Rangers’ Vigneault envisions Eric Staal playing down the middle

Eric Staal hit the ice Monday morning as a member of the New York Rangers after Sunday's big trade.

Following practice, head coach Alain Vigneault met with the media and said he expects the longtime Carolina Hurricanes captain to play center in New York.

"I do envision Eric playing in the middle," he said. "With Eric, you're talking about an elite player, been captain of his team, and will bring his leadership to the room.

"There's no doubt our players are excited about Eric."

The Rangers host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night, so Staal will make his debut. But with Jesper Fast ill and out of the lineup, Staal will likely start on the wing.

There are questions, if Staal eventually moves to center, because the Rangers already employ Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard.

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Bruins’ Rinaldo to have hearing for hit on Lightning’s Paquette

Boston Bruins forward Zac Rinaldo will have a hearing for the illegal check to the head he delivered on Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette this past weekend, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced.

Rinaldo didn't leave his feet, or take a violent run, but certainly made contact with the chin of Paquette first as he attempted to separate the player from the puck in the defensive zone.

Rinaldo has been suspended on multiple occasions by the NHL, which will factor into the bureau's decision. He will, however, apparently avoid a ban in excess of five games, as Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports that it will be a phone hearing.

Rinaldo was placed on waivers Sunday.

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Carey Price skates in full equipment

It's been a difficult season for the Montreal Canadiens, but they received some very good news Monday morning.

Carey Price, who has been limited to only 12 games this season, was back on the ice in full gear as he continues to make strides in his recovery from a long-term lower-body injury.

#GottaSeeIt: A nice sight for @canadiensmtl fans! Carey Price skated in full goalie gear on Monday.

A video posted by Sportsnet (@sportsnet) on

Price has not played since sustaining the injury on Nov. 25 against the New York Rangers.

The 28-year-old goalie was enjoying yet another Vezina Trophy-caliber campaign, posting a record of 10-2-0 with a 2.06 GAA and .934 save percentage before going down with the injury.

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Agent: Bruins’ Khokhlachev could be traded before deadline

The Boston Bruins may be willing to part with top prospect Alex Khokhlachev.

Khokhlachev's agent has indicated that his client could be traded prior to Monday's 3 p.m. ET deadline, according to Igor Eronko of Sport-Express.

Selected in the second round of the 2011 draft, Khokhlachev has yet to be given an extended look with the Bruins, recording zero points in nine games. He's excelled at the AHL level this season, however, with 15 goals and 32 assists through 42 games.

Before the season, Khokhlachev expressed a measure of frustration about not getting a chance to assert himself at the NHL level.

The Bruins are believed to be in the market for a defenseman and have a decision to make regarding Loui Eriksson. Khokhlachev would be an enticing piece to deal in order to fill a need on the blue line.

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Report: Wild getting calls about Brodin but not ‘shopping’ defender

Phone's ringing in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Wild are getting calls about defenseman Jonas Brodin but aren't "shopping" the young defender, according to the Star Tribune's Michael Russo.

Brodin will be 23 in July and has a goal and five assists in 50 games, averaging 20:23 in ice time. He's signed long term, through 2019-20 at a cap hit of $4.167 million. Brodin is an integral part of the Wild's defense and, as Russo points out, the team averaged 2.92 goals against over 12 games he missed due to a broken foot.

Brodin's been speculatively linked to a trade for disgruntled Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, but it appears the Wild want to hold on to their D-man.

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Senators shut down Kyle Turris indefinitely

The Ottawa Senators' slim postseason hopes have just taken a major hit.

Top center Kyle Turris will be shut down indefinitely with a high ankle sprain he's been dealing with over the last several months, Senators GM Bryan Murray announced Monday.

Murray said the team could be shopping for a center to offset Turris' loss.

It's believed the ankle sprain occurred more than 12 weeks ago when Turris' leg was twisted underneath New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas. Turris appeared to be in considerable pain at the time, and it looked as though he would miss time, but he managed to play 20 minutes the next night.

Turris has eight points in 31 games since the incident.

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Report: Oilers ink Brossoit to 2-year, 1-way extension

The Edmonton Oilers are using trade deadline day to lock up their future stars.

The team has agreed to a two-year, one-way contract extension with goaltender Laurent Brossoit, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

The deal comes after it was reported that the Oilers had signed defenseman Brandon Davidson to a two-year extension.

Like Davidson, Brossoit was set to become a restricted free agent this summer. The 22-year-old has been steady with the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League this season, posting a 15-9-3 record with a .919 save percentage and a 2.69 goals-against average.

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Maple Leafs recall Nylander, Kapanen, 3 others

The future is arriving for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sort of.

The club has recalled William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Nikita Soshnikov, Zach Hyman, and Ben Smith from the AHL's Toronto Marlies in advance of Monday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

And while it's believed the group will be in the lineup, there's expected to be further maneuvering with the call-ups in order to ensure eligibility for the AHL playoffs, in which the Marlies will be heavily favored to win the Calder Cup.

The promotion to the big club does, of course, carry contract implications.

Nylander, 19, has recorded 18 goals and 27 assists in 37 games for the Marlies in a season that was interrupted by a concussion suffered at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Kapanen, a key piece of the Phil Kessel trade last summer, has scored eight goals and added 14 assists in 32 games.

The Maple Leafs are expected to remain active in advance of the trade deadline, with P.A. Parenteau likely on the move.

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