Truth & Rumors > NHL

Sens shopping their captain

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07:41 AM ET 04.16 | With the second season moving on without the Senators, owner Eugene Melnyk took the occasion to frame the state of the franchise. [Melnyk] told reporters in a conference call Tuesday he expects to make the playoffs every year and is having a difficult time getting over his disappointment this season. Though he's willing to forgive coach Paul MacLean for "a bad year," top centre Jason Spezza could be getting a change of scenery because this team will not look the same next year. ... [Said Melnyk:] "There is no magic bullet, but changes will need to be made." The No. 1 change is expected to involve Spezza. The Senators will likely shop him around before the NHL entry draft in Philadelphia. As reported by the Sun, the asking price is player who can help right now, a top prospect and No. 1 pick.

Ottawa Sun

Jason Spezza, Icon Sports Jason Spezza, Icon Sports

Murky status on Flyers starter

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07:41 AM ET 04.16 | In one corner, you have The King -- in the other, you have a question mark. Depending on how you interpret the tone of general manager Paul Holmgren and coach Craig Berube, goaltender Steve Mason might not be ready for Game 1 of the Flyers' first-round series with the Rangers tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden. Either that, or the Flyers prefer to keep their opponent guessing with gamesmanship. Mason practiced for nearly 20 minutes yesterday before a planned exit from the ice whisked him into video review and meetings. Holmgren said Mason, still suffering from the ill effects of a collision with Jayson Megna in Pittsburgh on Saturday, was out of the training facility a short time later and "receiving treatment." ... For now, the Flyers are remaining mum on Mason's "upper-body" injury.

Philadelphia Daily News

Steve Mason, Icon Sports Steve Mason, Icon Sports

In St. Louis, 'the cavalry is coming'

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07:40 AM ET 04.16 | A first-round series between a pair of Western Conference rivals awaits, and, for St. Louis, the timing couldn't be better. Listen closely and you can almost hear the thumping of the horses' hooves coming over the hillside. "The cavalry is coming," Blues forward Brenden Morrow said. Morrow, who was in a walking boot just a few days ago, was a surprise skater in Tuesday's practice, but he wasn't the only one making progress toward playing in Game 1, or least at some point in the series. T.J. Oshie returned to the ice four days after taking a vicious head hit in Minnesota, Vladimir Tarasenko has shed the cast on his right hand and was firing off a series of shots and defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Barret Jackman were back after missing Sunday's regular-season finale against Detroit.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

T.J. Oshie, Getty Images T.J. Oshie, Getty Images

The Ducks have a goalie problem

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07:58 AM ET 04.15 | Less than a month ago, Jonas Hiller was a man gearing up for what was a nearly guaranteed playoff appearance as Anaheim's starting goalie. After a few poor starts got him benched to end the regular season, Hiller now appears to be the top-seeded Ducks' last resort in net in the first round. ... [Hiller] realizes he'll likely watch one of Anaheim's two rookie goalies make his playoff debut at Honda Center on Wednesday. Frederik Andersen and John Gibson have 31 combined games of NHL experience, but they've both seized the opportunity created by Hiller's minor slump. Hiller is still featured prominently on the wallpaper on the Ducks' website, but that might be the only place Anaheim fans can see the soon-to-be free agent in uniform again unless the rookies falter.

TSN.ca

Jonas Hiller, Getty Images Jonas Hiller, Getty Images

Lundqvist admits contract hurt him

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07:57 AM ET 04.15 | What a difference a few months makes in the kingdom of Henrik Lundqvist. [In] fact, it is hard to believe he is the same person who struggled through the first three months of the year, a period in which he was benched a couple of times as he sought to deal with myriad issues, including stalled contract talks that went into December. ... "Early in the season there were a couple of distractions. I'm not going to lie -- the contract played a part," said Lundqvist, who signed a seven-year, $59.5 million extension on Dec. 4 after also dealing with an early-season injury that remains unidentified. "When you add everything together, it was not perfect. It was the most challenging part of my entire career." Lundqvist steadied himself over the Christmas break.

New York Post

Henrik Lundqvist, Icon Sports Henrik Lundqvist, Icon Sports

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