Campbell will observe Bruins-Penguins rematch


NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell will be at TD Garden in Boston on Thursday for the Bruins’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he won’t be there merely as a spectator.


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NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell will be at TD Garden in Boston on Thursday for the Bruins’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he won’t be there merely as a spectator.

He’ll be watching to see if things get out of hand in the teams’ first meeting since March 7, when the Penguins Matt Cooke knocked out Bruins centre Marc Savard.

Savard is expected to miss the rest of the season. Cooke was not suspended for the hit.

“Anytime we have things like this, we do some things to ensure that hopefully things don’t get out of hand, and they do what they have to do and keep things civil,” Campbell told

The Bruins took heat after the hit for not dished out some summary justice on Cooke.

Campbell, appearing on XM satellite radio’s NHL Live show, was asked by hosts Rob Simpson and Stan Fischler where he would be sitting at the Garden.

“I’ll be sitting on the Boston bench,” Campbell quipped.

Canucks bring back Grabner

Michael Grabner is set to replace injured winger Mikael Samuelsson on the Vancouver Canucks roster.

Samuelsson went down with an apparent shoulder injury on Tuesday night that will keep him out of the lineup for two to three weeks.

Grabner has run hot and cold with the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose.

After early-season success, including a nine-game stint with the Canucks in late October, Grabner broke an ankle Nov. 1 in a freak accident during a pre-game soccer warm-up with a few Canuck teammates in the corridor of GM Place.

When he returned from that injury in late December, he scored three goals in his first four games back with the Moose and then went 14 games without a goal.

“It has been an up-and-down year,” Grabner said after practising with the Canucks on Wednesday. “I had a long stretch where I didn’t score any goals and then I got back and scored in six games straight.”

Deal is done

Jordan Schroeder, the Vancouver Canucks’ 2009 first-round draft pick, landed the maximum entry-level pro contract when he signed with the team on Wednesday.

That means he received a three-year deal worth $900,000 US a year at the NHL level.

That includes a signing bonus of $270,000.

The 19-year-old centre just completed a disappointing sophomore season with the University of Minnesota. He had nine goals and 28 points in 37 games with the Golden Gophers. Those numbers were down from the 13 goals and 45 points he tallied in 35 games during his freshman campaign.

Senators take bumps and bruises on road

As they prepared for their three-game road trip against the Atlanta Thrashers, the Dallas Stars and the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators were without four regulars at their Wednesday morning practice.

Daniel Alfredsson (maintenance), Mike Fisher (upper-body injury), Anton Volchenkov and Matt Carkner (both bumps and bruises) all missed the skate.

Coach Cory Clouston is crossing his fingers that all will be able to play Thursday against the Thrashers — Alfredsson said he’s fine and will play — but the biggest question seems to be about Fisher’s status.

He said he’ll try to skate Thursday morning and then see how he feels.

“I’m definitely hoping to play,” he said.

Alfredsson denies hit from behind was intentional

Ottawa Senator Daniel Alfredsson said it was an unfortunate accident that led him to hit Toronto’s Francois Beauchemin from behind Tuesday night. Alfredsson received only a minor boarding penalty on the play.

“I was just off-balance a little bit trying to get the puck,” said Alfredsson.

“It was no frustration on my part, just trying to hit someone. It was just to get the puck loose so we could get it back and, hopefully, score a goal.”

 Oilers’ Dubnyk closing in on record career-opening winless skid

Much has been made about Devan Dubnyk’s travails in his ongoing search for his first National Hockey League win, but his 10 games played without a victory is still a ways off the league record.

The Edmonton Oilers’ rookie netminder (0-8-2) is six games behind Wilf Cude. Cude, maybe the lightest goalie in league history at 130 pounds, went 16 games with the dearly departed Philadelphia Quakers in 1930-31 before recording his first NHL win. According to the good folks at the Elias Sports Bureau, the Quakers, who played only one NHL season, won just four of 44 games that year.

It wasn’t surprising that Cude, who would later play seven seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, couldn’t win. The Quakers scored 76 goals in the season and gave up 184. Cude also once had the distinction of being the league’s spare netminder in the 1931-32 season, on call for any team that needed a tender when the Quakers folded.

Okanagon Wings

The Detroit Red Wings have been camping out in Kelowna, B.C., since they beat the Calgary Flames on Tomas Holmstrom’s last-minute deflection winner on Monday night.

They practised at Prospera Place, the Western Hockey League’s Rockets’ home base, Wednesday and Thursday. They had thought of going to Banff, Alta., instead, but they’ve been there before and GM Ken Holland spends his summers in nearby Vernon, B.C. Wings coach Mike Babcock has also been doing some speaking engagements in the break. He drew a crowd of 800 in Red Deer, Atla., Tuesday morning. Babcock once coached at Red Deer College.

Irish eyes

St. Patrick’s Day on Wednesday had many hockey watchers the Irish spirit, including the folks at the Hockey News.

In the spirit of the day, the publication’s John Grigg compiled his list of the top Irish names in the NHL. Counting down, here’s his top 10: Chris Kelly, Ottawa Senators; Belfast native Owen Nolan, Minnesota Wild; Matt Cullen, Ottawa; Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado Avalanche; Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers; Tim Connolly, Buffalo Sabres; Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks; Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes; Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks; and Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks.

Flyers interested in Esche?

What? Was Roman Cechmanek not available? reported Wednesday that the Philadelphia Flyers are considering Robert Esche as a solution to their goaltending woes.

With Ray Emery lost to injury for the balance of the season and Michael Leighton battling a sprained ankle, Esche’s name is being tossed around as a replacement.

Esche, 32, who played for SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League this season, played for the Flyers from 2002-03 to 2006-07. 

Drury irate

It seems no one is more disappointed with the New York Rangers’ lacklustre season than veteran centre Chris Drury.

Drury blasted the squad after the Rangers lost 3-1 to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

“Again, it’s consistency. It’s so obvious how we have to play and see how successful we can be with it, and it just again, it bites us in the ass,” Drury told the New York Post. “We’re just not consistent with it.”

Asked what’s causing the team’s inconsistency, Drury pulled no punches.

“It’s immaturity. That’s what it’s been all year.”

Ice chips:

Minnesota has signed Plymouth Whaler goaltender Matthew Hackett to a three-year entry level deal. Hackett was selected in the third round (77th overall) of last summer’s draft. . . . Washington is 7-2 this season without Alex Ovechkin in the lineup. . . . Dallas’s 8-2 win over San Jose Monday was coach Marc Crawford’s 500th career regular season win. . . . Edmonton Oilers winger Patrick O’Sullivan is still day-to-day after the nail was ripped off a finger on his left hand in a loss to Ottawa March 9.

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