NHL notebook: Milan Lucic makes U-turn on Vancouver comments

Bruins forward Milan Lucic is backtracking on comments he made about the city of Vancouver, his...

Bruins forward Milan Lucic is backtracking on comments he made about the city of Vancouver, his hometown. (Martin Chevalier/QMI Agency/Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:12 PM ET

Milan Lucic has made a U-turn.

After a video showing Lucic arguing with a man outside a Vancouver bar went viral Sunday, the Boston Bruins enforcer told reporters he had "no reason left to defend" his hometown and was "just disgusted and outraged" by the actions of some its residents.

Lucic backtracked Wednesday, issuing a statement through the Bruins to address his initial comments about the city.

"This has been a very difficult week for me given the recent events that took place in my hometown of Vancouver," Lucic said.

"As I have had more time to think I want to make it clear that regardless of what has happened, I am still -- and always will be -- proud to be from there. It is home. While the actions of a few individuals have deeply upset me and will impact the time I spend downtown going forward, I will not let those incidents diminish the love and pride I have for the city as a whole. This will be my final comment on this subject."

HARDING SENT TO IR

Minnesota Wild standout Josh Harding has been placed on the injured reserve due to a change in his multiple sclerosis treatment.

The NHL's goals-against average leader will miss a week of action.

"Over the next week, Josh will make a minor adjustment to his treatment protocol," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "Josh feels great and he looks forward to rejoining our team for our game in Winnipeg on Dec. 27."

Harding has been arguably the best story of the 2013-14 campaign, posting career numbers a year after being diagnosed with MS. He has started most of Minnesota's games due to injuries to usual starter Niklas Backstrom.

The 29-year-old Regina native, who is contending for a Team Canada roster spot, also ranks second in the NHL in both save percentage (.954) and wins (18).

The Wild have called up Johan Gustafsson from its AHL affiliate in Iowa in Harding's absence.

VOKOUN PONDERS RETIREMENT

Pittsburgh Penguins backup Tomas Vokoun, out indefinitely with blood clots, has not ruled out the possibility of retiring before next season.

The 37-year-old goalie told Sport.Cz retirement is "one of many things" he has seriously considered during his extended stay on injured reserve.

"Everything is possible," said Vokoun, before adding, "I'm approaching the age of 38 years, sooner or later the end was coming anyway."

The Penguins announced Oct. 2 Vokoun would be placed on the long-term injured reserve list with no expectation of returning to the lineup for three to six months.

In 20 games with Pittsburgh last season, Vokoun posted a 13-4 record with three shutouts.

Vokoun, who spent the bulk of his career with the Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers, has a .917 save percentage in 700 career NHL games.

BLUES RE-SIGN STEEN

The St. Louis Blues have inked its star forward to a multi-year deal, the team announced Wednesday.

Alex Steen has agreed to a three-year deal worth $17.4 million, which averages out to $5.8 million per season. The Winnipeg native's contract includes a no-trade clause, according to CBC.

Steen, a 29-year-old winger, is having a career season thus far, recording 36 points in 33 games. His 22 goals are tied for second in the NHL.

This season, Steen will earn around $3.4 million.

BRIEFLY

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed defenceman Trevor Carrick to a three-year entry-level contract. Carrick, who currently plays for the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, was drafted 115th overall in the 2012 NHL draft ... Columbus Blue Jackets winger Marian Gaborik told reporters Wednesday he is targeting Saturday as a return date from injury. He has been sidelined with a sprained knee since Nov. 14 ... The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenceman Jean-Philippe Cote to a two-year contract. Although on a two-way deal, Cote has been assigned to the NHL team.


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