NHL notes: Coyotes' Brule declines demotion, likely retiring

Gilbert Brule of the Phoenix Coyotes reacts after losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the...

Gilbert Brule of the Phoenix Coyotes reacts after losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at Jobing.com Arena April 21, 2012. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:49 PM ET

Gilbert Brule’s hockey career appears to be over.

After being assigned to the Phoenix Coyotes’ AHL affiliate in Portland on Sunday, Brule didn’t report and was suspended Monday by the team.

“It’s pretty simple,” Coyotes GM Don Maloney told the Arizona Republic. “He decided that he didn’t want to live out of a suitcase anymore, was sick of living at hotels, and told me he was going to quit hockey -- maybe become a firefighter.

“So what we do procedurally is we suspended him and unless he has a change of heart very, very quickly, we’ll go through the procedure of terminating his contract.”

Brule was initially cut by the Coyotes at training camp and was offered a professional tryout with Portland. He considered playing in the Kontinental Hockey League but decided to stay in North America, where he eventually was signed by the Coyotes on a one-year, two-way contract.

“I think it’s pretty evident that that’s the direction this is trending,” Maloney said. “This is the third time this is happened with Gilbert. Out of training camp, he took some time. Early in the season he took some time. Obviously, he’s got a lot of other things in his life and that’s fine. That’s what makes this world great.”

The native of Edmonton, who turned 27 on Wednesday, appeared in three games for the Coyotes and registered three shots and two penalty minutes.

Brule has played in 299 career NHL games and has 43 goals and 95 points with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers and Coyotes.

HAMILTON, SODERBERG CLEARED

The Boston Bruins are getting an injection of youth to their banged up roster.

Defenceman Dougie Hamilton and centre Carl Soderberg were cleared to play Wednesday. Bruins coach Claude Julien said Hamilton is “certainly a possibility” to play Thursday when the Bruins host the Nashville Predators, while Soderberg “should be” in the lineup, according to NESN.

Hamilton has not played since Dec. 8 because of a lower-body injury while Soderberg has missed two games with concussion symptoms.

Meanwhile, Loui Eriksson is “still a ways away” from participating in full-contact practices.

With Soderberg playing, the Bruins assigned forward Nick Johnson to Providence of the AHL.

CRAWFORD RETURNING

Corey Crawford will be in net when the Chicago Blackhawks face the New York Islanders Thursday on Long Island.

Crawford has been out since suffering a reported groin injury during a game Dec. 8 against the Florida Panthers.

“I’m excited to start playing again,” Crawford told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s been a little bit too long. It will be nice to get back into a game.”

Backup Antti Raanta has filled his skates quite nicely over the last 10 games, going 7-1-2.

The Blackhawks will be carrying a third goaltender — Jason LaBarbera — on their two-game road trip as insurance if Crawford has a setback.

BRIEFLY

The Buffalo Sabres placed their leading scorer, Cody Hodgson, on injured reserve with a left wrist and thumb injury and recalled Brayden McNabb and Johan Larsson from Rochester of the AHL ... The New York Rangers placed 32-year-old forward Taylor Pyatt on waivers ... The Columbus Blue Jackets put left winger Matt Calvert on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and recalled forward Jonathan Marchessault from Springfield of the AHL.


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