NEW YORK — With its season opening today, the NHL added a staff of spotters on Tuesday to better help identify players who might have sustained a concussion and have them removed from games for evaluation.
The league announced the spotters will monitor all game broadcasts from the NHL's headquarters in New York. The spotters are certified athletic trainers who have hockey experience and educated in identifying signs of potential concussions.
They will have the authority to contact teams directly to have players removed during a game. The players can't to return until being cleared by the team's medical staff. Concussion spotters will also attend each game. Previously, there were team-affiliated concussion spotters in each arena and they could recommend to medical staffs but not require players be removed from a game.
Lightning Cup hero Fedotenko retiring: Ruslan Fedotenko, whose two goals in Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup final sealed his place in Lightning lore, announced he is retiring after 12 NHL seasons split among five teams. Fedotenko, 37, spent the past two seasons playing for Iowa of the AHL. He scored both goals for Tampa Bay in its 2-1 victory over Calgary on June 7, 2004, sealing the franchise's only Stanley Cup.
Openers: Blues goalie Jake Allen will start against the Blackhawks as the NHL's 100th regular season opens tonight, coach Ken Hitchcock said. Allen's left ankle was hurt in a collision last week. … The Maple Leafs open their 100th season at rival Ottawa.
Around the league: Forward Devin Setoguchi agreed to a one-year deal with the Kings after nearly two years out of the league. Setoguchi, 29, has had an alcohol problem and depression, and played last season in Switzerland. … The Sabres signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a six-year, $32.4 million deal.