Hockey Today - Wednesday, Sept. 3

Hockey Today - Wednesday, Sept. 3

Hockey Today - Wednesday, Sept. 3
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Wednesday, Oct. 3

Anaheim at Detroit (7 p.m. EST). The Ducks face the Red Wings in a rematch of the Western Conference Finals.

REINSTATED

Mark Bell was cleared to play by doctors in the NHL's substance abuse program on Tuesday, but the new Toronto forward will now have to serve the 15-game suspension handed down by the league. Bell was suspended indefinitely on Sept. 4 and placed into Stage 2 of the program, run jointly by the NHL and the players' association. He entered the program in September 2006 following his arrest on drunken driving and hit-and-run charges in California when he was a member of the San Jose Sharks.

DENIED

Flyers prospect Steve Downie was ruled ineligible to play in the AHL for the first month of the season after the NHL suspended him 20 games last week. Downie was suspended 20 games by the NHL on Friday for leaving his feet to deliver a deliberate and dangerous hit to the head Ottawa's Dean McAmmond.

SHINING STAR

In four seasons as Dallas' starting goalie, Marty Turco has 147 victories, second during that span to the 170 by New Jersey's Martin Brodeur. His 175 career victories are already the most in team history. The Stars begin their season in Colorado on Wednesday night.

HOME SWEET HOME

Toronto will play eight of its first 10 games at Air Canada Centre, beginning with a visit by Ottawa on Wednesday night.

MILESTONE

Roman Hamrlik's first game with Montreal on Wednesday night will also be the defenseman's 1,000th in the NHL.

CLAIMED

New Jersey claimed defenseman Sheldon Brookbank off waivers from Columbus on Tuesday. Brookbank had 15 goals and 38 assists with Milwaukee of the AHL last season and made his NHL debut with Nashville in February.

SPEAKING

''The American Hockey League has established a strict disciplinary standard over the last several seasons relative to deliberate hits to the head. We strongly support the National Hockey League's recent directives on these dangerous hits, and we want to send a clear message that actions such as Mr. Downie's are unacceptable in our game.'' - AHL president David Andrews after not allowing Philadelphia prospect Steve Downie to play in the league following his 20-game NHL suspension last week.

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Re: Hockey Today - Wednesday, Sept. 3

Devils open season with 9-game, 3-week road trip that is longest in franchise history
October 2, 2007

WEST ORANGE, N.J. (AP) -The New Jersey Devils' quest for the Stanley Cup is going to start with the longest road trip in franchise history.

With the new Prudential Center in Newark getting its final touches, the Devils will begin the season with a nine-game, three-week sojourn that will include a couple of quick pit stops at home to say hello to family and friends.

The trip got under way Tuesday when the Devils boarded a bus after practice for a flight to Tampa, Fla., and the season-opener against the Lightning on Thursday night.

``It's our job to make it happen,'' goaltender Martin Brodeur said of the extended trip. ``The organization has given us something every player dreams about, playing in a new building. It's a price to pay.''

Only two other NHL teams started a season with nine consecutive road games, Quebec in 1980-81 and Carolina in 1999-2000. Both were also waiting for arena renovation or construction to be completed.

Quebec, which is now the Colorado Avalanche, went 1-6-2 and missed the playoffs after winning only 30 games. Carolina had an outstanding 4-2-3 start but missed the playoffs with a 37-35-10 mark.

A long trip might not have been a major issue for New Jersey in recent years. The Devils were a veteran group that averaged more than 21 road wins for the last decade playing away from the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford. They also were a team set in its ways, playing the same trapping defensive system that frustrated opponents.

That's changed with Brent Sutter taking over as the head coach. An aggressive forecheck has replaced the stay-at-home defensive approach. There are also a lot of new faces.

Lost to free agency were defensive leader Brian Rafalski (Red Wings) and center Scott Gomez (Rangers).

The new roster has four rookies, a new backup goaltender, two new starters on defense and four very different line combinations.

Veteran Jay Pandolfo said the trip might create a little chemistry.

``It could be a good experience, especially if we get off to a good start,'' Pandolfo said. ``It's new faces and the guys are going to get a chance to hang out together and know each other. When you are home, you always don't have that opportunity with kids and stuff.''

John Madden, who has won two Stanley Cups in his eight years with the Devils, downplayed the trip, saying that it was good to get the road games out of the way early.

``It's all how you look at it,'' he said. ``You can approach it as a negative, or say for all we know we might have a good record right off the bat.''

The players have known about the trip since the schedule came out months ago.

Zach Parise joked that his DVD player and his portable PlayStation were packed and ready for use. He said nothing about clothes.

``It's think it's great,'' Parise said. ``With all the new faces, it will be a good time to bond and get that going right away at the beginning of the season.''

As far as leaving a day early, Sutter said he just wanted to remove all possible distractions and to have the team settled in.

``I guess we had enough time off in the summer,'' forward Brian Gionta quipped.

The Devils will open in their new arena on Oct. 27 against the Eastern Conference champion Ottawa Senators.

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Columbus places three veterans on IR
October 2nd, 2007

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - The Columbus Blue Jackets placed defenseman Adam Foote and forwards Fredrik Modin and Mike Peca on injured reserve Tuesday.

Foote (strained hamstring), Modin (back spasms) and Peca (groin strain) are all listed as day-to-day and under league rules can be activated off IR at any time.

The 33-year-old Peca, who signed with the Blue Jackets as a free agent in the offseason, missed the final four months of last year with a broken leg.

In another roster move, Columbus lost Sheldon Brookbank as the defenseman was plucked off waivers by the New Jersey Devils.

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Re: Hockey Today - Wednesday, Sept. 3

Red Wings:  Grigorenko doesn't make club out of camp

Igor Grigorenko did not make the opening-night roster for the Red Wings, though it's not expected that he'll be in the minors long, the Detroit News reports. His trip to the AHL is basically being looked at as a conditioning stint.

Panthers:  Montador to undergo knee surgery

Steve Montador was sidelined for most of training camp with a strained back. However, it's a knee injury that will cost him some regular-season action, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He's slated to have an arthroscopic procedure performed on Monday, after which more should be known about a timetable for his return.

Ducks:  Pahlsson to miss another week

Samuel Pahlsson was not available for the first two games of the NHL season over the weekend. In fact, he expects to remain sidelined for another week, according to the LA Times.

Devils:  Janssen to miss a couple of months

Cam Janssen is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery on Thursday. "I think it's going to help me a lot," he said, according to the Star-Ledger. "I've screwed my shoulders up since my first year in juniors. I've been fighting 35 times a year since juniors."

Blues:  McKee out with foot injury

Jay McKee will miss up to six weeks with a fractured right foot, according to the AP. He suffered the injury during a preseason game against the Wild.

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Re: Hockey Today - Wednesday, Sept. 3

Today's key NHL matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS   

Montreal at Carolina

This is the seventh straight season Montreal has opened on the road. It has split its last six season openers. Carolina, meanwhile, has opened the last four seasons with losses.

Anaheim at Detroit

Detroit has won eight straight regular-season home games against Anaheim since a 2-1 loss on March 19, 2002.

Ottawa at Toronto

The Leafs play eight of their first 10 games at home, where they were 12-15-5 last season before finishing with nine straight wins there to match a franchise record.

The Senators went 5-1-2 against the Maple Leafs last season, including 3-0-1 at Air Canada Centre. Ottawa has dominated the regular season series of late, going 12-2-2 since the start of the 2005-06 season.

Dallas at Colorado

Colorado is 7-2-3 in season openers at home. Dallas is 4-7-8 when opening on the road.

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