NHL Notes: Bruins hope Horton plays in Game 2

slideshow-061313-bruins-horton-uspresswire.jpg

NHL Notes: Bruins hope Horton plays in Game 2

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton is day to day after leaving Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals because of an injury.

A part of Boston's top line, Horton was injured during Wednesday's 4-3 triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Game 2 is Saturday at the United Center, and coach Claude Julien said Thursday the Bruins are "keeping our fingers crossed" that he won't miss any time.

He said he's "not going there" when asked what Boston will do if Horton is unavailable because "that decision hasn't been made."

Horton got tangled with Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson with about seven minutes remaining in the first OT. He skated off the ice and headed to the locker room.

Losing Horton would be a big blow for the Bruins. He has seven goals and 11 assists in the playoffs and leads the league at plus-22 in the postseason. He also suffered a concussion during Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals against Vancouver and missed the rest of the series as the Bruins went on to win the championship.

"He's a guy that's been coming up big for us in the playoffs," defenseman Torey Krug said. "To not have him in the rest of that game definitely hurt us. But we have confidence in our guys" (see full story).

Penguins: Malkin signs $76 million extension
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins and reigning NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin have agreed to an eight-year contract extension.

The $76-million deal begins with the 2014-15 season and will carry an average salary cap hit of $9.5 million. The agreement comes one day after the Penguins signed coach Dan Bylsma to a two-year extension through 2016.

The 26-year-old Russian won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP a year ago after leading the league with 109 points. He struggled with a concussion and a shoulder injury during the lockout-shortened 2013 season, finishing with 31 points in 33 games.

The extension means Malkin and Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby will remain together through their primes and beyond. Crosby signed a 12-year extension last summer (see full story).

Stars: Prospect Winkler dies
DALLAS -- Dallas Stars prospect Scott Winkler has died in his home country of Norway after recently completing his senior season at Colorado College. He was 23.

School officials said in a news release that Winkler died unexpectedly Wednesday at his parents' home. The native of Asker, Norway, was a third-round pick by the Stars in 2008.

The school said Winkler graduated from Colorado College on May 20 with a bachelor's degree in economics.

Winkler came to the U.S. in 2007 and played for Cedar Rapids in the United States Hockey League the year he was drafted by Dallas. He later enrolled at Colorado College and compiled 63 points in 120 career games. He had career highs of 13 goals and 28 points last season.

Philadelphia to host 2016 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame ceremony

Philadelphia to host 2016 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame ceremony

Philadelphia will host the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 30.

USA Hockey on Tuesday announced that the Flyers will host the event for the first time.

The 2016 Hall of Fame class includes legendary high school coach Bill Belisle, former NHL forward Craig Janney, and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey team. 

That team featured Brett Hull, Brian Leetch and Abington native Mike Richter. It also has a special connection with Philly. The 1996 World Cup of Hockey was the first sporting event played at the CoreStates Center (now the Wells Fargo Center). The U.S. would go on to win the tournament.

“We’re excited to bring the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration to Philadelphia,” Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, said in a statement. “It’s one of our nation’s very top hockey cities, thanks in large part to the decades-long efforts of the late Ed Snider, and fans in the area will enjoy being part of enshrining the Class of 2016. This is always one of the most anticipated events on the calendar each year and we’re grateful for the advance support we’ve received from the Flyers and our Atlantic Affiliate.”

Tuesday also marks 50 days until the Flyers begin their 50th anniversary season. 

Flyers legends Mark Howe, John LeClair to coach All-American Prospects Game in Philadelphia

Flyers legends Mark Howe, John LeClair to coach All-American Prospects Game in Philadelphia

U.S. Hockey Hall of Famers and Flyers legends Mark Howe and John LeClair will go behind the bench next month at the Wells Fargo Center.
 
Both have been selected as head coaches for the 5th annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game here on Sept. 22.
 
This is just one of many events planned at the Wells Fargo Center this season to celebrate the Flyers’ 50th Anniversary.
 
The 7 p.m. faceoff features 42 of the top American-born prospects eligible for the 2017 NHL draft.
 
Howe and LeClair have combined to represent the U.S. seven times: one Canada Cup, two IIHF World Championships, one World Cup of Hockey and three Olympics. Howe was elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 and LeClair’s induction occurred in 2009.

Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
 
Tickets for the All-American Prospects Game can be obtained online at  ComcastTIX.com, or by calling 1-800-298-4200, or by visiting the Wells Fargo Center Box office.

Rangers win Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes

Rangers win Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers have won the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes.

New York announced Friday it agreed to terms on an entry-level deal with the coveted college free agent.

Vesey was the Hobey Baker Award winner as the NCAA's player of the year last season for Harvard. The 23-year-old forward had 24 goals and 22 assists in 33 games.

Originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round of the 2012 draft, Vesey said he wouldn't sign by the Aug. 15 deadline. The Predators traded his rights to the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick in the 2016 draft.

Vesey met with several teams this week and ultimately chose to join the Rangers.