Stars’ Demers out at least 6 weeks with shoulder injury

The Dallas Stars could be without defenseman Jason Demers well into the postseason, should they indeed advance that far.

Demers has been diagnosed with a shoulder injury that will be further evaluated in six weeks, according to Mark Stepneski of the team's official website.

With only a month remaining in the regular season, that means Demers could return late in the first round, at the earliest.

Demers has recorded seven goals and 16 assists in 61 games for Dallas this season.

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Report: Senators pushing for outdoor game on Parliament Hill

The Ottawa Senators have their eyes on a special outdoor game during the 2017-18 season.

To celebrate both the NHL's 100th anniversary and Canada's 150th birthday, the club wants to host the Montreal Canadiens in an outdoor game on Parliament Hill. And according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the league hasn't ruled out the venue, despite the fact a temporary stadium would need to be erected to accommodate the event.

The easier option would be to have the game played at TD Place Stadium, site of the 2017 Grey Cup. But Senators owner Eugene Melnyk's preference is the Hill because of its unique backdrop, Garrioch adds.

"That would be really cool," Ottawa defenceman Cody Ceci said Thursday. "Being from Ottawa, it would be really cool to play in and see what they do with Parliament Hill putting the stands up. It'd be a pain to put them up and take them down but it'd be awesome to be a part of."

An announcement is not expected until after the regular season as the NHL continues to explore the possibility from all angles.

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Bruins’ Liles won’t be disciplined for hit on Kucherov

Boston Bruins defenseman John-Michael Liles will not be disciplined for a hit to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Thursday.

Liles had a hearing after he caught Kucherov with a forearm/elbow at the Bruins blue line.

Kucherov visited the quiet room to be tested for a potential concussion, but returned to the game symptom-free. Liles wasn't penalized on the play.

Acquired at the trade deadline by Boston, Liles has two assists in five games with his new club.

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Brooks Laich says people shouldn’t feel sorry for Brooks Laich

Brooks Laich went from first to last, from Stanley Cup contender to 1967, but he doesn't want anybody to feel sorry for him.

The veteran, a star in Washington during his time with the Capitals, spoke to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun and told him it's "a dream come true" to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Laich realized he was living out a childhood ambition when the 32-year-old from Saskatchewan stood on the blue line at the Air Canada Centre and heard "O Canada."

"I had obviously been in the building many times before but always as the opposition," Laich said earlier in the week. "This time playing for the home team, I mean, I used to watch 'Hockey Night In Canada' every Saturday like every kid in Canada. I wanted to play for the Leafs. I was a (Doug) Gilmour fan, a (Mats) Sundin fan. When we had the anthem and the Canadian flag was going down the one side in the crowd, the Maple Leafs flag was going down the other, and I was playing for the Leafs, people were rooting for me, that's when it really hit home. This was a dream come true. It really is. It's something very special.

"A lot of people might look at the situation that got me here and say, 'Oh, he's disappointed, he must be upset.' No, I look at it like a tremendous opportunity, I'm very fortunate to be here."

Laich understands the reality of his situation. His production's fallen off a cliff, and in order for Toronto to net a second-round draft pick and prospect Connor Carrick, it had to take Laich and his $4.5-million contract for the remainder of this season and next. But he's not looking at the trade - one he asked Capitals general manager Brian McLellan not to make - as the beginning of the end of his career. It's a reset.

"I'm trying to prove myself," Laich said, adding that he's taking it day by day in Toronto. He understands he's around to provide leadership and to mentor the William Nylanders, Nikita Soshnikovs, and Zach Hymans.

"My job first and foremost is to rebuild my career, play the way I can. Be an effective, everyday consistent player," Laich said. "And then when doing so, the other intangibles come naturally. I love teammates, I love the team atmosphere of hockey, I love the enthusiasm of young kids, I remember being there 10 years ago, being one myself. But all those things come after me first playing well. I have to play well in order to have my voice carry any weight in the locker room."

As for the Capitals, Laich said he hasn't "gone through the anger stage" regarding the trade, adding there's no guarantee the Capitals win the Stanley Cup, because nothing's guaranteed in sports, especially not in hockey.

"This is a new lease on my career here, a chance to rebuild my career. I had such a diminished role in Washington; it didn't look like there was a future there. Here I've got a chance to play and re-establish myself and further my career. That's something I'm really excited about."

Laich said he's watched the Capitals on TV since the trade, but doesn't know how easy it will be to root for Washington come the playoffs, even though he has a number of great friends on the team.

"I really wish my friends well, at the same time, it would be really hard to see. ... I really don't know how I'll feel if everything goes their way," Laich said.

You have to appreciate his honesty.

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Oilers’ Nurse suspended 3 games under aggressor rule

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse has been suspended three games under the NHL's aggressor rule after an incident with Roman Polak of the San Jose Sharks, the league has announced.

As the video shows, Nurse received a minor penalty for roughing and a five-minute major for fighting Polak late in Tuesday's game in Edmonton.

In the league's view, Nurse's actions - which included eight punches - served as a "gross violation" of the aggressor rule as an attempt to inflict punishment on an unwilling participant or opponent in a defenseless position.

On top of that, the NHL believes Nurse's actions were in direct response to a hit levied by Polak on teammate Matt Hendricks earlier in the period.

This is Nurse's first NHL suspension.

(Video courtesy: NHL.com)

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VIDEO: Kings mascot signs autograph for Kobe Bryant

Greatness recognizes greatness.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant continued his retirement tour at home Wednesday, watching the Los Angeles Kings beat the Washington Capitals in overtime.

A win, an appearance on the kiss cam, and it got even better: Kings mascot Bailey's autograph.

Kobe has it all.

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Report: Avs’ Landeskog to have hearing for cross-checking Ducks’ Despres

Gabriel Landeskog could be watching for a bit.

The Colorado Avalanche captain went up high with a cross-check to the side of the head of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Simon Despres on Wednesday night, and will having a hearing with the Department of Player Safety, according to TSN's Gino Reda.

The play somehow went unpenalized. The Avs shut out the Ducks 3-0.

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Senators’ Anderson back in net after 4-game absence

Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson will start Thursday's game against the Florida Panthers after being out of the lineup since March 1 with a lower-body injury.

His presence will be a boost for a club that went 1-2-1 in his absence, although it's probably too late to make much of a difference in the playoff race, as the Senators sit five points out of a wild-card spot with 14 games remaining on the schedule.

Anderson has posted a record of 27-20-4 with a .917 save percentage in 52 appearances this season.

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VIDEO: Obama trolls Trudeau over Blackhawks’ Cup victory

A discussion over the state of hockey has risen straight to the top.

While introducing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Washington on Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama tried to end the "which country is better at hockey?" debate by pointing to his hometown Chicago Blackhawks as the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Trudeau wisely pointed out the debate is a bit more nuanced than that:

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Remember, we are all Canucks!