Recaps of Wednesday’s games featuring American NHL teams, plus the latest on Marc Staal, Chris Pronger, Roman Hamrlik and more.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/DENVER POST: Dan Carcillo scored with 49.3 seconds remaining in the third period to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche, extending the Blackhawks season-opening unbeaten streak to 24 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s reaching the point where it’ll be bigger news when the Blackhawks incredible streak finally comes to an end.
CSN PHILLY: In a recent interview with Sportsnet, injured Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger hints at retirement. Pronger has been sidelined since the middle of last season by post-concussion symptoms and has been on long-term injury reserve ever since. He also revealed his eyesight has been affected by injury, to where he no longer has good peripheral vision.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one wants to see a career cut short by injuries, but it certainly appears Pronger’s career is over. I just don’t see him making a comeback from these health issues.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New York Rangers announced defenseman Marc Staal is expected to make a full recovery from an eye injury suffered during Tuesday’s Rangers-Flyers. Staal is currently sidelined indefinitely. The Rangers yesterday claimed defenseman Roman Hamrlik off waivers from the Washington Capitals.
NBC SPORTS: Despite calls for the NHL to make visor mandatory (something the league would prefer to do), but to do so requires approval from the NHLPA, which insists on allowing the use of visors to be an individual choice of the players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As we discussed last night on The Face Off Hockey Show, the use of visors has significantly increased in the NHL over the past decade, up from over 25 percent in 2001 to around 65% today. It could eventually reach the point where, like helmets over 30 years ago, the players vote to make visor mandatory with a “grandfather” clause for those of a certain age or number of years in the league to have a choice to wear one or not. For now, don’t expect a mandatory visor rule to be implemented anytime soon.
THE TENNESSEAN: The key to the Nashville Predators winning games this season is to score first.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils claimed forward Tom Kostopoulos off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins, who had signed him to a one-year, two-way contract on Tuesday.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars boast the NHL’s highest attendance increase this season, putting an additional 32 percent more fans into their home arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, they still rank near the bottom of the Conference in attendance, but that’s a significant boost, which coincides with the club’s improvement this season. It is a positive sign going forward for a team which has struggled in recent years on the ice and at the gate.
SI.COM: Stu Hackel lists the NHL’s ten most powerful people. Three guesses where NHL commissioner Gary Bettman comes in on the list