Sanok of the Polish Ice Hockey League, rather than looking for a higher level of competition. And it sounds like Wolski, a first-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2004, doesn't regret the decision.
"I have never had the chance to play in Poland because I grew up in Canada," Wolski said on the IIHF website. "I felt that this may be the only opportunity for me to play in Poland so I didn't want to pass it up. I am trying to get involved as much as I can.
"I think it's a big part of the decision to come play in Poland, getting involved and trying to help Polish hockey as much as I can."
And fans in Poland are giving back, too. In their own unique way.
"The last game we were in Hungary and I scored in a shootout to win it," Wolski said. "The fans got pretty excited and started throwing me chocolate bars."
GEOFFRION GIVES THANKS
Montreal Canadiens forward Blake Geoffrion has been cleared to return home for a three-week rest and is expected to make a full recovery.
The 24-year-old will spend U.S. Thanksgiving with his family.
"I want to sincerely thank all fans, friends, family members and everyone from the hockey world for the incredible support I have received," Geoffrion said Thursday in a statement released by the Canadiens. "I was cleared by the neurosurgeon and the Club's medical staff to return home for a 3-week period of complete rest. I am very happy to be home for Thanksgiving.
"I am very grateful to Geoff Molson and Marc Bergevin for the unrelenting support they have shown myself and the members of my family. I also wish to thank all members of the media for respecting this healing period."
Geoffrion underwent emergency surgery on a depressed skull fracture on Nov. 9 after being hurt while playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. The injury was so serious he was kept in intensive care at Montreal General Hospital before being released less than a week later.
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask will play one more game for HC Plzen of the top Czech league before returning to Beantown, according to a numbe rof online reports.
Rask is expected to finish his stint with Plzen on Friday and fly back to Boston on Sunday. If the lockout wipes out the season, he'll reportedly consider returning to Plzen.
The 25-year-old Finn, who is expected to be the Bruins' go-to goalie when the season begins, has gone 6-2 with a 1.85 goals-against average and .936 save percentage in eight games with Plzen, the top team in the Czech league.
COMMODORE FINDS WORK
Defenceman Mike Commodore, an unrestricted free agent, has signed a professional tryout agreement with Hamilton of the AHL.
Commodore, 33, is expected to join the team on Saturday, according to the team.
The 33-year-old started last season with the Detroit Red Wings before being traded to Tampa Bay Lightning in late February. He wasn't re-signed by the Lightning.
Commodore has played 484 games in the NHL, recording 23 goals and 83 assists.