PA director says realignment block won’t affect CBA talks…Blackhawks lose Sharp to wrist injury…Capitals road woes continue…Focus shifts to Blue Jackets players following coach firing…Bruins Marchand suspended…Panthers down Canucks….Ducks JF Jacques suspended…Blues, Lightning re-sign depth players.
TSN.CA: NHLPA director Donald Fehr rejected the notion the PA’s decision to block implementation of a new divisional realignment plan would have any impact upon upcoming CBA negotiations with the league.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The issue certainly won’t be a stumbling block in getting a new CBA in place, but the PA’s decision to block its implementation for next season was a bit of gamesmanship on the PA’s part, in response to the league doing the same thing by attempting to force this on the players without their input.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp is out 3-4 weeks with a wrist injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s speculation this could force GM Stan Bowman into the trade market, but he’ll likely take a “wait-and-see” approach. He was already shopping around for a top-six forward, preferably a center.
WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals lost 5-1 to the LA Kings last night, extending their road woes to 3-9-1 in their last 13 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nice rebound by the Kings, whose last game was a listless 1-0 loss to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Bob Hunter believes the Blue Jackets firing head coach Scott Arniel will put more focus upon the players for the team’s overall poor performance.
BOSTON GLOBE: The NHL has suspended Bruins forward Brad Marchand for five games for his low-bridge hit on Saturday against Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers edged the Canucks 2-1, and learned call-up backup goalie Jacob Markstrom will have to have knee surgery. Starter Jose Theodore is expected back in the lineup soon from a knee strain.
KUKLA’S KORNER: Anaheim Ducks forward J.F. Jacques was suspended for three games for an illegal hit to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger. The Ducks also demoted Jacques to the minors.
BND.COM: The St. Louis Blues have signed winger Ryan Reaves to a two-year, $1.2 million contract extension.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning have re-signed forward Tom Pyatt to a two-year, $1.2 million contract extension.