All posts by Craig Hagerman

Coyotes’ Galchenyuk week to week with injury, will likely miss 1st game

Arizona Coyotes forward Alex Galchenyuk is week to week with a lower-body injury and is expected to miss the club's season opener, the team announced Tuesday.

Galchenyuk suffered the injury in the club's preseason tilt against the Los Angeles Kings on Sept. 18. The 24-year-old is getting set for his first season with the Coyotes after being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in June in exchange for Max Domi.

The Coyotes will open the 2018-19 season on Oct. 4 against the Dallas Stars.

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5 milestones within reach this season

As a new season nears, a number of players prepare to chase history.

Here are five players who have the opportunity to reach career milestones, and in some cases, cement their place among the game's best.

Thornton on edge of 400

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Arguably the best passer of this generation, Joe Thornton is about to eclipse a goal-scoring milestone. With just three more tallies, Thornton will reach the 400-goal mark, becoming the 96th player in NHL history to do so - if he gets there before another player on this list.

That's not the only record in reach for the big center. With 40 points, he can pass both Teemu Selanne and Stan Mikita for 14th on the all-time list, and if he manages to collect 34 assists, he'll move up four spots - passing Mario Lemieux, Marcel Dionne, Gordie Howe, and Steve Yzerman - for the eighth-most all time.

Malkin's pursuit of 1,000

Another strong campaign from Evgeni Malkin should see the Russian sniper eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.

The 32-year-old needs 70 points to hit the milestone. That would be a tall order for most players, but Malkin has failed to reach 70 points only three times in his career, and each of those seasons saw him limited due to injuries.

If Malkin can put up 30 goals, he will also reach the 400-goal mark.

Luongo climbing the all-time wins list

Joel Auerbach / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Florida Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo currently sits fourth on the all-time wins list, but he should leapfrog another legendary goaltender for the third spot.

With 14 wins, Luongo will move ahead of Ed Belfour.

While he was limited to just 35 games last season, Luongo put up strong numbers, rocking a .929 save percentage and a 2.47 goals-against average.

Luongo should have no trouble moving into third place, but it remains to be seen whether he has enough in the tank to one day challenge Patrick Roy and his 551 wins for second.

Staal joins Thornton at 400

The pressure will be on Thornton to be the first player this season to reach 400 career goals.

Minnesota Wild forward Eric Staal is also in the hunt for 400 and needs just five goals to do so.

Staal has enjoyed a reawakening in his short time in Minnesota. Over the last two seasons, he's tallied 70 goals, including 42 last season, which were just three fewer than his career high he set back in 2006.

Lundqvist following in Luongo's footsteps

Abbie Parr / Getty Images Sport / Getty

While Luongo will be focused on reaching third in goalie wins, Henrik Lundqvist will also be looking to make a jump up the all-time ranks.

The New York Rangers netminder currently sits eighth all time with 431 career wins, so with 24 victories, he would overtake Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuk, and Curtis Joseph for fifth.

Last season, Lundqvist recorded 26 victories, which were the fewest he's managed in a full 82-game season in his career.

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Seattle City Council votes in favor of new arena project

Seattle City Council voted unanimously in favor of Oak View Group's proposed arena project, which could house the NHL's 32nd franchise, the Seattle ownership group announced Monday.

The Seattle Center Arena project will see a $700-million renovation to KeyArena, which is now scheduled to break ground this fall.

"Today is a historic day for the future of our city and the New Arena at Seattle Center," OVG chief executive officer Tim Leiweke said. "We are one step closer to transforming an iconic landmark into a state-of-the-art arena that sets a new global standard at no risk to the City or taxpayers, while still preserving the soul, character, and honoring the Champions of an arena that has given Seattle so much."

The news comes with OVG set to make its pitch to the NHL Board of Governors on Oct. 2 in New York City.

"Now it's time to go to work," Leiweke said. "Our team stands ready to begin the next phase of this process and we plan to continue to communicate with our neighborhood and city partners to mobilize towards construction and our groundbreaking. In our conversations with members in communities across Seattle and our region, it has been amazing to see the excitement around this project and we are anxious to take this next step towards making a dream a reality."

