February 24, 2013
NHL notes: Pacioretty avoids suspension, fine for hit on Rangers' McDonagh
By QMI Agency

Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens drives Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers in the boards during their game at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Feb. 23, 2013. (BEN PELOSSE/QMI Agency)

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella posed a question to reporters after watching Montreal's Max Pacioretty drive Ryan McDonagh into the boards Saturday night.

“How high did Pacioretty jump?” he said, insinuating the Habs’ winger left his feet before knocking his defenceman out of the game.

On Sunday, Tortorella got his answer from the NHL: Not high enough.

After speaking with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety via teleconference a day after the hit, Pacioretty was neither suspended or fined.


The play in question appeared to be in retaliation for a hit McDonagh planted on Pacioretty five minutes earlier in the second period of the Canadiens 3-0 win.

ERUZIONE GEAR FETCHES FORTUNE

The sweater Mike Eruzione donned during Team USA’s “Miracle on Ice” win over the Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., has been auctioned off for close to $660,000, according to a report from the Associated Press.

In all, the gear Eruzione used during Team USA’s run to the gold medal sold for more than $1.3 million, including his stick ($262,900), gloves ($53,775) and warm-up suit ($26,290).

"Tonight, we saw collectors show Mike Eruzione, and that entire team, how highly they think of him and of the things he achieved," said Chris Ivy, a director for Heritage Auctions.

Prior to the auction, experts had predicted that Eruzione’s sweater could go for more than $1 million.

To compare, Paul Henderson’s 1972 Summit Series sweater sold for $1.2 million in 2010.

PENS NOT RULING OUT MALKIN CONCUSSION

A day after a local paper painted a rather dire picture of Evgeni Malkin’s condition, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma denied claims that last season’s NHL MVP is suffering from headaches and disorientation.

Citing multiple sources, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Saturday that Malkin is experiencing concussion symptoms after colliding with Florida Panthers’ Erik Gudbranson Friday night.

“(He’ll) be re-evaluated by doctors,” Bylsma said, before adding the club hasn’t ruled out a concussion. “He’s not suffering headaches or disorientation.”

The Russian centre didn’t play Sunday night against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning and is slated to undergo more tests.

REALIGNMENT PLAN?

The NHL’s latest realignment proposal could see the 30-team league divided into four separate conferences – two in the East and two in the West.

According to CBC’s Hockey Night, the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets could move from the West to the East, creating pair of eight-team conferences in the East and a pair of seven-team conferences in the West.

The unbalanced conferences will likely force the NHL to come up with a new wild card system for determining playoff qualification, according to the report.

BRIEFLY

The Calgary Flames are poised to move their AHL affiliate yet again, according to a report. The Utica Observer-Dispatch reported Sunday that a 10-year deal has been struck to move the Flames’ farm club to central New York ahead of the 2013-14 season. Currently, the Flames current AHL team in Abbotsford, B.C., sports the fifth lowest attendance in the AHL … The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Sunday they’ve placed Jack Johnson on injured reserve after the defenceman suffered an upper body injury Saturday night in St. Louis. Johnson will be evaluated in Columbus following the Jackets game in Chicago Sunday … Winnipeg Jets winger Antti Miettinen might have the worst luck in the NHL. After missing the start of the season with an upper body injury, the 32-year-old returned to the Jets lineup Sunday only to leave the game 17 seconds into his first shift after being struck by a shot.

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