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In this edition of NHL Talk, these are the top storylines with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more:
Maple Leafs’ Amirov Diagnosed With Brain Tumour
Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward prospect Rodion Amirov will miss the remainder of the season with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. The 20-year-old was drafted by the Maple Leafs with the No. 15 pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Amirov is supported by the hockey community as he undergoes treatment in Germany with hopes of returning to professional hockey and making his NHL dreams come true.
“Our medical staff has been involved throughout the process alongside [Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League]’s and we are in direct contact with the facility on an ongoing basis to monitor his treatment and care,” Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas said. “Rodion has the complete support of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization and we will continue to ensure he receives the best care possible throughout this process.
“Out of respect for Rodion and his family, the club will not have any further comment at this time.”
Devils’ Hamilton Set to Return From Broken Jaw on Thursday
New Jersey Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton will return to the lineup at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, after missing the last 17 games due to a broken jaw. The 28-year-old was injured against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 2, underwent surgery two days later, and returned to practice on Feb. 12. He has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 30 games with the Devils this season.
“There were three or four different masks I was trying out, just tweaking them, trying different pads,” Hamilton said. “It changed because of the healing of my jaw. I don’t know if this is the one I’ll wear for a while or keep changing it … we’ll see [how] I feel. My jaw has gotten better and better and I’ve been able to change stuff that I wear.”
“I had a conversation with him, and he said he’s ready to go and we’re ready to put him back in,” Devils head coach Lindy Ruff said. “[His ice time will] come down to how he feels, how he looks. Sometimes the player will dictate the length of shifts he’s taking. If the shifts get short you know it’s probably a night where you’re playing him 20 minutes. I wouldn’t see it being much less than that.”
Lightning’s Perry Scores 400th Career NHL Goal
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Corey Perry scored his 400th career NHL goal in a 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. His milestone goal came on the power play at 15:24 of the second period, assisted by Mikhail Sergachev and Pat Maroon, and stood as the game-winning goal for the Lightning. Perry now has 846 points (400 goals, 446 assists) in 1144 career NHL games.
“It’s exciting. It’s a great personal accomplishment,” Perry said. “But I have to give a lot of credit to the guys I played with in the past and the guys here. I never thought growing up that I would hit 400 goals in the NHL.”
“Four hundred goals, that’s [pretty] amazing,” Lightning forward Pat Maroon said of Perry. “I’m proud of him. A lot of people can’t say they scored 400 goals in this league. The way he plays the game, how hard he plays, he plays the game the hard way and he scored 400 goals the hard way.”
Canadiens’ Montembeault Records His First NHL Shutout
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault posted the first shutout of his NHL career, saving all 32 shots he faced in a 4-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. The 25-year-old accomplished the feat in his 37th NHL start and his 18th with the Canadiens. Since being claimed off waivers from the Florida Panthers on Oct. 2., Montembeault has made Montreal his home and is happy to celebrate the achievement in the province he grew up in.
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“It’s so much fun to get my first shutout at Bell Centre,” Montembeault said. “I think I’m going to have to speak to the timekeeper. I was watching the clock in the third period and I felt time was not going down as fast as it did in the other periods. I’m really happy. The guys did extraordinary work.”