Keith Yandle spoke of his disappointment a day after not making the cut for the U.S. Olympic hockey team next month in Sochi.
"Obviously, it's a tough pill to swallow," the Phoenix Coyotes defenceman told the Arizona Republic. "I was excited for yesterday. I thought I gave myself a good shot to make the team. Obviously, I'm disappointed but it's something I've just got to keep working hard, keep getting better. It's not the first time I've been cut from a team, probably won't be the last. For me, I just got to use it as motivation."
The eight defencemen named to the Olympic roster were John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk and Ryan Suter.
There's still a chance Yandle, who is eighth in league scoring among blueliners with 27 points, could be added to the roster if one of the players chosen cannot participate due to injury.
"From what I was told, I still obviously have to be ready if there were injuries. But obviously you'd never hope for anybody to get hurt. You wish those guys, the guys that got selected, good health and to be there and playing in Sochi."
WILD COACH UPBEAT
Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo knows he's facing pressure to turn his team around following six straight losses.
Yeo, in the final year of his contract, has seen the team slip to fifth place in the Central Division and 10th overall in the West.
"It's business as usual for me," he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "This has been a question before the season even started, right? I'm actually quite happy with the way I'm dealing with it."
Asked what he told his players at practice Wednesday, Yeo was upbeat with his message.
"I said, 'I know it's there, I know what they're writing, I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me. What I want is for you guys to know I still believe in this group and you're going to see that I'm still going to come in here and I'm going to coach not to try to save my job, I'm going to coach to try to give us a chance to get things going, get back on track and get back in the playoff race and keep building toward our ultimate goal.' "
Heading into Thursday game against the Buffalo Sabres, the Wild activated defenceman Clayton Stoner off injured reserve, recalled goaltender Darcy Kuemper from Iowa on an emergency basis to fill in for an ill Josh Harding and placed forward Zenon Konopka on waivers.
JOVO COP RETURNING
Ed Jovanovski is ready to play.
The Florida Panthers are expecting to see their captain return from a major hip injury that has sidelined him almost 10 months, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
The 37-year-old defenceman has been cleared to play and will make his season debut Saturday against the Nashville Predators.
Jovanovski chose to have a less invasive hip resurfacing surgery as opposed to a complete hip replacement. It is unknown whether any athlete has ever come back from this type of procedure.
More good news for the Panthers as winger Scottie Upshall appears ready to return Saturday against his former team following a three-game absence with an upper-body injury.
The Vancouver Canucks sent goaltender Joacim Eriksson to Utica of the AHL with Roberto Luongo ready to return from a groin injury ... The Pittsburgh Penguins claimed veteran left wing Taylor Pyatt off waivers from the New York Rangers ... the Nashville Predators signed 2013 draft pick Jonathan-Ismael Diaby to a three-year, entry-level contract.