All posts by Josh Gold-Smith

Wild to retire Mikko Koivu’s number in March

The Minnesota Wild will raise Mikko Koivu's No. 9 to the rafters on March 13.

Koivu, the team's longtime captain and all-time points leader, will be the first player in franchise history to have his jersey retired.

The 38-year-old ended his career in February as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets after signing with them for his final campaign. Before that, he played 15 seasons with the Wild, wearing the "C" on a full-time basis for 11 of them after serving as a co-captain in 2008-09.

Koivu is also Minnesota's all-time leader in games played (1,028) and assists (504) in addition to having produced a club-best 709 points. He represented Finland 14 times, captaining the country's World Cup of Hockey squad in 2016.

The Wild drafted him sixth overall in 2001.

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Canadiens fire Bergevin, name Jeff Gorton executive VP of hockey ops

The Montreal Canadiens overhauled their front office Sunday, firing general manager Marc Bergevin, assistant GM Trevor Timmins, and senior vice president of public affairs and communications Paul Wilson.

The Canadiens also named former New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton executive vice president of hockey operations.

Montreal has begun its search for a new GM; the team stated Bergevin's successor must be able to speak both English and French.

The 56-year-old said Sunday he's proud of what he accomplished during his tenure with the organization and expects the underachieving club to be in good hands going forward.

"The current team is much better than the results show, and I am convinced that my successors will be able to rise to the challenge," he wrote in a statement.

Bergevin had served as the Canadiens' GM since May 2012. The club made the playoffs in six of his nine subsequent full seasons, reaching the Stanley Cup Final last campaign and making an Eastern Conference Final appearance in 2013-14.

However, Montreal has struggled mightily in 2021-22, posting a 6-15-2 record that placed the team second-last in the Atlantic Division entering Sunday's action. Canadiens captain Shea Weber has missed the entire season due to injury and goaltender Carey Price has been away from the team after voluntarily entering the NHL's player assistance program before the campaign began.

Bergevin made several blockbuster moves during his tenure, including trading defenseman P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for Weber in June 2016. Bergevin joined Montreal after serving as assistant GM of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Rangers unexpectedly fired Gorton along with team president John Davidson in May. The latter returned to his former role as the Columbus Blue Jackets president of hockey operations.

New York hired Gorton as GM on July 1, 2015. The Rangers reached the postseason in three of his six years in the position but failed to get past the second round in that span.

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Sharks place Kane on waivers

The San Jose Sharks are waiving Evander Kane on Sunday, as first reported by the Mercury News' Curtis Pashelka.

If Kane goes unclaimed by Monday at 2 p.m. ET, the Sharks will assign him to their AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda, Pashelka adds.

The NHL suspended the forward for 21 games in mid-October after he violated the league's COVID-19 protocol.

Sharks assistant general manager Joe Will revealed Sunday he's expecting Kane to practice with the AHL squad on Tuesday.

"We just decided that since he's a contracted hockey player, it's the best thing at this time for him to continue to play hockey, and this is the best option for that right now," Will said.

The executive added that Kane is fully vaccinated.

The NHL reportedly looked into the 30-year-old's alleged use of a fake vaccination card in early October while investigating a separate matter.

The league also cleared him of wrongdoing following its initial probe in September. That investigation examined his estranged wife Anna's claims that he bet on hockey and threw games.

Kane is under contract with San Jose through 2024-25.

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Senators’ Murray clears waivers, will be assigned to AHL

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray went unclaimed on the waiver wire and will be demoted, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

The Senators will demote Murray to their AHL affiliate, reports Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch. Ottawa head coach D.J. Smith said Saturday that the club would assign the netminder to Belleville if he cleared waivers.

More to come.

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NHL postpones 2 Islanders games due to COVID-19 protocol

The NHL postponed the New York Islanders' games through at least Nov. 30 on Saturday as a result of the team's worsening COVID-19 situation.

The Islanders' road contests against the New York Rangers on Sunday and versus the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday won't be played as scheduled.

Another Islanders player landed in COVID-19 protocol on Saturday morning, and up to eight in total may be unable to play as a result of being on the list, according to the league. The NHL also cited the possibility of there being more cases due to the virus spreading within the team.

The club has been decimated by absences related to COVID-19. On Tuesday, Zdeno Chara became the seventh Islander to land in protocol along with captain Anders Lee, forwards Josh Bailey, Kieffer Bellows, and Ross Johnston, as well as defensemen Andy Greene and Adam Pelech.

