Injured Philadelphia Flyers forward Jeff Carter skated Monday for the first time since undergoing foot surgery April 23, but his return to the lineup isn’t imminent.
Carter, who led the team with 33 goals in 74 regular-season games, hasn’t played since breaking his foot in Game 4 of the first round.
“Surprising and great news for us,” Flyers forward Simon Gagne told NHL.com Monday. “I don’t think anyone was expecting Cartsy to skate that early when they were talking about six weeks. So we were kind of looking at maybe if we go to Stanley Cup final, but not in the third round. Seeing him today, able to skate by himself, is definitely great news and I’m very happy for him.”
Canada will get outdoor game
The NHL’s Winter Classic has been a hit the past three seasons with outdoor games in Buffalo, N.Y., Chicago and Boston. Next season at least one of the six Canadian teams will get in on the action.
NHL chief operating officer John Collins to multichannel.com in an interview last week there will be two outdoor games next season, one in the United States and one in Canada. The locations and details won’t be announced until after the season.
The Edmonton Oilers hosted the Heritage Classic in 2003 against the Montreal Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium. That game was a pre-cursor to the current Winter Classics.
Capitals expect prospect Johnansson to compete for job
The 10-year contract extension forward Nicklas Backstrom signed with the Washington Capitals drew a lot of attention, but the NHL club also signed another Swedish forward Monday.
Marcus Johnansson, a first-round pick in the 2009 NHL entry draft inked a three-year entry level contract and Capitals general manager George McPhee expects him to be in the mix for a job on the NHL roster next season.
“He had a very good season in the Swedish elite league this year,” McPhee told reporters. “We think he’s ready to compete for a full-time job with the Caps this coming season. He’s an intelligent player who brings speed and competitiveness to the rink every night, and he’s a good leader. He was the captain of the Swedish team at the world junior championships this year, so please say hello to Marcus.”
Johansson had 10 goals and 10 assists with Farjestads BK Karlstad in the Swedish Elite League last year, his second full season in the top division in his home country.
He said it:
“If people keep saying that, maybe it will keep motivating him to prove them wrong. We know that nothing that’s being said is bothering him. He’s playing great under pressure, and he definitely was our most valuable player (Sunday).” — Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews to the San Jose Mercury News on the notion that goaltender Antti Niemi is the Hawks’ weak link.
Philadelphia Flyers winger Ian Laperriere had positive results from an MRI Monday morning and could return to the Flyers lineup later in the Eastern Conference final. He’s been out since Game 5 of the first round with a concussion.
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