Sergei Gonchar doesn't believe he is owed a Sochi Olympics roster spot.
The Dallas Stars blueliner told Russia's R-Sport the nation's talent pool is too deep nowadays.
"If I get such an honour, then I'll take it with pleasure," Gonchar said, "but I think there are more worthy guys."
At 39, Gonchar, an elite offensive defenceman in his prime, has slowed down. He has 11 assists and a minus-8 rating in 32 games this season.
The Chelyabinsk native has accumulated 786 points over a 1,209-game career in the NHL.
If Gonchar does indeed participate in Sochi, he'll become the first Russian hockey player to play in five Olympics. In a total of 24 Olympic contests, Gonchar has a goal and four assists.
Final rosters are due Jan. 7.
THORNTON APPEAL DATE SET
It appears the Shawn Thornton saga will stretch a minimum two weeks.
Thornton, appealing a 15-game suspension, is set to plead his case Friday, according to TSN.
Along with an NHLPA representative, the Boston Bruins enforcer will meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for the appeal hearing.
It is scheduled exactly two weeks from his attack on Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik, who has been placed on injured reserve with a concussion.
QUICK BACK AT IT
Injured Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick is gradually working his way back into action.
Quick took shots at practice Tuesday for the first time since being sidelined Nov. 12 by a Grade 2 groin strain. There is no timetable for his return.
"Maybe the first week or two off the injury it’s sore, but at this point I don’t feel it unless I do certain things," Quick told reporters.
"Obviously the first few weeks, you kind of feel like you’re not making any progress, and then I think the last few weeks ... every day seems to feel better than the day before. It’s all good signs," Quick added.
In the 16 games since Quick went down, the Kings haven't missed a beat between the pipes.
Backup Ben Scrivens and call-up Martin Jones boast a combined 11-2-3 record with a .952 save percentage.
SEABROOK EYES NORRIS
If things continue to go swimmingly for Brent Seabrook, could he be in the Norris Trophy conversation at season's end?
When asked about that possibility, the Chicago Blackhawks defenceman said he deserves consideration.
"I feel like I can reach that point, but that's for (the media) to decide," Seabrook told the Chicago Tribune. "I'm just playing the game and trying to help the Blackhawks win."
Playing alongside 2010 Norris winner Duncan Keith -- arguably the odds-on favourite to win defenceman of the year again this season -- Seabrook has had an impressive campaign.
"I feel like I'm moving well, I'm moving the puck well and I feel like I'm doing a good job in our own zone," said the 28-year-old from Richmond, B.C. "I just feel like I've been playing well."
Seabrook, a long shot to crack Team Canada's Olympic roster, is tied with three others for best plus-minus among defencemen with a plus-18 rating. His 23 points ranks fifth among blueliners.
BOLL OUT 3-4 MONTHS
The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without Jared Boll until at least mid-March.
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced Tuesday the 27-year-old winger has been placed on injured reserve, retroactive Nov. 22, and is expected to miss three to four months of action.
Boll had surgery Monday to repair a torn tendon in his ankle.
"We're disappointed for Jared as he has worked very hard and is an important part of our team," Kekalainen said, "but we expect him to make a full recovery and hopefully return to the lineup later this season."
Boll had a goal and 38 penalty minutes in 21 games before sustaining the injury.
St. Louis Blues captain David Backes is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters. Backes was hurt in Ottawa on Monday night against the Senators ... Washington Capitals centre Mikhail Grabovski missed his second game in a row Tuesday. Grabovski, who is suffering from the flu, has been replaced by Casey Wellman, called up from Hershey of the AHL ... Dallas Stars centre Vernon Fiddler has been placed on injured reserve, retroactive Dec. 7, with an upper-body injury. To fill Fiddler's roster spot, the team has called up defenceman Cameron Gaunce from Texas of the AHL ... Buffalo Sabres centre Cody McCormick will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks, according to the Buffalo News, after suffering an upper-body injury blocking a shot Saturday.