Stars forward Cody Eakin is set to have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety after he plowed over Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on Thursday night.
Dallas’ Cody Eakin will have a hearing this afternoon for charging NY Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 16, 2016
The hit earned Eakin a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct. It briefly sent Lundqvist from the game to get checked out, but he returned after a brief absence. Antti Raanta, who has been getting the bulk of the starts since Dec. 6, came in to relieve Lundqvist but didn’t face a shot before The King was ready to return.
Nonetheless, it was the first shared shutout in New York Rangers history.
The hit incensed Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who said after the game that the league “better do something” about the hit, according to the New York Posts’s Brett Cyrgalis.
World Junior Reinforcements
As we barrel toward the 2017 World Junior Championship, most national teams are hoping to get some reinforcements from NHL clubs. It appears very few, if any, will be getting them.
Add Noah Hanifin (USA) and Sebastian Aho (Finland) to the list of players who aren’t headed to the tournament. Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports that ‘Canes GM Ron Francis has confirmed he will not be loaning either player, despite requests from the national teams.
Islanders prospect Anthony Beauvilier is in a similar position. Despite being a healthy scratch recently, the rookie will stay in the NHL instead of joining Team Canada.
“I’m in the NHL right now and there’s no place I’d rather be,” Beauvillier told Newsday’s Arthur Staple. “My goal at the beginning of the year was to play here the whole year, so I want to stay. If I would have been in juniors, it’s a different story. World Junior(s) would have been a goal for sure. But I’m here and I want to stay here.”
In fact, for Canada, it appears there aren’t any of their NHLers coming to help them capture gold on home ice.
Team CAN "officially" not getting any NHL players. @HockeyCanada contacted NHL teams today, got formal rejections from ARI, NYI, TOR, PHI.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 15, 2016
Holland’s Sweet Revenge
Not long after the Leafs traded him to the Coyotes, Peter Holland found himself facing his former team. The teams squared off Thursday and Holland was given a Hollywood ending to the lack of ice time he was getting with the Leafs.
The game required a shootout and Holland wound up punching the game-winner past Freddie Andersen.
Coach Tippett: I asked Holland his shooting percentage (shootouts) he said 'I'm 0-2 but feeling good."
— David Alter (@dalter) December 16, 2016
The Corrado Question
Toronto defenseman Frank Corrado has been frustrated with the lack of playing time he’s getting. For the second season in a row, he’s watching a lot of games from the press box. In fact, he’s watching almost all of them from the press box. He’s played just one game this season.
Corrado requires waivers to go to the AHL and it’s a risk the team doesn’t appear willing to take, despite the fact that they don’t appear to have any intention of putting him in a game any time soon.
“It’s frustrating now,” Corrado said told The Athletic’s Dave Alter. “When you don’t get to play for a month and a half, and you’ve played in one game all year, it takes its toll on you mentally … Yeah, you’re in the NHL. It’s not that the novelty has worn off; it’s just that it’s time to play. It’s time to have a career. I feel like the more I’m not playing, that’s food off my table. That’s kind of the way I see it right now.”
Corrado arrived in Toronto after being claimed off waivers from Vancouver last season.
“Everyone on our back end gets a chance to play except me,” Corrado said. “I’d love to play. I had a good camp. I put on 10 pounds in the summer. I sacrificed a lot to earn a job here when there might not have been one for me. I’m sure Holly’s situation was similar in ways, but for me, it’s really frustrating right now.”
Leafs coach Mike Babcock responded to Corrado’s complaint Thursday.
Mike Babcock responds to Frank Corrado's assertion that lack of playing time is related to Babcock not liking him pic.twitter.com/Z5eCmSMtYs
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) December 16, 2016
Corrado may get an opportunity in the near future though. Friday morning the Leafs announced that Martin Marincin will miss six weeks with an injury.
Martin Marincin is out four to six weeks, per #leafs.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 16, 2016
Odds & Ends
– Islanders goaltender J.F. Berube will get his first start of the season Friday in Buffalo, reports Arthur Staple.
– USA Hockey has announced the women’s roster for the December series against Canada, which will start Saturday. The tournament is one of the last times players will be with U.S. brass before roster selection for the 2017 World Championship in Plymouth, Michigan.
– Slava Malamud reports there are ongoing financial troubles in the KHL, with many teams unable to pay players.
10 KHL clubs owe salary to their players. Lada Togliatti hasn't paid a penny to anyone since Aug. The team no longer hires charter flights
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) December 16, 2016
– Former Flames coach Bob Hartley may be tapped to coach the Latvian men’s national team, according to reports.