All posts by Josh Gold-Smith

Report: Senators shut down search for president of hockey ops for season

The Ottawa Senators have shut down their search for a president of hockey operations until at least the end of this season, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports.

Friedman added it was unclear whether the club would resume its search.

Back in March, the team said it intended to make the hire "to support and provide guidance" to general manager Pierre Dorion while filling the void left by the late Bryan Murray.

The team also said at the time that the potential new hire wouldn't threaten Dorion's position.

Murray, the club's former general manager and head coach, died of cancer in August 2017. He stepped down as GM in April 2016, and Dorion took over the role with Murray staying on as a senior advisor until his death.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Kings cover up Taylor Swift banner at Staples Center

There's now a "Blank Space" in the Staples Center rafters.

The Los Angeles Kings covered up a banner commemorating Taylor Swift before Saturday's home opener against the Nashville Predators.

The banner, which lauded Swift for having the most sold-out performances at the arena, won't be removed entirely but will continue to be covered up at Kings games going forward, according to the Los Angeles Times' Arash Markazi.

The decision to cover it up was made solely by the hockey club, Staples Center president Lee Zeidman told Markazi.

For what it's worth, the Kings haven't won a playoff series since the banner went up in August 2015 following Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014.

Los Angeles defeated the Nashville Predators 7-4 on Saturday.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Watch: Namestnikov buries late winner to lift Senators past Lightning

Vladislav Namestnikov picked the perfect time to score his first goal with the Ottawa Senators.

The former Tampa Bay Lightning forward netted the eventual winning goal against his old club Saturday off a feed from Connor Brown with just over three minutes left.

Namestnikov, who was acquired by the Senators from the New York Rangers on Oct. 7, added an empty-netter for good measure in the final minute and finished Saturday's contest with three points.

That brings his totals up to two goals and two assists in a pair of games with Ottawa.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Raanta to make 1st NHL start in nearly a year Saturday

Antti Raanta is on the verge of his long-awaited return to the crease.

The Arizona Coyotes goaltender will start Saturday's road game against the Colorado Avalanche, Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet confirmed Friday, according to The Athletic's Craig Morgan.

Raanta was recalled last week after earning a 19-save shutout with Arizona's AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners, while on a conditioning stint due to a minor injury he suffered in the preseason.

The 30-year-old last played in the NHL on Nov. 27, 2018, when he suffered an injury in a game against the Minnesota Wild. He was placed on injured reserve in December and missed the rest of the season.

Raanta posted a .906 save percentage across 12 contests in 2018-19. He authored a .930 mark over 47 games in 2017-18, his first campaign with the Coyotes.

Arizona acquired him in a draft-day trade with the New York Rangers in 2017.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Watch: Doughty buries OT winner after Tkachuk scores late equalizer

Matthew Tkachuk had a memorable night, but his rival got the last laugh.

Drew Doughty fired home the overtime winner as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Calgary Flames 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Doughty couldn't resist egging on the Calgary crowd as the celebration continued.

The decisive marker came after Tkachuk potted the tying goal on an impressive deflection following a giveaway by Doughty with just over a minute left in regulation.

Tkachuk finished with two goals and an assist, while Doughty posted two helpers in addition to the winning marker.

The two players have engaged in a periodic war of words off the ice that began after Tkachuk caught Doughty with an elbow to the face during a game in March 2017. At the time, the Los Angeles blue-liner called the Calgary forward "a pretty dirty player."

Doughty renewed the feud earlier this week when he said: "We both know who the better player is."

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Rangers trade Namestnikov to Senators

The New York Rangers dealt forward Vladislav Namestnikov to the Ottawa Senators, the clubs announced Monday night.

New York receives a 2021 fourth-round pick, plus defenseman Nick Ebert, with the Rangers retaining 18.75% of Namestnikov's $4-million cap hit.

Namestnikov is in the final season of a two-year, $8-million pact he inked with the Rangers on July 1, 2018.

The 26-year-old collected 11 goals and 31 points in 78 games with the Rangers last season. He spent parts of three campaigns with New York after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Ryan McDonagh deal in February 2018.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Jets giving Brossoit 2nd straight start

Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice isn't turning back to No. 1 netminder Connor Hellebuyck for Sunday night's road game.

Backup goaltender Laurent Brossoit will make a second consecutive start when the Jets face the New York Islanders, Maurice confirmed after Sunday's morning skate.

Brossoit, 26, allowed four goals on 39 shots in a shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

"I just really liked his game," Maurice told reporters Sunday. "That gave us the chance to mount the comeback."

Hellebuyck gave up five markers on 31 shots in a 6-4 loss to the New York Rangers in Winnipeg's season opener on Thursday. He also struggled in the preseason, allowing 12 goals in three games for an .813 save percentage - the second-worst preseason rate in the NHL.

Winnipeg is in the midst of a season-opening, four-game road trip that concludes Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Report: Canucks to make Eriksson healthy scratch vs. Flames

It's only Game 2 of the regular season, but an uninjured Loui Eriksson is reportedly being left out of the lineup.

The Vancouver Canucks forward will be a healthy scratch Saturday night against the Calgary Flames, according to TSN 1040's Jeff Paterson.

Adam Gaudette will draw in.

Eriksson, the Canucks' highest-paid forward, did not participate in line rushes at Saturday's morning skate, according to Sportsnet 650's Brendan Batchelor.

The 34-year-old played in Vancouver's season-opening loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday but skated only 13:12 while producing only one shot on goal.

Canucks head coach Travis Green also made him a healthy scratch for a game in March of last season. In May, Eriksson told a Swedish outlet that he and the bench boss "don't really get on 100 percent."

Eriksson inked a six-year, $36-million contract with the Canucks on July 1, 2016, coming off a 30-goal, 63-point season with the Boston Bruins. He's been a disappointment since, managing only 32 goals and 76 points in 197 games over three-plus campaigns with Vancouver.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Fleury laughs off giving away Sharks stick: ‘We’ll just say it was broken’

Marc-Andre Fleury is one of a kind.

After passing a Sharks player's stick to a fan through the photographer's hole in the glass Friday night in San Jose, the Vegas Golden Knights goaltender played coy when asked about his sneaky, charitable gesture.

“It was broken right? No? We’ll just say it was broken," Fleury quipped postgame to The Athletic's Jesse Granger.

Fleury donated the opponent's twig in the aftermath of a third-period melee that resulted in five players receiving 10-minute misconducts.

The veteran's shutout was spoiled shortly before the brouhaha, but the Golden Knights cruised to a 5-1 victory.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.