Now that you’re done celebrating Hockey Day in America – which turned into three days this year – it’s time to catch up on things you may have missed.
To help you out, below are ten stories you need to know coming out of the weekend…
* Andrei Loktionov was sent back to Manchester. It’s a numbers game. With Marco Sturm set to return the Kings needed a roster spot. They can’t send Davis Drewiske or Peter Harrold down without first going through waivers. Chances are they wouldn’t make it. Both are serviceable sixth defenseman in the NHL and have minimal salaries. At the very least, it wasn’t a chance worth taking. Odds are Loktionov will be back in LA before the season is out.
* Still not sure why people were so in awe of Carey Price’s mask during the Heritage Classic. The concept has been used by several goalies in the past, including Jonathan Quick’s tribute to Rogie Vachon this year. However, my favorite may have been Hannu Toivanen of the St. Louis Blues / Boston Bruins going with the Denis Lemieux (from Slap Shot) look.
* As noted in the Kings Prospect Report earlier this week, Brayden Schenn and Linden Vey (the WHL’s leading scorer) were set to meet up yesterday. Vey’s Medicine Hat Tigers downed the Saskatoon Blades 5-2. Yet, neither Kings draft pick factored much in the outcome. Both players were limited to just one assist each.
* More on Schenn – if you’re looking for a game used jersey, the Blades are auctioning off one of his jerseys here for charity.
* For the Schenn hat trick, here’s a third item of the day…more specifically, an update on the latest Brayden Schenn trade rumor – Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke continues to be hot on the trial of Schenn, including ‘accidently’ mentioning his name in a press conference this week. However, the reality is the Leafs don’t have the assets to acquire the young center. It’s highly doubtful Schenn gets traded this week by the Kings. And it certainly wouldn’t be to Toronto IF it happened.
* In the February 7th And Now You’re Caught Up article it was noted that doctors couldn’t determine what was wrong with Ducks’ goalie Jonas Hiller, so despite reports that he was just tired it was something worth watching. Sure enough, the dizziness he complained of wasn’t a minor thing and he’s been on IR. If it’s a concussion, who knows how long he’ll be out (see: Crosby, Sidney). In other Pacific Division injury news, Phoenix placed defenseman Ed Jovanovski on IR a few days ago with an orbital bone fracture (he’s expected to miss at least two weeks).
* Even more injury news out of the ultra-tight Western Conference – Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter left Saturday’s game with a lower body injury (he’s listed as day-to-day with no updates from the team yet) and Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu is probably going to need surgery on his hand, which will require him to miss significant time.
* Prior to the Heritage Classic Calgary and Montreal put on an alumni game featuring the ’86 Canadiens and ’89 Flames. Which should have been enough to get Kings fans salivating at the thought of next year. If the rumors (as reported here) turn out to be true – and the Kings face the Rangers in the 2012 Winter Classic, just think of the possibility – the ’93 Kings vs the ’94 Rangers. In other words, Gretzky, Robitaille and Hrudey taking on Messier, Graves and Richter. Oh yeah, and Leetch vs. Blake.
* Although the NHL’s two Classics are behind us now, there is still more hockey left to be played in the natural elements. Later this afternoon the WHL will stage an outdoor game between the Regina Pats and Calgary Hitmen. If this game was played last year, there would have been three Kings prospects participating (Colten Teubert for the Pats, Brandon Kozun and Martin Jones for the Hitmen). With all three having moved on to Manchester (AHL) though, that leaves Jordan Weal – who was drafted last summer – as the Kings lone representative. Unfortunately, the game is not being shown in the U.S.
* The tweet of the week may have come from Anaheim’s Bobby ‘breadsticks’ Ryan – “Game day flat tire outside the Olive Garden. #comeonreally!!” (yes, that was a real tweet from Bobby Ryan)
And now you’re caught up.