Flames’ Tkachuk Stays, Kings’ Gilbert Suspended & More News

Flames’ Tkachuk to Play 10th Game

The Calgary Flames will dress Matthew Tkachuk for his 10th game of the season, which means the rookie forward will be staying with the NHL club and burning the first year of his three-year, entry-level contract.

Matthew Tkachuk, 2016 NHL Draft, NHL, Calgary Flames
Matthew Tkachuk (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Tkachuk, 18, was drafted by the Flames sixth overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and made the club out of camp. He has registered a goal and three assists in the first nine games of his NHL career, but there was speculation about whether or not the Flames would decide to keep him with the team as he and other rookies in the league approached the 10th game of the season.

If the Flames had decided the other way, Tkachuk would have been assigned to the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League, because of his age.

At 6’1″, 195 pounds, Tkachuk is bigger than most players in his draft year and it should help his transition to the NHL game. In his first and only OHL season, he scored 107 points in 57 games and adding 40 points in 18 contests en route to the 2016 Memorial Cup title.

The Flames are off to a 4-6-1 start and are fourth in the Pacific Division.

Kings’ Gilbert Suspended 3 Games

Los Angeles Kings forward Tom Gilbert has been suspended three games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, the league announced on Thursday.

The suspension comes as a result of Gilbert boarding Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie during the Kings’ 4-0 loss to the Ducks on Nov. 1.

Gilbert was checked behind the Kings’ net by Ritchie in a clean play that took place shortly before Gilbert’s boarding penalty.

Nick Ritchie (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)
Nick Ritchie (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

As the video explains, Ritchie was waiting near center ice for the puck and Gilbert approached him, leveling “a solid hit through Ritchie’s numbers and left shoulder, driving him violently into the boards and causing an injury.” The narrator also noted that, “although Ritchie puts himself in a vulnerable position before the hit, he does so well before Gilbert initiates the hit.”

Ritchie’s head made direct contact with the boards and he was injured during the play. He sat out the Ducks’ next game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 2 and it is not yet known when he will return.

Sabres Lose Bogosian ‘For Weeks’

The Buffalo Sabres will be without Zach Bogosian ‘for weeks’ because of an MCL sprain, according to Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma on Thursday.

Zach Bogosian, Buffalo Sabres, NHL, Fantasy Hockey
Zach Bogosian (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Bogosian, 26, was injured during the first period of the Sabres’ 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. He has been held scoreless and is a minus-two in nine games this season, but is one of the Sabres’ top-four defenseman.

The Sabres have been battling injuries to two key forwards and Bogosian’s injury is a blow to the team’s defense.

Jack Eichel suffered a sprained ankle during a team practice just before the start of the 2016-17 season and Evander Kane is still recovering from broken ribs he sustained during a game early in the season.

The Sabres are currently 4-3-2 with 10 points and are fifth in the Atlantic Division.

Drouin Out vs. Bruins

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin will not dress for the team against the Boston Bruins on Thursday and will undergo further evaluation by the team’s doctors, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said.

Jonathan Drouin
Jonathan Drouin (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Drouin played just 18 seconds of the Lightning’s 6-1 win over the New York Islander on Tuesday before being leveled on a hit by Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan early in the first period. Drouin did not return to the game and de Haan did not receive supplemental discipline by the league after the play.

After the game, Cooper said Drouin was in “good spirits” and held out for precautionary reasons but did not provide any other information on his status.

Drouin has registered five points in 10 games this season and taken on a bigger role with the Lightning in the early part of 2016-17 as a top-six forward and earning playing time on the team’s power play.

Odds and Ends

— The Bruins will make forward Matt Beleskey a healthy scratch and forward Sean Kuraly will make his NHL debut against the Lightning, the Bruins announced. Beleskey has been held pointless in nine games in 2016-17. Kuraly, 23, has played eight games with the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League this season, tallying an assist and nine penalty minutes.

— The Chicago Blackhawks congratulated the Chicago Cubs on Thursday after the team won Game 7 of the World Series, breaking a 108-year championship drought for the club. The game was a back and forth contest that went into extra innings and the Cubs capped a comeback from being down 3-1 in the series.

— The Anaheim Ducks terminated the contract of Mason Raymond on Thursday after the forward cleared unconditional waivers. Raymond, 31, is now an unrestricted free agent.