While the pitch will be formally made to the NHL next week, a final decision from the league on whether it will grant Seattle an NHL franchise is not expected until at least December.

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Maple Leafs sign Der-Arguchintsev to entry-level deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed forward Semyon Der-Arguchintsev to a three-year, entry-level contract on Friday, the team announced.

He's coming off his second season with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League where he put up 12 goals and 51 points in 68 games.

Der-Arguchintsev was drafted in the third round, 76th overall, in this past June's draft.

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Canadiens’ Domi to have hearing for punching Ekblad

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi will have a hearing Thursday for his punch to Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad on Wednesday, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced.

Domi - who was making his Canadiens preseason debut - was assessed a two-minute minor for roughing and a match penalty after punching an unsuspecting Ekblad early in the third period of Wednesday's preseason contest.

Related: Luongo calls Domi's punch on Ekblad 'gutless'

Luckily for Ekblad - who missed the remainder of the game - he didn't sustain any serious injuries on the play.

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Panthers’ Ekblad avoids serious injury after punch from Domi

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad looks to have avoided any serious injury following a punch from Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi on Wednesday night.

Related: Canadiens' Domi given match penalty after punching Ekblad

Following the game, Panthers head coach Bob Boughner told reporters that Ekblad was removed from the game by the league to determine if he'd suffered a concussion. The 22-year-old managed to avoid sustaining a concussion, or a broken nose, according to The Athletic's Arpon Basu.

The news comes as a huge relief for the Panthers and their fans as Ekblad has a history of concussions.

As for Domi, he was assessed a match penalty on the play, while the NHL's Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing the infraction, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

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Canadiens’ Domi given match penalty after punching Ekblad

Max Domi made an early exit from his Montreal Canadiens preseason debut.

The forward was given a two-minute minor for roughing and a match penalty after punching Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad less than a minute into the third period of Wednesday's preseason tilt.

The infraction will be looked at by the NHL's Department of Player Safety, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun. As for Ekblad, he did not return to the game, according to Sportsnet's Eric Engels.

Domi was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes this offseason in a trade that sent forward Alex Galchenyuk to the desert.

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Sens GM pauses when asked what he’s optimistic about

The Ottawa Senators' front office could use a lesson or two in interviewing.

Just over a week after team owner Eugene Melnyk gave an awkward interview with defenseman Mark Borowiecki, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion spoke to Sportsnet's Dave Amber and Elliotte Friedman during the first intermission of the preseason contest between the Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Things appeared to be going well until Amber asked Dorion what he's optimistic about this season, causing the general manager to pause before answering.

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Tavares admits he’s nervous ahead of 1st preseason game with Maple Leafs

John Tavares will take the ice for his first preseason game as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators, and he expects to have a bit of a pit in his stomach ahead of game time.

"Any time I play, there are always jitters. That's a feeling you have as a hockey player from the time you're a kid until now," Tavares said, according to TSN's Kristen Shilton. "The first game of the year is always that same kind of butterfly excitement and getting ready to be in that mindset again, that mentality you get into. When you haven't played in a while, it's very fresh."

Tavares is expected to slot alongside Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman on Tuesday night in what may be a preview of what's to come when the regular season kicks off.

The centerman is excited to be playing games with a more competitive edge after taking part in team scrimmages recently.

"It's nice to get back into that competitiveness and a lot of those little things that you need to get prepared," he said. "No matter what, when you play you want to win. So no matter when it is you go out there, play hard and carry over a lot of things you're working on and preaching to keep building ourselves up to the regular season."

Tavares will dress in his first regular-season game with the Maple Leafs when they open the season on Oct. 3 against the Montreal Canadiens.

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Canadiens’ Deslauriers taken to hospital as precaution

Montreal Canadiens forward Nicolas Deslauriers was taken to hospital as a precaution and for further testing after leaving Monday's preseason game against the New Jersey Devils on Monday night, the team announced.

The 27-year-old left the game early in the second period with an upper-body injury. Earlier in the first period, Deslauriers dropped the gloves with Devils forward Brandon Baddock where he took a hard right-handed punch, according to Sportsnet's Eric Engels.

Deslauriers is looking to cement a full-time spot with the Canadiens this year after playing 58 games with the big club and 14 in the American Hockey League last season.

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