NHL notebook: Grier ending 14-year career

Buffalo Sabres center Mike Grier (R) moves the puck up the ice as in Buffalo, New York February 5,...

Buffalo Sabres center Mike Grier (R) moves the puck up the ice as in Buffalo, New York February 5, 2011. (REUTERS/Doug Benz)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:00 PM ET

Forward Mike Grier skated away from hockey Thursday, announcing his retirement after 14 NHL seasons.

Grier, 36, played 1,060 games with Edmonton, Washington, Buffalo and San Jose but hadn't hooked on with a team this season. He had just five goals and 11 assists in 73 games with Buffalo last season.

"I was very fortunate to be able to play 14 seasons in the NHL with some great players," Grier said in a statement. "The memories and friendships that I have built during my time in the league will last a lifetime. I would like to thank my former teammates, family and fans for helping make my career so memorable for me. It was a great ride, and I am now excited and looking forward to my post-playing future."

Drafted in the ninth round by the St. Louis Blues in 1993, the Boston University product debuted in the NHL with the Oilers in 1996. Over the next 14 seasons he had 162 goals and 221 assists in regular-season play, adding another 14 goals and 14 assists in 101 playoff games.

'CANES ADD MACLEAN

New Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller hired former teammate John MacLean as an assistant coach Thursday.

Muller and MacLean played together with the New Jersey Devils from 1984 to 1991.

Muller was hired by Carolina Monday, replacing the fired Paul Maurice.

MacLean lasted just 33 games as a head coach after the Devils fired him midway through the 2010-11 season, compiling a 9-22-2 record. But he was an assistant with New Jersey for seven seasons and also has head coaching experience with the Devils' AHL affiliate.

B'S KEEP KREJCI

The Boston Bruins signed centre David Krejci to a three-year contract extension Thursday worth a reported $15.75 million.

Krejci was in the last year of a contract that pays him $4 million this season. His new deal averages $5.25 million a season.

"Obviously, it was on my mind a little bit, especially when things weren't going my way at the beginning of the season," Krejci said. "And it got me thinking, you know. But then we got a deal done and I'm happy to be here for more years and now I can just focus on hockey."

The 25-year-old Czech, a second-round pick in 2004, led the NHL in playoff scoring last season as the Bruins won the Stanley Cup. In 20 games this season, Krejci has four goals and nine assists.

THOMAS TOPS, NO DOUBT

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was announced Thursday as the NHL's first star for November, as he won all nine of his starts last month and had three shutouts.

For the season, the 37-year-old is 12-4-0 with a 1.93 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage.

The second star was Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews. who had nine goals and nine assists. Chicago's captain had three multi-goal games and five multi-point games in November.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul was the third star. He capped the month with a seven-game point streak and moved into second place, behind Phil Kessel, in team scoring with 30 points.

NO DATE FOR PRONGER

The Philadelphia Flyers are expecting captain Chris Pronger to miss a month after surgery on his left knee.

"I haven't started my rehab," Pronger said on the league's website. "As I progress I'll know more. Gauging off when I had my other knee done a couple years ago, a month sounds about right. It may be three weeks, may be six weeks. We gave a ball park number because we don't know."

Pronger had surgery to clean out loose particles from the knee after it began bothering him when he returned from an eye injury Nov. 9.

Before going under the knife, Pronger missed four games with what the team described as a virus. His absence was not related to the knee, Pronger said Thursday.

"We said it was a virus but I didn't know what it was," he said. "It has been a bit of a mystery what exactly is going on. Did some blood work, and we're trying to get to the bottom of what's going on."

RYAN NOT GOING

The Anaheim Ducks have told forward Bobby Ryan he won't be traded, according to Sportsnet.

Ducks general manager Bob Murray, who replaced coach Randy Carlyle with Bruce Boudreau Thursday, told Ryan he's off the market. Earlier this week Ryan said he "wouldn't be surprised" if the Ducks dealt him.

Ryan, 24, has scored at least 30 goals three times in his career. The New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs were reportedly interested in trading for Ryan.

WINGS WANT CLASSIC

The Detroit Red Wings would like to hold the NHL's annual Winter Classic outdoor game.

The Red Wings' first choice for the venue would be Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, but they'd also consider holding it at Michigan Stadium, where the University of Michigan football team plays, a report in the Detroit Free Press says.

"We expressed interest after we played in Chicago and have expressed interest again," Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. "It's in the league's hands. Now we wait."

Michigan Stadium was host of an NCAA outdoor game last year that drew more than 104,000 fans.

STAAL OPTIMISTIC

Injured New York Rangers defenceman Marc Staal doesn't know when he'll play but believes it will be this season.

Staal, out since the start of training camp with a concussion that occured last season, has returned to the ice but won't circle a date on the calendar for his return.

"It's a long ways away," Staal told the New York Post. "I just started getting back to light workouts, and after being shut down, my strength basically was gone, so I have to get that back.

"But based on my rate of improvement over the last month, I feel I'll be back (this season)."

BRIEFLY

The Nashville Predators put forward Blake Geoffrion on injured reserve and activated Teemu Laakso off IR. Laakso was then put on waivers ... Forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond of the Calgary Flames cleared waivers and was assigned to Abbotsford of the AHL. Letourneau-Leblond has played just three games with the Flames this season ... The Ottawa Senators sent defenceman Matt Carkner to Binghamton of the AHL on a conditioning assignment. Carkner hasn't played this season after surgery on his right knee in September ... The New York Rangers sent forward Andre Deveaux to Connecticut of the AHL. Deveaux has one assist in nine games with the Rangers ... Defenceman Simon Despres was called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL by the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alexandre Picard was sent to the minor-league team ... Dallas Stars defenceman Alex Goligoski will have the cast on his right hand removed Friday. He could be back in the lineup in the next 10 days.


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