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Panarin fined $5K for throwing glove at Marchand from bench

The NHL fined New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin $5,000 on Saturday for unsportsmanlike conduct during Friday's win over the Boston Bruins.

Panarin took his glove off and threw it at Bruins forward Brad Marchand while the two were exchanging words from the benches late in the contest.

Officials gave both Panarin and Marchand 10-minute misconducts as a result of the altercation, which took place with about 12 seconds remaining in the Rangers' 5-2 victory.

The two players rank among the league's scoring leaders this season. Panarin is tied for ninth in assists (16) and 13th in points (21), while Marchand is tied for ninth in points with 22.

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Lightning’s Point expected to miss 4-6 weeks with injury

Tampa Bay Lightning star Brayden Point will likely be out four-to-six weeks due to the upper-body injury he sustained Saturday.

The Lightning said on Sunday that Point would be out indefinitely.

Point went hard into the boards after a scoring chance late in a loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. He stayed in the game to take the ensuing penalty shot but missed Tampa Bay's win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

The Lightning have been without fellow top-liner Nikita Kucherov since Oct. 16 due to an injury of his own.

Point has produced seven goals and six assists over 13 games this season. The 25-year-old led the team with 23 goals and 48 points while playing all 56 contests in the previous campaign.

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Cammi Granato becomes 2nd woman named to HHOF Selection Committee

Cammi Granato will be the newest member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee, the institution announced Tuesday.

The American legend is joining an 18-member group that includes only one other woman, Cassie Campbell-Pascall.

Columbus Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson is retiring from the committee on Dec. 31. He's served as its chair for seven years and has been part of the group for more than two decades. Mike Gartner will take over as chair, having served on the committee since 2009. Granato and Gartner will assume their new roles on Jan. 1.

Granato was one of the first two women inducted into the Hall along with Angela James in 2010. Granato captained Team USA to gold at the 1998 Olympics and was the all-time leading scorer in women's international hockey at the time of her retirement. She's currently a pro scout for the Seattle Kraken and became the first woman to hold that title in NHL history when the expansion franchise hired her in 2019.

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Report: Fenway Sports Group sought MLSE merger before pursuing Pens

Fenway Sports Group previously explored the possibility of joining forces with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, reports Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

At least one year ago, the entity that operates MLB's Boston Red Sox and the Premier League's Liverpool inquired about a merger with MLSE before ultimately going after the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.

"About 12-18 months ago, before Fenway Sports Group went down this road with the Penguins, an emissary was dispatched to ask Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment ... if they would be interested in a merger with Fenway," Friedman said on Saturday's "32 Thoughts" TV segment.

"It didn't go very far, as I've been told (MLSE) made it clear they weren't ready for that yet," Friedman said.

The potential move would have come with obstacles. Rogers Communications, which owns MLB's Toronto Blue Jays, holds a 37.5% stake in MLSE, the company that oversees the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA's Toronto Raptors, MLS' Toronto FC, and Scotiabank Arena.

Earlier this week, it was reported Fenway Sports Group was in advanced talks to purchase the Penguins. The Fenway group is helmed by billionaire John Henry, while hockey legend Mario Lemieux and investor Ron Burkle have operated the Penguins since 1999.

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Report: Fenway Sports Group sought MLSE merger before pursuing Pens

Fenway Sports Group previously explored the possibility of joining forces with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, reports Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

At least one year ago, the entity that operates MLB's Boston Red Sox and the Premier League's Liverpool inquired about a merger with MLSE before ultimately going after the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.

"About 12-18 months ago, before Fenway Sports Group went down this road with the Penguins, an emissary was dispatched to ask Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment ... if they would be interested in a merger with Fenway," Friedman said on Saturday's "32 Thoughts" TV segment.

"It didn't go very far, as I've been told (MLSE) made it clear they weren't ready for that yet," Friedman said.

The potential move would have come with obstacles. Rogers Communications, which owns MLB's Toronto Blue Jays, holds a 37.5% stake in MLSE, the company that oversees the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA's Toronto Raptors, MLS' Toronto FC, and Scotiabank Arena.

Earlier this week, it was reported Fenway Sports Group was in advanced talks to purchase the Penguins. The Fenway group is helmed by billionaire John Henry, while hockey legend Mario Lemieux and investor Ron Burkle have operated the Penguins since 1999.

Copyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.